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As you read on my original home page  www.tractorparts.com I am a junkman!  It is a label worn with pride.  But I want to be a Grimy Man!    The Grimy Man is special.  Smelling of diesel, gasoline, or being covered with dirt does NOT make you a Grimy Man.  A Grimy Man is perfectly capable of fitting a square peg into a round hole.  He will have a solution before most of us perceive that a problem exists.  The Grimy Man is better described in this article by John H. Lienhard of the University of Houston.

Another professor at the U of H , Dr. Fred Proff, also left me with words that have served me well when dealing with both animate and inanimate objects:  "Wisdom is the ability to NOT jump to conclusions"  Whether these words originated with Dr. Proff or not I don't know, but he did his job well in passing them along.  Keep them in mind when working on your equipment. (or reading the papers, watching your televised imitation of news, and listening to any professional "authority".) 

With all my education and experience, all I have learned is that I have a lot more to learn.  I still jump to conclusions more often than I like.  That usually wastes both time and money.  Avoid that!

Time and Money


They are why I put these databases together over the last many years.  It has taken a lot of time to create and organize them. The work continues. Of course all the manufacturers names belong to them, I am not associated with any, and they are just reference points to help identify part numbers and get you going in the right direction. 

While I have been parting equipment out for over 3 decades, I can not help everyone with all of their needs but I can help by giving you, the aspiring Grimy Man, enough information to help yourself.  So take your time, search for alternatives, don't replace what can be repaired or rebuilt.  If you get in a hurry, you will pay a price, both in lost time and wasted money.  Take care in comparing and evaluating any part you receive or order from anyone, yep, even me! 

Even when the utmost of care is taken, parts get miss-stocked and put into incorrect boxes, or a simple typo, changing a number, can throw things off.  We've taken a lot of care and pride in creating these databases but I am sure, out of the millions of entries made, that errors have occurred.  If you find any errors, be sure and let me know.  If you have any additional data to contribute, please send the information to me.  We'll share information. (Please do!!) 

A Wabco and an Oil Filter searchable database are currently being worked on and will be added.  You can also expect to see a large selection of equipment specifications below.  Hopefully this will increase our awareness of not only our equipment but of each other.

Grimy Men may live in a different countries, be impacted by different cultures and circumstances, suffer through the various idiocies of our respective governments,  but we're still basically the same.  As Willie Nelson said (09/22/08) from Brazil, "Farmers are farmers all over the world."  If you are looking for a Grimy Man, look for a farmer!


The history of the Grimy Man probably predates the wheel when our ancestors began shaping basic tools.  The development of toys was very similar.  We've advanced in technology with more sophisticated tools.  At times we turn them into toys just as our ancestors did.  A very good example is the video below, from the 1930's.

 

And we share this tendency with many of our neighbors, other Grimy Men.   Tractor shows, tractor races, and the mere pride in taking care of our equipment, whether restoring tractors for show or for survival, we can all be the Grimy Man.   Sure!  We have language barriers, and most of you viewing the following video will not know the words, but you still know these men. They are your neighbors, though distant.  You will recognize the traits and spirit of these Grimy Men even though you do not know them personally. 

The video was supplied by the good folks at "English Russia" where indeed "something cool happens daily on 1/6th of the earths surface."  You can also see a pictorial record of the history of Russian crawler production and design and agricultural tractor development in our picture albums.  We have shipped parts to Russia, and the mechanics and equipment owners there certainly exercise ingenuity and resourcefulness.   Like the time we shipped a turbocharger from an IH 573B engine to Moscow.   They were not concerned that it did not fit their application, they "would make it work." 

(Addendum)  In the recent dust-up in Georgia you might get a new perspective from Chris at Empire Burlesque and my old (hell, we're all getting older!) school buddy Ward at The Village Voice .  Spiegel, Sept. 1 tells us how we (and our leaders, both candidates, and press) may have "jumped to conclusions" once again.

Speaking of the Georgian President,Saakashvili lied 100 percent to all of us, the Europeans and the Americans.”  But read the whole article!  My lede does not tell the whole story or cover the full analysis.  And Sept 6, Sabina (don't get her riled!) points out even more selective bias (hell, why be polite, just call it "lying" like she does!) and mis-reporting...Glen reports on the news bias still being pushed months later!........and finally, it only took them 3 months, the NYT finally says something like "Hey!....Maybe we shouldn't jump to conclusions."

