Bumping into violence

Molecule Farm by Bill PerryWe are, we are molecules
We are, we are molecules

Violence can be predicted.

The New England Complex Systems Institute reveals that the distribution of ethnic groups can predict where violence will occur.

“This reflects a universal process that is also seen in chemical and biological systems.” [emphasis mine]

The research did not consider social and economic factors that trigger violence, but only distribution patterns [emphasis mine] where violence will be more likely.

Additional links at BPS blog

Lucky Lord Barkeley

Lucky, Springer SpanielLucky and I would stop several times a day while traveling, wherever I’d find an open field, a trail, a river bank. One of my favorites was an almond orchard of 1000s of trees where he saw his first jackrabbit.

In a millisecond pause of sincere surprise, he postured his springy body as if the ideal photograph and launched into a speed-bullet run with a type of happiness only the least self-conscious human could show.

He ran and ran as the rabbit leaped high and twirled almost right-angles, always 50 feet ahead. I don’t know how long. Maybe two or four minutes before Lucky powered down, not disgusted, but a bit forlorn.

Lucky in the OrchardI do not yell encouragements as a hunter would during training. He has no intention except to get close, to play, to display, to see what’s what. We enjoy birds and animals we find along the way or I reveal my disinterest.

In several orchards and fields since, he’ll gladly chase a rabbit with nearly the identical enthusiasm, but only for a few seconds, returning to nonchalant exploring and being wise. He grew wise after three or four rabbits, each chased a little less.

Sometimes dogs are lured into a chase. Over centuries, victims gain tricks and a few enjoy the chase. Limber squirrels will willingly tease a dog into a chase. A short twist upward to safety and a squirrel will scream in glee, settling into a self-satisfied taunt of squawks and clicks while it prepares to tease again. A band of gophers are a witty team of revelers in the way they can lure from hole to hole. It’s a grand sight.

A brown seal was more serious. Close to the surf, the seal would raise his head and show eager brown eyes until Lucky grew curious and threw himself over a few waves to meet his new friend. The seal would instantly disappear. Several minutes later as we walked along the beach, the seal appeared close to shore again. Lucky repeated his futile chase. Over a half mile, the seal returned again and again, each drawing Lucky further out to sea before he submerged. Finally, I realized that Lucky was being teased toward exhaustion and drowning, a smart but deadly feral game.

Searching for a President

We don’t have an electoral system to find a gem in the gravel. Candidates for office are polished. But there are outsiders that have qualified to run for President.

Cort, a psychiatrist, wants 100,000 more troops to destroy the 10,000 ammo dumps Saddam set up.

Gene is a Non-Communist Third Party Slave Freedom Alliance candidate.

Cap Fendig will represent the ‘little guy’ of America.

As President, Daniel will encourage all conservatives to run for office.

Bob says we should not be stifled due to disagreement.

Dr. Mark, another psychiatrist, wants affordability for the middle class.

Dave and Ken are running as a team, but Ken is “far more liberal”.

Still selling top ranked tweezers, Dal believes a new paradigm will restore America.

Frank wants to restore America too.

Robert just wants course correction for America.

Arthur says returning to the Founding Fathers will restore America.

Average Joe seeks to heal everyone in America.

Richard will negate special interest groups for the privileged.

Lanakila seeks a bloodless humanistic development of the spirit and of the soul.

John is white and has a heavy compassion for his own Race.

An updated listing of “the other candidates” is here.

Fly Spy

Al Fin types a lot of words every day, quoting Wired or The Economist and others:

“Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are not just for the battlefield anymore.

“They are being used to watch public spaces like open air rock concerts, and other large assemblies that may turn rowdy.

“They are flying above the US-Mexico border, looking for smugglers of drugs and people.

“A small “dragonfly” UAV may be looking through your window right now, listening to your phone conversation or monitoring the emissions of your computer.

“Because–I hate to tell you this–UAV’s are small enough and cheap enough for most cities and mid-sized corporations to be able to afford them.”

Knowledge to ride

Riders say they have no power and want to unionize.

Part of the reason transit agencies seem so monolithic and all-powerful is that they have all the knowledge: where the buses are; which routes work and which ones don’t, and why; which trains and buses are most in need of repair, and which routes they’re on. Riders by contrast, have almost none.

I cannot believe these are obstacles. Who owns our rights of way?


Civilians are more powerful than Militians.

While headlines scream conflict and war, too much because publishers pay for headlines of conflict and war, there are two journalists finding friendship and peace from the arid east of Europe and traveling west across old Russia. It must be a cheap ticket for their editor to authorize, but the important thing is they are finding what we know: There is more friendship and peace in the world than there is conflict and war.

They stopped in the oldest territory colonized by the Soviet and listened to the crooning of old love ballads as two hefty middle aged women are dancing with a Turk.

“It was a charming scene of the sort that is probably played out most nights across Russia’s provincial towns and cities…”

Where’s the poster? We can sell it to Kurds. And give the Turk a medal.

Not one success!

I’m admittedly not a supporter of the Bush Administration. In an era where top notch statesmanship and credible leadership is required, I believe we are not served by people that are merely risen by their collection of sale-able axiom and crowd-pleasing belief. This is not an educated nor sophisticated crew!

