Sunday, November 22, 2009

Manhattan Declaration, a Christian Bilderberg Pact?

I often hear, in my mind, the last words of the American Declaration of Independence:
And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Last Friday a bunch of right wing clerics signed a religious document to further the fight in the cultural wars in this country against the secular beliefs of the majority.

This declaration deals with three issues – sacredness of life – definition of marriage (for you stupid people out there) – and protection against attacks on Religious Freedom.

I respect the right to life. I will not impose my ethical standards on strangers, and in particular women, on how to manage their life and bodies.

I have defined marriage as union between two loving people taking vows to be faithful to one another.

I don’t for the life of me understand Religious Freedom beyond what has been practiced for two centuries in this country.

The first two I won’t talk about. The Religious Freedom to impose religious dogma onto the secular world is an abuse of Religious Freedom. If you cannot control the hearts and minds of your members inside your church building, do not try to abort my secular rights in favor of your slanted superstitious view of the world.

I keep hearing Sarah Palin testing the waters on this issue of attacks on “Christians” which fits into her myopic paranoid wingnut thing. No doubt we will be hearing that phrase or something like it en masse in the coming days of Health Care Reform debate and into the 2010 and 2012 elections. Michael Steele will no doubt be handing out to Fox News a daily talking point memo from the RNC to the Media and authored directly by this Christian Bilderberg group.

Be prepared to be asked to sign your secular rights away in the days and months going forward against separation of church and state and in favor of theocracy.

This “Manhattan Declaration” was not nailed to the door of a cathedral. It was “launched” at the National Press Club with Chuck Colson, a Nixon crook, leading the charge. This PR campaign is headed I am told by the DeMoss PR group which handled Mitt Romney’s PR problem with being a Mormon during his campaign. (Mormon money here backing this thing?)

The document is signed by a lot of right wing Catholic types, a genuine clique within the USCCB most of whom are waiting and wondering where their red hats have gotten to.

There are four signing Episcopalian Bishops who have broken with that group over women's and gay rights.

There are of course some evangelicals James Dobson and the like.

This, another money laundering, non-profit hate group will no doubt last a few years or at least until the 2012 Presidential election and the crowning of Romney or Huckabee as our next “Christian” (white) President?

Keep your powder dry in the days, weeks and months ahead. The far right religious wingnuts now officially join the ranks of the far right politcos hoping and praying to steal their country back from America.

Who’s Who and What’s Up with the Manhattan Declaration

The Right's New Manhattan Project

Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience

Catholic Sharia War On Women Continues

Congressman Patrick Kennedy is now being asked to screw the 36% of Rhode Islanders that he represents, who are not Catholic, over Catholic Sharia Law about Abortion.

The War on Women and their vaginas continues with this latest assault from Bishop Thomas Tobin of Rhode Island who is drooling to get his red hat over this public fight in the middle of the Health Care Reform debate.

Tobin is refusing Holy Communion to Kennedy in his bailiwick over his beliefs that women should choose their own destiny over their own body.

Congressman Kennedy picked the wrong Bishop to mess with
“Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,” especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people, including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so."

(comment) Next step: official censure or excommunication. Rep. Kennedy has now been publicly rebuked and invited to convert and offer repentance.
Saint Thomas More, ex-Lord Chancellor of England, could not in conscience, follow the reckless path of the glutton Monarch Henry VIII.

Refusing to sign an oath that would have gone against his conscience, he lost his head on the chopping block.

The main foundation of this nation, the United States, of people once persecuted in England and Europe over religious scruples, is not to have to bow down and abide with the unreasonable demands of petty tyrants over matters of conscience. That was what the Protestant Reformation was about – and also the escape to freedom in America - over matters of Conscience.

Today is the tyranny of Bishop Tobin demanding that the continuing RC War On Women (WOW) be carried out blindly by U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.

If Kennedy follows the religious bigotry of Bishop Tobin and complies with Catholic Sharia Law, Kennedy and all good Catholic Politicians must resign.

No man can serve two masters. No man can half represent, serve all the people, in his district in matters of public policy over the priority of mere private religious beliefs.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sabbath Tales

I have met and know of some remarkable men in my life. Since it is Friday and tonight at sundown marks the start of the traditional Jewish Sabbath, let me tell a few tales.

The man who baptized me or more accurately the man who was founder and pastor of my parish in Philly was a fanatic of sorts. He started out life as an Episcopalian, changed Christian registration to R.C. when in the seminary and went on to start a new R.C. parish. The parish was sort of in between a lot of other established parishes and the land in between those other churches began to be developed, houses built, and there was a need for a new church, school etc. in the first decades of the twentieth century in that part of Philly.

Let me call this man Father Ed. He was of the old “God is to be feared” school of beliefs. He was an Old Testament kind of guy.

He was dead by the time I reached first grade. I have heard stories about him. One from a home inspector who related the story about being an altar boy in my parish and being five minutes late for mass. Father Ed ranted into him at the end of service about how you can’t be late for God. The priest also made the boy serve everyday for a year at 6:00 a.m. mass as punishment. That priest made an impression on that guy but I don’t think that Father Ed made a friend.

Then, as it happens sometimes in life, a lady knocked on the door and said that she had been raised in our house and asked if she might get a quick nostalgic view inside. She then got into some stories about the neighborhood. The one story I remember most was about Father Ed.

There was a Russian tailor in our neighborhood. He also did dry cleaning and his store was a block away from our house. We did business with the man. In the story of the visiting lady we finally understood why some of our neighbors took their dry cleaning three blocks away and not use the local guy. The Russian was also a Jew and a good tailor I might add. My parents, for working class, were flaming liberals. Being Jewish did not matter to them. That and my father liked to haggle.

The lady went on to say that as a child, she and her friends used to taunt the man. Let me say anti-Semitism was rampant in America back then in the 1930's, at least in this neighborhood. Well Father Ed got wind of the fact that some of his parishioners and children were harassing the man and boycotting his business. Father Ed made it a point to visit the tailor and bring his dry cleaning four blocks from the rectory. In good weather, Father Ed sat on the store stoop and smoked a cigar together with the tailor as a means to make a statement of sorts to the neighborhood. Apparently Father Ed and the tailor became good friends as the result of this local anti-Semitism.

Which leads me to the story of my next door neighbor in Arizona. Perry had a remarkable life. Left home and dairy farm in Minnesota when he was fifteen in the middle of the depression and headed west. He wanted to be a cowboy and that he became for some years. Then when World War II broke out he went up to Canada and joined the fight. He hit Juno beach on D-Day as a lieutenant in the Canadian army. He married a Brit, brought his war bride home and settled into life in Arizona B.A.C. (before air conditioning).

Perry joined the post office and then worked his way up to postmaster before retirement. I got to talk to him over the fence as a neighbor. Good stories. Went into his house a few times and vice versa. All in all, he was a great neighbor.

Then one day his wife came to us to tell us that Perry had skin cancer, that they did some necessary surgery but that the disease may have spread. I am not sure how all this got started. Perhaps my neighbor’s wife was talking to my wife and then the topic came up about me being an elder in a local church. Apparently Perry had no religious ties. I would have assumed that he might have attended church in his youth in Minnesota. His wife asked if I would talk to him.

I went over to the man in his house and tried to give comfort. I don’t think he wanted me there. Perhaps he was in denial of his own mortality. No doubt he sensed how green I was in giving comfort. I admit it. I couldn’t do him any good. Between his resistance and my inexperience, I did not serve his needs very well sad to say. Perry died suddenly about two weeks later while working in the garden. We went to give comfort to the wife next door that night and then we attended a graveside service a few days later.

This is where I get some reality checks put into my little bubble world of beliefs. I met Episcopal nuns at the graveside. I never knew such an animal existed. They had educated Perry’s children. There were lots of neighbors, relatives and co-workers from the post office. The most interesting person I met was a female Rabbi. Perry was Jewish?

I was a bit taken aback. I had heard the story about how Perry and his war bride had built the second house in this desert housing community in 1948. When I closed on the house next door, I got my deed of title or whatever and included in the paperwork was a covenant of restrictions set on the property when it was built.

That covenant was of course stamped with a label “Null and Void under Federal Civil Rights Act of...” The nasty thing about that covenant was the few pages that made it quite clear in a long range of specifics that no ...”Jews, negroes or dogs...” were allowed in this housing development etc.

