Friday, April 21, 2017

Interconnected Lives


Neat long rows of vegetables and fruit thriving in the sunshine, that is what I remember. The more I get into gardening for myself, the more I realize I need to let go of the gardens of my youth and our back yard and think of the soil and the harvest. 

I don't need two acres or half a back yard of neat rows of corn, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and so on. I need to think out of the ordered rows and plan for next year and years to come as well as this year. I need more flowers mixed in with the hopscotch of gardening. This is called polyculture, putting different plants together to make the best use of harvesting times and placement for shade or full sun.

Plant flowers with the vegetables and forget planting all of one kind of vegetable or fruit together. That is the way insects, pests, and wild animals are kept under control. I'm sure I'll get to the point where I can go out into the tomato patch and pull fat hornworms off the leaves and tomatoes, but not yet. Marigolds in with the tomatoes keep vermins and insects out of the tomatoes. I'll have hanging planters with strawberries and grape tomatoes from the pergola mixed in with a hanging pot of marigolds just in case.  

I will also plant for butterflies and bees. I'm allergic to bees, but if I don't antagonize them they will not sting me and send me running for the Epi-Pen.  Planting flowers to attract butterflies and bees serves two purposes: keeping out pests and attracting pollinators to help the garden grow. Nothing better. To get my natural insect predators there is the added bonus of beauty among the food. I can handle that.  

No need to worry about the other garden pests -- weeds. They have their beneficial side too, especially when you take note of their roots and the kind of weeds that grow. Dandelions have long roots that break up the soil and are necessary for aerating the garden and pointing to areas that need to be watered more. Dandelions seek iron and are full of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Long tap roots also mean water and necessary minerals are deep underground and being drawn up through the tap roots. Same applies for garden plants. If the roots are thick and deep, drip irritation or watering more often is the answer. Roots that are fine and hair-like also mean the soil is loose and the roots are holding the soil together, compacting it so the water won't run through as if it were sand. 

Thistles are an entirely different problem indicating the soil is too dry. Thistles can also be invasive. Paying attention to where and when thistles grow will give you clues as to what your soil, and hence your garden, need from you. In this case, more water and nitrogen will benefit your plants and eventually you. 

Such intercropping (planting flowers and vegetables together) is beneficial for the yield of the harvest and for the land itself. Some plants grow better together: 


  • Onions with leafy vegetables, followed by green beans and Chinese cabbage or spinach
  • Potatoes with leafy vegetables, followed by green beans and Chinese cabbage or spinach
  • Spring kale with radishes, followed by celery and tomatoes
  • Spring spinach, followed by lima beans and tomatoes
  • Double rows of corn alternated with single rows of peppers
  • A double row of garlic with spinach down the center
  • Strawberries with watermelon
Sunflowers attract birds that feed on cabbage worms, grasshoppers and other small insects, including flea beetles feeding the birds with sunflower seeds and providing perches for the birds to see and attack from the stems to root out their favorite food. Good for you and good for the birds. 

Plant crops together to support each other and to help trap insects and attract beneficial insects and birds. Broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes grow well together while lettuce, radicchio, and sorrel. Crowder peas, green beans and peppers are all popular crops to sandwich between rows of corn, providing shade for the smaller plants and filling the space between corn which takes longer to grow. In many hot climates, corn grown along the south side of potatoes provides shade in hot weather, which helps keep the soil cool and moist while the potatoes are making their crop. For instance, corn, pole beans, and squash support each other. The corn supports the bean vines, the squash shades out weeds, and the roots of the different plants get along nicely below ground. 

Like the human body, the plants support each other and feed us. Healthier plants also provide good green manure when dug into the ground at the end of the season and also set up healthier soil for next year, providing higher yields.  Plant salad greens in the spaces between. Rabbits and other small foragers will eat some, but we can afford to share. 

Gardening is not just about food for the table. It lets you know what you need -- more fertilizer, more water, more earthworms, etc. -- and tells you about the health of the soil. Healthier soil means healthier plants and a healthier you. It is all connected just like the mind, body, and soul are all connected in me and you. The land is just as connected as we are to the land. The health of one is crucial to the health of the other and to the world around us. We are all connected and nowhere does that connection show more effectively than in the garden and the land. 

Read books and talk to gardeners from different cultures to find out what works for them and what they have learned. Share your experiences and as for guidance. As you get closer to the land you will find you are getting closer to yourself and to other gardeners. Share the wealth and the knowledge. 

That is all. Disperse. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Growing Pains


Does a butterfly know that as a caterpillar it will spin a cocoon and emerge as a beautiful butterfly? Probably not. We don't realize as babies struggling with unsteady legs and immature eyes and tongue that we will emerge in command of our legs, eyes, and tongue and become adults, at least not when we open our eyes on this bright and painful place far from the warmth in our floating womb. Even as we struggle through puberty beset with longings and rebellious determination to fly free into a world without restraint and rules do we begin to realize the struggle is not over, merely just beginning as we fumble and strain to find our place in the grand design, constantly struggling to figure out where we belong and where we go from here. Then it all ends without ever having known what it all was for. We are born. We live. We die. We are gone. In between each phase, we struggle with growing pains, stretching for more, for beyond, for the purpose to our struggle and to our lives.

Throughout history it seems others have it all figured out. They eventually die -- or so we believe -- and it is too late to ask them what they saw we did not. These magnificent butterflies may leave stories or words, parables or truths we did not experience through our senses and so we are told to believe and have faith. We will understand some day, but do we? Do we truly understand or are we still wobbly-legged toddlers taking our first steps or babies kicking the air and eventually rolling over onto our bellies to wriggle our way across the ground? We are all caterpillars struggling to spin cocoons from which we emerge butterflies after great pains into the light of the next phase of our lives.

Is this what Francisco of Assisi learned when he emerged from his fever to spend days in the fields and eventually cast off his finery to walk naked through the streets to the ruin of San Damiano to rebuild as one by one his young friends cast off their families and possession to join him as humble beggars living as the poor, walking barefoot from place to place to spread the message that peace and hope were not to be found among the distractions of the accepted way of life? It was not the perfect understanding of an ascended master like Yeshua bar Joseph, merely a glimpse of the change that awaits us all as we struggle for understanding in a world gone mad where hate, greed, and entertainment divert us all from what is right in front of us. We have not even the glimpse that Francis saw before following what he saw as the way to take in his grasp and to follow what he knew of the enlightenment of the Holy Roman Church. That path is still open for those who choose to believe, but it is not the final destination merely a way station on the road.

I've begun to see reports and videos of followers of Islam who find peace and a better way than obedience or death in a set of beliefs that run counter to the peace and limited enlightenment of Christianity or even Judaism. Those systems of belief were forged during a time when mankind was ignorant of other beliefs, other methods of finding enlightenment -- at least in the Western world. The Eastern world follow Buddhism toward enlightenment for the same message offered in those teachings echo Christianity and Judaism, both of which sprang from a different well. Though nearly extinct, the New World followed the path of the Incas, Maya, and Aztec, among others and what remains after the conquerors from Europe raped and pillaged a way into and among the First Nations of the northern territories of the New World also held a seed of enlightenment eventually shared with the newcomers and their descendants where seekers found a spark or a glimpse of enlightenment. Nowhere on this planet, not even in the vast reaches of Australia, have seeds of enlightenment not been spread, some codified in organized religions and the rest as whispers in the dark promising the light.

Though it seems impossible that light is visible in the turmoil and darkness of our modern times, we all struggle, weakly or with increasing power, toward the light, moths to the brightness that flares in the darkness drawing us forward, ever onward to the promise of enlightenment. Maybe that is why at this time we find everything changing and a man like Trump at the helm promising a return to better times, more profitable and peaceful times, but we will not find it by following another flawed demagogue for truth and the path ahead does not go where Trump or Obama or Clinton or leaders around the world are going. The light that fills our minds and brings peace to our hearts is all around us, visible when we cast aside the distractions that make it oh so difficult to see. Enlightenment fills the planet, the trees, the animals, and everywhere we look when we refuse to be distracted.

We need not be beggars or follow the paths carved out before us. Some few may glimpse the light, but not enough of us until we shed all that hampers us from embracing what has always been freely given. We are racked with the aches and pains of turning away from the distractions that beset us, the bright, shiny objects that pull our focus on what matters most -- the light. Flashes of brilliance blind us temporarily and yet through the blinding glare the clear pulse of true light remains.

We are no longer children, but teenagers tortured as we fight free of our cocoons. Like the butterfly, we must free ourselves of the confines of our cocoons, the fight for freedom strengthening sinew, sending blood pumping to new wings that change as the wrinkles of confinement disappear while the blood forced by the effort to escape the confines of our previous existence, raise blood-filled wings, test the air, and finally leap into the sparkling air into the existence that has always been right there in front of us. With each beat of our wings, we move closer to the light and closer to the real change we could not see or even glimpse while distracted by sparkly bits and bright flashes that obscured what lay before us. The growing pains will subside with each beat of our wings. As we move forward into the light we will shed the rest of the shreds and patches of the cocoon, leaving a drying husk to mark our metamorphosis and to point the way for the butterflies and moths to mark the path for all willing to test their wings and accept enlightenment and realization that we were and are meant for more. In our wake we lead the way into a brighter and more peaceful reality where we can exercise the wings carrying us to the phase of existence where we will no longer be hampered by earthly constraints. That is our destination the future, growing pains and horrors, hate and aggression behind us, as we move into the light.

