Tuesday, October 31, 2006

msb-0076 Empathy & Sympathy

msb-0076 Empathy & Sympathy

Feedback comes first so...

You guys are in for a treat. I managed to get MDMH von PA to write something about all the bloggers he's been encountering on his travels across the web. I still can't get him to read it so I'm trying something else.

(I now know his real name and he now knows mine. I'm worse off by one hyphenation so, while while I respect his wish for mystery, I don't thing he's that badly off. :-)

Here not, without further ado, is MDMH von PA:


A weekly MS Gossip Roundup of all the ups and downs of our fellow MS Cadre in the Blogosphere. Now I know there are a lot of other folks out there with lots going on in their lives so I'm just going down a list and picking up some of the most recent/vocal/prolific blabber-mouths. And yes, I know every time I point a finger there are four pointing right back at me.

First off, let's drop in on PB at The Multiple Sclerosis Companion. She just married off her daughter in a wedding where nothing, absolutely NOTHING went ... wrong. Well, throw me in a skirt and call me Sally. If the big things can go as planned, there is yet hope for all of us.

Dave, at ms not just a diary is doing his best to fend off neighbors of dubious intent and reasserting his desire to be a hermit. That aside, I've never seen someone with so much to say. The blog-mister runs a handful of active literary outlets all while managing to entertain and keep his romantic interests queued up. In spite if what his kin may say, I really do not think he is gay. A bit jolly perhaps ... but the verdict is not out yet.

Pam out of the hinterlands re-emerges with a cautionary tale of woe regarding the 'flu time of the year'. If you are susceptible to UR infections, do not play tough-guy. Myself and Miss Chris can attest that the tougher you are, the harder you fall. And Ohhh boy, what a fall it can be. Need I show you my bruised ankle? But enough of the foot fetish nonsense, I left a link in the comment section at Pam's joint that you really should follow! Also, a linkless community site I've been visiting has some interesting questions regarding this topic. Travis posts 3 times a week and usually has something meaty to chew on. Did I mention he used to be a chef?

A good friend and lovingly maternal mother, Patricia, is contending with a bit of grief right now. Seems to be going around. She put up a wonderful eulogy for her departed friend. Go on over and get the whole gestalt of her post. Leave a comment, support helps.

In the mean-time, a few of the 'AWOL' blogger have popped back up. One of my secret ninja posters is Sister Jane. She shoots from the hip and takes no sass. That said, she is moving on over to the East Cost soon to show us flat-landers just what it means to be from the Fly-Over states. Maryland will never be the same. And unfortunately for Montana, neither will the West. If you are near Gaithersburg, keep an eye out for her and give her a hearty welcome.

Speaking of hearty ... wait ... did I mean 'farty?' Anyways, Linda is back from swabbing the decks with her male counterparts. She is just as cheesy as ever and is soliciting other ms/support folk for some crafty material. She just put up a pretty lengthy post on Halloween History for all you who care to look beyond the commercial factor. Me? More snicker's bars please ... hold the sweet-tarts.

Hmmm, what else ... oh, yes. Some good news and bad news. Friday's Child is professing her love by announcing her 9th anniversary of wedded bliss to Mr Man. No illness, no loss, no hurricane nor dusty ceiling fan can break that bond. They are about to move back into their place down there in New Orleans so if you feel the urge, give her some verbal house-warming gifts. The bad news ... JodyV is closing up shop. Sorry to see you go Mam, you were one of my first links. Wish her well in her future endeavors or beg her to stay.

What? You still here? You want more of this? Huh? Well then, Shoester is railing against the HMO/pharmacy machine. Doug, that name ... as a lawyer, it seems a bit suspicious! As one curmudgeon to another, I hope you get what you need for the pain management. Nothing like a grouchy MS sufferer not getting enough sleep. I think the only thing worse is probably a wife of a grouchy MS sufferer also not getting enough sleep. I am now patiently waiting for the transcendental whack from the Mrs ... OW!

MC-Jamie is ripping it up and going out on the RF to sell that CD. She is one motivated lady. Just goes to show you that there are every-day heroes (heroines?) out there. You don't need to drive a race-car, run a marathon or climb mountains to be an inspiration.

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Thank you MDMH von PA.

I still can't seem to get Mr. Scott Sigler to record a promo for his podcast novels.

Well screw you "Mr. Big Shot, I haven't got time for you and you and your little podcast".

