Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Identified as a trouble maker by the authorities since childhood, and resolved to live up to the description, Charles Carreon soon discovered that mischief is most effectively fomented through speech. Having mastered the art of flinging verbal pipe-bombs and molotov cocktails at an early age, he refined his skills by writing legal briefs and journalistic exposes, while developing a poetic style that meandered from the lyrical to the political. Journey with him into the dark caves of the human experience, illuminated by the torch of an outraged sense of injustice.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:47 pm

by Charles Carreon
February, 2005

Trungpa XI

Trungpa XI and Regent Osel Tendzin

The Twelfth Trungpa

Trungpa XI, The First American Lama

Chogyam Trungpa, the 11th Tulku of the Trungpa line, was the most influential Buddhist teacher in the United States for over twenty years, and long after his death in 1987. During his lifetime, he commanded a loyal cadre of students with top social and money connections who insulated him against criminal and ethical charges with a skill that Michael Jackson might envy, and gave negative events a positive spin that would put Karl Rove to shame. He lectured endlessly, if often drunkenly, and his wordsmith-students crafted these lectures into books that were revered as spiritual classics: “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism,” and “The Myth of Freedom.” After Trungpa’s death, these students promised to put out 108 volumes of his teachings, to be called “The Dharma Ocean Series,” but the series pooped out after a half-dozen titles failed to sell well, and I picked up most of them at markdown prices at a remaindering outlet in Salem, Oregon. That seems emblematic of Trungpa’s stock in the spiritual marketplace, which as this article shows, is now so devalued by his own heirs that they have deliberately severed most of the obvious associations with his tradition, and effectively exiled the person who is supposedly the current incarnation of the great guru to a lonely hamlet in Tibet.

The teacher of Alan Ginsberg and other leading literary lights, such as Sam Bercholz, founder of Shambhala Publishing, the spiritual publishing powerhouse, Trungpa XI entered a spiritual America where teachers were virtually all Hindu swamis, and ate their lunch. Today, Tibetan Buddhism is the only way to fly for the showbiz and literary elements, and while a few Zen outfits still try to sell the bald look, and Vipashyana does steady business with librarians and other quiet types, the Dalai Lama is the 800 pound gorilla. Tellingly, in The Guru, Marisa Tomei pouts in the bathroom that her cheap society mom isn’t willing to spring for “a real Tibetan Rinpoche” to provide the spiritual entertainment for her New Age birthday party.


Trungpa’s biography, Born In Tibet, put him on the map as the escaped scion of Tibetan spiritual aristocrats. He moved to England, and obviously not short on cash, got into Oxford, where he behaved like the local lords, and wrecked his car while crocked by piling it into a joke shop. He married an Englishwoman with a title named Diana who now goes by the name Lady Diana Mukpo, who brought him two sons from a prior marriage — a couple of foul-mouthed kids named Gesar and Ashoka who have been recognized as Rinpoches even though they have not a lick of religious training. But those kids have only tarnished Trungpa XI's legacy. His eldest son, originally named Osel, then named Mipham, then “the Sakyong,” has entirely usurped his father's throne, and placed the ancient Trungpa Lineage under his own authority. The purpose of this article is to explain how this happened, citing legal and ecclesiastical documents as evidence, and to point the finger of accusation at those who have made a mockery of their own traditions in the pursuit of wealth and spiritual authority.

Trungpa XI was the focus of controversy at his first western center, Samye Ling in Scotland, and the more-traditional Akon Tulku usurped his authority in a typical Tibetan ecclesiastical coup, even stealing Trungpa’s official seals, and prompting the iconoclastic young lama to decamp for the United States in the early seventies. He landed on his feet on the East Coast of the nation, founding the Tail of the Tiger (Karme Choling) retreat center in Vermont, and soon the stories began.

This was no robe-wearing, wise old man with an inscrutable look that could be an ad for herbal tea. He was a rock and roll lama who quickly figured out that the smartest people in the United States were a bunch of acid-taking, birth-control users with degrees in literature and political science and religious history, who were just beginning to realize that worshiping a fat fourteen-year old Indian kid wasn’t very cool, and yoga was for housewives who didn’t want to do Jane Fonda. He saw Warhol, heard Lou Reed, wrote poetry with Ginsberg, conquered Richard Alpert aka Ram Dass, and got jerked and sucked off like Jimi Hendrix, but probably was less fun for his groupies — there’s a big difference in size between Tibetans and Africans.

Trungpa was a Buddhist impresario who made kingly treatment of Tibetan Lamas the standard, teaching his students to prostrate themselves body and mind, getting junkies, poets, real estate executives and ingénues to roll out the red carpet for the Sixteenth Karmapa and his entourage. He brought to these puritanical shores the powerful blend of regal pomp, supernatural power, and tantric transformation that is Tibetan Buddhism. Everyone today knows that the Dalai Lama does a “Kalachakra Tantra” ceremony all over the world, ostensibly for “world peace,” but it takes a Buddhist old-timer to remember when the Karmapa performed the “Black Hat Ceremony” that celebrates the assassination of the last anti-Buddhist Tibetan king by a yogi. The first ceremonies were undoubtedly done in high school auditoriums, public halls, and buildings renovated by fervent devotees, but by the end of his life, Trungpa saw his countrymen selling out stadiums like spiritual rock stars. He built the road that the Dalai Lama now walks on.





Trungpa XI, Holder of the Karma Kagyu Lineage

Lineage was Trungpa XI’s strong suit – he had ten lifetimes of his own behind him, and the illustrious lineage of Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, and Gampopa to back that up. This lineage was his inevitable starting point, and with a small bow to his Nyingma teachers, he remained Kagyu through and through to the end of his days. This was clear from the beginning, when he appended to Born In Tibet a bureaucratic document entitled “The Administration of the Ka-Gyu Monasteries of East Tibet.” (Reproduced below at the end of this article.)

In 1976, Trungpa XI put out a large-format book entitled “Garuda IV, The Foundations of Mindfulness,” with a pumpkin-colored soft cover bearing the red Vajradhatu seal of the Garuda holding a shield emblazoned with the knot of eternity. The first work in the book was Trungpa’s own “Supplication To The Gurus of the Lineage,” which begins:

“Great Vajradhara, Telo, Naro and Marpa,
Mila, the lord of the dharma Gampopa;
The knower of the three times,
The omniscient Karmapa;
The holders of the lineage of the four great and the eight lesser schools;
Dri, Tak, Tsel, these three, Sri Drugpa and so on;
And those who have completely achieved the profound path of mahamudra;
To those incomparable protectors of all beings the Dagpo Kagyu –
I supplicate you, the Kagyu Gurus,
I follow your tradition and example;
Please grant your blessing.”



Trungpa XI also published written confirmation of his enlightenment from the 16th Karmapa to teach, embellished with flourishes in red ink. The Karmapa’s words are adulatory, proving that he endorsed and embraced Trungpa XI as a highly honored wisdom-holder of the Karma Kagyu lineage who had turned the western lands into a field of bounty for the Dharma. Entitled a “Proclamation to All Those Who Dwell Under the Sun Upholding the Tradition of the Spiritual and Temporal Orders,” it avers that “The ancient and renowned lineages of the Trungpas … has in every generation given rise to great beings [and] has magnificently carried out the vajra-holder’s discipline in the land of America...”



The Burial of A Legacy

Nevertheless, today, Trungpa XI’s legacy has been buried by his own son and heir, “the Sakyong,” who operates not under his father’s Karma Kagyu tradition, but under a Nyingmapa title, and at the behest of Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, the Kagyu-Nyingma crossover lama. He has also had wisdom and status bestowed on him by Pednor Rinpoche, who recognized Steven Seagal and Catherine Burroughs as reincaranated lamas. The organization that bore Trungpa’s name, Vajradhatu, has been replaced by the Shambhala organization, which is run by the Sakyong, and presumably has all the assets of Vajradhatu, since it has all of its students and ritual possessions. The official story of how this came to be is short, and omits all mention of the manner in which the expected succession of the Trungpa lineage was interrupted and altered in its natural course by the conscious intervention of those who stood to profit from decapitating the lineage and exiling its current leader to the frozen wastes of Tibet.

Here’s the expurgated version, from the Shambhala website:

Several years later, the Vajra Regent passed away as well. During the period following these deaths, the community and its leadership turned to one of Chögyam Trungpa's most revered and only living teachers, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, then supreme head of the Nyingma lineage. In 1990, at the urging of Khyentse Rinpoche, Trungpa Rinpoche's eldest son, the Sakyong Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo (now known as Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, as indicated below) returned from a period of practice and study with Dilgo Khyentse in Nepal to lead the community and direct the work his father, Chögyam Trungpa, had begun.

Rarely has impatience to do good work reaped such a reward, and rarely has lama clairvoyance so clearly failed to achieve an important goal. For there was no need to have the Sakyong take the reins in 1990. The 12th Trungpa tulku had been born in 1989, but no lama knew it until 1991, when Tai Situ Rinpoche discovered the new incarnation. Tai Situ is very good at discovering reborn tulkus, although his choice of a Karmapa did not receive universal acclaim, resulting in violent altercations, even murder. But there was no dispute over his convenient discovery of the 12th Trungpa tulku in the backwoods of Derge. Thus, had the Sakyong but waited a year, the 12th Trungpa Rinpoche would have been both born and discovered, and the crisis averted. Even if the Sakyong had felt it incumbent upon him to assume the reins of leadership, still a due respect for his father’s lineage as a high Karma Kagyu tulku should have caused him to limit himself to perform a regent role until the Twelfth Trungpa Tulku could take the throne.

The Best Laid Plans of Tulkus and Men

When Trungpa XI died in Vermont in April 1987, everyone expected the Regent to hold his position until what was expected to be a relatively swift rebirth and reassumption of the Trungpa throne. During the interregnum between the death of Trungpa XI and the birth of Trungpa XII, the “Regent” would hold power and occupy the position of head of Vajradhatu. Trungpa chose his regent badly – a bisexual first known as “Narayana” upon whom he bestowed the nom-de-buddha of “Osel Tendzin.” That Trungpa XI was infatuated with Tendzin is clear, and it may have blinded his judgment, because a review of Trungpa’s poems dedicated to the Regent suggests that by a naïve admiration of the Regent’s rapacity, he stoked the flames of a dangerous madness that destroyed all of their plans. Certainly there were plans.

In his second book of poetry, First Thought, Best Thought, Trungpa XI dedicated many poems to Tendzin, many overtly sexual and encouraging a cowboy style of governing the sangha. In the Epilogue to a republication of “Born In Tibet” in 1978, Trunpga XI included photographs of himself and the Regent suitable for worship, and laid out his thinking: “My approach to administration and the community in general has been to give more and more responsibility to people but to hold the nerve centre in my control, and I am teaching Osel Tendzin to do likewise.”

In 1977, Trungpa XI published Garuda V, Transcending Hesitation, in the same format as Garuda IV, quoted above. Again this publication was the vehicle for announcing important ecclesiastical news. On page 101 of the book appears the following “PROCLAMATION” concerning the elevation of Osel Tendzin:

“By the power and with the blessings of the three jewels, the glorious and authentic root gurus of the Practicing lineage of Kagyu and the Ancient Lineage of Nyingma, the herukas and dakinis, Dharmapalas and lokapalas, I hereby empower and declare Karma Cho-kyi Dawa Legpai Lodro Osel Tendzin Chogle Namgyel, Thomas F. Rich, as DORJE GYALTSAP, VAJRA REGENT to act on my behalf in propagating buddhadharma and the vision of the three yanas throughout the world, and to implement, as a Director of the First Class, the purpose and intentions of Vajradhatu as well as those of the Nalanda Foundation. Proclaimed and sealed at the seat of Vajradhatu in Boulder, Colorado, in America by Vajracarya the Venerable Karma Ngawang Cho-kyi Gyamtso Kunga Sangpo, Trungpa Tulku XI, this 250th year of the Parinirvana, on the 27th day of the Fire Dragon Year of the 16th Rapjung, August 22, 1976. [signed] Trungpa XI [Trungpa Seal]”



The importance of this document cannot be overemphasized, as it makes absolutely clear that Trungpa XI had decided not to establish a hereditary lineage of succession, which has become so common with other lineages, and flies in the face of the ancient traditions of the Kagyu lineage as a pure meritocracy, based on “practice,” which is to say, achievement. However we may judge in retrospect, this proclamation was Trungpa XI's resounding endorsement of a native-born American citizen, unrelated to him by blood or even nationality, and it was understood as such by the Vajradhatu faithful and the spiritual community at large.

This proclamation was written to serve as an authoritative corporate document. It recites the legal name of the Gyaltsap, Thomas F. Rich, and pointedly names him as the only person authorized to hold Trungpa XI's position as the Director of the First Class in the Vajradhatu corporation. There is no mention of Shambhala International, or of the Sakyong. This document was Trungpa XI's spiritual will, and if there were any doubt of that, the inscription added by H.H. the Sixteenth Karmapa would eliminate it. Appended to the top of the document, with the Karmapa's seal, is the following text: “As set forth below, the supreme Vidyadhara Trungpa Trulku Chogyi Gyatso has appointed his chief disciple, Osel Tendzin, as his Gyaltsap. This I fully acknowledge & rejoice in. Accordingly, let everyone offer to him due respect. Written by the glorious Karmapa, the 8th day of the 12th month of the Fire Dragon Year.” The “Gyaltsap,” according to the Appendix to Born In Tibet, is simply “The Regent Abbot,” second only to the “Trindzin,” who is “The Supreme Abbot.” If Trungpa XI had intended any changes to this document, for example, appointing a new successor, he would have made it absolutely clear, and published the identity of his new Gyaltsap, with equal solemnity and public exposure. No such document exists.

The Regent Flames Out

In the poem entitled You Might Be Tired of the Seat That You Deserve (For the Vajra Regent at Midsummer's Day), Trungpa XI counseled the new Gyaltsap on the right way to do his job:

Dearly loved comrade,
If you do not hold the seat,
Others may take it away;
If you do not sit on a rock,
It becomes mushy clay;
If you don't have patience to sit on a rock or seat,
They give you away;
If you are not diligent in holding the throne,
Some opportunist will snatch it away;
If you are tired of your seat,
Some interior decorator will rearrange it;
If you don't have a throne,
You cannot speak or proclaim from it,
So the audience will dissipate;
If you don't have a government seat to sit on,
Your wisdom and command seal will be snatched by others;
If you run around, thinking that you have a seat to come back to,
It will be washed away by the turbulent river,
Like a presidential platform;
You can never proclaim your command.
Either it will be disassembled by the cockroaches
Or the frivolous multitude will take it away as souvenirs.
It may be hard to sit on the seat,
But one must endure it.
Do sit on your seat,
Whether it is hard or soft.
Once you sit on your seat,
The sitting itself becomes truly command and message,
Then, undoubtedly, multitudes of people will respect and obey it
As the vajra throne of Bodhgaya where Buddha taught.
Truth becomes exertion.
The message of hard fact proclaims itself,
So you don't have to emphasize harder truth.
Offering your seat in order to please others will not give authentic
They will take the attitude that you are a pleasant seat-offerer.
So, my son, please don't move around;
Assume your seat, and sit, and be.
If you be that way, truth prevails;
Command is heard throughout the land.
So sit and hold your seat.
Then you will enjoy, because others will admire you.
This is hard to do, but easy to accomplish.

