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Stranger in a Strange Land: An Unfilmable Book?

audienceseverywhere.net

Stranger in a Strange Land: An Unfilmable Book?

Katherine B. Shelor

Today, June 1st, is the 55th anniversary of the publication of Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, which tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised by Martians and then taken to Earth as an adult.

Putnam Publishing Group

Initially, Valentine Michael Smith (“Mike”) finds the ways of humans difficult to cope with, as he also finds himself a sort of political captive due to his parentage—biological and adoptive alike. As the only child of two famous space travelers and scientists as well as the first Martian to visit Earth, he stands to inherit both his parents’ fortunes and the role of alien emissary. Eventually, following a sequence of bizarre events that you will have to read the book to learn, his position as a free man is secured through the contrivance of eccentric and wealthy author Jubal Harshaw, who also gives Mike some of his first lessons in human social structures and philosophy. With Harshaw’s home serving as his base, Mike goes on to experiment with various careers, all the while honing his understanding of human existence and applying Martian principles to determine how people should live that would make them healthiest and happiest.

The result of Mike’s research is that he takes on apprentices and founds a commune, where he teaches disciples his way of life. At this commune, telekinesis, nudity, and shared sex and money make up every day life, as does a kind of meditation (called “grokking”—a pidgin Martian term). Members of this group share everything—thoughts, bodies, food, water, money, space—and greet one another with the phrase, “Thou art God.”

…all of which many people found problematic at the time of Stranger in a Strange Land’s publication in 1961. Some have “blamed” Heinlein’s work for the free love hippie movement of the 1960s, and the work faced criticism for its depiction of “orgies” and its heretical message (which, once could argue, goes to show that critics hardly understood at all, and could not read past their own prejudices). In any case, the reactions of real people to the fictional Mike were the same as the reactions of fictional people in the book itself to Mike. Thus, it predicted that, although decades may go by and our opinions of what is acceptable will change, we will always react with fear and anger to people living or thinking in a way that is antithetical to our own gut-level beliefs. It happened in 1961 when the book was published, and it happened in the hypothetical future shown in the novel itself.

Putnam Publishing Group

Stranger in a Strange Land has never been adapted for the screen—not directly, not in a way true to its content. Although the book has had enduring popularity among sci-fi fans and general readers alike, and won the Hugo award for best new novel, it is obvious why Hollywood hasn’t yet picked it up. People accused Heinlein of proposing a new model for society by writing Stranger in a Strange Land. Were a studio to produce the film, it would appear, to a vocal contingent, to be an endorsement of Mike’s philosophy. Whoever made the film would be assumed to be in support of “free love,” critical of Christianity, in favor of anarchy, and the film itself would be decried as a piece of liberal propaganda.

So, the question becomes not, “Why has nobody made this film?” but “Will anybody ever make this film?”

If it were a question of story alone, then a movie version would almost certainly be in the future. It’s a good story, and a good read, and the opportunity is there for a talented director to make it as enthralling as the book. However, it is not simply a question of story. Stranger in a Strange Land could be adapted by an independent filmmaker willing to court controversy for the sake of art, and maybe that’s what we will have to hope for. It’s possible, however, that the moment has passed. Much of the story is topical, and perhaps needs to be brought forth in popular culture again. Some of the book has been left firmly in the 1960s, however—particularly the obsequious women mysteriously doting on a grumpy old man—and there are newer works that could similarly point out human flaws without using mid-century tropes.

Moreover, if we use the book itself as a bellwether for the kind of reception a film true to its source material would receive, then it is clear that we are unlikely to ever see Stranger in a Strange Land on screen. It’s too controversial, and it’s tied too firmly to a specific time period.

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Posted by on October 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

The misogyny of ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ takes on new shame

 

The misogyny of ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ takes on new shame

Jill Boardman, a character in Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land

Books — good ones, anyway — are conduits for a pleasant sort of meditation, one that places you inside some far-off brain instead of your own. They bring you to a place where you can watch, uninterrupted and unnoticed, while a different world carries on like normal. They sneak you in, give you popcorn, and pat your head and say, “Stay as long as you’d like.”

It’s jarring when a line comes along to knock you out of that stupor. It happened recently, while I was reading Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, the Jungle-Book-but-on-Mars classic originally published in 1961. The book tells the tale of Valentine Michael Smith—a human born on Mars and raised by Martians — brought back to live on a future Earth as a young man.

Jill, a nurse who initially assumes responsibility for Mike’s care, speaks the line: “Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it’s partly her fault.” By this point in the narrative, she has become Mike’s lover, and will soon become a partner in his cultish religion-cum-philosophy. The two are discussing, albeit vaguely, what will become a prominent part of the book: non-monogamy.

“I wouldn’t turn Duke down—and I would enjoy it, too! What do you think of that, darling?”

“I grok a goodness,” Mike said seriously.

(”Grok,” now part of our human vocabulary, originated from Heinlein’s novel. It’s a Martian concept that suggests an innate, holistic understanding or connection to something.)

“Hmm… my gallant Martian, there are times when human females appreciate a semblance of jealousy—but I don’t think there is any chance that you will ever grok ‘jealousy.’ Darling, what would you grok if one of those marks made a pass at me?”

(“Marks” is a disparaging term for members of the general public; here, Jill is likely talking about the male audience members who watch her showgirl act.)

Mike barely smiled. “I grok he would be missing.”

(“Missing” refers to Mike’s penchant for disappearing people into another dimension.)

“I grok he might. But, Mike—listen, dear. You promised you wouldn’t do anything of that sort except in utter emergency. If you hear my scream, and reach into my mind and I’m in real trouble, that’s another matter. But I was coping with wolves when you were still on Mars. Nine times out of ten, if a girl gets raped, it’s partly her fault. So don’t be hasty.”

Spoken by a woman, written by a man. Carried the implication that it was her ability to “cope” which resulted in her not being raped. Supposed that self-imposed trouble existed when it came to these things.

