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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Incredibly Stupid

The Republicans are talking about shutting down government next year if they are outrageously successful in the November elections, according to some guys at Hanaan's Diner

First thing that happens is no federal taxes will be sent in.

Second thing, Social Security is cut off, Veterans' benefits, and VA services are closed

Third thing is that some Vietnam vets go underground...

Interesting. Never thought I'd see the day. When right-wing idiots are actually serious about radically changing Social Security - which has run surpluses for the last quarter century, and continues to do so - we are talking wealth transfer of civil war dimensions.
This is no longer politics as usual; this is not culture war; this is not outrageous rhetoric: this is the first passage into civil war within our nation. Why should not the Rule of Law collapse along with everything else?

Symbols September 29 2010

Symbols do not "stand" for anything. They are structures that take on a life of their own.
Tally marks stand for something:   "  xxx " stands for 3 items, maybe vases of olive oil in an ancient inventory written in Linear A.

Then Oeagrus, the merchant, awaited his precious cargo, and those three check marks became his hopes for the future. He offered to the gods to protect that cargo of oil: he invested time, attention, and a sheep or two. And when those vases of oil arrived, he saw them as a sign of the eternal gods blessing on him and his family.

Fort Hood

In the news again; last year it was the site of the doctor who shot a number of people on the base. Let the headlines speak:

Army's largest base reeling from four apparent suicides in one weekend

CNN) -- Four soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas died over the week. In all four cases, it appears the soldiers, all decorated veterans from the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, took their own lives, according to Christopher Haug, a Fort Hood spokesman.

I'm not sure what it means when the people who are ready to give their lives to fight for us come back home and kill themselves. I don't know. I myself feel like a rat in an endless maze.


I have been reading about Stuxnet, the highly sophisticated computer worm that some people think was built to attack Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor. It is so complex that analysts believe the resources of some nation-state are behind it.

Bear with me.
I have a feeling, a presentiment of the future.
This type of development is Skynet of the Terminator series; this is the viral infection of Resident Evil: all of the artistic attempts to portray the end-of-time in the clash between man and machine will come down to nationalistic militarism designed at attacking other machines. The more succesful it is, the more it will grow and develop.
The very first efforts at quantum computing will be weapons designed to remove our control over the world we used to manipulate. They will be designed to render us speechless, inchoate, and eyeless as if we were once in Gaza.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Devil is a Symbol

In a discussion, I stated the above: the devil is a symbol. So I was immediately met with the charge of not believing in the independent reality of evil... or Evil, I suppose.

That whole business was neither here nor there, as far as I am concerned, because I no longer subscribe to the antique philosophy of "independent reality", at least  not in its strong form where intelligent beings wander about the cosmos, trying to be intelligent, and bumping into independently existing rocks, speed bumps, and large bodies of water.

I said, do you consider Money as a symbol of value?
There was some blah-blah-yada-yada-yada about this, but everyone finally assented.

I said Money can start wars, money can destroy lives, money can give rise to lust, people murder for money, money sometimes gives happiness for a while...
I said we think of Money every day, not just one day a week. We have people and cable shows braying about money 24/7, not just on the high holy days.

I said Symbols are not just things that stand for something else; they are "independent" yet intangible structures created from our experience. And they can destroy us, or they can give us life just as surely as your tangible causes.

We don't really have a very good grasp on the nature of symbols.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hosni's Photo

I have read Dr. Said's reply to the "Furor of the Photo" - Hosni Mubarak walking on a red carpet at the White House accompanied by various other world leaders - and find his story quite believable. For once - hard to believe - I find the Western Media insufferably shallow.


What's Wrong With Democrats?

The White House gave Helen Thomas' front seat in the press room to FOX.
FOX owned by Rupert Murdoch.
The same Rupert Murdoch whose NY Post ran a cartoon depicting the author of President Obama's stimulus bill as a dead chimpanzee.
The same Rupert Murdoch who apologized, but only after one week had passed. He apparently could not perceive the inappropriateness.

Murdoch is not the editor of the offending paper, but he is the CEO of the company which owns them, and as a media company mogul, he has provided the road map for the endless repetitious litanies his outlets are to chatter about. Murdoch was the inspiration, although not the perpetrator.

So his company is rewarded.
That's what is wrong with Democrats.

