Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Latas Family Loses a Hero

Tucson, Arizona. I was very saddened to learn this evening that Jesse Latas, the son of Jeff and Salette Latas, a fine young man that earned the distinction "hero" in many ways, has lost his fight with cancer.

My deepest condolences to the Latas family for their loss. I did not know Jesse, but I have heard enough to know that in his short time here, he lived a full, courageous, and admirable life. I send the Latas family my prayers and best wishes.

Historical Marker - The Mind Body Problem

A recent anonymous visitor to this blog won many points with your humble blogger by reading Something Else and having the authenticity to express the opinion that the deeper aspects of the material eluded him even after considerable thought, signing his remark "Blind Man."

Well, he is anything but blind. He later remarked about Descartes, intuition and its ability to help both mouse and man navigate the maze. Well said.

Intuition happens.

How intuition happens is too difficult for today. First let’s entertain the easier difficult Mind Body problem that continues to perplex smart people.

Depending on how steep we like the terrain, we have Princeton University’s Steven Harnad’s academic paper as well as Robert Young’s friendlier but also rigorous discussion of the Mind Body problem. The dilemma has its roots in Rene Descartes notion that that the "thinking thing" with a soul at its root is separate from the physical body. I think Alex Byrne’s introduction of a world "close to ours" called w' and humorous and brilliant use of color is fantastic.

The academics are beyond the scope of this blog, and I point to them only. What I will say is that in the must read Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand writes, "Check your premises." I argue that one accepts a fictitious premise as soon as one acknowledges a mind body problem. It does not exist. We invented the mind body problem. It is our own creation.

As I write in Something Else, reality and consciousness are not countable. We cannot get to the Mandelbrot set nor human consciousness via Alan Turing's infinite but always countable Turing Machines. We are more than that. Yes, we are very mechanical, virtual robots. But we are not robots. Robots can be computed and programmed. Human beings can be manipulated, but they cannot be computed. At the border, distilled spiritual certitude cements this forever. Taste the other side and you can forget about forgetting.

You can pump that CPU as fast as you want and give it all the memory in the world. It will never experience wicked serious funny. In a matter of minutes, Sirocco and Liza can program the thing to make laughing sounds in response to certain input, but it’s not laughing. That box is not conscious and never will be.

We are 99.999% robot. 0.001% is Something Else. With effort, certain folks alter the percentages.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Hillary and Obama in 2008

If the Democrats nominate a lobotomized potato for president in 2008, I cast my vote for the stupid spud. While technically an Independent, in 2008 I vote solid blue. As I’ve already written, I want the GOP torched so badly in 2008 that it utterly disintegrates and new parties emerge from the ashes.

Your humble blogger agrees with Newt Gingrich in his prediction of a Hillary/Obama ticket. I think he’s right, and I think the ticket will win.

Why?

Many factors, but regarding the primary, one sticks in my throat: Obama’s age. He is too young. Granted, with W we have nuked any notion of credentials required to become president and have shown ourselves capable of electing an eggplant. We may or may not have a 1976 on our hands (after Watergate the country would have elected the potato), but even with her negatives, Hillary is the stronger nominee. If Obama secures a VP role with chutzpah (precedent now more than set) he is in perfect shape to follow afterwards. Look at them together. Just look. Then look at the other side, and think about the mess we're in.

Looking at the Republicans, when the light gets bright on Romney, and it has barely started, we’re going to hear stranger stuff than fondness for Battlefield Earth. We’re talking about a guy who when challenged about his claim of lifelong hunting alleged he had shot some hamsters. The man comes from another reality. He wanted to campaign on the slogan, “First, not France.”

Mitt thinks French marriages expire after seven years after reading the concept in a sci-fi novel that did not involve France. His wife, regrettably diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (a condition affecting someone I love deeply) infuriated cancer victims by suggesting cancer was somehow a preferable circumstance. I can appreciate the preference for a quick death. Mitt’s hamster gun is a better choice than cancer.

Please, let’s replace the illiterate vacuum head with people who can write, not someone who although literate, reads bad fiction and thinks it’s true.

McCain has utterly disintegrated. I repeat my assertion that Rudy Giuliani is the strongest R in the general, but I don’t think the GOP is smart enough to nominate him. Romney will embarrass and Hillary will demolish Thompson.

We are about to elect the first female president of the United States, and she will have an African American vice president. It's time to get rid of the fat, arrogant, white, male assholes.

The big question is, when we make U-Cubed, the movie, who should direct? Oliver Stone would make it ridiculously self-important. Spielberg would move too far from the drama into entertaining action and lose the required gravitas. I’m thinking Stephen Gaghan.

A Little More on Perception

Sorry, I know readers prefer juicy scoop about an election, but I must post a little more content on this sensory perception material. A proper perspective requires one to break free of the five sense paradigm and recognize that a vast stream of far finer distinguished data streams flood our perceptual system.

Starting with taste, the old school is that we have four components: bitter, sweet, salt, sour. Well, that’s completely ridiculous. Bite into a fresh jalapeno and tell me which of the four has you charge for a cold beer or a glass of water. Taste alone can be broken into over a dozen components, and if you think taste has many components, consider that you could easily spend an hour listing all of the different possible scents the nose can register. Now, a spectrum of data does not imply an additional instrument of perception. Whether we are talking about 20,000 different scents or 2 million, it is still one nose.

The useful insight comes from fragmenting the entire stream and destroying any binding classifications or categorizations that apply restrictive filters on one’s ability to perceive reality.

We get nowhere until one truly distinguishes "distinction" which forms the foundation of what I am building. Sight provides the easiest access. In the first image, what do you see? Consciousness has levels, and what determines what you see operates at a level beneath thought. A young woman looking away? An old woman looking down? What led you to your conclusion is not thinking. It is something else.

