Sunday, December 21, 2008

China's Charter 08

"China, as a major nation of the world, as one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and as a member of the UN Council on Human Rights, should be contributing to peace for humankind and progress toward human rights. Unfortunately, we stand today as the only country among the major nations that remains mired in authoritarian politics. Our political system continues to produce human rights disasters and social crises, thereby not only constricting China's own development but also limiting the progress of all of human civilization. This must change, truly it must. The democratization of Chinese politics can be put off no longer."

This is the English translation of perhaps one of the most important documents in modern Chinese history, by Perry Link.

I have said to friends and in columns and blogposts that if CHina awoke -- not like Napoleon warned, as in economic or political terms, but in intellectual and moral terms -- than we might very well be on the verge of a great transition in society away from the Bushes of the world and toward pragmatic, aware, compassionate and intelligent societies.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

the devil strikes back

right after that last post, i went through all the times i felt i was betrayed or hurt or wronged by my best friends and felt anger and hatred rise up inside. thank God i can breathe or else i'd probably blow up. so is it best to sit down and be like YO, this is what angered me, or to work that out inside and come to terms with it and just let that shit slide?

I used to think sitting down and talking it all out helped, now I think that the internal struggle is more important. Every time me and my friends get together we do exactly that and hash through all of our hang ups and slowly i have noticed that our bonds get stronger and stronger and our ability to resist the devil gets stronger too. tribal councils are opportunities to dispel the devil yet again. We even have our own medicine-laced ceremonies to help us combat the prince of lies. its an ongoing struggle and eventually we will have to leave the ceremony behind and just do battle naked, clothed only in the iron bonds forged through repeated clashes laced with the gold of shared wonderment.

and it IS important because when i die i want to know that not only do i have enough money to keep my kids from begging, but i am on as harmonic terms as possible with my people. What will my kids want from me, my cash or my golden memories?

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I have memories of a Golden Age

when empathy ruled and misunderstanding had not yet been conceived.

Isn't it amazing how women and men revolve around each other like lightning struck ions repelling and attracting each other furiously? I find myself constantly saying shit like: women are absolutely insane. and weak. and needy. and insane.

and Q kinda clued me in to what might be the reason for all of this. Indian sages remember a time called the Golden Age when gender was irrelevant and we floated in harmony with ourselves, each other and the world. This is known in the West as Eden. Time flowed and the golden sages entered a new phase, a Silver Age, in which doubt appeared and questions arose. This is described in Genesis as the coming of the snake and the realization that we were nude. After we fell, society sought to right itself in what is called the Copper Age, in which women ruled over clans and tribes. But we were not yet done falling. Communication between the sexes shattered as men wondered, why are these soft funny creatures ruling over us, the warriors and hunters? And so this last stage is the Iron Age, the age of the male. In this age, conflict and misunderstanding are rife and we are at the extreme opposite end of where we began, in the Golden Age, when one human could look at another with love and smile.

So women -- who we must all admit are closer to the divine, more in tune with the natural elements and who flow with the changing seasons on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis -- re going insane. They reflect the insanity of a fallen people. Women are barometers.

And we all have memories of a time when this wasn't the case. We carry the golden age inside and every now and then we make spectacular love, feel what our brothers and sisters are feeling, look into someone's eyes and just know and know that they know ... you know, every so often we get that good feeling baby.

So. If I am lucky enough to see the rebirth of a new society in a Golden Age of empathy then word is bond I can't wait to be divine. But i have a feeling i will live and die in the Iron Age, when all around me is conflict and lies. I can feel layers of iron peeled on a daily, then smelt back on to me when i ain't looking. We gotta remind each other of these things (love ya nicole, love ya sammy, love ya Q, love ya timmy ya punkass, love ya silly sill, love ya little man, love ya mom, love ya dad, love ya big tenz, love ya johnny, love ya doc, love ya flode, love ya anonymous ...) and i need to find the love of my life so i can drown in the romantic foolishness of an ironmonger alchemist seeking gold.

(Accepting applications for Queen.)

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

how my people do

this is my brother Mike Jones.

this is how he do.

bend knee and pay tribute.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Peep This

Here are some stories coming out of ... They are doing a great job with their articles and site and I am on board for the long haul so check them out and give some feedback ... holla.

Weird Hotels around the world

International Healthcare Options

How to Deal with Haters

Support yer broke writer friends!

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Monday, December 15, 2008


I knew something would come up to brighten my day ...

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The Whipping Boy

I sent a mass email out the other day to get people to sign a petition to have 1 million given to every citizen in the US by the gov. the math is of course "ridiculous" right? the idea that the gov "financed by the people" could possibly give any money to us is "absurd" and i am a goddamn fool and a hippy for even considering it. I am actually. The economics of it all is pretty simple to laugh at, as evinced by Himmler's reply:

"one million dollar bailout to every citizen? This is like the Onion
without a punch line. It would never work for many reasons. This would
cost way more than our annual GDP (a ridiculous sum of money) and
would lead to a total breakdown of society because in a capitalist
system you need poor people to exploit. If everyone's a millionaire no
one will do the shitty jobs which are necessary. Who cleans the
bathrooms? Who serves in the army? Etc

It would also plunder the dollar, bringing its value to its knees.
Because we don't have $30 trillion, adding it (printed money) to the
current money supply would make the price of everything skyrocket
unimaginably. like, loaf of bread for $300. And because the dollar is
instantly devalued and everyone around the world dumps it, you
couldn't do cool shit like buy a villa in Mexico or Thailand.

In terms of disasters this would be worse than another 9/11."

pretty cool response, huh?

Tell ya what. If I were a Wall Street banker, i would be called an idiot for asking for any less than a million. Its my impotent disgust that makes me do rash things like embarrass myself with mass emails calling for insane propositions. I should stop reading the news.

We the People of the United States are dumber than shit not because we sign silly petitions (a million signatures or more might get someone's attention ... ) but because we, like every other society throughout history and most likely deep deep into the future until we either blow up or colonize Mars, allow the rich to rape us left and right.

You wanna hear some ridiculous absurdity? Consider genocidal episodes as payback for generations of subtle, non-violent rape. Is it rape to be an insulated group of determined, hard-working people with a shared history, language and culture and a collective acknowledgment of money as the arbiter of power and an accompanying collective will to protect oneself with the power of currency?

Hippies and New Age mystics along with a large swath of hipsters, travel writers, hip hop djs and other disenfranchised disenchanted youth have been calling for a clean slate in their living rooms and coffee houses and quote the Mayans, Jesus, Astronomy and Nostradamus as proof that God has a reset button planned for us all. Well a reset button is a great flood.

We are placated for now with Obama ... he's our generation's Great Brown Hope. Its fitting that we who reject racism intellectually should place the burden of absolution for our sin of "Acceptance of Society As Is" on the shoulders of a black man.

i can't help getting angry, because i have no wife or kids or Great Work to keep my mind occupied and I have no underground posse of rebels like the Weatherman. I got Sammy and Nicole. Is it anger or jealousy?