Practical versus Theoretical Zionism

Herzl was theoretical Zionism. Theodor Herzl was never at ease in Palestine, being a Kind  ("child") of the culture of Middle Europe rather than the Middle East. He looked for a Jewish settlement to be established under the aegis of Kaiser Wilhelm II (the same Kaiser on whose birthday my wife's family took down the Xmas tree! - gevalt!).
Practical Zionism came into existence as soon as Zionists began to live in Palestine. It is a human trait to establish the group, securitize the group, and aggrandize one's own group: the purchase of contiguous portions of land was important for all those reasons and more.

Buying land is a peaceful pursuit. However, now in 2010, we have seen aggrandizement by peaceful means and by warfare and by intimidation and compulsion. Today we have over 100 years of an ongoing dynamic.

I see no difference on the ground level of real effects on real human beings between Practical Zionism and Jihad, both of which seek the same aims of aggrandizement; they seek to grow by War if they are in the Realm of War... and when are we not in the realm of War? (And did not Moses wage war? And were not some given the choice:  circumcision or else?)

Choose the form of your destroyer, O, tillers of the soil of Palestine! Shall you be cut down by the sword, and sweet life instantly depart? Or shall your olive trees be taken by subterfuge and compulsion, leaving you miserable years to drag on to death's kennel?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Incantational Nature of Cable TV

My parents watch a TV channel that has an agenda. They are also hard of hearing, so that the volume is high and the presence becomes inescapable anywhere in the house. It is like 1984 all over again. Or Manchurian Candidate, without any light touches of humour of Dr. Yen Lo: one never see anyone discussing ideology in the USA saying things like "You must try, Comrade Zilkov, to cultivate a sense of humor."

The main topics are repeated over and over in an incantation, a litany repeated over and over by the faithful,
a litany such as the following, filled with the point and counter-point of address and the response of the faithful:

Vessel of honor,
pray for us.
Singular vessel of devotion,
pray for us.
Mystical rose,
pray for us.
Tower of David,
pray for us.
Tower of ivory,
pray for us.
House of gold,
pray for us.
Ark of the Covenant,
pray for us.
Gate of Heaven,
pray for us.

(Apologies to the Virgin for using her litany in such a sordid context.)
The litany consists of a list of addresses to the Holy, things desired, or things malign, follwed by the response of the faithful: totems and taboos. Ignorance and obscurantism are droned on and on in a Videodrome of interest groups and the wealthy: the mighty on their thrones are praying that the eternal wool remain upon the Holy eyes and the eyes of the people.

China's Tariffs

After Google's troubles and the problem of numerous Western companies, the morning news speculates how Apple will fare in China.

China will continue to have huge tariffs on foreign products:  tariffs that are social and cultural in nature, not monetary tariffs. The government will not allow foreigners too much latitude. Get used to it. We shall be hearing about it from now until doomsday, given the "incantational" nature of cable TV.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wherein I Disagree with Paul Krugman for the First Time

Mr. Krugman has written on the need for a large stimulus package, pointing out the incredible deficit rung up in World War II, which was the thing that actually ended the Great Depression.

So far total agreement. However, what is not said is the fact that the aftermath of World War II was equally important in presenting American Enterprise a world that desperately needed everything it could manufacture, since their own economies and physical plants were in shambles.

Today, even with a huge stimulus, American Industry is no longer the sole player on the world stage. There is no world market begging for products only America can provide.
Without the incredible demand for goods and services following the enormous stimulus, the deficits will never be paid off and our ongoing state of serfdom will be ensured.


I have gotten my old Dell computer working; it is circa the year 2000 and the OS is Windows Millenium. Getting it going was simple enough, but getting it to connect to the Internet - wireless - was a bit of a challenge.
First I had to convince myself it was even remotely possible. Once I had done that, I had to understand how things worked, and how this actually might be accomplished.

My 2007 HP Pavilion's motherboard died after only 3 years: no DVI or VGA signal to the monitor. I did not want to spend $ 69.95 to have someone tell me there was no signal to the monitor, so I put on a new monitor, cable, and graphics card: nothing. I returned the new stuff and brooded. In the meantime, I used my wife's laptop ( when she'd let me... ) and removed the HP's hard drive and mounted in into an external hard drive chassis so I could access files via the laptop.
After pricing some new computers, I decided to see whether I could hold on until some big Christmas sales. So try the Dell.
There's not very much available for these old things running on old OS that aren't supported anymore.