How about the second image? What is it? It is most instructive if you have to struggle a little while. If you see nothing but chaos, that is uninterpreted data, which surrounds you completely in quantities beyond comprehension the vast majority of which you completely ignore or you would go insane. Once you "see it" the data has passed your interpretive framework into the realm accessible to thought, and you say, "Oh, it's a cow."

When the cow becomes clear, or you shift from the old lady to the young woman, it is not thinking.

Now, take this concept we applied to simple sight and expand it to all perception including the many senses beyond the five. You have my solemn promise that I am not messing around.

There is a red pill.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Historical Marker & The Myth of 5 Senses

The common idea is that as humans we have the following five senses: 1. Touch. 2. Taste. 3. See. 4. Smell. 5. Hear.

Nonsense. We have far more than five senses.

Imagine you buy a high quality backpack at Summit Hut, a $300 indoor frame top of the line model that perfectly distributes the weight across your shoulders as well as a belt that also balances and supports the load. You masterfully adjust the pack for your measurements and start walking. Unknown to you, I start adding weight to the pack. As I keep adding weight, at some point a thought will register in your mind that, indeed, something is going on.

What data produced the thought? Taste, sight, smell, and audio are unlikely sources of the information. Touch? What are you touching? The information telling you of the increasing weight is coming from the sensation of touch on your skin?

Ridden a bike and hit a hill? Is it touch that makes you breathe harder and shift to a lower gear? Are you really asserting that the pressure on the skin of your feet through your shoes is the source of that information?

Oh, but that’s not physical data? I’m adding weight to your pack, not hurting your feelings.

I’m just getting started. Let’s blindfold you and extend your arm. I take a butane cigar lighter and slowly approach your skin. You sense heat. Is that touch? Sure? Nothing has touched anything. Is the radiation of the bright Arizona sun on your skin touch?

Getting dizzy is pretty physical, isn’t it? Which of the five senses plays a role in becoming dizzy? Where does balance come from, anyway? Is that among the five senses?

Been in something really fast that can accelerate like a rocket? Ridden a roller coaster or spinning ride that throws you around? Been turned upside down so the blood rushes to your head? Clue me in, are you smelling the blood rushing to your head or tasting it? We can safely reject that you are seeing it.

Five senses. Right. I would also argue that certain touching, well, just isn't quite captured by the word touch.

The kindergarten observation of a wide variety of alternate external and internal body sensations may seem trivial, but I promise it is not. Toss the notion of five senses. To reach the border, we require finer distinctions about the data we process.

I kid the reader not and will remain more friendly than the remarks on synaesthesia regarding perception and art.

Still, we journey, if you are up to it, to a place that addresses perception and consciousness.

I wanted to toss out some hopefully trivial remarks about the physical body. We’ll get to thoughts and feelings later. As one would guess, they are more involved.

I'll return to politics tomorrow.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Something Else – The Second Update

Tucson, Arizona. Three weeks have now passed since I published Something Else, the story of a training institute in Tucson, Arizona designed to serve local employers with training needs as part of the community’s workforce development effort.

Most feedback suggests that readers find the SAIAT story well worth reading. Indeed, the place was quite a ride for your humble blogger. Although the city and county allocated $242,500 in funding to support the nonprofit institute last year, TREO, the economic development agency entrusted to administer the contract, kept 55 percent of these funds for itself, causing heavy losses for the small institute. As discussed in the document, after handling some items requiring handling, I resigned in May. I have learned that SAIAT will receive no support at all for this year. Guardian angels do not have much time.

Both this blog and my email provide a means for anyone to communicate. Several have posted commentary, in particular the astute Navigator who saw more deeply into the work than I had anticipated.

I have received very little negative feedback other than the comments one can read at the stories below. Via email and phone, minor modifications were requested and implemented within hours. No one has come forward to challenge any facts, assertions, or opinions. Three main questions have been asked via email.

1. Is the book published or will it be published in standard hardcopy format for sale? Answer, not yet and certainly not for many months. It remains available at the Web site indefinitely and continues to be upgraded in a manner consistent with the constructive criticism received. Formal publication would require professional editing, a marked reduction in images and permission to use them, and modification to address the loss of hyperlink functionality.

2. Is anyone reading Something Else? Yes.

3. Why did you write this? Answer: Think Mt. Everest. What started as general remarks tapped into Something Else much of which remains embedded and not yet discussed. The Navigator, Sirocco, and Zelph have noted deeper material exists. I’ve asked them to hold off further comment in this direction.

When one begins to see that the true nature of the work does not involve its content, one stands at a particular door. Readers considering the work a tirade about a funding cut are missing everything.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Face of Death

Tucson, Arizona. When an entity is facing certain death, prolonging the agony is simply not appropriate. We face this painful reality with our pets, our parents, and our organizations. As the baby boom faces the red step, we get to choose the resources to expend in denial of the inevitable.

Dr. Kevorkian is ahead of his time and should never have gone to jail. Barring an accident, murder, or sudden medical event, my life will probably end by my own hand when my ability to function drops below a certain threshold. I am not willing to rot as an invalid at high expense to anyone. I will give the paperwork to my daughter. Err on the side of checking me out. I’m going out anyway.

The terrible TREO of Snell, Smith, and Mouch have butchered a fine operation that served the short term training needs of southern Arizona businesses. Staff deserves severance, not the prolonged agony of a game that cannot be won. Let them move on and help them with a couple months pay. Toss the red and embrace the blue. Give them two months and let them move on. In two months, all will find what is next.

Snell, Smith, and Mouch have drawn from an account that does not forget.

Time wounds all heels.

Watch.

