Which Teams are College Basketball ATS Mirages

If you find yourself wandering aimlessly through the desert, the last thing you want to see is a mirage. Sure, the palm trees, the big, blue lake with the fountain in the middle and an army of bikini clad bartenders catering to your every whim would seem perfect when you see it, but imagine your disappointment when you realize that it isn't real. A handful of sand just wouldn't taste as good as a margarita fed to you by the Olsen Twins. In much the same way, a team that seems like it is a good bet until you get your money on it, at which point it reveals itself as a hopeless loser, is every bettor's nightmare.

The Oregon Ducks are a team that has already revealed themselves as a betting mirage. They are 18-1 and perched at the top of the tough Pac-10, so the casual bettor might think that they are a good bet. At the start of the season they were. The public wasn't believing in them yet, so they started out 7-3 against the spread. Since conference play started the team is a very respectable 7-1, but they are just 2-5 ATS. They are winning and looking good, but they are costing loyal bettors a fortune. They are a mirage. Here's a look at four more teams that could be worth a fade

Washington State - The Cougars are a team on the rise. They are playing in a conference that's getting a lot of respect, and they are climbing up the rankings. They stomped their bitter rivals at Washington in December and that really set the ball rolling. After a rough 3-5 start ATS, the team reeled off seven straight covers. It was during that time that the team started getting more press and rising in the polls. They have won two of their last three games, but covered in just one of them. They, were, however, close to the spread in both ATS losses. That means that the public shift in opinion probably caused the line to move enough that any possible value evaporated. If they keep winning, expect the public to continue to drive lines up, creating possibilities for a play on their opponent.

Indiana State - The Sycamores have been a betting dream this year. They are a brilliant 12-4 ATS. The problem is, though, that two of the games in which they haven't covered have come in the last four games. That's indicative of a much bigger problem for Larry Bird's alma mater - conference play has not been kind to them. They fattened up early in the year with impressive wins over Creighton, Butler, Wichita State and Purdue, but the weak early losses to Middle Tennessee State and a pretty dismal Ball State team were perhaps more telling of what the future held in store. They have lost their last four games in a row, including a blowout loss to Bradley that they really should have won. If that's a sign of things to come then a team that has been a joy to bet on will lose all of its fun.

Illinois - The Fighting Illini, at 15-7, are playing decent basketball, though they still haven't found another killer set of guards to replace the brilliant ones that led them during their recent glory days. Against the spread, however, the team has been an unmitigated disaster. At 4-13 ATS they are the second least profitable team in the entire country. To make matters worse, they covered their first two games, and then went on a dismal 0-12 streak. There is a light flickering at the end of the tunnel, though, even if it isn't a bright spotlight yet - they've covered two of their last three. There are still signs that the team is held in higher regard than they probably should be - they were only 1.5-point underdogs against a very good Wisconsin team on Saturday, and the Badgers beat them fairly easily. The Illini are heading into a relatively easy stretch for the next few games, so they stand a fairly good chance of turning their betting record around and finally rewarding bettors who want to believe in the ball that they are playing.

West Virginia - The ATS shine has already dimmed a bit for the Pittsnogle-less Mountaineers, but there's a pretty good chance that the ATS decline that they have started on could continue. John Beilein's team started the season at 13-1, and rewarded bettors with an 8-1 ATS record during that time. Since then, though, they've lost three of their last five in the conference, and they have just one cover in their last four games. In two of the three games they haven't covered, they haven't even been close. A bad overtime loss to Cincinnati, far from the class of the Big East, was a good sign that things might not be going well in Morgantown. The public still has some leftover love for this team because of the last couple of years, and that love was reinforced and rewarded by how the team started. Therefore, it's very likely that the public would be slow to react to a prolonged downturn by the team. That would mean that a team that has been a good bet would turn into a pretty bad one. They'd become a mirage.

The Event - Article 1 Introduction

Truth need not be proved, it just needs to be pointed out so honest people can recognize it.


I would like to thank a number of people that contributed to the opening of my eyes to the evidence that is around me. My eyes were opened so that I could put together the puzzle and mystery that I am describing in this text. It is my wish that others learn to look past what has been taught by our schools and universities for over a century so they can see what a wonderful and abundant world God gave to us.

First I would like to thank my grandfather Nathan J Bullock for giving me a great example of courage, patience and my earliest lessons about rocks and geology. He was a wonderful teacher; he showed me his rock-treasures and gave me insights into how these rocks were formed. He demonstrated to me that some very ugly and plain looking rocks could hide beautiful colors, crystals and agates inside. He also showed me that what seems to be plain black ash or dirt could hide many treasures of petrified wood and bone. In doing this, he opened my eyes to the fact that what we see on the surface may not be the entire story. He helped me learn to look deeper into the teachings that conventional wisdom consider obvious. His example that no matter who we are we can think for ourselves and draw our own conclusions is the gift of knowledge that he gave to me.

The theories of great scholars are often only their opinions, often molded by the opinions of their associates and benefactors. These theories are only of value if they inspire their listeners to think and develop their own conclusions. Each one of us is capable of gathering knowledge and drawing our own valid conclusions. Our own conclusions can often be made to appear wrong only because the scholars have the advantage of great universities validating and supporting their myths and theories. When we read the works of these scholars we must be cautious that their work is not just written to obtain this support and validation rather than the pursuit of accuracy and truth.
In light of what I have learned from my grandfather, I am going to attempt to present my case in such a way as to encourage others to build on this foundation. With this foundation I hope to provide a basis for a great edifice of knowledge and truth that will one day reenter the realm of scholastics.

My desire is to lead each one of my readers to a perspective of how the earth and the rocks that make up the earth were formed. I do plan to present evidence and draw my conclusions with the idea in mind that my conclusions are not the only possibility, but a foundation for helping others to draw their own conclusions. It is my desire to inspire others in the same manner that my grandfather inspired me. It is my hope that someone will be inspired by my findings and continues the work of presenting the truth to the world.

As I travel around the Great Basin, I consider the many contrasts in the land, the rocks, the soil, the slope of the mountains, the colors in the rocks and soil. The whole area presents a wonderful changing landscape. I will attempt to take you on a journey over, under and inside of this contrasting landscape. As I do so I will share with you my findings and attempt to illustrate my observations.

My observations of the Great Basin illustrates that the forces that created this wonderful basin affected the geology of all of North and South American continents and perhaps the rest of the world.

The last fifty years I have enjoyed the study of this wonderful earth. The curiosity of the makeup of the earth is a moving force that has pushed me away from the comforts of the city to explore some amazing places. These amazing places include
1.Caves in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
2.Old mines mostly in Utah but also in Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and Montana
3.Yellowstone Park
4.The Grand Canyon
5.Mojave Desert
6.The Great Salt Lake Desert
7.Most of Utah and Idaho, Western Colorado, Northern Arizona, Western Montana, Southern California and Western Wyoming.

Something inside of me drives me to find out what is over the next hill, under the next rock or inside the next cave. A curiosity that makes me want to take a little more time to drink in the wonders of this extraordinary earth and compare what I see with the things we are taught by some many so called authorities. This comparison of what I see to what I am taught has led me to the conclusion of a disconnect between the text books of our day and the evidence that is found in the rocks and soil. The text books talk of small changes taking place over billions of years but the evidence speaks loudly of catastrophic changes that took place very quickly over a short period of time. I will go into greater detail later of how much different this earth would look if the changes took place slowly.

One of the most ridiculous theories that must be rejected because of the rapid pace of the earth's changes is the Monkey Theory of Evolution that has been inculcated in us by educators and scientists for too much of the twentieth century. Recently the California Board of Education has declared evolution is proven true simply because it has been taught as fact for a significant length of time. When I read this nonsense in the newspaper I reflected on the many proofs that I was required to do in both high school and college and how my instructors would have reacted to such a lazy conclusion. I considered the many ridiculous theories that such as the idea that the sun revolved around the sun that were discussed with ridicule by some on my elementary teachers. Then I marveled at how readily the California Board of Education is willing to accept unsubstantiated myths as irrefutable truth when there is no supporting evidence.

The earth as we know it is not old enough to allow time for simple creatures such as slime molds to crawl out of the sea and evolve into higher life forms. According to the evolutional calendar it took many millions of years for this to happen. I find that when we take the scientific rate of erosion from the same textbook and apply some simple calculations the land would erode back into the sea before these creatures would have a chance to become a higher life form. In short my calculation show that if humans evolved from slim molds or some other kind of simple aquatic creatures man would be living in the ocean rather than on land.

What value is it to teach a theory with evidence so flimsy that a child could disprove by simply analyzing the numbers in the different parts of his textbook
School textbooks at one time taught about the Missing Link. This missing link is a creature according to some great scientist, if found, would prove that man descended from the apes. The truth is this creature was never found. The reason it was never found is because it never existed.
I have had several people proudly show me that they have traced their genealogy back many generations to Adam the first man in the Bible. I have never met anyone who has traced his ancestry back to an ape. If someone did I wonder how proud they would be to show other people their great accomplishment. I think those scholars that subscribe to such a theory should prove it through their own genealogy and then be required to publish there find to the whole world. In this way the world can see who is making a monkey out of whom.

I don't consider my observations and conclusions to be sacred even though the genealogical findings of the people mentioned in the previous paragraph goes a long way to support the Bible. I look forward to someone doing some in depth research to come up with substantial evidence that I am wrong. It would be refreshing to have my work challenged by real evidence rather than to be constantly bombarded with some of the current myths and fairy tales that have crept into academia. It is amazing to me that universities can be called institutions of higher learning when they accept corrupt premises that lack proof.

If all I accomplished with this work was to force academia to provide substantiated evidence of the Monkey Theory of Evolution I would consider it to be a complete success.
The teaching of such myths as facts to the children of our country can have long range and lasting negative consequences on our countries future. It is my goal to challenge myths and fairy tails and push for proof or total rejection. Equally harmful is the hybrid theory that is put forth by some Christians that God used evolution to create the earth. I personally know that God is an all-powerful God and he didn't wait for an un-necessarily long period of time to complete the creation of the earth. He had a job to do and he did it.

Just like the false teaching during the dark ages put the yoke of academic bondage on the people of Europe, the theory of evolution puts us into academic bondage today.
Just like in the dark ages in order for a person to be considered intelligent by academia today he must accept false theories. Unlike those that rejected false theories during the dark ages the heretic is not burned at the stake but instead he is called ignorant in the eyes of the scholars. The irony is that to be considered intelligent by academia one must accept unproven and ridiculous theories that are similar to the earth is flat theory of the dark ages. I find it equally ridiculous that some Christian scholars have introduced an equally ridiculous hybrid theory to avoid being considered stupid. Prior to any theory being taught as fact it should have its proofs laid out like mathematical thoriums. Until then a theory should be taught only as speculation giving the student the option to believe or disbelieve.

