Monday, May 17, 2010

Billy and Diana - Philly Mascots

Something strange happened to me last week. I had been looking though some old research and I came across one of my favorite art objects in a photo.

There is the Augustus Saint Gaudens statue of the Roman goddess Diana that decorates the main hall of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I am of course aware of all the trials and triumphs of this statue as art and its ability to survive. It started out as a weathervane on the second of four Madison Square Gardens. The second Garden was actually right off Madison Square in Manhattan.

To make a long story short, this one time symbol and “goddess of Manhattan” got ditched when they tore the building down and it survived to become art in Philly. There is even an O. Henry short story, rather dated in language and understanding, The Lady Higher Up, in conversation between “Miss Diana” and “Aunt Liberty” in the New York harbor.

More boring details I will not talk about. But the strange thing is that when I looked at this statue, this work of art, and its setting in a treasure house of human culture, a museum I have many times visited, I slipped into the transcendent and felt spiritual and close to the Divine.

Art, and not pagan idol, touched something in me. The feminine road to the Divine was more pronounced in ancient, primitive, obsolete pagan cultures. Maybe that pathway should consider being reopened in the traffic jam of today’s uncertain global common culture.

I have to wonder how the world progresses that if some art might be a true pathway to the divine.

Speaking of superstition, there is the local Philly myth of the Curse of Billy Penn.

Curse of Billy Penn

The Curse of Billy Penn was an alleged curse used to explain the failure of major professional sports teams based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to win championships since the March 1987 construction of the One Liberty Place skyscraper, which exceeded the height of William Penn's statue atop Philadelphia City Hall.

The curse was supposedly overturned by placing a small statue of William Penn on the top of the tallest building in Philly, the Comcast center at 975 feet, in 2007 just in time for the World Series Title in 2008.

Superstition, myth, religion – many times wishful thinking and self fulfilling prophesy.

In any case, in an ancient sense and in honorable titles, Statues, Art, are mascots, honorary gods, in a vaguely pagan parameter, at Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, the Quaker City.

Pagan Transcendency into the Divine

Christianity is not a holistic religion in the ways that ancient religions were concerned with the whole and the parts of the whole and the interdependence of those parts.

By strictest definition, the word pagan means rural. In the context of ancient Rome with it hundreds of official and non-official gods and temples, pagan was a label for a country bumpkin religion with a country bumpkin god etc. As such Rome was the big time and so were its gods.

Along comes Christianity and every non-Christian religion gets a pagan label and then gets the heave ho off the side of the boat. Past wisdom, culture and insight got tossed as well. A respect for nature got a bad rap and label in the Christian stream of thought thing.

I have to laugh when I hear the apocryphal story of the mother of Jesus coming to live her last days in Ephesus and living with Mary Magdalene.

I do not think that that happened. Ephesus was home to the largest and grandest Greek style temple on earth, pictured above, and dedicated to a Greek earth goddess called Demeter. The temple was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Demeter can also be Gaia etc. The Roman version of the name Demeter is Diana.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the best you can do for a basic earth goddess in the male dominated monotheistic Christian religion. With a handful of sentences mentioning her in the NT, Mary is the stuff of myth and legend and not based on much sacred scripture.

I was doing some recent research or refreshing my memory from Freshman highschool English class whereby we had to memorize all the names of the Greek and Roman gods as a background to reading stories of ancient mythology.

What’s wrong with myth? Nothing. Before there was culture or churches and mosques, there was myth. Myth is the verbal and later written down sharing of culture around the small community nightly fire. Tribes are smaller than modern day countries. Myth is no longer small. Small myth sometimes now covers big modern countries and cultures but not too well. Something missing perhaps in old myths not properly retrofitted to today. As such, most myth is relegated to obscure storage and forgotten library shelves.

Myth or no myth, the western culture follows ancient Rome’s hatred of Nature to this day. Rome is long gone. Western civilization is not far behind using the British Petroleum’s behemoth haphazard failure to manage nature responsibly as a watershed mark in human history.

Do we finally take macro responsibility of the planet or do we, and all cultures globally, continue to ignore our environment? Our platform of life, on which we see life happening on many levels, must be shared with other living creatures in the oceans and on the lands. One species, if it goes extinct, sets the stage for other extinctions including our own species.

The ancient religious myth that God set us in change of Nature is a poorly written piece in that it leaves out the implied statement that we must take charge of nature responsibly.

I am not talking Neo-Paganism here. I am talking about resuscitating those portions of ancient culture that saw, felt and acted in response to the key points of nature that cause mankind to survive and prosper.

Gaia as the earth goddess is not really an ancient concept. Gaia as resurrected myth is an accumulation of many ancient earth goddesses. And what are earth goddesses? They are symbols of the sacred feminine.

The west and its hatred of nature is mixed with hatred of women in the mean desert monotheistic religions. Nature is buried along side with the feminine. The Roman military calendar replaced the lunar calendar. Conflicts were settled in blood along with the destruction of ancient pagan belief systems, based many times on nature. A world religion like Hinduism is based on many previous cultures and many previous cultures’ beliefs, gods and goddesses. Inclusive is one way to do religion.

Christianity, if it wants to survive must look differently at the world and be part of nature, God’s nature or be prepared to quickly, at this point in time, fade out permanently of historic view.

Part of a culture war in recent years in the west, or more accurately America, is between the dying western culture and against Secularism or Neo-Paganism. Neo-Paganism also goes by the name of Pantheism, whereby you believe in many gods instead of the mean singular desert gods of Judeo Christian Islamic monotheistic myth.   The many gods or idols that some secularists or neo-pagans would seem to worship are science, technology, cars, fast food, fashion, and greed and or success.  Any means to succeed including warfare are okay so long as you win at any cost.  Any cost these days means at the expense of humanity and the fragile nature of our planet.

Of course, the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims do not all agree that they are talking about the same god. As such and to such people, I label their beliefs myth. There seems to be many gods even amongst the so-called monotheists.

Transcendence into the energy of the universe is possible on any level, at any time and in any culture.

Transcendence into the concept of God is a way pagans used to channel into the Spiritual. The universe did not live, breath and evolve for a billion years waiting for the one true religion (there are so many) to finally arrive on this planet.

The ancients, the pagans, the pre-Christians did a thriving business in many belief systems. Those forced from the scene belief systems were many times balanced in being male and female. Transcendence into the energy of God was possible within some of those belief systems. Human or animal sacrifice though crowded out the clarity of any hoped for vision of God as we think of Him today.

Western civilization is in a way an extension of a single male god myth – now gone sterile over time. Western Civilization on the religious level is an extension of a long, out of date myth created by Constantine. The forced male only paternalistic religion thing does not work anymore in a total member, total cultural global society. That the culture attached to that lone god myth has perhaps travelled as far as that culture and myth can travel.

Time to think outside the sterlile (at present) western Christian box.

Any ideas I have at the moment are to restore at the very least the regular value of the feminine if not the sacred feminine back into western culture and its institutions in order to save it at this critical time in history.

Time to re-examine some of the ancient pagan ways of reaching out to the spiritual and the Divine that are in true balance with Nature and Nature’s God / Goddess.

Thomas Olmsted - High Priest of Phoenix

After St. Joseph's: Are Women Still Safe in Catholic Hospitals?

Even the Catholic Church, whose official doctrine demands that women be sacrificed in order to preserve fetal life, has for many years made no attempt to impose such a draconian policy upon its vast network of hospitals in the United States. Until last week. In a radical move that is likely to inflame the abortion debate even further and, more disturbingly, to endanger the lives of millions of expectant mothers, Thomas J. Olmsted, the Catholic bishop of Phoenix, Arizona, has condemned and excommunicated a highly regarded nun who approved an abortion necessary to save a pregnant woman's life.

The Irish nun at the center of the case is Sister Margaret McBride, an administrator at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. McBride was part of a hospital ethics committee that approved the termination of an eleven-week-old fetus after the mother developed a case of pulmonary hypertension that threatened to kill her if she continued with her pregnancy.