Be honest, sasch, and tell em you wish you could commit a grand white collar crime and skip away into the sunset. Honesty is the best policy. I will always be a tragically hip, broke ass, coffee house Taoist, because for me, given the choice, sitting all day in a grove and luring butterflies onto my finger is much more preferable than sprinting with rats.

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Democracy in China

Does anyone remember the Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute campaign and the Crying Indian as kids? How we were taught to throw stuff away. I think that was such a powerful and successful campaign for me because it hit me when i was young and I still carry garbage around in my pocket until i see a garbage can, not because I love the environment as much as the campaign left a deep valley in my neuron map that encoded me to do so. I feel bad if i throw stuff on the ground. Is Alex a good person now that it pains him to do wrong?

well peep this amazing documentary about an experiment in a Wuhan elementary school in which children are introduced to democracy for the first time. The whole film is available here (only in Chinese) and here too -- the PBS site with making of, bios etc.

truly amazing to watch the ideas of personal choice and individual rights play out for these little kids. The experiment is a backdrop to the choice and lack of choice they wield in their own lives. It seems to be a ridiculous endeavor given the amount of control parents and teachers exert over these kids -- while at the same time these kids struggling with the pressure to perform/conform/excel is much more instructive to them about personal choice and freedom than the "election"this documentary is supposedly about.

After the film, you can understand if the kids have a scar on their minds when thinking of democracy. A painful sore that jerked them out of their lives as parts of a whole and made them suffer scrutiny and humiliation. There is a lot of sloganeering about what democracy is, but the "truth" learned by these children is that a popularity contest brings tears and frustration.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Bailout ...


Read this Wikipedia entry about the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act"

then go here and read through this article about where the cheddar is going ...

then get pissed.

then sign this. (and wonder if being the 40th person to do so without doing the math makes you an idiot or a hero.)

and then go on and read some Garet Garret or Noam Chomsky or just watch Fox and CNN and get even more pissed, then check your bank account and start feeling the heat hit you in the face. Call up yer buddies and see how they're doing ... skim the web a bit and find out who is getting bailed out and check out their personal sites ... you might be as mad as me by now ... then holler back at me and tell me what you found.

Obama is selling out because he believes firmly that "the People" are weak and have no voice and can influence nothing, whereas "the Establishment" in DC -- all of the people in his Cabinet and at his ear -- are the real power brokers and he would be a fool not to choose the stronger posse.

sigh. (Now i stop and look at myself)

I guess if you are getting by and saving money and got a woman that loves you don't worry about any of this shit because they ain't never gonna come for you like in the movies. And if yer broke and woman-less than go and find out why ... or become a monk and renounce all of this. (I demand action then become a cliche all in the same post ... thats what society does to you.)

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Friday, December 12, 2008

to my Chinese peoples

I just had a dream of China in 2028 and it was a beautiful vision. I thought of a metaphor:

an old man who has shed his skin, thrown away his cane and run a marathon. I felt the pain of shedding skin, the anxiety of throwing away the cane, the suffering of running mile after mile, the anger when some spectators jeered from the sidelines, the shame as your friends gave up and took the easy way out and the exhilaration of crossing the finish line as a reborn man.

i miss all ya'll!

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Where does all the TARP go?

This sentence here at the end of the NYT story about the failure of the auto industry bailout is probably one of the most important of the story. Its the very last sentence. A few paragraphs above this one, the "problem" of "legacy costs" (pensions and such?) incurred by Detroit because of the United Autoworkers Union is lamented.

Washington gave a bailout to the financial institutions, and did not ask a single question, the governor said, “then lay the blame for the auto industry, which is a victim of this financial meltdown, on the backs of the people who are working on the line.

(Check out their wages btw -- 55USD an hour for long time union members. Holy shit. 30 hr week? 5 day workweek? i always envisioned an autoworker as a character out of a Bruce Springsteen track ... )

and just cuz i am reading the news and its never "good," might as well plug Justin's column today on Obama's foreign policy objectives. I have been talking about the "sellout" in this blog too ... but not as much as I have been stumping for Hope. Change. I bought it, i voted for it. I attacked McCain supporters and told them they were foolz ... i suppose now, even now, all i can Hope for is "anything but Bush ..."

let me know if i am tripping ...

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Broke Fat White People

Last night I was minding my own business at my man Q's house in the Pearl District when I get drunk-dialed by Sammy's ass. He came to pick me up in the broken down Daewoo that he be driving these days, half in the bag, and demanded I take him to several seedy, dark, smelly strip bars around town while he accused me of being a half-ass friend and tried to get me to commit all 20USD I have to a "certain idea." Out of that trip came yesterday's stripper post ...

but the real fantastic discovery was Sizzler's. Years and years ago my family would stop by Sizzler's on some road trip across the nation and for me it always meant massive well stocked salad bars and shrimp platters I could never finish. Steaks I had to share with my punk ass little brother.

But this time around I was sober as a judge and 31 and I got a good glimpse of the Sizzler clientele. Holy Jesus. Sad looking overweight white people living a few blocks from Portland's "infamous" 82nd street sat dejectedly shoving food into their mouths and rising cumbersomely up for another stab at the appetizers and boiled egg salad. A table of old women, combined weight 1200lbs (6 ladies), sat chomping away and chatting about who knows what. Three of the ladies scooted around the salad bar in those motorized wheelchairs for the obese and arthritic.

The waitress ... she gave me the impression of a young tittering girl wearing a fake skin stolen from a tanning salon addict. She was nervous and anxious and brought us three servings of cheese bread (oh God) and giggled way too long at every drunken slobbering piece of bullshit Sammy spat out onto the table.

I sunk into depressed, resigned silence. Reflecting on the kids I aint got, the job I just lost, the wife that used to be fine and my gut that keeps growing.

Irvine, CA and ShadySecond Street Portland. I suppose Obama being elected tells us that these slices of our society are not the majority, but I think they are. It makes me feel like a well dressed man standing on the tip of an ice berg shouting for champagne while the rest of the ship's passengers slowly freeze to death a few feet below.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Strippers wanna be watched, stared at, lusted over and dreamt about. Strippers watch themselves in the mirror and wish they could throw some ones at their own wiggling ass. Strippers wanna sit at the bar and talk politics in their skimpy suits and be taken seriously. Strippers want elicit sex between shows in the waiting room with the skinny tattooed bus boy as they tell each other in breathless whispers about all the Johns outside wishing wishing wishing ...Strippers want a rich mysterious hunk of a man to smoke silently in the corner shadowy and lusting and be taken by surprise on the way to the car. Strippers want those coveted night shifts so the money can roll in. Strippers want you to ask them their names as you stare at them, into them, drool about them in your head and they can reply with ardor in their eyes Nisei, Emily, Lynk, Berlin, Gabi, Roxy ... Strippers want to have the sex everyone is dreaming about having as they dance ... they want to go home at the end of the night and have chocolate ice cream and a back rub from their real man as they watch Deadwood and try not to think about rent. They wanna stop worrying and just do like Cyndi said ...

Strippers want me to write this post in my dungeon as the furnace kicks in and drowns out KBOO upstairs and all i can smell is stale cigarette smoke and last week's body odor still mingling with last night's trying to be down, trying to be accepted ...