That is all. Disperse.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Fear Quotient


Most of my life, as I tried to understand why God would allow evil to happen to good people and why, since he is All Powerful and All Knowing, He didn't know that King David would covet Bathsheba when he saw her bathing on her roof top one night and decide to get Uriah, her husband, out of the way and that King David would need Bathsheba to give birth to Solomon, the greatest and wisest king of Israel. Since God Knows All, why not cut to the chase and put Uriah out of the way and introduce King David and Bathsheba instead of creating all the drama, aborting a child, and making it possible and not against God's laws for them to be together and for Solomon to be born? It makes sense to me looking at these people more than 2 centuries later so why didn't God make it easier on everyone from the beginning?

I felt the same about Adam and Eve and Noah and all the people I learned about as a child and continued to learn as I read more and experienced more life. That is until I asked the forbidden question that earned me a slap in the mouth right before I was told in no uncertain terms that God's will must be taken on faith. Why? I didn't believe that the God who granted me intelligence and curiosity would expect me to spurn his gifts of intelligence and curiosity and deny me the use of what he freely gave.

I still don't.

What's worse, I still ask questions and seek answers even if it means being damned to the eternal fires of Hell for my presumption. Come to that, I haven't believed in Hell for a very long time even when priests and ministers/pastors/preachers turned pale when I asked them how a fire can affect an immortal soul which has no flesh, no senses, and does not feel fire, even as they admonished me and damned me with Hellfire and an eternity without the light of God. They prayed over my stubborn soul and reminded me that I would find out for without God I would be lost in the void or hanging over the bottomless abyss for my temerity and ignorance. "What would happen if no one believed in God," they asked. My retort was, "Not everyone on this planet believes in God and especially not YOUR God." Even as a child I knew how to bring damnation and punishment with a question or a statement not allowed children, for are we not all children?

As I puzzled and questioned and searched for answers it became clear to me that I did not believe in God. Not the God of Abraham and David, not Allah, not the gods of any organized religion because they all had failed. I saw the fine threads that bound all organized religions together even when doctrines clashed and opposed dogma. I wasn't quite an atheist because I was certain (still am) that there is a Creator at the center of everything and we are the physical manifestation of that Creator in the process of understanding itself. My ruminations took me far beyond whether God had a Wife who actually gave birth to all from the tiniest seed to the greatest expression of existence. I am not an agnostic, although I do believe that there is a Creator at the heart of all existence and reality, because I have already put organized religion in my rear view mirror.

As I crawl from the crude and rudimentary shackles placed on me at birth this time around, I see a greater truth, a greater reality, and, though a bit daunting at times, I am becoming comfortable with the Cosmic All. One might say I have reached the point where fear of God no longer hinders me. I have lost my Fear.

I used to think that religion was created as a means of passing information and understanding to succeeding generations intact -- or mostly intact considering what I have seen and experienced in my short lifetime -- and that was completely off track because I was still basing everything on what I had learned as a child and that was fear. Fear. Fear is what makes small children obedient. Fear of punishment. Fear of discovery. Fear of retribution. Fear of consequences. Fear of the towering parent, guardian, older and wiser adults who could ruin my life with a notation in my permanent record or eternity with a black mark in the Cosmic Book where God keeps a record of sins, transgressions, and good deeds, the adult version of Santa's Christmas List where children are either naughty or nice.

When I realized that everything in this life, from cradle to grave, is measured by God's Naughty and Nice list, the fear began to fade and evaporate from my reality. I don't fear God's displeasure or his pleasure because God does not exist. God as an invisible and incarnate parent ready with punishment and reward is as variable as Santa Claus with his Naughty and Nice list, only as real as people believe. There are countries and peoples who have never heard of Santa Claus just as there are entire groups of people in far distant lands (and some in our own country) who do not worship the Judeo-Christian deity of the Ten Commandments. I used to worry about how non-believers would be judged and whether they would end up in Heaven or Hell -- or even Purgatory as some believe -- until I was told that those who do not know God or his son, Jesus Christ, would not be judged by Judeo-Christian rules.  They would simply cease to exist. Seemed a bit unfair to me as a child and even as an adult that people who do not believe as I was taught to believe would not be held accountable for what I viewed as sins because for those non-believers what I counted as sin was not counted in the same manner nor be held to account by rules they never knew existed, and that included all the myriad generations of those who came before Jesus Christ.

Yes, there is a certain belief that what is sin for one is not sin for another for without believing in the sin means you are not judged by the rules that made the act a sin in the first place. Followers of Islam see things a different way, but so do followers of Buddha, Tao, and every other organized religious tradition. How can you be held accountable for a sin which you do not know exists? For Muslims the answer is easy: death for all who do not believe or refuse to believe. If you're not with us then you no longer exist. You are dead, usually parting this life without your head attached to your body. For some aborigines, being parted from your head means you are cast into the void without an anchor. The same is true for many religious beliefs.

That is where I made the bold move to choose the pagan way, a life without organized religion rooted in harmony with the belief that as a part of nature I should be in harmony with nature. How can you be in harmony with nature when nature is being perverted, twisted out of nature for some corporate whim that will make corporate leaders rich and reduce everything and everyone else to collateral damage? Who do they answer to since their god is money? Money doesn't last, not even when it is fashioned of gold or silver or paper? In the end, everything returns to its basest state and ceases to exist, especially when those who created the money and its forms cease to exist. Rather belies the mantra that god is eternal and we are dust in the wind even when the dust that travels on the wind is ashes and gold/silver dust. Even copper dust travels on the wind as do nickel, lead, and uranium. All existence, all reality is dust on the wind because none of this or that or the other exists. In the end, we are illusion composed of fairy silver and dreams.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and God was the Word -- so it says in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Those words are echoed by nearly every organized religion -- I said there was truth in every organized religion that binds all the truths together. Before the Light, before the waters and animals and Adam and Eve, there was the Word. The Word is God and the semantics of which came first (chicken or egg -- egg naturally) do not count. At the Center of Creation, the Word came first and all the rest followed. Maybe in the Cosmic All, the Word followed the thought or the loneliness of the Beginning and the Cosmic All needed to figure itself out and thus the rest was created so the Cosmic All would be able to figure itself out and the Cosmic All collects the experiences and information from every single creation in order to figure itself out, to determine if there is a need for right and wrong, good and evil or if those concepts are little more than expressions of the action followed by the reaction and how that tallies with the cosmic concepts of reality.

The determination of good and evil come from the reaction following the action of this or that and the incarnation of a being of free will in proximity to the action and the reaction. Nothing is as we think it is. Everything on this plane of existence is determined by incarnation and the free will of choice. Do this but not that. Deviate from this action and the reaction will be painful or illuminating as determined by a reality rooted in fear or wonder and whether or not like incarnations react in a similar way. It is all about balance and we are all back to Archimedes lever moving the Earth with a long enough bar and a large enough fulcrum or dropping a boulder into the bathtub with the resultant splash of water from bathtub to floor. The Cosmic All is a balancing act, a seesaw that moves up and down depending on which side of the beam weighs the most. Fear outweighs complaisance. Or does it? If there is no God, who cares and who will view the results?

It is not God that keeps us in check but fear. Fear of God. Fear of punishment and discipline. Take away God and you eventually take away the fear that emerges from God, from God's displeasure, God's rules, God's book, God's ethics. We do not descend to moral relativism as some atheists believe when they take God from the equation. Chaos does not descend and, as Roger Zelazny illustrated, Chaos is not the lack of rules but imprisonment and stifling of creativity in an existence that is all about rules and order. It is in Amber, yet another shadow of Chaos, where beings are truly free, or at least beginning to be free. Each shadow of Amber creates a new set of rules and consequences, a new set of fears until another shadow is entered and the rules and fears change. Anything can happen the farther one gets from the confines of Chaos just as anything can happen when fear is taken out of the equation.

One might say that it was during Hitler's reign when scientists exercised their curiosity without fearing God would punish them for their presumption and casual use of human beings as lab rats. But look how much we gained in knowledge. Without Fear we would even challenge God and become gods in his place and that is the fear, not that we would become god but that we would transcend the boundaries placed on us by fear of what God would do to us if we go too far. If there is no God, there are no limitations and no consequences and no fear. What remains is information and experience and that cannot be tolerated.

Or can it?

I believe that humanoids, earthlings, left to their own devices seek balance, seek to find balance between existence and the natural law. Without the fear of god, we would still seek balance, to find a place within the Cosmic All that feels right to us where the equation equals out and where we fit. We do not need a god for that and not even an omnipotent, all powerful, omniscient, and omnipresent God keeping an eye on us. We seek balance.

