Thursday, August 29, 2013

How an Insular Beltway Elite Makes Wars of Choice More Likely - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic

How an Insular Beltway Elite Makes Wars of Choice More Likely - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic

Do you wonder where all of this "pressure to act" that the Emperor is supposedly under comes from?  This story from the Atlantic explains it pretty well.

Parliament Revolts, Brits to Stay Out of Syria -- News from Antiwar.com

 Parliament Revolts, Brits to Stay Out of Syria -- News from Antiwar.com

Seems to me that if Emperor Obama refuses to consult with congress before attacking Syria the military should REFUSE to launch what will CLEARLY be an unconstitutional, illegal and immoral attack.  Of course they won't do that because they are just as useless when it comes to honoring their OATHS to uphold and defend the constitution as are the spineless and gutless cowards in congress.  It's humiliating when even the British Parliament has more backbone than the American Congress. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jimmy Carter: “America does not have a functioning democracy at this time.”

Even Jimmy Carter recognizes that the old Republic is dead!

I stumbled upon this story today, somehow it barely got mentioned in the Imperial Press Service coverage of "News" last month.

I give you this so those who think I exaggerate the death of the Republic can have a more moderate voice to consult, Jimmy Carter:
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter gestures before delivering a speech at a hotel in Yangon on April 5, 2013.
Soe Zeya Tun | Reuters
 Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter gestures before delivering a speech at a hotel in Yangon on April 5, 2013.
Posted July 31, 2013, at 1:16 p.m.
Anyone is naive who thinks the commonly available sources for news in the U.S. are effectively superior to the Soviet news organization Pravda, whose Orwellian name is a hybrid noun meaning both “truth” and “justice.” There seems to be little difference between the dominant news organ of the old U.S.S.R. and U.S. corporate media, which might just as well have a single outlet perhaps titled “Fairalanced” (an English hybrid noun I just made up, meaning both “fair” and “balanced”).
Here in Germany, where I am spending the summer, I have just discovered a stunning illustration of this reality. In mid-July, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported on remarksmade by Jimmy Carter in his home state of Georgia in which he defended the actions of Edward Snowden and called his revelations “useful,” declared the National Security Agency “has gone too far,” and concluded, “America does not have a functioning democracy at this time.”
This is truly mind-blowing stuff, and yet the American press has played it almost strictly hands off. Eight days after the Hamburg-based weekly, one of continental Europe’s most influential news magazines, reported what the former U.S. president had to say, there had been only a couple of brief reports in the U.S. news media, most from virtually unknown outlets taken secondhand from Der Spiegel at least three or four days after the German news magazine went to press.

I can't do it

Turns out I cannot NOT talk about the obscenity that is the American Empire.  The fact that there is a constant stream of talk about Emperor Obama ordering an attack on yet another Middle Eastern state makes me want to vomit and go buy one of those nasty red white and blue bits of cloth with stripes and stars to clean it up... maybe burn it on the trash pile after it dries.

First of all I am old enough to recall the days when this Empire still at least pretended to be a Republic, and when the press questioned Imperial Pronouncements and sought independent verification of what they said and called them on it when it turned out to be lies.  This is no longer the the way things are in the American Empire.  Today we have an all powerful Emperor who does not even pretend to consult the impotent cowards of the Senate and the House before unleashing the Imperial Legions on the women and children of far away lands, raining down death and destruction to enforce the will of the Empire.

In the latest case we have the accusation that Syria has used chemical weapons on it's own people in it's own capital city, an appalling act, if true.  Though why it is of concern to me here in California I don't know.   Of course actual evidence is exceptionally thin, just as it was when discussing the nonexistent "Weapons of Mass Destruction" supposedly stockpiled under a camel barn in Iraq.  Even after that lie was exposed the Empire continued to spout it as justification for the destruction of a nation, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the virtual extermination of the 2000 year old Christian minority there.  Now the Empire is siding with vicious murdering Islamic fanatics who glory in beheading members of the Christian Community in Syria.  The American Empire is anti-Christian, pro-Israeli and pro-Islamic.  It is certainly not doing these things for the benefit of the peasants in America.

Sadly there is no way to change these things right now, the Republic is long dead, voting is a meaningless exercise that changes nothing.  There is only one party with two faces, the Democrats and Republicans are a single group of corporate whores ruling on behalf of the ultra-rich.  The Libertarians and other smaller parties are tolerated only to provide the illusion that change is possible, it is not.  Only armed revolt could change the Empire, and that is not going to happen because the subjects of the Empire actually like it for the most part.  It makes them feel important to be a subject of the most powerful Empire in the history of the world and they seem to care little for the lives of people in far away lands as long as they have their big screen TVs and SUVs.  

