BREAKING NEWS

ISIS is Israeli Secret Intelligence Service

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Letter

New Year Letter

By W. H. Auden
Scribd.com
December 31, 2013

Great masters who have shown mankind,
An order it has yet to find.

What if all pedants say of you,
As personalities be true?

All the more honour to you then,
If weaker than some other men.

You had the courage that survives,
Soiled, shabby, egotistic lives.

If poverty or social unsuccess,
Hunted you out of life to play,
It living in another way;

Yet the live quarry all the same,
Were changed to huntsmen in the game.

And the wild furies of the past,
Tracked to their origins at last.

Trapped in a medium’s artifice,
To charity, delight increase.

Now large, magnificent, and calm,
Your changeless presences disarm.

The sullen generations still,
The fright and fidget of the will.

And to the growing and the weak,
Your final transformations speak.

Saying to dreaming, I am deed.

To striving, Courage, I am deed.

To mourning, I remain, Forgive.

And to becoming, I am live.



Wystan Hugh Auden (February 21, 1907 - September 29, 1973)
was an American poet who is regarded by many critics as one
of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/17929453/wh-AudenNew-Year-
Letter

Monday, December 30, 2013

Ten Predictions For 2014

Ten Predictions For 2014

By Activist Post
December 30, 2013

As this year comes to a close it is once again time to reflect,
learn from events, and plan for a new year with some
predictions.

Without question, 2013 was not the best year for freedom,
economic prosperity or peace.

The police state has gotten more militarized, intrusive and
violent.

More laws against protesting and press freedoms infested the
Western world.

More money was funneled from the poor to the rich.

And more war was waged with a careless joystick trigger finger.

It is often difficult to see the bright side amid such a maelstrom
of injustice, until one realizes that the greater the oppression
grows, the closer we are to reversing the trend.

2013 also gave us many reasons to be optimistic about the
future for peace, love, and liberty.

In 2013, we witnessed a global uprising to halt unprovoked
military action in Syria.

The powers-that-be demanded war and the people said no.

For those keeping track, it's the first time in history that's
ever happened on a global scale.

Also in 2013, we saw the rise of a global peer-to-peer barter
economy and Bitcoin, which level the economic playing field
much like the Internet did for information dissemination.

The media this year was clearly dominated by the independent
media with the help of whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.

In dictatorial fashion the US government blocked millions of
computers from viewing NSA abuse articles and it was still by
far the biggest story of the year.

There's tremendous momentum for the alternative media going
into 2014.

Finally, the militarized police state is being opposed just as fast
as it is being built.

Its unjustified presence is accelerating the support for ending the
war on drugs and calling into question the role of police in society,
as well as the need for further runaway prison expansion.

We have nearly reached the zenith of the ability for the few
to control the many.

This is evidenced by their great desperation manifesting in
overtly insane and despotic behavior.

2014 will be pivotal. But this is mostly cause for optimism.

That said, there is no question who still currently holds the keys
to unleashing truly devastating weapons, both virtual and real.

2014 certainly could see the realization of something horrible
as the cornered beast lashes out.

Their options to maintain control are becoming scarce, however.

Short of a total Internet take down, full-scale banking collapse,
or the use of a large-scale and devastating false flag event (EMP,
nuclear, "alien"), the elite controllers will almost surely continue
to lose their grip on humanity.

The victories we have experienced in previous years by pressuring
the ruling elite out into the open for all to see is irreversible.

Nearly all establishment institutions are now held in wide disregard
and condemnation for their corruption, dishonesty, manipulation,
ineptitude, and subversion of universal human rights.

2014 very well could mark the critical battle between the dinosaur
system of the feudal elite milking the "commoners", and the
evolution of a new open-source, peer-to-peer model of prosperity
that trusts the power of individual creativity, reputation, and
planet-wide cooperation toward solutions that begin from the
bottom up.

The pyramid of power has been wobbled by pressure from the
bottom in 2013.

We believe that 2014 is the year when that structure begins to
fall.

Here are 10 predictions for 2014:

1. Obamacare Nightmare

The implementation and enforcement of Obamacare will be a
catastrophic failure in 2014.

It will lead to a political awakening on the Left who in large numbers
will lose faith in the ruling class to solve this and other problems.

Some will attempt to offer a solution of a single-payer option like
Medicare for all, which will seem to temporarily calm the storm.

That is until everyone realizes they'll be required by law to accept
"mandated" treatments and untreatments (death panels).

We must, as individuals, become healthier in order to weather
the coming healthcare storm.