As it turned out, Perry had no religious affiliation. His wife was Jewish. I chuckled about how a man like Perry, this cowboy, this war hero, this postmaster must have laughed at the WASP covenant of restrictions. Here was a real individual. Here was an old fashioned American. Here was a man.

Perry had made arrangements with the rabbi to be buried in solidarity with his wife’s belief system. Was Perry a believer, an atheist, an agnostic? I don’t know. In retrospect I don’t care. I knew the man. He was good ethical man. I prayed for him.

Part of being a cultural Christian is that you can embrace people of other beliefs, respect them and still retain you basic feel for yourself and not compromise your basic faith.

America’s greatest strength is and has always been its diversity.

Amidst this eclectic graveside audience, I had an epiphany. I also think that that paradigm shift thing happened.

It was fascinating to hear the twenty third psalm read in Hebrew. I am not certain that the Kaddish was said there but I realized something about my own belief systems. Christianity is wrapped up in a lot of layers of traditions, sacred tradition, faith, grace, propaganda, love, hate and on an on.

There under a blistering Arizona sun, prayers for a Jew were said in the desert. Were these the similar prayers that Joseph of Aramathea read over Jesus’ broken and lifeless body on Good Friday at twilight, eve of Sabbath?

You could be surrounded with stone cathedrals, and stained glass and the gospels could be read from a Gutenberg bible and the minister could be wrapped in gold cloth. But could you get any more from prayers at the end of your life than my neighbor got that day or when Jesus was interred and they rolled the stone in front of the tomb?

It makes you think. It made me think.

Good Sabbath.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dysfunctional Nature of American Culture

Going back to Franklin Graham’s photo-op trip to Russian Mission Alaska to “feed the poor”, I must say the then Gov. Palin’s remarks about Native American culture in Alaska were ignorant – they were not malicious – they were insular and insensitive. While many would try to make Sarah a monster, she is the typical stay at home mom type who has let her man rule the roost so to speak.

Running a cracker jack town like Wasilla was no doubt in the part time and President of the local PTA league of things. She was close to being a stay at home mom, refusing to stay at the Governor’s mansion in Juneau and commuting back and forth by plane to work. As such she becomes an icon or a hero to all those clinging to the once familiar dad works and mom stays at home to cook, clean and take care of the kids scenario.

Working moms as a large piece of the population has peaked during wars but the idea of two working parents became a necessity in the seventies with inflation making it impossible to live on one salary. Enough said on that.

I go back to a book on pop psychology “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” in the early seventies that said many things unpopular with the professional shrink community. I do not have an exact quote but I remember reading how a dysfunctional family might have its roots in events going back generations. When this book was written I don’t think that child abuse and such were even greatly talked about.

Using that pop psychology idea as a model I look at United States history differently. Outsiders see one United States. There are fifty states and maybe a dozen commonly functioning regions. The original idea of putting a name on a map, of dividing a land in a distant capital is part of the present day dysfunction of America in places.

One of the things on U.S. maps is how in a past function setting, mountains and rivers became logical lines on maps in that surveying was an impossible or costly matter.

In modern times you see a vibrant city like New York, Philadelphia or St. Louis and because of a waterway, a line on a map, the regional potential of these cities shifts in other directions. As a result you have Newark, Camden or East St. Louis disconnected from a sister city’s prosperity and progressive function. Some cities and areas of the U.S. do prosper in a regional functional setting. Each must be taken on a situation by situation basis.

The outsider if they see the United States they will say that the U.S. was spared the direct horrors of war and destruction in WWII. True. But if one looks at the history of the U.S. you begin to see hot spots where battles between states in the Civil War has left it mark on the psyche of a state or a region. In fact Americans in the Civil War were guinea pigs for European munitions’ manufacturers' observations and design. The horrors of WWI and its anti-human technology scales got its initial designs tested in the American Civil War.

What we may be seeing in these lean economic times are some dysfunctional aspects of America Culture that gets sidelined by mainstream historians in prosperous times but become blatantly evident now.

Since this is a blog and not a history book I will mention a few things I have observed of late about guns, race and religion.

One, that the obsession of guns with Americans may have started with the Indians. The original settlers from Europe pushed the native population further and further back not so much by killing the enemy so to speak, as much as over populating a region. The overflow of the European culture pushed the natives back who were not assimilated into the greater white culture.

With guns, Americans fought the British and threw them out. History will say that the loyalists or royalists went out on ships from New York city in 1781. No. Only the well to do or the lucky got shipped out. The rest lost their lands in the east coast and walked to Canada or walked out west. I cannot talk about Canadians here but I believe that paranoid obsessions of Americans in the present day has to do with Loyalists on the run and with only guns to protect themselves. What I see when I observe a fanatical NRA member is somebody still looking over their shoulders centuries after their ancestors lost in the Revolutionary war.

When Jackson made it official federal government policy to forcibly transport Indians out west, he did so with a racist bent. Jefferson wanted Indians to live in peaceful land ghettos (apartheid) trading with the white culture. Jackson saw Jefferson’s assimilation working too well in that assimilation meant racial mixing. What’s next after you have a sizable population of mixed Indians with Europeans? Next step is mixing with Africans which were slaves. America on all levels and in all regions of the country is still dealing with the side effects of the abolition of slavery one hundred and forty four years later.

Jackson’s idea to send Indians out west was obsolete from day one – the “Trail of Tears”, in hindsight, was unnecessary. The federal government did not get all the Indians in the east and shipping them out west would not solve anything with the railroad only a generation away from shrinking the world.

The same way that descendents of loyalists gone out west are looking over their shoulders, you have fundamentalists that are still locked mentally into 16th and 17th century European religious warfare. The push out west was in a way, in some cases, having one past disfunctionality overlapping with another. One of the things I see most in the hotspots of American fundamentalism are places with tons of violence associated with them in American history with territorial wars, the Indians, Civil War and land grabs.

Surely, the bible belt across the south is a place where Jesus is a code word for Robert E. Lee, the coming messiah, and such. The south along with the loyalists lost - and got lost - along the way in history.

Kansas and Oklahoma, diamonds on the fundamentalist tiara, have extreme histories of violence before, during and after the Civil War. And within the context of a population always moving on. In a way a lot of people in Oklahoma, were put there by Jackson and the invisible prison bars are still keeping them there.

Look at history differently. When I hear these hack southern politicians, GOP and blue dogs, their thinly veiled rhetoric is something out of Gone with the Wind – which of course is code talk for the good old days of majority white rule. Majority white rule is obsolete. It goes the way of all dysfunctional matters in the next few years.

The good future for all of us - will be for those of us who do not look back on the present dysfunctional state of the American Political, Economic and Belief establishments.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hates Crimes - Pennsylvania - Compassion

A long awaited Hates Crimes Bill recently made it through the Pennsylvania state House Judiciary Committee.

Pa. House panel approves hate-crimes bill
Two years after a court threw out language that extended the state's hate-crimes law to protect gays, women, and the disabled, a bill to reinstate those protections has cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly.
With the Political Incorrectness typical of the national Republican Party – it is reflected in the Country Club locker room rhetoric of a local state Representative:
An opponent of the bill, Rep. Tim Krieger (R., Westmoreland), said justice was "supposed to be blind" and not recognize the status of the victim or the accused. The bill says "some people are more equal than others," he asserted.
The bill is likely to pass in the House and faces a tough uphill battle in the Republican controlled Senate.

The remarks of Representative Krieger seems to reflect sentiments of some in Indiana County, next door to Kreiger’s neck of the woods Westmoreland county in a small community that had a cross burning over the weekend.

Family: Black player targeted in western Pa. cross burning
State police are investigating a cross burning in western Pennsylvania outside a home of a white family who have taken in a black child who plays for the local high school football team.

State police say they still don't know who burned the six-foot wooden cross that Joe and Mary Walbeck found charred in their yard early Sunday. The Walbecks live in West Wheatfield Township, Indiana County, about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh.
James Carville, a famous political consultant to Bill Clinton among others has been quoted as saying that Pennsylvania is "two cities (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) separated by Alabama."

I know that there are many decent people in between Philly and Pittsburgh who would not or could burn crosses. In fact I think this incident in Indiana County is a throwback to the past. It does not take too much imagination to see someone jealous of this young man and his athletic abilities trying to scare him. The irony in all this is that few if any noticed the cross burning until it was all over. Yawn! The days of raw aggressive hate in this nation are over and gone into recession?

