Archive for the ‘Essays’ Category

DON IN IOWA

January 28, 2015
Mousetrump - nesting in the greenery.

Mousetrump – nesting in the greenery.

Trump: The Ultimate Know-Nothing
Jim Moore, Washington, D.C.-based writer, editor, and photojournalist

Donald Trump descended on Iowa this past weekend, dropping from the skies to deliver words of wisdom to the masses of Hawkeye Christian Republicans starving for enlightenment at the feet of The Donald. To no one’s surprise — no one outside the GOP at any rate — Trump’s inchoate jawboning once again revealed a vacuous puffball incapable of organizing the basic parts of speech into coherent, declarative, and compelling sentences. And the subsequent interviews with the media further exposed a character completely unsuited for public office. When he told ABC’s Jon Karl that he would be willing to spend half-a-billion dollars or more in a 2016 White House bid (“I’d be willing to spend that kind of money. I’d spend whatever it took,”), it wasn’t so much about his aspiration to achieve a great and responsible office as it was about his desire to buy something new and big.

Maybe it’s me, but I’ve never gotten Trump, never felt the least bit comfortable with his utterances and his maze-like thought processes. I believe most Americans take the measure of a person not by his or her bank accounts, but by his or her accountability. With Trump, there is always a fog that accompanies his pronouncements — a smokescreen of obscuring rhetoric designed to cloak him in pseudo facts and vaguely damning suggestions of impropriety. His visit to Iowa showcased his directionless approach to real-world issues.

Consider this Trumpism, a 54-worder on the Republicans’ chances of recapturing a Senate majority, as quoted by NBC’s Kasie Hunt:
“Well I think you have six or seven states – I won’t mention the states ’cause I don’t want to put pressure on anybody, but I think you have six or seven states where you could really have in a couple of cases upsets, really, and you could have some good victories for the Republicans.”

When pressed for specific candidates, Trump passed, which is to say he doesn’t have a clue.

READ MORE:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jimmoore/donald-trump-iowa_b_3741408.html

donald-trumpdump

Please sign petition:

We Move to Amend.

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.

Signed by 380,00+ and counting . . .to 500,000

PETITION LINK: http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/petition

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AMERICA LOSES HER WAY

January 27, 2015

[Don’t forget to CLICK the IMAGES for extra information]

JOE KENNEDY and PRESCOTT BUSH:

I was born in 1943 when America, my father included, was fighting the Nazi fascists from Germany.  There were many Americans who agreed with the fascists, Joseph Kennedy and Prescott Bush included.  Kennedy tried to keep America out of the war.  Bush helped finance the Nazis.  But democratic America, Roosevelt America defeated the fascists in that war – temporarily as it turns out.

The Nazis came home in our baggage.  A former SS colonel named Werner Von Braun developed our space program.  The SS colonel who ran Hitler’s Gestapo taught our nascent CIA about domestic surveillance, interrogation, martial law, and chemical/psychological techniques.  In the meantime, we fought in Korea, keeping the military-industrial complex robust and vitalized (strange word applied to death-dealing), and practiced spying on ourselves – McCarthyism – a fascist witch-hunt for “commies,” undermining our confidence in our nation and its democratic institutions.

We next followed nine years of imperialistic colonial French mis-rule in Indochina to inflict seventeen years of violence on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, destabilizing and radicalizing Southeast Asia more than the Japanese had during World War 2. Then as now, the CIA and FBI further brutalized and contaminated domestic America in defense and furtherance of a generally Republican anti-peace message that was as big as the wallets they were filling from war profits.

AMERICA LOSES HER WAY:

Our practice has consistently been to create more powerful and harsher means to oppress and suppress, maim, or kill opponents.  Might has triumphed over right and reason, but that makes us neither mighty nor bright.  We are damned bullies, forcing our bully will on many victims.  That is what America stands for today: death not life, war not peace, greed not generosity.

The Bush administration, and now beyond to Obama, with their well-practiced agents and provocateurs, served the darkest human motives, not the clean wholesome light of genuine American democracy.  Justice, liberty, and equality aren’t significant words in the Republican vocabulary or principles in Republican governance.  We have been subverted from within, hollowed out by a corrupt corporate power structure to serve its war machine in the interest of corporate profits.  If we want any hope to rise above and beyond it, we must vote for progressives and reclaim this country for the babes who wait in mothers’ arms for fathers to come home from our latest unholy war(s).

The present situation in the United States echoes ancient Rome in important ways:  A successful representative republic, proving wildly successful in war and conquest, grows rich and plunges into conspicuous consumption.  In time the citizen army is converted to a professional military (a professional army owes allegiance to its paymaster, not necessarily to the nation).  Beauty is heavily involved in politics and publicity (experience means less than height).  King-sized constructions attest to individual power and glory.  The poor get to see the lavish spread, but may not partake of it.  The toll of maintaining luxury is its undoing.  The general domestic economy weakens with foreign trade, although the rich stay rich and get richer.  The dispossessed flock into cities and live on a diminishing dole, manipulated by politicians.  The conservative legislature is indifferent to the people’s plight.  The bureaucracy and the military rule all.

How did it happen?  How did it get so bad?  Who is hurting?  The list includes everyone except the top 1% of the nation’s richest and most privileged citizens.  The rich characterize any protest of this imbalance as “class warfare,” although they’ve been waging class warfare on the poor and middle class (the rest of us) since Franklin Roosevelt died.  The Robber Barons have succeeded in unraveling the New Deal, beginning with the 23rd Amendment, which limited presidents to two terms: the “first stomp on FDR’s grave,” my father called it.  Dwight Eisenhower’s administration put “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance (clearly in violation of the constitution), tried to give Social Security away to private insurance companies, and the Tennessee Valley Public Power Authority to private utility owners.