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The Phantom Menace

The only good thing to come out of Lucas' last three stabs at glory is the phrase Phantom Menace, used to describe a diversion that lures the Binks of the world astray ...

Justin Raimondo is the head writer at and he was the man who first got me into writing geopolitical stuff back in 2001 when his analysis of the Hainan Spy Plane Incident was so salient and clear that I just had to give him his propers. He asked me if I could write about the man on the street in China and there it was. Justin is always several pages ahead of the crowd when it comes to trends in the world, be they economic, political or any other. He just has the clear vision. And when a sane man writes in a society of insanity, well one's tone might get strident and slightly angry. There is no peace for the rational man.

Here is his latest on World Government. Check it out and holler back in five years when Obama's second term promise is a "global structure of accountabilty ..."

there is a Chinese saying I always like to whip out when dealing with regionalism vs. globalism:


which means,

"long divided must unite, long united must divide ...."

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Last Transport is Away

Saw my man Doc Possible and his girlie Therin off to the Amtrak today. Doc is headed to illi-noise to re-tool and rest before embarking on a long and drawn out trip to take over the planet via gem dealing. We stopped by the China Garden in downtown Portland and head some Tie Guanyin oolong tea amidst the Japanese maples, magnolias, holly and of course the magnificent 100+ year old Osmanthus tree at the very entrance of the garden.

Life resumes, now that my tribe has dispersed again.

And life here is great in Portland. I love this society no matter what. But sometimes I hear something or read something or see something that just sets me off.

I was thinking today as I sat in Powells about the true impact of the "Greatest Gneration" of our grandfathers and grandmothers. And this is what I have come to:

WE all have the hero that stormed the beaches inside of us, but the Baby Boomers have discarded that hero and sold out. Now they revere Granpa who was a WWII hero and hate on us, the grandkid who rebels. When the true criminal in all of this is the 40 - 60 year old who is just now realizing that all his life he stomped on his world and blamed his kids for "not getting it." and only now is he figuring out that I have more in common with a WWII vet than he ever will. I have no more sympathy for the ignorant who claim that dreamers and hippies and antiwar activists and such are "anti establishment radicals who would never fit into a corporate world" and therefore of little regard to the "world at large." Where were these fools when MLK died? When Kennedy was shot? When NIxon was elected? When the war dragged on? They hid and sold while the hippies and Panthers were incarcerated and now they hate on us as we struggle hard against the coward they want us to be ... fuck them.

any man who believes that the established corporate world at large is the reality Man has been aspiring to is deeply scarred in some way that I have no more patience to even try and comprehend. I am sick of you people. Like Genghis I feel its time you were all rooted out, made to stand before your creations and held accountable. Quit hiding in your homes, behind your jobs, inside your cars and take responsibility for the shit I and my kids will have to deal with. How stupid do you have to be to destroy your planet in the name of quick and fleeting monetary profit and then turn to the kids trying to stop you and imprison them? I suppose the righteous have to believe in God because there is no solace for the rational benevolent man on Earth. Such men end up on the trash heap of society -- either in jail, on the streets or hiding out in the woods -- praying that he'll die a happy man before "they" come to get him and throw him back to the wolves. And I am preaching to the choir. If anyone even reads this to the end they are my friends and if they don't they'll "bounce" and shake their heads at just another pissed off half-rebel typing away on a busted Mac. Cliche, says the disinterested reader. Touche, says the bored soapbox pundit.

What made me think of all of this was a report from Brooklyn in which a man was sodomized by a cop for smoking a joint on the street.

A society that would even consider the justice of such an action is fatally sick. To beat the horse: How could you possibly rationalize the criminalization of marijuana unless you are so goddamn stupid and sheltered and disregarding of any and all facts?

When was the last time a man who was high beat his wife, died of cirrhosis, drove into a family of four, started a bar brawl or some other stupid drunken act?

When was the last time someone died of lung cancer, emphysema or some other long drawn out disease because he got high too much?

This is a small microcosm of our society that speaks volumes about the overall philosophy. When Blackwater mercenaries burn down weed fields and leave tobacco growing you know the world is all out of wack. I am sick of the hypocrisy and accusing tone of the "pillars of society" whose crimes make me vomit so bad i need to head to the local marijuana dispensary to get a repreive from the nausea ...

i am so sick of the bullshit. I see a face in my mind as I rant, its a fat pink face framed by glasses with a flattop haircut and Dick Cheney grin. I am infected by him and everywhere i go -- SE Asia, Africa, China, Tibet, S. America -- i not only see his virus spreading but i realize i am a carrier. Burning myself would give them too much satidsfaction so i guess i'll rant and fume and escape jail and the streets as long as i can untill i have my wilderness enclave to hide in. I get bitter when i think of Irvine, CA and the power they wield.

so i just think of my tribe scattered across the globe and hope the antidote we carry spreads as far as the virus. Godspeed Doc and take the revolution with you baby. I got you and believe i will hold it down in Portland ... me and the choir ...

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Big Business in the Prison System

Hey Ya'll here is a story I wrote for about the privatization of the prison system in the US. It is filled with links to sites doing work on this topic, i urge you to follow the trail wherever it leads, there will be some shocking revelations for you I guarantee ....

things are going on that we hear about but the truth is always lurking like moldy drawz in the corner ...

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

One Second Encounters

I left the Council of the Monkey in Pai and headed north through Laos to China. The other council members headed south to bangkok for school and such ... I ran out of money in Chiang Rai on the Laos border and had to trade a bottle of Sambuca for a broken bike.

I strapped my big pickle bag to the back of this bike with bungee cords and went off on a hilly ride across Laos to the border with China at the town of Mengla. I think it was about 100km or so to get there. In my bag i had two hookahs, three bottles of Sambuca, leather supplies and oils, clothes and books and a collection of teas, herbs and other junk collected over the past three months on the road.

There are no well-off areas in Laos and the hills I was biking through are poorer than most. I had a one second encounter there ...

As I rode through one road side village, the old women mobilized and rose up on skinny legs, yelling to the huts in the back and waving their arms in excitement when they saw me. At first i too was excited and slowed to see what kind of welcome they had for me ...

then a beautiful young girl, maybe 14 or so, came rushing out of the back huts holding up her skirts. She was surrounded by yelling and gesturing young boys and old women urging her on to the road. to me. I looked at her and her face was flushed red, beautiful against her brown perfect skin and her eyes held the young bride's combination of fear and anxious excitement ...

I was shocked and attracted at the same time. I felt obligated to stop and love her even as my soul screamed "PEDAL fool!"

Who knows how many men stopped here and paid for a month's worth of food for this village with just an afternoon or two with this young girl?

I caught her eye as i pedaled away and in her eyes she showed me that she was not only dismayed but hurt.

tell me about your One Second Encounters if you can remember them ...

