Original materials -
Copyright © 2018 by Gary Bachlund All international rights
"If I decide to
be an idiot, then I’ll be an idiot on my own accord." Johann Sebastian Bach
Music chose me long before
I knew I had
Looking back through several score,
With staff in
hand I go,
Undreamt lands to explore,
horizons' distant glow.
Music chose me, furthermore,
And for this
much I owe,
Until in time I am no more.
Kaiser of China - paraphrase of Heinrich Heine
Our father was a sober chap,
That common sort of conqueror,
We but swill our Prussian gin
And thus are the greater emperor.
This is a magic draught! We have
Decanted to our delight:
As soon as we have drunk it down
Blooms China, bloody, bright.
Our government is shot white hot
With fruiting-ripe prosperity,
Yet we, almost a manly man,
Find our pregnant wife's a scarcity.
There is plenteousness everywhere
And even our sick are healthy;
K'ung-zu, court councilor to us,
Speaks clearly for the wealthy.
Our military's pumpernickel
Shall be almond cake - hurray!
And all the tattered promenade
In velvet and silk display.
Our Clementine-skinned upper class,
And those dullards in this realm,
Will youthful vigor regain again
And praises then will overwhelm.
The great pagoda, spire inspired,
For believers is now complete;
Baptized Jews are rewarded
With medallions as a new elite.
A revolutionary spirit withers now
As did noble Manchu compute:
A constitution is not our wish,
We choose walking stick and stylish boot!
Asclepius, god's son, advised
We resist the evils of drink,
But we enjoy our Prussian gin
And our peoples are quite in the pink.
Another schnapps, and another schnapps!
It tastes like heaven's manna!
With the dregs our people shall be content
And cheer us loud: Hosanna!
Der Kaiser von China - (2018)
The goose that laid the golden egg
Was fowl -- and judged unfair.
The others gandered -- to renege
They gathered not just to stare.
The golden goose, knocked down a peg,
Would now be plucked to share.
For golden eggs, they'd come to beg,
For the gaggle's geese welfare.
The gold-egged goose no goslings had,
Hatched nothing live, as nature taught.
Gold is base metal, one might add,
And over it wars are fought.
The golden goose, in the end, was sad,
For little geese, as afterthought,
Were not hatched to make her glad.
Her skein decreased, to come to naught.
I swim along in music's streams
I swim along in music's streams,
and splash about a bit
with singing sounds and swirling lines,
where so it sings and as it's writ.
I toy a spell with silly words,
and spatter this with that
for such are they as they sound,
natural, when sharp or flat.
I navigate the circling world,
and sternly watch the wake,
as cuts the wind to touch the clouds;
all this for heaven's sake.
I like the tangling lines of fate
which twist, and tie and bind,
taut holding sails, billowing,
tomorrows yet to find.
- rhymed paraphrase of Christian Morgenstern
A fish wrote recently in the
›I'm done with not being wet.
I want (as you, too, might yet)
Piano-playing hands, a set.
In the South Sea deep there lives a newt
Who wear glasses and will to commit
To sharing his methods with all of us.
Bad Westerland, Sylt. E. P. Schmidt.‹
The gazette was hardly published,
Before the herring and the shark,
All schooled, including the whale,
Were scandalized by the remark,
Yes, and more than that, as one,
Judged it a decadent vulgarity.
(The octopus alone saw in this
A worldly, fishy hilarity.
It swam seeking, senselessly,
A piano, that maritime rarity.)
The four-eyed newt with the pointed ears,
Not to lose potential clientele,
Posted this brochure to Schmidt:
›Fish hands (manicured as well)
Through exercises in three years.‹
Everything can happen, so it appears.
You see, like there in Westerland,
In man as in fish such flames are fanned:
What was once in Mother Nature's hand
Now must come under civilized command.
Zivilisatorisches - (2018)
- so seeming nice
Pick the fruit of the poisoned
and bring it
towards one's lips.
Ladle a cup from the poisoned well,
and ponder as
Visit thought from the poisoned mind
as at one's
mind it rips.
Prayer the prayer of the poisoned heart
as at weak
faith it snips.
Pick poisoned fruit, sip the poisoned cup,
the wise one skips.
of Rats - paraphrase of
There are two types of rat:
The hungry and the well-fed fat.
The fat stay happily at home,
The hungry hunger to widely roam.
They trudge a thousand miles,
Without rest these exiles,
Onward in their grim pursuit,
Not wind nor weather bar their route.
They clamber over lofty height,
They scuttle on through watery fright;
Some drown or succumb to a broken neck,
The dead just abandoned in their trek.
Like screech owls' howls
Are their muzzle-mad growls;
Their shaven heads so uniform
Seem radical, rat-bald is this swarm.
The militant horde so is clawed,
Acknowledging not a single god.
They do not baptize their brood,
Their females being communally viewed.
The rats in a frenzied cluster
Devour whatever they muster,
And ponder not while all's consumed,
An immortal soul can be so doomed.
Such is the fury of hysterical rats,
They fear not hell, not even cats;
They know no good, and have no cash,
But at the world would gnaw and gnash.
The horde of rats, alack, alas!
They are gathering up, en masse.
They move, hear in this region
The whistling - their number is Legion.
Oh, woe! we are lost, too late!
They are already at the outer gate!
The mayor and senators too
Shake their heads, not electing what to do.
Citizens rally, weapons in hand,
The clerics' bells ring as planned.
Endangered is society's health,
The lofty state, the peoples' wealth.
Not clanging bells, nor the priestly pleas,
Nor approving senatorial decrees,
Nor cannons, muzzle loaded, aimed when swung,
Can help this day the defenseless young!
Today the words spin out like thread;
The practiced art of speech is dead.
With syllogisms, rats are not caught,
And clever sophisms come to naught.
In the hungry stomach, one observes,
Only soup-with-dumpling logic serves,
Only roast-beef, arguments are enough,
Entertained by Göttinger-sausage stuff.
A wordless cod, parboiled in butter,
Silences the radicals' hungry mutter,
Better than some political zero
And, after Cicero, each prattling Nero.
Die Wanderratten - (2018)
The music has stopped
without chairs enough
for all to take their seat.
For what must one opt
in times turned tough
when someone's missed a beat?
Conduct as a bluff
when trapped in the rough,
but surely beat discrete,
For hand waving's pride
gets powder puff-puffed
by the musically lost aesthete.
Sticks and stones redux
Sticks and stones may break men's
Yet words are most effective
In passing on that raging fire
Of word absurd invective.
Cudgels and the sharpened blade
When wielded with worded rage
Can splatter blood upon the streets
As on the printed page.
Warfare weapons of all kinds
Are bolstered by what's said,
And, for this is bright hatred
On harshest words well fed.
Prepare a piano;
prepare the way.
Be bright amazed
or bored this day.
One clowns around
some sound that's found,
And goes into a park
to seek its spark.
Bird songs resound,
and barks the hound.
your musical mark.
Artists talk a lot about freedom
And artists talk a lot.
Art went into a park
just for a lark.
Prepare a score;
perhaps there's more.
If the facts don't fit the theory
If the facts don't fit the theory,
Then you must change the facts;
When hard data is too dreary,
It's the data one attacks.
Conclusions being what must be,
All that's not, one extracts.
And as that game grows weary,
Such theories become failed artifacts.
Addendum of a
Failed Artifact: "A senior U.N. environmental official
says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by
rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the
year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus
of 'eco- refugees,' threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown,
director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.
He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the
greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control. As the
warming melts polar icecaps, ocean levels will rise by up to three feet,
enough to cover the Maldives and other flat island nations, Brown told
The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday. Coastal regions will
be inundated; one-sixth of Bangladesh could be flooded...." In "U.N.
Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked," by Peter James
Spielmann, Associated Press,30 June 1989.
The Privileges of Intellectuals
love locks, dead, in order to
I found a toy in dry caked dirt
I found a toy in dry caked dirt
gardening that day,
from so long ago
and a time
now far away.
Encased in crusty earth
I almost did
Time had done its leveled best
and earth too
did its part
Encrusted dirt full fell away
hands had worked
which therein lurked.
The toy is real in memory,
lifts the spell,
as did its
small words do tell.
David slew Goliath, for so that
But now the twists of fate demand it must be bent.
Goliath was oppressed by David's cheating sling,
And David was oppressor who a deadly stone did fling.
Parsifal, the foolish fool, triumphed in that tale;
Now imbeciles demand there be no holy grail.
Parsifal remains the fool, and nothing may be learned
Excepting what is postmodernist-ly so churned.
God is dead, the madman cried, in Nietzsche's famous text,
Which asked some ignored questions, such as: what comes next?
Man is a cancer on the earth, the Club of Rome proclaimed,
While working hard to rule that little men be tamed.
Post modern wymyn spelled their words anew,
To prove they were imbecilic, alphabetically skewed,
And now their papers pile in unread stacks of pulp,
And gobbledygook is swallowed in a bibliographic gulp.
'This is that,' that 'none may judge' is what is judged today,
As words and tales and logic are eroded well away.
And what remains is knotted, more Gordian than ever,
As postmodern idiocy worships at seeming clever.
Old victims become oppressors, to play the same old game,
For cycle all the stories, the cudgels and the blame.
What comes after, then, this postmodern time?
Shall post-postmodern modern wither its paradigm?
Some things are just what they were, or so one argues when
The cycling revolves revolution and starts all over again.
A David will kill a Goliath, for the story is ever new,
And consequences once deferred will burden more than few.
lies hidden - until the time it's bidden
Evil lies hidden,
in a cloak of good,
lie in sheep's clothing,
as what is
evil really should.
Evil lies hidden,
camouflaged some way,
for if it
were too easily seen
scare off its prey.
Evil lies hidden,
allows it to
Evil lies hidden,
and when 'tis
said it doesn't,
to its prize.
Evil lie hidden,
wide-jawed for man,
to catch the
as was and
remains its plan.
Evil lies hidden,
veil is ripped away,
bracing light of day.
I can't, I simply can't - a postmodern student rant
"A movement is arising, undirected
and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words,
ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.
...it presumes an extraordinary fragility of the collegiate psyche, and
therefore elevates the goal of protecting students from psychological
harm. The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into 'safe spaces'
where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some
uncomfortable. And more than the last, this movement seeks to punish
anyone who interferes with that aim, even accidentally. You might call
this impulse vindictive protectiveness. It is creating a culture in
which everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face
charges of insensitivity, aggression, or worse." In "The Coddling of the
American Mind," by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, Atlantic,
I can't, I simply can't.
I won't, so goes the rant.
The chant goes that you shan't,
Or if you shall, recant!
I rage o'er every page.
I gauge all by outrage.
So postures this as sage.
I roil from words and boil,
From others' thoughts recoil.
Protect me from all toil!
Save me from thoughts' turmoil.
me must coddle,
make me waddle,
Teach me only
Such is the
"Outrage has become the signature emotion of
American public life." In "America Is Addicted to Outrage. Is There
a Cure?" by Lance Morrow, Wall Street Journal, 1 December 2018.
Reality is what reality is,
accepts your change;
might and what one can
lie in its
Evidence to the contrary
is a mean and
won't believe it
its nasty sting.
Reality is what reality is.
With my all-encompassing
You're all that I say you are;
And, as my words are weapons,
You'll have earned each well-planned scar.
With my sharpened accusations,
You're judged by the jury of me;
So long as I remain unquestioned,
You'll not hear the last from me.
With my dour denunciations,
I condemn you before you speak;
And, as I am the sole decider,
You shall never me critique.
With my critical stance emboldened,
You're grist for my grinding mill;
And, as you must not ever criticize me,
I will win, and I always will.
Addendum of Practical Aims: "While Critical Theory
is often thought of narrowly as referring to the Frankfurt School
that begins with Horkheimer and Adorno and stretches to Marcuse and
Habermas, any philosophical approach with similar practical aims
could be called a 'critical theory,' including feminism, critical
race theory, and some forms of post-colonial criticism. In the
following, Critical Theory when capitalized refers only to the
Frankfurt School. All other uses of the term are meant in the
broader sense and thus not capitalized." In "Critical Theory," by
James Bohman, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2016
[ 1 ]
[ 1 ] "...critical
theories are not democratic theories, but their
practical consequences are assessed and verified in
democratic practice and solved by inquiry into better
democratic practice. Perhaps one of the more
pernicious forms of ideology now is embodied in the
appeal of the claim that there are no alternatives to
present institutions. In this age of diminishing
expectations, one important role that remains for the
social scientifically informed, and normatively oriented
democratic critic is to offer novel alternatives and
creative possibilities in place of the defeatist claim
that we are at the end of history. That would not only
mean the end of inquiry, but also the end of democracy."
The appearance and dissemination of Critical Theory has
been a historical attempt to revitalize Marxist thought
culturally, but it has been a short cut to being a
battering ram, bringing the whole realm of intellectual
pursuits surrounding Critical Theory into crisis.
Bohman ends his summary with the awareness that
"critical theories are not democratic theories," and it
is wise to observe that democratic theories easily trip
over into simple majoritatianism, such that individual
rights are violated by the "collective."
To this end, the call to "politicize" Critical Theory is
made, as one reads: "...if critical theory
seeks to contribute to finding the way out of the
contemporary crisis of social theory, it must itself
develop new perspectives. In opposition to the previous
model of 'one-dimensional society,' critical theorists
today should focus on the contradictions, conflicts, and
crisis tendencies within contemporary capitalist
societies. To the neglect of political economy and
empirical research found in much critical theory, we
should respond with theoretical analyses of developments
within the capitalist economy and of changes in class
stratification, the labor process, new technologies, the
media, and politics. In opposition to the apolitical and
even depoliticized versions of critical theory that
continue to circulate, those who wish to revitalize
critical theory should attempt to politicize it, to
connect it with new social movements and existing
political struggles. As we move into the 1990s and
toward the end of the century, many theoretical and
political tasks stand before us. If critical theory
wishes to participate in the Left Turn needed to
eliminate the current hegemony of the Right and to help
to build a better society, it needs to develop both its
analysis of the present situation and a new politics in
order to become once again the cutting edge of radical
social theory." In "Critical Theory and the Crisis
of Social Theory," by Douglas Kellner, UCLA Graduate
School of Education & Information Studies, n. d.
The model of Left-Right polarity lives, as each side
vows to be the "correct" side. Kellner above calls for
"new politics," which seems amusing, given a century and
more of varying forms of new politics and many failed
political and social experiments, as the call for the
"new man," from the Bolshevik revolution forward, has
proposed to know what is "new" and to know what is
"right." One watches the socio-political strife on
campuses throughout the West, in testimony to some
"game" in which radical power politics is "revitalized."
Such an active and revitalized politics may be seen by
keeping an eye out for
In the quote above, Professor Kellner assumes a "current
hegemony of the Right." Oddly even the New York Times
notes that a Left regime comes to "one-man rule under
the leftist" as one considers some
Left to their own devices
The argument is easily made that the Left-Right model is
failing, if not failed.
It becomes clear that the
Left is Right, as Right is Left
"Democratic state lawmakers
are worried because California relies so heavily on the income taxes
it collects from high earners to fund government services. The
state’s wealthiest 1 percent, for instance, pay 48 percent of its
income tax, and the departure of just a few families could lead to a
noticeable hit to state general fund revenue." In "Wealthy exodus
to escape new tax rules worries California Democrats," by Adam
Ashton, Sacramento Bee, 18 January 2018.
|You can rob a
Peter to pay poor Paul,
Until rich Peter moves away;
Then robbing Paul is what comes next,
As the strategy twists that day.
|The tale of
rich Peter and poor Paul
Is not a simple tale of two;
Though the Tax Man isn't mentioned,
He's that actor that's not in view.
|When the cast
list of the tale is seen,
There's a third standing in between;
Without this clarity, Peter and Paul
Are not a complete cast nor scene.
Peter, Paul and the Tax Man
Grapple in their dance,
One is sure how the story ends,
One foretells it in advance.
New Year's - one, two, three
Last night I tied one on,
It felt like I'd tied two,
Three sheets to the year's end
Is what it
was. And you?
Last night did you tipple,
In celebratory toast?
Did you double or triple
What is more
Last night rang out the old year,
This morning brings the new,
And oh my goodness gracious
in a stew.