Thirty years ago the conservatives began to advocate for the end of public education on the grounds that it’s undemocratic to mandate school attendance.  No system is pure on this side of the grave; our society considered it essential to educate all the people so that they can intelligently participate in their own democratic governance, and avoid being swindled by demagogues.  The John Birch Society bulletin advised its readers to “join your local P.T.A. and take it over.”

Fascists twist democratic institutions and values to gain their selfish ends.  They advocate for state control of women’s bodies; control the body, control the mind (women vote too liberally).  They have besieged health, safety and environmental regulations for over 50 years, but don’t ask them to do a cost-benefit analysis on outrageous and endemic corporate welfare.

END GAMES and WISHFUL THINKING:

The end game for Bush wasn’t a fortuitous crusade against terrorism, but to bankrupt and reduce the United States government to the influence of a third world nation.  Thereafter, the plutocracy will rule.  Bush undid the hard-won social and legal advancements of our free and equal society.  He dismantled the American Dream.  He betrayed the Constitution, reinforcing the United States as a warmongering plutocracy that absolutely corrupts the democratic republic.

Republicans don’t have any kind of mandate for their radical right wing agenda.  They brought us the Second Great Depression (2016 is gonna be a bitch, according to Thom Hartmann).  Republicans are all alarm and greed.  The Big Thieves came into our homes as we slept and threaten to never leave.  We shall be their economic and social slaves, although we will be called “the public,” “the people,” “average Americans,” whatever.  The dream turns into nightmare.

The pinnacle of human achievement can’t be George W. Bush (or the Koch brothers).  “What a low pinnacle,” my wife says.  “Bush gives new meaning to the American concept that anybody can become president.”  They don’t even have to be elected.  Bush came to power in interesting fashion: a virtual coup overturning the popular will, based on a very tenuous partisan split vote of 5 to 4 in a corrupted Supreme Court – buttressed by legal arguments so weak that even first year law students would blush to use them.

VOTE PROGRESSIVE:

Be well advised, in the next election, cast your ballot for progressive candidates. Turn your back to the greed and close your wallets to them.  Save the dream.  Defend the republic.  Kick the sick twisted bastards out.

© J. Legry

RELATED:

Please sign petition:
We Move to Amend.
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:
Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.
Signed by 380,00+ and counting . . .to 500,000
CONTACT: http://www.movetoamend.org/ 
PETITION LINK: http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/petition
ohmmmm

THOMAS PAINE: “The World is My Country.”

January 11, 2015
Thomas Paine - Author-Patriot, 1737-1809.

“The world is my country. To do good is my religion.”

THOMAS PAINE, author-patriot, 1737-1809
On January 29th people around the world working for reform and free thought will celebrate Thomas Paine’s birthday. This under-sung founding father well represents all those who forged the American nation and brought modern popular democracy into the world. He deserves to be nationally honored post-911 as a great American who fought for freedom, equality, direct democracy, and human rights.

Paine may be the only true revolutionary in our Revolution. His ideals bring common people together as a community. No one is above the law. Justice and fairness shall prevail. Everyone gets to vote. He argued for social security, childcare reform, universal health care, animal cruelty penalties and animal shelters over 230 years ago.

He warned us to watch, guide, and stop the powerful elite if we want humanity in general to succeed. He proposed that any bill that enriches a corporation or grants a corporate charter should be enacted in one session of the legislature, and confirmed in a second, after a vote of the people, to stop corporate raids on the public treasury.

The Revolution might have failed without Tom, or perhaps not even started. He wrote America’s first bestseller Common Sense, taking backroom revolutionary discussion public, which led directly to the signing of the Declaration of Independence six months later. He spent two years in the Colonial Army with Washington, including the brutal winter at Valley Forge where he wrote The Crisis – among the most famous words in the American revolutionary liturgy – to talk the starving, freezing army out of deserting the cause. General Washington personally read them to his men.

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of all men and women.”

Paine’s words helped save the army and the infant nation. Sent to France by Congress at his own expense to find aid to save America from bankruptcy, he not only got the aid, but bankrupted himself by buying a desperately needed ship and cargo of muskets, powder and shot (since congress wouldn’t pay for them), saving the army and the nascent nation a second time, literally by himself.

After our Revolution, Paine was made an honorary citizen of France so that he could be elected to the French National Convention to help form their new republic. He wrote much of the first French constitution and his masterwork The Rights of Man, both of which still inform the world. He was certain that democracy was spreading and would soon free all of humanity from tyranny. He was jailed, instead, as too moderate (!) and his health was wrecked.

He asked his old friend Washington for help to get home, but George ignored him to protect treaty negotiations with England for access to the rich West Indies rum, molasses and slave trade. Tom wrote a bitter letter: Washington was a monarch – who ignored honor to friends and allies who helped set America free; and aided the filthy barbarians who had enslaved her instead – solely for the sake of ungodly profit.

Washington’s political party the Federalists was outraged. Tom languished in prison for Washington’s eight-year presidency; and four more, because John Adams carried an old grudge for Paine calling him a would-be king (which he was). Paine’s liberal friend Thomas Jefferson finally welcomed Tom home after fifteen years, but trouble was waiting.

