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Lorre was smiling wide – like the Cheshire cat in Wonderland, pleased as Punch about the success of his rudaralis experiment and the invitation to sample did not go a begging. Earlier that evening I wonder into his garden, lush and verdant after the recent spate of rain. The hounds bound up, snuffling at my pants, not quite sure if I am to be welcomed in or not, but by the time they decide, Lorre is out, his gangly form in a baggy shirt and those insane shorts, on the verandah of his hacienda, framed by the columns and silhouetted against the dimly lit background, which makes me flash to a scene out of a David Lynch film. After the usual effusive greetings take place and we settle into a comfy space, Lorre turns on one of his favourite tracks and the ritual begins.

Saaay maaan, dis shuuure taste good. Skunky rudaralis have dat special flavor an dat special zing dat make dat tetrahydracannabinol buzz go direct to dose sensors activated by da hypothalamus – get dat serotonin activated but good to open up dem doors of perception, like dat cat Aldous Huxley be on bout. 

  

Lorre isn’t interested in all Java’s technical jargon, quite content to let the chemical process do its thing and let the effects ‘speak for themselves’ as it were. Marianne Faithful is coming through the doorway singing about the son of a preacher man – one of Lorre’s old faves and a standard if he has anything to do with the music at a party.   The quintessential hip cat, is Lorre – almost a throwback to another generation. His trip has more to do with love and peace and music and good times and simply ‘being’ than other matters that most folk lay greater emphasis on. He’s also into designer clothes, hip magazines, and conceptual artwork. The latter mostly when he ‘worked’ for agencies that put a heavier price on his talent than they did about his attendance or eccentricities. He is also one of the kindest and least offensive folk around and will often go through all sorts of hassles to provide solace for needy friends and even acquaintances when they feel low and need a consciousness-boost. In his school days, Lorre was one of the most promising athletes in the country, breaking the national record for the 110 meters hurdles when he was just sixteen years old – a record that was to stand for fifteen years or more. But for many years since then, his stamina had more to do with lasting the partying that went on, sometimes continuously for days on end.  

The music fades and Lorre gets up to change the selection. He picks Marvin Gaye doing ‘What’s going on’ to begin the set and predictably, the tunes to follow will be a mystery until heard, but you could bet it will be an eclectic selection that is bound to satisfy whoever it is that is with him. He has this knack of picking what his friends like to hear – a wonderful talent, particularly if one is fussy about that sort of thing.   

Lissenup maaan, know dose seeds – from China, you say dey be – yo give me som time back? Dey turn out to be dwarf rudaralis maaan and dey growto be reeealy fine-ass sheeet – jus like yo say. But dese here plants, tho yo say dey be from da same stock, dey look a whole lot differen. Mus be da climate and da soil maaan. 

Java is into the nitty-gritty aspects of the organic cultivation of herbs and so describes his whole trip with the seeds Lorre turned him on to. Lorre, eager to learn the fine art, is all ears – particularly since his recent rudaralis experiment, which has biased him considerably against the more familiar strains of sativa and indica. Smells so much nicer, he says, and much better effect – in a word, ‘ultra’ – one of his best loved expressions to describe the best. It’s the same word he uses to describe Jeronimo – one of the performers high on his scale of favourite artistes. And as a token of their long-standing friendship and the affection Jeronimo has for Lorre, he wrote a song for him called ‘The boy can’t help himself’ and it goes like this… at least the rap part of it does (we shall get the lyrics in their entirety later – when Jeronimo remembers it all!) 

It’s hideous, it’s horrid, it’s ultimate, it’s pro
A sick scene, a cool scene, its dressing up to show
It’s Rayban or it’s Bolle, Persol, or it’s Marnet
It’s GQ, Interview, Arena, Face and detail
It’s water on the body, put shorts and get ready
It’s def, it’s cool, it’s “vut is it now men Teddy?”
It’s stretching, it’s fidgetting, it’s lounging and reclining
It’s harsh on the body and it’s ultimate in timing…
the boy can’t help himself
 

Couldn’t have been better put – believe you me!
 

So Henry and I have called it quits! We have both attempted to realize that good friends could have intensely divergent views – albeit with shades of common understanding – which need not get in the way of the relationship. The reasons for the current state of the tragedy is undoubtedly the consistent denial of ‘equality’ to Sri Lankan Tamils by successive governments (as this was denied to the other minority races in the country, which hastened the departure of entire communities as well as individuals of all ethnic groups). This was followed on several occasions by pogroms targetting Tamils, the most recent being the hideous display of carnage in 1983, which made Sri Lanka a pariah in the eyes of the international community and made all decent, civilized Sinhalese ashamed of their race. And of course, this hastened and intensified the conflict – with awesomely terrible consequences.

