Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Lets Revisit the Ten Commandments

Do you know the ten commandments?
Its amazing to think folks actually post them to DEFEND the use of religion in government.... but if they'd read the words rather than just beating their breasts with the tablets... they might find themselves closer to understanding what the true values our nation was founded upon... and maybe rethink their loyalty.

I applaud the conviction and do not question the motives or passion of those who cry out the Commandments for justification... I just don't understand the logic they employ to make their conclusions and choose their allegiance.... They are unknowing victims of a deliberate plot to capture their old-time sense of values for the misguided needs a few, drunk on power who've become corrupt by it's intoxicating allure.

So lets quickly review those Ten Commandments that Republican Neo-Conservatives hold so dear to their core value.

1. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Aside from actual idol worship... what have we americans done with this commandment? We worship the vanities as though they were god-like... don't we? Beauty, fame, wealth, status, desire and possessions... hell even our tv shows are all about idols and our satisfying our desires. As for Bush... he serves a God greater than the lord.... that's why he used the Lord's own commandments to buy the christian vote.... that's sick.

2. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Kinda screwed here too. no mercy and love from god cuz we're not observing all his commandments- so what's the point ? And I don't know about you.... but the way we honored the death of Ronald Reagan surely bordered on idol-worship...

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

I'm guilty of this one- every time I'm in rush hour traffic and some a-hole in an SUV with a Bush sticker cuts me off. Ol GW doesn't take the name in vain, no- he uses the lord's name as a means to win an election, wage war on other nations, and strike fear and respect in the hearts of his own nations people... no there's no vanity in that is there?

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.

oops, messed up on this one too. No delivery of the sunday paper... heck, no making of the Monday paper too! No TV, no football, no golf, no bars open... just quiet time at home- oh the horror! might actually spend time getting to know our family! And groceries? better have all the fixins in advance, cuz no quick trip to the store for butter.

5. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Sure, we are all good with this one right? Isn't defiance an act of adulthood? And look at George W himself- defying his father's instructions not to invade Iraq- as written in Bush41's book.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

This ones a real tuff one- don't kill eggs in a woman's fallopian tube cuz they could possibly become a baby one day... but kill prisoners, detainees, political figures who don't agree with your party, civilians who accidentally were born in countries that you want resources from... insignificant peasants who can be exploited to make merchandise for our society- who die from mistreatment, poor living conditions and/or excessive demands on their productivity. Hmm, how bout giving arms and ammuntion to others that they might be better at killing our enemy... see- then we're just accomplises, not the actual perpetrator. Lets see, kill a three-time offender for petty crimes while letting a corporate leader off with hundreds of offenses-(lets call them counts, sounds much friendlier) offenses of knowingly and deliberately perpetrating wrongdoings resulting in the bilking of tens of millions of family's pensions and stock retirements... or corporations who deliberately proceed with known harmful products because their figures show the cost of settling with the few unfortunate victims, will be far less than the profits yielded by continuation of the product.... surely God would understand that!

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Lets see, more than half the marriages in America in the last 30 years have resulted in divorce... and the most watched show on television is desperate housewives... hmmm..... nothing wrong here eh ?

8. Thou shall not steal.

Gee God didn't mean other nation's resources, or our social security, or an election or two.... he didn't mean steal our nation's wildlife and nature preserves by contaminating them with business ventures that exploit. He couldn't have meant stealing our money like the response in the 6th commandment.... he certainly wasn't referring to stealing from the coffers of government entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid... not stealing money through the junk bond fiasco of the former pres bush.... he didn't mean steal our trust with false witness or deception.... he was just referring to taking candy at a drug store... or those bad inner-city people who steal stuff from us rich white folk... to pay for their addictions... heck- do you think God doesn't know that through our marketing and legislating, we are stealing a future from our struggling lower and now middle class? Na nothing wrong here.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Oops- another tuff one to deal with.... or maybe not eh? No, God didn't mean it was bad for the Bush administration to lie to all of America about the need for war with Iraq, of the confirmed knowledge of the location and quantities of WMDs.... naw, its not lying to tell america you are not going to advocate "nation-building" as Geo W said repeatedly in his first term of office.... heck even I believed him and gave him my vote in 2000.... but heck he didn't mean to lie.... "it just worked out that way.... honestly"... Just like the miscalculation on mistreatment of prisoners... not a lie, just didn't have all the facts yet.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Yeah this one's a real pickle eh, God obviously wasn't referring to a nations resources.... or on a smaller scale a person's rights and entitlements... God wasn't referring to our penchant for taking advantage of others less fortunate than ourselves... raiding their stocks... coveting their desire for health by allowing drug companies to charge outrageous prices for products they manufacture- then creating a demand through advertising with false claims (refer to commandments 9, 8, and 6- and 4 regarding advertising on the sabbath).

So yeah, you're right... i don't know what all the fuss is about the ten commandments. We obviously are a nation who holds God in great trust... a nation who leads by example... and shows all other nations the truth that freedom brings... and that's why every nation on earth is begging to become free- just like Americo® America! I'm glad the Ten Commandments are on the actual Door to the Supreme Court... and written above their heads so our justices can clearly see how many of the Lord's laws they treat with the same respect and piety they use with our laws. Thank you for helping me to reaffirm my faith in this county and all we stand for..... NOT!

wake up my friends...

