Supernature in Costa Rica

May 30, 2004

It's good to be back from a short visit to Costa Rica, but it was great to be there. I recommend the trip to every American. The contrast with our own country is extremely refreshing. It's nice to be in a place where, for example, they use bovine excrement to produce electric power, not to fool the population into going to war against defenseless, oil-rich countries. It's a place where the government actually takes a stand for conservation, rather than acting as an advocate for the major industries that want to rape the environment.

I visited a dairy farm where the cow dung is used to power the operation, creating essentially no negative environmental impact. Obviously the oil-based energy system that runs the United States has no future, and even in the present it relies on massacres of untold numbers of people unfortunate enough to live on oil-rich lands, like Iraq. It was inspiring to see a place where the leadership actually takes these facts into account and takes action toward better alternatives.

On a ridge overlooking the Poas Volcano, the fog and rain was so heavy none of it was visible. Then suddenly the fog began to move aside like a veil being removed, revealing a pool of water of a deep green color, the craggy, multicolored surfaces of the crater and scattered streams of smoke from hot lava. It was mesmerizing.

In a very short time I saw natural wonders that put all our hubris into proper perspective. At a hummingbird farm where many species and colors and sizes of hummingbirds come up within inches of you to feed, I saw these amazing creatures in action. They are able to accurately position themselves in a three-dimensional grid with almost perfect control. It is mind-blowing to see the beautiful creatures from little-finger size to sparrow size, with stainglass color designs on their bodies, wings beating at blinding speed, darting in space with high tech accuracy. It's hard to describe. They don't just fly around; they stand still in space, utterly defying gravity without wavering.

There are as many species of birds in the tiny country of Costa Rica as in all of the U.S. and Canada combined. Biodiversity is one of the country's greatest resources, and the government, believe it or not, recognizes it and tries to preserve it, even as it tries to exploit it economically through tourism.

At La Paz waterfall, the water forms a huge column that thrusts out from the side of the mountain, a discrete cylinder that seems solid but is composed of tons of rapidly moving water. It creates an ongoing spectacle of indescribable power. All natural. Independent of any human action.

I was there for a very short time and only got out of the city for a day, but what I saw was enough to show me that in a full week of traveling with guides through the country, you could hardly avoid having your consciousness profoundly transformed. The hand of nature, the intelligence that operates throughout the natural ecosystem, is so magnificent and striking in that environment that it seems supernatural. But these qualities are all perfectly verifiable within the recognized limits of science.

Most Americans don't even have passports and many have rarely traveled more than a few miles from home, leaving them vulnerable to the lies of media when forming their world views. For those people, a trip anywhere, but especially to Costa Rica, would do wonders.

Back in the U.S., some interesting headlines.

  • Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel: "I think you've got a president who is not schooled, educated, experienced in foreign policy in any way, versus his father. I think he was philosophically, intellectually more in tune with the neoconservatives' approach to 'let's go get them, and we'll worry about it later.'" US News
  • Draft set to start in June 2005. Politicians prepare to sacrifice your children to their wars. "There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin at early as Spring 2005 -- just after the 2004 presidential election. The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections."
  • One out of every 75 men in the Land of the Free is now in prison, 2.1 million total in prison. New York Times
  • Paul Krugman on why the media let Bush get away with lying to start a war. Yes, it happened and it was a disgrace. But has there now been a change? "Amazing things have been happening lately," says Krugman. "The usual suspects have tried to silence reporting about prison abuses by accusing critics of undermining the troops — but the reports keep coming. The attorney general has called yet another terror alert — but the press raised questions about why. (At a White House morning briefing, Terry Moran of ABC News actually said what many thought during other conveniently timed alerts: 'There is a disturbing possibility that you are manipulating the American public in order to get a message out.'" New York Times
  • Bob Herbert on Gore's speech. "In the view of Mr. Gore (and many others), the essential problem has been the triumph in the Bush crowd of ideology over reality. The true believers knew everything better than everybody else, and the arrogance born of that certainty led, step by tragic step, to the war with no exit doors that we are locked in today. That arrogance gave rise to the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war, the contempt for international agreements like the Geneva Conventions, the dismissal of concerns by some of the highest-ranking military professionals about the way a war in Iraq should be fought and the willingness of top administration figures to blow smoke in the eyes of ordinary Americans who were traumatized by Sept. 11 and worried about the possibility of further terrorist attacks." Gore: "What makes the United States special in the history of nations is our commitment to the rule of law and our carefully constructed system of checks and balances. Our natural distrust of concentrated power and our devotion to openness and democracy are what have led us as a people to consistently choose good over evil in our collective aspirations, more than the people of any other nation." New York Times

