Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Day in the Life



Every day there is something new that drip, drip, drips through the mainstream media blinders that cover the eyes of most people turning to the newspapers and TV set to get their news. This drip, drip, drip is full of poisons, chemicals, and lies, the propaganda of the elite, like Oprah, intent on selling the last ditch attempt by the global elite to destroy at least 95% of the world's population. It should surprise no one that widely recognized icons, like Hillary, Oprah, and Obama, funded by George Soros are dazzling us all with free cars, houses, and gifts while surreptitiously lining us up for the death chamber, smiling and patting us on the shoulder while shuffling us off to the Grim Reaper.

Do you think I believe in their glad handing, smiling faces as they stun is with beautiful rhetoric or promises of the peace and wonder that is the Eternal Hereafter? Puhleeze. I was not born this morning.

The MSM have narcotized humanity with narcotics in our city water while stunning us with endless loops of circular logic and faux science guys like Bill Nye to cudgel our brains with what seems like truth and logic and has no resemblance to either.  The global elite strive to rewrite history by tearing down statues to heroes of our troubled past as though destroying the idols commemorating our mistakes and errors will erase it from our collective minds. While that may work for millennials, Generation X-ers, and children of the 21st century, it will not work against those who have spent their lives watching, studying, researching, and remembering the past so the rest of humanity won't make the same mistakes this time around.

We have failed.

Those few, like you it seems since you're reading this, are not enough to spread the word and speak out about what is being done in the name of progress and liberalism while continuing to dumb down the current population while inflaming the terrorist arm of the global elite as they have done since the armies of darkness descended on this planet in the 7th century beheading and taxing all nonbelievers in the name of the moon. At least the army of terror chose a god we could look up to every night as it spins in its monthly orbit as hollow and false as the civilization that created it to send the survivors of their galactic wars to this green and fertile world where their offspring could renew themselves and spread out across the globe building new cities and tending the crops that would sustain us, and ultimately poison us, as they sought domination over the races they created in their own image and taught to pray to a god they created -- also in their own image. The fallen angels have been destroyed and their culture and history erased to make room for the hatred and horror of war as the marauding mindless hordes sweep all before them and chosen Judas goats lead the tagged races to death while their hatred for civil dialogue, facts, and truth are lost in the rising clamor of gunfire and screams. No single voice of logic and reason will be allowed to remain and their only hope is ascension -- or at least death when they can become once again a part of the universal zeitgeist for their chance to reincarnate in a brighter, better, and more peaceful world where the din from murdering hordes can no longer be heard, seen, or felt. What then the hopeful people that remained?

They will be absorbed by the chaotic body until it's their turn in the death chamber when their turn comes to die for this cleansed world where memories of them will be lost and forgotten until some time in the future when an enterprising group of archaeologists will unearth what remains -- if anything remains to mark their passage -- and their surgeries, drugs, and physical enhancements are little more than social anomalies left to the Ages.

As for me, I will continue fighting, speaking, and praying for the global elite to be rooted out and saved from their masters' destructive plans to ascend with the rest or be buried in a world of their own creation when the solar winds come to free the faithful and sweep away the master that had us all bound in their deftly woven web of lies and deceit.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Scrooge, Before or After?


No, it is not Christmas; it's Mothers Day, the day we celebrate all the mothers: good, bad, and indifferent. On Mothers Day we haul out our good memories (if there are any) and triumphantly hand over cards, gifts, flowers, and chocolate to say Thank you for being our mother. It doesn't matter if your mother was less than loving and kind or if she was sometimes abusive or thoughtless, we change our hearts for one day and celebrate mothers who have had a difficult job to do, take a small child and mold that child into an adult. For this one day, we put aside grievances and petty differences and choose to be happy and thankful we were not raised by wolves.

Okay, stop that! No giggling when I'm making a point. Yes, I know wolves would be far superior to some of our mothers. That's not the point. The point is that on Mothers Day we offer those mothers who, for whatever reason, had a rougher time of being a good and kind mother the chance to change her heart and live up to being the best mother she can be.

Think of it as though it is Christmas Eve and the ghosts are giving Scrooge his last chance to give up his miserly and unfriendly ways, embrace the spirit of Christmas, and be a better man with holly in his heart celebrating the spirit of Christmas every day.

Not long ago, millennials demanded that the Minimum Wage Law be changed so that employees in low paying jobs would get $15 an hour instead of the current $7.25 an hour, which is more than double what the law requires. The problem is not changing the law. The problem is changing employers' hearts much like Scrooge's heart was changed.

The CEO of Sam's Club pays $8.89-$11.40 an hour for new employees on the bottom rung of the hiring ladder, which is higher than minimum wage. One could say that Sam's Club is not a fast food restaurant chain and the work requires a bit more of the employee, but that would be missing the point. The minimum wage law is to set a limit on how little employers can get away with paying their employees. The law does not limit how much an employer can pay an employee because the sky -- and the employer's assets -- will determine that.

And that is the point.

Think of raising the minimum wage in terms of Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit.  Scrooge is a miser and prefers to get the most from his measly coins. Since he concentrates on how many coins he has and how best to increase those coins, Scrooge skimps on coals to keep the office as cold as he can stand it just as he skimps on how much he pays his clerk.  Scrooge's mind is on keeping his wealth to himself and grudging every request and duty to spend what he has. Scrooge's heart is as cold as his Christmas Eve office and Bob Cratchit's hands. No doubt Scrooge believes that if his office is as cold as the winter streets visitors will think twice about stopping by and won't stay long if they do stop.

