16 June 2016


As we get closer to the REAL election horse race, (AFTER the conventions . . . all of them) I plan on being more circumspect on making my POV discernible.

Partly because I have always believed that voting really ought to be a private matter - decision-making wise)

Partly because I also was trained as a "special registrar" (when Myles Rappaport was Sec'y of State in Connecticut) and had well ingrained the idea into my brain the importance of being neutral with personal points of view while signing up people to vote.

Also I count amongst my personal inner circle of friends individuals who align themselves with a wide range of stands within (and maybe sometimes - without) the political spectrum.

I believe it's important that we ALL communicate as civilly as possible on matters concerning pickin' the next CEO of the United States [oops! I'd meant to type POTUS. Damned auto-correct features!]

I shall continue to post items about candidates - presumptive, presumptuous, preposterous and sane alike - but don't even ask where I stand. You can guess but don't ask.me; you may be wrong, but maybe not. Ain't tellin'.

I'll work at not cross posting links that are demonstrably partisan, but since these will be other people's links - none of them are unbiased.

That said . . .

Reflections on the Mass Shooting in Orlando, FL

As a late aged teen I was in one of the (many) pre-liberation police raids that NYC police regularly conducted in the Stonewall bar. Lucky for me, it was one of the "benign" raids, where most everyone was chased out for an hour or so, until the bar re-opened and allowed all who repaid the admission fee back in.

I marched with a Mattichine Society demonstration at Philadelphia's Independence Hall with placards on grim but sunny day. We were warned that the TV cameras recording the event were not the media, but the FBI. Again, I was fortunate nothing horrific happened. 

These were pre-gay rights moments. They occurred concurrent with valiant battles of others calling for equal rights for Black folk, for Native peoples, the disabled and others.

With reports in the past decade of greater acceptance around the world, a single moment shows clearly how much farther we need to go before any fundamental acceptance actually occurs.

Broaden the venue (and circumstances) from lone gunman on a shooting spree in a gay bar, to include indigenous people's in the Amazon Basin, their ancestral lands stolen, bulldozed and burned flat; their advocates murdered without investigation.

Include, then, the millions around the planet sold and forced into slavery - the existence of this rampant evil cloaked and disguised behind the sterile bureaucratic phrase "human trafficking".

Pay attention to the many governments around the world determinedly bent on genocide against it's own - be this Myanmar's refusal to acknowledge the humanness of its Muslim citizens; or the People's Republic's concerted effort to eradicate Tibetan culture; or of others - the incursions of the US government into Afghanistan and elsewhere; the barbaric proto-government of ISIS/ISUL casually ruling with fear and beheadings, or the Knesset's systematic destruction of Palestinian lands and people's (whose people, incidentally, include Christians and Muslims alike.)

Take heed of the venal, greedy myopic feudal/corporate lords of this globe, ravenously seizing control of the planet's resources (resources that rightfully belong to everyone on Earth, not just the powerful) and using them for themselves, intent only on their own, gated and walled-in comforts; blithely indifferent to the fact their avarice contributes so much to humankind's spiraling degraded path. . . . And this elite is not blind to the outcomes of their greed - they just don't care.

I could go on. I have identified (or alluded to) only a handful of vast wrongs committed because of ignorance, prejudice and indifference to the suffering of others.

The Revolution to change these evils must come from within each of us. It will not be televised. It shall be global. And above all, if humans are to survive, it MUST occur.

Until it finally comes to fruition, there shall be more atrocities, more sadnesses, more dispair.

I pray we can bear them.

But we must fundamentally change how we treat one another - if we are to survive.

Social and Economic Injustice

Those same Whores of Babylon who profited by short-selling the USA citizenry on the stability of the economy in 2008 (and since then), are now getting ready to screw the citizens of Puerto Rico - and with a vengeance!


How Brave New Educators Works

Brave New Educators uses documentaries to start a dialogue with students and professors across college campuses. Through in-class participation, our mission is to champion social justice issues by using a model of media, education and grassroots volunteer involvement that inspires, empowers, motivates, and teaches civic participation.

These facilitation guides were created to help professors and groups engage with student audiences.  The goal is to provide resources that accompany Brave New Films’ documentaries and short videos to elicit conversation, debate and critical thinking.

Our guide is designed for a thorough and thoughtful unpacking of our films - Click here for more Details..

Inside the guides you will find: background information, articles, timelines, in-class activities, discussion questions, tips for hosting a screening, as well as ways to get involved. The facilitation guides are free to all educators  all we ask is for information on how you use the guides. Please explore the films below.