2. Growth of Independent Media

2013 saw record traffic to independent media outlets.

Also, big names like Ben Swann and Amber Lyon became
independents.

David Icke's non-profit, uncensored media project The People's
Voice raised over $400K in crowdfunding and launched in 2013.

Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill announced plans for a new
media platform in 2014.

Are these biased, activist reporters? Yes, and thank goodness.

The very fact that there is a growing market for peace and liberty
information is a bellwether for where we're heading as a society.

3. Wide Adoption of Cryptocurrencies

The wild volatility of Bitcoin and its competing cryptocurrencies
has overshadowed the ideological and technological revolution
that has been unleashed.

While many have focused merely on the monetary value of Bitcoin,
we predict that a new wave of understanding will mark the wide
adoption and perhaps the stabilization of the cryptocurrency economy.

Central banks have been exposed all across the planet for the
thieves they are.

People are realizing who the true enemy really is, and they are
beginning to feel empowered by the ability to disrupt that predatory
system.

All they needed was a choice to opt out, and now they have it.

4. The Awakened Take Action

It seems like the whole world is in a state of civil unrest.

It is precisely what arch-globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski warned
his cohorts of.

People are tired of talking and they have lost too much.

Violated, hungry people have nothing to lose by directly
confronting their oppressors.

This does not have to mean physical violence, but it does mean
physical demonstrations of power and a refusal to remain quiet.

We also believe that people will become clearer about making
specific demands, rather than merely being satisfied to show
their outrage.

5. More Whistleblowers Come Forward

2013 may very well go down as the year of the whistleblower;
Edward Snowden being the most prominent among them.

As more people view Snowden as a hero for giving a face
and voice to the human right to privacy, we expect more
whistleblowers to put their lives on the line to expose
hidden truths.

Consequently, we will shift closer to more transparency for
the top and more privacy for citizens; the way a free society
is supposed to function.

6. Expansion of Open-Source Technology

2013 was an incredible year in the area of 3D printing.

We saw the rise and subsequent stifling of 3D printed weapons,
but the technology is still out there and is increasingly open and
falling in cost.

Inventors are launching open-source vehicles, alternative energy
generators, and so much more.

2014 will be a truly breakout year for 3D printing especially, as
well as open-source technologies for everything from farming
to governance.

7. Manufactured Tension With China

We have heard the rhetoric of wars, economic and military,
with China beginning to escalate toward the end of 2013.

We happen to believe that an outright war with China is
very unlikely.

China is part of the very same centralized control system
as the West.

In other words, Coca Cola who just invested $4 billion in China
doesn't want to lose that market and vice versa, so there will
be no war.

Therefore any aggression with China should be viewed as complete
theater to maintain control of domestic populations on both sides.

Rather, we will probably continue to see a series of calculated
economic moves on both sides that tip the balance of "super"
power away from America and toward China.

Nothing new here.

8. Economic Crisis

Some form of great economic crisis is probable in 2014.

Perhaps it will be many small dominoes that lead to something
bigger, but it will no doubt manifest as centralized theft and
more controls.

The kickoff could be the Fed's tapering of quantitative easing
which could crush the momentum in stock markets around the
world.

Or it could be the next battle to raise the US debt ceiling
in February.

As mentioned above, it could be an extension of moves
already made by China.

Whatever the trigger, expect and plan accordingly for more bank
bailouts and bailings, higher food and energy prices, less jobs and
more capital controls, all while fiat currencies continue their steady
or abrupt decline.

9. Attempted Crackdown On Internet Freedom

Warnings of imminent cyber attack and other infrastructure
weakness herald an attempt at a full-scale military takeover
of the Internet.

However, such an extreme measure is probably unlikely in
the short term.

More likely, what will come first is an extension of the attempt to
criminalize whistleblowers, as well as imposing Dianne Feinstein's
suggestion that there be government-approved journalists.

Coupled with the severe penalties for copyright infringement
and other methods of backdoor censorship contained in the
Trans-Pacific Partnership, and 2014 could see a new level of
information warfare.

10. False Flag Watch

As alluded to above, warnings of imminent cyber attacks or a
so-called Pearl Harbor for the Internet have been broadcast by
US security officials for some time.

In our opinion, an attack on the Internet is the most probable
false flag event for 2014.

If it happens, it won't be long before world leaders demand
ending online anonymity.

Also, small, FBI-orchestrated bombers and shooters may make
an appearance as well, but it worked so poorly for them in 2013
to move policy that we think there'll be less of those types of
false flags in 2014.