And then again, ugly hate spills over as in the 1998 torture and killing of a gay Matthew Shepard in Wyoming.

The Hack Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx stood on the floor of the House of Representatives in DC and said that the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Bill was not necessary because Matthew’s death was not a hate crime. She called that Hate Crime bill a “Hoax”. That Shepard was not killed because he was gay. He was killed as the result of a botched robbery attempt.

I don’t know if or how she framed, distorted the lynching of James Byrd Jr. in Texas in 1998? It must have been a doozy and oozing with non-compassion for her fellow humanity. That is if she, true southern belle that she is, even bothered to find the time to mention the murder of an African-American.

Where is your compassion Virginia Foxx?

Where is your compassion Tim Kreiger?

The shrinking festering core of the Republican Party lacks compassion. Until that party finds humanity and love and respect of humanity other than its phony anti-choice rhetoric, the nation cannot heal itself and be rid of the masked unofficial fostered policies – is it hatred – of the GOP.

Where is your Compassion?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quaker Cross - a Symbol for Compassion?

I ran into this modern symbol of the Society of Friends or Quakers. It is called a Quaker cross. It was first used by relief workers, as a symbol on their arms, by British Quakers in the Franco Prussian war in 1870-1871. It was also used as an armband for British conscientious objectors in WWI who did non-armed battlefield services.

The symbol above was adopted as the official symbol of the American Friends Service Committee in 1917. The variaton shown above is from the Australian Friends relief agency.

I like the circle around it. It really took me by surprise in that I grew up in Philly, a traditional center of Quaker culture, and never saw it before today. The Friends or the Quakers have been quietly doing charitable work for centuries without a visible or bloated bureaucratic religious leadership always handing out PR statements.

The Quakers as a Christian religion has a centuries old tradition of care for the mentally ill, anti-slavery campaigning and advocacy of equal rights for women. They also continue to condemn violence, the death penalty and war.

As such, as soon as I saw this symbol and understood its origin, I thought of the possible need of a visual for the Campaign for Compassion and or course the Tibetan Buddhist concept of Compassion, both of which are not unlike Jesus’ command to love your neighbor.

Of course you cannot steal a symbol but perhaps the design in two other colors could represent compassion.

Any suggestions on two good colors to go with a symbol design already associated with love and peace?

Mutiny - Imperial Wars - Obama

The one word that I did not hear on the self muzzled Main Stream Media the other week or so ago when Major Hasan went off on his crazy exercise in “religion” against his fellow troops at Fort Hood. That word is mutiny.


As inferior as Major Hasan is as a human being for his hatred of his fellow humanity in the name of Allah - let’s face it he was a third rate mind with a Shrink’s degree ready to give third rate treatment to our troops. It makes for, I think, - not an exception to the rule of the readiness or steadfastness of the military - but the rule itself about how thin the army is spread in Bush’s and now Obama’s Imperial Wars in Asia.

Imperial Wars? No formal declaration of War. Perhaps a quick incursion into Afghanistan was a necessary reaction to 911 but Iraq is pure whimsy and ego of a former Emperor’s idiot son.

Time was when wars were good for the Economy! Can somebody tell me with the Humvee Division of General Motors being recently sold to China – will military hummers be coming out of China now to fight the Imperial Wars?

War is good no doubt for everybody except US! (U.S.)

I caught this story about a female trooper who is refusing to deploy because she has no family member who can take care of her ten month old baby.

Soldier mom refuses deployment to care for baby
Spc. Alexis Hutchinson, 21, claims she had no choice but to refuse deployment orders because the only family she had to care for her 10-month-old son — her mother — was overwhelmed by the task, already caring for three other relatives with health problems.

Her civilian attorney, Rai Sue Sussman, said Monday that one of Hutchinson's superiors told her she would have to deploy anyway and place the child in foster care.
Talk about ripping a baby away from its mother’s tit!

And her commander’s mean spirited demand for sacrifice from the ranks is ridiculous. When was the last time a Tim Geithner type or any of his frat house cronies on Wall Street ever make any sacrifice for this country?

Spc. Hutchinson and Major Hasan are merely the few truths that leak out these days and are not covered up by the MSM and their corporate bosses. Mutiny and revolution seem to be in the air in America. The Tea Baggers are only the tip of an Iceberg ready to sink the American Ship of State.

Obama, you are only as good as your generals or your secretary of the Treasury (and as an after thought – your troops?). I think you are in deep shit and a one term Imperial President. You’re young. You can make a comeback. Grover Cleveland, a democrat, was both the 22nd and 24th President.

The GOP on permanent lockdown of the soul and forty million dollar a year radio shock jocks want America to fail. Obama is only temporary America. The GOP is hoping to return to the lily white Ozzie and Harriet, Beaver Cleaver days of the 1950’s – it ain’t coming back boys. To be treasonous on a low flame on the back burner of our Republic is to still be treasonous when you absolutely refuse to help the domestic agenda in Congress. That is mutiny and punishable by death in times of war. (let’s not get too dramatic here)

And the attitude of Cheney is one of dictator, on Elba, waiting for a neocon coup to put his marvelous failed management techniques back online. Good luck with that Dick!

This volunteer army thing took responsibility away from the children of boomers who did not serve in Vietnam and who got deferments. These children of the boomers went onto college and took over Wall Street and lost Wall Street and got a free pass and are now riding high again on a Wall Street temporary comeback (until the next crash) where three quarters of the Wall Street jobs have already been outsourced to Bombay in the last decade or so.

Wall Street makes government subsidized profits/bonuses and Main street gets screwed.

Getting back to the Volunteer army where the children of those who bore the full brunt of the Vietnam travesty are now on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan.

The only jobs on Main Street these days for the young are outsourced military jobs overseas so to speak.

Mutiny happens. Mutiny happened in Roman times. Mutinies usually happen when the general in charge can’t manage day to day operations. What the troops endure now is wasted on a selfish, uncaring, greedy government in Washington totally out of touch with reality and totally out of touch with its people.

Mutiny can turn into revolution. Ask Russia about that and seventy wasted years of their history. The irony is that the GOP is now consuming itself and consuming any possible team effort (third string) on Capitol Hill to help America back out of the economic hospital the country is now in. Of course America and its economy does not have healthcare etc. Who pulls the ultimate plug on America? The GOP?

Dear President Obama. Good luck in your dealing with your overstretched Imperial army in an artificial worldwide empire, there only to cover corporations’ backs and not the third class American citizenry back here at home.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Secular Sense vs. Hate

The same way that a majority of American Catholics believe in pro-choice in terms of birth control, I believe that a near majority of Americans, at least in bigger cities, have come to tolerate the LGBT population of our country. Having Secular Sense is the common sense of decent people.

I would believe that the tediousness of this round after round and wave after wave of hate financed in part by the vast far right conspiracy in this country is running out of steam. Running out of steam but apparently not out of money.

With the steam going out of Gay Hate for the moment – no imminent Gay Bashing Propositions on any local ballots within sight, some groups are falling back on centuries old anti-Semitic Jew-Hating.

One group in particular has refocused its hate programs away from Gays and onto Jews because ”… Jews have been carrying the water for the homosexual agenda."

I dislike naming this group that pours 300 % of its energy into hate at this one particular Clubhouse (not a church) in Topeka KS. This is the group that “protests” outside the gates of cemeteries of slain U.S. Military Personnel - service men and women. They say they are glad that these fallen heroes are dead and they hate war and they hate soldiers and after twenty years of gay hate, when nobody will pay attention to them anymore, they fill the gaps in their time and very expensive traveling schedule to hate Jews here and there.

Even if they are using the church bus, they must need an awful lot of cash for gasoline and service station cokes. It is always a question in mind of who finances these lunatics?

They of course have a first amendment right to “assemble” and “protest”.

Anti-gay church sets its sights on Jews
“This is more about generating ink and outrage than it is about attacking Jews per say," said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. "But their language is absolutely Hitler-esque. They talk of filthy Jews and Jews murdering Christ."