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE..I was impressed with the video of Chisto Prudov showing a panoramic view of Moscow.  Chisto is riding the boom atop a 300 foot crane and giving us a 360° view of the city.  His choice of music was excellent and is a symbol of how the people of the world can share music and cultures from everywhere.  The music was by Sarazino (Quito, Ecuador) joining with Toots and the Maytals from Jamaica. (On  video from Russia!!?)  The song title is "People" and a common refrain is "Make love your religion."  Be sure and check out the other pictures of Chisto's adventure to the top of the crane. (HERE)

 

The D7 3T (or the variant 4T and 6T) has always been one of my favorite machines.   It is well balanced bulldozer and will do a heavy duty job without tearing itself up in the process.  The pictures are from NE Mexico, the state of Tamaulipas.  This D7 3T has been in the Zapata family for over 40 years.  As you can see, it is used in road maintenance and for pulling a disc.  (We use the same model D7 3T machine and disc here at our property in Idaho for the same purpose. A disc creates some formidable fire breaks.) 

While only a 26000 lb machine (bare) that cost $17,000 when new (early 50's) the D7 3T is still a popular and productive machine. Tito and his crew take good care of their 3T. Their ingenuity and willingness to learn about and to work on their machine is an example we are all familiar with when struggling with our own older equipment. That is how we met.  Working on tractors does create common bonds.

There are a lot of older machines here in our northern states, tempered with age, and many more spread about the states of Mexico. Tito (in the middle of the "Crew" picture) was instrumental in arranging and handling the logistics with us for an engine replacement for an old Cat #12 grader in the Yucatan peninsula. With his help, an old #12 7T grader is now back at work and providing income for its owner.

If you ever need professional assistance, with professional results, on exporting and importing to and from Mexico, be sure and call Tito http://www.renatozapata.com/   Ingenuity with tractors transfers over to other areas as well.  As a Grimy Man, you, I, and Tito, often with the help of our crew, are not restricted to pulling wrenches.  We just get things done. 

For an awakening to the people, culture, and politics of Mexico that most of us are not familiar with, you can't go wrong with checking out the MexFiles or Burro Hall

 

 

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Clearing land in Peru has its obstacles, some not easily seen.   As Alfredo reports: 

"I am sending you some photos but for the most part  track dozers will be used hitched to pull-type rippers (Wilcox, Deere, Murray), rakes or heavy offset disc harrows. I have a contract to remove all below-ground root systems and stumps(!!) -down to 15  inches- from just-removed trees and shrubs (all above-ground vegetation will be chipped) but doing so with standard wheel tractors is a pain in the neck as these roots are very hard and go through tires at an incredible rate. For this job, a ripper pass and a second pass with a rake will do. We tried using John Deere 8850 wheel tractors with diesel 400 hp V8 engines but, like I say, it turned out un-economical. Each punctured tire took ages to be replaced if it wasn't written off altogether.  Thus, I figured we could do this with tracks, but the speed and fuel consumption of track dozers make these operations very expensive.  But natural gas –CNG- and LPG are both readily available and inexpensive here."


Alfredo is exploring the the possibility of a retrofit for some D8H/K models if he can find G342 engines.  I have not been able to find them for him.  The Murray Ripper shown in the pictures reminds me very much of the early Le Tourneau designed pull type rippers still in use here in Idaho.  If you Grimy Men out there have an idea about alternative solutions please pass it along.  I will be sure and let Alfredo know. 

For reliable news and updates, and to learn more about Peru and other parts of South America, you can't rely on the US media.  Be sure and check in at Otto Rock's Inca Kola News, and Lillie's Memory in Latin America.While Otto and Lillie are not the traditional "Grimy Man" they know how things work in their world and ours, and they are people who do not "jump to conclusions". Writing with humor and satire, you can also rely on Eric at Bo-Rev to de-construct the often inaccurate news that is written and reported up here in the EEUU.