While in exile, Paine wrote The Age of Reason to “avoid politics and controversy,” and rejected religion in it. We can just stare at a tree, he says, and believe in God. Who needs revealed religion? Religionists branded him an atheist, Federalists recalled his insult to their great hero general president, and both went “a-howl in the newspapers over the drunken, atheist, radical Jefferson has let back into the country.”

Tom couldn’t get a job or a pension. All he wanted was repayment for money he gave to the Cause – dollar for dollar – without other reward, but he was only given a small farm in New Rochelle, New York by the state legislature as compensation. He retreated to it in poverty to write letters to the editor and to Jefferson, and articles on controversial topics. When Louisiana petitioned for statehood with a right to keep slaves, he wrote that admitting slaves to a free and equal society was unthinkable. Pennsylvanians must be sent to teach Louisiana about democracy; and don’t call it “Louisiana,” for it honors a king, insulting the republic just won by the people’s blood.

He tried to vote for his friend Jefferson in 1804, but the New Rochelle election board wouldn’t allow it: he was a “French citizen” because of the honorary citizenship permitting him to serve in the Convention. He spent his last days in the courts trying to redress this ultimate indignity, but it was not the final disrespect.

He was refused burial in Quaker ground despite his request, because the Quakers feared someone might immodestly raise a monument to him. He was buried on a remote corner of his New Rochelle farm, and a visiting Englishman later secretly dug up Tom’s bones, took them to England, stashed them under his bed, and forgot about them. Upon rediscovery years later, they were sold and parted out all over England as souvenirs, and the whereabouts of Tom Paine’s bones is today unknown. It begs the question: How frightened of a man must one be to want to hide his very bones?

After Tom began to grow in popularity and accreditation during the threatened nationally self-conscious democracy of the 1930’s and ‘40’s, New Rochelle belatedly admitted his full American citizenship in 1945. In truth, he’s a citizen of the world. Tom Paine’s fierce principled call for human rights and, yes, loving hearts, still echoes and is still needed, for as much now as then, “These are the times that try men’s [and women’s] souls.”

Citizen Paine was the essence of our great democratic republican experiment: we are rebels as well as patriots. On January 29th, or July 4th, when-, or wherever freedom loving people are gathered, lift your cup and toast a great American, friend to all the world, and champion of nature and humanity. Sing out: “Hurrah!” for Tom Paine.                             – © J. Legry ‘08

Liberty crowning defiant American democracy.

Liberty crowning defiant American democracy.

SIGN THE PETITION BELOW TO HELP UNDO THE DEMOCRATICALLY DISASTROUS Citizens United DECISION:

The Republicans are bought into the craziness at a very deep level. They will not get better. They will explode or fizzle out, but they will not get “well.” These sick puppies prefer revolution and the overthrow of the United States government to honest political dialog and debate. We really need to put these crazies into the booby hatch. At very least, we must stop giving them political credibility.

We Move to Amend. We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.

Signed by 379,547 and counting . . .to 500,000

CONTACT: http://www.movetoamend.org/ 

PETITION LINK: http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/petition

kochs_weekly_standard2a

OTHER MEN DIE – HAPPY VETERANS’ DAY 2014

November 11, 2014
Victory is a state of mind.

Victory is a state of mind.

OTHER MEN DIE

And the old vet was up in his studio bedroom in Mom’s attic

Painting magic eyeballs on his fingertips

To go with the mystic spirals on the backs of his hands

And he told us about seagulls in the early dawn

Of feeding them barehanded

Palms stretched to the skies

Lying upon his back on the wet sand

Observing the feathered feeding frenzy

Of the messy, greedy birds

That pecked his fingers and palms and wrists

Opening red puncture wounds

And he loved it

Because it brought him

So close to life.

And I saw that vet by another name

Sitting cross-legged in a bikini bathing suit

In wind-tossed dune reed grass

In cold wind whistling off a Winter Pacific

And I asked

“Why do you sit in the freezing cold, Shane?”

And he replied

“Because, at least I know I’m alive.”

And so it goes

Vonnegut said

When these two old men try to reconcile

Still being in the world

While so many other men

No longer beside them

Did not survive.

jl/PDX/1-13

A Decent World

WAGING WAR FROM A BURNING HOUSE

No More Troops to Afghanistan

Dear President Obama,

Stop sending troops to Afghanistan.

I am a Vietnam Era veteran.  We stood nearly twenty years while our military-industrial complex ruined Vietnam.  Our prolonged stay, and side invasions of Cambodia and Laos, generationally disrupted and destabilized Southeast Asia, distorted America’s rule of law, and led directly to the present Reagan-Bush corporatist neo-conservative miasma.

Look at how the radical right Republicans have warped the nation they want us to fight for, die for, and honor.  The self-destructive insanity of the radical right Republican way of war makes it looks as if the bad guys have already won.  We are fighting a war for the life of the republic, as a result.

These are politically motivated corporatist wars, fought to extremes because of ill-informed egos and profit.  These bloody-handed murderers-by-proxy began their plunder of the American nation by taking the Peace Dividend away from us after the Berlin Wall fell.  They shifted to terrorism as the object of their monolithic war machine, and plunged the whole world into wrack and ruin.  Bush’s indefensible “give war a chance” was disgusting; so is Obama’s continued pursuit of it.

End the war now, no matter how wimpy it looks to arrested-adolescent bullyboys, or corporatist oil barons and banksters.  We’ve got a lot of positive work to do, and one dollar spent on peace really is worth ten wasted in war!

laststroke

AND WHAT ABOUT THESE MERCENARY BANDITS YOU HIRED?

Quit outsourcing government jobs to private contractors.  The People can get the job done better for less cost and for the community’s and not just a few individuals’ profit.