In Henry’s view, children of any community do have the right to fight for their rights, whether the ‘fighting’ be with a weapon or in any other way. I share this view, but only on condition that the child is ‘informed’ of all aspects of what he or she is getting in to and that he or she could decide to leave if the experience is found to be not to his or her liking. I believe that children have the right to decide – either way. The great tragedy here is, as Henry so succinctly puts it, is that the Tamil child has been subjected to a lifetime of the most horrendous experiences that include being brutalized, raped and seeing their loved ones killed in the most horrible ways. And this is one of the main reasons for them having no compunction with regard to picking up the gun. However, I also strongly believe that it is wrong to force children to kill and maim – whatever the cause. 

The result of our frequently contentious ‘discussions’ is that Henry and I have reached common consensus with regard to a deeper understanding and that is, we must all realize that until and unless we deal with the real causes of the disease, the symptoms will persist and the disease will never be cured. If we really, genuinely desire an end to war, with all its attendant horrors, then we must persuade as many of those around us that it is time we put aside racism, majoritarianism, religious fundamentalism and a militaristic approach to solving our ethnic issue. 

We wonder, will the idea of pushing for the confinement to barracks of all fighting forces of the GOSL and the LTTE for a given period of time during which genuine, comprehensive and intense negotiations are undertaken to reach a just and durable peace based on the agreements reached during the six rounds of peace talks, and, in particular, the Oslo declaration, be feasible or even possible? What do you think? Do you think the LTTE would be agreeable? Do you think the GOSL would? I guess the answer to this will only be found if the attempt is made – and so we must all endeavour to make it – for ourselves, for our children and for our children’s children and the successive generations to follow.  So now, in spite of the different views on one aspect of the conflict, Henry and I have a greater cause to persist in – and that is to try to find a way to shift the collective consciousness in order to bring about a true understanding of the problem and to find the solution to ending this pointless and destructive conflict. In the end, equality must prevail – regardless of race, religion, caste or any other reason that promotes prejudice and discrimination – so that harmony and justice will rule, rather than hatred, bigotry and violence.

What do you think? And will you join us in the effort? Haven’t we had enough of this bullshit???

Note: One more time! Before friends and acquaintances get to guessing who ‘Henry’ really is, let me ease your apprehensions. ‘Henry’ is a composite of a variety of individuals with whom I have discussed various aspects of the conflict, its causes and effects and ‘his’ views expressed by me in this piece do not reflect directly on any one individual. It is, however, an expression of views that do exist.

The problem with the obsessive attachment to an idea or point of view that no amount of logic to the contrary can change, is a problem, not so much for anyone attempting to present an alternate view as it is for the one clinging to the idea itself. 

Henry would never accept that the LTTE abducted children or that they committed atrocities. Every time I brought the subject up I would be met with a furious, aggressive response that usually took the form of a litany of charges against the Sinhala chauvinists that had created the situation by their repressive and cruel acts against the minority Tamils from very early on in Ceylon’s post-independence history. The examples and historical references are impeccable and can not be faulted and I find no problem agreeing that the causes of the present ‘situation’ were propagated by the myopic and repressive policy of opportunist politicians. And that this has been carried on by successive Sinhala majority governments in power. However, Henry will studiously avoid accepting that the LTTE abducted children or that they do commit atrocities. He will not get into this and will avoid answering my question. Instead, he will accuse me of ignoring “…the 40,000 children in the south …that are screaming for help, love and liberation..” as their parents have ‘sold’ them to service “seventy-five year old perverts” in the sex trade. He will accuse me of being hypocritical for not caring about the many children that were brutalized and then killed in the most gruesome fashion at Bindunuweva not long ago. He will say that I “pretend” to have the interests of the Tamil child soldier at heart in order to “attack the LTTE with” allegations of abduction. He tells me that “..this is the hypocrisy of the sophisticated fascist – the latter day Goebbels, it is old hat and thrived in Hitler’s bunker and lives today in Bush’s white house and is all pervasive in Sri Lanka’s south”. But he will not answer my question – will he admit that the LTTE commits atrocities and abducts children?

This attitude is a problem – not so much for me, as I have no compunction about who I believe commits atrocities, but for Henry, whose mind, with all its intellect and brilliance, is stifled by his refusal to acknowledge the truth of what should normally be obvious to most people. As far as I am concerned, both sides are as guilty as each other when it comes to being brutal and committing ‘excesses’ and blatant human rights violations and I hold no brief for either party. If one is to postulate that in order to achieve ‘liberation’ it is permissible or excusable to abduct children and train them to kill and that it is permissible to commit horrifying atrocities against civilians, I must disagree. No amount of rationale or justification will make me change my mind on that score. It is ‘non-negotiable’. Human-rights, to me is an inalienable right of an individual in a free society and abductions and atrocities can have no place in it.

So in the end, Henry and I will agree to disagree and we shall continue to be friends. But the problem will remain.