Had the Regent performed his job properly, keeping his own nerve centres under control, he would have lived until the 12th Trungpa tulku had been born, identified, and enthroned as the new lineage-holder. But the Regent failed in his mission, dying of AIDS in 1990, leaving his highly literate crew of disciples unusually silent concerning his habit of engaging in unprotected sex with a wide circle of people. The Regent apparently suffered from a bad case of Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome (TIDS), that caused him to believe his toxic emissions would bless his students, not kill them.

Two of the Regent’s blessing-recipients died relatively quickly, a young man who was Tendzin’s lover, and his girlfriend, who didn’t realize that dating a Buddhist could be lethal. Call it the collateral damage from the quest for enlightenment – or one more casualty of Colorado’s notoriously slack prosecution in high-profile homicides. The Regent never saw the inside of a courtroom, despite having committed, before the eyes of witnesses, multiple toxic assaults on the bodies of people who loved and trusted him. But it’s all water under the bridge of innumerable lifetimes, right?

An Enforced Forgetting

Trungpa XI could not escape blame for the debacle, because he was renowned for his own philandering, which in posthumous revelations by female students who had serviced him during his lifetime, were revealed to be no more than desultory servicing of his genitals that left the women with little in the way of amorous memories. Trungpa XI was often quoted as saying that the Tibetan Tantric path is not a safe one – that you could “turn into a diamond” if you did it right, or be reduced to “a lump of charcoal” if you did it wrong. With Trungpa XI gone and the Regent having consummated a sexual suicide pact with his closest disciples, the students were left to figure out what was a diamond and what was a charcoal briquette.

The organization, stuffed with intelligent authors who could have discussed the debacle productively, did not rise to the occasion. The Vajradhatu Sun, the house organ of Vajradhatu, boycotted all news of the scandal, resulting in one issue that featured a broken heart on the front page, with no words to accompany it. This was the only protest allowed when the editors killed what would have been a confessional exposé of great importance. The true nature of the rifts that developed in the organization, leading to its current configuration, would be the subject of an interesting book, if anyone had the guts to write it. But with Shambhala the dominant force in Buddhist book publishing, prospective exposé-writers had better plan on publishing their own editions, and forget having any other literary career. June Campbell, for one example, was punished mightily by other Tibetan Buddhists for exposing her lifelong secret affair with Kalu Rinpoche, who like the Dalai Lama, was thought to be completely celibate. Steven Bachelor, for a second example, has been widely criticized for retreating from wholesale endorsement of lamaism.



Vajradhatu Becomes Shambhala

“Vajradhatu” was originally incorporated in Colorado in 1973, as the consolidated entity resulting from the union of Karma Dzong (a Colorado corporation) and Tail of the Tiger (a Vermont corporation). The original Articles of Incorporation for Karma Dzong establish its purposes as “teaching meditation, Tibetan Religious Traditions, Educational handicrafts, and the practice of charity.” Vajradhatu’s revised Articles, filed on February 22, 1973, and signed by Trungpa himself on page 25 of the attached records, state that “this corporation is not formed for pecuniary profit or financial gain, and no portion of its assets, income, or profits shall be distributed to or inure to the benefit of any member, director, or officer of the corporation or any other private individual ….” There are “two classes of Directors” under the Articles, and there’s only One Director in the first class of Directors – Chogyam Trungpa. The Articles don’t spell out what the differing powers of the two classes of directors are, probably because having one man who calls all the shots, officially, kind of conflicts with the notion that “no portion of the assets, income or profits shall … inure to the benefit of any … director … or … individual.” Theocrats have special needs, and lawyers are willing to devise special corporate structures to suit them. But a corporation with an all-important head Director is quite vulnerable to takeover while the head Director is dead. And that is just what happened in the case of Vajradhatu. While Trungpa was between life number eleven and life number twelve, the Sakyong stole his company.

Today, “Vajradhatu” is simply an assumed business name of Shambhala International, sometimes in legal documents written as “Shambhala International (Vajradhatu).” But it was not always so. Any old-timer will tell you that until year 2001, “Vajradhatu” simply meant “the Church” to the Trungpa-faithful, and it was a spiritual trademark of great value.

Shambhala ®

Lest you think I am taking irreverent liberties by referring to spiritual trademarks, please note that, twelve years after Trungpa XI’s death, on August 9, 1999 the “Vajradhatu, DBA Shambhala International” applied for a U.S. Trademark on the words “Shambhala Meditation Centers,” in connection with providing the following goods and services: (1) “Buddhist religious practices,” (2) “meditation instruction,” (3) “a series of graduated seminars instructing participants in meditation practices and non-sectarian spiritual training,” and (4) seminars and workshops in field of contemplative arts, music, and theater. Trademark Number 75771345 was issued on June 19, 2001. The company has continued to obtain trademarks on four more Shambhala-related names, most recently obtaining U.S. Trademark Number 78297783 on November 30, 2004 on the term “Shambhala Art.” So sorry if you wanted to use that name for your new Tibetan handicrafts store – the corporate Tibetans got there first. But who are the corporate Tibetans, and why have they buried the Vajradhatu name?

Shambhala Eclipses Vajradhatu

There was never any sign that Trungpa XI intended to have Shambhala eclipse Vajradhatu, and in the early years Shambhala was clearly the secondary organization, putting a secular spin on Buddhism through concepts like “fundamental human dignity,” derived from Trungpa’s book, Shambhala – The Way of the Warrior. It was, in effect, Vajrayana-lite, and never intended to take the place of Vajradhatu. But times change, and when names change with them, you can be sure it’s for a reason.

On the Shambhala website, Vajradhatu is now defined in several amorphous ways, but never as an entity. It is most diaphanously described as a spiritual space: “Vajradhatu (Sanskrit for ”indestructible space“) provides a spiritual journey of training on the Buddhist path following a well-defined, graduated method of practice and study developed by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.” Alternatively, it is one of the “Three Gates of Shambhala”: “The Vajradhatu Gate offers a method of developing compassionate wisdom and skillful action through meditation practice and study in the 2,500-year-old Buddhist tradition.” This is clearly the tail wagging the dog, a classic reversal of roles – when Trungpa XI started teaching Shambhala, it was billed as the “secular” offshoot of Vajrayana Buddhism.

Vajrayana Becomes Co-Equal With Tea Ceremony

In the orthodox Shambhala view, Vajrayana Buddhism has been reduced to the status of a “gate” in the larger architecture of the Shambhala edifice. Further, you might ask what the other two gates are. Well, the first is Shambhala itself (a typical Tibetan overlapping of categories to make the numbers come out right), and the other is some silly invention called “Nalanda,” a mishmash of Japanese cultural activities like archery, flower-arranging and calligraphy that co-opt “zen aesthetics,” providing refuge for disciples who reject the eye-popping color combinations that make traditional Tibetan temples resemble the inside of a Turkish bus.

The Ouster of The Twelfth Trungpa

The deconstruction of Trungpa XI’s legacy might be funny if it weren’t the cover for a gigantic property grab by the Nyingmapas, and the ouster of the rightful heir to the Trungpa throne, at least if reincarnation means anything to you. The manner in which the takeover was achieved is easy to see if you observe seven basic facts that are documented in this essay. First, after Trungpa XI’s death and the Regent’s flameout, the Shambhala name supplanted the Vajradhatu name in official usage. Second, Chogyam Trungpa Mukpo remained on the books as Sole First Class Director, for four years after his death in April 1987. Third, on February 22, 2000, “Restated Articles” of incorporation were signed for Vajradhatu, which: (1) changed the company name to Shambhala International, (2) removed Chogyam Trungpa Mukpo from the official record as the sole Director of the First Class, (3) adopted sweeping liability protections for all directors, and (4) failed to identify the new Sole Director of the First Class. Fourth, the Restated Articles were not filed with the Colorado Secretary of State for twelve months after being signed, having cooled in the hands of a Boulder lawyer for the intervening time period. Fifth, the true identity of the Twelfth Trungpa tulku was known to all when the Restated Articles were signed. Sixth, there is no public record of who is now the Sole Director of the First Class under the new regime. Seventh, it may be presumed that the Sakyong is the Sole First Class Director of Shambhala International.

The Paper Coup

After Trungpa XI’s death, he remained on the corporate records as the Sole Director of the First Class until February 22, 2000, when Boulder lawyer and longtime Vice President of Vajradhatu, Alexander Halpern, signed a document changing the name of Vajradhatu to Shambhala International, and adopting new Restated Articles of Incorporation. In the past, various other officers had signed corporate documents, but the Restated Articles do not bear the signature of the Sakyong or anyone but Halpern.

The Restated Articles were clearer than the old Articles about the power of the Sole First Class Director, containing provisions that specifically make the “first class of Director” effectively omnipotent by giving him veto power over all the Board’s actions: “All actions of the Board of Directors shall require the consent of the Director of the first class …” This is, effectively, the establishment of a Kingship under the guise of a non-profit corporation. But who is the King under this carefully crafted regime? The documents do not identify the new “Director of the first class.”

Whoever he is, he is as protected from corporate liability as the law can make him. You wouldn’t think a religious organization would adopt a provision in its Articles to insulate its Directors from lawsuits. But with AIDS victims outliving their expected expiration dates, the Regent was still casting a deadly shadow from the grave, and the Shambhala lawyers created this paragraph to protect the nameless new Directors, noting carefully that “this provision will not eliminate the liability of a Director for any act or omission resulting before the effective date of these Restated Articles.”

Without exercising too much clairvoyance, I believe I can see that, in the Restated Articles, the Sakyong sought to distance himself from the errors of Trungpa XI and his embarrassing Regent by changing the company name. He eliminated the Trungpa name from the record documents and elevated himself secretly to the role of sole Director of the first class. He specifically gave himself veto power over the Board. And he immunized himself and his yes-men Directors from damages suits for all types of corporate misconduct, “including a transaction from which [any] director derived an improper personal benefit.” This eighth paragraph provides all Directors with as large an immunizing shield as the law will allow, using self-contradictory and confusing language. I wager this wasn’t due to a sudden lapse in grammatical skill, but rather resulted from Alexander Halpern’s studious efforts to build in “wiggle room” for future debates about how much misconduct is immune from liability. If it ever becomes necessary to judicially interpret it, the Shambhala lawyers will agree with me – the eighth paragraph of the Restated Articles are a Class 1 Bunker for the Top Brass.

A Vulnerable Empire Exposed

Placing such documents in the public record exposes them to broad scrutiny, and the new Shambhala order probably wanted to avoid such scrutiny of these suspiciously self-serving Articles. Additionally, they probably needed time to accomplish other political maneuverings, so Vice-President Halpern sat on this important document for over a year before filing it with the Colorado Secretary of State. Signed on February 26, 2000, the Restated Articles weren’t filed until March 2, 2001. (Compare the first page of the document for the filing date, and the last page, for the signature date.)

March 2, 2001 also witnessed the other side of the mirror-magic of making Vajradhatu disappear as a corporation, while keeping the name in limited play. On that day, Vajradhatu was filed as an Assumed Business Name of Shambhala International, and the figure-ground reversal of these two entities was completed. Since then, the name of Shambhala International (Vajradhatu) appears on a couple of corporate documents. The identity of the Directors is not disclosed, and this is quite significant. Take note that, from April 1987 until February 22, 2000, the sole First Class Director of Vajradhatu was a dead man, Chogyam Trungpa Mukpo. Now that has got to be a precarious situation, when the designated top-dog, the sole First Class Director, is absent from the planet.

The job of the Regent was to fill that gap, and Osel Tendzin certainly acted like the sole First Class Director of Vajradhatu until his death. The Regent’s death left the position open, vacant, a vacuum of the sort that nature hates. If Osel Tendzin hadn’t killed himself, and had been on the job enforcing Trungpa XI’s wishes on February 22, 2000, with the 12th Trungpa already born and identified, they would simply have changed the name of the sole First Class Director to – well to whose name?

Chokyi Sengay, Well-Connected in Derge, Nobody in Boulder, Colorado

Who is the 12th Trungpa Tulku? According to, Lady Diana's family website, he’s a young man named Chokyi Sengay, who surprised the hell out of everyone by being born to a family of shepherds in Derge, who have “ties to the royal family of Derge.” Well, he may be well connected in Derge, but in Boulder, they don’t know him. Alexander Halpern, the corporate lawyer who worked for a company with a dead top Director for four years, doesn’t know Chokyi Sengay. They have never been introduced, but Halpern understands that he lives with herdspeople in Tibet, and doesn’t need immunity from American lawsuits. He has no worries, and Halpern isn’t worried about protecting him from liability. The Sakyong is his client. That stuff about other lifetimes cuts no ice with him. These Tibetans do things their own way. He relates with the man who signs the checks.

If I could, I’d like to ask Chokyi Sengay, Trungpa Rinpoche XII, a few questions:

• How does he like his new body – was it good to get rid of the old, cirrhotic liver?
• When’s he coming to Colorado? Lots of people miss him.
• Which of his close students have gone to visit him? Did he remember any of them?
• Is he learning to speak English?
• Does he plan to go to Oxford on a Spaulding Fellowship, like his last incarnation did?
• Does he know that on the website, there is no link on the main page announcing that he, the founder of the Lineage, has been discovered?
• Has he seen or read any of the books that he published in his last lifetime?
• Does he know that he was a bit of a rakehell, and embarrassed his elders by acting out with his beatnik flock?
• Does he know that in his last lifetime he arranged his affairs so he would inherit his former status of sole Director of the first class of Vajradhatu, a Colorado nonprofit corporation?
• Has he heard of how his Regent screwed up Trungpa XI's plan to pass his wealth and power on to himself, the Twelfth Trungpa?
• Has he been told about the importance of Alexander Halpern, the Boulder lawyer whom Trungpa XI made Vice-President of Vajradhatu, and who is now Vice-President of Shambhala International?

These are the kinds of questions that a person who had real faith would ask. Lady Diana glosses over the bizarre confiscation of the Trungpa Lineage’s wealth by noting that, “during his lifetime Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the 11th Trungpa Tulku, made many conflicting statements regarding his future births. Accordingly, his rebirth in Tibet was unexpected by many of his students – and has been viewed by some as yet another surprise of the ‘great vajra trickster.’”