The performance of mission critical security functions by profit-driven contractors is counterproductive and often immoral and criminal.

It’s bad for the morale of our real American troops to see these overpaid and pampered bought-and-sold mercenaries.  I know because I have nephews and nieces who have served in our military in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Talk to real American troops to hear it.

Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s list of inherently governmental functions that these mercenaries must not perform should include: guard services, convoy security services, pass and identification services, plant protection services, the operation of prison or detention facilities, and any security operations that might reasonably require the use of deadly force; and, from support of intelligence activities (including covert operations), interrogation, military and police training, and repair and maintenance of weapon systems.

Machiavelli famously wrote that mercenaries might be trusted for only two things: to demand more money; and to run out when the chips are down.  Don’t buy champagne for mercenaries, use our money wisely to equip and protect our real American troops.

Finally, have you given any thought to what is to happen if these mercenaries decide they’ve got a better business proposition from our archenemies?  Or, face unemployment?  In Europe unemployed mercenaries set off the Hundred Years’ War, which might properly be called the “Rape, Murder and Plunder Crusade.”  The “Holy Crusades” were invented as a safety vent to send them packing out of town to do their dirty deeds.

STOP - SAVE

Don’t forget to click on the images for MORE information, or a larger image. Keep on keepin’ on, and don’t forget to salute the Man in the Moon! All the best! j

THE SORCERER

May 10, 2014
GARDEN of the GODS

GARDEN of the GODS

The Sorcerer lived like a well-to-do scholar. He said:

“You admit with credulity and abhorrence the reality of the infernal art of magic, which is able to control the eternal order of the planets and the voluntary operations of the human mind. You dread the mysterious power of spells and incantations, of potent herbs, and execrable rites; which can extinguish or recall life, inflame passions of the soul, blast the works of creation, and extort from the demons the secrets of futurity. You believe, with the wildest inconsistency, that this preternatural dominion of the air, of earth, and of hell, is exercised from the vilest motives of malice or gain, by some wrinkled hags and itinerant sorcerers, who pass their obscure lives in penury and contempt. The arts of magic are equally condemned by public opinion and the law; but, as they tend to gratify the most imperious passions of the heart of man, they are continually proscribed and continually practiced.”

“An imaginary cause is capable of producing the most serious and mischievous effects. The dark predictions of the death of an emperor, or the success of a conspiracy, are calculated only to stimulate the hopes of ambition and to dissolve the ties of fidelity; and the intentional guilt of magic is aggravated by the actual crimes of treason and sacrilege.”

“Antiochians claim Chrestos was invented there, and they content themselves with disobeying the moral precepts, but they were scrupulously attached to the speculative doctrines of their religion.”

So said the Sorcerer on that occasion.

 

Ancient Color

Ancient Color

SPECULATIONS ON THE LATE HERETIC PHARAOH

They called you heretic, mad, megalomaniac, monotheist,
And you were probably all of those,
And perhaps a hermaphrodite, or a woman,
And you married your sister, daughter, mother,
And had an affair with your son.

You set up your own city in the friendless desert,
And gathered together friends and families,
Commoners as queens, Hebiru as bureaucrats,
Raised temples and children, palaces and stele,
To mark your City of the Sun.

The old priests said you were evil, cursed by the gods,
When you closed their doors and temples,
Took away their goods and pride,
And canceled their services “forever,”
To be replaced by the one true One.

It took time for the people to feel the old gods’ wrath,
Their old priests had to wait many poisoned years,
While your Aten-god sun-disk grew remote,
And lost the hearts of your bewildered people,
Who looked for one true god and found none.

Would you still stand, if the old priests had let you be?
Probably not, heretic pharaoh Akhenaten,
With your hymns of praise to the Aten,
With your golden god of love, blinding you
With a power too great for your simple human mind.

For gods are renewable, replaceable, and to be forgotten,
Trooping in their legion down the corridors of time,
Leading the way to salvation or perdition,
They’re really all the same in endless ordinary lives,
Amused by the heretic’s deepest, most ordinary crimes.

jl:2-14

 

inventgod

 

PAY FREAKIN’ ATTENTION, G’DAMMIT!

I have always had this desire to reach out and grab a person and shake the living bejazzus out of him or her, and yell, “What the hell’s the matter with ya, fer chris’sakes?  Are you nuts?  Wake up, for gawd’s sake!  Wake up, dammit!”

Just like that, with all the histrionic emphasis and shouting.

When I have their attention, and they’re scared witless, I will say, “Sorry to bother you.  I got a little excited.”  And walk away.

"So how about those Mets? Hear about the Big Meteor? Almost the size of a refrigerator, they say!"

“So how about those Mets? Hear about the Big Meteor? Size of a refrigerator, they say!”

PARALLEL UNIVERSE 11, ROMANS 1

January 31, 2014

PARALLEL UNIVERSE

PARALLEL UNIVERSE

A SEASONAL TIDBIT ON THE ORIGINS OF STUFF

This is historically researched and as far as I know the actual facts. Of course, who knows the actual facts? Anyway, Premise: Saul of Tarsus, a.k.a. Paul the Apostle (self-appointed after the fact) was a Roman agent.

Jesus was not invented by the Romans, but Christ was. The Christ was a resurrected savior god popular with the Roman kitchen help and lower classes, who infected their middle class mistresses (mostly) with it. Widows were a good cult bet for membership because they were heads of households and would host and feed gatherings of this sect, which allowed women to occupy leadership positions – rare at that time throughout the society. Widows are still good “touches” for the roving evangelical; notice how many of them make “living wills”, naming church beneficiaries.