Note: Before friends and acquaintances get to guessing who ‘Henry’ really is, let me ease your apprehensions. ‘Henry’ is a composite of a variety of individuals with whom I have discussed various aspects of the conflict, its causes and effects and ‘his’ views expressed by me in this piece do not reflect directly on any one individual. It is, however, an expression of views that do exist.

The time has come once more – the return to Colombo fills me with dread! Just leaving Flower Book and the dogs and tranquility behind is only the first bummer. The journey back along the landslide-devastated route back is the next, as the frustration and the helplessness generated by whoever it is that is responsible for the gross mismanagement of the road-expansion, is overwhelming. Then, the actual descent into the Hades that is Colombo, with its traffic snarls, security check-points, flooded sections of roads, hoardings, those obnoxious posters promoting the Man and other negative vibes, is the last hurdle. Once getting home, however, there is a certain relief and the chance to ‘acclimatize’. And so the Colombo routine begins once more.

Unpack – the herbs and veggies, fresh from the farm are sorted by The Dancer, bagged and refrigerated. I sort my dirty clothes and other stuff out, get me cuppa and check out the match – feet up and spacing! Not bad for starters. The Dancer has all sorts of information that she hasn’t conveyed on the phone during our short bursts of communication during my absence. Little bits of trivia and also more ‘important’ stuff that usually demands my attention – chores, requirements – to do with domestic matters, personal stuff and other sh – (oops!), stuff too! If I am concentrating on the match and her voice is in the background, as it were, and I fail to respond appropriately, there could be a kind of friction starting up and the familiar complaint of not paying attention – even after being away for so long! And so it goes…

The one thing I do enjoy about Colombo is getting together with the small circle of friends, indulging in our various pleasures, partaking in stimulating conversation, meeting each other at parties or events that turn us on and all the humour and good fun that goes with these interactions. This is something that Flower Book, with all its attractions, doesn’t have (thankfully!), except on the odd occasion when many of these folks come visiting. So the change does have its moments! And then of course there’s work! Have to keep the moola coming in and besides, since I do enjoy what I do, it’s no big deal. It’s just so much nicer working in the hills – so much more conducive to being productive in spite of being so much more ‘laid back’.

The telephone rings – it’s Nahorp. Do we meet up tonight at Mr. Zippy’s? Or do we all make it to the Boulevard to meet with Seenimod and Zaney? Let’s see, I’ll check with The Dancer and get back. I do. We meet at the Boulevard and let’s take it from there. Nahorp is cool. Java hasn’t shown up yet, so maybe the night will be without ‘incident’ – although I do miss his, at times insightful though pungent, commentary.   So it’s back to the ‘other’ routine and although I do miss Flower Book, the doggies and all that it has, a lot, I do make the best of being back.

This is really weird! I posted this piece yesterday, but although it appeared in my blog, it failed to appear in the posts displayed on kottu yesterday – or even today, for that matter. Then, after I had made a call reporting the mystery, I decided to check once more later in the afternoon – and what do you know? My blog had disappeared from the list on kottu and Ephemeral Ruminations was lost in cyberspace!! A trace of panic manifested. I made another call to the same person I had reported the matter to and the voice on the tape recorded message tells me that the number has been disconnected!!!! Shit! So I call Zaney, my cyber-friend who has helped me along on my cyber-illiterate journey that is blogging. Zaney is sure this is some Java Jones fantasy straight out of Wonderland, but says she will check this out with the man and get back to me, which she did – in her sweet and proper way. She tells me that the man says he has no electricity, but will fix it the moment he does. That was like four hours ago – and still no display, but Ephemeral Ruminations is back on the list of blogs! Is this weird or is this weird??!! So now I shall try again. Here it is………..

Antidisestablishmentarianism – Where do you stand?

How many of us are antidisestablishmentarian? The word itself is an interesting expression in terms of semantics and was also regarded as the longest accepted word in the English language, with 28 letters contained within it. That was until 1992, when the word floccinaucinihilipilification claimed that title.

Wikipedia has this to say about the word: If the word is taken literally, it could mean ‘against the enemies of the establishment, but not necessarily aligned with the establishment’. To make an example: If you take terrorism to be against the establishment, and thus disestablishmentarian, then those who oppose terrorism (but don’t necessarily support the target of terrorism) could be said to be displaying antidisestablishmentarianism.

So there you are. Now that you have the meaning of the word, where do you stand with regard to the example provided?

In all probability, most of us are against ‘terrorism’. But here again, semantics plays its part, for ‘terrorism’ does have many connotations. There is the common understanding of ‘terrorism’ that associates the word with a group of dissidents that employ ‘terror’ tactics as a means to achieving their ends and those means include indiscriminate acts of violence against the state that include civilians among their victims. Time bombs, landmines, improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings are among the mechanisms used. On the other hand, there also exists what is referred to as ‘state-terrorism’, where ‘terror’ is caused by the state or government in which civilians are among the victims.