Since April, … members have protested more than 200 Jewish institutions and sent thousands of anti-Semitic faxes to American Jewish officials. "I guess they felt it was a successful tactic," said Deborah Lauter, the national civil rights director for the Anti-Defamation League.
Hate is hate and with nationally financed Hate Agendas to cause distractions as ”Bread and Circus” - it keeps the greedy in power for a while longer until the house of cards falls in the end.

One day the hate is anti-female with the abortion issue. Next day the hate is against the Gays with same sex marriage. Today it seems to be the Jews and hate against them - to get the media, MSM, to produce a news story to air or print and ignore the real problems in this country left unfinished on the nation’s table.

One thing more about Secular Sense as I mentioned above. Before, I was only for civil unions but seeing how orchestrated and well financed far right hate has become – it is Gay Marriage – all or nothing - that I will tolerate with my Secular Sense to offset all this negative energy and bad karma from the far right haters in this fair and tolerant land.


Mosque of Miriam Paris?

America used to be called the dumping ground of Europe. Europe, now with so many immigrants, will be twenty percent Muslim by 2050 by stats I have seen lately. Nothing outwardly wrong with that unless you fear Islam. (And the GOP vehemently complains about the many Catholics coming north from Meso-America.)

Is it possible to envision the sale of an unused obsolete house of worship like Notre Dame in Paris around 2075 with the plaza outside to accommodate daily Muslim prayers? Anything is possible. Whatever.

Anti-science campaigns by fundamentalists in this country have brought forth a kind of false science with the resurrection of dinosaurs to stand along side Jesus in popular local belief and myth as creationism.

Creationism, by default, would seem to be slipping into Islamic common beliefs or lack of them. It is not that I am campaigning for or against Charles Darwin, patron saint of modern science, but only three or so of twenty-two Muslim majority population countries even touch upon the topic of evolution in their education systems.

Creationism would seem to happen by default by either believing in the literal myth of creation in Genesis or by the lack of any Genesis like text in Islam.

As such, educated scientific minds of all persuasions, Muslim or not, gathered in Cairo this week to discuss the western, European concept of evolution.

Egypt’s Darwin debates
She (Dr. Eugenie Scott) objected to science being viewed through a religious filter and said the two should not be confused. "A biologist who studies enzymes that cause cell division does not bring the Qur'an or Bible into it. It does a great violence to science to run your explanation through a religious filter for this understanding to be accepted."
Lots of uncharted grounds here in the merging of cultures, religions, sciences, myths and human nature.

Islam as a culture carried on basic science while Europe wallowed in the ignorance of the Dark Ages. It would appear that there is at present no real dividing line, concepts set in stone by words, by culture, or in thought about the idea of science or evolution or even the strictest sense of creationism across the Islamic world.

Creationism Gains Ground in Europe
Prof Reiss will tell the gathering that many European nations are yielding to pressure exerted from both East and West in the growth of creationist beliefs, with Muslim immigrants on one side and the importation of Christian fundamentalism on the other…

“What the Turks believe today is what the Germans and British believe tomorrow. It is because of the mass movement of people between countries,” he told The Guardian newspaper yesterday. “These things can no longer be thought of as occurring in other countries.

In London ... there are increasingly quite large numbers of highly intelligent 16, 17 and 18-year-olds doing advanced-level biology who do not accept evolution. That’s either because they come from a fundamentalist Christian background or from Muslim backgrounds.”…

But Prof Reiss said although Islam does not suggest that the world was very young – a tenet of Christian creationism – its texts say different organisms had separate origins.
The world continues to merge in thoughts and deeds. The future global society is one of a mix of many things both of scientific and religious myth.

The future is full of possibilities real, imagined and unimagined. The tidal wave of humanity and mixed ideas are already washing over the landscape in the growing Global Culture. Many perspectives are too close to focus on at present. I do not care whether Darwin or Jesus’ pet dinosaur wins in the end. I will not likely be alive in any case to see that future cultural landscape.

Food for thought.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Marriage is Union - Father Wuerl

Did Jesus piss on lepers? No. He embraced them with love and the Holy Spirit.

The mean spirited fundamentalist Sharia RC hierarchy in Washington D.C. is threatening to toss out the homeless onto the streets out of their temporary shelters. How Christian of them!

They in essence want to pull some morality clause in their contract with the city to take money for administering certain charity functions. They are in essence saying that the city government, with recognition of same sex marriages from other states, is not somebody with whom they want to do business with.

They are threatening to toss the poor if the city government continues to recognize any same-sex marriage as valid - if it was performed in any U.S. State that gives it recognition.

The District of Columbia with the federal city of Washington within is that unrepresented place for its permanent citizens and being the one last Slave like Territory left in the Untied States. (most of its citizens are black and without rights if you count representation as a right and or entitlement)

The Washington City Council did the one practical thing a territorial government would do. It decided last May to do what would be a diplomatic solution regarding Same-Sex Unions of people newly arrived or already a resident. They recognized legalized same-sex marriages from other nearby countries – The States. Not good enough for the Catholic Sharia!!!

The Sharia wants a ballot initiative in an election and with backing of millions of dollars of the political/religionist conservatives. PR companies make a lot of money lately off of what is basically hate.

The ballot initiative would basically define Marriage as between one man and one woman.

I hate to get technical here seeing that I don’t have a Doctor of Divinity and all that. Even when I was a RC, marriage was defined as a sacrament and contracted between the two parties making the marriage.

When I was active as a Lutheran Catholic, Marriage was not considered a sacrament. The Lutherans only define Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as sacraments as defined or found in the words, documentation of the New Testament. Even then, the Lutherans still considered marriage as between the two contracting parties. The minister only officiates as a couple declare vows to one another.

Marriage is a Union of two people, two souls joining together in body and spirit and agreeing to be faithful to one another until death. That is my definition of marriage.

Why all the Stalinist micromanaging of what goes on in somebody’s bedroom Father Wuerl? I think that the hierarchy of the RC church should be the last persons on earth to define marriage based on sexuality considering the very closeted nature of their own (?) sexuality.

This non-stop far right coup-attempting to control the mind of mankind - to get everybody to memorize and quote exactly from the little red book of fundamentalist sharia bullshit – it is getting old – very old.

If the Archdiocese does not want charity handouts from government – then get out of the people business.

How do you define people? I don’t know. Let’s hire some PR firms, form political actions committees, put an initiative on the ballot and most importantly of all - ship in some suitcases of cash from Rome and Tulsa!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hijacked by Fundamentalists?

I saw an interview with Dede Scozzafava last night on the Rachel Maddow show. Dede is the recently withdrawn GOP congressional candidate for the 23rd District in New York State. She had not been directly dealt with a lot or fairly in the press through the recent GOP conservative coup in upstate New York. With her name, it is hard to say or remember for some, she is now asserting herself, catching her breath and back painting her view of recent events.

Of all the things Dede said, the thing that struck me was how some lobbyist like Dick Armey made the comment that local matters in the 23rd district did not matter. “All politics are local” like your greed Dick. Anyway, this is not about the GOP but it is indirectly about how coups or the hijacking of national institutions or a national POV can be manipulated or altered.

As I think I have stated in an earlier blog in terms of any future Global Culture, local politics and local belief systems should be respected and left alone to a point by the dominant Global energy forces – respect for local as a building block of the greater whole of the global.

The Mormons, I have commented on in terms of their Non Profit role in the National Organization for Marriage NOM have fed money to California’s Prop 8 and Maine’s Prop 1. They even had enough church money left over to screw Dede Scozzafava over her and her district’s POV and support the megalithic ego of Dick Armey in the process.

Seems that the Mormons are backing away from their full hate program and supporting some basic civil rights of Gays living in Salt Lake City by supporting anti-discrimnation legislation there.

Mormons throw support behind gay-rights cause
The Mormon church — which continues to suffer a backlash over its support last year of Proposition 8, the measure banning gay marriage in California — emphasized that its latest position in no way contradicts its teachings on homosexuality.

But the action is one of the strongest signs yet that even conservative religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage might be willing to support legal protections for gays that fall short of that.
In a way what does not destroy you only makes you stronger or something like that and a quote from Hemmingway. Perhaps all this persecution of the Gays only makes them stronger. And makes them push back.

The LGBT community has after some years of pressure gotten the LAPD to drop sponsorship of Boy Scouts programs.

