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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Res Nova... New Thing

New way to speak. Silence is preferable, being the humble aphasia that allows it cannot measure up to the task of speaking of The Holy. New way...


Mary, Miriam, holy Mother...
autumn tanager!
passenger of time:
owl of foresight,
goldfinch teenager,
child-sung blue of robin.
habitat and grassland -
prairie falcon eyes -
niched on high places!
bluegrass and winterfat,
squirrelgrass, wheatgrass,
tumbleweed and sage!
Lady sachem paint the world
with the autumnal palette!
I want some cloth of this color!
Hey! A cloth to give my sweet one!
She will make a coat of it!

Death & Taxes.... and War

Baysage - the Oklahoma Orpheus - mentioned that the Tea Party, or at least a large portion of it, seems to want to do away with taxes while favoring wars and our global military presence. That is going to be one interesting political agenda.

It is truly anomalous. It is beyond logic. Only people with intense faith in their own delusions could possibly believe that War is free. I mean, just because we derive so much pleasure from it, that doesn't mean we don't have to pay the piper.

War is the time, place, and the system when Habeas Corpus is in real danger of being suspended; War is the time when Martial Law law supplants the constitutional Rule of Law; War is the time when freedom may be suspended or infringed - when citizens may find their communities physically transported to gulags and camps, like the Nisei in WW II.
War is the time when free markets may disappear, when prices may be frozen, when resources may be rationed. The citizens accept all this because is is only for the duration, and it is for the good cause.

War is the center of its Universe. It is Central Planning to the max. It is a Manhattan Project magnified a million times. If it goes on too long, it is the death of freedom. War destroys assets and value. It destroys those of the other side as well as our side. And War requires taxes. There is no more illusionary and delusionary economics such as was permitted to exist from 2000 to 2009, when the USA could have all the War it wanted and not have to budget for it: the cost of War was a cost that did not seem to have to be accounted for.

We have been at war since 1941. We do not know how to live without war. We do not know how to view the world without the blinders of us versus them.
Furthermore, we do not know how to live without the insufferable burden of a Leviathan size Government which provides fundamental services we want and require, boondoggles for the favored few, and War.

“The United States faces a fundamental disconnect between the services that people expect the government to provide, particularly in the form of benefits for older Americans, and the tax revenues that people are willing to send to the government to finance those services. Changes of the magnitude required to make fiscal policy sustainable could have important economic and social effects — but they also provide an opportunity to address existing concerns about tax and spending policies. Given the time required to implement significant policy changes, determining those changes is an urgent task for policymakers.”

And then there is the Tea Party....

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Nation called "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" 2

 Tennessee Williams discussing the play in 1958:

I think that deliberate, conscienceless mendacity, the acceptance of falsehood and hypocrisy, is the most dangerous of sins. . . . I meant for the audience to discover how people erect false values by not facing what is true in their natures, by having to live a lie, and I hoped the audience would admire the heroic persistence of life and vitality; and I hoped they would feel the thwarted desire of people to reach each other through this fog, this screen of incomprehension. What I want most of all is to catch the quality of existence and experience. I want people to think, “This is life.”

An entire nation living a lie!

Hanaan's Diner 2010

Things are not as full of the old joie de vivre  as they used to be at Hanaan's Diner. It's more like a peur de manger, truth to tell: a fear of eating. Across the street there is a sign which totals up the cost of the wars we are waging, the Glorious Homeland Wars taking place around the globe: shooting wars, drone wars, assassinations, and torture.
It is becoming impossible to eat there while watching the nation's money go down the sinkhole. Hank Jacubowski's son-in-law is out of work going on one year, and I see him grind his teeth when he sees that sign flashing its crimson numbers.
"Going to get a rifle... shoot it's lights out!" Hanaan muttered as she wiped the doomsday formica of the table where I sat. I looked at her and made an inquiry with my eyebrows. She pointed at the sign across the street.
"How can anyone eat watching the future go down a ----hole?!"
I saw her point. I mean, 50 to 100 million per day would go a long way to bucking our depressed state of affairs back into the pink. I'd settle for 500 million and spend it on education, health, and doing something about all the "failed" communities that found themselves in 2007 and 2008 in a bad place of being unfinished, and at considerable risk for the future. I suppose there'll be more about that in the future; right now we're too pre-occupied with stories about not doing anything about families losing their homes, the usual family values stories.
We sat there silent and morose, even despite the fact it was Coney Day, two for $3.00. And we, the TYBALTS ( the young bucks at lunch together ) did not even grunt when the ROMEOS ( retired old men eating out ) came sashaying in at noon. Reminded me of an O.K. Corral confrontation between gunfighters suffering from Alzheimer's.
Come to think of it, 50 million a day to cure Alzheimer's wouldn't be such a bad investment.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Glenn Beck's Rally 2