Although the specific details of the case have not been revealed for reasons of patient privacy, Catholic Healthcare West, which operates the hospital, has described the woman's death, in the absence of termination, as all but certain. In response, Mr. Olmstead declared that the nun was "automatically excommunicated" and warned that: "While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means."
Of course life is sacred but sometimes the life of one already here must be considered first in a dangerous life threatening situation. 

I do not understand this ongoing and continued hatred of the Roman Catholic church towards women and womens' medical needs.

Bishop Olmsted is a major Creep (the only "C" word that I can use here in good taste) as far I am concerned in this matter. 

Sister Margaret McBride is a Saint!

God forgive Tom Olmsted's total lack of humanity towards half the human race!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

British Petroleum's War on Nature

There is a lot of talk about how to revive a seemingly dead Christianity in this seemingly dying planet’s stage of history.

I am thinking that the dying part of the dying planet has to do with the removal of the sacred from nature and Christianity helped manage with that disconnect centuries ago. If nature had a mythical god associated with it, the god, its shrine and the worship of some sacred aspect of creation got destroyed or discounted into nothing within the fanaticism of the new, world is about to end – repent – join now or regret it later in hell – Christian religion.

The rape of the Gulf of Mexico continues under knuckleheads more suited to be failed CEO type bishops running the RC church into the ground. BP and the RCC answer to nobody, not even God it would seem these days.

So much for venting the frustration of watching corporations destroy America and the Western Culture all for the sake of a quarterly profit, or yearly bonus by “short-term bottom-line thinkers” (knuckles dragging).

Rome was not built in a year nor was it destroyed in a year to put a matrix on the idea. The idea perhaps fits the concept of the decline of a culture, our present culture, where the old myths centered around the old Roman state religion of Christianity do not meet the needs of modern culture such as now and with  ideas such as environmentalism.

End Time paranoia helps a religion get started out of fear. If you do not want to survive with me, please jump out of the lifeboat – the boat is getting rather crowded. It is the twenty-first century. The end of your world did not happen in the first century or the fourth, or the tenth of the twentieth centuries. Something missing in that success formula I think.

Mixing science perhaps with ancient myth, the idea that the Earth represented by a goddess named Gaia came into existence to give some metaphoric momentum to a new idea, or more accurately an old idea, about how man is or should be in balance with nature.

The man responsible with mixing ancient myth with modern science is James Lovelock. James Lovelock defined Gaia as:
a complex entity involving the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet….

James Lovelock, CH, CBE, FRS (born 26 July 1919) is an independent scientist, environmentalist and futurologist who lives in Devon, England. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity with the capacity to keep our planet healthy by controlling the chemical and physical environment.---(Wikipedia)
Green thinking in terms of new innovative ways to fuel our economy without nineteenth century petroleum robber baron technology are what is needed right now.

New ways of thinking is also perhaps a means to interject a balance into thought. This to reintroduce the idea of a feminine side, to balance wasted centuries of old male only perception in looking at a stark, male only, universe.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Corporate Whore of Babylon – British Petroleum

Tag, you’re it!

No criminal charges against the gangsters that run British Petroleum.

The rape of Nature in the Gulf of Mexico continues.

Word on the street is that BP has the technology to stop this but have chosen to play dumb just long enough to dump this whole corporate mess in the American taxpayers’ lap.

America is tired of being some Corporate Whore of Babylon’s bitch.

Nationalize BP assets to pay for this mess.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Arizona Cracker Law HB2281

I used to stand and wait for a bus to go to work near a cemetery on Oracle Rd. in Tucson. I would be standing something like thirty feet from a huge granite tombstone of the infamous local financier Sam Hughes who orchestrated and paid for the Camp Grant Massacre in 1871.

Camp Grant Massacre

The tombstone is still there but the man is long forgotten. “The evil that men do lives after them.” The massacre deserves to live on in “ethnic studies” courses in Tucson that cracker Governor Brewer and the hack white Arizona legislature have banned in HB2281. Too Bad.

Arizona Legislature Passes Bill That Outlaws 'Ethnic Studies' (HB2281)

The new Arizona law:
“Prohibits a school district or charter school from including in its program of instruction any courses or classes that:

Promote the overthrow of the United States government.

Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.

Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.

Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”
The target is Tucson, T.U.S.D., Tucson United School District, and the one progressive end of that state.

The first provision to not promote the overthrow of the U.S. Government is a dead give away about the paranoia of a dying white majority to deny the rights of ethnics claiming their heritage through the honest study of history.

Jan Brewer will do anything, say anything, sign anything to get reelected this year.

Wikipedia has Governor Brewer listed as a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

I have looked through the internet to find comment of the LCMS on the recent racist SB1070 Arizona Immigration “show me your papers” law. No comment. A shrug perhaps. And they wonder why they can’t fill pews these days.

It is too early for that “moral” comment perhaps on this scraping of history from the history books - as is now law in this new White Only History - Arizona law. Is silence tacit agreement?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Cross as Religious and Secular Icon

The image above is a piece of the destroyed World Trade Center pulled from the wreckage a few days after 911. Two beams crossed at a joint is an architectural necessity. Two beams crossed could also be a religious symbol or icon.

The above icon was on site at the new World Trade Center rising. It was temporarily moved two blocks to the side of St. Peter’s RC church on Church Street to make way for new construction. It will be returned to the finished WTC II. There will be no problem with a possible religious icon being displayed on private or corporate property, which the WTC is.

Ran into the following story whereby an American Legion War Memorial got put up in the California desert, with a cross, over eighty years ago. Somebody sued the government, the owner of the public land where the war memorial sits, and the case has been in and out of court all the way up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found in favor of the memorial.

Mojave cross at center of court fight reported stolen
A war memorial shaped like a cross that has been at the center of a Supreme Court fight has been torn down by vandals from its remote perch in a California desert….
The high court on April 28 ruled the cross did not violate the constitutional separation of church and state. The American Civil Liberties Union, which had brought the original lawsuit to have the cross removed, promised to continue the court fight….
The Latin cross was first erected in 1934 by a local VFW unit to honor war dead. It has been rebuilt several times over the years, and Easter services are held annually at the remote desert site. The site is on national park land that totals about 1.6 million acres, or 2,500 square miles….
The justices did not completely resolve the fight over the fate of the cross, but the conservative majority re-affirmed recent rulings that there is a limited place for religious symbols on government land.

"It is reasonable to interpret the congressional designation as giving recognition to the historical meaning that the cross had attained," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy. "The Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion's role in society."
Other quotes from this Supreme Court case that overturned the objection to this one case in particular but not setting any future precedents on the matter:

Supreme Court overturns objection to cross on public land
To Kennedy, the cross "is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs" but a symbol "often used to honor and respect" heroism.
He added: "Here, one Latin cross in the desert evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten."

Dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens said: "The cross is not a universal symbol of sacrifice. It is the symbol of one particular sacrifice, and that sacrifice carries deeply significant meaning for those who adhere to the Christian faith."
As I have stated in this blog previously, I, as a secularist, do not object to all religious icons that have been there for decades and are therefore “grandfathered” so to speak into American public spaces and landscapes.

Now, with this haphazard crony nomination of Elena Kagan to the future 2/3 Catholic and 1/3 Jewish U.S. Supreme Court, I have to wonder if opinions such as by Justice Kennedy should not be more aptly labeled in the future as the opinion of Catholic Justice Kennedy.

My feeling is that all future cases to the Supreme Court will be tainted in terms of the extremely narrow cultural/religious diversity now seen on the Court.

So it goes.

Sarah Palin and the New American Fascism

With a dying Old Age of Boomers and Boomer Parents, there was an attempt to stir up rage on the right about the recent ruling that the so-called National Day of Prayer as mandated by Congress in 1952 was unconstitutional.