Until the spirits of Christmas visit Scrooge Christmas Eve night to remind him of old Fezziwig, Scrooge's boss at his first position, and shows him what could be at his nephew's home where Scrooge has been invited, and where his nephew, Fred, stands up to his friends to speak kindly of his miserly uncle, and the impoverished home where the Cratchits put together a meager Christmas Day feast from what they can afford, Mother Cratchit refusing to drink Scrooge's health until Bob reminds her that his miserly boss employs Bob and has paid for the feast. This Christmas story is not one that should remain only a holiday treat and a Christmas seasons lesson, but should be read every day and the lesson kept close to our hearts especially when people are rioting and demonstrating for a change in the minimum wage law without understanding what it is they are really doing.

The minimum wage law prohibits employers from refusing to pay their employees a living wage. The law was enacted in order to keep employers on the straight and narrow as long as they do the least possible for their employees. Employers get around the law by hiring illegal immigrants to work as cheaply as possible, subverting the law and effectively placing desperate and hungry people in a no-win situation. As the immigrants are illegal, they have no recourse to the law to protect them because they are illegally in the United States. By banding together with other illegal immigrants, they pool their resources, cramming into cheap apartments where the landlords only care about being paid and not about how many people are living, eating, and sleeping in one room as long as the rent is paid on time and in full. There is no law to protect the immigrants who flaunted the law after leaving their homes, fleeing grinding poverty, -- often little better than plywood packing crates -- without running water and with safe sewage/trash disposal to travel north to the United States where at least they will have a job even if it means living two, three, and four families to a one-bedroom apartment in a tenement with running water, toilets, and a kitchen where there is heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.

The thing about the law is that the law only works when everyone follows it. There are always ways for the greedy to ignore the law to take advantage of others who have also ignored the law.

That's the thing about minimum wage. The law protects the greedy misers from cheating lawful American citizens and paying them less than the minimum wage.

There is no law that prohibits employers from paying higher wages. All that keeps employers from paying a living wage is selfish greed. Like Sam's Club's CEO who pays his entry level workers a better starting wage, there are many employers who choose to pay their workers more than the minimum wage. Those employers also supply good and affordable premium health care plans and offer generous vacations and sick leave policies. The trick is finding these generous men and women and being hired.

That is what fast food chains were supposed to be, a place for young workers to get their feet wet and where older workers could supplement their retirement income. Minimum wage jobs were a place to begin, and often unfortunately to end, but such jobs were never meant to be a place to grow, evolve, and climb to better and more lucrative positions.

I worked at McDonald's for a few months as a teenager, earning less than minimum wage, which was $1.65 an hour, when I was 16 years old. I didn't work there long because I had my sights set on something else. The something else was a job making $2.50 an hour as a keypunch operator, what would be called now a data entry operator. The technology has changed and I have changed along with it, advancing from a low level clerical worker to a trained and experienced medical transcriptionist with more than 30 years of experience, knowledge, and education. The sad fact is that I make less now than I did when I started in medical records 33 years ago, a third less than my starting wage.

That's the thing about employers. The employer wants to make money and to do that s/he must take a cut from employees' salaries in order to make enough money to pay the bills, buy and maintain equipment, expand facilities, and still have enough money left over to afford their own car, house, vacations, and retirement. If the employer keeps salaries down, s/he will end up with a nice bank account that pays the bills and leaves enough to buy their house, car, insurance, utilities, vacations, and still pay for their children's education so they can find a better job than their parents offer to people without a master's or PhD in education. Their plans are for themselves and their children and their children's children and not for their employees who must manage for themselves. After all, one must think of oneself before thinking of others. They do what the law allows and that is enough. Their fellow men and women must think, plan, and work for themselves. It's a dog-eat-dog world and there is always another dog hungrier and more desperate willing to take advantage and take the food and money right out of your mouth. And then there are the illegal immigrants willing to work for slave wages and live in tenements with other families who have illegally entered the country so they can pool their wages so their families can live better lives that is better than what they had in their home countries.

Jobs in food service are allowed to pay less than minimum wage because they earn tips every day or because they get part of their wages in food. After all, they work in a restaurant or fast food establishment and should be paid in free food. Tips are supposed to be declared and taxed (they usually aren't) and will also provide a steady stream of daily income that will even out the rough spots (it doesn't, especially if you work in a restaurant or bar where the patrons stiff you or believe a dime or quarter is sufficient tip for serving a family of 10 for two hours). No matter where you turn, someone is willing to cheat you in order to keep more of their money for themselves.

Fast food chains are franchises and, if the corporation will not change their policies on how much money an owner/manager may earn, it is unlikely the pay will be much beyond the corporate set pay scales. The only way to earn a good living in a fast food franchise restaurant is to own the corporation and set the prices. If minimum wage is raised, the prices for their products must also be raised to offset the cost. After all, what owner/manager will willingly take a cut in their pay and what corporation would opt to take a cut in profits to pay their workers more than the minimum wage the federal government has set?

What is needed is a change of heart. Corporate CEOs and boards need to choose accept lower returns on their investment, which would mean less profits, which would mean spending profits on premium health care coverage that would not take most of a worker's salary to afford, which would mean higher wagers for all workers, which would mean more money for the worker to spend on housing, food and gas allowances, and savings for the worker's children to get a quality college/university education that would make them fit for better jobs and a better future. Of course this plan would only work as long as the focus in on the future of the worker and their children and not on buying another home in Gstad or a month-long vacation in Bali or they Seychelles or even buying an engagement ring for one's fiancee that costs six months' wages for the owner/manager and paying for a 500 guest wedding with a sit-down catered dinner and a $50,000 wedding dress. It all comes down to priorities.