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Irvine, CA

I had a very fine Thanksgiving Holiday with my family in SoCal (southern California) and it is about to end in a few hours. I am headed back to Portland this morning with a small band of adventurers and we all can't wait to hit up the hot springs throw bills at the pretty ladies that dance all night and clash whiskey glasses together. cuz thats what we do, we be celebrating all the time, walking paths just looking, looking breathlessly. then celebrating what we saw.

so Irvine CA is where i got my most recent look into suburban life. My man Villar and me stopped in the District, which is a huge mall complex right off the highway into Irvine, and ordered a coffee. The District has a Target, a Chik-Fill-A and an In and Out Burger joint for starters. There is Peets and a copy shop, a couple of video stores and some specialty lamp shops. Its real clean and the people that walk around seem to be alien slugs sliding across a strange landscape half-heartedly looking for their spaceship back home.

My parents say,

Hey, come meet us at the Burger King across from Target in the District.

We're like, shit, no problem

We finish our coffees and head out leisurely to the BK that should be right down the sidewalk/street ... (my family was already in Irvine with my nephew and Villar had driven me down from El Lay to meet them). Long story short cuz I am way behind on whats been going on:

Irvine is a maze of complexes called the District surrounded by neighborhoods with perfect grass and the same old cookie cutter pseudo adobe homes and everyone has an SUV that they keep running while they wait for the wife to come out so junior can watch a DVD ... the Costco gas station is constantly pumping away to feed these peoples' insecurities. They have never even pissed on a tree let alone gone camping, but they have the latest in "off road" technology.

Rolling through SoCal gave me a glimpse of what it will take to really turn the US around. The suburban sprawl is addictive, entrenched, fearful, rich and growing. If anyone has pictures or comments about the suburban empire in the US -- like them highway spring-ups and such -- please send them in so I don't have to tell the whole story here ...

I had a great time with my family. My nephew is brilliant, sweet and super cute ... a few things he said:

First meeting after a few years: "Hey Unca Saschi! its so good to see you, I love you! We haven't hung out in a while, I got all sorts of stuff, i got my lightsabers and spiderman stuff ... we're gonna do all sorts of stuff ... man its gonna be awesome ..."

Dad rolls in while we are playing "piece o' me" which is short for "you wanna piece o me?" (call for a wrestling match) and says:

Hey, you two better quit playin grabass! (grabass is dads version of piece of me) and Jason goes:

Yeah Unca Saschi! Quit grabbin my ass!


I am already back in Portland after a few days with my tribe in Oakland. Kicked it with Tenz and Aliya, Big Scott, Johnny and janica, Doc and Therin ... so we drank whiskey and hollered at each for a few days then finally drove north to Ptown ... i yapped with my main men about all the things that have changed since I turned 30 and came back to the US after a perfect 8 yrs in China ... we be movin to the next stage of things and it feels good to know I am never really alone ...

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

El Lay

Chillin in El Lay and I must say the women here are so fly and so cute and wearing clothes that i got to get for my hipster women pals up in portland. i saw a blonde girl today fellaz. lord have mercy. and there are more asians than you can gawk at (if you, like me, love them asian women) and i saw two black women that made me collapse into convulsions.

what a great city.

its winter and the temperature is around 70F and i am walking around in my underpants. I got my hair all slicked back cuz it just feels like the right thing to do. I was at LULUs the past couple of days for breakfast and just ate and stared at all of the beautiful people. Everyone is an actor and yeah you might say they are superficial, but what i have noticed is that the majority of cats are real and trying and doing their best and actually go out of their way to prove that they ARE NOT the fake posers that everyone in LA is supposedly known for.

I am headed to the beach tomorrow to kick it with my parents and nephew. I got him a Marvel super hero poster and a Pirates of the Caribbean lunch box. what else should i get him?

this here is a story about WEED that everybody's yellin about. peep it and be cool like us.

My EL LAY style:

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Julia Zimmermann came to Chengdu and stayed with me for several days chronicling the earthquake there for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung -- my favorite German-language newspaper.

Here is her finished work, in German. The photos speak for themselves and if you click on the slideshow to your right, you will see more of the same pics.

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Peep This

Here are a couple stories I have been writing for

This is my list of cities for singles and here is the "companion piece" about making love to natives in order to learn their language.

Here's what I have to say about late night food out there. Feel free to drop comments and enlarge my list of pimpin ass cities to be gremlins in ... you can't write them all down ...

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Monday, November 10, 2008

to the twang of a slow guitar

Chillin with my main men
we found some new friends
a million voices to hear
a million lips to read
a million eyes to look into

me and my main men
we get tribal
sometimes we get devilish
we're all looking for the same thing

feel free to join us
you might get rescued
feel free to join us
maybe you'll get rescued

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pirates with no Boat

I hereby claim "Pirates with no Boat" as my intellectual property. It does not matter if you read this post or not, the title now belongs to me. If i find it anywhere else, I will have my lawyer, my brother, sue you. That's right.

Go Bills.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

its my birfday

and me and sammy have just taken our sweet time dealing with a heaping plate of biscuits and gravy at this spot down the road called the Arlita Library ... now i have had some real good biscuits and gravy and i always love em. i have had some bad ones too and there is nothing more annoying. i mean all i dig on in terms of going out is a fine jack and coke, good gravy and such and maybe a good plate of nachos. thats it. i am pretty easy.

so these biscuits that arlita serves up are unbelievable. so far, it is truly the best i have had.

my family called in the middle of my meal and i talked to my dad and mom and such. its all good. now its time for me and sam to enjoy this "sunbreak" (period of time between rain in northwest USA) and maybe put on some Clint Eastwood.

Mad love atcha.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

We love the Bills

Here are some pics and a video from the last week. We had a Halloween Party and went to watch the Bills get beaten by that pill poppin cracker Brett Favre. I picked my brother up from the hospital and drove straight to Claudia's on Hawthorne to watch the Bills game. You know how we do ...

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Universal Health Care?

So my wounded brother is home in Minneapolis now and my living room has never smelled better. Love the kid, but when he spends a week on your coach, you will understand the mixture of sadness and relief I feel. He is now dealing with insurance issues and paying for his substantial medical bills. It looks like he might be able to get by with a few things, but the eye opener for me was the incredible cost for health care in the US.

My friend once told me a story about rolling his car a dozen times and finally coming to a rude stop at the base of a giant tree. His hound, uninjured, slowly licked him back to life and he staggered away to the street. Several passers-by stopped and asked him if he needed help -- as in 911 -- and he refused all of them. At the time, he was uninsured and he realized that if he took an ambulance to the ER and got stitched all over his beaten ass he would be a broken man financially with debts for the rest of his life. So instead, he hiked to his buddies house, passed out on the couch and slowly mended the old fashioned way. His girl kept him propped up with luvin and soup and he passed the time watching the Lord of the Rings and smoking Buddha. He is alive and well and has back issues.

My brother put his hand through a window in a freak accident that left his tendons and arteries severed. An ambulance was the only option. After two surgeries and a week drugged up on my couch, he can now go back home and get that old fashioned TLC from one of his girlfriends in the Twin Cities.

His bill will be around $30,000. He sought out a lawyer here to take care of the insurance claims. While talking, the lawyer revealed that his father had to sell his home to pay for medical bills.