I can tell you myself that his novels (Earthcore, Ancestor, Infection, and The Rookie,) are tightly written, edge-of-your-seat, when's the next episode coming out already, quality writing and well worth the download. (Huh , dude, like its free. Yeah and well worth it. I even paid for Earthcore from podiobooks.com and it was still well worth it.)


I'm listening to a podcast of Science and the City, ( http://www.nyas.org/snc/podcasts.asp?PartnerCD=iTunes&TrackCD=pcast ) How Human Brains Are Wired to Connect.

It was actually fascinating to hear about mirror neurons, which fire when we contemplate the motion of others, and which I must have had a plenty since most of my musical training consisted of aping the hands of other musicians and then coming up with my own "dance of the fingers."

Well I was mainly a visual learner apart from learning theory with the pantonal system, (to read about the PanTonal system, go to http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=U1ARTU0002706 and to read about Edward Siegner, my music teacher at Dawson College in Montréal, Québec, Canada, who passed away recently, go to http://dc37.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/news/images/stories/docs/discoverapril06.pdf .)

Now I'm not so sure. I watch videos, like the flailing arms of the dancers in the "Vogue" video by Madonna, and I can't do the gestures anymore, not even in my head. [sigh]

Anyway, it gives us some physiological basis for empathy. It seems that we are able to mirror now only the motions that we observe but also the motivations for those motions.

Actually, that explains the behavior of mobs of people, all feeding off of each other in gestures and in motivation, leading to mob violence or even just prejudicial feedback.

Its rarely good, like in bigotry and hatred, which gets into the evening news, but it can be, like in group nurturing, poly-amory or other expressions of altruism.


I'm still plugging Erik Kjelland's album "Everybody Falls" which is extremely inexpensive and supports the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (the MSAA who can be found at http://www.msaa.com )

Its a good album, well worth listening to and buying. (And because its so lame to just talk about music, I'm trying to secure some rights to play a track off of his album or to get him to put a track on the PMN [Podsafe Music Network.] Done. He replied quickly to my email.)

Here now is the podcast premiere of "Brighter" by Erik Kjelland.


I'm still plugging "Who's in Control of Your Multiple Sclerosis" by William E. Code.


Carlo Magno will not be completing his trek across the USA because of insurance hassles, plus its snowing sideways (He got out of the snow on the 13th of October and turned around. Smart man... :-). (See his blog at http://www.thespiritofhope.org/blog/ )


This week, the show notes are filled with links and that's what we want.

No more suffering in silence, one person at a time; divided and conquered; cast off like lint picked from the cloak of humanity.

I'd like nothing better than to have all 300,000 MSers in my address book, ready to answer a call or reply to an email from any of them.

Okay, its not pure altruism. I figure Dr King was right and that none of us is free while any of us is in fetters.


Don't forget: Restrictions on mobility, bad. Our vote, good. No go out there and bug your representatives.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

msb-0075 Care to share

msb-0075 Care to share

Feedback comes first so...

Dave, okay you don't like country and you didn't like "Lars needs Women."

Well what do you like?

Seriously. Its your show too.

Give me a genre and I'll look for it on the Podsafe Music Network.

They've growing their collection so they're growing the pool I can swim in.

You don't like country music. I do. I like anything thats well played.

You didn't like "Lars needs Women I did. It thought was funny. Like I sad, I like anything thats well played. (Even "ThrashMetal" but its never well sung. On purpose. :-)


Here again is my advice on podcasting, on iTunes (or some other podcatcher) and the iPod.

"You don't need an iPod. (which is also the title of a song by "Uncle Seth" which you encountered on msb-0068 Memes, Words, Phrases and Sentences.)

That's only good if you want to carry the show around.

You don't even need iTunes (though you can get it for free at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/ )

Its not the only podcatcher out there. (There's also iPodder at http://www.ipodder.org/directory/4/ipodderSoftware )

Its just that its extremely convenient to use iTunes.

If you had it, you could just open a web page on my podcast (at http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=120932170
) and say yes to all the questions until you see my late, great cat Wiki and then simply subscribe.

Its the easiest way really."


There were a couple of good articles in the music section of the Sunday New York Times. You might want to check it out...


We are the proud slaves of a fifteen pound, female "Maine Coon" cat.

