Monday, August 17, 2009

HMO Co-op, a World Class Memory

In the current Healthcare debate, Co-op is now the sound bite of the moment.

Public Option seems perhaps to be too much of a big government idea. The theory, if I am correct in deciphering all this political and paid for advertising rhetoric, is that the Public Option would operate like Medicare, Medicaid or the VA and as a basic not for profit system, it would set standards and drive down prices in competition with the for profit health insurance industry.

Here goes my Arizona HMO story. I have worked in two HMO setups in the boom and bust economy of Arizona of a little over a decade ago. The first HMO was a slick local, for profit entity that advertised on TV a lot and didn’t ruffle too many customers’ feathers.

What I saw in healthcare generally in Arizona with the big wide open spaces where you drive everywhere a unique setup for getting healthcare. Most competing HMOs had cluster offices. In some large office building or mall setting, your doctor had offices and he or she could refer you to a specialist etc with a doctor in the same complex and with the same HMO. So far so good.

There was also a thing for saving money with emergency care. With a small child and ear infections and fevers in the night, you call your HMO number and you get directed to an emergency care center in the middle of night rotated from day to day from the various cluster office centers and from HMO to HMO. HMOs co-operated and shared the emergency health thing. During the day you went to your individual HMO Cluster Office setting and at night you got immediate care at rotating centers. The hospital emergency room was the last place the HMO would send you unless the medical situation was critical.

The first for profit HMO I worked for got gobbled up by some mega-California HMO monster. The old quality disappeared overnight and people started switching to other HMOs still local to Arizona.

The second HMO I worked for was I think a not for profit Co-op HMO setup. I say this in retrospect because nobody at the time was calling it a co-op but going over my mental notes and the current MSM sound bites, that is what it was, a co-op.

A regional hospital was at the core of this co-op setup. Some doctors and their corporations were the driving forces in the gathering together of a HMO bureaucracy where I worked. These doctors worked as for profit corporations. They used the not for profit HMO bureaucratic setup to process the billing, Medicare, prescription co-pay items etc. In many ways it was not different than the for profit HMO. The one thing was that we the employees did not get bonuses or perks. We had basic salary, cheap co-pay HMO benefits and a 401K.

Putting that all aside, the co-op grew in a decade from several thousand to several hundred thousand members. I think this co-op thing worked from year to year. In the end, the not for profit thing was falling through the cracks and the regional hospital and the for profit doctor corporations supporting the membership started to experience losses which got written off by several of these for profit and not for profit entities. I will not say that bad management was the ultimate failure of this co-op HMO entity. The demands of new pharmaceuticals, new technology and slow, very slow payments from the state and federal governments were a contributing factor to the ultimate selling off – buyout of the not for profit HMO co-op to the monster national for profit HMO entity.

Overnight, local, personal, affordable, recognizable HMO services disappeared and with it a toll free number for members to talk to in need of referrals, prescriptions etc. As a result a lot of chaos for many individuals who had gotten comfortable with a user-friendly medical care situation. No more personal touch or local offices to walk into and fix your HMO billing and service problems. Just a toll free number!

Changing demographics and of course Arizona as a retirement state, pushed the cost of health care for Seniors through the roof with the HMOs. The federal government promised many tiered payment plans to the HMOs for Senior (Medicare) HMO coverage. But the federal government at its worst and slowest and dumbest way ended up reneging on promised payments for seniors and cited bureaucratic technicalities that tied up and delayed fair payments to the HMOs. In the end I think it was the Fed Government and its failed delivery of cash for services rendered that broke the back of this HMO co-op.

I have worked for about three world class companies in my life. One was a bank. One was a mortgage company. The third was a now defunct Co-op HMO in Arizona.

I wish good healthcare to all Americans. I wish innovation and creative management to cut costs but not services to the insured public. I fear the arm of the Fed government to destroy a well run, well oiled HMO co-op, by merely changing a few rules as means to provide road kill and easy profits for corporations to gobble up the co-ops after they have built and maintained lean, mean, streamlined healthcare machines.

I hope the future in American healthcare is better than the past.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Global vs. Local Banking and Investment

I mentioned somewhere earlier in this blog how as the new bright global thing comes into shape that certain things would or should remain local.

Local beliefs, customs, religions are not going to change in the next century. Everyone’s attitude about the sacredness or the respect of local items is going to have to be made adjustment wise by everybody on the planet. Local control should also extend to economics and finance.

The one thing now in the present economic turmoil that the MSM is ignoring is the housing situation.

Somewhere along the timeline, human rights in the form of housing and health care got turned into some sort of commodity to be bought and sold on the global exchange. A slave exchange in a metaphoric sense got created because there was no experience or precedent or laws in dealing with the new financial thingy. Bastard institutions and irrational bad economic thinking sprang up and nobody noticed or cared.

Everyone somehow got caught up in the financial thingy because of two things, pensions and 401Ks. Very few corporations do the pension thing anymore. Only municipal and state governments do much investing of their pension fund things these days. The 401K and IRAs at first sounded like a good thing, like HMOs, in the eighties.

It was a means to create money, stimulate the economy and invest in new enterprises. Sounded good. Only instead of loaning money locally to build or retread old factories, the money got loaned overseas. Why? A greater rate of return on the money.

When I was younger, a six percent return on capital was a classic standard that stood for decades. You didn’t get rich overnight but your principal grew over time and in the end your nest egg was relatively secure. You had local control of the money. You saw the local home builder’s fund build new houses. You saw the addition being put on the local factory. You knew who you were investing with and what they were investing in through your local banks.

While I have done some commenting on the health care in recent articles, let me deal here only with just the housing thing.

Housing, shelter should be affordable. It should not be ten times what it is worth or was worth a decade or so ago. Taking local control away from local business and or banking and putting it in the hands of global interests has been a disaster. Why? Because you don’t know the particulars of the local market.

The current housing bubble crash and toxic asset waste dump in America had it start at the end of the eighties. The stock exchange starting selling “junk bonds”, meaning “air”, as if the risk or the investment was somehow justified merely by the “for sale” sign by the "legitimate” exchanges and “traditionally conservative” brokerage houses.

Junk bonds led to speculation and became the backbone of a boom and bust housing speculation market. This more so out west I think than in the east. Local capital was not so readily available there before this time.

The Savings and Loan Scandal of the eighties and how it was mismanaged by the Federal government in its mopping up actions is a primary cause of the present economic collapse worldwide.

The Savings and Loans took global money, junk bonds, and inflated local values and in the short term, the ponzi term, the rate of return seemed too good to be true.

The federal government stepped into the S & L mess and covered up the mistakes of major political players in the Senate who helped rewrite the laws to allow crooks to operate as legitimate bankers out west in Arizona, Nevada and California. The Feds poured hundreds of billions into the patch up after the collapse of that housing bubble in the late eighties. Instead of sending hundreds of people to jail to set an example, the criminals were out on the street and waiting for the next opportunity to come along in deregulated, unregulated banking/financial/mortgage markets. Charles Keating became the Bernie Madoff singular scapegoat of that era.

