Monday, May 01, 2006

Return of the Qadoshin

In ancient times, the cultures of the Near East had priestesses who served in the temples of goddesses of fertility and pleasure, embodying the Goddess in sexual rites. These women were as highly-regarded in their day as other clergy are in ours. Their beauty, and the power they possessed to give pleasure and bring forth life were regarded as sacred.

The Hebrew word for these women is “Qadoshin,” meaning literally, “Holy Woman.” The ancient Hebrew priests and prophets hated these women and what they represented so much that they slaughtered them and anyone who honored them and worshipped the Goddess. Naturally, the word “Qadoshin” is translated “harlot” or “prostitute” in our English Bibles.

Thanks to the efforts of the ancient Hebrews and their Gentile successors, we now live in a world where a life-sized statue of a man being brutally tortured to death, with blood running down his emaciated flesh can be hung in a church for all to see, while a picture of a beautiful naked woman is universally regarded as “obscene.” Pictures of Iraqi bodies lying in pools of drying blood or torture from Abu Gharib elicit little more than a shrug. Janet Jackson’s breast, seen for a fraction of a second, brings forth howls of protest and a fine to the network of more than half a million dollars.

Can this be regarded as sane or healthy? What does this say about America as a society?

Fortunately, the Qadoshin is making a comeback. Maybe just in time to save the world. In 1997, photographer Eolake Stobblehouse created a website called, featuring beautiful photographs of utterly lovely, naked women, along with articles about respect for women and adoration of beauty. This is not a porn site. You will find no painted, soulless creatures with gigantic mutant siliconized breasts engaged in uglified sex acts here. These are real, natural women who embody Goddess in all her rapturous majesty.

[Warning: If the sight of a beautiful naked woman frightens you, think twice before clicking the following links or visiting They could be drive you stark staring sane]

Can the Qadoshin still fill her holy office today? Consider this letter featured on the site:

Tonight ... tonight, I sure needed this.

Needed Ekattrina's set, needed Ekattrina ... Needed to "connect" with someone like her. Never guessing it, just knowing something was lacking. You know...?

Rainy night. Streets slick and whiny with wheels slishing outside my window. Just got home a bit ago from a party of people that looked like "death warmed over," you know...? People who acted like they were just going through the motions, people who acted ... Yes, people who *acted*. The faces and smiles they put on looked so false, like replications of faces they'd seen and thought they could get away with looking that way & tricking people into thinking they were sincere.

Well, it *was* a party where people were looking for people to impress, to make good connections with. I left early, slipped out. That kind of connection I can do without. And I knew I'd be of no help. So when I came home & logged on to your site, little did I expect to see someone with a smile so... so... rewarding, renewing, rejuvenating as Ekattrina's. Her unusually easy invitation of a smile, so accepting and without guile, without tease, only just an acceptance -- a willingness and pleasure at some inner thoughts playing across her eyes. The positions of her hands so unself-conscious and graceful, the slight tilting of her head. As if she were listening to me ramble ... Like I am right now.


That bright forest, that bright smile, those unforgettable eyes ... so assured and smiling even in their untold depths ... The camera "snapped" them together, rapping them in time and then sent them on the internet to the universe, all unknowing, all trusting. My eyes, at least, are where they've landed, caught for a moment. And it's the only thing I can do, to smile her image, at you, through you, through the camera's small end of a telescope knowing it's certainly diminished in time & space but nonetheless hoping something like gratitude finds its way to her heart. Who knows but a thought like this might warm her heart somehow...

Who knows where her smile has ended, whether she smiles that way today... I only know that her smile in that brightly lit forest has brought a measure of spring's eternal hopes into this long winter night. She, Ekattrina, and Mikhail, and you, Eolake, have all given me something subtle, sure, but don't ever forget that it is enduring...

Think about that. This young woman, simply by being who she is, and allowing her beauty and spritual loveliness to be captured on film and unleashed on the Internet, was able to bring joy to a heartbroken man she will never meet. Is this not what a "minister" is supposed to do? Scroll back up to the top of this article, or behold her in all her glory if you dare. Can you look into those beautiful brown eyes and tell her that she is anything but holy, or that this magnificent joy-creating power of hers is "obscene?"

