Thursday, December 8, 2016

US Power Will Decline Under Trump, Says Futurist Who Predicted Soviet Collapse :: Written by NAFEEZ AHMED for Motherboard

Motherboard



US Power Will Decline Under Trump, Says Futurist Who Predicted Soviet Collapse

Written by
NAFEEZ AHMED
COLUMNIST
December 6, 2016 // 09:30 AM EST
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Johan Galtung, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated sociologist who predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, warned that US global power will collapse under the Donald Trump administration.

The Norwegian professor at the University of Hawaii and Transcend Peace University is recognized as the ‘founding father’ of peace and conflict studies as a scientific discipline. He has made numerous accurate predictions of major world events, most notably the collapse of the Soviet Empire.

Back in 2000, Galtung first set out his prediction that the “US empire” would collapse within 25 years.
Galtung has also accurately predicted the 1978 Iranian revolution; the Tiananmen Square uprising of 1989 in China; the economic crises of 1987, 2008 and 2011; and even the 9/11 attacks—among other events, according to the late Dietrich Fischer, academic director of the European University Center for Peace Studies.

Back in 2000, Galtung first set out his prediction that the “US empire” would collapse within 25 years. After the election of President Bush, though, he revised that forecast five years forward because, he argued, Bush’s policies of extreme militarism would be an accelerant.

After the election of Trump, I thought it might be prudent to check in with Galtung to see how he was feeling about the status of his US forecast. Galtung told Motherboard that Trump would probably continue this trajectory of accelerated decline—and may even make it happen quicker. Of course, with typical scientific caution, he said he would prefer to see what Trump’s actual policies are before voicing a clear verdict.

The model

Galtung has doctoral degrees in both sociology and mathematics, and some decades ago developed a theory of “synchronizing and mutually reinforcing contradictions”, which he used to make his forecasts. The model was based on comparing the rise and fall of 10 historical empires.

In 1980, Galtung used his theoretical model to map the interaction of various social contradictions inside the Soviet empire, leading him to predict its demise within 10 years.

“Very few believed him at the time”, writes Dietrich Fischer in the main biography and anthology of Galtung’s works, Pioneer for Peace, “but it occurred on November 9, 1989, two months before his time limit, 1990.”

For the USSR, Galtung’s model identified five key structural contradictions in Soviet society which, he said, would inevitably lead to its fragmentation—unless the USSR underwent a complete transformation.

The model works like this: the more those contradictions deepen, the greater the likelihood they will result in a social crisis that could upend the existing order.
In the case of the USSR, the main structural contradictions were as follows: the working class was increasingly repressed and unable to self-organise through trade unions (ironic given the country’s Communist pretensions); the wealthier ‘bourgeoisie’ or elite had money to spend, but nothing to buy from domestic production, leading to economic stagnation; Russian intellectuals wanted more freedom of expression; minorities wanted more autonomy; and peasants wanted more freedom of movement

The model works like this: the more those contradictions deepen, the greater the likelihood they will result in a social crisis that could upend the existing order.

Eventually, as the highly centralised structures of the Soviet empire were unable to accommodate these intensifying pressures, the top-down structures would have to collapse.

Galtung later began to apply his model to the United States. In 1996, he wrote a scientific paper published by George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis & Resolution warning that “the USA will soon go the same way as [previous] imperial constructions… decline and fall.”

Fascism?

But the main book setting out Galtung’s fascinating forecast for the US is his 2009 book, The Fall of the American Empire—and then What?

The book sets out a whopping 15 “synchronizing and mutually reinforcing contradictions” afflicting the US, which he says will lead to US global power ending by 2020—within just four years. Galtung warned that during this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary “fascism”.

He argued that American fascism would come from a capacity for tremendous global violence; a vision of American exceptionalism as the “fittest nation”; a belief in a coming final war between good and evil; a cult of the strong state leading the fight of good against evil; and a cult of the “strong leader”.