Finally, the biggest false flag could be whatever economic crisis
manifests in 2014 (see #8).

At minimum, expect desperate manipulation by Wall Street and
Central Banks.

As fragile and interconnected as things are, one spark can set
off the powder keg.

Many of these predictions might seem like wishful thinking,
but to admit that we are powerless to affect change is only
to embrace our own destruction.

We have enough evidence of that already.

And to ignore our victories, no matter how small, is to consign
ourselves to fear, defeatism and worthlessness.

We would do well to identify positive developments and trends,
shifting our focus to the areas we can improve upon, while having
the courage to ignore the increasingly irrelevant concept of power
coming only from the top.

The elite mindset and the top-down philosophy will never disappear
entirely, but it is up to us to build something better and render that
outdated form of control powerless.

http://www.activistpost.com/2013/12/10-predictions-for-2014.html

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mandela, MLK and Jesus

Mandela, MLK and Jesus

By Rev. Howard Bess
Consortiumnews.com
December 28, 2013

We are being reminded that Nelson Mandela was a man of protest,
a protest fueled by his horror of injustice, leading him to spend
many years in jail and to live one of the truly great lives of the
20th Century.

Mandela himself was a privileged man, an educated and
successful lawyer.

His call for justice was not as much for himself as for the millions
of his black brothers and sisters who were held in economic and
political bondage.

The very same description fits Martin Luther King Jr., who was
college and seminary educated and who had earned his PhD at
a prestigious university.

A black Baptist minister with those credentials could have been
an elite American minister recognized for his preaching skills,
if he never uttered a word of protest.

But King protested injustice and became the protest leader
who changed America.

He paid the price of assassination.

Jesus of Nazareth was the great protester of his time, and
he was crucified by Roman soldiers as a result.

The protests of Mandela and King were very public and well
documented by reporters covering the anti-apartheid and
civil rights movements, respectively.

Mandela and King had the advantage of living in an age of radio,
television, newspapers, magazines and books.

Jesus carried on his protest work with the illiterate poor of a
backwater section of Palestine called Galilee.

In Jesus’s culture women were the carriers of the oral traditions
of their clans.

Yet, these recorders of his stories and sayings were illiterate
women who listened, remembered and retold the stories (parables)
and sayings (aphorisms).

Jesus did all of his teaching in Aramaic, the common
language of his area.

His parables and aphorisms were finally written down
two generations later in Greek by literate men.

The Apostle Paul was the first writing Christian leader.

He began writing 15 to 20 years after the death of Jesus,
but he never mentions any of Jesus’s parables or aphorisms.

Paul did not understand Jesus as a man of protest but as a
theological messiah who was sent to the cross by God as a
sacrifice for sin.

For Paul, the cross was an altar of sacrifice rather than a
Roman tool of execution.

The earliest written records of Jesus’s parables, aphorisms
and other stories reflecting his concern for the poor and his
opposition to injustice also were put down in Greek, but two
and three generations after his death in a very different
political and religious context.

The Jesus, as recounted by these writers, was a theological
Jesus, too, a man with a miraculous birth whose life on Earth
ended with his resurrection from the dead.

But their inclusion of his sermons and other teachings left
behind clues of the historical Jesus.

For 2,000 years, with few exceptions, Christian churches
have pursued the theological Jesus and have said little
about his ministry of protest.

Yet, with the help of persistent Bible scholarship, we are now
able to consider the unadorned parables of Jesus and place
them in the economic, religious and political context in which
the stories were told.

When the teachings of Jesus are liberated from the theologies
of Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, a very different Jesus
appears on our screen, a master teacher whose primary tools
were the stories that he told.

His stories were discussion starters.

They were vivid and often carried a high level of exaggeration.

They were colorful.

Typically they were stories without a stated conclusion.

They were memorable.

Whenever a parable of Jesus is read, the reader rightfully
asks who might have been in his listening audiences.

They were rural, illiterate Jews who lived in Galilee in
incredible poverty and under the cruelties of Roman rule.

The crowds that listened to Jesus were the expendables.

The unadorned parables of Jesus cover a broad range of topics.

They cover worker/employer relationships, wage rates, the obscene
living style of the rich, the utter poverty of working people, the
arrogance of religious leaders, the wealth gap between the rich and
the poor, the social segregation of the rich from the poor, and the
absurdity of ritual practices demanded by the ruling hierarchy that
controlled the Jerusalem temple.

Today most every Christian minister who is a seminary graduate
will or should know these glaring facts about the life and teachings
of Jesus.