Me and the Tommyknockers


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Capitalism's Greatest Era

What possibly can I be thinking about?
Ms. Angle in Nevada has suggested that the problem in health care with pre-existing conditions may best be solved through free marketry. To my mind, that is such an obvious proposition that I have to pause and wonder how we have come to such a state. I do not see this as a problem of socialism, however, as many of the Madding Crowd do, but a problem of the flexibility and openness to innovation of free markets themselves.

Our problems with Socialism and Big Government and Obamaism are not problems at all. Those names and titles are mere masks for our fundamental problem: the rigor mortis of our free market system. There was a time when people thought the Internet would revolutionize Industry. Nowadays, it looks much more like the Internet is going the way of the dinosaurs; i.e., getting in line behind the other behemoths.

So, there is health care and there are pre-existing conditions. How does one innovate in such a way that the maximum amount of good is done for society and the least amount of negative Karma accumulates because of the years and years we have let the unfortunate die or merely go bankrupt because of high medical bills.
Perhaps we should allow someone with a bright notion; e.g., allow small businesses in an area to form high-risk pools, to receive a "grant" (like the King gave to those who founded colonies) to do so in a given territory during a set period of time; a monopoly.
This "grantee", for example, could be me who has no capital to actually act like an insurer.
However, anyone who had capital and wished to join in - thinking this a good idea - could do so.
I could lose my grant if I showed no particular progress, or if a real insurer made a strong commitment to do my project, starting right away - as soon as I could clear out of Dodge.

If the period of my grant was something like 10 years, the insurers would have 3 choices:
1) cut me out by making strong commitments themselves,
2) join me,
3) ignore me and the idea and its territory.

This may not be a good idea, nor may this be a rational example, but I am trying to get back to the capitalism beyond the Internet when all that was needed was limitless land - between the Mississippi and the Pacific - and a will to work hard.
There is no more free land, and if you have nothing with which to buy it, your better idea for growing apples, say, will never see the light of day.

The greatest era of Capitalism will be seen in the future as that time period when Capital in the form of Land
was relatively cheap - if not free - and success required brain and brawn and will. The modern era of Capitalism will be regarded more like an impacted bowel.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prehistoric Logic

Modern logic often has an axiom that an entity A cannot also be not-A.

Prehistoric logic might not have thought this so self evident. What did antiquity see as self evident? Coming-into-Being and Passing-out-of-Being were probably so, reflected in myriads of stories about Creation, Birth, and Death.
We might state this as:  "If A, then possibly not-A". We could re-state this as "not-A or not-A" which is a tautology and really does not do the trick. So we are left with "A and not-A", since "A or not-A" is also tautologous.

Of course, prehistoric logic was never so discrete and "punctuated" as is our logic. It was a flow logic that was made up from the grammar of live images. Imagine, if you will, creating a system of logic from the films of Francois Truffaut using only the images as symbols. Then you would get close to the experience.

The USSR Party: Slava!

Getting up to speed for the annual USSR party: essentially diverse peoples, a lot of Slavs, vodka, and pictures of Lenin. It is an excuse for a get-together, and actually now that the old Sovyetski Soyuz is gone and is no more a "threat" to our sacred way of life, we all feel a tinge of regret for its passing, for it was indeed an enemy of strong and fine mettle, a worthy opponent. When we look at the amount of money we spend today to chase Abu Lihya ("father of the beard") from sand dune to mountain stronghold, those seem to be the good old days.

Of course, we spend a lot of time drinking vodka so we can all sing the Soviet anthem - in all versions. We even do the lyrics with Stalin's name and exploits. Which is possibly why Russians began to drink so much vodka; it is hard to sing of Comrade Stalin without being quite drunk.


Sunday, September 19, 2010


Intuition occurs in the Intelligent Space where there is Awareness, but no associated conscious behavior to add structure; i.e., no language, no  music, no classy statues of Greek maidens. It is very silent and seems empty; it is the great emptiness or the vasty deep upon which we sail.

It only seems empty, but like the oceans it teems with life; one only needs the proper gear to be able to go down far enough to explore. It is the deepest ocean trough on earth filled with hydrothermic activity where no one dreamed there would be life.

Some of us see the great emptiness. We have to learn that it is not to be feared. It is the Bareness of Being, not an Emptiness. When we learn to navigate, we shall swim.

The Fractal Nature of the Creator

The Wit and Wisdom of God
Religion as Paradox.......