So why do I bother to vent here?   Only one reason, to undermine the legitimacy of the government.  The real way to change things is to stop pretending the government is anything other than a gang of criminals.  Don't ask them for anything, don't accept anything from them, don't obey them unless they are watching :-)  Undermine them at every opportunity.   This will not bring rapid change but if enough people recognize the reality of what government is, naked violence, perhaps change will be possible.  I'm not optimistic, but not without any hope at all either.  I see many more people recognizing the evil of government today than I did even twenty years ago, there is hope, not much but still, there is hope.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Non Political Blog Posts

Oh my, looking at current events in the Middle East I really do regret my irrevocable vow not to pollute this blog with politics. 

Please Pray for peace and justice in the Middle East.  It will not come from the United States shoving it's big nose in places it doesn't belong, that is for sure.  

So, see, this post was really about PRAYER :-)  I won't go in to a long rant about... the US and it's myriad little wars... no... I won't do it!  Arrrrgh!  :-p~

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Social Media update

It has now been 15 days since I deactivated my Facebook and Twitter accounts as an experiment to see if I could reduce the amount of time and energy I wasted online.  After a fortnight of no Facebook I find that I have returned to my older habits of reading books and writing.  It turns out that Facebook had been stealing so much of my time that I read little else.  Before Facebook I used to read a couple of books per week.  During the now-ended Facebook phase of my life my book reading ground to a near stop, I was lucky to get through one book a month! 

I must say that I do not miss anything about Facebook.  Not the announcements of glorious victory in various games, not the incessant "cute" cat pictures, not the bombastic political posts from left and right wings both, and yes, I'm guilty of those myself, I vow not to pollute this blog with them in the future. I don't miss the lame jokes, the myriad "blessings from God" posts nor the "new age" crap that filled in the gaps between the rest.  Facebook was a time sink I am better off without.  I know some people are able to have a Facebook account and only look at it now and then but I have one of those weak addictive personalities and I was checking Facebook every hour at least, usually even more often than that, looking for that rush that comes when someone "likes" a post and searching the news for provocative items I could post about to get a rise out of my "friends."   Friends?  I barely knew most of these people!

In the last two weeks I've read "The Tribune, a Novel of Ancient Rome"  by Patrick Larkin, which was wonderful.  I give it my "Larry says you should read this imprimatur."  It is narrated by a Roman tribune who encounters several important characters from the New Testament and is a murder mystery as well.  It's very well written and worth the time to read it.

I also read "Taking Flight" by Adrian Magnusun, which receives my one level up from should read and gets my "must read imprimatur."  It's about a man slowly declining into senility with Alzheimer's disease and a 13 year old boy who travels cross country with him as they both seek to escape from restrictive lives of different sorts.  They find a bond in a mutual love of birds.  This is one of those books I had trouble finishing, mostly because it's so hard to read with tears in my eyes.

Finally I read "The Discovery of Socket Greeny" by Tony Bertauski, which receives only my read it if you want to it's a fun sci-fi read approval, no imprimatur on this one :-)

In between these books I've read in the Bible and Book of Concord daily, also large sections of Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and a couple of months worth of the Analog Sci-Fi magazine.

So, Facebook was sucking my time and energy that I could have spent reading real books but no more.  I know some people might think that reading books all the time is a waste of time comparable to wasting time looking at Facebook, but they are wrong, in my most humble opinion.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

From San Leandro

I'm posting this morning from my RV parked on a city street in San Leandro. I believe this is my penultimate visit to this place. In September we'll be moving to a new house in Tracy.  This will be close enough to BART to make staying in the RV unnecessary.  Well, that's what I think now, I'll have to try it for a while to be certain.  This small space living experiment has met with mixed results.  On the one hand minimizing clutter and excess belongings makes it easier to clean and just feels better over all.  On the other hand being in a small space doesn't work on a crowded city street.  If you can be outside, like in the country, it might be OK.  But being in an RV on the street is pretty claustrophobic to me.  So, farewell street living, one more time and I'm done.  :-) 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cosmos

A sequel or perhaps a remake of the classic "Cosmos" series.  Very cool.  Of course Neil deGrasse Tyson is an atheist/materialist so it's going to be tilted that way, but still, I'll bet it will be interesting, Tyson is anything but boring :-)


Dang, I may be forced to actually hook up basic cable...

Evolution - Creation and Christianity

I've been holding off on posting about this subject for quite a while.  It is a subject that is very important to me, in that I've always been fascinated by origins.  Where did we come from?  Where did the earth come from?  Where did the galaxy and the entire cosmos come from?  Why is there anything at all?  I've read extensively on cosmology, astronomy, geology and biology and it's a never ending source of wonder to me the way things have developed over time from the simplest beginnings to the human mind, the most complex thing we know of.

