What is the meaning of modern life? I have two books in front of me Volume Two of Thomas Campbell’s “My Big Toe” and Christopher Beckwith’s “Empires of the Silk Road”.
Campbell’s Book “explains the characteristics, origins, dynamics and function of human consciousness. It lays out an operational and functional model of consciousness.” This is from the jacket. I read the first volume but have been putting off on reading the second. It is a book about a science guy who did out of body experiments and claims that we are in a giant computer sort of universe that is intelligent. He has a really abrasive style that turns me off and makes it hard to take him seriously. He is a hyper inner space cadet and I am not in the mood.
Although today I met a woman who runs an art gallery on Anaheim in Long Beach. We got into a pretty trippy conversation about the government, taxes and art. I wanted to discuss the ideas of Beckwith but I realized it would be too much work. I got to tell my story about being punched in the stomach by the Secret Service. It was pretty cool, full of neat paintings from around the world. She calls herself an ‘Art Emissary’ and I was particularly impressed with a Balinese painting of a battle between demons and another one of a seventies disco space alien battle. I was looking for the address on the card she gave me but no luck. The Gallery is in the same building as the Park Hotel if you are interested.
Beckwith started out great, talking about a theory of the comitatus, the friends of the king in ancient times who pledged their lives to him, and defended him against all comers and were rewarded with the good life or as good as their king could provide in the ancient cultures of central Asia. He traces this down through the ages and sees in this one of the main motivators for the development of a trade in luxury goods across Asia through history. He goes back to about 2000 BC and brings it up to the end of the Junghar Confederation in the 18th century, the last of the great steppe nomad empires of central Asia. Then he goes into a rant against modernism. He brings up some good points but I think he looses it at some points especially when he goes on about the loss of a following for modern classical music because of its atonality, the lack of a definition of what modern art is and he really rails against the destruction of the cultural artifacts of the past in central Asia brought about by modernism, in particular he rages against the Chinese cultural revolution for destroying Tibetan monasteries and fundamentalism in Iran.
This is the first historian that I have read to have a similar viewpoint on the Middle East to mine. He speaks of the break up of the Ottoman Empire by the British as a mistake.
I quote him Page 271 “The Allies’ vengeance against the Ottomans did not win long term colonial power in the region for the British, as they had hoped. The British did dominate Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq as well as Egypt, until shortly after the Second World War, but the great diminution of the British power after that war forced them to abandon most of the colonies. As they with drew from Palestine in 1947, a civil war broke out and a radical Jewish nationalist (Zionist) state formed. The results were incendiary.”
In the next paragraph he talks about the inability of a normal formation of power in the Middle East to reform.
…”the age-old division of Southwestern Asia between two large powers, one centered in Greece or Constantinople and another in Persia, could not be reestablished. The fragmentation and animosity in the Middle East worsened and led to ever increasing instability during the later part of the twentieth century.”
In his notes he mentions this. “The British foreign Minister Jack Straw has publicly admitted is government made ‘quite serious mistakes” in Palestine and India, among many other countries of Southwest and South Asia.”
Thus someone in the field backs up my assertion that the British made a mess of things in their colonial administration of that part of the world. He does not go so far to agree with my assertion that it was a deliberate sabotaging of the local peoples so that the British or their American allies could come back at a later date and swoop in and pick up the pieces in a new bigger empire. but the evidence is there.
Beckwith makes some interesting points about the history of international commerce across the ages. He says that until the 18th century closing of the silk road by the national policies of the Russians, Chinese in particular, being replaced by the littoral system of trading ports mostly dominated by the British, that most trade had been done overland and was promoted by central Asian empires. These were ruled by Mongols, Turks, Iranians and other central Asian peoples down through history.
He is opposed to the cultural devastation brought about by modernism. He sees the domination of the world by a series of American style republics, mostly oligarchies as he sees them, as being just as bad for the cultures of central Asia as the socialist modernism of the last century as promoted by the Chinese and Russian Communists. He seems to be in favor of a return to some form of aristocracy and monarchical rule. Up until the 18th century most people in the world would have agreed with him.
Beckwith seems to be particularly enamoured with the comitatus. A band of brothers, warriors sworn by a blood oath to protect their leader to the death. I don’t think he is advocating a return to that but he is saying that government by greed and the market is no replacement for the sense of noblesse oblige that aristocratic rulers felt to their followers. He seems to be an advocate of some form of intellectual aestheticism, perhaps led by spiritual leaders or an aristocracy for whom artists and intellectuals can focus on serving.
It certainly goes against the grain of my Maoist youth. I have previously noted that anarchists and monarchists have a lot in common in their idealism and romanticism.
Beckwith accuses the Chinese Communists of massacring the Tibetans and Uighurs and destroying almost all of the Buddhist monasteries in the areas they ruled. In particular he says Tibet has only 13 remaining monasteries when it had hundreds before the Chinese took over. He says the cultural revolution was a particularly devastating time for the ancient cultures of Central Asia.
I am going to a Maoist Talk Tuesday night if I can and confront them on this very question. There is something here. Is all of history to be destroyed as the garbage of the past? Beckwith blames it on modernism, the cult of constant change and disregard for all that is old. Beckwith rails against the Chinese arrogance that is wiping out the inheritance of the cultures of the peoples of central Asia. He is not advocating one religion or another, but he is saying that there should be a respect for the past and the cultural inheritance of the past just as in the west we respect the old parts of Paris, but I think he forgets that Paris went through a major urban renewal in the 19th century and a lot of what he calls old is merely Paris of a 150 years ago. Perhaps to someone in a place like Los Angeles where I live, Paris is old. but compared to the sweep of history it is mostly less that 200 years old. The old Paris was destroyed in its own urban renewal.
He deplores what is occurring in China and central Asia with the replacement of traditional architecture with the bland institutional modernist high rises. But I am sure the people there are looking at modernism in a different light. For them it is a path out of poverty and ignorance. Beckwith does admire the scientific advances brought about by the Soviet Union.
My own opinion is that there should be a balance. Change out of poverty is important, as is education. Beckwith calls most of the education in the democracies propaganda to promote the modernist ideology. He is what I would call a true conservative, one who wants to preserve things of value from the past. That is different from what the modern conservatives in the USA promote, a pro business, capitalist agenda with some reactionary populism that is anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, anti-gay and anti-abortion. That is not conservatism as in preserving the cultural values and the environment of the past. That is a radical agenda to promote a value system that has as much to do with the past of this country as the Jesus theme park in Orlando has to do with the message of the historical Jesus. It is a fake.
Beckwith is in favor of the Shah of Iran’s attempt to dominate the Middle East with a revived Persian Empire. He saw what the Shah was attempting to be part of the traditional move on the part of a Persian and Greek/Turkish force to dominate the region and bring about stability. He doesn’t seem to give much credence to an Egyptian or Arab based power bloc. Egypt historically also dominated in Syria and Palestine. Arabia was a wild card coming up in a period of weakness on the part of the Greeks and Persians. But they have long been players and he cannot count them out. What is new and odd is the return of the Crusaders in the form of the Zionists. That is an unstable force in the region and is culturally disruptive. It blocks the attempts of the normal regional players from dominating. It is in my mind the British card that was played to keep them in the game.
Secretary of State Clinton is back in the Middle East attempting to get the region to accept Israel. It will never happen. Not in this form. Iran, Turkey, and Egypt are the normal players and one of them will have to dominate. Or the Arabs and Jews will have to make up and form a unitary state. It could happen if the USA and the British would stop stirring up the pot and insisting on having a colony in the heart of the Middle East. I could see a revived Phoenicia with Israel and Lebanon and Jordan forming a unitary state but dividing Israel and Palestine into two mini states is inherently unstable and can only be propped up by constant intervention from the west.
Ultimately the best thing would be for a revived Greco-Turkish State in the region but I don’t see that happening in the near future. There is currently almost as much bad blood between the Greeks and Turks as between the Jews and Arabs but historically there is no reason for it to continue. Once the Persian get the west off their backs and can breathe again and develop some normal institution perhaps they will lead the way to a stable Middle East but the Americans have to get out and the Chinese have to remain as strictly trading partners. They are playing a pretty cool game there now lets hope they don’t get the “Special Nation” bug that the Americans have with that whole hogwash about American Exceptionalism. The Chinese are good at it with their Middle Kingdom but at least they tend to stick the their section of the world. Islam once thought it was the wave of the future, just like Marxists did. It seems that every hyped up nation seems to think it is the best thing ever.
Lets hope in the future we can find a way to play this out without blowing up the place.