Galtung warned that during this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary “fascism”.
All of which, Galtung said, surfaced during the Bush era, and which now appear to have come to fruition through Trump. Such fascism, he told Motherboard, is a symptom of the decline—lashing out in disbelief at the loss of power.

Among the 15 structural contradictions his model identifies as driving the decline, are:

economic contradictions such as ‘overproduction relative to demand’, unemployment and the increasing costs of climate change;
military contradictions including rising tensions between the US, NATO, and its military allies, along with the increasing economic unsustainability of war;
political contradictions including the conflicting roles of the US, UN and EU;
cultural contradictions including tensions between US Judeo-Christianity, Islam, and other minorities;
and social contradictions encompassing the increasing gulf between the so-called ‘American Dream’, the belief that everyone can prosper in America through hard work, and the reality of American life (the fact that more and more people can’t).
Galtung’s book explores how the structural inability to resolve such contradictions will lead to the unravelling of US political power, both globally, and potentially even domestically.

Global collapse

Trump has made clear that he thinks US troops are still needed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even proposed sending more troops to Iraq. He also said that we should have ‘grabbed’ the country’s oil. But he has also heavily (and incoherently) criticized US military policies.

Domestically, Trump has promised to deport 11 million illegal migrants, build a wall between the US and Mexico, compel all American Muslims to sign up to a government register, and ban all Muslim immigration to the US.

On the one hand, Trump might well offer an opportunity to avoid potential conflicts with great power rivals like Russia and China—on the other, he may still, stupidly, fight more unilateral wars and worsen domestic contradictions relating to minorities.
For Galtung, Trump’s incoherent policy proposals are evidence of the deeper structural decline of US power: “He [Trump] blunts contradictions with Russia, possibly with China, and seems to do also with North Korea. But he sharpens contradictions inside the USA”, such as in relation to minority rights.

On the one hand, Galtung said, Trump might well offer an opportunity to avoid potential conflicts with great power rivals like Russia and China—on the other, he may still, stupidly, fight more unilateral wars and worsen domestic contradictions relating to minorities.

Motherboard asked Galtung whether he thinks Trump would speed up his forecast of “collapse”, or slow it down.

Even if we give Trump the benefit of the doubt, he said, and assume that he “prefers solving underlying conflicts, particularly with Russia, to war—in other words for the US not be imperial—then yes, that still speeds up the decline from above, and from the center… Of course, what he does as a President remains to be seen.”

But what exactly is collapsing?

“An empire is more than violence around the world,” said Galtung. “It is a cross-border structure with a center, the imperial country, and a periphery, the client countries. The point about imperialism is to make the elites in the periphery do the jobs for the center.”

The center country may be a dictatorship or a democracy. So for Galtung, the collapse of the US empire comes “when the periphery elites no longer want to fight US wars, no longer want to exploit for the center.”

For Galtung, a key sign of collapse would be Trump’s attitude to NATO. The President-elect has said he would be happy to see NATO break-up if US allies aren’t willing to pay their dues. Trump’s ‘go it alone’ approach would, Galtung said, accelerate and undermine US global empire at the same time.

“The collapse has two faces,” said Galtung. “Other countries refuse to be ‘good allies: and the USA has to do the killing themselves, by bombing from high altitudes, drones steered by computer from an office, Special Forces killing all over the place. Both are happening today, except for Northern Europe, which supports these wars, for now. That will probably not continue beyond 2020, so I stand by that deadline.”

US break-up?

But this global collapse, also has potential domestic implications. Galtung warned that the decline of American power on the world stage would probably have a domestic impact that would undermine the internal cohesion of the United States:

“As a trans-border structure the collapse I am thinking of is global, not domestic. But it may have domestic repercussion, like white supremacists or even minorities like Hawaiians, Inuits, indigenous Americans, and black Americans doing the same, maybe arguing for the United States as community, confederation rather than a ‘union’.”