Mr. Beck said that God is our king.

I really find that type of statement insufferable.
The only "kings" that actually give out orders and have people jump  that I am familiar with are those in fairy tales. So we have a metaphor of God and fairy tale entities. So much for putting aside the things of a child.

We are created free. The relationship of Man to God cannot be expressed in the same terms that we used for Caesar and his heirs. What nonsense to have labored to have escaped the catacombs of Rome, only to come up to the sunshine to be trapped in a political metaphor!

Furthermore, the blotational device known as John Haggee was there, signing us all up to go to war to defend his policy in the Middle East. If the Tea Party and its hangers-on wish to be end-times-idiots, let them find their own bit of earth to wreak their havoc.

Glenn Beck's Rally

I know some people who went to the rally. I sent them off earlier Thursday last with a wan smile, and the wishes of a safe trip.

What do I think of it? I seek no leader among men or women: I have seen the depredations of absolute power and politics. There was no mention of politics, but who doubts that there will  be? The people I knew were Tea Party workers, on and off. They will render unto Caesar, and dismiss God to the realm of Honor, Loyalty, and Repentance. My point has always been God is here and now; there is no high level word like Honor that applies to God nor his ways. Words like "Honor" apply to describe certain punctuations of our lives - the good and honorable parts - but not God.

Honor applies to histories and stories of lives that have already elapsed, and words like "honor" sum up in a moral sack the lives of men and their steadfast actions when needed. I can think of many parts of my life to which the concept "honor" would never be mentioned: all the hours doing laundry and ironing would probably not be brought up in my eulogy to describe my loyalty, nor my time spent ion the "head" be mentioned among the list of my honorable attainments!

God has no intermittency, no punctuation - all is detail and summary at once.

As an aside, I fail to see how a nation that specifically ignores the injunction of the founder of its religion never to set aside one's wife may ever "come back to God" in any meaningful sense. Gay marriage is not the problem to a Christian; Divorce is.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Great Society

The Great Society of Lyndon Johnson may have had numerous problems, and immense, too. It may have been poorly thought out.
But it was an investment in the future of the country and its infra-structure and our fellow citizens: health, education, welfare....

The country is the exploited timberland of my earlier post. We treated our favored position in the world as an unending resource. Instead, we have discovered it takes husbandry: investment in time, money, effort, and caring.

The Best & the Brightest are at it Again

Slashing R&D in favor of more important things, like wars and profits. Who cares about America’s future?

At Fabius Maximus:

Essentially, yet another way the wealthy exploit the present and destroy the future.

Take a Breathe...

...and ask yourself, what is it, exactly, that we as a nation are supposed to be doing?

It ain't this.

Fleeing Choirs

M.S. Taitt, iconographer of Detroit et alii, mentioned that I am preaching to the choir. That's true. Any choir-outsider would absolutely snort with contempt at anything I say.

My friend of 30+ years lost his job a year ago; he has looked assiduously for work since, and had no luck, he may not be able to afford his health care costs soon.

He has mentioned a number of times recently that he recalls the days when we used to run together in the early mornings before work - back in the 80s and 90s. He said I always had a "thing" that some catastrophe was in the future that would change us all. Since we were friends, he thought me merely quaint and "funny" in a nice way.