Ah, were it only true. What has happened is quite the reverse, and if Chokyi Sengay really sees with the insight of eleven enlightened lifetimes and the recollection of his past deeds, it must all seem a bitter irony. That those he trusted in the last life distorted his legacy into some silly construct called Shambhala, that purports to subordinate Vajrayana Buddhism as one of the “Three Gates” to a cult of secular wholesomeness, on co-equal grounds with flower arranging and the tea ceremony. Truly those who have multiple lives have multiple sorrows.

The Sakyong and the Twelfth Tulku – Best of Friends

Just as the Vajradhatu trademark has been cast into the shadows, the connection with the Karma Kagyu lineage has been downplayed, and thus the importance of the Twelfth Trungpa. In a world governed by the will of Trungpa XI, there would certainly be a biography of the Twelfth Trungpa Tulku somewhere on the website. You'd expect them to be trumpeting it from a link straight off the front page of its website, somewhere between the links to ”Chogyam Trungpa“ and ”Sakyong Mipham.“ But no, you can strain your eyes, and you won't find anything. I ran a search for ”12th Trungpa + bio“ through the site-specific Google search box at and found no links. I tried it again over the full Internet, and discovered the official bio quoted below at, the family album website for Lady Diana, Trungpa XI's widow, who also does Shambhala trainings as her livelihood.

There is information about a meeting between the Sakyong and the Twelfth Trungpa in Tibet during July 2004, in a travelogue from a few naive observers who went along on the trip. Notably among the persons present at this trip from among the Shambhala crew was Sangye Khandro, aka Nancy Gustafson, a still-ravishing blonde translator who was married to Gyatrul Rinpoche for about twenty five years before she moved on to the care and training of Lama Chonam, whom Gyatrul Rinpoche had lovingly rescued from inevitable death by tuberculosis. A rare case of a young Tibetan pulling a romantic coup on an older one. In any event, if the Sakyong brings Sangye Khandro along, all problems are solved. She has always been a huge lama favorite, and while a bit chilly, a big favorite with men of all ages and types, for her entire adult life.

The Peculiar Austerity of the Young Tulku’s Current Circumstances

Still, I wonder about how they're treating the Twelfth Tulku — perhaps a bit too much like a mushroom — fed on bullshit and kept in the dark. The travelogue has a disturbing bit of information that smacks of internment. As far as I remember, Trungpa XI always enjoyed fine things, as in sophisticated surroundings. Read Born In Tibet if you doubt it — the man knew privilege as a life-long condition, and hardship as a passing acquaintance. He lived well and enjoyed it. But in this lifetime, his overseers have decided to host him in conditions that a modern American describes as unbelievably primitive, sunlight deprived, and similar to a televised ordeal from the Survivor reality show:

“By the measure of what we are used to in North America and Europe, the accommodations here are primitive beyond your wildest imagination. It makes camping look like the Hilton, but at the same time the hospitality has been extraordinary. We are pervaded by the warmth, the playfulness and the friendliness of the people. We all feel that we are in luxury, in a certain way — luxury with a medieval ambience. It's like a time capsule. We live in dirt quarters that are pitch dark, not just for us, but for Rinpoche. To get into Rinpoche's quarters, you go over these planks that are bouncing up and down over a kind of a moat. Suffice it to say that ”hole in the wall“ (or the floor) is an apt description of a bathroom. By this point, though, we've all settled in and feel quite welcome. It's wonderful. We're getting along well together, or at least as Rinpoche said the other day, ”’Nobody has been voted off the island ... yet.’" (The Rinpoche referred to here is clearly the Sakyong, because the Twelfth Tulku doesn’t watch TV.)

Which other major Tibetan Buddhist organization has installed the current incarnation of their beloved guru in a hole in the wall, or floor, living in darkness, with mud and planks for a home? Which other Vajrayana group is using the dead image of the last incarnation of the lineage, instead of the living, youthful image of its current tulku? The fact that there are two Karmapas doesn't keep their adherents from keeping them in pleasant conditions and posting pictures and news about both of them all over their websites. Recently, Tai Situ’s 17th Karmapa moved out of Tibet, and the news was hailed internationally. Only the Twelfth Trungpa Tulku is regarded with indifference and housed in squalor.

Not only are the vast media resources of Shambhala International boycotting the very existence of the Twelfth Trungpa – the young boy is so poor that Lady Diana is passing the hat for him at the website – trying to raise a measly $10,000 for his yearly support, promising that anything over that will be used to fix up his impoverished surroundings. Ten thousand bucks? The Sakyong’s SUV cost six times that much, if he has a Toyota Landcruiser, like every other top lama. In any event, Shambhala International is a money machine, but its leaders have reduced to penury the very person they claim to believe is the reincarnation of the founder of their own organization. Most people would treat the reincarnation of their dog better. Here’s the confession right on the website at

“Trungpa Rinpoche’s support and education at Surmang costs approximately US$10,000 per year, which the Konchok Foundation is committed to providing. If funds received for his support exceed that, they will go towards the much-needed upgrading of his living quarters.”

The Sakyong’s Usurpation of the Entire Trungpa Lineage

The fact that the young tulku lives in abject poverty and is studiously ignored would seem to be enough. But the outrage does not stop there. Not only has Trungpa XI's entire plan been aborted, not only has the hallowed Trungpa Lineage been subordinated to the corporate manipulations of the Sakyong, an upstart who has hijacked an ancient lineage, turning it into an American marketing machine – a worse abasement has been committed, and in plain sight of the faithful, apparently too stupid or too confused to understand. Read on in horror if you dare, as we watch the final reversal of fortune played out in a ceremony that Sangye Khandro justly described as “the kind that would be done only under extremely rare circumstances.” No kidding – for anyone from the old school, this is a gross inversion of the way things are supposed to be.

The following is quoted from the website, obviously recorded by fools who have no understanding of the depth of the outrage in which they fawningly participated:

June 18: Surmang

This is the second installment of a dispatch received on June 18 from Peter Volz and Derek Koleeny of the Office of International Affairs and Kusung Dapön Mark Thorpe.

Atmosphere & Interactions

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has been very, very busy from morning to night. People are coming in and asking for blessings in a steady stream. The monastery is actually quite a busy place. It reminds one of the fact that Trungpa Rinpoche said in Born in Tibet that he had to move to Dorje Khyung Dzong, a couple of hundred yards up the valley — and at 1500 feet higher elevation straight up — to escape the busyness of the monastery.

The throne ceremony held on Saturday the 16th was really quite magnificent and significant. According to Sangye Khandro (translator who is part of the Shambhala traveling party), it was a kind of ceremony that would be done only under extremely rare circumstances. At the height of the ceremony, the Trungpa Tulkü and all of the Surmang lamas each made offerings to the Sakyong. Then, they made a specific request and supplication to the Sakyong. Having requested him to remain in this world to continue to benefit beings, they requested that Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche be the throne holder, lineage holder, and the leader of the Surmang monasteries. In the days following, they have already begun to discuss various issues with the Sakyong concerning the present activities and the future of the monasteries.

The Usurper of the Trungpa Lineage — Sakyong Mipham

Sangye Khandro, as the handmaiden of this miscarriage of justice, and all of the other people who have pulled the wool over the eyes of the Twelfth Tulku have, of course, done us all a big favor. Clearly they do not believe a word of this reincarnation stuff.

We are now free to admit that Chokyi Sengay is not a supernatural incarnation, because he would fry them with his little finger and disembowel them as vow breakers, lineage betrayers, usurpers, conspirators. He is just another Tibetan boy with a brain and good looks, connected with the Derge royal family, conscripted to play a role written by wizened old men. But eventually, if he suffers no accidents, he will meet some old students, other than Sangye Khandro, who know the truth and will tell him. It will seem a bitter irony then for him, and the moreso because he will have no ability to disbelieve in his own identity as the Twelfth Trungpa, and no means to wrest from the Sakyong the empire that should have been his. I’ll have a book to recommend for him at that time – The Count of Monte Cristo. He might find it a clearer guide than the sutras and tantras they’re trying to stuff his head with now, softening it up so he will accept the inevitable – the Eleventh Trungpa was the last.

Trungpa XI had the instincts and the skills of a Chakravartin, a Universal Lord. It was his clear intention to plant his Vajradhatu flag in the soil of America, and to rule under that banner forever from his Rocky Mountain home. He failed at the outset, but that may not be his fault. Death has a way of taking matters out of our hands, and treachery always finds willing tools where there's a fortune to be made. In this case, the villains have left their prints all over the crime scene, but they will never be brought to justice, any more than Osel Tendzin was. It’s all just that Tibetan stuff, anyway.


Appendix 1




From Born in Tibet, Appendix I -- The Administration of the Ka-Gyu Monasteries of East Tibet
(Now the property of Sakyong Mipham, Nyingma lama)
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:51 pm

THE STADIUM PLOT, by Charles Carreon

November 17, 2005

This is a work of fiction.

Joe Mathers moved to Phoenix with his family when he was still in preschool. His dad and mom were decent folks, who didn’t leave him much but a work ethic, but that proved to be all that was needed in Phoenix. As the years went by he grew up and got through high school, racking up a degree in construction engineering from SciTech in fourteen months after high school graduation. He kept his credit record clean and within a few months after getting certified by SciTech, his high school sweetheart, who had a job in a local watering hole pushing electric punch, was riding sexily by his side in a new red impulse-drive Jaguar pickup. He was moving up in the local Phoenix economy as fast as one of the elevators that shot up from the hills north of town two hundred and fifty stories high. Construction engineering was a great field.

The town’s insanely accelerated growth had never slowed down. People had moved from the devastated Gulf coast to the desert in droves, never wanting to see water again. Lakes had been created north of town by damming water that would’ve flowed wastefully through the desert. Desalinization plants down at Rocky Point produced drinking water that was pulled through a two-hundred and fifteen mile-long pipeline studded with solar pump relay stations. Skyscrapers sprang up in greater profusion every year. Officer workers flooded in to man banks of computer terminals, processing the flood of the data that the world economy generated. Using Google Earth, you could watch suburban sprawl moving outward from the urban center at an astonishing rate. Capital flooded in, following itself, and Phoenix grew apace.

The people of Phoenix were very patriotic. They’d come like Joe’s dad from everywhere to try and make a good life, and they had made Phoenix beautiful and prosperous. Sure, it was hotter than hell in the summer, but the golf courses were lush, the bars were cool, and the hotel lobbies gleamed with polished brass and crystal chandeliers. The jail always seemed to be overflowing, and consumer bankruptcies kept the courthouse busy, but if you kept your credit record clean you could buy a house out at the end of the freeway, wherever that was this week. There was enough frustration in the town to keep the mental health clinics busy, and it was almost a relief that the war was there to let people focus the aggression outside.

Towelheads, camel-fuckers, goddamn godless heathen brown-skinned bastards. Not that Joe was into that kind of talk, but then again he’d nod his head along when it was tossed around at work, or at the after-work drinking sessions that got more aggressive as the bitter taste of humiliation sank in over the recent nuking of Dallas. Homeland Security reported the bomb had been trucked over by a towelhead terrorist cell in the Chihuahua mountains. All of the Home-Sec border agents were under suspicion, and many had been directed to report for interrogation and of course, possible torture. The only thing more dangerous than working for Home-Sec was not working for Home-Sec.

President Starr’s real name was Smith, but in the style of all politicians in the current age, had adopted a politico-name. President Starr espoused the ethical principles of Kenneth Starr, who masterminded the Republican defense strategy in Dean v. Bush, and convinced Chief Justice Roberts that the Twenty-Second Amendment did not prevent President Bush from running for a third term, only from taking office if he won. The rest is history. Bush won his third term by a landslide, and before his inauguration, Congress repealed the Twenty-Second Amendment altogether by the required two-thirds majority, and a landslide of State governors promised immediate ratification of the amendment.

On the day of the Dallas nuking, President Starr’s face appeared on the cube everywhere, reassuring the nation that we would not collapse under this cowardly assault. He put a helluva brave face on it, but you could see he hardly knew how to deal with the fact that the nation’s venerable patriarch, Gee-Dubya, was missing in the disaster. Of course old Gee, as most schoolchildren learned to call him, had been a dotard for the last ten years, but the war was his proud legacy, and he had now become its most famous victim. The rage that boiled in the breast of every true American was unquenchable.

The Presidential edict came down swift and certain before night fell on the tragic day. Dubbed the Subversive Alien Civil Rights Elimination Directive of 2035, “SACRED” reduced aliens to completely rightless individuals, unable to assert any claim to the fairness of criminal or other proceedings. SACRED defined “aliens” broadly as “all persons acting in actual or tacit complicity with purposes, intents, plans, or initiatives inimical to the interests of the nation by means of the dissemination of tools for the accomplishment of actions lending aid and comfort to the enemies of the nation wherever found, which shall include the use of data transmission facilities and all instrumentalities of communication …” Any person, the President declared, who forms a criminal intent to attack society by lending aid and comfort to the enemy must forfeit all rights of citizenship. Otherwise, loyal conduct in the citizens would diminish, and society as a whole would suffer a loss of rights. Chief Justice Roberts had given that provision the nod in a midnight session set up by phone call from the White House.

A couple of days after SACRED went into effect, Joe was having a beer at his favorite bar, The Trail’s End, when Attorney General Reese pushed a soccer game off the cube and shoved his ugly face into the bar. He he was unable or unwilling to conceal his pleasure over the power that SACRED put into his hands. “The Dallas nuking,” Reese emphasized, “would most likely have been prevented if the terrorist sympathizers who aided the demonic project had been ferreted out and forced to divulge their sympathies through appropriate methods.” He paused, “Those methods give us the power to prevent evil, the power to uproot terrorism, and will now be deployed full-strength to get to the root of the rot in our society.”

Reese had meant what he said. As Joe left the bar, the streets were already filling with army trucks and black, windowless vans. As he drove home through the streets, he saw soldiers going into the apartment complexes methodically, leading men, women and children out of their homes and into the vans. A lot of them had looked like Mex’s, but that wasn’t surprising, since a lot of Mex’s were towelhead simps according to Homeland Security, which nevertheless encouraged the employment of Mex’s in “non-security” positions, i.e., as janitors. So Joe wasn’t that concerned about the roundup. They’d happened before, and he never had a problem, and didn’t really know anybody personally who had. His record was clean, and he kept it that way by logging his whereabouts on GPS twenty-four/seven. He could always prove where he’d been, with whom, and why. Every roundup just gave him one more reason to keep his nose clean and stay away from politics. So far it was working.

