Search This Blog

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Contrast

Seng Ts'an 7th century third Chinese Chan patriarch. "...The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease." Republicans and Limbaugh conservatives "...You're either with us or against us..." We see what the second option above has wrought. It is at every hand.

On Closing Guantanamo Prison

I reprint a poem I wrote in 2007 about Guantanamo. It was based on a garden I tended among the construction rubble of my new housing development. I dug water courses to irrigate my wild plants. Upon one, there was a colony of small creatures, looking like aphids, of a orange-red color huddled on the apex of the plant. To me, they looked for all the world like the prisoners I had seen in photos from Guantanamo - or Gitmo - prison in Cuba. They were there for most of the year; they huddled in the sun, in the rain, and maintained their perilous perch even in the strong winds that bent their domestic stalk close to the ground. Then - maybe late August, there were ladybugs there. Now maybe they became ladybugs, or maybe the ladybugs ate them. But..not knowing what else to do, I prayed. The name of the poem is Father Ghraib = Abu Ghraib, the literal meaning, and Mother Gitmo. I suppose I was thinking of Bertolt Brecht and Mother Courage, and maybe I thought of Kurt Weil, also. The ending is on a note of fatal fascination, for now as we will release the prisoners held for years, we justly fear they will hate us. Of course, many will. That is the price we must pay for what we have done. So we shall wait and see. (note: I somewhere refer to them as "juvenile aphids". I was not aware at the time that the US government admitted to holding at least 12 juveniles at Guantanamo: http://current.com/items/89536309/u_s_admits_it_held_12_juveniles_at_guantanamo.htm )

Father Ghraib and Mother Gitmo Behind the garage there is a garden, in the wastelands. The builders stole the soil; they sold it to pay the landscapers crew! Water channels dug into sand and stone, through broken concrete and asphalt, recycled crap from everywhere. Experiment to see what will grow… builders just throw trees into holes, toss flowers into trenches… no mindfulness, no husbandry no botany, no lasting beauty… trees…symbols on an architect’s sketch: seen from above pointillistic circles with bent branches twisting around a circle like swastikas deformed. But something grows in this waste land! A tree surrogate with leaves like elephant ears of a wide florescent green on a stem thinly veined in burgundy kermes; a desert spike with compounded eyes of saffron lids bepetalled; walking sticks with purple crowns, mille foil clouds, creeping parasols, great pendant hearts, explosions of the briar, Hemlocks where we hang our hearts; covert agents of desire, spies of reproduction, texting with chromo-semaphores. The fairies pippin, Mab’s nonpareil, spanish pearmain, grizzly muscadine, early Margaret and scarlet crofton; all fruits of rich imagination! In the midst of this, on the verge of a small isle in the streams, stands a vulgar hyssop unseen among the vibrant pageantry. United around its upper course juvenile aphids clutch and huddle in prison suits of blood-orange: silently there and nowhere else… and wait for the time of their fulfillment. A denumerable crowd sits as if in dreaming prayer, bidden to the masjid of stinging nettle and menthol, alone and stripped of their imam whose sermon they cannot ken. I watch in fatal fascination this epithalamion symbiotic, not knowing if we rise as ladybirds to dry our wings… or swarm to our demise.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lukipela's Railroad

Sho'a and Holocaust

In the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/29/world/europe/29pope.html?_r=1 Pope, Expressing Solidarity With Jews, Reacts to Uproar Over a Holocaust Denier ...But tensions remained, a day after Israel’s highest religious body sent a letter to the Vatican asking to postpone an annual bilateral meeting and voicing “sorrow and pain” at the pope’s decision to welcome the bishop back into the fold. On Saturday, the pope revoked the excommunication of four schismatic bishops from a traditionalist sect, including Bishop Richard Williamson, who in an interview broadcast in Sweden last week and widely available online said he believed that no more than 300,000 Jews perished during World War II, none of them in gas chambers. Oded Wiener, the director general of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, praised the pope’s comments on Wednesday as “a giant step forward” and “an extremely important statement, not only for the Jewish people, but also for all the world.” But on Tuesday, the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, Mr. Wiener sent a letter to the Vatican saying that unless the bishop issued a public apology and recanted his “deplorable statements,” it would be “very difficult for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to continue its dialogue with the Vatican as before.” ... As noted before, not all Jews acknowledge the legitimacy of Israel. However, Israel is in a sense founded on the Holocaust, and the Holocaust has become the defining event in the holy history of Israel. As for me, I affirm - as do all other right-thinking people - that the Holocaust did occur, and probably in the size and proportions that the people who are vested in it would have us believe. However, we absolutely dispute your interpretation of its significance and meaning. In particular, we disagree with the Christian Zionists who shamelessly use the Holocaust as a stage device to set the scene for their own Apocalyptic Follies of 1948. Period.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pumbedita

A Piranesi Panopticon Prison 

I actually had studied a bit about the great Jewish Academy in Pumbedita, which flourished in the Middle East from about 250 A.D. until 1100A.D.
After the fall of Jerusalem and the dispersion of Jews throughout the world in 70 A.D., the centers in what used to be Babylon, Sura and Pumbedita, were the centers of scholarship and were the incubators of the Babylonian Talmud. Pumbedita was founded by Judah ben Ezekiel (יהודה בן יחזקאל) who was also known as Rav Yehuda.

I have been doing some research on the war. It happens that - wonder of wonders - Pumbedita is none other than Falluja, or Fallujah, if you prefer. ( The final "h" in Arabic words is usually just an orthographic device to portray the Arabic " t'a marbuta " and is not really an "h" at all, it disappears in the plural of words, becoming a "t" or t'a.)
All this time, and I do not recall hearing once about that connection. I suppose it is not very interesting to most people.

Having said this, I hear that Pope Benedict XVI has reversed the excommunication of four episcopal members of the Society of St. Pius X, one of whom, Bishop Williamson, is a Holocaust denier. Jewish history is full of wonders and signs, and it is full of horrors and terrors, and it is full of the crockery of everyday life.
The Holocaust was a horror and a wonder. However, the Holocaust does not define in any discernible way the meaning of Jewishness. The Holocaust comes not before Moses, not before Mt. Sinai, although there are those who would like you to believe so.
There are those that would wish that an entire new era and time of Judaism begins with the Holocaust, and the Holocaust is the mark of the new age of a new Jewishness. I do not so believe. I vividly recall my shock at discovering that Holocaust denial was a crime in certain countries. I vividly recall my disbelief at hearing that a man was actually in jail in Austria for this crime of belief, this crime of knowledge, this outrageous crime against what all good people know.
How fitting that the tools of the Spanish Inquisition be used against unbelief: throw them into dungeons just as the Medieval Jews were thrown ! At that moment, my entire life underwent a great change of perspective. I began to put aside more of the blinders with which I had been afflicted by those in power.