Indeed, Boomer Franklin Graham and his unmeasured hate sounding anti-Islam statements got him thrown off a scheduled National Prayer Day invite list at the Pentagon.

Franklin should do some research. The Air Force Academy makes room for Druids and any other religious beliefs of its cadets. The Pentagon at least on the spiritual side does not want to hear boilerplate Cold War sounding rhetoric from Franklin dissing Muslims. Franklin of course is trying to protect a meal ticket event like the NPD campaigned for by his Dad and company and imposed on the population in Harry Truman’s time.

The Prayer Day thing got greatly unnoticed. One and a half generations are fading away. The American Town Square and the forced compliance to be Politically Correct about religion or join the right white church on Town Square does not matter anymore. The world is global and nobody cares except Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin, is turning herself into the spokesperson, a product line icon identifying with what appears to be fascist themes that make her paid sponsors happy.

Sarah Palin, who along with the far right wants to return America to the so-called Christian nation started by the founding fathers.


O'REILLY: All I have to do is walk into the Supreme Court chamber and you'll see the 10 Commandments. And so we know that you're absolutely correct. The Founding Fathers did base not only the Declaration of Independence but the constitutional protections on what they thought was right and wrong. And what they thought was right and wrong came from the 10 Commandments, which is Judeo-Christian philosophy. That is beyond a reasonable doubt.But here is what's happened. America has, as they say in California, evolved. And now we're a much more secular nation than we were back in 1776. So the opponents of spirituality in the public marketplace say, "Hey, this is a violation. We can't be pushing any kind of spirituality." And you answer?
PALIN: Well, that new kind of world view that I think is kind of a step towards a fundamental transformation of America that some want to see today, I think, again, that it is an attempt to revisit and rewrite history. I think we should kind of keep this clean, keep it simple, go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant. They're quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 Commandments. It's pretty simple. I think what's missing in...
The founding fathers did not found a Christian Nation. They founded a Secular Nation. They did not want anything to do with religion. They and their immediate ancestors fled Europe and Europe’s religion obsessions and religious wars.

One of the founding fathers in the following quotes later on does not reflect Sarah Palin’s valium induced visions for a future Christian America.

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814
That if anything, considering the twelve million dollars Sarah Palin earned last year speaking, “Writing” etc., she is becoming a Betty Furness of the Right Wing Causes. (Betty was an early famous TV spokesperson for Westinghouse products 1950s, 1960s.)

Even if Sarah does not know what she is endorsing for a price on FOX etc., she is in fact becoming IMHO spokesperson for a not growing as yet but very vocal through her – an American Fascist Party movement not unlike the one described below. With the Tea Party being a slice of and seeds of that movement.

Is the Christian Right a Fascist Movement?

In his new book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (Free Press, 2007), veteran journalist and bestselling author Hedges argues that the Christian fundamentalist movement emerging today in the United States resembles the early fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the beginning of the last century. This radical Christian movement, known as Dominionism, promotes the Christian faith and patriotism as a means to gaining more political power.

Hedges contends that the Dominionist movement has many of the same characteristics as fascism: a claim for moral and physical supremacy of a master race, in this case American Christians; blind obedience to a male hierarchy that often claims to speak for God; intolerance toward non-believers; and disdain for rational intellectual inquiry. This movement’s goal is for America to become a theocratic, totalitarian country.
The founding fathers were more interested in a democracy of slave and factory owners.

National Days of Prayer and references to the Christian Nation of the founding fathers is pure delusion Sarah darling.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Non-Christian SCOTUS?

Another Nanny ? Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court?

Obama to pick Kagan for SCOTUS
NBC News has learned that President Obama intends to nominate Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court, to succeed Justice John Paul Stevens.

She was also the first woman dean of Harvard Law School. And she taught at the University of Chicago, where she met a young Barack Obama.
Obama is entitled to nominate any kiss ass academic type with little or no real experience in life – not unlike himself.

Ms. Kagan is Jewish. That will make three Jewish Justices on the Supreme Court to ? balance the six Catholic Justices.

Where is the NEW TESTAMENT?

Not that Catholics are not in theory considered Christians, but aside from the weekly two minute soundbite of the Gospels at Mass each week, who in the RC church has read the bible?

I sound ignorant and prejudice – I know. I feel duty bound by conscience to write this.

I know very little about Miss Kagan’s background except her religion.

I have a bad feeling about this in that I know that Obama has not anointed her but the powers behind his one term Throne of Presidents.

Where’s the Beef? Where is the Protestant?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Global Culture War Continues

In my search and sometime mediocre comments on what might be an emerging global culture I am many times distracted or distraught and have to reconcile myself to the fact that the rest of the world does not see things the same way that I see things.

What might be a global culture war is going on all around us. The west, America and Europe, may have reached a brave new secular world supported by technology and science and the east may be lagging behind and or not want to join the dance with the west.

In retrospect, as the Internet and other communications become reality within reach anywhere on this planet and within seconds, maybe too much view and too much analysis does not increase the quality of life locally or globally.

I have to wonder how the young will have to deal with this not so brave new world but rather a cold push button reality.

One case in point, the war in Asia is spreading to Pakistan. It is not so much that one or several branches of local Fundamentalist Islam aka the Taliban are any real immediate danger to the United States so much as their control of Pakistan and control of a dozen odd nuclear weapons would, could radically change the face of global politics.

The US turned a blind eye and or may have added some help when Pakistan started its nuclear program while the Soviet Union was the current next door world power stuck in the quagmire of Afghanistan in the early eighties.

Now a few or even one nuke could destroy a city somewhere in the west. That Pakistan with nukes as a deterrent to the Soviet threat or India (not in our camp back then) was a temporary, now permanent, foreign policy mistake of administrations back when.

Now the CIA and the US Air Force can target any “raghead” in sight in our Asia land war run amuck.

No-name terrorists now CIA dron etargets
Once upon a time, the CIA had to know a militant's name before putting him up for a robotic targeted killing. Now, if the guy acts like a guerrilla, it's enough to call in a drone strike.

It's another sign of that a once-limited, once-covert program to off senior terrorist leaders has morphed into a full-scale -- if undeclared -- war in Pakistan. And in a war, you don't need to know the name of someone on the other side before you take a shot….

In Pakistan, however, the opposite has happened. Starting in the latter days of the Bush administration, and accelerating under the Obama presidency, drone pilots have become more and more free to launch their weapons.
The situation in Pakistan is more on a macro level. On a micro level is how a Pakistani who spent ten years in our country repaid our cultural hospitality and education with a failed attempt to bomb and kill tourists in Times Square. I should add that killing anybody in Times Square, crossroads of the world, would be an attack on the United Nations considering the variety of tourists and foreign nationals as tourists on that particular piece of Manhattan turf 24/7.

I was rather taken aback when I saw the article below. While the government is trying to look for terrorist training camps to drone out and are looking for a money man behind the attempted Times Square attack - the bottom line is that Faisal Shahzad, would be Times Square Bomber, spent about $7000 on rent, a used car and gasoline, fertilizer and firecrackers in his failed attempt.

And that in all probability, this creep was self financed by a home equity loan of $65,000 he received on his house in 2009 from Wachovia Bank.

Bizarre. Bizarre. Bizarre.

Times Square plot may have cost as little as $7K
Until that departure, there was no trail of lawsuits or missed payments indicating he was in trouble. In fact, his financial history was clean enough that Wachovia Bank gave him a $65,000 home equity line in January 2009.
I wonder why banks are still making home equity loans. I wonder why the money is not invested better elsewhere in the economy. I think that Big Banks are only an ATM or Internet push mutton robot to disperse wealth to anyone. We need small local banks to administer and make loans and mortgages. There is no local humans left in the US in the banking equation. Your local bankers used to know who you were. You were not anonymous in terms of using the banks’ local depositors' money.

That and I have to wonder why Faisal Shahzad, even if he was witness to "man’s inhumanity to man" in Pakistan, why does he see justification in trying to kill his local neighbors in Connecticut/New York in the scheme of things.