These are thinly veiled ploys to gain the respect and vote of true God-Fearing, God-Loving folks like you and me! It's time we stand up for what is true... stop listening to their rhetoric and commandment-breaking. And yes it is both sides of the aisle... Dems and Reps... but to tell you the honest truth, I'd rather have a President who breaks the 7th and 10th commandments than one that only seems to respect the 7th! Either way- we're not in good shape according to God or our Constitution.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Consumerism Day!

Happy holidays to all my friends... on both sides of the aisle.

Thank God we passed that assault weapons bill in time for the holidays. It's hard enough to shoot one deer, let alone eight and that fat liberal, Santa. Hopefully we’ll get that concealed weapon amendment through so we don’t have to lug these heavy rifles around come Easter and St Patty’s day.

Glad we were able to put a stop to this foolish myth in time. Christmas is about consumer spending... er and Jesus Christ... Our Lord and Savior... Defender of our troops- watching over our fair and balanced-and just war, against terror -wherever we may take it. Thankfully someone brought an end to this silly ritual. This fat guy in red, telling us who's been naughty and nice... When we all know that's Donald Rumsfeld's job! Ah yes, now we can safely run out and charge our hard-earned money knowing our future is safe because social security is being transformed to allow us to take a "stake" in our future... and we all know how good we Americans are at saving and investing.

Thank God the gifts we are told we need to purchase to show we really love our family and friends- are made by multi-national corporations who are able to bring us such affordable prices- Helping us to spend even more- and thereby benefitting all those fabulous workers at home and abroad who've labored long and hard-and taken so little... that our christmas tree might show a great bounty beneath it... helping to ease any uncertainty and doubt about our leadership.

And thank God with the death of this Santa fellow, those poor small people in the north pole, can now be free from Santa's tyranny and unjust labor sanctions- We can now take the North Pole off our terrorist-threat nation status- allowing us to focus on Iran, North Korea and Pakistan.

And thank you Congress for clearing the anti-monopoly laws away for Wal-Mart to acquire the entire North Pole toy factory-making them the largest toy distributer in the world... and insuring fair and just treatment of the little elf people.

-- At least until their jobs can be exported to the Chinese Wal-Mart Division... Giving us even better prices next Christmas!

And not to fear, the fat man’s sleigh will no longer terrorize rooftops and radar screens. Your nation’s leaders will carry presents along with it’s suspects and citizens who are extraordiniarily-renditioned to and from far away lands.

Those large cargo planes will now have their flight logs altered to say carrying “presents”... Because to those “good” jailers in Egypt, Morrocco, Jordan, Romania, Poland and Yugoslavia... the terror suspects are actually “gifts” from America’s CIA.... thereby allowing our leaders to continue to “not lie” when asked by journalists about transporting prisoners... they’re “gifts”!

(special thanks to Karl Rove for coming up with that spin!)

God Bless Us - One in Oil One and All!

With Santa gone,
Its up to us. Dare-
to be different.
ReThink the season.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Defending the Right's Right to be Wrong.

Not sure where you get your "facts"... much is right, the rest are "right".

I sort of understand where you are coming from... your views have been galvanized years ago, through much truth and reason. I'm not sure i can say the same for today... in fact much of what you stand for is precisely what I stand for... with a few exceptions... but what gets me, is that what you "say" you stand for and what you actually support... are often in stark contrast... were it not for some clever semantics and marketing on the part of your neo-conservative leadership. I really don't understand how this came to be.

I also don't understand the propensity for violence that seems to run deep in your and the others you forwards' comments. I don't think anyone- myself included is thinking of slitting our throats... that is just silly and juvenile. But why the hostility? What's with the macho, muscle-flexing, bar-fight mentality? We are after all a civil nation... We have the ability, for now, to agree and disagree.... and according to the Constitution, we are supposed to be free to do that.

Because I choose to question authority... not tow the line, I'm unpatriotic? You better rethink your own geographic location. There are other countries better suited for ignorance and closed-minded acceptance of what is being fed you from your "friends" in the government. Me, I choose to research what is really written in the "kinder, gentler" laws this administration has shafted... er drafted.

I think it is treason to deliberately mislead a nation for something other than it's own best interest. I think it is larson to manipulate laws to help immunize corporations from governance and jurisdiction. I think it is deplorable to manipulate public opinion to support unjust actions against anyone... another country, a person or a corporation. I think it is vile that a man in our nation's highest office deliberately withholds information that brings light to his actions... for if he truly was without sin or error... would not his record exonerate?

So what do we REALLY know... the "islamic terrorists" you are so scared of - represent a miniscule fraction of the people we are terrorizing- in the name of freedom-... just as the number of pedophile priests in the catholic church do not represent the entire roman catholic religion... but to you... anyone wearing a cross, or attending mass on sunday... is the enemy. That does not make sense.