He's in the choir now. But I can't help him either. We are living in an Age of Irony: great reversal. How ironic it was that the Tower of Babel, supposed to have been a proud monument, led to the peoples been dispersed over the face of the earth in consternation! Irony. Great reversal of fortune.
We must change to handle change. Suffering breaks us down - like brainwashing - and lets the future rebuild us. I just had a jump on it. I have told the tale of looking about at the wreckage of 2008 and being aware that this was the train wreck I had sensed coming. How could anyone have thought such a thing about " the mightiest power in the history of mankind" ( as we were so fond of refering to ourselves back then ).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Effect of the Frontier on American Capitalism

Suppose you were a lumberman, and you had a well-defined and delimited parcel of forest land which contained trees sufficient to occupy your lumbering facilities for 15 years, and assume trees took 13 years to grow from germination to a stage ready to be harvested.  How would you go about harvesting your trees, figuring that you would live another 50 years or so from now, and wanted to work and provide for your family throughout that time?

How would you go about it if, when you had cleared as many trees as you could, you had merely to move on another ten miles to confront another virgin forest ready to be harvested, and the cost of shipping was low, most lumber being sent down the many rivers to the sawmill?

When Jackson became president, he wished to move the indigenous Indian populations west of the Mississippi, where they would inhabit the fair plains between the river and the Rocky Mountains. The Frontier was so immense on both sides of the Mississippi that he did not foresee the day when the Indians needs be displaced from the plains and constrained into Reservations.
Unlimited chances, unlimited resources create one set of circumstances. Limited resources create another. We have entered the Age of Limitations. It only seems so frightening to us because we have been so used to scenarios of endless resources, endless power, and limitless wealth. We shall adjust.

However, the story of the poor boy making his fortune in the New World also comes in for revision. As the resources become limited, and wealth concentrates in the hands of the few, it becomes harder and harder for the Horatio Alger story to come true. Go West, young man! was a formula for success when the Frontier was still being pushed westwards; now that California has a multi-billion dollar deficit, the rules of the game have changed.

McChrystal Lives !

The tradition of General McChrystal - along with the simple-minded brutes who started wars they refused to finish properly - lives on in the cult of assassination in Afghanistan:

"I want to ask one question from American — why they are killing our innocent people," he says. "They are killing student and saying they are Taliban, [that] they are al-Qaida and they are belonging with the terrorists."

I suppose we kill them because we can do so with impunity. Hearts and Minds are what we say we seek, but we have to truthfully admit that we seek those things in a manner that recalls the less appealing Aztec gods receiving their sacrificial victims.
We create despair at home while we kill abroad. Even though individually most of us are decent people of humble faith, when we exert ourselves as a group, as a polity, as a nation, we become the paradigm of Nature red in tooth and nail. When we pray alone, how many of us declaim against other faiths and their faithful? Yet let us come together for worship, and worship gives way to the politics of denunciation and confrontation where we pit soapstone idols against each other like cocks fighting in a pit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Stalinism exalted the Collective over the Individual.

Now the US Supreme Court has exalted the Corporate over the Individual.

The Slave Empire & Christ

Reading Friedrich Hayek, I realize now I have to try to understand ancient Rome's economics and politics to get a grasp on the slave empire mentality of Rome. This may assist me in understanding the residue of such slave empire mentality in the present day USA.

One thing immediately jumps out: the strict hierarchy of gods, emperors, patricians, plebians, clients, and slaves. There was a hierarchical system, a caste system, symbolically and physically.

This leads us to how Christianity was enslaved by the Empire which it thought it had conquered. For in its inception, Christianity was a brotherhood of equals with their Teacher, the Teacher differing from the rest of the brotherhood in knowledge and spiritual progress. This community by and by passed into the rigid hierarchy so typical of Rome.


I have witnessed martyrdom in my life.

It may have begun with the images of Buddhist monks in South Vietnam immolating themselves in protest against the regime at the time, a regime which - once again, it goes without saying - was the government which we supported.

I have heard testimony of such from Palestine, Israel, and Algeria during its civil war.

How many great mathematicians have committed suicide? A surprising number. How rapidly is the rate of suicide among US soldiers increasing? Rapidly. Is suicide martyrdom? Is every suicide a protest, or may it also be a failure to come to terms?