We let the cat scratch out her name to us: "Aixe la Chapelle!" (Okay, she only scratched out an "X" in the sand of her litter box. Give her a break, eh...)

Lord help us....

We have a cat who wants to bring a balanced equilibrium to ruling.

She's not dealing with the issues of this millenium.

"Le traité d'Aixe la Chapelle" was designed to ... oh shit ... it dealt with the place of Turkey in Europe in 1818. Now they're in; only 200 years late...

Maybe our "Euro Kitty" knows more than she's letting on. :-)


Kee'rist. I've been going over my posts and some of the comments I've been leaving on my blog ( http://multiplesclerosisblog.blogspot.com/ ) and on other people's blogs (all linked to from my blog,) and I'm such a blow hard; they read well but I sound/read like some kind of freak :-)

I really must thank mdmhvonpa for providing the initial list of bloggers.

I'd love to be doing this show with him.

He seems to have a presence and provides quick, pithy aphorisms to everybody. (Hey! Want to try it? Drop me an email: charles [at] MSBPodcast.com. We could do something that would relieve my poor listeners out there. )


Erik Kjelland recorded an album called "Everybody Falls" for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America that "deserves" your support. ( http:/www.everybodyfalls.com or http://www.brightercd.com/purchasethecd.html )

You should "buy" it, and I'm not saying that just because I did.

Since its for the MS Society, I don't think they'll mind if I play a snippet.

You are more likely to tell your friends about it and get them to "buy" it.

They can even come and play the snippet off of this show, for free, and get the ordering into off of the show notes of directly from the show links.

Actually, it sounds pretty darn good.

Its well produced.

Its got nice, straight-forward vocals.

But I do take some exception to labeling the tunes as Rock.

They are simply too melodic for that and the guitar is definitely not "heavy." (Not a bad thing. :-)


PBS just ran a fascinating special called "Remaking American Medicine." ( http://www.pbs.org/remakingamericanmedicine/care.html )

It states that, like all human endeavours, our health care suffers from the same basic systemantic flaw, and that flaw is that systems oppose their own function.

(To read more about systemantics head to http://www.generalsystemantics.com/Systemantics.htm or buy the book
Systemantics™. 2d ed. 319 pages. 1986. ISBN 0-9618251-0-3 [Softcover])

Just like Social Security would perhaps be better labeled as Social inSecurity, our health care would perhaps be better labeled as Health don't Care.

Its run, by the state or for profit, by healthy people, and consists of as many hoops as they can think of to place in the way. They're just doing their job, its nothing personal...

It also consists of a myriad of systemic obstacles, and therefore systemantic constructs, to the actual delivery of healthcare.

First and foremost of these is that doctors are not paid to take care of you when you're healthy. They are paid only for treating you for something, (and honestly, you're not guaranteed of anything as they're only practicing medicine.)

(Go for an annual check up twice a year and see how much of that will be covered by your insurance.)


Next comes with the duplication of record keeping.

If and when you move, none of your records are available unless you specifically request their transfer, in writing.

(Good luck in getting transfered without an expensive power of attorney if you can't write for any reason. If you can't pay, roll up your arm and bend over.)

In my travels across America (both through Canada and through the United States) and in Europe, I have seen dozens of doctors, dentists, clinicians, pharmacists, therapists and specialists none of which know about any of the rest.

I have seen the inside of far more clinics to confirm what I already knew than my legs can now manage in a single trip.

And none of the records acquired in one place are available in the next place.

I have had to fill out the same damn forms over and over and over.

(I have given gallons of blood unnecessarily, just because none of the doctors had access to another's doctors results. [And I hate getting stuck and bled. It increaces my chance for an infection and potentially for an exacerbation every single time.])

Curiosity killed the cat, and I'm not taking any bets on the longevity of this reluctant patient.

Basically, we have to start keeping and transporting our own medical records in a USB dongle because if Doctor A doesn't know about what Doctor B's doing, he's likely to reorder a test uselessly, or to do something counter-indicated (read stupid) and possibly kill us.

We can put multiple megabytes of information on there and the doctor can add his new info, or save us all a lot of pain and waste of both time and money re-ordering tests.

If you hear any guff about patient confidentiality from any wise-ass, just tell them you're the patient and you demand that you be provided with a machine readable copy of your records.

There's CPT and IDC-9 data on you, prescription and medication interaction information and you're not leaving without a machine readable copy of your information.