Many AlQieda members and other extremists are evil and need to be brought to justice... but killing 100's of thousands of innocent iraqi, Afghani, islamic and muslim people might make you feel good- but it is wrong, and evil- and the world knows it... but through our twisted information dissemination system here, good people like you are led to believe the contrary. Yes, 40 yrs. ago the media went into vietnam and showed the truth about war. Today, the embedded journalists are not free to report anything-duh. You think the military minds who watched and learned from vietnam would actually let that happen again? We have a "reality TV show called "kill the towel-heads" being played out before us.... and now that the war isn't going so well... the nightly news is not covering is nearly as much... only what they have to show - like the successful suicide attacks that are killing Iraqi citizens... and our brave soldiers... in harm's way.

But why are they in harm's way? You know the answer? Cuz Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, the sanctions were working to keep Saddam in check, and the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan were - for the most part, not interested in the US... just in their day-to-day existence. That is until some corporations began having trouble exploiting the resources from those nations... began to have trouble with Taliban leaders who rose to power in a turmoil that was created when America and Russia began to use people... mid-eastern people, as pawns to their power struggle. We supplied weapons and information to the Afghanis to help them win against the Soviet Union... then we abandoned them to starvation, civil unrest and the hardships of the aftermath of a 25yr war... from the chaos arose an extremist faction who's religious underpinnings helped to give hope to a broken people. (kinda like the right-wing religous folks helped GW regain his post) Meanwhile US corporations like Halliburton and Bechtel .... were trying to create a massive natural gas pipeline across afghanistan... when the radical Taliban leadership booted them from their country because they refused to agree to a fair and equitable price for removing Afghanistan's natural resources. Now with new "freely-elected" leadership, Halliburton is once again in full production. But alas... a pipeline is very hard to defend... and easy to sabotage... so we have to remove the threat to preserve our (US corporations who make huge profits) "right" to their resources... so we decide its better to kill off lots of folks... in the hopes of getting a few "terrorists".... but we can't have the silly press reporting this... and incorrectly presenting "our" side of the story... so we'll embed them and monitor their access to information-and truth. No nothing wrong with that right?

And then to give lip-service to some rhetoric that we need to preserve the institute of marriage... an institution that is so flawed and worthless as now more than half of American marriages in the past 30 years have ended in divorce... oh yeah, don't let some queer people who truly love each other join in a recognized union... far better to promote false affection, spousal abuse, disrupted family units and deadbeat dads.... that make alot of sense.

Oh and don't get me started on abortion.... we can perform late-term abortions on adult human beings - our men and women in uniform-and the innocent civilians.... in the name of war. But don't let a woman decide what is right for her own life. We can have insurance subsidize penis stiffening drugs to encourage procreation... no actually to promote fornication.... but let's not allow the sale or subsidy of birth control pills!!! so now its even a sin to think about having sex if your a woman... but atta boy get your lil willie all stiff and happy for the good-ole boys???? Come-on.... you buy into this too????

Patriot Act.... 971 pages... printed on a sunday night to be given out monday morning before a holiday recess that began the following day.... forced to make a vote before the recess. Sure Dave.... nothing wrong with that. Have you bothered to read it since you are so quick to defend it? I have read portions of it that are reprehensible... and I'm up-in-arms... so who's the one being led?

Do you think all these laws about Clear Sky, and Leave No Child and Homeland Security are actually about what they are named? Now we're gonna give freedom to all the immigrant workers...who do jobs we Americans won't do.... did he actually say that??? won't do... or we refuse to pay anyone enough to live on it... but an undocumented immigrant who doesn't pay tax on the paultry wage can fare better than the poverty of his/her home country... so what did he accomplish with that "great" idea.... now our southern borders are worse than ever with aliens hoping to become citizens, because they'll work at mcdonalds... oh AND we can begin to tax these new citizens. Who cares that the cost of border security has risen and the ability to defend against transgression hasn't. Another great Idea from that Great Republican Team?

Oh and then lets tackle senseless arbitration... we can't have people suing corporations, doctors, or insurance companies without cause! Which I agree- but watch how they word it.... its gonna be much better to be a big corporation when their version gets passed. Not good if you really are hurt by a really bad situation... oh- but thats okay isn't it?

And next on the plate Social Security... sure- it used to be illegal to rob from the coffers of Social Security... however the Republicans have been doing it..."leveraging the principal" since 2000... what a great idea... give the money to the people and allow them to spend it through regulated channels... to invest in their future! Of course there will have to be fees and service charges for the private companies who will be required to handle such an undertaking.... and gee, if the money isn't invested wisely, it may not pay off with the rosey figures this administration has estimated (and we all know how good this administration is about figures??? WMDs?, Iraqi support for our troops? economic recovery?)- so lets believe them that they got these figures right too! After all its just our future- or rather MY future... because the law is cleverly written to make it very clear that the aging population that you are a member of Dave, is clearly not effected - for your vote.

Can you see what a joke it is you are really defending?

And about the ballots.... nice you read up on milwaukee's process... nice that your info blog capitalizes on trinkets of truth that you can expound on to me.... but truth be told... the extra ballots were requested to insure that all voters had a chance to participate in the political process... and the extra ballots insured there would be enough on-hand if requested by people... we had thousands who voted in advance- I was one. I also was one who stood at the polls and watched as the republican poll watchers pushed the ethical limits of privacy as far as they could... I helped to have one belligerent well-dressed republican insurgent removed from one of my precincts for failure to follow rules and causing a scene. But I'll bet that didn't make your "information site" did it? And Wisconsin, as it turns out, wasn't the linchpin to decide the election- Ohio was... and there, the tactics were much worse...and documented. But you won't see that on your news either would you?