 The first book (Mark) of the New Testament ends with the empty tomb – not a good ending for a hero story (who stole the body?). Eighty years later, a Christian editor added the rolled aside stone, ascension, so forth. At that point, the Christ myth overwhelmed historical Jesus, cult hero of a Jewish sect (run by Jesus’ real elder brother James, who was not the same charismatic leader or money raiser that the younger Jesus had been), but definitely not the creator of a new religion. But the real Jesus cult was troublesome. His defiance at the Passover (the most dangerous time in the Jewish year for Roman conquerors, when every Hebrew nut job was in town to celebrate escape from Egyptian tyranny) was a direct slam at the Roman state; and thus, they routinely crucified him as they would any rebel or criminal who might raise popular opposition to them. The Romans then responded with their skewed movement to manage the backlash – which includes a section of the New Testament aptly named “ROMANS” (check it out) – a formula for controlling the masses who owe all earthly allegiance and obedience without question, and/or certainly rebellion to the emperor.  The New Testament Book ROMANS is the legal foundation of the Imperial Christian cult that still disturbs our planet.

From the  fictional “Barabbas Plot” – Roman governor speaks about subverting the Jesus Movement with Temple high priest and Paul (Saul of Tarsus, chief persecutor of the Jesus sect until now) before his “epiphany conversion” to chief apostle of the “Christus.”

HIGH PRIEST: You mean to subvert people’s religious beliefs?

GOVERNOR: “Correct” them. This dead fellow Barabbas preached harmony and equality to a mob that never had either. He gave them false hope that they can actually achieve those things. We must teach that Nature creates extreme opposites, not harmony, and destroy the arrogant notion that their lord and master is an imaginary sky ghost that pesters earthly virgins, instead of our living emperor who can and really will crucify them, if necessary.

HIGH PRIEST: What if they reject your new myth, Excellency?

GOVERNOR: The Emperor doesn’t want to send an army here if he can avoid the expense, but if he does, we’ll crush the fools – to the rousing applause of the civilized world, I suspect. We’re being very lenient, we’re preventing a bloodbath. Paul, we want you to instill particular virtues; build our new myth upon them.

PAUL: What are those, Excellency? Love, mercy, that sort of thing?

GOVERNOR: No. You will receive a written copy, but listen now:
1. All authority comes from god naturally, so that rulers – those in a position of authority – are obviously appointed by god;
2. Let every person submit to those who rule;
3. Whoever resists rulers resists whom god has appointed;
4. Those who resist rulers will be punished, for rulers do not terrorize those whose conduct is good, but only those whose conduct is evil; and,
5. Pay all in authority what they demand: taxes, revenues, respect and honor. What do you think?

PAUL: It favors an oppressive establishment, and preaches against social security and freedom from coercion and exploitation.

GOVERNOR: A passive, unresisting obedience that bows under the yoke of authority, or even oppression, is the most conspicuous and useful of all the evangelic virtues.

PAUL: Masked in a religion diffusing a pure, benevolent and universal system of ethics adapted to every duty and condition of life, recommended by the will and reason of a Supreme Deity, and enforced by the sanction of eternal rewards or punishments.

GOVERNOR:  A great liar must tell a great lie.

bizarro

Illuminati Apply in Rear

Did you ever notice that a lot of the religious conspiracy stuff clouds the water so that you can’t see the political conspiracy stuff as well?

Here’s my take on Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, the Illuminati, so forth: AW, C’MON!

http://www.johnlegry.wordpress.com/religion-and-beyond/illuminati-apply-in-rear/

TRINITY TRIPTYCH. Art Liberation Project, c. JLegry 2012a

TRINITY TRIPTYCH. Art Liberation Project, c. JLegry 2012a

A monk-warrior in the Kingdom of Heaven says:

“By the word ‘religion,’ I’ve seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called the will of god. I’ve seen too much religion in the eyes of too many murderers. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves, and goodness. What god desires is your head and your heart, by what you decide every day, you will be a good man [or woman], or not.”

There are those who will say that if there is not a personified “god,” humankind will perish. However, “god” is universal and not capable of personification, denomination, or ritualization. “God” is the human concept of a Perfect Platonic Being: One and all, hen kai pan. “God” is life, not dogma. “God” is curiosity and learning, not brainwashing and stagnation. “God” is an ideal, an example for emulation, an aspiration, a romance, an invitation to speculation, not a non-profit corporation, theme park, or big black carpet-draped rock.

Émile Zola wrote, “Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.”

ART LIBERATION PROJECT at REDBUBBLE: http://www.redbubble.com/people/johnlegry

inventgod

TRINITY TRIPTYCH reprise

November 23, 2013
TRINITY TRIPTYCH. Art Liberation Project, c. JLegry 2012a

TRINITY TRIPTYCH. Art Liberation Project, c. JLegry 2012a

A monk-warrior in the Kingdom of Heaven says:

“By the word ‘religion,’ I’ve seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called the will of god. I’ve seen too much religion in the eyes of too many murderers. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves, and goodness. What god desires is your head and your heart, by what you decide every day, you will be a good man [or woman], or not.”

There are those who will say that if there is not a personified God, humankind will perish. However, God (if present) is universal and not capable of personification, denomination, or ritualization. God is the human concept of a Perfect Platonic Being: One and all, hen kai pan. God is life, not dogma. God is curiosity and learning, not brainwashing and stagnation. God is an ideal, an example for emulation, an aspiration, a romance, an invitation to speculation, not a non-profit corporation, theme park, or big black carpet-draped rock.  Émile Zola wrote, “Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.”

