The Village(s) Project(s)…..Sacramento’s War of the Infills..

  The Village(s) Project(s)…..Sacramento’s War of the Infills..

The Sacramento Valley is just now finally showing signs of the recovery from the overinflated mortgage bubble that caused the country to go into economic upheaval. One sign of this are the new housing projects breaking ground I various parts of the city. Two of these  Mc Kinley Village touted as “low income” housing and Curtis Park Villages share a surname but both have serious flaws.

One can be addressed before it is too late to create an appealing, sustaining, good neighbor, and perhaps model program geared towards the future, while the other, unfortunately seems to be being built with very shaky foundations that can only spell disaster.

  McKinley Village, touted as low income housing, are breaking ground behind C street along the levees which line the American River, just past the Sacramento State University Parkway along the 30’s and early 40’s in terms of city street references. At starting prices of $300,000 and going up to $530,000, low income does not come to mind.

  The average home in the McKinley Park East Sacramento area where this development is located  are sell for around the median price of  $563,000. In relation to this neighborhood figure a low income moniker is applicable but with a citywide median housing price of $263,000 the low end is not adequately represented within this low income development.

   Neighbors have staged protests and are dead set against the idea of such a low income project in their midst, although the project is fairly isolated with the freeway and thoroughfares creating a distinct hard to reach pocket.  The main thoroughfare in and out would actually be located on the midtown side of the freeway on 28 th Street leading up to the skatepark , old land fill sites, and Sutter’s landing river access. These are located just beyond the levees.

The protests have come in the form of town hall meetings, bake sales, yard sign postings and disgruntled confrontations. Fresh in the minds of the residents are the images of transients loaded down with purloined shopping carts full of their belongings migrating to the Mecca just past Alhambra known as East Sacramento. Home to deserted governors mansions, the exterior to the popular late seventies sitcom Eight is Enough and the beautiful Olmstead designed Park bearing the former president’s name.   

Sacramento’s Tent City


Tent City Resident


City Ordinance , citation of the Camping Ban.


 Years ago a tent city was located where the development is breaking ground. The tent city garnered media attention as both an example of the mortgage crisis collapse and foreclosures resulting in a trickle down effect on housing. This pushed many into homelessness. The The Oprah Winfrey Show sent their roving reporter Lisa  Ling to cover the Tent City for the show. Embarrassed by the attention, not seeing the value and organization, thought, and empowerment the Tent City called Safeground  had been nationally lauded for the city and Sheriff’s deputies started bulldozing the site. They moved locations several times but each time they were bulldozed once again.


Candidate Kevin Johnson, Govenor Arnold Swarzenegger, at The former site of the Tent City

 Most of the tent city residents were filtered into the shelter system here in Sacramento, or moved along with the remnants of the tent city. Many found places along the river and remain homeless to this day. The residents and the issue became the darling of the election that year. From the hope presidential candidate Barack Obama ran on, to our own Mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson, who despite being a Republican rode Obama’s coat tails that electionand his platform each pandered to the new classes of economically insecure and the new homeless voter. 


Regeistering Homeless voters at a Volunteers of America Homeless Voters Event

 Nowhere was this more evident than at an afternoon for The Get Out The Homeless Vote that was sponsored by Volunteers of America at their Bannon Street Shelter. The afternoon consisted of a BBQ lunch, homeless voter registration and speeches by local candidates. It was here Mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson lauded was the organizers of the tent city with promises to rescind the camping ban, a Homeless Council headed by Sister Libby, 

  a local Catholic Nun dedicated to serving the areas homeless population, and even promised to make a low income housing project where the homeless camp had been. 


The entrance to Quinn Cottages

 Whether or not Mc Kinley Village is his answer to this promise little has been done since his first and now into his second term on the homeless issue. One has yet to see the projects that political legends The Serna’s implemented like Quinn Cottages and Serna Village. One  sees private development with a skew towards low income, already needed by federal law in such building projects. one doubts whether any resident of Safeground will be rushing to qualify for their mortgage on a new unit in Mc Kinley Village.

  After the media went away and the campaigns were over nothing happened with the exception of Safeground. They became a non profit geared towards homeless issues here in Sacramento County. One can see that their empowerment in the tent city project whether put forth by he media as a campaign issue, pandered to by politicians, or just pooh poohed away by theological establishement, was truly a force that could become the juggernaut for the homeless here in the Valley.  

I am writing this blog to replace the blog I accidentally deleted a couple of days ago. This morning is garbage day, I went out with my plastic bin, I allow myself one plastic bin of garbage 2 1/2 ft by ft and a half 14″ high per week. I feel that is about all the refuse one should generate that cannot be recycled, composted, or otherwise used. It’s a very generous amount and much in it such as cans from food items and papers that have not been recycled out. I save the others for a neighbor who collects bottles and cans. Anyways I caught a woman checking herself out in the reflection of a car in the back parking area of the alley where the dumpster is. I assumed she was on the streets and she asked me if I needed any help with the dumpster lid. I replied no 

I then asked her if she had lived in the tent city, again her reply was no. She was not a familiar face for me here in Sacramento and I have knowledge on most of the homeless who are in my neighborhood. She looked like a new person. I asked her if she had heard of Safeground? She wriggled her nose a bit and emphatically said no after asking her if she was on the streets to which she replied yes,  I explained to her that Safeground was founded by the homeless that ran the tent city and that they were in touch with needs of the homeless in a way that a bureaucrat or agency was not. She smiled and went on her way. 

To those just arriving in Sacramento the message that Safeground is an agency that was founded by and run by empowered homeless who garnered national attention for their organizational skills, effectively addressing the needs of their population, making sure everyone in that camp had a clear agreement as to what they were about, kids went to school who lived in Safeground, refuse was non exixtant, sanitation and cleanliness were major priorities and Safeground effectively managed all of theses things and more before they were bulldozed out  is not getting to their potential clients. For these clients trusting anyone is a huge issue, so when agencies want to help them or offer them programs they are often looked on with suspicion. Especially with the advent of for profit ventures that we now see in the social services communities in Sacramento. Is this the legacy the tent city and that election is to leave?


looks like another graduation at Women’s Empowerment!

 Just before this camp sprang up I had priveledge while working at a homeless shelter cooking to see many of these residents graduate from a program called Women’s Empowerment. I was there to cheer on graduates of a program I had been in called Open Arms, not to mention women who I cooked for at another program I worked for. I even today recognize many of these women that I saw at this graduation. My friend and I were wishing for a men’s empowerment which I see today is offered.

The environment on which Mc Kinley  Villages is to be built is not safe ground, so to speak. It is located along one of the levees on the American River Parkway. In the event of a levee break or flood the river would go the way it has always gone in past despite being diverted by the army core of engineers. This could cut off the only viable way out of the development on 28 th street. 

In the event of an earthquake, or even a strong quake in the Bay Area, the soil that this development is built on is river silt, this type of soil amplifies earthquake waves more than any type and is generally where most areas of damage are located. Adjacent to the site is landfill sites that are still venting methane gas and also prone to settling, providing the other damage prone geological condition that one sees damage during a major quake. This coupled with the venting methane could easily provide fire rich conditions that could burn the development or engulf areas around it in flame.

Quick rains and El Niño conditions often bring brush along these landfill areas that quickly burn in the Sacramento heat, being surrounded on three sides by this type of land with the propensity for such fires set by transients in camps along the river which one sees yearly, the development would be perpetually at risk for wildfires. This brush is seen along the railroad tracks, built on the levees and along the freeway which is the border on one side. Across the freeway are vast expanses of such landfill that with a delta breeze could bring fire to the development with burning embers blowing across the freeway.

  The flood plains on the opposite side of the river along discovery parkway add fuel in such years as well. Since the development is below the actual river level in the event of a widespread levee breech like seen in New Orleans and predicted for the Sacramento region at some point this development could easily flood. If the Folsom dam was to fail this would be the first major flood plain before the Natomas region which has always been designed to hold the major waters from such a floods.

With only one major way out on C Street, many could be bottle necked up and caught by either fire or flood before safely exiting the area. Or not even able to exit via this way I the event of fire, flood or earthquake. One only need to to look at The Loma Prieta 1989 earthquake to see where damage was concentrated. 

The quake whose epicenter was miles away from Santa Cruz caused widespread damage and death along the San Lorenzo Riverbed. Not much of a river then but the Pacific Garden Mall along its silty soils suffered complete devastation. Over 100 miles north in San Francisco the Marina district built on landfill suffered liquefaction and fires, although the nearly 2 hours away from the epicenter by car. Across the bay built along silty river soil and tidal flats the Cypress Structure collapse killed and flattened commuters. These sites were hours away from the moderate quakes epicenter. 

  With a major quake such as one seen in 1906 striking San Francisco or the East Bay which experts say we were overdue for, and the developments proximity and building in all of these damage prone conditions not even as far away as San Francisco was to the epicenter of the Loma Prieta quake, this development   and parts of downtown Sacramento could catastrophic damages. Damages were seen here after the 1906 quake in areas with similar soils.


Trestle Fire Sacramento


Many of us remember eight years ago, when a small fire set by transients caught the train trestle that just borders this housing project on fire.  The small trestle made of wooden pickings soaked in creosote started in the mid afternoon, filling the sky with toxic black smoke.  The creosote provided fire with so much fuel that it burned deep into the night with firefighters having a hell of time battling both toxic smoke and a fire that would not quit.

Such another fire on the rebuilt trestle could choke this development with fire  

Tretle Fire 24 hrs +

 fighters, it would be difficult  to stage such an area to fight a fire  like this one. If this were to happen again and the wind were to shift the entire development could engulf the development with this toxic smoke for hours making evacuation problematic and potentially deadly. Any  form of  disaster requiring a quick and orderly move out of the area would prove difficult.

Another interesting opportunity has to come to light with the recent developments in drone technology. The application of a new technology called lidar to the smal, area would be advantageous before building begins rather than after. Lidar is a type of technology that combines radar, infrared and other technologies to literally see what is underage in the layers of silt or earth. It’s application is especially helpful to archaeologists in the field on where cities or buildings long buried are located. 