Perhaps while the global statement to “Love your Neighbor” sounds good in theory but may only work locally at best. My global vision is a farce I fear and perhaps an impossible dream as well.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Obama – Jokes in Bad Taste

Barack Obama is by some sources Christian Lite. The fact that he possesses some Christian convictions or way of looking at the world is not good enough for the mean spirited holier than thou right.

The left’s elites are many times non-believers. That term these days could mean anything from atheist to just don’t care about organized religion.

In many ways the comments from Rush Limbaugh about an eastern establishment controlling the media, aside from his corpulent self serving gluttonous eastern establishment self, have some basis in fact. Obama gets free passes from that media on the religion thing.

Of course Obama heard Reverend Wright say nasty things about America. Reverend Wright and his generation have some right in airing grievances against a country that once officially and now occasionally treats him as a second class citizen.

Obama distanced himself from Wright when the self serving right focused media started to magnify Reverend Wright’s political incorrectness.

The whole thing about not wanting to inconvenience church congregations by attending church in Washington D.C. with thirty odd vehicles in the Presidential entourage makes sense. And besides, these days, who goes to church every Sunday anymore.

All in all, I give points to Obama for not wearing his religious beliefs on his sleeve or a pin on his lapel. He does not go on and on in boring nonsense about being a born again whatever.

I do draw the line at bad jokes. No, not the jokes with bad or racy language. I draw the line at part of his delivery this past week at the Correspondents Dinner where the host Jay Leno proved himself the non-talented hack that he is. I refer to Obama’s unchristian inhumane joke about Drones:
"Jonas Brothers are here, they're out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don't get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think I'm joking?"
Barry bombed with that joke as far as I am concerned.

One of the things rumored to have turned half baked American citizen Faisal Shahzad into a half baked would be terrorist bomber and mass murderer is his reaction or witness to the death of innocent citizens in his native Pakistan by use of these robots of mass murder.

Drones may look good on paper and the generals in the Pentagon can watch live on satellite the death of real terrorists mixed with the general population getting vaporized in some sort of cost saving modern day Pentagon Video Game.

Just because a half baked Christian or Christian Like President signs off on these weapons of mass destruction in a foreign artificial theatre of war is no reason to joke about the misuse of these weapons as tools for collateral damage as he used last Saturday night.

Obama. Fire your asshole joke writer.

Obama. Consider what it really is, besides political, to be a true Christian.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Faisal Shahzad and the American Dream

Pardon me for harping on this subject one more time. Aside from the American dream not working for Faisal Shahzad, his need to measure success on perhaps a fallback to native culture and native pride takes me nowhere.

In the secular culture that America has become, one assumes that the golden rule or some sort of love thy neighbor filters through that secular veneer of day to day living.

Faisal from what I have read is not religious. He is secular. His apparent hatred toward strangers in Times Square is an act by a sociopath, one who does harm to others and in general has no basic regard for others.

That America rolled out its welcome mat to Faisal Shahzad and he turned on us, would kill us - is an insult to our long standing good nature and good will as a nation.

That illegal Mexican immigrants are not plotting to blow up our institutions or our people and many on the far right would reject them and accept a son of privilege from Pakistan as a preferred person in terms of visas, education etc. over illegals. This is a strange norm these days but conforms with class structures in societies everywhere. Money talks.

I include a video from Al Jezeera that the other world out there, a muslim religious or a muslim secular world will see. No doubt the thought runs through the minds of many there as it does here – America is where the world wants to get to – why did you not make more effort to succeed in the business of life? Why did you have to turn to death?

America is a hope to the world still. But maybe just maybe, secularism on the planet has not yet reached a satisfactory norm of moral balance.

America has always stood for fairness even if things were not fair for some or for many. The foundation of American confidence lay in the abstract of hope laid out in our founding documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

I will not say that the American Dream is dead because Faisal Shahzad on a micro level just shrugged and walked away and worse than that tried to kill us in the process.

I don’t know what Islam is about but the core of Jesus’ message is to love your neighbor in Connecticut, New York City or Pakistan.

Without that core human belief in dignity and respect for your neighbors on planet earth, the fabric of our global civilization is doomed!

(click on start arrow, then click on screen to enlarge image)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Faisal Shahzad - Financial Analyst

I am reminded of once working for a brokerage house in the back office. I didn’t sell smoke like the front office. Back then I did not know it was smoke.

I can remember trying to train my job functions, for a few days, to a twenty something recent college graduate. He did not see the need of training to know what the back office did. It was not relevant as far as he was concerned. He was going to start a Hedge Fund by age twenty-five and retire as a billionaire at age thirty.

I see our disloyal citizen Faisal Shahzad had recently been working as a Financial Analyst for some no doubt store front brokerage firm and earning in the $50,0000 a year price range. Even with that salary he could not keep up the failed American dream – post September 15, 2008 and the meltdown. Apparently there are still jobs in the financial industry/ ponzi investment area if you are under thirty and have an M.B.A..

No doubt, Faisal saw the writing on the wall with his turning thirty and being a total business failure by Lloyd Blankfein’s impeccable standards and quit his financial job before he got the boot and they outsourced his job to India. Perhaps in the back of Shahzad’s mind he thought he might catch up to his old job when it arrived in Pakistan. Time to kill. Why not kill and maim a hundred tourists in Times Square. Haven’t you ever heard of Golf Faisal?

There are no doubt a thousand aspects as to why this young man who was plugged into the American success queue: college, graduate school, youth Рwhat went wrong. If he were a native born American and not a naturalized one there would be a dozen standard clich̩ answers as to what went wrong. Loner, dissatisfied, a failure etc. and turning to mass murder which seems to be a hobby of sorts in parts of the world. Not that organized mass murder through wars and armies of established nations is that much different at times.

When was the last real necessary honest war that American was engaged in???

Woulda. Coulda. Shouda.

In my mind, I keep going back to the college kid who didn’t want to know my one critical slice of back office operations. I think of how the FED having bailed out these coke head CEOs running around pretending to create wealth for the few is somehow the new mantra – the new America Nightmare posing as the American Dream at 200 West Street NYC (Goldman Sachs Global Headquarters of the ? New World Order).

Where are we as a nation when the best of each generation now must get ground up into college trained sausages that totally believe the new religion of greed and the near sacred philosophy of Bernie Madoffism. These youths blindly follow the Goldman Sachs golden idol pathway to secular heaven and the new standards of American success that eliminates most of humanity from any possible success formula?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Faisal Shahzad – human drone terrorist fails (this time)

The act of desperation in the middle east to is convince people that God or Allah is on your side and have those stupid souls commit a suicide bombing to die for a political/religious cause. This is part of the equation of ignorance and poverty we are fighting in the midst of the mess over there.

In a global sense we cannot walk away from a global situation that has manifested itself since 911.

Jimmy Carter started to tell us to stop our dependence on foreign oil in the late seventies. Congress, corrupt from oil money, has not followed through on a plausible energy policy since.

The growing oil slick and cancer on the environment in the Gulf of Mexico is coming home to haunt our inactions for decades. As a result, we are drawn into the corrupt Saudi and Muslim world politics of unknown places on the other side of the planet.

These acts of so called martyrdom or heroics that we see elsewhere are coming closer to us.

Except for the jihadist US Army officer shrink Nidal Hasan, the U.S. has been very lucky since 911 in terms of avoiding direct terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

I see a long distance pattern to these so called sleeper cells in the U.S.. While a Shahzad or a Hasan are already here, they in essence have to turn on the hand that feeds them here in the United States and try to connect to some native roots elsewhere for encouragement in their acts of mass murder or attempted mass murder.

The Christian west long ago made suicide a taboo for individuals while directly and indirectly blessing wholesale warfare in it place.

At latest news, the economy going south may have contributed to Shahzad souring on his piece of the American Dream.