If you can't... If you are like me, and the sight of her brings a radiant sunrise of adoration in your heart, then you might want to consider defending her and everything she stands for. has pioneered a movement toward restoring the sacredness of the feminine in our time. Who knows? Perhaps it can turn us away from the dominator culture's quest for "full-spectrum supremacy" in time to save us from ourselves.

Towards Real Security from Nuclear Terrorism

Our present response to the threat of nuclear terrorism is a complete farce. And an incredibly dangerous one.

The recent brouhaha over the Dubai Ports World deal, along with all of the political posturing ignore a basic fact of physics. For the benefit of our esteemed political leadership, I will try to make this very, very simple: a nuclear bomb makes a really, really big explosion when it goes off.

What this means is that by the time any port worker--whether he’s from Dubai, or someplace Wholesome and American like Amarillo, Texas—can even see the ship a nuclear weapon is on, it is already too late. Too late for him to allow it in as part of a Nefarious Islamic Plot. Too late for him to Heroically Defend America by inspecting the container it’s in. Because, a nuclear bomb makes a really, really big explosion when it goes off.

A nuclear weapon does not need to reach the shore to destroy a major American port and cause incalculable damage to our economy and society. It need only reach the port itself, and go off before even the most vigilant Customs inspectors have a chance to find it and cut the red wire just as the timer reaches zero.

In the article linked above, Robert Pfriender offers a solution far too sensible for the political Establishment to take seriously. He proposes that offshore inspection facilities be built entirely with private funds, where every container coming to the United States will be physically opened and its contents inspected. The company (his) would earn its revenue from a small inspection fee per container. These inspection ports would be located far enough offshore that a nuclear explosion there would not seriously affect the American coast.

That this could be done at no cost to the government virtually insures Congress will not approve the plan. Pfriender would have done better to design it as a massively expensive pork-barrel project involving as many strategically chosen Congressional districts as possible. This is, after all, how we get a ‘reusable’ spacecraft that has to be virtually taken apart and rebuilt after each launch, which turns out to be far more expensive than expendable space vehicles, and a multi-million dollar high-tech fighter-jet with goodies like vectored thrust and the latest Stealth technology (the F-22) with no enemy to fight, unless the flying saucers come.

However, even Pfreinder’s proposal would not truly seal the door against nuclear terrorism. If every single shipping container coming into the United States were inspected by conscientious agents who could not be bribed or threatened, a nuclear weapon could still be smuggled into—or just close enough to—the United States on a private yacht, fishing trawler, or private airplane. Any terrorist network well-heeled enough to gain access to a nuclear warhead and the knowledge necessary to detonate it would be able to afford such a vehicle to transport it in.

Or, they could smuggle it across one of our borders, along with the millions of illegal immigrants and thousands of tons of drugs that make it across. In short: if terrorists get their hands on a nuclear weapon and the know-how to use it, they will find a way to get it into the US. It is neither possible nor desirable to create a Fortress America in which every vehicle attempting to enter the United States is boarded and searched.

What then can be done? A real program of nuclear security can be created, if it is based on a simple, practical principle: track the nuclear materials, not people and goods. In addition to avoiding the expensive, potentially totalitarian, and ultimately futile “solution” of comprehensively tracking people and goods, this approach goes to the root, focusing on the far easier task of monitoring a relatively small quantity of nuclear materials.

A Comprehensive Nuclear Security Program

A nuclear weapon detonated by terrorists in any major port would not only cause horrendous loss of life, it would cause incalculable damage to the world economy, and perhaps even to civilization itself as governments and peoples panic. The adoption of a comprehensive nuclear security program is no longer a matter of ‘national security.’ It is a matter of survival for the human race. Adoption of such a program will cost us some of our cherished illusions. Failure to adopt it could literally cost us the world.

Nuclear Warfare is in No One’s Interest

First, it must be emphasized that no one wins a nuclear war. No one. Islamic radicals might imagine that they could gain if a mushroom cloud sprouted over a major U.S. city. To disabuse themselves of this allusion, they should look at the massive carnage that has thus far resulted from the American reaction to 9-11, an event of almost infinitesimal magnitude compared to a nuclear attack.

