Monday, December 28, 2009

Failed States of Israel and Palestine ?

If God is an energy, then I perceive a connection of energy waves and in the same direction or at a same intersection at present.

A curious thing happened in Poland a little over a week ago. Somebody stole the infamous death camp sign over the entrance way to Auschwitz – “Arbeit Macht Frei” – “Work Will Set You Free”. The saying and the truth about Auschwitz are at two different ends of any communication spectrum. Over a million men, women and children died there at the hands of the Nazis – mostly Jews but also “Roma Gypsies, Poles, and Soviet prisoners of war.” No accurate count, only guesstimates of the numbers of this inhumane act toward humanity. The records were destroyed. Who would want to keep records of such things, such evil things.

Polish Police Find Stolen Auschwitz Sign

The thieves were caught. The sign was broken into three pieces. One story is that some collector was willing to pay two to three million dollars for this historic artifact. One has to wonder if the collector had an agenda whether it being admiration for the Nazi killing machine or for the up close and personal memento of the twentieth century holocaust. Or perhaps a billionaire needed to fill a space on the wall of his or her private art gallery in an east side Manhattan townhouse and thought the object a good investment. Once displayed, discerning wealthy guests could make an offer and a profit might be made. It, the sign, is representative of an impressive piece of human history – sad though that history may be.

All that aside, I have to wonder if perhaps the sympathy towards the Jewish entity as a faith and people has worn off in time. The Pope went there to Auschwitz and made a politically correct speech about how the Holocaust should never happen again. But did he mean it? Yes of course he did. But sometimes words and actions have opposing energies.

One has to wonder when the energy of a sacred object such as this stolen sign – when did it turn into secular energy and a prize to be carted away and sold. The death camp is a museum and visited by all people on an international scale. The thieves appear to have been local. Their parents or grandparents no doubt lived down the road and probably did not know what went on in Auschwitz. But human nature tells me that these locals in the 1940s no doubt heard rumors or made up stories. Making up stories or passing around rumors is one thing. The true horror of it all is something quite on a different scale and scope.

The present German born Pope recently signed off on Pope Pius XII and put him on the road to sainthood. Some, in fact many would disagree that Pius XII is saint material. Controversy still surrounds his knowledge and actions public or secret in reference to the rounding up of millions of European Jews during the first years of his rule. The Vatican Archives are not yet fully open to public scrutiny as to what the Pope knew and when he knew it or why he was so silent within his walled castle of the Vatican.

So too, the never complete, perhaps failed state of Israel reached an anniversary yesterday regarding the twenty two day pogrom – Operation “Cast Lead” - against the Palestinians in Gaza of one year ago. This attack on the next door neighbor of Israel cost the lives of 1,000 adults and 400 children. It all took place while America was paralyzed in an economic disaster and between the changing of the guard at the White House.

Sad that the Jews have built walls between themselves and their neighbors. Sad that walls keep others out – out of sight – and walls also traps those within. Is the walled state of Israel a giant Ghetto that replaces the historic presence of Jews in European culture to a place of confinement in the middle east? I hope not.

In any case, whether walled up in the Vatican or walled up in Gaza, who is to say who knew what and when they knew it. Who killed and who died and who pressed the buttons to agitate a response is subject to stories and rumors. Human nature being what it is, there is probably a little bit of truth in everything. Truth is perhaps an energy and a sign of the inner light and energy of God within both Jews and Arabs in the so-called Holy Land.

Perhaps the stealing and recovering of a sign from Auschwitz is not the energy of an angel but a true sign to look hard at the words, actions and historic content of things at hand as well as being a reminder of things past – bad things that got worse – because nobody took a stand and said – Enough is Enough!

Humanity must be recognized as humanity no matter what the propaganda or political agenda dictates. The value of every human being as a child of the light and energy of God must be recognized and respected by all. ALL.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Suicide Virgin Humper Tries to Blow up Plane in Detroit


Some fool Arab wanted to blow up a passenger plane over Detroit. You say he isn’t Arab. The money for this Al-Qaeda bullshit is from Arabia – that is all I have to know.

Christ! You blow up a plane over Detroit, who would notice – it’s Detroit!

And to kill two hundred and eighty odd strangers plus crew for some weird religion – bizarre. Human sacrifice is obsolete - it is the sign of a very primitive superstitious idol worshipping religion. And I thought American Fundamentalists were weird. Religious weirdoes of the world – get your heads out of your asses!

There are an awful lot of lonely Muslim guys in desperate need of virgins in Paradise out there that want to blow up other people in order to get at the real good out of this world stuff.

I am sick and tired of foreigners who come into a country, eat our food, use our institutions of higher education and then leave with a bad attitude or chip on their shoulder and want to blame us for their failings and inadequacies as a people or as part of a culture.

Apparently the worshipers of the Prophet guy who think they are superior and just don’t get western civilization had better sit down and think twice if they want to live on my planet.

Freud or some other lunatic said it best when you can peg these guys as transferring all their hostilities they have for their parents, their native culture, their native land or native religion and do not have the courage to challenge what is wrong there and come over here to punish us for their inferior local culture.

You don’t see us running over there to eat their food, use their institutions of higher learning etc. What is wrong with that formula? Am I the pig or are you? Oink. Oink.

Until the Muslims look into the mirror darkly in terms of a spiritual sense, their staged pretense at being a religion as a key into a spiritual realm is quite iffy if you ask me. Well you did ask me. You are reading this.

Stay in the forest, desert, jungle – eat your own shit and leave my precious western civilization alone. We have been building this civilization for at least ten thousand years.

We have enough problems trying to cope with the good and bad of modern day life without having to look over our shoulders for losers from Islam that think suicide is a good thing – FECK OFF!

If you cannot act like human beings, then try to pretend to be part of the brotherhood, sisterhood of mankind. If you do not have love in your heart for your fellow human beings – who needs you? I don’t!

There are enough losers in the west without putting out a welcome mat for the likes of your suicide virgin humpers.

We have to live on the same planet. We have to share many of the same resources on this planet. It is simply bad manners to keep acting like the worst thing around and still think your religion is the end all in belief systems. Well it ain’t!

Your shit stinks just like mine. Get a life. Get a belief system that is not a fantasy and an excuse to hate, maim or kill!

Have a nice and not a bloody day you ugly fanatic so-called Islamists.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Joe the Pope Stumbles at Midnight Mass

-
Since the beginning of the age of Darwin certain scientific methods apply to all things. Cause and effect in one such conundrum.

Joe the Pope stumbled the other night at Midnight Mass which was not at midnight. The 82 year old pontiff with a busy seasonal schedule wanted to go to bed early and get some rest for the next day. Midnight mass started at 10 pm. When you change anything around away from its norm – you have cause and effect. If you want to get to bed early, you are not staying up later than the homeless and the wandering crazy people particular to every urban center on the planet.

A young woman, 25, jumped the barricade separating the processional column of clergy including the Pope from the attending crowd. The security guards tacked the possible assassin and in the collateral damage (catalytic reaction) the would be assailant drags the pope to the floor by grabbing onto his garments.

Scuffle over. The pope is unharmed. An aged French cardinal gets a broken leg. The pope, the superstar of the evening, puts on his usual great performance.