I ask is it intelligent to further the spread of false theories
How can we show our intelligence by blindly accepting falsehood

Is not intelligence truth
It is, or should be the goal of all science is to find truth not perpetuate errors. Centuries ago Martin Luther and others came forward and made the writings of the Bible available to the common man. The widespread use of the Bible gave the common man the opportunity to evaluate the teaching of leaders and weigh rather or not they could accept the teachings. The act of providing the scriptures went a long way toward removing the yoke of bondage from the people help the western world move eventually into the era of enlightenment. This work is an attempt to accomplish the same thing in awakening, if only a few, to the fact that the truth is not in evolution or other false theories but it is openly displayed in this wonderful world that is all around us.

If this work encourages just one person to wake up and spit out the elixir of the dark ages and come forth to challenge the unsubstantiated doctrines of our age, my work will have accomplished its purpose. For those of you that wish to bring forth substantiated evidence to prove me wrong. I say to you go for it! Go, out and do the research and bring it forth. I am pleased to have this work challenged. Not so much that I think my work is perfect, but that it would be refreshing to see proofs provided in our schools. Perhaps one day someone like me that wants to see evidence won't be treated as a pariah because they can's blindly accept the ridiculous theories of our day.
It is my desire to illustrate that intelligent people are not the result of slime evolving from sub-species to sub-species over billions of years until by some accident it achieved intelligence. Instead we are the result of the perfect plan of a loving God. This loving God cared enough for us, his children to give us a self-repairing earth that provides abundantly for its inhabitants. In the event you reject my work because I invoke the existence of God that is your privilege. Be aware if you decide to continue reading that all of my observations point to and support the existence of this wonderful loving Father.

My exploration of open spaces and study of the world around me started when I was still a little child. Almost daily I would come home from school and walk or ride my bike into the open fields and hills that were near my home. There I would inspect the detail of the hills, the rock outcroppings, the plants that grew there, the washes that cut through the open field and the mountains in the distance. Later when we moved From California to Utah I was able to spend more time examining the mountains, hills, rivers, streams, rocks, and cliffs. Latter when I was able to drive I was able to see more of the world and took the opportunity to explore the depths of the earth itself.
While I was walking or supposable listening to my teachers at school I would take the time to ponder the things that I observed and wonder at the forces that shaped the earth into so many different shapes and contours. On a multiplicity of occasions I've noticed features that didn't conform to the information that I was receiving in school and read in the various textbooks. The anomalies I see make me ponder and wonder

Why don't the things I am taught in school coincide with what I see in the world around me
I concluded that either something in our education system was amiss or I did not understand the things that I observed in the world around me over the last fifty or so years.
One observation I made was on a picnic with my family near a number of large boulders of a very unique color and texture. I remember these particular boulders and noted where they were because they matched some arrowheads that I found near our home in Glenwood, Utah. Some time ago the Indians camped in the foothills near Glenwood, Utah and made arrowheads leaving behind the chips and imperfect arrowheads. The chips of agates and jaspers raised my curiosity because they don't match the rocks that are common to the area. I figured that the Indians must have carried these rocks from somewhere else then made their arrowheads while they camped in this area.
The curious thing is, that the arrowheads are found a hundred and fifty miles from were I found the boulders. The Indians must have discovered these rocks then carried the rock with them to their camp where they made the arrowheads.

I was sure that if I looked around the area where I found the boulders I would be able to find a rock layer or a cliff that matched them. At the end of a long search we didn't find any evidence of a cliff or a rock layer of hard agate. These hard fine-grained rocks seemed very out of place in an area that was primarily sandstones and other soft rocks. I came to the conclusion that these hard rocks were carried to their present location by some ancient civilization or were thrown there by a catastrophic event.

Over time I explored caves and mines examining the rock in the walls, floors and ceiling from the entrance to the end of the tunnel. I made particular note of the changes in the types, quality and direction of the rock layers. Once I had noted all of this information I contemplated what happened to make these rock layers the way they are.

As I traveled I would stop at road cuts, basement excavations and open pit mines and examined the layers of rock and clay that were exposed to the light. It is much easier to identify rock in the light of the sun than in the rays of a flashlight or lantern. These examinations revealed many interesting things about the rock including the fact that the rock of the west usually doesn't fall into any neat orderly picture but instead tends to represent a jumbled mass of confusion.
During my many walks or hikes that covered hundreds of miles of hills and back country I studied and contemplated the rocks that made up the world around me. Each feature revealed new and wondrous things. Too often what I saw disagreed with conventional wisdom and the teaching of the schools.

I enjoy hiking through the backcountry and comparing what I see to the geologic maps and charts of the area. These charts and maps helped me find many mines, road cuts and other interesting geologic features. I also enjoy flying over or driving across the country and comparing maps and charts to the ground features.

These observations of the earth from many different viewpoints bring up many questions about where, when and how the mountains and valleys came to be the in the form that we find them in now. I've pondered these questions for many hours and concluded that the earth had to be formed a relatively short time ago. Perhaps the whole earth was put together a few thousand years ago rather than the million of years ago that the scientist claim.

From my studies in school, travels and personal reading I've found many explanations of the forces that worked inside the earth to shape the land. Most claim that numerous little earthquakes or separate volcanic eruptions took place spaced over hundreds of thousands to billions of years. Information at the visitor centers at places like Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho and Yellowstone Park draw these same conclusions.

My observations over the years have brought into focus a connection among the mountains, valleys and hills in the west. A connection that leads me to conclude that the geology of the Western United States is the result of one great catastrophic event. If it were not so and the mountain were raised up then worn down over millions of years there would be conformity and correlation between the soils of the valleys and the rocks that make up the mountains.

When silt, sand and gravel is worn away gradually and deposited into a depression the result is a rock with almost uniform layers. Then when these uniform layers of rock are raised slowly into mountains the result is smooth uniform layers of rock. The fact is that most rock layers in the west are not uniform but are made up of many types and textures of rock. The rocks themselves are mostly rough and broken. This information makes it hard for me to accept any explanation in a text or geology books that claims the rocks are millions or even billions of years old. The fact that the mountains and valleys are not made up of matching uniform layers should be sufficient proof that they are not the result of millennia of erosion. Instead the mountains, especially of the west are very jagged and rough showing they are the result of recent and great upheavals.
I conclude that these studies are just a reflection of agendas rather than the result of any real research and thought. These mountains can be compared to gold that is sought after by prospectors. Most prospectors know that when they find a nugget that is a long way from its origin it will be smooth. The closer the gold nuggets are found to their origin the rougher and more jagged the nugget. The same is true of mountains the rougher and more jagged the mountain the newer it is. The roughest and most jagged mountains in North and South America are found in the western part of the continents. This would suggest that these would be the newest mountains not just in a geologic time but also in recorded time.

As I stood on the edge of Bryce Canyon on that rainy day observing the water quickly washing the soil from the cliffs and Hoodoos, I pondered these things. As I pondered, I compared what I was witnessing with the teaching from my textbooks and the things that so many of the people of the world take for granted as fact.

As those clouds lifted before me at Bryce Canyon I saw the vista open before me that exposes the theories of the media as incorrect. It became clear to me that the assumptions brought forward by television, magazines, movies and the news relating to the age the earth is purposely in error. Perhaps the work of aspiring men attempting to lead the people back to the days of the dark ages and away from belief in the accuracy of the Bible.

I am aware that it is hard to argue with the academic credentials of the people that originally put forth the erroneous theories about the age and creation of the earth. In spite of the PhD's and other impressive initials that are posted by their names they have made serious errors when it comes to the calculation of the age of the earth. These errors have consequences that go far beyond the classroom. They can affect the lives of the people living today in the same manner that the false beliefs that were prevalent in the dark ages affected the way of life of the people of that era.

Unsubstantiated claims in our textbooks, schools and conventional wisdom have the consequence of inculcating fear and indecision in the people that live today just as false information made men afraid to venture into the unknown or work to improve their lives in the dark ages. In effect these falsehoods create an anti-culture or alternative universe where reality is hidden and the populace accepts the lie. When the majority of people accept falsehood as fact the direction of the whole society is altered. Misinformation inculcates subtle fears that can stop the progress of an entire culture because people's efforts are misdirected and they become discouraged. One of the outcomes of this anti-culture is the rise of environmentalism that tries to convince men that if we use something from nature it can never be replaced. I will talk more about this false religion later.
A good example of how false information would affect a ship captain's decisions. Suppose the captain has information that he is within a degree or two of the artic circle when in truth the ship is in the South Pacific and he makes decisions based on his information. Perhaps the captain will waste his energy in erroneously searching for non-existence islands and peninsulas and checking the sonar for icebergs. When in reality the ship is near the equator and many miles from the nearest land. While the captain is spending his energy looking for things that aren't there he could have been charting his course to the nearest port and conserving fuel. These serious errors will cause disaster for the ship if not corrected.

The inculcation of incorrect information into the brains of our children can cause them to make poor decisions basted on the bad information. Often they make decisions out of fear rather than knowledge like many of the people in Columbus' time were afraid to venture out into the sea, for fear they may fall off the edge of the earth or be eaten by sea monsters.
The teaching that the earth changes slowly, and it took billions of years to evolve into a life-supporting planet, establishes a basis for the idea that if we damage the earth the recovery time could be infinite. We are bombarded with the idea that if we continue to populate, graze, log, mine and cultivate this fragile planet we could trigger a famine that could last for decades. This false premise supports the rise of such unhealthy concepts such as global warming. This global warming becomes the justification for many quasi-government activities and regulations including
1.Selling carbon credits to offset carbon footprints
2.International conventions requiring some countries to reduce certain emissions but not others.
3.Regulations on factories
4.Restrictions on mining, drilling and oil refining
5.Restrictions on new technology that ironically would solve the very problems that the regulations are meant to resolve.
The truth is that this planet that we enjoy each day took a very short time to come into being. The earth is a wonderful creation that will recover from the greatest catastrophes in a much shorter time than we are led to believe. This doesn't mean that we can waste our resources instead we need to husband the resources and manage them for their best use.
Scientists and scholars have been telling us for years that Bryce Canyon and other such features came about in some obscure manner millions of years ago.