Call it moral relativism. Call it pie in the sky. Call it Fred for all I care. We are elements of the cosmic question seeking balance. That is all the god we need. We will make mistakes. We will hurt others. We will destroy but in the end nothing is ever completely destroyed (at least as far as we know) and will simply change state as an atom can be both particle and wave and time and space switch positions in the cosmic equation. Everything is possible. Nothing is wrong. We are either in balance with the Cosmic Equation or we are not. We will have other chances to find balance because that is our ideal state -- balance -- and we will continue to strive in this form or another to attain Cosmic Balance.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Control Through Fear


I had just queued up End of Days when it hit me. The Roman Catholic Church and the end of the Mayan Long Count are the same thing. The Roman Catholic Church and Christian traditions about the end of the current age of man paint a horrific picture while the Mayan long count is the end of the current age of man. Christianity controlled people through fear and the impending judgment of god while the Mayans, at least as far as we in the 21st century know, announced the end of third or fourth age. Christians have feared the last days as though hell would be unleashed on earth and only the good people who have followed faithfully the teachings of their ministers, priests, popes, and preachers would go to heaven. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

If there were the first, second, and third ages of man and mankind still exists, the end of the long count would be no more catastrophic than December 31st before the next year's calendar page is turned. There is the expected end of the current reality where humans/earthlings/mankind is anchored to the 3rd density, but with the coming of the next age of man all people will be (for lack of a better phrase) upgraded to the next highest density and will exhibit the same powers as the ascended masters, performing miracles, levitating, and free from the masters and overlords who have kept all humankind mired in the 3rd density where fear is the defining factor and the emotion that controls us all.

The reason the Roman Catholic Church and Christian teachings got the date wrong is because of the switch to the Julian calendar that throws all dates off. Had we maintained the old calendar the date would not have become the time of Satan/Lucifer and the minions of hell in 1999, or thereabouts, but on December 21, 2012 as the Mayan long count showed. Then again, we would all have missed out on the fear and creativity of writers and leaders of the Christian churches that gave us literature and movies like End of Days starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I see the creativity contained in the dark specter of Armageddon and the return of Satan from the pits of Hell to run loose upon the world, but we could all have done without the sword hanging over all our heads by an eroding thread and the pronouncements of religious adherents and zealots doing their best to make their last days as spectacular and frightening as possible. I've no doubt the Mayans had their zealots and religious nuts making the end of the long count as frightening and spectacular as possible, but I'll bet such fear mongering was less pronounced among an enlightened people who had devolved to celebrating death in their games. Then again, maybe that is what has come down to us through archaeologists and historians who have conflated Mayan reality with Christian reality, destroying all semblance of a calmer and more peaceful reality and view of the future. The Roman Catholic Church held out eternal damnation and the hope of heaven to the faithful using fear as the barbed goad to herd the masses toward a future that continued to give the Pope and his clergy the upper hand over the masses willing to sign over their wealth and future for less time in purgatory and eventually a stairway to heaven. Where fear rules and is fueled by God's displeasure and impossibly high standards for entry to the highest heaven mankind will always come in last.

The Muslims hold out fear and death for all who do not believe that Allah has the final say on who gets to Paradise and that fear has been counted in deaths, preferably without a head. While western societies use fear to maintain control and reward the faithful with shorter sentences in purgatory, Muslims offer no such hope for anyone who does not convert and praise Allah while submitting to the will of Allah and revere Allah's prophet Mohammed.

No matter what name is held out as the hope of the faithful, fear is the real motivator and not doing good for the sake of good, turning god, heaven, hell, and utter damnation into quid pro quo. If I refused to believe in god in any form I would still reject the quid pro quo because you cannot bargain with a god who was made in Man's image and limited by Man's imagination. I cannot see any god counting up heads and deaths in order to deem a supplicant worthy of Paradise or Heaven or whatever takes the place of reward. That is something I expect from the men who control the flow of information and dole out rewards and punishments like a bouncer at the poshest night club in town. That is not the reality I see and certainly not the reality I am willing to accept; it is too banal, too much stick on one hand for too little carrot on the other.

I do believe there are people who glimpse the future and have seen, or glimpsed, the last days of this reality in the 3rd density. I do not think they have the view right because they are measuring everything they see through their own experiences and their own training, fueled by fear and guilt instilled by whoever was in charge when they were taught. Nothing like filling the well of hope with a big old turd. What may look like potable water from the well is nonetheless tainted by the floating turd in the water. Everything tastes like turd.

That is the position in which we all find ourselves, those who have not learned the truth untainted by fear or control. We are living in the last days of the current age of man in the 3rd density. We have been distracted by the shiny baubles that keep us from see the world as it actually is instead of the world as it has become, tainted by fear and the floating turd. We get a glimpse of the future to come when we ascend, or transcend, to the next level of existence, but the pretty baubles and litany of fears keep us from seeing reality long enough to be able to grasp what is our right as we transcend the mud wherein we dwell, our minds and hearts filled with the fear, guilt, panic, and shiny baubles that catch and hold our eyes. We are caught up in the same old tug-of-war of politics, money, and endless things we can buy if we give over control to the leaders of organized religions weighing us down.

In the end, we will give up struggling and accept the horrifying world we have been fed from our first meal and struggle to follow the rules laid down centuries before and reality will move on without us, though some of those controlling leaders will be gone. Those who remain will continue to struggle to remember how we were taught limping forward without realizing what we make of the rags and tags of that which remains is merely a poor copy of the slavery under which they labored for centuries. The ones who believed and opened their hearts and minds transcend this shattered reality and continue to learn and evolve as we were always meant to do, secure in the knowledge that heaven or paradise or an upgraded existence are theirs forever more. There was never a Hell except the one we made for ourselves and loved ones died because Man was in control. There was no white-bearded god holding out his hand for us to awaken and no Moon god called Allah demanding severed heads and bloody swaths across the known world as sacrifice.

The sooner we put childish fears and guilt behind us, the sooner we can scrape the mud of this 3rd density off our feet and level up. A new age of man awaits us and all we need do to accept our place is to shed childish beliefs, give up the rule of fear, and walk open-eyed into the promised future. A new long count began on December 22, 2012 and we are falling behind. Wake up and accept the waiting reality. I'll be waiting for you on the other side.

That is all. Disperse.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Perspective Matters


Forced perspective is reality turned on its head, such is the case with the Trump presidency.

Trump has been called the biggest liar in presidential history and bold pundits muzzled for the 8 years of the Obama presidency point to Obama as the soul of reason, calm logic, and truth. Forced perspective. What else can people say with Trump firing off tweets in the middle of the night and throwing out comments and off the cuff remarks that seem more like paranoid fantasies than anything resembling the truth. I remember when Trump said he had witnessed Muslims cheering in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and was called out. No Muslims cheered the bombing of the World Trade Center. How dare he? I don't know if you noticed, but a few days later a sheepish Left retracted their bold calls of "Liar, liar, pants on fire" when digital and photographic proof surfaced. Oops.

All throughout Trump's bombastic displays the Left and Democrats and quite a few entrenched Republicans loudly proclaim Trump's lies only to have to retract -- or more often ignore -- opposition quietly or develop a sudden aversion to reminders of their liar, liar outrage as facts emerge that Trump was indeed right. Does that stop Trump's opposition? Less than a hundred days in and the Democrats, Left, and entrenched Republicans keep a microscope poised to parse every Trump utterance, misdemeanor, and divergence from the political holy canon. They obviously have difficulty learning new skills or avoiding the zap as they blunder endlessly into the old and worn routes. Insanity is defined as repeating the same behaviors and expecting a different result and the political crowd cannot figure out where they went wrong. The Democrats continue to shake their heads, play the Hillary game plan over and wonder what went wrong.

No doubt Obama and Michelle are still shaking their calmly logical heads even as Michelle discovers that she will not be allowed under the tenets of the U. S. Constitution to run for President in 2020 because she has not lived long enough in the United States. Michelle Obama will not be eligible to run for President until 2021. She is old enough (over 35) and was born in the United States to US citizens, but her parents decided to make use of the foreign student qualification by using her legal residence in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where her tax returns originated from until Obama became president. Oops. Well, at least Michelle Robinson got to go to university as a foreign student with money paid for by funds reserved for actual foreign students. That's the thing about truth; it is often inconvenient. Michelle will have to wait to run for office in the 2024 cycle with no more experience in the political trenches than Barack had, except she can claim she was First Lady for 8 years just like Hillary and no experience as the wife of a state's governor. Maybe she can find a way to trade her position as the part time hospital liaison shuffling indigent and uninsured poor to other facilities to meet their health care needs. The University of Chicago Medical Center paid Michelle $317,000 a year for her assistance in "...creat[ing] the program, which aims to find neighborhood doctors for low-income people who were flooding the emergency room for basic treatment. Hospital officials say such patients hinder [UCMC's] ability to focus on more critically ill patients in need of specialized care, such as cancer treatment and organ transplants."  It is too bad schools benefitting from Michelle's lunch program dumped her expertise and hard work planning healthy meals for students. Kids weren't eating the meals and the waste cost schools millions. 