Moral of the story. Security at the Vatican is as lax as at the White House where two publicity seeking clowns walk into Obama’s first State Dinner for the Prime Minister of India. They get photos with everyone and slip away as people are being seated for din-din and where there are no place cards for two party crashers.

The security at the midnight mass looked like they hired some husky tall moonlighting Italian policemen for the evening event. These days all corporations and all governments seem to be staffed by part time, minimum waged temporary staff and guards.

The young lady of Swiss Italian background had apparently done the same thing last year and in the same bright red clothing as at last year’s Christmas midnight mass – so much for my theory of staying up later than the crazies. The temp guards from last year who grabbed this same jumper before she touched the pope were not on duty or not looking or screening the people coming into the mass this year? People were admitted by ticket only.

Which goes to my previously stated assumption, of the fact that only tourists fill in the gaps of the big events like midnight mass – staged for the cameras. So easy to get tickets like at your hotel front desk. No real Roman would go out on a cold winter’s night for midnight mass at St. Peter’s. Romans may show up on a warm spring day for Easter in the plaza but other than that, few if any of the native population participate in the ancient rituals of the church.

Which brings me to my previously stated position, that only a few hundred or a few thousand Romans go to church on a regular basis. Which puts the Bishop of Rome as supposed premier moral leader of the Christian world as a shepherd to an active flock as large (or as small) as any Jesus got in his barnstorming days of preaching.

In any case, the pope is a symbol of Christiandom. I personally do not want to see him harmed. He and his office are deserving of global respect.

Besides, who would I have to call Joe the Pope? Better the pope you know than the pope (next pope) you don’t know. But then again I have already named him Pius XIII and Joe the Pope has yet to give him a red hat. (cause and effect).

If and when the rabble and crazies do storm the Vatican with torches and pitchforks, it won’t be with Joe Ratzinger, the current German pope in residence.

In the meantime, the Vatican better spend a few more lira on competent full time security staff.

Pax

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Human Light Holiday - 2009


The so-called War on Christmas did not have much energy this year. Everybody is recycling lights and decorations, those lucky enough to still have their own home. The economy and the massive PR efforts on politics in Health Care legislation has exhausted any patience or tolerance for additional nonsense about the right way to celebrate Christmas – the right talk and the right walk etc. this year.

Indeed Senator Coburn’s recent Prayer on the United States Senate floor to pray for God to strike down Senator Byrd, 92, in a wheelchair, to not make it for a rare One A.M. Senate vote on Healthcare says it all to me about the mean spirited Grinch like love of GOP "Christ-Inane-ity".

The War on Christianity is a self inflicted wound like flagellation. The more you beat yourself, the holier you and your cause becomes? Yeah right.

The War on Christmas is largely I think a time killer on entertainment news which in the Bush years would not dare investigate or report misconduct in government.

Make an artificial enemy out there and blame them for America not being as white or as Christian as it used to be.

Ran into an interesting article about how many foreign born or non-Christians deal with “the December Dilemma” because they do not celebrate their cultural or religious holidays in December.

For many, December's a dilemma
"We definitely had a little bit of anxiety in childhood," Tarin said. But that changed as he grew up and refined his American Muslim persona amid the American atmosphere of diversity and tolerance.

Now, where he and his family live in northern Virginia, "we don't celebrate Christmas. We celebrate our holidays" -- pointing, for example, to Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan and Eid al-Adha after the hajj pilgrimage. But he welcomes the goodwill of the season -- the gift-exchanges with non-Muslim neighbors and the requests from schoolteachers to talk about Muslim holidays.

And

Interfaith couples celebrate their diversity during the Christmas season. Jeff Silver, a certified public accountant who is Jewish, and Shweta Gupta, a dentist who is Hindu, are planning their marriage next year. They will have an interfaith household and said they hope to raise children to understand both of their traditions. At their home in Atlanta, they've set up a holiday tree decorated with Hindu and Jewish ornaments.

And

Non-religious Americans embrace a December "secular holiday" called HumanLight.

Patrick Colucci, vice chair of the HumanLight Committee and member of the New Jersey Humanist Network, said the holiday can uplift "atheist, humanist and nonreligious" people who feel left out and isolated during Christmas.

Which brings me to the Human Light holiday celebrated today December 23. Never heard of it before today. It is a man made holiday by Humanists to make – I won’t say non-believers but perhaps non-conformists – have a day of celebration and gathering in the midst of all the other pagan year end celebrating.

HumanLight

The energy of the diversity of America is sometimes a surprise and delightful.

Happy Human Light Holiday to you all !

(– and that includes Bill O’Reilly and Bill Donahue too. XOXO)

Monday, December 21, 2009

tolerance as a reason in this and every season

People and individuals keep on searching for meaning to life and circumstance in this cold, materialistic, godless, secular global culture.

Some people are writing columns to say that the movie Avatar is a vehicle to sell nature and pantheism. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and not a penis. Sometimes a computer enhanced cartoon or Hollywood fantasy is just a computer enhanced cartoon or just a Hollywood fantasy.

This 24/7/365 knit picking over everything that does not conform to the traditional exceptional American concept of God is not a call to arms to preserve the traditional religionist culture. It is more a shouting in a warehouse, taking inventory, of obsolete aspects of the old Christian belief system before they are carted off onto the trash heap of history.

In my own personal search for a new meaning of the concept of God, I end this year listening to some Christmas Carols like the Brit atheist dilettante Richard Dawkins.

I am more convinced than ever that the current phase of belief in non-belief is wall paper glue filling in the voids of a yet to be printed or determined pastel belief pattern on that wallpaper that will be the norm for decades or centuries to come. Old paper comes down. New paper goes up. The practical and the mundane non-belief is a stop gap glue of many for the moment.

Many years ago as a native tourist investigating every nook and cranny of Independence National Historical Park, I came upon a gem of a colonial building. Back then the only entrance way was down an alley way and into a courtyard. The courtyard with gray paving stones and surrounding brick buildings and simple paned glass windows reminded me of something very plain but European. The RC church of St. Joseph’s was behind a very plain entrance way. Thus I found out that in History, this very pagan Jesuit church was allowed in Quaker Tolerant Pennsylvania in colonial times and still stands in present day downtown Philadelphia. Back then it was probably the only RC church for a hundred miles. It is also a gem inside architecturally in a very subtle kind of Baroque mixed with colonial style interior design.

This story leads me to the Quakers or Society of Friends, or I should say leads me back to Quakers because no matter what your beliefs or ethnic origins, if you grow up in Philly the subtle imprint of a Quaker sub-cultural essence lives on to this day.

This is not an endorsement of the Friends but in reading again in full detail their habits and beliefs I seem to be drawn back to the concept of simplistic beliefs in my personal search for God.

Indeed, the persistent agitator of George Fox against the established COE types is what no doubt got Charles II to settle his debts to the Quaker William Penn’s father’s estate with a land grant to his son a whole ocean away. Best to ship the pesky little religious varmints off to the New World than build more prisons. The Brits had yet to find and settle Australia.