Is this just an honest mistake
Can't these scientists also use the rate of erosion to figure the maximum age of the earth's features

Understanding that the methods used to calculate the age of rocks, mountains and other features, should open our minds to the possibility of another timeline for the creation of the earth and the prominent features that make it up.

The revelation that Bryce Canyon came about only two thousand years ago rather than millions of years ago opened my understanding that other mountains and features of the west could have come occurred around the same time.
I find it hard to accept that several generations of Americans, the most enlightened and innovative people on earth have accepted unsubstantiated myths about the earth. We live in a great age of enlightenment with massive quantities of knowledge available through computers and the Internet. It is hard to believe that our schools and universities are still teaching theories kin to the tales and myths that were taught in the dark ages. In the dark ages the masses were taught that the world is flat or the sun revolves around the earth.

Similarly we are taught today that in just a few decades we can change the climate of the earth in such a way that it will take thousands of years for the earth to repair the damage. I write this work with the desire to instill a desire in my readers to discover for themselves the truth about theories that are taught by science and conventional wisdom and the effects that false information has on our lives. I have the hope that my readers will catch the vision that the earth is a marvelous tool that God has given us to provide for our needs and share with others. With care, stewardship and hard work this marvelous planet can provide for all mankind.
Copyright 2004
By Crowther Publishing

Marvin Crowther The author can be contacted by email at listings@mccrowtherassoc.com The author earned his bachelors degree in Business Management at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah His study of geology is a self study course that he started in 1966 under the tutorship of his grandfather Nathan Bullock. this study continues today.

The Invisible Women of the Great Depression

During the Great Depression, women made up 25% of the work force, but their jobs were more unstable, temporary or seasonal then men, and the unemployment rate was much greater. There was also a decided bias and cultural view that women didn't work and in fact many who were employed full time often called themselves homemakers. Neither men in the workforce, the unions, nor any branch of government were ready to accept the reality of working women, and this bias caused females intense hardship during the Great Depression.

The 1930's was particularly hard on single, divorced or widowed women, but it was harder still on women who weren't White. Women of color had to overcome both sexual and racial stereotyping. Black women in the North suffered an astounding 42.9% unemployment, while 23.2%. of White women were without work according to the 1937 census. In the South, both Black and White women were equally unemployed at 26%. In contrast, the unemployment rate for Black and White men in the North (38.9%18.1%) and South (18%16% respectively) were also lower than female counterparts.

The financial situation in Harlem was bleak even before the Great Depression. But afterward, the emerging Black working class in the North was decimated by wholesale layoffs of Black industrial workers. To be Black and a woman alone, made keeping a job or finding another one nearly impossible. The racial work hierarchy replaced Black women in waitressing or domestic work, with White women, now desperate for work, and willing to take steep wage cuts.

Survival Entrepreneurs
At the start of the Depression, while one study found that homeless women were most likely factory and service workers, domestics, garment workers, waitresses and beauticians; another suggested that the beauty industry was a major source of income for Black women. These women, later known as survivalist entrepreneurs, became self-employed in response to a desperate need to find an independent means of livelihood.

Replaced by White women in more traditional domestic work as cooks, maids, nurses, and laundresses, even skilled and educated Black women were so hopeless, ''that they actually offered their services at the so-called 'slave markets'-street corners where Negro women congregated to await White housewives who came daily to take their pick and bid wages down'' (Boyd, 2000 citing Drake and Cayton, 19451962246). Moreover, the home domestic service was very difficult, if not impossible, to coordinate with family responsibilities, as the domestic servant was usually on call ''around the clock'' and was subject to the ''arbitrary power of individual employers.''

Inn Keepers and Hairdressers
Two occupations were sought out by Black women, in order to address both the need for income (or barter items) and their domestic responsibilities in northern cities during the Great Depression (1) boarding house and lodging house keeping; and (2) hairdressing and beauty culture.

During the Great Migration of 1915-1930, thousands of Blacks from the South, mostly young, single men, streamed into Northern cities, looking for places to stay temporarily while they searched for housing and jobs. Housing these migrants created opportunities for Black working-class women,-now unemployed-to pay their rent.

According to one estimate, ''at least one-third'' of Black families in the urban North had lodgers or boarders during the Great Migration (Thomas, 199293, citing Henri, 1976). The need was so great, multiple boarders were housed, leading one survey of northern Black families to report that ''seventy-five percent of the Negro homes have so many lodgers that they are really hotels.''

Women were usually at the center of these webs of family and community networks within the Black community

They ''undertook the greatest part of the burden'' of helping the newcomers find interim housing. Women played ''connective and leadership roles'' in northern Black communities, not only because it was considered traditional woman's work, but also because taking in boarders and lodgers helped Black women combine housework with an informal, income-producing activity (Grossman, 1989133). In addition, boarding and lodging house keeping was often combined with other types of self-employment. Some of the Black women who kept boarders and lodgers also earned money by making artificial flowers and lamp shades at home. (Boyd, 2000)

In addition from 1890 to 1940, ''barbers and hairdressers'' were the largest segments of the Black business population, together comprising about one third of this population in 1940 (Boyd, 2000 citing Oak, 194948).

Blacks tended to gravitate into these occupations because White barbers, hairdressers, and beauticians were unwilling or unable to style the hair of Blacks or to provide the hair preparations and cosmetics used by them. Thus, Black barbers, hairdressers, and beauticians had a ''protected consumer market'' based on Whites' desires for social distance from Blacks and on the special demands of Black consumers. Accordingly, these Black entrepreneurs were sheltered from outside competitors and could monopolize the trades of beauty culture and hairdressing within their own communities.

Black women who were seeking jobs believed that one's appearance was a crucial factor in finding employment. Black self-help organizations in northern cities, such as the Urban League and the National Council of Negro Women, stressed the importance of good grooming to the newly arrived Black women from the South, advising them to have neat hair and clean nails when searching for work. Above all, the women were told avoid wearing ''head rags'' and ''dust caps'' in public (Boyd, 2000 citing Drake and Cayton, 19451962247, 301; Grossman, 1989150-151).

These warnings were particularly relevant to those who were looking for secretarial or white-collar jobs, for Black women needed straight hair and light skin to have any chance of obtaining such positions. Despite the hard times, beauty parlors and barber shops were the most numerous and viable Black-owned enterprises in Black communities (e.g., Boyd, 2000 citing Drake and Cayton, 19451962450-451).

Black women entrepreneurs in the urban North also opened stores and restaurants, with modest savings ''as a means of securing a living'' (Boyd, 2000 citing Frazier, 1949405). Called ''depression businesses,'' these marginal enterprises were often classified as proprietorships, even though they tended to operate out of ''houses, basements, and old buildings'' (Boyd, 2000 citing Drake and Cayton, 19451962454).

Food stores and eating and drinking places were the most common of these businesses, because, if they failed, their owners could still live off their stocks.

Protestant Whites Only
These businesses were a necessity for Black women, as the preference for hiring Whites climbed steeply during the Depression. In the Philadelphia Public Employment Office in 1932 & 1933, 68% of job orders for women specified Whites Only. In New York City, Black women were forced to go to separate unemployment offices in Harlem to seek work. Black churches and church-related institutions, a traditional source of help to the Black community, were overwhelmed by the demand, during the 1930's. Municipal shelters, required to accept everyone, still reported that Catholics and African American women were particularly hard to place.

No one knows the numbers of Black women left homeless in the early thirty's, but it was no doubt substantial, and invisible to the mostly white investigators. Instead, the media chose to focus on, and publicize the plight of White, homeless, middle-class white collar workers, as, by 1931 and 1932, unemployment spread to this middle-class. White-collar and college-educated women, usually accustomed to regular employment and stable domicile, became the New Poor. We don't know the homeless rates for these women, beyond an educated guess, but of all the homeless in urban centers, 10% were suggested to be women. We do know, however, that the demand for female beds in shelters climbed from a bit over 3,000 in 1920 to 56,808 by 1932 in one city and in another, from 1929 -1930, demand rose 270%.

Having an Address is a Luxury Now...
Even these beds, however, were the last stop on the path towards homelessness and were designed for habitually destitute women, and avoided at all cost by those who were homeless for the first time. Some number ended up in shelters, but even more were not registered with any agency. Resources were few. Emergency home relief was restricted to families with dependent children until 1934. Having an address is a luxury just now an unemployed college woman told a social worker in 1932.

These newly destitute urban women were the shocked and dazed who drifted from one unemployment office to the next, resting in Grand Central or Pennsylvania station, and who rode the subway all night (the five cent room), or slept in the park, and who ate in penny kitchens. Slow to seek assistance, and fearful and ashamed to ask for charity, these women were often on the verge of starvation before they sought help. They were, according to one report, often the saddest and most difficult to help. These women starved slowly in furnished rooms. They sold their furniture, their clothes, and then their bodies.

The Emancipated Woman and Gender Myths
If cultural myths were that women didn't work, then those that did were invisible. Their political voice was mute. Gender role demanded that women remain someone's poor relation, who returned back to the rural homestead during times of trouble, to help out around the home, and were given shelter. These idyllic nurturing, pre-industrial mythical family homes were large enough to accommodate everyone. The new reality was much bleaker. Urban apartments, no bigger than two or three rooms, required maiden aunts or single cousins to shift for themselves. What remained of the family was often a strained, overburdened, over-crowded household that often contained severe domestic troubles of its own.

In addition, few, other than African Americans, were with the rural roots to return to. And this assumed that a woman once emancipated and tasting past success would remain malleable. The female role was an out-of-date myth, but was nonetheless a potent one. The new woman of the roaring twenties was now left without a social face during the Great Depression. Without a home--the quintessential element of womanhood--she was, paradoxically, ignored and invisible.

...Neighborliness has been Stretched Beyond Human Endurance.
In reality, more than half of these employed women had never married, while others were divorced, deserted, separated or claimed to be widowed. We don't know how many were lesbian women. Some had dependent parents and siblings who relied on them for support. Fewer had children who were living with extended family. Women's wages were historically low for most female professions, and allowed little capacity for substantial emergency savings, but most of these women were financially independent. In Milwaukee, for example, 60% of those seeking help had been self-supporting in 1929. In New York, this figure was 85%. Their available work was often the most volatile and at risk. Some had been unemployed for months, while others for a year or more. With savings and insurance gone, they had tapped out their informal social networks. One social worker, in late 1931, testified to a Senate committee that neighborliness has been stretched not only beyond its capacity but beyond human endurance.