Ohio Sec of State Ken Blackwell- head of the re-elect Bush campaign... presides over the vote tally in Ohio.... can you say conflict of interest? Blackwell has all but locked down the the poll registers to stop citizens from revieing the votes... Exit Polls showed stark contradictions to what the "machines" had tallied.... in the Ukrane, exit polls helped to reveal corruption.... here in America- it was just a mistake.... but in Ohio the two companies who supplied vote machines... both staunch Bush supporters... with the help of Blackwell and other RNC legislators in ohio... pushed to have voter machines with no paper trail... no way to validate the vote.... Diebold and ES&S are the largest suppliers of ATM and video Slot machines... both of which have fully operational paper validation systems in place- and arguably both of which have settled many a dispute on folks bank statements and jackpot winnings.... But you're probably right... no tampering could have happened in Ohio. There as little at stake there... not as much as someone getting an incorrect balance on their bank statement! It was just the presidency of the United States at stake- no big deal- right?

You see, its not that I'm anti-American- though its easy for someone to make you think that- I'm anti-corruption of America... and ya know, I think, under all your passionate posturing and rhetoric, you are too. I think you have become an innocent bystander in this intense information society we have developed. You are honest and righteous, I believe you mean well in your intentions and are forceful in your need to stand by your beliefs. And I applaud you for all that.

I'm just sorry so many have been caught up in the deception and corruption dynamic that our society has evolved into. Through little fault of their own, the players at the table of power have manipulated them into thinking you are rightly defending freedom and justice, when in actuality, you are helping them to mislead, disenfranchise and render you unable to regain the powers necessary to harness their all- consuming need for power, control and money.... least of all money... because whoever has the power, controls the money.... even if they give it to us to "control" our destiny- like with Social Security. Its all advertising and marketing. Say one thing, and do another... package it with what they think you want to hear... and do what they want... and trust you won't have time or interest to scrutinize.

Oh and last year I transferred interest of my puter company to my partner and walked away from the business... and the government doesn't support folks who owned a company that don't profit from the transfer of ownership... so I couldn't even get unemployment... not a nickel of government help. I am making ends meet through my own means. I'm living a modest lifestyle and finding new meaning to the difference between "wants" and "needs"... and you know.... I've never felt better!

Walking away from the power-business world was the most difficult thing to do.... but it is so gratifying to know that i no longer help advertising agencies manipulate folks like you into promoting what they want- and actually making you think it was your idea.

But in the end, we all have to live with one another... and its okay that you think one way and I another.... and its my responsibility to try to make a difference... you've been through hard times... deceived by a woman and taken advantage of... I'm just looking out for you.... don't like to see that happen to anyone... especially from their own government.

Its not hate that I'm espousing, its love. Love for my country and what it truly stands for. Love for what freedom and democracy really represent, love for our republic and a true free-market economy- not ruled by multi-national corporations who's power extends beyond any nation's laws or jurisdiction. A country who proudly demonstrates what is good and right in the world.

happy new year

Charlie Koenen

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

MoveOn reCaps

One could argue that a big reason we missed seeing the outcome of this election was that people in general do not allow for another perspective to what we think is self-evident. I’ve heard and read a hundred times that the Democratic Party doesn’t stand up to anything. For many in America, Bush stood up for something. He was bold enough to make a stand and even if it was a horrible stand they still gave him their vote. This says something about what many people want, and more, of what we haven defined yet. I think the time is right to define our values, define our positions, and define our truths. But the challenge is to realize that all our values, truths and positions- even when speaking about something as simple as a glass of water, are different.

But if we were to find a forum to begin to share our opinions on truth, value and position, we would begin to understand each other’s perspectives better, and could begin to form a consensus that we all could embrace. Education is the missing component in our puzzle today. Educating ourselves to another’s perspective. If we can learn more from each other about how similar we really are, and realize we’re all coming from different angles we all can learn to understand what our truths, values and positions really are–without the distortion of our own perspective. Then we can begin come together, with insight and common ground. Only our common ground would be based in education and inclusion, not fanaticism and religious exclusion. This is how we will defeat the Conservative Social Groups who are on a crusade with Bush at the helm. They are excluding everyone but their flock–no nation, no religion, no faith, no loyalty, no political party, no geographic or social position, no thought but their own. This is how we can become stronger than their faith–by inclusion, education, and understanding. And in the process- we can even include them and their perspective-for one could argue that once they realize that this administration has its own agenda too- they will become disenfranchised too

But where is there a forum big enough for everyone to fit? Big enough for everyone to be heard?
One place is MoveOn’s greatest asset, the website and information infrastructure connected to a network of members across the nation. Using their motivated volunteers, we help organize a grassroot consensus generation/education network through regular house parties linked by MoveOn’s website– like what we have this Sunday. The purpose of these parties could be to get people across the nation to focus a question– to begin thinking, discussing, and learning about each other from each person’s answer to the question. The cool thing is that people in homes all over the nation, would be asking the same questions at the same time. If ever there was a chance for a greater goodness to intervene, it would be now.