There are at least three major institutions on earth that have outlived their usefulness and become baldly destructive and should be done away with: corporations, armies and religions. “Armies” will unnerve some, but think of it, without corporations and religions most of the causes of war will evaporate. Plus, wholesale murder is no longer profitable (if it ever was, beyond the obscene success of a very few greedy people) and generally accomplishes nothing (e.g. 50 years after the Korean War the peninsula is still militarized, divided and unstable). The emerging moral is that we should grow up, stop fighting like schoolyard bullies over whose dog is prettiest and who gets all the marbles, and begin to cooperate with one another for the purpose of sharing this shrinking world and its dwindling resources without turning into maddened overcrowded cannibalistic rats in a global-sized cage.

ohmmmm

We Move to Amend.We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

  • Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
  • Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
  • Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.

Signed by 298,363 and counting . . . CONTACT: http://www.movetoamend.org/

RED LACE (BUDDHA Series variation)

RED LACE (BUDDHA Series Var.)

“Go forth in joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.”

At his death, BUDDHA Siddhartha Gautama is famously believed to have told his disciples to follow no leader. “All composite things (Saṅkhāra) are perishable,” he said. “Strive for your own liberation with diligence.”

“If you want the best idea of how the world was created, don’t pick the best mythology, consult the best science.” – His holiness the 14th DALI LAMA.

Layered Composition, 2012a, JLegry.

 

COMING FOR JUSTICE reprise

August 29, 2013

[Don’t forget to CLICK the IMAGES for extra information]

JOE KENNEDY and PRESCOTT BUSH:

I was born in 1943 when America, my father included, was fighting the Nazi fascists from Germany.  There were many Americans who agreed with the fascists, Joseph Kennedy and Prescott Bush included.  Kennedy tried to keep America out of the war.  Bush helped finance the Nazis.  But democratic America, Roosevelt America defeated the fascists in that war – temporarily as it turns out.

The Nazis came home in our baggage.  A former SS colonel named Werner Von Braun developed our space program.  The SS colonel who ran Hitler’s Gestapo taught our nascent CIA about domestic surveillance, interrogation, martial law, and chemical/psychological techniques.  In the meantime, we fought in Korea, keeping the military-industrial complex robust and vitalized (strange word applied to death-dealing), and practiced spying on ourselves – McCarthyism – a fascist witch-hunt for “commies,” undermining our confidence in our nation and its democratic institutions.

We next followed nine years of imperialistic colonial French mis-rule in Indochina to inflict seventeen years of violence on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, destabilizing and radicalizing Southeast Asia more than the Japanese had during World War 2. Then as now, the CIA and FBI further brutalized and contaminated domestic America in defense and furtherance of a generally Republican anti-peace message that was as big as the wallets they were filling from war profits.

AMERICA LOSES HER WAY:

Our practice has consistently been to create more powerful and harsher means to oppress and suppress, maim, or kill opponents.  Might has triumphed over right and reason, but that makes us neither mighty nor bright.  We are damned bullies, forcing our bully will on many victims.  That is what America stands for today: death not life, war not peace, greed not generosity.

The Bush administration, and now beyond to Obama, with their well-practiced agents and provocateurs, served the darkest human motives, not the clean wholesome light of genuine American democracy.  Justice, liberty, and equality aren’t significant words in the Republican vocabulary or principles in Republican governance.  We have been subverted from within, hollowed out by a corrupt corporate power structure to serve its war machine in the interest of corporate profits.  If we want any hope to rise above and beyond it, we must vote for progressives and reclaim this country for the babes who wait in mothers’ arms for fathers to come home from our latest unholy war(s).

The present situation in the United States echoes ancient Rome in important ways:  A successful representative republic, proving wildly successful in war and conquest, grows rich and plunges into conspicuous consumption.  In time the citizen army is converted to a professional military (a professional army owes allegiance to its paymaster, not necessarily to the nation).  Beauty is heavily involved in politics and publicity (experience means less than height).  King-sized constructions attest to individual power and glory.  The poor get to see the lavish spread, but may not partake of it.  The toll of maintaining luxury is its undoing.  The general domestic economy weakens with foreign trade, although the rich stay rich and get richer.  The dispossessed flock into cities and live on a diminishing dole, manipulated by politicians.  The conservative legislature is indifferent to the people’s plight.  The bureaucracy and the military rule all.

How did it happen?  How did it get so bad?  Who is hurting?  The list includes everyone except the top 1% of the nation’s richest and most privileged citizens.  The rich characterize any protest of this imbalance as “class warfare,” although they’ve been waging class warfare on the poor and middle class (the rest of us) since Franklin Roosevelt died.  The Robber Barons have succeeded in unraveling the New Deal, beginning with the 23rd Amendment, which limited presidents to two terms: the “first stomp on FDR’s grave,” my father called it.  Dwight Eisenhower’s administration put “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance (clearly in violation of the constitution), tried to give Social Security away to private insurance companies, and the Tennessee Valley Public Power Authority to private utility owners.

Thirty years ago the conservatives began to advocate for the end of public education on the grounds that it’s undemocratic to mandate school attendance.  No system is pure on this side of the grave; our society considered it essential to educate all the people so that they can intelligently participate in their own democratic governance, and avoid being swindled by demagogues.  The John Birch Society bulletin advised its readers to “join your local P.T.A. and take it over.”

