About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Excuse the Expressions -- "Science" and "Religion"

There is no excuse for refusing to honor Science and Religion, and their exceptionalist and universal roles in the life of any creature.  Those creatures inhabiting the higher forms of Consciousness are expressing a longing for Truth and Faith, complimentary and opposed indices.

We are given only Scientific Truth and Religious Faith.  We are not permitted "Scientific Faith"; we cannot give credence to "Religious Truth".

Consciousness is a vector.  On this arrow we know we move to and from.  Take our comfort in this Truth. Have Faith, as this is what we have.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Per Scientiam ad Justitiam" ("through science to justice").

Do not forget.  The Nazi also confiscated the wealth of and attempted to destroy "homosexuals".  Without evidence, and slapping the face of science, the Nazi targeted largely unarmed creative and productive people, and seized their property.  The thugs funded their rise to power by stealing from hard-working but defenseless and law-abiding people.

Ironically, not only was Hitler part Jewish, but most of his cadre was remarkably repressed and sexually frustrated.  Hitler never married and his mistress was sexually unsatisfied.  Goering was an infamous cross-dresser and spent hours putting on his lipstick, foundation, and blush.  Himmler surrounded himself with homosexuals and was notoriously uncomfortable around healthy people with "normal" relationships.  The Nazi did persecute the gay population, but the fictional puffery of the Nazi is a pink swastika.

The brilliant scientist, Magnus Hirschfeld, was both gay and Jewish.  His career of scientific and empirical study was destroyed by the Nazi. Hans P. Soetaert & Donald W. McLeod, "Un Lion en hiver: Les Derniers jours de Magnus Hirschfeld à Nice (1934-1935)" in Gérard Koskovich (ed.).

Ironically, another "school" of thought developed in Germany which was offended by science and particularly by the "feminine" side of men.

The other faction was organized by Adolf Brand, publisher of the first homosexual magazine, Der Eigene (The Special). Brand, Benedict Friedlander and Wilhelm Janzen formed the Gemeinschaft der Eigenen (The Community of the Special) in 1902. What divided these groups was their concepts of masculinity. Ulrichs' theory embraced a feminine identity. His, and later Hirschfeld's, followers literally believed they were women trapped in men's bodies.
The followers of Brand, however, were deeply insulted by Ulrichs' theory. They perceived themselves not merely as masculine, but as a breed of men superior in masculine qualities even to heterosexuals. The Community of the Special (CS) asserted that male homosexuality was the foundation of all nation-states and that male homosexuals represented an elite strata of human society. The CS fashioned itself as a modern incarnation of the warrior cults of ancient Greece. Modeling themselves after the military heroes of Sparta, Thebes and Crete, the members of the CS were ultra-masculine, male-supremacist and pederastic (devoted to man/boy sex). Brand said in Der Eigene that he wanted men who "thirst for a revival of Greek times and Hellenic standards of beauty after centuries of Christian barbarism." 

One of the keys to understanding both the rise of Nazism and the later persecution of some homosexuals by the Nazis is found in this early history of the German "gay rights" movement. For it was the CS which created and shaped what would become the Nazi persona, and it was the loathing which these "Butches" held for effeminate homosexuals ("Femmes") which led to the internment of some of the latter in slave labor camps in the Third Reich

The point is that not only were the controlling Nazis driven by a sexuality they did not understand, but they were themselves perverted by their own unwillingness or inability to BE who they were.  How different the world could have been, had they been able to be gay.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Middle - the class position on prosperity

Why is there ONLY ONE "class" whose growth is helpful for everyone?  The truth is, the Middle Class is the only class the everyone should cultivate and care about. The rich and the poor we have with us, whether or not we want them or try to grow them.  In terms of peace and prosperity, only one class makes any difference. But exactly why is this so?


Our economy relies on strong consumers. 


The poor are unable to buy, and rich rarely do -- they have everything they really need, and the rest they have the power to take without buying.  Today, wealthy people put their wealth into off-shore accounts and engage in socially useless speculation and non-productive investments.  For example, nothing is produced and the infrastructure of society is not enhanced by a "credit default swap" or a debenture or any "creative financial product".  The rich and the poor are socially useless burdens, bless their hearts. 

Hence, the great and unique economic contribution of the middle -- they have some money, and individually they do not have much power.  The only real power they have is as consumers.

The more money consumers have, the more goods and services they buy.  As their transactions increase, the need for sensible long-term infrastructure becomes clear.  The need for roads, utilities, information, and even health care and schools, becomes obvious and self-fulfilling.  Rising prosperity creates expectations and hopes, and as families are raised, the infrastructure takes shape which cultivates more prosperity.

The Middle class is the only class that cares about infrastructure.  No one else needs hospitals and schools -- the poor need food and water, without which they would die before they could use health care and books. The rich of course, have their own medical care, and it is a historical fact that very few rich people have any personal interest in education or learning.  The rich rarely educate themselves, much less provide information of any real use to anyone else.

The poor people are the first to celebrate their long-sought extinction. We cannot have "too few" who are living hand to mouth, or exposed to the exigencies of nature and trouble.  The rich cling to their existence, and devote themselves to the extinction of the Middle Class, as if threatened by its mere existence.  The rich classes thrill to the abundance of the poor.  The rich appear to be uplifted by masses willing to serve them for pittances or for their forebearances -- for the privilege of not being beaten, or actively oppressed.

The Middle class stands alone, offering accessibility to the poor, and recovery from the rich, for the usurpations of both.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Poem, of something rising

Oyez! All Beloved who gather here
Listen
    is how the dream began
You striding across the Campo
down by the school-yard
And I opening
    the heavy doors of a dark prism

Oyez!  Beloved, it appeared, as if
    the wood horses stopped in their grazing among the trees
being wheeled aside and light fell deep in the knell
to wolf and bear witness, as war burst out
of the belly up to the Bar.

I saw you as if a fragrance of my youth
    had been spilt and splintered
upon the gold and scarlet song of a sunset.

I rode hard and wet upon the galloping emu of my hopes and found you feathers
and all perched and dry high among the rafters of birds winging back and forth
between the mud and the sky

Love comes in a dream to the bridging of us
    to the meet of our desire
where you are this Appaloosa of my eye,
this reigning rein pulling an erasure across
my spotted memory of women who came and went,
    and now is a tower together.

In my dream you were a moon beam
    stuffed with personality like a congress making sausages,
a tube of round light being squeezed together from pig’s lips
and a turkey gobbling a language
    and I dreamt I woke baffled
    in the batter of something
        Rising 

Monday, November 22, 2010

What would Children do?

Is anyone else deeply troubled by the absence of a credible Biblical preacher today?  Is there ONE that has not been sucked into the political obsession over abortion (never mentioned by Christ) and homosexuality?

Jesus said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3)

Children read Harry Potter books.  They can be cruel and petty, but most kids are very sensitive about the many children who are unwanted and not cared for by anyone.  And most kids are not at all perturbed by gay parents or diversity in the playground. Most kids think life is wonderful, magical....

And in large numbers, most children seem to have read 7 large books about magicians and spells.  Apparently this is how children are.  This, not the hatemongering of the Churches, should be the theology to provide the spine for Christians, if any of them are left today.

It is my observation that most of the followers of the teachings of Christ are extinct, and have been so for centuries.  The real believers in the teaching of Christ were called Manicheaens by the followers of Helena, the mother of Constantine who had her own take on the Pauline message.  Between the Helenists and the Islamicists, the true Christians were annihilated -- they were everyone's favorite heretic because they were prosperous and would turn the other cheek when assaulted.

The point is, there are many wonderful children on the path to salvation, but NONE of the hatemongers obsessed with condemnation and purification are among them.  Islamicists and Fundamentalist "Christians" are remarkably similar doctrines.  They want to purify everybody but themselves.  This is opposite what children are all about.  Children are closer to "natural" concerns, and the idea of purity does not even occur to them. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Health Care Reform - with a Public Option (Psst we already have one)

It is fascinating to see how predators seize upon public subsidies and pass burdens onto tax payers while claiming their right to do "business" and make enormous profits in the name of "capitalism".  First of all, the medical insurance industry as we observe it today is not part of "free enterprise", it is simply a means of carving an escalating profit out of sick, ill and helpless people while passing the burden back to tax payers. Who ultimately pays for MediCare, MediCal, and all the poor who go to the Emergency Rooms for treatment?

I asked the most intelligent medical doctor in the country, Doctor Sam Metz, what he observed can be done. Here is his practical, necessary, and cost-effective plan:

You asked this question of the right person or the wrong person, depending on your political bent and time available for an answer. Attached are essays that appeared in the Oregonian and in Anesthesiology News, and a PowerPoint presentation to be given next month. I will condense everything you need to know about health care reform into three questions, with three answers each. Once these points are understood, much else will make sense.

1. Why does this country need health care reform?
            Americans pay twice as much per capita as the average industrialized country.
            Our public health results (maternal mortality, infant mortality, life expectancy, lives lost to preventable conditions) are among the worst of industrialized countries.
            We are the only industrialized country in which non-wealthy citizens lose their homes or lives if they have insufficient money to pay for needed health care.

2. What must legislation achieve to be considered health care reform?
            It must provide universal access to primary care regardless of health, wealth, or employment.
            It must lower health care costs for everyone, not just the government, the wealthy, or the insurable.
            Our national public health must improve.

3. How do all other industrialized countries provide universal health care at lower cost with better results?
            All citizens are in a single risk pool with the same set of benefits.
            There are no impediments to primary care.
            Financing of health care is done by not-for-profit agencies. Profit can be made providing health care, but not financing health care.