I was very rapidly pulled back down to Earth. As it were.

Stranger in a Strange Land is a book about the future, and what might survive and generate when the writer is long gone. It also occupies a decidedly contemporary space when it comes to women, race, and sexuality. A government worker is described as an “imperious female” and a “snow queen”; Duke greets another character as a “limber Levantine whore” with what we are led to believe is affection; one character treats his collection of female statues better than his harem of women servants.

So much of the futuristic imagining of the book is sexual in nature, and it’s in part meant to lampoon prevalent attitudes toward sex at the time. Multiple partners and orgiastic water parties are central to Mike’s religious cult, and when one character voices objections, he’s chided and told he should let go of his ingrained conception of sexuality and see the happiness in non-monogamy. The suggestion is that he, and maybe we, should transcend our nasty, small-minded ideas about sex and embrace pluralistic bliss. Fine! And yet. A future in which everyone fucks everyone else doesn’t preclude a future in which women are annoyances unless a man says they’re not.

Why should it be a surprise that such bumbling misogyny is hidden in plain sight in one of the most popular science fiction books of the 20th century?

In retrospect, the shock seems almost quaint. Why should it be a surprise that such bumbling misogyny is hidden in plain sight in one of the most popular science fiction books of the 20th century, one that sold millions of copies and won the Hugo Award for best novel? Why, after floating through the past two months with gritted teeth and tense shoulders as accusations against men I once respected and sometimes knew cascaded down, should I feel a sharp pang when I see the same ethos in some man’s idea of the tomorrow? Why should it feel like a jolt of lightning to recognize the bridge between the world as we know it and some of our most popular imaginings of sex and the future? Haven’t I learned by now that this stuff oozes out of every crevice, coats the ground I walk on, slides down the walls, poisons the breath of every man I know, even the good ones?

Maybe. The relentless parade of Bad Men Exposed has dredged up every rotten or uncomfortably hazy encounter rattling around in an ever-growing but rarely accessed safety deposit box in my mind. Yet it’s also made me numb to all of the pageantry, because when you see the same rancid, dick-shaped procession outside your window every day, it gets old.

But the numbness isn’t all-consuming. And maybe it shouldn’t be. Maybe it’s good to be prodded back to reality by a throwaway line about rape. It does make you nervous, though. You ask yourself how much of this stuff is buried in the classics, or even just the things we consume when we’re teenagers, only dimly aware that these are the so-called formative years. Do we dare go back and check, or, like the stories of Harvey Weinstein and Glenn Thrush, will it only serve as a reminder that the world looks at women but never sees them?

You could chalk it up to art, or the (correct) idea that fiction is fiction for a reason. But Stranger in a Strange Land and other sci-fi novels like it are, in some ways, critiques of the present; they ask readers to wonder how things might be different in the future. The answer here, it seems, is not much.

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Sophie Kleeman is a writer and editor covering technology. She lives in New York. Her last piece for The Outline was about Phish fans who love net neutrality.

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Posted by on October 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Andre Norton The Beast Master 1959

tor.com

Still Not Even Slightly Apolitical: Andre Norton’s The Beast Master


The Beast Master, published in 1959, is one of Norton’s most openly subversive novels. It’s well ahead of its time. Its protagonist is Native American, he’s deeply imbued with his culture, and it’s his resort to that culture which resolves the major conflict of the novel.

And it has me tangled up in knots. I can see why this was one of my all-time favorite Norton novels, right up there with Moon of Three Rings and The Crystal Gryphon. I loved it in the reread, too. And yet—and yet—

Our protagonist, Hosteen Storm, is the classic Norton loner-with-telepathic-animals in a universe that’s mostly alien to him. His world is gone, slagged by the alien Xik. He and his team (giant sand cat, pair of meerkats, and African black eagle) have helped defeat the Xik, but now they’re homeless, without a planet to return to. Storm has fast-talked his way to Arzor, a Wild West sort of place with terrain that somewhat resembles that of his lost Navajo country.

He needs a home and a job, but he has an ulterior motive for choosing Arzor. He’s hunting a man called Quade, whom he intends to kill. But nothing, including at least one of the planet’s human settlers, is as it seems.

Arzor is just about pure American Western. It’s a desert planet, where human settlers run herds of buffalo-like frawn, and the natives, called Norbies, roam the land in tribes.

Norbies remind me of Green Martians from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom, but bipedal, with the tusks moved up and turned into horns. Their vocal apparatus does not allow for human speech, nor can humans reproduce theirs. The two species communicate in sign language. Which Storm of course, being Native American, picks up instantly. Because Native Americans used sign language, and it comes naturally to him.

Most of the Norbies Storm meets are friendly to humans, but there’s a tribe from elsewhere that’s doing terrible things to the settlers. Not because the settlers are invading their lands—the tribespeople are the invaders—but because that’s just how they roll. And then it turns out that they’ve been framed, when they haven’t been manipulated, by Xik remnants who are trying to take over the planet.

Storm runs afoul of all this after taking a job wrangling horses for a traveling horse trader. These horses are a special spacegoing breed who happen to look just like Terran Appaloosas—a Native American breed. Storm tames a feral stallion and demonstrates tremendous equestrian competence. Because he’s Native American, and Native Americans have a natural talent for horsemanship.

Actually, Norton says it’s because he’s Navajo, but we’ll get back to that. His ability with horses is logical enough since he’s a Beast Master. The rest of his animals served him in the war, the eagle by air and the cat by land, and the mischievous meerkats as accomplished saboteurs. Storm communicates with them telepathically, though it’s very basic and not always reliable.

Storm meets Quade almost immediately, but aside from hating on him hard, doesn’t manage to carry out his plan of killing the man. He discovers, to his dismay, that Quade isn’t at all the villain he was expecting; in fact he seems honorable and he’s much respected—and he speaks Navajo. Quade has a son, to further complicate matters: a young man named Logan, who is at odds with his father, and who has gone off into the wild to live his own life.