Questions, comments, or concerns about the program? Please e-mail educators@bravenewfilms.org.

Musical Interlude

I Love To Singa - Owl Jolson (1936)

ruminations on women

Japanese Donald Trump Commercialトランプ2016

09 January 2016

Two Cellos

Here is a link to HYSTERIA - particularly poignant as it makes a direct connection between creativity when stifled by the psychiatric establishment and the indifferent and indiscriminate use of forced drugs and restraint to keep people from truly expressing themselves.


2Cellos (stylized 2CELLOS) is a Croatian cello duo, consisting of classically trained Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. Signed to Sony Masterworks since 2011, they released three albums and play mainly instrumental arrangements of well-known pop and rock songs. The duo perform internationally and have been featured on several US TV shows

01 January 2016

Winter Warmth

It's that time of year again. 

Last year this time we'd already gone through a cord and a half of wood leaving me worried if we'd have enough to make it through winter.

This year, we've gone through, maybe, a quarter of a cord. Of course, this doesn't mean all is hunky dory, heatingwise. 

We can hope

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Other Voices ~ Bill P

"I believe a long time ago that God got hurt; that is why people got hurt"

IMAGE CREDITS: William Blake - "Ancient of Days"

deceptions - discover the spy in your midst

How to Spot an Infiltrator. Posted on Davey D's Hip Hop Corner.
 [initially posted here on 8th December 2010]

1- They bring confusion and chaos with them. Every time they come around, it’s drama.
2- They keep discussions and productivity at a stalemate. They’d rather keep debating than engaging the community you’re supposed to serve.
3- They focus on impertinent theoretical points of contention as serious sources of conflict. It’s never about the people or the work. It’s always about some ideas, structures, philosophy, or abstract concept.
4- They create/increase tribalism and intensify pre-existing organizational dissatisfaction.
5- They don’t have reputable sources or references for where they come from.
6- Many have short bursts of vigorous activity, not long histories of continuous (documented/verifiable) growth and development. They come in, make a mess, then disappear.
7- Others claim long histories, even claiming “birthrights” of some sort, as a means to establish authority. Yet these claims rarely hold up under further investigation.
8- They have ambiguous sources of income.
9- They came from prison or worked in the military or law enforcement in the past (or the present, if u dig deep enough). They may be working in exchange for reduced time/plea agreement/special assignment.
10- They turn around all questions about them into attacks on the questioner. They create scapegoats, red herrings, and target people who may be onto them.
11- They build alliances with weak-minded dissatisfied people through shared vices, financial generosity, or a sense of solidarity.
12- They also “give” as a means of establishing authority and legitimacy.
13- These people don’t tend to be primary sources either.
14- They act like zealots but aren’t zealous about social change.
15- They want power and control, but demonstrate no ability to use this power or control for the good of others.
16- They are masters of manipulation, but never teach others how to manipulate the system.

IMAGE SOURCE: Still photo from the film The Molly McGuires. Found on the MUBI, an online cinema website.
     Deception and fear mongering by provocateurs among the working poor has a long history. The Molly MacGuires were a part of that history.
     The Molly Maguires were members of a secret organization. Many historians believe the "Mollies" were present in the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania in the United States from approximately the time of the American Civil War until a series of sensational arrests and trials in the years 1876−1878. Evidence that the Molly Maguires were responsible for coalfield crimes, and kidnapping in the U.S. rests largely upon allegations of one powerful industrialist, and the testimony of one Pinkerton detective. Fellow prisoners also testified against the alleged Molly MacGuires, but some believe these witnesses may have been coerced or bribed.
     It is entirely possible that the leaders of the Molly McGuires were agent provocateurs paid by coal company industrialists to create terror and confusion; providing the coal company owners an excuse to attack hard working miners who were trying to organize into unions to get fair wages, safer working conditions and freedom from oppression and isolation forced upon them by the mining companies.

Electroshock Protest

A reading of the Reclassification document published by the US Food and Drug Administration


Here's a direct link to the FDA's document: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-12-29/pdf/2015-32592.pdf

About Journal Keeping # 2

Last Summer I was posed a series of questions about Journal Keeping. My response was quite long. Therefore, I shall break the questions up into separate posts over the next several days.

