Wilderness — A Meditation

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Incredible, creative, fun, thoughtful, beautiful, ironic, truthful, delightful —

click on the title to today's blog or use the addy below..promise you'll be glad you did..:)

The Shocking Truth About the Crackdown on Occupy

Didn't I wonder what Obama was doing in Australia a week ago? Certainly he didn't have to come here to woo the Parliament about his sending 1500 American G.I.s to train in the Northern Territory. He was headed for Bali...and while he was away he sent the WOLF - Department of Homeland Security - to teach the American Nation's mayors how to 'clean up' the OWS Sit Ins. While he was gone, of course so that he could deny culpability....

Do you realize that HE is part of the program of denying that Wall Street and their compatriots in the Federal Legislature are in cahoots with one another to defraud American citizens of their financial welfare?

Do you realize that the 'buck stops at HIS desk when it comes to the actions of the Department of Homeland Security?

How could you even consider voting for a man whose second obvious move to support the military-industrial complex comes on the tails of his refusal to honor his commitment to the U.S. Constitution when he ordered the death of an American citizen who was living in Yeman and then bragged that the deed was done.

In case you missed the connection to the Constitution. The 4th Amendment guarantees 'due process' for all American citizens. The President does not have the right to order the death of any American citizen without 'due process.'

Maybe someone ought to give Obama a civic's lesson.

Below is a small part of Naomi Watts excellent article on The Shocking Truth About OWS. Click on the title to today's blog if you wish to read the entire article.

"The mainstream media was declaring continually "OWS has no message". Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online "What is it you want?" answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.

The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.

No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them.

For the terrible insight to take away from news that the Department of Homeland Security coordinated a violent crackdown is that the DHS does not freelance. The DHS cannot say, on its own initiative, "we are going after these scruffy hippies". Rather, DHS is answerable up a chain of command: first, to New York Representative Peter King, head of the House homeland security subcommittee, who naturally is influenced by his fellow congressmen and women's wishes and interests. And the DHS answers directly, above King, to the president (who was conveniently in Australia at the time)."

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Tasmanian Coastline

On the second day of our visit to the great green south, we drove out to the ruins of the most infamous penal colony in Tasmania. Port Arthur was established in 1834 as a convict readjustment center by the Brits. Later this same geographical location was the scene of a 1996 one man massacre of 35 people that lead the federal government of Australia to limit the private ownership of handguns and rifles.

I respond strongly to the ambiance of 'place' and so decided not to visit the scene of the atrocities.

However, the coastline of this part of Tasmania is invigorating and calming all at the same moment. The seas were reflective, the sun brilliant ( ozone layer here is limited) and our walk from the car park full of spring blooms.

This part of Tasmania reminds me of California's Big Sur coast line - wild, untamed, serene and at the same time utterly dramatic.

On this particular day the waters were an exquisite blue, but on days when the winds whip across the island from the open Antarctic Seas, I'm sure wildness reigns. A blanket of storm clouds would change this place from a haven into the hell of convict life if one had been transported by the Brits to this antipodean land.

Later that evening, we were dining at Ciuco, a busy Italian restaurant in the middle of Salamanca Square in Hobart. Delicious duck tagliatelle, superb Tasmanian wine, welcoming friends, and the loveliest pearl necklace - a birthday gift from the jeweler.

Indeed, life is good!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


One more entry on MONA, please, before we venture into the beauty of the countryside of Australia's southernmost state. Here's a view from the forecourt of MONA out over Claremont, Tasmania, on the Derwent River. Mt. Wellington, the high plateau in the background, protects Hobart from the blustery antarctic weather as it blows north across the Antarctic ocean towards the Bass Strait and mainland Australia.

Turning to the right, one stands immediately in front of the museum. Polished stainless steel reflects the scene - Claremont and Graham with me tucked in beside him as he takes a picture of the two of us in the forecourt. Isn't it delightful ?

