Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Who Pays Whom?

Christopher Portier-
Scientist or activist leader of ban glyphosate movement?
I'm not sure of the GLP is protecting the people they pretend to serve or serving up the people "who are not paid" for their services in rooting out glyphosate lies or protecting their paymaster.

You decide.

I've been bullied and publicly lashed for my unscientific approach to science because I read Natural News, written by an actual scientist who publishes what he finds in trials and investigations into things like Bitcoin values and how many shooters there were in Las Vegas at naturalnews.com.

The Health Ranger speaks out about what is going on in this nation, health-wise and politically, and has a long history of telling the world what the mainstream media keeps quiet about and what Google and the bully trolls that attack anyone -- and everyone -- who states the truth as they see it. What are people to do - believe the lies like most people or call them out and demand the truth? How can we get the truth when people have been bought and have signed papers that they will not talk about the litigation or the inconvenient truths?

You decide.

I decided to keep digging and keep calling foul when the lies are evident even to a lay person like me.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Choose ignorance -- or TRUTH

Garbage In/Gospel Out

"Garbage in, gospel out" is a more recent expansion of the acronym (GIGO). It is a sardonic comment on the tendency to put excessive trust in "computerised" data, and on the propensity for individuals to blindly accept what the computer says. Since the data entered into the computer is then processed by the computer, people who do not understand the processes in question, tend to believe the data they see:
Decision-makers increasingly face computer-generated information and analyses that could be collected and analyzed in no other way. Precisely for that reason, going behind that output is out of the question, even if one has good cause to be suspicious. In short, the computer analysis becomes a credible references point although based on poor data."
Daniel T. Brooks, Brandon Becker and Jerry R. Marlatt, "Computer Applications in Particular Industries: Securities" appearing in Bigelow, "Computers & The Law", American Bar Association, Section of Science and Technology, Third Edition 1981 at 250, 253

"GIGO is commonly used to describe failures in human decision-making due to faulty, incomplete, or imprecise data." Though the issue predates the computer age, GIGO still applies and has always applied to humans and religion/politics. 

There is a popular saying that it takes a computer to really mess things up. 


All it takes is humanity and a narrow-minded vision of what passes for reality. In the days of the Crusades, the narrow-minded vision was imposed by the Roman Catholic Church and Islam. Both were intent on what I see as a historical pissing contest between Rome and Islam. 

Nowadays, the pissing contest is between the leftist liberal mentality and the Islamic Imams intent on spreading Islam throughout the word so that all peoples on this planet are submissive to Mohammed in the guise of right thinking. Right thinking does not include any single person or movement's individual beliefs, questions, or research because that would negate the rightness of the beliefs and totally against the rules. 

Muslims will state that submission is to Allah (their version of God) and not to Mohammed while the leftist liberal mentality welded in lock step to political correctness and their politically correct views spouted by Black Lives Matter and Antifa, as well as the talking heads of the Mainstream Media (MSM) who have checked their brains at the studio door to follow the Frankfurt School and usher the rest of the thinking world into the New Dark Ages.  

Did you know that the Dark Ages then and now are created from the same source? 


Yes, there is enough blame and hatred to go around for the Roman Catholic Church and their crusades as well as Islam since nothing happens in this world without action and reaction.  

In this politically correct (Frankfurt School ousted by Hitler and moved to Cambridge - USA) world the reaction to the action of immigrating to Europe and the Muslim bombings and bloody massacres by vehicle and gun is fear and electing Donald Trump who promised to push back. The politically correct MSM and leftists (Antifa and BLM), along with the ignorant and emotional hordes as well as the well spoken politicians like Obama and the dregs of the Democrats, stand back, bow, and welcome the immigrants. How has Germany, France, and the UK fared since Angela Merkel welcomed Syrian refugees to wealthy socialist Europe

The response from Canada is . . . what

How is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doing as he throws open Canada's door to Syrian Refugees and immigrants of all stripes

Though the Ottoman Empire is no more, or at least the world thought so as of 9/11/1924, and the fuel George W. Bush and Cheney added to the pyre on 9/11/2001 so they could motivate Americans by the take down of the Twin Towers in NYC and a hit on the Pentagon (still questionable since the facts do not support the story), Muslims are flooding out of the Middle East and Africa and taking down the wealthy socialist countries of the EU and now Canada like a nuclear fueled plague of locusts with taqiyya in the hum of their destruction. 

No Muslim is safe as long as the Muslim believes in the propaganda spun by Mohammed and propagated by Muslim teachings and the hubris of pro-Islam apologists and the violence and denial adopted by the intellectually perverted hordes of unthinking and hormone addled youth spouting divisive and venom-tainted slogans is disguised as protest. 

Muslims and hormone-fueled youth spew the garbage they have been fed and there is no holistic or natural cure that can overwhelm or ameliorate the garbage they have been given without let up. What they have been fed - politically and religiously - cannot be stemmed or corrected since their brains are clogged with the mind altering methods of propaganda. Their brains are closed off in much the same way as Alzheimer's disease hampers the brain's natural function with aluminum fibers spun across the synapses to impede the electrical flow of communication. 

There is a cure for Alzheimer's of the brain.  

There is no cure for stupidity. 

There is a cure for ignorance. 

Pay attention, read, listen, think for yourself.

That is all. Disperse. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sentimental Moment

Seeing Donovan's Reef in my queue was all I needed to saunter down memory lane with the Duke (John Wayne/Marion Michael Morrison) and crew - Jack Warden, Lee Marvin, and Elizabeth Allen to French Polynesia, shot in Kauai, governed by Cesar Romero, shepherded by Father Cluzeot, and told with humor even though the themes are corporate greed and bigotry. John Ford set up his usual John Wayne setup with fights and a real international brawl between Australian navy and the Yankee navy (Wayne and Marvin) with one Australian lad evening the odds by turning his hat around and fighting for the Yanks until a winner is declared.

Donovan's Reef is fun and breezy, some amateur critics call it a lazy film, though I doubt the viewers or the actors would agree, and tackles the issues of corporate greed and prejudice, issues that plague us still, though I doubt the Polynesians would have called the Yanks in residence after the end of World War II an immigration problem or would have been xenophobic about them setting up shop with their saloon, shipping business, or hospital with a doctor who makes regular island calls and built a hospital that also trains nurses. From the beauty of the island and the seeming happiness of the Polynesian natives (girls of course), I doubt there was any problems with fitting in and becoming integrated into the society and population. One might say that Father Cluzeot fits in very well even though as a Roman Catholic priest he has centuries of experience in integrating whatever culture the people possess into his world view. The Romans before him and the Roman Catholic Church after the Roman Empire's fall were well versed in insinuating themselves into other indigenous peoples' lives and society even if priests had to change the society to suit Roman Catholicism.

Rome had become adept at making Rome the heart of any people and country, by war at first and then by eradicating any pagan ideology and writings even if Rome had to replace anti-Roman views with more Rome friendly views. Much of this Romanization was accomplished by rewriting any documentation and history they found (hiding the originals where possible in the Vatican archives) and adopting the foreign views and religions into their own pantheon. If you believe what is written in the Aeneid, the Trojans hid themselves from the Greeks, and eventually conquering the Greeks when they became the all powerful and far reaching Roman Empire, by landing in the Italian peninsula and becoming allied with the Etruscans and forming the first origins of Romulus and Remus and the she-wolf that suckled them (Romulus eventually killing Remus) to rise to the pinnacle of the brand new Roman society and conquering much of the known Western world, maybe even to the point of eradicating the Etruscans that first gave them a home and assistance.

At any rate, Father Cluzeot was more interested in feeding, clothing, and aiding the poor than in using monies donated specifically for the restoration of the church's roof. As Father Cluzeot continued to say, "The poor are still with us," when he let everyone, especially the donors, know the poor came first in his mind even if it meant praying in a church with gaping holes that did not keep the torrential winter rains out. Better to take care of the poor than to patch the roof that would eventually sprout more holes with more torrential winter rains in future years. The poor always came first with Father Cluzeot just as the ailing came first with Dr. Dedham.