Web 2.0 and Information

First let’s distinguish between data and information, distilling useful knowledge (information) from an infinite sea of material. The debate rages as Web 2.0 drowns humanity in a bazillion blogs, YouTube videos, and an infinite expansion of uncontrolled web content consumed at the viewer’s peril.

Anyone can say anything, and we have arguments for and against the hyper-democratic sea of expression. The teaming masses of blithering idiots have been given a voice. Humanity is a network of conversations. Leadership is managing conversations. Drop dead top of the line no kidding leadership is managing the context of conversations.

The art of crafting context is the stuff that makes Caesars. Speaking, listening, and context involve rich and deep distinctions touched upon in The Blue Chapter.

Google Hillary just for videos, and there are pages of results pro and con. Who watches these productions? What difference do they make?

Those tapped in know Jennifer Granick’s well read Wired article about saving democracy via online disclosure sites like OpenSecrets. While Jennifer argues that Web 2.0 promotes democracy, another set of intellectuals argues that it reduces humanity to the lowest common denominator of ignorant and undisciplined content, washing away grounded academic discourse in an orgy of information anarchy, articulated in Andrew Keen’s The Cult of the Amateur. They eschew Wikipedia as unfounded nonsense anyone can post and edit. The assertion that anyone can post and edit is accurate.

The assertion that the product is unfounded nonsense is not accurate.

Librarians are not particularly pleased with Web 2.0, and Michael Gorman provides a good example of the technophobe argument in his "Sleep of Reason" material.

Michael and his ilk fail to grasp the two way nature of conversation and the power of listening. 98 percent of blogs are NEVER read. Movies bomb. Books end up on bargain shelves for $2.99. People visit Sonoran Alliance, RRR, and Arizona Congresswatch because the sites have earned readership with content that provides value.

I consider Wikipedia the distillation of the power of listening. Go ahead, post garbage at Wikipedia. Plant false information. Watch how long it persists. I posted here about an experiment where very obtuse errors were introduced into the Wikiverse. In a matter of hours, all errors were corrected. THINK.

Web 2.0 does not have aggressive white cell Wikignomes policing its content. My assertion: readers know this. The technophobes ground their concerns in the notion that if there are people stupid enough to believe Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Bill O’Reilly, surely they are vulnerable to nonsense at a Web site.

They underestimate the predisposition, growing sophistication, and filtering abilities of the surfers, who are not the same people that listen to Rush or watch Bill. Even the mediocre Web 2.0 consumers understand they traverse infinite ore to be mined for value. Discard the rest. The blogosphere is not an encyclopedia. The technophobes don’t get that we get it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Most Elegant Death

(Michael Whelan's Passage: The Red Step, 1995) Tammy Faye Messner died Friday, less than 24 hours after appearing on Larry King Live. She requested the interview, said what she had to say, and died.

I smell navigation.

As I’ve written before, reality is a messy, paradoxical dance of chaos and structure. Drill into the structure and you arrive at chaos. Drill into the chaos and you amazingly find structure. During the Jim and Tammy days, I despised both as the disgusting swaggard Haggard Swaggart hypocrites that bilk morons for millions and build air-conditioned dog houses.

Well, reality hit Tammy and hard. The reader can find details about her life elsewhere.


I am not qualified to discuss her life. My remarks are simply to express admiration for what I will not try to articulate. For those that have the distinctions, her appearance on Larry King the night before she died provides a stellar and moving example of how to take the red step.

Extraordinary.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bush Back In Power - Thompson Looming

(Fred Thompson) Lord Cheney pretended to give power back to Bush today after a routine colonoscopy. A brief scan of news sites suggests he refrained from bombing anyone while the president was being investigated. Rumors are circulating that one of the polyps removed was in fact Bush’s head.

Meanwhile, movement on the Fred Thompson front adds fuel to the speculation that he will indeed run. Thompson has secured the services of veteran Republican operative Rich Galen. No lightweight, the politically astute Galen is author of cyber column Mullings and provides political analysis on CNN. A sample of his thoughts.

Thompson will spend the rest of the summer strategizing with Galen to craft an early September launch. The other GOP contenders have cause for concern.

While Fred Thompson added Galen, Duncan Hunter has added former McCain staffer Patrick Anderson, a casualty of the McCain meltdown yet to be acknowledged by McCain. Never underestimate the power of denial. I speak from experience.

(Tommy Thompson) Let’s not get our Thompsons confused. We also have Tommy Thompson, governor of Wisconsin and not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. His panties are currently in a bunch because he thinks Mitt Romney is copying his campaign strategy, even though Romney’s schedule has been posted at Romney's Web site for months.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Arizona CD 8 in 2008

Tucson, Arizona. I pretty much state what everyone already knows, but I am nailing speculation down to metaphysical certitude. I did my modest equivalent of what Tedski does with elegance, and consider it cemented barring freak events like lightning strikes, cancer, or sudden discoveries of naughty photos, that in 2008 Republican Tim Bee will face Democrat Gabrielle Giffords for the AZ CD 8 seat. Neither will contend with a significant primary. A nut filing on either side will be toasted on impact.

Anyone standing in Paton's way for Bee's seat is roadkill. The GOP will take care of Paton's primary, and LD 30 will not elect a Democrat over someone of Paton's caliber. I'm unclear the Democrats can find someone who would try.

Bee's math is unknown to me, but it is intelligent. He has reasons behind his timing. He will obey the law to the letter, doing what he can prior to resigning. We see that by the path clearing before him. Paths don't clear themselves. Conversations are occurring. What he cannot do before resigning is serious fund raising via checks getting cashed. Verbal commitments from top players via phone are another matter.