Do not forget, it really IS an Upside Down World !  To learn more about "Pachakuti" and the upside down world, see Otto's post updated HERE.  A "must read" is El Dude from Abiding in Bolivia.  When the election of 2008 here in the North was underway, we received a little extra help from the Peruvians.  Richard at the Mex Files breaks it down for us.  A thorough cleansing of our candidates is always in order.  I just wish it was more effective!

I read most of these people daily to balance the often incorrect/incomplete info put out by the Wall Street Journal, NY Times (IHT), WaPo et al.  

Sabina  (I like her attitude!) keeps track of both English and Spanish based information too.

 

    

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Morphing the world with data.  A joint effort between the University of Michigan and the University of Sheffield has resulted in Worldmapper.    The Left Hand picture represents the world as measured by working tractors in use and the Right Hand picture represents the increase in tractor populations worldwide between 1980 and 2001.   Worldmapper.org was also thoughtful enough to provide posters (in PDF) for any map generated.  You can readily see the difference between the working tractor population and the change in tractor population

If you are looking for countries that are powerful economic engines of today, and are becoming the powerful economic engines of tomorrow,  I propose that the changing tractor populations might be a good indicator.  Economic growth often starts with the Grimy Man and the tools he has available, in this case, the tractor.  To see how these maps compare to todays territorial maps and identify the countries involved, Worldmapper has set up an Interactive Map.  (Test yourself on your knowledge of Geography!)

 

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As you can see from the Right Hand picture above, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico are above average in growth of wheeled tractors  and crawler tractors (garden tractors are not being counted).  In Brazil, the introduction of Liu Gong Equipment is having an impact.  Soma Tratores in Sao Paulo is making inroads in the Brazilian market.  Liu Gong is celebrating their 50th year (founded in 1958).  Liu Gong produced their first articulated wheel loader in 1970, but had straight frame wheel loaders dating from 1966.  Liu Gong has more plans for Brazil.  John Martin, of Soma Tratores has sent me some pictures of the  Liu Gong 816 and 835 wheel loaders in action in Sao Paulo. 

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You can see the Liu Gong complete equipment line of dozers, loaders, excavators, graders, compactors and more at their sites linked above.  I will also be putting their equipment specification sheets in the "Equipment Information Quick Jump Box" found below.  Liu Gong also has dealerships in Argentina, Venezuela, and Peru.  I was fortunate to meet both John Martin, from Soma Tratores, and Li Yi, the South American Regional Manager, at Conexpo 2008.   They understand the importance of product support and are building a solid platform to meet customer's needs in South America.  I was impressed with the equipment, especially the late model Cummins power units throughout their line.  This will allow future owners/operators to maintain their engines and keep their equipment going with a strong base of parts sources already established. 

But looking at the "growth" as measured by tractors can be misleading.   Brazil is a very large country, going through many changes, not all of them wisely planned.  Brazil also suffers from the effects of colonialism from centuries past, complete with the privileged ruling classes, the ugliness of racism, and a forgotten indigenous population.     For another view of Brazil, and its overlooked people, browse Tatiana's photography and experiences.  For some insight into Brazil's not so well hidden racism,  be sure and check out Lime Slime's post at Inca Kola.  There are many people in Brazil named Da Silva, many named after their former plantation owners when slavery was abolished in 1888.  Forms of slavery still exist.  To learn about the life of Antonio Da Silva (no relation to the current Brazilian President Da Silva) and his struggle to survive and provide for his family, read "A Green Tsunami in Brazil".  President Da Silva might consider himself a success.  I don't.  The real hero is Antonio.  He has only his machete, his facão, his family, and his unending desire to take care of them the only way he can, with his own sweat and pain, not that of others.  President Da Silva will find a way to take credit for Brazil's "green" revolution.  Antonio will die, disappear, and never be known except perhaps by the few who read his story.  When you hear about the great "green revolution" in Brazil, remember Antonio.

I am often amazed by the ingenuity I stumble across in different countries around the world.  With little resources other than imagination, curiosity, and a desire to achieve and succeed there are many examples of   individuals, without formal education, becoming shining examples of Stephen J Gould's words:

“I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain
than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and
died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”

In Brazil too, you will find such people.