One has to wonder in the recognizable shape of the Quakers that evolved in England, that someone like George Fox was not unaware of the various simplistic aspects of Islam. Perhaps there was a hidden mosque down some London alleyway in days of yore for a native tourist to discover and wonder at. Many books back then about Islam and the Gnostic thing but no hard manuscript evidence, only rumors, on the latter at that time.

I perceive some possible similarities between the two belief systems.

Quakers - the Religious Society of Friends
Among key Quaker beliefs are:

• God is love

• the light of God is in every single person

• a person who lets their life be guided by that light will achieve a full relationship with God

• everyone can have a direct, personal relationship with God without involving a priest or minister

• redemption and the Kingdom of Heaven are to be experienced now, in this world
It is in the inner light thing, this almost Gnostic thing that is a hallmark of Quaker belief.

The Quakers are also not very evangelical, preaching and recruiting to their belief system like some screaming Christian Constantine army press-gang thing.

The inner light of the creative force within endures. You must come to it. It does not necessarily come to you. Indeed, many people raised as a Quaker are not shining examples of this belief system like Richard Nixon as one example. But who is to judge really?

Putting beliefs aside I have to say that for a quiet bunch of unnoticed people in the woodwork so to speak they have founded and maintain many schools, universities – as well as maintain the ground work for doing what some would label as Christian but they themselves do not cling to any faith describing labels or agenda.

The most powerful thing I saw in my youth was a single force, behind the scenes in the widespread opposition to the Vietnam War, in the American Service Friends Committee and its lobbying efforts. At the height of the anger and discord in America around 1972, I remember how the city wanted to widen the road in front of a bunch of nineteenth century brick buildings. The buildings had to come down to make way for the widened street. One of the buildings I believe housed the local AFSC. When vacated I remember a home made sign of about a foot square made of shirt box cardboard and embellished with three simple words in laundry marker or dark crayon – it was tacked over the door of one of these abandoned buildings.

Those words were “Rendered unto Caesar”. Powerful words to make a statement about the then current injustice and unfairness of it all. Those words have lasted in my memory to this day and remind me of the power of simple actions to move governments from the wrong column of history and in to the correct wave energy of human history.

Enough of Philly tales. As this year ends I have two religious belief systems in mind that the world of Christianity, perhaps a dying and or going through a dramatic metamorphosis belief system, might consider in the future shaping of anything to be labelled Christian or Christ-like.

I am mindful of the Quakers and their beliefs and also of the dissident St. Mary’s in Exile Congregation in Brisbane Australia – two places I think I could visit in a service or meeting and where my eccentric at present and eclectic agnostic search for a new meaning or definition of God would be tolerated.

Have a happy and safe new year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

O. Henry - The Gift of the Magi


William Sydney Porter was born in North Carolina, lived some time in Austin Texas, Central America, Ohio (Penitentiary) and of course New York City.

Among many other careers as a Pharmacist, Draftsman, Bank Teller and Journalist, his career in writing was a sideline that he developed and refined later in life.

While in prison in Ohio for embezzlement, working as a Pharmacist on the prison hospital’s night shift, he found the time to write. He started to send items to a friend who would pass them along to magazines in New York. According to one popular legend the penname of O.Henry comes from OHio pENitentiRY.

After prison he went to New York and churned out hundreds of short stories more like small sketches or vignettes of everyday street life and common people living in the Big Apple of that turn of the twentieth century era. It was enough to pay the rent and imbibe whiskey which probably was a direct cause of late in life illnesses and his death.

He definitely is part of the fabric of American literature. He was somewhat forgotten for decades until some of his short stories became staples of movies and even remakes of the same movies over time. The Soviets issued a postage stamp on the hundredth anniversary of his birth much to the embarrassment of the American literacy scene.

The short story of “The Gift of the Magi” has been made and remade many times as the basis of television and movie story lines. It is a short poignant tale of young love and sacrifice for the sake of giving. No doubt the part of the young wife is reflective of the author’s first wife before her early death.

He is buried in North Carolina with his one child, a daughter.


The Gift of the Magi

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling--something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: "Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.

"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."

Down rippled the brown cascade.

"Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

"Give it to me quick," said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation--as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value--the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do--oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?"

At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two--and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again--you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice-- what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."

"You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"

Jim looked about the room curiously.

"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

"You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you--sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year--what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

By the way … GOD is not spelled G-O-P


This is perhaps a bit of a rambling piece of writing but all parts I think are related. It is perhaps a news dump of sorts.

Have not published anything these past few days. Looking for something to catch my eye and gut.

I look in the Brit papers first. Because a lot of what you might see featured on a worldwide news highlight section on the Internet is there first. These lead stories appear in America with a follow up time of 12 hours to forty eight hours later in the USA.

There was a piece in the religion section of the Guardian about how the Movie the Golden Compass was not likely to follow through on two promised sequels. The actor Sam Elliott was blaming the boycott by the Catholic League in 2007/2008 that forced domestic profits down but not worldwide. I did a little research and found out that another piece, on the Golden Compass was in the Guardian under Cinema/Arts. Not the same article. The skinny on this whole thing was that this was some sort of PR stunt to stir up interest and capital to get the movie back online with its original schedule.

The Golden Compass

The thing that I did not like was that the truth was not being told in selling the product. The blame on the Catholic League was supposed to stir up resentment against the ethnic minority that supposedly controls Hollywood ( you know the ethnic minority that MG hates ) and were now afraid and listening to the church’s PR mouthpiece.

Further research found that fantasy or sci-fi always does much worse in the States than the Agnostic audience worldwide. Golden Compass made something like $70 million domestically on a 12 week run and over three hundred million worldwide. With an original budget of $180 million that leaves a theoretical profit of $200 million. If you cannot operate on that kind of profit margin, you better get out of the business.

Getting back to the Catholic League boycott about how the movie promoted atheism to the young. I saw the movie on cable and there was none of what the CL said was there. The books, the trilogy by Philip Pullman, is largely not so much an anti-religion theme but more one of the question of the existence of God – legitimate question to ask. The real fear, I think, of the catholic church was that this movie, a watered down version of the books would inpsire the young and everyone to read these books. A symbolic PR and or preventative, aborted "book burning" so to speak. Jeebus money well spent.

The movie is about a secular worldwide control of the people by the Magisterium but the movie is not anti-catholic. There is this PR hack named Bill Donohue, a down on his knees altar boy mouthpiece for the Catholic Church who led the so-called boycott against the Golden Compass.

Bill Donahue is the whole Catholic League.

Considering Donohue’s annual budget, he could not effect a boycott in this day and age – Impossible – nobody in the choir or the pews to preach to anymore. He was helped out by the Mushmouth of Bill O’Reilly over at Fox News that did trash this movie and urge the boycott. Facts however do not follow through on that spin.

With a $25 million opening weekend in 2007, the movie fizzled. The boycott did not work. Word of mouth would have generated more income than expected but the product had been mislabeled. The movie was billed as the next “Lord of the Rings” which it was not. Domestic sales were weak after that and the bully boys take credit for something they did not do.

Donahue and the Catholic League are no innocents. They got picked on in this present situation because it is convenient to generate PR energy, not news, attacking this PR firm. Blowback - payback time for the alleged boycott. If the truth be told I have to agree with the raunchy comedienne Kathy Griffin that the Catholic League is just one man and one computer – and a lot of hot air and bullshit. Kathy knows a lot about bullshit. She makes a damned good living off of it like Donahue. I do admire her moxie.