LAPD cuts ties to the Boy Scouts – with some red flags
Contracting with businesses or organizations that discriminate based on sexual orientation – as the private, religious BSA has a US Supreme Court-granted right to do – violates city law.
There are instances where over the past several decades since the beginning of civil rights in America, where the ongoing never ending attempted coup on the right has gone unnoticed perhaps. Perhaps vested institutions like the BSA that proudly took up anti-gay and anti-Atheist leadership have been hijacked by that very real far right conspiracy. Hijacked in terms of $$$$ and stated goals of the institution.

While the far right conspiracy in America does not have the numbers yet at any poll to regain its majority status in government, it would seem to have bottomless resources from PACs and Non-Profits and tax free right fundamentalist church institutions.

Which came first – The Fundamentalist Agenda or the secret political funding to hijack the Fundamentalist Movement as safe cover for political power?

At this point is it not safe to say that Conservative = Fundamentalist. That the two have merged, mutated into one, and are basically one and the same Political/Religionist or Religionist/Political beast on the American landscape.

Did the fundamentalists hijack the boy scouts decades ago? Perhaps on some local level, some groups operate and do not care about the politics and religion practiced in the front office. Other groups like in Salt Lake City let their eagle scouts get that status for Mormon Community Service chores and tasks – cleaning carpet. Whatever.

If the BSA continue to advocate an obsolete anti-gay anti-atheist party line, it had better have funding other than from the public in general like the United Way. Has the last local chapter of the United Way in America finally dropped the BSA – a hijacked institution?

This brings one thing to mind. I have been trashing the hierarchy of the RC church for its failure to lead in the past few decades. I begin to see how the leadership of the American RC church has possibly been hijacked by a fundamentalist theme with its absolute party line about anti-choice and anti-female matters.

The only thing I will never find out about is where the funding of this fundalmentalist theme comes from – from within or without the RC church. Is there a RC Dick Armey lobbyist type out there, with suitcases of cash for a worthy cause – the bishops retirement fund, who is the one real person in charge of the RC church in America?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seeds of Light

Stupak-Pitts anti-female Amendment and the Need for The Equal Rights Amendment

The House health care reform bill got narrowly passed on Saturday with one minor amendment that with all the legal jargon and loopholes would effectively ban all abortion in any health care plan nationwide that receives government subsidies.

Think of all the money Insurance Companies will save abolishing this one medical procedure used only by women. While I do not see this as passing in any final Senate House Bill, I am reminded by the indecency of this amendment of another amendment, the sleeping Equal Rights Amendment and it only needing three more states to ratify it.

It is time to stop all this medieval anti-female religious and political discrimination in this country!

It is time for equal rights in health care!

It is time to turn the table on these sniveling conspiring bunch of brain dead anti-female fundamentalists!
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
There are various things happening with that equal rights amendment. It is not dead. It only needs a bunch of angry women and gays to push for its gender neutral language to guarantee anything having to do with SEX. I think that in today’s realistic worldview that includes sexual orientation and Gay marriage along with physical gender.

Equal Rights Amendment
An article by three law students, published in the William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law in 1997 explained a legal rationale for the "three-state strategy." It argued that:

1. The 35 ratifications from state legislatures during the 1970s remain valid;

2. Rescissions of prior ratifications are not constitutional;

3. The 1978 extension of the ERA's deadline demonstrates that Congress can amend previously established deadlines; and

4. The Twenty seventh Amendment's more than 202 year ratification period set a standard of "sufficiently contemporaneous"—a term used during the U.S. Supreme Court's 1921 ruling in Dillon v. Gloss—giving Congress the power to set time limits on constitutional amendments. Dillon v. Gloss was later modified by Coleman v. Miller, which is also a basis for the three state strategy.

The article further reasoned that because Article V of the Constitution gives the Congress the power to propose amendments to the Constitution—and including changing aspects of the ratification process itself— that if and when three additional states ratify the ERA, the Congress has the power to deem the ERA properly ratified and duly added to the Constitution.

Anti-Christian Conspiracies Everywhere - Sarah Palin

Palin, Sarah, former unfinished Governor of Alaska has thrown down the gauntlet for the next teabagger Glen Beck investigaton of yet another conspiracy against “Christian” America. In a speech given in Wisconsin, she rambled and hit the hot botton tea bag issues and threw in some nonsense about the creative design of the new dollar coins as something of an anti-Christian conspiracy.

I am beginning to see her and her tea baggers as nothing more than an aging Boomer Kindergarten class – or the GOP version of the Peter Pan syndrome – never wanting to grow up and deal with a real world like the rest of us.

Palin sees conspiracy in new dollar coins
She then got a standing ovation from most of the crowd, but a few had begun to leave before she even finished and within seconds of her concluding, scores more got up and put on their jackets as they walked away.

In addition to the suggestion that government officials would consider hastening the death of the infirm or handicapped, she began her remarks with a puzzling commentary on the design of newly minted dollar coins.

Noting that there had been a lot of “change” of late, Palin recalled a recent conversation with a friend about how the phrase “In God We Trust” had been moved to the edge of the new coins.

“Who calls a shot like that?” she demanded. “Who makes a decision like that?”

She added: “It’s a disturbing trend.” … (Palin)

The decision to put "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the edges of presidential dollar coins has received little attention from the press, but was reversed in 2007, before President Barack Obama took office. Sens. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Robert Byrd (D-WV) sponsored legislation to move the motto back to the front face of the coins.

"It is important that our national motto, 'In God We Trust,' is prominently displayed on all of our currency," Brownback said. "We should not relegate our heritage to the side."
I am not alarmed by anything Sarah Palin reads off the prompter or index cards in front of her. She is only as good as her handlers. She doesn’t write anything or think anything. She reads what is put in front of her. In the end the Schine Effect, where you are only as good as your handlers, will kick in.

In the mean time, with PAC money pouring in and Rupert giving her rich man’s welfare in the form of the book deal, she has to pay back favors and read what is put in front of her whether she understands it or not. Sarah Palin is earning her big bucks and enjoying her full fifteen minutes of fame.

What I find amazing is she is backtracking over issues already taken care of by the Coe family religious cult which was handled by a Coe family acolyte Sam Brownback as mentioned above.

This whole “In God We Trust” thing has, since it was adopted as the national motto in 1956, been an exclusive Coe family project. This all follows in line with the Coe Family Presidential Prayer breakfast starting in 1953 and later changed to National Prayer Breakfast in 1970. “In God We Trust” sounds harmless enough but it is within the exclusive handling copyright (Masonic?) realm of the Family.

Fellow Coe Family acolytes Sens. DeMint (SC) and Colburn (OK) made certain that the Coe family brand “In God We Trust” got carved in the new U.S. Capitol visitor’s center. I don’t think the Coe family handed Sarah this one to read out off the prompter. Careful Sarah on whose toes you might step on seeing conspiracies everywhere.

It is probably the last we will hear about this “anti-Christian” conspiracy from Sarah “Weather Girl” Palin.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Would you let this woman babysit your children?

The nut jobs over on the Republican extreme right had an “emergency house call” last Thursday organized or initiated by U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota (R).

The four thousand strong “news” event by spontaneously bused in teabaggers showed a huge (couldn't miss it John Boehner) protest banner with a large picture of dead bodies from Dachau Concentration Camp (no picture offered here) with some negative Health Care slogan written above these once again desecrated dead. The muttled indecent message matched the point of the “rally” co-sponsored by some health care lobby.

The idea that any message no matter how extreme is okay in the defense of White Power Liberty is unacceptable in a civilized society. The extreme of the image actually met the pernicious standards of the tea bag wing of the GOP and reached a new low in what to expect in terms of humanity from Bachmann and company now and into the future.

One has to wonder that if the GOP gains control in the House next year, that Michelle Bachmann will be rewarded with power in the GOP hierarchy for these toxic attacks on the American Ideal of fairness or decency. Would you let this woman babysit your children?

Dachau was part of the human tragedy and not some glib Madison Avenue marketing tool.

Speaking of past events in Germany, today is the twentieth anniversary of the breaking down of the Berlin Wall and the symbolic end of the cold war.

Americans made a lot of sacrifices during the cold war. One of those sacrifices was not pushing the envelope in terms of a national health care system which all the major countries of Europe now have. What was our reward for sacrifice? More fear and another cold war against “terrorism” and Health Care ?