Members would host parties at homes across the nation with broadband internet connections. A Facilitator would be chosen ahead of time, and there could be different ones each meeting. The Facilitator’s role would be to focus the group, and stimulate discussion. The group tunes to the MoveOn site at a prescribed time to link up, nationwide. They logon to a page on the MoveOn site, where at each meeting, an exercise/lesson is accessed (like a book club and the book they choose each meeting.) The lesson centers on a Circle Question – like a discussion point. Along with the Circle Question is a host of supporting information. A variety of content pertinent to the question- additional questions, discussion points, links to other websites, graphs, video and links to books or movies–all supporting the Circle Question. MoveOn will stream some live content- a speaker will begin discussion of the question then your group will briefly discuss the question and review the links and media sources. Then you break the meeting and everyone goes home and spends time researching and responding to the question themselves. Until the next MoveOn house party. Meanwhile, everyone posts their response to the Question on a MoveOn discussion board and answers some multiple-choice questions. Everyone can access the forum to read each others views. Then at the next MoveOn house party, your group gets together and one-by-one, read each other’s response to the Circle Question. Discussion inevitably begins as everyone begins to see on another’s perspective. Consensus begins to form as perspectives broaden and overlap. The result is a new combined answer to the Circle Question that gets sent back to MoveOn’s forum and through an online questionnaire. You get to see and hear from others across the nation in realtime through a MoveOn livelink map webpage just like you’ll see Sunday. Finally, at the close of the meeting, MoveOn presents the next Circle Question and links page for the next meeting.

Over time, we begin to learn perspective, truth, and value from one-and-other. More house parties join as consensus builds. Eventually we begin to purposefully invite others of different opinion to the party to better understand and include them.

Now- better informed, and better connected we begin to form what we as a people need to have America become
along the way we begin to learn to sacrifice as we try to understand everyone’s perspectives
we also begin to see how everyone has to sacrifice at some point in some discussion

so we feel less “put upon” or singled out for having to give up one thing to help the whole.

Consensus is worthless without perspective, and perspective is nothing without relating it to each other.
True consensus will form enlightenment and enlightenment will show the path to a greater future.

So this meeting on Sunday is about discussing the future for MoveOn. If what I’ve illustrated above makes sense to you too, then lets enlighten them to the path of true consensus through the Circle Question/Discussion Group Consensus Model, and use their asset to help us unite and define our future.

Let me know what you think of this idea? There are details to flesh out, but the framework is there and seems feasible. Please take some time to flesh out your own ideas, or spin off from mine and lets give MoveOn a mandate to focus on at Sunday’s Meeting.

Thank you

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Stay Tuned...

Okay Friends...

We're coming together... the clouds of confusion are clearing and the emotions are settling.
Our Election 9/11 tragedy has given s new found redemption and purpose.

Here is a draft of just one of the things that have been distilling in my consciousness recently.

I've spoken to most of you recently of an idea I have to bring about a change.
I'm working with some ideas for a vehicle and a gestalt to bring us together...
and hope you will all play an active role in it's germination, and fruition.

My thoughts stem from to directives- intellectual and emotional... both need healing.
I feel it is important for us to begin to differentiate these sources as we form a foundation for a dialog.

Emotional directives can have caustic implications... a silly picture of a leader, a telling joke... but in the end,
they serve to charge the recipient... I hope we begin to look beyond the use of these items... and find a way to
channel our emotions towards a greater good... anyone can make a funny picture of Bush, or catch him in a foible...
lets begin to move from that base and find a common ground to build a positive emotion...
one to truly effect change here at home.

This piece I've encluded serves the emotional directive through intellect...
Soon I'll have an intellectual directive to offer you.
It is in the works and really exciting...
I hope it will serve as a base for each of us to build upon.
All our voices are important- I'm simply channeling what is necessary through me,
and offering it up to you all.

First thing I want to say though- is to urge you to forgive... Forgive yourself, Forgive your neighbor,
Forgive your fellow citizens. I didn't say forget... just make peace.

We have an opportunity to make real gains from this... We must learn the lesson- humility is the first step to understanding our differences, and finding common ground.

Humility does not mean to lay prostrate on the ground...
it means to accept the news and reflect, and renew

More is coming...
Stay tuned.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Marriage, a sacred institution

Over the past year, a furious opposition to gay marriage has been voiced by many who claim to know how God feels about this issue. President Bush even went so far as to propose an amendment to the Constitution to make same-sex marriage a federal offense. According to recent polls, a majority of Americans believe that marriage should remain a union that is strictly between a man and a woman. We hear that same-sex unions would threaten and undermine holy matrimony, although not a single concrete example of how that would happen has been offered. Gay marriage is legal in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Ontario, Canada, and thus far it has neither impaired traditional marriage nor subverted civil society in those places.

Putting gay marriage aside, what do we have to say about heterosexual marriage. In all the recent controversy, no one seems to have noticed how heterosexuals have devalued and defiled the sanctity of this purportedly God-given institution. Consider the following:

For millennia, straight-sex marriage consisted of a bond not between a man and a woman but between a man and any number of women. Polygamy is a recognized practice in the Holy Bible itself. King Solomon had 700 wives (not to mention 300 concubines) yet suffered not the mildest rebuke from either God or man. Other estimable figures in Scripture and throughout history have had large retinues of wives. Women in these kinds of overpopulated unions have been treated as little better than concubines, usually facing a dismal existence of enforced confinement.