When Bee throws the switch, a pile of money accumulating behind the dam will rush into the coffers. I stand by my assertion that he cannot wait until January to pop above radar. I now speculate early October, right after close of Q3. Until then, he operates in submarine mode via commitments, strategic planning, and organizational meetings within the law. It's not against the law to have dinner and chat about politics. It's not against the law to have someone taking notes.

Airline pilots have different ways they like to take off. Bee is the guy that pushes the throttle forward with the wheels locked. The energy mounts and mounts, the wings bending forward from the thrust. At a certain peak, he releases the brakes.

He will pick his timing, but the energy is already building. When he throws the switch, he launches like a rocket sled on rails. For those that know history, this race has been building since 2000.

The 2008 race for Arizona's congressional district eight is a dramatic culmination eight years in the making.

Cigar Man and SAIAT

Tucson, Arizona. While the fat lady has yet to sing, and it is too early to return to the graveyard and post a tombstone, she has taken the stage and stepped up to the mike. Your humble blogger has learned "the number" for SAIAT. Those having read Something Else know that TREO brutally slashed the workforce training institute's funding from $242,500 to $110,000 last year, inflicting massive financial losses.

I had hoped, seeing the losses, that the terrible TREO (Snell, Smith, and Mouch) would restore funding to the prior year's level. I now know the number for this year.

ZERO.

SAIAT gets nothing to support workforce development in our community. The one REAL place that provided REAL workforce development for REAL employees. I had hoped TREO's hatred was directed at its prior director, that the new director would be given a chance. Certain elected officials have written letters of support. The company is trying to find other ways to survive. A guardian angel may descend, which is about what it will take.

In June 1991 Tucson had a town hall. In May 2007 Tucson had a town hall. Both declared education and workforce development as critical top priorities for economic development. Turn to page 13 of TREO's fancy blueprint: Create an employer-driven, demand-side workforce development initiative that identifies skill gaps and specific employer needs, then aligns necessary educational and training resources to fill those gaps.

Cloth.

Anyone interested in the reality of such words and such work should visit Chapter 15. They talk about it. I know a place that did it and provide solid examples.

In November 2004, Cigar Man told me the place had no chance. He spoke with conviction, "Craft an exit. Your grave has been dug."

I didn't believe him. All of that hard work and extraordinary effort. If the place survives, the new director is a genius. If it folds this year, do not blame her. I extend the words Cigar Man extended to me, "Take comfort in the fact that you never stood a chance."

I wonder if Snell will write a letter to Chuck Huckelberry declaring the SAIAT board approved the elimination of all funding.

2008 - The Blue Tsunami

As I repeat ad nauseam, I am an Independent, but in 2008 I cast blue. Valerie Plame’s lawsuit against the Bush Administration got dismissed yesterday. Although tossing the case, U.S. District Judge John Bates said the lawsuit raises "important questions relating to the propriety of actions undertaken by our highest government officials."

Oh really? Who appointed Bates?

George W. Bush.

Bates agreed that federal law protects Cheney and his demonic sidekicks from being sued for actions taken as part of their official duties. WHAT?! Does this country have a constitution at this point? Oh, yes, except for du Fuhrer Cheney.

The pendulum swings, and Supreme Emperor Cheney (Bush who?) has pushed the pendulum hard, raking in $40 Billion a month for his friends with the blood of our children, suspending habeas corpus, breaking law after law after law.

Will Overlord Cheney grant his subjects permission to have an election in 2008? Why not dissolve the Supreme Court and the Congress? Between the attorney firings, the lies about Iraq, ignoring military expertise, obscene corporate welfare (oil, pharma...), the blatant effort to shut down oversight departments, the true colors emerge, and we see a criminal. We face a constitutional crisis worse than the Saturday Night Massacre.

As horrible as the beginning of the 21st century has been, I am actually optimistic. My optimism sees this colossal atrocity as a painful inoculation. Yes, it makes us sick, weak, and sore for a period of time. Thousands have died and many more are damaged, and I don't just mean physically. The astute understand, and in a few years if goodness prevails EMDR will become a household word.

The national debt defies comprehension, and how long is it going to take and what expenditures are we looking at even it we started to turn the Iraq faucet off TODAY?

Only Abraham Lincoln, with God's help, had to play the biggest hand and use the loyalty of the military to hold this nation together, placing the constitution on hold for the sake of saving a nation. One of the finest human beings to walk on this planet, Lincoln saved this country.

Dick Cheney is no Abraham Lincoln. He does not have the military. He has the loyalty of robber barons Halliburton, Exxon, and their ilk. Tick Tock, and 2008 looms. The last election gave the democrats eyes and a set of brakes. The next election will give them a steering wheel and a gas pedal.

Time will tell what this country chooses to be about. Until shown otherwise, I am going to believe that Cheney has unleashed forces beyond his comprehension, a backlash of unprecedented proportions screaming, "No!" to his tyranny serving the richest one-tenth of one percent of this nation.

The Nazis took a country too far in certain direction. I exaggerate intentionally to distinguish thematic elements. Cheney is du Fuhrer. Those aligned with him are on a collision course with Nuremburg. It will be interesting to see how the country digests Dick Cheney telling his increasingly pathetic lapdog we call our president who to pardon, including himself of all and everything.