And the next time you're handed one of these stupids forms to fill out, just hand them the dongle and tell them that they can copy all of the info there. (I figure if enough of us treat them like they were poor, stupid and ignorant, they'll eventually get the message.)


Now that we've got our end of this handled; (we want our records damn it and we're going to make their lives easier if it kills them,) how do we get the poor (*cough* *cough*) doctors to stop having to fight with the public and private plans out there.

Shared care implies shared funding.

That implies a single payment point. Given the reticence of the Federal gummint to do anything not involving shifting rubble in foreign parts, I wouldn't count on them for a thing.

Next best thing, implies 50 payment points, State by State medical plans, with coordination on expenses by CPT and ICD-9 code.

The health care providers have got to be stopped from playing their stupid friggin' games; calling the same part or procedure by different names and/or numbers and having different price structures depending on what they can get away with charging by using the old divide and conquer technique. (The term ripping off the unsuspecting comes unbidden into my mind.)

Just look at three different hospital's records from just three different parts of the country. (I have,) and check out the myriad of inventory part numbers for the same part and the myriad of prices for the same part too.

Each hospital has its own price list from each manufacturer. Each manufacturer has its own price lists for each hospital.

Enough of that shit.

If its a procedure or part, I want it to be called the same thing and to cost the same.

I don't want a price based on whether I buy it in one state or the next.


Then we'd only have one worry left; getting ripped off by less that scrupulous health care administrators.

That's what regulators are for, with stiff prison terms if they fail to regulate.

Honestly, we have got to start making these companies play fair, on a level playing field.

The problem with Adam Smith's "invisible hand of the market forces" is that its attached to an arm that is getting twisted into a pretzel.

Companies never play fair.

They're always trying to get an advantage not based on the quality of their products or their services.

They never want to compete.


They already have a patent system to take care of that.

But that doesn't seem to be enough, does it?

Lets set the prices and take competition right out of it, or at least to another level entirely.


Medicare mobility devices cutbacks on the 15th, bad, our votes on the 7th, good.

Go and bug your representatives.

Monday, October 16, 2006

msb-0074 Dangling over a precipice

msb-0074 Dangling over a precipice

Feedback come first so...

I've been in touch with the people over at "Faces of MS."

I have given permission to use my, uh, smiling contenance, (sounds better than my ugly mug,) on their annual report.

It seems they wanted to run local New Jersey faces rather than using faces from all over the nation.

Hey, whatever... I'm just glad to do my bit.

Maybe they'll ask me to run an ad, which means that I'd run a show called "Faces of MS" and you'll get a show featuring the organizers.


To 'Miss Chris' we're all pulling for your husband. (But not on him. Since we all live in different directions, that could get messy. :-)

I got some feed back from Jaime from Alaska.

She finally caught MSB-0072 and she loved the song "Reinstalling Windows". :-)

That's a vindication as far as I'm concerned.

I hope their both enjoying her and her daughter's trip to San Fran.

Now if I could just talk the rest of you people into using iTunes and subscribing to the RSS feed of the podcast... Instead of going to the page over and over again.

(My stats are showing "up". And half of those are coming via subscription. But that could be a transient ... Still ...

Wow! My words are having some effect. [I can't tell you how I've often felt like I was the world's biggest wanker for doing this podcast {and yet I'm "sure" that it is one of the best ways for disseminating talk and tunes to everybody with MS.}])

I'll soon have pictures of my new cat to put in my images to sell on items on my store.

She's a Maine Coon cat and big. You'll probably hear more about her as she's a rescue cat and I firmly believe in rescuing animals.

She's got a divine purr and we already get along great.

I let her sleep and she lets me type.

The link to the store is on the webpage at MSBPodcast.com.

Maybe you could use a "hoodie?" (I know that its getting cold out there 'cause its getting cold in my s.o.h.o., [and I wish they'd turn the heat on already. {I'm an "owner" of this friggin' condo and Lee sits on on the board, so you think that I'd be informed. But, no...}] :-)


For Suzy and Friday's Child, I'm going to quote myself here.

"You don't need an iPod. (which is also the title of a song by "Uncle Seth" which you encountered on msb-0068 Memes, Words, Phrases and Sentences.)

That's only good if you want to carry the show around.