(And speaking of blinders, I have no sympathy for the Society of Pius X. Nor Pius IX, for that matter. Prison Guards of the mind.)
--

A Theme Gone Awry



My theme was like this:
The Poor and all their Hustlings and Machinations and Skulduggery spent trying to outwit, fool, and scam the Man, the Rich, the Banks, etc., is symbolized by Brer Rabbit;
The Government, seemingly educated and erudite, yet basically a scoundrel, is symbolized by Brer Fox;
 The Big Banks, stupid, slow, and brainless - always being tricked into bad deals by the Poor (i.e., Brer Rabbit ), and being lectured to and whupped by the Government is Brer Bear.

The problem is that all the TARP money that Brer Fox has given to Brer Bear has been used to enrich Brer Bear and his fellow Bears, and precious little has been used for its intended goal. In this, Treasury Secretary Paulson - like Alan Greenspan before him - had "faith" in the goodness and wisdom of Wall Street and Big Banks.
However, Brer Bear outfoxed Brer Fox.
Brer Rabbit? He jus' laughin'.
(He also sayin' not to throw him into that Foreclosure Patch. That must be yet another scam the Poor and Improvident are fixin' to run on us!)

--

Mythic Landscapes: Uqbar Roads Less Travelled


The Porte of Heaven through the garage of Sidi Ahmed or Saint Mehdi. Not often opened, but still on the UPS site as a viable address.
Legend has it that Saint Ahmed, or Mehdi as some say, owned the first Model T in Uqbar. He is reported to have run a soup kitchen in the Great Depression, and to have been bodily taken to Paradise in order to escape a bad debt owed to the Mob.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Hidden Face Of Evil

Among any group of people, there are bad ones.
From the BBC:  
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7852025.stm
Israel 'must sack' military rabbi  

A human rights group in Israel has called for the military's chief rabbi to be dismissed for alleged incitement against Palestinians. The group, Yesh Din, said Rabbi Avichai Rontzki distributed a booklet to troops in the Gaza offensive, which advised them they were fighting "murderers". The booklet, citing an ultra-nationalist rabbi, told soldiers to show no mercy to a "cruel enemy". The Israeli military has not yet commented on the issue. Yesh Din, which says it is dedicated to defending human rights in the Occupied Territories, called on Defence Minister Ehud Barak to dismiss the rabbi. It said the booklet's contents could be "interpreted as a call to act outside the confines of international laws of war".

We must be aware that our unquestioning support of Israel involves support of this evil. We no longer have time to pretend otherwise. How intertwined are we in good and evil? There are investigations over the use of phosphorous shells by Israel, a substance that leaves horrible burns and wounds. The USA used such weapons in Iraq, specifically in Falluja. At first, the USA denied it. Later, it was admitted to be true. There is a certain amount of truth in the adage "Birds of a feather..."

Therefore, it is very important that you choose your friends wisely, and that each of you insist that the other be as righteous as possible.

--

Monday, January 26, 2009

Night Of Ashura: Laylat Ashurah

In case you missed it, Ashurah has come and gone again. Here are some photos of Shia celebration in Iraq of the Night of Ashura:

An Inquiry Into Crimes Of The Previous Administration

This will not occur. The reason given is that we must preserve social concord and peace; we need to cooperate together to meet the future. The truth is that we do not know Right from Wrong anymore. If such an Inquiry were to occur, it would make our Moral Irrelevance clear to everyone, and that can not be allowed.

No Country For Old Men

 
...The other thing is the old people, and I keep comin back to them. They look at me like its always a question...You see em and they dont even look confused. They just look crazy. That bothers me. Its like they woke up and they dont know how they got where they're at. Well, in a manner of speakin they dont...

I see Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men as an allegory for the present; quite truly our world has become no country for old men, nor women, nor children either.
The story is set in the 1980's, and the early days of the drug wars are used to create the Inferno where every man's hand is raised against another, and the rules of society and religion has broken down. The lure of money leads men to the desert, and ultimately to their destruction. Once we have crossed into the desert, we find it is inhabited by killers and men of violence who hold life cheap.

The good man who has crossed into the desert becomes the prey of killers, and to survive must become a killer himself. He causes the death of his wife; he causes the physical and spiritual death of all whom he has intimately loved, for the transition to the desert destroys the man and his spirit which is tied to all mankind. Groups of killers clash at night. All deaths are certain, for even those killed by mistake are discovered to be corrupted by violent greed. And it will grow to take over countries, as we and Mr. McCarthy know: Colombia and Afghanistan are now both narco-states. We ask: do they feed narco-empires?  

How much of the mindlessness that led to our present economic malaise was fed by substance abuse? I know that back in the 80's, cocaine was the drug of choice on Wall Street. (Certainly, rules such as those allowing insane amounts of leverage let one wonder whether the minds behind the rules were clean.) And how much of the money was narco-money being laundered and hidden?

The sheriff of the story foresees violent greed growing like pestilence and taking over the narrative land where he has lived his life. When he meets other law men in the course of their work, they talk and shake their heads over the breakdown of law and order and civility. In the desert, in Gaza, men kill each other, and they kill civilians, too, on both sides. In the desert of the financial system, men kill each other, and they kill dreams and squander lives and resources.

These sins which lay at the very basis of the 21st century must be removed: the stateless Palestinian and the Inequity of Wealth and Well-being. These are the bases of our godless idolatry, these are the affronts which have been committed for 30 years or more - the space of at least one generation. Otherwise, tell the women to get the children off the streets, for it will continue to be no country for old men, nor anyone else.

--

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Montag Investments, LLC

I am one of those cursed with deep pot-holes, but not blessed with deep pockets, money-wise. Since there seem to be a good number of us - 5% of the populus Americanus being rich while the remaining 95% are schlubs, schlemiels, and goniffs - we need to come up with a way to part the rich from their geld. Ahah! This Bernie Madoff thing is just the key! Obviously the rich - of the deep pockets - are as stupid, if not stupider, than we of the shallow pockets. How can this work to our advantage? Simple. Set up a Ponzi scheme and design it to appeal to the country club set. If properly done, we should be able to get, oh, $ 6 billion after a few years. Of course, that would only be about $20 apiece if we share and share alike, but the idea is sound.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gaza

"We must tell the world that self rule, sovereignty and ALL the rights of the Palestinian people, must be restored throughout historic Palestine! This is a requirement of Jewish ethics and values! Jewish justice demands the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes, towns, villages and cities throughout Palestine! Tell the world, loudly and clearly, that you support Palestinian statehood over the ENTIRE Holy Land —— not despite your Jewish identity, but because of it."