It is difficult when a topic has so many possible titles to hang over the entry way. I decided on the notion of "fractal" and I shall use it focusing on the idea of a recurring similar structure on smaller and smaller scales... as when we look at the rugged coastline of Maine on Google Earth, zooming in closer and closer and finding the coastline to recreate its irregular and rugged structure in smaller and smaller areas, minuscule bays and rocks forming parts of the larger ocean inlets.

There is a picture above and it is entitled "Convent Thoughts" and was done in 1851 by Charles Alston Collins.
It portrays a young nun in a walled garden holding a flower - apparently fallen from some sort of Rudbeckia, one cannot conceive of her actually picking it off its stem - and gazing at it closely. She stands among some lilies, but the flower which she holds resembles a daisy (Rudbeckia) as far as I can see. She is pale and angular thin, ethereal and pre-consumptive, which was the style in the day. It is usually seen as a bit of an esoteric religious statement, but is also viewed as a manipulation of the concept of Woman or What Women Should Be: ideal lily of purity, walled off from the struggles of life, bride of Christ, and so on.

The problem here, as I see it, is that this unworldly nun is absolutely gazing right at this flower, a Rudbeckia, maybe a Daisy. If you're familiar with flowers, you'll know that this type of flower presents a more 2-dimensional view to the viewer, rather than the 3-dimensional of the lily; the Daisy has a large center around which the petals ray outwards, whereas the lily is shaped a bit like a cone, and the center lies at the bottom of a well formed  by the petals.
In short, this nun is gazing at the sexual organs of the flower, and they are prominently and boldy thrust forward, stamen, anther, and pistil!

I shall research some on Mr. Collins, but as it stands now, the Progenitor of the Universe seems to have made a bit of a joke here, for there is no escaping from Creation and Procreation. What was the case on high - the creation of the universe - is also the case as you go down that great chain of being, see creation of life on each succeeding level.

The painting seems somewhat scandalous all of a sudden. It seems paradoxical, too. Well, paradox is a scandal for most of us of limited brain. Is the proper answer to The Great Chain of Creativity to be an endorsement of Chastity and Celibacy? And if so, what enigma lay hidden in that paradox?


There was a new image in the corner of my sight. Ruth has a new image. The rugged tree is gone, replaced by a pretty face. What is the name for such artwork? Does the term "collage" extend all the way to this? I grew up wondering why so many artists attending the Oscars were into collage work, only to discover that I was mixing up collage with "decolletage". This discovery did not affect me very much at all. I merely extended my viewing of works of art.

Truth :::::

The " ::::: " means "ongoing", so I'll fill this out as time allows.

start part 1

I still have my 1966 edition of the journal Science, which was published in the United Kingdom, presenting an outline of the new entities called Quasars, or Quasi-Stellar Radio Sources. These were discovered by Maartin Schmidt in 1963. Previous to that time, quasars did not exist in as far as they did not form the part of any intelligent structure, whether it be imagery, science, words, music... there were no quasars.

As happens when there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people staying up late at night, peering at the starry skies, some of them become scientists and make a life's work out of staring at the skies. This constant focus reveals the incredible detail that is present: a vast amount of data.
They keep changing things; one day no quasars, next day quasars - ta da !!

Along with it, what is true changed. On day X-1, everyone would have laughed at your assertion about quasi-stellar radio sources. On day X+1, everyone is wearing t-shirts with witty quasar jokes screened onto them.

I suppose we could play the game and say that even though there was no one around to see the quasar - or the tree in the forest fall -  they were still there nonetheless... and that tree made a lot of noise, even though we were all miles and miles away.
Play the game of idealized and absolute structure, or Truth: Quasars would still be there even if nobody ever discovered them.
And upon this we base the notion of an Absolute Truth of the "real" way things are.

However, there is no guarantee of which I am aware that says that things MUST be in a certain way; a way that is discoverable and that will be revealed if we  but experiment and snoop around enough.
Even though we speak of the "Laws" of Nature and the Laws of Newton, we have not established that there is a Law or a Nomic (based on the Greek "nomos" meaning "law") which says absolutely that there is an inherent structure to the universe which can be comprehended within a finite amount of time.