In 2008, 100 percent of my votes, my contributions, and my voice, stand behind BLUE. I want to see the GOP torched beyond recognition for its support of this bloody, malignant regime. Then, hopefully, something worthy of this country will rise from the ashes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Wake Up Arizona Coalition

Tucson, Arizona. Immigration again. As foreseen at this blog and numerous others, Arizona's immigration law 2779 (link has meaty details) has run into this thing called REALITY. The Wake Up folks could not have picked a better name. First, a perusing of the players:

Mac Magruder (owns McDonald's franchises)
Ray Arvizu (owns a Hispanic marketing firm)
Tom Barnett (owns Good Egg and Burger King franchises)
Steve Chucri (president, Arizona Restaurant Association)
Jim Click (Tucson car dealer)
Jerry Colangelo (former owner, Phoenix Suns / Arizona Diamondbacks)
Brian Day O'Connor (owns a lot; son of former U.S. Supreme Court justice)
Barry Goldwater Jr. (son of former U.S. senator)
Danny Hendon (owns Danny's Family Car Washes)
Steve Hilton (CEO, Meritage Homes)
Gordon James (owns PR firm)
James LeVecke (owns Carl's Jr. franchises)
Jeff Moorad (GM, AZ Diamondbacks)
Mary Rose Wilcox (Maricopa County supervisor, owns El Portal restaurant)

Russell Pierce, meet reality. Mac Magruder, who heads "Wake Up," owns seven McDonald's franchises (and probably doesn't have a nickel to his name), said of Pierce, "You can't reason with hatred."

We now have (sorry, can't recall the names) at least half a dozen AZ legislators voicing regret for supporting the bill, stupid enough to admit to the press that they had not "read all the details."

What has me scratching my head is not Bee's vote for the bill. Charlene Pesquiera voted for it. Charlene?

Signing the bill may have been a brilliant move by our governor. She went farther and offered the idea of a special session to address its flaws. Apparently the legislature couldn't get it together, Russell Pierce declaring the revisions can wait until January. For Pierce and his ilk, life is about to alter. Consider the resources of the above individuals, and keep in mind all are DEEPLY NETWORKED. For each name, consider the multiplication. Only one is from Tucson, a two-bit car dealer with no financial muscle, no friends, and no political influence at all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Border Business, Substance Abuse, and Cactus Roots

Tucson, Arizona. GOP heavyweight auto dealer Jim Click’s photo and quotation ran front top center page in the Tucson Citizen regarding concerns about SB 2779. (That link goes to a good article, by the way.) I wonder if Janet would have signed the thing if she faced re-election in 2010. Well, GOP, be careful what you ask for. I think you've been handed a hot potato.

In the meantime, the Health and Human Services Department has released a study indicating that one in twelve full-time employees use illegal drugs regularly. It found that 16.4 million illegal drug users and 15 million heavy alcohol drinkers are among the fully employed. When disaggregating the illegal drug use by occupation, construction (17.4%) and restaurants (15,1%) ranked highest, with education and social workers ranking lowest. They obviously did not isolate philosophers (47.7%), artists (66.2%), or rock musicians (98.7%). Of course marijuana dominated the statistics.

They defined "heavy drinking" as five or more drinks on one occasion or drinking any amount on five or more occasions in the last month. That comprises the entire countries of Ireland, Scotland, Italy, France, Germany, and geez, Louise, the Russians?!

Do you know how much they drink in the Ukraine? Visit the place. If you try to order food at a restaurant, they give you a funny look. Take photos so you can remember the trip.

The Star has an article noting that Congresswoman Giffords’ cactus roots locomotive has close to $1 million to fuel its engine. More than half of her money, $620,000, came from individuals. Does the reader get that? It’s July 2007.

Maybe I’ll get that email from Tim Bee today about his position on immigration and SB 2779. He voted for it. I wonder what our senate president has to say to Jim Click.

My support for Congresswoman Giffords is public record. Who stands in her way in November 2008 might as well stand in front of a train, including Bee. I will keep reminding the dear reader that I am a left-leaning Independent who can and will vote red when red is smart. 2008 is shaping up to be a mess for the GOP.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Zelph and Esoteric Content

(Zelph, the "white" Lamanite) The blogger Zelph posted a comment a couple stories back indicating he smelled esoteric content at this blog. Born into Mormonism, Zelph’s intellect and open mindedness led him to question his inherited convictions. Good for him. True spiritual growth requires personal effort and experience. His struggle has enhanced a particular sense of smell.

YES, Zelph, esoteric ideas abound here, but subtly and not every time. Something Else points to a lot, as our visiting navigator, er, linguist, amply demonstrated.

Mormons believe that modern Native Americans descended from ancient ones they call the Lamanites. The legend of Zelph, Lamanite hero of Mormon folklore, began on Tuesday, June 3, 1834, when Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Wilford Woodriff, Jesse Smith, Levi Hancock, and others found unusually large bones at an alter among the remains of a Lamanite civilization. A spear stuck into the ribs. When Smith asked God about the bones, God told him about Zelph.

Science, with its persnickety bias towards truth, has been driving religion crazy since the beginning of time. Copernicus and Galileo caused a ruckus, and to make matters worse, Darwin came along. They’re still bitching about him.

Now DNA is messing with the Mormons regarding who descended from whom. I will spare the reader details. If the Mormons are smart, they will fold and craft a way to save the faith. They cannot put the scientists under house arrest.

I don’t know the church’s official statement regarding Josh Anderson. They excommunicated Sonia Johnson for supporting women’s rights. I don’t know if they’ve excommunicated Josh or endorsed him, but he has written a second book of Mormon, available online, you guessed it: The Book of Zelph. I would prefer you read Something Else and my site does not feature a link for tithing by credit card. I cannot vouch for Anderson’s creation, but I can promise you my piece is completely true except for that one part.

I make every effort to respect those of all religious beliefs, and can have great respect for those practicing Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and many others. Many paths climb the mountain. While hoofing up the hill, it's easier to look down than up. Work provides access to those who are higher and climbing advice. Some paths are faster, and some people are faster. Even the fastest don’t reach the top. Think asymptote.

Regarding respect, I can’t do it with Scientology. It's a scam. All that auditing engram stuff can probably be handled at five times the pace with EMDR and a good therapist.