If a country follows all these rules (as most every other industrialized country does), universal health care can be achieved at lower cost with better results then we have now. If the country follows all these rules and uses a single not-for-profit financing agency rather than multiple financing agencies, this is called “Single payer health care.”

I favor single payer financing of health care.

However, changing how we finance health care is only the start. The next step is revising which health care providers we pay how much for what services under what conditions for which patients. The incentive for salaried physicians is to undertreat. The incentive for fee-for-service physicians is to overtreat. Under capitated payments, the provider takes the risk if a condition is more expensive to treat than expected. Under salaried or fee-for service payments, the financing agency takes the risk.

That should be fun.

If you still have questions, I am full of answers.

Thanks for asking.

Sam

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Family Values and Neo-conservatives - the Idiot's Guide to Hypocrisy

The so-called Red State Reagan Conservatives associated with Tea Parties and Mega-Churches are not factually aligned with their rhetoric. Examples:

1. DIVORCE. If you live in a red state, you're 27 percent more likely to get divorced than if you live in a blue state. (Source: National Vital Statistics Report, 2003).

2. HOMOSEXUALITY. All of the politicians who have been "outed" as gays in the US Congress were all neo-conservatives. The preachers who were caught with gay prostitutes were neo-conservatives preaching against homosexuality. Neo-conservatives are much more likely than liberals to be secretly gay.

3. FAMILY VALUES. There is no indication that "conservative" parents are raising better children. Many parents have children whose values contradict the values of the parents.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

History – Mesopotamia and Persia, preserved by Jews and European Archeology.

The Empires of Mesopotamia and Persia, which lasted for 3 thousand years, came to an end when a 22 year old Macedonian crossed the Aegean with a small army and proceeded to defeat Darius III. Syncretic Hellenic influences remained long after Alexander’s short life. However, the scribal tradition of three millenia was almost immediately lost in the near and middle east. The indigenous people forgot how to read and write cuneiform texts, and the unity of the people collapsed.

Not until the rise of Judaic Islam did the region once again unite. Unfortunately, Islam completed the annihilation of whatever remained of the intellectual heritage of civilization. The wisdom of Sumer, Assyria, Babylonia, the Hittites, and the Medes and Persians was burned and buried.

Fortuitously, the Hebrews (diaspora during the Babylonian epoch) and Greeks (during their brief Asiatic rule) managed to preserve some of the accumulated wisdom of the ancient civilizations. Indeed, the authenticity of the Jewish and Helenist accounts has been corroborated by the archeological discoveries made by Europeans since the 19th century. The digging has often been dangerous and always over the objections of the Islamic schools. The scholars living under the veils of Islam have been silenced for a thousand years.

The interesting point is that without Jews and Westerners, the Mullahs and Ayatollahs would have almost no information about the greatness of their own people. Islam systematically erased history in order to make it appear that “Islam” was some kind of improvement over the “primitive Arabs” and “fire worshiping pagans” of Persia. The fact is, those pre-Islamic Arabs and Persians built beautiful buildings and gardens, composed music, and wrote literature reflecting the highest sensibilities and soulfulness.

It is no wonder that the Arabs and Persians today are being taught by their religious oligarchs to hate the Jews and the West. Through the scholarship of Jews and Greeks, corroborated recently by European archeologists, the lost heritage of the ancient civilization is preserved. This pre-Islamic heritage contradicts most of the Quran. The spirituality of Mazda/ Zoroastrian teachings is not primitive paganism, but is superior in grace to the current crude hate-mongering of the Ayatollahs and Mullahs.

The ironic point is that the Jews preserved the wisdom of the Persians, which the Persians themselves have now lost in the devotions of their current version of "religion". Using the semitic alphabet on papyrus and parchment scrolls, the Jews kept remembering what the Persians themselves have now forgotten.

In their turn, the Arabs also now forget their history. Ironically, they forget that they are Jews. All Arabs, today, remain Jews both genetically and culturally. Their dialects, diet, sex laws, theocracy, angel-prophet-mediated monotheism, and their us/them community orientation, are identical. Of course, conversely, all Jews also remain Arabs. Nevertheless it is Islam which drives a unilateral wedge of predation between the tribes: Portions of the Quran which appear for the first time almost a century after the death of Mohammad expressly exhort the pillage and slaughter of Jews and Christians.

Islam is a syncretic belief system, cobbled together over several centuries after the death of Mohammad. The primary sources are Aramaic Christian teachings and Hebraic traditions. As Jews, the Arabs had been making the pilgrimage to the covered cubic Kaba in Mecca for centuries before Mohammad. As Christians, the Arabs taught children in schools, and acquired the skills required for building beautiful mosques. Those schools and skills, as well as the importance of humble prostration in daily prayers, are Manichaean contributions which Islam rewarded with annihilation. Now Islam credits the long-dead Mohammad for everything great the people have done. The credit is sadly misplaced.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Bush-Cheney-Rove Legacy - the gift that keeps giving.

To the credit of Great Wealth, we are on the eve of a "close" mid-term election. We are also witnessing the end of representative republican democracy (a poor means of conducting government, but which is superior to all alternative forms).

Unprecedented amounts of money (during a depression!) are pouring into this mid-term election. Because of a Supreme Court appointment by the previous administration, by one Judge's vote, we now have a system which permits corporations, and unidentified "persons", to electioneer. We have no idea who is funding the political ads, and MOST of them are factually misleading.

This de-regulation and privatization of public elections will live in infamy along other Bush era catastrophes:

(1) Appointing inexperienced and "political" judges.

(2) Tax cuts to the Super Rich - with ZERO economic benefit for anyone else.  The fact that the rich are richer while the middle class has collapsed, is the single achievement of the neo-Conservative take-over.

(3) Changing the laws so that "investment bankers" could destroy banking system. Glass-Steagal Act passed in the 1930's prevented banks from taking savings and putting money into investments with risk. The "new" (actually resurrected 1920's products) mortgage-backed securities, negative default swaps, and fraudulent investment "products" (literally toxic), destroyed the financial system.

(4) Oct 2008 tax payer bail-out for Wall Street -- unprecedented transfer of the risks to the public, providing yet another splurge of billion-dollar commissions to the bankers who had destroyed their institutions.

(5) Selling WMD to Iraq, then ignoring the UN inspection and attacking Iraq without a plan, leaving us with an un-winnable war, and the spectacle of rising religious intolerance and mass migration of refugees.

(6) Ignoring bin Laden in Afghanistan - repeatedly, and in spite of his large family, known relationships, and his control of a network of
(7) Ignoring terrorism until after 9/11,
(8) Ignoring deterioration of infrastructure with results such as the Katrina disaster,
(9) denying Global warming,
(10) destroying the civil justice system,
(11) making our schools the most expensive and least effective among nations,
(12) making our health care the most expensive and least effective among nations.
(13) starting with an income surplus, creating the biggest debt in history.

(14) Creating a hostility to independent journalists: Is it coincidence that in the Bush decade, journalists were increasingly singled out and killed by organized crime?  This global rise of tyranny reached its apex in 2009, with the murder of 76 journalists killed in connection with their jobs. Organized crime and right-wing militias became the biggest threats. After Obama took over, the murder rate plummeted. In 2010, the death toll was down 25% to 57.  Reporters without Borders, annual report from Paris.


(15) destroying the military - exhausting the Forces, and crippling the National Guard concept by pulling the citizen-soldiers out of their civilian employment for year-long war duty tours.

(16) privatizing the military and support services - Halliburton black no-bid "contracts" which guarantee huge profits to short-term fortunes while soldiers facing more risks have less to gain.

(17) Indifference to infrastructure - what utilities were not "sold" with corrupt discounts to private enterprises which promptly raised rates, were left languishing without maintenance and repair. Bridges, dams, highways, parks, water and power are all collapsing and deteriorating.
 
For the past couple years, many people have been working on this large hole which the Bush-Cheney-Rove Enron Halliburton cabal placed us into. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Jerusalem - the Manichaean City

Jerusalem was the largest fortified city in the world during the Republic. However, a within a few decades after the Empire, and in the face of an intense Zionist revolt against the Empire, Rome razed the city. To punish the Zionists, the Roman Emperor decreed that the land would not be called Judah, but "Palestine".

The Roman general, Pompey, destroyed the walls of Jerusalem in 70 a.d., and sold many Jews into slavery, spreading them throughout the world. Josephus claims that hundreds of thousands of Jews were hunted down. There were driven out of Jerusalem. Unlike many other tribes on the losing side, however, the Jews maintained the integrity of their community after forced expulsion, because they had a written language and a "Biblical" reference. They set up trade routes and communities throughout Europe offered protection to them to encourage trade. The fact that the Jews did not spend time and treasure on arms and military training, but devoted themselves to trade and prosperity, was noticed by a Persian holy man. We will mention Mani again.

Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, but after the first Zionist objection to the authoritarian rules of the Empire (another great story), Jesus Christ began preaching an extraordinary message of Peace. He urged the Zionists to "turn the other cheek". This was not exactly an unheard of technique for any oppressed people. Many wives faced with a bullying husband will survive by being passive and take revenge by raising sons who hate their father. Perhaps Jesus understood the analogy to Rome, which was at its peak of power. It is certain that Zionism was defeated by Roman arms, but by alienating a large literate network, Rome itself became ungovernable. Rome was never again able to franchise the Middle East.

After the destruction of the Walls of Jerusalem, the message of Jesus was taught by Greek-Ptolomaic missionaries traveling throughout the world. The teachings reached Persia. Approximately 200 a.d. a prophet began writing and preaching the Christian message to Zoroastrian congregations. This Prophet, Mani, wrote many books, and he was described as a man to be emulated. He synthesized Buddhist and Zoroastrian teachings with the message of Jesus Christ appended to Judaism. "Manichaeian" became the most dominant religion of its day over a broad region from India to Europe for hundreds of years.