The United States has 10,000 nuclear warheads at its disposal, and a significant portion of its politically-powerful elite who believe in an inevitable “Clash of Civilizations” between Islam and the West. Who would want to wager on the continuing existence of Mecca and Medina, or Tehran—or any major Muslim city from Algiers to Islamabad, in the wake of a nuclear attack on America?

Nor is it in the interest of the United States. We have no chance of controlling nuclear proliferation while we “modernize” our own nuclear arsenal to include new nuclear weapons designed not for deterrence but for preemptive use against non-nuclear adversaries. As long as it is our stated policy to consider the “nuclear option” as a way to deal with deeply-buried bunkers, we can only expect hostile nations to seek—and consider using—nuclear weapons of their own.

Nuclear warfare is no safer for the U.S. or the world now than it was during the Cold War. To achieve nuclear security, we must be willing to accept this fact, and impress its importance in our communications with other nations and non-state actors.

Complete, Global Accountability for Nuclear Weapons and Materials

If the United States is to have any chance of being secure from the threat of nuclear terrorism, we must seek a complete, transparent international accounting of every single nuclear weapon on Planet Earth. Yes, that means ours too, and those of friendly nations like Israel. Every nation must be able to have an equal degree of trust in the system. Every nation must be able to, in the words of Ronald Reagan, “trust, but verify.”

The credibility of the system must be such that any nation that refuses to participate, or attempts to hide any aspect of its nuclear capability will find itself completely isolated, and at the top of the “suspect list” should a nuclear terror incident take place. The system must be created in such a way that even “rogue” states like North Korea find it in their interests to join and participate.

In proposing such a system, the United States will have to take significant actions to establish its own credibility and seriousness:

· Repudiate the concept of “bunker buster” nukes.

· End the use of Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry.

· Establish, as a Federal statute, a no-first strike policy.

· Provide a complete, comprehensive accounting of its own nuclear arsenal and other WMD to the nations of the world.

· End the policy of preemptive war based on claims of telepathy and precognition, i.e. in “response” to another nation’s alleged “intent” to build or use WMD.

· Initiate a unilateral program of nuclear disarmament aimed at cutting our nuclear arsenal in half, in advance of further disarmament negotiations with other nations.

· Require Israel to disclose the nature and extent of its nuclear arsenal as a condition of continued U.S. aid and support.

From this moral high ground, the U.S. will be in a position to seek the international cooperation necessary to make global nuclear security possible. At present and for the foreseeable future, the only entity on Earth capable of creating nuclear weapons is a State. The only way a terrorist will be able to acquire a nuclear weapon, is from a State. Therefore, every State must be required to provide a full accounting of its nuclear arsenal, including regular and surprise on-site inspections and remote camera monitoring of every nuclear weapon.

Furthermore, the extraction, refining, and enrichment of nuclear materials must likewise be subject to comprehensive, internationally transparent monitoring.

Global Nuclear Disarmament

Since it is easier to monitor and guard, say, 200 nuclear weapons than 10,000, it is in the interest of every nation to foster and participate in a global nuclear disarmament initiative. This initiative will be designed to limit the arsenals of the major nuclear powers to a small number still sufficient for mutual deterrence (say, one or two hundred warheads each) and the smaller nuclear powers such as North Korea, Pakistan, and Israel to a lesser number such as ten warheads each.

Gaining universal agreement for such a program will not be easy. This is why it is of the utmost importance for the United States to acquire the moral high ground and credibility needed to pressure holdout nations with widespread international backing.

Swords to Plowshares

As a further incentive to nuclear disarmament, the United States should foster large-scale development of peaceful uses for nuclear energy. As the world nears (if it has not already reached) Peak Oil, new sources of energy will be needed to meet rising global energy demand. Industrial-scale facilities for “impoverishing” weapons-grade nuclear material (transforming it into fuel-grade material unsuitable for weapons) should be constructed and put into use.

Creation of new, modern breeder-reactor nuclear power plants in the developed world, as well as in the energy-hungry, rapidly-expanding economies of India and China should be promoted. Nuclear-powered desalination plants to turn seawater into fresh water for irrigation should also be created to help increase food production in arid regions, such as Africa.