Galtung warned that the decline of American power on the world stage would probably have a domestic impact that would undermine the internal cohesion of the United States.
Galtung is not pessimistic about his forecasts, though. Having always seen the collapse of the “US empire” as inevitable—much like the collapse of the Soviet empire—he argues that there is real opportunity for a revitalization of the “American republic.”

The American republic is characterised by its dynamism, its support for the ideals of freedom and liberty, its productivity and creativity, and its cosmopolitanism toward the ‘other.’

Might Trump help revitalize the American republic?

Galtung’s answer is, perhaps, revealing: “If he manages to apologize deeply to all the groups he has insulted. And turn foreign policy from US interventions—soon 250 after Jefferson in Libya 1801—and not use wars (killing more than 20 million in 37 countries after 1945): A major revitalization! Certainly making ‘America Great Again’. We’ll see.”

That’s a big if.

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TOPICS: Trumped, Johan Galtung, sociology, predictions, futurist, Donald Trump, US Power

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Why Hillary Clinton Lost the 2016 Presidential Election


https://arcdigital.media/what-i-have-learned-from-photographing-400-and-counting-iowan-towns-f399f5ffbfd5



https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/05/01/why-did-trump-win-new-research-by-democrats-offers-a-worrisome-answer/?utm_term=.26a7654ad52f



https://fivethirtyeight.com/tag/the-real-story-of-2016/



https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/why-cant-the-left-win/522102/








Michael Moore et al on Morning Joe (MSNBC) - Full 45 minute video
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PnqY8Rr4mAI&feature=youtu.be



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Monday, November 28, 2016

The Economics of Good and Evil

Over Nova Scotia...

Human...the documentary...

Flying back home from Paris...over the English Channel now...

Wonderful trip with my daughter...

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Heart of Tango :: Documentary Short




What is argentine tango? What makes it different form other dances? The core factors that define tango as a personal dance are examined in this film by american filmmaker Johnny Robinson...

Milonga Tango Short





Regia di Marco Calvise. Con Phlippe Guastella, Maria Victoria Arenillas, Leonardo Felix Elias, Marco Spaziani e Vincenzo De Luca.

DOP Timoty Aliprandi / Scenografia Valerio Barbet /
Costumi Flavia Figà Talamanca / Trucco Alessandro Scalero /
Parrucco Valentina Carrozzi / Montaggio Serena Dovì /
Post produzione audio Arianna Arcangeli -Daniele Guarnera

This short film has the patronage the Embassy of Argentina in Italy.

Festival di cinema:
*Capalbio Cinema International 2011- "Best Director Award"
*Settimo Senso 2011 - "Premio come miglior Corto"
*III Movieclub Film Festival 2011 - "Premio come miglior regia"
*Fiati Corti 12 - "Premio miglior interprete"
*5° Festival del Cinema dell'Aquila - "Miglior Corto"(cat.Abruzzo)
*6° Festival Cinematografico Cinema & Ciociaria premio "Nino Manfredi"
"2° Classificato miglior corto"
*8° A Los Gurkos Short-Film Festival - Innsbruck(Austria) "3° classificato miglior corto"

Selezione ufficiale:
*TFF - Torino Film Festival 2010
*Bif&st -- Bari International Film & Tv Festival 2011
*Cortinametraggio 2011 -- (fuori concorso)
*A Corto D'Idee 2011
*Figari Film Fest 2011
*Trani Film Festival 2011 (fuori concorso)
*XIII VideoLab Film Festival 2011
*Premio cinematografico Palena 2011
*Cinefilia Tanguera
*10°Salento Finibus Terrae
*11° Festival Internazionale del Cinema D'Arte
*VI Rassegna di cortometraggi SteniK 2012
*12° Cinema corto in Bra Festival 2012 - Bra(CN)

Festival Di Tango:
*I Montalbano Tango Festival 2011
*I Bari International Tango Congress
*IX Tano Tango Festival -- Napoli
*VI Choco Tango Festival - Perugia