Fascists twist democratic institutions and values to gain their selfish ends.  They advocate for state control of women’s bodies; control the body, control the mind (women vote too liberally).  They have besieged health, safety and environmental regulations for over 50 years, but don’t ask them to do a cost-benefit analysis on outrageous and endemic corporate welfare.

END GAMES and WISHFUL THINKING:

The end game for Bush wasn’t a fortuitous crusade against terrorism, but to bankrupt and reduce the United States government to the influence of a third world nation.  Thereafter, the plutocracy will rule.  Bush undid the hard-won social and legal advancements of our free and equal society.  He dismantled the American Dream.  He betrayed the Constitution, reinforcing the United States as a warmongering plutocracy that absolutely corrupts the democratic republic.

Republicans don’t have any kind of mandate for their radical right wing agenda.  They brought us the Second Great Depression (2016 is gonna be a bitch, according to Thom Hartmann).  Republicans are all alarm and greed.  The Big Thieves came into our homes as we slept and threaten to never leave.  We shall be their economic and social slaves, although we will be called “the public,” “the people,” “average Americans,” whatever.  The dream turns into nightmare.

The pinnacle of human achievement can’t be George W. Bush (or the Koch brothers).  “What a low pinnacle,” my wife says.  “Bush gives new meaning to the American concept that anybody can become president.”  They don’t even have to be elected.  Bush came to power in interesting fashion: a virtual coup overturning the popular will, based on a very tenuous partisan split vote of 5 to 4 in a corrupted Supreme Court – buttressed by legal arguments so weak that even first year law students would blush to use them.

VOTE PROGRESSIVE:

Be well advised, in the next election, cast your ballot for progressive candidates. Turn your back to the greed and close your wallets to them.  Save the dream.  Defend the republic.  Kick the sick twisted bastards out.

© J. Legry

RELATED:

Please sign petition:
We Move to Amend.
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:
Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.
Signed by 380,00+ and counting . . .to 500,000 CONTACT: http://www.movetoamend.org/ 
PETITION LINK: http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/petition
ohmmmm

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2014

July 3, 2013

Thomas Paine, author-patriot, 1737-1809

Thomas Paine, author-patriot, 1737-1809

“The world is my country.  To do good is my religion.” – Thomas Paine, founding father.

World War I public morale poster, captioned "Food Will Win the War.  You came here seeking freedom.  You must now help to preserve it."

Them is Us

POLITICAL MEMORABILIA:  www.zazzle.com/theattic

The United Corporations of America.

Agenda of the Economic Elite. The economic elite have made decades of premeditated carefully orchestrated strikes on the New Deal, democracy as a form of government, and the American constitution, supported by neo-conservative, Libertarian and religious fundamentalist allies – the same sort of coalition that supported the growth of national socialism in Germany (for a fact, grandpa Prescott Bush and the Koch brothers father Fred helped finance the Nazis); and no matter how disguised in civic rectitude, the merger of corporations with the state is still Mussolini’s original definition of fascism.Thomas Paine wrote that a tyranny used to meet an emergency, must return to democracy immediately after the crisis, or it becomes a permanent tyranny.  The ends justify the means permits all manner of abomination.  We can really see its manifestation in the lying Congress, corporate media and Republican Party.  They lie shamelessly in total self-interest.  Country, America, truth, democracy, freedom, justice and We the People mean absolutely nothing to them; they are obsessed with money and power.  Yet they are just minions of the super rich.  The following article introduces our real national enemy. Exposing Our Enemy: The Business Roundtable: The Most Powerful Corporate Business Club Most Americans Have Never Heard ofThe Business Roundtable, an organization representing Fortune 500 CEOs, is at the heart of the Economic Elite’s power center.  Editor’s Note: The following is Part III of David DeGraw’s report, “The Economic Elite vs. People of the USA.” AlterNet previously ran Part I and Part II.  DeGraw writes in the introduction to his report: “It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99% of the US population no longer has political representation. The US economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us. Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99% of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep. . . and make no mistake, they have launched a war to eliminate the US middle class.”

REAL HEROES: Click the image for narrative.

A Choice, Not an Echo

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

Liberty crowning defiant American democracy.


AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

June 2, 2013

Earth Rebelled

DEATH BY 1,000 PIN PRICKS

There must be a new approach to public policy development that makes “Earth First” top priority.  “Property” “economy” and “jobs” must serve “Earth First.”

The planning frame should be at least 100 years, possibly 1,000, NOT 25.  Environmental change is occurring so fast that small decisions made locally avalanche regionally (e.g. downstream pollution), or even globally (e.g. ozone layer destruction).

The Economic Growth discussion is always the same: “highest and best value” (a misnomer if ever there was one – profits trump survival).

Fat City is over, although many are still trying to milk it for the last bit of cream.  We must do more with less, and the rich must share or move out.  We don’t need more deadhead users and freeloaders.  We must develop a mutually supportive community again.  The business of government is the people’s business; developers step to the rear.  Legislators must renounce corporate campaign contributions as contrary to the public good.

We need to CONTROL land value to discourage speculation, and eliminate or lessen the wide market swings due to nerves or manipulation.  We must impose firm, honest value on land and discourage speculative over-inflation – speculation is not bad per se, but it is one of the easiest activities to exaggerate and corrupt.  We need a National Land Use Comprehensive Plan.

Unlimited growth is the ethos of a cancer cell, says David Suzuki, noted biologist.  Because one cannot personally conceive of an alternative to growth does not mean that one does not exist.  Sustainability is NOT a myth – it is an under-represented, and too-often wrongfully rejected younger child; the one bearing truth to co-dependent addictive parents in deep denial over their multi-generational destruction of the natural environment.