Archive for October, 2009
What is the meaning of modern life? I have two books in front of me Volume Two of Thomas Campbell’s “My Big Toe” and Christopher Beckwith’s “Empires of the Silk Road”.
CSPAN is covering a conference on Taxes and the revenue shortfalls in the states.
Revenue volatility is a major contributing factor in the States budget short falls according to Joseph Henchman of the Tax Foundation. He says that the stimulus package had a lot of strings to it. He is a conservative who wants to see states cut services.
He is not a fan of taxing the wealthy. He believes that it will discourage job creation. This is your usual right wing perspective. He is opposed to tax amnesties and exemptions and waivers. He is a simplified tax fan (code for flat tax). He wants to cut pensions and cut spending.
Prior to this speaker there was another Nickolas Johnson who was saying the opposite that the states had cut taxes in the period since the mid 1990’s and he says that because of cutting revenue streams they have left themselves without needed buffers. Another factor he said is that since most of the increases in income have been among the wealthy and since most taxes in states are relativly flat, that there needs to be a more graduated income tax. He also indicated that most taxes have been on goods and not enough on services. He is saying that the Federal government will not be spending as much on the states next year and that the states will have to raise taxes because most of the cuts have already been made. 2011 will be worse.
Douglas Lindholm of the Council on State Taxation believes in tax standardization. He works for corporations that are in multiple states. He says there will be a lot of cuts, increases and gimmicks. The proximate cause is the recession but the states have been involved in a structural problem. Public workers average $39 an hour and the private sector make $26 an hour. This is including all benefits. Private industry has forced employees to take on more costs for health care and retirement but the public sector has not. He is advocating cutting benefits for public workers. He is against exporting taxes ie taxing interstate commerce. He is basicly saying states need to crack down on their workers, and seek uniformity from state to state to allow a free flow of commerce. He is a free marketer.
He says that the Federal Treasury Department should collect all state taxes and apportion them based on a formula. States see that as an attack on their sovereignty. There is a stalemate between the states and the nation. He thinks it is the Congresses job and so does the Supreme Court. He thinks these multiple tax codes is causing American industry to be less competative. He wants to see the states work more with the feds. He wants to see the feds intervene. Corporations want this if the Congress is the body that sets state taxes then it will be very easy to bribe the right persons. As it is now they have to pay bribes to politicians in every state. He wants to see taxes based on payroll and property. He is opposed to taxing services because he says it is hard to determine what is taxable and he says it weighs more heavily on small business.
They are all saying California is a fiscal basket case. Nick Johnson is saying that rich people do not move because their taxes go up by a percentage point. He says volatility is not caused by millionaire taxes. He says flat tax states have the same problems of boom and bust. He says there is a problem of extreme income inequality that has to be dealt with.
Joseph Henchman is saying that millionaire taxes increased income in the short term in New Jersey but over the long term the taxes went down.
Douglas Lindholm says that tax decisions does not drive business decisions at least at GE where he once worked. He is opposed to combined reporting because it is just a different way to measure liability. He says because definitions are so vague it is all case driven. People pick and choose. I have no idea what this is. He spoke of vertical integration vs horizontal integration and that I remember from college economics classes.
I guess I am interested in this stuff because I deal with numbers every day on the job. I see how real costs relate to real numbers. That is what I do for a living in my industry. It is thus interesting although it creates problems on the macroeconomic level because lots of small decisions create big or small messes.
For a change of pace I have decided to put on a Christian TV station. Experience Jesus they say. The Holy Land Experience in Orlando Florida. Wow Jerusalem AD 66 in Orlando. They have a place called the Scriptorium. They have a chance to experience life with Jesus. Even experiencing the communion at the last super. This is marketing on a whole new level. Beautiful music and hippie looking Jesus’s. I wonder if this is a dope smoking Jesus? This is TBN’s Holy land Experience. Cool they are doing the Rapture. Left Behind is a PC game now. This is serious Christian marketing. For $20 you can get the Left Behind game.
Oral Robertson’s kid is saying he tried to run away and now he is back. I guess the money and the power must have been too much to resist. Billy Blanks is saying that Jesus says you don’t have to get sick. Jesus went on the cross so we don’t have to be sick any more. And just as I was getting totaly offended by that nonsense the soup I was making burned up. No water. That sucks.
October 29th, 1969 was the date of the first internet transmission. This is from the Computer Science school at UCLA.
“The Day the Infant Internet Uttered its First Words
A record of the first message ever sent over the ARPANET. It took place at 22:30 hours on October 29, 1969. This record is an excerpt from the “IMP Log” that we kept at UCLA. I was supervising the student/programmer Charley Kline (CSK) and we set up a message transmission to go from the UCLA SDS Sigma 7 Host computer to the SRI SDS 940 Host computer. The transmission itself was simply to “login” to SRI from UCLA. We succeeded in transmitting the “l” and the “o” and then the system crashed! Hence, the first message on the Internet was “Lo!”. We were able to do the full login about an hour later.”
Now we have second life on the internet. This was the infamous attempt to create a communications network that could survive a nuclear war.
The first three way communications was in 1977. This is from SRI International’s web site.
“The First Three-Network Transmission, 1977
1977 marked a critical milestone in the development of the modern Internet and wireless networking. While many people trace the Internet’s origins to the ARPANET of the late 1960s, the word “internet” means joining different kinds of individual networks together. Internetworking made its formal debut with the first connection across three dissimilar networks in 1977. SRI played a major role.
In the fall of that year, an unmarked step van filled with futuristic equipment, SRI engineers, and sometimes fully uniformed generals quietly cruised the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area. Only an oddly shaped antenna gave any hint of its purpose. A singular event occurred on November 22, when data flowed seamlessly through the van between SRI International in Menlo Park and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles via London, England, across three types of networks: Packet Radio, Satellite, and the ARPANET. Packet radio, being the first mobile digital radio, also foreshadowed WiFi and other kinds of wireless access.”
October 29th 1969 I was 15 years old and in my sophomore year of high school. I had not had my first sex yet although I had made out with girls by then. I had tried LSD and pot by then and was active in the Student Union and helped produce and distribute our High School underground Newspaper, the first or second in the state of Connecticut. We had just won the battle over using the word “fuck” in the paper saying it was appropriate to say the word in reference to the police murder of the Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. My buddy Glenn and I had just come back from the Advocate Press in New Haven where they had printed the underground paper for us. We had carried hundreds of copies on the train back to Fairfield and distributed it at the high schools durring lunch. We also went to Black Panther fundraisers and sold the paper to rich people in Westport when we were doing that Mau mauing thing that Tom Wolfe talked about.
I was a participant in the Anti War Moratorium protests against the war in Vietnam. I was hanging out with a communist collective in Bridgeport and reading Mao’s little red book. I met Abbie Hoffman at a demonstration in New Haven where he spoke and I expressed an interest in the Yippies.
My family still lived in the same farm where I had been born and we had about 20 horses of our own and a dozen boarders at the time. We had the last horse farm in my home town, Fairfield, Connecticut where suburbia had taken over. On weekends I was the trail boss, taking kids out on horse back rides. Half the time I was tripping. Luckily my horse knew the way by heart. We were only a 45 minute train ride to Grand Central Station in New York City and had all the local freaks, drug dealers, studio musicians, lesbians, gays, mafia people, the rejects who could not get into the hunt club kept their horses at our place.
November 1977 I was living in Boulder, Colorado. I had just left a spiritual commune The Emissaries of Divine Light and was working in a local French restaurant where I was a saucier in training and a dishwasher. I was still going to meetings at the spiritual commune but I was mostly at loose ends after finishing the training program of the group. I had worked at the groups landscaping business before I left for the training program in the spring of that year. Now I was a graduated minister for the group and they wanted me to go to South Africa or someplace else but I wanted to go back to Boulder. That was considered to be rebellious by the group and they showed their disapproval by not offering me a position.
It was about that time that I had discovered snorting cocaine. It was popular as a tip at the restaurant, customers would send a plate with lines on it back to the kitchen and we would all indulge. Punk rock was begining to be the thing and it was about that time that my buddy Peter and I would drive around Boulder in his VW Bug listening to the Sex Pistols and talk about how screwed up the spiritual scene was with all the power trips on the part of the leadership that ruined it for people like us. I was looking for the next thing and we both felt that punk might be it. We discussed going to England to check it out or back to New York to see what the CBGB scene was all about. I had just been in the Catskills for the spiritual program. I was also wondering about this Anarchy the Sex Pistols talked about. I had met a couple of Anarchists the year before when I had seen them throw rotten tomatoes at Gus Hall who I had gone to see speak. He was running for president on the Communist Party Ticket. I ran after then asking them why they had done what they did. I mean Gus was boring but he wasn’t the enemy at least not in my mind. President Ford and Nixon, they were the bad guys. They ran down the Anarchist position, against Stalinism, which at the time I thought was a little sketchy but most Marxists by then were not into Stalin, we were in to Mao. Now I was wondering if they were involved with this new punk thing.