 

 

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PARAGUAY

Really Cool!  Since 1939, the International TD14 and the later TD14A's continue to work around the world.  Many are still used here in North America but one of the nicest I've seen is the 1955 TD14A above, from Paraguay. Yes! There really is a ripper on the back of this TD14A!  It is owned by Azucarera Guarambaré S.A., Asuncion, Paraguay and they are digging a drainage pond for the sediment from their sugar processing. They are now in the process of replacing the transmission pinion and bevel gear but the TD14A will soon be back in operation.  Paraguay is located inland between Brazil and Argentina and does not get the attention or publicity that some of the other countries of South America receive.  I did some "homework" on Azucarera Guarambaré and found they are a well respected member of their community, helping local hospitals, clinics and the citizens of their area.  Judging by the videos above, they know the value of taking care of their equipment, and they do it!  Our country here up in the North has many talented people working on the same aged equipment and we know the problems that we face in keeping a bulldozer going.  Azucarera Guarambaré has kept their TD14A going without the benefit of the many resources and parts houses that we take for granted.   THAT is pretty special!  For your personal briefing on this part of the world, you should visit Upside Down World
(Update 10/26 from Otto)  Once again, Pachakuti from Paraguay.

 


Maybe it was just a coincidence, as we shipped some steering clutch discs to LaPaz a few days ago (for a Cat D3) but Bolivia has been on my mind since Otto posted his "Quote of the Week" .  The news reports up here in North America reacted with faux shock and awe that Evo would have the temerity to kick a US ambassador out of his country!  

A straighter scoop is always available from El Dude  and Otto lays it all out today with attributing links to Bolivia Matters .  I wish I could say it was just Bush/Obama foreign policy, as he is an all too convenient whipping boy, but the history of our arrogant US foreign policy goes back more decades than I have been alive.  If another country has something that we want, our foreign policy makers dictate that we get it by any means necessary and we'll make up whatever excuses needed, very often including the words "freedom and democracy" (to make us all feel warm and fuzzy).  (Maybe you recall a little country named Iraq!? or will accept the words of a 4 time Congressional Medal of Honor winner, General Butler.

If General Butler had seen this little film clip when he was thinking about running for President, he might have agreed with its theme.  Our current policy makers would  probably NOT "approve of this message."  When it comes to war, America means business!   (or maybe that was vice versa, I am old and forgetful sometimes!)  How would our current administration react!?  Probably the same.   Once in office our "leaders" are very prone to sending our troops out to improve our business interests, or our "national interest" when the term "national interest" is just a misleading code  for "Big Business".    It makes them appear more "Presidential", "tough", and "in charge."  None want to take the chance of being labelled as being "weak on defense".  You also improve your chances of re-election greatly if you are currently engaged in a war.  

(UPDATE 10/13 from El Dude)  The ex-Peace Corps volunteers in Bolivia are special people. I wish them the best in their efforts.   You can also keep up with the Latest News from Agencia Boliviana de Informacion and view the Fotografias.  For an quick overview of the Bolivian Culture, Society, Politics and History (they are all intermixed) you can also click here.   If you know a little Spanish, you can get even more up to date info here.

Culturally, Bolivia is still suffering from the effects of colonialism from within, and some in the power structure are getting nervous as the indigenous population is beginning to get organized, standing up to centuries of exploitation and fighting back against the traditional racism brought to Bolivia by the European settlers.  The first native President ever elected to the office, Evo Morales, certainly has is hands full in his new office.  Perhaps the best move Pres. Morales has made was kicking out the US Ambassador for spending too much of his energies and US resources helping those in opposition to the new President.  Evo Morales is not a puppet of the US government.   In some quarters, that is reason enough to overthrow an honestly elected government.  Let us hope, "that times they are a changin" and with the new presidency of Obama, a lot of people were counting on change.  So far, I have not seen much change in the foreign policy realm.    If you are a bit squeemish, you should probably avoid the following video.  Racism is ugly.  (H/T to Inca Kola for bringing it to my attention.)

 

From here.

 

 

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Sometimes one person's interests intersect with another's.  In this case the photography of Hamed Saber struck me for not only its beauty and composition, but the objects shown. 

