Sunday, November 22, 2015

Progressive thoughtful observers have known this

George Perkins Marsh delivered an address before the Agricultural Society of Rutland County, Vermont, on this date in 1847. Marsh had worn many hats over his lifetime: lawyer, journalist, sheep farmer, mill owner, linguistics scholar, and diplomat. He designed the Washington Monument and co-founded the Smithsonian Institution. But it was in his role as United States senator that he addressed the Agricultural Society. He was the first person to publicly raise the issue of manmade climate change, and his speech helped spark the conservation movement.

In his speech, Marsh said: "Man cannot at his pleasure command the rain and the sunshine, the wind and frost and snow, yet it is certain that climate itself has in many instances been gradually changed and ameliorated or deteriorated by human action. The draining of swamps and the clearing of forests perceptibly effect the evaporation from the earth [...] The same causes modify the electrical condition of the atmosphere and the power of the surface to reflect, absorb and radiate the rays of the sun, and consequently influence the distribution of light and heat, and the force and direction of the winds. Within narrow limits too, domestic fires and artificial structures create and diffuse increased warmth, to an extent that may effect vegetation." He was talking about concepts familiar to us now as the urban heat island effect and the greenhouse effect.

As a result of his speech, Marsh went on to publish a book titled Man and Nature: or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action (1864). "[M]an is everywhere a disturbing agent," Marsh wrote. "Wherever he plants his foot, the harmonies of nature are turned to discords. The proportions and accommodations which insured the stability of existing arrangements are overthrown. Indigenous vegetable and animal species are extirpated, and supplanted by others of foreign origin, spontaneous production is forbidden or restricted, and the face of the earth is either laid bare or covered with a new and reluctant growth of vegetable forms, and with alien tribes of animal life."

--From The Writers' Almanac, September 30, 2015.  caption

The Author of the Psalms, sings praises to an unknown Lord.

Psalm 24 
by King David (if he ever lived and was ever a King)

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
"Psalm 24," public domain.


COMMENTARY

  1. He owns us; we are slaves.
  2. Sea. It, the Earth, is established on the waters, a tidal flood, with no real place. The Author may be a Cretan or Phoenician. Probably not Sumerian/Ur or Egyptian descendant. They had very different relationship to Diety. 
  3. Who is who?  He can come close to the Lord?
  4. "He" a male. 
He with "clean hands".  Has not done the dirty. 
He with a "pure heart". Not self-serving, vain, nor a liar.

  1. "He" a male, gets the blessing.  And is made righteous by salvation. Diety is a Savior. Like Astarte, Isis, Dionysius, Orpheus, and Ieus Christo, aka Ieusus Christo.
  2. Who are we?  "the generation" that seeks the face of the Lord.  And in the millennia, no one. Religion is the search for the face of the Lord. Not the finding.
  3. Gates.  The gates with heads, the doors with everlastingness. A "King of Glory" awaits to enter. This is always a reference to death. Which is a reference to eternity.
  4. Yet, asking "Who is this King?"  The author really does not know for certain, but answers only with the tautology: "The Lord…is the King".

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In spite of Faux News, billion-dollar campaigns, and the anger of the Electorate....

In a world inhabited by roughly 40% conservatives, 40% liberals, and 20% seasonally-adjusted clueless or transitioning larvae, it is always a bracing challenge to peer into the election process.

In the period of American politics since Nixon, neither the DNC nor the GOP has won a national election without a seriously-split opposition Party.

The only way the GOP managed to "win" in the recent past, is by dividing the DNC and the Progressives.  Similarly, the only way the DNC wins is if the GOP is fractured.

The loss can happen even when a Party has excellent candidates.  Sometimes the best will divide the Party.

In 1968 we got Nixon, after Humphrey was weakened by all the excitement generated in the Left by Eugene McCarthy. 

In 1981 Reagan defeated a sitting President Carter when Kennedy joined those who thought he was a "weak" President. 

