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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Intelligent Design: 3

I find it time to repeat the initial message of this blog: the theory of Intelligent Design is idolatry. You will notice that most sites for or against ID go into great detail. I do not think it necessary, since the very logic in the manner it is argued implies more than one God. Intelligent Design: 1


My nephews say that I should place ads, adverts, or advertisments on my blog so that, in their words, "some good may come of it." Well, given the Name of the Blog ( do I hear an Eco of some other writer?) I don't think that would be a good idea. Oh, I know organized religion does everything but grab the worshippers by the heels, turn them upside down, and collect the currency that falls from their pockets. I just don't think I have enough familiarity with you-know-who to go about collecting money in His name. In the first place, there's this business of tithing. Well, who gets the tithe? If I give it back to myself, is it really tithing? In the second, what the the advertisers don't like what I write? Do I treat them as if they were Midianites? Finally, in my own household we are considering seriously letting the Cable TV umbilical cord be disconnected. There are way too many commercials. I have been with people who have spent 2 hours looking at TV, during which there was about 1.2 hours of programming and 1.6 hours of complaining about the commercials. It has gotten so bad that I now only schedule TV watching of commercials that are superb. I watch Chrysler's Dr.Z at 6,6:20,6:45, and 8:00. Then there's the cellular telephone commercials that present various objects construed as the strength of signal display - 5 boats on a river, 5 combines in a field, etc. - which I TiVo. Am seriously considering making a TV Guide-type thing for commercials since they are the wave of the future.

Humility: 2

Many people have called saying they have found those loose screws I seem to have been leaving as I walk about.

My definition of Humility is not well received. Well, if it isn't the way I told it, what is it? By stopping the recycling of everything around the self, you are not left alone; you are left in the presence of God. Q.E.D.
The loss of self where the Holy immediately picks up the baton - as it were - is a blessing.  

"It's a gift to be simple, it's a gift to be free."

I point out that I am not talking here about those people who have been beaten so greatly and so often that they lose their sense of selfhood. I'm not sure what the therapy is here. Let's see how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict plays out over the next 60 years and check back.


CONELRAD was the name for a system of civil defense communications which was in place to assist our sorry souls in case of a nuclear war and to provide information as to aid and assitance after the lethal strike. There used to be a website called CONELRAD. Check it out and see the wonders of the threat of nuclear annihilation.

My favorite memory of Armageddon: The TV Series was a cute little ad that started with the mournful wailing of a civil defense siren. It wailed like a banshee through the commercial: Oh, cry for mankind. The day of wrath has come! It frightened then and the memory frightens me now. This was all caused by a notice I picked up in Terra Daily in the sub-heading Space War .

 "The administration of US President George W. Bush has begun reclassifying information about the numbers of US strategic weapons during the Cold War, even though it had been once provided to the Soviet Union, The Washington Post reported Monday."
And so on. Well. Where's Matthew Broderick when we need him? In War Games didn't he choose to play Thermonuclear War? I have said before that the USA and the world has already played MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction, put out by Nuclear Armageddon Gamers I do not believe that it is a good idea to play it again. I mean, why would any sane society decide to sit down on a rainy day with nothing else to do and decide to play Nuclear Jumanji ? Talking heads and Pro and Con, talking heads and Pro and Con... What it comes down to is that when the USSR fell apart, the unique opportunity of total nuclear disarmament presented itself. It is now being buried. There once was a brief springtime when the threat of Atomic War seemed to stop. People came out of their fall-out shelters and blinked.

 It was a new day. We are entering the darkness once more.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Emotion of Certainty

There has been criticism of my title "The Emotion of Truth". Surely, Truth is not an emotion, it has been pointed out. No, I suppose not. I should have said the emotion of certainty based upon one's perception of what the Truth is. Or not. Too late now. Most of our life is a ship on the sea of emotions, waves of hormones, winds of neuro-chemistry. Our concepts are wolves who have lost their parents and we adopt them and raise them in a Christian home in a middle-class neighborhood, they learn to play soccer and not snap at the opposing team, go to college, get a job, marry, reproduce,and die. I was reading a column by David Limbaugh. He uses the term "Islamo-fascist" so I had to pretend to understand what he was up to here. I don't understand the tag "Islamo-fascist" unless it applies to Benito Mussolini's Syrian nanny, Fatima. However, the column was of interesting construction: a bite of fear, a bite of indignation, a bite of defiance, a bite of outrage...all assembled in a feast. A switch thrown here, a switch thrown there. No particular substance to the column, just incredible sailing of the neuro-chemical sea. I believe that Jesus' injunction to Humility was advice to turn off these switches. You will point out, then, that a truly humble person would be totally withdrawn from society and exist in a remote anchoritic existence. No. The great command to Charity must prevent us from falling into solipsism. Charity is what binds us to others and creates a centrality of performing good acts for others., whereas Humility turns our understanding from the confused fury of an emotional storm to the eye of the hurricane, which is God.