Hamed Saber is a computer engineer in Teheran, and took these pictures of the Haghany jetty while en route to BandarAbbas .  Hamed took up photography a few years ago and has compiled an extraordinary display of his work on his Flickr page

While my first impression was "he needed more tractors and cranes!" I forgot about that when I was immersed in his photography.  Taking my virtual trip to Iran via Hamed's website was worth the time!  Prior to the trip through Hamed's photo collection, Nezua took me on another trip to Iran in 2007.  Nez arranged his collection of images of Iran and created "A Moment Before We Bomb" and "One More Moment Before We Bomb."      

Damn!!...Barely 72 hours after I put up an example of an extraordinary culture....a bunch of wannabe bullies (I guess the Viagra doesn't work any more!) got tired of playing with themselves and decided they can only get satisfaction by revving up the propaganda to bomb another country.  Doesn't this bit ever get old!? 

Glenn breaks down the WAPO Op-Ed and Jonathan Schwarz explores the nuances at A Tiny Revolution .  Maybe what it boils down to is that our Foreign Policy Makers don't like the possibility that another country might thumb their noses at us, the big bully on the block, so want to whup-up on Iran just to make sure they know their proper place, under the US thumb.

The fertilizing of the American psyche will continue with the manipulation of public opinion until we fruits, (yeah, you and me) are ripe, and then we, or our little brother, Israel, will bomb the hell out of Iran in the name of self-defense.  There will be blow-back, and then our papers will scream, "See, we told you so!"   "Those people need to be stopped!"  Somewhere in the dark places where our foreign policy decisions are made, we continue to skip over the obvious.   When you invade a people's land, destroy their families, their homes, their infrastructure, their lives, and their future then you need to expect that some of them might get a little bit pissed off! 

Even when we allow ourselves to be distracted by the media stories, often produced to shape our views, it does not take a genius to predict the outcome.

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fallfoldersluder073.jpg (51157 bytes) december2008sunset 017.jpg (54408 bytes) december2008sunset029.jpg (40479 bytes) december2008sunset027.jpg (41304 bytes) I don't know if Gib was inspired by the sunset photographs of Hamed but he has sent me a few since I posted the above.  Gib definitely qualifies as a Grimy Man, as his non-working hours involves even more work in collecting and restoring some of the neglected/forgotten equipment that was important in the development of Idaho's industry and infrastructure.  Gib is currently turning this gearbox
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Gallia Belgica dates back to Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire. Modern day Belgium was a central part of Gallia Belgica. Rome, as many countries and powers have since learned, discovered that controlling the Belgae people would require more time and resources than anticipated. With a history of disputes and invasions   that predated the Caesars and occured repeatedly for thousands of years, it is no wonder that their quirky system of government emerged looking like a Rube Goldberg social science construct.

Belgium is a country with the population similar to the states of Georgia or Michigan in the US. Belgium is of course famous for their waffles, chocolate, French Fries (with mayonaise of course!), and beer. With 178 breweries crammed into a relatively small area, their beer production probably rivals their other industries for supremacy. Here in the US we are probably most familiar with "Stella Artois" owned by Inbev (The same company that now owns Anhueser-Busch) but there are many smaller specialty breweries. One Chicago Tribune opinion  lays claim that Belgium is home to a beer worthy of the title "Best in the World"

While the Belgium people exhibit a lot of the same tastes found universally, they also had their share of "Grimy Men", inventing the combustion engine (1859) and electric powered trains and generators.

Dirk, who lives in Belgium, shows us that this creative spirit is alive and thriving with his creation of a Michigan 75A wheel loader. His uncle owned a couple of the Michigan 75A loaders that Dirk remembered fondly from his boyhood. He has now made, with meticulous measuring, a scaled down model from reclaimed material. (mower wheels, plastic, wood, motor from a discarded neighbor's toy)

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There are still a lot of Allis Chalmers AC model M crawlers here in North America. According to Harald, in Sweden, they are quite common in his country too. Harald tells me that in the beginning of WWII the Swedish army changed over from horse drawn artillery units to cannons being pulled by the AC "M" bandtractors.

Some of the AC "M" bandtractors (as they are called in Sweden) were equipped with mechanical lift V-plows for snow removal. To operate the V-plow one soldier would stand behind the operator on a steel plate and raise and lower the V-plow with a large wheel that operated the blade lift cable to the plow.