Joe was hooked at his waist to a very strong rope way the hell up over the skyline, using his laser to calibrate the exact position for a plastic girder on the 282nd floor of the new Hyatt tower. He had almost dialed in the specs to perfection and was about to do set codes for the auto-crane when his earbud rang with a phone call. He answered. Mandy’s hysterical voice broke into his ear. “They just took Lexi away!” Lexi was Mandy’s best friend, and a hot brunette into the bargain. “Who took Lexi?” answered Joe. “The fucking Sacred cops, you asshole, who the fuck else?” Mandy was sobbing, shrieking. It wasn’t a prank, but Lexi couldn’t be arrested – her dad was richer than hell. “It must be a mistake,” Joe said. Mandy’s shrieked back: “It was no mistake! She’s been hanging out with terror-simps – civil righters, evolutionists, global warming nuts – you know she loves that intellectual bullshit.”

Joe couldn’t calm her down, he couldn’t leave the job, and his nerves were rattled. Shit, he thought, just like Lexi to stress out all her friends by getting involved with the civil rights of towelheads. What could be more irrelevant to real life? As if anything was going to change. Tell the towelheads to stop nuking us, then maybe we can talk about civil rights. He turned back to his work, but he screwed it up, tried to redo it, then gave up and decided to come out of the weather. It was getting kind of windy anyway. He returned to his office, a lightweight ovoid cocoon at the center of the auto-crane, like the body of a spider built for constructing and navigating through the skyscraper structure. He flipped the cube to newscast and saw coverage of an ongoing interrogation down at the Rattlers stadium.

The interrogation subject was confessing to participation in an extensive plot to poison the water supply of a large Midwestern city. The guy who was confessing looked like all the terrorists they brought to trial these days – very docile. The show was directed by a Homeland Security interrogator who explained that the terrorist had been truth-drugged, an alternative to torture allowed for those who agreed to confess. However, the interrogator admitted that, however satisfactory truth-drugging might be, the infliction of “the ideal amount of pain” a term he introduced with an explanatory grin, always made a confession more complete. “There are always some questions left unanswered with truth drugs. Applying the ideal amount of pain helps us answer those questions. And answering questions saves lives.” The interrogator concluded with a reassuring smile and a nod.

Joe googled for news on SACRED enforcement in Phoenix, and found a cube-cast of Reese, explaining how the Dallas nukers had been linked to a terrorist nerve center in Phoenix that apparently had operated through a corrupt financial network that had infiltrated the banks. Reese was in Phoenix himself, directing interrogation of high-level suspects personally from field headquarters he had established in the new Rattlers mega-stadium. All “aliens” were being concentrated in the stadium as the first stage of mass interrogations. Reese was gloating like a freak as he ended his speech. Then the speech started to play again, a clockwork asshole cranking out the shit that others had to eat.

He looked at his watch and was surprised to see his shift had ended. Fattie Macdowall was coming up in his own auto-crane just a few floors below him, walking up through the latticework in the slow, methodical fashion that typified Fattie’s movement in his control-suit. Joe was relieved to be off-shift. He settled himself back into the gentle grip of his suit, and drifted down to base on the 285th floor. He wasn’t surprised when Mandy broke into his ear again, somewhat calmer this time, but now whining, asking the impossible – “Joe, we’ve got to help her.”

Joe replied, “Are you kidding? How could we help her? She’s being taken to the new stadium like everyone else. We can’t get in, and we can’t find her, and if we could, they wouldn’t let us out. I worked on that place, and it was designed as a gigantic backup terrorist holding pen. All around the top perimeter, they put gun emplacements that make every seat in the place a perfect target. They can shoot any kind of ammo they want, from stunners to glue blobs to armor-piercing rounds. Perfect for crowd control. There are only thirty entrances, each of which can be covered by a small number of guards. Large vehicles can be driven straight into a network of underground tunnels, and there’s enough space under the stadium to get lost in. Lexi will be back when the Sacred cops let her go.”

Mandy’s response was unbelievable. She began to pout. As if she were going to dare him into going to find Lexi. Just go to the Sacred cops and ask, she said. It didn’t sound like a good idea, said Joe. Mandy insisted. It was ridiculous. She teased him into coming to her apartment right away. He said he’d bring pizza. She said to bring some ideas. He sort of mummed along, thinking he’d have her in the sack before the night was over, and Lexi’s Daddy’s lawyers would surely save Lexi’s ass. After all, she was not of the victim class. It would all turn out okay. He checked his credit rating and it was clean. He liked to check it several times a day.

Hoisting the pizza jauntily over his shoulder, he sailed out of the pizza joint, and was just giving the pizza chick the eye when Mandy called again. “Joe,” she shrilled in a whisper, “I’ve got Lexi on the line. Lexi?”

Lexi whispered back, “Oh guys, I’m so scared.”

“What happened?” asked Mandy.

“Jeezus Christ, what didn’t happen. I’m hidin’ in the can right now. They took everybody’s phone away, except mine’s in my designer belt buckle, and these bitches that search you are fashion illiterates. I’ve got an implanted radiomike in my mastoid, but I still move my jaw when I talk, so I was afraid to call where anyone could see me. They’re knockin’ people around like flies. I’m really scared, just trying to stay quiet. My dad’s not taking my calls.”

“He’s what?” questioned Mandy.

“Not taking my calls …” answered Lexi. She explained, “He told me he couldn’t risk being associated with me if I insisted on going against him. I didn’t think he meant it.”

“Hey Lexi,” said Joe, “do me a favor and turn on the video on your phone.”

“Oh, I look like shit,” responded Lexi.

Joe sounded exasperated: “Christ, Lexi, I won’t be seeing you, I’ll be seeing what you’re seeing. Have you ever used the video feature?” said Joe.

“Well, duh, why would I buy it?” answered Lexi.

Joe winced. Only Lexi could make you feel stupid when you were trying to help her, so he just asked the next dumb thing. “Have you got plenty of battery time?”

“Plenty. Here, I’m turning on video.” Answered Lexi.

Lexi activated the lens that displayed as an apparent gemstone on the stylish buckle, and Joe saw a toilet stall door on his phone. He ported Lexi’s video stream to his phone’s uplink. The toilet stall door tilted as Lexi shifted her torso. Some scrawlings on the metal stall door squirmed a little from transmission lag.

Lexi and hundreds of other unfortunates were locked into the Rattlers stadium as it morphed into a pit of orgiastic brutality and the long-pent up hunger for homicide at last slaked itself in streams of gore. As the carnage continued on, Lexi served as a human recorder. We hear her cries, her stifled agony, witnessing the horror that she knew it was her task to record, and which we share through her sacrifice. Using all the cunning at her command, she lingered long at the periphery of the evolving massacre, trying, successfully for a time, to elude her own inevitable death by torture at the hands of Reese’s zealous prosecutors. The transmission of Lexi’s record over the net has been compared repeatedly to the network-television release of the infamous Rodney King tape. It is like comparing a hand-grenade to a nuclear blast.

The towers in Phoenix still gleam, and Joe still works among them. Sometimes when he is striding among the towers, trying to make it all straight and perfect, he looks out across the desert horizon. The tears begin to fall as he remembered the concluding scene of Lexi’s transmission, recording the faces of the precise violators of the young witness’s own person. The images were damning evidence at the successful trial of Reese and Starr for war crimes and ironically, violation of SACRED anti-terror provisions.

At trial, the prosecution proved that the Dallas nuking had been masterminded by Reese with Starr’s agreement, in order to resolve various problems involving toxic waste, urban blight, and unemployment in a single plan pursuant to which Reese and Starr came first to own downtown Dallas, then to destroy it, then to collect government bailout funds for its destruction under the Real Estate Owner’s Recovery From Terrorism Act. As for the death of Gee-Dubya in the bombing, that turned out to be a shameless exploitation of Gee’s last big load of political capital, because military hospital records proved Gee had died ten years before. The stalemated forever war in the Middle East mysteriously sputtered out after the jailing of Reese and Starr, as the arms trade seemed to stall. Surprisingly and spontaneously, peace broke out all over the world.

While the jury was unanimous in recommending death under the SACRED anti-terror provisions for the two convicted traitors, Chief Justice Roberts and the other eight Supreme Court justices unanimously agreed it would excessively deter worthy persons from seeking high office if the chief executive and chief law enforcement officer were held to answer with their lives for what were, essentially, misguided attempts to perform their official duties pursuant to law. The Court therefore reversed the death sentences on the grounds that SACRED was void.

A couple of years later, they demolished Rattler stadium. Couldn’t get anyone to go there anymore.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:54 pm


12:55pm, December 1, 2005

The LeapFrog Pentop FLY Computer is an amazing kids learning tool, and I predict adults are going to love this format for games. Their stock may also be a good pick, based on my rules for Green Investing. Full disclosure here — I bought stock in LeapFrog (LF) about a month ago, after watching it since year 2001 or so.

Here are some thoughts about Green Investing.

Some people think capital is inherently evil, corrupts all it touches, and should be eschewed. We only hope these people are monks. The rest of us need capital, and if we have any sense, will seek it out, try to enlarge the amount ethically, and dispose of it so that it grows at a sensible rate. Somewhere along the way, we may decide we have to buy stock.

Why do we buy stock? In the hope that company managers will have a hit product that will fill their coffers, send the stock soaring, and let you sell at a nice premium. Sometimes, with the additional hope that they'll pay out a stream of income in the form of dividends.

Why do companies sell their stock? To get your money. What they do with it after that is largely their business.

Here's some things I consider when trying to buy a stock.

First, it is desirable to buy stock only in an ethical company, because if they cheat the government, their customers and competitors, then they'll definitely cheat you, their stockholder.

Second, it is good to buy stocks of companies that produce products you want to see more of in your world. My dad bought utilities. It made him feel like he was sending himself a check when he paid his light and water. It was a pretty good strategy, for what he wanted to achieve.

Third, ask yourself if they have a good product, a good sales team, a viable market, and the financial ability to stay abreast of their competitors, or ideally outmaneuver them altogether for a few years.

Fourth, consider whether the company has some of top managers in their product field. Do they have a track record of producing hits? Are the top managers driven by more than money — are they zealots for their product?

Fifth, are top managers selling their stock? I never want to go into the building when the firemen are leaving. Some selling is natural if the stock's been weak for a long time and is just building up steam for a good run, however, so consider that.

Sixth, how is their debt situation? It's comforting when stock price is steady, sales are stable, and there's cash in the bank. Big borrowing can be dangerous, and cash never killed anyone.

Seventh, consider whether the stock is about as cheap as it's going to get. A good sign is that it took a hit a while ago and has been steady for a while, and now is beginning to firm up. You're testing to see if it's hit bottom, and will only go up. There’s some intuition to be exercised here, eyeing the charts. And I agree with, that logarhythmic charts are best.

Finally, consider why you are buying the stock. Most of my stocks are managed by professionals for a fee. The proportion of my assets I directly invest are few, more as a sort of harmless entertainment, by which I try to buy stocks I can enjoy watching the stock increase in value, enjoy watching their products prosper in the market, and then enjoy selling for a safe profit while the roses are still blooming. It's a cheerful sort of investing style, and it can’t work except with stocks that appreciate a reasonable amount in a fairly short period of time. This means I’m often looking at stocks of small companies with prices in the single or low double-digits. I’m not talking about thinly-traded pink-sheet stocks. We’re talking about stocks of companies that, if you were to sell all of their stock today, at the current price, would be worth about three hundred million dollars. That number, by the way, is the “market cap” of a stock.

Other people want to see the stock price stay steady, and get regular notices that dividend payments have been converted into more stock. Their theory is that, they don’t mind if the stock is undervalued because the company pays out so much in dividends; they’re reinvesting the dividends quite happily in cheap stock that will one day inevitably rise. So they teach, and it might be true. The point is, if you’re looking for a stock that’s going to jump in price, you have to have a theory why it might do that. Otherwise, you may buy a great stock for the long term, but sell it in the short term, not realizing that it was foolish of you to think that it was going to have a big run.

After applying all those factors above, and watching this candidate for about four years, during which it's sort of slid and slid and slid, I think it's about at bottom. There are having an on-time Christmas product launch of this wild product called the LeapFrog FLY Pentop computer. Their website is pretty good, and explains this clever little product that is intended to get kids writing with a computer pen that literally reads what they write, and opens up a surprising world of games and learning. For a hundred bucks, I'm betting these things will fly off the shelves. According to their press release, it's a pretty popular item with their young focus groups. There's a product demonstration at

LeapFrog Computing wrote:

LeapFrog's New Fly Pentop Computer Chosen as Fourth Most Desired Electronic Gift for This Holiday Season Tuesday November 8, 9:00 am ET Recent Survey of Shoppers Between Ages 12 - 75 Choose FLY After iPod Nano, Xbox 360 and Plasma/HDTV TVs

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — A recent Shopping In America survey conducted for The Macerich Company found that the hottest electronic gifts expected to sail off the shelves this holiday season include the recently-shipping FLY Pentop Computer from LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: LF - News), a leading vendor of technology-based learning products. LeapFrog today announced that its new FLY Pentop Computer, that launched only three weeks ago, was selected as the fourth most desired electronic gift this holiday season among 3,780 shoppers between the ages of 12 - 75 surveyed in twelve regional shopping centers across the U.S. for The Macerich Company. The results of the Shopping in America survey for top electronic gifts showed the FLY Pentop Computer followed the iPod Nano, the most popular item, the Xbox 360, and the category of plasma and HDTVs. LeapFrog's FLY Pentop Computer was more popular than items such as PDA cell phones, digital cameras with MP3 players, Video Now XP and Gameboy Micro.

FLY Pentop Computer is Making the Lists

In addition to the Shopping in America survey, the FLY Pentop Computer has been featured in many prestigious holiday lists as a "must-have" gift item, including the eBay "Hot New Toys" list, the Life Magazine list of hot toys for the holidays, and the Toys R Us "Joy" List.

"Electronic gifts are always a big hit during the holidays and we are very pleased to see our new FLY Pentop Computer take its place among some of the hottest selling electronic categories and products," said LeapFrog president Jerry Perez. "The new FLY platform is one of the first consumer electronic offerings to bring learning to the mainstream — and make it as engaging and fun as the latest TVs and video game players."

FLY Pentop Computer On the Shelves and Under the Tree

First announced in New York City last January, the highly-anticipated new platform has been hailed by industry pundits and reviewers for its unique technology, which transforms pen and paper into an interactive computer, and for its many creative and engaging learning applications that make the FLY Pentop Computer attractive to both technology-savvy tweens (age 8 - 14) and their parents.

The new FLY Pentop Computer, a variety of specialized educational applications, games, and accessories are now available in the consumer electronics aisles of Walmart, K-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Toys R Us across the country, and online at The FLY Pentop Computer has a suggested retail price of $99.99 and the new FLYware accessories and applications have suggested retail prices ranging from $4.99 to $34.99.