"What has been is what will be, and what has been
done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun."
No such thing as original sin,
all been done before.
No such thing, since all has been
those days of yore.
No such thing and nothing new
'Cause lots of stuff is called a sin,
worst and the jolliest fun.
Theologians all can tilt at this,
consider the score:
No such thing as original sin,
all been done before.
Tonality died, so was it
"...we shall examine tonality in its last throes. I
want to prove to you that it's really dead. Once that's proved,
there's no point in going on dealing with something dead." In
"The Path to Twelve-note Composition," Anton Webern (1933),
trans. Leo Black, Theodore Presser, 1963.
[ 1 ]
Tonality died, so was it declared,
In nineteen hundred and thirty three.
Time has passed; the statement's fared
Quite poorly, according to history.
Tin Pan Alley razzmatazz'd,
And Rock and Roll took off,
And jazz was clubbed, but not to death,
At tonality few would scoff.
Musical theater popped with tunes,
And dance fever stayed as craze.
If there's no point in what is dead,
These are tonality's healthiest days.
Addendum of Seeking:
"...the artistic response to a world in
which there is so much confusion, division and threat to people on a
global scale, and where we can see that unfolding in real time – and
with a sense that this will be how it is for the next century – is
very different from the heroic task of rebuilding Europe after the
war and the broad cultural certainties that made that possible.
What form music and its creators take is proliferating, diversifying
and morphing in a beautiful way that cannot be categorised by an
'ism'. I do not recognise the existential crisis that Philip
Clark describes. Music that opens up our hearts and minds, that
haunts us and leaves us with questions, seems to be the kind of
greatness we need nowadays...." In "Composers seek a new definition
of greatness in a digital age," by Susanna Eastburn, Guardian UK, 22
of Rediscovery ad Reacceptance: "Commenting on
musical poetics and the 'rediscovery and reacceptance of tonality'
in the Harvard Lectures given in 1973, he stated: 'I believe that no
matter how serial, or stochastic, or otherwise intellectualized
music may be, it can always qualify as poetry as long as it is
rooted in earth…and that the expressive distinctions among [new]
idioms depend ultimately on the dignity and passion of the
individual creative voice'." In "Leonard Bernstein," New World
Encyclopedia, n. d.
Addendum of Being
Trammeled by Stultifying Convention: " 'Well, what
can you do with the wretched and antiquated instruments of our
orchestra? A diatonic scale, bah! Thirteen miserable, bourgeois
semi-tones, pooh! To express the infinite complexity of modern
emotion, you need a scale of thirty-two notes to the octave.'
'But why cling to the octave?' said the fat man. 'Till you can cast
away the octave and its sentimental associations, you walk in
fetters of convention.' 'That's the spirit!' said Wimsey. 'I
would dispense with all definite notes. After all, the cat does not
need them for his midnight melodies, powerful and expressive as they
are. The love-hunger of the stallion takes no account of octave or
interval in giving forth the cry of passion. It is only man,
trammeled by a stultifying convention...." In
"Strong Poison," Dorothy Sayers, 1930.
Addendum of Looking
Right Back: "If your neighbor looks at you like
they don't enjoy the key you're singing in, look right back, bless
them, and keep on singing." Odetta Holmes (1930-2008)
1 ] Willi
Reich wrote in the preface to the 1963 edition, "It is very characteristic
that Webern should have called both cycles 'paths.' He,
who was always 'under way,' wanted to show others the
way too. First he wanted to show what had at various
times over the centuries been 'new' in music, meaning
that it had never been said before. From the laws that
resulted in the course of this, he would then reveal the
law governing the onward course of what was at present
The notion of "new" music is no longer new, in the sense
that every age and every composer composes something
"new." The qualifier then means various and varying
things, depending on who employs it.
On New Music
addresses "new" as well.
As one watches generations pass, "new" remains new,
while such closely-defined modifiers as "modern" become
dated when not tethered to general-use language. One
watches this in the development in arts of all kinds as
"new" becomes "old" and what is declared "subversive"
becomes "orthodoxy." Consider that
- that new old refrain.
This little rhyme is meant to caution all against that
sort of assertion which declares what "new" will be
decades after anything "new" anchored in a certain time
becomes de facto old. What is certain is that many
composers found their own "paths" to a "new" which, when
viewed across the passage of time, become "old."
There was a time I would have
There was a time I would have,
but that time is now well gone.
There was a place I might have,
yet now there's just a yawn.
There was a work I could have,
but from the well was never drawn.
There was a thought I should have,
yet said light will never dawn.
There was a time which now is gone
as sure as midnight follows dawn.
"A very few—as heroes,
patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men—serve
the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it
for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it."
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
The enemy is any me who would
resist the state,
In whole or part, by word and art, and full accept his fate.
The enemy is any me.
The enemy is any you, if you your conscience hear,
Each state's corrupt in some way and oft will rule with fear.
The enemy is any you.
The enemy is many when evil topples good,
And yet demands that it must rule as have men for evils stood.
The enemy is many.
Returning the favor
"The line is spoken by
Clytemnestra, the wife of Agamemnon and queen of Mycenae in ancient
Greek legend. Agamemnon was part of the Oresteia, a trilogy of
tragic dramas by the ancient Greek dramatist Aeschylus and was first
performed in 458 BCE. The play remains popular to this day and is
regularly performed and widely read. 'By the sword you did your
work, and by the sword you die.' Aeschylus's Agamemnon
(Translation by Robert Fagles)," In "Live by the sword, die by the
sword," Wikipedia article, n. d.
You'd tear down my favored god?
Why, I'll return the favor.
As you rage, I'll tear yours down
And, yes, your outrage savor.
The idols of idle ideologies
Shard shatter as they pass,
Cutting through their raging cries
With newly sharpened glass.
What abides, abides, you see,
While all that passes fades.
Renewal comes and comes again,
To breech all barricades.
Tear away, as one will,
For such is mankind's tale.
In due time you'll be torn down,
With sword and claw and flail.
Addendum of Repetition:
"A follower of Jesus draws his sword and cuts off the ear of a
servant of the high priest (though the follower's identity is left
unspecified in Matthew, the follower is identified in John as
Peter). Jesus then says to him: Converte gladium tuum in locum suum.
Omnes enim, qui acceperint gladium, gladio peribunt. ('Return
your sword to its place, for all who will take up the sword, will
die by the sword.')" Also in "Live by the sword, die
by the sword," Wikipedia article, n. d.
Addendum from the Beginning:
"Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for
in the image of God made he man." Genesis 9:6.
You're what you do
You're what you do,
Not what you say.
You're what you do
In every way.
What is done
Is done with that?
You're what you make,
Not what you plan.
All's what results,
Not other than....
Deeds tell all,
While words do not.
You're what you do;
That's all you've got.
Testimony: "There are no great men, only
great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to
meet." Quote of William F. 'Bull' Halsey Jr., in "Flags of
Our Fathers," by James Brady, 2000.
Bernie got it wrong
"Bernie Sanders has charted
his own, highly unbeaten path in politics. A self-described
Socialist, Sander hasn’t just eschewed the familiar trappings of
capitalism – high-paid speaking gigs, investment partnerships, a
spouse on Wall Street, the corporate ladder. He runs in direct
opposition and hostility to them. 'The business model of Wall Street
is fraud,' he famously proclaimed in a debate. And yet, by dint of
his success as an anti-capitalist politician, Sanders has managed to
make a quite comfortable living. While Sanders wouldn’t describe
himself as rich, the scourge of the 1% has income that puts him in
the top 3.8% of American households, according to CNBC." In "How
Bernie Sanders, the Socialist, Quietly Entered the Top 4% of Earners,"
by Daniel Gross, 28 February 2016.
Some form of socialism
is socialism in some form,
And a market economy
is never socialism's norm.
Those who clutter up their terms
just like a defense attorney
Get the whole thing clearly wrong,
as did dear three-house Bernie.
Addendum of Correcting Words: "Speaking at
Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Danish PM Lars Løkke
Rasmussen told students that he had 'absolutely no wish to interfere
the presidential debate in the US' but nonetheless attempted to set
the record straight about his country. 'I know that some people
in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism.
Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from
a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy,'
Rasmussen said. 'The Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which
provides a high level of security for its citizens, but it is also
a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your
dreams and live your life as you wish,' he added." In "Danish PM
in US: Denmark is not socialist," TheLocal.dk, 1 November 2015.
Addendum of a Self-Described Socialist in 2017:
"A recent financial disclosure report shows the junior Vermont
senator made nearly $1.06 million in 2017. Most of his income —
$885,767 — came from advances and royalties, according to the report
filed in May." In "For second year, Sanders earns more than $1M,"
by Elizabeth Hewitt and Anne Galloway, VT Digger, 22 June 2018.
Bashing the Rich While Campaigning for the Rich:
"If one thing is clear about multi-millionaire Sanders, it is his
professed disdain for the rich. He has money and his friends have
money, yet all the other rich are evil. Sanders came to Colorado
to stump all day for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis,
who is among the wealthiest men in the country." In "Bernie
Sanders bashes the rich, while stumping for multi-millionaire Jared
Polis," by Gazette editorial board (Colorado Springs), 25 October
a Revolutionary Safe Set of Hands: "...in
trying to accomplish a turn in his public character as he nears
eighty: to extricate the person from the ideology, and to suggest
that he is not just a revolutionary but also a safe pair of hands."
In "Bernie Sanders Imagines a Progressive New Approach to Foreign
Policy," by Benjamin Wallace-Wells, New Yorker, 13 April 2019.
Consider a Time when
Bernie got it right
[ 1 ] How "multi" is
"multi?" One reads of Polis, "Jared Schutz
Polis (/ˈpɔːlɪs/; born May 12, 1975) is an American
politician, entrepreneur and philanthropist serving as
the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 2nd congressional
district since 2009. A member of the Democratic Party,
he is a former member of the Colorado State Board of
Education. He is among the wealthiest members of
Congress, with a personal net worth estimated at nearly
$400 million." In "Jared Polis," Wikipedia, n. d.
One may now set the benchmark that to be "rich" by
Senator Sander's Democratic Socialist dictionary, one
should have a personal worth of MORE that $400 million.
This political phenomenon underpins the reason for a
small bit of doggerel titled
I Shall Believe the Socialist
[ 2 ] The journalistic curlicue of
a "revolutionary" with a "safe pair of hands" amused.
And yet the supposed "independent" who ran for president
in 2016 in the Democrat Party is not independent, per
se. His bias is as are all biases.
A millionaire with three homes, Sanders has attracted
the attention of the press. One reads:
"Sanders, meanwhile, was so enthused by the trip that he
soon began planning his next foreign venture: a visit to
Cuba the following year, during his last month as mayor.
'Under Castro, enormous progress has been made in
improving the lives of poor people,' Sanders said before
leaving, while noting 'enormous deficiencies' in
democratic rights. While he failed in his goal to meet
Fidel Castro, he returned home with even greater praise
than he had for the Soviet Union. 'I did not see a
hungry child. I did not see any homeless people,'
Sanders told the Burlington Free Press. While Cuba was
'not a perfect society,' he said the country 'not only
has free health care but very high-quality health care.
. . . The revolution there is far deeper and more
profound than I understood it to be. It really is a
revolution in terms of values'." In "Inside Bernie
Sanders’s 1988 10-day ‘honeymoon’ in the Soviet Union,"
by Washington Post, 11 September 2019.
One may consider millionaire Sanders' values based on
his evaluation of Socialist Cuba's values, by reviewing
the rhyme, addenda and footnotes to
Socialism's Last Hurrah
- not democracy in any town.
Advice for Not-so-evil Us
The lesser of two evils
remains evil, don't you see?
Choose one or choose the other; but choose so woefully.
The lesser of two evils focuses on only two,
So think of other options for not-so-evil you.
The lesser of two goods is good; the inverse does imply.
Why not broaden options, including good by and by?
Choose because you must; such is the nature of this life.
Choose wisely, or choose foolishly continuing the strife.
This advice is offered with hindsight clear to see,
And is offered in a rhyme for you and too for me.
steal, so why shouldn't I?
"...'socialized' or 'mass' crimes are spreading in
Mexico as entire communities empty freight trains of merchandise or
steal hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel from pipelines. 'The
logic of the people is that they see politicians and officials
stealing big time ... and they see themselves as having the same
right to steal as the big-time politicians,' said Edgardo
Buscaglia, an international crime expert and research fellow at
Columbia University. 'You begin to create an ethical code in which,
'If the upper-class people can steal and get away with it, we can
steal, too, with complete justification'." In "In Mexico, rising
'mass crime' defies security forces," by Associated Press, 26 June
Politicians steal, so why shouldn't I?
Thus rationalizes some little guy.
Each new boss is quite like the old,
And as they steal, they grow more bold.
Politicians serve up corruption and lies,
And learning too well are some little guys.
Examples teach as role models too,
As little folks learn from what bosses do.
Politicians steal, so why shouldn't you?
The questions do so well argue.
Each new boss seems quite like the old;
Until honesty breaks that stranglehold.
of the Kleptocracies: "...the majority of
people on our planet lost their ability to think logically. They
have been brainwashed by the propagandist mass media, by mass
produced movies and pop music, by bizarre 'trends' in fashion and by
aggressive consumerism. Education and media outlets have lost all
their independence and become subservient to the interests of the
regime. Western 'democracy' (not much of a project to begin with),
has kicked the bucket quietly and discretely, and its advocates
again began taking direct dictates from big business,
multi-billionaires and their multi-national corporations. The
system has evolved from turbo-capitalism into turbo-kleptocracy."
In "Does Our Civilization has at Least Some Chance to Survive?" by
Andre Vitchek, New Eastern Outlook," 19 January 2019.
Consider how to
Use a kid for politics
- political optics' tricks,
and too many examples of political
"Three men were believed to
have been eaten alive by the predators sometime between Sunday night
and Monday morning after they entered the Sibuya Game Reserve in
Kenton-on-Sea to hunt rhinos, Nick Fox, the park’s owner, told
Newsweek. After the incident, authorities recovered the remains of
their parts, three pairs of shoes, wire cutters, high-powered
hunting rifles fitted with silencers and a type of ax that is
commonly used by poachers to remove rhino horns. 'The only body part
we found was one skull and one bit of pelvis, everything else was
completely gone,' he said. 'There is so little left that they don’t
know exactly how many people were killed, we suspect three because
we found three sets of shoes and three sets of gloves.' Fox also
revealed that rhino poaching groups usually consist of three
people." In "Three Poachers Eaten By Lions After Breaking Into
Game Reserve To Hunt Rhinos," by Christina Zhao, 5 July 2018.
Gobble up hors d'oeuvres.
Nature freshly serves.
Tables can be turned.
Court is now adjourned.
Consider the plans of mere
- Happy Feet's a tasty treat
Hymn for Modernity's Latest
O worship your parts, all
O follow their lead, they'll tell you where to go;
They'll be there, they are you,
unless they're exchanged.
skill, all is then rearranged.
O tell of their might and sing of their grace,
Their politics' lies in their intimate embrace.
Their chariots are suits which charge
to the beat
movements which they then excrete.
These parts, with their storehouse of stories so bold,
Demand an allegiance that's oft oversold,
As nature and nurture are fit to be
intersections, postmodernly applied.
No offspring forth comes, infertile their plight
As unions' communion turns barren acolyte.
Their worshipful pose in religious
that essence they barely expose.
Frail children of dust abandon restraints,
As mixed genitalia become heroes and saints.
Tranced gender's pranced splendor
grows old as time's trend,
once adored, still wither in the end.
Conform to this world, conform to its parts,
Bending the knees while hardening the hearts.
God made you this way and God made
For both are
asserted; and both for heaven's sakes.
Addendum from Female to Feminism to Gay to Male:
"...Partridge looked for a university that would support him in his
pursuit of chaplaincy. Bryn Mawr College, an all-women’s college in
Pennsylvania, answered his calling. It was there that he discovered
that his feminism and his faith weren’t at odds. During Partridge’s
sophomore year at Bryn Mawr, he came out as gay, and in 2002,
post-graduation, he made the transition from a female to a male." In
"Openly Transgender Priest Speaks on Identity, Faith," by Zoe
Chester-Thompson, Boston College Heights, 5 October 2016.