In the US, we have probably the best trauma care in the world, but you best be insured. I didn't realize how nasty this problem is while I was away in China, but now that I am home, I see that health care is one of the biggest shadows upon our land. The richest most powerful nation in the world has people dying in the ER room because they can't pay. It has people hiking home instead of going to the hospital because surviving with some cash is better than surviving without cash.

I will be doing more research into this matter. What kind of coverage is offered in Oregon to people with no insurance? Who stands in the way of universal health care? Is there a middle ground between high quality care and affordable care? I remember hearing these terms thrown about the last eight years, but now they are much more salient to me.

Wassup, any of you have stories to tell or links to share?

Crossroads of health care and immigration. (Update 11/08 4:14pm)

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

What is this really about

Now that Obama has won, the focus shifts to expectations for dramatic change and improvement across the board and the historic importance of the first black president.

For me, both of these lines of thought are foolish and irrelevant. Obama himself can do little to stem the tide of bankruptcies and layoffs that are yet to come. He can't single-handedly end war in Afghanistan or Iraq and there is no way he can make the nation's industries stop what they are doing and go Green. Health care reform is a long way off. Prisons will continue to fill.

What we need now is to recognize the symbolic power of a victory of the reasonable middle class that believes in positive Progress. The same day Obama was elected, three states banned gay marriage. For those who voted to deny gays the right to marry, the Bible still determines for them who can and cannot love each other. How absurd that in the 21stcentury USA homosexuality still instills fear.

Today at Dante's Inferno in downtown Portland, Isaac the crippled "owner" of the club told us how he was rolling down the Sellwood Bridge on his wheelchair when someone hit him and busted him up real good. It was a hit and run, but Isaac ain't trippin. He has waited 55 years to see a black man in the White House and he's still smilin'. I always am skeptical of a bum's story, but what the hell. Its the symbolism that counts. When a lady next to us at the bar said that Obama will only prove that a black man in office is just as corrupt as a white man, Isaac said Shit! and my brother was like, take that Haterade somewhere else. hahahahaha ...

I guess my point is that expectations for Obama misses the whole point of this thing and glorifying his blackness does too. The two topics seek to divided us from our victory:

by expecting more from him, we are preparing for disappointment and absolving ourselves from responsibility.
by making him black, we strip him of his leadership qualities and black people of their humanity.

Best way to handle all of this is to ride the wave and expect more from government in general and ourselves specifically. It should be easy now to understand that anything can happen if people are united and organized. We should feel like part of a community and safe enough to walk any street, sit down at any bar, ask directions from any man.

Tips: Hold a garage sale and BBQ if weather allows. Organize a soccer league with your local strip joint as the sponsor. Kick it downtown and say hello to strangers, so we can feel safe again. Sign up for a Greenpeace newsletter and then roll to the coast to save something. Go to the hot springs and invite strangers in to chill with you.

Forget blackness and whiteness. (This is really how we change things, by making symbols reality through small deeds, done daily.) Be nice for no reason.

otherwise you watch TV waiting to see the miracle be wrought and end up bitter and shaking your head at the futility of it all.

If you a man, buy a girl a drink or a candy bar and demand nothing but the memory of her smile in return.

If you a girl, feel free to post a comment on this super dope blog.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

God Bless America

finally. we have a leader we can be proud of and a country we can believe in. It is now time to get up in the morning and begin executing the plans and promises that we have been hearing over the past two years.

John McCain's speech in defeat is a fine one and it is the first time I have felt proud of him. He really is trying to tell his supporters (booing crackers though they may be) to understand that the fight is over and now is the time to build.

I feel good. I feel proud, but most of all i feel anticipation for the days to come. Obama has the House, the Senate and the people behind him. With such power and support he can accomplish many things. We shall see.

But for now, its a celebration ya'll.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Digital Silk Road

Digital Silk Road

From: plus8star, 1 week ago

Digital Silk Road
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: japan korea)

Presentation done at OpenWebAsia in October 2008 on Asia's digital innovations and their potential impact on the West.

SlideShare Link

Monday, October 27, 2008

A message from Progress

You are Progress.

Speaking of progressive, i remember when Obama first started moving toward the center, i said he was a coward and a sellout in this blog and that he should rely on true change and progressive values to ride into the White House. Many of you thought i was being to harsh and said: without the center, without the powerful Obama cannot win. Progressive youth and such are not enough. I agreed and threw myself behind Obama.

but peep this story by Alexander Cockburn and remember his words in 2 years, when we are disappointed once again.


better yet, throw my scepticism in my face when Obama really does do those things which we need doing to bring this nation into the 21st century.

We shall see.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

They Still Don't Get It

Last Christmas I went to visit my parents in Germany and I told them then that Obama would win the White House. My Dad said "America is not ready for a black president." I didn't really argue with him, because I have a history of being right with this stuff and having Dad come around.

Before the Iraq War I did the superhuman feat of predicting disaster and my Dad and I got into a pissing contest about it. Now he hates Bush and says the War is killing the US. So it came as no surprise to have my Dad be like: yo, I am about to send in your absentee ballots ... Obama right? I'm like, yeah you know how i do. and he was like that makes three of us. Including my sister.

So you know, the end of Rocky IV and all ...."if you can change ..." hehehe

so here is the media finally catching on to what we have been yapping about for so long. NYT talks about race in Pennsylvania and the Republican's last ditch effort to corral the dumbest crackers in the nation and hope that its enough to squeak out a victory. It probably won't be.

And here is David Frum, "the other Karl Rove," explaining that the Republicans are losing and so therefore have to staunch the bleeding by giving up on McCain and trying to hold on to some Senate seats ... NOT by pulling their heads out of their asses and getting a clear picture of the 21st century world and our place and role in it, but by appealing to "fairness:"

"We're almost certainly looking at a Democratic White House. I can work with a Democratic president to help this state. But we need balance in Washington.

"The government now owns a big stake in the nation's banking system. Trillions of dollars are now under direct government control. It's not wise to put that money under one-party control. It's just too tempting. You need a second set of eyes on that cash. You need oversight and accountability. Otherwise, you're going to wake up two years from now and find out that a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House have been funneling a ton of that money to their friends and allies. It'll be a big scandal -- but it will be too late. The money will be gone. Divided government is the best precaution you can have."

Sigh, The Republicans can't imagine that race isn't a divider like they hoped. They can't imagine that we all see through the Palin BS. They can't imagine that we know a leader when we see one.

And just in case you're all wondering, NO i am not deluded. I realize that a Democrat is still a politician and our system of governance lends itself to being bought out ... but in my lifetime, I haven't seen a real leader on the big stage yet (Cept for WELLSTONE R.I.P) until Obama showed up.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Perfect Majority

Yep. The Republicans are trying to win some seats in the Senate by saying: A one Party majority can't be good for the country.

They're absolutely right. When they had the majority, they didn't mention it too much, but they did indeed run the country into the ground. So now the pendulum swings ... back to the center i guess.

Here is a dope video. Intellectuals for Change.