The Savings and Loan bubble collapse had been good practice for novice crooks, working off commission, who now would run amuck in the nineties and up until 2008.

When the Fed took over the toxic waste loans of the Savings and Loans, they came up with a national, not a local, formula to regulate further mortgage loan scenarios.

By standardizing some aspects of the mortgage business to streamline and package loans globally, they left out the naturally occurring check and balance of local markets.

In the past, growth was slow out west based on real demand. With a global scale of investment, short term housing speculation began to pump up the local economy on air. Home equity loans on temporary ponzi wealth fueled the belief that this was a real economy and growing on real growth demands. In fact, buying a home, turning it over after six months for profit, was not about housing but creating artificial or fictional wealth. The Fed scheme to let any illegal with a phony SS card to get home ownership only pushed demand into further artificial regions.

While I see the need for some global investing in real estate locally, where are the old fashioned local guys who used to sit around the cracker barrel and decide how many houses to build on a real demand from quarter to quarter and based on local bank assets? Local control from local banks and without access to junk bond like investment capital used to work very well – very well indeed.

The states worst hit by the current foreclosure melt down out west, Arizona, Nevada and California currently are the same states that did not learn from the Savings and Loan disaster.

The Fed, the global factor, has to be scaled down in the future. Let local markets in housing be determined by local available capital. Otherwise this bullshit bubble in housing will never end and nobody will ever be able to afford a house again.

Instead of encouraging fewer and fewer big banks with Gov’t money, they should be chartering new regional and new local banks to exclusively manage and untangle the current housing toxic waste pile – and to monitor future housing investments locally.

Friday, August 14, 2009

White Christian Nation - Half Slave - Half Free

A picture is worth a thousand words. I briefly encountered the live broadcast the other day of President Obama awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a very diverse crowd of domestic and international personalities : Sandra Day O’Connor, Desmond Tutu, Billie Jean King, Stephen Hawking to name a few. It was in searching the Internet that I came upon the very interesting photo above in conjunction with Sidney Poitier who also received the Freedom Medal the other day.

I knew of Charleton Heston in later years as a pillar of the GOP, NRA. I did not know of his brief shining moment in 1963 when his mere presence stood for the right thing at the right time in American history – civil rights. Where have Republicans like Charleton Heston gone in this strangely angry America of these days?

That the GOP in its death throes is in an escalating battle royal for power only and not any real mission statement – is the source of much anger and fuss these days and with the Health Care Restructuring Reform issue on the plate before us on this hot humid August day.

I take one or two steps back in history. This country has never been a democracy. It has always been a country ruled by a private white men’s clubs throughout the states. We don’t elect the president. We merely elect the elites who vote on who should be president in the Electoral College. Members of the Electoral College are under no obligation what so ever to reflect the vote of the people in their states. This veto power of the elites is the hidden monarchy of our system. It is a bit of a royal bastard in which the nation is ruled. It is never the less, as royal bastard, a connection to the past.

The other step back has to do with the Transcontinental Railway issue of one hundred and fifty years ago. If the southern route won out in congress, the South could have held onto an obsolete economic thing like slavery well into the first half of the twentieth century and without need of a Civil War to restructure or realign the political and economic structures of mid nineteenth century America.

As it was, the White Christian Men’s Clubs of the South felt that with cotton and Britain, and a railroad, it, the ruling class could do okay if it seceded from the Union. Lincoln, who was a corporate lawyer, would have backed down, and let the South and slavery go on forever if the South wished to compromise in ways that they did not entirely feel comfortable with.

The one thing that irks me looking at the history of Confederacy and the Civil War was the fact that ninety five percent of the whites in the south did not own or could not afford slaves. They were fighting for a way of life. They were fighting for the illusion that maybe one day they could strike it rich and own slaves. The promise, the delusion of the old south perhaps had more to do in inbreeding of the white ruling classes than with any real common sense model to follow in that situation.

So from the beginning, America’s democracy has been on the Greek model of democracy which is a democracy for slave owners. Slavery per say has disappeared in America. Our owing our souls to credit cards, plastic dreams and subject to the whims and outsourcing of profit making corporations makes us subject in many ways, like slavery, to these moneyed institutions.

When I reduce the present tirade of screaming Dr. Goebbels like BIG LIE mouthpieces: Limbaugh, Palin, Beck and Grassley, I hear something differently than the immediate energy of the subject at hand. I am hearing the coded message of States’ Rights, the right to own slaves and most importantly I hear the Pagan message that it is alright that we remain half free/half slave – half covered/half not covered in healthcare. It is a not the truly Christian message. It is a white Christian message from the white Christian party – the GOP.

Every American citizen does have a right to Human Rights. Let me repeat that.

Every American citizen has a God given entitlement to Human Rights!

Britain has health care. Canada has health care. Even the Frenchies have health care. If Hitler had won world war two, all of Europe would today have health care. Stalin had health care even in that many gulag splendored world of totalitarianism. Cuba has health care etc. etc.

Why aren’t we as Americans worthy of Universal Health Care? What Original Sin are we being punished for?

It is not a White Christian Country. It is a Christian country. With many who do not know what Jesus’ message was about – or have an understanding of our entitlement from birth to human rights including Universal Health Care.

How long can this nation remain half slave and half free?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Death Panels - Death Squads - Code Pink

I see a common thread throughout all the current shouting and fuss over Health Care Reform legislation. The Birthers, Deathers, Town Hallers, exhibit a certain energy and strength and yet they are still delivering the same blob of whatever as they did during the recent campaign. The cause changes but the energy of it all speaks of some common roots – linguistic and primal.

What I see in looking at recent campaign tapes on You Tube and elsewhere is a sort of recycled five hundred year coded message that immigrants to America brought with them from religious persecution in Europe. And they, the insecure, the border line crazy, will not let go of it!

Indeed, the last bus stop from east to west was Los Angeles for many decades. The pioneers, the immigrants pushed westward to La La Land and carried with them some long festering fear and paranoia related to an imperfect freedom in America – imperfect because somehow someone or something will reach in and take freedom away. Once they got to the west coast there was no place to convert mental energy into travel – or to hide from your active fears and anxieties.

A blunderbuss at your door mirrored the real fear of attack by those natives on whose lands you were now in some European sense taking hold of. A need to carry arms mirrored the belief that no European country with its religious persecution was going to take away the American dream, whatever that is – it like the pursuit of happiness can be very elusive and from generation to generation takes on new meanings and nuances.

Listening to some key words in the current anger and fuss in Town Hall settings, I see different things. Many Americans feel out of touch with the bizarre way Washington rules itself and is not accountable to anybody, not even God. And not balancing a budget is just bad business and bad economic sense but it just goes on and on and on. Now that we have reached our credit limits with China, I see new overtures toward India and their potential lines of credit for the American consumer appetite – the modern day version of bread and circus to keep the mob under control.