Older women were often discriminated against because of their age, and their long history of living outside of traditional family systems. When work was available, it often specified, as did one job in Philadelphia, a demand for white stenographers and clerks, under (age) 25.

The Invisible Woman
The Great Depression's effect on women, then, as it is now, was invisible to the eye. The tangible evidence of breadlines, Hoovervilles, and men selling apples on street corners, did not contain images of urban women. Unemployment, hunger and homelessness was considered a man's problem and the distress and despair was measured in that way. In photographic images, and news reports, destitute urban women were overlooked or not apparent. It was considered unseemly to be a homeless woman, and they were often hidden from public view, ushered in through back door entrances, and fed in private.

Partly, the problem lay in expectations. While homelessness in men had swelled periodically during periods of economic crisis, since the depression of the 1890's onward, large numbers of homeless women on their own were a new phenomenon. Public officials were unprepared Without children, they were, early on, excluded from emergency shelters. One building with a capacity of 155 beds and six cribs, lodged over 56,000 beds during the third year of the depression. Still, these figures do not take account the number of women turned away, because they weren't White or Protestant.

As the Great Depression wore on, wanting only a way to make money, these women were excluded from New Deal work programs set up to help the unemployed. Men were seen as breadwinners, holding greater claim to economic resources. While outreach and charitable agencies finally did emerge, they were often inadequate to meet the demand.

Whereas black women had particular hard times participating in the mainstream economy during the Great Depression, they did have some opportunity to find alternative employment within their own communities, because of unique migration patterns that had occurred during that period. White women, in contrast, had a keyhole opportunity, if they were young and of considerable skills, although their skin color alone offered them greater access to whatever traditional employment was still available.

The rejection of traditional female roles, and the desire for emancipation, however, put these women at profound risk once the economy collapsed. In any case, single women, with both black and white skin, fared worse and were invisible sufferers.

As we enter the Second Great Depression, who will be the new invisible homeless and will women, as a group, fare better this time


Abelson, E. (2003, Spring2003). Women Who Have No Men to Work for Them Gender and Homelessness in the Great Depression, 1930-1934. Feminist Studies, 29(1), 104. Retrieved January 2, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.

Boyd, R. (2000, December). Race, Labor Market Disadvantage, and Survivalist Entrepreneurship Black Women in the Urban North During the Great Depression. Sociological Forum, 15(4), 647-670. Retrieved January 2, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.

Kathy McMahon, Psy.D. collects stories from people all over the world, who are worried, anxious and depressed about Peak Oil, climate change, and the economic hard times ahead. She's been offering feedback to her readers at no charge, for more than two years at httpwww.peakoilblues.com You can read stories of people who are in the process of making critical life change and transformation. Dr. McMahon welcomes stories and letters about coping with the world's current economy, energy, and environmental situation. Appropriate topics include stress management (fear, anxiety, worry, depression or insomnia,) how to simplify your life to live a frugal and debt free existence, personal finance, money management, bankruptcy and couples conflicts about contrasting values, goals and future visions.

Dr. McMahon is a clinical psychologist, a sex therapist, a specialist in marriage and family therapy, an academician, a writer and a chicken farmer. She's owned (and put to bed) a family-owned business that served home builders, generating over 1 million dollars in annual sale and advocates working from home. You can reach her at PeakShrink AT PeakOilBlues DOT com.

Why You Should Focus Your Career on the Eight Fundamental Markets

The cult of innovation returns to haunt us every decade. In the stock market, such occurrences lead to disproportionately high valuations of technology companies. In colleges and universities, the demand for biotechnology and computer-science courses grows. In the job market, companies hire less accountants and more engineers.

At those times, newspapers report the creation of novel businesses and professions. Radio talk shows announce that the world has changed and that nothing will remain the same. Television commentators ask viewers to forget traditional ideas about the economy and invest their savings on technology.

Periods of foolish exaggeration end badly without exception. Shares experience a momentous rise before a collapse in their price. Companies cut down on research and salaries for scientists return to reasonable levels. Biotechnology graduates cannot find jobs in high-technology companies and opt for less glamorous positions in the food industry.

The misconception behind those fads is that technology can multiply essential human needs. That idea is false. Every time that investors have fuelled immoderate expenditures on technology, it has proved a disaster. Every time that journalists have predicted an era of unlimited growth, it has led to economic catastrophe.

Technology developments that are unconnected to fundamental human necessities require a long-term view that few companies can afford. Original research is a narrow path fraught with difficulties. Ground-breaking innovation demands extraordinary knowledge and dedication.

For these reasons, before you begin to walk such narrow paths, you should ask where they are going to lead you. Will your efforts take you to a crowded or lonely place Is there a market on the other side of the desert that will reward you in case of success In any case, you want to avoid working for years on a dead-end project.

Do not be afraid of selecting a demanding career path as long as it leads you to a crowded market. Before embarking on any long-term venture, make a pause and assess how that project relates to the eight fundamental human needs. Here is a check list that you can use.

1) Food the objectives of food technology are to increase productivity, quantity, and quality. Population growth, in particular in developing countries, requires higher agricultural output at lower cost. On the other hand, consumers in industrialized countries are demanding better quality.

Research and development efforts in the food industry are not focused only on production but also on distribution. Improved packaging and logistics are as important as better agricultural techniques. Still today, large amounts of food are ruined during transportation and storage.

2) Health services in addition to the development of new patentable drugs, efforts are being devoted to improving hospital management. Pilot projects carried out in the last decade have shown that a better organization of resources can slash patients waiting time at the same time that overall costs are reduced.

3) Housing the last decade has led to overbuilding in some areas and new construction activity should concentrate on the most profitable segments of the market. Pre-manufactured housing is still underdeveloped in many countries and can be expected to grow in the 21st century.

4) Clothing the internet has changed how the fashion industry operates. The separation of design and production is bound to continue during the next decades with an emphasis on increased speed. It is conceivable that, in the 21st century, the time that elapses from design to consumer purchase is reduced to a few days.

5) Communication and transportation ubiquitous internet access will continue to affect how we work, drive, and communicate. In the next years, the capabilities of mobile phones should equal those of laptop computers, improving our overall productivity and quality of life.

6) Culture and entertainment better digital audio and video technology will continue to increase the world's cultural output. The 21st century will multiply our choice of films, songs, books, and podcasts. What we have seen during the last decade is just the beginning.

7) Financial services the gap between professional and personal money management will continue to close. The quality and speed of financial information should increase further in the next decades. Improved trading platforms on the internet will open additional markets to private investors, leading to more transparency and reduced risk.

8) Legal services pre-paid legal plans, which have become successful in some countries, will continue to expand in the next decades. Conflict-resolution services should also experience growth in the 21st century as more companies discover the effectiveness of arbitration in settling commercial disputes.

Irrespective of your business or profession, those markets will determine your future. Human needs revolve around those eight domains, which can be improved and enhanced, but not ignored. If you choose the narrow path of a difficult profession or career, make sure that it leads to one of those eight crowded places.

JOHN VESPASIAN writes about rational living and is the author of the books When everything fails, try this and Rationality is the way to happiness. He has resided in New York, Madrid, Paris and Munich. His stories reflect the values of entrepreneurship, tolerance and self-reliance. See httpjohnvespasian.blogspot.com a blog about rational living.

The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Who is Mma Precious Ramotswe

Precious Ramotswe is owner and sole agent of the The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Gaborone. At the edge of the Kalahari Desert Mma Ramotswe lives in her home on Zebra Drive, cares for her garden intermittently, parks her tiny white van under the shady canopy of the Acacia Tree, and waters her wilting garden when time allows. Mma Ramotswe is a true woman of Botswana of the traditional kind, with the traditional build. Her life has seen much love and much suffering. Her wisdom, happy nature, and appreciation of all life makes her so perfectly suited to this venture into detection.

Precious Ramotswe starts her business with her inheritance from Obed Ramotswe, her beloved late father. Her plunge into detection is supported by the practical and philosophical advice of Clovis Andersen, author of The Principles of Private Detection. For her clients she is the safe, objective listener. And yes, with respect and high integrity she proposes solutions to very troubling situations.

Mma Ramotswe travels to her office in her tiny white van every morning after the necessary cup of red bush tea. She furnished this little office with a filing cabinet with an ill fitting drawer, three chairs -- one for herself, one for her prospective clients, and one for Mma Grace Makutsi her top of the class secretary graduating with a 97 percent final mark from the Botswana Secretarial College.

Bush tea taken at regular intervals with discussions on the problems that clients bring and the unorthodox but beautifully satisfactory resolutions which are achieved form the core of this charming, thought provoking first novel.

Botswana history, culture, people, climate, and the peaceful transition from colonial to self-government are the historically accurate background running through and with the life, people and events so delightfully, told by Alexander McCall Smith.

A pleasure to read, a pleasure to hear in the unabridged audio version from Recorded Books.

Visit the Precious Ramotswe Blog to find the first book of the series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, in text AND audio versions.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency movie is now available on DVD. It was released in 2008 and received very good reviews, even from fans delighted with the books. This is a REAL testimony!

The Meaning of Auburn Tigers Football

Expert Author Freddie Brister

You just have to know Auburn - the Town, the University, and the Tradition - to truly understand Auburn Football and what it really means. Let me try to explain...

My earliest memories of Auburn are from about 1955. I remember walking down College Street from my aunt's house, having a lemonade and grilled-cheese sandwich at Toomer's Drug Store lunch counter, and then going to the Tiger Theatre (across the street) and seeing Gone With The Wind. I have very fond memories of summers in Auburn. This is why I understand what it means to be not only a fan of Auburn, Alabama, but of the Auburn Tigers!

Auburn Football has one of the most storied histories in not only the Deep South but in all of college football. We will start with the oldest rivalry in Deep South Football and in college athletics. Auburn and Georgia first played on February 20, 1892, in Piedmont Park in Atlanta! Since 1898, the Auburn Tigers have played the Georgia Bulldogs every year! That is 111 contests total (Auburn did not field a football team in the war year of 1943), with Auburn leading the series 53-50-8. Another first for Auburn football was the Tigers' first bowl trip. The Bacardi Bowl is the only bowl game ever played outside of the United States. On New Years Day in 1937, Auburn and Villanova fought to a 7-7 tie in Havana, Cuba!