Yet people in the pews often are ignorant of the things that the
minister knows about the historical Jesus.

A typical minister hides safely behind moral niceties and comforting
clich├ęs.

If American ministers took the Jesus messages seriously, they
would be preaching about the urgent need to increase the
minimum wage to a livable wage; they would be leading a
fight to empty our prisons; they would be walking picket
lines for immigration reform so that immigrants would again
be welcomed rather than despised; they would join the call
for equal rights for all minorities including gay and lesbian
Americans; they would work for an education system that is
free and open to all; and they would be urging their congregants
to recruit and motivate people to vote for candidates who are
committed to the common good rather than special interests.

Jesus was a protester against the social, economic and religious
inequities of his day.

He showed us a better way.

Every disciple/follower of Jesus should do no less.

Christians should be protesting injustice in every form.

We should be protesting, knowing there are better ways.



The Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister,
who lives in Palmer, Alaska.

http://consortiumnews.com/2013/12/22/mandela-mlk-and-
jesus

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wishing Upon A Star

Wishing Upon A Star

On December 18th I was blessed to reach the age of 48.

For my birthday this year, I bought myself a telescope.

I did this because for three years I was homeless.

And during the course of this time I would sometimes at night
look up into the sky to try to find a star to make a wish upon.

Even though I was homeless, I never would use my one nightly
wish to wish for money, to wish for a job, or to even wish for
a place to live for that matter.

No, instead I would use my one nightly wish to wish for,
"Understanding."

You see, I really want the people to understand why I had to spend
the last three plus years of my life, living as a homeless man.

You see, I really want the people to understand what, "Expotera" is.

You see, I really want the people to understand why I decided to
stand up to Bill Gates, and to his company Microsoft, when he and
they, tried to openly steal Expotera completely away from me back
in April of 2008.

You see, I want the people to truly understand what,
"Crony Capitalism" really is.

You see, I want the people to truly understand what,
"Social Justice" really is.

You see, I want the people to truly understand what,
"Exponential Growth" really is.

You see, I want the people to truly understand what,
"Monthly Residual Income" really is.

You see, I want the people to truly understand what,
"Inter Networking" really is.

You see, I want the people to understand that now is the time for,
"The Meek To Inherit The Earth."

You see, I want the people to understand that now is the time to start, "Demanding The Manifestation Of That Which We Have Already Received."

You see, I want the people to understand that my fifteen year old
teenaged Mother abandon me at birth.

You see, I want the people to understand that people have been
crossing me off their lists, and leaving me for dead, for my entire
life.

You see, I want the people to understand that I am nothing
more than a sinner, who is now trying to become a saint.

You see, I want the people to understand that I am a man
who knows about extremes.

You see, I want the people to understand that I know what it
takes and I know how to put together complex multi-million
dollar business deals.

Yet, I want the people to understand that I know what it is like
to have to stand in line to accept handouts, and I know what it
is like to sleep under a bridge with nothing but my backpack for
a pillow, and my jacket as a blanket.

You see, I want the world to understand that, "God Has A History
Of Using The Insignificant, To Accomplish The Impossible."

You see, I want the world to understand that some of us have
now been sent here to bring, "Plenty Out Of Lack And Justice
Out Of Injustice."

You see I want the world to understand that, "That The Tallest And
The Mightiest Oak In The Forest, Was Once Only A Little Nut, Who
Simply Held It's Ground."

You see, I want my daughter to fully understand that I will always,
always, always, love her, no matter the time, no matter the place,
no matter the distance, and no matter the space.

You see, I want my ex-wife to simply understand, that I will never,
ever, understand the past fifteen plus years since our divorce, but
I completely understand why our marriage needed to come to an
end.

You see, I want everyone to understand just how deeply and how
eternally grateful I am to each and everyone of you who has now
personally helped me in one way or another over these past three
very challenging years.

You see, I want everyone to understand, that sometimes bad
things happen to good people, but no one should ever have to
be, "Homeless" in a world full of empty houses, abandon buildings,
empty apartments, and brand new multi-billion dollar sports
facilities.

You see, I just want everyone to understand, that I now understand
how the game at the top of the economic pyramid is really played,
as well as how the game at the bottom of the economic pyramid
can now be saved.

You see, this is my simple wish upon a star, "Understanding" for
everyone, no matter who or where you are.

You see, I have now been blessed with a warm place to live, but
this is still my very simple, yet quite complex wish upon a star,
"Understanding" for everyone, no matter who, or no matter where
you are.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Tony

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The House of Christmas

The House of Christmas

By G.K. Chesterton
December 22, 2013

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.