In 1989 Bush I defeated Dukakis/Bentson after Lee Atwater spread so many lies about Democrats that it fractured the whole country.  Lee personally apologized -- "I ruined our country".

In 1993, Bill Clinton defeated a sitting President Bush when Ross Perot created a third party which got 19% of the vote, most of which may have gone to the GOP but for the Ross campaign.  

In 2001, Bush II defeated Gore because of Ralph Nader. Nader told us if the DNC was not able to defeat Bush, then the DNC did not "deserve" to win.  Gore won the plebiscite but lost the Electoral when Florida went to Bush by less than 300 votes in a State with 16 million people.

In 2009, Obama won the largest plebiscite in history with the largest number of voters participating in the election.  And the GOP will never forgive him. The DNC abandoned this mandate in every election since.

Obama's total vote amount of 69.5 million votes is the highest amount ever won by a presidential candidate. The total of 131 million votes cast in the election represents over 43% of the total U.S. population, the highest share of any presidential election in U.S. history.

In 2016, the DNC is splitting over Bernie and Hillary. The GOP is splitting between a dozen billionaires who can afford to buy or be their own candidate.

Bottom Line:  Who will unite us?  Who is a leader, not just a critic?  Who can listen?  

I like Hillary.  There is no other candidate with the resume, energy, and integrity to lead the nation.  She is the only one, the ONLY ONE, who listens.  The others are not even pretending to listen.  The other candidates think Americans need to be bullied by angry men.  

Right now we are being divided.  We face panoplies of real dangers that must be addressed with intelligence and resources. 

Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

An Idea Worth Spreading (Thank you TED Talks)

An idea worth spreading

We invented a "supreme being" but we did not invent Religion. That was developed in Caves (Chauvet, Lescaux) 30,000 years ago. Our desires created hopes, and our fears created gods. Now we pray to hierarchies that in 10,000 years have never come to the aid of those who kneel. Humankind now covers the globe, and we did it standing tall. We should be celebrating the sheer accomplishment of demographics.

Of course, I am on my knees in the Garden, weeping and laughing.

My TED story

30,000 years of Religion in Ten Minutes with Cave Paintings.
(The History of Women has not been written or fully conceived. Yet is all around us, a dramatic and surprising success story.)

Monday, August 17, 2015

ElectoralVote

Excellent comparison chart of positions taken by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  While at first they may appear "opposite" --one is a billionaire who hates socialism, the other is a socialist who hates billionaires -- their positions are remarkably similar.





ElectoralVote




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Biblical Universalism - explained by the Tentmakers, the Amiralts.

Refutation, Rebuttal, Exposition and Explanation of Universalism

"Scripture" - Holy Grail on a Unicorn: My commentary on the Tentmakers' answer to Best Translation of the Bible.

One revealing question that is asked of Believers among themselves is "what is the best translation of the Bible?"  A wonderful answer was written by the Tentmakers:  The Best Bible Translation.  The essay is insightful, inspired, and filled with keen accuracies.  And I cannot recommend it unless you enjoy sifting through ideas that no longer connect to the real world.  The Tentmakers are putting a leg brace on the ghost limb attached to the limping Unicorn of Sanctity.  The following is my own nod to the broader question of Scripture, and relying upon The Word.

God-followers over the centuries have understood that apparently God can write in stone, but humans cannot preserve the stone to save their lives.  All the writings claimed for "Scripture" across this vale of tears compete with "versions".

And then there is the "translation" problem.  No divine authority has ever "spoken in tongues". Apparently Rah spoke Egyptian, Jehovah spoke ancient Hebrew, Allah spoke classical Arabic, and Quetzalcoatl spoke Aztec. And few of us today speak any of these languages.  Not one cohort of Believers claims that their divinity addressed their Scripture to all of us.