Forced perspective once again. Michelle would have gotten farther with her lunch program if she had partnered with groups like the Edible Schoolyard or one of the local programs criss-crossing the country where teachers and students plan, plant, and harvest produce from community gardens, going back to the old saying of teaching someone to fish rather than handing out a fish being a more intelligent application of skills.  The school funds would be better used and everyone involved learns more about food from the roots up without the need to waste taxpayer dollars. That's the issue when the real reason for getting involved is personal PR and not helping the community, something Obama perfected during his White House tenure. No one could make sure the spotlight fell at precisely the best angle for Obama. No event, no tragedy, no national or international situation was wasted as long as Obama was center stage in the heart of the spotlight.

You can hold the moon in your hands with the optimum perspective just as the photo above demonstrates how to hold the Eiffel Tower between thumb and index finger. It's not magic, it's perspective, forced perspective. The politicians of the world stand aghast at Trump's pronouncements, conflations, and lies. Trump should allow himself to be guided by those practiced in the political arts and not go off on his own as though he is the Commander-in-Chief. How dare he conduct his life in the manner he has always conducted his life -- to suit himself? He is the President now and must act presidential. After nearly 50 years in construction in New York City, why should he act like a political hack instead of the powerful oligarch that he is or trade his distinct bluff and blustery style for the polished Washington Side-step perfected over decades. Is it better to sculpture a memorable sound byte or shoot from the unguarded lip as Obama did when suggesting to Dmitri Medvedev over a live microphone that when he was re-elected he'd "have more flexibility" with regard to missiles. Medvedev promised to relay Obama's comments to Vladimir Putin.

Politicians lie all the time. What doesn't play well in Washington is getting caught lying -- on camera or mic -- because that is more difficult to down play. The truth is a commodity and has little value in the political arena. Ask Bill Clinton or George W. Bush or Barack Obama or even LBJ or Nixon. They all lied, some far more grandly than the others, but lie they did because political expediency outweighs truth. Trump hasn't learned the political expediency of parsing the outside voice because it all comes from Trump's inside voice. Trump says whatever comes into his mind without parsing. Such parsing is necessary as Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand did when he told the people the government did not spy on them. There are NSA data collection centers all over the world, including a major center in New Zealand that shares information with Key and the British where every person in New Zealand and in countries around the world are spied on and their communications collected and stored. Key lied because he wanted the voters to pass a law that would legally allow the government to continue spying on everyone and collecting the data. If Key hadn't crafted his words carefully the voters would have refused to pass the measure to give the government the legal right to continuing to spy on the people and use the data the same way that the USA uses the data on every man, woman, and child in the nation.

If you want a nanny state you have to agree to give Big Brother the tools to violate your privacy and freedoms. This is 1984 in the 21st century digital age. Orwell saw the future, but not how deep Big Brother's control goes.

Trump is the fly in the political ointment and has no interest in falling into the political line. Obama subverted and bypassed the U.S. Constitution with political expedience. Trump violates the U. S. Constitution with the skills he honed navigating the New York construction industry, usually one or two steps beyond the long arm of the law, just within legal bounds. The political Powers That Be do the same thing, except the PTB rig the system by appointing judges ready to run offense and subvert the letter of the law to fulfill the unholy spirit of the law, treading the left-hand path. The ends justify the means in the political arena in the same way a bully rules the schoolyard. It is, to quote Scarlett O'Hara's mammy, "mules in horse harness."

Mutton dressed as lamb some would say, but in reality setting the weasel to guard the hen house. These days it is often impossible to discern the guard from the guarded. Weasels tend to blend in when wearing the guard's uniform until the chickens are all dead and the uniform spattered with blood and feathers.

There are those who prefer to see the weasel coming before he strikes. Trump is not a subtle man and we hear him even before we see him. Politicians are harder to discern even when you watch their lips moving.

Trump has been likened to Adolf Hitler. Hitler was a subtle politician. Trump is not a subtle man and no politician. Obama is a subtle politician.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

What Do You Think of Snowden Now?


I wonder what President Trump thinks of Edward Snowden now that he has been sitting on the hot seat for every day of his presidency and can look forward to more of the same for the rest of it?

Trump is an oligarch who enjoyed unlimited power as a private citizen with his own TV show and no one - he thought - monitoring his every action. Trump could tweet what he wanted and where he wanted without daily vilification. Trump could spout off whenever he wanted about whatever he thought without regard for inside voice/outside voice controls. Trump would be just another day or three of water cooler gossip that would fade until he spouted off like Old Faithful because he had not been raised to the highest seat in the land where his every word and off hand remark and tweet were not endlessly and arduously dissected.  After 8 years of silence while Obama was given a free pass with the press, Trump must be longing for his decades of Monday morning quarterbacking while favoring his children with businesses, support, and indulgences as he rounds the mid-race lap before heading for the home stretch with his youngest so. Is Trump longing for the days when all he had to fend off was Arnold Schwarzenegger angling for his spot on TV or some other hot dog wannabe panting to Urkel the old dog from the airwaves?

Every time Trump orders Russian dressing for his salad or opines out loud about the tea cakes at the Russian Tea Room Big Brother is watching and listening, going through the metadata on cell phone, laptop, and servers looking for a smoking gun. The smoking gun is no longer necessary now that the NSA and the #notmypresident members have their eyes on the prize: #impeachTrump. Not even Obama's digitally faked long form birth certificate from Hawaii posted on the WhiteHouse.gov website is powerful enough to deflect the nation's interest in Russian meddling in the election (already proven to be false) and how much Russian interests have been involved in the Trump team's transition to the White House. General Flynn has already fallen on his sword for the team. Who will be next?

The blood in the water is not Trump's or anyone on his team and no hungry shark will follow the trail because it lacks the perfume of actual blood. Trump is just now discovering there need not be blood in the water as long as the public thinks the Red trail is blood and leads directly to impeaching and embarrassing the President. In that way at least, Trump is once again at the head of the biggest theatrical undertaking since October 31, 1938 when Orson Welles announced the Martians had landed during the production of H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds broadcast. The only difference between 1938 and now is that Trump has landed and he can't take it back. Trump is president for better or worse and the worst is still to come.

Trump was adamant about Edward Snowden ending up in prison for life, if not shot for treason, for leaking the truth about the NSA and that Big Brother has indeed been watching us -- and President Obama knew about it. It is easy to see why Obama wants Snowden's bloody scalp, but Obama has more to lose than Trump. Obama's term in office is over and George Soros and the Democratic machine will only protect Obama so long, especially with Trump busily wielding the Executive Pen to wipe out that legacy with every flourish. Having alienated the intelligence community from the beginning will protect Obama a little bit longer, but not long enough for someone to finally crack and over shadow the Russian boogeyman that has dogged Trump's presidency since long before Putin publicly stated that Trump was worth watching. I will bet Putin wishes he could rewind time to before his open admiration for Trump gumming up the democratic works with his middle of the night tweets while sitting on the porcelain throne.

While James Come does his public impressions of Loretta Lynch and Lois Lerner for the House of Representative committee on Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections, Trump must be soiling his expensive tailored and longing for the decades of Monday morning quarterbacking from his plush office as he gears up to fire another corporate flunky wannabe for the cameras and the rabid fans of The Apprentice instead of figuring out who will next follow Gen. Flynn out the door on his or her sword. Life was so much simpler before Snowden outed the NSA and proved for the Orwellians that indeed Big Brother was always watching and had moved beyond the usual suspects checking out restricted books from the public library.

Though Trump was wrong about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower, he was right about being watched
and his metadata collected and leaked. I wonder if Trump, Trey Gowdy, or the House committee will ever discover who leaked to the press which American citizens were unmasked to provide the most embarrassment to Trump and his team? The citizens of the United States of America and the world wait with hungry eyes to discover how long Putin and Trump have been colluding to bring America to its knees.

Stop wondering. Obama did that 8 years ago when he was elected on the mantra of Hope and Change only to leave Americans wondering how the change they hoped for became change that led to Trump. Democrats and Hillary supporters are emerging from their safe spaces demanding to know what changed with their hope for a better world and how they ended up with Donald J. Trump for president turning every Executive Order into a public display instead of slipping the TransPacific Partnership treaty past Congress and the people bit by bit as America's sovereignty and power are parceled over to the United Nations and the One World Order bit by bit.

Has Trump figured out that Snowden did the country and the world a favor by outing the NSA and its worldwide spying activities and Snowden deserves a medal not a noose? As long as Trump cannot figure out that his sophomoric twitter rants in the middle of the night while sitting on the porcelain throne evacuating his bowels and venting his spleen are not actually a good idea. Snowden is a hero and anyone who has figured that out knows that heroes deserve ticker tape parades down Fifth Avenue and not waiting for his turn to be drawn and quartered or for someone to pay for a French executioner wielding a sword to make short work of his life. Trump the master of all he surveyed from his New York offices is not yet the President American voters believed in and chose as long as Trump still operates as though he is master of the empire he constructed with his daddy's money and it cannot be long before Mike Pence pardons Trump and settles in to the Oval Office to do the heavy lifting at last.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. 