Some key code words being tossed around right now in the streets and on talk radio are:

Big government – possibly the English Crown, Tudors and Stuarts, who perpetuated the religious persecution of commoners along with German princes.

Hitler – Satan – the prince of darkness used to be black until the nineteenth century and the invention of color lithography when he turns red.

Red - Satan

Nazis – devils

Swastika – twisted cross – (Crucifix – the pope)

Eupropean Socialist – European.

Birth Certificate – legitimacy – one hundred and fifty years of European religious wars all over who has the right religion and who is more legitimate than the next guy.

Death Panels – the Inquistion – and let’s not overlook Sarah’s possible Freudian slip of death panels meaning death squads, an acceptable way blessed by conservatives to rule by dictatorships in Central and South America.

Sarah Palin’s (I’m Okay – You’re okay) wink – the secret handshake. And of course Alaska is the ultimate sci-fi last bus stop of the shrinking world in the twenty first century. (She’s got to be one of us!) Code Pink!

Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that in a coded subculture surviving to this day that used to suppress slaves and murders Indians, that the coded message going out now is a real message so much as very hot pressure point push words being manipulated by certain parties and that may go back to the Reformation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

American Royal - Eunice Shriver - R.I.P.

Somewhere in the ethos of the American story came some immigrants from Ireland and then you have a saloon, politics, money, power and a dynasty is born – the Kennedy family.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of JFK and mother in law to the Governor of California has passed away. With her some of the glamour and tinsel and sparkle of an age more appropriate to a 1940s black and white Hollywood movie passes with her.

When I see the lives of that generation passing away, my parents’ generation, I have to examine the times and the circumstances of the things that made some people stand out more so than others in those rapidly fading bygone days.

The founder of the dynasty was Joe Kennedy Sr., son of a saloon keeper and therefore an arm of local democratic politics in Boston. He marries the daughter of the Boston mayor, makes a fortune the old fashioned way, through blood, guts and little glory so that his children can help fulfill his limited but obvious political goal of having one son become President of the United States.

In the movies they call it sexual tension between the male and female protagonists of the onscreen drama. In from the bogs of Ireland story to the landing on the American shore to take advantage of opportunity in the assets of a big wide open land, is a cultural tension - to not only make it and survive but to excel. In this manner the patriarch of the Kennedy tribe cast something indefinable into the mold of the lives of his children. His daughters, with trust funds, did more than what women of their generaton were supposed to do. They went far on their own and in their uniquely placed cultural manner. It was the boys, the princes Joe Jr., Jack, Bobby and Teddy who were destined to be thrust upon the world stage of potential greatness.

Have you ever seen the movie, the Wizard of OZ, when Dorothy opens the door and the screen goes from black and white into magnificent sparkling color? That was how it was like when JFK became President. A young handsome witty man married to a chic wife stood on the American stage of politics. The dull gray of the lingering Victorian era, of the world wars and the cold war and dullness of Eisenhower and his pure wasp cabinet gave way to Camelot as Jackie would later tag this one brief shining moment in American history. It was an age of great possibilities and indeed the exploration of space and the landing of men on the moon were a direct result of a saloon keeper’s son and his dream for the lives of his children as part of the greater American dream/myth.

Eunice Shriver has passed on at age 88. She did not live in the shadows of her male siblings. She founded the Special Olympics for the mentally disabled over four decades ago. She helped redefine how people with intellectual disabilities and limited abilities are defined, looked at, perceived by the public in general - globally. If you define greatness as the ability to make the world look differently at something, then Eunice Kennedy Schriver was great, not because of her family blood line, but because she has contributed to the world’s perception and view of individuals with disabilities. Pretty good payoff from old Joe’s trust fund etc.

I do not agree with the myth that the Kennedy family is an American Royal Family. But their combined legacy along with the legacy of a family member such as Eunice make them damn near as close to a royal family that this republic can visualize or allow.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Finally - Moral Warriors - Health Care Reform!

Finally, some Moral Warriors to take on health care reform issues and the Clowns in the Health Care for Profit Industry.

Religious left wades into healthcare fight
Liberal religious groups announced on Monday they are teaming up with President Barack Obama in a national campaign to counter the surprisingly vehement conservative opposition to his plan for overhaul of the U.S. healthcare industry this year.

Organized by liberal-leaning evangelicals, some mainline Protestant clergy, and some Catholic groups, it will include Obama participating in a call-in program with religious leaders streamed on the Internet on August 19, prayer meetings and nationwide television ads.

"As a pastor I believe access to healthcare is a profoundly moral issue," Rev. Stevie Wakes of Olivet Institutional Baptist in Kansas City, said in a news teleconference announcing the "40 days for Health Reform" campaign.

Let’s see if the moral voice of the sixties can be raised in conjunction with the Obama team on health care reform. There is nothing like a good show and I know now that the clowns who run the Health Care Industry in this country are going to get a run for their hugh profits at the expense of patients’ money!

Sarah Palin is a Putz!

Sarah Palin is a Putz! She is an airhead who has never finished anything she has every started including raising a normal family.

Her recent comments in Facebook regarding the so called rationing of health care by Obama and Company in a national health care phenomenon is purely delusional.

We already have rationed health care under the private corporate system in case you don’t know it Sarah. If anything, Medicare and Medicaid, government health care, have cared for retarded children directly and indirectly for the past forty years when the private sector dropped the ball or more than likely tossed it over the wall into the government sphere.

The Rapture has arrived! The saved didn’t disappear and go to heaven. They are hanging around Facebook, Town Hall Meetings or hanging by their newly discovered tails as above in primate houses in Alaska! – among other places.

The rest of us poor mortals have come to the conclusion that a national health care plan will bankrupt us especially if it includes funds for the mental illness of Sarah Palin, Rush Doobie Limbaugh and Newt “wanna get married” Gingrich. Govement sugar like Govement cheese is addictive Sarah and also very difficult to swallow.

You are not a private citizen. Your treason is treason. I have had enough of lies and downright evil content being put into the American town square.

It is time for the people, the rest of America, to turn away from anger and hatred and to sit down and talk issues. Not just shout them!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

God Bless Obama and America Too!

Forgive me – the above image has appeared overnight with a strange mixed message as to what it really means. The image has come out of and is being used in the Birther/Deather (Know Nothing) political movement currently in vogue in the nation’s thought flow. The image in any case does not represent love or respect. In the political arena there are no rules.

It is strange but I follow a troubled soul meter regarding the state of the nation.

Whether it be coincidence or the heat in the political atmosphere, the number of people who seek out and read my Number of the Beast Article goes up in days of political unrest.

My article I wrote in a sort of religious stupor over ten years ago in quest of a more personal and perfect spirituality over and above the mere religions and the attempts by men to touch the Deity, in spirit or in words.