Whose words? This speech was delivered by Anti Zionist Orthodox Jews at the “Emergency Protest to Stop the Massacre in Gaza” rally, Rockefeller Center, New York City, December 27, 2008, 2.00 PM and again at a Protest in London on December 28, 2008. It was originally delivered in Durban, South Africa by Rabbi Y.D. Weiss. It may be found at: http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Speeches/20081227.cfm.

Emergency Protest Demonstration Against the Zionist Massacre in Gaza December 28, 2008

Once again, the Western World was silent while the poor and innocent suffered. At least the Jews stood up for righteousness.

photos: Neturei Karta International

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Apex Of Creation

ON FAITH  
Catholic America  
Anthony Stevens-Arroyo  
The Pope Meets Chardin  
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/catholicamerica/2008/07/the_pope_meets_chardin.html

Pope Benedict's words on July 17, before a crowd of more than 140,000 on a dock in Sydney harbor, provided ratification of the vision of Teilhard de Chardin. Though belated and indirect, the pontiff's testimony showed that the Catholic view of ecology differs from the "stewardship of the earth" approach of many other Christians. I will not try to "out-wikipedia Wikipedia" about Chardin, a Jesuit priest who died in 1955. Suffice it to say that he developed a comprehensive -- almost mystical -- view of the seamless web of life that now frames Catholic theology.

But rather than restrict his vision to the microcosmic, Teilhard simultaneously embraced the macrocosmic. The pope did not cite Chardin's book, The Divine Milieu, in his Sidney discourse to young Catholics, but he did relate the preservation of the planet to the survival of human life in the womb. This is how the pope met Chardin, making defense of all life a Catholic duty. The French Jesuit had filtered his preparation as a paleontologist through his Catholic faith.

Chardin asserted that nature has evolved inexorably towards complexity and consciousness. Rather than set humankind outside of nature as a caretaker or steward of things animal, vegetable and mineral, Chardin considered human being to be the element of creation that had attained consciousness of itself.

Chardin's The Divine Milieu described knowledge of God as the essential purpose of the universe. Chardin attached non-human beings to faith by teleology, a Thomistic concept. Without abandoning the human science that explains natural causes empirically, Teilhard's Catholicism reserved conceptual space for faith. Harmony in the cooperative existence of all created things, he emphasized, constitutes the ultimate direction of all life, its Final Cause.

When in his Sydney address, Pope Benedict called humankind the "apex of God's creation," he repeated the Teilhardian view. I suspect that the intellectual correspondence between the Jesuit and the pontiff is much closer than has been recognized until now.
In any case, I believe it sets a new concern of Catholic theology. To understand the difference between this Catholic view of ecology and the more pedestrian "steward of nature" used in many Protestant circles, consider this analogy:T
The steward stands beside a tomato plant and waters it to maturity. If something happens to the tomato bush, the steward simply plants another one. In each operation, he/she stands outside of nature and its product. For Chardin and the pope, however, the comparison is with a person who lives in a house he/she has built, high in the upper branches of a huge and growing tree. If the tree is destroyed, the person and where he/she lives also comes crashing down.
While both models are laudable, the urgency of caring for nature is much higher in the example of the tree-house than in the one about the tomato plant. Such is the distance between this vision of Pope Benedict and a stewardship model... ----------

Huzzah for de Chardin! Huzzah for the Pontiff! Another round of Mazels over here, waiter, if you please!

Pastor Warren's Invocation

First off, I refuse to refer to media talking heads as "pundits" or "commentators"; they are properly a class of serviteurs, a sort of servant to assist us in our understanding of the complex issues that tend to fry our neurons; serviteurs parlants, or "talking service personnel".

That is spot on.
So, a cable TV aid-to-understanding person wondered whether Pastor Warren's invocation would be something to appeal to all, and not emphasize his own Jesus based beliefs.
Of course, the Pastor did mention Jesus by name, even though he had mentioned all the other major denominations, so they concluded that Pastor Warren remained true to his evangelical base. A nice way of politicizing an un-political event, a prayer.

Furthermore, it completely eluded this serviteur that early on Pastor Warren mentioned the religious belief in the One God.... Compassionate and Merciful. Anyone who is anyone around here in Uqbar knows that the Compassionate and the Merciful are the translation for "ar-rahmaan ar-raheem" as it occurs in the Quran. It is a standard formula and there is no missing where it comes from...unless you are a serviteur on cable TV in the USA, that is.

--

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20 2009: Fireworks Summer

In the middle of a cold, hard, and snowy winter, there is a sudden warming. Our celebration calls for fireworks, and the warmth from their red glare warms the air and melts the snow, and the Winter of our Discontent gives way to the Winter of our Re-creation and Re-affirmation to the real principles with which this nation was created.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obama's Whistle Stop Ride And His Critics