About LeapFrog

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. is a leading designer, developer and marketer of innovative, technology-based learning products and related proprietary content, dedicated to making learning effective and engaging for all ages, at home and in schools, around the world. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in Emeryville, California. LeapFrog has developed a family of learning platforms that come to life with more than 100 interactive software titles, covering important subjects such as phonics, reading, writing, math, music, geography, social studies, spelling, vocabulary, and science. In addition, the company has created more than 35 stand-alone educational products for children from birth to 16 years. LeapFrog's award-winning U.S. consumer products are available in six languages at major retailers in more than 25 countries around the world. The LeapFrog SchoolHouse-curriculum programs are currently in more than 80,000 classrooms across the U.S. with over 200 interactive books and over 450 skill cards representing more than 6,000 pages of educational content. LeapFrog SchoolHouse(TM) products have won numerous awards from the education industry, including the Golden Lamp Award and Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers, the Award of Excellence from Technology & Learning magazine, and the Teacher's Choice Award from Learning magazine.

NOTE: LEAPFROG, FLY, and FLYware are trademarks or registered trademarks of LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.

CONTACT: Jaeme Sines Shannon Eis LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. Kaplow Communications +1-510-596-3497 +1-212-221-1713
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:57 pm


10:49pm, December 3, 2005

I don't know how I missed this one, sports fans, but allow me to remedy my oversight. David Safavian, the nation's top "procurement official" that is, the guy who was responsible for the entire government's purchasing policies, was indicted for sharing too many intimacies with "Typhoid Mike" Abramoff, the devout Jew who spent his days pulling strings with his friend Tom DeLay through the agency of Blackberry-toting born-again Christian Ralph Reed. Just mentioning all these slimy critters together in one sentence reminds me of those recipes that Jed Clampett of The Beverly Hillbillies would enthuse about extravagantly, something like "squirrel tripe with porcupine gizzards and turnip greens — mighty good eatin'!"

R. Jeffrey Smith and Susan Schmidt

Tuesday, September 20, 2005; Page A01

Bush Official Arrested in Corruption Probe

The Bush administration's top federal procurement official resigned Friday and was arrested yesterday, accused of lying and obstructing a criminal investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with the federal government. It was the first criminal complaint filed against a government official in the ongoing corruption probe related to Abramoff's activities in Washington.

The complaint, filed by the FBI, alleges that David H. Safavian, 38, a White House procurement official involved until last week in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, made repeated false statements to government officials and investigators about a golf trip with Abramoff to Scotland in 2002. It also contends that he concealed his efforts to help Abramoff acquire control of two federally managed properties in the Washington area. Abramoff is the person identified as "Lobbyist A" in a 13-page affidavit unsealed in court, according to sources knowledgeable about the probe.

Until his resignation on the day the criminal complaint against him was signed, Safavian was the top administrator at the federal procurement office in the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he set purchasing policy for the entire government.

Safavian's "good friend," Mike Abramoff, is really a special guy, bringing misfortune to all of his Republican cronies. Lovers of good government can only hope that his influence has been widespread and open, like Rock Hudson's sex life, and that the devastation to the political fortunes of the Republicans shall be like unto a political plague, striking down even unto the third generation. I propose a toast, of excellent tequila and a freshly-cut lime, to celebrate the health of Typhoid Mike — may we speak often of him and with warmth!

Now a rare concession from I, who speak very harshly of the FBI on most occasions: Since the FBI appears to have been involved in Safavian's arrest, I will concede that they have done a good thing when Safavian is convicted. I hope that it will also lead to the reinstatement of Bunnatine Greenhouse, the top whistleblower who was fired at Safavian's direction for blowing the whistle on giveaways to Halliburton for the "reconstruction" of Iraq.

The Safavian indictment is attached in PDF format below.

Click here to download SAFAVIAN.INDICTMENT.pdf.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:04 pm

by Charles Carreon
9:03pm, December 25, 2005

Karl Marx attempted to accomplish in the realm of political philosophy something much like what Charles Darwin achieved in biology — to explode the ruling myth of day with scientific dynamite. They were contemporaries:

Robert M. Young wrote:

Darwin (1809-82) and Marx (1818-83) were — how easily we forget this — near contemporaries and published their main works almost simultaneously. They died within a year of each other just over a hundred years ago. (Indeed 1986 was the centenary year of Darwin's Life and Letters.)

Like Darwin, Marx wanted to overturn an established belief system. Darwin was the leader of a mutiny against the political-religious cabal that had imposed dark ignorance upon humanity by outlawing inquiry into the origins of our species and all species. The oligarchs had entombed society in a fantasy concocted of Hebrew myths, Italian superstition-mongering, and in England, the dynastic aspirations of Henry VIII, who cloned the Vatican and found turn-cloak clerics willing to legitimize the new, Anglican order. Religion had to be blasted at the root, by destroying the creation myth. If humans aren't the crown of creation, but just the leading edge of a push from simple sentience to complex intelligence, then growth, goodness, and greater understanding lie ahead of us. And explaining that push toward greater complexity as the process of "natural selection" was perhaps the most brilliant minting of a sound bite in all of science history. To say that "nature selected" the winners in the evolutionary sweepstakes took the matter out of God's hands, and placed it in the hands of those of us who are at the helm of evolution. The ones who will live to reproduce, or die without offspring. The ultimate imperative, to which religion ultimately had to bend, as Henry VIII well understood.

Similarly, Marx wanted to throw off the yoke of commercialism that had been settled firmly on London's working class. Like Darwin, he posited that an evolutionary force had been guiding the manner in which humans apply their productive capacity, their labor, in social settings. He argued that the practice of enslaving neighbor nations in the early kingdoms evolved into serfdom and peasantry under feudal conditions, which gave rise to money, mercantile economies, the rise of the trading class, the decline of the economic power of the landed gentry, and the accession to power of the great "captains of industry" as the robber barons of Marx's time were fond of being described by their media lackeys. And what was the evolutionary principle? Dialectical materialism, of course.

The functioning of dialectical materialism would eliminate false consciousness among the workers, causing them to recapture their productive capacity, which in an industrial age is stolen from them by the spectre of unemployment, and sold back to them by the owners of capital. The holders of capital are depicted in Communist mythology as the stuffed shirts of Diego Rivera’s murals, backed by "ten million men with guns and bayonets," who guard the Czar in Sandburg’s poem, "The People Speak." They are blood drinkers, Saturnlike devouring humanity in greed. Would that the matter were so simple, that capitalists were at the root of the problem.

The problem with capital is not that it is in the possession of capitalists. The rule is quite the reverse. Once possessed of sufficient capital, unless you are ready to start giving it away, there is only one type of logic for the capitalist – further acquisition of capital. That is because capital is not a thing that appears here or there, or a physical force of known origins and limits, or a moral force that simply has a malignant effect. Gold does not corrupt the mind. It has been known to lie in the earth for millennia with people living right above, and never suffering the effects of greed to possess it. Gold fever is entirely a social creation, a stampede provoked by the lust for capital, which happens, for reasons of history, to be denominated in gold as well as other commodities.

Capital exists as soon as there is a wealth surplus. In the feudal economy, a grazing meadow, a cow, and beehive were all repositories of capital. Capital is refined in its accuracy and influence when currency appears, in the form of yams, cowrie shells, or discs of metal. Once it becomes currency, capital becomes a fluid language that enables what I call ICE — Instantaneous Costless Exchange. Why instantaneous? Because everyone knows the value of a dollar. Why costless? Because if you give me ten singles, I’ll give you a ten dollar bill, and neither of us expects to pay a transaction fee, unless one of us is a bank. I can buy a banana or a banana boat in a foreign land because we can agree on its value in currency. I can buy it in rupees, euros, or dollars, since the value of those related currencies is known. All currency can be flipped over into another purchase without any transaction cost. Thus, currency is the visible form of capital, and will be with us forever, as long as we keep records of acquisitions and payments.

Capital turns out to be the prime instrument of social planning. Capital will, for example, solve problems. No money today? Promise to pay back twice as much next year? Okay, I’ll give it to you. Why would you do that deal? If you can turn around and lend that money to someone else, who promises to pay you back for three times as much in a year, then it makes sense. Why does that make sense? Because capital has its own logic. It is a self-presumed good to have more of it, since it is the marker for everything else from soup to sex. Therefore, any scheme that enlarges your pile of capital is a good scheme.

The attempt to run economic systems without capital has been pretty rocky. Why? Because conquering the difficulty of coordinating the work of producing all the goods necessary for an industrial society to operate proved very difficult. Imagine you are a central planner in a communist nation. You wake one morning to consider a proposal to start a strawberry farm in a place where the little red berries have traditionally grown well. However, it will only produce enough berries to feed a very few of your comrades. In other words, strawberries would sell for a lot. That would make it a luxury product, which would remind us of the bad old days, in which only the rich had nice things. Therefore, there will be no strawberries for anyone. This may or may not be a good result, but to a person who has to hoe potatoes that sell for a tiny fraction of strawberries, the theory, however dialectical or materialistic, will be a hard sell.

How does capital help? By establishing the existence of markets and making it possible to estimate the potential benefit to the laborer of pursuing a certain productive plan. In other words, a person can just decide whether they want to grow potatoes or strawberries based on how much people are willing to pay for them. If you have a huge farm in a cold place, potatoes may be a great thing. But why not put an acre or two into berries, sell them by the roadside in the summer, and can the rest for the winter? It all pencils out, and most people will stop doing these things when it no longer pencils out.

Nevertheless, capital can be the instrument of enslavement, and for the most part, is. People, who have no capital, have only their labor to sell. Further, once industry routinizes tasks, everyone’s labor is worth the same. The goal of modern industry is to idiot proof tasks so that one TV-watcher is as good as any other to get the job done, and the really smart people get raises based on how many people they can cut from the payroll. The fact that capital works well to organize a productive economy does not assure the elimination of poverty, pollution, drug addiction, homelessness, or any other social evils. It probably does assure that, if you have the capital, you can buy whatever you need.

Unless of course you need to reclaim the productive capacity of your labor for internal, personal reasons. Like you want self-respect, an opportunity to do the things with your time that you want to. Or perhaps you want out of a psychological reality in which the days of your life are already spoken for, and you have already been conscripted as one of the workers whose value is measured in keystrokes per hour, or some similar deadening measure. Perhaps this is the real evolutionary force at work that will move us away from the primacy of capital and towards the primacy of human experience. Individuals eventually may learn that quantifying their labor and exchanging it for capital to purchase goods makes them feel like fungible members of a worker-ant-population. If enough people learned it at once, that would be evolutionary.

When people decide they want control over their time, that is a dialectical insight. When they ask themselves why they should have to dance a jig because that is what the rich man wants, and he has the capital, that is a dialectical insight. When they ask why the bankers build high-rises for “investment” when the poor live in slums, that is a dialectical insight. When the people ask why we must pay so much to spill blood in foreign lands, rather than buying needed commodities at home, that is a dialectical insight.

These dialectical insights however, will not bring an end to capital, or its primacy to our economy. They should give us pause, however, and stimulate these questions:
1. Despite capital’s efficiency in structuring productive efforts, are there other factors that should help us decide how hard to work, and on what?

2. Does the fact that some nations have little capital not deprive their citizens of a voice in determining what they shall sell, and how they shall produce it?

3. Since the largest accumulations of capital stem from past exploitation of the western hemisphere by a gang of ruthless Europeans, can it be ethical to continue to profit from such aggressively-garnered advantages?

4. Until the excessive advantages gained by excessive capital holdings are equalized, can any player in the world economy claim to be prevailing based upon merit and skill, or must they all accept that they are the product of wrongful advantages?

5. In the dialectical scheme, if capital is one polarity, then what is its counterbalancing opposite?


The People Speak
by Carl Sandburg


The people, yes, the people, Until the people are taken care of one way or another, Until the people are solved somehow for the day and hour, Until then one hears "Yes but the people what about the people?" Sometimes as though the people is a child to be pleased or fed Or again a hoodlum you have to be tough with And seldom as though the people is a caldron and a reservoir Of the human reserves that shape history. . . .

Fire, chaos, shadows, Events trickling from a thin line of flame On into cries and combustions never expected. The people have the element of surprise. . . .

"The czar has eight million men with guns and bayonets Nothing can happen to the czar. The czar is the voice of God and shall live forever. Turn and look at the forest of steel and cannon Where the czar is guarded by eight million soldiers. Nothing can happen to the czar."

They said that for years and in the summer of 1914, As a portent and an assurance they said with owl faces: "Nothing can happen to the czar," Yet the czar and his bodyguard of eight million vanished And the czar stood in a cellar before a little firing squad And the command of fire was given And the czar stepped into regions of mist and ice The czar traveled into an ethereal uncharted Siberia While two kaisers also vanished from thrones Ancient and established in blood and iron Two kaisers backed by ten million bayonets Had their crowns in a gutter, their palaces mobbed. In fire, chaos, shadows, In hurricanes beyond foretelling of probabilities In the shove and whirl of unforeseen combustions The people, yes, the people, Move eternally in the elements of surprise, Changing from hammer to bayonet and back to hammer, The hallelujah chorus forever shifting its star soloists.

The people learn, unlearn, learn, a builder, a wrecker, a builder again, a juggler of shifting puppets. In so few eyeblinks In transition lightning streaks, the people project midgets into giants, the people shrink titans into dwarfs

Faiths blow on the winds and become shibboleths and deep growths with men ready to die for a living word on the tongue, for a light alive in the bones, for dreams fluttering in the wrists . . .

Sleep is a suspension midway and a conundrum of shadows lost in meadows of the moon. The people sleep.

Ai! ai! the people sleep. Yet the sleepers toss in sleep and an end comes of sleep and the sleepers wake. Ai! ai! the sleepers wake! . . .

The storm of propaganda blows always. In every air of today the germs float and hover. The people have the say-so. Let the argument go on. Let the people listen.

Tomorrow the people say Yes or No by one question: "What else can be done?" In the drive of faiths on the wind today the people know: "We have come this far and we are going farther yet" . . .

The people will live on. The learning and blundering people will live on. They will be tricked and sold and again sold And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds, The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback, You can't laugh off their capacity to take it. The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas . . .

The people is a tragic and comic two-face: hero and hoodlum: phantom and gorilla twisting to moan with a gargoyle mouth: " They buy me and sell me.'s a game. .. sometime I'll break loose ..."

Now the steel mill sky is alive. The fire breaks white and zigzag shot on a gun-metal gloaming. Man is a long time coming. Man will yet win. Brother the earth over may yet line up with brother:

This old anvil — the people, yes This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers. There are men who can't be bought. There are women beyond purchase. The fire born are at home in fire. The stars make no noise. You can't hinder the wind from blowing. Time is a great teacher. Who can live without hope?

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief the people march. In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people march: "Where to? what next? Where to? what next?"
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:07 pm


2:42pm, December 27, 2005

Recently, the defenders of the Right to Compel Public Proliferation of Bible Bullshit suffered not only a legal defeat, but a long-deserved tongue-lashing from a presumptively reasonable man — a Federal Judge. Of course I am referring to the public rebuking of the Stealth Creationists, the "Intelligent Design" fools of the Dover, Pennsylvania School Board. Their argument didn't pass the KISS test, as I had forecast in my post back in October. Bonuses rolled in for the good guys on this one, though, because the bastards were caught lying and the judge laid into them for it! Read the opinion at the updated post of Intelligent Design Doesn't Pass the KISS Test."