When Storm’s job with the horse trader ends, he moves on to an archaeological expedition into the hinterlands, seeking out the mysterious Sealed Caves, which may contain evidence of an ancient starfaring culture. This recalls the Forerunner universe, but in that one, Terra was blasted by its own people rather than by aliens, and it’s still habitable. Storm’s Terra is completely gone.

The expedition fairly quickly finds a set of classic Norton ruins, but is equally quickly wiped out by a flood which also takes one of the meerkats. Storm, a young Norbie guide named Gorgol, and the rest of the animals survive and discover that, indeed, the Sealed Caves contain a mystery: multiple habitats from numerous worlds, including Terra.

We never find out who built these or why, but they have magical healing powers—another Norton trope—and they serve as a refuge when Storm and company discover the Xik invaders. The Xik have a captive whom they seem to value, who turns out to be none other than Logan Quade. More: Logan bears a striking resemblance to Storm.

Storm rescues Logan in a bravura move: he walks openly into the native camp with his eagle and his cat and his meerkat on full display—claiming them as his totems, especially the eagle which is analogous the tribe’s animal totem—and chanting in Navajo. The natives are so nonplussed, and so impressed, that they don’t immediately cut him down.

Once Storm is in, Gorgol provides a diversion, allowing Storm to rescue Logan and take him to the caves to be healed. But as they approach the entrance, they realize the Xik ship is trying to take off. By sheerest luck and the vagaries of its highly retro design (it has tubes!), it blows up.

There’s no rest for our doughty protagonist. He drops Logan off in the cave and heads back out to mop up the survivors. By this time Quade and the cavalry—er, settlers have arrived.

Storm ventures forth, has an exciting knife fight with the Xik agent in human disguise who has been stalking him since he arrived on the planet, and passes out even as he wins the battle. He wakes up in Quade’s care, and we finally learn why Storm hates him so much.

Storm was raised by his grandfather, a Dineh (Navajo) elder to told him his father was killed by Quade and his mother was dead. Quade tells him the truth: that the grandfather was a fanatic, and Quade did not murder Storm’s father. In fact Quade (who is part Cheyenne, so also Native American or as Norton calls them, Amerindian) was his partner in the Survey Service. Storm’s father was captured and tortured by the Xiks, and was never the same again; he escaped from the hospital and headed home to his family.

Storm’s mother knew something was wrong and told Quade where he was. By the time Quade got there, he had fled again; they found him dead of snakebite. The grandfather blamed them for betraying his son, told them Storm was dead, and drove them off.

They left together, eventually married, and Logan is their son, which makes him Storm’s half-brother—and which explains why they look so much alike. She died four years after Storm’s father.

The grandfather meanwhile told Storm a completely different story, and raised him to hate Quade and rage against his mother’s shame. In time Storm was forcibly removed and sent to school, though he was able to visit and learn from his grandfather in later years. He went on to join the Terran military and become a Beast Master, and here he now is, with his life’s purpose revealed as a lie.

Now that we know the truth about Storm’s history, we get a patented Norton rapid wrap-up. Storm processes briefly, wibbles dramatically, then accepts Quade’s welcome into his family. The proof is Logan, who appears draped in Storm’s animals, all of whom have bonded to him. This is wonderful, Storm thinks. Finally, he has a home.

This really is one of Norton’s best. She’s trying her utmost to portray a Native American protagonist from his own perspective. To the best of her knowledge and ability, she respects his culture and traditions, honors his beliefs, and presents a surprisingly unvarnished view of the horrors perpetrated on Native Americans by whites.

She actually goes there with the abduction of a child and his forcible education in mainstream culture. She portrays the conflict between the elders and the assimilated youth. She comes down on the side of preserving the language and the rituals, though her portrayal of the grandfather tilts toward the negative: he’s a fanatic, he’s relentless, he “tortures his own daughter” and lies to his grandson. The overall sense is that an assimilated person can live a productive life in mainstream culture, but he can keep his own traditions.

That’s radical for 1959. In the Sixties when I first read the book, I was enthralled. I loved the noble and grandly epic portrayal of the native language and culture, I learned what I thought was a fair bit about them, and I understood that the future wasn’t all white or colonist-American. It was one of the first tastes I had of what we now call diversity, and it whetted my appetite for more. I wanted my future to be full of diverse cultures and languages and ethnicities.

In 2018, I can see all too clearly why we need the Own Voices movement, and how Norton’s ingrained cultural assumptions caused her to fall short of what she was trying to do. Even Storm’s name—Hosteen is a title, an honorific. She named him, essentially, Mister Storm.

That’s the sort of basic error that happens when a person tries to do her research but doesn’t realize how much she doesn’t know. The same thing happens with Storm and horses. The Navajo have them, and it’s true they’re a warrior culture, but the great horse cultures were the tribes of the Plains, including the Cheyenne, from whom, somewhat ironically, Quade is descended. As for the horses, they’re a breed developed by the Nez Perce, yet another tribe with its own distinct language and traditions.

Storm makes a lovely epic hero, but there’s an uncomfortable amount of stereotyping in his portrayal. He’s the Noble Savage, soft-spoken when he’s most enraged, and genetically predisposed to bond with animals, train horses, and intone sacred chants.

To add to the squirm level, Arzor is a straightforward late-Fifties Western set, with dusty frontier towns, traveling horse traders, contentious cattle barons, and two flavors of native tribes, the friendlies and the hostiles. The Norbies are TV Indians, speaking their sign language in traditional broken English (“I come—go find water—Head hurt—fall—sleep”). They’re Noble, too, even the hostiles, but they’re not quite up to the level of the settlers.

There were just a few too many unexamined assumptions for my comfort as I reread, but even more than that, I had trouble with Storm’s complete failure to pick up on the irony of his position. He has no apparent trouble with the way he was separated from his grandfather. He doesn’t resent what was done to him, though he’s perturbed enough when he realizes his grandfather lied to him.