That is all. Disperse.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Truth is a Prism


We think of lies and truth as black and white. Some people think of lies and truth as different shades of gray. Both are wrong. Truth and lies are both seen as light through a prism, fractured and of many colors like Joseph's many-colored coat. Even Joseph's story is as variegated as his coat.

Joseph's 10 brothers saw him as an arrogant jerk who had his father's favor. Yeah, Joseph told stories, stories Joseph saw as dreams that always left his older brothers bowing to him, stories that motivated his brothers to get rid of him and tell Isaac Joseph was dead. That was a lie, but seen in a more enlightened version, Joseph's older brothers sold him to slavers and let destiny determine Joseph's fate. Joseph was alive, his many-colored coat torn and bloody from the beating his brothers dealt him before throwing him in a pit, but Joseph would find out what it was like to bow down to men more powerful than he, masters who would buy and sell the arrogant jerk and force him to bow down. Joseph's brothers couldn't see that they were also in more powerful hands and Joseph's talents would lead to the dreams that Joseph foretold in his dreams.

That's the thing about destiny and fate, even though there are those who see the road ahead, they often do not see how we get from here to there, often fulfilling the very fate we worked so hard to thwart. It is the essence of the story where the beggar meets death at a certain hour on a certain street. Though the beggar never sees the whole story, the beggar is determined to avoid meeting Death by going to another city, turning the corner at the same hour on the same day he was told he would die, meeting Death who was as surprised as he when they met. The beggar dies, but not before Death tells him he was not expecting him because he lived in another city, the same city the beggar fled before arriving at the appointed place at the appointed time.

Writers use the same methods of telling lies and revealing truths, shining their light through a prism that reveals whatever lies and truths they choose to tell a story, and often a romantic story, such as Kurt Seyit and Sura, a Turkish romance set during the time of the Russian revolution that places an ingenue, Aleksandra Julianovna Perjenskaya, also known as Sura (Shura), at her first winter ball in Petrograd where she meets Kurt Seyit Eminof, a Russian first lieutenant whose family's service to the tsar goes back generations. Seyit's best friend is Petro, a wealthy Russian noble who has known Sura since they were children, and who has hated Seyit since their time at the academy because Seyit was stronger and better than Petro as a soldier, a wolf with the ladies, and a man, though he is the son of the Tsar's elite soldier, a Turkish Muslim who is therefore a peasant in Petro's eyes, a wealthy peasant, but in the end still a peasant.

Before the Bolsheviks rise and topple the old Russian order of Tsars and nobles, Petro kills a fellow Russian soldier when he panics. First Lieutenant Seyit, Petro's commanding officer, refuses to cover up Petro's cowardice and his murder, and Petro is forced to resign his commission and leave the army. Seyit gives Petro the option of resigning before he can be court martialed for the fellow soldier's death. Petro agrees and uses his family's money to take care of the soldier's wife and three children, leaving Petro with the knowledge that he owes Seyit his honor and his life. What Seyit does for his brother soldier fuels Petro with rage and a determination to get even at any cost, especially when Seyit and Sura fall in love.

Petro nurtures his rage and dishonor when he keeps the knowledge of Seyit's father's wishes with regard to his son's future plans for marriage. Boyar Eminof has decreed that Seyit may have his way with northern Russian women as long as he returns home and marries a Turkish girl when it comes time to settle down. When Seyit falls for Sura he doesn't tell her he cannot marry her because she is a Christian Russian. His father has decreed that Seyit may only marry a Turkish Muslim girl, a secret that Seyit keeps to himself because he is determined to marry the woman he loves, Sura, Aleksandra Julianovna Perjenskaya, a Russian noble woman his father will never approve.

In the midst of the Russian revolution, Seyit, who has been at the front lines of war, returns to Sura after he has been listed as killed in action, rescues her and her family from the Bolsheviks, and carries Sura off to Crimea to marry.

The thing about star-crossed lovers is the road to love is seldom paved with anything but trouble, death, and, in this case, lies and silence. Seyit's father dies before he can give his blessing, certainly before he is willing to even meet Sura. Adamant in his refusal, Seyit ends up burying his mother and father and must flee to Turkey, taking Sura with him, full of regret his father died without relenting and giving Seyit his blessing. Sura meets Boyar Eminof and is greeted with cold civility. She is Seyit's guest and is welcome to stay as his family's guest, but it is clear he will not welcome Sura as his daughter-in-law. Sura is a stranger, an unwelcome stranger Seyit could not honorably present to his family, though Seyit has told Sura he must prepare his family before he introduces her as his fiancee, a lie he can never undo in the wake of his parents' death or as his younger brother, Osman, dies in his arms from a Bolshevik's bullet. Seyit and Sura must flee or die as Osman dies in his arms never knowing that Petro's bullet kills his brother even as he believes he has killed the assassin, his comrade Mischa, another brother in arms, who has been cast as the villain by Petro who has been masquerading as Mischa with the Bolsheviks in Crimea even as he has used Mischa to cover his own tracks.

Petro's father has already discovered Petro's alliance with the Bolsheviks and has disowned him, though Petro's mother hands over the money and jewels to protect her son before he leaves to hunt down and kill Seyit and his other brother at arms, Celil, another boyhood friend and comrade of Seyit's. From that point on, the rest of the story of Seyit and Sura is a tapestry of lies, silence, illusions, masquerades, and violence as they move from the violence of the Russian revolution into the seething cauldron of Istanbul as the Turks fight for their freedom from Great Britain, plunging Seyit, Sura, Celil, and Petro into a world where violence, lies, and masquerades surround them once again.

The point is that even among the Turkish Muslim citizens of Istanbul in the neighborhood of Pera where Seyit and Sura find a home, Seyit's regrets about disobeying his father's wishes regarding marriage and his silence about what he still feels he owes his family and his allegiance with the Turks create a trap that swallows the love he feels for Sura until all that remains is betrayal, fear, and silence as Seyit plunges into the Turkish fight for independence from the English, putting his own life at risk and further destroying what is left of the relationship between he and Sura. Petro is glad to be able to widen the gulf between Seyit and Sura even as Sura hangs onto the belief that love will keep them together and she will be Seyit's wife in truth even as the Turkish Muslim girls see Sura as nothing more than Seyit's mistress and not his wife. Uncle Ali, the manager of the hotel where Seyit and Sura live, urges Seyit to do right by Sura and marry her, putting his regrets about not receiving his father's blessing behind him, assuring him that Sura will not ask Seyit to make good his promise to marry her out of pride and the certainty that Seyit will make things right. There is no need to wait for news of Sura's mother and younger sister because there is no way of knowing how long that will take. Seyit must honor his promise to Sura and marry her and not leave her in limbo waiting for her family, the right time, or whatever else crops up to do the honorable thing.

The problem with waiting is that at some point you have waited too long. Seyit proposes to Sura, the wedding date is set, Uncle Ali's family pitches in to make the wedding a success, but Seyit's rebel actions and Petro's friendship with the local commandant of the garrison at Pera result in Seyit being captured as he meets with the Baroness, a lover from Petrograd Petro used to sow doubt in Sura's mind and force a wedge between them, to tell Baroness Lola he is marrying Sura and Lola needs to move on with her life. Lieutenant Billy, with Petro's help, captures Lola and Seyit and makes it look like Lola and Seyit have gone away together leaving Sura waiting for a wedding that will never come.

That's the biggest problem between Seyit and Sura, the lies and half-told truths that Petro and Lola and others use to keep Sura and Seyit apart. It doesn't help at all that Seyit keeps Sura in the dark about much of his life, telling Sura she must believe in him no matter what to prove her love even as he goes off on another rebel mission or to put an end to past relationships or cover his half-truths before Sura finds out the truth. Seyit sees his actions as protecting Sura or keeping her from finding out what she already knows, that Seyit went against his father's wishes to be with Sura. Seyit tells the truth as he sees it, but never all of the truth because he believes that women need to be protected and only he can keep his woman, his true love as he calls Sura, protected as long as she never learns the whole truth, the reason behind his action, whether that is defying his family or aiding the Turkish rebels against the occupying English forces.

Everyone is telling the truth -- as he or she sees it -- but the truth is never the whole truth, just the truth as each one sees it, the truth that is in their own best interests.

Seyit was brought up to believe that a man's word is law and that he is protecting Sura even as he gives her a version of the truth that will protect her from his father's wrath, his rebel activities in Crimea and in Istanbul, his romances with Russian women like Baroness Lola, Petro's love for Sura, and Petro's nefarious activities. Petro lies to keep Seyit from discovering he killed Osman and worked for the Bolsheviks to protect his family's business and wealth, his alliance with Lieutenant Billy and how he steals from his own people to feather his next and pay off Lieutenant Billy, then later to keep from Seyit that he killed Baroness Lola and that he used Lola to set up Seyit on the night before his wedding to Sura. Petro lied to Alya to keep her from telling Sura he set up Seyit and was working with Lieutenant Billy when he killed Lola when she threatened to tell Seyit he was with the Bolsheviks and had Seyit's family killed, killing Osman before he could tell Seyit about Petro siding with the Bolsheviks and murdering their parents.