Are the priorities yourself and your lavish comfort or making the world a better place for those less fortunate, and that does not include spending $20,000 on a ticket to a masquerade ball where you dance fore Dyslexia or Polka to prevent Alzheimer's. Let your heart make the choice.

We can live in lavish luxury in a mansion so big you and your spouse and 1.1 children reside alone or you can live in a two- or three-bedroom home in a good neighborhood and host parties for your employees on the big holidays while making sure every one of your workers has a substantial Christmas and annual bonus with top wages and a health care and benefit package that provides for all their families' needs.

Do you want to live your life as Scrooge before or after the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future have visited? Let your heart be the judge. The law of minimum wage or the generosity of what the market will bear?

That is all. Disperse.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ethics In Your Face!


I read an article this morning about how a government worker was embarrassed as she explained the US policy of governmental ethics while instructing foreign governmental officials how the US holds its leaders to a high standard of ethics and how the ethics standards are checked and double checked. Instead of sitting awe struck and attentive, one of the government officials basically asked how their policies are going with Trump as president. I can imagine how the class broke up as the educator was laughed into embarrassed silence. I'll bet she would have handled open disdain better if they had taken off their shoes and thrown them at her as once happened with George W. Bush when he was president. I remember the outrage of the Right and the braying of the Left when that aired on the news.

I doubt if the blank-eyed stares of previous foreign students was due to awe at how well ordered the ethics policies, checks, and balance were in the past. The dumb-founded foreign officials were because the foreign officials didn't understand that the oh-so-helpful US government educator really had no idea that ethics in the USA were about as useful as tits on a boar hog and about as airtight as Hillary's excuses for why she lost the election last year.

People's hackles will become fully erect at the hint that the USA is not the epitome of ethics and that no government official at any level has ever engaged in anything that hints at conflicts of interest. How dare they?

Moreover, how dare we?

What gives the United States the right to tell other countries how to run their own countries? One might quip, "The CIA," since the CIA has been actively involved in meddling in who is elected as a country's leader for decades. There are lists of budgets and documents that detail exactly how the election of leaders in South American countries have been handled and who was chosen to win and to lose.

And here comes the conspiracy theorist name-calling.

If you don't already know about it, George W. Bush had a list of which Middle Eastern country leaders and governments were to be removed from office. Cheney knew about it of course since George W. delegated most presidential tasks to Cheney so George W. could practice his painting and vacation on his ranch in Texas. Bill Clinton was more hands on than hands off when it came to meddling in other countries' democratic elections and took no small pleasure in toppling leaders left and right. Slick Willy has changed his tune since he is too busy -- or at least was until Hillary lost the election -- soliciting funds for his and Hillary's retirement funds and private island resort where all the world's leaders can bask in the sun while pledging and paying millions to the Clinton Foundation to combat hunger in Africa and cure AIDS around the world in the form of private clubs like the facility in Haiti while the people continue to live in squalor in shanty towns around the island. And all those jobs, the Clintons promised the Haitians when they promised to help clean up the hurricane damage from 2013 are about as illusory as the clean water and 21st century sewer treatment facilities that were built by the Clinton Foundation.

The Clinton are really too easy a target when it comes to ethics since neither Bill nor Hillary know the first thing about ethics since they are still demanding to know what the definition of IS is.

Obama, masquerading as a Christian while still practicing Islam in a private room in the White House, was busy buying American hostages from Iran to seal the deal while urging the world to give up sanctions against Iran and chip in with some enriched uranium so the Iranians could build nuclear power plants to ease the burden on the average Iranian citizen. After all, don't Iranians deserve to have lights and electricity for their illegal satellite dishes when the Ayatollah cuts off their Internet?

Seriously? The US has no business teaching the world about ethics or complaining about how Trump turns his back on ethics and continues his conflicts of interest. We do not really want to get into the conflicts of interest that are rife in politics in the US or this post will be so long no one will take the time to read it.

Amidst calls for Trump's impeachment, the ethics committee is having a hard time keeping a straight face while they educate foreign governments how to keep their own governments ethical and conflict of interest free. Okay, so foreign officials are laughing boldly in our faces. Isn't that better than sniggering behind the country's back?

Ethics is a word college students learn in a class and thumb their noses at while they dive into the swamp of politics stroking hard for the filthiest spot in the pool.

The US has no business teaching the world about anything except how to keep its nose out of the world's business. Point to World War I and World War II if you like, but the United States didn't get into those world wars until the wars were almost over and the hard work done. The US should have stayed out of Vietnam and Korea as well. We have not done the world a bit of good and the good that those wars did the United States has long been bankrupted.

Trump is doing for $1 a year what presidents before him did for hundreds of millions of dollars and he does it in the clear light of day. Trump is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable, but that is who the people elected instead of some speechifying hypocrite whose only aim was to destroy the USA and bring it to its knees. Job done!

Keep your spy hats firmly on your heads and the blinders blacked out because Trump is not going to change and for once the abuses of power are done in the full light of day instead of covertly while claiming to be aghast at the scandals he found out when it broke in the news on CNN. Welcome to a really transparent government at last. Sorry if it looks a little dirty, but at least now you know.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Balancing on a Razor's Edge


Whatever you think of FBI director James Comey, it seems he is still a political football. I'm sure he was not surprised when President Trump called him on the Oval Office carpet and fired him. I am surprised Trump didn't fire him sooner. Then again, I am surprised by much of what Trump does. Trump seems unfocused and far too often emotional, acting out rather than acting from a stable emotional base, but then he's Trump and his emotions seem set to a hair trigger attached to his mouth and his tweeting fingers. Neither a good or stable position from which to act. If Trump was a warrior with decades of scars and battle experience to his credit, I'd guess he was a berserker.