The little shitbag "public interest litigators" to whom Judge Jones administered a proper legal ass-whuppin' are whining like street mongrels now, saying the judge went too far with an advisory opinion, but I'm having none of it. These "lawyers" — enemies of reason, more like it — were the authors of their own public humiliation — like typical shitbags, they used perjured testimony. The school board hypocrites who forced the public schools to endorse Intelligent Design before their captive audiences of high school students were what Jesus called "whited sepulchers," all "white without and within filled with loathsome uncleanness." Or something like that — my King James recollection may be a little rusty this morning.

In the interests of lighting a candle after enjoying tossing curses at the darkness, I offer you as my New Year's Gift a little essay expressing some views on spirit and reason. Unlike many people, psychic gymnasts who enjoy standing on their heads in the name of blind belief, I prefer to hold beliefs that are at least consonant with reason. Thus, in my serious ethical and spiritual speculations, I try to hew strictly to well-accepted facts as the basis for further deductions and inferences. I conclude that since individual survival is "presumed good," that species survival must also be a presumed good, that all humans should be able to agree upon and work together to achieve. If all humans become extinct, that includes the ruling classes, so even they should get on board with this philosophy, which cannot be attacked on the grounds that it is "progressive," "liberal," or otherwise anathema to practical people. The upper classes can still compete to preserve outsized shares of resources, just not using murder as a tool. The absence of warfare safeguards the species and thus is pro-evolutionary. Spending immense sums to deploy murder weapons is cruel and increases the likelihood that all humans will become extinct, so it is anti-evolutionary. Therefore, applying the rule that one should abandon activities that are inimical to the achievement of the "presumed good," species survival, humans must abandon violence. Our own evolutionary destiny depends upon it.

Evolutionary Realism and The Nonviolent Imperative

Faith Versus Evidence

Either the universe came into existence due to a thought in the mind of G-d, or it evolved into its present shape based on the inherent character of space, time, energy, and atomic structures. When Charles Darwin and his contemporaries elaborated his theory of natural selection, they assumed things were still happening as they had during past geological aeons. They discovered no time unaccounted for in the geological history of the earth. They found no evidence of an era when natural laws operated differently, permitting men to part the seas with a staff, women to conceive without sex, or a young man to rise from the dead after a grueling day-long crucifixion. They weren't courageous for rejecting these miraculous notions. They were merely honest. Without evidence, they could not believe.

All the evidence indicates that life really is fleeting, that death is for keeps, and that sentimentality fabricates imagined lifetimes before birth and after death, arguing incessantly for the substance of these imaginations, never piling one grain of evidence upon another to support these fond beliefs. Moreover, while fearing to suffer losses in the realm of faith, religionists discount the benefit to their sense of rationality. Therefore they fail to appreciate the wonder of inhabiting a world built of atoms that as Lucretius noted, are so invulnerable to destruction that after aeons of use, they are not worn out.

Atoms Are No Accident

The existence of atoms is no accident. Atoms are born in the furnaces of collapsing stars, are spewed out into the cosmic void, and take shape as plasmic energy cools. Atoms form into concentric energy strata of electrons orbiting 'round nuclei composed of subatomic particles, obeying the inscrutable laws of quantum mechanics, so far only formulated in terms of probabilities. The simplest atoms are hydrogen atoms, having a nucleus and a single electron. Hydrogen atoms that have two electrons are called deuterium, and figure importantly in the creation of the hydrogen bomb.

All atoms have a specific atomic weight, which is to say, a small gravitic force that causes them to be attracted to other atoms. Atoms can amass a great pile of neutrons and protons to form their nucleus, and as their nuclei increase in weight, they can support more electrons in orbit. The biggest atoms stack electrons out five levels deep. Heavy metals have lots of mass in their nuclei and many electrons in orbit. Atoms that have unstable nuclei are called "radioactive," because they emit subatomic particles that generate among other things, radio waves. Based upon their atomic weight, which is to say, their structure, atoms are classified into elements.

Electrons are the locking mechanisms between atoms that allow atoms of different elements to link up and form chemical compounds. Thus two hydrogen atoms link their electrons with a single oxygen atom to form water. Why do the atoms of hydrogen link up with the oxygen atoms? It is in their nature. Whence arises this nature? That is, and likely will remain, the open question in this concrete universe.

Whatever the arising place of this nature of all things, it has order and structure at its core. While chaos rages at the center of the galaxy and in the heart of the sun, as soon as the cooling energy of space goes to work on the fires of creation, an orderly universe appears. Atoms organize themselves into virtually indestructible particles. Based on their inherent characteristics, they sort themselves into elements. Whether generated on one end of the galaxy or the other, or in another galaxy altogether, gold possesses a specific atomic weight, lead another, copper another, and platinum yet another. These atomic forms are absolute, written in the grain of the universal molds that create the building blocks of the universe through all the innumerable millennia.

When Archimedes solved the problem of how to determine whether a crown was made of pure or adulterated gold, he relied on his intuition that all elements possessed specific atomic weights, that the atomic weight of gold differed from the atomic weight of all possible adulterating metals, and that a crown made of pure gold would displace a specific volume of water when submerged.

Atoms Form Compounds

When atoms lock electrons to form compounds, they begin to create the world we recognize. If our world were made of pure elements, it would be as uninhabitable as the world created by Midas, whose touch turned all to gold. A world made entirely of gold would be useless, for without compounds, our very bodies could not exist. While many question how atoms could manage to form compounds as complex as Deoxyribonucelic Acid (DNA), and all of the other myriads of complex substances that record and sustain life, two facts argue in favor of the theory: first, DNA is in fact composed of atoms, and second, there is no evidence of any additional force having organized atoms into biological configurations.

Life Exists In The Cool Areas of the Universe

Life exists in the relatively cool spaces in the universe, like out here in one of the far branches of the Milky Way galaxy. Down in the core of the galaxy, thick with stars, black holes, and ravaging jets of pure energy, atoms are ripped apart routinely, and life doesn't stand a chance of emerging. But here, where space-time is just moseying along, an atom can look forward to a virtually eternal existence, and the compounds that form life are able to form in the temperate atmospheres of planets like Terra, our beloved planet. Terra orbits Sol, our governing star, at a comfortable distance. Mercury is way too close to support life, and Venus little better. Terra is, as Jimi Hendrix put it, the "third stone from the sun," which is apparently just the right place to be. And if you consider also the changeable conditions of the solar system over ten billion years of time, life's perch in this cool region of the universe seems even more tenuous. The sun has only got another five billion years to go in its current shape, after which it will start to expand and things will get very hot on this planet. Thus, at the opposite polarity from the raging energy vortices that form the galaxies and suns, during a brief season of mild solar radiation, the cooling, condensing energy of a well-placed planet provides a place where life can flourish, as the hyperactive atomic energies settle into the comfortable ruts of elemental forms and begin to create the infinite number of compounds that form the basis of life.

Compounds Form The Basis of Life

We should not feel compelled to explain the arising of life based upon the argument that nothing as well-organized as the universe could arise without the organizing influence of a pre-existing intelligence conceived in our own image. Instead of elevating the universe to the level of the divine, this line of reasoning explains everything in terms of human limitations. The contrary view is more palatable, and consistent with the evidence: The inherent characteristics of the universe, that organizes indestructible atoms out of decelerating light waves, and creates classes of elements with specific atomic weights, continues its miracle of organization when it aggregates the elements into compounds that, now ever more complex in their nature, construct the machinery of life.

Comets May Be Cosmic Sperm

Sometimes things look like what they are, and comets look like cosmic sperm, with their huge long tails and their one in a billion chances of running into something interesting. Recently, scientists smacked a passing comet with a huge brass bullet and discovered what many had suspected — comets are great big snowballs stuffed with organic chemicals. How did they determine the constituents of the comet? By observing the debris scattered by the brass bullet through an infrared spectrometer that analyzes light prismatically revealing chemical signatures that appear between the wavelengths of 5 and 38 microns.

The significance of comets bearing life, or the building blocks of life, is this — if some ingredients for life can be delivered pre-made via comet, that gives life a jump-start on a newly-created planet. Because it's certain that it takes a long time for compounds to form into basic living forms, the possibility that the process could be hastened increases the likelihood that life can emerge on any given planet during the limited time period available in the brief life of a solar system.

Persistence of the Species

Once we tally the evidence, and discard fantasies about other lives before birth or after death, it is clear that life is a self-evident good. All the evidence supports this conclusion. All creatures struggle to keep life in their bodies. Even in a dream, the belief that we are about to die invokes terror. One who escapes from danger with his life feels grateful, and though often the burden of trauma can make the continuance of life a burden, healing can come to the heart and the body, and life itself become a pleasure again. The survival of an individual is dwarfed by the persistence of the species. The continued existence of humanity in future generations is of the greatest intrinsic importance to each of us, not in spite of our individual mortality, but because of it. Since we must individually die, the continued life of the species is a deep consolation and source of meaningfulness to us during our lives.

The phrase, "survival of the fittest" brings to mind an image of a strapping fellow in gym shorts, the most fit of all for the race, the shot-put, the discus, the javelin, the hunt. So much do words deceive. The question is not who survives today, but what forms persist through history. The dinosaurs are gone. In their time, they were huge. Today, they are known only because humans have enshrined their enormous remains in museums of natural history. Yet our fate is as precarious as theirs, and all the success of the white man's competition against different-colored peoples will not alter the fact that the human species will survive as a whole or not at all. We are far more likely to disappear altogether at this stage than to persist into the twilight of the solar system, which theoretically lies within our span. Were our persistence up to the task, we might even launch interstellar flights to escape our morbid sun in the distant, certain future, so that no generation need ever call itself the last of the human species, and the genes of old Sol might yet fertilize another planet.

Evolutionary Tendencies

Evolutionary tendencies are those that secure the future existence of the species. Some time ago, our ancestors descended from their arboreal habitats and began walking on the African savannah. They kept walking, and their legs grew longer, their posture more upright, and their eyes attuned to the exigencies of hunting and gathering. Our ancestors lost their tails, stood upright and developed muscular butts, lost fur and talons, gained an opposable thumb, and began making tools from bone and stone that pierced and sliced with all the efficacy of the claws they had once possessed. Nature reduced the number of functional nipples on the female, extended the gestation period to nine months, and induced human parents to care for helpless infants and toddlers for years. Thus our ancestors — toolmaking, hairless, upright-walking mammalian bipeds – journeyed across ice fields and deserts, crossed shifting continents, and battled to maintain the existence that sustains us even today. Rather than raising our hands to G-d, we should thank our ancestors, who managed to keep life in their own bodies, and pass it to our generation.

Human cooperation has been the key to our survival, because without fur, claws and real canines, life is just too tough to handle without friends. Quite simply, since all of our fortunes as humans are bound together, it behooves us to aid each other in meeting the challenges of life. What goes around certainly will come around, and in a world as small as the one we currently inhabit, there are no bunkers to hide in, no mountain retreats so removed that the residents can exempt themselves from the general fate of all humanity.

Humans survived and built societies in many climates and habitats, using irrigation and farming to greatly increase the food supply. Peace is essential to productive labor, commerce, art, and all that is inherently good in life, above and beyond the primary good of basic survival.

The Evolutionary Tendency of Kindness

The word kindness derives from "kind," which derives from "kin," meaning those with whom we are related. To show kindness toward others is to treat them like one's own relatives. One shows kindness to others by allowing them greater latitude in their behavior, by making greater efforts to understand them and assist them. Humans evolved the care of infants and ancients, and extended assistance to the physically sick and "feeble minded," discovering along the way that infants are a delight to care for, that the aged have wisdom to share, that sick people like Steven Hawking are sometimes terribly clever, and that feeble minded people like Edison and Einstein are sometimes not as crazy as they seem.

These humanizing tendencies to care for those who may not be the best hunters, the most able childbearers, or the shrewdest manipulators, nevertheless turn out to be evolutionary tendencies, because in the aggregate, they can improve our species' chance of survival by expanding the scope of our knowledge. Advocates of a "lean and mean" society sometimes deride what they call "altruistic" behavior that reduces competitiveness. But these are usually groundless criticisms, as altruism is always practiced toward those who possess skills we want to acquire. Because the human community thrives when all of its members are well cared-for, and because the skills that sustain a society are so widely distributed among individual persons, all people benefit from an attitude of universal kindness toward all people.

The Anti-Evolutionary Tendency of Violence

Anti-evolutionary tendencies tend to the extinction of the species. Today, it can be said with certainty, the commission of violence against other humans is the greatest force tending us toward extinction. Not only does violence target the young who are the future of humanity, but it also targets the intelligent in particular for extermination. Consider this — when a fascist takes power, who does he kill? Schoolteachers or truck drivers? Newspaper editors or electricians? Should you have difficulty with this question, recall Hitler's friend Hermann Goering's statement on the issue: "When I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver."

Consider also how weapons give power to the ignorant to destroy the great. In the film Kagemusha, a great feudal lord is slain by a rude marksman who sets up his musket with straightforward skill, and fells the nobleman with a single pellet of lead. To give the ignorant power of life and death over the intelligent is anti-evolutionary. The role of the ignorant is to receive direction from the wise, and not to deprive all humanity of the intelligence of their betters simply because the power lies in their hands. Of course it is the power of intellect, machined into the steel of ever-more efficient weapons, that has accelerated the firestorm of intra-species human murder to the level of an ongoing global holocaust.

It is a crying shame that numberless persons, mostly children, are daily suffering anguished deaths by mayhem, starvation, exposure, and disease. Not only must people today suffer because of violence, but future generations may never come into being because of it. The ongoing climate of war is wasting the time and resources that humanity needs to apply to the urgent task of planetary preservation and renewal. Warfare sows disunity within humanity and aborts the global planning needed to meet imminent problems like global warming, resource exhaustion, and the crash of the seas.