Another unique element of Auburn Football for many years has been where the games were played. Auburn's chief rivals, Georgia, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, and Alabama would not come and play in The Loveliest Village on the Plains. Auburn's home games with those schools were played in Atlanta, Montgomery, Mobile, Columbus, Macon, Savannah, or Birmingham! Finally in 1960 things began to change. In 1960, Georgia came to Auburn and lost 9-6. In 1970, Georgia Tech came South to Auburn and lost 31-7. In 1974, Tennessee came to Auburn and lost 21-0. And the Alabama Crimson Tide came to Auburn for the first time in 1974, losing 30-20. These victories proved that Auburn could finally enjoy a Home game!

Is doesn't matter if you call them the Tigers, The Plainsmen, or the War Eagles, they all mean the same... Auburn! The Tiger is both the nickname and the mascot! Plainsmen refers to the city of Auburn, the Loveliest Village on the Plain; both references come from the poem by Oliver Goldsmith (the Deserted Village, published in 1770) War Eagle is both the Battle Cry and the greeting.

War Eagle, of course, is based on a legend that ties a wounded eagle to a wounded confederate solider. The bird is rescued by the solider. He raises the eagle while he is a student at Auburn and ultimately becomes a faculty member. The two were there that day that Auburn and Georgia played in Piedmont Park. When Auburn scored the first touchdown the old eagle broke free and soared above the field! Auburn people looked up at the familiar figure and cried War Eagle. At the end of the game the old eagle collapsed and died, he had given his all for Auburn victory. The eagle may have died, but his spirit lives on in the hearts of Auburn fans everywhere.

Tradition and pride continue to fuel Auburn football. John Heisman, the legendary coach for which college football's top honor is named, was Auburn's coach from 1895-1899 and posted a 12-4-2 record. Auburn is the only school where Heisman coached to have a Heisman Trophy winner. Auburn has two quarterback Pat Sullivan won the award in 1971 and tailback Bo Jackson won the honor in 1985.

The very long tradition of Auburn Football includes national championships, undefeated seasons, and many, many household names in college football to be remembered, but this is only the beginning! Whether we win or lose, Auburn tradition and pride will always be felt at AUBURN and in the famous cry Waaarrrrr Eagles!

Freddie Brister is a huge fan of the SEC and the Auburn Tigers football team. After 25 years of coaching high school football, he now writes often about his favorite past time, college football. You can check out his Auburn Tigers merchandise at Auburn Tiger Khaki Pants or his BYU Watch

So, You Want to Know About the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War is a complex subject, and a college student could spend a whole semester on the simple basics. I tried several methods of relaying the information I learned in my class on the Vietnam War, and finally settled on a mish mash of terms in a loose chronological order.

Indochina- Collective name for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand; the group of countries located between the superpowers of China, the most populated country, and India, the second most populous.

Brief history to get you acquainted

Trieu Da- An ancient Southern Chinese warlord, often likened to King Arthur, who gave the name of Nam Viet, or southern waters, to the land, thereby beginning the official Vietnam history.

Han Dynasty-Annexed Vietnam as a province of China and enslaved her people in order to produce rice.

Trung sisters-Both were widowed when a Chinese official had their husbands executed. They rallied the aristocrats, who in turn rallied the peasants to fight for freedom in 40 AD. Though they were successful, the Trung sisters committed suicide in a river when the Chinese came back 20 years later. Unlike most countries, Vietnam has not underestimated its women, and credit them with daring and cleverness, a fact which the US did not account for.

Kublai Khan- A fearsome Mongol warlord who attempted a 13th century invasion. The Vietnamese used the mountains along with guerilla-style warfare as a defense. The Khan, who was able to conquer most of the world, couldn't handle Vietnam. He tried to invade 3 times, and was unsuccessful in each. This is where the Vietnamese tested their medal and learned how to defend themselves.

Ming Dynasty-Invaded again, this time for rice, tusks, gems, and other ores. The Chinese tried to impose their culture by making the children attend Chinese schools, as well as forcing all of the people to wear Chinese clothing.

Ly Thuong-Wrote the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence

Le Loi- Much beloved hero of the Vietnamese people, he was often portrayed as a fisherman who caught a magical sword in his net. He was really a frustrated Vietnamese aristocrat, who went to the mountains in 1418 and proclaimed himself the, prince of pacification, and rallied his fellow countrymen for the ousting of the Chinese.

Battle of Tot Dong- Successful battle in 1426. Le Loi was so anxious to get rid of the Chinese, he provided them with junks and horses to make their way home.

Golden Age-The time that follows Le Loi's successful uprising. He built his capital near Hanoi, and rewarded loyals with land and public works. The Le Thanh Tong Dynasty ruled quite peacefully for the next 400 years, encouraging education and structuring Vietnam with an efficient government.

Northsouth split- Upon the death of the last leader from the Le Thanh Tong Dynasty, Vietnam was split between the in-laws, with the Trinh ruling the north and the Nguyen ruling the south. The Nguyen turned to France for protection.

Part Two French Involvement

Age of Discovery- Exploring was big business in the 16th century. Magellan's voyage cost a huge amount of money, but the spices brought back on just one ship were enough to finance the whole venture. There was a lot of money to be made by tapping into the treasures of the undiscovered world. A nation would claim foreign lands to give its ships a safe harbor, tactical advantage, bragging rights, or just to make sure no one else got there first. France settled in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos; only Thailand was able to retain independence. France wasn't really happy with what Vietnam had to offer, but they were interested in a trade route to China.

Merchants- Although they tried, French merchants were not very successful in selling their products to the Vietnamese people.

Missionaries- Christian missionaries found more success, and thousands of Vietnamese were converted from the traditional Confucius religion. France was able to use the missionaries as an excuse to control Vietnam, maintaining that the missionaries were being mistreated and needed protection.

Francis Garnier- (1873) Explored the Red River deep into China, and proclaimed it open to all countries for trade.

White Man's Burden- The idea that the more civilized nations were morally responsible to bring third world countries up to par. This attitude allowed the French to do the Vietnamese the favor of building amenities like bridges, dams, harbors, roads, and other public works. Of course, all labor was provided by the Vietnamese, who were paid lightly and taxed heavily for the privilege of having a road they didn't need.

Mandate of Heaven- The belief that a leader is predestined because of divine right.

Ho Chi Minh- He lived away from Vietnam for many years, but returned home in the early 1940's when Japan had taken over during WWII. Known affectionately as Uncle Ho, by most of his people, he was considered to have the Mandate of Heaven. Although he is one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, he was underestimated by the US, who considered the Vietnamese and other third world peoples as stupid and uncivilized. Ho Chi Minh was a tireless fighter, and an expert at propaganda. He refused to accept anything less than complete withdrawal from any and all countries trying to assert themselves upon Vietnam. He wanted his people to have independence, and would accept nothing less.

WWII and the aftermath- Hitler conquered France in 1940, and Japan took the Vietnam, but used France as a puppet to control it. After the allies won WWII, the area was handed back to France, which became overburdened by the effort and cost of dealing with the situation, especially because those in the north were relentless in their pursuit of independence. France began to ask its allies for help. By 1954, when the U.S. became involved, any person in southern Vietnam with an official position spoke fluent French, as well as carried distinctively French mannerisms.

Part Three-US Involvement

American Sentiment- During and after WWII, Americans were deathly afraid of a nuclear attack. Schools routinely held nuclear drills, and children were taught to hide under their desks in the event of an attack. There are many reasons America became involved in Vietnam, but the most pressing were

Communism- Russia and China were huge superpowers, and other countries were beginning to join with them. At one point, Khrushchev, the leader of USSR, took off his shoe, slammed it against the podium, and screamed that he would crush his enemies.

Concentration camps- There was no information super highway, and the American people were not as dulled to images of atrocity as they are today. Americans were horrified to hear accounts of what happened in the concentration camps, and disturbed by grisly photographs of starving and naked victims. There was a great feeling of pride in being the country that liberated these helpless people, and American sentiment at the time was to help those less fortunate. The United States was the most powerful force in the world, and because of that, citizens felt responsible for helping those countries who were not so powerful from being overrun by communists.

Eisenhower- Eisenhower was content to give aide in the form of money and equipment to help France with its efforts, but the president was in no rush to send troops.

Kennedy-A young senator aspiring for presidency, Kennedy talked about the Vietnamese as, our offspring. It was Kennedy's position that without our help, the Vietnamese people would be taken over by communism against their will.

Monolithic threat- Russia and China were two hugely powerful communist countries. Though they never really got along, the US and allies worried that China and Russia would join forces and declare war against democracies.

Diem-Although Ho Chi Minh practically begged for the position, the US decided to appoint Diem president of Vietnam. He had a lot going for him as far as US leaders were concerned, being both Catholic and anti-communist. Diem was from a well to do family, and knew very little about the village lifestyle, and attempted to outlaw traditions that had stood for generations. For example, it was customary for Vietnamese men to take many wives, but when Diem came into power he declared this illegal. Diem never attempted to win his constituents support, complaining the villagers were stupid and barbaric.

Why Not Ho In his pursuit for independence, Ho Chi Minh looked to any country that could offer him help, including communist countries. The leaders of the US did not trust that Ho wasn't a communist. The US was looking to appoint a leader that would do as he was told, and Ho was far too stubborn.

US Strategy- For the end of the 50's and the beginning of the 60's, the US was content to send millions and millions of dollars in cash and equipment to Vietnam. The hope was that the Southern Vietnam Army (ARVN), with the proper training, would be able to successfully defend itself against the north. Advisors were sent to train the ARVN officers on military tactics, as well as how to use the equipment provided.

Cultural difference- Although they weren't usually outwardly mean, the US advisors saw the Vietnamese as crude, and even stupid. Most Southern Vietnamese people had never seen a television, and rarely left their small village. The American soldiers were not sensitive to the cultural and spiritual differences. For example, it was customary for many Vietnamese men to sleep with a piece of fabric across their stomach for spiritual purposes. American advisors would tease the ARVN officers about this habit, and the ARVN's request that this fabric be included in with the supplies was denied. These minor misunderstandings added up to cause a rift between the ARVN and those hoping to train them.

TaylorRostow report- Kennedy sent Maxwell Taylor and Walter Rostow to Vietnam to give him a report on progress. What came back was not promising. The ARVN had a defensive outlook, and no ambition for an offensive battle. The report suggested that the US would have to send over at least 8,000 more advisors. Kennedy was hesitant to send any more troops because once involved, he could see no end to the commitment. The first 8,000 would only lead to the necessity for more. Luckily, or not, depending on how you look at it, there was a huge flood in the Mekong delta, so the administration felt as if it could send the 8,000 advisors in the form of flood relief, and remove them without embarrassment if needed.