Yesterday, Saturday January 17 2009, I was talking to my daughter. She had CNN on her television. My conversation with her trailed off as I became aware of what was going on; I simply dropped the dialogue ball and let it roll to the corner of the gym ( allegorical gym - that is, we were not actually in a gym ) as I became enchanted by what was going on. The camera crews were expecting Barak Obama in Baltimore. He was coming in by train, and retracing part of Abraham Lincoln's journey to Washington. There was to be a stop in Baltimore with a brief speech, after which the train would continue on to Washington. I was quite surprised. Now the reason I was surprised was this: I was watching part of a novel I had been dilatorily playing with ( "working on" is too strong an expression ) for 20 years or more! In my story, the main character - a war vet -suffered some sort of head injury, which led to him identifying with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was not an out and out delusion for him; it was more like Chance Gardiner in Being There: the identification was more of a tonal thing, and much of the FDR effect depended upon the people with whom he came into contact and their interpretations of him. His wife, distraught at first, became more accepting of the situation. The guy was more stable and reliable, had gotten serious about politics, and seemed to have a future. She began some philanthropic work, and during her time with the poor, she became more and more to resemble Eleanor Roosevelt, at least in her social interests. He enters politics. He succeeds. Famously. Of course, when he ultimately wins the US presidential election, he travels to the inauguration by train, whistle stopping along the route to "speechify" to the loyal supporters.
HST Does Some Speechifying
Oh. I left something out. He wins the election in spite of the fact that people become aware of his FDR impersonation. In fact, his enemies early on use this identification with FDR against him with advantage. HOWEVER, what changes things considerably is the fact that the USA is thrown into a severe economic downturn!!!!! I cannot say here that I had worked out some sub prime scheme, thank heavens, but the economic situation was to be created by greed and mismanagement and......too many wars!!!!!! People I talked to about this thought it an impossible scenario. America was way too strong, and we knew how to take care of those things. Another Depression was way too far fetched. You can't just throw in a completely impossible Depression in the 21st century just to move your story plot along! So, there I was watching my novel. To be very honest, the last time I thought of this novel was in the late winter or early spring of last year, 2008, and I thought of it in conjunction with Barack Obama. The meandering of my mind went something like it might be a good book to finish up and it might help Mr. Obama in his election bid. I suppose I would have included some trenchant criticism of the Bush Administration for it to achieve such a dreamed of effect.
So, there I was watching my novel. I sat down. I thought this was probably a good indication, for in my novel the new FDR does indeed turn the country around. I prayed to clear my mind. That's what I pray for: to clear my mind. (Rather like clearing the palate from the cloying tastes which accumulate through the day - clear the mind of the mental claptrap - and I try not to think too much at times like these. I try to clear everything out and return to my early dawn consciousness that I had when God first gave me life.) A Good Omen, all around I'd say. A bit later, of course, FOX was constrained by the Law of Constipated Minds to have a round table of quirky t-heads to comment on the weighty things we had just seen, but were too brutish to comprehend. Rather like we have not been out of Dr. Moreau's House of Pain long enough to use our newly augmented animal-human wits. Of course, the monstrous Crab of Krauthammer was there, exquisitely bedecked and twitching the manta ray slits he has for nostrils. He audaciously opined that he thought it all smacked too much of Lincoln. Just like my novel. I shall use that, "It all smacks too, too much of FDR, don't ya knoooow." I have a sudden optimism. BUT more than that... Back when the sub prime thingie surfaced, I believe I wrote that I had been writing gloom and doom for a good spell, but suddenly I knew where the lethal blow was coming from; to paraphrase Ghostbusters, I knew which form of the Destroyer we had chosen. Now I not only have a feeling of optimism, but more than that, I have an inkling of where our Salvation is coming from. Just an inkling. It is not a man, but the idealism for which that one man is the symbol. And symbol in the sense of carrier of meaning, not symbol in the sense of something that stands for something else. We are in Symbolic Times. There will be great good.....and you know how to finish this sentence to balance it out. Be strong.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Christmas Conspiracy


During my visit to my parents just before Christmas, I discovered that my mother has a new conspiracy theory. In the second week before Christmas, she had seen many inflatable Xmas displays in the front yards in Port Desespoir. Inflated snowmen, inflated Santas, inflated deer, elves with an inflated opinion of their toy-making abilities. (There is a annual contest in Port Desespoir as to who can have the most lavish display of lights and outside decorations. I believe OPEC is this year's sponsor.)
By the end of the second week, these robust air engorged holiday fancies had littered the landscape, deflated, forlorn, strewn about in contortions no inflatable had ever been designed for. So, who was KILLING the inflatables?

Her immediate neighbors were no help, for they themselves had a display of inflatable reindeer and Santa which they inflated manually - or orally - or without the aid of air compressor! As a consequence, they were usually out of it, or out of breath, until New Year's. She broached the subject to her husband, my father, but his "Hmmm..." , no matter how sincerely mystified he could mutter it, was no water to her thirst for the truth. So my mother, who, by the way, is an avid reader of mystery novels, put on her Miss Marple persona and set out to find the culprit. She had already interrogated a number of local worthies. The butcher, the baker, the banker. The banker, a decidedly oleaginous character, actually had the effrontery to tell her that all was right, do not worry, things could not be better in the world of exterior holiday foo-fra. "My dear lady, these inflatable symbols of the season are designed to deflate upon the rising of the sun!"

Given the high price of compressed air, he said, at sunset there is a chip within the inflatables which " IN-spires them" and turns on their higher faculties; that is, to say, the strings of lights...which gladdens our hearts! And when rosy-fingered dawn stretches into the sky, this same MASTER chip bids its faithful servants to deflate...oh, deflate, breathe out, gentle rolly-pollies! ( whisper) lights out. sleep. rest....

Rolly-pollies?! I was not present to register my mother's undoubted disdain for this monstrous nonsense. She has been around. She is on the Beulah Land side of 80 years and does the Sunday Times crossword every week. She knows that when a person reaches the age of about 75 or so, every bank, utility, and drug company initiate a program of mistakes and flubs, backed up with maddeningly evasive automated telephone systems, expressly designed to scam, trick, deceive, and exasperate those old numbers who have been their customers for a half century or more. She immediately smelled a rat. An allegorical rat, that is. Not a real rodent. Why was the banker not telling the truth?

To set things in their proper time frame, I drove into town when the price of gas was $2.19 per gallon. I saw a few inflatables taking a break, recumbent on patchy lawns. I had already caught sight of inflatables in distress by my house. I had merely thought a good citizen had taken it upon himself to do us all a service and go about clobbering the Snow Goons littering the front yards.
This was all before I had learned that the Rev. Franklin Graham was going to have an inflatable of his father made. I began to take inflatables seriously. So my father and I drove about on our errands, keeping our eyes peeled for clues. We went to the Super K for cat food. My Mother had written "Seafood Medley" on a piece of paper. She had written that it was on sale at $8.49 per 18 lb. bag. Of course, this was a test. With the amount of detail she had supplied us, one would actually have thought that once we reached Super K, there would actually be a cat food department with some 18 lb. bags of "Seafood Medley" for sale.

It was a test. If we were going to be her assistants, she had to test our acumen. Of course, there was no Seafood Medley. There was something called Oceans O' Heaven. Working quickly, I decided that if indeed the apple did not fall far from the tree, and, running the video backwards, the tree did not grow far from where the apple fell, then she probably just made up the name Seafood Medley, wrote it down as if it were gospel, affirmed its existence four or five times, and sent us out. That's what I do; something, something, fish...something, something, various and several...ah! Seafood Medley, and all that it really says is " tuna". We returned home.

We saw a scene of a crime. It was a Pere Noel Desouffle. I hastily averted my gaze; too late; I had seen the hideously detumescent face of Claus! We returned home to make plans. The price of gas was $ 2.45 per gallon. We drove slowly on the way to dinner. We drove on roads where but a week ago a happy population of balloon buffoons bobbed and lived their brief existence. All gone. All killed. Yes, my mother had finally mentioned the unmentionable: the inflatables were the victims of conspiracy. (Since we have never looked at inflatables so seriously before, we found it difficult to tell the difference between an inflatable and a rigid, yet transparent, decoration. We devised a nomenclature: inflatables were "blimps" and the other rigid thingeys were "dirigibles".)

We drove through the gore. Well, since the inflatables' life blood, as it were, is actually air, the "gore" was pretty much invisible, and you had to use your imagination a good bit to see it. Had some disgruntled competitor in the annual Christmas Decoration contest taken an ice pick and Trotsky-ized all his neighbors' inflatables? And, mentioning Trotsky, had the order perhaps come down from somewhere higher up? From some malevolent Stalin of the Inflatables? There is much more sleuthing to be done.