Revelation 13:18 - DCLXVI - The Number of the Beast

The Beast is indeed in Town Hall Meetings these days!

When people are searching for absolutes they look for absolutes in the Bible. I long ago concluded that the Bible is a man made book, sometimes inspired by the Deity. The revelation of God through the message of Jesus is something over and above the rest where that divine message is so crudely recorded in that faulty history book of the Bible.

Over and above it being a very poorly written history book, the only other function I can see in the Bible is one of a road map. It may lead you to points on the map literally or points in your individual journey where you may be closest to a spiritual awakening or even come close to step into the presence of God – transcendent – as in a Transfiguration of your life, spirit and spiritual direction toward eternity.

The bible does not predict anything. The bible only holds the predictions of men.

In times of political unrest, the bible will not tell you anything about the vetting process of a nation that at times seems to be half angel and half demon. We lived for centuries as half slave and half free. I knew that the vetting process of this Presidency might be difficult, I could not predict the weird ways, and particularly for people in the traditional South to accept reality in a real life setting after the 2008 election.

The shouts of anger in the crowds in town hall meetings are becoming more openly racist and evil in its content. Time cures everything. The young are more flexible. The old and much of their ingrained hatred is a decade or two away from the grave.

I pray for my nation to be the best it can be. Should be. I rarely get what I pray for.

God bless the nation. God bless the people right or wrong. God inspire and protect.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Our Lady of Nagasaki - Pray for us !

The whole purpose of the Cold War was to in some weird Dante like image way – to turn the planet into one big pile of bio-trash?

The August 6 anniversary of the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima is upon and again the MSM gets a free minute or two of airtime showing archive footage and an historic footnote gets mentioned but not analyzed. The Mayor of Hiroshima this year has words to repeat from the American President and a bold new concept for the ban of nuclear weapons from the planet. An unusual word, “Obamajority” refers to and represents the sentiment of the majority of the planet who agree with the concept.

Hiroshima mayor backs Obama's call for an end to nuclear weapons

Are we crawling to Bethlehem as the poet Yeats describes our progress toward the future? Is that crawling a good thing? Are we to be reborn into a better more efficient monkey package in terms of our evolutionary capacity to change - and hopefully for the better?

The Image of Hiroshima, burn victims, salt shadows (evaporated people) on the sidewalks and the naked raw image of the burned landscape - are eternal in humanity’s personal and historic scrapbook.

I am for nuclear disarmament.

As an American, I stand by President Truman and his command decision to use the bombs to save a million American military casualties. I had relatives in the Pacific theatre of war who would have been in a likely physical invasion of the Japanese mainland.

Truman had been in the trenches in World War One. His was a hands on decision based on experience. Right, wrong or indifferent, Harry Truman used the device of war to end war – an old formula.

To Truman’s credit, his humanity, his possible regret, he had a brief discussion with his biographer Merle Miller in which the topic of discussion was whether he would or could visit Hiroshima to lay a wreath. The old cantankerous man responded that he might do that, he might go to Japan but that he would not kiss their ass. Harry did have a way with words. Men in previous generations of western culture have not been allowed to be emotionally honest in so many ways. Truman dropped the bomb and now we have to live with the consequences of proliferation.

The other city that got hammered with science in 1945 was Nagasaki on August 9 with the second bomb, in our new age of non-reason related to nuclear arms. People don’t visit that city or remember it as much. Hiroshima is the premiere icon of nuclear destruction. Nagasaki is more a local domestic thing while Hiroshima is the icon of international focus.

I believe that a very bubble wrapped Japanese government in total denial about surrender looked at Nagasaki and drew a horrible conclusion about its destruction. In the Japanese mindset of race and blood, Nagasaki was not considered to be Japanese but European. The Japanese allowed one port city, set aside in the sixteenth century, and in conjunction with trade from Portugal. While on Japanese soil this city was virtually walled off in access and psychological reference from mainstream Japanese culture up until 1945.

The photo above is of a burned wooden image of the Virgin Mary from the Cathedral there in the European colony port of Nagasaki. The Japanese saw the destruction of a European city by the Americans and they did not understand the concept. Were the Americans ignorant of history or was the nuclear genie a madness that could not be contained?

Nagasaki cathedral chapel – Virgin Mary

Is the nuclear genie a madness that cannot be contained?

That is what anniversaries are for. To remember and to consider, reconsider the facts of the day in focus - August 6, 1945.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tea Baggers, Birthers, Deathers, Brown Shirted Clackers

I am watching Morning Joe and he is denying that this locust like blight of conspiracy theorists in the GOP party are from the GOP. Tea Baggers hate all tax. Birthers see conspiracy in everything. They (the locusts) are now stating that proposed health care reforms are designed to kill old people – Deathers.

Now you have all these retired people, presumably on Medicare, being bused around to thirty states according to the MSM to populate Town Meetings and shout down anybody who disagrees with them about whatever they think they believe. Not GOP? The charter buses are paid for by Health Insurance Industry lobbyists. In the tradition of hecklers in theatres I call these bused in actors as HMO/Pharma Clackers.

The clackers and their shouting down all opposition in town hall meetings that many times are conducted in sincerity by Congressmen in their home districts reminds me of the Brown Shirt tactics of the National Socialists in early 1930s Germany. Am I exaggerating? Well - non of these shipped in HMO/PHARMA Clackers are carrying or using billy clubs yet!

It is this corruption of something older than the republic itself – town hall meetings – where I draw the line in the sand of my tolerance for this fringe fascist outbreak trying to further erode civility from what little is left in the American town square.

Never the less, it seems like a hole has developed in the heart of the fabric of the GOP – like American Culture itself. These activists, borderline crazies, used to be good to get out the vote in past elections. It would seem that with the death of Jerry Falwell, the outing of Ted Haggard and a long, long string of sexual improprieties, perhaps more on the GOP side than the Dems – the old boundaries of morality and decency in the culture have eroded. But the GOP was supposed to be morally superior as the party of “Family Values” whatever that really means (wink, wink, nod).

Is this an army of nuts, of cast off downsized outsourced part-time political soldiers, no longer needed players in the phony GOP Morality Play? Are they adrift? Ready to latch on, hire on (per diem), to any current PR project? Are they the Oakies of this modern economic depression not spoken about by the MSM?

Some of this decay in the social fabric on the GOP side is part of the void, no man’s land, that the ongoing evolving culture is going through. Religion no longer anchors us. Some of us perhaps. Some of us take responsibility for our lives and our salvation. Ninety plus percent of the culture has been hooked on the materialistic god of consumerism of the past generation. Happiness has to do with things: houses, SUVs, Ivy League diplomas, iPods, clothes, plastic credit, etc.etc.etc. Heaven is on this material earth. No need for a spiritual heaven. Hell and Satan have retreated deep into the cultural background.