It is an unsafe and nasty enough world without the likes of Michelle Bachmann and the fear mongering wing of the GOP reminding us that Halloween tricks will distributed to us everyday of the year if the GOP or the hard core haters of that party regain power.

Neo-McCarthyites, zombie McCarthyites, Dachau inspired McCarthyites need not apply to the sorely needed to be rebuilt middle of the road GOP.

“War ( and Hatred ) are not healthy for children and other living things.”

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fort Hood - Tragedy - More Sacrifice Needed

From someone who was on the front lines of America on September 11, 2001, the tragic shooting and killing of Army Personnel at Fort Hood Texas about to deploy is beyond words. If you are not safe in the middle of a military base – well you know what I mean.

It is also sad to say – this particular incident is at a safe distance from many of us.

The personal toll and burden of our land war in Asia is not shared equally by all Americans, and falls unfairly on the military and their families.

This generation at the helm is perhaps trying archaic and obsolete methodology in the craft of war. Technology makes war much more abstract these days. No more Battles of the Bulge - more like mopping up at an unpaved street intersection in the middle of adobe town, anywhere, Asia. More times than not, casualties in our current land war in Asia are the result of digitally timed anti-personnel devices or crude old fashioned land mines and not from direct combat.

So too, many of those in charge in Washington paying, borrowing heavily overseas for these wars, have never served in the military. Deferments in Vietnam went to those who could afford college and not the working class who got drafted to fight that stupid useless vain enterterprise.

It was the draft that brought that war more keenly into focus to the American people. The politicians demand for sacrifice went beyond sacrifice and into the realm of insanity in Vietnam.

I am not surprised that an incident like this massacre in Fort Hood Texas had not happened before. But it has. Columbine and Virginia Tech, to name a few, are signs of the weakness of our society where guns and violence become the final answer to many stress filled situations.

Outsiders, even if native born, take the casual bullying and disrespect from day to day society. In the end we are only as strong as our weakest link. The sensitive, the unloved, the misunderstood set apart from the so-called main stream norm sheds light on our alphabet soup culture. On some days, these marginalzied people snap and sad to say innocent people die.

This Major at Fort Hood who snapped was a shrink. I heard an online cable commentator refer to any army shrink as a secular father confessor. The things said or heard and not resolved go on and on in the minds of military personnel stretched beyond their capacity. This psychological burden also carries over onto people treating them. It is indecent what we are doing to our sons and daughters in our military. Asking them to go an extra mile for all of us not serving – not making the equivalent of their sacrifice.

Major Hasan is in Intensive Care. His name has not been added yet to the 75 or more recorded suicides of soldiers at Fort Hood since 2003. There are no stats available for attempted suicides. That is a sad statistic aside from those dead at Fort Hood from the other day and along with the deaths of our military and civilian casualties since 2003 in this new artificial cold war of a wobbling, wobbling a lot of late in its artificial orbit, empire.

Putting aside all the many individual factors of this current tragedy, we need to reexamine this multitasking, recycling of humanity on tour after tour after tour to the breaking point on the front lines of combat.

Wars will never go way. We need everyone in society to bear a greater burden of the process of war if war is in fact necessary.

We need to bring back the draft to support our global empire.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Solomon Spaulding Revealed

One of the big con games of the early nineteenth century by the equivalent of used car salesmen was that of land speculation.

The idea of manifest destiny was not so much a noble ideal as the need to keep leveraging unseen lands and selling them to a public desperate to move on to greener pastures.

The Financier of the American Revolution, Robert Morris, his financial empire was brought down in the end after the revolution by land speculation. Demand went down and overseas finances dried up because of Britain’s stake in the Napoleonic wars.

The Bankruptcy Laws passed by Congress as authorized by the new constitution were in fact tailored to release Morris from Debtor’s Prison.

Even the legendary Jim Bowie of Alamo fame was a land speculator who more times than not got into life and death fights over what he said in contracts for land he sold that did not exist or having already been claimed or sold by some other speculators.

The history of early nineteenth century America was not one of pilgrims and immigrants pushing further out west but one of chasing after the crook who sold you non-existent or substandard land and who kept setting up a new shop five valleys over and on a regular basis.

It comes as no surprise to me that a man with a big chuck of Ohio to sell, Solomon Spaulding, would do anything for a sale including write a short story (sales brochure) about treasures or lost Roman manuscripts to be found in hidden places on his land.

I ran into Solomon Spaulding in my youth in a Nelson’s Encyclopedia dated round 1942 and out of the University of Chicago Press. Why I was reading the brief entry I cannot say. I have always been excited since my youth by the esoteric and the exotic. I remember not knowing what Mormon meant and asked my father who said a line or two which I did not understand but his spin had a negative tone so I did not pursue the subject further.

I see on the Internet that comparing Solomon Spaulding’s “manuscript” to the Book of Mormon is a cottage industry on blogs and a deemed singular important BYU college term paper in many cases.

Solomon had attended Dartmouth, practiced as a minister and then more or less gave that up and failed in most every other business or enterprise he set up shop in.

Close to twenty years after he dies, some disgruntled LDS types go about trashing the new church and assemble a whole bunch of documents and affidavits and publish “Mormonism Unvailed”. The original he said-she said gossip book was born. At the end of the book was a claim that the sales brochure for Spaulding’s land was in fact the backbone of a plagiarized Book of Mormon. The irony in all this is that the little, mostly negative, documentation about the early Mormon church, that has not been suppressed, lost or intentionally destroyed, comes from this one gossipy back stabbing book.

Spaulding’s sales brochure disappears for decades and is supposedly found in Hawaii around 1884. Seeing that it is little more than a sales brochure fantasy deal, one of the LDS major branches publishes it to bolster the fact that it, cheese, and the Book of Mormon had little or nothing to do with one another.

Along comes a disgruntled Mormon pup in the late nineteen seventies and early eighties who uses the Mormonism Unvailed book to forge a bunch of documents that fit the he said-she said scenario of the book. In a religious community starved for original documentation, these forgeries became not unlike the RC church and its selling of relics. Every one wants a piece of the beginning, of the original saint etc. The moral to be learned is that selling relics is like selling land. If you try to move onto the relic maker’s or the land salesman’s profitable turf, they may kill you.

Whether the Spaulding land sales brochure was genuine in 1834 or the one re-found and published in 1885 is of little consequence. The original manuscript in Oberlin College in Ohio is valuable as a historic artifact, whether genuine or not.

The thing with relics is that you can sometimes have enough pieces of the true cross to build a house. And wasting tens of thousands of man hours debating on the Spaulding-Smith comparison is perhaps not a waste of time but a question not unlike how many angels dance on the head of a pin.

Trying to deify your beginnings or your past - in terms of faith - takes a great deal away from the present and the future.

Modern Mormonism and Hate Non-Profits

The traditional Mormon definition of Marriage is one man and one woman and one woman and one woman – back up – sorry that is the old fashioned past Mormon Church. I sincerely think that the majority of Mormons in Utah and their marriages are between one man and one woman. But like the deep seeded fa├žade and denial of what passes for sexuality in the RC church, the mormon church would prefer not to think about Polygamy.

In fact the mechanism at times of the hierarchy of Temple Square operates in a same mindset as the Vatican on certain things and to change the subject when sensitive issues like polygamy or celibacy get interjected into a conversation.

I do not dislike Mormons. I have known some, worked with them and respected their old fashioned sense of right and wrong and morality. But when you try to discuss a full range of topics from the life menu, the light bulb goes out on many subjects. There are many blind spots in the Mormon POV.

The subject of Mormon polygamy gets a boilerplate answer about that was practiced in the early church and on and on and on. I do not like it when people trying to protect their social bubble are willing to exit you, falling into space, from their bubble, when they do not have the social maturity to discuss openly and honestly any subject in the life story.

If it had not been for the political hissy fit of the American extreme conservative establishment in the 23rd Congressional election in upstate New York, I may not be writing this article.

What I don’t like is a mask. I do not like a hidden Vatican style agenda in the politics of the American democracy.

I now see that part of the reason that it was necessary to wage a national campaign of conservative preferences on the ballot – to make choices for local NY state citizens – does in part relate to the religious foibles of the LDS institution in Salt Lake City.