Let's look at one relatively recent example of the "translation" problem:   The Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith, relied upon two Seer Stones to translate two Golden Tablets he dug up.  The trumpeter angel, Gabriel aka Moroni, put down his trumpet and helped Smith translate the ancient text of an unknown language from those Tablets not seen since.  Smith's wives wrote down his dictation, and we now have the Mormon Bible, as sacred text.  And we also have the "translation" problems in a nutshell:
God speaks through a Prophet who engraves it on Tablets he buries in the ground of up-State New York where they lay for over a milenium.  Dug up, the Tablets have to be translated and written anew.  Smith is able to read the Tablets with the help of an angel and two Seer Stones, and he dictates to his wife and a friend.  They then publish the Book of Mormon so that humans can interpret it with the help of their angels.  And although this single Scripture, with its quintuple-hearsay, was dictated in fairly-recent times, it has provided the foundation for not less than fifty different congregations who construe it in as many different ways. 
The Mormon example highlights the precautions suffered by all pretensions to Scripture.  All Scriptures are cobbled together from a mystic time, and none reflect a comprehensive, global, supra-human "View".  Once you start tracing the text back to its Source, there is no "there" there.  We have an Egyptian Book of the Dead which really spells out to the Pharoahs how important their Priests are. We have Sumerian texts filled with fire, flood, plagues, smiting, and redemption through Redeemers born of Virgins. Many prophets claim "God spake" unto them, and remnant revenant tribes of Israel (or Judah, or Samaria).  We are given the exact words to use in praying, ostensibly to "God", although we have no evidence that any god has been paying attention. All Scriptures -- the Gospels, the Quran, the Popovul


The world's oldest Temple stands in today's Turkey -- and is protected from scholarship by Islam's
Oldest Temple

The stone temples pre-date any Scripture, but arguably contain pre-literate forms of "scripture".
 The history of the major religions is inextricably mixed with the history of Anatolia. Early Paganistic rituals slowly gave way to fairly well-developed deities coming out of Egypt, and these combined with tribal Sumerian and Semitic pantheons .  Christianity seems to have led a "globalization" of religion and the monotheistic Unitarian "Goths" conquered Rome and Byzantium.  Turkey itself fell to the Islamic faith of the invading Selcuks.
the


Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, but by 1817, he had moved with his family to the burned-over district of western New York, a site of intense religious revivalism during the Second Great Awakening. According to Smith, he experienced a series of visions, including one in which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ) and others in which an angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates, the Book of Mormon. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. Members of the church were later called "Latter Day Saints", or "Mormons". Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, but by 1817, he had moved with his family to the burned-over district of western New York, a site of intense religious revivalism during the Second Great Awakening. According to Smith, he experienced a series of visions, including one in which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ) and others in which an angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates, the Book of Mormon. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. Members of the church were later called "Latter Day Saints", or "Mormons".According to Smith, he experienced a series of visions, including one in which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ) and others in which an angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates, the Book of Mormon. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. According to Smith, he experienced a series of visions, including one in which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ) and others in which an angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates, the Book of Mormon. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization.Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, but by 1817, he had moved with his family to the burned-over district of western New York, a site of intense religious revivalism during the Second Great Awakening. According to Smith, he experienced a series of visions, including one in which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ) and others in which an angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates, the Book of Mormon. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. Members of the church were later called "Latter Day Saints", or "Mormons".
Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, but by 1817, he had moved with his family to the burned-over district of western New York, a site of intense religious revivalism during the Second Great Awakening. According to Smith, he experienced a series of visions, including one in which he saw "two personages" (presumably God the Father and Jesus Christ) and others in which an angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization. In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates, the Book of Mormon. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. Members of the church were later called "Latter Day Saints", or "Mormons".


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Fox "News" is not reporting news, does not hire Journalists, and is destroying America. Liars should not be trusted.

One of many "point by point" detailed articles proving that "Fox News" deliberately distorts facts, fabricates misinformation, and misleads the viewers on important issues. Viewers become dangerously ignorant.

The author is a distinguished Journalist and professor of Journalism.  Keeps his work updated:

http://danhagen-odinsravens.blogspot.com/2012/02/revisiting-lies-of-fox-news.html?showComment=1433349174534#c1882009266635746197