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Wednesday, Sep 17th

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Trance-Formation

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There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.

Thus intoned Rod Serling at the beginning of the first episode of the first season of The Twilight Zone in 1959. It would be years before I read Kafka, Huxley, and Orwell, but I knew the territory well. Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, and Richard Matheson, had already taken me there once every week for five years.

The Twilight Zone left me with powerful memories of stories of ordinary people who had somehow slipped almost casually across an unseen line, and into another world … another reality. And here we all are … 49 years after the last program was broadcast … living in The Twilight Zone. I wish we had better writers.  The same plot devices from a handful of episodes are used over and over, overlap one another, and play simultaneously non-stop. And the kicker is … most people don’t even notice … and that in itself is an old Twilight Zone episode.

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Happy Anniversary To Us!

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Two years ago today, August 22nd, we moved to Beautiful British Columbia. I’m only going to say this one more time as I can imagine everyone is getting awfully tired of hearing it:

Every Single Day
I read at least one news item, oftentimes more, from The States that makes me very happy and relieved we don’t live in the U.S. anymore.

And …

Every Single Day I have a moment, some days a couple of moments, when I am grateful we now live in Canada.

I know a guy in Seattle who feels compelled to remind me that Canada isn’t perfect. It’s his way of countering whatever positive thing I’ve told him about living up here.

Canada is not perfect. I know. I live here. But guess what? Relatively speaking, after a lifetime of living in the U.S. …Yes It Is!

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Ronald Reagan, the bust

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New unemployment claims fell last week to 326,000, a 5 1/2 year low. July's survey of employers showed 162,000 new jobs created, this is about three times the rate of population growth. The odd thing was that 92,000 of these jobs went people 55 and over, with only 15,000 going to prime age workers 25-54. This could be taken as a good sign since workers over 55 have been systematically passed over for jobs since the Bush Crash.

 

Recent college grads got the other 55,000 new jobs. Not that a college education is necessarily worth much in a post-industrial, post-middle class country like the US. Forty percent of the people who make less than $10/hour have some college education. Plenty of young lawyers and engineers work at Best Buy.

 

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Springtime in Santa Barbara

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Back in 1971 a couple of good ol’ boys grabbed me outside of a bar in Amarillo Texas and pounded me into the ground like a human tent peg. They didn’t like the length of my hair.

A couple of years later I was walking down De La Vina Street in Santa Barbara in the late afternoon when a guy sped by me in beat-to-crap white pick up truck, screamed out, “YOU EFFING HIPPIE,” and threw an unopened bottle of coke at my head. It missed by inches, exploded against the rock retaining wall on my right, and instead of a concussion … I was covered in broken glass and dripping soda pop.

The beating in Amarillo was pretty bad. It could have gotten worse but luckily for me, the bartender had an idea about what the good ol’ boys were up to, and came out and stopped it. But the “Pop Bottle Incident of 1973” had a greater impact on me. The thing in Texas I chalked up to, “What the hell do you expect? You’re in Texas for chrissakes,” but the lucky near-miss in Santa Barbara really shook me up. I was in Southern California, one of the “sane” states, where a long hair could walk around without getting stomped.

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Facing the 'Final Resort'

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The aluminum foil shelter that Wildland Firefighters carry as part of their 50 lb back-country fire kit is intended to be that last resort when the fire is not only gaining on their position but has skipped ahead, and they are trapped with fire coming from all sides.

The physics of this 'last chance' technology are real and can be easily calculated. Hotshot Firefighters drill on this like their very lives depend on it. Any fire is the equation of heat + fuel + oxygen. Heat is temperature of the the available mass either mitigated by high humidity, or greatly boosted by low humidity. Fuel in a forest is a given. Oxygen in the outdoors is a matter of wind speed.

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Birds of different feathers chase different bugs

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The markets all tanked again today on ginned up fears that the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates. But it was gold that fell right through the floor losing well over 5% in one day to $1280 per oz.

 

Gold has lost a third of its value from the peak when the Gold Bugs were sending me nasty mail about me advising people to ignore Glenn Beck.

 

This week's new unemployment claims jumped back up again, but they're still not so high as to be a real problem.

 

The big 'scary' news all the 'experts' are cackling about (between chasing June Bugs they predict the sky is falling), the big news is that China's banks are having problems borrowing overnight from each other with rates for single day borrowing going to as high as 25% (annual rate).  China's Central bank is refusing to pump in money, or rather it is just silent, and the 'Chicken Littles are saying this signals the 'end times'. There is of course a more reasonable explanation.

 

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Nope, this wasn't Zimbabwe, it was Florida.

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by Bev Harris, Founder of BlackBoxVoting.org

Two vaults being used in a special election for the Florida House were stolen last week. Unbeknownst to the burglars, they were caught on videotape. The vaults contained a voting machine, the electronic storage device containing all early votes cast, and 850 blank ballots. The motive isn't immediately clear, but here is what we know so far.

In this report, I've gathered some of the answers needed to examine how the burglary might have affected the election.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's office released a portion of the surveillance video; more information, contained in the police report, indicates there is additional footage not yet released to the public.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/SdwjiowLWcY

 

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