Marriage has historically been more closely linked to property than to love, and the property arrangements tended to benefit the male spouse. For generations in the United States and other western countries a married woman usually could not even own property. She had to forfeit all her family inheritance to her husband, thereby being reduced to an appendage of the paterfamilias. And rarely could a married woman pursue an advanced education or professional career.

These days, arraigned marriages are relatively rare in the United States except on Reality TV, where young and attractive women-—selected by television producers---openly vie for the opportunity to marry a millionaire whom they have never before met. They put themselves on display, usually a dozen at a time, while some wealthy hunk takes torturous weeks to eliminate all but one. Then he and his final selection are married on screen before millions of viewers. Here surely is a heartwarming benediction of a sacred institution.

In the United States today, heterosexual wedlock is not a particularly uplifting or even safe institution for millions of women. Consider some statistics: An estimated two million females are repeatedly battered. Most of these victims are married to their attackers. Domestic violence is the single largest cause of injury and second largest cause of death to U.S. women. An uncounted number of wives are raped by abusive husbands. Every year, upwards of a million women seek medical treatment for serious domestic abuse injuries. Almost three million children reportedly are subjected to serious neglect or physical or sexual abuse. Each year tens of thousands of kids run away from home to escape mistreatment.

There is the additional problem of abandonment. Millions of spouses---including many white middle-class professionals---desert their families and fail to provide sustenance for their own children. Often they do not even acknowledge or stay in contact with their offspring. If heterosexual matrimony is so sacred, you would think it might produce less horrific results.

Speaking of results, the phenomenon of divorce comes to mind. To be sure, millions of heterosexual couples find lifelong happiness in marriage; still, the most predictable outcome of straight marriage is divorce: 51 percent to be exact. That is an extraordinary statistic not matched by too many others. If we said there was a 51 percent murder rate or suicide rate or student drop-out rate, a 51 percent vehicular accident rate, a 51 percent rate for alcoholism or deaths from drug abuse, this would be great cause for alarm. In fact, society would probably be uninhabitable with such rates. Perhaps, then, marriage is not all that important. Fifty-one percent of all marriages fall apart, yet society has not fallen apart. If anything, in the more abusive households, divorce is actually a blessing.

Nor do the more traditional marriages that take place in conservative circles show any greater rate of happiness or survival than those that deviate from the conventional norm. The man may be the head of the household and the primary breadwinner, and the wife may be the dutiful homemaker, and the entire family may pray together---but they do not stay together at any greater rate than the more secular unions. A 2001 study found that born-again Christians are just as likely to get divorced as non-born-again adults and other less confirmed believers, with 90 percent of these divorces happening "after they accepted Christ, not before." So those who claim that marriage is best fortified by religion have yet to prove their case.

Of course, fundamentalist keepers of the public morals do bemoan the high divorce rate, but they don’t get exercised about it the way they do about gay wedlock. The point is, if millions of heterosexual divorces every year have not hopelessly denigrated the institution of marriage, why would some thousands of same-sex marriages do so? If straights like reactionary radio commentator and drug-head Rush Limbaugh can get married again and again without undermining the institution, what is so threatening about a gay union? Does Limbaugh feel that gay marriage makes a mockery of all three of his past marriages---and his pending fourth? If anything, happy gays wanting to get into the institution might help make up for all those unhappy straights wanting to get out.

If same-sex unions do violate church teachings, then the church (or synagogue or mosque) should refuse to perform gay marriages, and most do refuse. The gays I saw getting married in San Francisco’s City Hall were engaged in civil marriages, with no clergy presiding over the ceremonies. And what I saw opened my heart. Here were people, many in longstanding relationships, who were experiencing their humanity, happy at last to have a right to marry the one they loved, happy at last to exercise their full citizenship and be treated as persons equal under the law.

To sum up, here are some of the things that straight-sex marriage has wrought through the ages: polygamy, child-brides, loveless arrangements, trafficked women, bartered wives, battered wives, raped wives, sexual slavery, child abuse and abandonment, racist miscegenation laws, and astronomical divorce rates. If gays are unqualified for marriage, what can we say about straights? If George Bush and his homophobic worshippers really want to defend the institution of marriage, they can begin by taking an honest look at the ugly situations within so many heterosexual unions in this country and throughout the world.

This was written by Michael Parenti. His most recent books are The Assassination of Julius Caesar (New Press) and Superpatriotism (City Lights). He’s been married and divorced only twice.

Thanks for reading this.
No, I'm not coming out– I'm speaking up.
I feel it is deplorable that our "great uniter" president has stooped to such a low level as to divide the nation–even families by choosing Gay Marriage and Abortion as planks in his platform. Before we all go vote on November 2, lets really understand the issues.


Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Invade for Oil?—Invade for BEER!

Speaking of Brewers.... I'm kinda fond of German Beer. This administration, by their actions, is justifying a policy of "If you see something you want... just take it."