I've heard and read comments from Democrat and Republican views that Comey is a nefarious master mind, that he is a dirty cop, that he is an honest dupe, that he was colluding with Hillary, that he is now colluding with Trump or at least has been backed into a corner where he has been forced to dance to Trump's since last spring, and on and on and on. The Democrats and Republicans and yanking on Comey from both sides, blaming him, challenging him, lauding him, applauding and demonizing him. My views are far less quixotic and less changeable.

From the beginning when Comey laid out the results of the investigation into Hillary's server, I believed he was honest and doing his best to stand up in a hurricane clinging to the nearest upright and stable anchor doing what he could. I was outraged that Comey gave Hillary a pass especially after stating that the Secretary of State had been extremely careless with classified documentation but that no prosecutor could prove she had the intent to commit an illegal act.

What?!

Hillary installed a server in her home and ran all of her emails through it. Hillary, when subpoenaed by Congress to answer questions and produce all devices had her server treated with Bleach Bit to erase all traces of her communication from the server, lost devices, and destroyed devices even with a hammer. I guess Hillary had been watching too many movies where junkies tossed their stash in the toilet and flushed it all way. No evidence, no crime.

There remained evidence on Anthony Weiner's laptop in his home for instance and in thousands of emails sent to people all around the world, including emails to Obama who was president at the time, and many of the emails still had evidence of classified markings on them. She was seen in photo and video tap, tap, tapping away at her Blackberry here and abroad and it was public knowledge that her communications were not secret even when sending and receiving secret information and that Hillary had been hacked by operatives from governments, allies and enemies. How does none of that provide enough proof of intent that a prosecutor wouldn't give his pension and eye teeth to prosecute? Such evidence is a game changer, a career maker, a lock. And it wasn't enough to prove intent? Was Comey high on crack? Was he insane or in the early stages of Alzheimer's who no longer recognized friend, foe, or family? How do you state publicly that the Secretary of the State of the United States of America under President Obama, a woman who has served in high office, and who was married to the president of the USA and was First Lady for 8 years, didn't know what a classified document looked like and lied about sending and receiving classified information was extremely careless when handling classified documents is not guilty of a crime? American citizens who were attached to the military services are still serving jail sentences for less and one general at least in recent memory was destroyed by being extremely careless with his pillow talk to his mistress when divulging classified information. How does Hillary get a pass?

Well, Hillary's husband, ex-president Bill Clinton, flew down to Phoenix and entered Loretta Lynch's plane where Mrs. Lynch dismissed her aides, companions, and guards and spent 30 minutes in the plane on the tarmac in Phoenix purportedly discussing grandkids and golf while Hillary was still under investigation. That had to have given Comey pause that the head of the Department of Justice (DOJ), his boss, was carrying on a private conversation with the husband of a woman under investigation by the FBI and the DOJ that none of her entourage were allowed to hear. Loretta Lynch, instead of recusing herself and allowing someone else to take the lead on the investigation, said in a press conference a few days later that she did indeed meet with her old friend, Bill Clinton, wife of Hillary who was under investigation, and that they talked about their grandkids and golf for 30 minutes and that she would accept whatever the FBI and the DOJ teams suggested. I knew then, if I hadn't figured it out before, that the fix was in. Hillary was going to get away with her extremely careless handling of confidential information.

Hillary was also going to get away with her extensive attempts to get rid of the evidence of her carelessness. Obama had covered for her and covered for Hillary still. Lynch was obviously in the bag and Lynch was the only person who could convene a grand jury to indict Hillary so she would stand trial before a jury. James Comey was obviously caught in a no-win situation no matter what he did, which is why he outlined Hillary's actions and summarized his findings by saying that no prosecutor would touch the case given the fact pattern he found because Hillary was not guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt. Huh?!  Isn't that something the prosecutor has to determine? Did Comey talk to a prosecutor, see a prosecutor, hear a prosecutor say there was insufficient evidence or cause to get a clear verdict on Hillary's guilt? Did Comey have a secret meeting with a grand jury and prosecutor to claim Hillary's case had insufficient evidence to prosecute and indict? What was going on? I was back to Comey must be high on crack again because nothing else made sense.

I watched Comey give evidence in congressional hearing after congressional hearing and he seemed lucid and honest, but I've been fooled by pathologic liars before. Was Comey another such sociopath?

No, Comey's background and family were involved and "...being paid millions of dollars that Comey accepted from a Clinton Foundation defense contractor, Comey’s former membership on a Clinton Foundation corporate partner’s board, and his surprising financial relationship with his brother Peter Comey, who works at the law firm that does the Clinton Foundation’s taxes."  Seems Comey isn't so honest after all. 

Stories that follow the money dog Comey and the people that read such stories question Comey's integrity and his honesty.  No one has mentioned whether or not Comey was a Hillary or Trump supporter that I've seen, but how Comey votes isn't supposed to matter; he's a cop, and agent and director of the FBI, he doesn't have a political voice in all of this -- or does he? 