You don't even need iTunes (though you can get it for free at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/ )

Its not the only podcatcher out there. (There's also iPodder at http://www.ipodder.org/directory/4/ipodderSoftware )

Its just that its extremely convenient to use iTunes.

If you had it, you could just open a web page on my podcast (at http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=120932170
) and say yes to all the questions until you see my late, great cat Wiki and then simply subscribe.

Its the easiest way really."


I know I'm now committed to blogging and podcasting once a week but I gotta tell you, I miss doing it twice a week. Okay, it shouldn't seem like so much but I miss it.

Podcasting, even with this shaky voice and lousy reading ability, just feels so great.

I enjoy digging up tunes for you on the PMN (Podsafe Music Network) and unashamedly venting whatever things were bugging me, (and from the email feedback I was getting it must have been bugging some of you too, [I still wonder how that lady got my podcast or my email address {The Luddites are all over the place.} I'm surprised she didn't write me by a quill pen plucked straight from a duck's arse.])

Well, I'm commited that its once a week.

I do wish some of you would record messages on the Odeo voicemail.


It seems we dangle over a lot of precipices.

We're all dangling over the same precipice, insecurity, but MS adds to the height we must fall.

Its not just job insecurity, and some of us are a bit beyond that, but its about our health and our health care.

There is something specially worry-some about the future.

Its very vexing to goto bed at night and not be sure that we're going to wake up with the same capabilities in the morning.

The reason that we're not sure compounds the worry.

With MS, stress is definitely a factor.

I think that my last attack was due to a prolonged period of stress. (Now, I no longer give a shit and everything seems to be stable with my nervous system... [Would that I had learned to stop worrying earlier, {but hindsight is always 20/20.}])

We stress about our level of disability, which can lead to an exacerbation and an exacerbation can lead to an unpredictable level of disability, which caused stress in the first place. (Sort of a "No Win" "death spiral" kind of situation.)

That's why I recommend "Tai Chi" or some form of exercise requiring concentration to every MSer.

It gets you to focus on something other than the stressful uncertainty and gets us to try things that can acually help us.

The very attemp is bound to ease our stress and any success is bound to help our attitudes.


Kim Jong Il; someome else who's dangling over a precipice.

Boy is he sorry he ever held the nuclear tests. He let the cat out of the friggin' bag. Now he wants to get back to the negotiating table.

Some diplomats from China went over there and probably explained to him what I said was his problem now, in much more diplomatic terms, but in a very real way. He can't use it and now he doesn't dare sell it.

Until he gets off the self-serving, paranoid "imperialist war mongering Americans" ranting, gets his head out of his ass, and gets North Korea's economy aligned with the rest of the planet's, he is now at a very real risk of getting his ass atomized if anything nuclear happens to anyone, anywhere.

And he's not Muslim...

There's 80 times as many Muslims as there are North Koreans.


The information on which we all rely, the health-care providers, doctors and health researchers that we use directly and indirectly, is dangling over a real precipice.

PBS had something about "Net neutrality" (yesterday as I write this,) and I whole-hearedly recommend that you go there (at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersonamerica/index.html ) and check it out.

It made it abundantly clear what the phone companies and the cable companies, who have been charging you for fibre to the home and have been getting huge tax subsidies to bring you fibre to the home besides, for the past twenty or so years, have "not" been doing for the past twenty or so years; bringing you fibre to the home.

The development of RSS may be great for simplifying syndication, meaning that you can pick up new episodes of things automagically and downloading them in the background at the system's convenience, but the power of the iTunes music store and the real power of podcasting is that it is able to thrive in a bandwidth deprived region (and if you're in the United States, you are in a bandwidth deprived region of the world.)

The telcos and the cablecos have had it illegally sweet for over 20 years and they are now pulling a fast one in Washington by re-defining their roles as common carriers into several levels of private carriers.

They want to charge their customers are both ends of a connection.

By 'promissing' the customers different things at either end they will be able to choke off any packets from a specific source, just like China is censoring the web and the internet.

What is at stake is your right to get information on anything and everything. By effectively being able to choke off the on ramps from servers, they will be able to bring you some packets at dial-up speed while bringing you some other packets at broadband speed.

Since the information economy belongs to the swift, they will be able to effectively kill off, say Yahoo, at the expense, literally, of say MSN or Google. The swift will be those who are able to
pay the most.

What this means is that start-ups will have to have very deep pockets indeed and when you're starting up anything the last thing you have is deep pockets. There will be no more Googles.