Moving along, I was waiting on a story yesterday for a Judge in Oklahoma to rule on the ongoing restraining order on the “Scarlet Letter” law in which ten pages of questionnaire stats on every abortion performed in that state would go online for the all world to see.

Waiting for the judge to get back from his three hour lunch, I did some research and realized that a similar recent anti-female, pro-lief Oklahoma law required a sonogram be performed on each perspective women wanting an abortion. That law got vetoed by the Dem Governor Brad Henry only to have the veto overridden in the legislature. The law itself was challenged in the courts and was eventually thrown out because it was not well written and did not conform to the rules of legislative bill writing in that state.

The judge postponed yesterday's expected ruling until February.

Along comes state Representative Dan Sullivan and state Senator Todd Lamb who are either stupid, naïve or both and write this Scarlet Letter law which seems to be sloppy and addressing more that one issue that would make it invalid under judicial review.

I don’t know if these two moral munchkins did the sonogram law but here is the skinny. If you want to generate lot of bullshit energy and get paid to support the Pro-Life Lobby, you write a law in a sloppy manner and generate months of hype and anger and whatever before it too bites the dust. The MSM has easy leads and easy stories and everybody is happy. Of course the courts might not throw this case out and then the appeal is onto the Catholic, I mean, U.S. Supreme Court.

Next story. “Now for something completely different” as they say on Monty Python.

I once wrote a line of poetry to describe how “New York is a loud and constant shouting”.

I guess I was impressed with the energy and the hustle and the loudness and the diversity of the New York City I first encountered over thirty odd years ago.

Thirty years ago Manhattan was still an American city and not an international rival today with the likes of a Hong Kong on the other side of the planet.

Things have changed or I have changed. Perhaps the energy too has changed.

I caught an article on the Internet about the decline of the use of the death penalty and I stopped to read it. A few interesting statistics and the like.

Death penalty use declining nationwide
Use of capital punishment by states continues its steady decline, with fewer death sentences handed down in 2009 than any year since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976.

"The annual number of death sentences in the U.S. has dropped for seven straight years," said Richard Dieter, the report's author and DPIC's executive director. "In the last two years, three states have abolished capital punishment and a growing number of states are asking whether it's worth keeping. This entire decade has been marked by a declining use of the death penalty."

DPIC is a nonpolitical group that provides facts and analysis, while opposing capital punishment as impractical and ineffective.

There were 106 death sentences issued in 2009, compared with a high of 328 in 1994. Death sentences have dropped 63 percent since 2000, when there were 235 issued.
Maybe there are more lenient judges or more lenient juries. Maybe the bureaucracy of the state killing someone is bigger and more cumbersome, costlier than in the past. Maybe there are more appeals etc. Perhaps fewer people are dying violent deaths. The article doesn’t go into detail and perhaps ends on a positive that:
…New Mexico in March became the 15th state to abolish capital punishment, although two inmates still remain on death row there.

New Hampshire's House of Representatives voted to abolish lethal injection, which would currently affect only one inmate on the state's death row. The measure is pending in the state Senate, but the governor has vowed to veto any bill. An execution has not been conducted there in 70 years, when hanging was the preferred method.

Thirty-five states still have the death penalty.
Perhaps we are having less stomach for it. Are we becoming vegetarian so to speak?

Perhaps like my aging perception of New York City, I am changing and not the stats? I do not think so.

There was a time when “law and order” was the stock in trade backbone of the Republican party and conservative Dems. Have we changed or have our tastes moved on?

Perhaps it is a cyclical thing with New York, the death penalty and law and order.

Is this a tribal thing, a beating of the drums? Or does every generation have to latch onto and invent some new catch phrase? In any event, the phrase “law and order” seems to have worn out. “Family Values” from a party of adulterers and closeted gays is definitely worn out. Definitely cliché. Passé.

When there is no substance beyond the phrase, the marketing technique falters, the product fails. The product is discontinued.

So too we seemed to have in the last 40 years (a biblical kind of cycle) worn out the name of God, and of Jesus, putting those names on products such as birth control or adopting a political party. Why no Jesus stadiums? Next logical step after mega-churches. It’s the economy stupid.

Jesus is a product, a commodity and no longer a spiritual energy to most rubes. It has come that far in spent physical and economic $ energy by fervent religionists who mistake humanity for a carton of milk or some other product to sell and or sell to. It reminds me of the book “The Selling of the President” by Joe McGinnis in 1968. Subject of that book … Roger Ailes is still around sad to say…running Fox News. He crowned Richard Nixon king with mere PR and bullshit. His cycle and his Madison Avenue lies, illusions I hope are near an end. I dare say his swan song will be to crown somebody else in the GOP in 2012 – this time maybe a queen. And I am not talking Mitt Romney ( though I think he might look good in a dress ).

By the way … GOD is not spelled G-O-P.

This is not a political endorsement for the anemic Dem party. I hear mayor Bloomberg to going to start, I should say buy a third party in 2012. History has a way of surprising people to quote something from comrade Lenin. We will see. We are living history at this very moment, eye opening moment.

“Family Values” is the stock in trade for the once powerful GOP. Now they seem to be selling their positions short and living from one lobbyists’ paycheck to the next. Hoping to buy back cloth coated values with their current profits somewhere down the road and somebody, everybody loses in the process.

This current debate about health care seems to be going nowhere. There is little substance of change behind the rhetoric and egos of, useless to the American public, doddering old men in the senate.

Congress and the airwaves seem to me be a “loud and constant shouting” too – not very poetic but very real.

Back to the subject at hand…Can you imagine that we do not as a society have the energy anymore to kill criminals, to get revenge. I know in general I do not believe in the death penalty but I leave room for exceptions to my general rule in the case of heinous crimes which defy logic or my strength to forgive. I did not cheer at the recent execution of the DC beltway sniper. Nor did I object. Something poetic and just and right in my gut about it.

Forgiveness is supposed to be a Christian virtue and a Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu virtue to name a few as well.

Are we as a culture evolving out of our stone age angers, hatreds, dysfunctions? Hard to tell from just one news article.

I believe there is hope and redemption and the chance to evolve to a better place and here on this earth as well – and for us all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Un-Christian Chickens in Canada - Beware!


I am not quite certan what to make of this story about alledged “unchristian” chicken farming in New Brunswick, Ontario Canada.

Monks accused of 'unchristian' farming
The animal-rights group PETA, which earlier prompted monks at a U.S. abbey to quit raising chickens, is hoping scripture, moral suasion and the words of Pope Benedict XVI will spark change at Our Lady of Calvary Abbey in Rogersville, N.B.

"It denies God to treat animals this way," PETA's Bruce Friedrich said yesterday. "It's standard factory farming. They are denying these animals everything God designed them to be and to do."

He added that the monks' argument that they "carefully follow government norms" carries little weight.

"The monastery should not hide behind human laws, they should do what is morally right," Mr. Friedrich said. "Cruelty to animals is not just immoral, it's unchristian."
And of course a quote from Joe The Pope when he was Joe the Cardinal in 2002:
...decrying industrial production methods that turn geese and hens into "just caricatures" of birds. "This degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible,"
A true scholar!