Long distance is someone or some group trying to pull off a complicated bomb construction and bomb detonation here in America. The people such as the underwear bomber at Christmas or the Times Square attempted bomber - they did not succeed in that long distance connection from some ancient culture and religious hate thing overseas.

People that blow themselves up in Iraq and Afghanistan are poor and certain that their reward is in Paradise with the Prophet.

Foreign born people who live here, are educated here and have opportunities here are perhaps contaminated by our secular culture that chooses life over death.

That to drive into Times Square, perhaps playing some Timothy McVeigh like tape in your head, and walking away from a half assed built bomb and to save your half assed half American life is a flaw in the present evolving equation of hate, terror and mass murder.

To be young and stupid like this Times Square suspect is to be ideal and zealous in your hate against the U.S. even while you want your cake (life) and eat it too like an American.

This is really a screwed up equation of modern proportions on the domestic and international global world stage. I hope this is a temporary scenario in the ongoing long term march to the future.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pathways and Roadblocks to Salvation

An unfinished thought occurred to me the other day in a previous article and I did not go with the flow. A lot of talk, thought being stirring up in the religious press because of Brian McLaren who knows that Christianity is doomed if it chooses literalism over flexibility in a world exploding with technology and knowledge. Many interesting stats, that by 2050 America could be a nation with a majority of non-believers. Rather a soul-less world so to speak of or envision. Kind of like France.

Viewpoint: Not every brand of Christianity can be the right one
In an interview with Christianity Today, Brian McLaren said "I don't think we've got the gospel right yet. What does it mean to be 'saved'? When I read the Bible, I don't see it meaning, 'I'm going to heaven after I die.' Before modern evangelicalism nobody accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, or walked down an aisle, or said the sinner's prayer. I don't think the liberals have it right. But I don't think we have it right either. None of us has arrived at orthodoxy." ("The Emergent Mystique," Christianity Today November 2004).

In Mclaren's case I guess I don't know where he thinks the saved go after they die. He can't seem to define what it is to be saved, he has no "right" gospel message to give. Someone is wrong.
Why Christianity Must Adapt -- Or Perish
…A literal interpretation of the Bible offers regressionism and leaves little room for progress. This is exactly where McLaren finds the inherent problem with modern Christianity, and the exact thing that must change: the Bible is a ballast.

What of a new Bible, one that makes more sense examining the past and is pro-human when applied to the future, releasing past dogma for improvements and corrections? As you may have guessed, it is not necessary to replace the physical work and words of the Bible; it is sufficient to have it become a new book via a fresh reading.
The thought I had started the other day had to do with looking at bible passages and rather than accept them literally, to look at them in terms of human energy and or the energy of the Universe, a force of God. Of course that energy could also be represented not only by human words but also by simple symbols or common elements.
Except a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God [John 3:5].
I think the above is one of the most perplexing quotes in the new testament. It also is a keystone of modern evangelicalism and their “born again” agenda as a marketing selling point.

Maybe, just maybe, the birth of water and the spirit is a birth of soul out of water and fire.

Very basic symbols but think about it. If you are mediocre and conform or never think much about passages in the bible or how they might be reapplied in a modern age or modern situations, maybe your way to heaven is a very dimly lit corridor on the other side of life.

But if there is a maximum of energy spent in the conflict between thought and non-thought, belief and non-belief, water which is life on earth and fire which is the fire of the spirit of God, the final victory over life is in having more fire in life to withstand the water of living of your everyday life.

The spirit, the soul, the divine spark within must dominate over the water of the perhaps drudgery of life which if in proper balance could be the kingdom of God on earth – to reflect the fire which should be within and recognized, cultivated and multiplied.

Life is a balance of yin and yang, water and fire, thought and soul, actions improper and proper. Life after death is a reflection of a life lived by your input and manner.

Salvation can mean much more and mean many more things than any sentence of words in black ink on paper from John.

To be a prisoner of words sometimes means being a prisoner locked away from truth, light, freedom and rebirth here and forever.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Freedom Tower Rising WTC NYC

In this virtual age it is possible to get daily photo progress and comments without having to stand outside the fence trying to find a peek hole with the other guys at the World Trade Center 2 in New York. forum WTC Tower One a.k.a. Freedom Tower

After years of delay, the Phoenix is finally Rising at the WTC.

The new Freedom Tower is going up like an erector toy set from childhood memory.

From the latest comments, I am guessing that more than New York city dwellers are watching the progress. The whole world (global) is watching this new building rising and set down on top of Hell’s fury of 9-11-01.

I never liked the old WTC. It was too modern and not user friendly. This new bunch of buildings are going up slowly in the recession. Freedom Tower is of course number one to go up.

I am not too crazy about glass-clad structures. Brick and terra cotta used to show the soul of a building and the stamp of both the workers and the architect. Times change. So do methods.

These buildings will be on street level and not on top of an artificial concrete box like the old Twin Towers, that in life seemed to be cut off from the flow of street life all around it. They have even opened up a few streets that disappeared under the old fortress like structure of the WTC complex now a part of history.

Explore. It is an interesting topic and there are many more architectural topics in the Wired NYC Forum. Enjoy.

Bill Maher - Religulous - Review

I finally got around to seeing the movie Religulous with professional comedian commentator Bill Maher.

The title apparently arises from fusing the word Religion with Ridiculous.


The movie is not a very good documentary on the topic of Religion. In fact the whole point of the movie is to show Religion in an unfavorable light. That light is the opinion of the comedian’s pet peeve or pet gripe that religion is wrong or a bad thing.

Somewhere in between improvised street interviews expressing opinion and soliciting opinions on the topic, Maher or his director fails to make a good point about anything. It comes more across as a home movie than a professionally cut documentary. This cavalier film editing is from a director, Larry Charles, who has directed many TV shows among them Seinfeld.

Maher says something somewhere in the home movie to the effect that he is not an atheist in that most atheists’ strong assertions constitute in fact another religion. The many times I have read material on him, his place on the map in terms of beliefs moves around a lot.

Interspersed with the gorilla journalism are scenes of stock footage mostly from old Hollywood movies on religious subjects. It was here that I saw a similarity with the Cable show The Naked Archeologist with Simcha Jacobovici who is not an archeologist. The Naked Archeologist is an entertainment show with historic overtones and shown on The History Channel.

It was here that I realize that the whole generational genre thing these days is about entertainment and not classical news and or documentaries. Maher’s impromptu deliveries did not have the polished umph of a professional tightly edited movie, documentary or comedy routine. In fact, there were probably few retakes as in a scene in a Truck Stop chapel in Charlotte NC in the bible belt where I was not too certain that Maher was going to walk out alive of the chapel. His tone came across to me as a bit disrespectful of the beliefs of the men in that chapel and delivered to their faces.

I have watched his shows both on ABC and HBO and know he was not being disrespectful but there is that east coast America urban flippancy serving as confidence for some that does not translate south of the Mason Dixon line or west of the Mississippi. His humor is usually on an intellectual sarcastic bent.

Maher interviews a few snake oil salesmen, successful preachers, who ooze confidence in their confidence game and their spin on their successful business techniques which in my opinion is not legitimate religion. He of course does a few lines outside the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City and is chased off the grounds by Mormon Security. He also stands in St. Peter’s Square in Rome to make a few lines of acerbic attitude. Also on the itinerary was a visit to a Dinosaur museum showing those creatures co-existing with man in the 6,000 years old age of the religious universe and a Holy Land Theme Park in Florida complete with hourly shows of scourgings and crucifixions. (entertainment?)

It, the movie, rates more as entertainment and geared to younger age brackets like most TV shows. In fact I think it could have been done on cable but even cable is likely to shy away from the topic of non-belief in religion which is where I think this film was originally headed considering it choppy sequences dancing all over geography and the topic of religion.

As I have asserted on many occasions, I feel that most atheists, or in Bill Maher’s case quasi-atheist, have had a bad religion experience in their past to justify their present attitudes and rhetoric toward belief.