Lidar Technology duscovery of a Mayan City

 This area was a major part of the large migration during the mid nineteenth century gold rush. One only need to envision the last point on the river where deeper water ships could reach. It was here. Many people, goods, supplies, and most everything needed for the gold rush were off loaded here after being transferred at pints such as San Francisco or the East Bay.

One can imagine this terminus hustling with folks loading all of this equipment onto wagons, rails, and other modes of transportation to get to the foothills. Crates of items rushing up to get to the hills. People themselves deciding which mode of transportation would take them to a claims or family member already there. Having to stay in this area  or nearby was probably not unheardof, at least for a night or two until further transport was secured and ready. The area must yield rich archaeological potential of this migration. 


Sacramento 1850, Sutter’s Fort at the Rear Right.

 Prior to this many of the tribes of indigenous peoples used this site for meeting and trading as well. Northern California was rich with many native tribes relying on these rivers and rich soil for their subsistence and using the conflux of them as trading areas.The application of Lidar now, while the area is undeveloped would be advantageous prior to its development. While not much may be revealed if there were finds they could be more easily excavated after being evaluated by archaeologists for their potential value in the archaeological record of the area.

One only need to look at the original planning of the city to see why things were located where they are now. Names like Lavendar Heights and Poverty Heights show where the floods did not hit. Garbage dumps and landfills were located away from population centers for a reason. The undeveloped areas near them also undeveloped for a reason. These are Mc Kinley Village’s potentially fatal flaw on so many fronts. 


Curtis Park Villages Advertisement Photo

 Moving south down The Cap City Freeway to highway 99, after exiting off Sutterville Rd. one is near the Curtis Park Villages Development. This development is a multi developer site with a wide range in housing options. The Blackpine Developer has test marketed and charmingly named their three phases as follows, The Estates, The Cottages, and The Brownstones  . One can see them starting to spring up towards the rear of the infill parcel located across the railroad tracks from Sacramento City College.


Pedestrian Bridge connecting Sac City College and Light Rail Station to Curtis Park Villages.

 There is a pedestrian bridge under construction which will connect the development to both Sac City College and City College Light Rail Station. One of the developers strategies to make public transportation readily accessible to residents. 

The other “draw” is a Safeway Store and a 16 pump fueling station ( gas station). What a strange idea. With the obvious toll that our dependence upon fossil fuels have cost us, environmentally, loss of human lives in Persian Gulf Conflicts, and the huge amounts of tax payer funds that have gone towards our unfettered access and price control of such fuels, as well as the knowledge these are finite resources that cause more damage than good, we ought to be demanding a different more forward thinking use of these retail areas.


William Land Park

 One need only look across the tracks at The City College and across Freeport to William Land Park for some major re-thinks in what a planned urban community could look like and accomplish. By establishing a partnership with Sac City College and Los Rios Community College District an amazing forward thinking experiment in community, sustainability, and neighborhood cooperation could have the potential to set the example for what other communities could become.


Sacarmento City College’s 5 story Parking Structure, the small sliver of green on the right upper area is the slated housing area.

 The five story parking structure at Sac City College is often vacant on weekends and after 4 PM on any given weekday. With the site already built and just sitting vacant when most of the Curtis Park Village residents are returning home from work a huge opportunity exists. If the developer, or resident could get tax incentives for a one car household, meaning only one car allowed per household in the participating households, a special off hours parking permit could be sold for a portion of these incentives by the College filling the garage that sits empty and providing extra revenue for the college district. Discount transit passes in lieu of a parking permit could be offered to those who only own one car. The pedestrian bridge being constructed is reps away from both of them.

This relationship between the college and the development could be further developed into a multi-dimensional mutually beneficial partnership. The development is slated to have apartment style units as well as single family homes. Many of these apartment style units are slated for seniors. Why not have one of the buildings be dedicated to students. This would not be a dormitory style housing  so the liability and staffing as well as food service would not come into play. Rather the district could purchase the building as an investment to their long term portfolio, an investment in local land and real estate would give the district much needed local investments in the community. 

With the building the district could through their property management and real estate education programs administer it in the form of internships for students. Rentals to students attending the school at discount market rates could be administered through state and federal financial aid programs. For example a student receiving the $6,600 financial aid package of pell  grants, would have a portion of these funds applied to the already discounted rental cost for subsidized rent. By eliminating the need for transportation to and from school congestion in the area would be lessened.

In lieu of this and the already discounted rent students who lived in the development could and would be expected to participate in joint projects.  A small satellite study center could be opened in the complex that would provide  off hours access to study rooms and function as a satellite learning resource center. Adjacent to the center could be a community garden in the style of the Edible Schoolyard that many elementary schools across the state are implementing with much success. 

The gardens and center could be staffed by students living in the apartments for just a few hours a week for each of them. Produce and flowers grown in the garden could be sold at a weekly farm table at the satellite center for a reduced rate to residents of the development. Computers at the satellite center could also be accessed by residents when not used by students. Meeting rooms and a center room could be used by residents when not utilized by students for study purposes for community meetings, gatherings or even community  celebrations.

This is the development side of the equation. The college side of the equation offers even more potential. With the recent remodeling of the gymnasium facilities and students supervising for internships within open class hours for fitness courses the feel at the gym is like that of a fitness club. Why not expand the hours and sell discount passes to residents of the development as gym memberships. 

The nearest fitness centers such as 24 hour fitness, or California family Fitness are miles away and by having the same type of club just across the bridge at a discount rate manned by students in the field of study the benefits to both student and resident would be tremendous. While the programs would not be a huge money maker they would pay for themselves for the students that currently get paid a small stipend for already manning the gyms.

By setting up a resident booster club for the performing arts and sports programs at the college, where the residents receive promotional items such as tee shirts, or hats, as well as reserved seating to sporting events and or performances for a fee both the resident and the college win. Seats are filled with neighbors encouraging the students and teams. 

Such promotional materials could be purchased for a small cost and any other revenue could be used for uniforms, transportation costs, or sets, obtaining the rights to scripts, music and costumes or instruments. These costs can send programs like these out of reach of some student participants or offset the college districts investment I the,. The programs could also be marketed to family and friends of the participants. Once a season or during the run of a performance a special tail,gate party or backstage event could give further incentive and provide extra revenue for the food service contracts in the form of  caterings. 

By publicizing the services offered to residents specifically at the discount rates the services are currently offered at . The cosmetology schools and dental hygiene schools would also benefit tremendously. For seniors one or two of the rooms I the community satllite center could be utilized for a day or two during the week for such services bringing the low cost services such as manicures, and pedicures, hair styling and coloring to the complex itself. 

Students would ultimately benefit with extra clients and hours available to them that would not normally be a part of the City College Community.

The Devastating Path of ISIS and  its wake of Destroyed UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The Devastating Path of ISIS and  its wake of Destroyed UNESCO World Heritage Sites

As the Unparalleled spread of ISIS continues, more needless wholesale bulldozing and the destruction of valuable cultural sites are being seen. As ISIS push towards in  Jordan, officials even worry for the safety of such major landmarks such as Petra. After Nimrud, the ancient Assyrian  city, home to the first monotheistic religion culture, Zoarastrianism, long before the Hebrews established their covenant with Yahweh, was bull dozed the world finally began to take note. Beautiful sphinxes with human faces have been chiseled off, after over a thousand years of continual stewardship by Muslim nations, have been destroyed.

As the juggernaut advance of ISIS seems at times unstoppable, the sites being damaged or slated for damage seem to be growing exponentially. Sites thought once in safe and in secure areas, popular, and accessible to the International tourist industry are now virtual ghost ruins, excavations stopped, artifacts, monuments, sculpture being bulldozed, sledghammered and lying in ruins. Even such ares as Jordan, and Egypt, occasionally troubled with random violent incidents against the tourist trade, are now off limits to most tour companies and are being re-alerted by embassies and nations throughout the world. The sustainable, viable , and lucrative tourism dollar, now withering on the vine. Is this a way ISIS seeks to control both the  economy, and local populations, by maintaining a strict control over both funds and access to other citizens of the world by a populace now becoming isolated to the flow of dollars, and to other views,  while dependent on Muslim extremist charitable organizations like the Muslim brotherhood for basic resources such as food, clean water, and medicine.These previously could be effectively provided for with more income generated by tourist dollars. 
In the minds of the ISIS, this is an extension of their conservativism views given to them directly by the Q’uran. By taking the laws to the letter interpretation, and their belief in an arrogant style of  righteousness that enables them to destroy sites, artifacts, and art  that was there before the advent of not only their extreme conservative construct of Islam, but even before the prophet Muhammed received the word of Allah in the form of the Q’uran without regard or thought to the Muslims that cared to preserve them, they show selves as poor stewards culturally. And even poorer historians of their own roots and place in society.


Afghanistan’s Buddhas of , UNESCO site , destroyed .

The writing on the wall should have been made clear to us all when the Taliban committed the  Destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan in the year 2000. What seems to be the issue and why is the idea of tolerance for artistic, cultural, or historical depictions of civilizations, even those who had evolved into their own,  so egregiously incongruent with their own development that the wanton destruction of such sites is necessary and in fact now a priority of ISIS. 

Recently just in the past few months, we hear and see images of the Destruction of the Assyrian city of Nimrud, one of the oldest ruins of an organized city in Mesopotamia, being bulldozed by ISIS. Reliefs are being chiseled so that the faces are removed from the cultural record. These are  the very ancestors of the same bedouins of the region that founded Islam. Is it their own ancestor’s images they fear, or is it the Sh’ iiah sect that is in control the area that they do this against?  Is The United Nations and its diligent care and preservation of Unesco world heritage sites the targets they work to destroy?  Or is it any form of economic revenue opportunity for secular based revenues?  What do they seek to control? Why do they seek to destroy  the rich legacy the Levantine and Fertile Crescent civilizations have left for us to learn from..


ISIS follwer , chainsaws off the Sphinx’s face.