Monday, July 11, 2016

Astor Piazzolla Oblivion Art by Ryan Woodward Vimeo

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/97399111" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="https://vimeo.com/97399111">ASTOR PIAZZOLLA Oblivion (Art by Ryan Woodward)</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user11160215">1972thejourney</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dream Your Life Post

Write it

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Richard Russo

On who the characters of Everybody's Fool would vote for in this election

I think it's pretty clear that so many of the people that I know and love and have been writing about for a long time, alas, have lined up ... with Mr. Trump. ... I'm heartbroken. ... I think America is changing. It's changing before their eyes and I think that a lot of the angry white men who support Donald Trump have a belief that America has passed them by. And that people who don't look like them are getting ahead in the new America. And I think they all understand in some ways that Donald Trump is speaking in a less coded way than some others in the Republican Party, but he's saying Make America white again, not Make America great again. And I think, unfortunately, working class people have bought that. And that's why my heart is broken.

Richard Russo


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'Everybody's Fool' Author Richard Russo: 'I Find Myself Now ... Having Lived The American Dream' : NPR

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/05/476743466/novelist-richard-russo-i-find-myself-now-having-lived-the-american-dream


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Make America White Again

Friday, April 29, 2016

How many people y'all reckon "believe" climate disruption is real, and is a problem?

How many people y'all reckon "believe" climate disruption is real, and is a problem? There are 243,000,000 souls 16 and over in the U.S. not that young people 8-15 don't count - many of them may have opinions on the subject. Let's just say 250m for easy math. If 50% lean Independent, and 25% each are reds and blues, then... ah fuck I don't know where I'm going with this. Surely half, 125m is way to large a number. I'll venture a gut instinct that it's closer to 50m who are "believers". I bet that's even too high. 30 million? 10% of the total population? Prolly.

So then, amongst 30 million souls… How many do you think or hyper aware and hyper active… To the point that they're actually doing something about their carbon footprint? I'll bet less than 3m, prolly way less.

Things like living off the grid, living in tiny housing, living in cooperative, co-, communal, or otherwise extremely low-energy-consumptive lifestyles. The car-less, cyclists, motorcyclists, EV'ers, walkers, mass transit-ites.

Discount EV'rs who live in large, glass, energy "efficient " energy hogging houses.

Add in PassivHaus, and NetZero dwelling dwellers. I bet there's barely 50,000 of those.

Even with the large metro areas benefitting from mass transit, I'll hold at 3 and 30 million.

My point is this: WE AREN'T DOING JACK SHIT ENOUGH to reduce carbon emissions.

Too many non-believers. Too many cash-strapped and apathetic believers. Retro-fitting a single-family dwelling unit with a heat pump (energy efficient a/c), solar PV panels, energy efficient appliances, hell even only LED light bulbs - it all takes cash. Either folks don't have it (disposable), or they've got other/higher material or experiential priorities.

I'd venture the vast majority are oblivious/unaware, and if they were, they wouldn't give a shit. The health of the planet, and the viability of our children, their children, and on and on, simply are not important enough.

It's sad really. We are killing this wondrous planet. And humanity in the process.

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We'll see

We'll see. As the status quo continues year after year, there will be more and more disenfranchised, getting more and more disgruntled as they struggle to live paycheck to paycheck. As the numbers of "those who have nothing to lose" continue to grow each year, things will continue to unravel. Untenable is not a strong enough word. Hillary is status quo. Our profoundly dysfunctional system of governance, our profoundly unsustainable "growth at all costs myth of perpetual growth", our profoundly dysfunctional society - are all status quo until the illusory "foundations", "ideology" on which they are based - are shaken, destroyed, and rebuilt. I am an idealist and a Cynic, I know. We will likely never, in one fell swoop of 4-8-12 years, never truly madly deeply and dramatically and effectively and meaningfully make the substantial and difficult changes that are necessary to move to a sustainable (and more just and equitable) way of life. FDR did it. I'm sure it's been done before in the history of humanity. My hope is that I will see it occur in my lifetime, before the 16-24-28 year time frame. It may, however, more realistically be an Age of Enlightenment level event - unraveling and unfolding and rebuilding over many decades - possibly many centuries. Likely with another "Dark Ages" thrown into the mix. The one primary caveat being if the planet is still in a position to sustain human life. For that sole reason, time is of the essence - and sooner is better than later. Bernie is sooner. Hillary (et al) is later. I've "known" this in my heart of hearts and in my gut for forty years now. The vast majority, however, still believe everything is just fine the way it is and that as a Nation and a People, that we're on the right track.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Get involved in your own governance