Donovan's Reef is the usual formulaic John Wayne story where there is a central issue to deal with and at least one brawl/fight to stage and get through. Even watching this favorite movie after years of it sitting on my video shelf, I was struck by the anguished cry "Because we're not white," as if being Polynesian is as strong a prejudice in Yankee minds as being black or Oriental or Hispanic. Maybe in 1963 during the height of the civil rights struggle in America Polynesians were as likely to be shunned in society as blacks, Asians, or Hispanics, but I doubt it. I lived during those time, living specifically in Panama on a U.S. Army base, and the thought that Polynesians were prejudiced against was as foreign to me as Panamanians being anything but welcome. Okay, we had two black maids who worked for us and were paid well, but they were still family to me because as a child living in foreign countries following my father from Army base to Army base around the world it never occurred to me they were less acceptable than our neighbors or the kids I played with on and off base. To a child like me brought up around the world, people were people and beautiful and smiling people were people to get to know and invite home. I didn't know my parents were bigots until nearly half a century later.

Well, that's not completely true. I knew my mother was a bigot when I was a teenager and she went ballistic when she discovered a party and the subsequent slumber party I attended were at a black friend's house. That discovery led to a life long running argument between Mom and me that friends were friends whatever their color and spending the night with a friend was just spending the night with a girlfriend whatever her color because for me then -- and now -- friendship doesn't count whether or not the friend has a better -- or deeper -- tan than I do, except where their tan is darker than mine and I feel pale by comparison.

Mom's response was that spending the night with blacks was inviting trouble which is why she never slept over or visited with a black family friend when on vacation -- and they, if they were her friend wouldn't come to visit on vacation and expect to spend the night in her home. If they were her friend they knew to go to a hotel or motel.

I never understood that and believed Dad would have agreed with me (I later found out how wrong I was -- much later) that a friend is a friend is a friend and color is not a factor. Dad probably rolled over in his grave, as did Mom, because my nephew, J. C., married Ebony and they have a new baby girl as of last year. Ebony, like her name, is black. Dad threw a fit when J. C. took to their senior prom . . . because she was black. That's when I found out my father was a bigot. I knew Mom was a bigot from my teenage years because she despised Asians, especially the Japanese. Dad had  been stationed in Korea twice during his 22 years in the Army and Mom openly loathed Asians because Dad had nearly married a Japanese during his first tour in Korea when he went to Japan on R & R and had a child with the woman. Mom's prejudice, I thought, was born out of her jealousy of Dad's previous love and the love of his bi-racial daughter even though her family refused to sanction Dad's marriage to her mother because he was white, a round eye. At least with the Japanese, they didn't give their bi-racial children to the Roman Catholic monastery nearby and raised those bi-racial children in their own homes with their Asian relatives. Bigotry comes from every race and is most often the burden and shame of the younger generations -- if they know about it at all.

At any rate, Lelani's anguished cry still gets to me with the same emotions -- why? She's not someone who should be the source of bigotry then or now, but I am probably still naive in that way. Even at 62, the only bigotry I am aware of is prejudice against Islam because Islam, like the Roman Empire before them, brings death and pain with it. Even the Roman Catholic Church embodies death and pain, not only in their worship of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, but in their more violent episodes where the Church sanctioned and even authorized the death of nonbelievers.

It doesn't make sense to me -- then or now. Killing believers or those fallen away from the faith is no way to win friends or influence people to your side nor does closing a blind eye to priests abusing children, sexually, emotionally, or physically, let alone refusing to acknowledge the world isn't full of people who choose to love -- and marry -- those of their own gender. In the end, love is at the center of controversy with homosexuality in practice and belief, and was once so accepted in the Roman Catholic Church's earlier history that priests performed marriage ceremonies between same-sex couples and celebrated homosexual liaisons. I guess being a pagan was less an issue among homosexuals than Christianity has been. Better to follow the Greeks with their different words and designations for love. If there is love, then nothing involving that love can be wrong -- or should be wrong -- even if there are different words for love as long as love is the central emotion. I believe the Cosmic Creator would agree.

So here we are with a formulaic John Wayne movie where love triumphs, whether it is love between a saloon singer and a booze hound-fist fight loving and practicing hooligan like Gilhooley (Lee Marvin), a Boston socialite and ex-war veteran turned shipping owner and operator who also owns a saloon, and that same strait-laced Boston socialite and the half-caste Polynesian-American children  from her father's second marriage to Manulani, the hereditary Polynesian princess of Haleakaloa. Love is all that matters.

I would take exception to the spanking that "Guns" Donovan dealt to Amelia Dedham even though said spanking is reminiscent of John Wayne and his female costars (Maureen O'Hara in The Silent Man and McClintock!) and his macho attitude toward women. Good thing, even with a fireplace shovel, the spankings he dole out were more humorous than painful -- or fatal as in the case with Muslim women and Shari'a law among those supporting  Islamic rule.

In spite of being an atheist and my views on Jesus Christ, I was quite emotional during the Christmas mass at Father Cluzeot's church on Xmas eve. I was feeling nostalgic and touched by the music and the Yule season than any affection for the celebration of the lie that has persisted for 2000 years. I was a child brought up with the Nativity and Mary and Joseph ending up in a stable to give birth to their child. I am just as vulnerable as anyone who hears the myth of Jesus Christ and the midwinter nativity as any pagan which is why the story resonates for so many. It is akin to the stories at the heart of their own religions, which is not so surprising since it was created by Emperor Titus and supported by the Roman Catholic Church for 2000 years and the Romans knew how to adapt local customs and beliefs to fit their own pantheon and control. After so long, it is easy to get it right and to turn enemies minds to a more favorable position . . . even if you have to lie. At least in that regard, Islam and the Muslims have it down pat. Taqiyya is the recognized Islamic tool just as Christianity has been practicing their lies without the openly acknowledged version or a name that is synonymous with lies, unless you consider Nativity and Lent and crucifixion the same as Taqiyya. When lies are at the center, anything goes.

That is all. Disperse.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD

I wish I had known about this book years ago. I would've saved money on diet books and peace of mind because I would have found what I have spent the past 40 years looking for -- a slimmer, healthier me.

Say what you will, but it is hard giving up something you considered to be so necessary and healthy, especially when you decide to bake your own bread and leave out the sugar and other supposedly healthy ingredients. I was wrong.

Yes, I am a woman and I can easily, loudly, and publicly proclaim I was wrong.

Four months ago I gave up bread. It was a conscious choice because I had signed on with a food delivery service, Splendid Spoon (splendidspoon.com), and they did not include any bread in their vegan, plant-based food choices. I loved the smoothies and the choices for soups, especially once I noted that I would not include soy beans (GMO much?) in the choices. I did leave out a soup that was made with black beans, but that was a small price to pay. Opting out of bread was a much harder choice. My cabinets were full of rye, pumpernickel, whole grain wheat, and other wheat-based flours. It wasn't the cost of the ingredients that stuck in my throat, but giving up fresh baked bread. I had found Steve's No-Knead overnight proofed, or quick proof method, bread and I loved the fresh from the oven smell of whole grain bread. I even purchased seven grain flour and seven grain seeds to top my home-baked bread from King Arthur Flour (kaf.com) because KAF offered organic and non-GMO flours. I was giving it all up - voluntarily. I chose to go without bread for the sake of nutritions vegan meals 5 days a week with a day of soup cleanses. It was expensive, but my health was more important. I signed up, paid for 2 months of meals, and didn't look back.

I was surprised to discover that I was sleeping better on the Splendid Spoon meals, 2 meals a day (breakfast and lunch). When I noticed I was waking up after a restful night's sleep without having to get up once during the night to go to the bathroom and that I was rested and ready for work every day, I was sold.

My reason for the drastic change of diet, going vegan with Splendid Spoon, was realizing I had pre-diabetes. I suddenly had the reason for those times, about once a month, when I got up every hour to urinate (I called them my P dancing days). I had no issues with frequent urination or those dragged out days when I craved a couple slices of home-baked bread slathered with butter or artisanal and organic peanut (or any kind of tasty nut) butter, sometimes with raw, unfiltered, natural honey drizzled on. I didn't even miss the stack of whole wheat pancakes I craved once in a while. I was content, fed, and enjoying better health than I had since I discovered my pre-diabetes.

But Splendid Spoon is expensive and the medical transcription business is not what it was when I began 33 years ago. I had finally given in and took my skills to a company that paid me less than I was paid when I started 33 years ago, which meant I would have to pay off some credit card debt in order to afford another month or two of Splendid Spoon's vegan meals. I'd go back to a paleo derived diet that was mostly plant-based and still organic, but still without bread since I had done well on a more meager food plan. That is when I discovered Wheat Belly written by Dr. William Davis.