One of the main seats of Manichaean learning was Jerusalem. Unlike the Christians of the day who had abandoned it for Rome and Constantinople, the Manichaeans focused on the importance of Jerusalem to their beliefs. They revered Jesus Christ as holy, and the land where he was born, lived and taught, as important. Unlike the Christians of the day, the Manichaeans continued to believe in the Message of the Messiah, including the response of "turning the other cheek" to persecution.

As the Christians became ascendant (literate Greeks living for the hereafter were hired by Roman lords for their trustworthiness in a time of increasing corruption), they militantly wiped out the Manichaeans in Europe and systematically destroyed their literature -- the many books written by Mani and his followers. The "Catholics" of Rome and the "Orthodox" of Byzantium began fighting each other, but found resistance. Killing Manichaeans, however, was less dangerous, so in the hunt for heretics, the other great Christian sects systematically wiped out the numerically superior Manichaeans, and filled their respective coffers with the rich booty of the Manichaean civilization. This increased the chaos under the disastrous reign of Emperor Phocas.

In Jerusalem (known as Aolia Capitolina by all but the Jews and their Manichaean allies of the day), the Christians built the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the place of Crucifixion where a Manichaean temple had been built. One of the main reasons for the Council of Nicea in 326 a.d., held in Constantinople, was to rebut the Manichaean "heresy" which did not exclude Jews.

Then the Mohammedans joined the fray. In approximately 570 a.d. Mohammed was born in Mecca. He never set foot out of Arabia and never indicated his intention to start a new religion. Like other Arab chieftains, he was a warrior, law-maker and judge, but unlike all others, he united the Arab tribes, and separated them from the Jews and Manichaeans. According to the contemporary accounts, Mohammad the tribal raider regarded Jews and Christians/Manichaeans as prey, for which he thanked Allah.

After the death of Mohammad in 632 a.d., without any successor to rule the newly-unified Arabia, the unity fractured. Arab historians refer to this period of years as the "Wars of Apostacy". The Persians and Turks in their contest with Rome and each other, saw opportunity. The Turks made a deal with the Meccan warlords (Sunni), and the Iranians made a deal with the Medina warlords (Shia). This remains the unresolvable schism in Islam.

By 638 c.e. the Turkic/Arab Caliphate rapidly expanded and by force of arms supplemented by Jewish troops from Arabia, seized Jerusalem from the Manichaeans. Curiously, Persian forces then occupied Jerusalem, slaughtering its largely Manichaean-Christian occupants and burning the city. Islam became a unifying "religion", although as the conquering armies advanced, no government or unified civic structure was created. Even the Ottomans (Turks) never established unified control, for example, over Spain, Africa, or Persia, even though Islam became required of all the inhabitants.

Manichaean temples in the East were converted into mosques, just as they had been converted into Churches in the West. The Manichaeans became everyone's favorite "infidel" or "heretic", because their persecution created no risk of revenge. Manichaeans were builders of wonderful buildings and their many innovations were usurped. After Christianity dug into Europe, and after Islam dug into the East, the innovations and spirituality of life rapidly ceased. When the pillagers had nothing left to pillage, life went back to daily survival around decentralized "feudal" estates -- with little lords conducting ceaseless feuds in the name of the one Lord, "no God but God".

In 691 c.e., six decades after the death of Mohammad, the Islamic Umayyad Caliph completed the Dome of the Rock. The Manichaean-Christian Church already on the site was destroyed, down to the foundations. The beauty of this inspired structure has not been surpassed to this day. Of Byzantine craftsmanship, it stands asymetrically upon a platform built in Herodian times (1st century c.e.) as the second Jewish Temple, and may have been the site of the first Temple. The Dome surrounds a large native stone supported by two sets of colonnades and an octagonal exterior wall. The central colonnade made of four piers and twelve columns supports a rounded drum that transitions into the two-layered dome, which is more than 20m in diameter. Light enters from grilled windows pierced in the drum and glitters on golden be-jeweled mosaics within.

The purpose of this structure is disputed. It may or may not be a "mosque", but prior to its construction there was no mosque in Jerusalem that Mohammad could have visited on a "Night Journey" carried on the back of a very fast and winged' horse. No contemporary texts, even on the walls, mention such an event until several decades later. Manichaean texts referring idiosyncratically to Jesus are translated into Arabic and quoted on the interior walls.

What is not disputed is that the Dome transects all of monotheism's divisions, is one of the most beautiful structures in the world, and is forbidden for "infidels" to enter. Archeologists are not permitted to excavate any portion in any manner.

It is true that by approximately 900 a.d., the Manichaeans were exterminated. Thousands of libraries with millions of books had been destroyed. The great Manichaean civilization of Central Asia, running along the Silk Route, with some of the most beautiful cities in the world, was completely and systematically destroyed by Islam's armies. We find remnants of learning and arts and science in remote caves as unarguable proof of what was destroyed.

In Europe, some of the temples were saved by "converting" them into Jewish houses of worship. A Manichaean foundation is under many Churches and even Jewish temples in communities which had few Jews. The Jews, for their part, never persecuted the Manichaeans, but aided in hiding them. To some extent, Manichaean influences can be found in the Rabbinic traditions and in the astounding patience the Jews demonstrated in the face of pogroms in Eastern Europe. The divergent Ashkenazi/ Sephardic traditions can be explained by Manichaean influences. Many Turkic Manichaean believers who were not Semitic adopted "Jewish" traditions and became Jews to avoid the persecution by and between Christians. Interestingly, a Persian Jewish/Arab alliance (non-Islamic) captured Jerusalem in 614 c.e. (The Jews and Arabs occupied Arabia for 600 years celebrating the same holidays, prayer five times a day, and the same dietary laws. Most of the inhabitants were either Jews, or followers of Mani or other sect of "monotheists").

Perhaps the last "Manichaean influence", and one of the most remarkable, is the Crusade of 1094. "Out of the blue" from a Christian perspective, a de-centralized and feudal Europe suddenly lit up with the idea of re-capturing Jerusalem. Rome and Constantinople were the only cities deemed worthy of their attention for an entire millenium, but suddenly the liberation of Jerusalem was widely accepted as an important goal. It was the discovery of remaining Manichaean texts in Europe, preserved by Jews, which were quoted from prior to the consignment of the books to flames by Catholic Priests. The holiness of Jerusalem was revivified for these Christians and they hurled themselves into a haphazard Crusade to liberate Jerusalem.

In 1099, the Christian Crusaders fought their way across the Levant and recaptured Jerusalem. The significance here is that the First Crusade was not an aggressive invasion of another country. Rather, it was an attempt to recover a City which had been invaded by a foreign power. The Islamic armies were invaders.

...[In 1187, the brilliant re-taking of Jerusalem by Saladin and the Kurds; Christian Crusaders briefly re-take it back twice. Then 1250 the Muslim Caliph dismantles the walls, and the population dramatically declines; finally in 1538, Seleiman the Magnifent [sic] restores some of the mosques in Jerusalem.]

It us true that all of Arabia and the Levant was ruled by the Ottomans until the end of World War I. Since the turn of the century, after the trial of Dreyfus, Herzl began his effort to find a homeland for the Jews. The Zionists' effort is delayed by the War, for which Jews were also blamed. Zionists begin fleeing from Europe to destinations all over the world, and many go to Jerusalem. Arabs also begin migrating to Jerusalem where new jobs were being created.

In 1917, the British fight the Ottoman Empire, liberate the Arabian Peninsula and Mesopotamia. Jerusalem is captured and for the first time in its history, it is not sacked. The British do not kill all of its inhabitants.

The only significant Arab tribe to rebel against the Ottomans were the Saudis, who were then attacked by the other tribes and the Turks. Ibn Saud led his tribe to victory with the aid of the British.

In 1948, the State of Israel was established. The Jews agree not to make Jerusalem their capital city. The Israelis make a new city -- Tel Aviv.

In 1967, Israel captures the Old city and reunifies the City. Israel now occupies land which had been given to Jordan and Egypt.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Islamic Demographics

The Veil of Islam has descended over 57 countries. All of them are locked into medieval feuding intensified by the obsession with "purity" which is the gift of Islam. Since women are 2d class citizens, children are effectively raised in a seraglio -- a wife, even if only one wife, is regarded as a concubine since there is always a potential for another wife arriving at the whim of the man. Thus, all the sons are sons of "wives" who are really concubines. Thus, the leadership is always deprived of having legitimacy -- the absence of a Queen/wife.

What the multiple concubines do provide, of course they MUST provide, is babies. By reducing the "choices" for a woman, she is then free to devote herself to reproduction. The bomb of the womb is set, where copulation lights the fertile fuse.

Louisiana Purchase - the impact on the Continent

My British wife is visiting Louisiana...

The United State purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 from Napoleon. This transaction rewarded the post-Revolutionary French Government as if it was the successor to the Ancien Regime which had in fact stolen it from the Creek Confederacy, and other Mississippi delta tribes. The funds given to Napoleon, who was a brutal tyrant, enabled him to launch an invasion across Europe to the gates of Moscow. Had Napoleon given more thought to the weather calendar, he would have attacked in the other direction, against Britain.

Intercontinental - beyond international and getting to global

We have become intercontinental. There are no nations, no races of men. There are no tribes. As for families, they have not existed since Religion took the oxygen, the power, away from parents.

When Louis XIV answered the inquiry of the physiocrat with the irreducible, "l'etat, c'est moi", he revealed naked truth. The "Government" is abstract and to be understood must be filled by a person, who in turn is a symbol. A person who used Government as a means to power.