I was planning on going back to school at the University of Colorado in Boulder and thinking about becoming a journalist but my typing skills needed honing. I was in between things and pissed off at the world. I was writing poetry, going to NAROPA poetry events and licking my wounds after my girlfriend left me for my best friend. Ouch!
Now I am working with computers every day. I am writing this blog on the internet waiting for another girlfriend to come back from the East Coast. The strongest drug I take now is my blood pressure medication and a glass of wine once in a while is my big high. I am working on a book that I have been trying to write for years and am still not able to write more than a few pages a week. I went to an anti Nazi demonstration last weekend and I donate money to the radical left organizations that I trust. I consider myself to be some kind of a green democratic socialist but no longer an anarchist. I am in favor of government control of basic industries and services and a market economy for the limited areas where a market still makes sense like consumer luxury goods.
Forty years ago I never would have thought I would be a working class number cruncher. I didn’t even think I would still be alive. Forty years ago I thought I would have died in some revolutionary struggle or would be a commissar in a peoples republic writing my memoirs.
Ares Rocket test a success. Is Ares the right rocket at the right time?
Levi Johnston says he knows things about Sara Palin that will get her in trouble. He is the father of Palin’s daughter’s baby. He says if she bad mouths him, he can destroy her on MSNBC.
Joe Lieberman says he is against the public option and that is why he would block the Health Care bill in the Senate. Glen Greenwald of Salon.com is saying on Rachel Maddow’s show that the money Lieberman and Evan Bayh get from the Insurance Industry and the fact that they are blocking reform despite the fact that the citizens they represent are in favor of health care reform, is a sign of corruption pure and simple.
There is a move to kill the health care bill if women are allowed to have abortions paid for with the federal plan. This is ridiculous because most private plans cover abortions. Just like the move to keep sick aliens out. Both are petty. Doctors are not going to ask a person coming into the emergency room if they are an alien. This is simply pandering to the wacko right wing.
The CIA financing of the brother of Hamid Karzai means that USA tax payers are supporting a heroin dealer. A couple days ago 3 DEA agents were killed in the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. Is the CIA responcible for the deaths of these agents?
According to Rachel Maddow’s guest author of “Legacy of Ashes: History of The CIA”
Tim Weiner the Military probably leaked this information to the New York Times to embarass the CIA and to put pressure on Obama to do something about corruption in Afghanistan.
Today we have problems in South Asia. When Secretary of State Clinton went to Pakistan a bomb blast in Peshawar killed over 100 people. Another attack by the Taliban in Kabul killed members of the United Nations in a hotel in so called secure downtown. The President seems to be prepared to take a middle course according to Chris Mathews. That is the worst path according to him.
We should send in the troops or get out according to people in Afghanistan as reported by a reporter Richard Engel in Kabul. Karzai has asked the media to lay off his brother. He blames the US State department for planting that article in the New York Times according to Engel.
There are no signs of any campaigning for this second election. Gerald Posner of the Daily Beast says the Karzai brothers say this is a left wing plot to get the USA to leave Afghanistan. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post says the least bad choice is to bring the troops home. He says President Obama likes to destroy false choices. He says the USA is working with a major drug dealer when 3 agents families have to be told why their family members died. Robinson says give the Military all the troops or get out. He is talking about the same thing in the Andes. There are drug dealing warlords all over the Andes that the USA worked with to destroy the communists there according to Robinson
Why are we paying off rotten Pashas? Posner brought up the US support of Heroin dealing Chinese armies in Burma who sold heroin to US troops in Vietnam back in the 60’s. The CIA has supported drug dealing all over the world.
There you have it the three main US drug dealing events Columbia, Afghanistan and Vietnam all brought up by Chris Mathews very intelligently by letting the reporters he interviews say it. These are all facts. They have been in the news. The only one he did not bring up was Iran Contra and the drug dealing of Bush senior and the CIA that led to the crack cocaine epidemic in the USA. Remember the airport in Medina, Arkansas where the CIA brought in cocaine and flew out guns? I asked Clinton about it when he was running for President in 92 and he had the secret service punch me in the stomach.
David Brancaccio host of PBS show Now, has said that Americans are lousy about looking ahead and part of the problem is that we do not invest in infrastructure. As a consequence when we get a little wind in California things fall apart. Part of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco just collapsed. This was part that was just repaired. Areas of LA lost power due to power lines collapsing. This should not happen due to mere high wind gusts. This is a symptom of collapsing infrastructure.
Yesterday on Warren Olney’s show he had a series of guests on discussing China and the 8% growth rate China is experiencing now. Why is China growing while the rest of the world has a shrinking economy? Because according to the guests, China has spent $500 Billion on a stimulus package that is proportionally the largest in the world. They are spending the money on you guessed it infrastructure. Yes China is building roads, bridges, water purification systems, hospitals and whatever is needed. But this is not just really good infrastructure program. They have some other things going for them. They have a strong state that controls 12 key sectors of the economy. Also the Banks are state owned. When the Chinese government says give out loans the Chinese banks say how many and how fast? They do not hold out like the American Banks and they don’t give their managers billion dollar bonuses.
The interesting thing about China is that because the vaunted Capitalist sector has shrunk and become more insignificant, it has become all the more evident that the state sector, which still drives the economy is vital and working. China is growing because it has a mostly state owned economy and is not as dependent upon the captialist market economy as the western countries.
What struck me as totaly insane was the western economist saying that what China needs to do now is to liberalize the economy. When asked by Warren Olney what she meant she said they needed to privatise. Privatise!!! What planet is she on? China is growing, we are not, China is growing because of the state sector not the private sector which has shrunk. Why would they want to privatise? Unless she is trying to sabotage the Chinese economy.
On the bright side the President signed a defense bill that killed the F-22. This is a boondoggle $356 million dollars each and it doesn’t work in the rain. Also discrimination against gays and transgenders is now considered a hate crime. We have finally closed a gap in the federal legislation against hate crimes.
The President is going to see the bodies of the Americans killed over the weekend in Afghanistan. He wants to see they get dignified treatment.
Lieberman is threatening to break with the Democratic caucus and help the Republicans create a filibuster. There are two cloture votes necessary and Lieberman said that he will block the vote if the bill remains as it is. Interesting what exactly is Lieberman getting from the Republicans. He was a Democrat but was elected as an independent, yet he stayed on with the Democrats in their caucus and retained his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.
Now he is threatening to break with his former party members. What do you expect from a guy who broke with his party to support Bush more often than not.
The problem as was brought up by the founder of the Blog FireDogLake, Jane Hamsher, on Rachel Maddow’s show is that the Democrats did not insist Lieberman vote with the Democrats on important issues of cloture. No one has ever broken ranks with their party to support a filibuster before.
I wrote a letter to Senator Lieberman. As a native of Connecticut, although I don’t live there anymore, I still have relatives there. I asked him not to block the public option and I did ask him to defeat the portion of the bill that forces people with decent health care insurance to pay a surtax. Why should decent insurance be penalized. So few of us have good health care why would you want to discourage that especially when many workers took pay cuts to get better health care.
The people of the country don’t like the direction that the country is moving in but they still like the president according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll. 48% in favor of public option and 42% are opposed to it. The people in the middle are nervous according to Chris Mathews. Only 25% of country like Republicans in the country. Most of the country want a third party according to Pat Buchanan. Chuck Todd says people want change, they have not had enough change but Obama is disappointing people.
The economy is hurting Obama. He is still personally liked but they are disappointed because the changes have not come. What does he need, for people to go back to work. We have 20% unemployment now.
President Bush is now working as a motivational speaker for some get rich quick fundamentalist Christians. I guess he has found something he is good at. He motivated people to vote for Obama. That is something.
The brother of President Karzai is on the CIA payroll according to the CIA. I have been saying for years that the CIA supports drug dealing to fund black operations. This is just another of a long line of these activities. This is an excerpt from the article.
“Brother of Afghan Leader Is Said to Be on C.I.A. Payroll Sign in to Recommend
by DEXTER FILKINS, MARK MAZZETTI and JAMES RISEN
Published: October 27, 2009
This article is by Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti and James Risen.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.
The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home.
The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.