 Is it possible this goes beyond the Muslim Q’uranic code of the image of both Gods and man not being acceptable in the worship of Islam,  often seen as idol worship,  but more the idea of the United Nations and its presence and control of such sites in the area. While  such a powerful force in the region in the form of Unesco and its commitment to preservation, conservation, and even restoration, provides much needed vehicles for study, maintenance, and the resources to do so, not to mention local jobs. Does just the name, United Nations, and their failed policies, which have brought coalition forces and major conflicts in the areas, yet not able to keep other member nations in check with security council resolutions in regards to Israel remind them of their being on the losing end of the organizations continued failed policies in regard to Israeli sovereignty and incursions into U.N. sanctioned borders and cease fire areas?  Does the continued snubbing of Palestine as a Member state, while allowing Israel seemingly a carte Blanche veto, without the apparent threat or use of force like demonstrated in , Desert Storm, or Desert Shield, her not even respecting the resolutions that created Israel, but to violate scores more resolutions condemning them and their actions in regards to the former country of Palestine, their treatment of refugees, form some of the basis of this backlash and destruction of valuable sites to cultures directly linked to their own?

Could this be the true reason for the destruction, one must remember that for over a thousand: years Islam has for the most part been a fine steward of ancient ruins, artifacts, and civilizations. One only need to look to ancient Egypt  and how the generations of Islamic rulers from Ottoman Sultanates, forward thinking project related communist backed Presidents such as Nassar, U.S. funded Presidents Sadat and Mubarak, while oppressive, dictatorial and supportive to the Israeli State,  have successfully  stewarded, embraced , and claimed the Pharaonic  Egypt for the Muslims of modern Egypt as a source of pride, vast tourism revenue resulting in economic security, scientific study opportunities,  without  interference or infraction to Q’uranic law or conservative sects such as the Muslim Brotherhood, which actually was founded in Egypt during the 19th Century. 

The Islamic presence evident in these governments has, rather than exploited such sites like the French and British occupiers and imperialists, which sought do damage, dissemble, export, pillage , and mutilate these sites, has truly stewarded them developing them, while protecting them, into a sustainable, incredible economic boom for Egypt’s often fragile economy.


Zawi Hawass, Director of Egyptian Antiquity

The Islamic governments control of such areas and the cooperation extended to the United Nations Unesco World Heritage Organization’s designations as member sites has enriched both the sites general sustainability, tourism accessibility, and promotions as well as brought in technologies, researchers, and resources unavailable to the Egyptians if working on their own. Not to mention replaced such stodgy representations of stereotypical archaeologists such as Howard Carter and armchair digger Lord Carnarvon with dynamic, committed, media savvy, and national role models like Zahi Hawass. Mr. Hawass, in his long standing former role as Director of Egytian antiquities,  has worked for and with CNN, and The National Geographic Society, bringing attention to his supervision of multiple large scale projects in Egypt.

 He has published tens of best sellers on Egyptian Antiquity, and as official host to foreign archaeologists, research projects, and media projects as become Egypt’s face of antiquity. This provides the reminder that Egypt is indeed the steward to their own ancient culture without being exclusionary or closed to tourism or international joint research projects. It shows to the young of Egypt and other middle Eastern, North African nations a great role model in a man educated, dedicated , and media savvy in the role off host rather than collaborator with the West. 


ISIS woker removes cross from Church

Will ISIS, as its march through the Islamic world continue to destroy such sites or will they reach a point or benchmark where the destruction of cultural, spiritual, and vast economic potential for generations of Muslims to come. With some of these areas relying virtually solely on tourism what will bring income into such an area if such things are destroyed. Imagine the Nile River Valley without the pyramids, the Sphinx, the Valley of the Kings, or any hieroglyphics- key to the understanding and evolution of all written language including Arabic, the only language sanctioned by Allah for the Q’uran to be written in. The latest being the wanton destruction of ancient libraries including one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world, just being excavated and developed for tourists.

Underwater Statue in The Library of Alexandria Underwater Sanctuary, Unesco World Heritage Site

 After these visions and musings of our imaginations, remember ISIS is destroying the Library of Alexandria, which is an underwater park reserve and currently being excavated underwater and brought to surface or left under and restored. An interesting argument for the idea that books do not traditionally in scroll form or cunitorm have pictures just characters mean nothing is being disproved here. Most modern science agrees this language is a common ancestor of current day Arabic.  Why destroy  such a repository  of written information not in violation of animal, or facial representations.


The Library at Hatra, Unesco World Heritage Site

 For now we are aware of three major areas of destruction, the first being the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nimrud. The process took a week or two and heavy equipment was brought in. Not only were the museums looted, the artifacts being sold on the black market for funding of ISIS, but the sites themselves were blasted, attacked by bulldozers,  reliefs, and statues faces and heads removed and destroyed. These ruins having survived thousands of year s the ravages of time, climate, wars, religion and regime changes are now struck down by the Islamic State.

The next major site being devastated is the Unesco World Heritage Site of Palmyra, which is an extn save archaeological site located in Syria, containing valuable ruins such as the archive of Mari, other libraries and valuable cultural sites relative to the early organized civilizations that settled and developed cities and cultural centers in Syria during the Mesopotamian and subsequent periods in the Levantine.

  Libya seems to be the current center of destruction for ISIS . Moving away from the typical destruction of  Shi’ia and Sufi sites, as well as pre-Islamic archaeological sites ISIS is now engaging in the destruction of Roman and Greek sites located along the coast of the southern Mediteranean in Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. Areas ripe and laden with a rich historical blending of such ancient cultural sites and often better prese fed and less stressed touristically than sites in Greece, Italy, Turkey or other close, populated tourist areas. To lose such sites in generally better condition than others would indeed be ashamed for all of humanity. 

Isis Representative, Removing an Animal Head Relief, deemed as sacreligous

 Are the predecessors to all things Arabic, all things Muslim- remember Moses and the flight from Egypt, delivered by the same God as Allah, the events depicted on the tombs of Ramses in hieroglyphics which are pictographs the language just before characters and Arabic lettering. This as evidence to their own Gods miracles and power to free his chosen from oppressors destroyed by them in his name. One would not find such a quatrain or ghazal on the Q’uran that justifies such destruction.


Hello Everyone,

Just got done perusing through EllisNelsonBooks blogs here on WordPress. What a take on the top trends I YA books. I am in agreement on the subject matter for the next books and trends in the YA book market and am looking at some of my writings in reference to such trends. What a refreshing topic list, looking through it I am so impressed with how far we have come in YA books and subject matter with so many of our formerly taboo subjects that have such relevance to today’s world. Mental Illness, gender identity, as well the the kudos to the authors who guide d through these stages of Pluto….thanks for the Blog.



Photo:Prettyboymycko Photo:Prettyboymycko

Publishers Weekly did an article earlier this month pointing out what they view as “hot” in YA this year. Those themes included horror, mental illness, gender identity, and the apocalypse. Of course, these trends reflect what editors and agents believe will be popular. It really says nothing about what the reader may actually want. Getting a handle on the reader can be difficult because good statistics are not kept and predicting the future is always tough. But, is there a way to get a feel for what will interest teens of the future? Maybe.

Recently I watched an episode on Gaiam TV where Regina Meredith was interviewing an astrologer. I’ve been interested in astrology off and on since I was a teenager, but over the past year or so that interest has become more intense and I watch quite a few YOUTUBE astrologers as they explain what’s going…

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The Battleground on The War on Terror-Cyberspace, Creating the Cyber Peace Weapon..Dinner.

The Battleground on The War on Terror-Cyberspace, Creating the Cyber Peace Weapon..Dinner.

Obama picked up Bush’s lead in cyber warfare programs

    The newest battleground on the nearly two decades old War on Terror is in cyberspace. During the end of the Bush Administration through the current Obama Administration malware designed to cripple the merging nuclear capabilities of Iran has been developed and in use by The United States and Israel. The first of such weapons is “Stuxnet”, a worm smuggled into Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility. This weapon was the first actual malware developed that can physically cause physical damage to objects outside of the network through the production process. There are currently even more cyber weapons systems in production and implementation.

These weapons and their have been hailed as a break through in the War on Terror, but are designed in such a way that target indiscriminate populations and often effect populations without any obvious ties to terrorist groups. One has to ask why are such weapons appropriate for use on a war that is specifically aimed at special targets, yet in these applications used widespread on populations or infrastructure. Does a society or culture that does not necessarily support or embrace terrorism as a component of government policy or activity deserve to suffer the effects of such a program that can cripple and damage whole populations regardless of their Involvement in such activities.

chart, Increases in Cyber Spending

When Iranian President Ahmedinejad announced that Iran was enriching Uranium in the Natanz facility using centrifuges, the idea of a cyberattack or cyber virus program was presented for President George W. Bush’s approval under the title of “Olympic Games”.The cyber attack program utilized a form of malware developed by hackers in The United States National Security Agency called “Stuxnet”.
The program took years to code and develop and has been reported to contain of the largest code of any other worm. The challenge of the designers and US military was getting it into the computer system of the Natanz network at the nuclear plant. The enrichment facility was blocked by an Internet moat or what is referred to as an air gap. This space surrounding the plant was implemented to block any network access or traffic that could interact with the systems running the enrichment site.Various German companies including Siemens were contracted or responsible for much of the technology utilized at the plant.
The implementation of the worm it was decided would best be accomplished using USB thumb drives brought in through technicians or representatives of the private companies. Independent technicians, through the use of these infected thumb drives that carried the Stuxnet worm were able to infiltrate the air gap placed around the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran. Since the deployment of “Stuxnet” into the plant, the malware program has escaped the air gap and is infecting computers worldwide. It has broken through the air gap via these technicians thumb drives into other Nuclear enrichment facilities and 60% of Iranian personal computers.

aerial photograph of Natanz Enrichment Facility, Iran

  The Iranian Nuclear program utilizes the centrifuge method to enrich uranium for weapons grade or fuel rod grade enriched uranium. This method utilizes cascading centrifuges filled with uranium that are spun at high speeds to which gas is added to the centrifuges. This process strips the uranium of some of its heavier isotopes(U235) into the centrifuges. These isotopes travel with the gas into the next centrifuge repeating the process and yielding a higher concentration of nuclear grade uranium. By creating centrifuges that are of a favorable isotope for Uranium enrichment, more of the uranium can be utilized in the fission process.
After the original malware was released into the enrichment plant at Natanz, the Israeli military intelligence agency, Mossad, found out about the malware. Whether they helped the U.S.develop it previous to this or discovered the malware through their espionage program active in Iran and the U.S. or even within their own nuclear program possibly infected by the malware is unknown. The malware infection was spread by technician’s thumb drives after they left Natanz for other nuclear sites in the course of their business. Realizing that their common interests, the destruction of Iran’s nuclear capabilities, were similar, the NSA combined to work jointly with Israel’s Department 8200, to aid in the “Olympic Games ” project. The updated malware was reinserted and managed to cause the automated enrichment process to slow down or speed up rotation of the centrifuge production, which caused the centrifuges to be destroyed rendering them unable to provide the high grade uranium needed for any nuclear program.