There is PC political correctness and there is PC to the extreme of the animal rights people - and then there is “unapproved, unregistered with the Vatican” chicken soup for the soul?

Give me a break.

Franklin Graham - Christian Demagogue


We used to have a good tolerance level in this country regarding religious beliefs. Franklin Graham is exhibiting vulgar hate filled demagoguery that was not the hallmark of his Dad, Billy Graham, as I remember him.

Son of Billy now runs the $400 million dollar a year BILLY GRAHAM INC preaching and charity empire. Son wants to measure up??? Is being a bit spastic in his hate filled remarks against Islam. He is not a screaming demagogue but he is a demagogue never the less.

American Muslim leaders want a conference with him to sit down and talk. That ain't going to happen.

Delivering rice in jets to natives in Alaska combined with photo-ops with Alaskan governor S. Palin is about all I know or see of this very well heeled Christian. That and the occasional hate speech.

The taxes not paid by Franklin could feed cities somewhere and not villages elsewhere. I can only imagine that fear is the factor behind his hate laced words and not the true spirit of Jesus. Are the Muslims muscling in on the charity rackets share of the economic pie in these tough economics times?

America seems of late to be turning into one big gangster racket from Wall Street to main street. With tax free religions and tax abated non-profit "charities" as well as the non tax paying new royalty on Wall Street - it all seems to be turning into one big turf war - over power and money - in this country.

The main stream media are bought and paid for by the money changers like Graham. He goes about spewing hate in the name of Jeebu$ unchallenged.

Evil wicked religion: Franklin Graham's attack on Islam
In 2001, Graham stood by remarks he made about Islam at the dedication of a chapel in North Carolina. At that event, he said: "We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion."

Graham's ignorance is astonishing. The God of Islam is identical to the God of the Judeo Christian faith. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of comparative religion knows that both traditions worship the God of Abraham.
Whatever happened to the occasional turning of the Christian cheek - Franklin?

He is sweet as honey in this video below - some of his best friends are Muslims - but it is a violent religion? He talks about one small slice of the global Islam.

Any comments from any of you violent Muslims out there?


Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiger Woods Syndrome and Family Values


It is not nice to judge others. I have stood by and observed the mess Tiger Woods has gotten himself into. Here are a few notes.

The man seems incapable of handling his own affairs, no pun intended. I discount the tales of publicity hungry women coming out of the woodwork with a story worth selling to the National Inquirer. Over all I will not repeat the tales of the many alleged temporary girl friends.

Some things seem to filter through the tightly protected squeaky clean IMAGE ( now tarnished ) of a man who does not seem to know who or what he is. Tiger is I think a victim of the Schine Effect which as stated previously is that you are only as good or as real as your handlers and the people you trust or delegate authority to. He seems to be too dependent on his many, many covert handlers.

Tiger Woods Syndrome is reflective of this modern age. Who is the real Tiger Woods? Is there a real person behind the image and concept marketing package called “Tiger Woods”?

For a man making $100 Million dollars a year, I was surprised to see that he lived with his wife and children in a very modest $2.4 million dollar house in Florida. For his income the place is a rabbit hutch.

His $20 million dollar yacht sleeps 12 and is no doubt a tax write off giving party filled reward weekends to those executives who pay him or used to pay him non-stop bonuses.

Of course, Tiger, born in California and went to college there, must prefer Florida for of a number of reasons including maybe that Florida is not a community property state like California. Coincidence?

There is a pop Psychology Term called the Peter Pan Syndrome. It is all about not wanting to grow up and later in life having difficulty in relationships and also about having a good childhood – so good that you never want to leave it.

Does Tiger Woods have a good wholesome fulfilling private life separate from the baggage of his public image? He is extremely quiet at the moment.

At least he didn’t slobber aimlessly in public like Governor Mark Sanford when he got caught cheating on his wife and family.

Speaking of family values. I was surprised to see a bit of an old video of the Mike Douglas talk entertainment show from the late seventies. In that video is a two year old Tiger Woods putting golf balls in front of Mike Douglas and Bob Hope and under the firm hand and tutorage of his father.

At least Tiger isn’t slobbering about having no childhood like Michael Jackson. Did he have a good childhood? Does he have a natural passion for the game of golf? One has to look at scenarios of Tiger or Michael or the Williams Sisters and have to wonder how hard it is for minorities to be twice as good before they are accepted in society as on par and at a grudging equal level with the mediocre establishment so to speak.

The image is the product. The product is success. I cannot condemn what is and has been successful in the American Market place since the beginning of the republic. Success at any price is not a good thing if ultimately you do not know who you really are. Not good, if you do not inwardly or outwardly enjoy that success or do not know how to handle it.

The game is golf. Golf is perceived by some to be a rather elitist, expensive and white kind of "sport”.

So long as Eldrick lived up to the image and the image maker’s rules, he did okay. Nobody questioned the man behind the image. Don't mess with success or at least not until the pot boils over.

I hope he reconciles with his wife. I hope he devotes a fair amount of time in therapy for transitioning from a child in a bubble to a man in a media corporate bubble.

The real bottom line on Tiger will be if he has a passion for the game of golf and comes back and plays it for the pittance of the purses that it pays. Endorsements be damned. They will come back over time. I have to wonder if the sport triumphs of Tiger Woods are meaningless sterile things to him alone inside himself.

Statistics, championships and accomplishments are one thing. Family and the values that it implies is a real thing. So many abuse that term these days, in words and actions, of that concept of family values.

I wonder how many truly understand or believe in those values.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

stocking stuffers - Xmas season

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Mr. Bean




Trans-Siberian Orchestra




Target




Peanuts




Christmas Secrets - Enya




From the Stone Age




Lucky Strike Christmas - Janet Leigh




Love Actually – my favorite modern era Christmas movie.




Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas is you

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Madam President Clinton 2012

It is perhaps wrong of me to second guess the strategy of the sitting President fresh back from his Nobel Peace Prize and defense of Corporate Warfare Profits. Few if any could change the mess we are in no matter what the circumstances.

I have to back up at this point and go off half-cocked, I am good at that, and presume that The SCHINE EFFECT has kicked in for Obama – whereby he is only as good as his handlers and or the people he trusts or delegates authority to.

That said I am wondering where Madam President Hillary Clinton’s administration would be about here in time if she had out swung, one more lob, to Obama on the clay court and in a game of political tennis.

I do no think she would have done much different at this point of time than Obama except for Healthcare.

She would have put all the same incompetent fools in charge of the money, her husband’s fools, that Obama has also put in charge.

She would have increased the troop levels in Afghanistan.

The birthers/tea baggers would still be there but screaming rehashed Monica Lewinsky and Vince Foster – oh give us break you morons! The rhetoric may be moronic but their energy and anger are real. Let’s see if this Paid For-Grassroots BS goes anywhere. Or merges with forces of anger on the Left?

I think that about now Hillary would have been pushing for jobs more first than healthcare. A few more points down on the unemployment scales, say at 8.5 percent or so, may have made us not notice how a resuscitated Wall Street is up in Profits without job creation.