I see that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), whose mission statement is “Protecting Marriage and the Faith Communities that Sustain It”, has not yet come up with a dollar figure for its involvement in the NY-23 rape of choice – interference – figurative jack booted disruption - for NY citizens in their local election. The Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, was way too liberal for national conservative Republicans. That and she had no objections to Gay Marriage.

NOM paid for 160,000 mailings and tens of thousands of robot-calls. NOM is alleged to be a front for the LDS Church in a civil complaint going back to the passing of Proposition 8 in California.

Am I upset that the gay marriage initiative to overturn laws in Maine allowing gay marriage was a success for the carpetbag interests like NOM who financed it – No, I am not upset. It will be on the ballot again and again or passed again in the legislature. The fact that it is on the ballot or has already passed once by the Maine legislature and under the signature of the Governor means that democracy works in this country despite fascist attempts to define or legislate “morality” or manipulate public opinion through fear.

Putting that all aside, let us talk about how besides, Hate Radio, and Hate News – we now have Hate NPOs ( Non-Profit Organizations like NOM ) that have special tax status and are a conduit for money laundering all around the conservative circuit and whereby donations remain anonymous. I don’t care if these NPOs finance anything, it is the mask that bothers me and how tax free religions can act as non profits and impose by $$$$ their religious philosophies on all of us in the political arena. It goes against the foundation stone principle of separation of church and state.

So in case anybody is wondering why the Mormons are spending tens of millions protecting marriage between a man and a woman one only has to look at a timeline to perhaps see real intent.

The Jessop fundamentalist LDS cult in Texas got raided in April 2008. The money and signatures for Prop 8 in California materializes in June 2008. The Mormons would rather harass the Gay Dream of Marriage instead of addressing or rescuing these poor women in Texas, these sex slaves and children trapped in medieval dogmatic polygamist bullshit once sanctioned by the lunatic con artist prophet Joseph Smith.

Like most con games, they want you to look away - from Texas. They want to deny that polygamy still exists in Utah and in the West. They want to preserve their perfect little social bubble and blind spots to the outside world.

Whatever. Like I said in my previous article, I in downstate NY did not like what I saw in upstate NY in the NY-23 special election.

Whatever happened to Tolerance. It used to be a Virtue.

Live and learn.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NY-23 and the Schine Effect

Capital Hill, Newspapers, Radio, Television all served to bring about a generational windstorm of paranoia and xenophobia in the 1950s now known as McCarthyism. For some reason some obscure political figure finds a soft spot in the tender ribcage of democracy, pushes the button so to speak, and awakes a nation on to that sensitive spot and runs a mile when in real life the doctor or the schleppy comedian will say “stop doing that” - touching the sore spot.

So too in hard economic times, a new administration is wrapped up in its own self importance, wandering agenda, seeming lack of balls, focus and let’s not forget feel good Geithner “Vitamin” shots. It is too bad that the Obama team cannot rule the country from some Chicago office space than from the jaded museum of the White House and the Versailles like isolation of the Washington establishment.

It becomes easy to see why elements of the far right turn to tea baggers, birthers, coded speaking racists for a diagnosis of “what’s wrong?” with America.

There was a test case yesterday where all the ghouls, goblins and left over Republican road kill made a trial run for power in upstate New York’s 23rd Congressional District. A bunch of carpetbaggers with specific carpetbaggers’ interests came to town to test anything that might work in pulling off winning elections for future Republican slates.

The Problem with NY23 was that even I, here in downstate new york, resented all these carpetbaggers, neo-mccarthyites, (zombie mccathyites is more like it), from bringing in “conservative” values to the political table - which by the way is nothing more than raw beets and broccoli. Don’t like raw beets and raw broccoli? Then you are not a good loyal American as we define Americanism. There is no room for deviation in “our America”.

With supporters like:

Michelle “Are you a loyal (white) American? Bachmann,

Dick “Where’s my lobbyist paycheck?” Armey,

Bill “Don’t I have the nicest manicured fingernails?” Kristol,

Sarah “Weather Girl” Palin,

Tim “GOP minimum Standards” Pawlenty –

The list goes on and on…

All came to town in a grab bag of used Halloween costumes to endorse the “Conservative” candidate and diss both the people of the 23rd district and the democratic process with their Madison Avenue Marketing testing of 2010-2012 campaign products.

No reality in the White House? No reality either in the Bedlam of the shattered once cloth coated moderate middle of the road Republican Party. The only outsider who seemed half way normal in upstate New York was Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich! Geez.

Congratulations to the people the NY-23 who refused to get corrupted by outside influences or infected with Beltway Fever.

Which brings me to the SCHINE effect of NY-23. The truth is that the chaos on the right is just that – Chaos. This country is in deep shit if the only alternative to Obama and his inept Chicago Mafia, is a bunch of boyfriends and girlfriends of Power.

The Schine effect is that you are only as good as your handlers these days in politics. Joe McCarthy, the father of American Right wing justification for fear, hate, dysfunctional Puritanism was brought down in the end by the obsession of his right hand man – main handler – and his private needs seeking special favors for his boyfriend.

With these MSM has been superstar politicians and hangers on – none of whom I would vote for as dog catcher – they each have their weak sore spots. They all have their Achilles heel – they all have their Schinespot.

I don’t see anybody on the right who can dare to be moderate without the fear of being carpetbagged in any upcoming primaries by all this disorganized rabble of special interests, well monied, lobbying types – political lunatics.

It’s time for all locals, nationwide, to tell these has been GOP grifters to find some other victims in their making a dishonest living off the American People. Get a job. Get a real job.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Canadian Bishop Lahey Due in Court Tomorrow

It becomes difficult at times to write this blog. I am not a judge or jury for any man or woman. This is merely to inform.

Bishop's porn charges ignites shock, anger in N.L. (Newfoundland)
Lahey was charged on Sept. 25 after a search of his computer at Ottawa International Airport more than two weeks ago. He was released at the time, but his laptop computer was seized and police said a forensic examination revealed child pornography.

Lahey resigned from his position with the church in Nova Scotia on Saturday.

These latest allegations are another setback for the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland and Labrador, an institution that's been trying to restore people's faith after years of scandal…

"It will stir up in people, again, all of the history that has gone on in the past, of the abuse. That's what I fear may happen," said Currie in St. John's on Wednesday.

The charges prompt memories of the now notorious Mount Cashel orphanage of St. John's.

The orphanage opened in 1875 to care for orphaned and needy boys. It closed in 1990 after charges were brought against brothers for sexually abusing or beating boys who lived in the orphanage in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 2003, 81 victims of abuse at the former Mount Cashel orphanage were awarded nearly $16 million in compensation for physical and sexual abuse from the Christian Brothers who administered the facility.

The orphanage building was demolished years ago…
Raymond Lahey
On August 7, 2009, Bishop Lahey announced that the Diocese of Antigonish had reached a $15 million settlement in a class action lawsuit filed by victims of sexual abuse by diocese priests dating to 1950. Bishop Lahey formally apologized to victims and families in what is believed to be an unprecedented admission of guilt by the Roman Catholic Church. The settlement was approved by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on September 10, 2009…

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation broke the news at 3:00pm ADT on September 30, 2009 that an arrest warrant had been issued for Bishop Lahey. Lahey flew to Ottawa on October 1, 2009 and personally surrendered to the Ottawa Police Service, accompanied by his legal team. He was released on bail conditions with a court date set for November 4, 2009.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Je$u$ and the Honey Pot - Franklin Graham

I don’t think Franklin Graham is anything like the Coe Family religious cult that rules Washington DC with a near demonic stranglehold on the annual National Prayer Breakfast.

Graham operates quietly out of North Carolina and running the family preaching business started by his father Billy Graham.

For some reason in these hard, hard economic times, Franklin Graham is being criticized for his combined salaries, benefits and perks amounting last year to something like $1.2 million dollars. He salaries came from two organizations, The Samaritan’s Purse, a charity for the poor, and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – BGEA, which continues to put on Festivals around the world in the style of his daddy’s big tent crusades. Ten festivals are scheduled in 2010.

Considering that both businesses rake in close to $400 million dollars a year, I would have to say that $1.2 million sounds like less than professional charity CEOs get in private secular charities.

The Jesus business is good.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy (Oct. 28, 2009):
Samaritan’s Purse, the larger of the two, ranked No. 59, and raised about $291-million in 2008, an increase of about 11 percent over 2007. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, No. 258, raised about $83-million in 2008, which was down about 5 percent from 2007.
BGEA was down last year and laid off 55 employees. This is the business that Franklin Graham is now refusing a salary from. How noble and Christian.