In Bill Maher’s case, he was the son of a Jewish mother and an Irish Catholic father and raised in the RC church. That in one scene, interviewing his sister and late mother and sitting in his former church as background located in New Jersey, the subject of how the family stopped going to church when he was thirteen is not probed in depth. The story goes something like the father stopped going to church and the mother was not too certain as to why her husband did that. She did speculate that they used birth control and her husband no doubt had a run in with the local priest on the subject.

No big deal but perhaps the curiosity of the mind of a young person like Maher never got a full explanation why one Sunday he was going to church and the next Sunday there was a mandate to boycott the religion thing.

The market on disbelief, and people’s curiousity about it, are no doubt the reason for a modest profit on the movie. People are curious about non-belief. The latest polls put the population of America with no religious affiliation at around sixteen percent. That and the lack of diction or strong traditional rhetoric to defend one’s belief in non-belief is a factor that would seem to have many people buying movie tickets. I saw this film on Cable TV so I did not buy a ticket.

Unless you are a Bill Maher groupie or are deeply curious about one man’s obsession with the follies of religion in a poorly make film, I do not recommend this home movie.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is the Tea Party Racist?

Tea Party?

It’s a private club thing, a country club, a gated community thing. If not racism it is something akin to it.

In Florida, Rubio is a Tea Party Fab if only because they don’t like Crist anymore. Talk the talk. Walk the walk. (goosestep perhaps on occasion).

It is a dying corner of the old white America trying to hold onto the same grungy seats in a drab old movie theatre playing an old Doris Day movie.


Franklin Graham still does not get It

I never was a fan of Billy Graham. I thought him too political. I saw him in Nixon’s White House when the nation needed a peace in Vietnam and a truce at home between generations. Graham was successful financially in his using stadiums and tours not unlike the come to town revivals of America’s rural past.

Graham too was a Protestant. When I was young and Catholic, I thought him a strange creature indeed.

These days when I am now a Cultural Christian or a minimalist in the Christian faith, I see Billy’s son Franklin as too much in the same mold as his father and a son who never had to make it on his own. He inherited the family’s business. While there is nothing wrong in inheriting a family’s business – Franklin will never be Billy – and Billy was never that great a preacher outside of his own created and self generated PR bubble.

Some stats from an article in USA today and commenting on another article from the Huffington Post. Sometimes comment on comment on news articles is all that the blogosphere is about. Sometimes I would rather have a subject kicked around from many different angles before I come to rest on my own private comfortable position on any given subject.

Franklin Graham got disinvited from a Pentagon sponsored national prayer day May 6 event because of his harsh tone on Islam.

Does National Day of Prayer include or condemn you?
Does National Day of Prayer include or condemn you? A survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors, conducted in March by LifeWay Research, the Nashville-based evangelical polling firm, found most hold strong and consistent negative views of the religion of Islam. When asked which is closer to their beliefs:

• 47% agreed with Graham's comments that Islam is "a very evil and a very wicked religion."

• 24% agreed with former President George W. Bush's remark that "the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion."

• 17% were undecided

• 12% agreed with both statements

Although 69% don't think Christians and Muslims pray to the same God and only 19% would call Islam "spiritually good," …
I think that Islam in its present form as a state religion under penalty of death is an evil thing. I do not believe that Islam in its writings or beliefs is any more evil than Christianity or Judaism.

I think that the ancient archaic National Prayer Day that goes back to the dawn of the Cold War with the Soviets and was started by the likes of a Graham family business or a Coe family business need some rethinking and retooling to fit into this modern age.

The American Town Square of fifty, sixty, seventy years ago was a town square full of while males on their lunch hour. That the present day American Town Square is 24/7, multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-sexual.

I find it a great shame that the views of Franklin Graham do not recognize or dissect the difference between geographic political Islam from the philosophy and religion of same. It was not too many centuries ago that Christianity was the official state religion of most of the countries of Europe. Today those countries are secular – thank God for that.

Franklin Graham and other Protestant ministers who want to look at the world through the prism of the old American Town Square of seventy years ago are woefully out of sync with reality and the true message of Jesus oft times hidden in the gospels.

Entrenched and vested self interests of religious fat cats like the Grahams and the Coes are a great burden on the beliefs of modern people seeking a modern understanding of God and a modern understanding of our relationship to our universe.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Transforming Faith

A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith

From a Book Review on the book A New Kind of Christianity by Brian D. McLaren:
The central thesis, to which McLaren returns frequently to indicate its wide implications, is that Christian faith was terminally skewed when it was distilled through the Greco-Roman (imperial) worldview. This worldview resulted in a version of Christianity that was at once triumphalistic and reductive—a Chris tianity that was mainly about what happens after death. McLaren argues that the central message of Jesus, the kingdom of God and the life it entails, was lost or overlooked. There is important truth in this argument, perhaps especially for the world of American evangelicals, among whom it does sometimes seem that a version of Paul has eclipsed Jesus. I am less sure that it is helpful for the Protestant mainline and liberal Christianity.
I cannot speak for others. My road to Cultural Christianity is one of a personal sense of failure in my search for the real Jesus in the Gospels.

My search is perhaps the same that many others have had. They perhaps too have faded away from the Christianity or a feeling of such to match that from their youth.

What I have seen in the number of people joining mega churches or in evangelical revivalism is a growth in numbers without in many cases a growth in the Spirit within those institutions.

Too many people are clinging to the book of the Bible as some sort of magic tell all sort of medicine for everyday life and the life presumed afterward. These people I do not identify with.

That a man of simple faith if he reads and rereads the New Testament begins to see the flows and flaws of the original writers and they seem to be many. That since the Enlightenment, people have been willing to speak of discrepancies in the book. That was before modern scientific and historic research that puts us many times at odds with what a Christian is supposed to believe – that and what the life and message of Jesus probably was and glossed over or not mentioned in the official rule book of the New Testament. You do not need a masters degree or a PhD in theology to know that the Bible is an imperfect man-made book.

The quote above regarding the quest of one man and minister to find a New Way of looking at God and Jesus as well as the institution of Christianity - reminds me so much of how we see the world from the ancient writings does not match with how we now perceive our place in the universe.

That man’s nature as one of a sinner is a primitive way of looking at man who is both part human and part animal. That sin in many cases crosses swords with basic animal instincts and chemicals such as hormones. The myth of man is that man is made in the image and likeness of God – but what God – is he, she, it half God and half Instinct?

The rule book method I think puts the possibilities of a New Christianity on hold in the present world. How many of us when we get a new phone, or microwave oven or TV or automobile really read the instruction book word by word and letter by letter? In the same vein, how can you find the Spirit of God and or Jesus in an imperfect book in these imperfect times? The book at best should only be used as a guide in times when the Spirit moves you to read it and hopefully understand what you are reading in a higher light than the actual meaning and any mere man made words – in other words – to connect with the Spirit.

There is room for improvement in Christianity. There is also a terrible amnesia about the life, message and purpose of the life of Jesus. That amnesia should be sought out for a cure and the gaps filled in on hazy memory. All I know is that when I go into some churches, it may or may not have the Spirit I think it should have. If not, I continue on my quest to find a home here on earth while awaiting for the veil on the next life to be lifted and understood when I arrive there.

Arizona does not see the Light or the Map

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

I am a visual person more so than auditory. I can remember in the freshman year at college having to wait for a previous class to finish before I could enter the classroom. I and some of my classmates sat in an unoccupied classroom next door while waiting.

There was a map on the wall of modern day Europe. I remember looking at the map and considering the history of that geographic entity. I looked at the divided Germany of East and West Germany and a light bulb went on. East Germany was the approximate same geography of the historic country of Prussia.

That Prussia was always a war orientated culture, first for its survival and second for its eventual center of a United Germany around 1870. That is you follow a timeline Europe had three wars in seventy five years with Prussia/Germany as the ignition spark so to speak.

That the Containment of Communism in the Cold War by the United States and its Allies had its blueprints in the Soviet’s containment of East Germany – the Soviets prevented another European German War by removing the power keg West Germany from the Spark of East Germany.