Lieutenant Billy knows that Petro fears Seyit and does not want Seyit to know his part in the murder of his family or his alliance with the Bolsheviks or that he set Mischa up to take the fall and uses that to keep Petro in line because he has the letter Lola wrote to Seyit with proof of it all. Lola could have told Seyit at any time, but she believed that Seyit would get tired of Sura and come back to her so she kept the truth to herself, except the truth about her relationship with Seyit before he met Sura so she could use the truth to poison Sura against Seyit, the same truth that Petro used to drive a wedge between Sura and Seyit so she would turn to him and marry him instead. Even when Petro, certain that Seyit would never marry Sura, tells Sura that he has been in love with her all along and kept the truth about Seyit's family's wishes about marrying a Turkish Muslim girl to protect her, Sura thanks Petro and tells him that the only man she will ever love is Seyit. In the end, once Seyit is marrying Murvet, a Turkish girl from a conservative Muslim family, Sura runs to the Pera hotel to forgive Seyit once again. Ayse, Uncle Ali's daughter who is convinced Seyit will see her once Sura is out of the picture, puts on Sura's wedding gown and waits for Seyit in his room, climbing into Seyit's bed when she sees Sura coming to forgive Seyit for leaving her at the altar, tells Sura she is waiting for Seyit and that he went out to get something to drink. Ayse is telling Sura part of the truth (she is waiting for Seyit) but not all of the truth, just enough truth so that Sura will see that Seyit has moved on without her and Seyit will finally see that Ayse is the right girl for him.

Ayse has used the truth as a weapon many times before. She see Sura as no more than a mistress when she would be a wife to Seyit once Sura is out of the way, even though Seyit does not see it that way. He loves Sura, but cannot seem to stay out of trouble long enough or uninjured long enough to go through with the wedding he keeps planning and missing. Seyit finally sets Ayse straight, but that doesn't stop Ayse from telling the truth as she sees it, even when her father marries her off to his sister's boy, Hakki, or after she tells the truth as she sees it to her sister-in-law, Murvet, after Seyit marries her, putting Sura behind him as he moves forward with a life free of drama and trouble by marrying a Muslim girl as his father always wished, a woman who will treat him as the law, even though he must live with Murvet in his mother-in-law's house with Ayse. Murvet wants Seyit's love completely without Sura being a part of their past or their future, urging Seyit to go to the docks to say goodbye to Sura and put her once and for all in the past and say goodbye at last.

Every twist and turn in Seyit and Sura's story is motivated by the truth as someone see it, but truth all the same. Sometimes it is the truth a self-serving girl like Ayse uses to cause trouble even as she revels in the destruction and pain she causes as long as she can prove to Seyit he made a mistake not choosing her. Lola uses the truth as a weapon to push Sura out of the way so Seyit will come back to her, though her relationship with Seyit was never more than a casual sexual relationship. Petro uses the truth to further his own aims and to separate Seyit and Sura and end up with Sura as his wife, besting Seyit at last. Valentina, Sura's older sister, tells the truth when she tells Sura that Seyit will break her heart and that Petro is the man for her, a man she has known since childhood and a man she would've married had she never met Seyit.

The truth is often as much as a weapon as it is enlightenment and truth is seldom just white light to brighten the darkest corners. Politicians use the truth to hurt their opponents and to guide voters' choices, though very few politicians tell the whole truth because that might end up with voters making their decisions based on the facts and not propaganda. The government uses truth dressed up as propaganda and as a weapon to guide public opinion in order to muster soldiers and other governments to support their actions even when those actions will end in violence and death. The English saw the Bolsheviks as heroes during the Russian revolution because they stood up and tore down the Russian monarchy under the Tsars even as they decried the Turkish people as rebels and murderers for fighting against British monarchy to turn British soldiers out of their homeland, even from Australia throughout the British Empire, in order to govern themselves just as the Ottoman Empire fought the British Empire after hundreds of years of struggle that resulted in the lines between their empires were drawn and redrawn over and over. Every empire and country uses truth from their perspective to justify their right to rule and strip away the wealth of the land they conquer, from the Americas to the South Seas and from Canada to South Africa and everything in between. The truth can be a handy tool and an even handier weapon. It depends on the perspective. It doesn't take a historian to see how every war is the result of someone's truth.

I said in the beginning truth is a prism, but in reality truth is a multifaceted jewel refracting light and aiming it a direction that benefits someone. Where you are in the path of the light will determine how much of the truth you see and how you see that truth. Seldom does anyone get to see the whole truth, merely enough to validate your truth or cast doubt on someone else's truth. Everyone get something in the end, even if it's a glimpse of the many-colored light refracted from the prismatic effect of one of the facets of the truth. All we can do is hope and pray we are on the right side of light in the end.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

What Women Should March For


When was the last time you heard about what was happening with the Equal Rights Amendment? Probably about the same time I did -- in 1972. Somewhere along the line with all the women marching against Trump and shouting slogans while wearing $40,000 pearls and telling why they are nasty women, we have lost the motivation and the message of the Equal Rights Amendment -- the ERA.

Trump is not the problem. The problem is that women are focused on the wrong problems when they should be focused on getting the ERA passed. The map above shows how far we have come and what we still need to do to get the ERA codified into law and become a legal constitutional amendment. We need at least 38 states to ratify what Congress passed on March 22, 1972 - the Equal Rights Amendment. Women did a better job of getting the right for women to vote passed and it only took about, what? 50 years? Blacks got the vote before women did, but women kept marching and fighting for the right to vote until the constitutional amendment was passed and became a part of the U.S. Constitution.

Women have excuses for why they dropped the ball and why the ERA has not been passed. Women have been busy.

Women have been busy with the anti-Trump campaign because Trump spells the end of democracy as we know it. At least that is what they tell the rest of the world.

Women have been busy standing up for the rights of oppressed women all over the world. Except that they haven't because young women in Africa and in Islamic countries are still not allowed to drive, can still be stoned to death if they fight for an education, and can still be murdered and have their genitals mutilated in order to keep their honor pure and acceptable to the men of Islam who pray to Allah.

Women have been busy with marches and A Day Without a Woman and Wear a Hijab Days while getting the ERA ratified by the remaining hold out states that have yet to put the ERA on their ballots and vote on it. After all, it is far more important for people to stop looking at Islam and Muslims as the enemy than it is to make sure the ERA is ratified by enough states in the United States of America. It is better to make sure our daughters are more tolerant of the hijab and honor killings and no go zones where Shari'a law is practiced, children are married off to old men to bear their children and taught to kill so that they can go to Paradise and get their virgins and live with Allah forever with their 72 virgins. The barbaric practices of a 7th century system of beliefs that is bent on the murder or conversion of all infidels and the destruction of all Jews is more important than getting the Equal Rights Amendment ratified by the remainder of the 38 states.

Let our food be treated with glyphosphates, our water and land by glyphosphate runoff, and illegal immigrants over run our country while we wait for someone to remember that we have yet to finish the job we started in 1972 to get the ERA passed. Don't women have enough rights already? Do women really need to have equal rights codified and ratified and part of the U. S. Constitution as Law when Hollywood elites wear strands of pearls that cost enough to pay for health care for at least a dozen poor children? Let the ERA wait. Women have more important things to march for. Milo Yiannopoulos needs to be kept from poisoning the minds of adults who might agree with his views or Ben Shapiro could convince people that they have the right to make up their own minds about what is and is not fake news.

Let someone else get the states to ratify the ERA. If there is a United States left after Trump gets through with it. There are so much better things to protest and fight for, like forcing Trump to show us his tax returns the way Rachel Maddow did to such great effect.

Maybe we should simply let our daughters pick up the fight in between protesting Milo, Ben Shapiro, and Trump while they choose which designer's hijab looks best with their new braces. Or we could wait until Islam has spread so far throughout the country that the Mullahs consider whether or not to keep the U.S. Constitution, as long as it doesn't conflict with the Quran and the suppression of women, when they raise the flag of the United States of Islam over the White House steps. Maybe by then, women can get their acts together and realize that the only time they will have sufficient time to get the ERA on states' ballots and get it ratified is when they no longer have any rights except the rights the Mullahs and Grand Mufti grant them while they tie their own hijabs to cover their naked hair and adjust their burqas so their sexuality no longer forces honorable Muslim men to forget themselves and rape, mutilate, and oppress such unchaste and dishonorable women too busy bearing their rightful husband's children and raising the next generation of women to be wed to middle-aged men who will be grateful for a chaste 7- or 8-year-old virgin who has been taught to honor the men of her Muslim family. By then, the ERA will not matter because it will not be allowed. Not as long as Allah is God.

That is all. Disperse.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Chameleon Effect


The eye has it.