Since I'd already given up wheat and noticed over the first couple of months of a vegan diet I had lost a vast amount of weight, so much that I could finally wear the green velour house coat without having it cut off the circulation in my fat arms, I bought the book, read up on the included recipes and food plan, and was favorably impressed by what I found within its pages.

The real reason behind the GMO labeling issue that had sent millions into the streets to protest was detailed in Wheat Belly. The agribusiness corporations did not want America to know the real reason behind the obesity crisis in the nation wasn't because of glyphosate contaminated foods (Monsanto) but the fact that wheat, one of the most genetically modified seeds on Earth and contained at the base of the food pyramid, would also have to be outed. Nutritionists and agribusiness corporations would be gutted, vilified, run out of business if the truth were known. Even those poor families who receive food stamps would finally be told the root cause of their obesity and their diabetes, heart disease, immune deficiencies like Alzheimer's and fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, chronic pain syndrome, and all the gastrointestinal based ailments that keep doctors wealthy and the contention and violence over universal health care is wheat.

Yes, glyphosate contamination of our food is also an issue, but the origins of the common variety of wheat, whether red wheat or white wheat, and its inclusion into our world wide food consciousness is criminal, especially when you consider that scientists have done more than get the genetic jump on decades of breeding for a wheat seed that is drought-resistant, fast growing, and provides vast amounts of wheat for small amounts of seeds. These brilliant scientists did create a wheat seed that has done more for alleviating hunger world wide, but they never stopped to test the results of food made with the resultant wheat seed on people. Isn't that the point of wheat . . . to feed people and do so with less money? What asset is a wheat seed when the result is death, obesity, and diseases that cost more to manage than the wheat could feed in a million years?


That is the dirty truth at the heart of GMO labeling lawsuits and the fear that drives corporate agribusiness. Scientists have perfected their genetically modified wheat but never stopped to consider the human cost.

How could the French be happy and well fed if the French baguette was removed from the menu. How would the French economy and their world famous bakers survive if they were forced to return to the ancient, non-GMO wheats and flours made from emer, triticum, and einkorn. The breads would not be the soft and oh-so-affordable wheat breads now available. Un-genetically modified wheat has a mere 14 gene pairs while the modern wheat contains double or more genes thanks to scientists creating the GMO version of wheat that has replaced the ancient grains that sustained us since the beginning of time. The bread of life has become the bread of disease, obesity, and death. Check it out for yourself. 

Meanwhile, some countries are giving farmers a boost in the right direction paying farmers to plant their fields with non-GMO crops.  I watched a documentary once on how GMO foods end up with people eating information and not food with the result that information in food form can be detrimental to human health and continued life. 

Dr. Davis's book is about what genetically modified wheat has done to our health, our waistlines, and our hunger.

Yes, you can prove anything if you cherry pick the data, but the results are visibly evident. Over the past four months I have lost more than 100 pounds and I'm still losing despite changing from vegan to paleo with a plant-based (non-GMO of course). My pre-diabetes is under control. I sleep better now when I discover a healthy, non-processed, and non-GMO tainted source of natural, raw, unrefined honey and I don't mind too much the choice to avoid reasonable facsimiles of pancakes and gluten-free breads and cakes while I continue my journey to long-lasting health and vitality.

Check out the Wheat Belly book and recipes and read the fascinating inserts from case files from Dr. William Davis's patients who gave up wheat and live a healthier and sustainable life. Check out the Wheat Belly Cookbook and recently revised Wheat Belly book with its updated information.

Do not skim the book as my aunt did when I sent her a copy. Read it slowly every single word. Read it again and again. Keep Wheat Belly on your shelves and buy another copy to give to friends, family, and loved ones so they can reap the benefits of a wheat-free life. You -- and they -- will be glad you did.

I have bought several copies and sent them to people I care about and I continue to urge people to READ it. This is the life changing book that will turn your life -- and your health -- upside down and should be required reading in schools and homes all over the world. Definitely 5 STARS and I would give it more. Dr. Davis and the book deserve 1000 stars, but 5 will also do if it means more people pick it up, buy it, and read it. Wheat Belly is the Sustainable Health Bible for the world.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Monsters of the ID

In the news everybody blames everybody else for what is wrong with this world. The real culprit is mankind's subconscious, the Id. There are monsters that bypass the conscious mind where most people have learned to deal with injustice, racism, and prejudice -- or at least that is what we tell ourselves. We are horrified by the savage and brutal treatment of women and children -- out loud and in public -- but revert to our pernicious and un-enlightened roots of ourselves where we push women and children aside as we, the males of the species, stride to the forefront to be tended to. After all, women and children being kicked and pushed aside as we trample on them and shove them aside is the way the world works. The strongest publicly claim that we stoop down and help the weaker to safer and more stable/secure positions. The strongest publicly claim they would take a bullet for a loved one, throw themselves in front of danger, and would lay down their lives, sacrifice a limb, give up their place in line so that women and children can be saved even if it means the strongest take the fall or give up their lives to make the future safe for women and children. Isn't that why women and children get the seats in rescue vehicles first? Isn't that what men tell themselves when asked for a poll or hold up their hands to be counted for their contribution to the future?

It's a lie.

In the secret recesses of the human heart -- or in the midst of the worst danger -- the truth comes out. Men shove women and children aside as they make a bee line for the safest and best seats in the rescue vehicles. They will not be left behind. As long as they survive, all is well with the world -- and with them. If the women and children die, so what? After all, they say when it is all over, at this point what does it matter? The women and children are dead and nothing these strong and virile men can do will ever bring them back. Dead is dead. At least when the cameras are rolling and their perfidious actions are done. If you don't see it on the news or in some edited footage that fits on the 11 PM news, you believe what you see. Their crocodile tears are real and the mangled, bloody, and dead bodies remain while they weep an ocean of tears and claim, "If only I could have saved them," or maybe, "Why God? They were so innocent, so precious. Why not take me instead?"

No one saw them as they shoved the weaker innocents aside. All that is left is the record of their tears and remorse and their dumbfounded shock at the injustice of it all. Oscar winners all.

As long as they survived, all that matters is the record. No one needs to know the truth as it is only the truth as they tell it while talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Somewhere inside their minds they may even believe their distress is real. The Id, the subconscious part of their minds, is silent, has submerged once again to the depths of the mind and has been replaced by that anguished cry, "Why God?" 

I recently saw a news report where a liberal woman talked about how her husband, one of the first volunteers going to the aid of Syrian refugees in Greece had changed when he came back from refugees. He spoke about how strong, virile young men shoved injured and drowning women and children aside while these young men surged to the front of the line, ignoring the calls for help and the drowning innocents as they helped themselves first. After all, to their minds, if not to the liberal volunteers' minds, women and children were expendable. They were not.

Here in the western world, we abhor and condemn such blatant disregard for the innocent and we say so loudly and often -- in public or in front of our friends and neighbors. Who knows what we really feel when everyone is gone and we are left alone or when we fall asleep and the subconscious takes the stage? Do all of our prejudices and indiscreet opinions surge forth as we imagine the worst? Do the monsters inside of all of us take over and revel in the deaths, blood, and savagery that take center stage? Do the monsters hidden in our subconscious gibber with unholy glee once the lights are off and the stage is open and waiting?

I was reminded of what lies inside of the most generous and helpful of us hidden in the deepest recesses of the subconscious mind as I watched an old favorite science fiction movie, Forbidden Planet,  with Walter Pigeon, Anne Frances, and Leslie Nielsen. Doctor Morbius warned the rescue ship not to land as he would not be responsible for their safety. Morbius did not need their assistance and would not welcome them if the crew refused to heed his warnings.

Morbius had been alone on Altair IV for 20 years with only his work and his daughter for company. He remember what had happened to the rest of the crew of the Bellerophon. They had died at the hands of some unknown and immensely powerful force that resided on Altair IV.

The crew landed and the powerful invisible monster killed some of the crew when it became apparent that the captain, Leslie Nielsen, was determined to take Morbius back to Earth to inform the authorities what had happened to the crew of the Bellerophon and what he had learned of the original inhabitants, the Krell. Morbius refused to share his findings and was adamantly opposed to returning to Earth. That is when the attacks began.