Yet Government has existed in certain times and places. Now that the US Government has collapsed, now that the California Government has been reduced, we are left feeling insecure. How we long for the security.

The l'etat, c'est trahison / betrayed

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Theodore Parker and his monumental manifesto. Influences.

One of the invocations of Justice with impressive allure is the assertion that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." This phrase keeps cropping up. The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. frequently used it, crediting the Unitarian minister, Theodore Parker:

"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe: the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards Justice."

Parker fought those who sought to justify slavery and oppression from Biblical, or any other, authority. In 1841 he wrote the greatest of the Transcendentalist manifestos, compounding the republicanism of the authors of American Constitution with the liberalism of the true Church. Parker defined democracy, for the first time, as:

"...Government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people."

President Lincoln adopted this phrase in his pithy elimination of the "all", perhaps as a concession to the political reality.

Friday, September 24, 2010

How the Republicans plan to govern: The Same Way

From John Kerry: Yesterday, the Republicans released their "Pledge" of how they'd govern, and Republican Leader John Boehner let the truth slip out:

"We are not going to be any different than what we've been."

They are the gift that just wants to keep giving -- OUR money.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What remains, at the end of a life spent meaning well?

To my friend Quyen, who reminds me of Franklin in France, flirting and writing bagatelle's to the ladies as he negotiated the long-range brass naval canon with which the French battered Cornwallis in Yorktown to its surrender. Franklin visited the estate of the great insect philosopher, Claude-Henri Watelet, in the company of his frequent and vivacious companion, Madame Brillon de Jouy. She was, Quyen, one of the hotties among the educated women of Paris.

Franklin concludes an essay, "The Ephemera", in the voice of one of these insects that only lives for a few hours each day:

"To me, after all my eager pursuits, no solid pleasures now remain, but the reflection of a long life spent in meaning well, the sensible conversation of a few good lady ephemerae, and now and then a kind smile and a tune from the ever amiable Brillante."

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Victims of Corporate Fraud - a Compensation Fund

In 2002, after the Halliburton no-bid profiteering in Iraq and the Enron bankruptcy revealed the depths of the Cheney-Lay-Skilling predatory mind-set of CEOs willing to pillage their own companies, AB 55 added a new Section to the California Corporation Code. Section 1502.1 establised the Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund (VCFCF) in the State Treasury administered by the Secretary of State.

The purpose of the Fund is to provide restitution to the victims of corporate fraud. Once a fraud judgment is obtained, if collection efforts are fruitless, victims can turn to the Fund. Apparently, however, since 2002, no victim has recovered.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Survey - Does the State Bar protect consumers?

To my astonishment, the State Bar prosecutors' office takes the position that it has no obligation to prosecute the attorneys who have enabled the investment bankers to take down this entire country. I have repeatedly given names to the Prosecutor -- and pointed to Enron and Madoff, as well as other high level white collar predators, all of whom have law firms assisting them.

While few individuals can respond or even protect themselves from large-scale piracy, the State Bar has the power and resources to help. Yet, the State Bar does nothing about the trillion-dollar predation going on in this country. The State Bar is supposed to protect consumers from attorneys who violate the rules and cause harm. Yet not one attorney who ENABLED and IS ENABLING the ongoing financial predation in the country has been disciplined!

Consumers have never been surveyed to respond about whether they feel protected, after this onslaught of high-level white collar predation:

Click here to take survey

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What is the effect of Love?

Love is something
that fills. I am bulging.

It means union can be taken
seriously, even when expressed
improbably
speechlessly
in the yearnings of skin and
braided bone.

Love reaches down the throat and
seizes the heart, grabs, and
pulls hard.

I am inside out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blues for a friend - red-eyed loneliness {chord}

Blues among friends - {singing - or weeping}

I got the red-eyed yellow-lit green-zone blues
I’m not awake and I just can’t sleep.
Got the red-eyed yellow-lit green-zone blues
and I can’t get out ‘cause I’m in so deep.

Side by side like a pair of dice
we roll across the green-zone blues
My number’s up but I’m not done yet
tell the bottle we’re paying our dues.

Tumble me now, tumble me then,
Blues gonna get me so tumble me again.
Side by side another cornering roll
hope you know you got a friend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Meaning of Mean; the significance of meanness; the recremental case.

"I've seen the meanness of humans till I dont know why God aint put out the sun and gone away." From Outer Dark, by Cormac McCarthy

This is from the parable of The Creation. It is not possible for The Creator to be God of THIS creation. Such a "creator" begs the question of what was At the Beginning -- what created The Creator? -- and abandons us at what obviously should be The End of the erstwhile business. We are AT the "gone away" been done.

Believers who cling to this parable are perhaps not coming to terms with the depth, the extent and variety, of the unkind things that have been done among men. The belief that any God worth its station in any pantheon of divinity would stand for THIS "creation", this abomination, can only stand upon idiocy or blindness.

Such a belief is itself a form of indifference, a kind of sin. Like Prussians pretending that the Third Reich was not loading Jews and Gypsies and lawyers into cattle cars assigned and logged into any of 1200 camps built for unpleasant dying. Like Saudi princes pretending that Saudis did not train and fly pirated aircraft into the World Trade Center. Like all of us who try to pretend that innocents have not been tortured on our watch, the tyrants using our money and our indifference.

We try to get rid of evil, expel it. But it is recremental. It is quickly re-absorbed even as we identify it. The Creation is wallowing in its dross.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Regret - remorse, remonstration, reproach, rue,

Regret is so much better than mere Gret. Remorse, more convincing than Morse. Reproach has better mouth-feel than mere Proach. I listen to the affectations of the Pure, and it sounds like Rue.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Parable of the Shepherd and the Shoemaker

Parable. There was once a shepherd renting land from an absentee landlord. The land was too salty to raise crops but the shepherd could raise sheep and goats, and he built a house on the land. One day the absentee landlord stopped collecting the rent and the man stopped paying for the land. A few years later, a shoemaker from a faraway land arrives and claims that he bought the land from the absentee landlord.

This shoemaker knows nothing about farming or raising sheep. But he does some engineering and draws water from the nearby shore of an inland sea, and although it is brackish water, he uses it to wash the salts from the soil. The shoemaker is desperately hungry so he buys meat from the shepherd, and then starts planting in his newly-flushed soils. To everyone's surprise, the soil is made fertile again after several thousand years of over-tilling. The shoemaker brings his friends, a candlemaker, and a watchmaker. They all start farming and building new buildings.

Now the shepherd can sell more goat meat to the new arrivals. Also his sons start working in the construction industry. Some more friends of his arrive from distant lands looking for work, and the farmers and goat-herds together raise enough food for everyone. Although the first man had to move out of the first house he had built, he just went and built more houses. Together, the families begin to build graceful cities. People are working and have jobs.

Together, they all built a garden in what had become an infertile desert. Together, they built some of the most beautiful cities in Africa.

Then one day a mob of idiots started making speeches on the radio. They talked about killing "cockroaches" with machetes. They taught hatred in schools. Mothers would raise their sons to hate other tribes they heard described on the radio. One day, at a signal from the idiots, thousands of people who had been shepherds and had immigrated into the garden, began killing tens of thousands of craftsmen who had become gardeners. After a few months of this genocide, there were many broken families and hopes, and destroyed cities.

And although many died, and now we are trying to forgive the killers, and repair the orphans, still, after all the deaths, life did not get better for anyone. It got worse.

It is better, perhaps, instead of leading chants -- "Death!" "Kill!" -- perhaps it is better to just build homes, plant your gardens, raise the goats. What did all the killing and hatred accomplish?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Depression is psychological. So is Recovery. But empty suits are not the answer.

We do not have a "broke" economy. Our house has been burgled, from inside. All our intelligence, information and good humor remain available to us. We can use what we have to refill the house, looted as it may be.

Remember the "Peace Premium" and the budget surpluses set up after the Carter and Clinton Administrations?

In eight years, Reagan managed to convert the world's largest creditor nation into the world's largest debtor nation, with virtually nothing to show for it. We bought B1 bombers and Space War systems which do not work and cannot be built, and Polaris submarines with nuclear weapons which cannot be used.

In eight years, Bush Jr managed to appoint people who despise "government" and had no experience with large organizations (public or private) into positions of authority, doing nothing. The people in charge of the SEC (under Orange County's politician, Cox!) devoted their entire working days in the entire year of 2008 to collecting pornography. Apparently they believed it was not necessary to glance occasionally at the nonproductive re-tranching of low-risk mortgages into high-risk securities which could be used by predators to bet against in forms of credit default swaps which had been illegal since the Great Depression, but which were made available once again by a Congress owned by the Lending Industry.

Now, the people who own this country--having seized most of its real estate in foreclosure and shipped most of the industrial capacity off-shore--have frozen credit and refuse to make loans. This leaves any possible "recovery" at a stand-still, and they know it. They want to find another empty suit to run as President so they can take back that branch of government which they lost. The surest and really at this point only viable way to pull this off in 2012 is simply continue to refuse to make sensible old-fashioned secured loans to small business, which has always been the fastest, surest, most reliable engine of recovery. The Lenders can put anyone they want up for President, and the voters will vote against all incumbents because "it's the economy".

Is the Lending Industry making loans to the middle class? No. Why not? This is the same group of people who created the financial crisis by making highly leveraged high risk investments in which they lost their shirts, in which the CEOs destroyed the institutions they were managing, only to turn to taxpayers and, during the Bush Administration (we have to remember this little detail), extorted a bail out to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars. Remember, the Lenders got this bail out with the "promise" they would then loosen up credit and have it to make available to borrowers and business once again. They did not do this, in spite of being GIVEN the money and having made that solemn promise.