I was surprised and disappointed that here I was in College and I had to figure out the truth of the then present day map of Europe all by myself. The Official history as taught by the teachers in college was somehow rationed out by the official party line of the CIA and the Pentagon.

Fast forward to modern day Mexico and the drain of it citizens across the border to the United States for jobs.

Arizona’s typically uncreative, punitive approach to protect its borders does not solve anything except maybe satisfy the angst of its country club gated pure white communities. Whatever happened to capitalism?

One just has to look at a national highway map of Mexico to see that in 60 % of the country above Mexico City there are no direct east west highways going from sea to shining sea that would encourage internal development and economic stability and jobs.

The wealth of the oligarchs of Mexico is one of sending exports to the Gringos up north. And not providing development to the northern part of Mexico.

Two parallel highways, one on each side of the U.S. Mexico Border at say a distance of ten miles could create an artificial economic zone for warehouses, factories and industrial research. Ring roads around the major north south Mexican Highways on both sides of each border could be a start.

If you are no longer in a no man’s land in the middle of nowhere, you might then be in a place where border guards would be effective in monitoring entry and exit into both countries. Right now building an expensive wall is not keeping our border safe. It is a government boondoggle.

Both countries would benefit from such a solution of encouraging economic development on the borders of the U.S. and Mexico. It would also leave the Mexican population with jobs and economic incentive for staying on that side of the border. Both countries would also have to provide tax incentives to create this joint economic free trade/production zone.

There are solutions to problems in this world. Medieval primitive immigration laws like those recently passed in the Duh State of Arizona are a dead end and not a beginning. Let’s try economics instead of politics and prisons.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dressing for Success in the Religious Business

Pope Paul VI was the last pope to have an official triple crown Tiara made. The symbol for hundreds of years claiming some divine right to rule all of Christendom was more or less relinquished after Vatican II in the hopes of uniting or more closely bonding the Christian belief systems since the two major schisms of the ages – the one with the east with the Orthodox church and the one of the Protestant Reformation.

The first photo is of Paul VI’s last tiara that is never worn anymore but is probably in some vault in the Vatican. I saw that Tiara many years ago in the late sixties when it was on display in a bank lobby in Philadelphia making a world tour of sorts. So much of the promise of change from within the RCC was in the air shortly after Vatican II. Whatever happened to that spirit of change?

A bunch of lower level clerics who attended Vatican II mostly as administrative assistants to bishops have risen in the ranks over the years and seem to want to negate Vatican II both in style and substance.

Benedict XVI was gone back to the medieval practice of wearing ermine fur in the winter with his costume. Not very egalitarian or populist. Definitely medieval. The second photo is of Benedict wrapped in gold cloth.

We should also remember that it was backward looking John Paul II that insisted that wearng modern pants, jacket and collar were to be discontinued by priests in favor of the black cassock. A dress instead of pants so to speak.

The young Turks from Vatican II want to forget Vatican II. Thank God for the present meltdown of management in the Vatican at present. There is hope of a reformation of sorts at the Vatican still possible in the future.

When the President of a modern religion business such as the bishop of Rome wants to be in style in the future, he or she might consider the modern dress of say another President of a religion business, say that of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

The next two photos are of President Gerald B. Kieschnick LCMS in both his every day black business suit with collar and his official church service garb sans the gold cloth.

President Kieschnick is up for re-election as President of that business and running a distant second to his opponent at the moment before this summer’s convention and elections.

Something to think about and consider when you have tiaras, gold cloth, corruption and sex scandals going on now in Rome.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Illegal Jan Brewer Arrested in Arizona

A woman described as looking like Governor Jan Brewer was stopped by a Phoenix policeman over the weekend.

The woman was described as wearing a cheap blonde wig to disguise her racial origins as mentioned in the official police report.

Mention of the fact that the arresting police officer was of Hispanic origins has been leaked to the press.

The police officer asked the suspect to produce identification. The woman showed a valid Arizona State License that was computer checked by the cop.

The cop suspecting a new kind of illegal immigration scam or forgery of the license asked for proof of the suspect’s right to be in the United States. In other words, the cop wanted documentation that the suspect “Jan Brewer” had legal immigrant standing or was an American citizen. No proof as such was forthcoming from the suspect.

The suspected illegal alien was then arrested and transported to jail for booking.

The suspect demanded her rights and her lawyer while asserting that she was the Governor of the State of Arizona. While waiting for her lawyer, the suspect “Jan Brewer” called home and asked a relative to bring her birth certificate to the police station.

The hospital issued birth certificate of Jan Brewer arrived at the police station. The desk sergeant informed Jan Brewer that a hospital issued birth certificate was no longer valid in the United States to claim American citizenship under new laws, rules and regulations as stated by the Department of Homeland Security. Only a state issued certified and embossed birth certificate would be proof of Jan Brewer’s citizenship.

As of this hour, the suspect is in lockup awaiting proper ID from the head the Department of Public Safety.

It is good to know that we are safe from illegal immigrants in Arizona.


Boobquake challenges Allah to Shake Rattle and Roll

Some Muslim Cleric presuming to speak for the Almighty is being challenged by a flash mob on Facebook.

Facebook 'Boobquake' group set to prove Iranian cleric wrong
Launched last week by Indiana student Jennifer McCreight, 22, the 'Boobquake' event is a response to Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi.

He claimed: “Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes,”

Groups in both Washington and Vancouver are planning dedicated Boobquake events, with hundreds of women revealing as much as they dare while seismic readings are taken, in order to prove the cleric wrong.
Ain't religion and rational reaction to religious insanity great? !

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It’s the management Stupid!

Out of the chaos of the present management meltdown at the Vatican, a couple of things seems to be emerging in the Catholic and other blogospheres.

One is to watch out for the Marcial Maciel scandal to break out in the press with nasty tidbits leaked to the press. This will in turn bite a few cardinals in the ass for their cozy relationship with this pedophile priest who founded the Legion of Christ in Mexico, a religious order with subsidiaries worldwide. Assets estimated at over fifty billion dollars in property etc and with an annual operating budget of 650 million dollars, it will take an awful lot of paperwork and expertise to dismantle this religious order’s empire should the Vatican decide to go that way.

One present possible scapegoat on the Catholic Blogosphere is Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Secretary of State under John Paul II. All roads in the present Clergy Abuse scandal lead back to a Polish Patriot with a goal to liberate his Poland. John Paul II’s medieval vision to restore Poland to its Medieval glory was one of the agendas that accompanied him through his years as pope. JPII put the breaks on the flood of religious getting out of their vows under Paul VI. JPII did not want the priests to leave even if they were pedophiles. The Vatican front office under the CEO set the tone of all bureaucrats under him. JPII ruled from 1978-2005.

Under him is Cardinal Sodano who we now know got a big party for being made a Cardinal and a big party for being made Secretary of State. These parties were for two hundred people, mostly his relatives. These Parties are supposedly paid for by Marcial Maciel’s Legion of Christ. Sodano is also on the receiving end of a speaking fee of $10,000 for addressing the Legion of Christ organization in Rome. Etc. It is not surprising that in defending Benedict XVI during Easter Week with the remarks about not being concerned with “petty gossip” comes out of Sodano’s lips. Petty gossip about the many forms of politics and strains of corruption within the Vatican is more than petty gossip perhaps.

Sodano is supposed to have intervened as Secretary of State with the consent of JPII in squashing a Vatican investigation into Father Maciel’s perversions. The investigation was from Joe Ratzinger. In the game of Vatican politics, he lost that battle. Ratzinger finally got the upper hand and Marcial Maciel retired in the waning days of JPII's rule in 2005. Maciel died in 2008.

The goal in the present sex abuse scandal by the clergy is to deflect from Benedict whose signature on several documents puts him in the same pot of most bishops in the church that conspired to protect and coverup abuse by the clergy. In their way of thinking, the secular world and secular law was the enemy. John Paul II's whole life was a fight against civil governments most of which were totalitarian. The good press John Paul got in his lifetime covered up an awful lot of incompetence, and malfeasance in office with the hidden sex crimes.