[ 1 ]
Addendum of a Gay Jesus: "Roman Catholic
moral teaching of course can and does evolve. With regard to
transgender people it needs to listen to their experience, allow
this experience to dialogue with the best of the tradition, and let
this bring forth teaching that is both life-giving and Gospel
centered for transgender people. As a gay man who has had to
struggle with the positions taken by my church, I have always had a
passionate desire to build the kind of Church Pope Francis speaks
of: “May we become a church that knows how to open her arms and
welcome everybody… I have come to believe in a God who not only
crosses the boundaries of sexual orientation, but also those of
gender." In "Jesuit Priest Says God is Transgender," by Joseph
Sciambra Blog, n. .d
of Jesus as Feminine: "The point, she [ Katharine
Jefferts Schori ] says, is 'that in orthodox Christianity you don't
assign gender to God. 'Father' is simply a metaphor for a figure of
authority' - which doesn't make God a man, but makes it more
important that His feminine qualities - gentleness and nurturing -
be emphasised. The same goes for Jesus: regardless of his actual
sex, 'son of God' is a metaphor for an all-encompassing filial
relationship. Although it was men who first explored the
feminine qualities of the godhead - in the second century, Clement
of Alexandria was already speaking of 'the Father's loving breasts'
and 'the milk of the Father' - the best-known proponent of the idea
in the western church is the 14th- century female mystic Julian of
Norwich, whose formulation Dr Schori was using (a cliche so beloved
by theology students that Rowan Williams once sighed he wished she'd
never written it): 'And so Jesus is our true Mother in nature by
our first creation, and he is our true Mother in grace by his taking
our created nature'." In "Was Jesus a woman?" by Aida Edemariam,
Guardian UK, 23 June 2006.
Addendum - God made you like this: "It
is not the first time it has been suggested Francis has an open and
tolerant attitude toward homosexuality, despite the Catholic
church’s teaching that gay sex – and all sex outside of heterosexual
marriage – is a sin. In July 2013, in response to a reporter’s
question about the existence of an alleged 'gay lobby' within the
Vatican, Francis said: 'Who am I to judge?' The new remarks appear
to go much further in embracing homosexuality as a sexual
orientation that is designed and bestowed by God." In "Pope
Francis tells gay man: 'God made you like this'," by Stephanie
Kirschgaessner, Guardian UK, 20 May 2018.
[ 2 ]
Addendum - God made a mistake: He said, 'Mom, I'm
so mad at God, because God made a mistake. He made me a boy,
and I'm not a boy, I'm a girl, Mom. Every night I pray that God
gives me a girl body but when I wake up I'm still a boy. God won't
take back his mistake, he won't make it right,' Stephanie recalled."
In "Born With the Wrong Body," by Alan B. Goldberg, ABC News, 27
Addendum - God made you like this, again:
"...'We are excited for him to preach at the Cathedral,' said The
Very Rev. Gary Hall, the dean of Washington National Cathedral. In a
statement sent to The Huffington Post, he said: 'As an advocate both
within the Church and wider community, Cameron’s presence in the
pulpit, I hope, will also send a symbolic message in support of
greater equality for the transgender community, which suffers from
acts of violence, discrimination, unemployment, homelessness, and
financial inequality. We at Washington National Cathedral are
striving to send a message of love and affirmation, especially to
LGBT youth who suffer daily because of their gender identity or
sexual orientation. We want to proclaim to them as proudly and
unequivocally as we can: Your gender identity is good and your
sexual orientation is good because that’s the way that God made you'."
In "Rev. Cameron Partridge Will Be First Openly Transgender Priest
To Preach at Washington National Cathedral," by Yasmine Hafiz,
Huffington Post, 23 June 2014.
Addendum - God made a mistake again: "...Devina
knew. She tried speaking to his parents and told them, 'I think
God made a mistake.' To which Anil recalls responding, “We would do
what every parent did and said, 'No, God doesn’t make mistakes'."
In "The Moment Our Child Revealed She's Transgender: Devina
Keswani's Parents Say She Told Us, 'I Think God Made a Mistake'," by
Jennifer Heyde, People Magazine, 21 October 2015.
[ 3 ]
Addendum - God Not Make Mistakes:
"Trans Christians believe that just because something exists, does
not make it good. Creation is good, but God has not yet perfected
it. 'Creation itself will be liberated from its bondage and
decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole earth has been groaning as in the pangs of
childbirth right up to the present time.' (Romans 8:21-22)
Christians are split over this matter into Calvinism (e.g.,
Lutherans, Baptists, and Presbyterians) and everyone else (e.g.,
Orthodox, Methodists, Anabaptists, Anglicans, Catholics). Calvinists
believe that everything that is, is brought by God. However, God
does not want us to be passive but to follow God's command which
involves fighting sin, natural disasters, and our fallen bodies.
Arminians and Christians prior to Calvin believe God is not the sole
actor but that sin interrupts God's will. These Christians believe
God calls on us to manifest God's will into the world. All
Christians agree that God desires good works in the face of
imperfection, not resignation to it or acceptance of it." In
"Objection: God Does Not Make Mistakes," TransChristians.org,
[ 4 ]
Addendum of the Imperial, Autonomous Self:
"...we see how the imperial, autonomous self gradually becomes the
imperious, authoritarian self. Tolerance becomes tyranny. Our
current Pope warns of ideological colonization. Pope John Paul II,
and Pope Benedict XVI warned of the 'tyranny of relativism' and
subjectivism. When we shift the locus of truth from the object
(reality) to the subject (the individual), 'truth' becomes about
power and who has more of it." In "What Ails Us? The Rise of the
Imperial, Autonomous Self," by Msgr. Charles Pope, Community in
Mission, 12 June 2018. [
Addendum of Growing Up After All: "Despite
the differences in country, culture, decade, and follow-up length
and method, all the studies have come to a remarkably similar
conclusion: Only very few trans- kids still want to transition by
the time they are adults. Instead, they generally turn out to be
regular gay or lesbian folks. The exact number varies by study, but
roughly 60–90% of trans- kids turn out no longer to be trans by
adulthood." In "Do trans- kids stay trans- when they grow up?"
by James M. Cantor, Sexology Today, 11 January 2016.
[ 6 ]
Addendum of Parts Not Mattering Too Much:
"While the most simple answer is that girls have vulvas and boys
have penises/testicles, that answer isn’t true for every boy and
girl. Boy, girl, man, and woman are words that describe gender
identity, and some people with the gender identities 'boy' or 'man'
have vulvas, and some with the gender identity 'girl' or 'woman'
have penises/testicles. Your genitals don’t make you a boy or a
girl. You can say that most girls have vulvas and most boys have
penises/testicles. You may want to emphasize that it doesn’t
matter too much what parts someone has — that doesn’t tell you much
about them. But you can make that decision based on your values
and how you plan to talk with your kid about gender as they grow
up." In "How do I talk with my preschooler about their body?"
Planned Parenthood, 2018.
[ 7 ]
of Changing Gender While Not: "...a doctor's
note to show the government he identifies as a woman, even though he
doesn't. 'It was pretty simple,' he said. 'I just basically asked
for it and told them that I identify as a woman, or I'd like to
identify as a woman, and he wrote me the letter I wanted.' Under
the rules in place at the time, Albertans needed to produce a
doctor's note to switch the gender marker on their personal
documents. In June, the government scrapped the doctor's note
requirement for adults, allowing them to declare their marker as M,
F or X, for those who don't fit into a strictly male or female
binary." In "Alberta man changes gender on government IDs for
cheaper car insurance," by Reid Southwick, Canadian
Broadcasting, 20 July 2018.
the Faddish Notion: "Equality need not mean
sameness. We just have to abandon the faddish notion that sex is
socially constructed or entirely in the brain, that sex and gender
are unconnected, that biology is irrelevant, and that there is
something called an LGBTQ identity, when, in fact, the acronym
contains extreme internal tensions and even outright contradictions.
And we can allow this conversation to unfold civilly, with nuance
and care, in order to maximize human dignity without erasing human
difference." In "The Nature of Sex," by Andrew Sullivan,
Intelligencer, 1 February 2019.
[ 8 ]
Addendum of an Evangelical Lutheran
Vulva: "Sterling silver rings were melted down
into the vulva sculpture, whereas rings made from other materials
were used to make wings that feature at the bottom of the piece. The
finished piece shows the sculpture of the vulva emerging from a
throne of red flames." In "Feminist pastor, 49, proudly unveils
a sculpture of a VULVA that she had made from old purity rings -
before giving it to a delighted Gloria Steinem as a token of respect
and gratitude," by Shirley Donlon, Daily Mail, 15 February 2019.
[ 9 ]
Addendum of Parts for the Glorious
Below: "At the store, the pastor bought
a $200 bunny-shaped blue vibrator called a Beaded Rabbit for one
minister — a single mom of two who was celebrating her 40th birthday
— as well as more pleasure gadgets for the congregant and herself,
sources said. The female minister didn’t want the sex toy, but
accepted it because she was scared not to, sources said. Butler also
offered to buy a toy for the second minister — a gay man in a
committed relationship — but he declined, sources said." In "Pastor
out at famed Riverside Church after sex toy shopping spree," by
Kevin Fasick, Ebony Bowden and Bruce Golding, New York Post, 11 July
[ 1 ] It is written:
"In expressing his experience as self-identifying as
genderqueer and being a member of the Christian faith,
Partridge talked particularly about the complexity of
gender, and how it relates to the Christian pillars of
giving thanks for creation. Partridge emphasized that to
him, God’s creation is not static. He believes gender
is about embracing the process of coming into God’s
creation. Through coming into one’s identity, Partridge
emphasized that we should embrace our bodies as evolving
creations that can be changed or altered as we wish."
Altered as we wish.
In the case of being "altered as we wished," one reads:
"A whopping 41% of people who are transgender or
gender-nonconforming have attempted suicide sometime in
their lives, nearly nine times the national average,
according to a sweeping survey released three years
ago." In "Transgender study looks at 'exceptionally
high' suicide-attempt rate," by Emily Alpert Reyes,
Los Angeles Times, 28 January 2014.
The same statistic is repeated: "Suicide
attempts are alarmingly common among transgender
individuals such as Lampe; 41% try to kill themselves at
some point in their lives, compared with 4.6% of the
general public. The numbers come from a study by the
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the
Williams Institute, which analyzed results from the
National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Researchers
are preparing to launch another version of the online
survey on Wednesday." In "Transgender people face
alarmingly high risk of suicide," by Laura Ungar, USA
Today, 16 August 2015.
A general explanation and remedy is that bullying and
other forms of societal prejudice contribute to
"exceptionally high" suicide rates, such that acceptance
is the prescribed antidote. Yet "gender differences"
One considers, "Gender differences in suicide rates have
been shown to be significant. There are different rates
of completed suicides and suicidal behavior between
males and females. While women more often have suicidal
thoughts, men die by suicide more frequently. This is
also known as the gender paradox in suicide.
Globally, death by suicide occurred about 1.8 times more
often among males than among females in 2008, and 1.7
times in 2015. In the western world, males die by
suicide three to four times more often than do females."
In "Gender differences in suicide," Wikipedia article,
Thus transgendered individuals are not alone in suicide
statistics disparities. Wikipedia continues:
"Within the United States, there are variances in
gendered rates of suicide by ethnic group. According
to the CDC, as of 2013 the suicide rates of Whites and
American Indians are more than twice the rates of
African Americans and Hispanics. Explanations for why
rates of attempted and completed suicide vary by
ethnicity are often based on cultural differences."
While lack of societal
acceptance of transgender claims might contribute to
"exceptionally high" suicide rates, issues of simple
heterosexual identity -- male versus female -- and race
and culture all seem to play a part. Shall "society"
made up of individuals think only one way? Shall
differences not spark "stigma?" After all, as one
watches political disagreements alone, one side often
stigmatizes and bullies another. Ridding "society" of
such is not an achievable goal.
When men commit suicide at a higher rate than females,
as one example, then the "gender paradox" is observed
and yet unanswered. Has society made a mistake? Has God
made a mistake? Has religion made a mistake? Has
politics made a mistake?
Modernity's newest religion offers many assertions with
no acceptable answers. Perhaps transgenderism has made a
mistake? That will not be considered as long as one can
blame God, society, and more.
[ 2 ] It is interesting to note that an
assertion that God mistakenly assigned the wrong body to
an individual is not balanced with another possibility,
that God assigned the wrong thoughts to an individual.
If a human is both mind and body, then complaints about
the body can be balanced with complaints about the mind.
The new religion of modernity does not consider this,
because then there would be the possibility that
"altered as we wished" set the human before that human's
understanding of God.
If "a sexual orientation that is designed and bestowed
by God" is from God, then all sexual orientations can be
asserted to be so. In the same way, an odd
assertion is made: "Science doesn’t
change in order to support political opinions.
Scientific beliefs change as we gain new information,
and sometimes science tells us things that we would
rather not hear. Get used to it." In "Homosexuality &
Choice: Are Gay People 'Born This Way'?" by Marcia
Malory, Huffington Post, 23 October 2012.
Basically, "new information" suggests in terms of both
religious, scientific and philosophic thought that
we may be "altered as we wished." And so "We"
comes first, before that science that "doesn't change"
and that creation which either evidences God's mistakes.
[ 3 ] Many
such assertions may be found in the media. Another
example: "From the age of 3, Andrea Lynn
Schultz told her mother she felt like a boy. 'God made a
mistake,' she would say -- when she could articulate the
words. God made a mistake: she was supposed to be a
boy. It was a constant refrain." In "Actually Andy,
Part 1: A major announcement in teenager’s gender
journey / Gallery," by Karen Lee Ziner, Providence
Journal, 30 May 2018.
Assertions. There is a God. God makes mistakes. God
doesn't make mistakes. And again, God makes mistakes.
As it turns out, some transgender individuals make
mistake too. One reads: "A
transgender person who had a £10,000 sex change to
become a woman, but now wants to become a man again, has
criticised the NHS for not doing enough to make sure he
wanted the initial surgery. Matthew Attonley, 30, was
born a boy and seven years ago started surgery to become
a woman called Chelsea, but in the last six months he
has taken steps to return to being a man called Matthew.
He now wants the British health service to fund the
£14,000 reversal process because he claims they didn't
complete a rigorous enough mental evaluation before
allowing him to go through the initial process." In "
'There isn't enough NHS psychiatric evaluation': Says
the man who had £10,000 sex change to become a woman and
now wants it reversed," by Caroline McGuire and
Amanda Williams, Mail Online, 7 October 2014.
Objective Test Because Subjectivity Rules
Another article tells: "Research has found that
powerful psychological issues, such as anxiety disorder,
post-traumatic stress disorder or alcohol or drug
dependence often accompany gender dysphoria. A study
published in JAMA Pediatrics in March 2016 shows a high
prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses in a sample of 298
young transgender women aged 16 through 29. More than 40
percent had coexisting mental health or substance
dependence diagnoses. One in five had two or more
psychiatric diagnoses. The most commonly occurring
disorders were major depressive episodes and non-alcohol
psychoactive substance use dependence. Yet
transgender individuals are never required to undergo
any objective test to prove their gender dysphoria—because
no diagnostic objective test exists." In "What I
Wish I’d Known Before Undergoing Sex Reassignment
Surgery," by Walt Heyer, Newsweek, 18 June 2016.
Gender repair after transgender surgery is seen:
"Around five years ago, Professor Miroslav Djordjevic,
the world-leading genital reconstructive surgeon,
received a visit at his Belgrade clinic: a transgender
person who had undergone surgery at different clinic to
remove male genitalia - and since changed their mind.
That was the first time Prof Djordjevic had ever been
contacted to perform a so-called gender reassignment
'reversal' surgery. Over the next six months, another
six people also approached him, similarly wanting to
reverse their procedures. They came from countries all
over the western world, Britain included, united by an
acute sense of regret." In "Sex change regret: Gender
reversal surgery is on the rise, so why aren't we
talking about it?" by Joe Shute, Telegraph UK, 1
Focused that I Never Stopped to Think
A similar article states clearly: "I was so
focused on trying to change my gender, I never stopped
to think about what gender meant. Ultimately, I feel
hopeful for the future. I’ve seen that I have an immense
capacity to change and grow, even in very difficult
circumstances. That is who I am." In "Experience: I
regret transitioning," Anonymous as told to Moya
Sarner, Guardian UK, 3 February 2017.