So, here we are waiting for the benefit, the loan availability accommodated by the tax payers' cash through the banks...and we are still waiting. It simply looks like the predators, having given themselves additional commissions and billion-dollar bonuses AGAIN as a result of taking tax payer bail-out money, are once AGAIN looting the country.

The good news is that at some point, the middle class, or you or I, or even some civic authority that has not already handed all of its collection to a predator, will set up a new, fresh and actual, "bank". This new bank will loan money to the middle class. The producers will get back to work producing value. And rapidly, and surely -- nothing miraculous or remarkable about it -- the whole country and the world will start to enjoy prosperity and good business.

Of course, bear in mind that the Lending Industry is still huge, and they own everything and they do not want this to happen -- because we have elections coming up, and they badly want to put another tranche of empty suits into Congress and the Executive Branch. The same people who stole our infrastructure also own our media, including the blogosphere and the twittering venues. They overwhelm us with their naysayings and attacks, without offering solutions or even mentioning implementation.

Kotlikoff is simply one of these Voices of Dooooooom. Where was he when the bankers were earning billion-dollar bonuses to perform non-productive conversions of wealth into air? Where was he when banks became bingo parlors, gambling our pension funds into toxic dumps? What possible insight does this obviously blinded and blinkered man have for us now when we need ... real insight?

For that matter, where did Kotlikoff just now get this expertise on "bankruptcy"? Where was he when the Lending Industry fought against bankruptcy reform and left consumers trapped in nondischargeable credit card schemes that treble the cost of purchases? Where was he when the bankers systemmatically went after municipalities and States and drew the entire country down into a spiral of debt? A million towns are now "bankrupt"!

If we stopped paying bankers enormous amounts of money to steal from the public weal, or stopped rewarding CEO's who destroy their own companies -- these are extraordinary times -- the engine of recovery can rapidly turn on.

Within a few months, think "over-nite", people could be hired to rebuild the infrastructure which has been completely ignored for the previous 8 years. We need engineers and designers. We need scientists to engage the stem cell, solar, and toxic clean up industries which are so promising. These would not be the low-wage jobs offered by the lame "tourist" hotels and patronizing "service" industries so eagerly touted by well, Las Vegas style cities.

The solution, in sum: Loans should be made available -- obviously not from the bailed out predator banks -- they simply refuse and will continue to withhold money in order to kill the recovery which they do not want. Go to credit unions and small banks. Start a bank on your own. Loan to small businesses, using traditional collateral. Multiply. Ignore the fact that the headlines continue to scream "Greece" and "distress". In the history of economics, business profits have never been bigger. There is plenty of money. Vast treasures were not actually destroyed. Just...stop giving it to predators. Stop.

And stop electing empty suits into positions of authority. We will prosper. Good health will break out like a pandemic. Intelligent people are much more fun than the hate-mongering little bashers who are confused and baffled by this utterly natural world.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Leaving Religion in the name of God/Allah/Enlightenment

One of Catholicism's most notable adherents recently announced her withdrawal from the Church, "in the name of Christ". Twelve years after her conversion, and while retaining her belief in God, she renounces the Pope, the Church, the bizarre political agenda: "I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life".

It is significant that it is BECAUSE of her faith, and BECAUSE of her love of the core principles of the teachings of the Christ, that she raises her voice, Je'Refuse!

It was not just one thing; there were many. The Pope went to Africa, where genocidal campaigns continue to break out, where Islam is terrorizing Christians and infidels, and where Africans are facing a widespread AIDS epidemic. His Holiness' big message, his choice of focus, was on same-sex marriage.

And "the very last straw" was when the bishop of Phoenix, Thomas Olmsted, publicly condemned Sister Margaret McBride for authorizing a life-saving abortion to save a dying mother.

It remains significant that there are impulses today which have usurped Religion with an idiosyncratic agenda; the agenda is not Biblical. There is nothing in Paul's letters or in Christ's teaching that supports the Pope's hierarchy, or a virulent position on natural behavior and re-victimization of victims. Would Christ ignore molested children, or the suffering in Darfur and Congo and on the streets of all major cities? How can the leader of the Church be silent in the face of the genocide of Armenians by Islamic Turks, or the extermination of Christians in Ethiopia and Egypt(Copts), Iraq (Chaldeans), and Turkey and Lebanon (Orthodox)?

What distortion of the mind enables one to ignore these facts while devoting oneself to making sure there is clarity and certainty in completing the excommunication of Sister McBride whose heart was entirely charitable. In the name of Christ, has the Pope YET managed to name and condemn the "money-lenders" whose devotion to greed managed to impoverish entire nations?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sadly, the Bush Legacy lives on...BP, Pentagon-gate, overpaid corrupt officials

Just from a few items reported in the LA Times today...it appears that the Bush Legacy just keeps on giving:

1. PENTAGON ACCOUNTING. The Defense Department has never accounted for billions of dollars given to and entrusted to it. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction was created in 2004 to oversee $53 billion appropriated by Congress for reconstruction. For the most part, there are no records, and billions have not been accounted for at all.

2. CITY OF BELL. The Mayor, Manager, and Council of a charter city were exposed for giving themselves high salaries and benefits, while cutting back services and depleting municipal resources to do it: $787,637 to Robert Rizzo as City Manager, $457,000 to Randy Adams as Police Chief, etc. Documents show that the employment records go back to 2003 when the wholesale looting began.

3. BLAGOJEVICH. The trial of this former Governor of Illinois is concluding. Among other evidence was the $12,000/month income for his wife who performed no services and had no qualifications for a real estate firm, Rezko.

4. WIKILEAKS re Afghanistan War. New documents have been outed from the secrecy under which they had been wrapped which "offer insight primarily into the war-fighting of the recently departed George W. Bush administration". [A10] The document reveal the deliberate killing of two Reuters journalists in July 2007 , and the absence of any leadership from the Bush administration. Any. Basically the documents reveal the fact that what administrative officials were telling us was pure fabrication. The troops on the ground were not trained for what conditions they found, and the mission was compromised from the beginning.

5. LEVERAGED BUYOUT OF TRIBUNE. The court-appointed examiner in the Chicago Tribune's bankruptcy determined that the 2007 leveraged buy-out was marred by the "dishonesty" of its senior management--to the extent that the $8.2 billion transaction was a fraudulent conveyance [AA2].

UPDATES:

6. ARLINGTON CEMETERY. During the 8 years of Bush appointees "taking charge" of the government which they openly despised, the displacement of remains and records at Arlington occurred. Over 6000 are in disarray. No one is being held accountable, but even worse, it is astonishing to see that the appointees who were paid to be responsible have such little honor that they do not step forward, take responsibility, and devote themselves to correction of this sad state.

7. SPILLED OIL. Not just the spill in the Gulf, but simultaneously, there have been spills in Alaska, and even in the Great Lakes region. The scale of this depredation is significant, but it pales in significance to the scale of the ignorance, incompetence, and mindless denials of the Bush-Cheney-Rowe appointees and the Limbaugh-Breitbart-Fox network of idiologues who continue to rant with such indifference to science, honor, responsibility, and recovery.


Once the Government is dismantled and its positions filled with blind idiots, the predators come out of the bushes and actively destroy what is left. The destruction is far worse than mere entropic neglect -- it is pillage driven by the open invitation for spoil. After 8 years of irresponsible authorities, society now pays the price.

Monday, July 26, 2010

America is waging a war against Islam - Say What?

Source: Leslie Stahl, 60 Minutes segment, July 25, 2010 (repeat).

By invading Iraq, the West demonstrated that it is in fact in an undeclared War Against Islam, according to The Narrative now being used by the rulers with the resources to distort Religious commitments and hatreds.

The Stahl investigation ventilated the story of a great hero, Majid Nawaz. He has survived torture, listening to torture of others, prison, radicalization, mis-education, and religion itself. In prison, he discovered other "radicals" who had in fact discovered the layered hypocrisy of religious extremists. He has discovered the key factor for peace -- countering the Narrative. The would-be caliph of the world, Osama bin Laden, teaches that Believers must be taught that the West is making War against Islam.

The Narrative is built upon fiction, not facts. But truth is not the test of efficacy for an ideology to function as an incentive to die. The Nazis used a remarkably similar Narrative -- scapegoating unarmed and vulnerable groups to justify attacking them. The Narrative has already been shown to be effective. The fact that it is not supported by facts -- by the archeology, the things, the money, the stuff behind the torrent of words -- is its soft underbelly.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Theodor Herzl and Sayyid Qutb - founders of the Zionist State and Moslem Brotherhood...

Inbox - tkey@tustinlawcenter.com - Tustin Law Center Mail

Compare the writings of Theodore Herzl and Sayyid Qutb.

At the turn of the 19th century, a German journalist witnessed the persecution of millions of people excluded from participation in education, the legal systems and institutions, and the public life of Europe. He witnessed injustice reaching an invidious height in the Dreyfus prosecution. Herzl's response was to create a place where people could thrive and work for a better life without persecution. He became one of the Founding Fathers of modern Zionism.

In 1949, a wealthy Egyptian educational reformer, came to the United States to study and write. He was given a scholarship. He was invited to participate in social, educational, cultural and institutional life. He saw crassness and materialism, and lust for life which disgusted him. He saw women, none of whom met his standards of subservience. He went on to become the intellectual light of the Moslem Brotherhood.

The similarities and differences between the two "founders" are worthy of study.

Qutb was quite devoted to writing, which he regarded as his art and livelihood, although it was not the source of his income, which derived from his family wealth. His two most important works: a commentary of the Qur'an Fi Zilal al-Qur'an (In the Shade of the Qur'an), and a manifesto of political Islam called Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq (Milestones). These works represent the final form of Qutb's thought, encompassing his radically anti-secular and anti-Western claims based on his interpretations of; the Qur'an, Islamic history, and the social and political problems of Egypt.