Considering some quotes from F. Graham from Wikipedia:
"The god of Islam is not the same God of the Christian or the Judeo-Christian faith. It is a different god, and I believe Islam is a very evil and a very wicked religion."

"I believe that God created one man and one woman. He gave sex to us, and sex is to be enjoyed and is to be used within the bounds that God created . . . In sexual behavior outside the parameters that God created, we're at high risk, and we're seeing the evidence of this with HIV/AIDS. We're outside of these parameters, and we have a huge global problem now."

"And I think we're going to have to use every—and I hate to say it, hellish weapon in our inventory, if need be, to defeat these [terrorists]. But let's use the weapons we have, the weapons of mass destruction if need be and destroy the enemy."(CNN, September 14, 2001)
Graham was hobnobbing with then Governor Palin delivering $65,000 worth of food from the Samaritan Purse Charity to Russian Mission, Alaska back in February 2009. Franklin may have gotten a rush or a hard on doing charity work in a photo op with Sarah Palin. Sarah kept insisting to some interviewer in some indirect way that all this charity would not be necessary if the leaders of these rural native population villages could let their young people come to urban Alaska, take jobs and destroy the native culture. Sounds like economic genocide to me. It would be a lot cheaper than Alaska wasting money on winterizing roads into these rural Native villages.

Palin thinks youth need to consider leaving the villages
"Another purpose of the trip today, is not just delivering food for a short-term solution, but to remind those, especially young people, in rural Alaska of the job opportunities that are available, albeit it requires in some cases leaving the village for a short time."

This one is what really infuriated me. The Native people of Alaska have been fighting and fighting for generations to ensure rural communities thrive, thinking up solutions to get especially the young people to stay and contribute to the community. The boarding school times in which young people left "for a short time" were some of the most devastating to these communities. Did we learn nothing about what this kind of thinking leads to? Is there no thought to a real future? Palin shows a lack of the study of Alaskan and American history. So much time and energy trying to salvage these towns and villages from social and economic collapse, and the governor of our state can sweep them aside with one ignorant comment.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (Oct.28,2009) reported that along with other financial disclosures like a $1.25 million dollar advance for Sarah Palin's ghostwritten book:
She reported receiving $1,664 from evangelist Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse for airfare to Russian Mission, Alaska, and Marshall, Alaska, as part of an effort to deliver food aid to the western Alaska villages last spring.
Sounds like you could have left her home and bought more rice for the starving natives if in fact the whole thing wasn't just a photo op.

Don't worry Frank. We won't judge you by the trashy company you sometimes keep.

For the record Frank(lin):-)

The RC Archbishop of New York’s salary is $23,500 a year plus room and board.

The Archbishop of Canterbury makes approximately $92,000 a year plus room and board.

Keep up the good work.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Global Culture - Halloween - Day of the Dead

There are traditions that transcend cultures. There are traditions that are adopted. There are traditions that get recycled through time.

The ancient Celtic New Year used to fall on November the first. There are ancient Celtic customs related to the harvest and coinciding with this date.

A Celtic celebration called Samhain used to center around the building of a bonfire on the Celtic New Year’s Eve on October 31. The people of a village would extinguish all fires in the village and take fire from the community bonfire to bring a new light from fire into the new year.

With the Celtic or Irish disaspora to America in the middle of the nineteenth century came the tradition of dressing up on Halloween first in religious costumes and later in monster chic.

The Brits, who have been greatly Americanized in these past decades, have found and adopted the “American” (Irish American) custom of Halloween and trick or treat. Many purists over there are disturbed that their traditional harvest festival bonfire thing on November 5 of Guy Fawkes Day has somehow been corrupted by yet another thing American.

Which came first? The religious holidays of All Saints day on November 1st and All Souls day on November 2 or the ancient pagan rituals associated with the Celtic New Year.

As in a grinding merger of cultures, it is hard to tell the truth of any given custom or tradition. In a way, globalization and driving toward a global culture have been ongoing for millennium.

I think we have the Celts first and then the Christian era trying to dominate and own dates on a calendar.

People of the Meso-American cultures of Mexico and Central America have their Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead customs around November 1 and 2. November 1 is for memory of babies and small children – angels – saints. November 2 is for memory of dead adult relatives - souls.

While the symbols of this holiday and its festivities are far from the Victorian or Puritanical customs of mourning, Meso-American culture treats respect and memory of the dead along with the needs and celebrations of the living. Families meet, clean up a relative’s gravesite, have a picnic there, tell family stories or even keep vigil through the night with candles and musica.

The human skull as symbol of death is not a feared symbol but a reminder of death which is part of a cycle of life perspective. The skull in Meso-American culture had been around for centuries before the Spanish and their imposed religion. In many ways I think that western culture and or Christian culture is a culture that greatly fears death and has great self-doubts about its mission statement. The conquered give lip service to their new masters and ancient customs such as Dia de los Muertos and Halloween go on and on.

I have spent the last thirty odd years practicing my own form of pagan respect, not ancestor worship. I light a candle before sunset on Halloween in honor of the Samhain custom and help the New Year in with new light. I also light a candle in my home on November 2 to remember long gone friends and relatives. I also in true Irish tradition and variation thereof have a shot or two of tequila in their honor.

Child Abuse Judges Conahan & Ciavarella Indicted – RICO Act

It says something very tragic about our country when crimes against children get so little attention.

I had to go to the British Newspaper website Guardian UK World this morning to see that all the juvenile cases ruled on by the so-called judges Ciavarella and Conahan have been overturned – finally.

Pennsylvania high court dismisses thousands of juvenile convictions

There is no news article of this on the Google News Summary page or on the CNN website.


Why was this story only treated as a regional story and only covered by one or two upstate newspapers? The New York Times covered it in a few articles. Why didn’t this become a national story – a national scandal - in the MSM??? Don’t poor children victimized in Pennsylvania count as human beings anymore? Where was the national moral outrage? Out to lunch I guess.

In case any of you missed the original story – enjoy:

Wilkes-Barre judges accused of jailing kids for cash

The money making scheme to shut down tax payer juvenile detention centers in favor of for profit juvenile jails in upstate Pennsylvania has gotten very little press as far as I am concerned. To his credit film maker Michael Moore made mention of it in his last movie. Other than that you have to have run into the story or been touched by it as a victim to know about it.

These two fiends Ciavarella and Conahan started sentencing kids to minimum ninety day sentences for minor offenses, first time offenses or even truancy, things that would not have been touched when the taxpayer juvenile facilities were still in existence.

You get a for profit prison system and you have to fill it with “criminals”. With something straight out of Dickens, these judges got kickbacks from the for profit prison for supplying them bodies to imprison. The judges pocketed millions. Parents got billed $150 a day for use of the prison space by their children and liens got put on the parent’s property. Hey its for profit! The taxpayers are saving money. Win-Win. Geez.

I harassed former Bishop Martino of Scranton, before his nervous breakdown, in one or two of my blogs about how he never publicly condemned this atrocity of justice in his moral bailiwick. He had all the time in the world to condemn abortion but no time to condemn two good Catholic judges under his jurisdiction for a new form of child abuse. But hey, he is a bishop, and that sort of stuff ain’t really a crime – is it?

To make a long story short these two judicial pigs pleaded guilty to tax evasion to the Feds and got a white crime conviction sentence of a few years in a country club prison under the Bush Department of Justice.

Backtracking today on the news of the overturning of all their sentences I see that they have been indicted by a grand jury on RICO racketeering charges and I hope they rot in prison.

Conahan and Ciavarella indicted by federal grand jury

I should applaud the Feds for coming through for validating the judicial system here that failed so miserably under Bush. Thank the Almighty, the present Department of Justice in Washington is not now being run by the neocons or graduates of “Christian” universities in these new days of political change.

Now if I start talking about the victims, the children, I will be called a flaming bleeding heart liberal.

What really pisses me off is how the MSM failed with a capital “F” in ignoring this “property” story. When capitalism commits an atrocity it is no crime. Capitalism is the one true religion of our ruling elites these days.

As far as I am concerned regarding Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, these two bastards should be taken out into a public square in Wilkes-Barre and strung up by their balls!