A severe lack of understanding accompanied by political
cowardice is observed: "Whilst awareness of
non-binary issues has increased in recent years, gender
reassignment remains a severely under researched topic,
so much so that the NHS has produced an online
e-learning guide to GPs who might be unfamiliar with
gender dysphoria. The severe lack of understanding
surrounding the topic - and its reversal counterpart -
became particularly prevalent last week, when a proposed
study to explore why transsexual people may want to 'detransition'
was reportedly shut down by Bath Spa University so as
'not to offend people'. 'The fundamental reason
given was that it might cause criticism of the research
on social media and criticism of the research would be
criticism of the university and they also added it was
better not to offend people,' James Caspian, the
psychotherapist behind the proposed research, told BBC
Radio 4." In "Gender reversal surgery is more in-demand
than ever before," by Olivia Petter, Independent UK, 3
So did God make a mistake, and if so what was that
mistake? But did man make a mistake, and if so
what mistake is that?
to Control Urges and Actions Despite the Difficulties
It is more likely that people make mistakes, as one
reads of a parallel theme. "...some people are
unable to control these urges and actions, despite the
difficulties they may cause in their relationships,
finances and professional lives. Some people may also
have a dependency on sex and sexual activity to numb any
negative emotions and difficult experiences. This can
have a negative effect on the person's quality of life
and on those around them." In "Can you become
addicted to sex?" National Health Services, UK, Choices,
5 April 2018.
When issues surrounding sex and "gender identification"
arise, in part the idea that one may be "changed or
altered as we wish" becomes one of physiological as well
as psychological manifestations. To assert the physical
is wrong and the mind is correct is being alleged, while
not enough research has been done to do more than leave
these issues in the realm of disagreement and political
as well as financial demands on "society." Unable to
control "urges and actions" is said to be a marker of an
addiction. Did God create addiction? Does the individual
as an "imperial, autonomous self" create addiction? What
of the above-mentioned difficulties, dependencies,
numbness to emotions and difficult experiences? What of
ultimate negative effects on a "person's quality of life
and those around them?" All answered by surgical
procedures and drugs? What of regret?
Did God create regret when man has done something which
he then regrets? What we know from testimony above is
that some "never stopped to think" and "regret
[ 4 ] The
amusement of "Trans Christians" is not that they cite
Christian scripture, but rather that they cite it in
small part. As to the quote from Romans, the larger
quote in context reads: "For the creation was
subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him
who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself
also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption
into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we
know that the whole creation groans and labors with
birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we
also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we
ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting
for the adoption, the redemption of our body."
So is being "delivered" from the "bondage of corruption"
and into "liberty" a matter of genital surgery? Or does
the text refer to "creation" as reality as perceived by
humans? The Trans Christian per the above cited text
openly states :... just because something exists, does
not make it good." The argument from Christian
scripture is odd, and especially the citation from
of Those Who Practice Them
That book also states: "...God
gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women
exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.
In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations
with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.
Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received
in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to
retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a
depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be
done. They have become filled with every kind of
wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of
envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are
gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and
boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey
their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity,
no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous
decree that those who do such things deserve death,
they not only continue to do these very things but also
approve of those who practice them."
Thus by the measure of a Christian text, one might
critique the Trans Christian's argument from text which
is cited. Their conclusion seeks being "altered as we
wish." Body is highlighted as God has made a mistake or
does not make mistakes, and mind is dissociated into
that which wishes for a "creation" other than the
"creation" which God began as "corrupt" in order that
the god of "as we wished" may repair the corruption,
because God makes or does not make mistakes, and bodies
can be mistakes without considering that minds can be
mistakes, or conclude that new mistakes might be made.
For the Trans Christians state "creation is good, but
God has not yet perfected it." Mistake? Planned? Body in
error? Mind in error?
Brain and the Body Paradox
Fleshing out this, one reads: "In transgender
individuals, experts said, the brain appears to say they
are one sex while their body is the opposite. 'We
are talking about a subset of kids who are saying, 'I am
born in the wrong body. My body doesn't match my brain.
God made a mistake,' Edwards-Leeper said." In " 'I am a
girl': Transgender children face a society slow to
accept them," by Eric Adler, Kansas City Star, 8
February 2014. But the "brain" is body, is it not?
Can a brain and its thoughts be the mistake?
A case in point about the narrative of separating mind
from body involves a criminal case in Australia. One
reads of an attacker using an axe and caught on video:
"She is facing trial in the NSW District Court, where
she has pleaded not guilty to six charges including two
counts of wounding with intent to murder. The court
previously heard Ms Amati cannot remember the incident.
She does not deny her body was there, but says her
mind was not." In "Alleged axe attacker heard voice
telling her to 'start the rise of hell on earth', court
hears," by Georgia Mitchell, Sydney Morning Herald, 19
Effect of a State of Mind
An earlier report by the same writer tells of "a defence
attorney in a brutal assault case who states of a
transwoman "...Ms Amati had a 'brilliant' mind but was
'out of her mind' on the morning of the attack. 'This is
a woman of super intelligence. Not an axe murderer, you
might think,' Mr Waterstreet said. He said Ms Amati,
who was born a man, began taking hormones in 2012 to
transition to a woman but the drugs had a significant
effect on her state of mind. He said Ms Amati's mental
state deteriorated in 2015, when she had surgery in
Thailand to complete her transition to a woman, and she
began to experience visions, hallucinations and suicidal
and homicidal ideation." In " 'I'm going to kill a
lot of people' wrote woman accused of axe attack; court
hears," by Georgia Mitchell, Sydney Morning Herald, 9
A mental state has "deteriorated." So did God make that
mistake? Did the transition treatments -- drugs and
surgery -- make a mistake? Were "visions" God
created? Mistakes? Was the urge to "transition" a
mistake, as the attorney defending a violent attacker in
court suggests? The argument that the brain and the body
are different entities seems unscientific, at the
[ 5 ] Truth becomes
subjective as the objective is withdrawn, discarded or
banished, and in reduced therefore to the exercise of
power. Yet reference is made to legal and political
Compulsion of the State
It has been argued that state coercion over beliefs
stands against liberty. One reads: "...matters,
involving the most intimate and personal choices a
person may make in a lifetime, choices central to
personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the
liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the
heart of liberty is the right to define one's own
concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and
of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these
matters could not define the attributes of personhood
were they formed under compulsion of the State. [505
U.S. 833, 852]" In PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF SOUTHEASTERN
PA. v. CASEY, (1992) No. 91-744, United States Supreme
Court, June 1992.
And yet in the worship of genitalia and individual
perceptions -- accurate or inaccurate -- about gender
and sex, one finds coercion appearing. As one
example: "In future data collection – including
the 2021 census – respondents will find a new question
on gender identity. Instead of just male or female,
respondents will be provided with a third option, which
they are asked to indicate how they identify. 'This is
really delightful news,' Susan Gapka, a longtime trans
advocate in Toronto, told the Guardian. Gapka and others
participated in consultations held by Statistics Canada
last year, in which they provided feedback to the
country’s statistical agency. 'I was pleased with the
discussions we had and it’s great to see they’re
following up on this strategy'." In "Canada to add
third gender option in government surveys," by
Leyland Cecco, Guardian UK, 14 May 2018.
Mandated by Law Creates Intolerance
Thus acceptance of "a third option" is mandated by law.
Other nations mandate more than three options, and
various gender activists argue for many more than three
options. Thus the "locus of truth" shifts, as the
Monsignor above notes. Individuality is mandated by law,
including intolerance for the individuals who will not
believe in the shifted "locus of truth" to that stance
in which "tolerance
Yet other media report Catholic thinking as if Christian
theology such as the Trans Christians above is united.
It is not, of course. One reads: "Speaking to
Spanish newspaper El País, Cruz said: 'He [the Pope]
told me, 'Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter.
'God made you like this and loves you like this and I
don’t care'." In "Pope Francis tells gay man 'God
made you like this and loves you like this'," by Sodfia
Petkar, Sun UK, 21 May 2018. Thus one "God" made
humans and another "God" made humans to opt for being
'altered as we wish."
As a result of these competing strains of thought
focusing on physical genitalia, wanted and unwanted
alike, more than on mental concepts of physical
genitalia, one finds overt statements of "rights" in
which some human rights are more right than other human
Down Sources of Division, Rancor and Bitterness?
One reads from the UK: "Bercow said: 'In terms of
trying to heal the wounds of the nation fractured on
other fronts, surely we want to close down sources of
division, of rancour and of bitterness, and find bases
on which to unite. Gay rights, lesbian rights, bi
rights and trans rights are not gay rights, lesbian
rights, bi rights or trans rights, they are human
rights, and that seems to me to be the inescapable
conclusion of any serious consideration of these matters.'
He added: 'I respect people’s rights to adhere to and
profess their faith, but for me, where there is a
clash between somebody’s adherence to faith on the one
hand and the acknowledgement of and demonstration of
respect for human rights, the latter has to trump the
former'." In "Speaker John Bercow: LGBT rights 'must
trump' religious freedom," by Nick Duffy, Pink News, 5
Thus, rights for some become also "altered as we
wished." Some rights "trump" other rights, creating a
hierarchy of rights, according to some. If some human
rights are more right than others, one requires the
state to mandate intolerance for some and tolerance for
others. Or, for some, expressions of freedom of religion
become subjugated to the greater rights as asserted. All
for the purpose, as above, of closing down "sources of
division, of rancour and bitterness." Division, rancor
and bitterness will be the predicable result as utopian
ideals require that those who will rule subjugate those
who refuse to be ruled..
One finds a parallel quite like unto Orwell's now-famous
"All Animals are equal. But some animals are more equal
The confusions -- or at least of a creation which is not
as yet "perfected" -- accelerate. One reads:
"TransDykes are an offshoot of Antifa whose focus is on
suppressing the speech of women, mainly lesbians.
They participate in regular Antifa flashmobs, sometimes
in pastel uniform (“Pastel Bloc”) but also target
Women’s Rights events, and Lesbian spaces. TransDykes
are heterosexual men who identify as transwomen.
They consider Lesbianism a form of fascism because
female homosexuality excludes male-bodied persons. But
any woman who publicly acknowledges the existence of
biologically female human beings is their enemy,
especially Feminists, who want to abolish, not
celebrate, the sex stereotypes that transwomen identify
with." In "TransDykes: The Anti-Lesbian Antifa,"
Gender Trender, 27 June 2018.
In the public celebration of such diversity in gender,
one reads additionally: "The San Francisco Public
Library unveiled an exhibit this week featuring blood
stained t-shirts encouraging patrons to 'punch'
feminists, along with several installations of deadly
weapons painted pink: baseball bats covered in barbed
wire, axes, among others, all designed by men to kill
feminist women. The male creators of the exhibit also
included a helpful manifesto, blaming lesbians,
feminists and other uppity women for causing more deaths
(by 'harassing' men with their dastardly opinions!) than
all the actual real murders committed by violent men."
In "San Francisco Public Library hosts transgender “art
exhibit” featuring weapons intended to kill feminists"
Gender Trender, 27 April 2018.
From census forms created
and required by law to violent threat and actions by
"individuals" and even movements, issues of gender are
not answered in any constructive and unified manner, as
the "trance" gender enthusiasts claim to speak for God,
themselves and others, all the while complaining about
God and those who reject their assertions.
Some theology then tries for a next step "...to utilize
expansive language for God from the rich sources of
feminine, masculine, and non-binary imagery for God
found in Scripture and tradition and, when possible, to
avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God." In
"Resolution #3 – On the Gendered Language for God,"
Episcopal Diocese of Washington, 27 January 2018.
In the spirit of such sanctimony, a parody on Robert
Grant's (1779-1838) hymn text was suggested: "O
worship your parts, all glorious below, /O follow
their lead, they'll tell you where to go; / They'll be
there, they are you, unless they're exchanged. / With
surgical skill, all is then rearranged."
God's Mistake or Making a Godly Mistake
So God made a "mistake" with a minister: "...Last
fall Dr. Anderson shared with the Governing Board that
she is transgender and in the process of transitioning.
This sabbatical will afford Dr. Anderson the opportunity
to do that free of the day to day operations of the
council. During the sabbatical Dr. Anderson will be
changing her name from Donald to Donnie. The council
is appreciative of Dr. Anderson’s ministry and totally
supportive of her transition." In "Important Message
from RISCC President Chontell Washington," by Chontell
Washington, Rhode Island State Council of Churches, 11
God made mistakes. Or God makes no mistakes. You choose.
It's all about truth. Or not. Did Anderson's God make a
mistake to be corrected by "transitioning?" Will the
transition be regretted at some future time?
There is a singular certainty in all this. People make
mistakes. Repeatedly. Regretfully. Angrily.
Such has been the tower of Babel which through the
political and highly secular state has followed
-- bedding, treading, sledding.
[ 6 ] That the
"worship" of genitalia is seemingly pervasive in modern
culture is a matter of media, not statistical fact.
Activist politics seems to trump factual research, to
the point of quashing some. One reads: "The
National Post recently covered the CBC’s cancellation of
a BBC documentary about transgender children (Why CBC
cancelled a BBC documentary that activists claimed was 'transphobic').
In that coverage, the Post shared claims made by some
activists criticizing some scientific studies, but did
not apparently fact-check those claims, so I thought
I would outline the studies here. For reference, in a
previous post, I listed the results of every study that
ever followed up transgender kids to see how they felt
in adulthood (Do trans- kids stay trans- when they grow
up?). There are 12 such studies in all, and they all
came to the very same conclusion: The majority of kids
cease to feel transgender when they get older." In
"How many transgender kids grow up to stay trans?" by
James M. Cantor, PsyPost, 30 December 2017.
Between Confusions ?
As the above sampling of various views on this
postmodern conundrum filled with political activism, one
finds confusion layered on confusion , as some
"feminists" -- condemned by other feminists -- act to
exclude transwomen, a word rather newly minted in the
continuing explosion of nouns and pronouns and
adjectives designed to muddy discussion about sex, and
of course God's role as a maker of mistakes. The
clucking is loud as one watches the
- a eunuch's cluck.
But what is certain physiologically is that transgender
treatments through to surgery results in infertility.
Thus the barren end to all the activism, as simple
demographics defines the result. A eunuch's cluck, and,
as above, sometimes significant later regret are known
outcomes from this postmodern enthusiasm for multiplying
"gender" beyond the concept of sex.
One may also observe that males who become surgically
transwomen face intimacy issues as they seek some sort
of potential sexual liaison, whether temporary ot more
permanent. Those males who would reject such are being
referred to by some with a new pejorative -- transphobic.
New Accusation Against Heteronormative Men --
As an example, one reads: " 'If you have a trans
woman who transitions very early on, she may be
physically identical to a cis woman at a surface level.'
A 'cis woman' or 'cisgendered' person is someone whose
gender identity matches the one they were born with.
'There are hormonal sweet spots where trans women can
transition and be effectively indistinguishable at a
certain level from cisgender women,' Dr Timmins says. 'So
being unwilling to date on the basis of someone being
trans, rather than on the basis of individual stimuli is
something I would personally call transphobic. This is a
philosophical rather than empirical discussion because
their is not a lot of nuanced research into this area
yet. Grouping all transgender women as the same and all
cis gender women as the same is effectively prejudice,'
Dr Timmins says." In "India Willoughby: Is it
discriminatory to refuse to date a trans woman?" by
Jonathan Griffin, BBC, 12 January 2018.
So one finds demands to answer the "mistake" of "being
born in the wrong body" now being joined by accusations
when those who would reject the outcome of chemical and
surgical "transition" to be transgendered in terms of
rejecting becoming intimately involved are now also
"mistaken?" Transphobic? Perhaps the mistakes by God or
nature or human beings are all to be alleged, while
there can be no "mistake" in the desire for and
completion of transgendered wishes? And yet some
transgendered then request a reversal?