The main character in The Book of Zelph is his son Melph. The main character in The Book of Mormon is Moroni. Zelph provides fourteen core beliefs. Belief #10 reads: "We believe that people aren't perfect, but the Book of Zelph is." Belief #13 reads: "We believe that even if the Book of Zelph isn’t true, it’s still the best book to read."

I want to respect them, but they make it difficult.

Somehow I don’t think Mitt Romney will read Something Else. Perhaps he has read The Book of Zelph. It can’t be worse than Battlefield Earth.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Unexpected Development of Another Order

Tucson, Arizona. Last week I felt the violation of someone hacking into my computer and deleting an entire directory. Last night a new visitor employed other methods to hack directly into my head. I do not exaggerate. "The Linguist" posted remarks regarding my story about SAIAT, the training institute in Tucson. I am compelled, as with Liza's valuable feedback, to post it, but I do so less easily.

I have no idea who "the linguist" is. Anyone know this person? His remarks, word for word, regarding Something Else. Who is this guy?

I visited the x4mr blog and tome for the first time recently. The provocative material tantalizes and delights. I appreciate x4mr’s alliteration and grasp of semantics as evidenced by his listing The Tyranny of Words most prominently among favorite reads. Something Else warrants considerable reflection. I believe I can shed further light. X4mr tells the truth when he speaks of a rabbit hole.

Shall we proceed further down the hole?

My pondering supports Liza’s view on the year chapters, which serve as signals to x4mr’s deepest revelation: It is not about its content. If not, then it is about "something else." The paradox of the assertion points to the "else" the document addresses at deeper layers, a paradox noted superficially as "$45 is $45 except when it isn’t" in the blue chapter.

X4mr stratifies. For humor, he stratified stupidity and food. Long ago, less humorous, he stratified knowledge. In Something Else he stratifies reality. We have the grounded reality of the SAIAT organization, a "REAL training center where REAL workers are taught REAL skills for REAL jobs" contrasted with "the cloth," his reference to the ineffective economic development rhetoric on which the southern Arizona community has squandered public dollars for minimal results. We also have "certain folks with a certain perception" able to perceive a higher reality from which guardian angels can descend. A reality beyond normal perception surrounds us.

At the global scale, we have Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others talking cloth, and in Tucson we have Snell, Smith, Mouch, and others talking cloth. The former have the surge. The latter have the blueprint. Both declare with conviction, "We are making progress."

They talk their talk and commit carnage. Tying to Iraq, x4mr states, "They hacked me to pieces like an animal in a slaughterhouse."

The Doctor has observed the longitudinal nature of publishing time-stamped content for purposes of later reference. Few can avoid the conclusion that x4mr is serious when he claims to have been trained in outside the box thinking. He possesses direct knowledge that transcends thought, a certain perception, distinctions regarding the formation of new mental models and levels of awareness (part of the knowledge stratification).

Returning to the year chapters, all feature the same question inside different contexts at different depths: "What else is there?" Ranking by depth, we have the 1968 context (where to turn?), the 1993 context (what is life as a word?), the 1981 context (what is life as a purpose?), and the ultimate question which concludes the work, the 1963 context, cutting us to the existential core.

As Liza noted, Something Else is profoundly personal. I go further and claim it is a deeply spiritual document written by someone with access to experiences beyond status quo. Near the end he meets with Judy, who "saw the marrow in my bones and the root of my soul," language expressing a connection many cannot imagine. No one has mentioned Judy, yet he stated it was the greatest conversation of his entire life. Also note his reference to being at a house with those "certain folks" of which Judy was one, toasting her as she left Tucson. Judy left Tucson physically, and x4mr left Tucson economic development. None of us grasp the skill set that left SAIAT the day he walked.

If you choose to believe him, these "folks" are real.

All said and done, Something Else is the tragedy of a well-meaning, gifted individual trying to help his community translate cloth into the reality of the front lines of economic development. In Chapter Fifteen he mentions the emerging field of "technicians" that translate to reality. X4mr worked as a workforce development technician. The cloth heads didn't understand.

The cementheads, like Dick Cheney, think they will be greeted as liberators. Against certain defeat, instead of resigning in December he assumes a guardian angel role himself to protect the health insurance of a pregnant receptionist. I interpret his May resignation as personal sacrifice in the desperate hope that his departure would allow his successor to obtain additional funding and save the organization.

The doctor and Liza advocate eliminating all material on Giffords. They correctly observe that the actual person is irrelevant, but apparently do not see the symbolic role Gabrielle plays in the story. Born with good fortune, wealth, and a "bright future" without the "blood under the bridge," she represents what x4mr desires but cannot have.

He craves her world, her attitude, her bright future, her optimism. He craves her in every way, but she and what she represents is beyond his grasp. Even if she were the ideal he envisions (which I doubt), x4mr could not be with Gabrielle Giffords even if he could. His battle scars (Chapter Twelve) would rob him of the confidence of keeping her. As others have said, the work improves if the Giffords volume is turned down, but not to zero.

I agree with Liza that the work is about the future, not the past. Its caliber precludes an interpretation of venting, attacking the antagonists, or self promotion.

I found "Guardian Angel" to be nothing less than breathtaking.

Moving forward, I agree with what has been said regarding strengthening the work. Tighten the ancillary, fortify the center, and put meat on the bones of key characters as Liza suggests.

In closing, I am left with thoughts of x4mr’s parents, who must find the document a bittersweet mix of pain and pride, seeing their gifted and well-meaning son try so hard and face such adversity. At least at SAIAT, the carnage occurred in dollars, words, and careers. When SAIAT closes, the cloth will blame x4mr to the extent necessary to protect its own interests.