Here is another dope video. Fools for a Racist God.

and check out this interesting story by Ivan Eland in (also linked to your right) ... Al Qaeda endorses McCain because they realize that a fool in the White House is good for their recruiting drive.

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Bumpin it in China

So here is a lil blurb about the music scene in China and below is my man Himmler's response:

the article is pretty accurate. one point I'd add though is that the falling cost of producing music (the digital era - hardware is effectively obsolete at this point) happened ten years ago and hasn't yielded significant gains in china. they absolutely play to the lowest common denominator and anything that rises above that bar is thoroughly suppressed. I'm under constant pressure at my gigs to play music that (dumb) chinese people can understand and relate to. but I generally don't comply as it's not in the best interest for myself or the handful of people in a club of 500 that are actually listening.

All of my people in China are mixed in with the music scene in some way. My man Big Tenz just finished a many month many city tour of China with his girl Aliya and they made somewhere between 5 - 6k US a month. Music is lucrative in China. Djs can make 400 US a show at least. Some more some less. Peep Himmler's website and you can get a feel for what's going down.

I have an earlier post here about Eli, a rapper in Chengdu. He's aight (sorry homie) for US standards, but he is an ambassador of hip hop in China. He might make bank, he might just be rappin in front of a newly opened supermarket in a dumpling suit with a band of laowai playing pop behind him.

Proximity Butterfly have made music in China their Great Quest. They are all up in the scene -- going to the MIDI Festival, shows everywhere, making CDs and such.

My man Boogie cracks-out in dingy Chengdu apartments puffin herb he grew and synthesizing ill beats and grafting them onto old Chinese tracks to make a palatable hybrid for the discerning Chinese listener. Of which (evidenced by the quote above) there are few.

But the scene is growing. Mad love to my peeps, whether you be in dumpling suits, Mule Uniforms or just picking up hot Chinese women as the house Dj at Babi ... its all good.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Asia-Europe Meeting

A while back I was sitting in my friend Zhuang Jian's villa outside of Chengdu, drinking some rare pu'er, smoking herb and chatting with a collection of people there. Zhuang always had artists, musicians and vagabonds over because his house was our dream: plum, peach and cherry blossoms, tea and incense, old bamboo and potted plants, artwork and a magical view.

Anyway, I was there with two Chinese homies from the Hemp House, a French girl up from Chiang Mai to cook for a while and another Frenchman who wanders the earth collecting songs from minority groups like the Miao and Yi in China and selling the CDs for their and his profit.

I guess I didn't look like much, in my sweatpants, broken sandals and Sixers jersey. So he was disdainful of anything I said and basically kept to French for a lot of the night. Suddenly, my man Boogie who was chillin in the corner said my full name for some reason and this caught the Frenchman's attention. He turned to me and was like: Yo, are you the Sascha Matuszak, writing for and such? I was like hell yeah. And then his demeanor took a 180 degree turn and he started being all pally-pally with me.

He told me I should write about how China will take over the world someday. He said he had it all written down for me and that he had been meaning to send it to me all this time, but wasn't sure of himself cuz he thought Sascha was actually some professor or something. hahaha. I have actually heard that one before. People who read my stuff then meet me are like ummmmm What? hence this blog.

I continuously digress.

The Frenchman's Blueprint for Chinese takeover went a little something like this (in late 2007):

US economic collapse followed by bailout of ridiculous proportions by cash-heavy China
Bailout puts Western banks and financial institutions in Chinese hands
Chinese VC (Venture Capitalists), backed by their State, go on a shopping spree through the US and Europe
Domestic protests in US quelled by police and military to appease MNCs who see Chinese capital as just more cash (Nationhood starts dying in the West ...)
Bailout continues for several years as WTO, IMF and World bank find themselves without legitimacy or cash and look to China to prop them up, which they do happily
UN is next in line, looking for handouts from the rich Chinese

and so on.

A Velvet Revolution if there ever was one.

Now China will naturally be affected by the Economic Crisis, but no one has as much cash as they do (USD1.9 trillion in reserves) so no one will be able to ride it out like the Chinese. Plus, the failures are coming from abroad, which in the short term means that Chinese manufacturers and exporters etc will suffer from a credit crunch, cash crunch and order crunch from the Western companies that held up China's export oriented economy.

So for the next 2 years or so, China's economy might slow down a bit, but what this really does is clear the path for all of the Chinese VCs to step in and fill the void. It clears the path for Chinese businesses of all kinds to expand as their Western rivals contract ...

And so I come to the crux of the matter: Europe and much of Asia are headed to China with hat in hand hoping for love from China. Now, I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this is for the Chinese. The world is as it should be: foreign dignitaries coming to the center of the earth to seek advice, compassion and sympathy from the stable, benevolent patriarch Zhong Guo.

I added a few links to my list of digable sits today:

I highly recommend All Roads to China, China Law Blog and Silicon Hutong for those who want to learn more about China.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hipsters vs. Superdorks

My man Himmler and me have this ongoing discussion about Macs and Pcs and which computer is doper. Now the arguments are getting a bit stale and now we just argue about who is better at Starcraft. Speaking of which. If anyone out there plays this game and wants to go toe to toe, please please get a hold of me. I love to smoke Starcraft.

anyway, in this here story about zombie computers, the huge elephant in the room is why Macs don't have the same problem. The story alludes to this later on page two with the quote from the Blaster virus:

"Hey Billy ... fix your software."

As far as I am concerned Macs are definitely safer, more stable and just all around better. The major reason for this is that Apple makes computers for illiterate hipsters whereas Microsoft makes computers (i guess) for computer Superdorks. If you don't remain vigilant about security and performance with your PC, it will crash and such. Hipsters don't even know what i'm talking about.

I use Macs because i know enough to know that i dont know enough.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

I reiterate

its transition time and i am getting my room painted, my workshop set up and my routine established.

dreams of off the grid cribs become tangible in the MFNW

When the full moon watches the sun set over happy valley
mt hood floats like a phantom above the trees
a rainbow canopy encases the world
and meets the howling blue in a ribbon of fading light
while dead limbs guard the path to the moon
and St. Helen is a shadow on the dark

and just in case you aint heard.

its my man Tshisuaka aka propaganja aka aka aka ...

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Last Debate

I listened to McCain very closely this debate, just as I listened to Sarah Palin very closely during the celebrated VP debate. I did this because I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to know if I like Obama because I identify with a cool black man more than with an ugly old white dude and his hockey mom partner.

I said to myself, "Self, we should these cats a chance."

Because I accuse McCain supporters of putting on their "identifying blinders" and voting for someone that makes then feel comfortable and safe, rather than for a true leader of a nation. So I don't want to be guilty of the same foolishness.

McCain attacked Obama, he went after the poor voter with catch-phrases and he did not clearly or concisely explain any plan, for any issue we are facing. That is what I heard. When he did go into details about an issue the nation is facing, he stuck to his party's ideology across the board. He appealed heavily to those people who are Republican and will stay Republican for the rest of their lives.

When attacking Obama, he seemed on the verge of screaming NIGGER, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE! And he seemed petty. And the stats, as MSNBC provided for us, show that McCain has been more negative than Obama. They naturally spun the situation by saying Obama spent "the most money on negative ads in the history of politics."