MAAG-A group of senior soldiers sent to deal with the problem.

1961-1962-US strategy continued to be the optimistic view that the ARVN could be trained to eventually handle things on their own. Although Kennedy did have to send in more advisors, up from 3,205 in 1961, to 9,000 in 1962, the US government tried its best to take the middle road and not to provoke any military action from Russia or China. ARVN morale was steadily sinking, leading to high desertion rates, and many villages were offering relief to the enemy. Diem was beginning to become a problem, too. He needed help from the US, but he was sensitive of looking like a puppet to US demands. He would make decisions without consulting the US, and America would return the favor. As a way to control Diem, the US notified him that it would send no further aid until Diem agreed to government reform and involving the United States in his decisions. Although both sides agreed to collusion, neither followed through, and they often worked against each other.

Diem, a Growing Problem- Diem came from a successful Catholic family, and had never rubbed shoulders with the average peasant villager that made up the majority of South Vietnam. He was more concerned with loyalty in his administration, and would appoint a person whose only qualification was that he were friend or family. This made for a government that was inept, inefficient, and corrupt. Diem's brother and his brother's wife were becoming the biggest problem of all. Neither had any regard for the common people of the country, and when the Buddhist monks began lighting themselves on fire in protest of the Catholic government, Diem's sister-in-law made heartless remarks about a barbeque.

Strategic Hamlet Program- Enemies from the north were frequently able to make themselves comfortable in the scattered villages of southern Vietnam. Although Diem and many higher officials wanted a democracy, most of the villagers couldn't have cared either way, and in fact, many would have preferred Ho Chi Minh. The solution to this problem was to evacuate all of the villages and move the people to one of 23 areas, optimistically called hamlets. The plan had worked well for Britain in a similar situation, and seemed like the perfect solution. Not only would the hamlets prevent infiltration by the enemy, but the US hoped it would encourage self-rule through village elections, and self-sufficiency through schools and medical units. The US leaders figured all of the villagers would love the modern amenities, and living in such close proximity would unite the formerly separate clans, who would band together into one large unit.

Why it didn't work- Southern Vietnamese life centered around the village, and they weren't as happy to let their lifestyle go as everyone had hoped. The Xa, or village was not only their home, but also the burial ground of their ancestors. According to Vietnamese culture, it was one's duty to look after the graves of his or her ancestors, and many snuck out of the hamlets to do so. Plus, the majority of people on Diem's administration were on the take, generating bogus reports, which the U.S. relied upon. Those who weren't corrupt were inept and inefficient, viewing the U.S. as a never-ending supply of funds. Many of the peasant villagers lost their land, and were given nothing but a laminated ID card in exchange. To make matters worse, the villagers were inexperienced in warfare, and were expected to defend the hamlets, themselves. The NLF took advantage of this by infiltrating or attacking the hamlets.

NLF National Liberation Front- Also known as the Viet Cong. Headquarters were in the north, but they looked no different than all of the other Vietnamese, and were able to infiltrate at almost every level. Their mission was complete independence, and they would settle for no less.

First US Fighting- The US sent out 300 military aircraft, and the advisors, to fly them. American pilots would drop ARVN soldiers into battle zones, as well as train them for combat missions. The Kennedy administration didn't want the American people to really know what was going on, insisting that troops were only advisors, even long after they were engaged in combat. American combat casualties were publicized as training accidents.

Hawks- American citizens for involvement in Vietnam.

Doves- American citizens against involvement in Vietnam

Agent Orange- One of the most pressing problems for helicopter pilots was the thick canopy of trees, which prevented flyers from being able to see what was on the ground; friend, or foe. The solution was to use defoliants, which are chemicals that strip the leaves. When the native Vietnamese looked at the barren wasteland that was once lush and green they reacted in much the same way that Americans would if a foreign power were to come and destroy millions of acres of national forest and wildlife. Ho Chi Minh, a master of bad press, was able to easily manipulate anger into outrage, and even those from the south began to agree.

Assassinations- Another one of NLFs successful tactics. Nobody was safe, from the highest official to the lowliest villager. Many times, the NLF would assassinate an official and have a double agent ready to take his place.

Part Four-Escalating US Involvement

US Soldiers- As time wore on, the US began to send more and more advisors to help move things along. These soldiers had been trained in conventional warfare, and though they were told of guerilla-style, they had never really dealt with it in a real life situation.

Mistrust on Both Sides- The US and ARVN soldiers were technically on the same side, but didn't trust each other. The Americans soldiers had a get out of my way, mentality and tended to think the soldiers of the ARVN were dumb, slow, and corrupt; while the ARVN soldiers, who referred to the ugly Americans, viewed their counterparts as pushy know-it-alls, who assumed they were superior to everyone else.

Coup- The US concluded that its objectives could not be reached with Diem in power, and a coup was in the works. The US may not have planned and participated, but Kennedy knew about the takeover beforehand, though he was visibly shaken when he learned that Diem and his brother were assassinated. The coup was a success, but it left Vietnam without a strong government or real leader. The US wondered if it had traded one problem for another.

Kennedy Assassination- Johnson vowed to pick up where Kennedy had left off. Had Kennedy lived, he would have been able to pull out of Vietnam, but after his death, Americans wanted to see all of his objectives honored.

1964 Election- Johnson, the incumbent democrat, had served under Kennedy as vice president and taken over as president upon his death. Goldwater, the opposing republican, was viewed as staunch and conservative. Johnson's campaign portrayed Goldwater as careless, and warned American voters against allowing him to get his finger near the nuclear bomb.

The Great Society- Though Johnson vowed to continue on where Kennedy left off, his real baby was The Great Society Program. The thought behind the program was that America, being the most powerful country in the world, shouldn't have social issues. It included programs like Head Start, Medicare, HUD, and endowments to arts and humanities. Johnson wanted to promote ideas like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and set up product safety commissions to regulate things like flame retardant pajamas, etc. Part of the reason Johnson had to back the Vietnam War was because he had to keep those who were for the war happy in order to get their approval on his ideas.

Going on in 1964- By this time, America had committed 24,000 advisors to train the ARVN and stop incursions from the NLF. The NLF was stepping up the fighting, hoping to convince the US to withdraw.

Tonkin Gulf-There were wishy-washy reports that US ships were attacked by the NLF, though later reports have since claimed the situation didn't happen as originally reported. Either way, at the time congress was so angry that another country would have the nerve to attack the United States they gave Johnson the green light (the vote was 418 to 0) for offensive action. Public opinion suddenly changed as well, from a previous 42% in favor of Vietnam to 72%. Johnson was hugely popular, and basically was given carte blanche to do as he saw fit.

Flaming Dart- Initiated as a means of revenge. Each and every NLF attack would be met with destructive bombings. The hope was that once the NLF got a picture of the United States fire power they would be more than willing to come to the bargaining table.

Rolling Thunder-48 hours later, the US decided to take the approach of continuous bombing with gradual escalation for many reasons; scaring the NLF into submission, sending a strong message to American allies, changing the domestic consensus of failure, give the ARVN a boost, and scaring any Southern Vietnamese who may have been undecided. Initial attacks brought slim results, but once committed, the US couldn't simply stop. At first, only less important targets were hit, in the hopes that more important targets could be used as a trump card once the NLF realized US power.

Ground Troops-An air campaign needs ground troops to protect the base, and numerous other endeavors. The Johnson administration was nervous about telling American people that lives had been lost on the ground, and hoped to keep the war in the air.

Protest-Americans began to realize that they had been duped. Up until then, the government had been doing everything it could to avoid admitting that US soldiers were participating in combat. The tide of opinion began to turn. Americans wanted to be a part of Vietnam, but the idea of loss of lives for the cause was unacceptable.

Selective Service-In 1966 the student deferment was revoked, meaning that a student couldn't get out of the draft just because of his student status. Students began to protest all over the country, burning draft cards and making a lot of noise. Though the majority of people were for involvement in Vietnam, those opposed were much louder and caused a bigger scene.

Communist Action- though the US was nervous of the so-called monolithic threat, in truth, Russia and China were in competition with each other, each one wanting to be the leader of the communist world. Both communist countries contributed to the NLF effort, but they took it no further.

NLF- The north was by no means ready to give in. US bombs struck down many of their roads and bridges, but the northern people were crafty. Often described as ant labor, women and children got involved in helping to repair the damage. Gravel would be kept by the roadside in order to repair them almost as soon as they were hit. Instead of using trucks that could be easily spotted by aircraft, the main means of transportation along the Ho Chi Minh Trail was the bicycle, which could carry around 500 pounds of supplies and equipment. The NLF soldiers were used to hard work and didn't need much in the way of supplies. If anything, the bombing gave the NLF soldiers a powerful rallying cry and made them even more determined and united than before.

ARVN- Meanwhile, the desertion rates in the ARVN training camps could be as high as 50%, and those that weren't deserting were abusing their positions by taxing and stealing from the villagers. Buddhists were getting more and more vocal, and many ARVN soldiers were sympathetic to them, going up against American soldiers.

American Soldiers- Disgusted by the ARVN defense of Buddhists and hugely resentful that fellow American soldiers were dying while the ARVN soldiers seemed indifferent. Also, it seemed that the Southern Vietnamese soldiers had the remarkable ability to avoid land mines, which made the American soldiers think they were in collusion with the enemy.

Difficulty with Rolling Thunder- From September to May the monsoon season brought almost constant rain, making any attempt at accurate bombing next to impossible. Estimates say that for every $1.00 in NLF damages, the US spent $9.60. Worst of all, captured US flyers gave NLF hostages. In 1966 alone, the NLF used unexploded US bombs to kill 1,000 US allies.

American Consensus- The doves were becoming so vocal that it seemed as if they may have encouraged the NLF to hold out for victory. Many Americans were more annoyed by the loud hippie anti-war culture, which in turn made them annoyed by the war. The majority of the country was for the war, but the doves were much louder.

South Vietnamese Government- The US took over after Diem, and did not feel the need to let the ever changing Vietnamese government know what it was doing. Because there was no stable government in place, the South Vietnamese people didn't have a sense of unity in their country.

US Tactics- The theory behind a war of attrition is that a better equipped, better prepared force will be able to wear down its opponent over time. The US wanted to project the image it could afford to wait it out if it had to, but really, patience and morale were wearing thin. There were always more NLF casualties, but they seemed to be able to replenish manpower effectively. In 1969 there were 542,000 US troops and 71,000 allied troops. US banked on the fact that the NLF couldn't touch its technology, though the American people were beginning to weary of war.