Once again to WikipediaState terrorism is a controversial term (see:State terrorism. Confines and definition), which means violence against civilians perpetrated by a national government or proxy state. Whether a particular act is described as “terrorism” may depend on whether the International community considers the action justified or necessary, or whether the described act is carried out as part of an armed conflict. It has to be mentioned, that the opinion of the International community cannot be defined and determined with with universal agreement. State terrorism, where applicable, may be directed toward the population or infrastructure of the state in question or towards the population of other states. Although attacks on non-combatant civilians may occur during a time of war, they are not usually considered terrorism, especially if these are attacks on the enemy’s war fighting capacity (for example an industrial port). The terrorism may be carried out by the state’s own forces, such as an army, police, state supported militias, or other organisations, where it is more usually called state-sponsored terrorism.

Care should be taken to differentiate state terrorism from acts of violence carried out by government agents, which are not specified by government policy or past conduct. A murder carried out by a policeman, for example, is not state terrorism unless the government sanctioned the action by policy or conduct such as a pattern of attacks by state agents in the past that has gone unpunished, leading perpetrators to assume they act with impunity.

We are all aware of the horrendous ‘terrorist’ atrocities perpetrated against the state and civilians by the LTTE in their quest for a separate state, however, not that many of us are aware of how the international community views the state of our nation with regard to ‘state terrorism’.

Wikipedia has something on State Terrorism in Sri Lanka as well:

Post 2006 incidents:
[edit] Civilian massacres: With the election of president Mahinda Rajapakse there has been a renewal of alleged state terrorism

[16] against the Tamil minority. There have been targeted assassinations of Tamil political opponents using state proxies

[17] as well as attack on NGO workers.

A series of Allaipiddy massacres began on May 13, 2006. A total of thirteen Tamil civilians were killed in a spate of incidents on Kayts Island, a small islet off the northwestern coast of the Jaffna Peninsula that is strictly controlled by the Sri Lanka Navy. Amnesty International has received credible reports

[18] that Navy personnel and armed cadres affiliated with the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (a Tamil party opposed to the LTTE), were present at the scene of the killings.

[19]Photos of the massacred family. The government has not investigated this incident yet to identify the assailants.

[20]The unfolding 2006 Mannar massacres have also been attributed to the Sri Lankan military forces. On June 8, 2006 a family of four including two children was massacred in the village of Vankalai by the Sri Lankan Army.   

[21]Photos of the massacred familyOn June 17, 2006 survivors and witnesses of an attack accused the Sri Lankan Navy of storming and then indiscriminately shooting and lobbing grenades inside a church where hundreds of Tamils were taking shelter

[22].One woman was killed and more than 40 people injured in the incident The government has denied accusations that it targeted civilians.

[23]In Trincomalee, five high school students playing by the beach were briefly detained and then shot dead by the members of the Special Task Force, a paramilitary commando unit of the Sri Lankan military. The official inquiry into this incident is still undergoing and STF personnel have been questioned.

[24] Thus far no progress has been reported in apprehending the culprits.

[25] The only witness who came forward in this case is also a target of threats to his safety by some elements of the Sri Lankan security forces. Human rights groups have called on the government to provide adequate protection for the witness.

[26][edit] Involuntary disappearances Human Rights organization such AHRC

[27] and Amnesty International

[28] have complained that in 2006 over 400

[29] people have been disappeared in what appears to be military operations. People have been abducted in government controlled territory in numberless white vans[30] never to be heard again.

I am guessing (hoping, really) that most of us are against terrorism – period – regardless of whether it is perpetrated by dissidents or by the state. And so, we will be among those that ‘oppose terrorism’, but do we ‘necessarily support the target of terrorism’? Think about it – with all the connotations described above – and if you reach a conclusion about yourself and where you stand, you will realise if you are ‘antidisestablishmentarian’ or not.

In closing, here’s a quote from Arthur Miller, Pulitzer Prize winner for drama, author and playwright:

Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.”

So now that we have a better understanding of the intricacies of the word, do we have a better idea of where we are in relation to it?  

How many of us are antidisestablishmentarian? The word itself is an interesting expression in terms of semantics and was also regarded as the longest accepted word in the English language, with 28 letters contained within it. That was until 1992, when the word floccinaucinihilipilification claimed that title.

Wikipedia has this to say about the word: If the word is taken literally, it could mean ‘against the enemies of the establishment, but not necessarily aligned with the establishment’. To make an example: If you take terrorism to be against the establishment, and thus disestablishmentarian, then those who oppose terrorism (but don’t necessarily support the target of terrorism) could be said to be displaying antidisestablishmentarianism.

So there you are. Now that you have the meaning of the word, where do you stand with regard to the example provided?

In all probability, most of us are against ‘terrorism’. But here again, semantics plays its part, for ‘terrorism’ does have many connotations. There is the common understanding of ‘terrorism’ that associates the word with a group of dissidents that employ ‘terror’ tactics as a means to achieving their ends and those means include indiscriminate acts of violence against the state that include civilians among their victims. Time bombs, landmines, improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings are among the mechanisms used. On the other hand, there also exists what is referred to as ‘state-terrorism’, where ‘terror’ is caused by the state or government in which civilians are among the victims.