Blood stains the pavement of the streets in Baghdad and the SAIAT parking lot. Reality is a bloody mess. The dogs are dead, the cloth and the war continue, and he didn’t get the girl.


The Linguist did not get everything, but he got a LOT, including some of the juicy stuff. I feel like I've been filleted. Who is this guy?

Something Else


..

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reviews, Reality, and Radar


Tucson, Arizona. Readership and feedback regarding Something Else has grown. Per emails private and comments posted for all to see, reviews have consistency. I respect every remark provided, from the simple correction of a name spelling to Liza’s penetrating analysis that uncovers much. The rabbit hole goes deeper still. Word on the street has become the darkest ever for the future of Tucson’s customized training institute. Contact SAIAT directly (google) for the facts, but the scoop points to closure.

Regarding the reviews and commentary, the key feedback sums to the following:

Tighten the material involving Giffords (severe reduction), politics (moderate reduction), and family (modest reduction) while fortifying economic development rigor and heavily strengthening the workforce development and education content. Chapters 12 and 14 receive glowing remarks.

Before I get to reality and radar, Liza’s analysis warrants publication:

I see this story on three levels. The main story is, in my opinion, a powerful indictment of the local “economic development” community. The story is focused on SAIAT, but x4mr provides a tremendous amount of insight into what is behind the overall dismal performance of that community. This alone is a good story. It’s the kind of story that Frank Rich of the NYT could nail in about four or five op-eds without missing a thing.

However, x4mr’s underlying, autobiographical story is equally important to this narrative. He transitions his career from engineering to workforce development because of a major life event, losing his job as well as witnessing the meltdown of a company that employed thousands of people. While dealing with his own situation, he begins the transition that is driven by his belief that, with just a small investment from the community, many people can achieve far more than they do. His vision and commitment take him as far as the CEO position at SAIAT, where he continues to prove that small investments in training yield large returns. He creates an organization that, because of its flexibility, focus, and resources is able to support a wide range of training needs within the local community. Rather than expand this model, the local “economic development” experts decide to starve it and, aided by a couple of arrogant and malicious individuals with their own agenda, force x4mr out of the organization. The underlying story is one of personal anguish and self reflection.

Superimposed on the two stories is the ever present message of hope as evidenced by, first of all, writing the story. Clearly, x4mr hopes that by writing this story, it will enlighten and perhaps become an agent of change. Throughout the narrative, his testimony gives the reader insight into what is possible when visionary leadership, commitment, and resources converge. X4mr’s mission is to affect the future, not to vent the past.

So, having read the other early feedback, I mostly agree with what has been said. The family related digressions assist the autobiographical component of the story. In other words, X4mr has to develop his own character. Most people would pick and choose pretty carefully here, and I think that x4mr has done a good job in that respect. The digressions also provide relief from the sad story that is unfolding.

I agree with “the Doctor” and I would recommend losing Giffords in her entirety. She is simply not relevant. Perhaps, x4mr, at some later time you can be her biographer. I also agree with “the Doctor” that the political content should be trimmed down considerably. I would suggest treating the CD8 election as your introduction to the blogosphere, allow it to be an enjoyable digression, capture a couple of highlights that interest or amuse you and end it. Remember, this is about YOU.

I mentioned earlier that some of the characters who are central to the story might need to be fleshed out. As a reader, I am having some trouble retaining a mental reference for these people, and they have become interchangeable “cementheads.” I would not hesitate to include some physical descriptions or even unrelated stories about them that support character development. Not a lot, just enough to distinguish one from the other. Kathryn is an example of a fleshed out character.

Unlike Sirocco, I was not bothered by any of the repetition of financial information or other redundancies. Well placed redundancies can help a reader stay on track or even absorb something important that was missed earlier. It’s especially helpful if the material is being read over a period of time as opposed to one sitting.

And, finally, chapter 12 is awesome.


Liza’s remarks are so good in parts they moisten my eyes, but there is more to the story. For now, I will state that Something Else is about REALITY, the truth going on underneath all the bullshit. We have the reality of Iraq, and the BS about Iraq, the reality of health care and the BS about healthcare, the reality of education and the BS about education, the reality of drugs and the BS. The list goes on. When reading the document, pay attention to every time the word "real" is used.

In addition to reality we have the radar that provides our awareness of reality. The blogosphere is as real as your house. How long did I blog under the radar of those involved in the story? When I ran a story about x4mr technology, its inventor emailed me and posted a comment within hours. He is plugged in.

As anticipated, Something Else punched through the barrier between cyberspace and the street. Some of the characters in the document have discovered it, leading them here. Of course you had to find your own way.

Welcome to a bigger reality.

At the risk of stating the obvious, you do realize this is Web 2.0. Future events can be published here and integrated into the document.

Bee's Dilemma

Tucson, Arizona. So what's a highly successful, popular, conservative president of the Arizona senate to do in 2008? The decision is painful. Janet terms out in 2010. Giffords is gearing up. What does it mean to win? What does it mean to lose? My math says to maneuver for governor. Tim Bee would make a good governor. He can put things together and achieve progress. He commands respect from many.

Talk escalates of a run against Giffords. I surprise no one by asserting this is a mistake. He will lose. Senator Bee, please do your homework and carefully weigh everything including Iraq, Bush, corruption, Cheney, the deficit, and pass on 2008.

Become our governor in 2010. If you start laying the track now and keep up the excellent work you are doing, you can do this. In 2010, you will not face an incumbent. Access the competition. Who can beat you? My assertion - no one if you run a smart campaign starting now with what can be done now, and kicking into high gear when you term out.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Something Else - Early Feedback

Tucson, Arizona. I am receiving feedback from the publication and most of it is positive. I have a theory that those tuned in to Web 2.0 are just a little more in touch. The last election made it pretty clear that bloggers have access to a larger reality. We just do.