NLF Tactics- Guerilla-style hit and run while blending into the terrain. Miles and miles of tunnels and caves dug out from the mountains. NLF knew the more US casualties, the more the American public would object to the war.

Negotiation Attempts-between 1965 and 1967 there were more than 2,000 attempts at negotiation. Even the shape of the table was argued. The US wanted an independent southern Vietnam, but the NLF would settle for nothing but complete US withdrawal.

American Troop Sentiments- From the very beginning of Rolling Thunder, Johnson and his advisors wanted to micromanage the war, especially in the air. Johnson was heard to say that not even an outhouse would be bombed without his permission. The US pilots were frustrated because everything was predetermined in Washington by those who were sitting around a desk, not flying a plane. Troops on the ground did not feel the frustration as much. Soldiers had a vague idea about the protesting back home in America, but they had no idea of the extent. They were proud of themselves and thought they were doing the right thing, imagining they would return with a hero's welcome. Their objective was a democratic South Vietnam, and they felt as if they were winning the war. America won every battle of the Vietnam War, and many of the soldiers who served continue to feel frustration and bitterness at the way things turned out.

Westmoreland- General in Vietnam. He was frustrated, but generally left alone to control the ground, though he wasn't sent the numbers he wanted. Westmoreland was extremely frustrated, knowing he could win, but not being given the go ahead.

Mai Lai Massacre- On March 16, 1968, as many as 500 unarmed South Vietnamese citizens living in a hamlet, most of them women, children, and elderly, were brutally murdered by American soldiers. Some of the victims were sexually abused or mutilated. Though the justification was that the civilians were accused of harboring enemy soldiers, the incident is clearly and without question an atrocity. The American public was not properly informed about the massacre until the next year, when disgusted soldiers who had been present and tried to stop the carnage began to speak out about what they had witnessed. Naturally, the world was outraged when they realized what had transpired. In the end, only platoon leader William Calley was convicted of any crime regarding the incident. Unfortunately, all other American soldiers had to pay the price for the actions of a few, and many good men came home to cries of baby killer and other unfair accusations after faithfully serving their country.

America withdraws- Little by little, and then lot by lot, American soldiers were pulled out of Vietnam, and by 1973 America was officially done with the battle. At first, it seemed as if the north would soon impose a communist government on the south, but wouldn't you know it, the south was able to hold their own, and even caused the north to beat a retreat.

But... The north did not give up, and in 1975 they were able to overtake the south. In April, America began the emergency evacuation of all diplomats, personnel, and civilians. Many were heartbroken to leave the South Vietnamese people, who had fought so valiantly for democracy, behind and begging for help. By April 30, the end was eminent, and newspapers all over the world posted photographs of the last Americans atop the embassy roof, escaping by helicopter in the early morning hours. By 1130 A.M. the war was lost, as a tank came crashing through the gates of the Presidential Palace and raised the flag of the NLF.

After thought- It is unfair for armchair warriors to imagine what decisions they would have made had they been running the show. Hind sight is 2020, and I make no judgments on what should have been, or could have been. The only thing I know with any certainty is that the vast, vast majority of American soldiers who served in Vietnam deserve my gratitude and respect.

The Story of the Yellow River and Chinese Acupuncture

1. Acupuncture An extraordinary therapeutic method over two millennia old

Acupuncture treats diseases by the insertion of fine needles into the body. In July of 1971, Dr. Henry A. Kissinger made a secret trip to China to prepare for President Nixon's historical visit. Among his entourage was James Reston, a journalist from the New York Times. While in China, Reston suffered an attack of acute appendicitis and underwent an appendectomy at the Beijing Union Medical College, established by the Rockefeller Foundation of New York in 1916. During the second night after the operation, Reston started to experience considerable discomfort in his abdomen.

With his approval, an acupuncturist at the hospital inserted and manipulated three long thin needles, one into the outer part of his right elbow and one below each knee. There was noticeable relaxation of the abdominal pressure and distension within an hour, with no recurrence of the problem thereafter. James Reston included a detailed description of his experiences with acupuncture in his dispatches from Beijing. This was the first such report to reach the English-speaking citizens of the United States, at least the vast majority who had no daily contact with Asians.

By contrast, acupuncture has been known and practiced in China for over 2300 years. Qin Yueren, the earliest recorded Chinese practitioner, is considered to be the founder of acupuncture. A biography of Qin Yueren is included in the Records of the Grand Historian (Shi Ji), the masterwork of the eminent Chinese historian Sima Qian (135 -  BC). It is known that Qin Yueren lived around 407-310 BC, and was a contemporary of Hippocrates (c. 460-377 BC), the father of Western medicine.

Qin Yueren traveled widely throughout the feudal states that compromised China during his time, treating men and women, old and young alike. As a result, he was given the auspicious appellation Bian Que, which means Wayfaring Magpie - a bird that flies here and there dispensing good fortune. Several carved stones, unearthed from a tomb dating back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD), portray him with a human head and a bird's body.

On one occasion, while passing through the State of Guo (present-day Shan County in Henan Province), Bian Que learned that the Prince of Guo had died and his subjects were preparing to inter him. After careful examination, Bian Que believed that the prince had merely experienced a type of deep coma known as deathlike reversal. He successfully resuscitated the patient by needling an acupoint on the vertex of his head, and become known for bringing the dead back to life. This was the first recorded use of acupuncture in China.

Acupuncture is extraordinary. Needles have historically been among the most common tools of daily life, used for constructing garments all over the world. Just as needles are used to sew clothes, they are also utilized medically to suture incisions. While hollow syringes are used to inject fluids into the body or to draw them out, pricking the body with a solid acupuncture needle to treat illness seems quite incomprehensible. Most people prefer not to be punctured with needles, and associate needling with pain and injury. No wonder, to needle a person means to displease or to irritate in English. By trial and error, healers throughout the world have independently discovered similar treatments for pain and disease, including herbs, roots, wraps, rubs, blood-letting, massage, meditation, or surgery. But the invention of acupuncture is unique to China.

Why did the ancient Chinese begin to treat disease by puncturing the body with bare needles A generally accepted answer to this question is that acupuncture evolved as a natural outgrowth of daily life in the Neolithic Age (c. 8000-3500 BC), through a process of fortuitous accident and repeated empirical experience. According to this theory, people noticed cases in which physical problems were relieved following an unrelated injury. This led to the discovery of the principle that injury to a certain part of the body can alleviate or even cure a pre-existing disease or disorder in a different part of the body.

It is thought that with this discovery, Neolithic Chinese people eventually started to use stones, animal bones, or pieces of bamboo to deliberately induce injury to relieve physical problems. The traumatic nature of acupuncture, which seems quite crude by modern standards, as well as its long history in China, seem to lend credence to the theory of its prehistoric origins. However, if acupuncture did indeed arise from repeated empirical experience of accidental injury, it should have developed all over the world, rather than solely in China.

2. Meridians of the Body The rivers of the Earth in microcosm

According to traditional Chinese medicine, a network known as meridians is distributed throughout the human body, carrying Qi (vital energy) and blood to nourish the organs and tissues. Meridians of the human body are very similar to rivers of the earth in both structure and function. Rivers are the meridians of the Earth in macrocosm. They are the channels that contain the flow of water, the life force of our planet. On the microcosmic scale, the meridians of the human body are the channels that contain the flow of Qi and blood, the life force of living beings.

The ancient Chinese found that there are twelve Regular Meridians in the human body. The Neijing or Huangdi Nejing (the Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic of Medicine) (compiled between 104-32 BC) is the seminal work of traditional Chinese medicine and the earliest extant medical exposition of acupuncture. The chapter entitled Regular Watercourses (Jingshui) deals specifically with the correspondences between the twelve Regular Meridians and the twelve major rivers in China. The rivers mentioned are located in the basins of the Changjiang River and the Yellow River.

The techniques and terminology of flood control offer a vivid analogy of the therapeutic mechanisms of acupuncture. Blockages in these energy rivers act as dams, obstructing the flow of Qi and blood and causing it to back up in connecting channels. Needling the acupoints removes the obstructions, curing disease by reestablishing the regular flow of Qi and blood. In the same way, dredging a river by clearing away sediment prevents flooding by allowing the water to flow freely. Similar descriptions of flood control and acupuncture have been used since acupuncture first appeared as a comprehensive system of healing early in China's Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD). Such hydraulic terminology has been employed not simply for its evocative imagery. Rather, it indicates the understanding the Chinese ancestors have attained by this time of the correspondences between Nature and Human, river and meridian, flood and disease.

3. Dredging rather than Diking The unparalleled mastery of flood control attained by the Chinese ancestors

China is located on an immense and steep continental slope, unlike any other in the world. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, located in the western part of China, is the highest and geologically youngest plateau on Earth. It is known as the Roof of the World, with an average elevation of 4000-4500 meters. A Chinese saying states, The higher the mountain towers, the higher the water rises. The vast and cloud-kissed Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the largest and highest natural water tower on Earth, storing snow precipitated from water vapor emitted by the world's oceans and seas. As the compacted snow melts away under the sun, drop by drop, the liberated water flows naturally downward to the east and accumulates into tiny streams, which then converge into mighty torrents that empty back into the ocean.

China's two longest rivers, the Yangtze River and the Yellow River, originate in the heights of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. They have been essential to agricultural development and population growth throughout China's history. But due to the tremendous drop in altitude from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to sea level, water in these rivers flows extremely rapidly and may easily cause flooding. The Yellow River, the world's muddiest river, is especially infamous for its destructive floods.

The Yellow River's name refers to the vast quantities of yellow silt, or loess soil, it carries. Loess formations are extremely vulnerable to erosion by water. As the Yellow River winds through the Loess Plateau in northwestern China, the raging torrent picks up yellow silt in unusually large amounts and sweeps it downstream. As the river reaches flatter areas the current slows, depositing massive amounts of yellow silt and elevating the riverbed.

Attracted by the fertile lands of the Yellow River's middle and lower reaches, the prehistoric ancestors of the Chinese people settled down along its banks to create a culture based on planting, fishing and hunting. However, these trailblazers were soon threatened by the river's severe and protracted flooding. During the early stages, they may have resided on natural or artificial uplands or led nomadic lives to avoid flooding, while also imploring supernatural forces for help. But as their population increased, they had no other choice but to strive to harness the river's enormous power.