Once again to WikipediaState terrorism is a controversial term (see:State terrorism. Confines and definition), which means violence against civilians perpetrated by a national government or proxy state. Whether a particular act is described as “terrorism” may depend on whether the International community considers the action justified or necessary, or whether the described act is carried out as part of an armed conflict. It has to be mentioned, that the opinion of the International community cannot be defined and determined with with universal agreement. State terrorism, where applicable, may be directed toward the population or infrastructure of the state in question or towards the population of other states. Although attacks on non-combatant civilians may occur during a time of war, they are not usually considered terrorism, especially if these are attacks on the enemy’s war fighting capacity (for example an industrial port). The terrorism may be carried out by the state’s own forces, such as an army, police, state supported militias, or other organisations, where it is more usually called state-sponsored terrorism.

Care should be taken to differentiate state terrorism from acts of violence carried out by government agents, which are not specified by government policy or past conduct. A murder carried out by a policeman, for example, is not state terrorism unless the government sanctioned the action by policy or conduct such as a pattern of attacks by state agents in the past that has gone unpunished, leading perpetrators to assume they act with impunity.

We are all aware of the horrendous ‘terrorist’ atrocities perpetrated against the state and civilians by the LTTE in their quest for a separate state, however, not that many of us are aware of how the international community views the state of our nation with regard to ‘state terrorism’.

Wikipedia has something on State Terrorism in Sri Lanka as well:

Post 2006 incidents:
[edit] Civilian massacres: With the election of president Mahinda Rajapakse there has been a renewal of alleged state terrorism

[16] against the Tamil minority. There have been targeted assassinations of Tamil political opponents using state proxies

[17] as well as attack on NGO workers.

A series of Allaipiddy massacres began on May 13, 2006. A total of thirteen Tamil civilians were killed in a spate of incidents on Kayts Island, a small islet off the northwestern coast of the Jaffna Peninsula that is strictly controlled by the Sri Lanka Navy. Amnesty International has received credible reports

[18] that Navy personnel and armed cadres affiliated with the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (a Tamil party opposed to the LTTE), were present at the scene of the killings.

[19]Photos of the massacred family. The government has not investigated this incident yet to identify the assailants.

[20]The unfolding 2006 Mannar massacres have also been attributed to the Sri Lankan military forces. On June 8, 2006 a family of four including two children was massacred in the village of Vankalai by the Sri Lankan Army.   

[21]Photos of the massacred familyOn June 17, 2006 survivors and witnesses of an attack accused the Sri Lankan Navy of storming and then indiscriminately shooting and lobbing grenades inside a church where hundreds of Tamils were taking shelter

[22].One woman was killed and more than 40 people injured in the incident The government has denied accusations that it targeted civilians.

[23]In Trincomalee, five high school students playing by the beach were briefly detained and then shot dead by the members of the Special Task Force, a paramilitary commando unit of the Sri Lankan military. The official inquiry into this incident is still undergoing and STF personnel have been questioned.

[24] Thus far no progress has been reported in apprehending the culprits.

[25] The only witness who came forward in this case is also a target of threats to his safety by some elements of the Sri Lankan security forces. Human rights groups have called on the government to provide adequate protection for the witness.

[26][edit] Involuntary disappearances Human Rights organization such AHRC

[27] and Amnesty International

[28] have complained that in 2006 over 400

[29] people have been disappeared in what appears to be military operations. People have been abducted in government controlled territory in numberless white vans[30] never to be heard again.

I am guessing (hoping, really) that most of us are against terrorism – period – regardless of whether it is perpetrated by dissidents or by the state. And so, we will be among those that ‘oppose terrorism’, but do we ‘necessarily support the target of terrorism’? Think about it – with all the connotations described above – and if you reach a conclusion about yourself and where you stand, you will realise if you are ‘antidisestablishmentarian’ or not.

In closing, here’s a quote from Arthur Miller, Pulitzer Prize winner for drama, author and playwright:

Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.”

So now that we have a better understanding of the intricacies of the word, do we have a better idea of where we are in relation to it?  

I was, as Alice would put it, getting “curiouser and curiouser” if readers of ‘Just ask Alice’  actually figured out the analogy behind just who those characters were that Java and Alice met in Wonderland in yesterday’s post. Seenimod was the first to flash that he hadn’t ‘got it’ and had to read it over for enlightenment to dawn. Zaney was next and undoubtedly there would be more. So, just to give you a hint in case you want to go back and try to figure it out, the Queen of Hearts is a character that we all know very well, played a huge part in all of our lives, courted controversy throughout her career, has experienced the dizzy heights of success and also the dismal depths of failure, is still out there – not quite in the wilderness, but always threatening to make her move to return to the limelight. That should do it. If you can’t figure out who she is, you must be intensely obtuse. And if and when you do, all the other characters should fall in place like so many suites in a game of solitaire.