"A finite amount of time" ! We do not have eternity to discover the laws of nature; we only have a finite amount of time. If the universe has such immense detail, and if it changes over time and place, and there is a great complexity overall and nothing resembling Nomic regularity, we cannot establish a science which is True for all times and places.
Hence, for sufficiently complex objects that bear constant scrutiny, there is possibly no Absolute Truth. Since this is the case, the statement "There is an Absolute Truth" cannot be asserted with... any... sense of truth itself.

Notice we mention "scrutiny": the experimental method of those mad men of science constantly measuring and counting and throwing neutrons at one another.
The constant focus in a field of infinite detail will discover infinite detail. Only neglect will give an object a sense of being immutable and changeless. The only things which seem to us to be remotely capable of being Absolutely True are precisely those Objects of Observation which are not observed... we believe we have all the answers in that field, so we totally neglect it. Thus, whatever phenomena they are sit in their lonely eminence of "Absolute Truth", which is more like the out-of-sight & out-of-mind torture of Prometheus than the royal eminence and splendor of Zeus' Olympus.

end part 1

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cute Newt

I noticed that the multi-time adulterer Newt Gingrich gave a "political" speech, part of which focused on how terrible it would be to live under Shari'a law.

Since "political" is a code word for "doesn't have a clue", I decided to learn something about Shari'a, because I barely don't know more than Newt does not know . And it has a long and intricate history. This resolve was helped along by my sudden recognition that Jesus wrote in the sand the sins of the Pharisees and pharasitical hangers-on that were just about to stone the woman taken in sin; i.e., adultery.
So the Jewish law had the same barbaric penalty as present day Islamic law does. That is not to surprising since the peoples involved have similar histories and roots. But I wanted to find out when this penalty was ended in Jewish law, thinking that perhaps it was due at least partly to the Diaspora and living throughout the Roman Empire, which may not have had such a harsh penalty, and among the nations of Europe, where Christianity forbade such a penalty by the demonstration of their founder.

I'm sure that Newt is thinking along the same lines.


Why is it that the execution of foreigners seems to get more attention than the executions here at home?

Voting for Screwballs: Courvoisier & Coke

A Ms. O'Donnell has won the GOP primary in Delaware, and she seems to have a lot of the right stuff, if by "the right stuff" one means a lot of opinions not cleared by the committee in charge of such things.

So big deal. I'm trying to remember if I voted for George Wallace once...

Are you still here? Wondering what the heck I'm talking about? When did I live in Alabama? Or was I living in Georgia and voted for Eugene Talmadge?
George Wallace was running for the GOP presidential nomination once; his running mate was General Curtis LeMay of WWII carpet-bombing fame. I believe Mr. Wallace won the primary in Michigan. That is my memory of it. Did I vote for him? Can't recall. Michigan was in one of its periodic recessions then; in addition to the national downturns, we had our own sideshow of distress. We knew back then we were screwed, but we kept believing that the Auto Industry had the "right stuff", even though facts clearly indicated they were on the path to extinction.
We were always voting to "throw the bums out", but they kept coming back... like cockroaches.

And there was the racism thing bubbling just under the surface. Riots were recent memory. Riots ripped the skin off the lily-white Kennedy aura of the USA to be replaced by a bleeding scab. There was not actually more violence and hate than before; it was just that we did such a good job of pretending that it did not exist back in the Eisenhower-Kennedy Era. Now we had our faces right in it, and we discovered we were frightened and we really did not have a "Manhattan Project" to find a way to live as a community.
We were frightened by what we saw of ourselves.
We still are.

We are a nation drunk on expensive brandy or cognac mixed with Coca Cola, and we are sensuous lovers, insatiable lovers... and our lover says good-bye... so we get drunk on Courvoisier & Coke... and we shoot ourselves.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Everyone Gets A Chance

Whoever wins the elections, they will get their chance now:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (backed by taxpayer money) took over bad loans from the big banks.
Fannie and Freddie have a legal right to return bad loans, especially if they later discover fraudulent statements on applications. Any money they recover offsets their losses.
Of course, the big banks don't want them back. They prefer that the taxpayers continue to be the burden bearer.

On this topic, over the next few years, there is an enormous inventory of houses with delinquent loans on that will be put on the market over the next three years. This will keep the housing market static or declining. I  suggestes some time ago we bulldoze a lot of these, particularly ones with poor construction. This group could amount to 50% or more of such housing units.


Contrary to our way of looking at things, most prophetic statements have not been very specific; they have held little specific detail. They are big on sound and fury and painting large pictures of casts of  thousands of Assyrians coming down on the flocks, but don't spend a lot of time on what Asshurbanipal had for breakfast that auspicious day.