Hillary claims that FBI director James Comey was the reason she lost the election. Hillary also claims the Russians were the reason she lost the election and then further claims that she lost because of . . . well, there's a long list of reasons, including Anthony Weiner’s cellphone, Fox News, WikiLeaks, and the fake news of the alt-right. I'm sure as the days go on and Hillary continues her many $250,000 speeches the reasons will accumulate as fast as the donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments that only want to do good. 

Oh, wait, those foreign government payments ended before Hillary lost the election to Trump and have failed to begin again when the Electoral College certified Trump's win. That must be a big blow to the poor and needy the world over who were being helped by the Clinton Foundation. I'm certain the hurricane victims in Haiti will continue to send their regrets for the loss of their share of the charitable donations from the Clinton Foundation.

I prefer to think of James Comey as a good and honest cop who was caught between Obama and Hillary on one side and Loretta Lynch on the other side and doing the best he could to keep his head above water even though it no longer matters because Comey was fired as director of the FBI this week. Congress has found no evidence so far that Russia hacked the elections or were in any way involved in hacking documents and emails from John Podesta, the DNC, and Hillary and her team. Those documents and emails, none of which Podesta, the DNC, or Hillary and her team have been refuted, were leaked by people within the Hillary camp and/or working for the DNC and John Podesta who wanted the American people to see the real Hillary when the cameras are off and the reporters have gone home. The American people saw and chose Trump over Hillary and James Comey, with all of his double talk, will fade with time or end up covering the bird cages around the country for his trouble. I would imagine Comey will heave a sigh of relief once he is finally out of the crosshairs and off the public's mind.

I do believe Comey was an honest cop caught in an impossible situation and unable to do his job, relying on someone -- anyone -- to figure out what was going on and realize that Hillary would get away with her actions as she has so many times in the past, not because of her lame excuses or her paranoid scapegoating, but because the powers protecting her were more powerful than the truth. James Comey will have to rely on short term memory loss amidst the inundation of persistent data dumps and media howling that shift with the constantly changing mainstream currents. Maybe now Comey can relax since he is no longer balancing on a razor's edge.

That is all. Disperse.

Monday, May 08, 2017

The Price Has Changed


For decades we have been told that magic comes with a price, and not just magic but power. The message has been central to every book, movie, and TV series. The supernatural genre has touted the formula for over half a century and even longer: magic/power comes with a price.

The most recent TV series to focus on the price of power was the innovative Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Vampire slayers were a special breed of demon, though the slayers never knew they were demons battling demons until it was made clear in the final season that slayers, young women, were imbued with the power of a demon, a very powerful demon, turning the slayer into a killing machine who didn't live very long, dying young and violently by the hand or through the power of some demon stronger and more powerful. That is until Buffy, the Valley Girl who died and kept coming back to fight again, even when she died the last time and had gone to her reward (it was suggested Buffy went to Heaven).  All she knew was that she had been pulled out of a place of eternal peace and dragged back to Earth to continue fighting, a point brought out during their only all musical episode, Once More With Feeling.  Well, Buffy and her friends, and all of Sunnydale, were under a demon's spell that force everyone to sing their lines and their lives until the spell was broken -- or in this case, the demon discovers that it wasn't Dawn who had cast the spell with a wish, but Xander and he wasn't the demon's type. Spell Broken. Song Ended. Price paid.

Look at any supernatural book, movie, and TV series (and there are a lot) and you will find the central theme is the price of magic/power. That is until Teen Wolf comes along. Scott McCall, asthmatic klutz and freshman at Beacon Hills High School.  Scott is determined to make the Lacrosse team. Well, Scott made the team the year before, but he spent the whole season riding the bench. Another year and another tryout for the asthmatic freshman determined to make the team even though it means coughing up a lung and lying dead on the field while both teams run over his played out body, likely near death, as long as he scores a goal. Stiles, Scott's best friend and son of the local sheriff, also wants to get off the bench and score a goal or two before he finishes high school, although death will likely come from Stiles's penchant for solving crimes and getting in law enforcement's way with his theories, often astute and just as often dismissed because Stiles is just a kid.

Following a scanner call about a dead body in the woods, Scott and Stiles get separated and Scott is bitten. What's worse, Scott has to hide the injury since his mother, a nurse at the Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital, would kill him if he doesn't die from the bite. A bigger problem is that the wound heals by itself and leaves no scar. The biggest problem of all is Scott not only making the Lacrosse team, but playing better than the star and captain of the team, rich boy heart throb and all around athlete, Jackson, who is determined to find out how Scott suddenly got so good. Well, of course Scott is now a star athlete with power and precision. The bite he received was from a werewolf and now Scott is also a werewolf and, it turns out in subsequent seasons, so much more.

At any rate, Scott is driven by a desire not only not to hurt innocent people but in controlling  the change, what Derek Hale, a born werewolf, son of a family of werewolves who have been protecting Beacon Hills for a very long time, as have the druids also living in Beacon Hills and allied with the wolf packs as guides, teachers if you will, a role druids have played for centuries. Scott is different. He doesn't want to be part of a pack, especially not Derek's pack when he finds out Derek's uncle bit him and made him a vampire. Scott ends up forming his own pack of friends like Stiles, his best friend, Allison, the daughter of a family of hunters who for over 400 years have hunted supernatural creatures like Scott, Lydia, the most popular girl in school and also a bean-sidhe (banshee) who was bitten by Peter Hale, Derek's uncle, and other friends and acquaintances of Scott's, misfits and losers bitten by Derek to increase his pack. Scott's pack is not only unusual since it is not comprised of other werewolves, but Scott is also unusual because he advocates not killing innocent people when he is under the moon's spell.