Nor does he seem to see the close parallels between the history of the American West and the situation on Arzor. Norton is careful to tell us that the natives are fine with the settlers being there, the settlers aren’t really stealing Norbie lands and livestock, and there’s no deliberate conflict between them—what conflict there is is drummed up by the alien Xik. It’s a happy invasion, fat-free, gluten-free, and free of inherent conflict.

Storm gets along well with the natives, but he doesn’t make any connection between them and his own people. He’s totally invested in being a settler, joining a ranching family, eventually getting his own spread. It never dawns on him that on this planet, he’s taking the role of the whites on his own lost world.

He’s missing the many layers and complexities of the Native American relationship with white culture. Sometimes we even see why: Norton describes him from outside, how he doesn’t realize how dramatic and noble and Other he looks. She’s doing her best to give us a genuine and lovingly portrayed non-white character, but she’s still a white American lady in the 1950’s, with all the ingrained biases that go with that identity. (Not to mention the notable lack of living human or native females—but that’s a feature of all of Norton’s work in this period.)

I do still love this book, but I’m too conflicted to be comfortable with it. I would not refer a young reader to it without a whole lot of caveats and a recommendation to read the work of actual Native American writers. It’s a good adventure story, the characters are memorable, and for its time it’s extremely progressive. But we’ve come a long way since.

Next time I’ll move on to the sequel, Lord of Thunder, which was also a favorite of mine—and no doubt has similar problems. We’ll see.

Judith Tarr’s first novel, The Isle of Glass, appeared in 1985. Her new short novel, Dragons in the Earth, a contemporary fantasy set in Arizona, was published last fall. In between, she’s written historicals and historical fantasies and epic fantasies and space operas, some of which have been published as ebooks from Book View Café. She has won the Crawford Award, and been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award and the Locus Award. She lives in Arizona with an assortment of cats, a blue-eyed dog, and a herd of Lipizzan horses.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 From: Larry Bosveld Subject: Dalt Shooting Spree ,

Johnny Boxcar wrote:

Hide message history

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 22:47:09 -0400 (EDT)
From: Johnny Boxcar
Subject: San Francisco Shooting Spree Leaves 4 Dead,
To: kd5mpm@…

San Francisco Shooting Spree Leaves 4 Dead, 1
Clinging to Life
Monday, June 30, 2003 By Imran Vittachi and Monte
Morin Los Angeles Times
A shooting spree that left four dead and one
critically wounded at a San Francisco residential
hotel was apparently triggered when a victim
bumped into the gunman by accident, police and
witnesses said Sunday.

Gunman John Bravard, 53, who fellow residents
described as short tempered and intense, opened
fire in the lobby of the Dalt Hotel Saturday
evening, just hours after he quarreled with
another resident at the hotel’s elevator. After
the shooting, Bravard walked to his fourth floor
room, locked the door and turned the gun on
himself, police said.

On Sunday, the sole surviving victim of the
shooting clung to life in San Francisco General
Hospital’s intensive care unit. If Joseph Garcia,
46, does survive his injuries, he will likely
suffer paralysis from the waist down, according
to his wife Shakoentela Garcia, 40.

Garcia, a desk clerk at the residential hotel,
described a scene of terror as Bravard barged
into the lobby of the Tenderloin District hotel
around 5 p.m. and unloaded a semiautomatic pistol
at a group of hotel residents sitting around the
reception desk. Three male tenants died in the
shooting.

Speaking through tears in a hospital waiting room
Sunday, Garcia said she was working the hotel’s
front desk the day before when she heard what she
thought were firecrackers exploding outside the
hotel on Turk Street. She now believes it was the
sound of Bravard “testing his gun” before
entering.

Garcia said she walked to the front door of the
hotel to investigate as Bravard rushed in,
carrying a Chinese take-out box in one hand and
bumping her in the shoulder. Garcia said she
didn’t see a gun then, but spun around when she
heard shooting behind her and saw a “guy
standing up with all these shots in his face.”

Panicked, Garcia ran from the lobby. The man who
had been shot in the face followed after her,
lurched across a parking lot, threw open the door
to another nearby hotel and collapsed on a desk
in the lobby.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said
Melissa Dubin, an employee of the Hotel
Metropolis, where the dying man fled. “He could
barely walk when he collapsed onto the desk. He
was pretty much gone,” she said.

Garcia, whose 6-year-old son was with her at the
hotel’s front desk at the time of the shooting,
returned and saw her husband sitting in a chair
with bullet wounds on his neck. Another man sat
slumped in a chair as well.

A third man was found dead on the pavement
outside the hotel.

Police are withholding the identities of the
three dead, pending notification of relatives.

Authorities and residents of the Dalt Hotel say
the shooting may have stemmed from a
confrontation Bravard had with one of his victims
earlier in the day. The men had bumped into each
other at the hotel’s elevator, and Bravard
shouted a derogatory term at the man. The two
then began arguing.

An employee at a local video store, Bravard was
described as a large man and loner who
intimidated other guests with his quick temper
and gruff demeanor.

“He was an antisocial guy,” said Terry Wilson,
a Dalt Hotel employee. “He didn’t talk to
anybody. He could snap at anytime.”

At the Dalt Hotel Sunday, a small shrine of
flowers and candles stood in the hotel’s lobby,
as well wishers hugged Shakoentela Garcia in the
hospital’s waiting room.

“Joe is a great guy,” said Michael Phillips, a
friend of Garcia’s husband. “He just caught a
stray bullet.”

From: Johnny Boxcar
Subject: Dalt Shooting Spree
To: kd5mpm@…

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 22:58:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: Johnny Boxcar
Subject: Dalt Shooting Spree
To: kd5mpm@…

Killer of 3 was known for temper
He usually kept away from others at Tenderloin
hotel
Harriet Chiang, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, June 30, 2003

Scott Thomas always considered the Dalt Hotel in
San Francisco’s Tenderloin district a haven in a
rough neighborhood, the kind of place where
tenants would watch out for each other.