Qutb focused on issues that occupied Egypt after Great Britain voluntarily turned the control of the political power over to Egyptians. Gamel Abdel Nasser, a secular dictator seized power in 1952, with the aid of the Moslem Brotherhood. After an assassination attempt on Nasser's life, Qutb was imprisoned for 8 months and then executed in 1966 after a "show trial".

Ironically, Herzl had witnessed one such "show trial" himself, although not as a defendant. The defendant was Theodore Dreyfus, a Jew. The trial demonstrated that all Jews in Europe were subject to such "trials".

Working Paper in progress...

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Religious Fundamentalism falls from inside itself; it is entropic enhancement.

Notes on Religious Fundamentalism, and its erosion of itself from within:

1. HEAVEN. The Fundamentalist is seeking to control. He chooses the easiest path -- to suppress others. It is easier to stop things than to permit things to grow, and the hardest of all is to contribute to growth. The Fundamentalist does not desire Heaven, but rather is jealous of it. The jealousy of kite-flying, of music, of dance, of the arts, is not because these activities are not righteous, but because they move us closer to heaven, wholesale. The Fundamentalist is buried in Hell. He wants to charge us for Grace, retail.

2. TIME. The Fundamentalist wants to stop the passage of Time. He seeks to stop everything. For example, it seems inconceivable to forbid the playing of music. One can only wonder that anyone would do such a thing. Yet that is one of the first things a Fundamentalist insists upon. To stop the flow of music is exactly like trying to stop the passage of time. The Fundamentalist forsakes the Past, dispenses with NOW, and lives only for his hope of Vengence in the future.

3. BELIEF. The Fundamentalist appears to be strict in his observances. He claims to believe certain things. however, this is an illusion. He is profligate -- throwing even his own better talents and judgments into the bushel basket of suppression. This can only be understood as a great waste. And his nihilism is revealed to the extent that he seeks to prevent others from flowering as they would. There is no Belief which justifies suppression of others. No real Truth requires suppression of error. The suppression of others' reveals the lack of substance or Truth in the Fundamentalists' beliefs.

4. FEAR. The Fundamentalist is all about fear. All attempts to extinguish or annihilate disbelievers are admissions of the insecurity of the Believer. Religion is the mother of fear. Curiously, the Cave Paintings of Lescaux and Chauvet (and 10,000 other preserved sites) are very revealing about true "fundamentals". There is not a single depiction of a King, a Priest, a God, or even a hierarchy. The works created prior to any of the current "religions" seem designed to inspire many things, but they do not inspire FEAR!

5. CONCLUSIONS. We are left with a few hard conclusions. Let's review. We have heaven and hell, here and now. People who leave others alone, enable others to choose and even create their heaven or hell. The Fundamentalist fights for hell. He wants to stop the passage of time, as if there is no difference between our episodes of eternity. The Fundamentalist does not believe in "fundamental" things, except Fear alone. He believes in nothing, but his many fears. He must suppress others, because he has nothing to offer. Fundamentalism is entropic. A dead end.

Friday, April 02, 2010

God is Moot;

David Gelernter provides some unique, although ahistorical, insights for all in his book, JUDAISM: A WAY OF BEING (2010). He presents Judaism, with its ranges of beliefs, practices and philosophy, as the "world's first monotheistic religion". Of course, it is not that, and Abraham was not its first practitioner. (Abraham lived and died believing in multiple gods and angels, according to the very words of Genesis). But it does appear that Jews created the idea of congregational worship and "study" of religious texts -- of which they provide the earliest examples. Powerful texts.
While Gelernter's provocative themes of "Separation", "Veil", "Perfect asymmetry", and "Inward pilgrimage" are beautiful but unprovable, I must here preserve two concepts he richly rewards us with:

"The problem of evil is man's problem. The central question is not why God hasn't saved the world, but why YOU haven't." This moots theodicy as well as Belief.

And he draws from the Lamentations: "Make us new again, as we used to be."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Law's futility < Love's Labour's Lost > Act I, scene I

"These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn." Lord Biron's soto voce as he is tasked with delivery of Costard the Clown to the keep for his violation of King Ferdinand's proscription against wenching.

King. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence: you shall fast a week with bran and water.
Cost. I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dog Person God

LibraryThing: State of the Thing -- March 2010 - tkey@tustinlawcenter.com - Tustin Law Center Mail

I want to be the person my dog thinks I am. Is it possible to be different from what a knowing-God thinks I am? The very suggestion pierces the inflation of belief. Uncanny certitudes. I bark, therefore...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lucille Clifton 1936-2010 gritty optimism thru hardships passing in the night

From Blessing the Boats:

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back. may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Those who prey upon credulity and hope
take away the lives of their victims.
That is to say, fraud is a capital offense,
greater in scale and consequence than
taking bread or things. For prudent persons
can guard their stuff from thieves, but
honesty has no protection from cunning.

Where fraud is permitted, where it has no severe consequences visited by law upon the perpetrator, then honest traders are always undone by knaves. Decency is at a great disadvantage in the face of misrepresentations of fact made by fraudsters who are not punished in any way.

This truth was observed in laissez faire Europe by the dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin in 1726. The good dean wrote GULLIVER's TRAVELS among other great satires and reports. Jonathan Swift lived 1667-1745, tirelessly exposing the graft, corruption, and mendacity of hypocrites. His efforts had little effect upon the morality and laws he sought to uphold, and he was driven insane in his last years.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Theodor Herzl and Wagner - add to collection of Ironies

In 1895, a modest but highly educated German journalist was sent to Paris by his Editors to report on the "trial of the century". Theodor Herzl duly reported the details of the trial, of which he was an eye-witness. The French Army had imprisoned and then tried the highest ranking Jew in its ranks, convicting him on the facially implausible charge of being a spy for Germany. These legal proceedings were the culmination of the notorious event known as the Dreyfus Affair. The conviction of the Jewish officer was confirmed by the Supreme Court of France, even though there was not a scintilla of "evidence" supporting the charge, and in fact, another man admitted to having served as a spy.

Herzl walked away from the trial with the CERTAINTY that Jews, without a homeland, would not be treated with justice in Europe at that time. Where Captain Dreyfus, a fine officer, with undeniable competence and accomplishment, unsullied by any taint or corruption of any kind, could be blamed for losses in a military campaign in which he was not even involved, and where it was shown to the Supreme Court of France that there was no evidence in support of the charges, which were brought by incompetents who needed a scapegoat, his conviction was upheld on the single ground that he was a Jew. Blaming Jews, a largely unarmed people, had become a successful method for avoiding responsibility on the part of authorities across Europe. Here, it reached an apex.

After filing his reports during the day, Herzl would attend the Opera in the evenings in Paris. By coincidence, the Ring Cycle composed by the German composer, Richard Wagner, was being performed. Herzl was well-aware of the ugly anti-semitism of Wagner, who was a prolific essayist as well as composer. Yet, to his credit, he was able to appreciate the artistry and sublimely beautiful compositions. Even more extraordinary, he was able to take inspiration from the libretto itself.

The operas are loosely drawn from the bardic saga mythology of a Norse people. Wagner obtained copies and outlines and translations of the Poetic Edda, the Volsunga Saga, and the German Nibelungenlied. Like many intellectuals in this period of relative peace (late 1800's), Wagner found "Romantic" inspiration -- profound feelings -- in the epic literature of pagan gods.

Contrasted with his other compositions, Wagner's Ring Cycle is positively sunny and refreshing. Wagner invented most of the plot of the first music drama, the Rhinegold, by combining three unrelated Edda stories, developing a theme of Love versus Greed and Power. In the Valkyrie, the theme is Lover versus Law. In Siegfried, he practically defines Love as Freedom (from law and greed), and in Twilight of the Gods, he develops Love as a redeemer for those who resign themselves to it.

Virtually all of the sagas available to Wagner came out of Iceland, centuries after the isolated island had become Christianized by force. Transmitted with both apologist and euhemerist views, Wagner took the Myths as proto-science (explaining the mysteries) and proto-psychology (explaining ourselves).

Wagner was dead before Hitler was even born. However, Wagner's anti-Semitic views had been published, and he stooped to inventing a character in the Cycle who mimics the public caricature of greedy Jews -- although the character is in fact, a Germanic divinity. The Nazis did not invent anti-Semitism, or much of anything else. Nor do anti-semites, even talented ones, bother with logical consistency or decency. And to be "fair", Wagner did not express any great love for Germans or "Deutschland" -- which was not yet an independent united State, but from its various communities he had to flee on several occasions, and in which his music was banned until 1861.

So, what did Herzl draw from the musical dramas which had been drawn from ancient pagan poetry by a talented "Romantic" German exile?

Herzl was inspired to create Zionism. It was the only, the ONLY, remedy for anti-semitism. His fellow-German's artistry and the bardic ideas about community-building helped shape the concept of a Jewish homeland. Recovery of what was lost. Herzl, the Founding Father of Israel, was a devoted, lifelong Wagnerian.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bold Action and Big Ideas

President Obama said, as he took the office he is re-making: "History reminds us that, at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas."

Somehow, incredibly, there are folks who hear this challenge and think that he meant "bold talk and big government". No. Just not what he said, and not what he is leading us toward. Still, where are the bold and the brave? Who has ideas, large and looming with hope?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Financial Crisis - Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. and the Cause

Former Secretary of Treasury Henry M. Paulson, Jr. has written a book entitled ON THE BRINK; Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System. His account is revealing. He clearly had no concept of any oversight function, although he had a background and employment exposure to investment banking opportunities and risks.