The difference with Teen Wolf is not only that as a supernatural series the focus changes from the price of magic/power, but to the ultimate gift of power and how it can be used to do good. Buffy did good with her vampire slayer powers and she saved "the world a lot" as was engraved on her tombstone when she died taking down a god. The X-men, people changed by supernatural means into vampires, werewolves, and the like, and increasingly shows like Teen Wolf have begun to sing another tune, not that magic/power exact a price, but that magic/power can be redeemed by helping others. With the focus off the price and on the good that can be done, what shows is a reversal of the paradigm that being special, supernatural, and powerful for whatever reason is no longer about what it costs but what such special abilities, talents, power, magic even can do for those around the gifted one.

There have always been those who have used their gifts to harm others, and that is also demonstrated in Teen Wolf, but the overriding theme, the central point is that whatever befalls us to change us, no matter how bad it seems, does not have to destroy our basic humanity or the need to help those around us. No more angst over being forced out of a normal life into a life of supernatural abilities. Instead, the monsters have decided that they do not have to be monstrous or killers, except for Jackson who had a bad reaction to being bitten by a werewolf and became a kanima, a slithering monster with a paralytic sting in its tail, bent on vengeance and destruction. There are some instances when a werewolf bite kills and others when the bite is rejected and the bitten shifts to a shape that is more akin to who the person is on the inside, in Jackson's case a Kanima.

I like the new paradigm shift from magic always comes with a price to the price of magic can be used to help others and defeat evil. I like that a lot because it signals a shift in the creative zeitgeist that focuses on saving/helping our fellow beings. No longer are the monsters out to destroy us or add to their evil numbers, although there are those who do and are defeated because humans, even humans who have been supernaturally changed, are complex beings with loads of baggage and their fair share of Jekylls as well as Hydes.

Even as the political scene is in upheaval with the opposition looking more like lynch mobs determined to deny their opponents their rights and freedoms as the discourse shifts from civil debate to riots, looting, burning, and calls for death to the opposition, it is heartening to see that there are some groups focused on helping their enemies rather than destroying their enemies. That is a positive shift that will resonate throughout the world. We do not need war to change people's minds. We need to show our enemies there is another way, another path that will benefit us all. When magic is used, we don't need to weigh the price, we need to accept the change and help our fellow humans triumph over their own worst natures by showing them a safer path.

That is all. Disperse.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Intervention


It's Saturday night and I wanted to watch something so I chose Intervention, a movie written and directed by Clea Duvall where she actually gets to play a lesbian in an increasingly constricted relationship and chooses to tell her sister and her husband to stop hurting each other and get a divorce. Clea is not alone in her desire to set up the intervention; she has her brother Jack who has chucked everything to travel the country towing a trailer with a barely 20-something girl still dressing like a teenager hanging out for the summer between school years and Annie, who set up the intervention because she says she is tired of watching her best friend Ruby and husband Peter slashing at each other. Meanwhile Annie drinks her way through most of the movie while organizing the intervention because she is not ready to marry her fiance and knows she cannot postpone her wedding a 5th time.

Like all those movies where nearly 30-somethings are working out their issues during a wedding weekend, bachelor/ette party weekend, or intervention, it is clear from the outset that the relationships will end up on their ears and the happy ending will not include the instigators.

The thing about interventions, especially when they fail to involve people who really do need help and don't have court-ordered interventions, the point is that the couple in the crosshairs aren't really the ones who need help and everyone else is going to have to examine their navels closely. The fact is that people who set up couples' interventions, and the people who express their concerns at the outset and refuse to go along, are really the ones who need help. Their friends were either too polite or embarrassed to stage an intervention, or even talk to them about it, or weren't aware that was an option. In short, the movie is another chance to get together, get drunk, and air out the emotional linen among friends and family.

Isn't that always the way? Our thoughts are on someone else's problems while we avoid our own problems and issues entirely.  After all, they need help and we love them enough to help them. That's the thing about interventions and offering help to someone else, it's easier to focus on someone else's problems than to admit there are things we need to work on.

While watching these almost middle-aged couples sort out their lives, I was immediately reminded of Meathead and Gloria's disintegrating marriage. Meathead was predictably clueless and Gloria was needlessly dismissive and cruel. Gloria was bored, showing signs that if she had to spend one more minute in Mike's company she'd take his head off and castrate him with the rough and sharp side of her tongue. Luckily, Gloria had Edith Bunker to talk to.

Gloria asked her dingbat mother if she had ever gotten to the point where she just could not stand Archie -- and Edith said yes. She gave Gloria the best advice I'd ever heard.

There comes a time in marriage where even the sound of your spouse's breathing is enough to send you running to the kitchen to find the sharpest knife in the drawer to plunge into your once beloved spouse's throat. I would imagine the modern day parlance would be a throat punch. Your spouse's existence is beyond tolerance and you cannot stand it any more. This is the point where most marriages and relationships end up on the dump or out with the trash. You have fallen out of love with your spouse. You could, as most lawyers advise, get a divorce or you could wait to fall back in love with your soul mate. That is what Edith urged Gloria to do -- wait until you fall in love all over again.