The ties to Mr. Karzai have created deep divisions within the Obama administration. The critics say the ties complicate America’s increasingly tense relationship with President Hamid Karzai, who has struggled to build sustained popularity among Afghans and has long been portrayed by the Taliban as an American puppet. The C.I.A.’s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.
More broadly, some American officials argue that the reliance on Ahmed Wali Karzai, the most powerful figure in a large area of southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, undermines the American push to develop an effective central government that can maintain law and order and eventually allow the United States to withdraw.
“If we are going to conduct a population-centric strategy in Afghanistan, and we are perceived as backing thugs, then we are just undermining ourselves,” said Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the senior American military intelligence official in Afghanistan.
Ahmed Wali Karzai said in an interview that he cooperated with American civilian and military officials, but did not engage in the drug trade and did not receive payments from the C.I.A.
The relationship between Mr. Karzai and the C.I.A. is wide ranging, several American officials said. He helps the C.I.A. operate a paramilitary group, the Kandahar Strike Force, that is used for raids against suspected insurgents and terrorists. On at least one occasion, the strike force has been accused of mounting an unauthorized operation against an official of the Afghan government, the officials said.
Mr. Karzai is also paid for allowing the C.I.A. and American Special Operations troops to rent a large compound outside the city — the former home of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s founder. The same compound is also the base of the Kandahar Strike Force. “He’s our landlord,” a senior American official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Mr. Karzai also helps the C.I.A. communicate with and sometimes meet with Afghans loyal to the Taliban. Mr. Karzai’s role as a go-between between the Americans and the Taliban is now regarded as valuable by those who support working with Mr. Karzai, as the Obama administration is placing a greater focus on encouraging Taliban leaders to change sides.
A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment for this article.
Dexter Filkins reported from Kabul, and Mark Mazzetti and James Risen from Washington. Helene Cooper contributed reporting from Washington”
What else do we not know that is biting us in the butt? Would not 9-11 the greatest case of blowback in modern history be a prime example? This month so far 55 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan making October the deadliest month in ever since the American invasion of the country 9 years ago.
Yesterday I donated some money to the Revolutionary Organization of Women of Afghanistan. They have a chapter in Santa Barbara where Americans can donate to their efforts.
The first major US government official to quit the administration in protest over the war in Afghanistan has made his reasons known. This article is from Fox News.
” First U.S. Official Resigns Over Afghan War
Senior diplomat in Afghanistan said he believes the war is simply fueling the insurgency
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
WASHINGTON — A former Marine who fought in Iraq, joined the State Department after leaving the military and was a diplomat in a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan has become the first U.S. official to resign in protest of the Afghan war, the Washington Post reported early Tuesday.
Matthew Hoh, who describes himself as “not some peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love,” said he believes the war is simply fueling the insurgency.
“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” Hoh wrote in his resignation letter, dated Sept. 10 but published early Tuesday. “I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.”
The move sent ripples all the way to the White House, the paper said, where officials immediately appealed for him to stay out of fear he could become a leading critic.
U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry brought him to Kabul and offered him a job on his senior embassy staff, but Hoh declined. He then flew home and met with Richard Holbrooke, the administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Holbrooke told the Post he disagreed that the war “wasn’t worth the fight,” but did agree with much of Hoh’s analysis.
“We took his letter very seriously, because he was a good officer,” Holbrooke said in an interview with the newspaper. “We all thought that given how serious his letter was, how much commitment there was, and his prior track record, we should pay close attention to him.”
Interesting the Fox News report neglects to mention that Mr. Hoh recommends that if anything we reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan according to Rachel Maddow who read excerpts from his resignation letter. The Fox article then went on to say that President Obama was holding off on sending more troops implying the opposite of what Mr Hoh stated. Typical Fox disinformation. No wonder so many people are confused. The facts are simply being twisted.
Now is the time for us to act and let the president know we are opposed to the war and want the US to get out of Afghanistan and to stop supporting these fundamentalists and warlords. We need to support the civil society in Afghanistan and not the remnants of the cold war.
Some good news today. I heard that the public option was in the Senate Bill that Senator Reid presented to the floor of the Senate today. Now all we need is to see if it makes it to the conference committee with the House and if it gets through to the President to be signed into law. That could be months from now. I have never been so interested in a bill going through Congress. This is the first time there has been a group of people in power that I thought might be able to push through some progressive legislation since Clinton was first elected in 92.
The only major problem I see in this is the ability of the states to opt out. But at least it is in and that is what we need. Senator Schumer was all smiles on MSNBC tonight.
Today on Democracy Now I heard a discussion about the protests at the meeting of the American Bankers Association in Chicago. It looks like it will be a hot time in the old town this week.
“Showdown in Chicago: Protesters Greet American Bankers Association Conference
When the American Bankers Association scheduled their annual meeting in Chicago for this week, they probably weren’t expecting the reception they’ve received. Instead of a quiet convention in a downtown hotel, the ABA has been greeted by a parallel gathering of thousands of people in what organizers call the “Showdown in Chicago.” Spearheaded by the group National People’s Action, organizers have tried to bring together a cross-section of Americans affected by the financial meltdown, including homeowners, renters, farmers, workers and retirees. The Showdown kicked off Sunday when protesters entered the lobby of the hotel where the ABA delegates are gathering.”
It is about time. People are getting over the shock of the event and are now taking action to protest the rip off of the American Tax Payer by the bankers. This is a populist movement that should unite both right and left. We all should be outraged and not just at the outrageous payments going to these robbers. The banks need to be regulated. They need to be roped in and tied down to serve the people not for us to serve them.
There was a massive bombing in Baghdad that killed 155 people Sunday. This is the worst bombing since 2007. A reporter on the ground in Baghdad said this was done to destabilize the Maliki government.
Also today we had the reported deaths of 14 Americans in Afghanistan which included 3 DEA agents. It seems that the Plan Columbia war on drugs there has now cost that agency its first deaths since they began operating in Afghanistan in 2005. It seems that the DEA has decided to send some 80 agents over there to go after the dealers. Most of the Americans killed were apparently in a shoot out with drug dealers.
This is the AP wire report.
14 Americans killed in 2 Afghan helicopter crashes
Oct 26, 8:18 AM (ET)
By HEIDI VOGT
KABUL (AP) - A helicopter crash and separate collision involving two other choppers killed 14 Americans on Monday in one of the deadliest days for U.S. troops in the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said.
In the first crash, a helicopter went down in the west of the country after leaving the scene of a firefight with insurgents, killing 10 Americans - seven troops and three civilians working for the government. Eleven American troops, one U.S. civilian and 14 Afghans were also injured.
In a separate incident in the south, two other U.S. choppers collided while in flight, killing four American troops and wounding two more, the military said.
U.S. authorities have ruled out hostile fire in the collision but have not given a cause for the other fatal crash in the west. Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmedi claimed Taliban fighters shot down a helicopter in northwest Badghis province’s Darabam district. It was impossible to verify the claim and unclear if he was referring to the same incident.
U.S. forces also reported the death of two other American troops a day earlier: one in a bomb attack in the east, and another who died of wounds sustained in an insurgent attack in the same region. The deaths bring to at least 46 the number of U.S. troops who have been killed in October.
The deaths come as U.S. officials debate whether to send tens of thousands more troops to the country and the Afghan government scrambles to organize a Nov. 7 runoff election between President Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah from an August vote that was sullied by massive ballot-rigging.
President Barack Obama’s administration is hoping the runoff will produce a legitimate government. Another flawed election would cast doubt on the wisdom of sending more troops to support a weak government tainted by fraud.
In Washington, Obama was to meet with his national security team Monday in what was to be the sixth full-scale Afghanistan conference in the White House Situation Room.
Also Monday, Abdullah called for election commission chairman Azizullah Lodin to be replaced within five days, saying he has “no credibility.”
Lodin has denied accusations he is biased in favor of Karzai, and the election commission’s spokesman has already said Lodin cannot be replaced by either side.
Abdullah made the demand in a news conference during which he spelled out a list of what he said were “minimum conditions” for holding a fair second round of voting, including the firing of any workers implicated in fraud and the suspension of several ministers he said had campaigned for Karzai in the first round before the official campaigning period began.
Abdullah did not say what would happen if his demands were not met. “I reserve my reaction if we are faced with that unfortunate situation,” he said.
This has been the deadliest year for international and U.S. forces since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban. Fighting spiked around the presidential vote in August, and 51 U.S. soldiers died that month - the deadliest for American forces in the eight-year war.