Of particular note is that he dealt with the crisis -- as it came to a head in the 48 hours (48 hours!) preceding the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September 13, 2008 -- by seeking to find another lender to cover the obligations which were due. In other words, he was trying to solve a situation created by bad loans (securities tied to defaulting mortgages) by finding a bank willing to chase good money after bad. Knowing the nature of the toxic assets, he looked for a sucker.

When Barclays (President Bob Diamond) was unwilling to make the deal because the British Financial Services Authority (Finance Minister Alistair Darling) did not support it, "we were beside ourselves". To the group of CEO's he had assembled in his lobby, he blurted, "The British screwed us!" I'll bet he used other words. He was "stunned" that Mr. Darling was unwilling to permit him to unload the problem "on the British tax payer".

In the book, Mr. Paulson falls upon his faith (Christian Science). He asks his wife "to pray for me". She immediately quotes Timothy II, 1:7 : "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind".

The problem is that he admits he kept bottles of pills -- sleeping pills -- which is medication prohibited by his invoked religion and contrary to the Scientist belief that he cannot sleep. In addition, exactly WHAT is he fearing? For his failure to find a sucker to be the last one holding the bag of increasingly toxic assets? Does he understand that the only "risks", the only thing at stake, is the collapse of Lehman, and of course, with that, the spiraling problems that would hit the insurer, AIG.

However, the real danger was that the failure of large financial institutions would cause all of his chums to lose their shirts. All of his associations were with investment bankers. (He had been Chairman of Goldman Sachs).

In Spring 2007, Secretary Paulson told an audience at the Shanghai Futures Exchange that "An open, competitive, and liberalized financial market can effectively allocate scarce resources in a manner that promotes stability and prosperity far better than governmental intervention."[19] He actively lobbied to remove all regulatory oversight from the financial industry while at the same time subjecting consumer rights organizations (lawyers, loan modification consultants, etc) to increased and burdensome regulation).

In August 2007, Secretary Paulson explained that U.S. subprime mortgage fallout remained largely contained due to the strongest global economy in decades.[20] The economy was already tanking and was way down from the levels reached during Clinton.

On July 20, 2008, after the failure of Indymac Bank, Paulson reassured the public by saying, “it's a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation.”[21] He had to know that the people pretending to be "our regulators" were in fact the predators who had already scammed homeowner-borrowers by placing them into inappropriate loans and OptionARMS.

On August 10, 2008, Secretary Paulson told NBC’s Meet the Press that he had no plans to inject any capital into Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.[22] On September 7, 2008, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went into conservatorship.[23]
Quoted from Wikipedia.

Conflict, and the Effects of hate-mongering

We can despise the extreme wings of our politics all we want, but we seem to have them: Little mobberies pushed by the lies of tyrants -- perhaps the revenant Marxists, and the eruptive reactionaries, anyone willing to boil the stew. Anyone crying that compromise "makes you look weak"!

We have no better example of the instructively negative consequences of extremism than what can be drawn from the modern epoch's history of France. Of course, it is difficult to avoid the simple allure of the earlier milestones composed by the ancien regime, the Revolution, and Napoleon. None of those events, however, glittering, bloody, and instructive, were "modern".

The tumultuous era from 1830 to 1905 has been narrated by Frederick Brown, author of FOR THE SOUL OF FRANCE (2010). In this period, France ingested four different Constitutions, three dynasties, two republics, three revolutikons, one coup that worked and two that did not, two civil wars, one defeat in war that led to the German occupation of one-third of the country, two major financial scandals (neither of which involved Jews) that destroyed most savings accounts, and of course, the "trial of the century" -- the judicial and military scandal known as the Dreyfus Affair.

Now here is the lesson: What was The Cause of this turmoil? How did a nation that had brilliantly used accomodation and compromise to finally recover from centuries of corrupt oppression (Bourbons), the extremes of ideological terror (Robespierre, Orleans), and loss of almost all of its fighting age men (Napoleon), only to erupt again into chaos? What was the unrelenting driver for this self-destruction?

We know there is almost a genetic tension between Conservative and Liberal. In France, according to Brown, most of the turmoil during this period in France stemmed from battles between the conservative royalty/church clerical camp on the one side and the liberal or communard seculars on the other. And the conflict was painfully self-destructive. Even when the Protestant Prussians invaded in 1870, the two camps failed to reconcile.

Interestingly, the defeats and injuries suffered by France only further inflamed the idiotarian extremes of both these wings. Die-hard reactionaries (notably the L'Ordre Moral, and the pretender to the throne, Count de Chambord) took the defeat as God's punishment for the sin of failing to adopt the papal infallibility of Pope Pius IX. Secularists insisted that the losses were the result of betrayal of the Enlightenment thinkers who had created the Republic. Grace, whether divine or inspired by human creativity, was taken off the table. Again, as before, blood ran down the gutters, coloring the Seine red.

What is striking in this conflict is that as the tide of history rises against the clericals, they resort to more extreme and outlandish behavior, and ultimately, to an unprecedented degree of Hate-Mongering. After the misbegotten coup of 1889 led by the reactionary general, Georges Boulanger, the clericals sought to rally the public by claiming religious affiliation. Ironically, the means they adopted was to launch an anti-Semitic campaign. Thus, the attention of the world was diverted from the crimes, corruption and incompetence of the French rulers and military -- which had NO Jews (except for draftees and a jr. officer, Captain Dreyfus) -- to the fictions and false accusations made against shopkeepers and cobblers, the Jews. The hate-mongering took the forms of false charges against Dreyfus (blaming a Jew for the collapse of the French Army), the virilent fiction of the "Elders of Zion", etc.

The take-away point today is that we see the reactionaries now taking the same course -- in response to the rise of Obama liberals, the conservatives resort to hate-mongering and the scape-goating of blacks and Jews (compare, Dreyfus Affair). The Conservatives -- the true Conservatives -- should not do this. However, it is irresistable to the royal houses trying to stay in power and fearing the anger of the mob should the public ever demand an accounting.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Sun drinks the Sea, the dark earth drinks the sky-rain

Unusual for Southern California, our 2d of 4 days of rain. We love it, but do not know what to do. Anacreon, in 500 b.c. under a squal showered on his arid isle (Teos), cried out, in my poor translation of the same quandary:

"Hephaestus, carve me a hollow cup!
The dark earth drinks the rain,
The flowers drink the earth,

The sea drinks the wind,
The sun drinks the sea..." (!)

Shut up. I am drunk in the rain
offering a wet garland of flowers
kissed everywhere by the watered wind
coming and going
tasting everything.

Carve me a hollow cup! Funny how it looks like Anacreon had totally figured out the Water cycle. 500 b.c. We are such SLOW learners, even about things that are right before our eyes, our senses. We taste the rain...It drops from the sky after the sun has drunk it from the sea....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blanziflor et Hecuba-aa-aaa!

One of the many emotional peaks in the music-libretto of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, is the invocation of "Blanchiflor et Hecuba"! In the penultimate verse, just before the hearty ending cheer on the scaffold of malevolent destiny-- O Fortuna! The Ave Formoisissima invokes beautiful women as the Light, the Rose of the World.

The names of these two Queen Mothers would presumably be familiar to Europeans familiar with homiletic sagas in the Matter of Britain (King Arthur), France (Charlemagne) and Rome (mythology and Homer), and with Virgil's Aeneid.

Still, when rehearsing, I was always curious that these two specific women were invoked in the lament-filled paean to life-drive und das ewig-weibliche. Both women are expressly elevated to adored Venus stature. But who are they?

Hecuba seems pretty clear. The fertile wife of Priam, mother of Hector, and queen of Troy. As I recall, there are a number of different versions of her fate. Not content with killing her husband and number one hero son, the Aeneans burned her city, hauled her off as a slave, and killed most of her other 19 children. The youngest son, was not killed by the Greeks, but was murdered by a Thracian ally who usurped the Trojan treasure he undertook to guard. Hecumba, having been such a wonderful mother, is pushed over the edge with the news of this last and final infamy. Homer says she started barking like a dog, and howled at the moon. Hence the expression, "went to the dogs". Still, I like to imagine her impulse to bark was a perfectly rational response to what she was experiencing and led to her release from enslavement. With Hecubated breath.

Blanziflor is more difficult. The monks reference familiarity with Grail quests and Icelandic Sagas, in addition to the standard Homer. Blanchefleur is the heroine of an eponymous tale, is the beloved of Percevel (Parsifal), and is also the mother of Lohengrin (as Condiwiramurs). Finally, Blanchefleur is the mother of Tristan in Tristan and Iseult. (Tristan is the knight in Arthur's court, whose mission it is to safely deliver Iseult to his friend and her brethothed. On the way, the two fall for each other, hard.) It is possible the monks wanted to remind themselves of these powerful women.

But I do not think so. None of these "Blanches" seem to be connected with Hecuba, or the Hecuban form of lament -- a beautiful woman who has everything but whose destiny is to lose everything, including sanity. THAT sort of invocation seems to make sense in terms of the Carmina collection. So let's revisit Troy.

Looking closely at the entire text of the collected Carmina, one may be drawn to the conclusion that THIS Blanchiflor is one of the other women invoked by Virgil, in addition tol Hecuba. After all, the monks do seem to be tracing the tragedy of Troy -- the possibility of greatness, the reduction to flames and destruction on the whims of malevelent gods.

Obviously the woman whose fate it is to be most tightly connected to Troy, is Helen. Is "Blanchiflor" connected to "Helen" in any way? Is it possible the poets were alluding to Helen?

Ἕλλην (Hellen) has long been the traditional name Greeks have for themselves. A Greek's Abraham is a woman. The capture of Sparta's queen, and King Menelaus' wife, by Paris was the signature casus belli, purportedly as a repatriation effort.