The true power of the combination of RSS and podcasting is that we are relatively immune to this attempt to choke off the information flow at our consuming end.

Though the lower over all bandwidth ultimately means a real cap of the amount of information we can take in.

86,400 seconds per day is an obsolute. At 56kbps that maxes out at 604,800 bytes.

So much for downloading multi-gigabyte movies over the phone lines. Even at broadband speed, its a lenghty stretch.

That leaves the producer or server end. Imagine that the internet cloud is now able to choke off how much information it is willing to take. You can't scale up for increaces of popularity by just getting another line into it, you're also going to have to buy service at the speed you need.

That's going to cost a lot more and that cost is going to get passed on to you.

I find it amusing, in a wry, disgusting way kind of amusing, that my rant on Osama last week, about his ending up king of an mole hill instead, of letting people climb the same mountain, applies to the telcos and the cablecos as well.

I just might head back to Canada because of the ramifications of net neutrality.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

msb-0073 Grath

msb-0073 Grath

Feedback come first so ...

I've been giving a lot of it and now I'm getting a lot more of it.

I'm discovering what a nice, kind and friendly bunch of MSers there are out there, in the blogosphere.

The comments are all rather intelligent, witty and/or helpful.

My regular audienceship has nearly doubled.

This is great and extremely encouraging.

I've discovered that half of you seem to do an upload of my podcast once a week instead of more often.

Stats for my episodes when I was doing them twice a week were going up and down like a saw blade while the weekly episodes are pretty darn steady and trending upwards.

Now if only I could get you to use iTunes or iPodder or any other RSS triggered downloader.

(Yay! You like me. You really like me. :-)


If you go to www.MSBPodcast.com you may notice that I have added and reordered some things on the Linkage section, down on the the left hand side.

One of the things that got added is a link to a store at Cafe Press.

It has some clothes and tote bags and stuff.

Right now they all feature pictures of my gorgeous late, great cat Wiki .

I will be adding to those with pictures of my new cat.

She's not here yet. She's going to get here tomorrow. We're waiting for here to get here and suggest a name for herself.

She will feature prominantly on all my promotional material.


I have also added a PayPal donation button, so that I can defer my costs until I can get some advertisers.

The subscribe with iTunes button is back, big, bold and prominent.

I am trying to convert all of you web browsers to iTunes subscribers because and for the same reason that magazine do.

Subscribers represent something, like an audience of interested people, while web grazers just don't seem to be worth as much.

I would appreciate getting feedback too. The link is right below that. :-)

And to some of you have been showing up time and again to the web page, wouldn't you rather just let iTunes go there and download something something when there is something new, without you having to bother.


Tonight (Monday, October 9th,2006) I've been watching "Eyes on the Prize" on PBS.

As a foreigner, (I am a landed immigrant from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs glow, [apologies to "Led Zeppelin" :-]) I find it fascinating to watch United States history as it unfolded and as it unfolds now.

I'm convinced that Americans before desegration were deeply and fundamentally wasteful.

Its so stupid to sit on people, on the dreams of people, on the hopes of people.

Trying to squash them all so as to be 'atop a molehill,' rather than letting them rise to their own potential, even though they might rise much higher than you.

Its much better, much more efficient, to use all that restlessness.

You can harness all that energy and build with it.

[clims on soapbox]

Look at what North Korea has accomplished.

So they built some things that can go boom. Big shit. I can only die once.

If you want to impress me you gotta have more than that.

A nine year ol' punk with a Kalashnikov can stop my breathing, permanently.

Pol Pot proved that a million times over by wiping out a fifth of Cambodia with his agrarian reforms. (Either you tilled the fields or you fertilized them!)

But that doesn't means the nine year ol' can actually make the bullets.

He is totally dependent on those who can.

North Korea is now just as stuck.

They have a technology and a weapon that they can't use and don't dare sell.

A kiloton or a megaton of explosive force leaves a trace. (Actually, it leaves a big crater and an even bigger radioactive cloud.)

The fallout, both political and physical is too horrendous to contemplate.

Wind doesn't care what its carrying or which way it is blowing.

Every nuclear explosion from the 'sixties onwards has been monitored to the n-th degree.

The size of the current stock piles are known to the n-th degree.

Therefore, any and every nuclear explosion that comes from outside the known will be laid at North Koreas' feet.