As I watched Ruby and Peter I remembered that point in my own marriage when my ex-husband and I publicly cut each other to pieces over cards or during parties. On some level it was witty and funny, but on a personal level it was painful. I considered the knife, but now see I would have happily opted for a throat punch wearing brass knuckles if the choice had been offered. I hadn't seen the episode with Edith told Gloria what to do, and I'm not sure it would have mattered. We would still have divorced because I never actually wanted to be married to him after all. I got pregnant the night we got engaged and marriage seemed the best solution at the time. Mom told me the day we got married I didn't have to marry him and that we could work it all out. I'd have the baby and she and my father would adopt the child. Unlike Edith Bunker's calm dingbat wisdom, my mother could've said nothing that would have hurried me to the altar faster. The thought that she would raise my innocent child turned my blood to ice and all my protective instincts and hormones rushed to surround my unborn child. No child of mine would end up being raised by the woman who spent my entire formative years torturing me as she would undoubtedly torture and abuse my child, especially if it was a girl. I got married that day and have regretted it most of the rest of my life as I struggled with marriage, adulthood, and responsibility and longed for the life I had planned: going to college, getting a degree, and writing a breakthrough novel -- or becoming the first woman judge on the Supreme Court of the United States -- or the first woman driver to qualify for and win the Indianapolis 500. I was 18 and, though I felt I was ready for responsibility, I was nowhere close.

There was no one to do an intervention for me and I doubt I would have sat still for it. There was no Edith Bunker to help me over the hurdles and listening to my mother was akin to praying mantis courting rituals.

There is the fairy tale fantasy of happily ever after and the reality that comes with children and marriage and life as you know it ending while clinging to a past where you remember you thought you were happy and the future lay before you like a brand new Yellow Brick Road stretching along a glittering path where the Emerald City of Oz beckoned on the horizon. The Wicked Witch waited with fireballs and flying monkeys to bar the path, but you're wearing rose-colored glasses and only the good things are visible.

As I have said before, we are creatures who live mostly in the past where the grass was greener, children behaved, and people were civil and kind, socially duplicitous but at least everyone got along. Instead we live in a society populated by people ready and willing to trample your rights to speak while insisting that the only speech that matters is their own as they bully dissenters with libel and slander and name calling fit for a prison school yard and we have only ourselves to blame. While we gave out prizes to children showing up and soothed their hurt feelings by putting ourselves in their places, we forgot -- or failed to remember -- that helping a butterfly out of its cocoon denies the butterfly the struggle that gives it the strength and power to emerge and become a beautiful butterfly able to spread its wings and flit from flower to flower to feed itself and help pollinate the crops so there will be food and flowers for future generations.

Few people learn that it takes persistence and patience to get through the bored "I hate you" stage so you can fall in love again and remember what it was that brought you together. It could be the crooked quirky smile or the way he makes you laugh when you're in the midst of a pointless fight or it could be that her feet are cold on the hottest day of the year or how comforting his arms feel when he steals the covers so he can spoon you. The point is that sometimes you have to wait for the heart to catch up with the brain and few people take the time or feel they have the time to wait. There's always something more important than now and you and us. Sometimes patience is all you need but you have to wait and listen carefully for patience.

That is all. Disperse.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Colonize the Undiscovered Country


There is an underlying theme in Only Begotten Daughter by James Morrow and set in New Jersey in Atlantic City that riveted me. We are all -- the people of this planet -- focused on the past. We are looking for the brier forest surrounding Sleeping Beauty's castle caught sleeping in an angry fairy's spell for more than a century. We dream of being the one to break the spell, free the sleeping court and live happily ever after. Conversely, we would be happy to stumble over a hidden crypt within a mountain where the riches of the earth lay waiting or happen upon a tarnished lamp in a junk shop that is the Aladdin's lamp that when rubbed clean would appear from the smoke to grant our every wish and unravel the riddles of the ages. We are focused on the wrong view.

We should understand the past in order to create a better future, but the focus should be on the future not the past. How can we survive if we don't look to the Undiscovered Country of the Future to set ourselves free of the slavery of the past?

Everywhere we look we see TV series about the Old West glorifying the good old days of Jesse James and the splendors of the courts of Louis XIV or Henry VIII. We relive the exploits of King Arthur's court and fashion stories about the bloody Borgias and recreate the struggle between King Xerxes and the Spartans who died defending the pass at Thermopolyae or the plains of Marathon where a Greek runner sped 40 km (about 26 miles), the distance from Marathon to Athens, to let the Athenians know they had won. The Persians had been defeated and turned away from their invasion of Greece. We run the modern marathon to honor that feat.

Historians, scientists, and archaeologists endlessly sift through the detritus of past ages to make some sense of the ancient past when they know little of what actually happened less than 200 years ago, making up stories and spinning fanciful dreams about what they think happened while destroying what they find and do not understand, hiding the general idea that our ancestors were less technologically and socially advanced than we are in our glass and marble cities piercing the clouds with their sun splashed windows that appear to be gold from the distance.

Men, women, and children recreate old battles, fight mock engagements, and annually put on Renaissance Faires where everyone plays at reliving fantasies and dreams. Daily we reach back into the past to complain about sins and mistakes our forefathers made without ever understanding the world they lived in or the struggles they mastered to make it possible for modern rebels without a cause to complain when few of the middle or lower classes ever saw the inside of a college or university or could have climbed out of the misery of their lives where their children and mothers died in childbirth or lived long enough to succumb to any number of diseases easily cured today. Blacks demand reparations from the promise of 40 acres and a mule and imagine the government will or could make good on a special field order made and revoked in 1865, still dreaming of untold wealth and riches from a country that enslaved their ancestors. They might as well petition for citizenship and the governor's mansion in Monrovia or face the indigenous African people dispossessed by freed slaves settling in African lands and imposing their rule and religion over the African people who were born and had hunted and settled the lands from time out of mind.