If my younger brother had not been in jail, he would have been a prime suspect. He had once hatched the brainy scheme to attach the inflatables to the ground with stronger wire and fill them with HYDROGEN gas! He was in what the family refers to euphemistically as his Lakehurst, New Jersey phase and thought that the Inflatables hovering just above the ground would add an amusing and idolatrous touch to the proceedings. Of course, you know what happened next. An entire city block of Inflatables exploded one night, lighting up the sky for miles and rendering Port Desespoir visible to the Mir space station. The local paper ran a headline the next day " Oh, the humanity...!"

image1: die ganze Welt is aus Papier
image2:B.E.L.T.
a reprint from a happier time

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Cause Of The Sub Prime Mess

We still hear from various right-wingie types about how the poor were the cause of the sub prime mess by clamoring for and accepting mortgages for which they had insufficient income to pay. This scenario is sort of the Conspiracy by the Poor to defraud Right Wing Do-Gooders and Banks, who all had nothing but the finest and purest intentions. I respond: temporary lay-offs! Good Times! easy credit rip-offs! Good Times! I guess the Poor have been at this easy credit scam for quite a while: just take on debt and go belly up and call the repo man, and sit back and laugh. And the poor old, slow, lumbering, dim-witted Brer Bank still falls for it every time!

Credit & Blame: A Game For All Ages

Last night, the execrable he took credit for 7 years without a terrorist attack on American soil, once virginal, now no longer sancrosanct. According to the Credit & Blame Game, there should be an assignation of Blame now. Shall we blame Clinton? Shall we blame Obama? We could blame Bush/Cheney since 9/11 occurred on their watch. We could. Maybe there is only Credit to go around to politicans...just as there is money to go around to Banks. I guess you could Blame us.

Goodbye, Bush White House!

Karl Rove ... Flounder , the nerd, whom everyone makes fun of when he lurches by, pushing his specks back up his oily nose with his thumb

Paul Wolfowitz ... Dean of booty patrol

John Yoo ... Niedermeyer

Dick Cheney ... Captain Harris ( from Police Academy! How did he get here?)

Rush Limbaugh ... Mean Dude in parking lot. complete the list as you will...

Something Evil This Way Comes...: Grendel's Mother

It seems that evil is just there, no reason, no cause, or perhaps all the reasons in the world and all the causes also - so many and so inextricably entwined that it is computationally impossible to find singular and simple strains of evil that worked in concert to procreate this abnormality. There just is evil.

In World War 4 Report
 http://www.ww4report.com/node/6603  
CZECH REPUBLIC FROM VELVET TO VIOLENT  
 Neo-Nazis Prepare Pogroms Ten Years After Revolution
by Gwendolyn Albert, World War 4 Report

This is a story about a political party that has a focus of the "inadaptable" Roma, or Gypsies, and their malign effect on Czech society

...This past fall, the Czech authorities were caught completely off guard by the activities of a small extreme-right political party, active since 2003 and calling itself the Workers' Party (Delnicka Strana—DS). In recent Senate elections, the party garnered 29 000 votes—not enough to bring them anywhere near parliament, but the most support they had ever received and a number they are fond of quoting. The DS announced that it had received a "plea for help" from what it called the "decent citizens" of Litvinov, a town in North Bohemia not far from the German border, and that the party would therefore be "patrolling" the Janov housing estate in the town due to complaints about the behavior of "inadaptable citizens" there... After announcing their intention to "patrol" on the web, the DS members came to the housing estate dressed in uniforms of their own design. The event marked a turning point in Czech-Roma relations. The usual response of Roma communities throughout the Czech Republic, when faced with organized right-wing aggression of the sort that has resulted in murder and violence against them and other minorities ever since 1989, is to disappear indoors, if not to flee the country altogether. In Litvinov, however, the local Roma turned out with makeshift weapons and made it very clear that they would not submit to being "patrolled."...



Talk about the roots of racism or the causes of social unrest all you will, by now we should be growing aware that Fascism of the Nazi type is a gift of the 20th century that keeps on giving. We should no longer wonder at the causes, we should end the growth process. Why? Because there is evil sometimes. And particular species of evil grows well in Western society. I do not know why. But I do know this: by the time I divine the causes of Authoritarianism, I shall run the risk of a good probability of being in a concentration camp somewhere. Or dead. Which brings us here to our point: Ann Coulter. No. This is not an Alexander Pope type irony. where I speak of weighty and ponderous things, then switch to the nonce topic of a buffoon. Not at all.
2005 TIME
Ann Coulter is as vile as Grendel's Mother. Her most obvious prototype is Julius Streicher, the rabid anti-Semite who sat in the dock in Nuremberg. Although Ms. Coulter does not rave on antisemitically, she does rave. Although she does not rant about Jews, she does rant. To what purpose? 

The purpose of such invective has always been to incite the less stable of one's hearers to acts of violence. period. full stop. I repeat, the purpose of such invective has always been to incite the unstable to violence - nothing else. Its purpose is to diminish the invective's target, imputing to them a less than human status, and to inflame the passions of one's hearers to take up cudgels against the beast so cleverly identified as being outside the group.
What is Ann Coulter? She is a caricature of the rich: well-dressed, wraithlike thin, blond hair...the stiletto conservative. However, she does not speak to the rich, at least, not to the rich and educated, for her words are seen by conservatives to be something like weapons, but weapons that are outlawed by most human conventions. She speaks to an unstable group most easily moved to violence. She speaks to that which grows from the rich loamy soil of hatred, and gives birth to the new Brown Shirts. In 2005, Time Magazine had her on the cover, and fatuously asked whether she was serious...or just having fun? Just having fun. Imagine that. 

Have no illusions. In the present time of economic stress, one may wonder what possible good her speech does. One may well wonder why she is given a public podium from which to speak. The answer is that EVIL just sometimes is............... especially if a society has shown itself to be too cowardly and lazy to oppose it, because the best way to oppose evil is not merely to deny it a podium, nor to meet its rowdies in the streets; the best way for a society to oppose evil is to transform itself! And it is this moral imperative we slink from, just as we have done for over half a century. Before I wrote about the evil of arrogance and greed.