As the song goes…

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”
Remember what the dormouse said:
“Feed your head
Feed your head
Feed your head

Java’s had the sound up on Grace Slick doing the Jefferson Airplane classic psychedelic anthem of the sixties for the third time in succession. All I know is that he came back in the early hours very confused about what he said he experienced with this girl named Alice he met at the Café on Bareass Boulevard. I’m not about to ask questions, as the result may just be what I don’t want to get into right now – or ever, for that matter. And here’s Gracie again……..

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”
Remember what the dormouse said:
“Feed your head
Feed your head
Feed your head”

Looks like Java’s done with it for the moment. He turns off the sound, lights up and heads my way.

Know what maaan? Dis sheet’s too weird for mah ass – jus can’t figure it out! Dis chick Alice dat I meet at da Café on da boulevard, she get real friendly like, an we be shootin da sheet when, jus like dat, she aks me would I like to trip? Yo know me maaan, an befo I know it we both be flyin so high dat all dose folk sittin around be lookin like a bunch of mannequins wit dere set spresshuns an characterless demeanour. So Alice say she want to move back to her pad where it be a whole lot cooler for trippin an so we move.

Her pad is like somtin outta a Dali paintin maan – ‘surreal’ aint descriptive enough an it be all I could do to maintain a sense of equilibrium. Is dat da right word maaan? Yo know, I be feelin like ‘unbalanced’ an not knowin which way or how to relate. Aaannnyway, she set me down and get me some juice – taste like nottin I ever had before – nectar maaan, maybe it be ‘soma’ dat drink of dem Gods dat da Vedas (dis be da Hindu holy book – fo dose dat be confused) be talkin bout. It make me feel sooo righteous, I never felt like dis in all da trips I be on. My entire bein be wrapped in golden gossamer maan, warm an sensuous an ……….no words will do maan – like I be one wit da universe. Know what I be sayin maan? So dere we are, not even be makin no physical contac, but even dat could’n have been mo satisfyin dan dis state of ‘bein’.She be havin da sound goin – it be an aria from Handel’s Giulio Cesare In Egitto, called Non Disperar, Chi Sa, an it soun sooo good that I be transported. Den after a while she take me by da hand an lead me into her bedroom, all frilly an art-deco combo, but da state I’m in maaan, it look reeal pretty. I be tinkin she be havin somtin in mind for us two in dat bedroom, but heellll no! She lead me tru da room to dis door dat open into a dim lit passage an she lead me on.

Da passage be such dat I don see too far ahead an after a while (time be all distorted now maan) I feel like we be tumbling and not walkin, but weird as it be I aint uncomfortable. Know what I mean? An soon enough we ‘tumble’ right out tru dis door at de end of da passage an into dis far out garden – and den maan, an I aint shittin you, I see dis big-ass white rabbit checkin out his pocket watch, an in da background dere be dis hedge wit da flowers havin a conversashun wit each odder. When dey see us dey all shout, in unison almos, ‘it’s Alice, she’s come back and brought another friend for the Queen’. Da White rabbit, he look around, den he check out his watch one mo time an say he be late an mus hurry, an he got da hell outta dere. Da flowers in da hedge, dey be all excited an all, but Alice act reeal cool an tell dem dat I be Java an I aint for no Queen, dat I be her fren and we be visitin, nottin more dan dat. Jus den, as we be startin to walk down da garden path, we hear more shouts an soon enough da Queen of Hearts make her pearance.

She come up and get Alice’s hand an start to cry. She be sobbin an snufflin bout how dat mean-ass King of Spades wit dose brodders Tweedledum an Tweedledee plotted gainst her an got to her trone an now she be witout any power an glory an she aks fo Alice an me to help her get back. She promise not to shout ‘off wit dere heads’ ever again an she promise to be good and not steal from her subjecs and never to be late for pointments and never to lie – ever again. It look like Alice don believe her (she tell me later dat dis broad be patological when comin to punchuality and lyin, an it be hard to change dat) but she sit her down on dese steps an lissen to her story tru her sobs an snuffles.

So da queen let it all hang out. She tell bout how da King of Spades take her main-man judge an dey plot to cut short her reign an how dat Red Knave play bot sides an how da King of Clubs, hidin out in da forests northwards be tryin to kill her ass, an how dat good ol King of Diamons wit no soul lose his place cos of all da cheatin da Red Knave an his pack be doin an also cos dat bad-ass King of Clubs not be letting his people cheer for him. Now, she say, her kingdom – dis Wonderland – be losin its wonder but fast, so she want Alice to help her marry da King of Diamons, so togedder dey could bury da King of Clubs, dose bad-ass brodders Tweedledum an Tweedledee an dat scumbag Red Knave. She be tellin Alice dat dere’s no fury like a scorned woman an when she get tru wit dose assholes, dey won know what hit dere asses. Alice an I, we believe dat part of it, but we don know what to tell her.