Not even the immense power at the crew's disposal could stop the invisible monster stalking and killing them. Morbius urged the captain and his crew to take off and avoid further blood shed. The captain refused. Worst of all, Morbius's daughter, Altaira, was determined to go to Earth with the crew, sealing her fate and putting her in serious danger. Morbius begged his daughter to change her mind, but her fate was sealed.

The powerful invisible monster attacked Morbius, the captain, and Altaira at Morbius's home. When Morbius ordered Robby the robot to stop the monster, even after the ship's doctor told Morbius that he, Morbius, was the source of the danger, Robby the robot shut down, caught in a logic conflict programmed into him not to harm people. Even with further proof that the monster was a product of Morbius's subconscious, the same fate that the Krell discovered when they built the pinnacle of their science and technology and programmed a computer that work with the power of the mind, ending their technologically marvelous achievements in a day and a night, leaving on the products of their genius in the form of the machine encompassing more than a 40-mile square and plunging to the very depths of the core of the planet behind as evidence of their achievement.

The primitive subconscious mind teemed with their prejudices, fears, and imagination was unleashed by the power of their machines and spelled the end of their existence 200,000 years before the Bellerophon landed and Morbius discovered the power, boosted his IQ, and learned to access their machines. Morbius's subconscious mind was unleashed, given ultimate power, and murdered all who opposed him. Unstoppable and relentless in his pursuit of knowledge, the monsters of Morbius's Id were unleashed and he was left alone with his innocent daughter to live a life free of other people until Nielsen's crew landed on Altair IV and urged the monsters in Morbius's subconscious mind to life.

The only way to stop the slaughter and devastation was to blow up the planet and thus the Krell technology left behind.

The monsters of the Id are powerful and frightening and so much easier to see when we are faced with them in fictions and a lot less visible when they are too close to us. We see the same monsters when Babylon 5 was on TV when a university professor turned archaeologist enlists Dr. Steven Franklin's assistance in helping him to figure out what he found on Ikarra VII. It was organic technology, far advanced compared to what the Earth had, mirroring the technological advances of the Vorlon's that would propel Earth technology ahead -- far ahead.

The problem was that the technology bonded with the professor's assistant, who was willing to murder to further the advance of knowledge and science, setting loose the Ikarrans' doomsday weapon and endangering all life on Babylon 5 because the inhabitants of hundreds of worlds and civilizations were not pure Ikarran as determined thousands of years ago by Ikarran priests and politicians. The monsters of the Ikarran Id embodied in the organic technology and originating with the scientist who built the doomsday weapon were incompatible with the millions of aliens living on Babylon 5. After all, the Ikarrans died out a million years ago so pure Ikarran blood no longer existed and therefore all life was to be destroyed.

This scenario of perfection and purity has been the central theme of literature for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts for a very long time and the ideal of purity is being played out before us right now in Europe and the Western world, and in fact all over the planet, today, right now. The measurement is determined by religion and inadequately  protected by law. Religion has done a very poor job of protecting and creating peace because the rules set for by different religions are wholly incompatible with peace as long as the monsters of the Id remain inside us and unknown to the more enlightened wisdom of the evolution of humanity. Muslims are stuck in the 7th century. Christians are stuck in an ever changing kaleidoscope of values and ethics that seldom keeps pace with modern sensibilities. The Jews do a better job of matching intent with power and generosity towards others. Buddhists with their long history of anti-violence and peaceful enlightenment lag are overturned by the origins of the people who have converted or lived their whole lives with the Buddhist teachings and succumb inevitably to the monsters of the Id. No religion currently practiced on this planet at this point in time is without its flaws and all are moot in the face of the subconscious where the monsters of the Id dwell and flourish hidden in the darkness.

Blacks blame whites and whites blame blacks. Browns blame browns and everybody blames everybody else. We try our best to live good lives keeping the touchstone of religion in the forefront, but religions made by man are also corrupted by man depending on who has the most power, the most insight, the most control and all religions made by man and purportedly based on the word of god or Allah or Jehovah, Jesus Christ, or Buddha are still the work of man and thus subject to revision and interpretation. There are moderate Muslims and there are extremist Muslims. The same is true of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, native Americans, and every version of religion that begin and end with man. The stories abound about the origins of religion, but ultimately it is mankind writing the words down and mankind following the dictates with less and greater success. Miracles happen and are reportedly of the deity [insert name here] and thus sacrosanct . . . as long as the deity conforms with your personal views . . . and is untouched by the most basic of human emotions or view or mind or thoughts or dreams or imagination. The only thing left is LOVE.

LOVE is at the heart of all mankind and trumps everything else. Wherever you begin, if the answer is not LOVE then the answer is wrong and will end in tears and often death.

Look at a situation where you and your opponent disagree. Whatever your position, the moment you offer violence instead of listening and working together, you have failed. Even if it is an idea you disagree about or a possession you both contend over, the moment you refuse the option of sharing or using the possession or looking at the idea from each other's viewpoint, you have failed. It may seem successful if you end up with the item or the idea in contention, but you are not successful. If you win by resorting to struggling over possession or having the upper hand -- or the moral high ground -- you lose. You have failed.

The moment you lie or obfuscate or keep things to yourself, you lose. You have failed.

The moment you default to quoting chapter and verse from your religious book of choice to prove you are right and they are wrong, you lose. You have failed.

Whatever triumph you feel is fleeting. You have already lost. You have failed.

If the end result deviates by an amoeba's cell, you have failed. You lost.

LOVE is the only answer, the only law, and the only success in life.

There is no first in LOVE.  There is no choice if LOVE is at the heart. There is no wrong if there is LOVE. Ultimately, LOVE is the only answer, the only response, the only success. There are no winners and no losers when LOVE is at the heart and soul.

The rest is Ego and the broad road to allow the monsters of the Id to take control and destroy everything.

LOVE is the only answer.

Whatever deviates from LOVE is failure and you have lost. 

We cannot afford purity. The only thing we can afford is LOVE.

That is all. Disperse.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

No More Lies

You may have heard about the prophecy before now, but you're probably being bombarded by Christians and end of the world doomsayers and I'll be you've even peeked at the videos on YouTube predicting the end of life as you know it -- or at least considering no need to celebrate Halloween this year because there will be no Halloween since the Red Dragon will devour the child born of the woman clothed with the Sun as written in the 12th chapter of Revelations in the Bible. With our modern technology we can see what St. John living on the Isle of Patmos dreamt and put down in writing of the End of Days. Everyone has stuck their oar in to propel us toward the end of life as well know it and Hollywood has produced more than a few movies based on St. John's Apocalypse. William Blake had a different vision of the woman clothed with the sun with the moon at her feet and painted his version, which was also included in a Hollywood movie based on a thriller writer's fear porn in Red Dragon

William Blake did more than one painting of this apocalyptic text, one that ended up as a tattoo on the back of a serial killer and had been his obsession for years sending him to the museum where the painting was protected and where he ate the evidence because he fell in love and did not wish to be forced by the Red Dragon to kill her even though she was blind and could not identify him.

Let's face it, mankind has an active and very vivid imagination. How else could mankind be held in thrall, heart stuttering in their chest in time with the chattering of their teeth as collectively mankind has pondered the mysteries sent down by God?

Maybe mankind should have kept its eyes on the sky and looked at what was written in the stars.

The best way to mark a point in time before there were clocks and watches and other time keeping devices was to keep time by marking the planetary, solar and lunar alignments so there would be no doubt. The time of the woman clothed with the sun (Sun in the constellation of Virgo) is now. Today in fact.  Wherever you live on Earth the conjunction of Jupiter emerging from the sign of Virgo, which happens once every 7000 years, is happening or has already happened above you. Even though your view of the celestial reality will not change when it happens, at least you will finally realize what has happened . . . or you can go to Google Sky or JPL's website and download their software to watch the sky and tune in for yourself. Jupiter has been going back and forth in what is purportedly Virgo's womb for 9 months, the length of a human pregnancy, and will finally emerge from between Virgo's putative legs and go along its normal course, spinning through its circuit around the sun. Since Google Sky has censored the spot where Jupiter will emerge to keep us poor humans from seeing the Red Dragon waiting to devour Jupiter as it emerges (or the man child being born of Virgo's celestial body). No doubt the man child, in this case, Jupiter, the king of planets, is the man child, although there are those who will claim Jesus Christ is the man child and this heralds his second coming (doubtful since Jesus Christ never existed as a man or a god, although Titus Flavius, Roman Emperor during the time of Christ's supposed earthly birth of a virgin -- a different virgin than the constellation of Virgo the virgin in the heavens -- would have it written differently since the Flavians, particularly Titus, originated the story of Christ, the Messiah of the Jews who was a peaceful man and urged all believers to turn the other cheek when they were struck by their enemies, and who was quoted as saying that all believers should render unto Caesar what is Caesar's).   If you will persist in praying to and rendering all to Roman fiction of a Redeemer that never existed -- unless you count bowing the head and giving all to Caesar as was his due 2000 years ago -- then do as you will. It is your choice and no amount of stuffing painted canvas into your gullet will change that as it did not change Thomas Harris's Red Dragon when he ate William Blake's Red Dragon. He would have been far more successful if he had carved the tattooed Red Dragon from his back and eaten that instead. In short, a lie that has persisted for 2000 years and to whom billions of believers have sacrificed their free will and their sanity at times is not so easily slain. 