Here's something I posted on Facebook a while back...on the heels of the voter suppression in the New York primary...add getting involved with your county & state Democratic Party apparatus, and your state election board, and your county registrar of voters...

Y'all do realize… that whoever is elected as POTUS… that the hard work is just beginning… and that we can no longer sit back on our heels and watch as spectators…we are all collectively going to have to get involved in our own governance...writing, emailing, and calling our elected assholes… and marching and demonstrating and flying flags and banners and bumper stickers…and attending and speaking/out (frequently! I propose one night or day each week) and maybe even being ever-so-slightly civilly disobedient and getting off of our collective asses and doing the right thing and doing the thing right to help/show our elected assholes and their minions how it's done and that we will no longer stand for obstruction and mismanagement and misdeeds and falsity...city county state national school boards electrical co-op boards water development boards water control districts citizen police oversight boards economic development boards and citizen boards and entities of all kinds...because, as we all know, it's been very fucked up for a very long time and it's fucked up because of our 50 years of apathy and willful oblivion and chasing dollars above all else and our profound "belusion" (belief/delusion) that our ONE AND ONLY civic responsibility in a democracy is to vote....

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Blog post about the myth of perpetual growth and betterment

Blog post about the myth of perpetual growth and betterment

Economy
Dead cities Flint Detroit
Globalization
Shipping jobs overseas
Steel industry
Auto industry
Basically the economic realities that no one is talking about

Derek Thompson The Atlantic NPR bit

Write it!

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Questions about peace to ask Presidential candidates

Questions about peace to ask presidential candidates:

Will you reset our foreign policy based on international law, human rights and diplomacy? International law includes the requirement per the United Nations charter that the Security Council authorize military action and a ban on torture per the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Will you restore America to be a beacon of human rights as it was when Eleanor Roosevelt helped write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Will you foster diplomacy and disavow wars of aggression, e.g. NATO 's bombing of Serbia and President George W. Bush's war against Iraq?

Especially since America is a permanent member of the Security Council, will you work to strengthen the effectiveness of the Security Council to perform its global security/policing function to resolve conflicts such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Syria?

Will you per the Geneva conventions condemn attacks on civilians and the civilian infrastructure and disavow such attacks, e.g. NATO's bombing of civilians and the civilian infrastructure in Serbia?

Will you end the illegal and immoral drone assassinations in which the President acts as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner over people halfway around the globe?

Will you restore Thomas Jefferson's principle of "peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none"?

Will you follow the constitutional requirement that Congress declares war and end presidential wars and any other military engagements or commitments without a declaration of war from Congress?

Will you help break the stranglehold of the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned about and help end the financial and moral bankruptcy of empire?

Will you help end the spiral of violence in the world today that has come from "might makes right" policies, and disavow such policies, e.g. when NATO chose war over peace in bombing Serbia after it failed to negotiate in good faith at Rambouillet?

Will you speak against war and the horrors of war, e.g. going over the top of trenches into machine gun fire in the hideous insanity of World War I, a senseless conflict between empires and alliances of nations that cast millions to their deaths?

Will you work towards eliminating all nuclear weapons in the world?