Money making money does not create wealth or growth anymore. In other words, Wall Street used to generate cash that ultimately ended up in factories, production, innovation and jobs. This does not happen anymore. There is a disconnect, a major disconnect, from the classic Wall Street model and in the past twenty years or so. This opinion is held by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker.

Volcker Questions Value of Financial Innovation

I applaud a young journalist in the grand tradition and theory of journalism as practiced by a select few these days. One such person is Matt Taibbi , somewhat thought of as a maverick but whether you disagree or agree with him he sure is analyzing and investigating the mess that is Wall Street and Government.

Did Obama Sell Out to Wall Street?

Getting back to Madam President Clinton. I think that Bill’s advice not to take the VP job was brilliant. How can a seated Vice President up and challenge the President? That, in the next national round of the eternal rounds of bullshit circus elections in this country - 2012.

We need politicians who are moral and ethical and not cookie cutter “Christian". We need leaders who know how to balance a budget. We need business men who have to relearn what Classic American Business was all about. To put people and humanity back into the business spreadsheet formula for success.

While I do not necessarily see Hillary pulling a Eugene McCarthy on Obama, I can see where incompetence and charisma will only go so far along with the Schine Effect. The rest might be history and destiny for Hillary Rodham.

As for Goldman Sachs being the master for the moment of the planet and or universe. Unless it creates real growth and jobs out of Wall Street, you don’t have to be a seer to predict that within the next months or few years, on a Friday afternoon, GS, might get the very same knife in the back that was given to BS, Bear Stearns.

As my parents used to tell me as a child – never take candy or money from strangers (Wash.,D.C.?).

The rules of Empire apply on all levels – to rich or poor alike. If Caesar needs jobs to stay in power with the mob, Caesar will have jobs or else.

Leadership and delivering on promises count a hell of a lot in these tough economic times.

Everyone, have a nice and prosperous day.

Rick Warren Keeps Getting Fatter and Fatter

Rick Warren keeps getting fatter and fatter. His books sell millions. His opinion supposedly carries weight. President Casper Milquetoast was so afraid of the big man of religion that the big man of religion showed up in his very big clothes at Inauguration Day to invoke his god of success on himself and to the cameras.

Other than the 10,000 people who show up every week at his mega church in California, who does the good pastor serve except maybe a dozen tailors working overtime on his expanding waistline.

Warren does not serve humanity. The Jerry Falwell success model is based on money and power. Warren has the money. He is waiting for a Christian President, Sarah Palin(?) to anoint him in similar fashion as the emperor-god Reagan anointed Falwell to bring out the GOP vote on election day.

In the meantime, a bunch of anti-Jesus agenda freaks aka as The Family, the Doug Coe Family, have taken over the country of Uganda, with taxpayer money (something of a Charlie Wilson’s war scenario – but without a good ending).

Where is the MSM? In bed with Glenn and Rupert again? (naughty boys!)

The Family has talked the Ugandan’s out of condoms in favor of abstinence and prayers to Jeebus to cure HIV/AIDS there. The sales commission or bonuses on that inhumane bullshit from the Vatican must be in the tens of millions.

Chickenfeed when compared to a Purpose Driven African nation that can muster arms and god to conquer all of the extremely rich mineral rich territory of all of Africa in the purpose driven game plan of decades to come. Of course most of them, the Africans will be dead from HIV/AIDS, but isn’t that God’s will and not Goldman Sachs?

Rachel Maddow has now challenged Rick Warren to do more than a little mumble of his disapproval of the official Uganda Gay Hate Bill on her cable TV Show. Mumble on Rick - The mediocre, Jesus vomits out.

Maddow to Warren: Come on air to denounce anti-gay Uganda bill
Night after night, Maddow, who is gay, has been hammering conservative U.S. evangelical leaders and politicians for failing to speak out promptly, loudly and clearly against a bill in Uganda that would criminalize homosexuality.

After days of being blasted by name, a few politicians have now issued statements against the bill, just recently toned down from a life imprisonment and death penalty provisions to mere jail time for being actively gay -- or even knowing someone gay and failing to report them. (Imagine the chaos that would create for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, apart from legitimizing hate.)

Earlier this week, Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and leader of vast social action networks in Africa under his PEACE plan, issued his first specific denunciation of the legislation, days after initially saying he couldn't interfere in another nation's politics.
The Christian world, the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Family, the Jerry Falwell wannabes do not give one shit or damn about the people of Africa except to manipulate then or reinslave them in this new modern Goldman Sachs redesigned imperialism and colonialism.

The money changers are in charge of the churches and or the purpose averted mission of Jesus. They got there with permission of Goldman Sachs and other ruling world leaders. Is this the New World Order?

Obama, the congress, healthcare, climate control is all just some sideshow with all the cameras in Washington doing a daily soap opera.

The sooner that a greed monger like Museveni gets replaced by moderate, reasonable, humane leadership in Uganda and other African countries, the sooner that humanity can mature toward the true message of Jesus which is people first, state and religion second.

The gospel of Jesus is to make a better world. It is not to make your life more comfortable by letting the people you do not like or do not like you – be killed.

Killed because of the omission of your humanity. Killed because of your purpose averted humanity doctrine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Playing God in Washington - - - or the Killing Fields of Uganda

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There is an awful lot of ego in Washington D.C. but there does not seem to be a lot of soul.

Pathetic corporate Parasites like Joe Lieberman flourish in their own fertilizer factory patch of earth.

I have waited on this. I sometimes jump into the current MSM political malaise and add my comments. I write this blog for some regulars and the occasional reader who wanders in out of nowhere and usually goes back out there too and comes back again sometimes.

To comment on Huffington Post with a thousand other commentators is more like Black Friday everyday than once a year. I have to give it to Arianna. I remember when she started with books about mismanaged politics and greed. Now she is a force to be reckoned with in determining opinion within the left side of the political aisle.

The right side of the aisle as I have recently commented elsewhere is going along with the party of kooks that are in something like a Las Vegas crap shoot. All or nothing. They are hoping to win by default and not by merit. They in all likelihood have plans to do a massive raid on the treasury one day as spoils in a Gordon Gekko mindset and victory.

But of all the deeply rich offensive to me losers in the Senate and the House are the Fundamentalists members of the Doug Coe kristian fascist Family tax set up and or “Church”.

As I have stated previously in this blog, if you can set the perimeters of any argument, you have a home team advantage so to speak of winning in any argument. In other words if you are there first with a definition of God as in Constantine’s sanctioned tax abated definition of God then you and your cronies have the home team advantage in any philosophical theological theoretical arguments about such.

This is not about religion. Or is it? You tell me. This is I think about how a fascist organization masking itself in the name of the real Jesus has gone into a broken war torn nation like Uganda to lay down a new Christian definition of evil in terms of the Victorian label of homosexuality. The Victorians were good at naming things, very scientific, Darwinian, German.

I guess the politicians in Oklahoma are aware with its long history of violence and abuse on all levels and have a unique form of Christian fundamentalism – Christian mentalism? Well anyway, Tulsa is like Mecca. The Fundies have the oil money there. The sheep in Oklahoma have generational nightmares going back to Andrew Jackson’s genocidal “trail of tears” for native Americans. They are followed by violence on the frontiers on the periphery of Bleeding Kansas, the Civil War, Land grabs, Land Rushes, refugees from the defeated Confederacy and of course you have the oil, the big money thing mixed in.