Presidential Respect and Respect for Others

I was reading the Daily Mail when I stumbled across the following:
Blair 'feels betrayed by Bush on Lebanon 
By SIMON WALTERS 22:57pm 19th August 2006
The alliance between George Bush and Tony Blair is in danger after it was revealed that the Prime Minister believes the President has 'let him down badly' over the Middle East crisis. A senior Downing Street source said that,privately, Mr Blair broadly agrees with John Prescott, who said Mr Bush's record on the issue was 'crap'. The source said: "We all feel badly let down by Bush. We thought we had persuaded him to take the Israel-Palestine situation seriously, but we were wrong. How can anyone have faith in a man of such low intellect?"
Now I believe Mr. John "Bloody" Prescott is a deputy Prime Minister or some such thing. Where does he get off criticizing our President? I have half a mind to cease reading English language newspapers. I mean, I know I criticize the poor, daft Prez, but that's my right as a citizen. He is actually a charming man. And that's why we elected him.

The quaint charm of rich Texans. In re: respect for others, I see that a Muslim doctor from Canada was kicked off an airplane in Denver ( rather like Mr. Gandhi being kicked off the train in South Africa, eh?) on the accusation of a fellow passenger that he was acting suspicious. The doctor was performing evening prayers. That was suspicious. Could be. Now I'm sure you have all seen pictures and videos of Muslims praying in a mosque. They stand, they kneel, they perform numerous prostrations.

But, you ask, how do they pray when they are not in a mosque? Indeed, how do they pray when find themselves in a sardine can with wings, nowadays referred to as an airplane, and there is no room to rest both elbows at the same time, much less room for prostrations and such? Well, they pray sitting. Some may use bottled water to perform a rudimentary ablution. Some will bow their heads instead of kneeling.

In fact, in such situations, the prayer resembles greatly Jewish prayer which involves a rhythmical bowing of the head. Everyone is different. The story adds that the accusing passenger appeared drunk and he had threatened the doctor previously during their trip. The doctor may have been trying to get back at the drunk by praying him down.

Perhaps the drunk was also praying and they were competing to see whose God is greater. I like this last explanation. It just seems more real.


Festung Europa and Fortress America

I apologize for the recycled terminology of Hitler, but Festung Europa is not original with me. It originally was applied by Hitler to Europe under Nazi control being a bulwark against the arms of Britain and the USA. Mellila and Ceuta, Spanish enclaves in Morocco in North Africa, have been attacked recently by hundreds of immigrants from Western Africa seeking to get to Europe and escape the desert of poverty in their homelands. Spain is doubling the height of the fence to repel future attacks. However, there are other ways. There are smugglers. You can go by boat or inflatable raft for less than 1,000 euros, dig a tunnel for a price, and the cheapest is to have a local Moroccan contractor/smuggler cut a hole in the fence. Does this sound familiar? Of course it does. This is what happens when there is a great disparity of wealth between regions and peoples: it is the tropical low pressure system creating a whirlwind. The problem is exacerbated if you constantly propagandize the situation. By emphasizing how great it is here - even if it isn't always - and how terrible it is in your wretched, little, scruffy back yard, I guarantee that my grass will seem greener to you and you will no longer make an effort to tend to your patch of earth. Festung Europa and Fortress America are known as El Dorado, the golden. As we devour more and more resources and accumulate more and more wealth, this problem will increase. What we see happening between Festung Europa and its illegal aliens and Fortress America and its aliens is also happening within Europe and America as the lion’s share of wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few. And just what does an elite do when it has accumulated 99% of the wealth of a country or of the world? Why, the elite rules over an enormous plantation of the poor, kept separate by fences and armed patrols. We are all Zanj then, and the Zanj rebellion will again be whispered on the wind.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Humility: 1

Every generation thinks itself to be the hub of the Universe. All great truths and issues are circulated through the lungs of me, mine, us, and they come out enriched by the oxygen of our self-centeredness and self-awareness.
I first came across Nostradamus in the 50’s. Most of the quatrains were interpreted as referring to mediaeval events or World War II or the Cold War. Indeed, so great was the impulse to interpret Nostradamus through the eyes of the present that I have often come across people who interpret the word “Hister” as “Hitler”. Since “Hister” was an old Latin word for the Danube River, the new interpretation was pretty much impossible before the 1930’s, at which time it became clear that the simple, uncomplicated, facile name of a river “Hister” was actually something else and old Nostradamus suffered from myopic far-seeing and prophecy.