In da meantime, witout us noticing, da Mad Hatter has turned up. He introduces hisself to me as Merv – Alice, knowin him for so long never even knew he had a name. He tell da Queen of Hearts not to worry, he will take care of it – as he always did for her, he say. He tell her to wait until da stars be in da right configerashun to make her move on dat King of Diamons and den togedder dey can do da rest. He aks her for an ‘advance’, jus to cover spences, he say. An den he disappear – same way he got dere. Now it’s getting late an we both be getting tired of da Queen’s sob-story sheet, so we tell her we gotta get back, but will return to help her sorry-ass out – reeal soon. An we head back for dat door dat lead us to da passage an back to Alice’s room.

Can yo dig dis sheeet maan? I bin to Wonderland wit Alice an although I be trippin, dis sheet be fo reeal. Yo jus aks Alice – fo shuure she’ll know

Java gets his doob lit one more time and heads back to the sound – one more time – Grace Slick is on and the words still ring in my ears…

Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know…

Note – For those that didn’t ‘get it’:

Cast of Characters

Queen of Hearts = Chandi Bundi
King of Spades aka Big Brother = Pursey
King of Clubs = P.Karan
Tweedledum and Tweedledee = The Basilisk and The Goat
King of Diamonds = Runny
Red Knave = Once a Weera-ya
Mad Hatter = Vermin
Main Man Judge = Injustice in Chief

This is something Derrick the Nobleman sent yesterday and since I’m just cutting and pasting, I’m not sure if all the pics will come through. If not, and anyone out there is interested, I’m sure there are enough ways to access the pictures and more information on this organization ‘We the People’. Certainly seems a worthwhile example to follow in any country with its leadership going out of control at the expense of its citizens. Do check it out and apologies for any untidiness due to my lack of expertise.

Worldwide Interest in RTP Stirred

It’s working.  

We are making good use of the powerful concept of en masse activist resistance used in the movie, “V for Vendetta.”  

“V” is helping us as we build support for the unalienable Right to a Response from Government to our Petitions for Redress of Grievances regarding the Government’s violation of the war powers, tax, privacy and money clauses of the Constitution.  

“V” is helping us as we educate the public about the First Amendment’s guarantee of our Right to Petition Government for Redress of Grievances. 

On November 6, 2006, a lone man in a “V” mask and clothing visited security checkpoints at the White House, the main Treasury Building, the Department of Justice and the Capitol, to deliver a letter and the Petitions for Redress. A short videotape of the encounters has made its way around the Internet, including links from sites such as MySpace.com. 

The letter informed the leaders of the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government that up to 100 people in “V” masks and clothing would gather in silent vigil at those locations on November 14th to await a response to the Petitions for Redress.  

True to his word, at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, November 14, 2006, nearly 100 men and women in “V” masks and clothing could be seen walking along different streets in downtown Washington, DC, all heading to Lafayette Park across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

     

By high noon, the “Vs” were facing the White House, in formation. Some were holding a 40-foot by 25-foot banner that read, “Dear Government…No Answers, No Taxes.”  Four were holding smaller signs that read “Obey The Constitution – The Right To Petition.”  

They waited about one hour for a representative of President Bush to approach them with some response to the Petitions.  

As has been his wont, the President did not respond. 

However, photographers, reporters, and tourists responded well to the rich imagery provided by the WTP demonstration. The appearance of dozens of “Vs” delivering such a message was attention getting to say the least.  

There was a sidewalk press conference with one “V” who had a red rose protruding from his hatband. No tourist with a camera could resist stopping to photograph the scene, whether he or she was alone or part of the very large group of high school students that was on its way to a tour of the White House.

     

The “Vs” on the outside edges of the formation distributed hundreds of We The People Foundation brochures to anyone requesting one. The supply was nearly depleted by the time the formation moved on to the next location. 

After the silent vigil in front of the White House, the “Vs” broke ranks and reformed, with banner and signs, a few hundred feet down Pennsylvania Avenue, directly facing the main Treasury Building where they waited a half hour for a representative of Treasury Secretary Paulson to respond to the Petitions for Redress — especially the Petition regarding the privately owned Federal Reserve System and the violations of the money clauses of the Constitution.  

As has been its custom, Treasury did not respond. 

The number of photographers and reporters declined at this point, but the interest among the picture-taking tourists did not.

   

The “Vs” then marched down 15th Street and Constitution Avenue to the Department of Justice, where they waited for a half hour, with banner and signs for the Attorney General to respond to the Petitions for Redress.  

As has been its tradition, the Department of Justice did not respond. 

Interestingly, one professional photographer for the “Foreign Press Photo Service” took dozens of carefully crafted pictures while the “Vs” were waiting outside the DOJ building. 