In the bargain, God, a useful concept to those who
ascribe to it, becomes "mistaken." Oddly, the proven
regret -- a reaction to a mistake from the perspective
of hindsight for some -- is not assigned to transgender
activists. How odd.
the Concepts of Gender Identity and Transgenderism
As to "god" as various will use the word, one reads:
"The Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft (PCMW) explicitly
states on its site that trans people are not welcome in
its organisation. It appears to have taken advantage of
the Trump administration's emphasis on religious liberty
over minority rights, as shown by the establishment of a
'religious freedom task force'. ...On its site, the
church is described as “'a congregation of adherents to
our female born, lesbian-feminist-based religions
beliefs and traditions.' The explanation adds that
'males are not permitted to participate, regardless of
how they identify. We expressly reject the concepts of
gender identity, transgenderism, and gender as being
meaningful to defining what a Woman or Girl is'." In
"A church of anti-transgender witches has been
recognised by the US Government," by Josh Jackman, Pink
News, 9 August 2018.
The "rejection" of "concepts of gender identity" is
widespread, as one's preferred definition is not
another's. Asking law and government to step in an
define a word becomes yet another political mess, as may
be seen in the fascinating travails of
-- bedding, treading, sledding.
That political mess widens further as one considers that
is this seemingly modern world, it's
Queer, don't you think?
[ 7 ] Under the heading
of "odd," one revisits the above cited Planned
Parenthood assertion that "it doesn’t matter too much
what parts someone has — that doesn’t tell you much
Were this a
sensible statement, then assertions made in other
addenda above that either "God made a mistake" or God
doesn't make mistakes as some seek chemical and surgical
pathways to a different set of genitalia, the assertions
that "gender" being a nomenclature for other than
body parts' identification should not "tell you much
about" those seeking such transgender avenues.
What then to make of the first part of the Planned
Parenthood assertion, that "it doesn't matter too much
what parts someone has?" Given that those seeking
chemical and surgical change from one set of genitalia
to another, it is also odd that this "matters" when we
are told in parallel that "it doesn't matter too much."
Yet Very Binary
Moreover, the utter and binary assertion swings between
two "parts" identifications, male and female genitalia.
Nowhere in this postmodern rush for chemical and
surgical alteration does one find a "trans" wishing to
transition to a third option, beyond the mimicking of
male or female genitalia fashioned from their binary
Moreover, some reports tell of those who have undergone
transgender procedures seeking reversals of those
procedures at a later time, suggesting that some
"mistake" in the transgender zeal or target are
mistakes. Odd couples with odd, so where in then God in
all this? Did God make a mistake in creating
transgender urges? Did natural selection make a mistake
in creating transgender urges? Either way, something
seems odd. Perhaps it can be termed "hormonal regret."
Odd Case of Hormonal Regret
One reads: "Charles Kane, who identified
as Sam Hashimi after male-to-female reassignment
surgery, opted to become a man again after experiencing
'hormonal regret.' In the BBC documentary One Life:
Make Me a Man Again, Kane explained he originally wanted
to become a woman after a nervous breakdown. 'When I was
in the psychiatric hospital, there was a man on one side
of me who thought he was King George and another guy on
the other side who thought he was Jesus Christ. I
decided I was Sam,' Kane said. Postsurgery, Kane
believed his female identity would never be liked or
accepted as a real woman. He also blamed the influence
of female hormones as responsible for making him seek
the surgery. 'I don’t think there’s anyone born
transsexual. Areas of their human brain get altered by
female hormones,' Kane told Nightline." In
"Transgender Surgery: Regret Rates Highest in
Male-to-Female Reassignment Operations," by Lizette
Borreli, Newsweek, 10 March 2017.
Kane was judged guilty and convicted.
Transgender Coming to Believe Being Transgender Is Oddly
In a similar vein:
"It's not simply a case of people regretting their
decision, explains James Morton, manager at the Scottish
Trans Alliance, who told The Independent that a range
of factors could catalyse the desire for a gender
reversal including unusual surgical complications, being
worn down by transphobic harassment, family rejection,
or developing religious or political beliefs that being
transgender is unacceptable. 'If a person has regret
about undergoing gender reassignment, it is especially
important that they receive counselling and in-depth
assessment before undergoing any surgery to attempt
partial reversal as their chance of regretting further
surgery could be even higher,' he said." In "Gender
reversal surgery is more in-demand than ever before," by
Olivia Petter, Independent UK, 3 October 2017.
It is odd to comingle the assertion that some "hormonal
regret" and some "range of factors" drives the
transgendered through chemical and surgical procedures
and then through them again, when, as above, Planned
Parenthood has asserted "it doesn’t matter too much
what parts someone has — that doesn’t tell you much
Parts Don't Matter Too Much and Parts Matter Critically
The assertion that "what parts someone has" is both not
very important and so important as to demand
complicated, expensive procedures to change "what parts
someone has" is a conundrum for this age. This seems all
the more a valid observation, given that urges to reject
one's body parts in favor of some mimicked opposite
binary parts is the narrative, while what is lacking is
that historical character from many cultures of the
eunuch -- the odd individual who has had parts removed
and none replaced with other, opposite parts.
Transitioning between genitalia has been the tale, not
the removal of offending parts.
One may take comfort that Planned Parenthood and others
assure the world "it doesn't matter too much" because
genitalia "doesn't tell you much about" us. And yet, the
rhyme above suggests this constellation of individual
stories and contradictory assertions may be reduced down
to the worship of those parts, so important and so
unimportant at the same time.
What is critical is what is deadly. One reads:
"Transgender adolescents are far more likely to
attempt suicide than teens whose identity matches their
sex assigned at birth, and trans male youth are
especially at risk, a U.S. study suggests. Roughly
half of transgender teens who identify as male but were
assigned a female gender at birth have attempted suicide
at least once, the study found. And 42 percent of
adolescents who don’t identify exclusively as male or
female have at least one prior suicide attempt. About 30
percent of trans female teens — who identify as female
but have birth certificates that label them as male —
have tried suicide at least once, as have 28 percent of
adolescents who are questioning their gender identity,
the study also found." In "Half of transgender male
teens have attempted suicide, study finds," Reuters,
13 September 2018.
Revisiting the quote from the first footnote, one
re-reads: "Through coming into one’s identity,
Partridge emphasized that we should embrace our
bodies as evolving creations that can be changed or
altered as we wish."
Apparently not for the above teens who have attempted
suicide. God makes mistakes? Arguably not, or God is not
God. Man make mistakes? Without a doubt, and
demonstrable across history and the whole range of human
life. Including transgenderism.
[ 8 ] The assertion that
gender is a social construct is made as a truth claim.
But the logic falls in upon itself, for if any social
construct is a truth claim, then truth is as multivalent
as to be a meaningless word in terms of perceiving
reality. An argument that biology is "irrelevant" or
worse "prejudicial" based on a truth claim rooted in the
concept of a social construct is to render the claim
that a social construct is agreed to by all false.
The current game exposing the
The Privileges of Intellectuals
reveals the very same intellectuals to be merely making
claim after claim and raging against those who would
disagree with them, showing that the "social construct"
itself is a fallacious claim. After all, as
Sullivan notes above, a claim may be filled with
"extreme internal tensions and even outright
After all, as below,
Any claim can be made
- a truth of a lie's charade.
[ 9 ] The article observes:
"...Despite being raised in a fundamentalist Christian
family, Nadia has become increasingly involved in
progressive Christianity. The mother-of-two founded
a queer-inclusive Lutheran congregation in Denver, House
for All Sinners and Saints."
Making a sculpture of a vulva in metal - rather like the
story of the Golden Calf or the Yemeni corner of the
Meccan Kaaba, which is a fetish of a vulva like the
referenced :feminist" progressive -- is evidence of
progressive Christianity? Then one asks what is
progressive Christianity, and learns "Progressive
Christianity draws on the insights of multiple
theological streams including evangelicalism,
liberalism, neo-orthodoxy, pragmatism, postmodernism,
Progressive Reconstructionism, and liberation theology.
Though the terms Progressive Christianity and Liberal
Christianity are often used synonymously, the two
movements are distinct, despite much overlap." In
"Progressive Christianity," Wikipedia, n. d.
Bother With Any Form of Christianity?
What seems diluted then is the notion of Christian in
progressive Christianity. Of it one reads: "In the
recently published, The Australian Book of Atheism, Alex
McCullie briefly surveys the writings of Borg, Crossan,
and Spong, as well as those of the Australians Val Webb
and Francis MacNab. He explores PC’s key ideas about
God, Jesus, the Bible and ethics. Whilst sympathetic
to some of the movement’s ethical aims he observes that
it has 'effectively denuded Christianity', and he
suggests that in denying the Christ of faith (his term),
it has 'jettisoned the raison d’être of Christianity'.
So, this atheist critic asks: 'Why bother with any
form of Christianity? ... It seems that Progressive
Christianity would appeal to the committed but
disaffected Christians only, leaving aside the vast
majority of us – the religiously indifferent'." In
"Progressive Christianity: Testing Its Arguments," by
Geoff Thompson, Uniting Theology and the Church, Issue
5, February 2011.
Aside from the seemingly new phenomena observed, such a
focus on "parts" suggests that progressive Christianity
as represented by a "feminist pastor" and her sculpture
of a vulva is nothing particularly new, after all.
[ 10 ] What a friend we have in
Jesus, sings an old gospel lyric. This "reverend"
was thoughtless enough -- or perhaps empowered enough --
to pull a stunt like this. What was at risk?
One reads from the Post: "Butler was hired
in 2014 as the seventh senior minister of Riverside
Church — a massive Gothic cathedral in Morningside
Heights known as a bastion of inter-denominational
liberalism that was led during the late 1970s and
’80s by the late anti-war activist the Rev. William
Sloane Coffin Jr. Butler’s cushy five-year contract,
which expired June 30, paid her a $250,000 annual
salary, an $8,000-a-month housing allowance and more
than $55,000 in yearly pension contributions,
according to documents obtained by The Post."
That's a lot of donations in the "pass the plate" free
will tithing game of today's "inter-denominational"
liberal churches. Looking through Christian scripture to
find support for such a tale seems wasted effort.
But at least the choir and congregation may sing, "O
worship your parts, all glorious below...."
we cannot discuss - What's all the fuss?
If we cannot discuss,
then discussion's out;
If we cannot agree,
we can only shout.
Without discussion comes ideas'
If we cannot debate,
the debate is closed;
If we cannot learn,
Without debate, society's bulldozed.
If we refuse correction,
mistakes will rule;
If mistakes rule,
each who leads is a fool.
Without correction, man grows more
is not an argument
"He who fights with monsters should
be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze
long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee." Friedrich
Nietzsche, in Beyond Good and Evil, 1886.
A slur is not an argument.
A pejorative is not a truth.
Distortion is not reality,
Nor clarity too uncouth.
A charge is not conviction.
A statistic sometimes lies.
Raging is not discussion,
And learning is not a prize.
A slur is not an argument,
But its purpose is well served
To silence what's unwanted,
As many have observed.
A charge is no conviction,
Yet when yelled quite loud
Serves well to gather all
Its partisans to a crowd.
Beat the hell out of another side,
For evil resides in them.
If you've found you've made an error,
Just shrug and grunt, ahem.
If you've found your monster,
A question should be posed.
What if you're your monster?
That truth might be exposed.
Make arguments, eschewing slurs;
Use names to kind effect.
Distort not what is really real,
What's closed let openness correct.
If I were a ewe,
I'd be a sheep
of an oh so ladylike sort.
If I were me,
I'd be a ram
and with some ewe consort.
If I were not
Like these two,
I'd argue for another port.
If I did that,
The flock falls flat
and tomorrow's tally's short.
If I'd distort
This tale's' import,
herd is culled in the final court.
Less Is Less: "When researchers looked at
fertility rates for women of all age groups and races, they found
that the nationwide rate was 16 percent lower than what is
considered the level for a population to replace itself. Experts
say this is likely due to the fact that the large proportion of
native-born women are having fewer children than before, while the
much smaller proportion of immigrant-born women are having more
children." In "Fertility rate for white women plummets BELOW the
limit needed to maintain the population in every single US state,"
by Mary Kekatos, Daily Mail, 10 Janary 2019.
One didn't because he
One did because he could.
Such explains disparity
In equality's neighborhood.
One acted irresponsibly;
One lived responsibly bright.
So obvious is disparity seen
In equality's unequal light.
One labored in quiet dignity;
One labored hardly at all.
Such is a clear distinction
Which births equality's fall.
One chose all too falsely;
One chose with better aims.
So breeds mankind's disparity
Which blind equality blames.
Monroe the Bear
Photo by Dale Baum
|Monroe, via Sawpit,
Sauntered in the yard
And climbed up in an oak
The vista to regard.
|Monroe the bear sought
To weigh bear options' choice,
And then without much fuss
Sauntered off as folks rejoice.
|Would one play with Monroe
Or feed with tidbits rare?
Better far to stay away;
Avoid a bloody scare.
|Monroe the bear smiles,
If you would see it so;
For a bear's a bear, you know.
|Monroe, via Sawpit,
Stayed and then did leave,
But one may see the photos
If one does not believe.
|I believe in Monroe
Via Sawpit's rising trail,
And think a bear is never
A playmate one might hail.
McGinn, known as 'Tony Bark' to his friends, says he has been
into animal role-play his entire life, and refers to himself as a
'human pup'. The 30-year-old, who was born female and is
transgender, is supported by his husband and 'handler' Andrew who
accompanies him to regular play dates with other role-players in
their hometown of Los Angeles." In "Transgender man identifies as
a DOG and says chasing sticks and playing on all fours has brought
him closer to his husband," by Charlie Moore, Mail Online, 15
she, K-9's for fun,
Not barking mad, for that's a pun.
Lie down with dogs to rise with fleas?
A human pup's a bitch to please?
She, as he, wags a dildo's tail,
For that assertion speaks so male.
Lie down with handlers, doggy do?
It's all a role play, an actor's brew.
Take this seriously as you play?
What's false is true as night is day.
Assert most anything; K-9 for fun.
But if one laughs, play an offended one.
Hubby as handler commands: Go. Fetch.
And she-he-it plays obedient wretch?
Arf, arf, arf, but not barking mad?
Dogs go naked; these folks go clad.
Costumes and those roles of theirs
Testify to plain human errors,
Asserting a role is reality,
And humanity turns bestiality?
Puppy for President? Pope? Or Peer?
Then politics too can sniff its rear.
Tony bark, and fetch, and chase,
On a leash, with a doggy face.
Critter ponies up to trace
Another lap in the human race.
Addendum from the Horse's Mouth: "The mission of
our group is to promote and maintain pony and critter play in
Los Angeles that is recognized positively within pony play, critter
play and BDSM communities
[ 1 ]
worldwide. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for pony and
critter play enthusiasts to meet and play in Los Angeles and to have
fun. We embrace pony and critter play. We host a Los Angeles Pony
and Critter play date regularly, a Fox Hunt twice a year, a Derby
and other Pony & Critter events." In "Mission Statement," Los
Angeles Pony and Critter Club, n. d.
Addendum of Certain Puppies: "Almost
all dogs can cause unimaginable damage and danger, but certain
breeds are more prone to showing dangerous reactions and cause
fatalities! These breeds should be the most attentive to, socialized
and trained obedience so that they can live happily in various
households and situations!" In "Top 10 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in
the World," Inside Dog's World, n. d.
[ 2 ]
of a Literary Example of Gender Thinking: "
Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
/ And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full / Of direst
cruelty!" Lady Macbeth, SCENE V. Inverness, Macbeth of William
[ 3 ]
[ 1 ] "The term 'BDSM' is
first recorded in a Usenet posting from 1991, and is
interpreted as a combination of the abbreviations B/D (Bondage
and Discipline), D/s (Dominance and submission),
and S/M (Sadism and Masochism). BDSM is now used
as a catch-all phrase covering a wide range of
activities, forms of interpersonal relationships, and
distinct subcultures. BDSM communities generally welcome
anyone with a non-normative streak who identifies with
the community; this may include cross-dressers, body
modification enthusiasts, animal role players, rubber
fetishists, and others." In "BDSM," Wikipedia, n. d.