   At the height of the malware’s infection of Natanz, nearly 60 % of Iran’s centrifuges were damaged and physically destroyed. It is not known if these were to be used in the production of clean energy for the country so devastated by the continued depletion of their crude oil reserves by foreign companies or for the production of nuclear weapons. To bring home the accomplishment of what had occurred, the computer program was able to break thru the internet gap and change the construction of solid  matter rendering it useless. What became of the centrifuges after they could not be used for high grade uranium enrichment.

The success of this first cyberattack collaboration between the United States and Israel, which has a unique program for those Israelis caught hacking-the hackers are either faced with a prison term or service in Department 8200, Israel’s version of the Nation Security Administration, has birthed a plethora of cyber weapons projects. Department 8200 is Israel’s premier unit associated with cyber surveillance, and military cyber defense systems, as well as the development of cyber weapons. The joint program, with the NSA, yielded the first actual cyber weapon that produced physical damage and subsequent cyber programs target enemies communications networks, government infrastructure, banking, transportation systems, and power grids.

Cyber Air Command Unit on Battlefield

After the success of the “Olympic Project” and the long term ramifications of such a cyber weapon, other systems in development were implemented in The War on Terror. Some of these weapons systems implemented have been used against Libya, and Al Qaida since these programs have proved successful. President Obama, supports these systems as well as the expansion of the drone policy. Both of which have the ability to cripple a nation from an unseen enemy that does not differentiate between military targets, servicemen, or civilians. In fact, the cyber weapons programs being designed after the success of the Stuxnet malware target enemy nations power grids, sewage treatment facilities, banking systems, and Internet.


ISIS recruiting site , wordpress and Twitter acounts

 The War on Terror, directed at a specific Muslim religious extremist groups, including Al Qaida, is now being used as the vehicle to indiscriminately target whole nations and their peoples; regardless of religious, political, sex, military, or sectarian membership, enabling the complete and utter destruction of a nation’s government, infrastructure, and all those within the affected areas. This is a form of Orientalism and is rampant and clearly exemplified by the use of the Stuxnet Malware. Its use against an enemy nation, Iran, without evidence of active Al Qaida members, in fact, one of the few larger concentrations of Shi’a Muslims, shows how this war is now indiscriminately used as a way to attack any perceived enemy. Shi’a Muslims, are more often the terror victims of the mainly Sunni members of Al Qaida, even more so than any Western nation. The attack on Iran shows a blatant misuse of the War on Terror and the powers of the president to use any type of non discriminate weapons in the fight against terrorism. By abandoning the production or reducing the dependence of Iran on its crude oil production and the foreign companies that still finance and sell off Iran’s resources for the profits of the oil companies, Iran has stepped into the War on Terror without evidence of any terrorist activity within its borders.

This type of blanket weapons systems that aim to cripple a whole country regardless of leadership, more often than not doing more harm to its peoples actually creates an environment ripe for terrorist groups to proliferate as seen in the war in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The use of cyber weapons in Afghanistan and Syria provides further documentation of this. These weapons also, although not utilized in the Middle East proved beneficial in the bringing down of all of North Korea’s internet capabilities, thus cutting them off from the rest of the world and their citizenry completely.

DARPA logo, under NSA control and funding, black ops budgets

  The latest known admission of the consideration of the use of such cyber weapons in Afghanistan has shown another dimension of the program. Marine Lieutenant General Richard Mills claims he has used such cyber weapons during his command of international troops in the field to hack into control and command capabilities of his enemy’s forces, thus infecting and crippling the network and its communication capabilities cutting off communication to troops.The weapon was developed by DARPA, the agency under the control of the NSA. The success of this small scale program has spawned “Plan X”, a larger version designed to map out an enemy’s entire computer network in the war zone. It concentrates on a weak point in the network and is designed to once initiated into a weak point grow and infect the entire network similar to the Stuxnet worm.

Fly sized Drone , on venus flytrap leaf. DARPA project.

 The Results of the beginnings of these cyber programs and the drone policy have been shown to provide the terror groups an environment ripe for the expansion or takeover into such areas. This is evident in the current proliferation and rapid expansion of ISIS; rumored and identified as the political wing of the Al Qaida network. In recent months ISIS’s takeover of areas in these affected countries has been the next enemy in the declaration of war on this new enemy. Had these weapons not been deployed or utilized in such a manner that created an environment and victimization of whole populations ideal for extremist groups to grab control of power from the vacuum and aftermath of these attacks. The US by targeting nations as a whole creating widespread chaos to infrastructures and alienating entire groups of people creates the threat.


Cyberbase interacting with Cyberships


Hacker Recruitment now at government DARPA programs.

  While the interface between private sector development and the NSA relies heavily on the corporate side currently the hottest jobs in the NSA involve the transfer of the development of such programs under military control. Recruitment at cyber computer and hacker gatherings is strong now with the military actively seizing these recruits away from the private sector security companies that most are employed by.

As the U.S. Moves forward on such policies to replace the traditional military of ground forces and move away from a military versus military theater of confrontation it targets civilian populations directly without concern as to collateral damage or the killing of innocents not involved in military or terrorist activity. This flies in the face of the self proclaimed enemy which is usually a minority within the country or area of conflict. This policy shows a complete lack of thought or care in who the real enemy is, simply lumping all members of a society or culture together as “terrorists”.

In this doctrine The United States itself becomes the ultimate terrorists as the population that democratically elects the lawmakers that embrace and vote on these programs embracing them as a whole. This is seen by the congressional votes on the such legislation as the War on Terror, The Patriot Act and subsequent re-votes, and more recent the declaration of war on ISIS with little or no opposition in the votes against such programs in either party. The same cannot be said of the enemy which do not vote on such attacks in their own countries but rather arise in the power vacuum after such attacks out of fear and intimidation by our policies. Such policies are clearly in violation of nearly every treaty or rules of engagement such as the Geneva Convention and United Nations votes.

In such policies The U.S. Moves away from warfare against a known identified enemy armed, funded, and organized by a unifying power to the unknown. The vague terms defining the enemy such as terrorists, and ISIS do not fall under any known treaty, leadership, or border even and are used to make warfare on anyone. How does one extricate or negotiate with such an enemy to declare an end to hostilities, a peace treaty, or cease fire? Who are the leaders of such unknown, border less combatants and after nearly 15 years of such warfare when does the conflict end? At what juncture is victory declared? How many times have we heard that victory is at hand with the capture and killing of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and other important leaders of these terrorist groups, for now we are without names or faces of the enemy. This is the policy that insures the survival of the military industrial complex that General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of just prior to leaving office in 1960. A war without end on any and all deemed the enemy.

Update…5/24/2015 New news, The Face of The Enemy. Solutions, simple solutions.

Well it looks like we finally have some names to go with our Isis Enemies. Over the past few weeks The U.S. Government through centcom has released the names and photos of some of our enemies in ISIS. ” What! are you sure we want to show the enemy! “  Well, if we show them after they’re dead, with their names, showing them will prove we had enemies. it is in this way they will not be viewed as living people that can be interacted with ever. One wonders if they were enemies if we did not kill them on a battlefield.

In one of my courses at the local Community college Sacramento City College, in an anthropology class, our Professor Bruce Pierini asked one of our fellow classmates to  speak of his experience as an interrogator  by virtue of speaking Arabic or  learning Arabic while in the U.S. military’s War on Terror, stationed in Iraq several years ago. He was extremely scared and the experience seemed raw, not to mention he was funded for school by the government through the Gi Bill. I will not mention his name . It was his job to round up Iraqis that may have been thought of as having links to Al-Qaeda. He could not differentiate who was linked to terrorism and who was not. He was walking patrols in the evening and had a quota to fill daily. He inquired to his commanding officers as to how to tell the difference?

It doesn’t matter.” was their response.

The  struggles he must have faced were evident as he choked up remembering his nightly quota of ten and how he selected them with the cry of  “it doesn’t matter”. Knowing that many of these people nightly will not be returning to their families for a meal, or the income to provide for it. This done nightly before interrogations which had quotas as well. The interrogations and their process unspoken by him, communicated through his eyes, the horror and guilt.The entire class saw what our friends, brothers, cousins, and young volunteer soldiers did in our name. We, collectively, were silent  and weighted. It did not matter,  just grab the first ten you see, shortly after the curfew, or go into a home with an address you were given and take the men. Democracy indeed.

Imagine going on to this CyberCaliphate  Wordpress site that is listed again below, I will not put a link on it, this is an American Site recruiting for Isis, and referencing the Shia Sunni conflict in its title, with a woman veiled in a designer scarf. Maybe she made the site, maybe her cousin in Michigan made it. Maybe she has nothing to do with Al-Qaida but she is completely veiled. Is she obscuring her identity with it? Why wear it at home? She is telling the world though that she has money, a computer, Internet access, and a voice. Maybe she waits for a son that left to get formula for his daughter whose mother,  his wife , was  killed by an explosion in the bazaar. She heard he last was brought in for questioning a minute after curfew since the local bazaar was bombed out and he had to walk farther to get his daughters  milk.

It was many  years ago. Now, her grand mother is actually the one taking her picture in the scarf. She knows English from the soldiers and recruits for ISIS, it is the only way she can pay back the charity since the Muslim Brotherhood is what kept her and her grandmother alive after the Americans killed everything. There is no one to negotiate her dowry and no dowry to start with even. She is a spinster at 18,  after being orphaned at 3. Who will share her table tonight?