Nor will this planet, Earth, end so abruptly as people weep, wail, and gnash their teeth at the judgment of God who never considered the end of this planet. Your imagination has been given over to more fear porn, that ecstatic and often uninformed idea that has been programmed into your brain by over two millennia of lies, obfuscations, and misdirection. What is happening in the heavens is the same thing that happened 7000 years ago and 7000 years before that as far back as the coalescence of our solar system and the subsequent emergence of beings here who came to land on this planet and created such marvelous stone monuments, pyramids, and buildings which remained long after a flood swept them away -- or at least chased them from their cities back to the skies where they were safe from the cataclysm.

Believe what you will, the facts have been in front of you all your life and more data emerge about what life was like long after the visitors left and long before you were sold a lie meant as propaganda to pacify a group of people intent on doing things their way -- or at least the way their invisible God advised them to go -- and which for 2000 years has been the source of so much violence, death, and destruction, resulting in the worship of a false god masquerading as the alter ego of a Roman family of emperors in order to gain and maintain control and pacify a region full of stiff-necked Hebrews who refused to bow to anyone but their invisible god.

The time is now. The clock has struck the hour. What remains is what will be left when mankind comes to its collective senses, gets off their knees, and stop worshiping a man long gone to dust and a man that never was and never will come again because he never came the first time. Like much of the history you believe, history is the tool of the conqueror. You can be conquered much easier than Francis Dolarhyde ate the paper version of Blake's Red Dragon and the woman clothed with the sun. Keeping it down will be far more difficult as long as you believe lies and keep lying to yourself, your family, and your children. Canvas, especially painted canvas on a prime surface likely infused with lead paint, will kill you as quickly as poisoned knife in your heart and far more painfully if you manage to choke it down. The alternative is converting to Judaism with their version of truth and lies or becoming a Muslim based on a lie and propagated by the violence when not engaged in the more peaceful destruction and slow death of taqiyya, embodied by icons like Barack Obama and Linda Sarsour. Forget Trump, you have far bigger and more lethal enemies vying for your mind and your life and they have propagandists as good as the Travian emperors who foisted their version on us first.

As for me, give me truth and no more fear porn or lies. I've costumes to design for Halloween for my grandchildren.

That is all. Disperse.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Movie Quality

No, this isn't a post about Charlton Heston or Ben-Hur or even Cecil B. de Mille. It is about being ready for his closeup to borrow a line from Sunset Strip and Gloria Swanson when she, as Norma Desmond, wild-eyed and dressed for her closeup, she asked de Mille if it was time for her to step to her spot camera ready and begin her scene.

This time, de Mille is dead, as is Charlton Heston, and Lew Wallace's 1880 novel, Ben-Hur: A tale of the Christ, is once again at the heart of the above photo. The actor whose face you cannot see is Claude Heater who portrayed Jesus in William Wyler's version of Ben Hur, which was the second remake of deMille's movie based on Lew Wallace's book and starring Charlton Heston as Judah ben Hur. The point of all of this back story is the real star of the show who was created whole cloth 2000 years ago as a fictionalized character based on the many Jewish rabbis speaking out against the Roman occupation of Israel, then called Palestine. This character in the longest running propaganda scam, this Jesus ben Joseph, also known as Yeshua ben Yoseph, and star of the annual Christmas tradition, was never a person and no one will ever find his tomb or his home or anyone who knew him because he never existed, except in the minds of the Hebrew scholars and friends of the Flavians concocting this fiction to foment peace for the Romans and to force the Hebrew using their own devices and literary tricks against them. Part of the scam was to direct the monotheistic Hebrews to do what they would never do voluntarily -- it was against the dictates of their religion -- worship the son of man -- in this case, Titus Flavius, Roman Emperor who was elevated to godhood under the Roman Imperial Cult alongside all the caesars since Julius, likely due to his relationship with Cleopatra Queen of Egypt where all the pharaohs were born gods. The Egyptian people were long accustomed to worship of their rulers, but not so the Romans and definitely not the monotheistic and militant Hebrews still fighting for autonomy and rule over their own land, their own people, and their own beliefs.

The Romans would accept a statue of the current caesar in a temple where he would be worshiped without a second thought and would sacrifice and pray to the god/caesar as they prayed to the gods of their choice to intercede on their behalf and in their favor. The Romans were polytheistic and adopted the gods of whatever people they conquered and subjugated, making room for them all, as they would have done for the Hebrews had they any statues or representations of their invisible god. That was not possible as anyone in recent memory who has seen The Ten Commandments, also directed by Cecil B. deMille several times, and with Charlton Heston portraying Moses in the penultimate version as the Hebrew Moses cast onto the waters of the Nile in a basket by his mother, Naomi, when pharaoh decreed that all newborn male infants were to be massacred. Naomi was lucky in that the pharaoh's sister found the basket and the child, drew it from the water, named him Moses because she drew him from the water, and made him her son, ordering her nurse never to tell anyone of Moses's true origins. She raised him as her son beside her brother's son where Moses was educated and surpassed his cousin at every turn until the nurse told Ramses that Moses was a Hebrew, a slave, who was saved from pharaoh's edict and raised as a member of the royal family. Moses story from here is known by all, not only because they have seen the movie, The Ten Commandments, but also in Sunday school if they were raised Christian and by the world because Moses has become as legendary as Jesus.

It is no accident nor is it providence that some elements of the story of Moses are the same as the story of Jesus. It was written that way using a device known as typology wherein certain elements of stories with the history of the Hebrew people are used to create a bond, a sort of resonance, between people within the history. The story of Jesus and his birth resonate with the story of Moses beginning with the massacre of the innocents at birth. Moses was chosen by the invisible god to lead the people out of bondage just as Jesus was chosen by the invisible god to lead the Hebrews to ultimate salvation and peace by following the his example of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's. The entire New Testament, including the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, using the literary examples of the Hebrews to mirror their own literary tricks to fulfill what they already believed and waited for -- a military messiah to conquer Rome and end their subjugation to the Romans -- was created by the Flavians to fulfill that purpose. With what we know from our modern experiences, the propaganda has worked for two millennia, gathering believers and giving Titus Caesar what he was determined to have -- the people worshiping him as God, the son of a God (Vespasian Caesar), the son of man, the son leading all worshipers for two thousand years to a heaven envisioned by Titus and created by his own followers, among them Flavius Josephus the adopted son of Vespasian, head of the Flavian family, and a Hebrew historian, a chronicler of the times. All it took was Constantine Augustus (Constantine the Great) emperor of Rome who famously claimed to see a burning cross in the sky and determining that Rome would conquer by the cross; Christians would be the way to further Rome's territory and spread. Since the Flavians had already given the nod to Christians, the followers of Jesus's teachings, the cross was indeed the way to spread the Roman empire throughout the world. It was during the Council of Nicaea when he gathered the extant Christian writings into what is now known as the Bible, Old and New Testaments, codifying the holy book of the Christian religion and making it legal in Rome's eyes and in the eyes of the world. Constantine also ended the persecution of Christians and gave them the Roman stamp of approval as pontifex maximus. Christianity became the state religion and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church was modeled on the Roman model.

One could say that the Rome never fell as it is described in the histories of that time, that it morphed into the Roman Catholic Church, a religion and an empire that continues to exist to this day. That is a very long time to reign over the hearts and minds of mankind, especially since the literary fiction of Jesus Christ continues to reign over all who would believe.