Earlier this month, insurgents killed eight American troops in an attack on a pair of isolated U.S. outposts in the eastern village of Kamdesh near the Pakistan border. That was the heaviest U.S. loss of life in a single battle since July 2008, when nine American soldiers were killed in a raid on an outpost in Wanat in the same province.
“These separate tragedies today underscore the risks our forces and our partners face every day,” Col. Wayne Shanks, a spokesman for the NATO-led coalition, said Monday. “Each and every death is a tremendous loss for the family and friends of each service member and civilian. Our grief is compounded when we have such a significant loss on one day.”
U.S. military spokeswoman Elizabeth Mathias said coalition forces had launched an operation to recover the wreckage of the helicopter that was downed in the west.
She said the aircraft was leaving the site of a joint operation with Afghan forces when it went down.
The joint force had “searched a suspected compound believed to harbor insurgents conducting activities related to narcotics trafficking in western Afghanistan,” NATO said in a statement. “During the operation, insurgent forces engaged the joint force and more than a dozen enemy fighters were killed in the ensuing firefight.”
Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium - the raw ingredient in heroin - and the illicit drug trade is a major source of funding for Taliban and other insurgent groups.
Elsewhere Monday, Nangarhar province Gov. Gul Agha Sherzai survived an assassination attempt after a gunman fired automatic weapons at his convoy in Jalalabad, according to his spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai. Sherzai’s bodyguards killed the gunman, as well as another attacker wearing a suicide vest and carrying grenades.
Meanwhile, security forces in Kabul fired automatic rifles into the air for a second day Monday to contain hundreds of stone-throwing university students angered over the alleged desecration of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, by U.S. troops during an operation two weeks ago in Wardak province. Fire trucks were also brought in to push back protesters with water cannons. Police said several officers were injured in the mayhem.
U.S. and Afghan authorities have denied any such desecration and insist that the Taliban are spreading the rumor to stir up public anger. The rumor has sparked similar protests in Wardak and Khost provinces.
Associated Press Writers Rahim Faiez, Todd Pitman and Robert H. Reid contributed to this report from Kabul; Noor Khan reported from Kandahar.”
This morning I heard a brave woman from Afghanistan say on KPFK that the best thing would be for the foreign troops should leave Afghanistan. The next best thing would be for the Americans to stay long enough to disarm the fundamentalist groups that were created by the CIA in the cold war with the Soviet Union. She said that both the Taliban and the Northern alliance are the enemies of the people and that they were formed by the USA.
This woman Zoya from the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan is putting her life on the line. By advocating the development of civil society by Afghanis themselves she has made herself a target for the US backed fundamentalists. She is brave, heroic even and our country is responcible for the ongoing bloodletting in her homeland.
We are obligated to do something to stop our nation from committing more barbarities.
This may seem a bit obscure to some in the west who are not familiar with the ins and outs of Indian Politics. I became aware of this intense Hindu nationalism when I was involved with the Hare Krishnas and one of the Guru’s began to preach a line that was strongly nationalistic. He spoke of Bharat the ancient name of India as if it were in the present tense. He spoke of propagating the Gaudia Math in a militant maner. It was meant to rally the troops so to speak but his message sounded off key to an American Krishna audience. In another context it could be used to propagate violent action as is described below.
The image of the peaceful Hindu vegetarian is not entirely true. When I first encountered the Krishnas back in the 1970’s in Denver they were pushing a militant vegetarianism. One of them even threatened me saying how would you like it if we cut your head off like a chicken? He grabbed my neck at the same time. I was repelled. It took me another 10 years to get over that incident and become interested in vegetarianism again. Force is never a good method for conversion in my mind. It turns people off and turns people away. But dedicated souls of all sorts become enamoured with their beliefs and once ensnared almost anything can be justified in the name of the cause. Beware of such insistence for any cause. Killing people for the sake of an idea is never a good thing. Only in a very rare case such as stopping a Hitler is violence justified, or shooting a mad dog about to attack, those cases can’t be helped but as a general rule, it should not be a path of choice.
On the other hand I was seduced into interest in the Vedanta by love. My teacher was my lover and she enticed me into my visit to India and traveling for months with the devotees. Love is always a better motive, even if it is mixed with a little sex and passion.
Blast in Goa
Posted by: “Khan Arif” email@example.com ank2000pk
Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:30 am (PDT)
Blast in Goa
Goa, the paradise for tourists, witnessed a bomb kept in a scooter going off on the eve of Divali (17th Oct 2009) in Margao. It killed Malgonda Patil and seriously injured Yogesh Naik. Another bomb was detected in Sancoale in a truck carrying 40 youth for Narkasur competition. Interestingly Narkasur day, one of the five festivals of Divali, is celebrated in Goa on a big scale. Sanatana Sanstha, to which both the activists belong, is opposed to Narkasur festival on the ground that it is celebration of evil. The second aim of this blast was to create communal tension in Margao, which has a history of communal violence. Fortunately, the bomb went off before being planted in the crowded place and so the casualty was less.
This is the same Sanatan Sanstha, which came to light in the context of a blast which occurred in Gadkari Ragayatan in Thane on 4th June 2008, this had injured seven people. In one of the few cases of success in investigating such cases in Maharashtra or anywhere for that matter, the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Police, succeeded in nabbing the culprits, against whom cases are going on still. It was a clear case of involvement of Hindu Right wing organizations involved in a case of terrorism. The culprits belonged to Hindu Janjagaran Samiti (HJS), an outfit of Sanatana Sanstha, whose one of the ashrams is based in Panvel near Mumbai. These culprits were also involved in other blasts, in Vashi, Panvel and Ratnagiri.
In Thane the blasts were done to protest against the play Amhi Pachpute, a satirical play on Mahabharata. The allegation was that the play insults Hindu Gods. The earlier blast in Panvel was in a theater where the film Jodha Akbar was being screened. In this film the Hindu princess is married to Akbar, a Muslim king, and that is regarded by these outfits as insult to Hindu religion.
Sanatan Sanstha founded by Dr. Jayant Balaji Athwale is inspired by the political ideology of Savarkar of Hindu Mahasabha and Hedgewar of RSS. It has branches spread all over, including one in Panvel near Mumbai, while its head office is in Ramnathi in Goa. In earlier Thane and nearby blasts also all the accused belonged to this organization. Sanatan Sanstha says it has nothing to do with the blasts, despite the fact that those involved were members of the organization. Police is investigating the links of these accused with the recent Miraj Sangli riots in Maharashtra on the eve of elections (2009).
The same organization also brings out a paper called Sanatan Prabhat, carrying the ideas of Hindu Rashtra, and propagating against minorities. Since the last overt action from this organization, no serious action has been taken against this organization, despite Maharashtra ATS asking for a ban on this organization. Now it surfaces that Goa transport miniter Dhavalikar´s wife Jyoti is also associated with this organization. It is again same organization which campaigned forcefully against the screening of M.F. Hussein´s film ‘Through the eyes of a painter’, due to which the screening of the film in the Goa Film Festival held in November 2008 was shelved.
One recalls that starting from April 2006, many acts of blasts done by the RSS associates, Bajrang Dal, Sadhvi Pragya group etc. came to light. The pattern of these was to target the mosque at time when the crowd of Muslims is maximum there, especially on the Jumma, Friday afternoon namaz (prayer). In case of Sanatan Sanstha associates the blasts so far seems to be taking place to protest against something which they don´t approve of, staging of play Amhi Pachpute, screening of Film Jodha Akbar to here in Goa the celebration of Narkasur festival. The Hindutva related terror seems to be having two types of operations, from which they can be demarcated. And so within the Hindutva inspired terror groups these two clear cut demarcations need to be understood.
What is strikingly painful is the police and media response to such events. One knows that in Bajrang Dal- Sadhvi Pragya variety of terrorism starting from Nanded to Malegaon, the investigation has been lukewarm and slow. Initially the investigators refused to believe that Hindu Right wing groups can be part of terror acts. It is only after Hemant Karkare´e immaculate investigation unearthing the role of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Dayananad Pande and company that it was taken with some seriousness. One recalls Karkare having stated that he has collected all the evidence against Sadhvi group. Despite that why the investigation is so slow?
One also recalls that while doing this investigation, Karkare was under immense pressure, he was called Deshdrohi (anti National) etc. His pain and anguish went to the extent that he shared this with a senior police officer, Julio Rebeiro, who in turn correctly advised him to continue doing his work with same degree of professionalism. It is same Karkare who got killed in the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai prompting the then Minorities Affairs minister A.R. Antuley to state that there may be something more than meets the eye in the murder of Karkare. Will the truth ever come out?