Chameleons blend in with their surroundings to protect themselves against predators. Geckos and other insects and animals camouflage themselves for protection as well as stealth. The military industrial complex has adopted similar methods of hiding their weapons, transport, and some would say ideology. Any successful predator learns how to disguise intent, goals, and methods and replicates success without being affected by anyone and anything. In order to understand these human chameleons one must learn to think like them without being caught up in their ideology in order to defeat them. Such is the case with Muslims.

The problem is that understanding Muslims has nothing to do with accepting the belief that most Muslims are peaceful and just want to get along, to be a part of their community or country, and are not bent on destruction and sublimation of their adopted culture. That is wrong-headed thinking. To believe so is to fall into the trap of the chameleon effect. Muslims who have turned their backs on Islam and repudiated Mohammed's teachings will say the same thing. Reformed Muslims will tell say that Islam can be modified from within and can be reformed. They are lying to themselves and to everyone around them. There is only one god and that is Allah. To say anything else is part of the camouflage. It is hiding from themselves and from the rest of the world because the goal of Islam is to convert or kill. There is no other option.

I say this with sadness and not a small degree of remorse. Remorse because writing off an entire group of people goes against my grain. I am adaptable. I am willing to give unbelievers space and time to come around to my way of thinking and they are welcome to dispute and ignore my beliefs without fatal repercussions. I cannot do this with followers of Islam because I now understand how Islam works. It is in their five times daily prayers: There is only one god and that god is Allah. There is only one belief and that belief is that Allah is the all, the creator of the universe, the creator of all who exist in the universe. There is only Allah.

The world I grew up in and in which I live is malleable and changes from moment to moment. Islam is not malleable and does not change. There is no god but Allah and Allah is all. Muslim tactics have changed, but the words have not changed except as they changed in Mohammed's mind and in his practice. The Quran states that the first writings of Mohammed, the sutras of the Quran, are superseded by the later writings (teachings). As Mohammed changed, so changed his writings, his understanding, and his practices, but now codified in the Quran nothing else may be changed. Allah must be obeyed and his teachings are not to be changed not in any manner, not, as the Hebrews state, by one jot or tittle. It is the same for the Torah. When Hebrews copy the Torah, one small error means the whole will be destroyed. A jot or a tittle out of place and the whole Torah must be destroyed. There is no room for error. In that the Quran is the same as the Torah; nothing must be changed.

Hebrews, or Jews as they are currently called, make new copies of the Torah in the same way old copies of the Torah were made, by copying exactly what was originally written without a single error. The Torah is copied with mindful prayer and obedience to G_d and without error. Muslims, also called Mohammedans, Moslems, and other iterations, believe and practice the same with their reproduction, copying, of the Quran. No error is tolerated or allowed and mistakes are burned. There is only one god and that god is Allah and Mohammed is his prophet whose writings are sacred. Followers of Allah need no other books. All that is necessary for life is found in the Quran. Nothing else is needed or allowed. A faithful follower of Allah learns the Quran, committing all its sutras (lessons) to memory so that if the book is destroyed, Allah's words will remain in the heart and mind of believers. If all books are destroyed, only Allah's words will remain written on the hearts and minds of believers. All who believe in Allah and practice his teachings will be rewarded; all others will be destroyed until only Allah remains.

Judaism has changed through the centuries since its teachings were codified by Moses in the Torah, but the Torah has not changed. The same is true of Islam and the Quran. What has changed is Man. Man/humanity has evolved and adapted with the times. Islam has not adapted and has not changed. The goals of Islam are as they were when Islam emerged into existed in the 6th century: to convert all on this planet to Islam and to worship and belief of Allah. Nothing else matters.

As I've said before, taqiyya is an honored practice. Lying and camouflage are part and parcel of the practice and belief system of Islam. A true believer may say whatever is needed as long as the end result is Allah is the only god and all who believe in Allah remain. Islam is the quintessential proof that the ends do indeed justify the means. As long as Allah is the god of all and all believe, everything else can pass away because Allah is god and the only god is Allah. To believe otherwise is allowed for followers of Islam as long as the keep Allah in their hearts. Whatever a true believer says or does is permissible as long as the end result is to convert the nonbeliever to Allah. An apostate, a believer who repudiates Allah in heart and mind and turns against Allah, will be killed just as practicing homosexuals and Hebrews/Jews will be killed without mercy and without fail. In the end, there is no god but Allah.

To believe otherwise, to give Muslims the benefit of the doubt, to give them space and time to adapt, to believe that there is any god but Allah is to die forever, a chameleon unmasked, unprotected, and unwilling to continue living -- or to be a Hebrew/Jew. It is not xenophobia or intolerance, but wisdom to take Islam at its word that there is no god but Allah. To believe there can be peace between Israel and the followers of Islam is to court destruction. To believe that Allah will give space to Yahweh or Christians or anyone who does not follow Islam is folly.

That is all. Disperse.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Pushing the Limits


The thing about limits is how far and how much push is needed is arbitrary. Until you push them, you'll never know which is which.

Hoda Katebi, a fashion blogger, sets how much she pushes against the limits imposed on her by the Muslim leaders, demanding more freedom, fewer clothes, fewer constraints on fashion. It is a safe bet from inside the United States and one could say  rebellion with few -- or no -- consequences. Hoda is not forced to wear a burqa and be covered head-to-foot to protect and maintain her virtue. Hoda lives in middle America, a small Oklahoma town where she was born, to Iraqi parents and has never known life in a Muslim controlled country. You could say that Hoda has had it easy since she has not bucked the Muslim system that demands she be covered head to foot in a burqa or similar all concealing clothing, but is her rebellion against religious constraints any less courageous or bold than a girl born in Saudi Arabia or Iran? It is a matter of degree, Koda wears her hijab loosely and gets away with wearing a crop top that barely covers her midriff while a woman born in Iran and living in the midst of Muslims born and raised in a more restricted culture would be considered daring if she refused to wear the all concealing burqa and went completely unveiled. As with any rebellion, there is always a limit.

Koda is a westernized Muslim and is allowed more latitude than if she had been born and raised in the heart of Teheran. Even so, rebellion is still rebellion and one has to start somewhere.

I remember the more modest clothes I wore and was expected to wear as a child and a teenager before the more rebellious 1960s when Twiggy wore mini-skirts and shorter skirts and tighter bell bottom pants were all the rage. As the oldest of five children, I was not allowed short skirts and my pants still covered my belly button and my feet. I came from a family where modesty and taste were of paramount importance. As the oldest, my rebellion came once I was out of sight of home, or at least far enough away that I could hike up my skirts and bare my knees. I was still wearing dresses to school and those dresses were children's clothes that were tight across my budding breasts and the hems covered my knees. I longed for pants, but pants were not allowed by the school dress code, not until I reached high school. I tested the limits as much as I could, but the limits were very restrictive indeed.

Once the school relaxed the dress code and I could wear pants to school, the least of my worries was the length of my hemlines. I could wear pants, but I was not allowed to wear blue jeans. I wore dress pants with sweaters and blouses that were modest and covered everything, but still could not wear jeans. That changed my sophomore year and I was finally allowed to wear jeans -- in theory. My parents still insisted in dress pants and dress shirts, but no jeans. All around me girls wore bell bottom jeans that had seen better days and were well worn while I continued to wear dress pants and modest blouses and sweaters. The closest I got to fashionable clothes was when I wore hand crocheted pot holder vests that looked fashionable over my dress shirts and dress pants. I still hiked up my skirts as soon as I was out of visible range of our house, but not often because I preferred pants to dresses, especially the middle-aged skirts and clothing my mother bought for me. She was determined that I would be dressed properly and as modestly as she could manage no matter what I thought.

Meanwhile, my sister, a year behind me in school, was allowed to wear mini skirts, jeans, and stockings. It was okay for her because she was skinny and leggy and still considered a child while I was considered nearly an adult and must continue to dress my age -- as long as my age was considered to be somewhere between middle age (over 30) and decrepitude and was dependent on my mother to buy my clothes. It is no surprise I got a job so I could buy my own clothes and a big surprise to me that Mom reserved the right to set the rules about what I could and mostly could NOT wear. I chafed at the bit and planned to defy the rules and wear what I wanted to wear, especially since I was paying for the clothes.

Likely to further minimize how much money I would have left to spend on clothes, it was decided that since I had a job I would also have to pay for room and board. I didn't expect that move, but it was my parents' rule and I obeyed no matter how much I argued against the restrictions. I continued to test the limits, but not very far as I lived in fear of being sent away to the Juvenile Detention Center and labeled a problem child. And still I pushed the limits, believing wrongly that since I could drive and had bought my own car, I would be allowed more privileges. It didn't take long to find out how short those limits were. I was still hemmed in by the rules and denied true freedom to choose and wear what I wanted to wear. All the new expenses (room & board, car insurance, gas, oil, repairs) depleted my meager budget and I continued to wear modest and appropriate clothes. No matter how I pushed against the limits, I remained at square one, a rebel at heart with no rebellious credits to my name, my reputation unsullied and unbesmirched, the worst of the worst kind of girl alive -- a nice girl, a good girl, obedient and responsible and praying for my 18th birthday when I would go away to college or get a job or at least move out of my parents' home and into my own apartment where the only rules were the ones I set. How naive and innocent I was.