Three well-known fables, or metaphors illustrate our present situation:

  • Chinese fable of death by 1,000 pin pricks.  Stick a mouse one to 500 times and it can still heal unassisted.  Between 500-750 sticks, the mouse needs help in order to survive.  Between 750 and the 1,000th stick, death is certain, regardless of outside intervention.
  • A lily pad grows exponentially, doubling in size every day.  It takes a while for it to cover half the pond, but on the very next day, the entire pond is covered, and everything below it suffocates.
  • Parable of the frog and boiling water.  Put a frog in boiling water and it hops right out.  Put the frog in cold water and slowly heat it to boiling and the frog will adjust until it boils to death.

One more stick with the pin?  Deal with it later?  Turn up the heat?

As a former Chair of an urban Planning Commission and Executive Committee Member of a Regional Planning Council two developers stand out:

One claimed that a miles long unregulated commercial Strip was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen: America’s energy and excitement was laid out plain: the true entrepreneurial spirit – wires, signs, traffic snarls, and pollution, revealed in indifferent sprawl and waste.

A second bermed his auto lot outside the entrance to a National Historical Site at our demand.  He then ran a ramp up so that his trucks would show above the berm, and trimmed his trees to poodle tail puffs so that the branches wouldn’t obscure anything.  He performed the letter, but not the spirit of the law, with no respect for our shared national heritage.  He was a Coney Island developer at Gettysburg National Cemetery.

We are in crisis and we must make fundamental and absolute changes without further delay.  We cannot give “just a little bit more.”  Spoiled children require discipline if they are to live wholesome, productive lives.  Developers, energy barons, other planet-killers and we, must settle for less and work to plan a healthy sustainable community.  We require teamwork to endure what is coming.  We don’t have the luxury to indulge selfish, ignorant behaviors.

JL:PDX-10-09/5-13

Earth’s Life Support Systems Failing by Stephen Leahy.

UXBRIDGE, Canada – The world has failed to slow the accelerating extinction crisis despite 17 years of national and international efforts since the great hopes raised at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

The last big promise to act was in 2003, when government ministers from 123 countries committed to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010.

Experts convening an international meeting in South Africa this week agree that target will not be met next year, which is also the International Year of Biodiversity.

“It is hard to imagine a more important priority than protecting the ecosystem services underpinned by biodiversity,” said Georgina Mace of Imperial College in London, and vice chair of the international DIVERSITAS programme, a broad science-based collaborative.

“We will certainly miss the target for reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010,” said Mace in a statement.

Biodiversity is not just weird-looking animals and pretty birds. It is the diversity of life on Earth that comprises the ecosystems that provide vital services, including climate regulation, food, fibre, clean water and air.

By some estimates, 12,000 species go extinct every year, and the rate is accelerating. Akin to a cataclysmic asteroid, pollution, logging, over-exploitation, consumption, land use changes and engineering projects have produced the planet’s sixth great extinction of species.

Freshwater ecosystems may be the first collapse of one of Earth’s life support systems in 13,000 years. Species that live in lakes and rivers are vanishing four to six times faster than anywhere else on the planet, said Klement Tockner of the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Germany.

“There is clear and growing scientific evidence that we are on the verge of a major freshwater biodiversity crisis,” Tockner told IPS.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/10/14-4

Without Drastic CO2 Cuts Immediately, the World Faces a Massive ‘Oh Shit’ Moment By Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation.

A frightening new climate change study says the United States must eliminate its enormous rate of carbon emission within ten years.

Editor’s Note: This is the kickoff to a series of pieces as a Copenhagen Primer about climate change that we will be running in the lead up to the international climate talks in Copenhagen beginning on December 7. Stay tuned.

They say that everyone who finally gets it about climate change has an “Oh, shit” moment — an instant when the full scientific implications become clear and they suddenly realize what a horrifically dangerous situation humanity has created for itself. Listening to the speeches, ground-breaking in their way, that President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao delivered September 22 at the UN Summit on Climate Change, I was reminded of my most recent “Oh, shit” moment. It came in July, courtesy of the chief climate adviser to the German government. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, chair of an advisory council known by its German acronym, WBGU, is a physicist whose specialty, fittingly enough, is chaos theory. Speaking to an invitation-only conference at New Mexico’s Santa Fe Institute, Schellnhuber divulged the findings of a study so new he had not yet briefed Chancellor Angela Merkel about it. The study, Solving the Climate Dilemma: The Budget Approach, has now been published here. If its conclusions are correct — and Schellnhuber ranks among the world’s half-dozen most eminent climate scientists — it has monumental implications for the pivotal meeting in December in Copenhagen, where world leaders will try to agree on reversing global warming.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/143256/without_drastic_co2_cuts_immediately%2C_the_world_faces_a_massive_%27oh_shit%27_moment

Decline of a Tribe: and Then There Were Five The Independent/UK by Guy Adams.

The last surviving members of an ancient Amazonian tribe are a tragic testament to greed and genocide.

They are the last survivors: all that’s left of a once-vibrant civilisation which created its own religion and language, and gave special names to everything from the creatures of the rainforest to the stars of the night sky.

Just five people represent the entire remaining population of the Akuntsu, an ancient Amazonian tribe which a generation ago boasted several hundred members, but has been destroyed by a tragic mixture of hostility and neglect.

The indigenous community, which spent thousands of years in uncontacted seclusion, recently took an unwelcome step closer to extinction, with the death of its sixth last member, an elderly woman called Ururú.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/10/13-3

Light at the End of the Tunnel.


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