Will you support the right of each citizen to be a conscientious objector, to elect on matters of conscience not to serve in a war? The right of the people to exercise their conscience is paramount over the power of the state to enforce a draft. This right leads to the final destination of ending war altogether.

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Marcus Aurelius

"When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can't tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own — not of the same blood or birth, but of the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands, and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions."

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Finding Vivian Maier - Documentary

So. I feel like this may be the most important thing I have ever or will ever post. I had heard the story of Vivian Maier a while back - I think it might have been this story from 2011 in Mother Jones - http://goo.gl/ORvpzz. At the time, I read the article and looked at the photos and thought "cool" and shared it on Facebook, and then promptly forgot about it.

My darlin' heart Ginny told me about this documentary just last night. I thought about it all day, and then started watching it a little while ago on Netflix. I've only watched about 10 minutes of it, and I've now stopped to write this.

I barely have the words to describe how monumentally important this documentary is, how important this woman's work is (it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I was seeing a few of the images again), how important the story of the discovery of this woman's work (and life) are.

Monumentally important, amazing, Thesaurus dot com lists synonyms for important as: valuable, substantial big critical crucial decisive essential extensive far-reaching great imperative influential large meaningful necessary paramount relevant serious significant urgent vital big-league chief considerable conspicuous determining earnest esteemed exceptional exigent foremost front-page grave heavy importunate marked material mattering much momentous of moment of note of substance ponderous pressing primary principal salient signal something standout weighty. There. I think that about covers it. All of that.

There is also the happenstance, no, the serendipity, of this discovery. *This discovery, by *this particular individual - John Maloof.

I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I'll stop here. It's available on Netflix and iTunes - perhaps others. There's also at least one book, and I'm sure we'll be hearing more.

I may be over-reacting a bit, I suppose. It's rare that I get this excited about something. Too rare.

Exciting. That's another appropriate descriptive.

Have a good evening, y'all. And thanks to Ginny. Big-time, big thank you. xo darlin'...

Now back to watching...

Here's the trailer:



Full disclosure:



And unfortunately:



Lastly:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/06/arts/design/a-legal-battle-over-vivian-maiers-work.html

Sunday, April 3, 2016

#AxeSuperdelegatesFor2020

Houston, do we have a problem? On the subject of the Democratic Party's "Superdelegate" structure in the Presidential primary, wherein these individuals can pledge their vote in a manner contrary to the majority of voters in a State. Do we need to take steps to eliminate the Superdelegate from the Democratic Presidential Primary process?

I think we do, because it's basically saying "We understand that the people/the majority have voted for the candidate they think is the best candidate to run against the Republican candidate, and the candidate the majority ultimately believe will make the best President/'Leader of The Free World'/Commander in Chief, but we think you/the majority, don't really know what's best for the country/what you're doing in this democracy and this election process, therefore, we intend to override the desire/intent of the majority, and cast our delegate pledge for another candidate who did not win the majority in the popular vote for the Democratic candidate in the Presidential Primary Election of this State."

If you think about it, the Superdelegate principle is very Un-Democratic (as in not a Democracy), and is pretty fucking bad for the Country and the Party.

Please get involved in your own governance. There is work to be done. Miles to go before we sleep.

#AxeSuperdelegatesFor2020

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

We're doing just fine...

To the folks who think we're doing just fine, that we're on the right path/trajectory, on a sustainable path...politically, economically, morally...I offer this, my reply to a comment on something I posted on Facebook yesterday...Wow, I'm finding difficulty in understanding how you could feel that we're on the right path/a good path as a nation/a people/a society...my feeling is that we are screwing up (in big ways) pretty much across the board...environment/pollution/War on the EPA, economy/jobs/growth at any cost, education issues, industrial agriculture/gmo's/pesticides/herbicides/endocrine disrupters, oceans/overfishing, health/sick care/ACA/end-of-life/euthanasia, energy/climate disruption, homelessness/affordable housing, 'safety net' issues, crime/justice/prisons, the war on drugs, foreign policy/World Bank/world trade/globalism/TPP, military/actions/spending/interventions aka the war on terror, growing racism/bigotry/willful ignorance/sagebrush rebellion, growing income inequality, the war on women, tax policy/how we spend OUR money, our own profoundly dysfunctional system of governance, money in politics/Citizens United, overpopulation, continued urban sprawl, traffic/lack of mass transit, water resource issues, bank bailouts and predatory financial practices, and last but not least, my personal favorite, the growing numbers of people who drive too fast...(grin)