When Sweden could no longer import tractors due to the ongoing war, the Swedish army ordered copies of the AC "M" to be manufactured locally by the Landsverk Co. When the war was over, Landsverk paid Allis Chalmers 1500.00 in royalties. (and probably a "Thank you very much!") As the AC "M" bandtractors became older, they were retired from the army and made their way into the private sector being used in farming and logging.

Harald is now working on his second AC "M" bandtractor and he can be seen in this video making a practice run.  He has his "new" machine runnning, has checked it out, and is replacing the left hand steering clutch discs in time for the upcoming Christmas festival.  He will dress up as Father Christmas (Tomten) and be making his trek through the winter snow on his AC "M".  No DEER(E) for Harald!  Thank you for the video Harald, and come Jul time, I'll try some Glögg and be toasting you from this side of the world.

 

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Palestine Has Tractors!?

 

Small gestures, even waving a flag on the front of your tractor, can be a symbol of an indomitable spirit, even when you are trying to survive under an oppressive occupation. Getting to your own land, or keeping your land, especially when a more powerful neighbor wants it, and takes it, can be difficult. But wait! Even getting to your own house, or finding it, can be a problem too. There are Caterpillars in Palestine. Frank, who took the first picture above, shows "Life Under Occupation" and other videos of his work at his home page. Michael Ramallah took the picture of the Cat wheel loader above, blocking access to a Palestinian olive tree orchard. Sometimes all a Grimy Man wants to do is work, work with his tractors, work on his land, and provide for is family. Sometimes, others have different desires. Simon Tisdall lays out some of the Israeli government rhetoric and in simple terms (nothing is really this simple):

"When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle." Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, April 14, 1983.

 

 

And this land grab is not a new occurrence. Ambrose Bierce described it pretty well in his journals of 1881-1886 which later became the "Devils' Dictionary." (If you have not read his works, Bierce was a Union Officer in the Civil war and also wrote extraordinary short stories. Almost 100 years later, more than a couple showed on "Twilight Zone.")

MANNA, n. A food miraculously given to the Israelites in the wilderness. When it was no longer supplied to them they settled down and tilled the soil, fertilizing it, as a rule, with the bodies of the original occupants.

Some justify this (see maps) land grab by the Biblical concept of Eretz Israel, similar to how colonialism and slavery were ultimately justified, by religion, all over the world. This is just another form of "Manifest Destiny" or European Colonialism ….pick a country or continent, throw in a large dose of racism, and you will recognize the pattern. (History from JohnMurphyforCongress)  (Eretz Yisrael as viewed from a Jewish emigrant perspective) (Avi Shlaim, through the eyes of an ex Israeli soldier)

Perhaps we can share in the prayers of Monsignor Emmanuel Musallam . The Monsignor was not able to put up his Christmas tree during the Israeli onslaught of 2008, or hold his traditional services to celebrate the birth of Christ, but his spirit too is strong.

Seek more to understand, explore the unknown, and the unknown is certainly Gaza and Palestine and its relationship with Israel. For perspectives from those who live closest to this madness, visit The Djiin.  Before jumping to conclusions; Chris Floyd explored the conflict extensively ….very enlightening and educational. "A Word on Hatred From an Angry Arab" "Voiceless in Gaza" "Terrorist States Collude" "Shock Awe and Lies" and his first post "Christmas 2008 Hell in the Holy Land"

A year later, Rick at Ten Percent noticed "Gaza, Not a Difference a Year Makes"  Not all of the world is asleep while those of us in the west lose focus on the day to day tragedies of the Palestinians.    Writers from around the world , like Noam Chomsky via TomDispatch, Philip Weiss from Mondoweiss, Gilad Atzmon and others from Uprooted Palestinians work hard to bring us news and perspective we do not get in our local media.  Haunting images as seen through the eyes and poetry of Genevieve give us stark views of the Palestinian world.  It is a parallel that many Israelis refuse to acknowledge, but some do.  John Mearsheimer has called this segment of the Jewish community, those that recognize the injustice of the current Israeli State,  the "righteous Jews".  The Israeli Occupation Archive is a good source for information, as well as Israeli news sources.   B'Tselem is The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories..............check out their site.....