In the meanwhile, blue dog Dems are determined to earn the big lobby bucks and sabotage the health of all of the American Public. Obama, the corporate lawyer, will sign off on whatever and call it success.

These are the dog days of Summer and thinking about the situations mentioned above I am reminded of the words of the Irish poet Yeats. He, in the midst of the Irish Rebellion and the First World War felt the pain, the shouting of people who were not in control of technology ninety years ago and acting like soulless robots in response to that sad age – which blends into this sad age – “nothing is new under the sun” – when he wrote the following:

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity…

The Second Coming - W.B. Yeats

Monday, August 3, 2009

"C" Street - Vatican - Wall Street

What do “C” Street, the Vatican, and Wall Street have in common?

They represent macro examples of the tangible corruption of our morality in this global secular society.

By corruption of morality I mean the lack of it. I have to wonder which of these three was the first working model but you can probably guess.

While many are writing about the wussie warriors of “C” Street – God’s anointed and not accountable to man for idolatry, adultery or rape, they are not the stuff of the King David they model themselves after. King David had to give King Saul 100 foreskins in good faith to get this first wife, one’s of Saul’s daughters. No doubt foreskins taken off your dead enemies’ private parts were currency in that ancient era. If you extrapolate and even if you are a minimalist, historically speaking, that means that King David in all likelihood killed a thousand warriors in his lifetime. That is a lot of blood, sweat, particularly blood in the creation of a three thousand year reality/concept called Israel.

“C” Street crowd are good on the sweat part taking a secretary to lunch and a quickie but where is like the blood and the foreskins and like the first temple of God oh great frat house dicks on “C” Street ?

I had to wonder over the years when I looked at the Jerry Falwell phenomenon of the fundamentalist movement. I said to myself they want the power of medieval popes over the American people. They want to be big brother, big government and a big stick all in one, tax free and above reproach – this in a supposed democratic setting.

Of course the pope would like to have powers of a medieval pope. When you can tell a whole continent, Africa, not to use condoms to prevent HIV you are not a moral leader but a fool! But given what I have seen of the Bishop of Rome, where on any given Sunday more tourists than natives seek out a church service in that diocese, the moral authority of the local bishop is as powerful as the apathy of the locals to ancient tired pagan rituals and beliefs.

The only thing that keeps the pope in front of the world stage is the big museum church and the MSM – (main stream media) – the Papacy like the bishop of Scranton is nothing more than PR releases – no touchy feeling with the public, just a PR statement and the illusion of past glory.

Bernie Madoff should be pardoned! He had the chutzpah to pull off the biggest ponzie scheme in American history that we know of. If his sons and associates split up his 150 year sentence all the more better – a touch of morality (very little) and the myth of justice.

The SEC could not tell a Ponzie scheme even if it stood up and stared it right in the face – for decades – all the king’s horses and all the king’s men – not worth jack shit.

The Congress is not going to investigate “C” Street. No moral warriors or true icons of morality left in either house to tackle such a job.

And the MSM gets its free lunch, free PR handouts from the myth of the Vatican and myth of real wealth creation on Wall Street. We have to live with the results – the fallout. “Caveat emptor” – let the buyer beware.

The people who should be in jail on Wall Street are still walking around looking for green college kids without an odious ethics class on the transcript, all the better. All the better to sell air to the public instead of real American things out of real factories, peopled by real workers and a real feel for reality, not virtualosity, and a possible real contributor to the global moral future for the human race.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Modern Age Prophets - An Insight

I think that the early Christian church was imbued with tremendous energy from the Holy Spirit to the People of God – through Jesus’ mission – message - his church.

Somewhere along the time line so much of that energy got trapped or dissipated with the institutionalization of Jesus – Christianity had to be dumbed down to fit into fascist leaders’ plans and ambitions as with what’s his name? – Constantine ( of the Constantine/Tridentine political party of PC thought ).

Just because the energy is missing of late does not mean that it is gone. Maybe it is there – but hidden – right in front of us. Like with the permafrost in the Arctic, the gas, the energy, is trapped right below the surface of things.

Is it possible in this age of mass information and limited real communication, the trapped energy of the Holy Spirit is making its way back into the hearts of the faithful, many of whom cannot or do not want to be trapped in institutions like the RC church or mainstream Protestantism? Maybe it is possible to witness the spirit of God all around us without wearing a full 20 yards of red silk (the perfect clown suit for a perfect clown).

I combine bits and pieces of two homilies from the Catholics in Exile in Brisbane.

First from the homily of Dermot Dorgan July 4-5 2009
A biblical prophet is one who conveys a message from God to a particular time and place. They’re not, contrary to popular belief, people who can foresee the future. They are rather people gifted with an ability to see deeply into the present, to look below the surface of society and see the undercurrents and hidden realities that determine what is happening or will happen. The word “Seer” is a good description. …
Next from the homily of Peter Kennedy July 19, 2009
…Most of all, I think that our seeking to find new ways of speaking about God is a prophetic act. We do this in baptism when we use the words creator, liberator and sustainer of life. It can be seen as a recognition that all the language we use about God has to be metaphorical language. The one thing we know for certain about God is that God is Other, God is different. God does not belong to this universe of which we are a part. And yet the only language we have is human language.

We know from ordinary conversation that we sometimes have to say things two or three times in different ways before we can adequately express a feeling or an experience. There must be a million ways to describe the experience of being in love, all of them inadequate. But if some authority were to come along and say, “Look, all this multiplicity of words is downright confusing. From now on, we’re going to have one formula for expressing this experience, and here it is – blah blah blah.

From now on this is the only orthodox way of expressing this experience. All other expressions are inaccurate and invalid. Well, we can see how ridiculous this is. But we’re tied to certain fixed expressions of the experience of God, and I believe it is a prophetic act – the act in fact of adult Christians - to look for other ways of expressing our experience…
Whatever any of you do – never go back to blah blah blah – it is so boring, obsolete and twentieth century. The new age and the new way to understand and communicate with the Spirit is upon us. Pentecost from now on can be every DAY!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catholics in Exile - Unite!

Catholics in Exile of the World - Unite! You have nothing to lose except many closets full of gosh red dresses!

It is remarkable how in our very dense but very blurred bubble of modern day reality, how a mix of words, rearranged, can bring into sharp focus – a new reality.

This blog started out over a year ago, as a reaction to the derogatory term, “cafeteria Catholic” that the Bishop of Rome or his PR people dropped around on a visit to the “Big Apple” of NYC.

Until that time, I had just sat in the background audience and heard these terms of slander against the children of God by the Guys in dresses from the Vatican.

As it turns out, I am not the only one on this planet who has a problem with the “Guys in Dresses at the Vatican”. There are literally millions, tens of millions of us who want the Roman Catholic church to temporary land its fantasy zeppelin, sit up - get off its fat egos, and touch and communicate with the people of earth and in terms of the First and greatest Shepherd of Humanity – Jesus of Nazareth.