Over the years, the interpretations of Nostradamus have changed to keep up with the times, the interpretations ascribed to events of WW II being changed into events of the Cold War or Vietnam War or whatever was in the mind of the translator/interpreter. Similarly the Book of Revelations, or Apocalypse, has been read and understood to apply to the reader and his or her generation and the end was coming soon. It is understandable since the language in the New Testament itself leads one to envisage a Second Coming not far off. How many generations have thought they will witness the end? Just about every one, I should think. Consider the concept of the Anti-Christ. At the present day, many have beliefs formed by scenarios of the Rapture and being left behind and the regime of the Anti-Christ. This would lead one to believe that the coming of the Anti-Christ is in the future. However, in 1552 Michael Servetus writes in his Christianismi Restitutio,
" With the heavenly kingdom restored to us, the wicked captivity of Babylon has been ended, and the Anti-Christ with his hosts destroyed.”
This may remind us that for a long time it was held by protesting Christians that the Pope was the Anti-Christ and the Church the whore of Babylon. If the Anti-Christ was destroyed 460 years ago, we should not be awaiting his coming. But we have to. We cannot control our self-centeredness. Humility is the opposite of self-centeredness.  

Humility is not other-centeredness. Humility is the silencing of the processes of the mind that see everything as centering about itself, the hub of the Universe. We have spoken before about a generation which believes in its own destruction. This belief is based on their own self-love and self-centrality. This belief is not based on the word of Jesus. It is not a revelation from God. It is their own self-love not able to let go of anything, even something as horrible as destruction. These are the arrogant; those who cannot let loose of anything. In the Magnificat we read that God will cast the mighty from their thrones and raise the lowly. The lowly, who could not hold anything, will inherit the Earth.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Emeril of Ideas

We all like having people speak well of us. I, however, find it troubling when they choose to punctuate their remarks with guffaws. Of course, I am writing of my nephews.

They started out lunch with things like, "Read your blog today. Good point on wiseguys." Guffaw. You get the idea. To them, I am "The Emeril of Ideas" -guffaw-and I should "kick it up a notch"-guffaw. Sometimes they say something nice, then "I don't think." This is similar to saying "Not", such as, "Your remarks were insightful...not!", but the expression they use comes from Laurel and Hardy's Chumps at Oxford. They prefer the original.
They also say " 9 day wonder " instead of Warhol's "15 minutes of fame". Same reason.

 On another blithering topic, for my birthday we went to a Japanese restaurant. I picked up my brother and his wife in front of their high rise, took a left, went 600 feet, took a left at a cul-de-sac ( or, what appeared to me to be so ), then straight into a parking garage. There were towers and brownstones and parking garages and culs-de-sac everywhere.
It was like driving in Alphaville. And I was Eddie Constantin. And my VW was a Ford. And a mechanical voice ( a voice filled with the sadness of the transmission shop ) repeated endlessly...

There was a large atrium being landscaped with trees and flora and rocks looking out on the real world through Buckminster Fuller compound-fly-eye panes of glass. I felt a great responsibility on my shoulders, looking bleakly and very much like Bruce Dern at the last trees of an Earth destroyed by whatever it was in Silent Running. I wondered if people could spend their lives within, never going outside. I thought Logan's Run. I asked if there were a cinema. The answers came in the past tense: was, were, used to be. The people could not support one. They had to go outside and drive a mile to the Cinema Paradiso. A guy in the elevator told us a joke about Adam and Eve. So I said that women were like ribs, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em! My wife became nervous that I had found my doppelganger and when the two of us unite our jejune stories, it would be like joining the Key Master and the Gate Keeper and Zool would be unleashed.