From one who was close to apartheid:"It is not with rancour that we criticize the Israeli government, but with hope, a hope that a better future can be made for both Israelis and Palestinians, a future in which both the violence of the occupier and the resulting violent resistance of the occupied come to an end, and where one people need not rule over another, engendering suffering, humiliation, and retaliation. True peace must be anchored in justice and an unwavering commitment to universal rights for all humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin or any other identity attribute."   Bishop Desmond Tutu

The idea of apartheid is not a figment of someone's wild imagination as Israeli apologists would suggest.  It is very central to the plans and actions of the Israeli government.   Perhaps the word of a past Attorney General of Israel bears some credence.  For sobering analyses of the ongoing occupation, follow and research the work of Lawrence of Cyberia

Apartheid will fail.  As Israel heaps more and more injustice on the Gazan people the world is taking notice.  The people of Gaza are gaining the higher moral ground.  Their strength and fortitude in the face of continued hardship is remarkable.

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Seeing the pictures of the two girls above reminded me of the phrase "PROUD WALKING."

 
In "A People's History of the United states" by Howard Zinn, the author tells of the rites of passage of young Sioux daughters becoming women.
    "Be dutiful, respectful, gentle, and modest, my daughter. And proud walking. If the pride and the virtue of the women are lost, the spring will come but the buffalo trails will turn to grass. Be strong, with the warm, strong heart of the earth. No people goes down until their women are weak and dishonored."

Proud walking, pride, strength.......an indomitable spirit.  And in both cases, I pray that the same God to whom we direct the 23rd Psalm is watching over them. 

                                  History repeats itself  from 2008 to 2012 ..So here we are, AGAIN AND AGAIN as elections are coming up in Israel.   Israel, of course, likes to control the reporting in the media but not all media sources are under their control.   The discussion HERE , including Raanan Gissin, a senior advisor to ex Israeli Prime Minister Arial Sharon, you can judge for yourself.

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Palestinians attend a solidarity protest near the Church of the Nativity in the
West Bank city of Bethlehem on Nov. 17, 2012.     PROUD WALKING

 

 


ANGOLA


 

Do you remember the word "COLONIALISM"!? In the US we learn about it in elementary school. Our heroes were men with names like Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin. They led a revolution to free our ancestors from the yoke of colonialism. Yes, the same type of colonialism, and the resistance to colonialism, that founded our great country hit me smack in the face this weekend. I received this video from an acquaintance working in Angola, on the west African coast, entitled "Ce que vous verrez bientot dans les rues de Luanda." Ok, it is French, and I could kind of read what it said but immediately clicked over to my Google "Language Tools" to verify that it said "What you will soon see on the streets of Luanda." Then I got a bit confused. The narration going on during the video was Portuguese! So, I receive an e-mail in English, with a subject line in French, and a video narrated in Portuguese. I wrote Vince back, asking for clarification and to get a better understanding of what was going on. (Vince owns and maintains a vintage Cat D7 and Cat D2 here in the States) The demonstration was performed in Soyo, northern Angola, historically a Portuguese colony, by a dealership from across the Congo River in the Republic of Congo, a historically French colony. This email reminded me that I really know nothing of Angola, or the rest of the African continent. So I began to learn. I started with the basics, "Where is Angola!?" I also gathered fundamental information on Angola and its long history.

As soon as I read "second-largest petroleum and diamond producer in sub-Saharan Africa" a bright red "Warning" flag unfurled and began to wave.

"Major Resources" means Big Business, leading to American corporate profits being called "US National Interests", which leads to excuses to bring in the military, and ultimately governments will rise and fall, and the regular people, unknown families and unknown individuals, will be silent, unknown victims. Would 300,000 lives, just in Angola!, be enough to make one care!? As General Butler said "Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag." But is this old pattern destined to repeat? In Feb. 2007, Pres. Bush unveiled his plan to centralize the US military command for the African continent. President George Bush said Africom would advance "our common goals of peace, security, development, health, education, democracy, and economic growth." My, that sounds nice! Those words are familiar and comforting. They are supposed to sound nice.

Yes! I am a skeptic! THAT sounds like business as usual to me! Those are some of the same old buzz words, Public Relations Fodder, that we are so used to hearing from our foreign policy makers. The African continent has been suffering through various forms of political, military, and economic enslavement for centuries. Expect colonialism and exploitation to continue.