In my senior year at school, I bought and wore my first mini skirt and my first pair of jeans and I wore them to school. I was triumphant in my rebellion and had no idea the rebellion would be short lived since I would finish the year married, pregnant with our first child, and working for a living while saving for a life I had not yet envisioned. My rebellion was over before it was begun and I was drowning in married adulthood saving every penny for the coming child and longing for the days when all I had to rebel against were hem lengths and midriff-baring jeans, neither of which I could wear for long as my body filled out with the coming child. I had never been a child, giving up childhood to take care of my three siblings, and would never get the chance to go to college or get my own apartment because I was a married woman. My life was over. I was someone's wife and would soon be someone's mother and I'd never had a chance to be just me.

That is the thing about rebellion. It comes and goes before you have a chance to get used to being a rebel since responsibility and being an adult comes close on the heels of childhood and rebelling against the parents and the limits of childhood disappear in a shadow as responsibility and adulthood take over.

It might have been different if I had gone to college or chose not to marry and have a child, but the girl who chose that path wasn't the one who writes this post.

Koda pushes against the limits of her religion, her parents, and her culture by choosing to wear a cropped top and letting her hijab slip down and allow her hair to be seen uncovered. Her rebellion may seen silly and even not very rebellious, but we play the cards we are dealt. Rebellion is about pushing against the limits, however small those limits may be. Oftentimes we fail as the limits are redrawn and the lines between acceptable and forbidden redrawn. Koda's limits seem daring among her family and culture and should not be measured against the cultural limits of the average American girl nor should they be lionized and determined to be courageous and limitless. What is courageous for one person may not be courageous for another. The only one who can determine the true nature of the rebellion is the person pushing against the boundaries and stretching the limits. At any time, those limits will change and the rebellion forced in another direction. Life is all about change and nothing changes more than limits -- perceived and actual limits. One thing about limits is that they can be pushed and changed.

Someone had to design and wear the first burqini just as someone had to decide that wearing a hijab didn't mean you had to cover your whole head. If no one pushed the limits, there would be no burqini, no hair partially covered by a hijab, and no one choosing to buy and wear a mini skirt and midriff-baring bell-bottom jeans.

That is all. Disperse.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Is Your Number Up?

  I'm watching "Vaxxed" and I suggest you do the same, not just parents with small children but all parents.

My son Eddie contracted viral spinal meningitis as a small child and, it turns out, right after he received the MMR vaccine. David Scott, my oldest, became ill after he had the MMR. Is this significant? I'd say so since both my sons, born in 1973 and 1975, suffered serious problems following MMR. I think the problem with MMR vaccines goes back farther than originally thought. The date in the movie given for the increase in autism is the mid-1980s, but my sons suffered problems 10 years earlier. What the CDC knew and when they knew it is only the visible part of this issue and the reality may extend farther back, at least 10 years back.

I forgot to mention the head banging my son David Scott did following the MMR vaccine he received. As a military dependent, the program for getting vaccines is as regimented as drill. For me, the regimentation goes back to being born into a military family. My conditioned response is obedience, following orders because that is the way things are. Bacterial warfare's history predates the MMR, but I now question the party line that my children were born this way. Eddie wasn't born with meningitis, and certainly not VIRAL meningitis, and he did survive the disease after 10 days in the hospital. Eddie's condition was so serious my husband was flown back to the US by Red Cross when he was stationed in Thailand.

David Scott's head banging and other repetitive behaviors continue to this day, though he is now 43 years old and have affected his adult life. I'd have to say that David Scott and Eddie may have some autistic spectrum disorder behaviors, though much milder than the children born in the 1980s. My youngest son, AJ, shares some of those behaviors as well and my family said that it was likely he was mentally retarded because he didn't talk until he was older. I chalked it up to "that's just the way he is" and refused to believe my son was less than perfect. I see it now, but I'm older and less trusting than I was as a young parent, and I know a whole lot more than I did 40 years ago.

It is never too late to learn and I am never too old to learn -- and to see -- what is so clear to me now. The data sets need to be set back another 10 years, and maybe even earlier than that to be safe. What we do not know can definitely hurt us -- and probably has been hurting us far longer than we realize.

My three sons would be classified in the Isolated Autism group because previous to the MMR they were normal, healthy boys with no pre-existing conditions. I see now that they still suffer from the effects of the MMR vaccine, each in their own way, but that is to be expected from the data presented in the movie and on the website vaxxedthemovie.com. Check it out for yourself.

I knew none of this at the time when my children were little. I believed what the doctors told me about their behaviors being normal for their age, and in part the doctors were correct. I can even say that after being accused of child abuse when David Scott was hospitalized for something else after receiving the MMR vaccine and my husband and I being accused of having beaten our son. The head banging David Scott did when he was tired, and the rocking and other repetitive behaviors we were told were normal were not normal at all, but they were normal for victims classified with Isolated Autism. My husband and I were subsequently exonerated as the head banging he did when tired and in his crib at the hospital, where we were not allowed to visit him until we had been investigated and cleared, was witnessed by the nurses and doctors on staff. We had been allowed to bring David Scott's favorite bear to the hospital before we were banned from seeing him until after the investigation and the marks on his forehead were caused by banging his head on his teddy bear and the key that wound up the music box inside, matching our description exactly. We didn't know about autism then and it is only now that I am putting the pieces of this health puzzle together 40 years later I see the truth of what happened to our son and to us and the hell we went through. Our son was diagnosed with an inability to metabolize potassium which was why he was hospitalized in the first place. I opted to treat our son by increasing his potassium intake through the foods he ate (bananas, raisins, etc.) and not by taking pills. At least in that regard I did my son a favor.

It is not only autism we need to scrutinize closer. Lyme disease has been misdiagnosed and the treatment for the disease has been hidden. Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's, chronic pain syndrome, and other recently noticeable health issues should also be investigated and not by anyone who has ties to Big Pharma. All of these health issues can be traced back to the health industry and are statistically noticeable, provided the true statistics are made available and not lost, hidden, or destroyed. It isn't that I do not trust doctors, but where money is concerned, and we are talking about a whole lot of money, we need to be more cautious and scrutinize the data and the sources more carefully because we are being lied to.

Case in point: there is no need for anyone to take lipid lowering medications because heart disease is not caused by eating fatty foods like bacon and pork and lipids are not now and have never been the culprit in heart disease. The cause is inflammation, and that has been available to reporters and news sources for quite some time, and still doctors prescribe medication to lower your cholesterol and hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia are still be used in patients' medical records. Lipitor and watching your cholesterol will not cure heart disease and neither will eating fat-reduced processed foods because fat was never the issue to begin with.

We have been lied to and manipulated for decades and it is time we used common sense and asked a whole lot of questions -- even if it means being considered a nuisance. Doctors are not gods. They are people who have studied health issues and who are just as gullible and naive as are all average humans. Accept no one's word as truth until you have asked questions until you have no more questions to ask and then go back and ask your questions again. Take back control, not only with your children, but with your own health and the health of all of your loved ones. The only time it is too late to ask questions is when you are dead and either buried or cremated. Hopefully, your children and the rest of your family will ask the questions.

Eddie, my middle son, had a stroke in his early 20s. I'm not sure what caused it, but I wonder how far back I need to look for the reason. David Scott, is an alcoholic and has drug problems; how far back does it go? AJ has been talking since he was 3 or 4 and has issues with narcotics, but he also hurt his back and has a narcotic pain pump in his buttocks. AJ is in college studying health care and wants to help others. Eddie has 2 boys with autism. David Scott has 3 daughters; his son Connor died 5 years ago.

If you get your children vaccinated, wait until their are 3 or older and demand single vaccinations for mumps, measles, and Rubella. Do not accept the MMR vaccine, or any vaccine delivered in multilevel dosages, and do not get the vaccinations all on the same day. Get them one by one and space them out, watch for side effects, and do not accept the verdict that whatever symptoms occur are natural. You are injecting diseases, often lethal diseases, into your child's body that can affect their immune system, their health, their mental and physical functions, and their lives. Keep their health uppermost in mind and do not following the lemmings off the cliff just because someone in the world claims there is an epidemic of polio or measles or bird raging through the population. Ask specific questions, like how many people are affected, how many have died or been seriously afflicted, and out of how many. There is a big difference between 644 of over a million and half a dozen out of the entire population of a country of over a billion. Remember the claims of Zika virus resulting in microcephaly in newborn infants and how the cause was the insecticide being sprayed in villages to eradicate mosquitoes where the microcephalic babies were born and the fact that their mothers were pregnant when spraying for the mosquitoes occurred.

You're not paranoid believing that the are out to get you -- especially when they ARE out to get you.  You are aware of what is really happening. Accept no news reports as true until you have asked a lot of questions and demanded answers from more than one doctor with credentials that are not linked back to Big Pharma and the companies making and spraying the poisons.

That is all. Disperse.