Martyrdom is a response to a world which the suicidal intelligence can no longer inhabit. The intelligence has become too alien to the symbolic landscape where it finds itself imprisoned.

The Rule of Law and Good Will

The Rule of Law is important to society. Without Law, there would be anarchy. Paradoxically, with Law, there may be something worse. The world is full of paradox, and usually we try to ignore it.

However, consider the fact that Hitler came to power in Germany by completely legal means. To be sure there was a lot of extra-legal thuggery, but that was more how the party kept itself in a ferment and within the public eye; President von Hindenberg offered the Chancellorship to Herr Hitler in the exact same tradition of legality by which the position had been offered to others.

Thus, the Rule of Law may destroy itself.

If the Rule of Law may destroy itself, what is there to prevent it? Only the good will of men and women. The ultimate basis of human society is the good will and good faith of mankind. Lose faith, lose good will, lose the Golden Rule and everything becomes problematic.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Food Poisoning Again

We have had it too good for too long. I used to make a great Xmas egg nog with egg whites, yolks, heavy cream... and it was a wonder. Of course, that all came to an end back last century when Salmonella swept through the egg industry.
Then Salmonella was gone !
Now it's back.
Soon E. Coli will be in the lettuce no doubt.

Our way of food production seems to be inherently susceptible to epidemics of toxins. I suppose this is due - in eggs - to the way we mistreat the poor chickens: standing on tiers of wire cages, fecal matter falling on those below. Everything is done for the lower cost and the highest profit. E.Coli and Salmonella are incidentals to running a profitable business. I was in one of those egg gulags years ago and was appalled.

Once more, the way we live our lives and run our businesses is what will destroy us, and we are well into it. We need to learn respect for other beings, for starts. We need Kosher and Hallal not by the type of animal alone nor how it is slaughtered, but also by how the animal is raised and cared for. The Eggs of the present day Egg Industry are treif; we need a Baiza Yisrael product, not the result of filth, greed, and degradation.

A Nation Called "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"

 Big Daddy

I'm started eading F.A. Hayek yesterday, co-winner of the 1974 Economic Nobel, and taking notes. Then I decide to take in a little Tennessee Williams on TCM where "Cat" is playing.
I am impressed how much acute intelligences have in common with each other; I would never have guessed that Williams would illustrate something like Hayek's The Road to Serfdom to me.

"I've given you an empire, boy!"

Burl Ives, Big Daddy, yells this at Paul Newman, Brick - his son, in the mansion basement, filled with hundreds of objects bought in Europe - Europe was on fire-sale at the time - mostly untouched and packed away.
Brick's grandfather, Big Daddy's dad, who died a penniless hobo, gave Big Daddy an empty wicker suitcase as his inheritance, and Big Daddy built his empire from nothing. Brick makes the point that granddad took Big Daddy everywhere with him, he gave him love, he gave him the foundation of a balanced soul that could do anything it wanted - good or bad - but a soul which would not be afraid to grasp life and put its foot down where it wanted to stand: a soul without love would jump and dance like a cat on a hot tin roof, never taking a stand. That cat would forever jump from the heat of mendacity and lies to find a cool spot where it could be comfortable.

"I've given you an empire... !"

Hayek is very much opposed to socialism under the rubric of "central planning", the type of socialism opposed to markets and which for its implementation requires the entire power of the state to run the economic life of the nation. Hayek is very much a libertarian - so it seems thus far - and emphasizes the individual as decision making unit of interest, not the collective.

At this point early in my reading, there has been a brief discussion about how wartime requires central planning for the allocation of the nation's resources, and how prices must be controlled to inhibit inflation: since the nation at war wants to sell war bonds to people, these people would hold the debt of the government and the last thing these people would want is inflation to decrease the value of their holdings. Inflation would discourage bond holders - no one would buy war bonds.

Fortunately, wars and their pernicious system of central planning are of short duration. Or are they?

World War II's Manhattan Project is not only the paradigm of success of American know-how and determination, it is the paradigm of the success of the central planning system; i.e., it is the emblem of a type of extreme socialism.

