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. 

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?