Obama saying that 100% of the ads were negative is a function of his frustration and annoyance with a very negative campaign. Nothing is 100% in a campaign. But it sure feels like the McCain ticket has been 100% negative.

Obama looked like a leader to me. It is that simple. He was calm, he had plans, he articulated well, he responded to attacks, but did not start any and has a better understanding of the REAL WORLD than McCain.

These politicians are so far behind the curve. They talk of "going Green" to help build an economy of the future. Private enterprises -- some of them began by anti-establishment hippies back in the 1970s -- have been going Green for a long time without the help of the government. In fact, the government has stood in their way in favor of Big Oil just as they stand in the way of new and different ways to heal people in favor of the pharmaceutical companies.

Will Obama have the strength and fortitude to carry out his plans for a Green Economy? Of course he will, because we are already all over it.

And this is for me the kicker: Obama is a man of the future, McCain is a man of the past.

We are already finding new ways to educate kids, we want health care for all, we need cheaper universities, we are all down with the Green Machine and had Obama not made these issues his platform way back in June when we went up against Clinton, then I promise you McCain would have never even considered them.

And so. Now, I will have no sympathy for McCain voters. I met a few along the way and I had polite disagreements, but we always went our ways saying,"Hey. Its Ok. You can vote for anyone you want."

Voting for McCain is dumb, it will expedite America's fall from grace and the primary motivation for voting McCain is fear.

I am Chachi Murphy, and I approve of this message.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

China vs. Portland

In Portland, cars will stop on a busy street and let pedestrians cross. Even with a whole line of cars behind them. The pedestrian then turns to the car, nods or waves, receives a nod in return and life goes on. This is not law. It is just how people do here in Portland.

When you walk down the street and pass someone, i would say about 75% of the time there is a mutual greeting. Respect and consideration is shown as much as possible.

In China crossing the street is like playing Frogger, with sentient cars trying to hit you. Cars will roll into a crosswalk and nose their way through, as the pedestrians kinda flow around. There are no traffic laws that are obeyed. Its just, see an opening and go. Or make an opening and go.

In China, if you greet someone, they will be surprised and non-plussed at first, but then will engage in a spirited conversation. People are happier in China if you show some respect, because it is not expected.

People get irate in the US if you do not show respect.

I think scale has a lot to do with these differences. If the streets of Portland were ALWAYS crowded with people, then I think consideration would take a back seat to expedience. People in China are extremely civilized in their own homes, but completely disdainful of the public area. If everyone in China were considerate and thoughtful while out on the town, there would be no time to do anything else but be polite to every person who crosses your path.

And this issue of scale also has a lot to do with the general air and water quality differences. In Oregon, you can pretty much see the stars all the time, the moon can light your way to anywhere and the sunrises hurt my eyes.

In China, you have to go to Tibet or Xinjiang to have that experience. Or deep into the countryside. There are Chinese villages, unknown and wallowing in some warped, stretched time-zone with TVs, nightsoil, cell phones and buffalo-operated tills, that have more people than the Greater Portland area.

In Oregon, I can go 30 minutes outside of the city and pick wild mushrooms and run from rutting young elk.

Wild animals in China lurk in the shadows or become a "protected delicacy."

And of course the absolute disregard for commoners shown by the "leaders" in China kind of sets an example. Which is another HUGE difference. There are phalanxes of unfriendly class-conscious older women protecting the halls of Chinese government buildings from unwanted commoners. They are backed up by commoners in military uniforms standing at every gate.

Here in Portland, the government is quite accessible. They answer phones, emails and blog posts. Here, everyone is entitled to respect and if a leader refuses to show it, he will be charged with elitism and thrown out of whatever office he holds.

This is of course the beautiful American sentiment that McCain hopes to capitalize upon. He believes there are enough ignorant people out there who fear and hate "the elite" to vote him into office. Hence Palin. It kinda backfired on him in Lakeville, MN when a particularly dumb woman said,"I dont trust Obama because he is an A-Rab."

Interesting similarities, interesting differences.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Ma Shan acts like a Child!

I heard this a lot when i was in China (and sometimes here as well) and i always wanted to put across my response: Thank You!

Over there in China, children and women should never be listened to, according to an old saying attributed to some white-bearded sage. For China to become what it wants to be, this heavy sack of historical and cultural wisdom must be sifted through and held up to the light of day.

For example: Du Fu, one of the greatest poets China has ever enjoyed, was a hobo and a drunkard. Everyone in China can quote a few poems of his and everyone laughs about his and his contemporaries love for drink and play, but very few of them actually learn the lessons of this man and throw of the shackles of their society to CREATE themselves.

I remember thinking that a lot of travel will result in a child-like mind-state at times. This mind-state allows one to absorb surroundings and sounds much better than an "adult" filter and I have found a little bit of childishness goes a long way toward establishing communication with the scions of Babel (people who don't speak my language). And whose imagination can rival a child's?

This little blurb by a designer in Shenzhen talks about these issues.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What some people find solace in

This story is getting passed around the elderly, all-white, businesspeople circle that i have a toe in.

I think they may be smug about the fact that Blacks and Hispanics defaulted on many of their loans. Here is another story, by Stanley Kurtz, that basically lays the blame of the economic meltdown on defaulting Blacks and Latinos who went through ACORN to get their loans.

ACORN might pop up in the future as part of the large and diverse group responsible for this economic crisis:

The politicians, bought up and ready to preach. The bankers and lenders, bored with the ordinary games and desperate for those high-risk profits. Wall Street, with nothing better to do then create more financial instruments to play with and spread around the globe. And Americans, dumb enough to believe anything, yet save nothing.

The more fingers get pointed, the more of us will realize that it was the entire nation at fault. This is an indictment of foolishness and arrogance. It must be hard to swallow for a country used to hearing we are "the greatest force for good," but its necessary. America can only move forward AFTER weathering crises like this one.

Peep this story and any other Engdahl writes ...


Newsweek drops some common sense into the bucket of foolishness we hear daily.

This site takes it a bit further and has a database of other interesting news.

Another small update:

Spengler is that guy you love to hate. He's an intellectual realist with no love for dreamers. Here is why corruption in China forces them to invest here in the USA, where hockey mom's ensure our freedom -- only to pass it on to the Piano Children of China, while bombing the Sanctioned Orphans of the Middle East.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

droppin the hammer on McCain

Obama dropped it during the debate and this story in the Rolling Stone lays it all out ... pass it on.


Jesus. I know a lot of people have seen this. At first I laughed my ass off listening to the SNL version, then i became shocked and extremely uncomfortable in my belly when i saw the actual interview Couric had with Palin. Wow.

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I trust myself now more than ever. I thought to myself the death of Wall Street could only be a boon for me and mine. I had a feeling there was an air of excitement building up ... i felt guilty saying it, but i did anyway.

peep this video, an Addendum to the Zeitgeist movie that tore into the 911 myth, the Jesus myth and the Fed. They bring the right message at the right time. They got me thinking about further schooling ...