John Paul II Gets A Second Look In Abuse Scandal
Robert Mickens, Vatican correspondent for the British Catholic weekly, The Tablet, says that within the priesthood, there is a certain mistrust of the secular world. And the Polish pope, who grew up under totalitarian regimes, often saw the church besieged by the outside world, Mickens says.

"Those who wear the Roman collar, those who are part of all this, believe that they are maligned unfairly," Mickens says. "John Paul II may have felt that this was again this onslaught of the Nazis or the communists, but now secularists, secularism, to discredit the church. If you look at what some people have been saying in the Vatican, that kind of paranoia has not gone away at all."

In a letter written in 2001, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, under John Paul's auspices, ordered all clerical sex abuse cases be sent to his department and that all cases be subject to pontifical secrecy. His No. 2 at the time, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said in a 2002 interview, "It seems to me there is no basis for demanding that a bishop be obliged to turn to civil magistrates and denounce a priest who has confided to him to have committed the crime of pedophilia."

As the Vatican and the pope face threats of lawsuits and even criminal proceedings in some countries, Vatican officials are now insisting that the Holy See has always recommended to its bishops that they report abusive priests to the police.
The present crisis will not go away. Many would be surprised that many departments of the Vatican are still using ink and quills (ball point pens perhaps) to deal with the modern flow of paperwork in a global headquarters of a global corporation (meaning no computers). What a joke!

Abuse Crisis Strains Vatican’s Ancient Ways of Management
That Benedict’s papacy has gone from crisis to crisis points to its difficulties as an ancient institution still struggling with modernity, even though the liberalizing Second Vatican Council in the 1960s was supposed to update the church’s relation to the world. Instead, it is facing the growing pains of a bureaucracy created in the 16th century to contend with the Protestant Reformation and the discovery of the New World. By some lights, it is still grappling with both…

And while the Vatican may be a world power, it often seems to be run like an Italian village. “The Vatican is facing two main challenges: generational and cultural,” said one diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of straining ties with the Vatican. “The biggest challenge here is management.”
What the public or what the average practicing Catholics might notice lately by things in the news is that the hierarchy of that church is aloof and out of touch. That across the board, corporate culture displayed suggests that the welfare of children was secondary to the importance of prestige of the priest class that runs the institution. That if children are perceived as secondary to the hierarchy, maybe the bishops and the priests do not care about the average person in the church as well. The good will of the corporation is spent.

I used the image above of John Paul II as a statue carved in salt at a salt mine n Poland. When I first saw it I thought of the Pillar of Salt that Lot’s wife turned into, from looking back during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the old testament.

John Paul and being turned into a pillar of salt so to speak may be due with the history of his reign being rewritten as we speak. His sin may have been in looking back to a Medieval Church in his idealized Medieval Poland as a vision for the future of the global church. He was sorely wrong I think.

Friday, April 23, 2010

LDS Church Members help pass Toxic Immigration Law in Arizona

Arizona’s new hate law against brown skinned people got passed in the Legislature with the help of LDS church members, five percent of the population and seventeen percent of the legislature as of 2004 (can’t find recent stats - they haven't gone anywhere).

Arizona - where there is no Polygamy is a Crime Law – it is in essence legal to practice LDS’s wink, nod, not so secret multiple marriage dogma there.

Arizona is the state that now can ask anybody for identification and throw you into jail if you cannot produce it. Of course, the cops will not ask a white Mormon with his twenty wives and eighty children if he can identify himself as a law breaking illegal immigrant. Get real.

Jan Brewer, Arizona’s current cracker governor, who wants re-election is willing to turn an already horrible state full of toxic anti-labor laws into a more inhumane place to live and work.

The Country Club C*nts like Senator Kyl and Senator McCain who run Arizona in the Senate only for rich people, have helped set Arizona into a permanent backwater serfdom environment for decades, allowing illegal immigration to flourish to hold down wages to Minimum Wages across the state.

Check out the people cleaning McCain’s or his wife’s many mansions or landscaping and ask those brown people there if they can pull out non-forged identity.

Now that the economy has gone south, the CCC’s don’t want to raise taxes to pay for the poor in the state, the majority of which are probably illegal. Tough Shit poor brown people. We don’t need you now. Go home. Come back when the economy improves etc.


News Dump - Vatican

This is a kind of a news dump of items on Vatican related matters.

Belgian Catholic bishop admits molesting boy

Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, the bishop of Bruges, Belgium resigned for molesting a boy in the middle eighties. Not much detail on the how or why the resignation came about now except I would guess they had to throw someone in the higher ranks of the clergy to the wolves to keep the wolves from baying at the gates of the Vatican.

The whole thing would be comical if it were not so tragic. I recall to mind the excellent movie “In Bruges” about two less than skilled hit men trying to tie up loose ends of a botched assassination attempt that involved a contract on a priest and a kid thrown in as well into the storyline.

I guess The Guardian UK is doing some journalism while reporting these Vatican matters in one article as a kind of news dump.

An Irish bishop also resigned. Yawn. When a dozen crime prone Mick bishops resign, that will be real news Joe.

The next part of the Article has to do with the fact that Cardinal Hoyos infamous letter of praise for a French Bishop aiding and abetting a pedo priest after the fact of his crime was a letter reviewed in a meeting attended by none other that Joe Ratzinger aka Joe the Pope these days. Can’t give all the blame to JPII on that one if all his cronies and stooges didn’t object to the letter during that meeting. Hoyos is not the type of guy who is going to take this rap alone.

And there is a lawsuit against the Vatican naming the Pope, Cardinal Bertone and Cardinal Sodano.
The suit was filed on Thursday by Jeff Anderson, an attorney in St Paul, Minnesota. He argues that top officials in the Vatican, including Ratzinger, knew about claims of sex abuse at a school for deaf children near Milwaukee, and that they blocked the punishment of the accused priest, Lawrence Murphy.

Murphy, who died in 1998, is accused of molesting up to 200 boys between 1950 and 1974. The defendants in the lawsuit are the pope, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was his deputy at the congregation for the doctrine of the faith and is now his top official, and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Bertone's predecessor.
So it goes. The perfect storm of the Vatican meltdown continues.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hide the altar boys! Cardinal Hoyos is in Town.

Hide your altar boys. Cardinal Hoyos is in Town. Wanting to celebrate a fifth anniversary mass in Latin of Benedict’s reign at the American Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C..

He does anything he wants to in the Vatican. A lot of abuse victims here are insulted by the presence of this bureaucratic hack, pig of a human being, coming into an American Temple to contaminate it by his presence.

Cardinal Hoyos has a track record of praising bishops who protect pedophile priests. Why has the Vatican sent this low life to America to insult all the better parts of our humanity?

Father Wuerl, I mean Bishop Wuerl is like some doormat for the Vatican. Some people will do anything including sell their soul for that red hat.

Mothers, hide your children. Altar Boys, call in sick come Saturday.

Franklin Graham still Hates Muslims

Big Government parasite Franklin Graham is in the News. He was been asked to pray at the National Prayer Day at the Pentagon. With a question of constitutionality of the national mandated prayers by citizens, there is a question if Graham will speak at the Pentagon.

Of course, Graham anti-Islam beliefs and rhetoric are just the thing we need to continue this new eternal cold war against Islam (good for business and pentagon pensions etc.) .

The National Prayer Day was campaigned for heavily by Billy Graham and signed into law by Harry S Truman in 1952. Nothing like the government to created a privileged meal ticket niche for Bill Graham and his cronies, not to mention his Muslim hating son Franklin.

A Christian must love all his neighbors including Muslims. Franklin Graham is some sort of tax free business man posing as a Christian. He is not a Christian by my standards or definition of such.

Group wants evangelist's Pentagon event canceled