World War II never ended; it just took a short intermezzo and swung into Act III, called the Cold War. Military Economy is planned economy. Fully 50% of our budget is spent on the Military - essentially a planned type of economy where there is no free market to direct investment: 50% goes here ! Period !
Perhaps the dimly perceived threat of the Military-Industrial Complex is the fact that a Military-Industrial Economy is a thoroughly centralized and planned economy which requires the full force of the state to enforce it: the military, the tax system, the police, the media.

The full example of Socialism in its worst form - a type of Stalinism - is what we have in front of us: the CIA and Special Operations who have absolutely no accountability to anyone nor anything. They are funded by imperial fiat. There is no transparency. There is no external regulation.
We have moved far beyond Stalinism.

 Big Daddy

I've given you an empire, boy! What the heck that I had to destroy your freedom to do it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Game

Used to play this...

If you were somehow forced to be a prisoner in the Library of Congress with access to all the books of the world, yet could somehow magically move your prison to anywhere you wanted, to which deserted island would you choose to relocate it?

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Life Interrupted

If I speak of my sweetheart, and if i sing of my mother, and tears come to my eyes now and then, realize how my life is punctuated like bullets from a tommy gun: brief light, much darkness. How impaired we are ! Love is left to me like tattered linen, and no one left to mend it. I only live in the wind and storm. I pray only in the cathedral of the clouds. Let our love flow again to the sea...
Let the Colorado flow to the sea again.
End the interlude of our unnatural and selfish sleep and greed.
Let our songs never end.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Terrible Tontines

Mr. Burns and Pals Forming a Tontina in WW II

We were talking about senility and dementia, sickness and health care - Canada vs. the US - and the future of work with underemployment permanently built into the way things are.
We were also talking about the disaster we face economically: some people say that we won't be back to where we were  asset-price-wise in early 2008 until 2021 !

We talked about the New Feudalism and Creative Serfdom where we are tied to mortagages we can't afford - rather like "I owe my soul to the company store", don't you think?, and where we are forced to live in houses that are worth 50% of what we paid for them, and which we can't sell anyway even for the reduced figure - no one is buying.
If you need to move into a home for the aged, oh, well...... money's all tied up in the house, and who's going to take care of it anyway if you're not there?

So my sister-in-law said we should have a Tontine to take care of such eventualities:  mad, insane, sick and imprisoned in our homes !

I got her point. It was just shy of the mark. The reason it was not exactly on the logical bull's-eye is that such things as she was talking about never existed before.
A Tontine - or Tontina in the Italian, I believe - was the beginnings of the life insurance industry. A group of people would ante up money, and the last surviving member of the Tontina would claim the pot after all others had passed on.

What my sister-in-law was aiming at was sort of an agreement to pull the trigger... I think. A mortal tontine where in the near-future, when assisted-suicide will the the growth industry, we have this agreement to assist each other. As our enslavement to the shreds of a decayed system continues without abatement, things will get real zero to the bone !

I said that in five years, we were going to hear a lot about these "terrible" tontines.


Dr. Laura

Dr. Laura Schlessinger has made a "philosophical" point about the "N---" word by ranting on about it. Not sure what point she may have in mind about the word "philosophical", but that discussion would be wonderfully perplexing, also.

She has reached a stage roughly approximate to what I call  "Pre-Work" Joan Rivers and looks as odd as what she says. However, so do I.

Here's what it is in my mind: back in the day, Daniel Moynihan issued a report on the black family in America. Roughly speaking, it was time for America to make its very best effort to create African-American Infrastructure of Life that would flourish in this country for the future.
What did we do?
We saw the neighborhoods flooded with drugs, we spent our money on foreign wars - none of which added one penny to the infrastructure upon which our future was to be built - and we watched it all with benign neglect as we played "Casino Royale" with our investments during the Clinton-Bush Fiasco Years, and now we have more wars and education has been destroyed...
... Detroit is a post-Chernobyl Society...
Now, Dr. Laura, why is it that someone like you with the Slave Empire mentality can't use that N--- word while young unemployed men on the corner may? Why don't you drag your withered blond hair down to Paradise Valley and find out?