Nuclear Rocketry

Nuclear-thermal rockets generate a specific impulse twice that of chemical rockets. With this extra power, nuclear rockets can be made much more robust than chemical rockets and still offer huge advantages in power and performance. With nuclear-thermal rockets, trips to Mars and the asteroids would take weeks instead of years.

Such expanded space-exploration capability would offer not only access to the vast resources of the solar system and the ability to undertake large-scale projects such as solar power satellites and “space mirrors” designed to reduce global warming by reflecting sunlight away from Earth, it would give us the ability to divert a "dinosaur killer" asteroid away from our planet.

Furthermore, exceptionally-robust nuclear-thermal rockets could be used to propel dangerous-but-unusable nuclear waste on ballistic trajectories toward the Sun. While some may blanch at the idea of putting nuclear materials aboard a rocket, the risk of launch would be temporary. Once away from the Earth and headed for the Sun, nuclear waste would never threaten us again, ever.

If a sufficiently robust and safe nuclear-thermal rocket cannot be designed, nuclear energy could still be used to power a laser or microwave-powered ground-based launch system that would launch vehicles with no on-board nuclear power systems.

As a source of energy after Peak Oil and a key to practical human access to the Solar System, nuclear materials become a valuable resource wasted in nuclear warheads. Therefore, powerful economic and social incentives are created to reduce nuclear arsenals to the minimum necessary. For non-nuclear powers, nuclear weapons would be seen for what they really are: a wasteful and potentially dangerous folly.

Some estimates suggest that the world’s supply weapons-grade plutonium could be depleted in 50 years were it employed as a major energy source in response to Peak Oil. Adding a robust, widespread program of space exploration and settlement using nuclear-thermal rockets could accelerate this process. Which would be a Good Thing. Weapons-grade nuclear materials are a resource that should be depleted, as soon as possible.

In place of nuclear terror, the world could have a new Renaissance and Age of Exploration, and rising standards of living fueled by nuclear energy until renewable energy sources are ready to fill Earth’s energy needs. Rush Limbaugh has famously said that the only way to get rid of nuclear weapons is to use them [1]. Then let’s use them—for energy and rocket thrust, not our extermination. A future of hope for all humanity that by its very promise, could also help to “drain the swamp” of hopelessness and nihilism in which terrorist ideology breeds.


1. This is one of Limbaugh’s “Undeniable Truths of Life,” a claim on his part that (conventional) nuclear disarmament proposals are impractical. However, conventional disarmament proposals which call for destruction of nuclear weapons followed by costly and risky disposal of radioactive material, offer economic disincentives rather than the economic incentives proposed here.
O, Print Me A Home...

Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California has developed a 3-D printing technology suitable for building large structures such as homes or commercial facilities. Called Contour Crafting, it could be used to create a single house or a whole neighborhood of houses in a single production run. Each house could have a different design, and all conduits for plumbing, wiring and air conditioning would be, printed in.

As with current rapid prototyping technology, CC would build a home layer by layer from a variety of materials ranging from various ceramics to adobe. The goal is to be able to create a 2000 square-foot, one-story building in one day from a 3-D model in a computer. The system employs a robotic crane mounted on tracks similar to a container ship crane. It has enormous potential for saving lives and resources, while providing creatively-designed and affordable homes.

From the Contour Crafting website:

Every year in the United States, 400,000 workers are seriously injured or killed doing construction work. Construction work is dangerous and takes to high a toll on human life and human resources. Resulting litigation from work place injuries areincreasingly raising the overall costs of construction. Waste is also a major concern for conventional construction methods. Construction of a typical single family home generates a waste stream of 3 to 7 tons. Globally more than 40 percent of all raw materials are consumed in the construction process. Construction, in addition to wasting valuable resources, contributes significantly to environmentally harmful emissions.

Building a contour-crafted structure would create virtually no waste, and since it is a robotic production method, it would create no danger for workers. One "objection" to this process would be the loss of high-paying, if risky, construction jobs. However, combined with renewable energy and an efficient recycling and resource-utilization technology, CC could help usher in an "internet of things" in which "stuff" is free or nearly free, so that humans can be liberated from the job culture to engage in more creative and life-affirming things than "work."