In a way if a corporate lawyer named Lincoln had not fused the Union into a one and undividable unit, Oklahoma today would be in many ways a lot like Uganda, full of war, poverty and ignorance. It is like Senator Inhofe sees the need to preach the unique form of Oklahoma Jebus to the dark ignorant masses in the Oklahoma sister state of Uganda.

History being what it is – a possible learning book to learn from past human successes and past failures, I have to wonder if Doug Coe or Jim Inhofe understand the consequences of their hardball covert political actions in Uganda. Nixon bombed Cambodia to get the North Vietnamese hiding in the Cambodian border. Cambodia got destabilized. It got taken over by a bunch of religious fanatics, Communists ( Communism is considered a religion by the Vatican).

The resulting Killing Fields of Cambodia happened when foreigners came in to set a western goal on an Asian country. Of the estimated two to three million dead from those Cambodian killing fields, the Khmer Rouge, the communist religion party in charge only executed about two to three hundred thousand people. The other odd million or two or three died of starvation and disease in a country destabilized by a sure as dandy winning Pentagon war plan approved by the emperor-god Nixon.

What makes any of these Fundamentalist Lunatics not see that killing Gays would only be the start of new Killing Fields in Uganda. Once such a heinous bill is on the books any and all of your political enemies can be labeled as Gay and then legally murdered. The Doug Coe, Jim Inhofe plans for world domination are all fucked up like their queer version of “religion”.

When you go into foreign places and start small things, plant seeds, those seeds might also become extremely destructive instead of being a good thing.

Senator James Inhofe seems to have made Uganda a second home on the taxpayer’s dime and is rumored that he has largely been responsible for the “Kill the Gays” bill sponsored in the Uganda Parliament by a Coe Family Member under the atrophied rule of Museveni. That bill has now been watered down because of public opinion in this country catching up with those starting, experimenting, fulfilling a non-christian hate of homosexuals in a distant experimental African country.

My advice to Jim Inhofe – shit or get off the pot!

Be a full time senator to the people of Oklahoma. Or be a full time minister in the Doug Coe religion army. No man can serve two masters.

Don’t play God. The world is getting smaller and smaller all the time. Dress up acting and God playing are so childish and potentially disastrous and not to mention downright EVIL.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Is Intelligent Design Bullshit ?


If you can define the parameters of any argument, you have the advantage to winning the argument.

I remember when the Jerry Falwell Public Relations oily communication thing was all cranked up under the emperor god Reagan. Cranking out the evil of “secular humanism”.

I at the time heard the phrase and was too busy living my life to try and understand this new modern phrase for satanism or the like. Few if any were challenging the new word factory being pumped out of Fundamentism Central or to admit my ignorance, I was not aware of anybody fighting this abuse of language in the name of the Jebus cash cow.

In retrospect, it is two words. It is secular, a neutral thing. And it is about humanism, a good thing. How can two fine words be put together and be so misused.

How about Intelligent Design as an example?

I recently heard the term Intelligent Design.

From Wiktionary – Intelligent Design :
A conjecture claiming that biological life on Earth, or more broadly, the universe as a whole, was created by an unspecified intelligent agent rather than being the result of undirected natural processes.
Intelligent Design grates on my ear. If Joe the Pope likes it, I know there must be something anti-free choice and pro-mind control about it.

Pope prepares to embrace theory of intelligent design
There have been growing signs the Pope is considering aligning his church more closely with the theory of "intelligent design" taught in some US states. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Critics say it is a disguise for creationism…

The Pope also raised the issue in the inaugural sermon of his pontificate, saying: "We are not the accidental product, without meaning, of evolution."
Intelligent design seems like half-assed science to me. It is two parts “H” without the “O”. It is Hydrogen without Oxygen. It is not the answer. It is not water – the basis of all carbon life forms as we think we understand them. It is an assumption. If you assume, you are likely to makes an “ass” of “U” and “me”.

We may not be an accident in the Universe. But who is to say how much randomness was programmed into the original design? Who is to say that that “design” was not the result of whole eons of universes coming and going from big bang to ultimate implosion over and over again? Maybe randomness is the ultimate program – and not the desired dead end stop – of us – as we would like it or temporarily Re-design it to be?

Maybe this dead end result of how great we are as a species is stalled – an idol of we who cannot manage the natural resources of this planet bestowed on us by “Nature”.

We stand on this sick and or dying planet proclaiming ourselves to be the greatest designed species in the history of the universe.

We, as a limited species, are more than likely little more than a Ford model Edsel, 1958-1960. – Just waiting for another species to absorb or destroy us before we get the chance to destroy ourselves looking blindly into the mirror of life and only seeing “man” and or the man made design of the latest great version of a personal god. Me. Me. Me. Me. I!

It is a continuation of the concept of the personal gods designed in separate ages by Abraham, Moses and Mohammed. The energy that each comes up with to make an intellectual choice and say this is what it is all about may be fine and good. But what did Abraham, Moses and or Mohammed really believe?

If the bible and other writings are any indication of anything, over time the three gods of three prophets merge into one god. We somehow along with cultural conformity must conform to this ancient hodge podge of thought by once living intelligent beings each in their own historic setting. They and their resulting hodge podge of things are valid? And we are not?

I have to agree with the argument in Urban Dictionary that this shit should be taught in schools along with creationism and Darwinism. I look forward to apocryphal stories of Jebus accidently killing his pet dinosaur “Spike” and resuscitating it too etc.

In a way, all of us, individually and collectively and even the disorganized religion types needs a better and or new definition of God. All the old definitions of God, I think, are obsolete.

Though you might not think it, I am searching for that other new definition of God.

I would not think of imposing my definition on others, should I find it, for the sake of an alpha-male “I am RIGHT and you are wrong!” kind of thing.

I respect those people with the gumption to say “I don’t honestly know”.

This grasping for a cliché – sound bite - assumption called Intelligent Design sounds more like imitation science than true faith.

We must I think, agree with Voltaire’s character of Candide, and “cultivate our own gardens” because this is not “the best of all possible worlds”.

Good luck to us all, the human race, in Copenhagen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Save Me Now - Earth - Jeff Lynne


There is some sort of UN sponsored climate change conference thingy going on in Copenhagen Denmark Dec. 7 through Dec. 18.

One has to wonder if it will be too little too late. That is negative. But it also may be true - before Earth, as we have known it, is Gone and out of reach to our progeny.

One has to wonder if God is out to lunch on climate change or merely hiding from the crazy bastards and their screwed up "dominion" over the earth and every living thing on it.

In the mean time words and music by Jeff Lynne from one of his better post ELO albums - Armchair Theatre.




Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Abstract Concept of God - ACG - a.c.g.


This is a connect the dot thing and about how two totally unrelated subjects have in fact a stake in future global communication.

The first dot happened this morning as I read a piece by Jason Walsh on the Guardian UK news website.