We look to the past to dig up whatever history we can find or refashion to support our beliefs and positions without regard for the facts -- if the facts are indeed known. If the facts are sparse, it won't take long to use the bits of broken pottery and a good imagination to fashion new facts to fit the bill.

Romance authors reimagine the past to fit a new paradigm that suits them better, turning the past into a tapestry of lies, half truths, and dreams that raise the structures that will hold whatever the author thinks should have happened or fills the gaps where mysteries are born, mysteries that take forms that change from writer to writer. We fill the past with zombies and monsters where cartographers imagined there be dragons.  Whirlpools became devouring demons that rose from the depths to swallow ships and treacherous shoals provided seats for beautiful demons sang to passing sailors and lured them and their ships to their doom.

Adventurers and seamen crossed desserts and oceans to plant colonies and discover lands and peoples with fabulous legends of cities of gold and lost treasures or civilizations that disappear beneath the oceans in a night or are devoured by a sandstorm that lasts a whole year. Riches and fables pepper the globe if only we had the map or a journal describing the route.

We are all children wide-eyed and breathless getting ready to go to bed wrapped in Morpheus's arms to enter a dream world where we fly and travel the distant stars or the depths of the oceans to realize our fondest wishes and live out magical dreams that disappear when the sun rises. Fairy silver turns to dust in the morning sun and dreams hover at the edge of consciousness until night sets them free to accompany us on the wild hunt.

We are all dreamers born of smoke and mirrors in Scheherazade's 1001 Arabian Nights to beguile a vengeful prince to allow us another day of life and to fall in love all over again. With hearts and minds mired in the past, we will never enter or colonize the Undiscovered Country nor will we stop complaining that reality is less substantial than we dreamed.

That is all. Disperse.












Monday, May 01, 2017

I Win, You Lose


Just in case you haven't been paying attention or didn't catch the meaning of the words, everything is rigged so that They win and We lose. It is like the first two or three times you choose heads or tales before the meaning of the words sinks in. No matter which you choose, heads or tales, you can't win. It's like the Kobayashi Maru that only Captain James T. Kirk passed, that no-win situation where the captain faces that reality that no matter what he does he cannot save the passengers of the Kobayashi Maru even if he doesn't cross into the Romulan Neutral Zone because the test is rigged. Winning is not an option. Facing failure and your fears is the point. The same can be said of the Muslim ban, the continued struggle between black and white, and the repercussions of calling out a rapist or sexual predator. They are all no-win situations. They are all our Kobayashi Maru test.

Pick a side, any side, head or tails, but the result remains the same: They win, you lose. That is the point. Ban Muslims, Black Lives Matter, Woman Power, Black Power, White Supremacy, White Privilege, Economic Fairness, Equal Opportunity, No Child Left Behind, The Wage Gap, The Privilege Gap, Hillary or Trump. All the games are rigged. It even goes as far down as organic versus GMOs, processed food versus natural foods. Kobayashi Maru, the no-win situation.

I read an article this morning about how a young black man had "the talk" with his parents about how to behave when stopped by the police. I look white and I had the same talk with my parents. Don't make eye contact, keep your head down and your answers short (yes, sir and no, sir) and no backtalk. The daily no-win situation when dealing with the police is the same no-win situation when dealing with a boss, a co-worker, or a staying in a motel. Don't make eye contact. Keep your head down and your answers short (yes, sir and no, sir) and no backtalk. It is the same talk that crops up between races and genders: head down, no eye contact, short answers, and no backtalk. The point is to escape the situation intact and unharmed -- or at least as unbruised or unbloodied as possible.

We live in a dangerous world and we, humanity, have made this world dangerous. People with money help make the world dangerous. People with power help make the world dangerous. People with knowledge rigging the system make this world dangerous. Those who have make the world dangerous for those who have not. The top ices the slopes or turns the roads to ice and pours cold water down the hill.

One of my sisters, a feisty little girl who fears no one faced her own Kobayashi Maru. She was dating a cop, a man she attended church with, and one night she refused his polite advances. This 6+ foot cop picked her 5-foot 2-inch petite body and took what she refused, drove her home after he was finished and walked her to the door. She kept the incident to herself and didn't tell our parents. I have told no one since she told me over 30 years ago. The same man also had a shoe box full of drivers licenses belonging to women he had pulled over, the same women he stalked for years.

There are good cops and bad cops and all the training in the world won't change that. Cops are people too, struggling with the same demons as everyone else. Some cops are good people and some cops are criminals. The same men and women work in every office in every city in every country around the world. Some are wealthy and some are poor and they use their power to harm as well as heal. They are people like you, like me, like everyone else. My aunt says that all men are dogs and I counter with some women are dogs too. Religion hasn't made a difference nor has sensitivity training or team building at some resort for a weekend or a week. Ethics be damned. Sensitivity be damned. Religion be damned. The only way to change the game is to change the players at the soul level. Sometimes the only way to change is to have a near death experience and to face the Universe where there are no ifs, ands, or buts. You and the Universe face to face (if the universe or the soul have faces) with no place to hide or bargain or loopholes to exploit. When you come back -- if you come back -- you will understand the reality of your place in the grand cosmic scheme of things and you will be changed forever. Eternity and your place in it is the ultimate reality and the ultimate no-win situation. Your choice has been made and you can accept reality or return to the Universe as a data point in the Cosmic Scheme of Things.

Before that happens, look around you at the world and the other beings that share this existence with you and choose . . . kindness, life, and the value of existence. It may be the only chance you will ever have.

That is all. Disperse.

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.