The “Vs” then marched to the Reflecting Pool and faced the Capitol as they waited for representatives of the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader to respond to the Petitions for Redress. 

Habituated, Congress did not respond.


 

Knowledge About Our Cause Is Spreading

It is too soon to know the full extent of the public’s information and awareness about the DC event. Here is what we know so far. 

We received an email from a reporter who works for Brazil’s newspaper website http://www.estadao.com.br.
He is writing an article and wanted us to answer a few of his questions. 

We received an email from the Director of the movie, “V for Vendetta.” He was aware of our events and said he wanted to send a few words of encouragement and was happy that “V” had made it into the popular vernacular. He closed with the words, “Fight The Power.” 

An article will appear in Monday’s issue of “TaxNotes,” which is America’s leading tax news and research magazine. 

We received word from a man who stated that while he was passing through an airport Tuesday, he saw television images on CNN of the “Vs” across from the White House. 

If anyone learns of additional media coverage, please let us know. 


Coming: 1,000 “Vs” in DC

Plans are now underway for a GiveMeLiberty 2007 Conference. Most likely it will take place in DC on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On one of those days we hope to assemble 1,000 “V” demonstrators on the street in support of our Right to Petition the Government for Redress of constitutional torts, including our Right to a Response and our Right of Enforcement if Government does not respond to our proper, constitutionally based Petitions for Redress.  

 

We hope to convince those who were responsible for the making of the movie, “V for Vendetta” to help us obtain, hopefully by donation, the 1,000 “V” costumes needed for this next WTP event. If this happens, we would then give one to every person who attends GML 2007.

More to come.

Watch the streaming video documenting the lone V’s visit to the Capital
and his valiant efforts to Petition the officials of the Government.
Try the high resolution link first: 250k cable
If you only have a dial-up connection use this link: 56k dial-up


Please consider a donation to the WTP so we can continue to move our mission forward.
Click here to make a tax deductible Donation to the We The People Foundation


Our address:
We The People Foundation
2458 Ridge Road
Queensbury, NY  12804
 
 
   


 

 Buster gets out of bed around 7 am – my bed – that is when I’m up here in the hills, usually every other week. Buzzy gets to sleep indoors at night – a practice started when he was a wee pup and that, fortunately for him, endured. Bruiser, who is older than him and Rocky, the youngest, sleep on their beds outside on the back-verandah just outside Sunil’s room during the night,  keeping guard. And although Bruiser and Rock come indoors around 5.30 am, Buzz ‘sleeps in’ until I am ready for the daily early morning stroll around the property. The walk takes around half an hour, depending on the distractions en route. The trio have been trained (finally) to curb their instincts towards the many jungle fowl (Gallus lafayettii) that frequent the outer edges of the land, so now they ‘point’ – ears on alert, noses twitching and eyes fixed. But the soft but stern “no” from me dissuades further action. Not so, however, if a hapless mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii) or civet (Viverricula indica) has the misfortune to to be detected by the three as then, no amount of my yelling can stop their mad rush in pursuit. The walk ends with for them with a small quantity of milk, fresh from Elsa the cow or one of her daughters – a hold-over from when the dogs were pups and a special treat only when I am around. Then it’s another session of snoozing for them. If it’s a chilly, overcast morning, they curl up on a rug of their choice, but if it’s bright and sunny, they pick spots where the sun streams indoors and stay until they are sufficiently warm before moving to other less warm areas.

After breakfast they join me as I feed the chickens and ducks with any left-over bread, another short walk and back to the study, where I usually settle in for the morning session of work at the laptop. Rock generally hangs around me, Bruiser, getting on in years, finds a spot to hangout and Buzz switches between me, the verandah and the pond – where he sometimes spend close to an hour ‘fishing’! He loves the water and the darting fish trip him out, so there he is, senses on alert, splashing around, dunking his head in the water in quest of the elusive fish. I have seen him successful only once in all the times I’ve been around, but it sure looks like he is having a lot of fun (?) and it does keep him busy. Busy Buzzy!

Towards noon the three of them gang up on me and start hassling me for a treat. This comes in the form of a doggie munchie (there’s a whole slew of them at K9 Pet Shop) or a bone from the freezer stock, part of which has been boiled and refrigerated. Lunch for the trio is around noon and then it’s back to lazing around.

At 5 pm their bio-clocks urge them to get me out again for playtime. It’s usually the time I join the boys next door play cricket and since Buzz was a pup he has been used to this diversion. And although he has been discouraged from ‘fielding’ he must also play, so someone on the batting side has to play ‘fetch’ with him, otherwise he disrupts the game. Rock and Bruise don’t mind watching. If we don’t play – for whatever reason, we go for a walk.

Dinner for them is at 6 pm and then it’s winding down until I finish dinner and get ready for bed. Buzzy gets to stay in and the others make their reluctant ways outside to the back verandah.

It’s a dog’s life!

November 2006
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Ephemeral Ruminations by Java Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
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