But that sense of security was shattered late
Saturday afternoon when John Bravard, who had
lived at the Dalt for 14 years, gunned down three
fellow tenants and critically wounded a fourth.

The 5 p.m. shootings happened after Bravard had
gotten into an argument with a fellow tenant,
Paul Howard, for bumping into him. Dalt manager
Ruth Clarke said it wasn’t unusual for Bravard to
jostle another person as he went by, just to see
how they would react.

“You could at least say ‘Excuse me,’ ” a resident
said Howard told Bravard.

Several hours later, Bravard, who police say had
a history of mental illness, came back armed and
began shooting.

He gunned down Louis Williams from the street as
Williams stood in the entrance of the lobby.
Bravard then entered and shot Howard, Joseph
Garcia and Carlin Satterwhite, all tenants.

Garcia, whose wife is a desk clerk at the hotel,
was with his 6-year-old son at the time. A
nursing supervisor at San Francisco General
Hospital said Sunday that he was in critical
condition.

Bravard later went to his fourth-floor room and
fatally shot himself.

On Sunday, the door to his room was covered with
a piece of plywood. The blood in the lobby had
been washed away. The only sign of what had
happened was in the lobby, where there were three
lit candles with the names of each of the
victims.

“This is a very close community,” said Thomas as
he sat in the hotel lobby, a popular place for
people to gather and gossip. Most of the tenants
are disabled or senior citizens.

But everyone tried to steer clear of Bravard, 53,
said to be a moody figure with a hair-trigger
temper.

Residents say he was a Vietnam veteran who
generally kept to himself, wearing his headphones
and carrying his bicycle as he headed for a video
store on Market, where he would spend most of his
time.

Clarke said he could be very generous and had a
25-year-old son in the military of whom he was
proud. “But he had a very dark side,” she said.
He used to brag to her that he was “trained in
hand-to-hand combat.”

“He had kind of an attitude,” she said. But she
said that she didn’t evict him because he paid
his rent on time and generally stayed away from
people. “I knew not to mess with him,” Clarke
said.

Howard, 54, was the night clerk at the Hotel
Vincent, which Clarke also manages. He was always
buying her gifts — vases, jewelry boxes and
stuffed animals. He kept things in order and was
strict with the rules, which ticked off some of
the tenants who tried to sneak people into their
rooms.

“The good tenants loved him,” Clarke said. “The
bad ones probably have mixed feelings.” Although
Howard was openly gay, she doesn’t think that’s
what prompted Bravard to shoot him. “He was just
a sweet man.”

John Landas, who has lived at the Dalt Hotel for
10 years, said victim Satterwhite had been
knocked down by Bravard about six months ago for
no apparent reason. Landas said he and another
tenant had reported Bravard to the police, but
Bravard wasn’t arrested.

Satterwhite was a large, gentle man from Georgia
who received regular packages from his mother.
“He didn’t have a mean bone in his body,” Landas
said.

Williams, who liked to hang out with Howard,
never had any run-ins with Bravard, according to
Clarke. After spending years battling drugs and
alcohol, Williams was finally starting to get his
act together, tenants say, working as a cook at
Glide Memorial Church.

Thomas said every Thursday night Williams would
bring him a big batch of fried chicken. And he
had just spent $300 on clothes for a trip to Reno
today.

Tenants say they weren’t surprised when they
heard what Bravard had done.

“He was a disaster waiting to happen,” Thomas
said.

E-mail Harriet Chiang at hchiang@….

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See more posts from John Bernay
Harriet Chiang, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, June 30, 2003

Scott Thomas always considered the Dalt Hotel in
San Francisco’s Tenderloin district a haven in a
rough neighborhood, the kind of place where
tenants would watch out for each other.

But that sense of security was shattered late
Saturday afternoon when John Bravard, who had
lived at the Dalt for 14 years, gunned down three
fellow tenants and critically wounded a fourth.

The 5 p.m. shootings happened after Bravard had
gotten into an argument with a fellow tenant,
Paul Howard, for bumping into him. Dalt manager
Ruth Clarke said it wasn’t unusual for Bravard to
jostle another person as he went by, just to see
how they would react.

“You could at least say ‘Excuse me,’ ” a resident
said Howard told Bravard.

Several hours later, Bravard, who police say had
a history of mental illness, came back armed and
began shooting.

He gunned down Louis Williams from the street as
Williams stood in the entrance of the lobby.
Bravard then entered and shot Howard, Joseph
Garcia and Carlin Satterwhite, all tenants.

Garcia, whose wife is a desk clerk at the hotel,
was with his 6-year-old son at the time. A
nursing supervisor at San Francisco General
Hospital said Sunday that he was in critical
condition.

Bravard later went to his fourth-floor room and
fatally shot himself.

On Sunday, the door to his room was covered with
a piece of plywood. The blood in the lobby had
been washed away. The only sign of what had
happened was in the lobby, where there were three
lit candles with the names of each of the
victims.

“This is a very close community,” said Thomas as
he sat in the hotel lobby, a popular place for
people to gather and gossip. Most of the tenants
are disabled or senior citizens.

But everyone tried to steer clear of Bravard, 53,
said to be a moody figure with a hair-trigger
temper.

Residents say he was a Vietnam veteran who
generally kept to himself, wearing his headphones
and carrying his bicycle as he headed for a video
store on Market, where he would spend most of his
time.

Clarke said he could be very generous and had a
25-year-old son in the military of whom he was
proud. “But he had a very dark side,” she said.
He used to brag to her that he was “trained in
hand-to-hand combat.”

“He had kind of an attitude,” she said. But she
said that she didn’t evict him because he paid
his rent on time and generally stayed away from
people. “I knew not to mess with him,” Clarke
said.