Get Pat

There is a great juxtaposition of events sometimes. At the present, I am reading Elmore Leonard's books and about the ceasefire in Lebanon. So, why does Pat Robertson come across like a wiseguy? Why does Pat Robertson think the war in Lebanon ended too soon? Not enough kill? The right guys weren't whacked? So, I'm sittin' with Pat Roberston in Scarelli's, the little pasta joint down by the docks, ya know? And Joey the Gimp comes up and sez, hey, Sticky Thumbs! Like, ya know, they call Pat Sticky Thumbs from when he used to count the collection money after services. He would throw the collection money in the air and say, What stays up, Lord, is yours. What falls is mine! So Pat sez, You talkin' to me?. Right from Taxi Driver, this Robert de Niro thing. So the Gimp gets legs, quick. And there's Sticky glaring at him. So he sits down. It's a shame, he sez. It's a shame. No respect. Like in the Middle East. A bunch of schmarters and towelheads and they can't even get Armageddon right. So I nod like I know what the hell he's talking about. The pasta's good, so what the hey? Now me, he sez, I'd nuke 'em all, get J-Town ( what Sticky calls Jerusalem ) and kick all the bastards out, Arab and Israeli both. They're both Semites, he sez. He sits backs in his chair, smilin'. He beamin' like a lightbulb. Then he points at me with his fork and gets all serious, like, and sez, We gotta go to the mattresses! Show 'em what war is! So I sez, what's my vig?, figurin' that if we go to the mattresses, what's in it for us? So Sticky's eyes sort of glaze over and he goes all quiet. The biggest pay-off ever, you small minded schmuck! The Second Coming! O.K. So I'm thinkin' who's backing Pat on this? The guys in Chicago? Or New York? Maybe the D.C. mob. When did Christiano-celebrities start being Wiseguys ?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Sturmabteilung's Place in Modern History

This headline is a pretentious display of pseudo-knowledge, creating the impression that something weighty will be discussed and all that will happen is that I will trot out my trained dog entourage of opinions.

My nephews say that my display of opinions and comments resembles old TV clips from the old Ed Sullivan Show of the acts of acrobats from China balancing dinnerware on sticks.
I am not clear whether this is pro-me or contra-me. I had not the heart to ask for clarification, fearing some further analogies, perhaps to Floyd the Barber this time.

I was reading The Nation again, this time:
which is an article entitled Locked and Loaded
written by Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse

It deals with a Mr. Simcox who apparently was the guiding force behind the founding of the Minutemen, a quasi-vigilante group who patrolled the borders in the absence of government patrols.
The article ends:
 Yet these days, what really fires up Simcox is something other than nativist paranoia. Delivering his spiel at Wild Bill's on that Saturday night in June, Simcox looked and sounded almost bored by his own message--until he started extemporizing about Arizona Senator John McCain, that is, and how McCain's immigration reform plan amounts to a "shamnesty." "We need to keep that man away from the White House!" Simcox boomed. The Georgia Republicans cheered and hooted. And when Simcox got carried away enough to declare, "I may just run for his seat in the Senate," their adulation became a roar.  
The points of interest for me are:
1) paramilitary groups take over when and where governments cannot function. This may be totally unbelievable for present day US of A, the most powerful country in history, yet there it is. Parallel: Germany post World War I.

2)even though our President refers constantly to Islamo-fascism, it is not clear to me what that concept means. I gather he means to point a finger at Bin Laden and say something like " He and his ilk !" but that does not seem to be what is being said. "Fascism" appears to be a term meaning "Really, really, really bad guy." and could be applied to Hitler and Saddam Hussein.
However, then we would have to apply it to General Franco also, and there would be a difference of opinion on that score. Fascism, whatever it is, requires the ARMY for external violence, the RICH and LARGE BUSINESS CLASS for economic activity, and ORGANIZATION for internal violence.
The Internal Violence group will bully and beat up internal dissent. This is a job the Army has no taste for, nor do the politicians wish the Army ( possibly with its own ideas) operating within national borders. Parallel: the Sturmabteilung in Germany.

 3) The populace must be compliant. They do not have to be insane. They merely have to be operating at the usual insanity level most of us operate at.

4) Fascism requires a propaganda of fear and violence to justify the workings of the group performing the internal violence.

Now this we already have. The histrionics of various right-wing ideo-poltroons seems to be a reality show entitled "Who Wants to be Julius Streicher?" We have mentioned the phenomenon of Coulter and outrageous comments that seem to incite to violent acts, specializing in the language of violence and discord, catering to the fears of her auditors, relishing the dismay in the faces of the damned as she pricks them with her sulfurous trident. Perhaps she wishes to be a theoretician; the Alfred Rosenberg of the neo-cons.
Note that in the New York Times diatribes, there was a comparison to the other Rosenbergs. I always had trouble with Jewish names beginning with the letter "R". For all I can recall, Arnold Rothstein lost the plans for the atomic bomb to Uncle Joe Stalin in a poker game. Parallel: Alfred Rosenberg, Uncle Joe Goebbels All interesting developments.