While I do not know Africa, Khadija knows Africa. She writes here and here.

Khadija has explored the colonial version of civilization and the subject of economic enslavement, including that of Angola, and describes it beautifully in "Oompa-Loompas, Slavery and Racial Supremacy" She also has some insight on the role of Big Business in Somalia. See "Branding Guns as Roses: USAfricom " So! Coming to your News outlets soon, expect to hear more reasons why the US needs to promote stable governments in Africa ( learn to say "Puppet") and for those countries who do not want to go along with our plans, we will take "Democracy" to them, not by example, but with USAfricom. More colonialism, but this time the US will be playing the role of King George II of England, and any person living in the 53 various entities of Africa who resists these colonial changes or the governments we create and prop up will not be called heroes. They will be branded as being a terrorist, a revolutionary, or a warlord (expect to hear words like "suspected links to Al-Qaeda" many times....It works!!!) If you skipped over the "Branding Guns as Roses: USAfricom " link, go back and read it. When next you read or hear words like "we're sending in troops on a Humanitarian Mission" from either our press or government leaders, take pause....Do not jump to conclusions........Do not automatically accept and buy into what they claim to be their "justification" for the next invasion. The people being invaded will not always be throwing flower petals at our young soldier's feet, as was predicted in Iraq. When it comes to war, America means business. Will 761 active military sites on foreign soil be enough to support corporate profit!?   Will 865 bases be enough!? (Pentagon Count)  The number keeps growing, as explored by Tom Engelhardt and others.

 

So now the US will have a new President, one who ran for office on the vision of Change and Hope. With a history of death and detruction resulting from our foreign policies, is there any chance that Hope will survive, that Change will really come!? Bill Blum’s lede to his book "Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since WWII" reads:

If you flip over the rock of American foreign
policy of the past century, this is what crawls out
...

invasions ... bombings ... overthrowing
governments ... suppressing movements
for social change ... assassinating
political leaders ... perverting
elections ... manipulating labor unions ...
manufacturing "news" ... death squads ...
torture ... biological warfare ...
depleted uranium ... drug trafficking ...
mercenaries ...

It's not a pretty picture.
It is enough to give imperialism a bad name.

 




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                 POLAND

 

The video of the John Deere 450 above was sent to me by Wojtek from the Podlasie region of Poland.  (Northeast Poland) Wojtek is clearing a path on the road so that they can get in and out from the farm.  We've been honored to help Wojtek in keeping his JD 450 Running and operating.  His video is pretty special.  Wojtek has recently moved to Gdansk. a major historical port in Poland.

Solidarity_Polish_trade_union_logo.jpg (5019 bytes)

The Kingdom of Poland came into existence in the year 1025. The People's Republic of Poland began in 1952

Between those years, because Poland is situated as it is between the historical superpowers of Germany and Russia, it is not surprising that the Poles suffered through centuries of turbulence. After WWII, and after the loss of 6 million Polish citizens, one fifth of its population, the victorious Allies redefined Poland's borders and the Polish people lost 20% of their land.


Poland's contribution to the people of modern day Europe has been significant. The importance of the labor union Solidarnosc (Solidarity), with a membership of over 9 million at its peak of popularity, gave the world a model from which other citizens of the world have taken notice and successfully emulated. What Solidarnosc started had more to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall than any of the political and rhetorical pap we are fed on this side of the ocean.

The 4th of June, 1989 marked a decisive victory for democracy in Poland and, ultimately, across (Central and) Eastern Europe."
—Angela Merkel

Here in the US we should remember the lessons of Solidarnosc too. If the "Occupy" movements and the "Tea Party" movements ever recognize that they have the most important tenet of their respective protests in common, that of an out-of-control-government that does not operate for the benefit "Of the People" or "For the People" and that their government is certainly not controlled "By the People" then things might really change for the better. The two movements could create a "Solidarity" that would shake the foundations of Wall Street, the oil companies, the insurance companies, the drug companies, and ultimately, the military industrial complex that controls our lives.  We could  actually change from the Corporatist Democracy we now have to one closer to the ideal of a populist democracy.
Let the oligarchs shudder as they did in Poland!

Solidarity_Polish_trade_union_logo.jpg (5019 bytes)

 


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