It is Constantine's mother, Helena, who journeyed through Syria and Palestine and pointed out all the places where Jesus preached and lived and was born. The long awaited second coming has already come and gone just as Jesus prophesied when Titus razed the Temple in Jerusalem and looted all within the temple, taking it back to Rome and placing it all on display. It doesn't take much imagination to realize that all of those artifacts (booty) are hidden in the underground vaults beneath the Vatican. The only writings that survive from the time of the Flavians, outside of their own propaganda, are contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls that have since been translated and circulated since their discovery. It is interesting to note that the scrolls are full of hatred of the Romans and nothing about the fulfillment of prophecy with Jesus's coming. There is nothing about Jesus's crucifixion or his death and resurrection just as no one mentions that in the early Roman churches in the basement was an altar for the worship of Mithras, the god who was born of a virgin in midwinter, and whose religion was the basis for Christianity, a religion Constantine celebrated and of which he was an initiate until his death. It may be because he was a believer of Mithras until his deathbed that the "11th hour conversion" was allowed by believers.

The average Christian knows none of this, although much of this is available through Joseph Atwill's book, Caesar's Messiah, the proof and the book that Atwill sat on for some time before allowing it to be published.  I still haven't finished the book as I began reading it yesterday, but I have watched Atwill's interviews and the documentary based on his findings. I spent most of the night writing much of this in my head instead of sleeping, although, except for the Flavian elements, much of this I have known from my own research and belief that all man-made religions are false and do not demonstrate anything about the actual Cosmic Creator of All. All man-made religions are created by men, perpetuated by men, and supported by women even though women have been most harmed and marginalized by these man-made beliefs since the first man decided that the goddess needed to be put in her place and a man placed in full charge. No matter what is said about God being a woman, God is now and has always been male and, until recent memory in historical times, HE ruled without a female consort.

As an atheist who believes finally in the Cosmic Creator of All (the ONE) who defies description and cannot be fashioned into an idol of stone, plaster, or any material. The ONE is beyond our understanding and does not set down laws and lists of dos and don'ts for us to follow. The ONE does not count sins and does not send us to Heaven or Paradise, Purgatory, or Hell, all of which are Roman creations and fed to us to fill their coffers with treasure. The ONE has no need of such things and I still believe what I heard and have oft repeated as a Minbari belief that we humanoid beings are extensions of the Universe (the ONE) trying to figure itself out. We are the cosmic probes sent into the void to experience all that is possible and send the data back to the ONE. The rest is a man-made understanding based on limited understanding of our role in this symbiotic exchange and religion, which I once thought was declared sacred to protect knowledge, is a tool wielded by those in power to manage those not in power in order to amass treasure and control and has nothing to do with Divine Knowledge imparted to us puny humans.

Until we die and merge once again with the ONE, we do not understand anything, much like Jon Snow to whom Ygritte said, "You know nothing, Jon Snow," because we know nothing. Like all probes, we gather knowledge and experience and take it back to our creator to download all we have learned where it will be collected, collated, and held. If we would wish to know more, we must learn more and that is best done by increasing our knowledge through experience and research (reading) and by not getting caught up in the politics and religions that abound.

In the end, Jesus Christ (meaning savior messiah) never existed as a man. He was not born in a stable nor was he visited by three wise men from the east (read the books and information on Orion's belt, Mithras, sun gods, Flavian emperors, Hebrew typology, and Flavius Josephus for starters) and given gold, frankincense, and myrrh nor did he grow up to be a carpenter or preach to the Jewish masses with the beatitudes as his text, feed the thousands with three loaves of bread and a fish, raise Lazarus from the dead, consort with Mary Magdalene, have twelve disciples, one of whom betrayed him to the Roman soldiers, was tried by the pharisees or the sadducees, had Pilate wash his hands of proclaiming sentence so the Jews had to condemn him to be crucified on a cross, laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, rose from the dead after three days,had his disciple Thomas doubt his existence, strike Paul blind on the road to Damascus, or call Peter the rock upon which his church would be be built and become the first pontifex maximus from which all popes have descended to become supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church for which so many have died and fought for and gone on crusades all in the name of the son of god. It is all a literary fiction, a propaganda tool the Flavians used against the Jews in the name of Rome, a satire of Jewish beliefs, in order to master the Jews at last.or call Peter the rock upon which his church would be be built and become the first pontifex maximus from which all popes have descended to become supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church for which so many have died and fought for and gone on crusades all in the name of the son of god. It is all a literary fiction, a propaganda tool the Flavians used against the Jews in the name of Rome, a satire of Jewish beliefs, in order to master the Jews at last.or call Peter the rock upon which his church would be be built and become the first pontifex maximus from which all popes have descended to become supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church for which so many have died and fought for and gone on crusades all in the name of the son of god. It is all a literary fiction, a propaganda tool the Flavians used against the Jews in the name of Rome, a satire of Jewish beliefs, in order to master the Jews at last.

The demonization of the Jews is as groundless as the fiction of Jesus and the embodiment of all he stood for and died for because none of it was ever real. There was never a black Jesus because there never was a Jesus of any race or color. His virgin mother never existed just as Mithras's virgin mother never existed except in mythos of his origins. The northerners who found the resemblance of Jesus to Odin were rightfully confused because Odin and Jesus were born of the same human imagination, just from imaginations of people living in different climates and times but eating from the communal trough. All the wars that have been fought, all the people martyred, all the treasure looted and hidden are all part and parcel of mankind's nature ascribed to some omnipotent deity that exists only in the mind and as substantial as the lost city of Cecil B. deMille built to provide background for the movies he would make based on stories that enchanted and entertained him and millions of others on the screen. A movie made for us by us and lasting as long as there are those to remember. Jesus has provided more dreamers and writers more material for two thousand years and will likely do so as long as there are people who refuse to grow up and walk out of the play yard to become masters of their own lives and destinies from now until they die and return back to the ONE enlightened or clueless until the penny drops and they merge with their creator and download their data.deMille built to provide background for the movies he would make based on stories that enchanted and entertained him and millions of others on the screen. A movie made for us by us and lasting as long as there are those to remember. Jesus has provided more dreamers and writers more material for two thousand years and will likely do so as long as there are people who refuse to grow up and walk out of the play yard to become masters of their own lives and destinies from now until they die and return back to the ONE enlightened or clueless until the penny drops and they merge with their creator and download their data.deMille built to provide background for the movies he would make based on stories that enchanted and entertained him and millions of others on the screen. A movie made for us by us and lasting as long as there are those to remember. Jesus has provided more dreamers and writers more material for two thousand years and will likely do so as long as there are people who refuse to grow up and walk out of the play yard to become masters of their own lives and destinies from now until they die and return back to the ONE enlightened or clueless until the penny drops and they merge with their creator and download their data.Jesus has provided more dreamers and writers more material for two thousand years and will likely do so as long as there are people who refuse to grow up and walk out of the play yard to become masters of their own lives and destinies from now until they die and return back to the ONE enlightened or clueless until the penny drops and they merge with their creator and download their data.Jesus has provided more dreamers and writers more material for two thousand years and will likely do so as long as there are people who refuse to grow up and walk out of the play yard to become masters of their own lives and destinies from now until they die and return back to the ONE enlightened or clueless until the penny drops and they merge with their creator and download their data.

At least il puce de Ben-Hur didn't infect the villa where Heston and his family stayed since it was as fictitious as Jesus Christ's nativity and crucifixion, except in the Italian tabloids where all such fictions are give space and ink.

That is all. Disperse.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Review: The Girl in the Tower, Katherine Arden

In the sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale, Vasya, Vasilisa Petrovna, riding Solovey becomes a traveler as she has always wished. Morozko, the Winter King, allows Vasya to go free even after he warned her that being a traveler is less romantic and harder than she believes it to be. Vasya doesn't care about the trouble. She wants to be free to go where she will and see the world, be a part of the world not bounded by the chyerti, the beings that have populated her world, nor does she wish to be burned as a witch as the priests would have her be because she is able to see what they cannot--or will not. Vasya wishes to be free of the constraints of her narrow existence and truly free to be who and what she will be.