And then also located in the forecourt is this nifty putty putty cement mixer - a delight of steel in an entirely different manner..Filigree rusted by the marine climate into a most amazing and absolutely playful full sized vehicle with the polished stainless steel reflecting wall in the background.

It is this sort of juxtaposition that continued throughout the museum and made the journey there not only amusing, but thought provoking in the extreme.

For instance, one chocolate sculpture was a finely detailed upper torso, arms, shoulders, and head of a handsome young man in a puddle of his chocolate entrails.

The terrorist - heaven and hell.

Having just blown a portion of his world into hell, this suicide bomber looks onto the heaven promised by those who convinced him that his life was worth the possibility of an eternal heaven. In chocolate!


The Monthly has done a superb article on Walsh and MONA. You can find it here or click on the title to this blog post.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tasmania - an endangered jewel

Virgin Australia flew us home to rather muggy and very warm Brisbane on Wednesday afternoon. It is now Friday - rather muggy, but not so warm. It is good to return to our cozy cottage on the fringes of the Big City.

This introvert had the opportunity to visit the cocktail hour of rather bustling Hobart on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. Gladly, we were back to open country or the wheat fields and vineyards of central/north Tasmania when the real crowds descended on Salamanca Square near the Hobart Harbour.

While enmeshed with people, I took a good long look at what 'fashion' includes in this most southern isle. The crowds were copesetic and we managed for most of the evening to be outside sipping good Tassie wines, both red and white. Then we trundled into a busy Italian restaurant for subtle but very tasty duck sauce over wide noodles - superb.

MONA was our next stop. Just enter my email addy in Oz to see a portion of my tour at this web addy:

For some reason the entire tour didn't make it on line. No worries. It was a joyful endeavour in the underworld. The museum is three stories deep, dug into the sandstone of the Derwent River bank. Stunning is insufficient to describe this edifice.

The 'Fat Car' is the first of many exhibits. Picture at the top of the post.

One of the perks of visiting MONA is that one is given an IPOD complete with GPS so that as one stands before an exhibit with ear phones on, the artist or some commentary on the art work can be listened to or read. Then, one can vote LOVE or HATE...Meyer-Briggs P personalities hate this option, but folks like me, strong J, love on the spot decision making - and one can't be wrong when all that is expected is that one react. No one around to question or debate the issue.

My fav exhibit is not pictured. I must not have selected it on my Ipod..darn!..the private collection of Walsh, the owner of MONA, is a tad nilistic, but never boring.

Go - Hobart will welcome you; the museum will delight; the wine will soften the jet lag; the food will please; the people in Australia's safest capital city will entertain.

Tomorrow I will share more of our tour of Tasmania. Be well until then..

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Ok, Ok, So I've Been Missing in Action

'Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps on this . . .'

Nah - Tomorrow we fly to Hobart in Tasmania - the not so sunny southernmost capital in Australia. Life is moving very swiftly.

And, pray why do you travel there, you might ask?

Because, dear reader, this week is my birthday and the stalwart Aussie bloke is giving me a trip to MONA as a present.

Yes, I am a lucky ex pat.

Do click on the title to today's blog entry if you want to know more about this most unusual private art museum.

This afternoon I will have a pedicure and a waxing of the brows. One cannot visit a most unusual private art museum without preparing properly. Oh, and late last week, I went shopping - not just shopping, but MaggieT shopping - which is a very different phenomena. You can check out this link to see what I mean. And consider as you look at the fashion, should you choose to do so, that I prefer timeless structures rather than rash current stylista stuff.

Oh and should you also wonder - We are flying Virgin Australia - not Qantas. What Australian or ex pat Amerikan would ever consider flying the Irishman's airline again. What a loser he has turned out to be - little Jack Sprat - CEO extraordinaire...

So..not that you will be surprised, but I will be absent for the next week and will return with photos galore to entertain you. Do enjoy what would be election week for the Americans if it were 2012. And on 11-11-11 remember that it is not just a computer schemata, but it's also my 71 you all