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Our own governance

Y'all do realize… that whoever is elected as POTUS… that the hard work is just beginning… and that we can no longer sit back on our heels and watch as spectators…we are all collectively going to have to get involved in our own governance...writing, emailing, and calling our elected assholes… and marching and demonstrating and flying flags and banners and bumper stickers…and attending and speaking/out (frequently! I propose one night or day each week) and maybe even being ever-so-slightly civilly disobedient and getting off of our collective asses and doing the right thing and doing the thing right to help/show our elected assholes and their minions how it's done and that we will no longer stand for obstruction and mismanagement and misdeeds and falsity...city county state national school boards electrical co-op boards water development boards water control districts citizen police oversight boards economic development boards and citizen boards and entities of all kinds...because, as we all know, it's been very fucked up for a very long time and it's fucked up because of our 50 years of apathy and willful oblivion and chasing dollars above all else and our profound "belusion" (belief/delusion) that our ONE AND ONLY civic responsibility in a democracy is to vote....

#unfuckourgreatnation

#breakthemomentumofapathy

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Meditation

Let the beating of the drum open the doorway to clarity with this free guided meditation with davidji. The choices you make, the fork in the road, the first step, the habit, the addiction, the stance you take, all point to that place inside that the ego forgets to remember. Let the air flow freely as the thoughts drift away. Bongo beats and soothing sounds offer an invitation from the universe to return to that quiet place within, to the wisdom of creation ,so you can clearly see and without the mind. Ruminate softly on the questions posed, keeping the mind out of it, and going deeper into the intuition of your soul. You know what you need. You already know what steps to take. Let the answers cross your heart and fortify your resolve. The one step becomes the fabric of your life. Plant your intentions in the fertile soil of your heart and your soul, and begin to live as you were destined. This is an excellent meditation to use when you feel you are at a crossroads, facing a life-changing decision, to clear the mind and open the heart - for the answer that is ultimate alignment with who you are.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Buscandote Short Film by Juan Francisco Otaño

Buscandote

Vagar...
Con el cansancio de mi eterno andar,
Tristeza amarga de la soledad
Ansias enormes de llegar.
 
Sabrás...
Que por la vida fui buscándote,
Que mis ensueños sin querer vencí
Que en algún cruce los dejé.
 
Mi andar apresuré
Con la esperanza de encontrarte a ti,
Largos caminos hilvané
Leguas y leguas recorrí por ti.
 
Después que entre tus brazos
Pueda descansar,
Si lo prefieres volveré a marchar
Por mi camino de ayer.
 
Letra y música : Eduardo Scalise  (Eduardo Scalise Regard)
 
Grabado por la orquesta de Osvaldo Fresedo con la voz de Ricardo Ruiz.
 
 

Un cortometraje de Juan Francisco Otaño

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Keep Dancing" Documentary :: Watch Free for a limited time!

I'm hugely grateful to have tango in my life. If I make it to 90, in the year 2050, I will have been dancing tango for 47 years  - over half of my life. Perhaps my walk will not suck by then, and maybe I will have advanced beyond beginner, and maybe even deserve to be called a Milonguero. 

Here's an award winning short documentary (21 mins) about two Broadway dancers, both 90 years young, who still dance twice a week in a rented studio in New York City.


Watch the  award-winning short film, Keep Dancing. Free for a limited time only!