I steal the title “Catholic in Exile” from of all things a profile comment on You Tube.

There is a whole world of people in search of the expressing themselves outside the Totalitarian modeled and controlled worldwide MSM.

God, this new Internet technology is so freaking great!

From “DASHMUND” on You Tube:
I am a pilgrim, a searcher for truth and reality amidst the crap of society and the church. I am a member of a cyber community called Catholica which is made up of many like-minded pilgrims; searching, intelligent, compassionate even prophetic if I dare say it. Take a visit: Just type in catholica in a search engine - it's usually the first to come up.

I now describe my self as a Catholic in exile and will remain so until I sense that I have been responded to with justice and compassion and openness in regards to the occurrence and effects of abuse on myself and so many others. I do not want to be associated with the more extreme anti-Catholic 'hate' sites which are doing little to promote moving ahead out of the dark and are so often based on erroneous thinking but I do acknowledge here that the anger of the makers of these sites may well be based on severe trauma which may well have been incurred by someone in the church. As such, their cries also need to be heard somehow but not laced with a desire to hate or for revenge alone.

I still love my church and want it to become a force for good as it has been in so many ways in the past. The Catholic church is rapidly retreating into a siege mentality and it needs to seriously re-examine itself in order to become relevant and their founder's message of love and hope, believable and powerful again.
Again, this is not a hate message but a statement on behalf of the 86% of Catholics who have left the Catholic Church or who are so disillusioned with the way things are going. The church is in dire need for an overhaul and needs to start listening to ALL its people, not just the few neo-conservatives and temple police who want to return to the ways of old in search of security and certainty and blind obedience.

New Temporary Bishop - Allentown - John Barres

The RC Diocese of Allentown Pennsylvania is getting a new temporary bishop tomorrow. He is John Oliver Barres and will be installed in that Protestant Church looking Cathedral of St. Catherine of Sienna.

I say temporary because let’s face it folks, he is 48, has an MBA from NYU. This is his first Bishop’s assignment. He is not going to get buried in Allentown. He is obviously being groomed for bigger and better things in his and the RC Church’s future.

They got rid of 47 churches right before he arrived. He is freshly assigned from his duties as Chancellor in the Wilmington Delaware Diocese. If you look at timelines, they put Cullen’s retirement on hold for over a year while they sorted out the church property fire sale while the young chancellor could finish filing all those many, 150 or more, Clergy abuse cases under the recent two year window of extending the statute of limitations on those crimes in Delaware. That is what diocese chancelleries do – handle all the legal paperwork of the diocese?

Monsignor may have only xeroxed the legal paperwork that got handed over to church lawyers. Do you think he actually read any of it? Or participated in the sorting of abuse lawsuits into categories, easily resolved, disputed, to be negotiated, to be settled out of court, to be sent to trial etc.? I am a cynic. Forgive me folks.

So like I said, this only looks like a temp assignment for the new green MBA bishop. Archbishop of some bigger American city is likely next.

Of course, maybe Allentown is a potential hotspot or just a convenient landing spot for Barres. Recently, there were whispers of rumors that the Pennsylvania Legislature might adopt a similar to Delaware, but only for one year, extension of the statute of limitations on clergy abuse. But they were only whispers. But if that should happen, Bishop John would be mighty handy to handle any legal paperwork up there in Allentown and for the Province of Philadelphia (all of Pennsylvania).

Of course I don’t think there is much substance to the rumors that the Allentown Diocese is going to be absorbed into Scranton. But one nevers knows, do one?

Congratulations on your new temporary job assignment in Allentown, Bishop John Oliver Barres.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Amid These Stones - Saint John Divine

not by brooding day,
make a dream.

Shadows –

What do we pray for?
What do we respect?

Pause –

Cry not, nor remember
fading prints and glory’s favor.

Silence –

Bury my soul God
deep within your bosom.
And if not
let it then but for a moment
Amid these stones.
(Saint John Divine)

He saw the Vision!
This place is aptly named.

From which direction
will the horsemen ride?
Which wind will help
scatter this mortal pride?

To understand
a thousand mysteries
passed death.
An end
to all the madness.

To bury the past
as best the past
can be buried.

With only occasional hauntings
to echo through
the cathedral spaces
of my mind.



Monday, July 27, 2009

Outsourcing Faith to America

This article is not intended to show bias against any foreign nationals or nations. But speaking of it addresses the situation whereby approximately 20% of the Priests in the RC church in the USA are foreign born. Some of these priests are permanent residents, or naturalized citizens and others travel back and forth under temporary contract and temporary work permits.

Before going further, let me state that two of America’s strongest, most dedicated and building saints were immigrants – Mother Cabrini and Bishop John Neumann. They were of course European and in those cases they spoke the same language as other immigrants.

There are some factors for these immigrant priests to be considered like the alien nature of the western American culture in terms of language, attitudes and diet. The following article is more PR than Journalism in describing priests on work permits from India working in the Scranton Diocese in Pennsylvania.

Priests from India help ease shortage in Scranton Diocese

I have read other articles whereby immigrant priests have terrible accents and can barely function in their homily roles or confession. They are imported sometimes more like bodies to fill a job - to perform the sacramentals.

I have read that it is easier to get an American priest put through a criminal background check for a foreign diocese than it is for an American diocese to get a criminal check done on an incoming immigrant worker priest coming from Africa, Asia or South America.

Indeed, many times American Bishops have to take the word of foreign bishops that the people being imported are of sound moral quality. We know how that game is played.

I do not want to address the sex abuse issue here and in conjunction with this topic for fear that I might be accused of trying to strike fear in the hearts of the Americans who now have foreign born priests doing the mass etc.

That being said, I know that a large percentage of Spanish speaking foreign priests compliment a growing Spanish speaking American population.

All these stats are unclear because they have as a source the American RC church and the stats may or may not be accurate enough for specific analysis. I’ve read figures of between 4,000 to 8,000 of the American RC priest work force is foreign born labor.

That being said, I knew of a local Spanish speaking priest who was highly thought of and died recently. He was 78 and was working to in essence send his monthly stipend or salary back to South America to support relatives.

But there you have it. Economic factors such as dwindling Catholic populations, church closings and consolidations and imported labor, outsourced from other nations is becoming one of the major factors in the American RC church today.

America in many of its population centers is now considered Missionary territory to be administered to by the rest of the world. An explosion of vocations in many poor nations produces a surplus of priests that can be exported, outsourced to American missionary territory.

This is probably why the Vatican wanted to reincorporate the Saint Pius X crowd even if Bishop Richardson and club were Holocaust deniers. This right wing group of Tridentine Traditional Catholics have seminarys full of Spanish speaking seminarians. They were assets worthy to be acquired as in recent news.