In fact, the more detail the worse it would  be, for it would be forgotten! People would believe what they wanted, having not made the effort to recall whatever the detailed Jeremiah told them, and it would all be for nought.

One of the few times details worked to move men was when Jesus wrote in the sand.....
and even that was not a forecast but a history of the sins of his auditors.

Obama's Problem

Obama's problem was the fact that the financial system was more or less salvaged. If it had collapsed, then a new deal of social and political legislation could have been enacted with unstinting praise. As it is, we still think we got the right stuff.
Once we did; not so much anymore.

Obama's return will come after the Coming Republican Debacle, and my schedule says 2014 - 2016 is when the wheels fall off.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nation Building

The current US regime is adept at nation building; however, the nations they build are "failed states". Iraq is going that way, and rather quickly, too. Approximately 50,000 troops will stay there forever - or, at least until we have finished renovating our own Homeland Failed State Model right here, and can no longer afford it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

9 / 12

We had a chance to stand up, and stand we did - opposing mindless acts of symbolic terror and burning, which themselves could be precursors of actual terror. Let us not forget that Nations may be terrorists, and the terror of Nations is War, Rendition, and Torture. Terror everywhere in every form must be opposed.
Many of us stood up to be counted against Intolerance.

Now, of course, there are copycats. We knew there would be. However, the Whore of Babylon - also known as the Media - has a short memory and is off to find Novelty!

I woke up this morning with a sense that the high water mark of Fear, Ignorance, and Intolerance had been reached over the weekend and will now begin to recede. Amen to that!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Joy to be Simple

Simplify things - that's the ticket! Simplify!

Reading about the four-month strike at the Mott's-Snapple-Dr.Pepper Plant in New York: the company wants to bring the wages and benefits into line with the wages and benefits of the surrounding area, and want concessions to do so.
In other words, give up $ 1.50 hourly in order to join the median level of the depressed surrounding area in recession-hit New York.

My own prescription is to stop drinking Snapple. That will surely makes those "rich", fat-cat workers regret they ever messed with Dr. Pepper.

Stop drinking everything bottled for your convenient consumption and adulterated with corn syrup, caffeine, and preservatives. Simplify by becoming tea-total or water-total.

Bring those workers to their knees!

Bishop of Rome

Reading about the abuse problem in the Church in Belgium......

Henceforth, the RC Church will not be able to close its eyes to the sexuality of its priests, nuns, and monks. There will be discussion; there will be realization that there is no scripturally sound basis. The Church will become aware that it was closer to Cybele than to Christ.

There is no magic activity... or in-activity... in the world.
We cannot become shamans of chastity...
God is not served by doing or not doing the symbolic acts of our fevered, pubescent imaginations.

September 11

I am proud of Americans.
I re-lived the 9/11 story, I cried... again.
I read of the family, the one family, which is still in litigation about the death of a family member. I read about the first responders. I do not read about those who jumped from 100 stories up to escape the inferno, because I shall never forget those pictures engraved into my memory during the events themselves... live TV feeds that showed bodies plummeting.

When I complain about America, I am usually complaining about "Official America", the America that has been usurped by the rich elite and which plots their wars and schemes and treasons against the well-being of the rest of us.
Individually, we are good people. Even in groups, we are good, although the shine does tarnish a bit. Big Government and Big Media, however, are another matter. It has been their concern for more than a quarter century to make Corporations equal in rights and privileges to Individuals. This is the reason we are always at War: War is good for business - it ceaselessly destroys assets, requiring constant replacement. You will observe that War is not nearly as good for the rest of us particularly those that have lost loved ones.
To promote War, we cultivate terror groups to fight against our foes, knowing full well that in the sweet bye-and-bye these terrorists will engage our focus, and we shall have to wage yet another War against them; look at the history of Saddam Hussein! We backed him with everything we had for a long time, as long as he fought against Iran.
... and do we need reminding that the USA suported Osama bin Laden for years... arms, material, all paid for by you and I. 

I am proud of Americans.
Maybe not ex-alcoholic pastors with a penchant for arson... but by and large all Americans.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome, Climate Change!

You'll know when CC has arrived; you'll see and hear things you never saw nor heard before. A fire storm in Detroit? Twenty houses burnt, just as if it were a desert like around LA where the Santa Ana licks the moisture from every stick and provides the kindling for fires? Never, ever heard nor saw the like.