Vasya finds herself in the midst of burned villages and kidnapped girls and rides to their rescue, invading the bandits' camp at night to rescue 3 young maidens and return them to their mothers. While Solovey leads the bandits astray, Vasya, dressed as a boy, steals in and rescues the girls, riding for their village. She ends up in the monastery where her brother, Aleksander, and many of the dispossessed villagers have taken shelter, hands over the girls to the monks, and convinces Aleksander to keep her secret from the Grand Prince of Moscow. Fighting by the Grand Prince's side, they hunt the bandits and fight alongside the people to protect their villages.

A boyar from the north wanting to avenge his own people and their villages burned by the bandits lured the Grand Prince Dmitri to the north where Aleksandr is forced to continue keeping Vasya's secret. When the Dmitri's forces return to Moscow and to Olga even Olga must keep Vasya's secret in order to keep the deception going. The priest who was determined to burn Vasya as a witch is also in Moscow. As soon as he discover's the witch is in Moscow, he will continue his desire to see her burned as a witch and he will tell everyone that Vasya consorts with demons.

Morosko, who is bonded to Vasya will continue to live on as long as she wears the jewel he fashioned from ice; he will remain immortal as long as she is his. Vasya will soon discover that she is restricted by more than social custom and that the jewel she wears is as constricting as being a girl in the society of Rus'. Into this maelstrom of deception as the world she knows is strengthened by her blood fed to the chyerti, it is Vasya's wild nature and desire for freedom that will prove the downfall of the Tatars, the bandits, Morosko, and the old ways that will save Vasya and her niece, who also shares her gift of seeing, and keep Moscow from burning to the ground in the end.

Adding details and texture to the history of Rus' and the lives of rich and poor alike, Katherine Arden shares a glimpse of what the medieval world was that provides the bedrock upon which those of eastern Europe during the time of Genghis Khan's empire and the lands where the Russians lived, bred, and died to conquer. Arden's use of fairy and folk tales from the frozen fields of Siberia and the north increase knowledge and render the world of eastern Europe and Asia in bright and fully realized dimensions that echo down through time and now in readers' hands and minds. Bravo! The history and mystery of a world most westerners never see unfolds with beauty and grandeur and comes to life in a unforgettable manner that readers will remember and be therefore enriched.  5/5 stars and the bonus of brilliance and remarkable artistry that will hold up through years of readings. Consider Katherine Arden for a permanent place among the stories you read to your children. We need more writers willing to enlighten us all with stories from the northern steppes.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Review: Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Pity is an emotion that seems good and harmless at the first flush, understandable in the face of neglect, but becomes toxic in practice, fueling violence and serious damage if allowed to fester. Pity was the first emotion children felt for Oliver as they attended school together and sparked sympathy when school fellows invited Oliver home with them to share holidays and seasons where it seemed to them he had nothing to look forward to stuck behind at the Catholic school with the priests and never going anywhere during breaks or at Xmas. His clothes looked as though they came from the poor box, cast offs that did not fit well and had seen better days.

Pity gave way to anger for Oliver's father who was a prominent man in the parish and left his son to the priests to care for. Oliver grew up and spent time with some of his mates families, always eager to make Oliver feel wanted as he shared their happiness and family togetherness. No wonder Oliver felt he should have the life he should have when he grew up and graduated. A friendly priest also looked out for him, paying his way to college to further his education and fill in the gaps left gaping because of Oliver's father's abandonment of his only son. It was insufficient to pay for his primary schooling, especially after Oliver's father married and had another son by his new wife. At least the second son who attended the parochial day school was treated better as Oliver could see from an upstairs window that looked down at his father's house that was brought into clear focus through binoculars. Oliver's half-brother had everything Oliver lacked and was determined to have when he went to France for the summer between terms at college, working in a vineyard with Laura and her brother, Michael.

Laura was vivacious and beautiful, so like the wife Oliver would marry when the time was right. Michael was a good mate, but not acceptable to Oliver once it became clear Michael was in love with Oliver who was decidedly not interested. Living with the French family, Oliver soon made the transition to the house to work with and live with the family while Laura remained in the quarters meant for seasonal help, especially after Michael began working in the kitchens, leaving Laura behind with the African laborers who were learning to make wine and take that experience back to South Africa to begin a vineyard for their masters.

Unlike Laura and Oliver, both of whom spoke French, the African workers understood very little French and learned nothing when they were subsequently sent back to Africa after the fire that ended the Irish workers' French work-study holiday. A fire mysteriously started that burned down the chateau, killing the vineyard's patriarch and his grandson and ended everyone's summer break. Michael, Oliver, and the other Irish students went back to college, leaving Laura behind to care for Madame who had severely burnt her hands trying to rescue her father and son. Laura insisted remaining to help Madame, returning home the following spring thin and worn out only to commit suicide. By that time Oliver had moved on to another girl who was plain and biddable with a mentally retarded brother and an older mother who soon died, leaving Alice the house and her brother with Oliver. Alice had met Oliver during her summer breaks while traveling and fell in love with Oliver's stories of the prince and his magic kingdom. Alice agreed to provide the illustrations for Oliver's books on the prince and soon was folded into Oliver's life.

Nothing in Oliver's life was as it seemed to be. He worked very hard at fashioning the illusion of the happy and productive life of a children's book author living the perfect family life with Alice in her childhood home. Oliver was also instrumental in making sure her brother was placed into an institution where he could not hurt himself or others. What a shock it was the day after Oliver struck Alice, putting her in hospital and showing the cracks and chasms in their perfect life.

Liz Nugent begins with Oliver's awe-struck and smug declaration that beating his wife was necessary and right. The story of Oliver's life behind the scenes is told through different people, all of whom had played a part in building and maintaining the fictional kingdom where Oliver lived and what he became. Unraveling Oliver is a testament to pity and the force good intentions have in fashioning monsters, villains, and saviors. It is only with the widest possible view Oliver and his carefully created kingdom is at last understood and where readers fully understand who the monsters and villains are and how even villains may have redeeming qualities. Monsters are not created through the application of an abnormal brain as Igor procured for Victor Frankenstein but often through pity when all the pieces are masterfully put together. Nugent's piecing together the final picture is daunting, haunting, and nuanced where no carefully crafted piece is left out or ignored. The reader will be amazed when the puzzle comes together.  5/5 stars.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Fives and Twenty-fives by Michael Pitre

I'd have to decide whether a friend would be amenable to a book that is more like a Quentin Tarantino movie jumping backwards and forwards in time without a clue which is which. Hopping around like a flea on a hot griddle takes the reader out of the story and requires time to re-acclimate to the story. Although the back and forth in movies and some books is done well, Michael Pitre does not handle this story style at all well. Even readers need sign posts to know where to go and how it all fits in and what works in movies does not always work in literature. The Quentin Tarantino story telling tropes do not work, but I only read the book once. Maybe it improves with multiple readings.

Fives and Twenty-Fives does reveal a leftist version of life and war. Pitre obviously didn't realize that his tales of redemption and friendship under fire also highlighted the conservative views of life and war. 

The reader gets a glimpse of the profit first mentality that underscores the native mentality as they put cheating Americans first at the top of their agenda. One character seeks to hide his privileged background and family money in order to fit in among college students lining up to protest inequities and lack of freedoms while doing his best to get to America to realize his dreams without owning up to the fact that he knew about the plans to bomb and massacre the Americans even though he was supposed to be their native interpreter. 

The soldiers come from both sides of society's railroad tracks and deal with being back home in different ways, some good, some not so good. 

The descriptions of home and abroad were not the same as in-country descriptions were richer and more nuanced than the American south. After all, don't readers know what life in New Orleans on both sides of the track are like? Why spend words on what readers expect and know so well? The point of life in the south is that life is no less gritty, poor, and seedy than life in the Middle East, a fact that the careful reader will not be able to miss. 

Overall, I was attracted by life in the midst of war and a close look at the collateral civilian damage and at least there I was not too disappointed. I'm giving Pitre 3/5 for his Tarantino time sense; I expected so much and got so little. What works for Tarantino fails to work for Pitre. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Equality of Outcome

Growing up, my mother demanded that everything be equal for her children. Everything must cost the same for birthdays and Xmas for all four of us. If she spent $100 on spend the same amount on each of the other three. That was her version of equality. She was adamant on everything being equal for all four of us, but mostly because of me; I'm adopted and the other three were her biological children. None of them would have existed, as far as Mom saw it, if she had not adopted me since she had failed to deliver a living child before I was adopted. That was, as her doctor pointed out, the outcome of adopting when failure to bear and deliver a child is the case. Her doctor promised her that she needed to develop a mother's instinct before she could conceive and bear a living child. I was the way to develop her mother's instinct . . . or at least that is how she convinced my mother, her sister-in-law, to give up the child she carried in her womb when she arrived from Michigan after her divorce on the back of her older brother's motorcycle to live with her other older brother (my dad) and her sister-in-law (Mom who had not been successful in bearing the children she so desperately wanted . . . and needed).