So I'm all for invading Germany and overthrowing that beer-hording nation's supply of Weiss Beer. There is overwhelming evidence of a growing danger that more Weiss beer may be going to satisfy their own people than we, the deserving American Consumers are being allocated. There are several internal sources who feel there reason to launch a preemptive strike on their population centers to vanquish their weiss-leeching loyalist insurgency . We must take the campaign through the population centers on into the forests and hillsides to rout out the covert storage tanks hidden in rathskellers through out the countryside.

Special agents embedded in beer gardens throughout Germany have given undeniable evidence of stockpiles of WMDs (Weisses of Mass Drunkification). Our Administration has been working round the clock to garner world support. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Fleisher and Coldi Rice have been sponsoring 'Toga Parties' and Beer Bashes around the globe in hopes of gaining allies in their efforts to crush the German threat of Weiss Hoarding.

The President has appointed ANHEUSER-BUSCH to head up of the bureau of stockpile management for Weiss beer. Their expertise in rice-beer production makes them a cinch for understanding the complex carbonation and refridgeration requirements necessary for the safe transferrence of the stockpiles to our shores. Additionally the President liked the fact that his name is the same as the contractor. Once the threat level dimnishes there will be a fair assessment of other companies capable of handling the job.

An A-B spokesperson said they hope to not only liberate the Weiss stockpiles, but also successfully procure substancial volumes of ales, lagers, stouts, and pilsners. By helping the german people raise their production quotas for America to
6 million barrels per day, we feel the infrastructure will be sufficient to support the yield.

Opponents to the Bush Weiss offensive elude to the fact that once beer is liberated, there is a danger that other commodities to become targets of the Bush Machine. The French are worried about baguettes, wine and cheese; Belgians, their Chocolates; Portuguese, their Port.

The Bush Administration is actively seeking 'contractors' to help consume vast commodities of Weiss beer both in Germany and domestically. Applicants may submit a one-time fee of $75 US to the RNC to receive details of how to participate in the Drunkification. "We must take the Battle to the Enemy" said President Bush of the need for the nation to take to the streets- visit the pubs, and drink the beer... we need to show support for our National Effort.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Response to the military idealog

Its not wrong to formulate views based on experience... we are all the sum of our experiences.. but with alittle bit of wisdom to discern how our experiences came to be. Look at the 'glasses' you were wearing as you made your observations. Being in the military puts you directly into the experiment- so to speak.

Your views were not unlike those of some folks I viewed one vacation trip a few years back.... I was in considerably better shape than today... in fact daily exercise (a mile in the lap pool in the morning, 3 mile run after work and jumping on my road bike to knock out a run up to virmond park) put me into triathlon shape... believe it or not. Well... I went on this barefoot island cruise with a bunch of strangers... and a girl i was seeing.... anyways

One particular day we went snorkeling off the shore of a small cay near the bahamas... while in the water with flippers, I found my ability to motor around was vastly superior to most of my shipmates on the trip. Well I found myself scooting far from the vessel- against the buddy system rule- but when have I ever adhered to rules eh! But in so doing, i came across an interesting revelation, when sufficiently distanced from the ship and shipmates, I began to encounter an extraordinary amount of aquatic life. Schools of beautiful fish were assembled just beyond view of my shipmates. They were just there assembled and watching as if to be amused that all us land lubbers wobbling about in the water were some kind of circus come to their reef.

When I returned to the boat, I realized that as my shipmates began to recount the fish they'd seen... that there was a great discrepancy between their experience and mine. The difference was I went beyond the port of call...

Its one thing to travel the world... its quite another to travel the world as a soldier of a superpower. Quite different, to travel to a port of call- verses the vast expanses beyond the sphere influenced by ships that pull into port and provide leave to military men. Sure you can say you went further out than most of your peers... but I'd imagine many others of similar stock, have also ventured out as far as you. Quite a different thing to travel incognito... or unencumbered with association to any nation... then you truly experience the real sentiment of a people.

Just like the fish waiting for our boat to leave, many people act differently when put in a situation where they know the origin of a stranger...

Not to say your observations should not be integrated into that which makes you up.. your perceived genetics so to speak... Its right to base your views on what you perceive to be your reality... but just as the rest of my shipmates went on to perceive the reefs in the bahamas are not very populated with fish... the reality is that they were wearing glasses when they observed... and being part of the experiment meant they affected the outcome. I just got lucky to stumble on the observation that by breaking the rules.. I got outside the experiment. And I'm thankful for the revelation.

One other point, I don't think most foreign people hate us at all... my guess is that most people pity us for being so complacent –so ignorant of the world dynamic. They don't hate us, they don't like our corporate and governmental arrogance as it relates to our actions round the world... much like kids on the block don't like the bully... unless he's standing right there.... then you acquiesce. People want in because the essence of our republic is the closest thing to self determination on the planet... but the trouble seems to be that we masses become so lax in our free civilization, that we get numb to the manipulations by a select few. I think if you really zipped off round the world and asked... you'd find that to be closer to the sentiment than actual hatred. - well that is except in the middle east... some of the masses... not connected to any government or policy... who've been caught in the middle of our war on terrorism... might not be so kind in their view of America.