This whole thing of the American RC church and its Bishops and their Harvard spreadsheet business mentality is perhaps part of the cause of the dying RC church in America. Catholics want celibacy as an option and women ordained as priests. That is not going to happen. Impossible!

So haphazard shoddy business management has a cheap labor force to help thwart a need for real responsible dialogue and interface between the faithful and the hierarchy. The church in America reflects too much of the way America does business these days with native citizens being factored out of economic equations as the least important items to be considered when running the shop on American soil.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sin Tax on Marijuana - Thumbs up !

Joke used to be that the only useful thing that California ever contributed to civilization was the traffic concept of “Right Turn on Red” - something that came out of the energy crisis of thirty years ago that the yahoos and bozos in Washington never really got around to fixing.

Now the second most liberal city in California – Oakland has raised taxes on “Medical Maryjuana” sales which is becoming a growth industry in that state.

Marijuana Supporters Welcome a Tax Increase
But sure enough, supporters of medical marijuana were pleasantly pleased Wednesday after Oakland voters overwhelmingly approved a huge tax increase — 15 times the former rate — on sales at the city’s handful of permitted medical marijuana dispensaries.

Believed to be the first of its kind, Measure F received nearly 80 percent of the vote, a landslide that pot professionals hailed as a significant step in the legitimization of the cannabis industry.
Marijuana is the correct spelling here, shows you how hip and or illiterate I really am or am not.

The PR push for Medical Marijuana was that it helped Chemotherapy patients control nausea and increase appetite to help in cancer recovery. On the news I saw a dude who was getting his prescribed Maryjane to help out with seasonal allergies. How smoking this stuff and putting smoke into your sinuses can help your allergies is beyond me. Maybe he puts it in brownies. Whatever.

The genie is out of the bottle. California with its medieval way of doing things with voter approved initiatives is basically bankrupt and unable to meet its bills. Tax on Medical Marijuana is likely going $tatewide soon and legal use is not far behind.

Perhaps with California creating this new growth industry, perhaps we can begin to abandon the largest penal system in the world – Prison building (taxpayer paid free housing for all those evil, sinful drug dealers), an American growth industry from the eighties and nineties and into the naughts.

Human nature is human nature. Gambling, sex for money, drug use are going to happen whether you legislate for or against it.

It is a Cultural Christian (Secular) Country. Which means that catering to sin (or forgiveness thereof ) and not virtue is big business. As such, a sin tax is appropriate in order to forgive the sinful use of a natural product untouched as yet by the Pharmaceutical industry.

In any case, no matter where you may feeble-ly stand on these issues - for common sense sake, legalize the evil weed – Marijuana – and like alcohol and nicotine, tax the hell out it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Joyous Wedding! - Jill and Kevin!

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. -- Psalm 98:4

Congratulations Jill and Kevin. Good Vibes. Good life and good marriage.

Minn. couple's wedding aisle groove

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"C" Street - Zach Wamp - Know Nothing ?

The Know Nothing movement was a nativist Amerian political movement of the 1840s and 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to U.S. values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. …There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and entirely Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery. Most ended up joining the Republican Party by the time of the 1860 presidential election.

…The origin of the "Know Nothing" term was in the semi-secret organization of the party. When a member was asked about its activities, he was supposed to reply, "I know nothing." Wikipedia 7-23-09
There is that great line “I know nothing - Nothing!” from German Master Sergeant Schultz in the TV show “Hogan’s Heroes” about a POW camp secretly run by the inmates.

U.S. House Representative Zach Wamp, current resident of the 133 “C” Street Christian dormitory for white males, made a statement that rang a bell in my history focused brain.

Scandal touches D.C. row house, home to Ensign, others of faith
The C Street residents have all agreed they won't talk about their private living arrangements, Wamp said, and he intends to honor that pact.

"I hate it that John Ensign lives in the house and this happened because it opens up all of these kinds of questions," Wamp said. But, he said, "I'm not going to be the guy who goes out and talks."

In other words, Zach Wamp “knows nothing – NOTHING!”

Is it possible that some Illuminati like nineteenth century Nativist – Know Nothing Party / fellowship went underground with the Civil War and still operates covertly within the Government to this day?

Is “C” Street a Loch Ness Monster that may or may not really exist? It is never the less an interesting social and anthropological phenomenon in our midst.

In any case, both the Birthers (Birchers) and the extreme right wing elements of the chaos called the GOP residing in corporate welfare housing on "C" Street - they deserve a better designation. Know Nothings is as good as any description. It more honest and more accurate than just a private club, white males only “Christian” fellowship.

Birther Fraud Lady – Who is this undocumented Person?

Well I see this thing on MSNBC. MSNBC shows the one reeler and passes it off as journalism without the who, what, where, when, why of the old classic journalism.

Joe the Plumber’s Mom gets up at a town hall meeting of Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware and waives her invalid hospital issued birth certificate and then begins to rant about how Barack Obama is not a citizen of the USA but rather Kenya – (the GOP and the new racism).

MSNBC shows this amusing little tidbit and is starting to practice third rate journalism on the way to the fourth and fifth levels of Murdockian half truths and lies like on Fox News and the fat drug addict on radio.

I too was undocumented some few years back when I tried to exchange my Pennsylvania license for a New York State license having moving back here. In order to register my car, I needed a valid driver’s license. In order to have a valid driver’s license I needed a state issued, embossed with a raised seal, birth certificate.

I have had a New York State driver’s license on and off for thirty years depending on when I was a resident there. My old driver’s license and its same driver license number for thirty years could not be reissued without a valid state issued birth certificate to prove my place and date of birth and my citizenship.

My hospital issued birth certificate was now considered invalid. It had been valid forty years ago to get my original passport. But then and there and with all the bullshit Homeland Security rules and regulations – I was undocumented in my native land - temporarily a man without a country.

I had let my passport lapse for too many years. It was no longer valid as ID or proof of American citizenship. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place and a deadline to register my car before I would break the law on that count for not having a valid car registration.

Finally and reluctantly I went on line and ordered a Pennsylvania issued certificate to save some time. It still took a couple of weeks to get it. LOL

So when I see Joe the Plumber’s Mom on You Tube shouting about the undocumented state of Obama’s black butt, I know that this broad has never left this country or the house she has lived in for decades. One day she will try to get a passport or move in with the kids across the stateline and not be able to transfer her driver’s license – BECAUSE she is an undocumented person, with a phony hospital issued birth certificate, living in our great and safe and no longer totally free land.

While we are at - have any of you “Birthers” seen Jesus’s birth certificate lately?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"In Doug Coe We Trust" - ???