I do not mean to imply that Mr. Simcox has any such intentions. I would firmly expect that his organization - if it were to form the nexus of a Sturmabteilung - would be stripped from his control and he would disappear in a "Night of the Long Knives".


Henry Ford : 2

Reading an essay in The Nation about Natural Capitalism. I believe this is what Henry Ford had in mind with his vision of town and "cottage" industry. It has been ignored because the Return on Investment isn't rapid enough. We need that Return; not our grandchildren ! ( That's why we pass along the increasing debt to them.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Henry Ford

I am reading a paper by Nicholas Humphrey and this act is a great pleasure. He reminds me of Voltaire. ( Having said this, I immediately flash on Talladega Nights, having seen it recently, and laugh at the satire on our deprecation of Frenchy things.)
He repeats an apocryphal story about Henry Ford ( there is only 1 Henry Ford, so I do not require roman numerals or other indicators as to which person I refer) wherein Mr. Ford sent fellows around the country to scrap yards looking for remnants of his Model T to determine whether any parts were still serviceable. They discovered that the kingpins of the vast majority of Model T junkers they found were still in extrememly good condition. Mr. Ford immediately wrote a memo stating that all parts used in their cars be of lesser quality and not last for such a long time.

This is a tale of the present age, not of Henry Ford and his time. It is not only apocryphal of Mr. Ford, it is a complete fabrication and misrepresentation. The present day auto companies would do this in a second. Not so Henry Ford.

We make a grave mistake when we try to re-draft the history of the past in the misguided lineaments of this, our present day. My wife and I just read the memoirs of Mr. Ford's chef at Fair Lane. The man's son is a neighbor of my parents. He attended elementary school in Greenfield Village, if you can imagine such a wonderful Tom Sawyer type of existence. Mr. Ford was interested in food and health, expending efforts of soy products with Dr. G.W.Carver. Mr. Ford's insistence that his workers not smoke and not drink used to be considered quaint and intrusive. Now it appears to be enlightened and a fringe benefit.

We want to take a one or two day trip in the area of the Huron River in Michigan where Henry Ford dreamed of small village industry: a factory to make certain auto components located in one village, power being supplied by hydroelectric dams across the rivers and creeks. Not factory towns. Towns with a small factory, on a human scale, with clean and renewable energy.
Some of the dams still exist. Portions of some of the factories exist in truncated form. It is a vision of America which is enchanting and just too much like our memories of Twilight Zone's Willoughby or Ray Bradbury's Rocket Summer to be real.

If you visit Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum, the trip would be complete with a visit to Mr. Ford's vision of American industrialism, an industrialism which would have attempted to avoid the worst of the evils of the industrial systems up to his time. Henry Ford built his cars to last. It is attested by many that Model Ts were notoriously long lived.

Hence,the apochryphal story above is nonsense. Henry Ford's memory has been corrupted by the present day which recalls only what it wants to recall: that is, a picture of itself seen within the soul of a truly great individual. The Ford Company of the present bears no semblance to Henry Ford's vision.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Battle of Algiers

While in Toronto recently, I saw the film "The Battle of Algiers". This is a great film and has a great history, being the fight of colonial France to hang onto power in Algeria. This is a chapter of history most of us would greet with blank stares, knowing little and caring less about such historical bunkum.

I also saw Jean-Luc Godard's "Contempt" which title must explain the director's attitude to the audience, for it took the concept of boredom to new heights. Even the presence of Brigitte Bardot could not save it. Even the presence of Fritz Lang could not save it. It was evocative of Fellini's "8 1/2" . But it was "8 1/2" done by a monk suffering from accidie or terminal ennuie.
Jack Palance was in it. Get the picture?
Fritz Lang seemed to do nothing except say wise old sayings. But we must remember that Lang was a great director, not an actor. This was Godard's homage to Lang, get the old guy out of retirement, slap him into a poorly written film that had no plot, shoot the damn thing and slip out of town. Now, what does the film "The Battle of Algiers", dealing with the confrontation between a western society and a militant society of predominantly Muslim people, have to offer us today by way of insight? I suppose you'll just have to see it.

A Christian Jihad

I have learned how to write headlines that mean nothing but have an incredible amount of traction and pure got'cha-ness.