Participation in warfare and other types of intra-species violence is anti-evolutionary. As Lao Tzu said, “Lean years follow in the wake of a great war, and brambles grow where the army has passed.” The deaths of family men in battle, the orphaning of children, the subjection of mothers and daughters to cruel fates, and the siring of yet another generation of cannon fodder, these are the fruits of cooperating to murder other people. Under this anti-evolutionary regime, munitions makers deploy increasingly heinous weapons to destroy people and the earth, and humanity meekly waits to be led to the execution place. These craven "leaders" fail to measure the triviality of their own interests against the incalculable value of the survival of the human species. They do not lead; rather, they manipulate with coercion, violence and deception. As Sun-Tzu says, short-sighted strategies are of no use and lead only to failure. Only far-seeing strategies can secure long-term goals like species survival. We must disregard, circumvent, and outmaneuver the short-sighted strategies of our "leaders" for the good of the species. If we succeed in this task, future generations will call us heroes.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:21 pm


2:02pm, January 7, 2006

The Swiss, those endearing bastards, have done it again. Once we boycotted them because they sacrificed the lives of babies to corporate profits, pushing powdered milk on the unsuspecting poor nations, whose children died in droves because powdered milk's not good for infants. Now they are vacuuming water out of Northern California at the planned rate of a HALF a BILLION GALLONS of WATER per YEAR from the rural rubes up in McCloud who think that's a GREAT DEAL at $45K. Forty-five Grand! These guys need an R-WE-STUPID? bumpersticker! This article is a good summary of the problem, and has a list of Bottled Waters to boycott, but please just boycott anything made by Nestle, not just from Arrowhead Water to Swiss Miss chocolate. Here's the list of EVIL BOTTLED WATERS:

Deer Park
Great Bear
Ice Mountain
Poland Spring
Zephyr Hills wrote:

The Great McCloud Water Caper of 2003, by Charles Carreon

The Swiss Way: When Neutrality Works This Well, War Is Obsolete

Half A Billion Gallons of H2O Per Year Up For Grabs

The Nestle Waters North America website hasn’t apparently been updated since 2003. That is probably why it says nothing about the subject of this article – Nestle’s bald-faced attempt to circumvent the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by ramming through a secret contract to buy 1600 acre-feet of water per year from a tiny community resource agency in Northern California – the McCloud Community Service District (MCSD). How much is an acre-foot? That’s one acre, one foot deep, which is a lot of water – 325,851.427 gallons. Multiply that by 1,600 and you get 521,361,600. That’s over a half-billion gallons of water each year. I bet even in McCloud a bottle of Calistoga will still cost two dollars. So, aside from the costs of pumping, bottling and transportation, Nestle, a Swiss corporation, will pull out a vast amount of nature’s finest product, drawn from the watersheds and snowmelt of countless square miles, so they can sell it back to Americans. And you thought we were smart here in the USA.

The World’s Largest Food Producer Is Thirsty

Nestle’s website says it’s the world's largest bottled water company, serving H20 under seventy-seven brands in a hundred and thirty countries world-wide. They’re so proud of selling all this water, you’d think they’d invented the stuff. Or maybe it’s just the money that makes them so comfy. Quoting from the company website: “From 1998 to 2003, Nestlé Waters North America has seen its revenue increase from $1.2 billion to $2.6 billion, sustaining a volume share (all channels) of nearly 26.0 %. Nestlé Waters is, in turn, a division of Nestlé S.A., the largest food company in the world. Sales of total Nestlé S.A. increased one percent over the previous year to CHF 88 billion. Nestlé headquarters is located in Vevey, Switzerland.”

The Swiss: Masters At Working All Sides Against The Middle

In summer 2002 I was in Vevey, one of the loveliest stops along our boat-trip around Lake Geneva, with a very splendid view of Mont Blanc. The Swiss have scenery to kill for. We also stopped at a dungeon on the lake that had been designed with Swiss efficiency – the icy winds off Lake Geneva served to torment with cold, and the uneven stone floors gave prisoners nowhere to rest or seek shelter. Upstairs from the dungeon, a court fit for dancing parties was devoted to displays of arms. Starting as the first European mercenaries, the Swiss were loyal so long as they were paid and not asked to fight other Swiss. They still bodyguard the Pope. They invented bank secrecy, laundered Nazi gold and immense amounts of money stolen by oligarchs from the coffers of the poorest nations. The Swiss have the largest standing army per capita in the world, and produce as hard goods some of the priciest – chemicals and drugs. The Swiss are a libertarian nation if you will, where it is explicitly not their business whether you are evading taxes in another country as long as you are paying them in Switzerland. And they don’t make farmers bend over to please the tourists. One morning, we were wakened in our lovely little second floor hotel room with the lakefront view by an extremely aggressive bug-eyed crop-dusting helicopter buzzing the beachside vineyards hour after hour, spraying bio-cide. We repaired to Vevey for the day.

McCloud – Terra Incognita

Although I looked at Switzerland firsthand, I have never been to McCloud, and have driven past the McCloud exit on I-5 more times than I can count. My friend Rogelio, with whom I practiced Chinese martial arts in the late seventies, told me it had been nasty and brutish living as a short, Hispanic logger in McCloud. So I viewed McCloud, without ever seeing it, as a snowy sinkhole of poverty ensconced in useless mountain beauty. A place where pickup trucks rust next to unpainted buildings, and they probably still don’t sell a lot of natural food in the stores. Perfect for Nestle to swallow whole without any hint of indigestion.

A Little Lawsuit In Shasta County

I had occasion to revisit my view of McCloud recently when I saw a young lady at the Bloomsbury coffee shop reading a big stack of typewritten papers that she was underlining in red. She said it was the record of a public meeting about a lawsuit down in McCloud where the people had to sue to get their water back from Nestle. The court order she showed me had been signed by Judge Roger Kosel of Siskiyou County Superior Court, and it did indeed invalidate a contract for the sale of water from the people of tiny McCloud to Nestle, the multibillion-Swiss-franc colossus. The text that got my attention was this: “The agreement commits the McCloud Community Services District to an option contract with Nestle for the purchase of up to 1600 acre feet per year of District spring water for a period of 50 years with a guaranteed right to extend the term for an additional 50 years. This option is irrevocable for a period of 5 years on the District's part The potential environmental impacts to the water supply are foreseeable and obvious... The approval of the agreement amounts to the creation of an entitlement for Nestle and commits the District to a definite course of action.” The Superior Court concluded that because “the agreement creates an option for the purchase of … drinking water … potentially … out to 100 years … it is an abuse of discretion not to proceed with CEQA compliance prior to approval of the agreement.” What is CEQA compliance? Just a matter of public involvement. As Judge Kosel ruled, “the purpose of CEQA is to … inform governmental decision-makers and the public about the potential, significant environmental effects of proposed activities.” Therefore, it would seem obvious to all but Nestle and the MCSD, that “compliance should occur prior to the approval of the agreement.” There was no environmental study, no public hearing until Nestle and the MCSD brought the matter up at a single public meeting, and of all the questions raised by the surprised public participants, none received adequate answers. Instead, the MCSD approved the contract despite having no access to legal counsel, scientific advice, or apparently anything but the pushy Nestle lawyers to advise them.

A Mighty Sweet Deal

Why was there such a hurry to rush this contract through? Well, for the same reason rape and pillage are always done in a hurry – once caught in the act, it is more difficult to complete it. According to the McCloud Watershed Council, that formed to overturn the sweetheart deal, and apparently convinced Judge Kosel of the truth of their contentions, the contract provides for:

• A 50-year term, renewable for another 50 years
• The right to take 1,250 gallons per minute of spring water
• The right to take qualified water on an interim basis from district's springs for bulk delivery to other bottling facilities located in Northern California
• The right to construct pipelines and a loading facility
• Use of an unknown quantity of well water for production purposes
• Exclusive rights to one of the Springs
• One hundred years of exclusivity, during which time no other beverage business of any type may exist in McCloud
• Use of an undisclosed, perhaps unlimited amount of ground water
• The right to take 1600 of acre feet of spring water annually
• The right, from time to time, to request purchase water in excess of the maximum take
• The right to transport bulk water from spring sources, other than the Springs, for bottling at the bottling facility (see contract details)
• The right to choose exclusive use of either Upper or Lower Elk Springs as an exclusive source for Spring Water
• The right to require the MCSD to dispose of process waste water
• The right to require the MCSD to design, construct and install one or more ground water production wells on the Bottling Facility site for Nestle’s use as a supply for non-spring water purposes.

The benefits to Nestle in this agreement are outrageously imbalanced against the detriments to the community of McCloud. But we may also properly ask why McCloud should have control over so much water that they don’t have any use for? If the MCSD can sell over half a billion gallons a year and not miss it, why not give McCloud other vast resource tracts to sell to the Swiss, or to the Saudis for that matter? Why not sell Lake Shasta to the Sultan of Brunei. He’s really thirsty. He can ship the lake to his country in oil tankers and on the return trip, make payments in oil. The way the Swiss are pricing water, it’s already twice as expensive as gas, so we should make bank!

Of course, the anti-American lawyers who get payment in Swiss francs (stronger than the dollar for three years running now) aren’t going to give up. With the natives now rejecting the pittance in beads they were offered in exchange for this vast, unused natural resource, they will have to go the appellate courts to drag things out, cause more expense, and possible even reap a victory. CEQA is no doubt an endless problem for business interests, foreign and domestic. Perhaps the appellate judges will approve of circumventing its provisions. Perhaps an initiative can be floated to repeal it. Perhaps the endless flood of billions will bear Nestle along to success, and we will be free to buy back the resources we sell the Swiss at whatever price our poor, thirsty little mouths will compel us to pay.

Or maybe you have had enough. Maybe you thought Bolivia was the only country multinationals would roll over with their contracts and their big fat wallets. Maybe you want to help out the people of McCloud, and help pay for their one lawyer, Donald Mooney of Davis, California, to keep up the good fight. Maybe you want to vote with your pocketbook, by taking these Nestle water brands off your list forever:

Deer Park
Great Bear
Ice Mountain
Poland Spring
Zephyr Hills

Maybe you don’t want to keep quiet about it, and you’d like to send an email to the CEO at Nestle’ Waters North America Inc. I thought you might, so here’s his contact information.

Kim E. Jeffrey – President and CEO 777 W. Putnam Ave. Greenwich, CT 06830-5091 Phone: 203-531-4100 Fax: 203-863-0297 email: Or email:

(C) 2005, Ashland Free Press, LLC
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:24 pm


12:39am, January 12, 2006

When State law makes your company admit
That you lost all the data you were paid to sit
Then go to Washington all in a snit
Feed those Congressmen a line of shit
Come back home with a brand new law
No - no rights around here, not that I saw.

Maureen Kirk wrote:

Just in the last year, banks, other companies, and agencies have lost the confidential financial information of over 53 million Americans. We only know about these security breaches due to a pioneering California notice law that companies are complying with nationwide.

But the banks and credit card companies are pressuring Congress to override this and dozens of other state identity theft reforms with a weak federal law that won't protect privacy and won't allow states to do so either.

Please take a moment to tell Congress not to prevent the states from protecting their residents from identity theft. Ask your friends and family to help out too by forwarding this e-mail to them.

To take action, click on the following link or paste it into your web browser:

Background: Identity theft strikes ten million Americans annually and costs the economy $50 billion each year, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. It's easier to avoid being victimized and to clear your name when you know you are at risk and respond quickly to the threat. Since half of all victims never find out how thieves got their confidential information, California passed a law requiring any company or agency that loses consumer data to notify the potential victims of the security breach. Since that strong California law took effect in 2003, many security breaches have come to light. This year, banks such as Bank of America and Citigroup, retailers such as DSW Shoe Warehouse, the credit card processor Cardsystems, the data broker ChoicePoint and many others reported security breaches. In all, over 53 million Americans' identities were jeopardized because those controlling Americans' personal information failed to take care of it. By requiring notice to consumers, the tough California law is forcing companies to protect our information well or suffer the public relations and other harm of telling us that they've failed. That's a powerful incentive to protect our information better. Now, proposals ready for the U.S. Senate floor and moving through House committees would eliminate California's and other strong state notice laws and replace them with a weak federal notice requirement. Incredibly, companies that had already lost consumer information would get to decide whether the risk of identity theft, in their view, was great enough to warn us. States have also responded this year to another major identity theft problem: new account fraud. New account fraud is when the identity thief gets a new credit card, cell phone or other new account in the victim's name, and is particularly costly to both the victim and business.

Fortunately, unlike some types of identity theft, new account fraud can be prevented by the use of a security freeze. A freeze allows you to freeze access to your credit report, so that when a thief applies for credit in your name, his or her application is rejected. California pioneered the security freeze, and other states have continued to improve on California's work. New Jersey's security freeze law, which took effect on January 1, is currently the gold standard for security freezes because it is the cheapest and easiest to use. New Jersey lawmakers recognized that if using a security freeze is expensive or difficult, mainstream consumers won't use one. And if a freeze isn't used, it doesn't stop fraud.

New Jersey's new law and nearly all of the others granting security breach notice, freeze rights and other identity theft protections were enacted in response to a highly successful state PIRG/Consumers Union national campaign to promote our "Model State Identity Theft" law.

Regrettably, all of these state gains are at risk. The banks and credit bureaus and others are now demanding that Congress pass a difficult, expensive security freeze that voids all the state security freezes. More is at risk than our privacy. The banks are seeking not only to overturn these strong privacy laws, but also to limit the states' ability to protect us in the future. Please take a moment to tell Congress not to prevent the states from protecting their residents from identity theft. Ask your friends and family to help out too by forwarding this e-mail to them. To take action, click on the following link or paste it into your web browser: To learn more about security freezes and the New Jersey law, visit NJPIRG at To learn more about state PIRG identity theft solutions and to view the model law, visit


Maureen Kirk OSPIRG Executive Director

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:27 pm


9:58pm, January 19, 2006

Okay, who hid the news that 53% of American voters want Congress "to consider impeachment" if (and this is a nonexistent "if") Bush spied on Americans in blatant violation of the Constitution and the courts? Well, a Zogby poll was done in November, and that was the result! I just found out about it at

Okay, well now I feel a lot better about America. Even though we're kept in the dark and fed bullshit with our cornflakes, somehow people are kind of keeping up with the major outlines of the story. We've got secret prisons around the world, we're paying mercenaries to fight a war of empire, people at home are struggling, and all our President can promise is that he will keep spying on us for our own good, because by the time the case gets around to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor will be gone, and Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and one more makes a Bush majority every day of the week.

The Supreme Court will have five Catholics on it, too, and I wonder how they'll rule when the appeal comes up in that recent case where the Pope as head of the Vatican was dismissed from a child molestation lawsuit because he's the Sovereign Head of a Foreign Nation? Does that mean that all priests are foreign agents who should register? What about Catholic judges?

But I digress, which is so easy in the thicket of corruption that has become our national political reality. Gutless Congress people don't even speak the word "impeachment." Wow, if you could put a set of Republican balls on a Democrat, then you'd have something! They might even say something stirring and indicting like "None dare call it treason!"

The news media aren't reporting the Drive to Impeach, so let's GO BLOGGERS! Here's a list of media email addresses you can bomb with invective and cajolery. Let's see if we can MOVE THE MEDIA AND WITH IT, PUBLIC DEBATE.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:29 pm


February 7, 2006

The year was 1995. Lance Pugh was standing in my office in the Old Ashland Armory, waving his arms and explaining vociferously that I needed to understand that because the City of Ashland had been farsighted enough to back a municipal fiber network, the Armory was going to be wired to the world wide web. Once this marvelous fiber was pulled into the building, I would be able to contact clients around the world. Lance envisioned the Armory becoming an online entertainment emporium, with live video feeds streaming out live shows from the Armory stage. Lance imaged something on the order of “Ashland City Limits.” Lance was right on with his prophecies, but a little ahead of his time, and what visionary isn’t? I still think he had a cool idea.