Kick the state out of our bedrooms
Indeed the times, they are a-changin' and it is clear that public opinion on gay marriage is changing with it. When Boyzone singer Stephen Gately died the tabloid press referred to Andy Cowles, as his husband. It was slightly jarring at first but we'll get used to it: the sky didn't fall, thousands of men didn't abandon their wives and head down to the local gay club and although there was something a war of words on the internet … well, who cares?...
Which led to this sentence which leads me back to the topic theme.
The fiercest opposition to gay marriage comes from conservative Christians who see marriage as a sacred bond between a man and a woman before God.
Suddenly I realize how so many of us are confused by terms already in usage, terms in transit and terms yet to be born. And in a present and future global sense.

The article is about how a term such as “husband” is appropriate and needs to understood by all as in a gay relationship. This cradle but not to the grave homophobe has had his share of uncomfortable moments in life seeing gays kiss and or hold hands in public. It takes some getting used to but get over it. Who cares? Who cares about the private lives of other people?

Enough with the gay stuff already. The second quote about alpha-male christians leads to how I have tried to pull my thoughts together about atheism and agnosticism and a whole range of terms I and or you may not be aware of or might need to get used as terms.
“Marriage as a sacred bond between a man and a women before God”
God? What is that? The founding fathers, born in the Enlightenment, were comfortable in their own skins with God being remote and creative (Deism) or God being up front and personal (Theism).

In an interview by Australian Atheist Cameron Reilly with Father Peter Kennedy of St. Mary’s in Exile Brisbane, Reilly kept using the term “Anthropomorphic” – a mouth full - which means giving God an attribute of humanity as in a white haired guy in the sky and or “personal god” concept.

Getting back to the marriage definition used by fanatical christians with marriage, forming a sacred bond, as in spoken vows of a man and a women “before God”. It struck me how God is an Abstract Concept. God might be real in a spirit form but he, she, or it is not visible in this world. The majority opinion and the majority assumption that God is a word or term that can stand alone in understanding or communication is fading with that religious majority into a future global minority opinion.

I came to this new term Abstract Concept of God (ACG) (a.c.g.) to bridge some gaps of understanding in our merging world cultures. God is not real. God may exist but when people are taking vows or swearing oaths they are taking those vows and or oaths to an Abstract Concept of God (to an abstract concept called "God").

Helping me along in my evolving thoughts and understanding about what is real and what is not real is my study recently of Atheism. One of the persons helping recently is the late great artist George Carlin, in a filmed comedy routine from 1999.

I do not invite you to see the video below if you are not curious about atheism. I was a bit squimish when I saw the same routine on HBO a year or two ago. But gradually I have come around, can look and laugh at some of the cultural absurdities and superstitions that still languish in this so called modern civilized culture.

In a way my fear of atheism has done an about turn much like my about turn in terms of supporting 100% human rights for gays and all other human beings on this planet, as well as for those in belief or as non-believers.

Gone are the days of Madelyn Murray O’Hair – angry and reactive atheists to a bad religious experience – and going forward with the young who have not experienced the medieval experience of religion and their atheism is – what is all this “bullshit” about religion and God stuff (?).

The concept about assuming that the word God alone is enough in the public square to express yourself is changing. The concept as described above about forming a sacred bond by taking vows before God is perhaps turning into the perjorative at the moment no matter how much cash and Public Relations reinforcement of religious medieval concepts is going on in the present world.

The majority POV about vows before God may be the minority POV in a future global culture and taking “vows before an ACG (abstract concept of god)” may be the politically correct way to phrase that sentence in a decade or two.

(Warning - there is a lot of street profanity in the video below.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Karzai – “to fight” Corruption – asks Patience


After eight years of blowing away any chance of a victory in our Imperial War in Afghanistan (West Vietnam?), the President (by extreme default) Hamid Karzai, finally pledges to fight Corruption and urges Patience. Good Luck Johnny Karzai!

Good Luck G.I. Joe and G.I. Jane as well!

Karzai says to fight corruption, urges patience
"Afghanistan welcomes this new strategy, and Afghanistan will do all it can to be a good partner in it," Karzai told CNN, according to a transcript released by the network.

Karzai said the Afghans would try their best to take over security of the country within the U.S. timetable.

"But the international community must have also the patience with us and the realization of the realities in Afghanistan. If it takes longer, then they must be with us," he said…

"By the end of five years term of -- of the current government, we plan to lead operations for the security of the Afghan people in all of Afghanistan, in the whole country. That is our objective," he said.
Wow! Fighting corruption as a new strategy. That's one for the history books along side "let them eat cake".

Thank you President Diem Thieu Ky Karzai for those encouraging words of comfort.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Union (of Marriage) Certificate

When did we surrender so many rights to the state?

In the case of civil marriage by a Justice of the Peace or by a clerk in city hall, this is secular territory, whereby the civil authority by default, goes into the marriage business.

The ancient Egyptians had a house warming party for a couple moving in together – no ceremony- just house useful gifts – pots, pans, linens – and a party.

The Church married royalty. The peasants lived together. Marriage as a written contract has always had to deal with property.

In modern times, marriage has become the property contract and not the vow document of two joining together in love.

Indeed, in Pennsylvania, the family court system is still called Orphan’s Court. Family court is more like divorce court or a referee place to break up a contested marriage with children involved.

The idea of legitimate or illegitimate children is really referring to first right, legitimate property rights to parents under property contract or “marriage”.

With the religious right trying to impose religious standards in a civil secular setting such as civil recognition of unions is rather bizarre.

Marriage is what you make of it. No wonder so many people live together these days and children are born out of wedlock – no official marriage property documents.

If you don’t have property or children there is no need for marriage or property contracts.

Property Contracts are essentially what civil union or the like is about and has been suggested as the realistic path for same-sex unions. A civil union is a civil (property) contract. All the hoopla in the “gay marriage” thing is about the word Marriage.

Marriage is definable many ways. The religious meaning is lost to me. Since Jesus never bothered to marry or bother to mention it, I guess it was not on a top ten list of priorities in his ministry for social justice. The RC church says that marriage is a sacrament in that Jesus went to a wedding feast, got real thirsty for the drink, and made more – a miracle perhaps but I still do not see the connection to marriage. The only time or reason people in the stone age got together was for weddings or funerals.

Getting back to simplicity in days of yore, if you married in a church, you took vows in front of your common community. Your common community were your relatives and a few unrelated relatives in a farming community. Everybody knew you were married to one person and everybody knew that you were the parents of your children. No need for marriage certificates and registration through city hall.

I was very impressed seeing something in a museum at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. It was a Quaker marriage certificate framed and hanging on the wall of what I believe was once a Quaker farmhouse. The tour guide explained that since there is no traditional minister in the Quaker faith, the couple being married took their vows to each other and all adults present, male and female, signed as witnesses of this marriage. The document pictured above is one such document.

Would it not be nice if married people today could have a similar document with their vows written out, witnessed and have the document in print version be recorded at the local town hall not unlike a property deed or a will. It would be on public record. It would be a historic document for your descendants.

It is impractical these days with credit ratings, property, spousal health benefits, life insurance to go back to this old fashioned way of recording marriage without any civil authority involved.

Just a thought and sentiment I thought I would share with you.