Intelligent beings create scenarios; they are writers and editors of their fate: history, present, and future.
The "self" is created as a character to portray the entity which is perceived to be ephemeral, the being which was born and which will die, the being which has a definite beginning and end in time. This definiteness helps to make the delineation of the "self" richer and more robust in our scenarios.

Then there is the being which does not pass in and out of existence. That is a being much harder to grasp, because it is hard to write about it: its passions seem bloodless, its lusts seem as insubstantial as the fog of warm breath on a cold day.
But that is mainly a problem with the way we write, the "formula" we use to create our scripts.

So how do people who are aware of this deal with it?
Some people use the method of supernatural beings, such as angels: the eternal is portrayed as a "self" which although resembling the "self" of individual men  and women, is somehow more & less than humanity; more in "spirit" and less in "body".
These "spiritual selves" are no longer bound to suffering ( although in some accounts-e.g., Paradise Lost and accounts of eternal retribution-they are still suffering) and are often free from death. They are often poor characters, because the very dynamics of defining character - suffering, desire, etc. - are forbidden in our description of them.

We tend to believe our scripts. Since the "self" has been used by us to be a multi-faceted character that has a definite end in time, we tend to think that if our sense of "self" disappears, we have arrived at death, and we experience all the emotions that ensue. Fear usually drags us back to our sense of "reality" where the "self" - comme Boudou sauve des eaux... newly saved from drowning in the sea of selflessness - coughs and spits the feeling of nothingness from its lungs.

The fullness of God is greater than the fullness of "self". The mere fact that we in our capacity as scriptwriters tend to empty it is merely a demonstration that we have not put away the childrens' books and accepted our responsibility to create in a mature way.
God is not joy. God is not suffering.
Joy and Suffering are a Duality, a state of tension between two opposing forces.
If we go beyond this state of tension, we do not obliterate Joy nor Suffering, but we incorporate them.
What does it mean to "incorporate"?
As Christians, we have spent 2,000 years dealing with the notion of "incorporation": taking the body of God into ourselves, and we have not come to a definitive answer. Nor have we - in the realm of actions - demonstrated that we have a firm grasp on making the Morality of our God an integral part of our lives.

So I shall answer this last question when I feel like doing it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Dove World Outreach

If the Dove World Outreach Center follows through on its plan to burn copies of the Qur'an on 9/11, plans should be considered to burn the Dove World Outreach Center.

For did not Abel offer burnt sacrifice of victims pleasing to God? The offerings were not something displeasing. What better way to show our approval of these holy simpletons?

Monday, September 06, 2010


Cornelius Agrippa and the Magicians, Mystics, and Philosophers of Trimegistos refer to their goal as the Great Secret. However, it is merely the hardest thing in the World for each individual, and the secret is not hidden, but is merely impossible to think of... other than as a far away dream... something forever receding from our grasp.

There are no secrets. There are merely achievements seemingly impossible, the pursuit of which are the basis for our sense of Fear.


Some people say the Dow Industrial what-ever-you-call-it (... index!) will decline to 5,000 within a short time. I disagree... at least, I disagree given the present set of circumstances. Put a bunch of "deficit busters" who are also "keep the tax cuts" in  charge and all bets are off. (One of the problems with 'keep the tax cuts' is that the cuts are for the wealthy. The rich spend less than the rest of us improvident grasshoppers - they don't have to spend as much as a percent of their assets as the rest of us do, and they can move money overseas, too. Money in a consumer society is made by putting money into the hands of consumers... and this is what we are not doing and have not been doing for a while. The fact that it is bass-ackwards and paradoxical is proof that it is indeed our policy:  if you wish peace prepare for war type of thinking and logic that has been our bane!)

In August 2007 I wrote down on a piece of paper - which I still have - what the Dow would be within 2 years: 10,000. It went to 6,000 in 2008. It is now at around 10,500 +/- 500 and has been for a while. The extra decline to 6,000 was Panic Selling.
I do not see Dow 5,000.......... UNLESS..... the idiots who got us into this mess in the first place are elected.
(Even then, I see 7,500.) 

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Gadara and its Swine

Richard Wilbur, poet, wrote this Matthew VIII, 28 ff
which is the story of Jesus casting out demons from humans into a herd of swine which, maddened thereby, plunge themselves to their swinish doom off a cliff. The touching love of the men of Gadara for their property - in this case, the swine - reminds me of some other people I know.