Responses, mostly through email, confirm my anticipation that the document talks to both sides of the aisle. When I say I am an Independent, it is heartfelt. Certain folks can tell. My responses have come as much from the right and the left. I lean left, but I understand a lot of what the right has to say until they get to sex and Jesus.

I'm not kidding about modifying content based on input from others. I have already implemented changes, including remarks from conservative bloggers. A certain conservative blogger (and no, not Framer) knows this to be true.

In a couple days I'll return to normal blogger mode.

Something Else is not fixed. Chapter 15 changes daily.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

SOMETHING ELSE - The Publication


Tucson, Arizona. 07/07/07 has arrived, and I keep my promises. Something Else, a story about a unique training institute in Tucson, Arizona and one packed full of economic development and the associated political potpourri, is now available for all who are interested. After careful consideration, I reached the conclusion that duplicating all of the content word for word at the blog when it is already posted at the Web site makes no sense and consumes unnecessary resources.

The mathematics background I have compels at least some efficiency. I chose to post just one time featuring links to all of the chapters. Real austerity would have just one link to the home page or the introduction.

The document is not fixed and will evolve.

IMPORTANT FACTS:

1. I am solely responsible for the document. No one else was involved. No one on the SAIAT board, staff, or any of SAIAT's customers or suppliers had any involvement or knowledge of this document or its publication. The buck started and stops with your humble blogger. For better or worse, I am 100 percent accountable and fully responsible for the document.

2. I have no desire to misrepresent reality. As I say in the introduction, any reader can post a comment or send me an email correcting any errors.

3. I have no desire to act unethically. If you think I have done something wrong or inappropriate, I request you have the courage to say so and support your assertion. I am serious.

Finally, consider that Something Else is not about its content. It’s about something else.

I. Introduction
1. Recipe for a Fiasco
2. Perspectives Promising Nothing Very Cheerful
3. A New Reality
4. Null to Void
5. 1993
6. A Functioning Board of Directors
7. Blindness, Vision, and Sheer Terror
8. Viability and a Future
9. 1981
10. Board Games
11. 1968
12. You're Bleeding Again
13. Dead Man Walking
14. Guardian Angel
15. Workforce Development in the 21st Century
16. Organizations
17. 1963

All feedback is welcome.

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Most Unexpected Development

Tucson, Arizona. I promise this post concerns a very Tucson, Arizona subject. I am addressing three individuals, FH, DS, and X. Okay, guys. Touche. I did not see the hacking of my machine coming at all. Of course I have data backups, but you got me good on the signature chapter, "Guardian Angel." Yes, I'm upset. I had not planned for it. I have no idea how you did it. Getting that piece back to where it belongs will take a day.

What was your motive? To get the data ahead of time? You have three days at most. You can't stop me. Do you get that by stealing my data, wiping the "My Documents" folder completely clean, you fuel curiosity? Some will think I pulled this stunt. I promise I did not.

Yeah, I feel violated, and I am completely surprised. I didn't think you guys even knew about this blog. You were clueless about everything else. Clearly, you know how to hack into a home user's personal computer and wipe their data. I think you made a mistake. More people will want to know what this is about.

I never saw it coming. In my opinion, you have only fanned the flames.

At present, all of the image links of Chapter 12 are broken. I will fix them tonight. Then I have to reconstruct all of Guardian. I will work completely offline and connect only briefly. Like before, you wounded but did not kill. Something Else will be posted in its entirety here and at the Web site by Sunday.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th! Political Potpourri Border and Bee

Tucson, Arizona. Enjoy your Fourth, all. We're doing 110+ today. What a terrific day to stand in the sun over a grill flipping steaks. Starting with Ernesto Portillo's piece on the border non-legislation in Washington and our governor's signing what former Congressman Kolbe calls a bad bill, the piece accurately declares that the thing is an implementation mess. As I've said, we cannot send the twelve million home. Not to Monday AM the senate, but the smart move this summer would be to not address the twelve million at all and get something passed to fortify the border itself.

I don't know anyone arguing to keep the border itself at status quo.

Your humble blogger has learned some scoop. I ran into my ultimate insider friend, whom I call "Cigar Man" because I occasionally see him at the shop. We step outside and he reveals top secret insider stuff. He told me that the astronaut woman that drove across the country was NOT wearing a diaper. She DID have diapers in the back seat of her car intended for children. Her attorney speaks the truth. He has also told me that Congresswoman Giffords, much to Thinkright's chagrin, will NOT appear on the Colbert Report's "Better Know a District." Given that the mission of the show is to make the official look as stupid as possible, the decision hardly surprises.

Tim Bee is smart, perhaps smart enough to choose the right battles. A good guess (and I am guessing) is that he is curious to see Giffords' war chest when she files her reports in the near future for funds as of June 30. The number will be large, and those pro-blue freshmen AFSCME ads continue supporting her, having shifted from the minimum wage to prescription drugs.

Janet terms out, Tim. You are president of the senate. You term out, and what timing! Take stock of the adversaries. For governor, you have my vote in both the primary and the general. For CD 8, you don't. Oh, and consider the winds and general mood of 2008 versus 2010, federal vs. state. The hatred and resentment towards Bush continues to escalate. 2008 is a GOP nightmare in Washington. Bush's "pardon" exacerbates the outrage more than one might initially think. Bush and Cheney consider themselves above the law. It is difficult to be more blatant, but I have confidence in both to take the outrage to higher levels.

I am buried in Something Else, and the cast I listed is missing at least 20-30 people. The document has become my Mt. Everest. All rationality has left the building. I have to do it, even if it kills me.

It might.


SOMETHING ELSE