By the time this crisis is over and my hair is thin and gray, my daughter's sons will ask why it took me so long.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

A nation of loners

Here is a interesting story about China's One Child Policy ...


This link actually goes to the column of the day for the Jakarta Post. Today's was "How to get a Brazilian Booty." so take a chance.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

What Germans are saying

My homie Himmler from the 19th Step sent me this long article in Der Spiegel. Its in English.

Most people i know will be nodding along with this article, hollerin out like YEAH and YOUKNOWWHATIMSAYIN or whatever you yell out when you catch someone's vibe.

Of particular interest is Part 3, where Spiegel goes into the Economic Crisis and lays it down pretty clear and concise, giving us a look at the risks of shunning History:

As long ago as 1936, John Maynard Keynes recognized the risk that "speculation may win the upper hand" in the markets. Its influence in New York, the British economist wrote, was "enormous," and the situation would become serious "when the capital development of a country becomes the by-product of the activities of a casino."

It goes through the Bush Administration's many many ... ahem .. miscalculations and gives a projection of a future without America the Bully. They speak of the Fall.

But for me this is the fall of my young talented son; the setback that will make him a man. I will be there for him and help him shake it off. And if vultures come to pick at him in his weakest moment, I'll be there with an Army of Me.

Are foreign investors vultures? I would appreciate any comments on this:

The wealthy state-owned funds of China, Singapore, Dubai and Kuwait control assets of almost $4 trillion (€2.76 trillion), and they are now in a position to buy their way onto Wall Street in a big way.

But they have remained reserved until now, partly as a result of poor experiences in the past. The China Investment Corp., for example, invested in the initial public offering of the Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, and invested $5 billion (€3.45 billion) in Morgan Stanley. In both cases, it lost a lot of money.

But time is on the side of the Chinese. American stocks are becoming cheaper and cheaper. And the longer the crisis lasts, the weaker American objections to buyers from the Far East will become. In fact, it is quite possible that they will soon be celebrated as saviors.

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What we deserve

I went to watch the Vp debate at Nicole's friend's house. A lot of very liberal women were there and we basically laughed a lot at what Palin had to say and especially how she said it ...

But i had a sick feeling in my stomach as I watched, because I know that a large chunk of America identifies with her grammatical errors, down-home smarmy sarcasm and appeals to the lowest common denominator.

I urge everyone to vote (for Obama) and come November if the ignorant bastards manage to pull out a win and we have a McCain Administration, well then the US deserves whatever consequences come out of that. By US i mean the nation as a whole. In my backyard, I will be doing my thing and living my way and that is still possible in this country.

Even with fears of Depressions and Never-ending Wars, there are regions and cities throughout the US that can and should carry on with Obama's vision of our society, regardless of which politician makes it into office.

I have always thought that Obama represents a return of hope and energy and his victory means more as a symbolic message to every American and to the world at large. Do we need him to win to feel and embody and act upon a message of change and hope?

Shit. We thought 8 years of idiocy was enough to convince Cracker America. But i guess we overestimated the nation and underestimated the impact of all those studies that point to the dismal state in our education system. Yesterday i saw a dude roll around in a car that had "Barack Obama is a fascist" written on the back in white paint.

I doubled over in laughter, then shook my head in disgust. I am so tired of people thinking Americans are fools, but then again it is time we moved away from this silly belief in abstract nationality. I love the trees, mountains, rivers and the skies, no gov can take those away.

Vote Obama! Live the Dream!

"you don't have to believe in your government to be a good American, you just have to believe in your country"

Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo is the ill.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Live and Let Die?

Imagine you are at a Texas Hold-Em table and a very rich banker steps up with a collection of cash from all corners of his derivative-laced empire. He bets hard on a 6-3 unsuited (bad bad hand) and loses it ALL.

And then, because his losses would mean he can't play anymore, he asks everyone else at the table to bail him out. Would anyone do it?

Imagine for a second that Company X is facing some liquidity issues and needs to tighten its belt for a while to get things flowing again. What is the very first thing Company X would do? Lay off workers. Company X would not think twice about putting 25 year vets of the company out on the street to fend for themselves in order to "keep the company competitive." It hurts to be on the other end of things ...

Now all of these big investors and bankers are telling the average Joe that, if he doesn't pony up for the Wall Street gamblers that lost their cash, then credit flows will halt, bringing the economy to a standstill. Because bankers are too scared to lend in a dangerous environment. Not because there is no credit, or because they are forbidden or unable to lend, but because it is TOO RISKY for them to lend in this volatile environment.

ie it is too risky for the thief to rob when the cops are out and about, but it wasn't too risky to lend when the cops were absent. Now that the bankers have been "caught" they don't want to lend. But they were happy to when risk was "someone else's responsibility."

An economist, naturally, will tell me I am simple minded and don't understand the intricacies of finance, or the global implications of Wall Street's collapse.

Well I actually have read a bit of Adam Smith and Max Weber and, according to these pillars of our so-called free market capitalist system, Wall Street must die. In a free economy, the Fed has no place, bailouts are anathema and those who gamble on unsuited 6-3 hands are doomed to fall by the wayside AND BE BOUGHT UP by those who did not bet on crazy risky ridiculous hands.

And the taxpayer who bet hard that his credit card would always be there for him, that his double mortgage on a house WAY out of his league would be -- eventually -- paid for by the magic hand of appreciation must also suffer the consequences.

It is easy for me to say all of this, because i don't have a credit card and i have earned my pithy cash on a freelance basis for most of my life. But i don't buy expensive things and i always have enough to get by, because i know that a bad bet on my part means homelessness. So i watch my ass. And i guess i believe that medicine that works probably tastes like shit. In the end, a live and let die approach to the US economy would result in a stronger economy. And the years in between -- well I moved here because i am ready to grow cabbage in my backyard with all the rest of the Americans. I could have easily stayed in China and avoided all of this ...


An economy such as ours today is not unprecedented. Read people, and see that the 1920s only had different fashion, different toys, different slang ... for years people have been telling us that living above our means, charging everything and so on will come back to bite us. And now it has. But no one -- least of all the bankers and traders and financiers who made it all possible -- wants to bite the bullet.

Chinese are known for saving their cash and living way BELOW their means (well most of them anyway, of course the whole nouveau rich dont apply). Here in Portland Intel has a big R&D center staffed with a grip of Indians. These kids make 100k a year, live four to a room, eat at home, drive Civics and send their money home to mama. Not too cool, right? but pretty damn smart, no?

China sent a planeload of cash -- a plane load of cash -- to Seattle to buy planes and another to South Africa to buy a stake in a bank. When is the last time a business in the US paid for something with a big pile of cash? Economists say business aint possible unless you have credit ... true, cuz ya aint got no money in the bank ...

Now i see late night scam-ads telling people: sell yer "worthless" gold and get cold hard cash. HAHAHAHA. oh jesus. sell gold for "cold hard cash."

This happened once before, when FDR told everyone in the US to hand over their gold. The only difference between the 1920s and 1930s and now is the slang, the medium and the face ...

History is meaningless to those who pay no attention to it, it holds all meaning for those who do ...

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