Howard, 54, was the night clerk at the Hotel
Vincent, which Clarke also manages. He was always
buying her gifts — vases, jewelry boxes and
stuffed animals. He kept things in order and was
strict with the rules, which ticked off some of
the tenants who tried to sneak people into their
rooms.

“The good tenants loved him,” Clarke said. “The
bad ones probably have mixed feelings.” Although
Howard was openly gay, she doesn’t think that’s
what prompted Bravard to shoot him. “He was just
a sweet man.”

John Landas, who has lived at the Dalt Hotel for
10 years, said victim Satterwhite had been
knocked down by Bravard about six months ago for
no apparent reason. Landas said he and another
tenant had reported Bravard to the police, but
Bravard wasn’t arrested.

Satterwhite was a large, gentle man from Georgia
who received regular packages from his mother.
“He didn’t have a mean bone in his body,” Landas
said.

Williams, who liked to hang out with Howard,
never had any run-ins with Bravard, according to
Clarke. After spending years battling drugs and
alcohol, Williams was finally starting to get his
act together, tenants say, working as a cook at
Glide Memorial Church.

Thomas said every Thursday night Williams would
bring him a big batch of fried chicken. And he
had just spent $300 on clothes for a trip to Reno
today.

Tenants say they weren’t surprised when they
heard what Bravard had done.

“He was a disaster waiting to happen,” Thomas
said.

E-mail Harriet Chiang at hchiang@….

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Mexican (XE) amateur radio permits for foreigners Mexican flag

Mexican (XE) amateur radio permits for foreigners

http://xe-permit.wd9ewk.net/
Updated 14 September 2018
WARNING!
Since 2014, the Mexican regulator IFT (sometimes called IFETEL) has not issued permits to foreign radio amateurs. This even applies to USA amateurs, who had been covered by an agreement between the US FCC and the Mexican Communications/Transport Ministry (SCT). At this point, the only legal way for a foreign ham to operate from Mexican territory would be to operate from a Mexican ham’s station, using that ham’s call sign.

All information below, along with the links from this page, explain the process when the regulator was still CoFeTel. If or when a new process for these permits becomes available, I will update these pages to reflect the new process.
Background information
For many years, the process that a foreign amateur radio operator must go through to get a permit to operate in Mexico was very difficult. Sometimes, impossible. At other times, the process was very different depending where you were in Mexico. Things are a little better now, but still not perfect. Lots of paperwork, money, and patience are needed. The ability to speak and understand Spanish, or a friend (ham or non-ham) who can translate Spanish, is also a good thing to have.

Throughout these pages, I will refer to the two organizations involved with this process by their Spanish-language acronyms. Those two are:

Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Federal Telecommunications Commission, or CoFeTel) – similar to the USA’s FCC, the Mexican government entity that issues amateur-radio licenses and permits
Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (Secretariat of Communications and Transport, or SCT) – until the mid-1990s, the Mexican government entity that issued amateur-radio licenses and permits. Now, SCT acts as the “branch offices” for CoFeTel outside Mexico City for paperwork and other transactions

DISCLAIMER! I am not a lawyer, a Mexican national, nor a Mexican citizen. My information is based on 10 years’ experience with my own permits, and comments/suggestions from other amateur operators inside and outside Mexico related to this process. These processes may be changed at any time without advance notice, and some locations may choose to operate under different procedures. I have no control over any of that. Anyone using this information does so at their own risk.
Process to apply for the XE amateur permit
The process I outline below in the numbered links below is what I use when applying for my permits, and should be similar for much of Mexico:

Paperwork required for the permit
Where to file the paperwork
How to file the paperwork
How much is the fee – and where do I pay it?
Operating in Mexico with the XE permit

If you are in southern California, and wish to file the paperwork for the XE permit in Tijuana, Baja California (across the border from San Diego CA), the process in Tijuana may be different than in much of Mexico. And thanks to Christian DL6KAC, you can see another different process foreigners can go through for a Mexican ham permit in Mexico City. Other information

Mexican ham-radio regulations (PDF documents in Spanish, with link to English-language summary)
Mexico’s states/territories and amateur call areas
Want to use UHF radios without a license or permit in Mexico?
Free Translation web site
Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Federal Telecommunications Commission, or CoFeTel)
Information regarding amateur radio in Mexico (in Spanish)
Information for obtaining a permit in Mexico (in Spanish)
Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (Secretariat of Communications and Transport, or SCT)
Locations where the permit applications can be filed in Mexico, outside of Mexico City (in Spanish)
Federacion Mexicana de Radioexperimentadores (FMRE) – Mexico’s national organization for amateur radio (in Spanish)

WD9EWK/VA7EWK

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

The Scion of a Good Family-who is Edward l. Bernays?