It will be known and retribution would be horrific.

Pyongyang would become as "the land of the glowing craters."

They have a ~1,000,000 man army, ([out of a population of only ~25,000,000], compared to the a total world population of >6,600,000,000, or 264 times the size) and a land mass of 120,540 square miles (compared to 510,072,000 world's total square miles, or >4,231 times the size.)

North Korea can be essentially wiped out in a single nuclear exchange.

Now, if any nuclear exchange happens, they will be blown to atoms from every direction, from the north by China, from the west by Russia and from the east by the United States.

And with 25 million people versus 6.6 billion people, or 0.37% of the population, they are in barely more of a position to argue than we MSers with our 0.08% of the population.

[drifts off the topic]

The problem with numbers is that somethimes they make you discover some inconvenient facts.

Viz: Cetere paribus, the total number of people who could get MS, using the one out or twelve hundred figure used by the US National MS Society, is a mere 5,497,800.

But of course that ignores the fact that MS is prevalent in mainly the upper lattitudes.

Dengue fever is prevalent in the equatorial regions and it is much worse with twice the epidimiological rate, with ~11,000,000 people affected.

[gets back to the topic]

Now look at what South Korea has done in the same time.

They have a thriving economy.

Their people are much better off on every scale from food production, to personal freedom, to access to information, to internet use.

And look at why.

Non-violence has been effective since Mahata Ghandi proved it in South Africa (apartheid no longer exists) and India (the Raj no longer exists.)

Hear that Osama?

Your path leads to wrack and ruination.

It is ultimately self defeating.

The Taliban and you end up rulers over a pile of smoking rubble; weak and at the mercy of everything that you can't control, like every virus or bacterium.

What utter foolishness.

[climbs down from soap box]

Back to "Eyes on the Prize".

Bull Connor was a friggin' troglogyte.

He had all the moral rectitude of Osama ben Laden.

He also had the same tactics. They blew up in his face.

Laury Pritchett was far more effective. He used Dr. King's tactics against him. He would have been far scarier to be up against; a racist neanderthal with cunning.

But he was only in Albany and wasn't consulted in Birmingham.

I'm definitely going to watch the rest of the series again. (It was almost not to be either. There was some hassle a while back with copyright holders of some of the footage. Like you can hold history hostage.)


Today I have a special treat.

I was wandering over my old hard drives, old emails and old paper fragments of crap I use to write. (I'd lo, uh, misplaced, yeah, mis-placed something, okay, it wasn't a senior moment. :-)

I found a scrap of something which jogged my memory (the only part of me that jogs these days.)

It was a piece of something I wrote either for F&SF Mag. (Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine,) or Azimov's SciFi magazine many many years ago.

I like to think it was for Isaac Asimov.

The piece is titled "The Rapes of Grath"

Here now is the resurected "Rapes of Grath."
Pulsing Logo Accent 2
"Encyclopedia Galactica

Entry: Grath

In the beginning of the 27th century DGA, the population of Grath consisted of females of stunning beauty and weak, ineffectual, foppish males who were kept in the lap of luxury.

They were invaded by the rightly feared space-faring "Tloc Pshah" a race of semi-nomadic barbarians who preyed on the entire quadrant for their foods, slaves, high-technology, weapons and assorted nick-knacks.

The "Tloc Pshah" killed most of the males and raped almost all of the women on Grath, before resuming their semi-nomadic space-warrior ways. Leaving their wreckage beind them.

Eventually, after a 25 years or so, they were hunted down and wiped from the galactic map by their own descendants from Grath.

Their vengance knew no bounds and the slaughter was intense and intensely personal.

They enjoyed the carnage they wrough. They fought with utter abandon, throwing themselves into their task as well as innumerable bombs.

They found the "Tloc Pshah" homeworld and utterly destroyed it; leaving the planet glowing a sickly green and the moon cobalt blue, as this was the favorite color of the Grath Queen.

Then, with their vengence exacted, they lost their focus, stopped, returned to Grath to eventually become ineffectual, weak and foppish again.

This only goes to show that "The rapes of Grath bear fitter brutes."

I want to think that I wrote this for Azinov. He liked Steinbeck and he loved puns.


Go bug your represetatives about the Medicare cutbacks. (Billions more for the military, to blow things up and to kill & injure, and less money for mobility devices. I don't think so.)