One wonders how this binary of dominance and submission
squares with the latest waves of feminism as regards
patriarchal social constructs. After all, Tony Bark
asserts gender fluidity, identifying according to a
gender binary, all the while ascribing to a submissive
"play" with her "handler."
[ 2 ] Oddly, such puppy play
cannot be particularly real, given that such enactments
do not participate in other aspects of canine behavior
which are identified as dangerous. One reads as an
example: "What is the Dangerous Dogs Act? The act
specifically made four breeds of dog illegal to own,
breed from, abandon or sell: the Pit Bull terrier,
Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentino and the Fila Braziliero.
But according to the RSPCA over a third of the people
killed by dogs since the act was brought in were
attacked by legal breeds." In "HAZARDOUS HOUNDS What
are dangerous dogs, which breeds are banned in the UK
and what’s the Dangerous Dogs Act?" by Guy Birchall
and Hannah Shaw, Sun UK, 10 May 2018.
[ 3 ] Then again, one reads:
"Gates admitted she was a pervert, but only in the
fantasy realm. 'Little Red Riding Hood,' for example: 'I
think that’s incredibly sexy, and when I was a kid I
used to masturbate to the fantasy of being eaten by a
pack of wolves. And I still find that sort of an
exciting image. I can call that into my head when
necessary.' She likes furry stuff, too. 'Take my word
for it, I’ve got a really dirty mind, and my dirty mind
has gone to places that are beyond the pale. I think
amputee stuff is hot, I think furry stuff is hot, I
think slash fiction’s hot, but as far as acting stuff
out … I mean, I've ridden pony boys and pony
girls'—people dressed up with bridles and saddles,
etc.—'and I found that very exciting, but I’m uninclined
to ask my husband to put on a saddle. And we find the
ordinary, old vanilla stuff completely satisfying and
very, very perfect'." In "Pleasures of the Fur,"
by George Gurley, Vanity Fair, 3 October 2017.
I learned the answer, yes
the answer, yes, and it was simply twelve. And after that, there was
no reason to much further delve.
I learned the answer, yes, and it was hugely blue. And after this, I
could not justify listening to you.
I learned the answer, yes, and it was mine to hold. And after that,
the simplest challenges seemed far too bold.
I learned the answer, yes, and strode along its path. And after
that, its utter nonsense birthed the aftermath.
I learned the answer, yes, but it was wrong, it seems. And after
that, reality eroded its simple dreams.
So many answers are proposed with convincing tones of voice,
But choose a false one and be assured you'd make a fatal choice.
He saw some
money and couldn't resist;
No one would notice, and it wouldn't be missed.
She spied some funds to take by stealth,
With her greater goal of societal health.
They hungered for cash with reasons galore,
And after the haul they hungered for more.
We all can do much with what we steal;
So says the logic and its broad appeal.
He saw, she spied and they hungered too;
We all can play in a thieving milieu.
Make of this tale whatever you will;
It could be both a cure and a poisonous pill.
Any claim can be made - a
truth of a lie's charade
movement that has popularized the term 'toxic masculinity' shares
tools and conclusions with those who see signs of 'white supremacy'
everywhere they look. Intersectionalists have in common with one
another a particular rhetorical trick: Any claim made by a member of
an historically oppressed group is unquestionably true. Questioning
claims is, itself, an act of oppression. This opens the door for
anyone who is willing to lie to obtain power. If you cannot
question claims, any claim can be made." In "On Toxic
Femininity," by Heather E. Heying, Quilette, 9 July 2018.
[ 1 ]
Any claim can be made,
Made is every claim.
Many claims fail the grade,
That was not their aim.
Any claim hurls its words
Often to defame.
Many claims then prove false,
Falsehood without shame.
Open a door to anyone?
You might share the blame.
Any claim can be made.
Not all win acclaim.
Addendum of Declining to Clarify a Claim:
"...the club will sell birding patches to benefit another nonprofit,
and is currently looking for illustrators to create a new design.
PJ Media reached out to Adams to ask why an explicitly feminist
approach is necessary for birding, but she declined to respond."
In "Woman Launches ‘Feminist Bird Club’ to Promote
‘Intersectionality’ in Bird-Watching," by Toni Airaksinen, PJ Media,
7 November 2018.
Addendum of the Eviction of Some
Academics and Their Ideas: "Communal
inquiry and debate are at the heart of the academy. As researchers,
we put our ideas into the crucible of open inquiry and rely on
debate and discussion to refine understanding and advance solutions
to complex problems. The practice of issuing open letters
attacking scholars for their contributions undermines this important
goal by evicting academics and their ideas from the arena — often on
flimsy evidentiary grounds. More constructive responses can and
should be employed." In "The Problem With Open Letters — Noah Carl
and Beyond," HXA Executive Team, 7 December 2018.
[ 2 ]
Addendum of Postmodernist,
Intersectional Authoritarianism: "The
authoritarian power of the postmodern academics and activists seems
to be invisible to them whilst being apparent to everyone else. As
Andrew Sullivan says of intersectionality: 'It posits a classic
orthodoxy through which all of human experience is explained — and
through which all speech must be filtered. … Like the Puritanism
once familiar in New England, intersectionality controls language
and the very terms of discourse.' Postmodernism has become a Lyotardian metanarrative, a Foucauldian system of discursive power,
and a Derridean oppressive hierarchy." In "How French
“Intellectuals” Ruined the West: Postmodernism and Its Impact,
Explained," by Helen Pluckrose, Aero Magazine, 27 March 2017. [
Addendum of Pushing Back Against
the Claims of Committee Whims: " 'As many of you
know, the crowdfunding site Patreon has banned several prominent
content creators from its platform,' Harris said. 'While the company
insists that each was in violation of its terms of service, these
recent expulsions seem more readily explained by political bias.
Although I don't share the politics of the banned members, I
consider it no longer tenable to expose any part of my podcast
funding to the whims of Patreon's 'Trust and Safety' committee'."
In "A top Patreon creator deleted his account, accusing the
crowdfunding membership platform of 'political bias' after it purged
conservative accounts it said were associated with hate groups," by
Benjamin Goggin, Business Insider, 17 December 2018.
[ 4 ]
Addendum of Making Claims:
"Right now, in Mission, Tex., we don’t worry about
immigrants who crossed the border illegally or drug smugglers." In "I
voted for Trump. Now his wall may destroy my butterfly paradise,"
by Luciano Guerra, Washington Post, 17 December 2018.
[ 5 ]
Addendum of Claiming Holocaust Victims
are Muslims: "The Palestinian Authority
presented photographs of Holocaust victims as Arab victims of an
Israeli massacre on official PA TV, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW)
reported. The official PA TV news presented a photograph of
hundreds of bodies of Jews which was taken at the Nordhausen
concentration camp in Thuringia, Germany, as a picture of Arabs
massacred at Deir Yassin in 1948. The picture was taken soon
after American forces liberated the camp in 1945." In "PA tries to
pass off Holocaust victims as Arab victims," Arutz Sheva, 3 May
Addendum of Claiming to be a Physician
While Running for Office: "McCarthy said she
received her medical degree from the University of Central Florida,
class of 2014, allowing her to transition from registered nurse to a
doctor. Nevertheless, UCF officials say they can’t find any record
of any degree for her. She said she has a bachelor’s degree from
Florida State, but that school could not find a degree in her name
either. 'I have no idea,' McCarthy said when asked Friday why her
stories did not check out in official records." In "HD 28
Democratic candidate Elizabeth McCarthy’s credentials don’t check
out," by Scott Powers, Florida Politics, 15 June 2019.
[ 1 ] Professor Heying wrote a
response to that "intersectionality" of postmodernism,
running rampant in truly fascistic fashion on university
campuses, which has allowed so many claims with little
to no proof and absent rigorous and open methodology.
Heying observed: "Given that we know this to be
true in non-human animals, why would we imagine that
humans are less, rather than even more, flexible? There
are many ways to be female, and many ways to be male,
and some of each are bad news for everyone but the
individual employing them. As a social species that has
become the dominant ecological force on our planet, we
can and should aspire to behave in ways that are not
merely selfish, not merely competitive, but also
collaborative. Toxic masculinity, and toxic
femininity, are inherently selfish modes, and those not
employing them should be interested in seeing them
Willing to Lie to Obtain
The cogent argument is that the postmodern gambit of
intersectionality "opens the door for anyone who is
willing to lie to obtain power." Such a power
struggle was seen at her previous place of employment,
Evergreen State in Washington. She, her husband and one
of the main instigators of that power struggle were all
separated from the university with six-figure
legal/financial settlements, which one could easily
characterize as the spending of public money to make
errors of judgment on the part of an academic elite
which fully bought into the "truth" of unfounded claims
and the raw application of power.
What is easily demonstrable is that
- government flexing its sinews.
[ 2 ] As to the issue of claims
without substantiation and the article cited above, a
comment was posted by an individual who chose this
quote: "Fear of serious injury cannot alone
justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men
feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of
speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears."
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941).
The comment then added "Everyone is in favor of their
own free speech. The test of your commitment to free
speech as a general principle is whether you are willing
to tolerate the speech of others, especially those with
whom you most disagree. If you are using your speech
to try to silence speech, you are not in favor of free
speech. You are only in favor of yourself."
"Another day, another
A number of critiques of the "open letter" critique are
seen. One reads the above and: "The fact
that a group of more than 200 academics have branded a
young scholar a racist and accused him of academic
malpractice, without offering any evidence to back up
these allegations, is a scandal. It is typical of
the underhand tactics used by the Left to discredit
those who don’t subscribe to progressive orthodoxy –
particularly the ‘blank slate’ orthodoxy – and helps
explain why there are so few conservatives in the social
sciences and the humanities. St Edmund’s College should
treat this smear campaign with the contempt it
deserves." In "The scandalous shaming of Noah Carl," by
Toby Young, Spectator UK, 7 December 2018.
Academic Marxism? Academic Fascism?
Additionally: "...for a group of over 300
academics to sign their names to this charge sheet
without appearing to have conducted even the most
cursory examination of Dr Carl’s work is an absolute
scandal. These are trumped up charges, brought
against Dr Carl because he dissents from the prevailing
orthodoxy about a controversial field of academic
research. He hasn’t even waded into these dangerous
waters himself—he has just defended the right of
academics to do so. But that alone is enough for a group
of his colleagues to attempt to ruin him. So much for
the principles of academic freedom and open inquiry, not
to mention diversity, tolerance and inclusion. This is
academic McCarthyism." In "Academics' Mobbing of a
Young Scholar Must be Denounced," Quillette Magazine, 7
The Original Sin?
Evidence of the "sin" claimed by an open letter without
citations: "It is often asserted that, when
it comes to taboo topics like race, genes and IQ,
scholars should be held to higher evidentiary standards
or even censored entirely because of the harm that might
result if their findings became widely known. There is
held to be an asymmetry whereby the societal costs of
discussing certain topics inevitably outweigh any
benefits from doing so. This paper argues that no
such asymmetry has been empirically demonstrated, and
that stifling debate around taboo topics can itself do
active harm. To the extent that the paper's argument has
force, it cannot simply be taken for granted that, when
in doubt, stifling debate around taboo topics is the
ethical thing to do." In "How Stifling Debate Around
Race, Genes and IQ Can Do Harm," by Noah Carl,
Evolutionary Psychological Science (2018) 4:399–407.
This is Carl's claim, against the open letter demanding
censure while citing no evidence. "It cannot simply
be taken for granted..." Apparently hundreds
of academics in several social science disciplines take
for granted that "stifling debate" is fully and
Name-calling and allegations without proof are sure
signs of desperation in any debate. Consider the truth
as one reads -- or loudly shouts --
- there's no debating you.
[ 3 ] As to notions of the will to
power, one revisits: "In a debate that aired
on Dutch television in the early Seventies, for example,
the famous American radical and linguist Noam Chomsky
appears as a voice of sanity and moderation in
comparison to Foucault. As Miller reports it, while
Chomsky insisted 'we must act as sensitive and
responsible human beings,' Foucault replied that such
ideas as responsibility, sensitivity, justice, and law
were merely 'tokens of ideology' that completely lacked
legitimacy. 'The proletariat doesn’t wage war against
the ruling class because it considers such a war to be
just,' he argued. 'The proletariat makes war with the
ruling class because … it wants to take power'." In
"The perversions of M. Foucault," by Roger Kimball, New
Criterion, March 1993.
Thus the flood of claims, unfounded, unexplained and
simple mobbing per the above find in their postmodern
progenitor the admission. All ends up being the pursuit
of power. To that end, any claim may be made.
For this, one finds many
"refusing the list"
-- which is an addendum to the larger topic of
Free speech, hate speech
[ 4 ]
The notion a "Trust and Safety Committee" should be in
charge of determining political bias is a claim made
factual by its existence and actions, per the above, and
that bias is being shown is a claim which the committee
itself validates. This set of perhaps undisclosed
measures has driven away some participants in the
entity. By what general measure might this committee
operate? One could claim that political correctness is
Tilting Towards the Totalitarian
Of this strange "correctness" by which a committee would
ban participation, one reads some clarification:
"Since reality contradicts that [enforced correctness],
reality must be forbidden. It must become forbidden to
acknowledge the reality of our history. People must be
forced to live a lie, and since people are naturally
reluctant to live a lie, they naturally use their ears
and eyes to look out and say, 'Wait a minute. This isn’t
true. I can see it isn’t true,' the power of the
state must be put behind the demand to live a lie. That
is why ideology invariably creates a totalitarian state."
In "The Origins of Political Correctness," by Bill Lind,
Accuracy in Academia, 5 February 2000.
While Patreon is not a "state," it is an entity with
governance which purports to deal in "trust and safety,"
One must adhere to its biases, as it claims others are
biased in some antithetical direction. Harris notes
"these recent expulsions seem more readily explained by
One claims to restrict another on the claim of bias,
while that simply and logically validates its own bias.
One is a claim, and the other demonstrates a factual
value to the opposing claim.
[ 5 ] Multiple claims are
nested tightly together. An individual 1) writes
in the name of "we," 2) claims believably to have
"voted for Trump" in the Washington Post though
likely he did not submit a pro-Trump opinion piece
during the campaign itself that the same media
published, 3) claims in the WaPo article that
butterflies are of more significance to the citizens of
"we" than other issues, and 4) claims a border wall
"may destroy my butterfly paradise."
As to that paradise, one reads from months earlier a
claim of butterflies: "It's not a real migration,"
said Luciano Guerra, outreach coordinator for the
National Butterfly Center (NBC) in Mission, Texas. The
snouts are opportunists, following their host plant and
looking for mates wherever Mother Nature makes them
available." In "Snout-nosed butterfly population
surges in South Texas following recent rains," by
Monika Maeckle, Texas Butterfly Ranch, 3 August 2018.
During the Obama Administration?
As to the wall and Trump -- the linked claims of the
Washington Post op-ed -- one reads: "The
construction of a wall between the Rio Grande Valley and
Mexico started in 2009—way before the election of
President Trump...." In "The Texans Who Are Mad as
Hell About Trump's Border Wall," by Verónica G.
Cárdenas, Splinter News, 1 June 2018.
From the same article and on the subject of the area, it
is claimed that already more "...than 95
percent of the habitat has been destroyed for
urbanization and agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley."
Further, of the construction begun under the Obama
administration, another claim is found: "The
border wall is going to hurt tourism in our area, which
is one of the main sources of income for the Valley."
But as to the Trump wall, one reads: "In December, then
President-elect Barack Obama said he wanted to evaluate
border security operations before he considers whether
to finish building the fence under his administration.
Easterling said the Obama White House has not told
Homeland Security to stop building the fence." In "U.S.-Mexico
border fence almost complete," Associated Press, 27
The article makes a statement, not a claim:
"Congress authorized the fence in 2005 to help secure
the border and slow illegal immigration. Lawmakers also
gave the Homeland Security secretary the power to waive
federal laws, such as environmental protections, when
erecting the fence. Obama, as a senator, voted for
Her 'Anti-Immigrant Wall'
And from the same article, Guerra is quoted: "When I
voted, I voted for Trump because it was either him or
Hillary and there was no way I would vote for her."