Who is Edward L. Bernays?
Content

Who is Edward L. Bernays?
EDWARD L. BERNAYS – The Father of Public Relations
(1891 – 1995)
Edward Bernays is regarded by many as the “father of public relations,” although some people believe that title properly belongs to some other early PR practitioner, such as Ivy Lee.
Born in Vienna, Bernays was both a blood nephew and a nephew-in-law to Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, and Bernays`s public relations efforts helped popularize Freud`s theories in the United States. Bernays also pioneered the PR industry`s use of psychology and other social sciences to design its public persuasion campaigns. The early days of Bernays`s career are spent as a Broadway press agent, which eventually brings him together with leaders of the arts and entertainment communities including notables Enrico Caruso, Florenz Ziegfeld and Nijinsky.
One of Bernays`s favorite techniques for engineering of consent was the indirect use of “third party authorities” to plead for his clients` causes. In order to promote sales of bacon, for example, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendation that people eat hearty breakfasts. He sent the results of the survey to 5,000 physicians, along with publicity touting bacon and eggs as a hearty breakfast.
Bernays`s clients included President Calvin Coolidge, Procter & Gamble, CBS, the American Tobacco Company, General Electric, Dodge Motors, and the fluoridationists of the Public Health Service. Bernays`s early successes enable him to build a clientele. By 1931, the fast-growing business bills nearly $100,000 ($1.15 million in 1995 dollars) with profits exceeding $60,000 (more than $700,000 in 1995 dollars).
Bernays defined the profession of “public relations counsel” as a “practicing social scientist” whose “competence is like that of the industrial engineer, the management engineer, or the investment counselor in their respective fields.” To assist clients, PR counselors used “understanding of the behavioral sciences and applying them—sociology, social psychology, anthropology, history, etc.” In Propaganda, his most important book, Bernays argued that the scientific manipulation of public opinion was necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in society:
In his autobiography, titled “Biography of an Idea”, Bernays recalls a dinner at his home in 1933 where Karl von Weigand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Bernays spent many years trying to have the vocation of public relations licensed, elevating it, in his words, “to the level of a profession.” The bill he introduced to establish registration and licensing in 1992, when Bernays was 100, did not pass, yet the controversy over licensing continues. In his letter to colleagues, where he urged PR practitioners to review his proposed bill, he asked for the readers` conclusions, be they positive or negative. These suggestions were to help him in drafting another bill he would present in the hope it would pass. Bernays died before he could continue his campaign.
Bernays is held in high regard by some and thoroughly despised by others even today, and was even named as one of the 100 most influential people of all time. It is impossible to fundamentally grasp the social, political, economic and cultural developments of the past 100 years without some understanding of Bernays and his professional heirs in the public relations industry. PR is a 20th century phenomenon, and Bernays–widely eulogized as the “father of public relations” at the time of his death in 1995–played a major role in defining the industry`s philosophy and methods.
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Posted by on December 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Claiming Others Are Not Credible Is Not Credible

Claiming Others Are Not Credible Is Not Credible
May 3, 2017 http://tomremington.com

Mainly because saying someone is not credible without proving they are incredible points the finger right back at the one making the claim of non credibility. Thus the claim for example that the Tom Remington web site is not credible has been proven to be a non credible claim.. By of course alleged friends of our past.. Friends who were not friends at all.. Because any type of information that is contrary of and not embedded in your core beliefs does not mean the people sharing the information are deserving of a claim of non credibility.. Thus the false claim makes the claimant a liar with no credibility.. Guess what geniuses… Most core beliefs are not credible.. Are in fact incredible.. Such as people signing private contracts that were for all people of a society, how silly that one is.. And another, that all people of a society own all of the forests as shareholders… Both fairy tales are right up there with the tooth fairy and rabbits laying eggs and other childish nonsense..

So if you claim I am not credible, The Remington Website is not credible, and you fail to support that with evidence, you then are making an incredible statement. A lie.

credible (adj.) Look up credible at Dictionary.com“believable,” late 14c., from Latin credibilis “worthy to be believed,” from credere (see credo). Related: Credibly.credibility (n.) Look up credibility at Dictionary.com1590s, from Medieval Latin credibilitas, from Latin credibilis (see credible). Credibility gap is 1966, American English, in reference to official statements about the Vietnam War.incredible (adj.) Look up incredible at Dictionary.comearly 15c., “unbelievable, surpassing belief as to what is possible,” from Latin incredibilis “not to be believed, extraordinary,” from in- “not” (see in- (1)) + credibilis “worthy of belief” (see credible). Used c. 1400 in a now-extinct sense of “unbelieving, incredulous.” Related: Incredibly; incredibility

Then we have the word believe, or belief..

believe (v.) Look up believe at Dictionary.comOld English belyfan “to believe,” earlier geleafa (Mercian), gelefa (Northumbrian), gelyfan (West Saxon) “believe,” from Proto-Germanic *ga-laubjan “to believe,” perhaps literally “hold dear, love” (source also of Old Saxon gilobian “believe,” Dutch geloven, Old High German gilouben, German glauben), ultimately a compound based on PIE *leubh- “to care, desire, love” (see belief).

Spelling beleeve is common till 17c.; then altered, perhaps by influence of relieve, etc. To believe on instead of in was more common in 16c. but now is a peculiarity of theology; believe of also sometimes was used in 17c. Related: Believed (formerly occasionally beleft); believing. Expression believe it or not attested by 1874; Robert Ripley’s newspaper cartoon of the same name is from 1918. Emphatic you better believe attested from 1854.

belief (n.) Look up belief at Dictionary.comlate 12c., bileave, “confidence reposed in a person or thing; faith in a religion,” replacing Old English geleafa “belief, faith,” from West Germanic *ga-laubon “to hold dear, esteem, trust” (source also of Old Saxon gilobo, Middle Dutch gelove, Old High German giloubo, German Glaube), from *galaub- “dear, esteemed,” from intensive prefix *ga- + PIE root *leubh- “to care, desire, like, love” (see love (v.)). The prefix was altered on analogy of the verb believe. The distinction of the final consonant from that of believe developed 15c.

The be-, which is not a natural prefix of nouns, was prefixed on the analogy of the vb. (where it is naturally an intensive) …. [OED]

Meaning “conviction of the truth of a proposition or alleged fact without knowledge” is by 1530s; it is also “sometimes used to include the absolute conviction or certainty which accompanies knowledge” [Century Dictionary]. From c. 1200 as “a creed, essential doctrines of a religion or church, things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine;” the general sense of “That which is believed” is by 1714. Related: Beliefs.

Belief meant “trust in God,” while faith meant “loyalty to a person based on promise or duty” (a sense preserved in keep one’s faith, in good (or bad) faith, and in common usage of faithful, faithless, which contain no notion of divinity). But faith, as cognate of Latin fides, took on the religious sense beginning in 14c. translations, and belief had by 16c. become limited to “mental acceptance of something as true,” from the religious use in the sense of “things held to be true as a matter of religious doctrine.”