Dead Doctors 2

Two of the Doctors were Dan Terry and Tom Little, and they fulfilled the definition of Missionary.

Both men came to Afghanistan in the 1970s, inspired by their Christian faith to help the poor and in love with the high mountains of this country.
Tom Little (L) inspects a patient's eye
Optometrist Tom Little was the team leader of the group
They brought their children up here, staying on through coups, invasions, massacres and bombings and touching the lives of countless people.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


The word "grotesque" comes from the Italian "grottesco" meaning "of, or pertaining to a cave".  The caves in question were the antiquities from Roman times, especially Nero's Golden House, the Domus Aurea, which by the Middle Ages had been covered over and buried  by later buildings and improvements in the city, their rooms becoming "caves" the later inhabitants of Rome could climb down to to explore and wonder at.
The paintings that remained from Roman times, containing the wonderful and incongruous, gods, men and animals of fantastic shapes and forms, led to the word "grottesco" meaning "bizarre" and "unusual".

Thus pass away the glories of the world - sic transit gloriae mundi - from gold encrusted domes of the Golden House to subterranean caves visited by bats and vacationing spelunkers.

And at the time of Nero, the Christian community worshiped underground in the catacombs, subterranean tombs. As the evidence of Rome subsided beneath the ground, the Faith resurrected from the catacombs.

That is irony: the change of fortunes; a paradox of the Canticle of the Virgin as the Mighty are cast from their thrones.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Welcome, Alexander Mikhailovich !
Your presence reminds me how long ago it has been since I studied and read Russian... now I can barely get through Mussorgsky's Boris Goudunov without asking what someone just said and who's this Feodor character, anyway?

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The wonderful blog Pruned has made blog of note.
Imagine that; only a few weeks after some blog whose sole purpose seemed to have been complaining about blog o' note, not being blog o' note, and jokes about blog o' note, this exquisite blog that has been here for years and years finally makes it.


Dead Doctors

I believe the number was ten; ten dead doctors in Afghanistan; doctors in the north, treating ailments of the eye among the population, killed by the Taliban. The Taliban said they had distributed Bibles. Although the group for which the doctors worked had a religious affiliation, there was no missionary work - nor distribution of Bibles among the populace.
That sums up what I recall.

I do not like the Taliban. They are among the more disgusting results of the CIA and American meddling in the boiling pots of wars against America's enemies: our country has spent considerable money supporting intolerant forms of Islam to create surrogates to fight the USSR and Communism years ago. We found that after the USSR was gone, the intolerance grew on its own, like a genetically modified rare plant escaped from the laboratory.

What I want to talk about, however, is missionary work. This has been a topic that has exercised my mind ever since someone quoted the Bible at me: Going forth to nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
What did that mean?
I have to admit that I do not like the manner in which many groups push their missionary work upon the world. I do not like the large-scale pushes to gain cathecumens, nor the mega-church with millions sending its emissaries tax-free to engage and enrage the local population....

The doctors in Afghanistan spent some time there. They worked for better eyesight. They could not miraculously make the blind see, but they could do all medical science could do.
And this seems a close approximation to what the meaning of the Going Forth to all Nations means: live and teach as I have lived and taught: live your life as one living among the nations: do not take a few years of your life to do what you believe is mission work and then return to the home you actually love... for you must do the most difficult things, leave your home and families - forever ! Abandon your father and your mother.

Teach by act and example.
Teach by paradox: the meek shall inherit the earth! the mighty shall be removed from their thrones! Although there may be holy books to quote, these holy books obviously cannot be the length and breadth of the Teaching, for there was need for parable and paradox to make the mind escape from the mundane bonds of mens' thinking and mens' hearing.

There have been some missionaries like this.
Avoid the inhumanly large scale of efforts; avoid large churches and assemblies. There is the work of mankind here: politics rather than the work of the spirit.These approach God as did the builders of the Tower of Babel, demonstrating their own superiority, not their abject humility.

The work of God transforms. It is the most difficult thing in the world, for it is not of the world. Missionary teaching will possibly transform the hearers, but it must also transform the teacher.