What physical form does your journal take? Spiral-bound, cahier, oilcloth sketchbook, Moleskin, etc.? What materials do you use to fill it? Pen, pencil, charcoal, paint, collage, etc.?
     My preference is a hard-bound notebook with a black cover. This is what I was first introduced to in 1980. I like to be able to use both sides of the page. I am not concerned about the manufacturer of the book (e.g. “moleskin”) but I like to be able to use both sides of the page, prefer unlined pages, acid free paper with a paper weight of at least 60 lbs. My favorite sized book is 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 (14x21 cm) though I have used soft cover sketchbooks and one or two spiral bound books of various sizes. The size noted, however, is easy to carry with me almost all the time without drawing a lot of attention to it.
      With rare exception, I have written in the journals with a Pilot Precise “V” Series pen. It is close to a mechanical pen in construction, and over time I have found the ink is of a low acid content and doesn’t bleed through the pages.
     I have also sketched in the journals pasted in items as keepsakes and made an occasional collage.
     Watercolor (using a “dry brush technique) and pen/ink sketches. I don’t use pastel, soft pencil or charcoal because I am concerned about it smearing on the pages.
     I’ve made collage pages, and inserted photographs.
    Many times (not always) I have affixed things on to the covers of the notebooks. Once I did a collage that encompassed both covers. Often, with the smaller books, the intent is to make distinct one volume from others, or to easily discern front from back.

Bach in the Japanese Woods

Bach in the Japanese Woods

From Krista Tippett, who narrates the public radio show "On Being"
comes the links for this video.

Initially an advert for a wood covered Smartphone, the piece is stand alone excellent

Darth Vader after Ayahausca

Found on a Facebook page belonging to a guy by the name of Danny Carter

Carter is also letting people know of a film maker, Dean Jeffreys, who is working on a documentary of Ayahauska Shamans  and who is looking for help financing this new film “The God Molecule and the Shamanic Toadhttp://migaloo2.com/thegodmolecule

Electric Crossbow

Self Cocking Electric Crossbow - As seen on You Tube

Donald Duckman designed and made this as his Arthritis worsened.
It addresses some of the arthritis problems in the hope he can keep shooting as a normal bow is to difficult now.

Have a look at the newer Hi Def version called 'Self Cocking Bow Quantity over Quality'
For details of this and other crossbows on Donald's website:- http://duckman.webplus.net/x_bows.html

Wadhams, NY Memory Painting

Back in the mid 1980s I painted a "Memory" picture of the Wadhams, NY area. It included a farmstead and some of the Adirondack foothills.

Anyway, here is a photo of the painting. Painted in oil on canvas boards, I squeezed it into a heavy wood packing crate, causing a curving of the images and a simple attempt to play on depth.

Today, I conducted a Google Maps search of the area, and was able to take a screen shot of the approximate region.
I sure miss this part of the world. Someday, perhaps, I may be able to return to live there, even if only part of the year.

About Journal Keeping

Last Summer I was posed a series of questions about Journal Keeping. My response was quite long. Therefore, I shall break the questions up into separate posts over the next several days.

QUESTION 1: What do you call the form of self-documentation you keep—a journal, a diary, a notebook, a sketchbook, a scrapbook, etc.? (I use the general term “journal” in the questions that follow, but you should respond with whatever word applies to you.) Is this choice of terminology important to you?

 There are a few ways I do self-documenting.  

  • By and large I use the term “journal”. 

    I have never thought of my writing as a “diary.” I don’t keep particularly personal recounts, although on occasion, I do describe things that took place with and/or around me.

  • Similarly, calling what I do a “log” seemed inapt. I used to maintain logs for a work site and the content expected of a log is quite dissimilar from a journal. The journal I keep does not provide a cohesive, chronological account of events or activities that have transpired and which I have observed.
(1) Personal journals I’ve maintained these since 1980. The physical journals are, in part, (a) writing my thoughts of personal issues, family matters, events going on in the world; (b) rough drafts of poems, essays and the like; (c) for note taking (recollection of info such as names and phone #s, meeting notes, lists); (d) sketching; (e) pasting in business cards, photos and memorabilia (concert tickets, for example)
(2) Work journals: Exclusively about things related to my employment as a human rights advocate in locked settings. These are more notebooks than journal. Details of meetings with or on behalf of clients; follow-up notes; drafts for hearing testimony; interview statements. A good amount, but not all, of what was written here become the start points of reports. They are all in composition books. I have been maintaining them since 1993.
(3) Online journaling. Long before the term “blog” existed (since 1993 or 1994) I began to maintain an online journal or web log, beginning on Prodigy. The content of those early weblogs are gone. In one case a server went out of business and everything I had documented disappeared when their computers shut off. I continue online journaling in a mostly irregular basis on a Blogger account (that would be this one).
(4) Facebook. I have been writing and posting on a Facebook page for several years. Most of it is not personal; rather more reflections on subjects and other things that interest, intrigue, pique or perturb me. …along with liked memes and cat anecdotes.