And I cannot find a program since the 2000 campaign that has been successful, to wit another failure: Associated Press reports another failed spree of the Bush presidency:

Programs that focus exclusively on abstinence have not been shown to affect teenager sexual behavior, although they are eligible for tens of millions of dollars in federal grants.

Certainly, this is understated.

This failure is another wound driven by untested belief that children can be helped by a parade of simplistic morality sold by ambitious programs traded among the nation’s pulpits and favorite Washingtonians tipping funds.

We have given our nation to fools.

We know little about the rich

Ignacio Ramonet

While critics of the economic horrors of globalisation argue, a new and even more brutal form of capitalism is in action.

The new vultures are private equity companies, predatory investment funds with vast amounts of capital at their disposal and an enormous appetite for more.

Their names, among them the Carlyle Group, KKR, the Blackstone Group, Colony Capital, Apollo Management, Cerberus Partners, Starwood Capital, Texas Pacific Group, Wendel, Euraze, are still not widely known.

And while still a secret they are getting their hands on the global economy. Between 2002 and 2006 the capital raised by these funds from banks, insurance companies, pension funds and the assets of the super-rich rose from $135bn to $515bn.

Their financial power is phenomenal, more than $1,600bn, and they cannot be stopped.

via wood s lot

For Bud Day

At the last battle, we’ll fuse desire for peace and will to war. The valor will join.

George E. Bud Day, Prison, North Vietnam, 1967-1973.

They laid him on the floor to beat him with a fan belt. He started counting. When he reached 300 he stopped.

And survived.

Pre-term Kangaroo

Accumulating the hoodwinking of the George W. Bush administration has tired most of us. Smaller lies capture the news. Peddled children. Golden votes. Putin’s taunting. Obama’s mask, or is he presidential? … Any of Bush’s novel theory of the law of war or penetration of privacy or stomping our rights or bringing brutal breathing shadows Britney’s pubesce billboards…

Here’s a more important link. May we fill our lungs again.

An earlier poem:

Hate me for abridging ordinary loyalty with foolish impatience.

ordinary loyalty / foolish impatience

There have been Administrations.
Equity, the distillation of conflict.
Referendum, the secession of fear.
There have been Administrations.
Treaty, the victory of the militian.
Service, the summit of the State.
There have been Administrations.
Sustenance, the face of peace.
Freedom, the finance of calm.

see history / know tomorrow

Arnold’s favorite body part

I sent this Arnold Schwarzenegger video to a friend overseas about 15 years who replied, “Young Arnold. I’ve always admired his enthusiasm and dynamism.”

OK. Why argue with that methinks, Then I thought, “ Ahnold, yeh, ya gotta have entoosiasm. But a dynamo? Leonardo. Leonardo da Vinci should be popular. He can calibrate our dial. And we need to start at zero again.

Comprez vous?

What’s important?

Charles Knight at altSearchEngines ponders the weight of information we consume and wonders how we establish our priorities. He’s made an important suggestion to help clear the air and filter unneeded tasks.

“To start your own conversation, just pose this question to another person or persons:

“What the world really needs is_______________”

and see where it goes…”

Hoodwinked by heroin

To follow up on the BBC story I posted below about the ‘Prince of Death’, an obit to the world’s #1 heroin dealer, Afghanistan’s 2007 record harvest of poppies is 93 per cent of the world’s opium, according to the UN Office On Drugs and Crime.

The Tyee reports, “A token amount of Afghanistan’s harvest is confiscated (no high level trafficker has yet been caught) and a fraction stays in the country to supply a relatively small but growing number of addicts. The rest feeds heroin habits around the world, destroying millions of lives and enriching others with drug money.”

Yes heroin destroys, but it’s not entirely true that Afghanistan’s opium paste is converted to heroin. It seems “by far the bulk of Afghani poppy sap has always been shipped to Pakistan where the primary products have been Codeine and its kin, and NOT Heroin.

Pakistan has long been the primary world supplier of medicinal Codeine, and among the major consumers have been Third World countries, who have depended upon Codeine as a cheap analgesic.”

US lifestyle is unhealthy

FuturePundit caught a NYTimes article showing that the American diet and lifestyle kills more people than doctors can heal.

Voting for an expanded health care system is a red herring, because no amount of health care spending can repair the damage of obesity or inactivity.

The greatest economic opportunity

Bill Clinton used the occasion of the speech to announce the creation of a purchasing consortium for all 11,000 cities in the U.S. Conference of Mayors to drive down costs of energy-efficient goods and services.

Bill Clinton - Conference of Mayors“It is a godsend.
“It is not castor oil that we have to drink.
“It is in my view, for the United States, the greatest economic opportunity that we’ve had since we mobilized for World War II.

“And if we do it right, it will produce job gains and income gains substantially greater than those produced in the 1990s when I had the privilege to be president.”

From WorldChanging:

“Clinton emphasized cities as enormous opportunities, from better buildings to better transportation, water infrastructure to solid waste, renewable energy and above all, efficiency.”

Already a different world

PetroChina expected to surpass Exxon Mobil as largest company

Two articles at the IHT caught my eye. The headline above because in the next years we will see China’s vast size eclipse many benchmarks. And the headline below clearly indicating how rapidly change is upon us.

OPEC says pumping more won’t bring oil price down

“There was only so much OPEC could do in the current circumstances to keep a lid on prices.”