Now I write about the the coming storm of our debased cowardice. It is not enough to elect a man to the Presidency. We must transform ourselves. If we do not, one night we shall find ourselves and others - as numerous as snakes and slithering vermin - getting up from our beds of the past, going to the bathroom, and looking into the mirror of the future as we put on the attire of the Neue Sturmabteilung: the new Brown Shirts. (Most readers will think me quaintly out-of-date with this. Wrong. Evil is never out-of-date. If not Ms. Coulter, then some other that comes after her will be the fuse of discord. )

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stocks Down; XMT Tanks

XMT is my Wall Streety designation for rampant consumerism: XMas Tide. I mean, I saw no reason back in the day when God and his Intelligent Designer, Santa, incorporated that this would turn out badly. Alas, XMT was down 3% overall. There is talk of God pulling out. There is talk of a hostile take-over by various demonic entities, one of which being the "dung for brains" Republican National Committee. There is talk of going private. Perhaps Cerberus, who bought Chrysler, may be interested. I always thought it was a wizard idea to name a private equity firm after the dog of Hell. It is so...sort of, in your bloody divine face, O, Lord!

Goodbye, Propaganda!

Triumph Des Willens

God as Evil?

The Root of All Evil? I read a review of Mr. Dawkins ( Dirk Dawkins? Dak Dawkins? I really do not know his first namey title thing.) book The God Delusion. The God Delusion explores the unproven beliefs that are treated as factual by many religions and the extremes to which some followers have ... taken them. Dawkins opens the programme by describing the "would-be murderers .. who want to kill you and me, and themselves, because they're motivated by what they think is the highest ideal." Dawkins argues that "the process of non-thinking called faith" is not a way of understanding the world, but instead stands in fundamental opposition to modern science and the scientific method, and is divisive and dangerous. Unfortunately, this portrait applies to a whole smorgasbrod of human history, not just the religious snippets. Furthermore, I have ever so many example of "thinking" which has caused nothing but disaster and death. I agree we live under Delusion, however. And I guess I could agree that God is usually dressed up in our insipid imaginations as some sort of delusional pantomime horse prancing about eternity. God is authenticity.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Palestinian Public Service Messages: #1

Symbols January 14 2009: Enslavement

Symbols are not the meaning; they are the carriers of meaning, informational as well as emotional. When we invoke a symbol that is out of date, we are asking our meaning to be carried by a means of transport totally unsuited for it. It would be like having a fragile piece of crystal stemware, throwing it into a box, and giving it to a drunk lorry driver to transport across the subcontinent using the back roads. It does work, but the effect may not be that which we wanted when the object finally arrives at its destination. But we use it because it has something we like. In the example above, it is the cheapness. In the real world of politics, it is the the perversion of ethical sentiment we seek. We usually do this since we are able to choose what we already know to be inappropriate symbolically, but totally appropriate with emotional baggage. We will use symbols that will cause our hearers to respond emotionally in the way we wish. We know this since the symbols are tested over time and may be time worn, but effective. This is why we cannot see ourselves as others see us, for example. We use the time worn symbols of our self we present to the world, and we usually use the symbolism which makes us emotionally satisfied, not always the real deal, as the case may be.

The Roots Of Hate


I suppose you want to see some photos from Gaza?  
The Palestine Chronicle has a good many.  
http://www.palestinechronicle.com/image_gallery.php?offset=20&browse_category=4772308

You can see your tax dollars at work. We will probably be innocently wandering in the park one day, when the day of retribution comes and catches us unaware. I wish I had no part in this generation of hate. I wish we could steal away from the monster pantomime of a world that the lovers of war have created over the past 60 years.

Financial Journalism: Bloomberg's

The Wall Street Journal is a hollow shell, filled with hacks. Murdoch's writers resemble the religious nonentities the Bush Administration packed into government science agencies, standing out like neon for their lack of serious reporting. Bloomberg's is where it is happening.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grand Unified Theory

A theory of everything. The purpose of everything we do is freedom. Therefore, the aim of everything we do is to escape from the necessity of doing that which we do. (huh?) The aim of words and language is to escape from language. PROOF: A person I admire immensely, wrote this: http://www.shaviro.com/Blog/?p=620 ...And I didn’t find the details of Boutang’s exposition particularly satisfying or convincing. To be snide about it, it would seem that Boutang, like all too many French intellectuals, has become a bit too enamored of California. He takes those Silicon Valley/libertarian ideas — about the value of continual innovation, the worthiness of the free software movement, and the possibilities of unlimited digital dissemination — more seriously, or at least to a much greater extent, than they merit. The result is a sort of yuppie view of the new capitalism, one that ignores much that is cruel and repressive about the current regime of financial accumulation. All perfectly good stuff. However, it must become obvious sooner or later that the point of all this verbiage, skein after skein of it...miles of it!...is that words create dead ends, from which a new generation of philosophers must emerge to free us, and create news paths which themselves will eventually become newer dead ends. This is not to say that there is no knowledge to be attained. It is saying that we must transcend ourselves to reach it.

Moral Relativism

Our ethical problem has never been Moral Relativism. It has been and continues to be Moral Irrelevance. Popular wisdom says that junkies will not reform until they have reached the bottom. Is that what we have to look forward to in our history at present?

Symbols January 13 2009: God

The Runner Of Memory

http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2009/01/symbols-january-8-2009-god.html I would like to repeat this point: Our experience of the Holy is a faculty rather like our experience of Language. It is inherent in the make-up of human beings. We experience the Holy in a symbolic way, just as we do Music, only the Holy has it own set of processes within individual human consciousness. Our experience of the Holy is direct to God, and independent of any other forms of symbolic consciousness. Just as all men speak, just as all men sing, just as all women use images in their invocation of memory, just as all women dance in structured physical poetry................ so does all mankind cohere with and link to God. It is when one begins to create a mixture of human desires and urges that nonsense results, such as the Joe the Plumber escapade. Language, as wonderful as it is, may result in hate speech. Art may result in pornography. Just so may our pure experience of God result in the Politics of God, the Wars of God, and the Genocides of the Holy! So we allow these gross distortions to pass for religion!

Joe The Plumber East Of Eden

photo: BBC News
 

Joe The Plumber is in Israel.

Israel has bombed a clinic for mothers and children after having sent a 15 minute warning to the clinic owners. The clinic was closed. I do not mean to imply that it was targeted during working hours.

Joe The Plumber is a Christian who supports bloodshed and war, apparently. I have mentioned that this is an abomination, and a direct insult in the face of Jesus.