Wouldn’t this be a hoot, for an interesting cultural experience and maybe an attempt to use this technology for Peace.  Go on this  or any other social networking site to arrange a meal with 2 other cultures over web cams- on skype, or any other web meeting program. You can list the memberships on the networking sites. It could and would be good to do during a holiday or holy period, like during Ramadan, Passover, Holy Week, or any time for that matter. One sets up the site to host and invites others, arranging a Ramadan break the fast meal between cultures, bring in some Jewish folks, and  over webcams eat a meal together. 

 At each site  the participants say a blessing  that reflects their spirituality or gratitude, for those other guests and the people, resources, and sacrifice it took to get the meal to their table. After each table does this! they break bread, introducing themselves as they take a hunk of bread. When all are done, explain your meals, did you grow the food, process it , bake the bread from a starter, how far did you walk to get the products in your meal, what are commemorating with this holiday, why do you fast all day? Imagine the connections, although meal times might be a bit off in timing,  with some effort it could be done cross meals. Like Breakfast in Jerusalem with dinner in New York.

How could one after eating with a family and hearing how they got the food to the table, want to drop a bomb, or fly a drone into their house or pay to have it done. Imagine dining with them while or if such an event happens. You are eating during a holiday with them, seeing them massacred by a pilotless drone, maybe the size of a fly equipped with a poison dart, knowing that your taxes paid to kill them. What defense did they have?  Yet they knew as it was happening you paid for it, and you did too,  watching them die, still eating with your children after blessing each other.

That is the power of a webcam and streaming projector shared with families and kids. This could bridge all differences brought by propaganda and isolation. The power of the computer and wireless technology to link us as families, the human family, having a meal together. Could this bring peace as it is now being used to make war on innocent families.

Works CitedWorks Cited

“Cyberwarfare and Cyberweapons, a Real and Growing Threat”.


Ghelten, Tom. “First Strike: U.S. Cyber Warriors Seize the Offensive”.


“Iran Nuclear Facilities Hit By Cyber Attack that Plays AC/DC Thunderstruck at Full Volume.” 07/25/2012

Moskowitz, Jeff. “Cyber Security Unit Drives Israel Internet Economy.” CS


Sanger, David. “Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran.” The New York 06/01/2012

“Uranium Enrichment” 10/21/2014

Zettler,Kim. “Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and The Launch of The World’s First Digital

Weapon.” 11/03/2014.

Is it “Just a Game”. Nobel Prize Winner- John Nash and wife, Dead.

Is it “Just a Game”. Nobel Prize Winner- John Nash and wife, Dead.

Today I read about the death of john Nash and his wife. John Nash taught at Princeton, a mathematics teacher. Another STEM teacher is gone, Professor Nash. He came from West Virginia, coal miners country. His family if not involved in mining was supported by those who were. Mining coal, deep in the earth, dangerous, dark, toxic, work. What it was we used before petroleum crude oil, coal was the country’s fuel source.


   No.” The people of West Virginia were always a bit different, not the Virginians of Monticello, or  the birthplace of presidents, these were not the owners of vast plantations or read and schooled in Locke’s and Hobbe’s. They started mining coal in the mid 19 th Century in West Virginia, they had no slaves to head down into the mines. They were the poor, the poorest of the poor, doing the dirtiest of the jobs. Interestingly enough after a day in the mines they came out blacker than any slave in the all of Virginia.

After the  advent of the civil war, West Virgina stayed in the Union breaking off from Virginia and siding with the north during the war between the states. Today, West Virginia is the lowest of the states in college educated adults, less than 20%, the highest rates of obesity, smoking, and RX drug abuse. Most of the economy depended upon coal production. It was in this landscape that John Forbes Nash Jr.  was born into  Nash was a mathematical genius and eventually won the Nobel Prize in Economists. After attending Princeton University and other  colleges, receiving his doctorate from the former,he began to teach at Princeton University.

 His career was most active in the 1950’s for a period of about ten years in which he explored these complicated mathematical concepts. He was also plagued his whole life with schizophrenia. His diagnosis of schizophrenia, at the normal age of presentation the late teens for men, displayed the tell tale signs of the illness. Embarrassing for men at any age or social situation. Not the psychiatric illness du Jour that the title schizophrenia held in the 1970’s when it was often confused with manic depression and then later bi-polar disorder.  

This caused a multitude of problems for his wife, they eventually divorced, but remained living together and supportive of each other. She especially  cared for him, whom separated with him after having several breakdowns with reality. He received several academic scholarships, The Westinghouse Scholarship and various others. After a successful recovery from his severe bouts with scizophrenia, they were married agin in 2001. 
  After  at teaching at Princeton and receiving the Nobel Prize in the 1950’s, he was finally able to come to the awards ceremony and complete it was o receive his Nobel prize in 1994 in Economists. His game theory, differential geometry, and differential equations were key components in the mathematicians win of the Nobel Prize in Economist.  The keys to the game theory is to process out each and every outcome or possible scenario, by formula, incorporating the idea that multiple outcomes can occur. 

The mathematics, physics, and science communities will hold Mr. John Nash and his Partner, wife Alicia , in the highest regard for his contributions to the field. The  relationship of mathematical formularies and game theory, differential geometry. The world is at a loss with one less professor and one less mathematician. And the loss of a remarkable, patient, and steadfast force  I his wife Alicia

 TV is Dead, Long Live TV!

“That people will only watch television like this in the future is so obvious,” Jerry Seinfeld said this week at the Hulu upfront event for advertisers in New York City. Seinfeld was talking about streaming of course, and his message was clear: subscription VOD services like Hulu will render traditional, live, linear channels obsolete, much as TV […]

Cinco de  Hustle

Buenos Dios from sunny California. The hustle was Bueno as well this fine day,  I love holidays like Cinco de Mayo.  Generally speaking,they give white folks and beige folks the chance to eat “ethnic” foods and do copious amounts of tequila inspired or based libations. Whether it be tequila poppers, margaritas, tequila lime Jell-O shots, or even tequila lollipops with worm in the middle. 

Scantily clad girls and guys insombreros, serapes , and the ubiquitous vaquero cross the shoulder ammo belts containing shot glasses promenade through bars  erupting with a “riva,riva ” now and again. 

The food is purely ( or not so) the modern gringo take on Mexican. Things taquitos, jalapeño cream cheese shooters, and nachos with cheesy sauce that comes from a jar or can. As the any Latino could tell you the food we consume is “na-chos” we lay no claim to it.

Holidays like this and Saint Patrick’s Day have taken a unique American, and now worldwide ( or your closest ex-pat bar) flavor. We can all be Mexican, or Irish for a day or as close as a watered down down stereo type can come ( Don’t drink the Water!). While all in good fun, arriving at one of these parties late into the night can show the ugly Americanization of such events; nothing like girl in a pancho ducking under a limbo bar while tequila is dumped down her throat. Viva Santa Ana missing her mouth and sloshing in her hair while she yells “riva riva” a señorita if just for una noche.

Here in California, where I was born and raised in San Jose, I imagine it to be a bit better than say the Northern half of the U. S. It is here  where the other side of the spectrum is evident here as well. Pretentious multiple course regional tasting menus with vertical tequila pairings set the stage for a true Cinco de Mayo. Get your reservations early as this gastronomical foray into  Cucina de Chiapas is a cultural culinary experience not to be missed. All of this complimented by a midnight Mayan offering of Xochital and Chilis, a top a Flan made from organic free range Oaxacan Toucan Eggs drizzled with  slow simmered raw Cajeta from Alpaca  Goats Milk. Ah, the pretension of the cultured Americans embracing diversity. 

Irish cuisine might be more of a challenge but with enough green beer anything is possible. While we identify with these parts of our diverse makeup through food and libations this week, one cannot help but think on the events in Baltimore and other parts of the United States this year. Why is it that the spirit and eagerness to celebrate these types of occasions cannot be applied to our everyday interactions with the folks we tend to marginalize or judge in a group. 

Again this morning with the Department of Human Assistance for authorization on my card. I sure am thankful for the River City Food Bank helping to get me through the weekend. Three more cheers for them.  Huzzah, Hazaah, Hazzaah. Well everything went well but the crowds were in force at the building. It being the first of the month not an uncommon occurance but  at times a nuisance, I don’t want to bet grateful though. I can only imagine the experience of working there behind one of the windows and the good times one of those crazy days can bring. I applaud the patience and kindness of the county employees who get to grin and bear it in the face of so many things. They are the unsung heroes of such programs. Thank You!
These folks have morphed over the years. From the newly arrived immigrant group thought to be taking valuable jobs from the group just before it- who suddenly are allowed into the larger crowd to bully the new group. There is a certain satisfaction in the once bullied when they can bully with the group that did it to them. Almost like they have made it and they have a superiority to beat down the next. They, being so close to that pain and often are the most ready to go the furthest, be the meanest, and most cruelest to assuage their own hurt. It is as if they can transfer to another all beaten into them, yet the pain multiplies with each group. 

I grabbed my first bag of groceries in a longtime at the local Mom and Pop. I had not been what one would consider a good customer for lack of resources. When I have funding I make a conscious effort to spread it around to different stores, willing to pay sometimes higher prices when I get to know the family that works the store is getting feed directly by my spending my money there. No middleman, payroll, human resources, team member number,  partner code but names that they’ve had since birth. 
It sure was good to see them. And of course they asked about the Poppa -Ji. I had to make a second trip the next day with the little bodhisattva so they knew he was in good spirits. He was excited as well, imparting  his tidbits of dogma  and eastern wisdom. Hold on I hear music from somewhere, maybe it’s a dance break.  That’s  when everything stops for a minute or two for a dance.   

It sure was good to see them. And of course they asked about the Poppa -Ji. I had to make a second trip the next day with the little bodhisattva so they knew he was in good spirits. He was excited as well, imparting  his tidbits of dogma  and eastern wisdom. Hold on I hear music from somewhere, maybe it’s a dance break.  That’s  when everything stops for a minute or two for a dance.