A lot of things I want to comment on. I do not believe in the big conspiracy theories. I do believe that JFK was killed as a result of private money financing several covert operatives, one two or three of which pulled their trigger on November 22, 1963 in Dallas Texas. That being said I do not believe that 911 was an inside job, though like the JFK thing, some retired government employees may have sold knowledge to the enemy. Free agents, traitors, lobbyists – whatever. It still was a mess to clean up. The one thing I have noticed, having worked for a brief time for the Federal government is that it takes intelligence to do the conspiracy thing. Most Government employees could not survive in private sector jobs given their entitled attitude and their listening to Rush Limbaugh on their iPods while at their desks and pretending to work etc. Pay Rush a forty million dollar a year pension to retire and you will get at least a 40 billion dollar rise in government productivity overnight.

Over the weekend I noticed a dead file weekend story about atheists wanting to prevent the carving of “In God we Trust” in stone at the US Capitol visitors center. The visitor’s center is $400 million dollars over budget and four or five years behind schedule. Having worked for a construction company I understand how changes in a skyscraper from one purpose to another and by different divisions of a company – costs and reality get thrown to the wayside especially if you can write off the costs as a business expense. The three things that have brought my cloth coated America to its knees in recent decades has been big government, big corporations and big religion - the new "three estates" of the modern age. Where are people like you or me in that equation? No conspiracies there - just convenient and profitable intercourse and commerce. Where are people like me, a fool, a taxpayer, in this Ménage à trois thing?

Getting back to the new church vestibule of the $600 million dollar Capitol visitors center, I am willing to bet that the cost overruns had to do with building bunkers under the visitor’s centers for members of Congress in case of another 911 type attack. A necessary evil if that is the case.

Other than that I went back and forth with these two similar McClatchy news paper articles. The second one is from late 2008 about members of congress, some of the “C” Street Persuasion wanting or insisting that “In God We Trust” is the national motto and not “E Pluribus Unum” that I remember being taught in grade school civics class. I don’t know what they call civics class these days but I am willing to bet the “Civics” book weighs eleven pounds and costs $100 from the publisher. I got a better education from used text books, paperback civics texts and verbally from a teacher who was worth her shit in teaching than the whole modern fraud of education as a for profit business and not as a minimum cost community enterprise.

Atheists sue to keep 'In God We Trust' off Capitol Visitor Center

I do not agree with the Atheist argument that “In God We Trust” should be taken off the dollar bill or that the Pledge of Allegiance should drop the phrase “under God”. I believe that all that is grandfathered into the fabric of our past. I have to say that I cannot see spending another $150,000 to carve “In God We Trust” in stone in what would look like a government endorsement of theism and or religion.

But because the “C” Street Persuasion wants the phrase, I know in my heart of hearts it is not in reverence to the God that I believe in but in the god that they believe in – which represents greed, power and moral corruption for the elite. The Elite is in many cases represented by white racist coded words that represent denial of the loss of the Civil War and the loss of a way of life that crumbled with civil rights. These South Carolinians in particular and their confederate flag on the state house are the ones that dissed John McCain in 2000 and paved the way for their inbred white elite political messiah George W. Bush.

Conservative lawmakers bring God to Capitol Visitor Center

What is it like to live in a world of code words? Code Words for life, Code Words for God and or Jesus? Conspiracy? Part of the reason for the decline in attendance in church in the USA these past decades is the fact that Church now is a code word for political auxiliaries that many times reinforce denial about the basics such as life, liberty, privacy, sexuality in our modern world.

I know what “In God We Trust” is code for - for some so adamant to get their secular political quasi religious cult to make letters in stone in the US Capitol Building. Is it code for “In Doug Coe We Trust” which is probably already painted in gold in one of the private bunkers below ground reserved exclusively for this coven of white men pretending to be Christian?

God (the real One) protect us from all tax free religious fanatics and secular cultural PC lunatics!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Faithful of Allentown – Why don’t they like us anymore?

"Well we are living here in Allentown
And they're closing all the factories down…" Billy Joel
(Or more appropriately these days – They’re closing all the churches down...)

The opening title is I think from the POV of Parishioners of 47 Allentown Diocese churches closed in the past year. In typical arrogant RC archaic hierarchical, myopic management style, the outgoing Bishop Cullen cleaned all the shit off his desk – 47 Parishes in time for his mandatory retirement at age 75. The new guy will only have to worry about disposal of real estate assets and sending the cash to Rome - cushy job assignment. I hear he is a scholar like the pope.

Allentown Diocese Church Closings – Photo Gallery

An article today from Allentown about how some are getting along in the new compressed, condensed parish compactor solution – squeezing two or three parishes together with a part time priest to say one or two masses a week on an itinerate schedule commuting from parish to parish to say those masses – “modern RC management styles 101” to the layman.

Appeals and a prayer

I can see where a lot of ethnic RC churches should be closed as church attendance dwindles among the young. A lot of these old ethnic enclaves are sometimes situated within a block or two of each other. I see that demographic aspect of it from my own youth in Philly. The rest of it is management from the top, from the local bishop, from the local Cardinal, from the cleric in Rome deciding the fate of parishes in upstate Pennsylvania over his cappuccino at a sidewalk café in Rome.

My cynicism, my empathy for the little people dispatched from life long places of worship does not change anything. As sometimes happens lately, I was reading a different religious story when someone sent the article today from Allentown.

My concept, my feel for religion, comfortable feel for faith is for local control. In that sense I took part of my opening title from an article from a Baptist Pastor with his small congregation in Virginia.

Sermon Criticism- Why don’t they like us anymore?

Dan Kimball’s book, They Like Jesus But Not The Church, is a case-study of several young adults Kimball interviewed. Basically, they consider themselves to be spiritual, but not religious — just like our famous book from the 1970s. But here’s what they don’t like about the church. These are the actual chapter titles in Kimball’s book –

• The church is an organized religion with a political agenda.
• The church is judgmental and negative.
• The church is dominated by males and oppresses females.
• The church is homophobic (meaning, the church fears and/or hates homosexuals)
• The church arrogantly claims all other religions are wrong.
• The church is full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally.
Apparently the Baptists have some of the same problems in attracting youth, among others to gather in church on Sunday, same as the Catholics.

Perhaps ”we need fresh moral guidelines to address the structural and systemic sinfulness of our time”. *

That being said Pastor Chuck Warnock of Chatham Baptist Church in Chatham, VA also has a bit of a visionary thing that might be applied to keeping some church complexes in Allentown open – to raise cash to pay electricity etc. Pastor Warnock looks to the past of self sufficiency – local control – as was the case in Celtic monasteries of the past.

The Abbey Church

It is not necessarily a solution but I think of old rectories, convents, school halls and say why can’t they be used to make a few bucks as youth hostels, stopping off places for traveling the road in an increasingly budget conscience America.

Churches used to be the center of real neighborhoods and real communities - not virtual. In the past half century of Wharton Spreadsheet Mythology, they, along with people, have merely become penciled in figures in some distant, hands off, no accountability, front office chancellery.

As the human culture becomes more global in orientation, the more local traditions need to be retained, maintained and reframed to offset the new global madness.

* John Mark Ministries - Book Review