The Palestinian Fish-in-a-Barrel situation, where Palestinians are enslaved in what used to be their own land, and are bombed, shot, and used for target practice by the Israeli Defense Forces is the Original Sin of our age. How long can people look the other way? We have been for 60 years and counting. The present situation we face is a direct result of our lack of morality and ethics. The Economic morass is a direct result of Greed, Immoderation, Lies, and the idea of using War to solve all problems.
The Terrorist situation is a direct result of War, in particular the Gulf War, and is fed by continuing barbarism and warfare.
The War in Iraq is a direct result of Lies, Emnity, and our gross cynicism of morality, which is not moral relativism, but rather which is Moral Irrelevance ! There will be no surcease of pain until the Palestine situation is resolved and Palestine is free.
There will be no balm for us until that time that we take a stand and throw off the propaganda of 60 years and demand that this war be ended!
Cease being slaves to outworn symbols. The emotions born from these symbols seek a legitimate focus, but the real focus existed in the past, and died in the past. Try as you might, you cannot make the Holocaust exist in the present! Try as you will, you cannot make the Christian-Israel nonsense of the religious right become the will of God! He resists our insanity.
Unless we can engender peace and amity, we shall die in war and hatred.

--

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Concept Of The Humdrum

More Dolphin Warnings
I have been thinking recently about pious sayings, humdrum and mundane, and how sickeningly cloying they are. I have not actually been thinking about dolphins, although those mammals will make an appearance here shortly. It strikes me that the feeling of annoying familiarity is not a good way to evaluate things. It is a statement of one's feeling, and even though such a statement may often be a proposition much "truer" than many other types of statements which do not deal with the private realm of emotions, we tend to think of such "feeling" statements as decor and window dressing for the real business of the world. Consider this from BeliefNet: http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2008/12/Inspiration-from-The-Dolphin.aspx Following Your Dreams
"The Dolphin" is an enchanting tale of courage, and rising above fears and limits. A lonely dolphin named Daniel Alexander Dolphin sets out to fulfill his destiny and learns that to achieve his goals he must not only act, but dream, and not only plan, but believe. The wisdom he acquires can inspire we humans as well:
"There comes a time in life
when there is nothing else to do
but to go your own way.
A time to follow your dreams.
A time to raise the sails of your
own beliefs."
What is a dream? What is its pedigree and history in the individual?
Why is a dream, a symbolic structure of the Future - which does not "exist" yet - so important to the Present?
And if it is a dream you have had for a long time, its memory extends into your personal history, or into the Past.
Why does your dream link the Past, Present, and the Future?
Is it this linkage which is the source of its power?
Then there is this:
"Never forget: When you’re just about to give up,
when you feel that life has been
too hard on you,
remember who you are.
Remember your dream."
Why is the Dream stronger and more enduring than the "you", the person experiencing life?
Why is a symbolic structure of consciousness more enduring than a "real person"?
One approach: remember you are but a player on the stage, a bit player in an infinite production. One hundred years from now, what difference will it make?
Or, in another approach, Heracleitus says the God does not do things with a sense of urgence or importance, rather He plays. We are all players. Even the sleeping and the dead touch reality and partake in reality. And the play is the stuff of the universe.
I think that we may dislike the simplistic messages above, because I sense that our rational outlook on the world accomplished this: it adored rationality so greatly that it set up an Idol of Rationality in Mathematics and established mathematical economic models which were not understood, but were taboos and powers before which we knelt in an undisguised total ignorance we called "efficiency", "invisible hands", "inherent wisdom", etc.
Our Rationality destroyed the world of Spirit. The Spiritual World is an integral part of reality, along with the Real World. What our ancestors called Spirit was the world of symbolic structures, upon whose Memory we stand, upon whose content we work in the Present Immediate, and whose gravity in the Future pulls us to our destiny, whether it be the Paradise we build with our good works, or the Hell we build with our arrogance.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Waiting for Guff-Man

Ms. Montano is one of the few envoys we allow into to Uqbar.
Of course, on the other hand, she is one of the very few who consent to travel here, also. It is a two-way street, this diplomatic envoy thing. If you left things up to who wanted to do what, you folks in the uSA would not have anyone staffing the gargantuan US embassy in Baghdad.
Ms. Montano handles herself well here. She is smart, erudite, well educated, and does not take any guff from the locals, meaning us.
We of Uqbar are not a guff-giving people merely to be difficult. Guff is a way of life here. Everybody is waiting for the Guff-man.

When Life Gives You Lemons...

When someone throws shoes at me.......... I put 'em on and do a soft shoe !

The American Experience: Land Rush Or Land Bubble?

Land Rush
I was watching the Today Show yesterday doing a segment on the North American Auto Show opening in Detroit. The segment was focused on General Motors and its Chevrolet Volt electric car. At some point, a t-head ( talking head ) said that it was not yet clear that the government's investment in GM would pan out; not clear that the Volt would be a success. It struck me that the government bloody well should be investing in electric car technology. It should be investing in hydrogen power technology. The way things are going now, everything is tending back to gas and oil. The pipelines for gas and oil are already established, the companies researching hydrogen are slacking off, the price of oil has fallen and SUVs are actually staging a comeback. The very ESSENCE of America is INNOVATION and DISCOVERY ! In 1492, we saw the beginning of a massive land rush. Land - enormous amounts of land - had become available. The land was expensive: one had to secure passage on a boat and endure a long and difficult voyage, one had to deal with unknown terrain and unknown inhabitants, but eventually the costs came down dramatically, until it cost no more than getting there and homesteading for a period of time. There must be a Murphy's Law for Land, too. (Not Murphy's Law! Whatever the name of the law by the really brainy guy about computer processing capacity or whatnot...that's what I mean.) This process of utilizing the land made available led to the Railroads, the Telegraph ( and eventually the Telephone), and ultimately to the Automobile. Each one of these innovations were massive and created wealth on a large scale, larger than the historical norm. There is the normal work of the economy, normal creativity and innovation and building of wealth; then there are the abnormal jumps. America was and is the Land of Opportunity precisely because of a sequence of these abnormal jumps, which increased available wealth beyond the range of what hitherto had been the norm. The two most recent jumps were the Automobile and the Computer; think how they transformed the landscape. In fact, everything we think we know about America, everything we dream and hope, is pretty much based on the Automotive and the Computer and Tech Revolutions. Our idea of the American standard of living derives directly from the automobile, with some new inputs from the computer. In short, the government had bloody well be investing in the Volt! If it had any sense, it would be investing a heck of a lot more into the Volt, and a large chunk into hydrogen. I have said before that if these efforts fail, the USA will be doomed to live out a dreary existence of looking back at its golden ages when GDP could jump through hoops! America was and is Discovery in its very nature. To deny this will deny its nature. In that dim future, when economists scratch their head and wonder why economic growth is so slow and regular, they will dream of escaping from the prisons made in the past: they will bemoan the fact that the exploration of Space was left to others, they will weep at the loss of innovation and discovery on truly massive levels. Then America will be the Norm. I only hope that there is some other group that will take up the baton and run forward. I do not wish to think of a moribund Earth sinking into decrepitude while the divide between the haves and the have-nots reaches Rift Valley proportions.