Will Work For Net Access

In 1999, I had an office in Medford, a dot-commer client in San Francisco, and a high-stakes lawsuit to service in San Jose. Using dial-up wasn’t cutting it. My client offered to do whatever it took to speed up my Internet connection. I ended up with a hybrid system called Perkinet that required a technician to install a satellite downlink into my building, while I still did my uploads by phone modem. Kooky system, but it worked until Internet CDS discontinued the service after about three months. Then I ended up buying Qwest DSL high-speed through a third-party vendor who would have committed seppuku if he’d had an ounce of decency about him. The service cost $400 per month, and was intermittently down for extended periods. But it was still better than dial up.

AFN, My Savior

In 2000, I moved my office back to Ashland, when I realized that both AFN and Charter Internet were available, and competing prices down brutally. I started with Charter because they won the race to my cul-de-sac, and stayed with them until a three-day outage brought my clients down around my ears. I switched to AFN and never had cause to look back, although the whole bit with dealing with a third-party ISP seemed bizarre. Why, I asked myself, would the City throw away its ownership of a fiber network by letting third-party ISPs do the easy work of signing up customers to a broadband network? But I didn’t think about it long. AFN service was great, cheaper than Charter, that charged me more for extra IP addresses. I even broke down and got cable TV during 2004, but I tired of big media in a big way after watching Kerry throw the vote to his fellow-Bonesman. TV, I decided, sucks. But you can take my Internet away when you pry my keyboard from my cold, dead hands.

It’s 2005, and I pay extra for a one-gigabit monthly upload capacity, so the Ashland Free Press and other publishers can put their works out on the Internet. Hosting websites from your own place is a cozy thing to do, not quite as romantic as a crackling fire, but often more remunerative. I went to Vegas earlier this year and met with a group of Internet entrepreneurs, people who run a lot of websites, and make some pretty good money. But they also pay big bandwidth bills, and were very impressed with the low price of bandwidth in Ashland. In fact, they asked if they could buy some.

Welcome to the Bandwidth Business

So what is bandwidth? Bandwidth, my dear fellow Ashlander is the business we are in. Bandwidth is the Internet medium of information transfer. Measured in “megabits per second,” it serves the same function as the wooden letters in Scrabble, without which you can’t spell anything. Every “bit” is a unit of information – one “yes” or one “no” – one pixel on or one pixel off on a video screen. You need lots of bits to make a letter, and many more bits to record a song, picture, or movie. Without bandwidth you can’t send any letters, numbers, pictures, or gambling wagers over the Internet. If you want to send a lot of information, you need a lot of bandwidth.

Where, you might ask, is this bandwidth manufactured? As best I can ascertain, it is manufactured in computers called “servers,” that crank it out of their processors, which are called engines for a very good reason. And yes, right here in Ashland, we have a lot of servers, adding to the total bandwidth in the Internet universe. We are producing and selling this marvelous material that can be hammered into anything you can see on a screen, hear through a speaker, and print on paper or even in three-dimensional materials.

Bandwidth – great stuff. This marvelous medium of communication has deflated the record industry’s monopoly, created a new medium of self-expression, empowered young, old and everyone in-between, created innumerable jobs, and given us the means to reduce gas-guzzling hive activities like “showing up for work,” “going to the video store,” and “dropping off that paper to sign.” It probably also launched the Abu Ghraib expose, helped Michael Moore end-run the media blackout of Fahrenheit 911, and got Mike Brown fired. Using this fantastic high-speed network, we can also reduce our long-distance phone bills drastically, and talk to people around the world for pennies, using flat-fee Voice-Over Internet Protocol services like Vonage. People say information wants to be free, and I believe that, but without bandwidth, it’s going nowhere.

The bandwidth in Ashland is very good bandwidth, because it doesn’t run through nasty old copper wires left over from the bad old telephone days, like Qwest DSL and other nasty services. Ashland bandwidth races at the speed of light through 35 miles of buried optical fiber that doesn’t rust, doesn’t wear out, and allows fast, smooth transmission of data. This is an excellent product, and one that can be sold to people from all over the world, through a market that is accessible entirely over the Internet. Ashland could become a home for a goodly number of server farms, which is nice, clean industry that pays good salaries to technicians. We may not have a monopoly, but we have a very nice market in which to compete, and many of us think of AFN Internet access as a way of life. While reselling Internet access through a network of private ISPs is cumbersome and fragments our competitive strategy against Charter, it also provides a substantial number of local jobs that pump money right back into the community. We cannot forget the good jobs held by many Ashland public servants, union members, in the Ashland Information Technology, Telecommunications, and Computer Services Divisions, with a payroll totaling $1,830,000, many of whom would presumably have to find a new employer if AFN wasn’t a City enterprise anymore, and who must spend some of that money at Ashland eateries. Heck, if you fire all those people, who’ll be left to pay the meals tax?

How’d It Get So Expensive?

AFN is like a bunion – you don’t know how it got that big, and it hurts. Parkinson’s Law states: “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” G. Northcote Parkinson coined the aphorism when he was trying to figure out why the devil the number of Admiralty officials in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy ballooned 78% while the total number of ships under command fell by 67%. Nettlesome as this problem seemed, Parkinson got to the bottom of it. He observed that, regardless how trivial the task, “the thing done swells in importance and complexity in direct ratio with the time to be spent.” That leisure breeds self-importance is well-known, but Parkinson had the groundbreaking insight that “work swelling” results from bureaucratic infighting:

“Picture a civil servant, called A, who finds himself overworked. For this real or imagined overwork there are, broadly speaking, three possible remedies. He may resign; he may ask to halve the work with a colleague called B; he may demand the assistance of two subordinates, to be called C and D. There is probably no instance in history, however, of A choosing any but the third alternative. By resignation, he would lose his pension rights. By having B appointed, on his own level in the hierarchy, he would merely bring in a rival for promotion to W’s vacancy when W (at long last) retires. So A would rather have C and D, junior men, below him. They will add to his consequence, and by dividing the work into two categories, as between C and D, he will have the merit of being the only man who comprehends them both.“

Thus officials vie to multiply their subordinates and outmaneuver rivals, seeking to control bigger budgets, boss more employees, enjoy more prestige, and exercise more power. How does Parkinson’s Law figure into this story? No one in the City wanted another Department Head, least of all a “AFN Cable & Internet Department Head,” who would have a big budget, lots of subordinates, and according to the financial predictions, a cash cow to manage. Such a person would be an unbearable rival within City government, so it just did not occur to anyone that, however unpalatable, AFN needed someone to lead it.

Sun Tzu said that before going into battle, a general must ask:

“Which government has the right philosophy?
Which commander has the skill?
Which season and place has the advantage?
Which method of command works?
Which group of forces has the strength?
Which officers and men have the training?
Which rewards and punishments make sense?
This tells when you will win and when you will lose.
Some commanders perform this analysis.
If you use these commanders, you will win.
Keep them.
Some commanders ignore this analysis.
If you use these commanders, you will lose.
Get rid of them.”

So much the worse if you have no commander at all. You can’t even get rid of them. But we have only ourselves to blame. We funded AFN in a feel-good mood, and it took off like a colt that saw the barn door open. Since then, we haven’t had a chance of catching up. We started off on the wrong foot. Without a top manager, AFN was nobody’s baby, and everybody’s excuse. No one’s professional fate was personally bound up in getting AFN built within a specified time frame, so Parkinson’s Law ate up all the slack that the City allowed.

Time is the enemy of profit. Incomplete systems don’t operate, and an inoperable system cannot generate a profit. Every day a project drags on, the more likely it will not be completed or will fall short of expectations, the day when you start earning any money from operations is set farther off. The failure to complete on-time was the first operational failure of AFN, and it was no due to the fact that no strict schedule for completion was adopted or adhered to. Instead, the job was done in the usual public-contracting style, by union City employees and private contractors receiving prevailing wage.

Of course, no one was clamoring for prompt completion of AFN. By contrast, in an effective private organization, when construction fell behind, the AFN sales chief might remind the Construction Director and AFN top brass, that “delayed deployment” means “delayed sales” means “delayed revenue” means smaller bonuses for all of them. Delay in deployment is daily death for the sales chief, who lives from sales, who hopes to send his children to medical school with the proceeds of sales.

Salespeople read Sun Tzu because selling to consumers is a war, a fiercely competitive enterprise that should never be engaged in by amateurs. War is managed by successful commanders. Selling is managed by sales chiefs. Commanders are supposed to produce victories, and sales teams are supposed to produce cash. What do you do with commanders who fail to produce victories? “Get rid of them.” The same thing happens to sales chiefs who don’t produce bucks. They get into something different, and the business finds someone who can sell. This job of actually getting the money is indeed a very difficult one, that is fairly analogized to fighting a war. But from what I can tell from researching the City’s website and news resources, AFN had no Sales Director. So no high-level AFN employee ever actually faced the nitty-gritty business of getting Internet and cable users to choose AFN over Charter. Instead, City employees went about the business of providing services and charging fees for them, the only model with which they are familiar. Unfortunately, Charter had a sales director.

Nobody’s job at the City of Ashland was on the line when advertiser revenues fell markedly below projections. Worst of all, no one fought for a marketing budget, which is analogous to failing to give your soldiers any weapons. No one was worried they’d lose face if Charter stole our customers using predatory pricing (underselling your competitor even though you lose money in the short run). Even though AFN pays $460,000 per year for ”Central Services,“ usually described as ”legal and accounting,“ AFN never got a formal legal opinion about whether the City could sue or otherwise challenge Charter’s discriminatory pricing policy, under which it delivers Internet access and cable services at lower prices in Ashland than in Medford. Nope, we just sat there while Charter ate our lunch, even though their service is inferior. And most definitely no one’s job was imperiled by the City’s failure to roll out Internet telephone service, thus kissing off a half-million of forecast revenue in a single inaction.

So how has AFN been run at all? AFN has been run by remote control from Lee Tuneberg’s office, with nods from Alan DeBoer and City Administrator Gino Grimaldi, who signed off on all the debt that we’re now carrying.

So why is the project everybody’s favorite whipping boy? Everyone wants to blame the debt, but I want to talk about AFN’s unexploited value first, because frankly, the debt is not killing us, we have no way of getting rid of it but to pay it off, and all the negative talk is just driving down the price of the asset in question. If we are going to sell, we should not be broadcasting our despair about the financial imbroglio we have gotten ourselves into. A recent interpretation of Sun Tzu for salespeople says, “If you are struggling, you must seem calm.” We are struggling, and we must seem calm. We are sitting at the big stakes table, here. The vultures are circling, and we are what’s for dinner. We need to kick a little.

Nowadays everyone wants to know: should we dump AFN, or what? When you talk about selling something that is valuable, that works, that is already built, and that is buried under your house, you should have a good reason for doing it. The fact that it cost too much to build it, and it’s costing you to keep it, doesn’t necessarily mean you should haul off and get rid of it. You need to do an economic analysis, and that analysis really doesn’t have anything to do with how much money you have into the project. This economic principle is expressed as “forget sunk costs.”

What are “sunk costs?” Sunk costs are money that you’re not going to get back no matter what you do. My only economics professor, Armen Alchian, explained it by saying: “Imagine you had a million dollars, and you invested nine-hundred thousand of them in a stock that went belly-up and you lost it all. The way that you lost the nine-hundred-thousand should have nothing to do with how you apply the remaining hundred-thousand, except that perhaps you should not throw good money after bad.” In fact, people have a tendency to fixate on a loss, and it destroys their ability to evaluate how to dispose of the remaining asset.

As the owners of AFN, the citizens of Ashland find themselves in a similar situation. We have invested far more than we were told it would cost to build the fiber network. In 1999, it was estimated to cost $6 Million, and we are told it has cost $15.5 Million. To explain this Pentagon-sized overrun, City employees disclosed to the AFN Options Committee that, among other blunders, construction went way over budget because the City Attorney failed to inform the City that it would have to pay prevailing wages to contractors working on the project. The ballooning expense was not disclosed to the public. Rather, in July 2002, based on a memo from Lee Tuneberg, the City’s top bean-counter, then-Mayor Alan DeBoer authorized “internal borrowing” from the Water Fund and the Wastewater fund to keep AFN going through 2003. Tuneberg sent a copy of his memo to DeBoer to Gino Grimaldi, City Administrator, but didn’t even send a copy to Dick Wanderscheid, the City head of Electric, who has pretended to be the head of AFN since 2001, reading scripts preparedy by the accounting office. Wanderscheid has mainly been useful in hiding AFN's financial problems during his tenure, since he developed the habit of issuing AFN Quarterly Reports that describe only rosy conditions, then dropping a financial bomb (like a $2 Million deficit in AFN funding) shortly after each new budget is passed. Thanks to Dick's idea of how to fund things (secretly, after the fact, and when it's too late to say no), AFN has earned the reputation of being a boondoggle. Now it has to live that reputation down, and somehow get its neck out of the noose that John Gaffey and his band of fiscal vigilantes had slipped 'round its neck.

The ”sale of AFN" that many believe will get the City out of debt will not. The Daily Tidings ran a financial analysis in its December 3rd edition clearly showed that selling AFN for $5 Million and throwing away its operating revenues would increase yearly AFN payoff expense from $755,000 to $985,000 per year – from three-quarters of a million, to a million. The damage to local business from a sale could be substantial. We have a goodly number of businesses built on AFN Internet access, first among them the ISPs, whose fortunes, and those of their owners and employees, are based on the continuance of the existing order. We have a public resource that is still in our hands, over which we can yet exert control. Cooler heads want a fix before the vote – a sale, a lateral, a spinoff, a face-saving, time-saving fix that will prevent the issue going to a vote – what the powerful think of as a roll of the dice. But we are the voters. We paid for, and will continue to pay for this thing. We need to look at all the facts and make up our minds with a cool head.

The Options Committee has recommended that the City get rid of AFN, because it could never learn how to run it, but this sidesteps the politically untenable truth – the City has allowed Lee Tuneberg to call the tune that AFN has been required to play, and that tune is heavy on accounting expense. The “Central Services” expense of $460,000 per year keeps AFN underwater. The Options Committee report recommends spinoff because the members believe that, if a separate nonprofit were buying these same services, they would pay less than $100,000 per year. One might ask, then, if AFN has to be rescued from City government so they won’t be overcharged for accounting and legal work, what kind of a City government are we running, and where are the savings going to come from that will prevent us running up more debt? The answers to this question is simple. We are running a very expensive City government. And getting rid of AFN won’t fix that.
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