The reason I was waiting to write was because, as you may recall, I allowed this subject to dominate my thinking to the point that I abandoned faith in God and changed my religious affiliation in an attempt to locate a church that was both theologically conservative and liturgical and at the same time fully accepting of the picture painted by science.  Turns out there ain't no such place. :-(  It also turns out that it doesn't really matter nearly so much as I was thinking it did.  :-)

I spoke with Pastor Ledic at my old church, Messiah Lutheran in Danville and while we certainly see things differently in many of the details, in general we see God creating the heavens and the earth and deliberately setting out to create US as well.  Then what follows is the fall and then the redemption through the life death and resurrection of Jesus and the other details of basic orthodox Christianity.  What matter is Jesus being at the center of everything.  There are several ways that Christians look at these subjects.  One is Young Earth Creationism, best represented by Todd Wood who is a real scientist who doesn't just cover his eyes with his hands and chant "La la la I can't hear you" when confronted with the fossil record.  I'm taking a short course on Adam from him right now.  Another take is Hugh Ross and his Old Earth Creationism at Reasons to Believe.  And then there is Bio-Logos which I'm rather fond of at the moment.  But my point is that the precise details are not as vital as I was making them, fascinating but not vital. :-)

Jesus at the center is the reason I'm going back to Messiah as much as possible from now on too.  Other churches claim to have Jesus at the center, but almost always it's not the case.  I went to one church in the valley, which I'm not going to name, which claimed to be Christ centered.  But all of the signs and symbols did not indicate that.  There was a "praise band" that played on a "platform" in the front and center of the church.  The pastor stood in the center of the church to give his sermon.  Then when it came time for communion, there was a little altar set off to the side of the platform where it wouldn't get in the way of the other "performers."  Jesus at the center?  Nope, when he physically came into the room under the bread and wine he was shoved off to the side and distributed quickly and perfunctorily.  All through the service MAN was at the center, both symbolically in the positioning of the "furniture" and "actors" and in the focus of the service in general.  And this church claimed to be "Lutheran" and worse, claimed to be LCMS! 

The Catholics have Jesus at the center, but they have so many other things and people standing in front of him you can't really get to him or even see him most of the time.  I'm talking of the myriad rules, Mary and the rest of the saints, and all that.  Indeed, although they don't mean to be and will deny it loudly, they seem almost polytheistic to me.

But at Messiah Jesus is at the center of everything.  Both symbolically and actually.  :-)  There you have the basic Catholic church of history.  The cross and altar are central.  Preaching is important, and is always about Christ and him crucified, but the pastor stands to the side of the altar, not in the center, because Christ is at the center!  The whole thing centers around the word read and preached and the sacrament reverently administered.  We receive Christ through our ears and in our mouths for the forgiveness of our sins.  Ah, home at last.  Now I just need to figure out how to get there more often.  Thank you Lord for Messiah!  :-)


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why America is dead and has been for 100 years

This is a great, short and to the point explanation of the real end of the American Republic
 back in 1913.  It was already badly damaged by the Civil War but this actually finished it off.

http://www.freemansperspective.com/1913-america/

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Easiest to memorize bus schedule ever

The City of Ripon has probably the easiest to remember bus schedule I've ever seen:  Thursday.  :-)

The Ripon bus service is a fifteen mile radius from the city limits

The City of Ripon offers a transit bus service to the general public, persons with disabilities, and our senior citizens. The city bus runs every Thursday unless special trips are arranged. At least one week notice is needed to secure a driver for special trips.

For more information, please contact the Senior Center at 599-7441, or Sarah Hollander at 599-2108.

Bus Fare 
Thursday Shopping Trip $1.00
Concert $1.50
Special Trip $15.00

up arrow

http://www.cityofripon.org/Community/community-resources.html#bus

A more relaxed pace

I've noticed already, after having stopped using the two major "social media" sites of Facebook and Twitter for only a couple of days, that I'm going through the day at a much more relaxed pace.  


OK, maybe not quite that relaxed but you get the picture ;-)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Social media

I'm reducing my social media participation by deactivating my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  I anticipate that this will be a good thing.  I didn't make any announcements on those accounts, just shut them off.  This is nothing against my "friends" on those services, it's just a huge time sucker that I don't want to bother with anymore.  

I will probably post more here though, which means almost no one will be reading what I write, which is fine with me :-)  I mostly write for my own entertainment and as a way to vent when I'm frustrated. 

Speaking of being frustrated, BART was supposed to be on strike today so I didn't take the RV into the Bay Area on Saturday night the way I normally do.   I had planned to drive all the way into the city and park in a garage across the street ($15) but found out when I got up that the governor intervened so the strike is delayed yet again.  So I ended up losing sleep for nothing, but Idid save that 15 bucks at least.  :-)