Knowledge;

knowledge (n.) Look up knowledge at Dictionary.comearly 12c., cnawlece “acknowledgment of a superior, honor, worship;” for first element see know (v.). The second element is obscure, perhaps from Scandinavian and cognate with the -lock “action, process,” found in wedlock.

From late 14c. as “capacity for knowing, understanding; familiarity;” also “fact or condition of knowing, awareness of a fact;” also “news, notice, information; learning; organized body of facts or teachings.” Sense of “sexual intercourse” is from c. 1400. Middle English also had a verb form, knoulechen “acknowledge” (c. 1200), later “find out about; recognize,” and “to have sexual intercourse with” (c. 1300); compare acknowledge.

Here’s one I like;

con (v.2) Look up con at Dictionary.com“to swindle,” 1896, from con (adj.). Related: Conned; conning.

Swindled into false core beliefs..

Here’s some terms that come to mind;

coward (n.) Look up coward at Dictionary.commid-13c., from Old French coart “coward” (no longer the usual word in French, which has now in this sense poltron, from Italian, and lâche), from coe “tail,” from Latin coda, popular dialect variant of cauda “tail,” which is of uncertain origin + -ard, an agent noun suffix denoting one that carries on some action or possesses some quality, with derogatory connotation (see -ard).

The word probably reflects an animal metaphoric sense still found in expressions like turning tail and tail between legs. Coart was the name of the hare in Old French versions of “Reynard the Fox.” Italian codardo, Spanish cobarde are from French.

The identification of coward & bully has gone so far in the popular consciousness that persons & acts in which no trace of fear is to be found are often called coward(ly) merely because advantage has been taken of superior strength or position …. [Fowler]

As a surname (attested from 1255) it represents Old English cuhyrde “cow-herd.” Farmer has coward’s castle “a pulpit,” “Because a clergyman may deliver himself therefrom without fear of contradiction or argument.”cowardice (n.) Look up cowardice at Dictionary.comc. 1300, from Old French coardise (13c.), from coard, coart (see coward) + noun suffix -ise.

Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination. [Ernest Hemingway, “Men at War,” 1942]

cowardly (adj.) Look up cowardly at Dictionary.com1550s, from coward + -ly (1). The adverb (late 14c.) is much older than the adjective:

Yit had I levir do what I may Than here to dye thus cowerdelye [“Le Morte d’Arthur,” c. 1450]

An Old English word for “cowardly” was earg, which also meant “slothful.” Related: Cowardliness.

“Descriptive Knowledge” says this: “The difference between knowledge and beliefs is as follows:. A belief is an internal thought or memory which exists in one’s mind. Most people accept that for a belief to be knowledge it must be, at least, true and justified.”

I don’t know about that subject and I don’t want to know about that subject and behind your back I’m going to claim you have  no credibility..

THE WORD, BELIEVE
The word “believe” has an ancient etymology, and is derived from the Sanskrit.
It is a portmanteau, a combination of two short words; “bel” and “eve”. It has gone through countless variations through time, and “bal” and eva” are two of the earliest.
When one examines the concepts these words were used for conceptually, we find that this is a dialectical portmanteau, with a tension of the opposites extant in it’s meaning.
“Bel”: has to do with jejune, rebellion, angst and “belligerence”, “bellum” “Bal” {an evil entity}, “ballistic” and a long nomenclature of similar conceptualizations put into a descriptive word.
“Eve”: has to do with nurture, nature, empathy, compassion, love, and understanding, equilibrium… also a lengthily nomenclature.
The original conjunction actually expressed an error of thinking, which comes back to us in more modern times in the form of “True Believer”, irrational certainty, fanaticism, and again associated with ‘bellum’ or war, and destruction.
This is why I make an attempt not to use the words ‘believe’, and ‘belief’ when self referencing. I like to use the term I “think” or “it is my opinion”. Or, “beyond reasonable doubt”, when making a strong judgment of my opinion.
[If I do use the term self descriptively, I mean it in the very soft and vague popular sense]
Belief is best defined in terms of “faith”, of believing without the need of proofs, as is demanded of many of the major organized religions. And this is where the word again takes on its original connotations, of erroneous thinking.

There is nothing wrong with not believing anything someone says or writes. Thats intelligent. I don’t believe anything people say or write. While being a guy that collects and reads several books I simply point out some things in my read searching, particularly in the International law category that is factual. yet still I advise others to go read it for themselves.

The legalese says what it says and your governments actions validating those terms speaks volumes.. So in my read searching I’ve discovered many people saying things and writing things, although very articulate and well thought out are quite wrong concerning the legal aspect of those various issues.. Especially involving land ownership of not only private but also public lands.. And of course the myth that “We Are the People” referred to in a certain contractual agreement signed by a few men..

Who did that for themselves and their Posterity not your great great grandaddy’s posterity leading down to you, or myself.. I believe we ALL should be good read searchers thus seeking out whether certain things we would like to believe or perhaps have believed in for most of our lives turn out to be true or myth.. Especially in the question of defining legal terms connected to international compacts constitutions contracts private agreements because that is what those legal instruments are. And those legal instruments represent the signatories and their Posterity period..

“Merely putting a word in the form of a derogatory phrase creates in the mind of the listener the impression of something unsavory. People who care about the truth are mere “truthers,” after all. Tenth amendment supporters are “tenthers.” Those who prepare for the future are “preppers.” Want to demonize someone who does good things? Call them a do-gooder!
Language is the great tool of the tyrants. It always has been, and always will be. Patriots are expected to abide by a PATRIOT Act that destroys their Bill of Rights, support “surgical strikes” against “enemy combatants” by the Department of “Defense,” and cheer the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to those who wage war.
Our language has been weaponized against us.”~James Corbett

Ad homenim such as they are not credible is not an argument, it is an admission of ignorance. When done behind their backs it is an admission of cowardice..

For the majority of the right versus left masses there is apparently no solution to the false core beliefs condition..

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Uncategorized