The paradox of missions is: you must teach in absolute humility - a humility equal to the awareness that your message is one of many. This is not to say all messages are the same; it does set forth the paradox that our teaching is enveloped in the humility of one who knows nothing.
And by knowing nothing, we find the way to know all.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Hate That Was Always There

Someone once asked me if I were racist. I answered that I did not know, but I had been  born in America and lived here all my life. So what do you think?

They immediately understood what I meant.

We are in a time of hate, disguised as political difference. I know. I've lived here all my life and  I know what we are like. I remember the days past when the hatred was not acceptable where I lived and worked, and we had to find sanctuary for our racism: rather like cigarette smokers nowadays who have to huddle together in far away places.

Now we are back to breathing the second hand smoke of the racist hatred of so many of our fellow citizens. What it amazing is that they seem to assume that it is acceptable to say these things in front of us, as if no friend or acquaintance could think differently from them.

However, we were brought up in the faith that all men stand equal before God. We are firm in that faith. The cries of our wretched brethren - pitiable and afflicted as they and we all are - cannot change that faith. We believe Jesus spoke to all men as equals. To think otherwise is the work of the evil one... and evil does indeed have a face, if you have ever been so unlucky as to gaze upon it.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Economic Terms

Now consider this:

Put yourself  in  the position
 of a business owner and think of all the problems that
are  associated  with  human  employees:  vacation,  safety
rules,  sick  time,  payroll  taxes,  poor  performance…
maternity leave. If an affordable machine can do
nearly  any  routine  job  as well  as  a  human worker,  then
what business manager in his or her right mind would hire
a worker?

Firstly, we note that the portion of the infinite detail of human life dealing with work has been collapsed into a few key terms: vacation, sick time, etc. The terms function the same way other higher concepts do in gathering, or seeming to gather, a large amount of detail and reducing it to manageable proportions, in this case, economic statistics.

This is totally valid. However, when we start viewing people themselves - as people, as real human beings - as entities that are subsumed under these Economic concepts, we lose the humanity. Because we may do this in economics does not mean we can do it in morality or interpersonal relations. In essence, after high flown philosophizing, we must always come back to the terra firma of our humanity.

One of the signs of Asperger's Syndrome is an inability to interact in social situations. Social situations are filled with details: images, emotions, cues, odors...  One paradigm of Autism, Rain Man, shows an autistic individual who may memorize and entire phone book, but even though this is incredibly impressive, it is still devoid of detail: this memory is nothing more than a neural phone book containing large sequences of letters and numbers: there is no human detail. It is statistics devoid of life.

So also do we let our Sciences act when faced with human situations: we find our efforts are like those of children with Asperger's.

We need a Science of Life Together. That Science must then help us find our way into the future of new technologies. We can no longer allow our higher-level concepts to run rough shod over the reality of life's robustness and variety. Decisions must be made balancing "vacation time" with "quality of life" with "family life" in a meaningful way.

One of the most vicious parts of the Industrial and Scientific Revolutions has been the Viewing of People as Entities within the framework of the phenomenon of the technology, instead of seeing that Humanity must retain individual value - given by Nature and Nature's God - that always remains OUTSIDE whatever higher-level philosophy may be in vogue.

quote;  The Lights in the Tunnel, Martin Ford, page 2

( I wonder how much our warlike history has to do with this. War is well known for taking people and turning them into "warriors" that view other people as Ally or Enemy, Body Count Collateral Damage, etc... A long process of sanitizing that which is most disgusting. )

Saturday, August 07, 2010


"Fear" is a term a good deal like Moral terms; it describes a long sequence of events, a life, a history sometimes. These are broad brush terms, covering a large expanse, overwhelming the detail.

Like a biography, like a Lives of the Saints; everything is quick and fast: the passage from birth on, stopping only in the areas of our special interest: the loves, the prayers, the miracles...