Winter Illness

Having come down with a holiday bug, I spent some time in bed watching a Stargate: Atlantis marathon while the sun was up, switching to a House marathon when the sun went down, and topped off with a Family Guy mini-marathon. Not bad. I get the impression that Family Guy is the more realistic of the three.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Symbols January 8 2009: God

The Carpet of Language

A very presumptuous title, I shall agree with you on that. However, we have to start somewhere with the serious business, so we shall start here, and be outrageous. The meaning of the picture above may become clearer as one reads. Right now, it is merely a mute sign. Human beings are individual entities. They interact with their environment in meaningful ways. Human beings create meaning, they communicate meaning, and they store meaning. They do this by way of symbols. Symbols are the carriers of meaning. Information is a concept of Physical Science; Symbol is a concept of Human Consciousness. Human beings work with meaning in various ways: Language, Music, Imaging, Mathematics, Plastic Arts, Planned and Structured Movements ( such as Dance ), Emotions, etc. There is a Core Set of these conscious behaviors that deal with meaning - Symbolic Behaviors- and the paradigm over the last century or so being Language. Each Symbolic Behavior is ontologically independent of any other; for example, Music comes into existence independent of any Language events.Each Symbolic Behavior is expressively independent of any other; Music needs no Language to exist. You may have a song with lyrics, but the lyrics are non-essentials to Music.

Symbolic behavior we are aware of is conscious symbolic behavior. Symbolic behavior of which we are unaware - the subconscious - is symbolic behavior which is not linked up with conscious behavior. Become familiar with the core set of behaviors you use to work with Meaning.The Imaging we do is one such system: When you cast back to remember your childhood, a good deal of this activity is accomplished with Images. As you know from dreams, the "grammar" of Images is not necessarily the same as the grammar of Language.Nor is the "grammar" of Music anything at all like the grammar of Language. The Conception of the Holy is a symbolic behavior which is one of the basic core set of human symbolic behaviors. In other words, I am saying that your experience of God is essentially on the same basis as your experience of language: it is an inherent potentiality to a new born, and it is part of our life of meaning in the world.Our experience of God is not derived from some other conscious event. I have seen people who gush over a beautiful sunrise, saying "Truly God exists!" This is not a religious statement; it is an emotional statement. The concept of the Holy is not dependent on feeling good, nor is it dependent on beauty. It is an independent human activity dealing with meaning. Experiencing God is similar, then, to experiencing language, music, art. To those who speak of the evil religions have done, look at the words of hatred uttered over history, yet we do not deny Language; listen to the cacophonous musical drivel produced at times, yet we do not banish Music. Nor do we denounce these symbolic behaviors as being inherently pernicious to humanity. Yet we do so with religion. "God" is a symbol. That is, God is a carrier of meaning. In our time, Mankind predominantly thinks in narratives and stories, the structured myths (mythoi) of Language, and Language is pretty much a tyrant of consciousness, relegating the other forms of dealing with meaning to insignificance. Remember this and consider: God is Unity within Diversity: the quest for oneness among the diverse conscious beings that see themselves as individuals. The individuals see their lives as narratives of independent entities. God brings them from the prison of their isolation, and they leap beyond the limits of their skin and intellect, and enter as one in the creation of one Holiness. When you feel alone, you are with many. The many are not those predators and spies and purveyors of celebrity who seek to strip us of our true individuality, but the many are the members of the circle unbroken! And we are joined as true individuals into the circle unbroken, where we gladly surrender our isolation. Yet again, God is the refuge when stories break down. God is the steadfast in chaos. When all things break apart, God endures, for the breaking apart of the structured world is nothing more than the breaking apart of our story world, a world which we have spun from the ancient meanings: from our old symbols and our antique memories. God is independent of the stories. His existence is the greater universe, a house in which our narratives are a small carpet upon a small floor.

The Carpet of Music

pic: alfarabbi

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

More Bush Legacy

Born In Sin, Come On In

Iraq was always, is, and will be an unmitigated disaster. Find yourself a blog written by an Iraqi citizen who has lived through it, such as Baghdad Burning:(http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/2003_08_01_riverbendblog_archive.html) , instead of taking the lazy coward's way of listening to Fox News. Follow the blog from hope and euphoria to despair. But we won't, because we do not have the guts to take responsibility for what we destroy. The Iraq War was born in the sin of lies and deception, and will claim even more lives through violence and through diversion of money which could have been spent to improve people's lives.

If President Bush is ever considered to have been correct in his judgements, it will be in the interpretations and arguments of a future age debased and even more corrupt than we; it will be the Starship Troopers future of benevolent and fraternal Nazism.

The Bush Legacy

"We wuz robbed! Robbed by fate! O, unkind Fortune
that toys with us, and brings our plans to naught! "

My father has come around to thinking the Bush Administration has long overstayed its welcome. He was a Bush supporter for a long time. What changed his mind is an article in the National Geographic about the extinction of animal species, and the fact that even the National Geographic finally has to say how little the Bush Administration has done. Indeed, this administration has been an obstacle to progress. But what could one expect from an administration that saw fit to appoint religious hacks to important positions in Space and Science agencies? Science, Space, the Environment, all of these were nothing but fields in which to reap political benefits. We may ignore the fact that by impeding the progress of science, we effectively act against our continued leadership in science, and , by direct causality, our economic well-being. However, he did say that you have to give Bush one thing: there has not been another terrorist attack on American soil since 2001. Of course, I resisted giving Bush this, because the overall logic is fallacious, just like everything about the neoconservative right-wing and their lackeys. Everything is a fallacy. If I were to admit that it is true that Bush is responsible for the lack of further attacks, then I would be essentially giving some sort of validity to a process of "giving credit". This immediately implies an acceptance of the validity of "giving blame". So who is to blame for 9/11? If I give someone credit, I must logically assign blame somewhere also. If I assign blame on a Democrat, I immediately drop my mask of impartiality and am discovered for what I am, a partisan of a political view. Therefore, my observation that credit is due Bush is a rhetorical device, and cannot be held to be a proposition that may be true or false. If I assign blame to Bush, who was the President at the time, every nitwit eager to give Bush credit for the lack of further attacks would immediately disagree with me, and denounce me. Thus, there would be no possibility of agreeing on any of the credit/blame propositions. It is complex. If it is complex to assign blame, giving credit is equally complex. Remember that only a year or so ago, Bush wanted to take credit for the economy! On July 19, 2007, to be quite exact. Look it up. Now the silence of Bush on Gaza will threaten our future, not make it safer. They believed in Power and the Sword; they were defeated by greater Power, ironic reversal of arrogance. But then name one thing that the Bush bunch done to encourage our lives, our fortunes, and our pursuits of happiness?