Philosophy isn't worth salt if it's not put to the test.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

From: wingnut
Subject: Re: Fw: History lesson (Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely)
Date: February 19, 2004 1:48:38 AM CST

Mom you continually forward these right-wing propaganda posts and its really not nice. It (spam) clutters the internet with useless duplication of divisive propaganda. It's too bad that good people fueled with the "right" information become so motivated to take a patriotic stance, that they are blind to the political intentions in pursuit of power taken by their leaders. What's worse is that it continues the evil by encouraging innocent, well-minded people, like you mom, to embrace and forward-on these ideals created through lies.

I know it upsets you to hear me respond. But it tears at my soul to see what kind of sheep we've become in pursuit of security, stability and materialism...and how a few corrupt people in leadership positions can completely manipulate so many good people by threatening our security, stability and materialism.

With deepest respect, the good people in this email "Fw: History lesson" are intentionally displaying their military status to gain respect in their email. They are vocal and agitated because they are responding to a "perceived" threat to their country...and because of their military background they have been conditioned to equate country, patriotism and honor with blind faith. Anyone who is able to demonstrate to them that one of those sacred beliefs has been violated, will trigger a defense mechanism within a soldier that will lash out with blind aggression to defend- god, country and honor. And while I believe this to be a real instinct trained into any good soldier (there's is not to question why....but to simply do or die) - it is not a good trait for a citizen practice.

So if you were a corrupt person, in a leadership role, and you knew of this condition-response capability trained into our fighting forces.... what would stop you from using this power to justify your means? These noble fighting men have become pawns in a game that is beyond their comprehension. They are unwittingly duped into thinking they are defending justice and freedom....when in fact they are only helping a few corrupt people become untouchable.... think about it.

And now even more good people, who appreciate the sacrifice that our soldiers have endured to protect and preserve our freedom, not only condone these emails, but send them on to others.... With their approval. And so it goes, a fantastic ploy to win the hearts of a nation with a new resource of email. Once again a wonderful invention is mis-used as a means to gain more power and feed the corruption of a select few.

Alfred Nobel invented TNT and J. Robert Oppenheimer was father of the A Bomb, both felt deep remorse upon realizing the devastating consequences their powerful discoveries became when used in ways they did not intend. Pres Eisenhower, supreme commander of Allied forces in WWII, warned of the catastrophic danger our nation faces if we allow ungoverned growth of the military industrial complex... the unholy alliance of defence contractors, the Pentagon, the media and politicians.

They saw many of us become so engrossed in our day-to-day lives that we were unable to take the time to stop and think of things beyond our immediate circle of reference. Like family, friends, work and community.... They, like us were not bad people, only people who unfortunately became duped by corrupt leaders who used them to attain more power.

Our lives are so complicated with important things... family, work, church, social events, friends, relatives.... that we have very little time to actually contemplate the larger world around us. To actually spend time reflecting on the changes that have been happening around us every day. We have obligations to uphold...a family to raise and support... soccer games to attend... meals to prepare... businesses to run, jobs to complete, homework, housework, civic responsibilities, church duty... parent teacher conferences, school plays.... piano lessons to get the kids too.... at the end of the day.... there's a house full of children who demand attention... There is little quiet time to try to begin to understand the bigger picture... to question authority- heck we barely have time to understand authority... how many people can actually say they have studied the views, backgrounds, and associations of the candidates to actually try to choose the best person for the job? For most of us there is very little time.

And what little time we do find, we are conditioned to satisfy artificial needs that have been woven into our fabric of existence.... gotta watch CSI, ER, Bachelorette, or Law & Order......blah blah... gotta wear this outfit or listen to that music... gotta have this house, need to have that car... gotta shop at this store... can't be seen without my hair done just right... have to be at this event....gotta have people see me here...or there...

I for whatever reason, have found myself at 42 with time... time to reflect on some of these issues, time because I do not have a family or big job responsibilities... my curse or calling.... I appreciate many of my peers who don't have time to look deeper... who are working hard to support their families and way of life. I see how it is very difficult for them to foster a view of what is transpiring in America today such as I have been able to. It is with compassion that i try to call attention to the things they may be overlooking in their efforts to raise a family or make ends meet.

Advertising- my chosen field- has evolved into a powerful Weapon of Mass Deception. One that is even more devastating to a society than TNT or an A-Bomb. Once viewed as a wonderful means to help businesses, products, persons, peoples, views or ideas succeed... it has, like TNT and the Atomic energy, become corrupted in the hands a few leaders with unethical intentions.

An advertising campaign seeks to sway opinion about a product, view or service. When successful, a campaign can convince people to embrace anything...( ie healthy cigarettes, OJ was innocent, Microsoft is innocent, McCarthyism, Enron, Vietnam war was justified, Medicare reform, Leave No Child Behind, Patriot Act, Iraq linked to 9/11, stockpiles of WMD, no link between Halliberton, oil and Iraq.....) only through time, do the facts reveal the truth. I'm afraid we've become so good at advertising... we've created a tool so powerful that in the hands of corrupt people, it can sway great numbers of people to do things they never would do consciously. And that frightens me.

We have precious little time these days, don't we? So Mom, please don't help these traitors by forwarding their propaganda. No doubt everyone on your list is a good citizen and loves our country, so ther's no need to fuel this patriotic fervor any more than it already is... don't be part of the problem, if you don't think there needs to be a solution, fine. Just don't keep deepening the problem.

with love and respect, your son.