 Now the bullied groups are not even immigrants, but the weaker, noticeably different, disabled, sexual minorities, people, peeped on, those not just not dressed in current cookie cutter styles,  people living off the cast offs of others. Boundaries and guaranteed rights are thrown out, all the while the bullies cry that they are the real victims. They lost that name in when they made a conscious decision to pass it on victimhood which most of the bullies refused to accept yet were mockingly labelled victims the entire time. Again by the same who embraced the term immediately once exposed. Entitlement for those who feel entitled to everything.

Things now have reached even higher levels of shame and hypocracy as these events are not only publically embraced but profited from packaged, repackaged, gamed, and allowed to continue by those demanding its end with horror. Like the Ken Starr report, then Investigation on whether President Bill Clinton lied in a deposition under oath that turned into  a disgrace for those spending tax dollars to fund and publish in excruciating detail what could be said as unnecessary private personal details unneeded for the report .this document of hundreds of pages could have been cut in half by saying he had adult  relations with a woman who was not his wife, as it has nothing to do with the deposition and issue at hand. How did Chelsea Clinton get treated? How did Monica’s family get treated by the party being big contributors after this scandal.  This resulting in an impeachment proceeding vote, lying in a deposition?Is there a President who has not lied in front of the National media, or had an extra marital affair? 

 In the case of some a way out available for years, is denied to continue the shaming and profit. These people are not strangers to each other like in past. They are families and this is when cultures and civilizations fall. 

So when does it stop if the victims are controlled economically to remain in the shackles while the bullies continue to do the same thing over and over again. The end is either when one or the other is incarcerated or dead. Unless the chains are unlocked or the bully shot by a small David carrying a slingshot.

If the bully wins it goes to the next one in line just like it did before the last victim was brought forth. What has changed? The victim absorbs the centuries of abuse heaped on each group without the stain of bullying the next group. And then the bullies children take guns to school and play like their parents and the tv shows do, hearing that it is only a game. 

So here I am trying to hustle up the rent, although just as much has been already paid for these peoples debts they refuse to settle after using passwords and user IDs they knew were not given to them and not theirs.! After being confronted  about the bills most pretended it never happened except one tenant who offered to pay after approaching me telling me he had  been on the network. Is this my landlords problem, legally ? The court decides. If the manager gave the password out and advertised free wifi it is his problem. Should  he a kind man, be out this money from his family trust after his tenants or manager destroys other tenants by invading their privacy and then showing neighbors and streaming it to social media sights, claiming she was paid by a relative. While in the employ of the landlord and skimming cash off the monthly rent which was overcharged and only noticed when a check was written. 

One has to ask the question after repeated intrusions, privacy violations, evidence of hidden settings on the computer changed either with access to the device by keys to the apartment, or by remote access through another device and  streamed to outside the window, and a cell phone number programmed to receive the stream at least during the day when she was out showing people the stream handing out passwords to a site saying it was disgusting what they were doing. This to the neighbors who then had access to a feed that I had not consented to or knew about. Now that was someone’s hustle. 

I saw a disturbing sign of the times at the Welfare office on a door of the bathroom stall. It read ” kill a white cop today” I could not believe my eyes especially this in the welfare office where the law enforcement stationed there is fairly chill. Is this what things are coming to? When I mentioned earlier to someone they shushed me and told me not to talk about it! 

How can situations like this be resolved without some kind of a dialogue on a National level about what seems to be either an increase on ethnically spurred crimes and shootings of African Americans and the growing problem of school shootings which seem common place after 10 years when one or two shocked our nation. When will we tackle these problems that tear us apart. After we begin to remember that People of Color are so scapegoated, targeted, feared, therefore envied. We have Viagra now this should not be an issue anymore. 

Miyake!  Simplicity in Design, More than Fashion, Remarkable Art. 

Miyake!  Simplicity in Design, More than Fashion, Remarkable Art. 

Desperately trying to find some needed cash, see being poor and the hustle, I stumble upon an online article about a retrospect of Issey Miyake. Issey Miyake is one of the quintessential Japanese dssigners that came to define the fashion industry in the 1980’s and beyond. He was known for his unisex simplistic designs which transcend fashion, becoming instant design classics. 


Issey Miyake


I am amazed and astounded that vintage Miyake is selling for thousands. I pull out a thick black cotton coat from my closet which is classic Miyake, purchased in 1995 in a consignment store in Seattle for less than one hundred dollars it is now a wise investment. The coat is a coarse black cotton weave sewn on the bias with unfinished frayed edges. When splayed out it is square in shape composed of two triangles of fabric. It is breathtaking once on. It’s weight and asymmetrical hang with low triangular shapes weighing down the front of the garment. It’s lines are completely simple with the secret being in the off center area that it is put on, not like the hole in,the middle of a poncho symmetry one normally finds in such a garment. It is unisex and one size indicative of early Miyake and other  Japanese designers of the period such as Commes des Garçons and Yojhi Yamamoto. The top of the coat. Has three buttons which link a piece of fabric into a hood when buttoned. One can roll the hood or unbutton it for a wide collar or tweak it in various stages between for a bit of both should one desire. 


Black Miyake Coat , hood down

I search for a similar coat for sale online and only find a photo. Other used Vintage Miyake coats are selling for upwards of one thousand dollars but none have the hang or lines that this particular design have. I find them either more tailored or less structure in line and drape. Definitely not as versatile in appearance or shape. In comparing the others just lie on the models while this style draws the eye to the structure and design to the geometry of the garment not the model.

I am taken back to my own sojourns to Tokyo during 1986, when my father, on foreign assignment with a major technology firm did a two year stint in their Asian headquarters. Frequenting Harajuku in the Omotosande area, where the Shinjuku and Shibiya subway lines intersect on Sundays I would see many coats like this as well as other styles similar from Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Kenzo Abe, or the multitude of rising star Japanese designers that were thrust into the fashion world that year. 


Harajuku Kids

Shopping the trendy retail outlets of the district one could find less known designers? Strolling alongside the streets there are squares of stalls selling vintage Levis, Hawaiian shirts, and other classics, ample distraction from the primary activity, people watching. The main thoroughfare around Yoyogi Park, closed to traffic, filed with a multitude of Japanese youth sporting  mohawks, pompidours,  pigtails,  bouffants, wigs, or outlandish hats in every color gather with their respective cliques on parade and public display. The atmosphere is   festive, non-traditional, and always fun in the frivolity of it all. Often found with a boom box blaring, the Harajuku kids’ music of choice whether it be Elvis, the Sex Pistols, or a more current (for the time) 80’s dance favorite leaves tradition behind forget the shamisen or flute.  The youth congregate in circles along the wide boulevard representing their adopted look to a tee.
While budget and economics prevented many of these trendy outlandish mismatched Harajuku youth from sporting the latest in designer fashions, the established ready-to-wear Japanese fashion industry was well represented amongst the  more mature spectators and somewhat more subdued cafe society which left the outdoor cafes and seating areas along the boulevard swelled beyond capacity. An acquaintence of mine commented that this form of expression in addition to getting inebriated while clubbing was her generations way of feeling free, and ultimately expressing their individuality in a culture that at the time offered little way to do so.


Gweyn Stefani , designer of The Harajuku Girls Line

 It seemed as if the world had taken notice of this particular moment in time and rendered it indicative of the Japanese youth culture for decades to come. Rock Stars turned designers like Gwen Stefani even naming clothing lines after the vibrant youth culture contained within the few square kilometers weekly. The designers of the time and present day were no doubt inspired by the creativity expressed in the streets within the confines of the structured and ordered group culture pervasive throughout the history of Japanese culture. 


Runway Style Evocative of Miyake, by Chloe

 These bursts of vibrancy and brilliance so subtly woven into the design threads of the eighties designers and in part responsible for their tremendous embrace by the  world and runways of Europe’s fashion capitols. One only need to look  at the years following the Japanese designers successful debuts in these centers to see the influence on worldwide design which is evident even today. Designers like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Betsy Johnson, John Galliano, Christian LaCroix, and John Paul Gaultier found tremendous roots and structure in these well constructed simple geometrical foundations. 

The Hunger Games – Panem Capitol Fashion

By accentuating with texture, color, pattern, accessories, the    young designers of the fashion industry gave the looks depth, fun, whimsy and bridged a gap towards the Harajuku look seen weekly. Garters, petticoats, frilly ruffles and bustles brought an element of  sweet confectionary coyness to the sometimes stark pieces that still appear in fashion and film today. One only need look at the aesthetic in such films as the Hunger Games series, or The Harry Potter films, to notice the staying power of the designers influence and its power in the garment industry as well as popular culture at large. 

 Modeling my black Miyake coat while giving  thought to this, all the while enjoying the garment gave me pause to think of the coat as sort of a matriarch of design, the wise crone cloistered over her cauldron, cloaked, stirring a simmering brew adding roots, barks, and herbs yielding brews of varying thickness, sweetness and hues to be dispensed to her progeny. The tonics for beauty, humor, romance, youth. Dyes for wardrobes as varied as the wearer. All worn and traced to her quiet, understated knowledge and subconscious grasp of foundations solid and sturdy. Her male counterpart a Merlin figure, a hermit figure imparting the same alchemical melange less simmered and more mercurial wearing the same elemental garment.

Twirling a few times the coat with its front triangular asymmetrical corners on each side magically lift and thrust around gently guiding the less weighted section of the backside giving lift. I conjure dervishes whirling into a trancelike state, skirts ballooning out like bulbous bell shaped vessels. As I move, even without  a twirl the garment moves to counter balance my own movement providing an almost pendulum like affect from the swing of the weighted front corners fluidly gliding with each stride. What the photographers and critics must have thought with the first glimpse of such synchronized movement in a runway show.

Now while searching such terms “Issey Miyake + vintage coat + resale value” my browser, I find a plethora of exhibits in both large and small, in public and private galleries lauding the designers, especially Miyake for their vision of simple geometrical unisex constructions that formed amazing garments to which there have been few other examples of since. Permanent exhibitions in museums from New York to London tout all things from the period by this vanguard of design Titans from clothing, to lighting, to such now ubiquitous furnishings such as the futon. All of it showcased in a minimal sparse monochromatic  environment now the norm in retail and advertising.  Designed to showcase the simplistic, sophisticated, quality of design, construction, and organic materials echoed in form, function, and aesthetic. Pieces from this place and period need no model, styling, props., or staging to emphasize  what obviously stand alone as classics in all areas of design. 