As to Clinton, one reads: "In Hillary
Clinton’s case, the vote has a deeper significance. As
the reputed frontrunner in the contest for the
Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination, she is
making a direct appeal to the same anti-immigrant
sentiments that are being stoked by the right wing of
the Republican Party." In "Why Hillary Clinton voted
for the anti-immigrant wall," by Bill Van Auken,
World Socialist, 4 October 2006.
That article further observes: "...in a 2003
interview with WABC radio in New York, she declared: 'I
am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants.'
Continuing with what amounted to a backward rant against
the foreign-born, she said, 'People have to stop
employing illegal immigrants. I mean, come up to
Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand on
the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx. You’re
going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to
go do yard work and construction work and domestic
Auken claims: "Clinton’s
political calculations on the immigration question, as
on the war in Iraq, democratic rights and social issues,
are predicated on the political monopoly exercised by
the Democratic and Republican parties, both organized
for and by the corporations and wealthy elite."
Other Choices Than
Corporations and a Wealthy Elite
In the 2016 election, Guerra had other choices, including the openly anti-war
Green Party candidate Jill Stein. One is reminded:
"On Election Day, Stein finished in 4th with over
1,457,216 votes (more than the previous three Green
tickets combined) and 1.07% of the popular vote.
However, she finished three million votes under Gary
Johnson as the Greens once again finished behind the
Libertarian Party, though they did gain more votes than
Independent candidate Evan McMullin and Constitution
Party candidate Darrell Castle." In "Jill
Stein 2016 presidential campaign," Wikipedia article, n.
As a naturalist, Guerra could have voted for the Green
Party. He may have chosen
not to do so. But from information above, Trump's wall
could be seen as Obama's wall and
Clinton's wall and Bush's wall before that. It is a matter of claims
and public awareness of such claims.
Some claims can be proven. Others can be disproven per
the above citations.
As to the notion that "any claim can be made," one can
ponder on the functionality of
Could and May
- an up-to-date play.
But maybe oh just maybe
seems quite very fine when forward lies the cliff,
While forward make the best of sense to get there in a jiff.
Down seems well advised when one has clambered up too high,
And up is oh so very wise for the
bottom rung ladder guy.
Right seems most advisable when traffic must so bear,
should also seem quite right to turn to get to there.
Yes and no and no and yes will answer many things,
But maybe oh just maybe the darndest answer swings?
Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement, Trading Places - "It
just depends on who does it"
|That was then.
This is now.
Have a cow.
|One says no,
Does the deed;
Hear the screed.
|One was then;
One is now.
That's the game
Addendum from 2015:
"Since 2013, President Obama has repeatedly vowed that there
would be no 'boots on the ground' in Syria. But White House
press secretary Josh Earnest said the president's decision
Friday to send up to 50 special forces troops to Syria doesn't
change the fundamental strategy: 'This is an important thing
for the American people to understand. These forces do not have
a combat mission'." In "16 times Obama said there would be no
boots on the ground in Syria," by Gregory Korte, USA Today, 30
Addendum from 2018:
"Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., derided Trump’s decision to
withdraw, likening it to those made by former President Barack
Obama to announce ahead of time plans to reduce forces in Iraq
and Afghanistan. 'Withdrawal of this small American force in
Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake,' Graham tweeted."
In "Trump orders US troops out of Syria, declares victory over
ISIS; senators slam action as mistake," by Tom Vanden Brook and
David Jackson, USA Today, 19 December 2018.
Addendum of the Outrage:
"The Washington foreign-policy swamp is
outraged by Trump's 'mission accomplished,' calling it
'precipitous' and 'reckless.' What they are not telling you is
that, for them, the 'mission' was never primarily about ISIS; it
was about eliminating the Assad regime. The Islamic State was
simply a convenient cover to deploy troops into Syria. And now,
having taken control of everything east of the Euphrates River
with the help of the indigenous Kurdish population, they want to
attack Assad. Overthrowing the Syrian dictator has been their
goal since the beginning of that country’s civil war in 2011.
Two different aid programs, one run by the Pentagon and the
other run by the CIA, were set up to fund and empower the Syrian
rebels. Both failed to dislodge the Assad regime, and both were
ended by Trump by mid-2017." In "The terrible, horrible,
no-good, very bad reason the military wants to stay in Syria,"
by Steven W. Mosher, New York Post, 29 December 2018.
[ 3 ]
Addendum of Political Leaders and
Harm's Way: "The latest Rasmussen Reports
national telephone and online survey finds that 43% of likely
U.S. voters say political leaders send American soldiers into
harm’s way too often, while seven percent (7%) feel U.S.
troops are sent into harm’s way not often enough. Thirty-seven
percent (37%) believe the balance is about right. Twelve percent
(12%) are not sure." In "Fewer Voters Believe U.S. Troops Sent
Into Harm’s Way Too Often," Rasmussen Reports, 3 January 2019.
[ 4 ]
Addendum on Withdrawing from the Wars:
"The beneficiaries of NATO’s actions are few.
Taxpayers across NATO member states have contributed trillions
of dollars to the Afghan occupation alone – $5.9 trillion
according to a Brown University study. This money has not simply
disappeared into a fiscal blackhole. It ended up in the hands of
arms manufacturers and military contractors. This is money that
regardless of political persuasions – the public of NATO member
states would likely want either spent elsewhere – especially
domestic social programs, or not drawn from the public through
taxes in the first place." In "US Withdrawal from NATO Would
Benefit Americans Most of All," by Tony Cartalucci, New
Eastern Outlook, 19 January 2019.
[ 1 ] The "50 special
forces" in October of 2015, according to USA Today,
became much more quickly. One reads: "In
September 2014, U.S. warplanes that had been
shelling the Islamic State in Iraq started bombing
targets in Syria." In "How many U.S. troops are
in Syria? And what are they doing there?" Editors,
USA Today, 4 April 2018.
before 2015: "President Barack Obama
has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support
for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources
familiar with the matter said. Obama’s order,
approved earlier this year and known as an
intelligence 'finding,' broadly permits the CIA and
other U.S. agencies to provide support that could
help the rebels oust Assad." In "Obama Secret Syria
Order Authorizes Support For Rebels," by Mark
Hosenball, Huffington Post, 1 October 2012.
America's Hidden Wars
Only days before Trump's announcement
of 2018 that troops
would be withdrawn from Syria, one read:
"The Pentagon does not say how many troops are
there. Officially, they number 503, but earlier
this year an official let slip that the true number
may be closer to 4,000. Most are Special
Operations forces, and their footprint is light.
Their vehicles and convoys rumble by from time to
time along the empty desert roads, but it is rare to
see U.S. soldiers in towns and cities."
In "America’s hidden war in Syria," by Liz Sly,
Washington Post, 14 December 2018.
A hidden war? During the "Peace Prize"
administration of Obama, one learns: "A lot
of Americans don’t believe that we should be
fighting and sending young Americans over to die in
another country." In "Audio Reveals What John
Kerry Told Syrians Behind Closed Doors," by Anne
Barnard, New York Times, 30 September 2016.
In that audio, one finds John Kerry stating:
""And so it’s complicated, it’s not easy. And we’ve
been fighting. How many wars have we been
fighting? We’ve been fighting in Afghanistan, we’ve
been fighting in Iraq, we’ve fighting -you know- in
the region for fourteen years. And a lot of
Americans don’t believe that we should be fighting
and sending young Americans over to die in another
country. That’s the problem. The congress won’t
vote to do it." Apparently, the
Obama administration, after "no boots on the
ground," thought they "had to do it." From "50
special forces" in 2015 to "closer to 4,000" in
2018, according to the Washington Post.
In that time, one learns: "Much could be
gleaned by Samantha Power’s flippant tantrum after
walking out of a crucial UN Security Council
emergency session after the US had attacked and
massacred over 80 Syrian military soldiers after
a ‘Coalition’ airstrike on Dier Azor – a US
attack which allowed ISIS to strategically advance
past Syrian Army defensive positions.
Undoubtedly, this act by the US is what ruined any
chance of a viable ceasefire agreement. Power then
went on the blame Russia for the crisis." In
"Diplomatic Frauds: Kerry, Power, Kirby Lying and
Shilling for ‘Body Bags’ and War in Syria," by
Patrick Henningsen, 21st Century Wire, 1 October
Selling Dirty Wars in
Syria and Yemen
Henningsen goes on to state: "American
'diplomats' like John Kerry, Samantha Power, and
John Kirby have a lot to answer for, because even
though they may not be aware of it, everyone else
now knows that their public outbursts are nothing
more than smokescreens to cover the numerous lies
and covert operations that the US government
continues to sell regarding two dirty wars in Syria
As to a smokescreen, one reads: "Rice, who
worked under former President Obama, pointed
specifically to Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S.
troops from Syria, a move she called 'reckless'."
In "Susan Rice: Trump doing more to undermine
national security than any foreign adversary," by
Avery Anapol, The Hill, 23 December 2018.
Alas, Rice has not highlighted that Obama, her boss,
had spoken openly of his
Failing to plan
-- flailing's in view.
But that was then.
[ 2 ] An
A comment among
more than a thousand to the NY Times article
observed: "I voted for Trump, despite
his character, because he said he was going to order
our withdrawal from Syria. Clinton did not make
any such promise."
American War Candidate of 2016
One finds the 2016 Democrat candidate reviewed:
"Unlike Donald Trump, who has wildly shifting
positions and alleged 'secret' plans to defeat the
Islamic State, Clinton has an extensive track record
upon which one can evaluate her likely positions.
By any reasonable measure, Clinton qualifies as a
hawk, if a nuanced one. Though she has opposed uses
of force that she believed were a bad idea, she has
consistently endorsed starting new wars and
expanding others." In "Hillary the Hawk: A
History," by Micah Zenko, Foreign Policy, 27 July
Additionally, one finds: " 'A no-fly zone can
save lives and hasten the end of the conflict,' she
said. With proper planning, Clinton argued, the
restriction could accomplish those goals without
sparking a larger war." In "Hillary Clinton Goes
All-In On Syria No-Fly Zone," by Daniel Marans,
Huffington Post, 20 October 2016.
This hawkish stance is open, as one recalls:
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a
laugh with a television news reporter moments
after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi
had been killed. 'We came, we saw, he died,' she
joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's
death by an aide in between formal interviews." In
"Clinton on Qaddafi: 'We came, we saw, he died'," by
Corbett Daly, CBS News, 20 October 2011.
Let's Be Mindful
Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President
stated: "Let's be mindful here of Secretary
Clinton's track record. Was the invasion of Libya an
example of how we lead with strength consistent with
our values? It would be hard to imagine a more
catastrophic war than what took place in Libya, that
helped strengthen ISIS, that helped release an
incredible stockpile of weapons, further inflaming
the crisis and the violence in the Middle East.
Clinton has said she would like to impose a no-fly
zone over Syria, which basically means we are going
to war with Russia, [who fly in that airspace]." DemocracyNow interview on First 2016 Presidential
Debate Sep 27, 2016. Cited in " First Presidential
Debate at Hofstra University, Sept. 26, 2016,
moderated by Lester Holt of NBC News," On the
Trillions for War?
The costs are considered: " 'Even if the wars
are ended by 2023, the US would still be on track to
spend an additional $808 billion to total at
least $6.7 trillion, not including future interest
costs,' the report adds. 'Moreover, the costs of
war will likely be greater than this because, unless
the US immediately ends its deployments, the number
of veterans associated with the post-9/11 wars will
also grow'." In "America's 'war on terror' has cost
the US nearly $6 trillion and killed roughly half a
million people, and there's no end in sight," by
John Haltiwanger, Business Insider, 14 November
Divided Between the War Party and
Being mindful is what one editorial from the
American political Left
has done. One reads: "Trump’s decisions on Syria and
Afghanistan will lay bare the real distinctions
in American politics. Political power in this
country is not divided between right and left, and
not even between rich and poor. The real line is
between a war party, and everyone else." In "We
Know How Trump’s War Game Ends," by Matt Taibbi,
Rolling Stone, 21 December 2018.
Identifying the "war party" is not a matter of party
membership, per se, but of observing words and
deeds, as so many Democrats and Republicans have
urged war on the American people. This is among the reasons to conclude that too often
Left is Right, as Right is Left
On the subject of urging was on America, The Rolling Stone article notes: "The Afghan
conflict became the longest military engagement in
American history eight years ago. Despite myths
to the contrary, Barack Obama did not enter office
gung-ho to leave Afghanistan. He felt he needed to
win there first, which, as anyone who’s read The
Great Game knows, proved impossible. So we ended up
staying throughout his presidency." And
advanced in Syria too.
Anther reporter editorializes, speculating rather
than reporting: "A withdrawal could
have major geopolitical ramifications, and
plunges into uncertainty the fate of US-backed
Kurdish fighters who have been tackling Islamic
State jihadists, thousands of whom are thought to
remain in Syria." In "Trump stuns allies by ordering
US troops home from Syria," by Thomas Watkins, Agence France Presse, 20 December 2018.
So who advocates for continuing was around the
world? It depends on who one asks. Sometimes it is a
matter of being for a "pro-some-war," pretend anti-war candidate.
Against, But For, Before
Then there is this observed journalistic behavior: " 'It could also risk getting American soldiers
killed or wounded for objectives their commanders
had already abandoned,' writes The Times. Yet almost
a year ago, on Jan. 19, 2018, that same editorial
board raked the president over the coals for even
daring to continue America’s policy of military
adventurism." In "The New York Times Was Against
War In Syria Before It Was For It," by Joe
Simonson, Daily Caller, 21 December 2018.
Then, one reads of France and Germany, speaking for
Europe. "America's Western allies have
voiced dismay at US leader Donald Trump's sudden
idea to pull out of Syria." In "US allies in
dismay at Trump's Syria pull-out," by Andrew Rettman,
EU Observer, 21 December 2018.
Obama's Mistake? Bush's
This is all the more ironic as the Washington Post
editors allow an interesting headline to be
published: "Trump repeating Obama’s mistake
in the Middle East," Marc Thiessen, Washington Post,
23 December 2018.
The EU Observer article quotes Trump: " 'Does the USA
want to be the policeman of the Middle East, getting
NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of
dollars protecting others?', he said."
In addition to withdrawal from Syria, Trump has
ordered less involvement in another war. One
reads: "Overruling the Pentagon, the White
House abruptly announced the full departure of U.S.
ground forces in Syria on Wednesday. Senior defense
officials told CBS News on Thursday that the White
House also ordered the Pentagon to start planning
a major drawdown of roughly 7,000 troops in
Afghanistan fighting the Taliban insurgency." In
"Rand Paul defends troop withdrawal in Syria,
Afghanistan: 'Can the people who live there not
do anything?' " by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS
News, 23 December 2018.
Such interesting questions, are those above, made by
those in the "wrong" political party, it seems.
Obama's Mistake Not a Mistake?
Aside from the "precious lives and trillions" lost
to the US, one finds a hint about the Obama
"mistake," as one reads: "The origins of Al
Qaeda in Iraq and Syria and later of ISIS , the
murderous wars and chaos sweeping across the Arab
Middle East and into Western Europe since 2010,
could all be directly traced back to those
Washington Obama policies, their so-called Arab
Spring, coming from that August 2010 PSD-11
Presidential Task Force directive. This is what
threatens to come out with declassification of US
Justice Department files in the coming months. Some
in Washington speak of treason, a strong word." In
"Obama, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood," F. William
Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook, 25 December 2018.
This article observes of the Obama era "ally": "The Muslim Brotherhood or Ikhwan–Arabic for The
Brotherhood–is a secret masonic-like organization
with a covert or underground terrorist arm and a
public facade of 'peaceful doing of charity.' It was
founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna who
developed the cult’s guiding motto. The credo of
his Society of Muslim Brothers was incorporated into
a chant of six short phrases: Allah is our goal; The
Prophet is our Leader; The Qur’an is our
Constitution; Jihad is our Way; Death in the service
of Allah is the loftiest of our wishes; Allah is
Great, Allah is Great."
This idea of Obama and Clinton using such a
"society" to accomplish American foreign policy
seems foolish at best.