We shall not, however, resign
Our trust in the high-heaped table and the full trough.
If You cannot cure us without destroying our swine,
We had rather You shoved off.


Saturday, September 04, 2010

Lies in Time 3

Let us consider slavery and racism.
Supposedly destroyed in the Civil War, racism actually spread and increased and slavery mutated into Jim Crow; once evil is part of the system, it is hard to eradicate. We have not eradicated it yet. As long as it remains systematic, there is the possibility it will metastasize or will return in its original form.


I'm beginning to think that various geologic and atmospheric changes that even I thought would take thousands of years may actually occur rather quickly. I have been saying for years that climate change will swoop down on us like the wolf on the flock, or the Assyrian on Israel.
The seas are filling with CO2, my body is filled with polymers, wer are supremely satisfied when we are not scared out of our wits.

Lies in Time 2

In the period when the Lie is Truth; e.g., during the ante-bellum period in the USA when there was much religious support and reasoning for Slavery, we see how every society seems to have the ability to systematize its own evil impulses. America chose slavery, racism, genocide and exploitation.

However, it is extremely difficult to get rid of things that were once an integral part of the system: slavery lives on as racism, exploitation is alive and well, the paternal genocide exercised upon native Americans is transmuted into a tolerance for higher rates of death, crime, and executions among poorer peoples.

Lies in Time

When I was very young, the Roman Catholic Church was still fond of teaching that all peoples beyond their belief system were condemned to hell. This included my playmates who happened to be Protestants - or "Publicans" as we called them, since they attended Public School.
This may have been my first serious disagreement with the Church and dogma: this condemnation of my childhood friends to perdition; at least, it was certainly the most important pre-pubertal issue I had with the Church. By the time I was 14 I had repudiated this pernicious bit of doctrine, struck it from my manual for catechumens, and posted my One Thesis on the cathedral door: All Mankind may go to Heaven. They may have to go in through the service entrance - like the more extreme Protestants sects, Holy Rollers come to mind - but I came down firmly on the side of St. Paul and affirming that we may not all die (for Elijah was taken up in a fiery chariot, was he not?) but we will all be changed, and for the better.

Now I am reading about the Religious and Churchly defences of Slavery in pre-Civil War America. It was all very clear back then that Slavery was moral and good, and much was made of its regulation in the Bible. There is much made of an intolerable science of the inherent rectitude of Slavery for certain races of Mankind, too, and this pre-destination by the genes worked out well with the Word of God as it was seen at the time. A long time ago I learned that although the Word may be inspired, my or any particular reading of the Word has no guarantee of being inspired.

I stand in the face of this Religion and Morality and am speechless, for I am not able to judge. I can see how the evil was woven into the fabric of the time and place and could not easily be extricated, and thus the economically necessary became the Moral Law in the minds of men... for we find it hard to imagine a Morality which denies us economic well-being and wealth and riches!

Now just as the RC Church changed with regard to the possibility of non-Catholics getting to heaven, the religions of the South changed in their view of slavery.
Since I no longer consider my own place in history as a privileged viewing spot, I cannot merely dismiss their belief so easily. It seems that the notion of Absolute Morality stems from this type of experience: to accept the unacceptable. As mentioned above, we cannot conceive of a Moral Law which is truly inconvenient for us: thus, we must make accommodations for evil within the pantheon of our moral laws; we must slide down the pew to make room for the devil.
Thus, we say the churches were mistaken, and that the real moral law holds that slavery is evil, and this real moral law is more inclusive than law on our level of being; there is a moral higher up and more general which resolves the opposites and paradoxes of life: impulse to evil - agent and society - is resolved to Crime & Punishment, and this itself falls under the rubric of God' Law or God's Plan.

Every Lie is a Truth somewhere in Time. In the unfolding of the History of Mankind, Lies and Truths are changelings and cowbirds.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Roman Athletes

There is a story that Gaius Appuleius(sic) Diocles won almost 36 million sesterces in his career as a chariot driver in ancient Rome. It is calculated that this was enough to feed the entire Roman populace for one year. If that's true, then Gaius was even richer than the legendary Tiger Woods, recently named the first sports "billion dollar man".

I think it is grand that we are trying so hard to emulate the ancients. They were incredibly wise, except for that Slavery thing.