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Nature of Moral Terms

I have been fascinated all morning about the concept of Duty, having heard Commander Data use it in a Star Trek: The Next Generation. The episode was The Offspring and Data spoke of the Duties of Parenting. Duty, Loyalty, Love... all concepts that cover a lifetime, not just a moment of a life. They cover a wide span of living, containing within their grasp all the unattractive details of life, as well as the glorious highs and the tragic lows.

Moral concepts cover a life, a history. They are endless carpets we weave as we walk.

What strange logic and language they are !

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Some people have wondered at the words I use, thinking them unusual. I was taught in elementary school and in High School and in University to acquire a good vocabulary. It has always been a problem how to talk to people. I confronted the problem and decided I could not appear to talk down to people. If they thought me to be elitist and affected, it would be better than to be seen to be patronizing and talking down to them.

I also use a dictionary published in 1932. It has a large number of archaic and obsolete meanings for words. Using it gets one back to the basics.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205 part 2

Ned Beatty in Network delivers the paean to Corporatism: a world where everything good is corporate, not individual.
Paddy Chayefsky was very prophetic in this, just as Chuck Palahniuk was so darkly prophetic in Fight Club of the coming Terror.

Verses to Memorize

I decided to argue with a local straight-laced type about a local Gay festival. It started out as a friendly discussion, quickly turning into an argument, finally deteriorating to the point where we quoted the Bible at each other. This is the stage just before fists fly, and we are detained by the local constabulary. Fortunately, we ended it with mutual anathemas before the pugilism started.

My arguments are almost totally based on the misuse of the Bible to argue the morality of anything, and I take the tack that the Bible condones Slavery, not to mention Genocide, especially if you are unlucky enough to be a Midianite whose neighbor is Moses. Should we proceed to those worthy works because they are in the Bible?

I have some extra-biblical quotes, too:

"[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.

There is a treasure trove of churchmen and divines arguing that the Holy One sanctions slavery, mostly from the years before the American Civil War. For most purposes, the story of Moses and the Midianites works, aided with a few well chosen Confederate quotes.

New Project

I am thinking about a e-zine. Originally it was for poetry; needless to say I get tired of sending things out to "poetry" publishers and being rejected, so maybe I should do my own. Then why not extend it a bit? Why not extend it to anything that may be represented in the format of an e-zine: writing, photography, drawing, etc.

I was thinking of calling it Poesis which is Greek for "a making",  but not that many people know or actively care about Greek and our Graeco-Roman history, so nix on the Greek.
So why not just "Making"... or "Making It..." ? It nicely reminds me of Simon & Garfunkel: "...not really making it.... this feeling of faking it..." so it would be a title that is not only not pretentiously preening itself on the pedestal of Academia and Greek and Latin, but contains within itself a sense of the Ironic.
Any suggestions will be considered, however. I jump at "Making It" because I am slothful and don't want to spend a great deal of time on titular work.

Ruth seems enthusiastic. I shall impose on her for a great deal of work.
What about you, Baysage? Oh, Oklahoman Orpheus !

Monday, August 02, 2010

Obama Care

There is a political ad on TV criticizing someone who supported "Obama Care".

What is Obama Care?

In the language of the Slave Empire, it is the extension of Health Care coverage to millions on people who could not afford it before: coverage to poor, Black, Hispanic, whoever. The Slave Empire lives and breathes Apartheid: otherness in class, otherness is opportunity, otherness in health care, creating shifting class lines which exclude like highly efficient and mobile fences on the gated communities of the right people, keeping the "others" at bay.

The words used by the Slave Empire are not code words; they are branding irons, hot from the fire.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Pictures from the 313 and 734

Sunset Over St. John's Marsh
Mary Stebbins Taitt

Ruth M.

I have gone by St. John's Marsh all my life. The structure is located at a 1920s development called The Colony. There used to be a golf course in the marsh back then, but most of it has been returned to wetlands, except for a small area that was filled in in the 60s and mobiles were deposited there.

I like barns. I remember the barns from more than 50 years ago, and the siloes painted with New Era Potato Chip advertisements.
I remember the road to Marine City... I remember there was a service station or area on the way that had a bear in a cage set out in the sun for people to marvel at. Sweet times! Carnivals and barefoot boys and bear-baiting!