What could be the meaning of Christian Jihad, you wonder, especially since the founder of Christianity said something or other about warfare. (Or, did He?) Perhaps Jesus said all wars are bad except just wars, just wars being those you clear with God first, just as our own leaders cleared Iraq with their outrageous golden calf or barrel of oil.
I'm sure we would prefer Queequeg's little idol to the God who winked at the start of the Iraqi Attacki. So, the headline doesn't mean anything. It is outrageous and eye-catching. I pulled a Coulter on you! Or a Krauthammer, or whatever oddball intellect is in fashion today.

What we do have is an interesting discussion on race, Green vs. Connally in 1971, and the birth of the religious right:

I do not take this article as an indictment of the religious right. The overarching desire for power expressed by their own lips is an adequate self-condemnation of those who set their own intemperate desires up on the altar and worship them.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Friend and Ally

I saw my friend and ally on the TV last night.
Imagine my surprise. I had been his friend for most of my life...still am for that matter, but I have other friends, too, not to mention that I am more friendly to the Truth than I am to any one particular friend.

Anyhow, my friend and ally had bombed a refugee camp, killing a couple of people.
He defended his act by saying he was after a really bad guy ( not, however, Saddam Hussein this time) who had a house there. It was also said he had bombed a number of families' houses because they had rather large missiles concealed under their breakfast table.

Residential buildings have been destroyed by this madcap rascal because (and you'd laugh if you could hear him tell it) because another really bad guy (no, not Saddam Hussein) - a really, really bad guy was visiting his aunt in the building. Actually this bad egg was lobbing bombs at my friend and ally and it was all about something so long ago you'd think they would have forgotten about it.
He was at least as bad a guy as my friend and ally.

What do I think about how this will all come out? We have not had the vision, charity, nor determination in 60 years to amend this situation. In that time we had moral leaders, so... No way today.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Emotion of Truth: 3

People ask me how can I hold that religious statements cannot be true nor false.

Well, I do not think you can prove them to be true or false. Truth needs a process of verifying whatever it is you're talking about.
I have Faith. I hold things to my heart and feel a sense of certainty. I do not have a set of beliefs that I can post upon a church door. I have Faith. Since my Faith is not dependent upon some arbitrary process of proof or argument, it cannot be undermined by someone else's poor opinion of it.

I can speak the name of Jesus without feeling like a wimp, nor feeling some overwhelming divine epiphany which makes me speak in tongues. I am tolerant not because it is the fashion, but because that I know that everyone else has the same sense of certainty about their Faith as I do about mine.


Lebanon on August 5, 2006

I have lost track of the days of the Unpleasantness in Lebanon, so I'll just go by dates.

I'm not trying to be supercilious by calling it an Unpleasantness, because I must resist the temptation to add my voice to the chorus of outrage. The perpetrators of such horrors will not amend themselves by angry confrontation. In such confrontation, they find support for their own anger and destruction.

Remember General Dyer and the massacre at Jallianwalla Bagh, or Amritsar. " How shall the dying children apply for aid, General Dyer?"

If you have seen the film "Gandhi", you will recall that following this question, there was a close-up of Edward Fox as General Dyer and there was silence for about 8 seconds. 8 seconds of silence in a film of 24 frames per second makes even the most entranced come out of their involvement with the story and begin to ask "What's going on? Why has the movie stopped?"

When will we ask what is going on? When the WTC was attacked, we had Bin Laden to apprehend and capture. One man. Perhaps a few followers. Now we have created a disaster in Iraq which is a School for Terror. Now we have countenanced the bloody charade in Lebanon which will be a University of Terror. I feel much less safe than I did in late 2001.


Friday, August 04, 2006

The Devil

Sometimes it is hard to know what to make of the Devil, whether the concept means an entity or some sort of metaphor.

I am usually brief, if nothing else, so I will give a brief answer. The Devil is ourselves.

There is no being that is more knowledgeable and intimate with what's going on in our minds than we ourselves. There is nothing capable of more harm to those we love than ourselves. The notion of Devil comes from our incessant attempts to deceive ourselves as to our intentions, motives, and actions.
We project our evil "somewhere out there" as Captain Kirk would say. So we end up searching for the Devil "out there" so we may defeat him.
Since he's not "out there", we never really discover his hide-out.

We have a similar, yet different problem with God. We do not try to conceal our so-called "godly" acts from ourselves, much less from others. We try to emphasize what we take to be our good acts. We create an entire stage-play of how tight we are with God and let it run for everyone to see. We hide from the Devil, who is us. We conceal God with posters and billboards proclaiming how great we are.

No wonder...