My birth mother didn't renege on her promise even after she became engaged to Dewey because she was a woman of her word. She had promised her child (me) to her brother and his wife and, since she had already given birth twice, could have more children. It should be noted that she gave up her first child, a child conceived when her uncle raped her, to one of her husband's relatives before she conceived me after the divorce and before he obtained a Catholic divorce (annulment) in order to marry his second wife, a woman with whom he had nine children and who never knew about me . . . or so I have been told. I never asked him since I never knew him and was urged to let sleeping dogs lie.

The point is that Mom has decided when the other three children came along that we would all be treated equally, hence the way she gave gifts to us. What she couldn't control was how friends would give us all presents when they came to our birthday parties, but she had a way to fix that too. Oftentimes we (meaning I) got duplicate gifts. Mom decided that duplicate gifts would be given to my siblings while I kept one of the duplicates because it was my birthday gift after all. All of my duplicates went to my sister who was born a year and nine months after I was adopted, leaving me with one gift and my sister with all of the duplicates to be fair to her even though it was not her birthday. Her birthday was in November and I did not get any of her duplicate gifts because it wasn't my birthday. I didn't get any of my brother's duplicate gifts either (he kept them all because he was a boy) nor did I get any of my youngest sister's duplicates, but then neither did my brother or other sister either. They were too mature and would not be treated like the baby.

We all got clothes at the same time, the same number of items for each of us, but seldom (never) the same quality or style. We'd have been equal if we had all gone to the same school and wore uniforms, which would have happened if we had actually become Catholics and gone to Catholic school, but (thankfully) that didn't happen. The same amount of money was spent on birthdays and Xmas until we reached high school for my brother and older sister and me and we began to develop different talents and tastes. Jimmy kept getting Hot Wheels cars and accessories and my sister and I outgrew dolls, moving into clothes for my sister and art supplies for me.

As we grew up and moved into our adult lives, birthdays and Xmas gifts remained the same dollar amount spent for each of us, or at least that is what I was told since I spent many birthdays and Xmases far away from the others. Mom made a point to assure me that I was treated the same as the other three even though I was clear across the country and they all remained close to home. At least Mom and Dad came to visit me in Utah when they drove to California to see Jimmy off on his first long distance Navy cruise or to discuss his wedding plans when he decided to get married to his girlfriend's best friend when his girlfriend turned him down. He was on a deadline and had to follow through and get married on his 23rd birthday even though he wasn't marrying the girl of his choice. He was following in Dad's footsteps no matter what. It didn't matter that Bobbie accepted him after he broke up with Leslie who had refused to marry him as long as Bobbie would marry him on his 23rd birthday. Nothing else mattered. One girl was as good as another. They were equal because they had been best friends, a fact he lived to regret a couple of decades later. I guess the equality tree didn't fall far from the designer of equality of outcome.

Mom's quality of outcome was evident in many facets of our lives. When she fostered several children as we grew up and went our own ways, Mom made sure her foster children got the same number and cost of presents for Jimmy and the boys who were fostered because they were nearly the same age as Jimmy and Tracy, the youngest. Mom broke her own rules when it came to graduation gifts -- sort of. She gave me her high school graduation ring when I graduated high school and bought Carol, Jimmy, and Tracy diamond rings when they graduated. She explained that she attached a lot of sentiment to her graduation ring and only had the one to give me, her first born, and substituted diamonds for the other three because they only cost money and there was no sentimental attachment to diamond rings (hah! which is why she bought so many diamonds for herself over the years). I also didn't get a car when I graduated because I had already bought my own car my junior year in high school, a car I shared with my sister even though my previous car was used for a down payment my sister never had to match with money from her own earnings. I also had to give the car to my sister when I married and graduated high school because my sister would have to drive herself to school and use it to get to her job. My new husband would have to provide me with a car or I'd have to use public transportation to get to work. My problems were for my husband to deal with.

The equality of outcome also included homework. Since I'd already had the classes that Jimmy and Carol were dealing with, I was ordered to do their homework so Jimmy and Carol would pass as well as I had. I refused. I would be glad to help them with their homework, but they would have to do the work for themselves. I was punished for refusing. After all, I couldn't take their exams for them and only they could earn their own grades with knowledge they had learned for themselves. Their grades were far below mine, but, like the parents who bought presents for my birthdays for their children, Mom couldn't force teachers to allow me to take their exams or give my siblings the grades Mom thought they should have to equal my own. The grades they got were their own just as Jimmy having to repeat a year when he was left back the year he flunked. Mom could only control so much and punish me when she lost control or the world and people refused to follow her rules. So much for equality when she couldn't control the outcome.

She could and did control equality of outcome when it came to discipline. Whatever my siblings did wrong, she punished me because I was the oldest and was responsible for what the siblings did -- or failed to do. When Jimmy and Carol were banned from the neighbors' yards, Mom refused to allow me to go into the neighbors' homes or play with their children. The neighbors' children finally allowed Carol and Jimmy to visit so that I would be allowed to visit. The neighbors knew the score and were willing to suffer the mayhem and damage my siblings would wreak so that I wouldn't be punished for their errors.

The neighbors took great pains to run interference whenever feasible, taking the blame or allowing my siblings to get off without punishment just so I wouldn't be punished when Mom spread the discipline around to include me, the oldest and the most responsible for not keeping the others from mischief and error.

I alone took the blame for my mistakes and the other three got no discipline or punishment when I was caught doing wrong -- or when Mom decided I was the one at fault even when I wasn't there. Knowing about a mistake was sufficient cause for the belt or the switch and for the grounding that followed.

When I showed my parents the many scholarships from colleges I received and the offers from three of the USA's military branches, I learned that not a penny would they spend to pay for college for me because Jimmy, six years behind me in school, had to come first because he would eventually get married and have a family to support. I could wait until I got married and go to college and let my husband support me. Jimmy was the most important because he was a male. I could expect nothing unless I earned it myself or married someone who could afford to pay for college. Equality of outcome ended where Jimmy was born as a male. Jimmy would never -- and did never -- go to college with his below C level grades. After Jimmy got out of the Navy, he managed to use his GI bill to pay for technical college to cover a degree on robotics and IT. I raised children and earned my way on my own. My husband couldn't afford college either and I was too old to use the scholarships I had been offered in high school.

The problem with equality of outcome was never just with my mom, but also with the idea that four siblings, one of which was adopted, would ever end up with the same quality of life and opportunity. It might have been better for me if my cousin, Jimmy, had been adopted before I was born, but his mother, my adopted father's other sister, reneged on her promise to give him up to Mom for adoption because she did not like and did not trust her brother's wife's snobby treatment of her or her brother. Since my birth mother was low on the family totem pole (a fact not discovered until I unearthed the fact that my birth mother was the result of an extra marital affair -- oops!), my fate was in someone else's hands and not hers, although she rectified that mistake when I was 16 and she became my confidante and champion. Mom's version of equality didn't sit well with her brother or her parents who treated me with love and care in spite of Mom's unequal treatment of me when compared to her birth children. My grandparents and my uncle did their best to stand up to Mom and treat me as though I were one of their own, a feeling not shared by their offspring who had their own views of equality and outcome that were not far different from Mom's.

When you pin your life and your views on equality of outcome, you should also be mindful of equity in that outcome. We are all born with our own gifts, drives, and abilities. We are not clones and not robots. Our experiences and what we bring to the global table are different, sometimes complementary, but always worthwhile when we pool our resources in a common outcome. Some will push us ahead faster and farther and some will be of no use -- often counterproductive. What we end up with will be determined by who helped and who were little more than hurdles to overcome or ignore.

My sisters and brother and I have arrived at different outcomes in this time and place. That is as it should be. Only when the bottom line is tallied will our input be measured and stored in the mind of the Cosmic Creator. We are the bits and bytes of data are part of the Universal All.

That is all. Disperse.