When any blast takes place, and what are popularly called `Jihadi terrorists´ are suspected, the newspapers generally devote front page banner headlines, with all details and suspicions spelt out day after day. In cases related to Nanded types or the ones related to Hindu Jagran Samiti type, the coverage is relegated to small columns in the back pages. The visual media which generally carries non-stop running commentary around such an event is now muted when it comes to Hindutva inspired terror.
Abhay Vartak, the spokesperson of Hindu Sanatan Sansthan said that his organization has nothing to do with these blasts. He went on to say that talk of his organization being part of it and so banning it, is meant to defame his organization. But still the problem remains, those who have done it are part of his organization. Why they are regularly involved in it, in personal capacity or as organization is a question which needs to be answered? What they preach, teach, indoctrinate due to which the terrorists are mushrooming in his Ashram needs to be investigated.
A terrorist is a terrorist. To mete out different treatments to them according to their religion is a product of biased minds and distorted social common sense, which needs to be overcome to strive for justice.
Issues in Secular Politics
October III 2009
Arif N. Khan
Asst. Editor, Weekly Fraternity Briefs
http://groups. google.com/ group/Fraternity
http://www.netvert. biz/wordpower/ index.html
Even semi smart people if they keep at something long enough become experts. I have become something of an expert on a narrow band of subjects. I know a lot about commercial printing, cost estimating and general accounting. I know quite a bit about the American radical left and anarchist politics in general. I know geography pretty well. I have an in depth knowledge of alternative spirituality having lived in a gnostic Christian commune and with the Hare Krishnas. I have a good general knowledge of history with a pretty detailed understanding of ancient Rome, early Christianity and the collapse of the Roman empire. I have studied the various modern revolutions, American, French, Russian and Spanish in particular and I have an interest in China, India, Muslim countries and now central Asia. I am pretty familiar with western Europe and have spend time in France and India especially. I also have a pretty vast experience with mind and body altering pharmacology. Oh and I know quite a bit about horses, having grown up on a horse farm. With that as my background, I like to pontificate on affairs and having lived on this planet long enough to know that although I may be a fool, I am no joke.
So what does that all mean. It simply means that instead of talking out of my ass as I did when I was 19, I can now talk out of the other ass, or mouth as it is called. As we all know when damned up, the shit rises with everything else. I kept my mouth relativly shut for about 20 years, from age 30 to 50. I failed at the American dream. I crapped out in the family department, my kids are elsewhere and I crapped out in the money making department, my money is elsewhere also. Not for lack of trying. I tried both pretty consistently. I just never was able to put the combination together very well. Now I concentrate on what I do well and that is studying a subject, and then spouting off on it. At one time I had dreamed of being a writer or a journalist and perhaps this is my attempt at fulfilling those long held but seldom realized ambitions. After a surgery 3 years ago I decided that if I didn’t do it now using any means available, I would never be situated in that idyllic mode I had imagined that I needed to write. I had thought I needed to be a gentleman farmer, or an academic, or a paid journalist to write seriously. That may have been true at one time, but now all that is required is access to a computer, access to the internet and a reasonable command of a language that other humans understand. It would not do me any good to write in the sand in a language spoken only on the planets of the Alfa Centauri system or to write in ancient Tocharian, or in horse whinnying as much as I would like to. Jesus supposedly wrote in the sand. Does anyone recall what he wrote?
Let us suppose that there is an answer out there to our quest for a better, fairer system. It should be something that reflects our innate natures as ape like hominids. We are social, somewhat hierarchical, given to sexual behavior and grazing in the grassy plains and in tropical forrests. This is what we spent most of our evolutionary lives doing if the anthropologists are right. But then why should they be right? Perhaps that theory is to be thrown out the window when some smart scientist discovers genetic material on an asteroid or in a meteorite. Then humanity might not have evolved here at all. We might have been space spores that landed here, the classic pod theory. Ancient Hindu religious tales which we are to believe are historical would lead us to believe that there were monkey kingdoms and one led by Hanuman aided Rama in getting his wife, Sita back from Ravana the demon and ruler in Lanka.
This is from the Wikipedia article on Hanuman which I suspect was written by a Hare Krishna Devotee, but this part is a bit distinct from the story I got while living with them.
“Sri Aurobindo states that “vanara” does not refer to “monkey”: “Prajapati manifests as Vishnu Upendra incarnate in the animal or Pashu in whom the four Manus have already manifested themselves, and the first human creature who appears is, in this Kalpa, the Vanara, not the animal Ape, but man with the Ape nature”, i.e. primitive man such as Homo erectus.
Hanuman, in one interpretation, is also considered as the incarnation of Shiva or reflection of Shiva also known as Rudra. Others, such as followers of Dvaita consider Hanuman to be the son of Vayu or a manifestation of Vayu, the god of wind. When Ravana tried to enter the Kailash (the abode of Shiva) called Lord Shiva “a monkey”. Lord Shiva in return cursed Ravana that a monkey would burn his Lanka. Shiva took the form of Hanuman.
References to Hanuman in classical literature could be found as early as those of 5th to 1st century BC in Panini’s Astadhyayi, Abhiseka Nataka, Pratima Nataka, and Raghuvamsa (Kālidāsa).”
So we have some record of ape men in the mythology of the world and that may be a memory of a time when men were apes or perhaps when men first came here and there was a race of ape men who where killed off or who we interbred with.
Unfortunately the Creationists don’t seem to have any research that can be of any use here so I am stuck with the Hindu system that at least acknowledges the world is a lot older than a few thousand years.
I just re-read the first part of the book of Genesis in the handy dandy Masonic Bible I have. I never realized but it has the Masonic code right there at the begining of the bible. Anyway the Bible is pretty brief. It talks about Adam and a lot of it is about the serpent and eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That was how the man and woman knew they were naked. They were kicked out of the garden because as the Bible states in the third chapter
“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:”
This is interesting. For one thing here is that plural god again. Us who are us? And remember only one tree was forbidden, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. So now god all of a sudden gets nervous and decides that man was getting dangerous, a threat to the heavenly order, he might live for ever. Can’t have a man going around forever knowing what we know.
“Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Pretty heavy stuff. Cherubims huh? So I assume there is only a gate into Eden on the east side. There must be a big cliff or an ocean or high mountains on the other sides. Who are these Cherubims? What is the flaming sword? When I lived in the spiritual community we had a lot of lectures from the leadership about Genesis and what it meant. Looking on line I see a lot of references to sin and fallen man and all that. But I would rather look at it more literally.
There was this place called Eden. A man and a woman got together with the serpent and discovered that knowledge of good and evil, or at least its fruit was good. They discovered they were naked. The made some primitive clothes. Then when the Lord God came looking for them they hid out in the bushes and this Lord God had to come looking for them and was pissed off because these humans had figured out what was good and what was evil.
He gave them some skins to put on. I guess they were what the Lord considered to be appropriate wear. This lord was on a power trip. He creates these people, they then learn how the system works. They get scared, hell they had figured out some pretty important shit. Then their controller, not anybody but the lord of the earth gets pissed. He calls up the rest of his brethren and they decide that these humans were getting to smart so they kick them out of this place called Eden. Now Eden must have been like an elite housing development today, a super gated community, or perhaps it was more like a scientific experimental laboratory. A couple of the rats got out of their cages and figured out they were in a maize. The controllers said shit what if they find out how we manage to live forever, then we are screwed so they kick out these humans, out they are sent into the wilds of the outer world. Outside of this controlled experiment.
Think about it, you are a researcher you are doing a controlled experiment with subjects who are not told the purpose of the experiment or even that they are in an experiment. All they know is that they are in this place where everything they need is provided. Every day they are introduced to some new creature and they are watched to see what they call that new creature.
It goes moo.
Um, its a moo cow…
And so on. The scientists go back to their office and consult. They called that thing you made the other day a cow…Wow. Pretty funny. Not #Xj77911. Well it has a nice ring to it cow. What else did they come up with?
The scientist leaves them free to wander around the laboratory. He just tells them, don’t touch that thing over there. It will cause you to die.
What is death? Who knows but the guy in the white coat said don’t touch and he seems to be running the show. Well what does that mean. So far everything he has brought out for us has been nice and fun why would this be any different. Lets check it out.
It is like a medication that allows them to see they are in a cage. It is kind of like the Wizard of Oz. When Toto pulls the curtain and they see that the wizard is some guy pulling leavers. All of a sudden the game is up. They see what is going on.
Unlike Dorothy they don’t become upset at having been tricked. They are not from Kansas and don’t have that much common sense. They run and hide. Wow we are in some wierd scene and this guy who has been giving us all this stuff well maybe he isn’t so nice maybe he is that child molester who gives children candy to get them to ride in his car with them.