This defining aspect of Chinese culture is reflected in one of China's oldest and most popular legends, the story of how Great Yu controlled the flood. It is said that during the Wudi or Five Emperors Period (c. 2700 to 2000 BC), severe flooding spread over the country and brought great disaster to the people. Emperor Yao appointed his minister Gun to harness the river and control the waters. However, Gun's attempts to obstruct the flood by erecting dikes and dams failed. Gun's son Yu was appointed by the next emperor, Shun (c. 2100 BC), to continue his father's work. Drawing a lesson from his father's failure, Yu noticed and took advantage of the downward flowing nature of water. He dredged canals according to the physical features of the terrain, to lead the water finally to the sea. After thirteen years of hard work, the floods subsided.

It may be difficult to separate fact from legend in the case of Great Yu, but China's long history of flood control is indisputable. The most valuable principle the ancient Chinese learned from their work with flood control was that dredging or diverting water to flow naturally downward is superior to diking or other attempts to obstruct the water's passage.

The Dujiang Canal (Dujiang Yan), the most famous water conservancy project of ancient China and the entire ancient world, is a prime example of the use of dredging and water diversion for flood control. Completed in 256 BC, approximately contemporaneous with the appearance of acupuncture, the Dujiang Canal represents the peak of ancient Chinese hydraulic engineering. It has continued to play an important role in flood control, irrigation, and shipping up to the present day. The oldest operational water conservancy project in the world, the Dujiang Canal was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites in 2000.

The long history and unique mastery of flood control attained by the Chinese ancestors, exemplified by the Dujiang Canal, was a direct outgrowth of the geographical conditions they faced. Destructive floods are depicted in the myths and legends of many ancient nations, for instance, the story of Noah and the Flood in the Bible. However, there are no legends concerning flood control. This is a direct result of the physical environment of these ancient peoples.

Egypt has depended on the Nile River in both ancient times and modern times. Like a silver strip, the Nile flows across the Saharan desert, creating a corridor of life. Water is invaluable in the desert, creating oases wherever it appears. For the Egyptians, the yearly flooding of the Nile is a blessing rather than a disaster, irrigating and fertilizing the farmland of the Nile River Valley. This yearly flood is so vital to survival that the ancient Egyptians viewed it as the annual renewal of the first act of creation. If the waters did not rise high enough to innundate the surrounding farmland with water and fertile alluvial soil, drought and famine would result.

The ancient Egyptians therefore never developed flood control methods, and in fact prayed for the flood if it did not occur on time. Believing that the Nile god Hapi controlled the floods, they celebrated the yearly Arrival of Hapi and worshipped him with offerings, hoping that the Nile would rise up enough to provide both water and silt for the farmland.

The two rivers, the Yellow River and the Nile River, bring different gifts to their residents. While the flooding of the Nile River fertilizes farmland in Egypt directly, China's Sorrow inspired ancient people to create a unique healing method.

4. Clearing the Meridians with Needles Using the laws of the Nature to cure the ills of the human body

A fundamental concept of Chinese philosophy is the Unity of Humanity and Heaven. It implies that Humanity, Society, and Nature form an integrated system, and that each part is similarly constituted and governed by the same laws. Laozi (c. 6th century BC), the founder of Daoism, states Humanity is modeled upon Earth, Earth is modeled upon Heaven, Heaven is modeled upon the Dao, and the Dao is Nature itself.

This holistic model of thinking was widely applied in the field of medicine. The early Chinese physicians were philosophers as well. They believed that the processes of the human body may be understood by observing and analyzing the phenomena of the universe, and that the disorders of Humanity can be managed using the principles of Nature. Therefore they held that medical practitioners should not only study the human body, but also should know Heaven above and Earth below.

The ancient Chinese philosopher-physicians realized that since the rivers and meridians are similar in structure, the flow of water in the rivers and the flow of Qi and blood in the meridians adhere to the same rules, and that their disorders can therefore be similarly managed. If a river course becomes silted up, the water in the river, which by nature flows downward, will overflow and result in flooding. If a meridian is obstructed, the Qi and blood it carries, which by nature flow in a circulatory path, will become stagnant and various disorders may occur. The healers of the human body therefore cleared the meridians by puncturing with needles to promote the flow of Qi and blood and cure disease, just as the healers of the Earth dredged the river courses using picks and shovels to direct the waters and control the flood.

The twelve Regular Meridians are distributed throughout the body, forming a network that links the upper and lower, and the internal and external, into an organic whole. The Qi and blood flow through the meridians to nourish the entire body. Furthermore, specific sites, called Caves of Qi (qixue) or acupoints, are located on the skin along the pathways of the meridians. These sites are often located in small depressions, usually between the muscles, tendons, bones, or in bony holes. When one is ill, the flow of Qi and blood slows, tending to stagnate at the indented sites which lead to obstruction of the meridians. Insertion of fine needles into these points can effectively promote the flow of Qi and blood and remove obstructions, promoting recovery.

Clearing the meridians of the human body with needling to allow the free circulation of the body's energy is a direct application of the central principle of effective flood control - encouraging the desired flow by clearing channels rather than by erecting barriers.

The authors of the Neijing express the correspondence between flood control and acupuncture in this way Those versed in the laws of Nature excavate a pond at its lowest point, so that the water within the pond can be drained off and strenuous labor avoided. According to the same logic, they dredge the meridians at the acupoints, the cave-like depressions where Qi and blood deposits. In this way, the meridians can be freed with ease.

5. Acupuncture A true symbol of traditional Chinese culture

Rivers originate from mountains and empty into the seas. The erosion of soil at the upper reaches is the principal cause of flooding, so the most effective means of flood control is to conserve water and soil at the upper reaches. The meridians originate at the ends of limbs and end at the abdomen, chest, and head. Therefore, when using acupuncture to treat disease, headache is not treated by needling the head, but rather by needling the feet. Acupuncture, in its use of the laws of Nature to cure the ills of the human body, offers a visible expression of the concepts of Chinese holistic philosophy. The practice of needling the lower part of the body to cure the upper, and treating the outer to heal the inner is nothing less than holism made visible.

Acupuncture developed into its full form no later than the 2nd century BC, around the same time that the Chinese ancestors perfected their principles of flood control in the great Dujiang Canal water conservancy project. Just as water always flows downward, the theory and practice of acupuncture have never undergone fundamental change. Since its inception, satisfactory results have been achieved by puncturing the same sites with the same instruments.

An acupuncture needle may seem unromantic, but it represents the essence of traditional Chinese culture. Acupuncture is not merely a healing art, but a vivid symbol of thousands of years of Chinese culture.

Acupuncture is unique, original and representative. Not only does acupuncture exemplify the height of traditional Chinese culture, but its continued use over thousands of years confirms the value of the Chinese holistic principles that it embodies. The stability and vitality of acupuncture demonstrate why Chinese civilization has endured for over five thousands years.

6. Acupuncture Over 1500 years of globalization

The worldwide dissemination of acupuncture can be divided into four stages. Acupuncture has spread to at least 140 countries and areas to date.

First Stage By around the 6th century AD, acupuncture had begun to spread to the neighboring lands of Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. Particularly in Japan, the fundamental texts of acupuncture were imported, absorbed, and studied with great care.
541 AD Chinese practitioners are dispatched to Korea by the Chinese government.
552 AD The emperor of China presents Japan a copy of the Classic of Acupuncture (a section of the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huangdi Neijing).
562 AD Monk Zhi Cong brings the Manual of Channels and Acupoints (Mingtang Tu) and the Systematic Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Zhenjiu Jiayijing) to Korea and Japan.
754 AD Jian Zhen, a high official of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), crosses the sea to Japan to promulgate Buddhism and Chinese medicine.

Second Stage By around the 12th century AD, acupuncture had started to reach the Middle East via the Silk Road.

Third Stage By the late 1500's to early 1600's, acupuncture had begun to filter into Europe by way of Japan and the Maritime Silk Road, transmitted by the Jesuits in particular.

1671 AD Harvieu, a Jesuit monk, produces the first French translation of a work on acupuncture when he returns to France from Macao and Beijing.
1683 AD Willem Ten Rhyne, a Dutch physician who visited Nagasaki in Japan in the early part of the 17th century, publishes Dissertatio de Arthride Mantissa Schematica de Acupunctura, a Latin dissertation on acupuncture, in London and invents the European term acupuncture.
1810 AD The first recorded use of acupuncture in Europe occurs at the Paris School of Medicine when Dr. Berlioz employs it to treat a young woman suffering from abdominal pain. The Paris Medical Society describes this as a somewhat reckless form of treatment.
1823 AD Acupuncture is mentioned in the first edition of the Lancet.

Fourth Stage Since the early 1970s, acupuncture has spread dramatically throughout the world, catalyzed by Nixon's historic visit to China and popularized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

1971 James Reston reports on his experience with acupuncture in Beijing in the New York Times. This article represents the first news of acupuncture to reach the English-speaking citizens of the United States, or at least the vast majority who have no daily contact with Asians.

1973 The American Journal of Acupuncture starts publication, playing an important role in the clinical practice and study of acupuncture in the West.

1976 Dr. Bruce Pomeranz, a professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Toronto, publishes an original article stating that analgesia in acupuncture is mediated by endorphins. His research is the first to utilize the Western scientific paradigm to explain why acupuncture works.

1979 An international conference on acupuncture, moxibustion, and acupuncture anesthesia sponsored by WHO is held in Beijing and attended by participants from twelve countries. Its purpose is to discuss ways in which priorities and standards for acupuncture may be determined in the areas of clinical practice, research, training, and transfer of technology. The conference draws up a provisional list of diseases that lend themselves to treatment with acupuncture.

1987 The World Federation of Acupuncture Societies (WFAS) is founded in Beijing. Today, the WFAS has 76 branches representing over 70,000 members from 43 countries and regions.

1997 The National Institute of Health (NIH) of the United States acknowledges the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of a number of diseases.

1998 The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) launches a column devoted to alternative and complementary therapies.

2000 The British Medical Association (BMA) delivers a report on acupuncture and concludes that acupuncture is safe and effective for treating a number of diseases and disorders.

If you would like to learn classical Chinese acupuncture and its relation to traditional Chinese cultures click on over to Bai Xinghua's site at httpwww.visibleholism.com.

A licensed acupuncturist and professor of acupuncture at the Acupuncture School of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. He has published several English articles and works on both the theory and practice of acupuncture, inc. Acupuncture Visible Holism (Oxford, 2001), Acupuncture in Clinical Practice (Oxford, 1996), and Chinese Auricular Therapy (Beijing, 1994). He has also founded a website -- httpwww.visibleholism.com to introduce Chinese acupuncture therapy.