  • Brainwashed -- A new book tells how American universities now indoctrinate their students. World Net Daily
  • Ongoing Florida Vote Fraud -- People for the American Way are challenging Florida's removal of voters from the rolls.
  • CBS Poll: Kerry 49% Bush 41%
  • Gore to Call for Resignation of Five Bush Administration Officials
  • New York Times ' Frank Rich on Michael Moore's film.

    May 27, 2004

    Here Comes the Next Big Attack

    As I sit here in San Jose, Costa Rica, CNN is reporting that a terrorist attack on the U.S. would help Bush in the election. This is an extremely dangerous situation. In the first place, how can people see Bush as better at protecting the U.S. against terrorism than Kerry? Or than anyone? Can Americans not see that the country has never been under greater threat than it has since Bush took office in 2001 and right now, that there has been virtually no improvement in security since 9/11? The Bush administration presided over the most outrageous failure of national security in history, tried to prevent investigations into why it happened, has spent its time and the country's resources on a war against Iraq while giving Al Qaeda the opportunity to build its strength. How can Americans not see that terrorist attacks on the U.S. were and are the best thing that can happen to the Bush administration, and now, therefore, more likely than ever? Can Americans not see that if polls say a terrorist attack will work to Bush's election advantage, such an attack is virtually inevitable? See "More 'Washington whispers' about possible pre-election terrorist attack" on "There is a more sinister subtext to [WSJ columnist] Hunt¹s column in the suggestion that the Bush administration would like to 'have it both ways' in another manner: it would like to benefit politically by presenting itself as the strongest force against terrorism, while preparing to politically exploit any future terrorist attack." Brace yourself, here comes the next attack and this is no joke.

    Meanwhile, the world watches. Could Americans be foolish enough to choose Bush?

    May 26, 2004

    Landing in Costa Rica

    SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Walking into the San Jose airport practically the first thing I see is the ugly man himself, George W. Bush, giving his big speech about -- what else? -- staying the course in Iraq. What is with his face? Presidents nearly always age visibly, as if they are living in an accelerated time, but Bush looks like he had a stroke. The left side of his mouth that seems to pull downward, is descending farther, becoming ever more distorted as it seems to be reaching for his knees. Crazy how no matter how far you travel, you never escape Bush. Later after I had checked into my hotel I looked into CNN and the trained monkeys thereon said that their poll showed 99% said the speech would not affect their opinion on Iraq.

    Now I rarely run into anyone who has a kind word about Bush. Of course there isn't a lot of enthusiasm for Kerry, which is quite an accomplishment, to fail to take advantage of Bush's overwhelming failure. But most seem to think he doesn't present a clear alternative to Bush, being an establishment player himself. He is bolstering their concerns by timidly aspiring to stay in what he perceives as "the middle of the road." That is a misperception and will get him nowhere. He does present a clear alternative to Bush no matter how establishment he is, but he had better pull out a little more spirit and speak to the cries of Americans. He can't afford to play it safe. And the world can't afford to let Bush stay in power.

    Now the corporate news is hyping a big terrorist attack in the U.S. before election day. Fox interviewed Tom Ridge saying nothing specific: "We have five to six million people coming over our borders every year and we'd be foolish to think there aren't Al Qaeda cells here in the United States planning to attack. Yeah. What is the news here? When was there not a threat? Of course the U.S. outrages in Iraq would increase the rage and therefore the threat. But they say nothing specific, say there is nothing specific, just that the "chatter" is higher and now the threat level is yellow.

  • Brainwashed -- A new book tells how American universities now indoctrinate their students. World Net Daily
  • Ongoing Florida Vote Fraud -- People for the American Way are challenging Florida's removal of voters from the rolls.
  • CBS Poll: Kerry 49% Bush 41%
  • Gore to Call for Resignation of Five Bush Administration Officials
  • New York Times ' Frank Rich on Michael Moore's film.

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