Now the scientist is concerned. The lab is full of nasty chemicals and switches and stuff. These subjects who were harmlessly sitting in their medicated semi comatose states looking at the inkblots stuck in their faces and naming them are all of a sudden awake. Who gave you a smart pill? The woman, who gave it to her, the serpent? That damn snake!! Now you crawl on your belly and this is wierd…
“and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
So women and snakes don’t like one another anymore. The children of men shall whack the heads of serpents and the serpents will bite men’s feet. Petty business if you ask me.
Another thing why skins?
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
What is that all about. They were naked and knew it. The scientist is feeling sorry for them or guilty because he had been abusing them all along and they didn’t even know what was going on and now he decides to make a little nice and gives them fur coats to wear. This is some wierd admission that the scientist or whatever the Lord God was, was feeling like he had to make amends of some sort.
But then he kicks them out because they might find out about the tree of life. What is that? The power plant. This wizard doesn’t want this Dorothy and her tin man or scare crow or cowardly lion, whatever you want to call her mate to get any ideas about who runs things here. So rather than take a chance on them getting control of the whole ship or whatever this Eden is. I suspect it is a space ship that has landed on earth and is conducting experiments on the natives. Whatever they are kicked out and the robot guards are placed out at the entrance and on top of that is a laser beam weapon that can be directed in any direction. This flaming sword could also be the sudarshan weapon used in the experiments in primitive India, but that was more like a tracking device that would chase down its victims and kill them no matter where they went.
So what do we have? A research station is set up on this planet. The locals are trapped and genetically manipulated sort of like the Island of Dr Moreau and they become aware of what is happening to them. They hide, are caught and given something to wear after they are interrogated. The serpent is punished by being forced into the dirt and the woman is given some kind of a genetic marker that makes all her offspring wary of serpents. They have a flight or fight responce placed in them. They are kicked out of the research station which in their minds is like heaven because in the station they didn’t have to get food it was all given to them. Now all of a sudden they are back outside and have to grow their own food.
This is also interesting because if prior to this man was a gatherer of seeds and berries, a picker of fruit, basicly a scavenger and opportunistic killer, now he has to grow food.
Man has been genetically modified to become a farmer. The begining of civilization is the extraction of surplus produce from these farmers who have been trained to grow food to feed the gods. They must offer a portion of the harvest to the Lords who have now become stuck on the planet. In fact this series of genetic experiments was simply the survival mechanism devised by a group of aliens who had become marooned on this planet. They were out of touch with their base in the center of the galaxy. They were now stuck out here in one of the outer arms of the milky way and had no way to return. So they captured some of these ape men performed experiments, and eventually found ways to inseminate the females to hatch and reproduce their own offspring. Meanwhile the natives had to be taught to farm, and to give a portion of what they produced to the aliens who were called gods and the religions devised were simply means to get the natives to give them enough food to survive on the planet while they waited to be picked up once their distress call had been picked up. When that did not happen they eventually had offspring that interbred with the inhabitants and various lineages of priest kings were formed from these offspring to worship their parents who were effectively immortal. But eventually the tree of life as their sustaining substance was called gave out and they died off. The death of the gods as Nietzsche reported was true. The literal gods had died off. The alien blood is now thoroughly intermingled with humanity and we have the religions of today to remind us of the days when the gods roamed the earth. Giants were their original offspring and eventually what we were left with was the royalty descended from the aliens treated as gods.
Believable? Fantasy, Well think about it? This is my take on what the secret traditions of the Gnostic’s and other religions are about. We just have to find some evidence. But how many aliens were there? Were they a research group or exiles as the stories like Battle Star Galactica postulate. Whatever I find that the alien theory to be more believable than the biblical tales and to be a more rational explanation for the sudden rise of civilization after so many millions of years of primitive hunter gathering.
Perhaps they are not all dead. A few might remain attempting to put together a space ship that will return them to their home. Imagine that. They wait 6000 years, modifying and experimenting, attempting to get back into space. Perhaps they are close, all they need to do is to raise the temperature on the planet oh another 6 degrees? Could be but then that would be a conspiracy of immense magnitude.
All I am really saying is that these religious stories don’t make much sense unless there was some kind of truth behind them. I say read them literally and then look for the evidence that makes sense. When I was in India what I saw in some places looked more like left overs from a space ship or pieces of ancient experimental science more than what any religion says. I hope to be able to go to the Middle East and see what is there some time.
Anybody have any evidence they would like to pass my way?
It was way too early to be fighting Nazis, 10 Am in Riverside, it was already hot when I got there and at least a thousand demonstrators were protesting the rally of about a dozen Nazis. At the peak they had about 27 Nazis and their friends show up. That is a pretty big crowd for the Nazis but we had at least 2000 protestors by the time I left around noon. It was too hot, 98 by the temp gauge in my car when I left and the day was still getting warmed up.
Lots of members of the Brown Berets were there, at least as many of them as Nazis. I was surprised to see them. I didn’t know that group was still around. They even had brown uniforms and Berets, they reminded me of one of those girl scout groups, what were they called? The Brownies. There were a bunch of people in orange caps and tee shirts that called themselves monitors and they had conveniently made up a bunch of placards that mostly said things like “nobody is Illegal”. Someone was there passing out the “Anti Racist Action” paper and I saw a banner with their logo on it. Some Anarchists had come all the way from Reading, CA a long ways away, over 600 miles just to protest some real live Nazis.
The Socialist Workers Party had set up a table and I picked up a book of theirs and a subscription to the Militant. We spoke about the rise of interest in Socialism in America and debated whether the Russian Revolution was premature or simply unlucky because of the failure of the German and Hungarian revolts after world war one. It is always fun to get into that discussion. We agreed that Americans were still in shock but hopefully they would get pissed off at the way capitalism is using our tax dollars to bail out their failed system of wealth accumulation. I emphasised that capitalism was once a force for progress in the world but now it had outlived its usefulness. The member of the Socialist Workers Party noted that capitalism was doing what it did best war and exploitation.
Someone who had friends who had gone to Palestine and Gaza last summer for the investigation of the abuses of power by the Israeli government and I spoke for a few minutes. He was part Mexican and part Lebanese. We agreed that the solution in Israel would be a single state solution. We agreed that the USA should not support Israel and I rolled out the idea of Turkey returning to the area as the negotiating power for a return to a depoliticized Palestine where Jews, Arabs and Christians could live together as they had before the 20th century and the British stirring up trouble in that region. I did not exactly propose a return to Ottoman control, but perhaps a UN-Turkish mandate would do the trick.
I had a brief chat with a gentleman who said Christianity was paganism. I am not sure what he believed in except he said you can’t just believe the Bible and he said that Christianity was just paganism dressed up. I noted that the emperor Constantine wanted to use Christianity to bolster his rule of the Roman Empire. I also threw at him the words of Philip K. Dick that it was really about 70 Ad and most of history was a delusion. He said whatever year it is it is no longer the Roman Empire, I am not so sure about that. I think the Emperor has simply put on new clothes.
I spoke with an Anarchist from Victorville who is in the WSA Workers Solidarity Alliance and he complained about being out of work. I told him I would keep an eye out. I also met his buddy from Paris, CA, and he gave me a Workers Solidarity pamphlet and we spoke about the WSA conference in Detroit going on now. I noted that I had stopped calling myself an Anarchist when the Primitivist faction seemed to have taken over in the early 00’s and he noted that most people now were more workerist oriented. I told him that I was more in agreement with the WSA and I had met Tom and some of the others who formed the WSA back in the early 80’s. I also told him that I was friends with John Zerzan and that I understood his critique but I though the radical primitivist wing of the anarchist movement had gone too far in its survivalist critique. I asked him if he had been around for any of the debates in the 90’s when anarchists really became involved with the Earth Firsters and the whole debate over Deep Ecology. He said he was too young.
We then talked about how big the Anarchist Book fair had been last winter and I noted that almost no one was still around from the early 90’s in the LA anarchist scene except a very few like Anarchy Jay. I said we needed to attract working people and the interests of workers or the Anarchist movement would always be a sign of youthful enthusiasm at least here in the USA.
I had mentioned my desire to see a new bookstore open to the Victorville comrade but he said he was too poor to even think about it. I told him how I had sold my anarchist book collection to the Peace and Freedom guy from San Bernardino and he said yeah that the Peace and Freedom Party was trying to recruit anarchists.