"Singularly endearing!" - The New York Times
"Keep Dancing is a testament to the vitality of existence." - Slash Film
"Elegant gem of a film" - City Arts
"Enchantingly inspiring film!" - Backstage

After celebrated careers, legendary dancers Marge Champion and Donald Saddler became friends while performing together in the Broadway Show Follies in 2001. When the show closed, they decided to rent a private studio together, and they have been choreographing and rehearsing original dances ever since. At age 90, they continue to pursue their passion for life through their love and mastery of dance. Keep Dancing seamlessly blends nine decades of archival film and photographs with present-day footage to tell a story through dance of the passing of time and the process of aging.

Official Selection at South by Southwest, Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center, Silverdocs, Sedona International Film Festival and over 25 other international film festivals. Nominated for the IDA Short Documentary of the Year Award.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Can Another Body Be Seen as an Extension of Your Own? Tango makes it into Scientific American

kind of illusion

Scientific America/Mind

Can Another Body Be Seen as an Extension of Your Own?

Surprising results show the fluidity of the "body schema"

By Julie Sedivy on January 12, 2016

The relationship between a person’s notion of self-hood and the openness of their body schema to another human being hints that perhaps it’s no coincidence that tango, which takes entanglement to sublime heights, originated in a culture that orients toward interdependence.

They want $500 for me to post an excerpt for up to 12 months.

Fuck that noise.

Here is the link.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-another-body-be-seen-as-an-extension-of-your-own/

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tango Voice :: Understanding Argentine Tango :: Tango in North America vs. in Buenos Aires

https://tangovoice.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/understanding-argentine-tango-with-the-assistance-of-milongueros-its-not-just-another-ballroom-dance/#comments


Excerpt: (the complete post is a fairly long one...be sure to click the link above to read it in its entirety...)

"In looking out across the dance floor at many events advertised as ‘milongas’ in North America, it is apparent that the character of the dancing while tango music is playing is very different from the tango dancing in a typical milonga in Buenos Aires [Tango de Salon: The Tango of the Milonga (Part II of ‘Tango Styles, Genres and Individual Expression’)]. What one often sees among dancers in the North American event is a collection of step patterns, with names most dancers using them could recite, such as ‘sandwich’, ‘lustrada’, ‘boleo’, ‘gancho’, ‘sacada’, ‘arrastre’, ‘volcada’. (A categorization of tango into named steps is given in ‘Figures of Argentine Tango’.) Among the men who have acquired a collection of movements, there is often a display consisting of a nearly continuous and sometimes predictable sequence of step patterns, often without regard to the progression of the line of dance; complexity in the physics of movement appears to be favored over the highly improvised linking of small movements (often those lacking a codified name) that utilize only the space needed to progress in the circulating ronda. Many women appear to be focused on performing embellishments, finding as many opportunities as possible to use them, often without regard to whether or not the man has provided time and space for their execution, and without regard to the space between them and other dancers on the floor (Women’s Adornments for Tango Social Dancing). Tango dancing at North American milongas often appears to be a performing art (with questionable artistic properties), directed by the brain, not a social and emotional interchange between partners, directed by the music. Often absent in dancing to tango music in North American milongas is an embrace between man and woman, i.e., chest-to-chest contact maintained through the dance or, if there is any embrace at all, it is broken apart for the performance of conspicuous step patterns. Also absent is a close connection of movement with the music, even when the dance-facilitating classic tango music from the Golden Age is played for dancing. For the dancers who more or less are connected to the music (i.e., moving in conjunction with the primary beat), they are not exploring the intricacies of music by taking into account syncopations, as well as pauses associated with musical phrasing. It often appears as though the music is only a background for executing patterns, not a framework for structuring the dance. In the most extreme cases, the music played for dancing at these events advertised as ‘milongas’ (sometimes ‘alternative milongas’) is not tango music designed for dancing tango (i.e., classic tango music)."

In Stranger's Arms :: Tango book

http://instrangersarms.com/