Obama and Clinton Backed
One reads: "The Obama administration conducted an
assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010 and
2011, beginning even before the events known as the
'Arab Spring' erupted in Tunisia and in Egypt. The
President personally issued Presidential Study
Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ordering an
assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other
'political Islamist' movements, including the ruling
AKP in Turkey, ultimately concluding that the United
States should shift from its longstanding policy of
supporting 'stability' in the Middle East and North
Africa (that is, support for 'stable regimes' even
if they were authoritarian), to a policy of
backing 'moderate' Islamic political movements.
To this day, PSD-11 remains classified, in part
because it reveals an embarrassingly naïve and
uninformed view of trends in the Middle East and
North Africa (Mena) region." In "US document reveals
cooperation between Washington and Brotherhood,"
Gulf News Report, 18 June 2014.
A Bizarre Conclusion and
a Lie Well Known
Engdahl in the article cited above notes:
"The Top Secret PSD-11 report that the Task Force
drew up was partially revealed in a series of legal
Freedom of Information Act requests to the State
Department. Released official documents revealed
that the NSC Task Force had concluded that the
Muslim Brotherhood was a 'viable movement' for the
US Government to support throughout North Africa and
the Middle East. A resulting Presidential
directive ordered American diplomats to make
contacts with top Muslim Brotherhood leaders and
gave active support to the organization’s drive for
power in key nations like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and
Syria, at the 2011 outset of the 'Arab Spring.'
The PDS-11 secret paper came to the bizarre
conclusion that the Muslim Brotherhood’s brand of
political Islam, combined with its fervent
nationalism, could lead to 'reform and stability.'
It was a lie, a lie well known to the Obama PSD-11
Task Force members."
Anti-War by Encouraging
During the halcyon anti-war days of the US
involvement in the Vietnam war, it was the political
Left in the US asking that question, protesting
American involvement in a foreign war which had not
been officially declared nor authorized by Congress.
Where were the "liberal" anti-war demonstrations
against military action in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya,
Yemen, Syria and more for the last sixteen years? A
bit noisy during the Bush administration, but almost
silent during the Obama administration and the war
party's Clinton voting for it all through these
"It just depends on who does it."
[ 3 ] The foreign policy
goal, as presented by the Post as from 2011, was the
aim of the Obama administration. This becomes clear
as one notes that the "war" in Syria was longer than
World War II, though shorter than the other "wars"
which the United States has been waging in the
aggregated "war on terror."
Outing the Warmongers in
Politics and the Pro-war American Media
One reads in support of this: "The
remaking of the Democratic Party was most evident
last week with the reaction to Trump’s decision
to withdraw troops from Syria. There was a time when
a sizable number of Democrats opposed undeclared
wars and unending military campaigns. Now,
however, Democrats are appalled that Trump would not
continue a war in one of the myriad countries with
U.S. troops engaged in combat operations." In
"Donald Trump is completely transforming the
Democrats," Jonathan Turley, The Hill, 29 December
Seeking to Overthrow a
Another take on this is found: "Trump’s
announcement was greeted with dismay by the
various sectors of the US military industrial
complex for whom perpetual war is a major raison
d’etre. Although Trump’s announcement is to be
welcomed, it was accompanied by the absurd claim
that the United States had defeated ISIS and
therefore there was the longer any reason to stay.
It is presumably politically impossible for Trump,
in the present hysterical American political
climate, to acknowledge that it was Syria, aided by
Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, who played by far the
greater role in defeating ISIS. The reality is
that the American presence has been a hindrance
rather than help in defeating ISIS. That hindrance
was not by chance. The American goal, and that
of their Saudi and Israeli allies, was the overthrow
of the Assad government." In "Trump’s Syrian Gambit
Again Exposes Australian Foreign Policy Bankruptcy,"
by James O'Neill, New Eastern Outlook, 29 December
Thus the assertion is valid, that "overthrowing
the Syrian dictator has been their goal since the
beginning of that country’s civil war in 2011."
It had been Obama's goal and Clinton's goal. This also is consistent with Jill Stein's
observations above, and paints the current "talking
heads" in the media as well as the leaders of the
Democrat Party today to be for war, plain and
Unfounded Fear? An Exit
Was Bound to Happen?
An additional interesting observation:
"...the US departure would help matters from
reaching a political formula to creating political
stability and wipe the remnants of ISIS. In other
words, the fear being expressed in the Western
media that the US exit from Syria would turn Syria
into some ‘geo-political power play’ between major
powers looks completely unfounded. The Geneva
agreement, notwithstanding the work that is still to
be done, on pan-Syrian constitutional committee, a
logical progression out of the Astana process, has
already shown that these powers are highly unlikely
to engage in some fierce competition against each
other and that the emphasis continues to firmly
remain on accommodating varying interests through
political means." In "US Exit from Syria was
Bound to Happen," by Salman Rafi Sheikh, New
Eastern Outlook, 30 December 2018.
And only days later, one reads: "The
decision by President Trump to withdraw 7,000 of the
roughly 14,000 American troops left in Afghanistan,
possibly by summer, has raised new concerns about
his impulsive behavior, especially given his nearly
simultaneous decision to pull out all American
forces from Syria against the advice of Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis. But the downsizing of the
Afghan mission was probably inevitable. Indeed,
it may soon be time for the United States to get out
of the country altogether." In "Time to Get Out
of Afghanistan," by Robert D. Kaplan, New York
Times, 1 January 2019.
It May Be Time? Could
The article's rhetoric tries to have it both ways.
To leave raises "concerns" about Trump, and yet it
"may soon be time for the United States [led by the
Trump administration] to get our of the country
altogether." Thus one watches the political parsing
of yes-and-no-and-maybe, for one recalls the title
of another op-ed piece, "The New York Times Was Against
War In Syria Before It Was For It."
Such is the manner of today's political wiggling:
Could and May
- an up-to-date play.
[ 4 ] Who lobbies
for continuing war? It depends on the vocabulary, as
was the case with "kinetic military action" used
during the last administrations.
A Euphemism for War
As an example of this euphemism, one reads:
"December 2, 2015 Secretary of State John Kerry
spoke after attending a series of NATO meetings in
Brussels, 'There are various ways in which countries
can contribute; they don’t necessarily have to be
troops, engaged in kinetic action. There are
medical facilities, there are other assets that can
be deployed, there is intelligence gathering'." In
"Kinetic military action," Wikipedia article, n. d.
Verbal Gymnastics Meant
Nonetheless, a euphemism. One reads: "
'I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution
that has a very clear set of goals, which is
protecting the Libyan people, averting a
humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone,'
Rhodes said. 'Obviously that involves kinetic
military action, particularly on the front end.
But again, the nature of our commitment is that we
are not getting into an open-ended war, a land
invasion in Libya.' Those kind of verbal
gymnastics to avoid calling a sustained bombing of a
foreign country a 'war' aren’t flying with members
of Congress." In " 'Kinetic military action' or
'war'?" by Jonathan Allen, Politico, 24 March 2011.
For more about this "front end" and "kinetic
military action," one might consult
Failing to plan
-- flailing's in view.
Who's for Continuing War
By Another Name?
As to lobbying for continuing "action," one reads:
"Stripping the Islamic State of territory and even
fighters is not the same as achieving the group’s
defeat. Forced from one redoubt, it will reappear in
other territories, potentially even in less
detectable — but more lethal — forms. It’s not
the time to end the mission, lest we soon find
ourselves facing a resurgent adversary. " In
"The Dangers of Calling ‘Mission Accomplished’ in
Syria," by Joshua A. Geltzer and Christopher
P. Costa, New York Times, 19 December 2018.
One finds of one author above, "Joshua A. Geltzer,
the executive director and visiting professor of law
at Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for
Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and a fellow
at New America, was the senior director for
counterterrorism at the National Security Council
from 2015 to 2017."
Who's Against Continuing
War By Any Name?
One learns additionally that other "scaling back" is
causing concern for some Democrats. One reads:
"After a visit to Somalia earlier this year, the
ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services
Committee, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island,
expressed concern that Somalia was still 'a long way
off' from being a stable country with forces that
could secure its territory. 'I think Somalia and
West Africa are seen as more on the periphery of
terrorism challenges by this (White House)
leadership,' said Joshua Geltzer, a former
senior director for counterterrorism on the White
House National Security Council and now a professor
of law at Georgetown University." In "Pentagon
plans to scale back in Somalia, latest sign Trump
wants to cut troops abroad," by Dan De Luce and
Courtney Kube, NBC News, 4 January 2019.
So here's a thought on the US military leaving
Syria: "Syria being turned back over to
Syrians, now there’s a novel idea! It’s true, the
Kurds and free Syrians will have to slink back into
their sandy holes and let Damascus be the capital
again. No, Genel Energy and other oil foxes will not
be able to secure a New Kurdistan and snatch up all
that Syrian energy wealth in the east, but Syrian
oil revenue should pay for Syrian schools and
rebuilding Syria, no?" In "Trump Pulls Out of
Syria, and the Deep State Goes Mad," by Phil
Butler, New Eastern Outlook, 6 January 2019.
Precious Lives and
Trillions of Dollars for What?
This is an interesting observation. That a nation's
politicians expecting respect for its and their
sovereignty might respect another nation's
politicians and their sovereignty -- whether
any in the United States, the European Union, and
beyond -- is become an offence to those who would
make war around the world, and shows the import of
the question: "Does the USA
want to be the policeman of the Middle East, getting
NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of
dollars protecting others?"
One finds: "It's ridiculous that the United
States has 26,000 military personnel in South Korea
65 years after the Korean War, 54,000 in Japan 73
years after World War II and 64,000 in a dozen
European countries 27 years after the collapse of
the Soviet Union. These countries are perfectly
capable of defending themselves. South Korea's
economy is about 50 times as big as North Korea's,
while Japan and Germany have the world's third- and
fourth-highest gross domestic products,
respectively." In "Trump's Right About 'Ridiculous'
Misuse of US Forces," by Jacob Sullum, Townhall,
2 January 2019.
Some weeks later, the sentiment is restated: "
'Endless Wars, especially those which are fought out
of judgement mistakes that were made many years ago,
& those where we are getting little financial or
military help from the rich countries that so
greatly benefit from what we are doing, will
eventually come to a glorious end!' he [Trump]
tweeted." In "Endless wars will eventually come to
‘glorious’ end, tweets Trump," by Edmund de Marche,
Fox News, 7 January 2019.
earlier musing on:
A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement
- "Where have
all the critics gone, long time passing?"
I do not give a damn
of thought is more important for governments that are free and
popular than for despotic and military states. The logic is
straightforward. A despotic state can control its domestic enemy by
force, but as the state loses this weapon, other devices are
required to prevent the ignorant masses from interfering with public
affairs, which are none of their business." In "Force and Opinion,"
Noam Chomsky, Z Magazine, July-August 1991.
[ 1 ]
I do not
give a damn;
A damn I do not give,
When much is just a sham,
Much proves deceptive.
I do not care a whit.
A whit I do not care.
Veneer, shining bright,
Shows thin, then thinner fare.
I do not worry, burdened
By others' crushing weight.
I cannot solve all problems,
As I've learned of late.
I do not seek to suffer
When others say I must;
How is it I am able?
A hard-baked calloused crust?
Must one care for everything,
Like Atlas, shouldering all?
Such a worldly broad appeal
Predicts a worldly fall.
I do not worry, not too much,
About all sorts of things.
Disquiet drives out quiet,
And tales of woe, it sings.
I will not give a damn;
A damn I will not give,
For much is simply wondrous
In that life that we all should live.
Addendum of Inoculation:
"To get free of narcissistic thought control it is essential to
spot the distortions narcissists deliberately and instinctively
practice. Applying critical thinking skills can inoculate you
against their campaigns." In "Narcissism Decoded, blog, with Dan
Neuharth, PsychCentral, 21 October 2018.
[ 2 ]
[ 1 ] The notion that
so many "powers-that-be" work to control thought is the
stuff of centuries of political and philosophical study
as well as the fodder for fiction of various genres.
Control of thought can come in the form of suppression
of information, and as well by the absenting of
information from the words of public figures, on the one
hand, and nudging a populace on the other by media
Some Have Sought to Dull the
Chomsky noted: "Whether the instinct for
freedom is real or not, we do not know. If it is,
history teaches that it can be dulled, but has yet to be
killed. The courage and dedication of people
struggling for freedom, their willingness to confront
extreme state terror and violence, is often remarkable.
There has been a slow growth of consciousness over many
years and goals have been achieved that were considered
utopian or scarcely contemplated in earlier eras. An
inveterate optimist can point to this record and express
the hope that with a new decade, and soon a new century,
humanity may be able to overcome some of its social
maladies; others might draw a different lesson from
recent history. It is hard to see rational grounds for
affirming one or the other perspective. As in the
case of many of the natural beliefs that guide our
lives, we can do no better than to choose according to
our intuition and hopes."
We Can Make It Easier for
Them to Choose
The notion that influencing a populace as targeted
audience in a generally free society is the province of
the wise and elite among us is endemic. One reads of
Nudge Theory, as a contemporary example.
"The concept is a relatively subtle policy shift that
encourages people to make decisions that are in their
broad self-interest. It’s not about penalising people
financially if they don’t act in certain way. It’s
about making it easier for them to make a certain
decision. 'By knowing how people think, we can make it
easier for them to choose what is best for them, their
families and society,' wrote Richard Thaler and Cass
Sunstein in their book Nudge, which was published in
2008." In "What is ‘nudge theory’ and why should we
care? Explaining Richard Thaler's Nobel economics
prize-winning concept," by Ben Chu, Independent UK, 9
The article notes: "It is proving increasingly
popular. The previous US president Barack Obama
recruited Cass Sunstein as an adviser and exhorted US
government departments to adopt behavioural economic
concepts such as nudge. In 2010 the UK Government set up
a Behavioural Insights Team, commonly dubbed a 'nudge
unit', to develop policies. Administrations in Denmark,
Australia, Canada and the Netherlands have also shown an
Thus it becomes clear that governments are applying
themselves to "control of thought" "even when
"governments that are free and popular." What is the
difference then between propaganda, agitprop and
nudging? A matter of degree?
Saying No to Deception
A skeptical take on "Nudge" is found: "But for
many of us here is also a sense of disquiet. Doesn’t
putting these psychological insights, however
well-meaning, into government policy amount to state
manipulation of the people? Yet once we understand
the nature of manipulation, the remedy is clear.
Avoiding it means avoiding deception: a good, honest,
nudge is one that works even when we know we are being
nudged, and why. But the spell cast by a bad,
manipulative, nudge is broken as soon as its secret is
revealed." In "The nudge theory and beyond: how
people can play with your mind," by Nick Chater,
Guardian UK, 12 September 2015.
Chater concludes his
short article: "So the upshot is: let’s say no
to manipulation – that is, to influence by stealth or
deception. This should apply to how governments treat
us, and to how we treat each other."
No to Manipulation, As Best
We Are Able
It is a matter of choosing "according to our intuition
and hopes," in Chomsky's turn of phrase. In the rhyme's
turn of phrase it is "I will not give a damn; /
A damn I will not give, /
For much is simply wondrous /
In that life that we all should live."
It is a matter of choosing by acknowledging that
Freedom is freedom is freedom
[ 2 ] Is there a .link
between narcissism and, in Chomsky's phrase as cited
above, "control of thought" on the part of politicians
and the state, even in supposedly free societies? That
is a likely conclusion.
Neuharth details strategies employed by narcissists, as
the application of 1) emotional appeals, 2)
encouraging people to get on the bandwagon, 3)
the misuse of black-and-white / either-or alternatives,
4) assigning the burden of proof to others rather
than demonstrating it, 5) the use of false flattery,
6) incredulity, 7) labeling, 8) offering
false compromise, and 9) empty promises,
10) quoting out of context, 11) ridicule,
12) starting a target out on a true slippery slope,
13) dehumanizing, and 14) of course the
widespread use of slogans. So many of these are
obviously in use in politics and political campaigns on
all sides. APA Reference - Neuharth, D.
(2018). 14 Thought-Control Tactics Narcissists Use to
Confuse and Dominate You. Psych Central.
Learning then to "not give a
damn" as a response to such tactics wielded by
narcissists is a response. Learning to not be too easily
swayed and nudged by our self-anointed "betters" allows
on to readily observe
The Privileges of Intellectuals