In awe of the coat which has held not only its pared down elegant characteristics after nearly 30 years in a closet, but retained its confounding beauty as well as value on sites such as Etsy, eBay, and 1stDibs commanding bids of thousands of dollars. This in an industry where most design pieces from the periodare doomed to be labelled out of style in a few short seasons. Remember the block print oversized day glow, Wham! Frankie says tees, trotted out as a novelty for a themed flashback fete. How about the 80’s shoulder pads in nearly every dress blouse or jacket, at best deemed retro  a generation later- or Members Only jackets. Other fashions of the period seen as an example of an individual designer’s body of work- Bob Mackie’s extravagant Academy Award gowns popularized by Cher. These pieces go far beyond the scope of the majority of fashion over a season or two past into the stratosphere of art, marking the birth of new avenues which the industry has explored and continues to embrace.

Few designers or periods render such treasures that when removed from the dry cleaner bag and inspected or put on, whether on dress form, model, or self, inspire awe, and admiration in new ways without the construct or thoughts of era, year, age, or  regret of decision to purchase. The  Little Black Dress by Coco Chanel, as well as the Chanel Suit , Levis 501’s, Converse HiTops, Keds, Brooks Brothers Oxford Shirts, all of these essential classics spawning decades of variations, subclassifcations, retail outlets, and even designers dedicated to their form  exclusively. Yet something in these Japanese designs nearly transcends these fashion staples. As awe inspiring on a hanger or laid out splayed on a flat surface one appreciates the simplistic form and minimal construction which almost have a life of their own ready to leap off the one dimensional plane with form to guide and give them essence. 

These designs are alive without model, albeit in a altogether unique appearance than that when worn. The Miyake, when flat appears to be a near perfect square, but lacking the congruency found in a poncho if laid in a similar fashion. It appears as if something lies under it waiting to grow thru, Jack’s magic beanstalk sprouting up. The paring down of the most basic of shapes, rudimentary fabrics often coarse lay woven, sewn without frills or extra stitching, basic slit pockets, simple geometrical shapes when pieced to pattern, each step elementary in its origin yielding something magical, complex, with a form entirely and stylistically new.  The genius of these handful of Japanese visionaries recognized by the likes of Steve Jobs, who wore Miyake with Levi’s nearly everyday while the Zen Guru of Apple, Annie Leibowitz- photographer artist extraordinaire to name a few. I bow deeply to thee as the unfinished fringe of the front lines rustle softly  over the hardwood floor. Arigato Gozaiamatshushita…. 

Arigato Gozaimashushita Miyake -san…

Are You An Anthropocentrist?

Thanks for the article. I immediately thought of reverse anthrocentric arguments, the human things we do that no other species does.

1. Humans Are the Only Species to drink the milk of another species without the need of an orphan.

2. Humans are the only species to continue drinking milk after being weaned.

3. Humans have caused the extinction and devolution of many species ; plant, animal, and insect by such things as clear cutting the rain forests, overfishing, air pollution. We have caused more ecological damage than any natural event or species.

4. Humans are the only animals that murder in cold blood not for food or protection.

Laura Grace Weldon

animal intelligence, anthropocentrism, Paradise, by Gillis d’Hondecoeter circa 1575

When I was growing up we were taught humans were at the top of every chart, far superior to all other living beings. Our textbooks, illustrated with stereotypical images of “cave men,” proved the assertion with a long list of what our species could do that others could not. The list was so smug that I was a bit embarrassed on behalf of my fellow homo sapiens. A skeptic even then, I thought the list was somewhat prejudicial. Worse, it didn’t acknowledge what feels obvious to young children, that we are all things and all things are us.

I don’t for a moment dismiss our many human accomplishments—among them language, science, the arts, and shared rules meant to advance mutual compassion. I simply mean to point out that we’re not better, we’re different.

Besides, what I was taught as a kid doesn’t really hold up. Here are…

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Today being Sunday and all I decided to blog about a project that I have started in various media forms, either print or film.  The project is in the planning stages; story boards, outlines, rough drafts of text and such. At many key junctures in the book, for example at a chapters ending, the reader would be given a key decision, regarding plotlines, character development, or even genre or tone. After making the choice the reader would then be coursed on that track,  another another branch at another section or chapter. the film version would do pretty much the same thing but in a more digital reality, avatar-sequel. This would enhance the media experience by yielding numerous alternative versions of the story.

One of the concepts dear to my heart and one of the most interesting time periods in anthropology, history, and Egyptology was during the Middle Kingdom – Memphite Age. For a brief period the  dynastic branch of the family closely associated with the Memphite age and identified by the title Amenhotep and  the title Tel el-Amarna. This time period had one key item that completely turned everything upside down in the Upper and Lower Nile.  A young unique pharaoh whose Father had left him an enormous sized treasury, giving him ample resources to fund the vision of internal change to the Egypt. This of course would be no easy task, being met with resistance.

Tiye, wife of Amenhotep III, hailed from other lands, and was from the same tribal and religious group as her Father, Joseph. Joseph had come into Egypt as a slave sold by his brothers and while in slavery  caught the attention of the court and members of the royal household. Eventually his knowledge in dream interpretation became what elevated him from slave to free man and one of Pharaohs most trusted advisors always at his side. He was able to see his brothers one more time and stayed in Egypt. It seems the Israelites were in slaved twice by the Egyptians. The  first time when Joseph’s jealous brothers wanted him out of the picture so their Dad would one day give one of them the precious blessing that was everything for the chosen son of a Bedouin tribal leader ( culturally).  The second on a much more greater scale, when Moses was forced  to choose between an Egyptian Pharaonic throne, or leading his true people from bondage.

After unceremoniously dumping him down a dry well shaft the brothers sold him to a trader. Joseph had the last laugh and was the patriarch for a more than a few members including Pharaohs in the Tel el-Amarna period. In the Valley of The Kings just near where the now famous workers huts are above the entrance to Tuthankamuns tomb was an extremely small tomb – for a pharaoh and the Valley whose inscription cartouche read “Father of the Pharoahs”. Mind you this tomb was not a Pharoah, so technically not allowed to be even dug in the sacred ground where Pharaohs made their final journeys to the next world via the Book of Thoth as guide through the underworld. To be buried there with such a placard would indicate an extremely important and well thought of individual. 
Joseph’s wife a Hebrew,  taught her daughter all the Hebrew traditions. Chosen fortunately as second wife of the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, she continued worship of her God, Yahweh, in quiet privately in the palace. After giving Pharaoh his second  son and spare heir to the dynasty,  she was elevated to wife status amongst his concubine. Her son’s name was Amenhotep IV, later Akhenaton, and she like her mother, educated him in the ways of the one of true God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. He was  educated in the polytheistic worship, cults of , and the  serious political maneuvering that  balanced the cults maintaining their stronghold on Egyptian society, worship, religion, art, and  ultimately the Pharaoh and royal family themselves. It was imperative the system stay together with the head priests of the God and Goddess cults, firmly in control.  Everyone who has experience with political science knows that control is the goal of most leadership everywhere. This was not an issue as Pharaoh already had an heir and the second in line was not expected to ascend to the throne. His spiritual  education was left to his mother, who resided in the palace concubine where she could school him without much notice from the priests and other males dominant in the Cults of the Gods. The heir apparent, Thutmosis was well indoctrinated and educated in the traditional  Cults by the priests, led by the powerful Cult of Amun.


Depiction of the Temple of Amun at Karnak


Ruins of the Temple of Amun at Karnak


Amenhotep III, the heretic’s father, saw his reign grow not only in wealth but vast expanses of territories for Egypt. As any leader knows construction projects, large ones not only give back to the populace, employ folks  but also leave a long lasting monument to those who financed them, leaving a legacy for all who see; until their destruction was possibly the result of Isis’  conservative ideology.Even today we still romanticize the great pyramids of Ramses, Korfu, and Cheops, although much of the original design and accoutrements are long gone. 



The ” Mummy” of Akhenaton , Tiye , his Mother

 The preserved bodies, found in these repositories, were called Mummies after the British occupation after Napoleon ceded the occupied lands in concessions after Waterloo. These valuable stores of DNA, pathogens, virii, bacteria, and examples of  medicinal techniques used by the unique technologically effective surgeons of the Ancient Egypt. These examples of well preserved, even the preservation methods merit study, human cadavers, with most major organ systems intact that are yielding DNA providing the opportunity to map the genome of this culture at multi time levels and socio structures from royals to merchants, to slaves. This provides innumerable insights to their diet, climate of the time, diseases, invaders, and how the society interacted with them as well as other humans and the world around them at large. 

Many of these mummies were chopped up to fuel trains or ground and added to mystical medicinal tonics, most likely to aid and enhance one’s libido or longevity. Probably not the first sexual ED aid but maybe one of the earliest.  Combine that with a multitude of stellae the Ancient Egyptians left for us, and one has perhaps what Freud could spend years analyzing. Sorry could not help but interject the obvious phallic references. Indeed Freud did author a book on the subject of Egyptian monotheism linking Akhenaton and Moses. 


Amenhotep III, father of Akhenaton


Amenhotep III, Father of Akhenaton

 Amenhotep III, had no such problems, the population was fed, working , and paid under his reign . One of his greatest achievements was the expansion of the Temple of Karnak. The cult of Amun had their main temple complex located in Memphis, the Eyptian Capitol. The cult of Amun, rivaled its close rival the Cult of Aten, or Aton. Amun was the God of darkness and night. Aton cult the sun god was parallels to the Hebrew God, and the  only God, the minds of the Jewish bedouin tribe of Abraham. Amun held the power with cleverly  structured, and maintained rivalries and an usurper always close at hand to encourage the vigilance and competition that kept the system Seemingly at odds with everyone in it. In the polytheistic tradition of Egypt, the Cult of Amon was the largest and most resource rich of the power with legions of  priests acolytes, artisans, scribes and followers dedicated  to the service of Amun. As the chief God they were the target of the lower Gods and cults in a competition for coin and service from both royal the family and upper classes of merchants and other not-cult members.