I spoke with one of the monitors in the orange hats and asked him what he thought about the demo and he said it wasn’t peaceful enough. I told him that for a demonstration against the Nazis it was pretty peaceful. Nobody was throwing rocks and it was right next to railroad tracks where there were plenty of rocks. In fact it was a strange place for a rally in an empty lot. Those Nazis must have been sweating with their black uniforms and biker helmets on in the sun there with no shade. Too bad for them. They had about two hundred of Riverside’s police force, a contingent of Riverside County Sheriffs Dept and some unidentified military looking guys in fatigues. They needed the protection. Otherwise the mostly Hispanic crowd would have massacred them.
I was told the Peace and Freedom Party organized the protest. I saw some of them and members of the Inland Empire Atheists. The ANSWER people whose announcement notified me of the event showed up late, just as I was getting ready to leave. I can only take so much sun and heat and shouting at Nazis. Nobody was ready to kick their butts today and by noon there were too many cops there to bother trying. All told it was a rather enjoyable morning socializing among the politically aware classes of southern Californians. I came away feeling inspired and that is pretty good in this day and age.
Busy lives we lead. I rush around and rush around working and coming home and doing this. Slurping on a bowl of Miso and tofu. I finally found a place in Long Beach that sells the big bags of miso paste that you can dab out and throw into a bowl of hot water with cut up green onions and chopped up tofu chunks. It is healthy, tasty and easy to make.
My anarchist buddies Dean and Mitchell are critiquing my insistance that anarchists stand up and count themselves just like libertarians and communists and fascists and democrats and republicans do. I am not some CIA bean counter. Even though the CIA monitors my site and reads it. It is just that I think most anarchists are afraid to face the fact that they are such a small minority and they don’t want to have to deal with such a cold hard reality.
I could understand if these anarchists were part of some super secret underground society out to overthrow the state, then anyone would be justified in refusing to be counted. That is simply inviting repression. But most anarchists are pacifists or at most brick throwers. Property damage is about as far as most anarchists go. Even advocates of armed revolution generally only advocate the general uprising at the time of the general strike, or armed self defense when battling fascists. The vast majority of anarchists are minor property owning members of the former middle classes who are now students, declassed, lumpen proletarian tourists, long term S.S.I. patients, inheritors of some sort of family wealth, disillusioned communists or permanently down classed into the working class like me. Many are middle aged white gay males and females.
There is a new class of anarchists the up from the working classes black and Hispanic inner city youth who have cut their teeth on the streets, in gangs and who have real bonafides are angry youth. This is the class of anarchists that I consider to be the future and hope of anarchism just as in the 70’s and 80’s the punk rock white working classes of England were the hope of anarchism in an earlier generation and the hippie dropouts were in the 60’s and the radical working classes in the syndicalist unions were in the first half of the 20th century especially in Spanish speaking countries.
Today the real anarchist movement is in the streets of Athens and Buenos Aries and Leningrad and who knows where else. I think Mexico City is always a real hope for anarchism. The USA is a dead zone. It is a place where anarchists become corrupted and become social workers after they get out of college. Not all anarchists, but so many do that there is almost no anarchist movement among the thirty and forty something working classes except for a few academics and unstable people. Then you find some dotards in their 50’s and 60’s. The old anarchists from the real anarchist working class movement are all dead. U.Utah Philips was one of the last of that breed. Any others are in nursing homes forgotten elders dreaming of better days.
I dare someone out there to prove me wrong and not with polemics about anarchist desire and how you can’t define an anarchist. I want to see hard factual information. Numbers, and real factual data oriented information.
I am so sick of impressionistic accounts of black bloc’s and autonomists movements taking over cities when they are only one or two info shops and a couple of hundred kids wearing black tee shirts at an anti war demonstration put on by real communists or showing up at a punk concert where their favorite band is playing.
Seriously if you can’t even get it together to keep a store front going in your community then you are not much of a threat to the established order. I mean if Seattle was the high point of north american anarchism then that is not exactly making a revolution.
But this can be said about almost every cult group-let. Communists have fallen into that fringe after once being a party with some influence in this country a real threat. Now Communists are just another fringe group. Even the Green Party, some 40 years after the first Earth Day is barely an influence in the country. It has not even come close to the Communists at their height and they never matched the Socialist Party which had millions of members at the turn of the 20th century.
Not that the ideas have not had an influence. Look at environmentalism. The Environmental parties have no power, but the ideas of environmentalism and not for profit organizations are certainly influential but they steer clear from real power, the Sierra Clubs and Nature Conservancies etc. Now if all these environmental groups united under one banner as a political party, that would be something. Just as if the labor movement united as a political party it would be a power. But it doesn’t happen.
Why is it that in America there is no Labor Party, no effective Environmental Party, all we have are the big Two and the cults on the fringe. This is a strange What happens here is the rapid and deliberate devaluation of all opposition. You are in the Democratic Party or the Republican Party or you are in one of their think tanks. Everything else is Waco and Jonestown. The media constantly reminds us of this. Once in a blue moon one of the members of the legitimate parties bolts and joins the greens or libertarians and as a courtesy the media might give them a little coverage in the warm-up period between the primaries and the real campaign. Look at poor Ralph Nader blamed as a the ringer in 2000 or Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988. The only time we had a viable third party was in the 90’s when the Ross Perot Party had his millions behind it to make it a reality. But Ross Perot? Give me a break he was portrayed as a distraction for wingers and he did for the right what Nader did for the left, absorb the bolters into a harmless sideshow. No serious movement has ever been able to achieve power other than the time when the Federalists collapsed and the Republicans were able to rise up from the ashes.
I am not against Anarchists, hell I spent at least 20 years of my life calling myself an anarchist and I am not even sure it is the fault of these good people who call themselves anarchists. TO be effective you have to have money, you have to have media connections and you have to be dedicated. To some extent you have to be ruthless or be able to set up the rules so that you don’t have to be because anyone who comes close to being a threat is brought in if they are effective, marginalized if not and killed or incarcerated if they are a serious threat. I would say it is an elaborate system, and to an extent it is, but it is also simply the way of the world. But why is the world in America so polarized? Center left and center right are the only thing. Real left and real right are out of the picture, although both of them exist and with the advent of cable have more access to media and with the internet can be found by anyone diligent enough.
The problem is not one of access to information, there is no lack of information. What there is a lack of is the political will to unite and act. We have what has been called the weak unity of the internet, people unifying for a day or an hour for an event and then disappearing. I have seen this at demonstrations where I would see people but then never see them any other time. This weak organization is not a threat, it is a release valve for the pressures of modern civilization. It is a panacea an aspirin for the political headaches of our times.
We have nothing else because frankly we want nothing else. We are too busy, too vested in the system as it exists. We are almost all privileged just being here. Only Europeans have more privileged than Americans. What we have is the jackpot mentality that we might strike it rich and are conned into accepting poverty and insecurity on the odd chance that we too might find lady luck come our way and shoot us from poverty and obscurity into fame and wealth. That absurd and immature dream keeps millions enthralled and that is all it takes. Americans will not organize, will not unite, will not make the effort because they are vested in the dream of getting rich and it is this delusion, reinforced by the media, the crappy school system, dead end jobs and the sheer amount of medication that we each take, that all combines to keep us in a perpetual sleep. Even as they rob us blind, as they give themselves billions of our tax dollars to pay a few hundred masters of the failed universe, even then we do not rebel, we meekly offer these rich whatever spare change we might have and wish them better luck next time. They call it the free market, capitalism, anything they want, but it is simply a state of shock or perhaps hypnotic trance. A hypnotised person can be operated on because they are not aware of the pain. The mind is a powerful thing when awake and when in a trance state you can do anything, rape, murder, pillage and plunder and the victim will simply watch TV. There is no connection. The mind and body has been disconnected and when that happens the only thing you can do is find a pressure point and press until a reaction occurs. When you get a reaction, a shout, a cry out of pain, then you might have hope. Life has again been born. Until then you are dealing with a sleep walker, in a permanent womb of insensitivity. That is the modern world a literal matrix of sleep.
So how many anarchists are there? I mean real awake, living breathing state killer communal living, fire breathers? Who knows, maybe a couple dozen, maybe a couple hundred. The rest are simply semi conscious fading in and out between sleep and wakefulness, hope and despair. They are maybe a million maybe more and if you simply don’t define them just call them people desiring a good life then you might count almost every being on the planet.
RIVERSIDE RALLY AGAINST HATE
Stand Up to Anti-Immigrant Fascists
Protest Against Neo-Nazis/KKK
This Saturday, October 24, 10 am
Corner of Indiana Ave. & Madison St., Riverside, CA 92504
Park on south end of nearby Villegas Park