It is Helen of Troy whose history, and even the etymology of her name, is most connected to the Venus the poets appeal to. It is of course, vanity to search for etymology, ever. Or for that matter, a "golden age" of Sparta -- archeological evidence of Mycenaean palaces have never been found.

Still, we can content ourselves with the foreshadowing themes drawn from Helen and extending to the continental medieval Blanchiflor. For example, the Tristam theme is foreshadowed by the fact that Agamemnon undertook to court and win Helen on behalf of his brother Menelaus.

Why not just sing "Helen and Hecuba-aa"! My thinking is that the poets were drinking. They loved Venus, not by her Greek name Aphrodite, and they loved her through Virgil, the Roman. The Castor-Pollux link between Sparta and Rome was a theme for Virgil. Here the poets are mimicking a famous epithalamium of Catullus, whose work was also put to music by Orff in a separate work. It is sexual love, not motherland and Mom and the happy home which are the starting and ending point of the monks' diversions.

So, it really is Helen, the founder of the cult in Laconia, a hangover of the fertility cult of the caves which never stopped and is invoked even today. The Homeric account (Helen walks around the Horse, mimicking the warrior's wives), gives way to the different stories dramatized by Stesichorus (both Greeks and Trojans stone her), Euripedes (in which Helen never went to Troy), and even Herodotus. In previous iterations, she was a vegetation goddess -- Helen of the Trees, in Rhodes with roots going back to the Minoan, where they had very similar terracotta female figurines.

And there on Rhodes we find the most tragic account of her fate. Having conquered all men with her beauty, and having been queen of the greatest cities, she came to Rhodes. Believing she was enjoying the hospitality of the queen of the island with handmaidens attending her bath, the queen in fact was seeking vengence for the loss of her family. She had her handmaidens disguized as Furies and set upon Helen, hanging her on a tree. Full circle. O Fortuna plango.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Music is not a Language

Often after playing music, never during, I fairly burst with expression and insight and desperately yearn to "communicate" it. Of course, this may be a side-effect of playing itself. The hunger, the need to express. Words are much more linear, of course, but both conversations and tunes are parsed by Time.

The difficulty is the shift, the translation back to "words". One can feel a knuckle between the word-net of "language" and the ringing-fruit basketry of "sound". We are able to do things with things we little understand -- words and tunes come from somewhere, loaded with skill-sets and feelings, and components which are shared. But most of the expressions are unique to their respective continents. Usually after playing, I literally have nothing to "say".

One of my favorite memories of performers in my youth were the lovable randy couple, Marais and Miranda. They were famous for telling musical stories. Their performance was both words and puns, and sounds sweeping across the arc of arts, with wisdom, flirtation, eyebrows and twinkling, and skillful bowing on vibrating strings. Their songs and sounds were blended, and now I deeply appreciate their skill at beckoning both.

Language can be used to perceive, to extend our perceptions. Music can be used to dip our toes into experiences. Both Words and Music can hit the sweet-spots of the brain and bounce thoughts aloft. Feelings can be lit up. Or smothered. But each is rooted and routed on separate places in the central nervous system. The mysteries of both are not the same.

Music - composition mysteries

Music is the only true "religion", by any definition of redemption or grace or self-realization. And like Religion, not all can be saved. Some of us will never "get it". Mozart could compose in his head, play in his sleep, and remember what he intended to do later in performance. Yet his peers treated him like a circus curiosity, not the high priest for which office he should have been annointed.

None of us know where music really comes from or what purpose it serves. Where was evolution headed, or where was your Creator going with this? We are lit up by timbre, tempo, meter, pitch and mode. We contend with tunings and tonalities, burning the circle of fifths inside melodies held together in ribbed vertebra of rhythm and rhyme. We feel the textures of sound, held in the suspense of lacunae and progression, modulating to a cadence of a drum we listened to from the womb.

World War II - assessment

A sufficient time has passed, and enough players with egos at stake have died, so that we can clear the slate and confirm what REALLY happened in the paroxysm of WWII. Here are a few notes:

1. FACTS. Hitler's personal secretary for a decade was an educated eye-witness to his rise to power and conduct of the War. She was never interviewed by anyone -- the military, the academy, the journalists. This single anecdotal fact reveals an enormous disinterest in facts generally, and a huge bias against women, that colors all accounts of the War.

2. ECONOMICS. A British economist spent the post-war decade appraising the value of the real estate and stock of Germany before the war, and comparing the value to the cost of fighting Germany. It cost much much more to wage war than to buy the materials which appear to be at stake.

3. GOLD. We know that the Nazis were pillagers. Like all thugs with guns, as they conquered Europe, they walked into every bank in every city, town and village and removed the gold. The Imperial Japanese Army systematicaly removed the gold from every bank, temple, and estate they could find from Manchuria to Indonesia. Together, the Axis consolidated at least 80% of the world's gold. This bullion has never been fully accounted for. It did not actually disappear -- it was not destroyed. Still, its "story" has never been told or ventilated by the press or by historians. We know the numbers of men at arms in numerous engagements across the globe, and we know the gold is important to thugs. But "military historians" seem to lose interest when "following the money".

4. VICTORY. Not surprising for such a complex event, but surprising considering what was at stake, there are many examples where but for a small and largely overlooked fluke, the AXIS would have won the war.

5. ACTUAL COST. We resist the attempts to assess the actual losses and damage because of the enormity. The losses of Nanking, Nagasaki, Dresden, and the Jews and Gypsies of eastern Europe, are simply not calculable, for even a start.

Stones and Bones

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CAVE ART Blogged 2009 “Stones and Bones”

Anthropologists have confirmed that homo sapiens was thriving in communities in Africa 500,000 years ago. 30,000 years ago we were painting the walls and ceilings in underground caves. We lived without the physical culture we enjoy today, apparently enjoying each other and the natural wonders of this world...for hundreds of thousands of years. What changed?

Culture has clearly "advanced" -- the stones and bones show improvements and increased specialization coupled with organization. Tools become more efficient. The "fitness" is adjusted. Today we can physically see the changes we describe as neolithic revolutions which in turn led to "civilization" marching through its bronze, iron, and steel iterations.

Still, we look at the Cave Paintings and their absences -- no God, no King, no weapons, no hierarchies of men -- and the predominance of gravidity, of color and wonder. We really have to reconsider the direction we have come. In the recent blink of 10,000 years we seem to have wandered into an obsession with personality cults, superstition and weaponry. Have we wandered into a dead end? What is the real vector? What is going on now, and why is it so difficult to comprehend our actual History? Surely what we did for 100,000 years is significant compared to a few centuries of risings and fallings and futile prayers to pantheons of gods.

The point is, looking at Cave Art (which is only 30,000 years old but which was already "advanced" in the caves ((there is no evidence of slow beginnings which probably began "outside")), we had Art. We had the sciencia of the minerals and pigments. This is what makes the ABSENCES so startling. Cave Art depicts no gods, no weapons, no armies, no hierarchies. But we had Community and we had Art and yes, Science -- for hundreds of thousands of years.

The recent 10,000 year old obsession with superstition and vengeful slaughter of "others" is all very new and unnecessary. No, it was not as if evil did not happen, or Mankind did not suffer. The Ice Age extinguished the Cave culture. But there in our Past, it was still Eden compared with the mass suffering to which we have lately become accustomed at the hands of Kings and Priests.

Consciousness

Why do we cling to MORE than life? Why do we press for Understanding and self-realization -- my gawd What is that? -- as well!

Yet every night, we surrender to LOSS of consciousness and Will. We fall asleep. We do not "change our mind" easily, and we almost never change our Personality. But gratefully we take to the pillow, and whatever we are, disappears.

Scripture

Scripture is never clear. There is no bible or spiritual text which is not disputed over life-times of believers, and the dispute is often and always ironic to the death!

The Tanakh, or Old Testament, was written by many authors over a period of 1000 years. This is a book of infinite inspiration and contradiction. It is glossed and tortured and translated in ever "new" ways. While its main purpose was to preserve the power of the priests against the kings, it shares a million minor agendas which continue to entertain and beguile.

Of the 27 books of the New Testament, there is a certain provenance to none of them. Many of the contemporaneous texts were curiously omitted without explanation provided by the anonymous Councilors meeting at Nicea in the fourth century after the Subject of the gospels stopped teaching.

Of the legendary "founders" of the great Religions, not one is alleged to have written a word -- Abraham, Buddha, Jesus -- all silent and absent from stone, papyrus, or clay. Mohammad and Smith appear to have written texts -- on leaves, skins, tablets -- but they each claim that an Angel (the same one, Gabriel), not God or Allah (again the same), dictated the text to them.

We have only recently discovered and authenticated long-lost but referenced "gospels", such as the gospel of Judas, Thomas, and several female writers.

St Paul, of course, is a historical figure and his letters -- actually penned by him -- have been preserved. Accord, the work of St Augustine, with his gospel of grace and invention of a trinity. What is significant is that in subsequent iterations, changes were made to the texts by so-called Believers with the intent to deceive others!

During this formative time Jews and Christians were maintaining graven images in the hearths of their homes, and continued to bury their dead with as many as 30 different deities. Even after the attempt to collate an "official" scripture 300 years after Jesus by order of the Mother of Constantine--that pagan Emperor who died as a non-believer--the copyists continued to use widely varying translations.

Of particular significance is the fact that the myth of inerrant "oral tradition" has been completely exploded. Most "traditions" trace back only a few generations. Most texts are interpolated and falsified, almost none are "copied" accurately verbatim and without new purposes and agendas. Translations are impossible. And memories? They are false.

Scripture is not history. It is fascinating. But it is not Truth.