The cult of Amun had always had the largest of followings of any of the hundreds of Egyptian deities. Service to Amun and gifts to his cult were generally the duties and responsibilities of the members of the cults , priests, acolytes, scribes, artisans, and their who did reside in the temple complexes. The treasury and royal families directly supported these cults in proportion to their popularity this determines stays the hierarchy of deities. Amenhotep III, used his vast resources to fund major projects in the assimilation of new lands and cultures for trade, and infrastructure expansion and improvements in all areas of society.

 Amenhotep III, and his court did not disappoint the Temple of Amon, embarking on a major expansion and beautification of the Temple of Amun at Karnak. Much of the grand temple we see today and it’s layout can be directly traced back to this building process, although one more expansion after this period provided the columns that typify a visit to Karnak. Many of the staues including the famous seated Pharoahs and Gods are Linked to this expansion. It is with gratitude that we thank the foresight of The United Nations for recognizing the need to move these temp,es in the face of the Aswan High Dam project, or else all would have been lost. Unfortunately much of the  other treasures of information have been destroyed prior to their study or preservation.


Akhenaton , or Amenhotep IV, heretic Pharoah of Egypt

After Amenhotep III’s death of natural causes and his crowned prince Thutmose died before ascending the throne,  his second son, crowned Amenhotep the IV, took the reigns of power, this gave his mother even more power as Mother of the Pharaoh. As she was the daughter of Joseph and did not worship in the traditional polytheistic tradition of the whole of Egypt, but rather monotheistically in the way her Hebrew Father. She raised her son as a Hebrew , and while surely he had an education in Egyptian polytheism, he was at a point where one would have to have dominance over the other in a choice that he would have to make , influencing the entire civilization. 


Akhenaton Family Tree, one version

 As Egyptian Pharaohs were considered living Gods directly descended and anointed by the Gods, not unlike the direct lineage and dive in rights that many royal families  today lay claim to without the idea that they are actually descended from the Gods. This put Amenhotep in a difficult position, in many ways. Was he a living God, or simply the heir apparent to the sacred covenant the Israelites had with Yahweh? Was he the first of the greatest of Kings promise by Yahweh to Abraham in the covenant, or another in a long line of Pharaoh Gods? Would Yahweh become the God of the Egyptians or remain just the Hebrew God? What would happen to the thousands that enjoyed the power and wealth of being in the service to the multitude of other Gods and Goddesses in the polytheistic system in place? This was where the descendants of the royal family and court eventually ended up. This being the next highest level of social order in Egytian society and as a group the ones that controlled the wealth ultimately. Without their support one could never think of being anything but a slave in Egypt let alone a  Pharaoh.


Queen Nefertiti and her King Akhenaton

 The decision came swiftly and early into his reign. This decision would come to be the hallmark and paragraph in the history books while other Pharaohs lacked to get themselves in the historic record.  He, with some foresight, tried to incorporate both systems into his decision by naming the Sun God Ra as the supreme and only deity. Antecedents  in the Egyptian nomenclature system were changed from -Amun to -aton or -Amon, Aton in names depending upon their gender. Amenhotep IV after five years of reign took  the title Akhenaton indicating that his decision was made. His wife , however retained her name Nefertiti, with needing to change the antecedent that was not there. this would indicate a foreign woman not named in the Egyptian nomenclature of the day. She became one of the most recognized Pharoah Queens, not only for her place in history politically and socially with unprecented equality and rights for women just under Cleopatra of the Plotemy dynastic line hundreds of years later. In the art world, she is second to no woman in Egyptian art history in form, aesthetic, or realismwith her iconic bust still at The Berlin Museum being one of the most celebrated Egyptian pieces of art in the world. 

Akhenaton , as a sphinx.

 As known, the cult of Amun was the most power group even yielding more power than the royal family themselves. Being shut out by Akhenaton was an act of war. Without royal patronage or support in their coffers the cults struggled especially since policy was that Egyptians were to worship only one God Ra. Massive funds went into projects dedicated to Ra, freezing the other cults out of the “food chain” so to speak and feelings of resentment and bitterness were quick to develop.amongst the thousands of displaced priests, artists, scribes and     apprentices who set their sights in the worship and employ of one of the hundreds of other deities. 

Things did not bode well for Akhenaton and his court in Memphis. His progeny were all female and rumors of sterility or intersex offspring troubled his house. Were  these rumors actually true, simply propaganda from the multitude of disgruntled and displaced Egyptians after the conversion to monotheism, or as most of these types of situations based in some type of fact. To find the remains ( Nefetiti it is believed we have) of these children could indeed provide answers to this mystery. The other rumor that has gained some popularity today is the idea that a completely unique strand or piece of DNA emerged during this time period in the Egyptian royal line. Could this be explained by Akhenaton’s foreign roots? 


Akhenaton and co-regent, Smenhkare

 Supposing these presuppositions were true looking at other instances of interest multiple births or sterile offspring of one specific gender one can immediately draw the connection between donkey and horse, whose offspring result in sterile biologically female animals called mules. The intersex example is hard to exemplify as these births are extremely rare per capital in the number of births. One would expect a family would not have multiple intersex births within the same line. Could they idea that either Akhenaton or Nefertiti were not genetically the same ( ie donkey and horse) possibly not from the same line of genus or a factor which would yield sterility in all progeny.which It certain makes more sense logically than ” Aliens came down and mated with them” pre hypothesis held by many viewers of sensational television programs.

While these mysteries are beyond my current scope of experimentation to prove their validity or negate the hypothesis statistically speaking. One need only look at the visual arts of the brief period that clearly  illustrate that an abrupt, sudden change in artistic depiction on many levels occurred . While at first glance it may appear obvious  the motives  for such depictions, a change in style towards realism in art, upon examination, depictions of  the subject matter show that this change  is simply not the only reason and incongruent with many who claim this as an explanation for the sudden departure from established artistic norms.


Akhenaton’s realistic depiction

 The changes in visual arts were shaped in two extremely obvious ways, Akhnaton’s depiction as very tall gaunt, pot bellied, and lanky is unlike any Pharoah ever depicted, which his remains confirm as his physical stature.Eliminating the sole reason that either he demanded realism of his artists as ascertained previously, other explanations that have a reasonable amount of  credibility without major stumbling blocks to provide credible evidence would be that by being the catalyst for the unemployment of the thousands of members of the other  cults after switching to one God depicting him in this as protest they showed him in an unfavorable disrespectful manner not fit for a king or his family, ignoring the social barricade that their stature required their subjects to or that they desired to expose him in private moments this latter theory can be somewhat dismissed. 

Royal Family worshipping Aton.

 Akhenaton’s family is depicted with him in social scenes, tender affectionate moments rarely seen in other Egyptian art. His wife Nefetiti is shown alongside him as an equal doing such things as making offerings to the God Ra, and even competing in a chariot race against her husband. This was a radical departure for Egyptian art at the time.Something that if it did happen would never be depicted in court art work. Whether or not his reign typified a more close knit family life or just the depiction of it not represented in prior art from ancient Egypt. This art not only shows the status of women as equal, but a tender family life with the couple being affectionate openly to each other and with their children. Women are also performing activities formerly restricted to men in direct competition with men. Even today in the cultural confines of the Arabian Bedouin tribes of the areas there is no record of this level of intimacy and equality between families on a public levels. definite departure from these scenes not being 


 Led with the first depictions of the elongated skulls makes one wonder if such body modification was being practiced in Ancient Egypt. We rarely  see such elongation in a art or culture with the exception of the Mayans nearly 1000 years later. The Mayans in an emulation of their Gods modified the skulls of child run of royal lineage by placing boards to mold their heads when they were infants as a sign of beauty, and in mimicking the “Gods that came from the sky” is it a coincidence that the Mayans and other Meso- Americans built pyramids containing star maps of certain dates and their astronomical maps during those times. On the walls of such rooms. 

  After ruling as a monotheistic ruler and coming under intense pressure and intimidation by the populace at large, Akhenaton embarked on his grandest and most memorable project of all. He moved the Capitol of Egypt to a brand new site constructed from nothing to a complete city within a year or two.The  new Capitol dedicated to Ra Aten, or Aton was farther up the Nile and inland to extricate himself and his family  and court from the political upheaval his decision had caused as well as the turmoil and danger it brought to them. Away from the eyes of the former Cults he and his family could worship the God Aten (sun disk) in the ways they wanted to free from persecution . Amarna was the latter name of the city first called Aton. Akhenaton knew it was the place to build when he saw the glyph for the sun mimicked in the horizon from the place .

akhenaton depicted in sphinx form


Glyph from Amarna, showing the sun Ra

  The new Capitol at Aton or also called Amarna, was in a dry part of the Nile basin. It included a palace, temple to Aton, and other buildings for citizens based upon their jobs and social standing. This move did aid in the family’s feelings of safety and their ability to worship the sun god. The cost to Akhenaton’s treasury was enormous. Without the gains his Father had and his emphasis on changing the religious system leaving so many without an income  or way to pay taxes Egypt began to enter a financial period of little growth. After the move the treasury  began to go broke.


2of Akhenaton’s daughters


Meritaten, Akhenaton’s daughter


Akhenaton and Nefertiti, at play with their daughters.

 Akhenaton and his wife Nefertiti had six daughters. His co regent Smenkhare died before reaching the throne. His daughter Meriaten died in childbirthand none of the daughters ascended. His daughters names were Meriaten, Meketaten, Ankhenspaaten, Neferneferuaten, Neferneferure, and  Setepenre.


Tutanhkamun with his Queen

 After his death he was succeeded by Tutanhkamun  who, obviously as a nine year old crowned pharaoh, under pressure from the priests and cults of the Gods reverted back the the polytheisistic religion prior to Akhenaton’s reign. The Capitol at Amarna was abandoned for that of Memphis and Egypt continued on in the same fashion until about 300 years later when Moses member of the royal household was forced to make a similar choice.