The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.

Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honor and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;

We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.

This world is wild as an old wives' tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;

But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings
Round an incredible star.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.

To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.



Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an
English writer. He wrote on philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism,
biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy
and detective fiction.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Work For Peace

Work For Peace

By Gil Scott-Herron
Information Clearing House
December 20, 2013

Back when Eisenhower was the President,
Golf courses was where most of his time was spent.

So I never really listened to what the President said,
Because in general I believed that the General was
politically dead.

But he always seemed to know when the muscles were about to
be flexed, Because I remember him saying something, mumbling
something about a Military Industrial Complex.

Americans no longer fight to keep their shores safe,
Just to keep the jobs going in the arms making workplace.

Then they pretend to be gripped by some sort of political reflex,
But all they're doing is paying dues to the Military Industrial Complex.

The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary.

The Military and the Monetary,
Get together whenever they think its necessary,
They turn our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,

They are turning the planet into a cemetery.

The Military and the Monetary,
Use the media as intermediaries,
They are determined to keep the citizens secondary,
They make so many decisions that are arbitrary.

We're marching behind a commander in chief,
Who is standing under a spotlight shaking like a leaf.

But the ship of state had landed on an economic reef,
So we knew he was going to bring us messages of grief.

The Military and the Monetary,
Were shielded by January and went storming into February,
Brought us pot bellied generals as luminaries,
Two weeks ago I hadn't heard of the son of a bitch,
Now all of a sudden he's legendary.

They took the honor from the honorary,
They took the dignity from the dignitaries,
They took the secrets from the secretary,
But they left the bitch in obituary.

The Military and the Monetary,
From thousands of miles away in a Saudi Arabian sanctuary,
Had us all scrambling for our dictionaries,
Cause we couldn't understand the fucking vocabulary.

Yeah, there was some smart bombs,
But there was some dumb ones as well,
Scared the hell out of CNN in that Baghdad hotel.

The Military and the Monetary,
They get together whenever they think its necessary,
War in the desert sometimes sure is scary,
But they beamed out the war to all their subsidiaries.

Tried to make So Damn Insane a worthy adversary,
Keeping the citizens secondary,
Scaring old folks into coronaries.

The Military and the Monetary,
From thousands of miles in a Saudi Arabian sanctuary,
Kept us all wondering if all of this was really truly, necessary.

We've got to work for Peace,
Peace ain't coming this way.

If we only work for Peace,
If everyone believed in Peace the way they say they do,
We'd have Peace.

The only thing wrong with Peace,
Is that you can't make no money from it.

The Military and the Monetary,
They get together whenever they think its necessary,
They've turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
They are turning the planet, into a cemetery.

Got to work for Peace,
Peace ain't coming this way.

We should not allow ourselves to be mislead,
By talk of entering a time of Peace,
Peace is not the absence of war,
It is the absence of the rules of war and the threats of war
and the preparation for war.

Peace is not the absence of war,
It is the time when we will all bring ourselves closer to each other,
Closer to building a structure that is unique within ourselves
Because we have finally come to Peace within ourselves.

The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary.

Get together whenever they think its necessary,
They've turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
They are turning parts of the planet, into a cemetery.

The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary,
We hounded the Ayatollah religiously,
Bombed Libya and killed Quadafi's son hideously.

We turned our back on our allies the Panamanians,
And saw Ollie North selling guns to the Iranians.

Watched Gorbachev slaughtering Lithuanians,
We better warn the Amish,
They may bomb the Pennsylvanians.

The Military and the Monetary,
Get together whenever they think its necessary,
They have turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
They are turning the planet, into a cemetery.

I don't want to sound like no late night commercial,
But its a matter of fact that there are thousands of children all over
the world in Asia and Africa and in South America who need our help.

When they start talking about 55 cents a day and 70 cents a day,
I know a lot of folks feel as though,
That's not really any kind of contribution to make,
But we had to give up a dollar and a half just to get in the
subway nowadays.

So this is a song about tomorrow and about how tomorrow
can be better.

If we all, Each one reach one, Each one try to teach one.

Nobody can do everything,
But everybody can do something,
Everyone must play a part,
Everyone got to go to work, Work for Peace.

Spirit Say Work, Work for Peace
If you believe the things you say, go to work.

If you believe in Peace, time to go to work.

Can't be wavin your head no more, go to work.



Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an
American soul and jazz poet,musician, and author, known primarily
for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and '80s.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33379.htm

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Sagittarius Man

Love, Sex, Friendship, Style

By Cafe Astrology.com
December 17, 2013

Sagittarius Men - Personality

When dealing with the Sagittarius man, remember that not all
who wander are lost.

He is a vagabond and an eternal traveler. It's not all fun and
games, though.

He seeks Truth, Beauty, and Wisdom, and the only way he can
find these ideals is to travel, meet others, and ask some soul-
searching questions.

Knowledge is important to the Sagittarius man as it drives his
attitude to life.

He is interested in philosophy, religion, and the meaning of
everything.

Sagittarius is represented by an Archer-Centaur.

In Roman mythology of the past, centaurs were wise intellectuals,
and the same parallel can be drawn for the intellectual Sagittarius
man of the present.

He is a clear, logical thinker, with a big picture approach to any
situation.

He is also an enthusiastic listener, who will absorb what you have
to say, before processing the information and coming to his own
conclusions and decisions.

However, he does this so quickly that he can miss important
details.

Ruled by Jupiter, ruler of the Gods, the Sagittarius man has
a certain noble bearing.

He demonstrates the flair and confidence of a born leader and
is both generous and just.

Seeking knowledge incessantly, a Sagittarian man has a thirst
for everything that is new and unknown.

This need to continue exploring means that if you don't give
him enough space, he will start to feel closed in and become
high strung.

Lady Luck shines on the Sagittarius man. He is charming
and outgoing, with a gambler's rakishness.

A Sagittarius will usually have a wide social circle.

He can be easily distracted, as absolutely everything is
fascinating to the Sagittarius man – he is an equal
opportunity truth seeker and will flit from one idea
to another, never looking back.

An eternal optimistic, he enjoys his explorations of life,
wherever his path may take him.

This is the adventurer of the zodiac.

Love, Sex, Romance, and Relationships with Sagittarius Men

When it comes to the game of love, the Archer never misses
his target.

He is playful, flirtatious, and always in control.

His open mind and eternally curious nature means that a
Sagittarius man's love affairs are never the same from one
to the other.

He has to understand what love is, before he can fall in love.

The Sagittarius man can sometimes demonstrate a duality
of personality, one minute a flirtatious, irresistible player,
the other a sedate, old married man.

Which one is the real Sagittarian?

He's just trying to reflect the reality of love itself, both the
heady, butterflies-in-your-tummy feeling of new love, and
the steady, banked, and burning flame of a love that has
stayed the test of time.

The Sagittarius man seeks a partner who shares his lust for
everything that is new and different.

He wants a companion to travel with him to diverse places
both metaphoric and physical.

Just remember that with your impulsive Sagittarian, anything
is possible, from a coffee table discussion on the impact of
global warming and what it means to the coral reefs of the
oceans, to booking a flight departing tomorrow morning, to
actually going to monitor dead fish at reefs halfway across
the world.

His own independence must not be curtailed, and he will
expect his mate to be equally secure and independent.

He is neither jealous nor possessive.

Fun, spontaneous, and fiery in bed, a Sagittarius man
is an accomplished lover.

His own straightforward nature appreciates a partner
with the bravery to make the first move.

Physicality is very important to him, and he will have
a few conquests notched on his bedpost.

He is self-assured and open-minded, which means that there
is very little in terms of venue, position, or accessories that
your Archer will not be willing to try out.

Sex is every Sagittarius man's favorite sport, and this half man,
half centaur sign won't mind relinquishing control in between
the sheets to the right horsepartner.

Dressage, anyone?

He is generally considered most compatible with Aries, Leo,
Libra, and Aquarius.

Understanding Sagittarius Men

Always the optimist, the Sagittarius man looks forward
to each new day and the adventure it holds for him.

Whether it is travel, work, or play, this guy tries to increase
his knowledge with everything he does.

The Sagittarius man is a seeker of truth and wants to
discover what life is really all about.

Fascinated by everything around him, this open-minded man
is quick to explore new and controversial subjects, especially
in the areas of religion, morality, and philosophy.

Once you get the Sagittarius man started you will find yourself
deeply involved in an intellectually stimulating conversation
about whatever subject you choose.

The Sagittarius man doesn't work off a schedule, so there's
no sense handing him one.

Timetables are too restricting and he needs the flexibility to
change his plans to suit him, not someone else.

Money & The Sagittarius Man

The Sagittarius man's life is not dominated by money.

He needs it, but not as much as he needs his independence, and
this gentleman may feel that any long term, locked-in investments
could deprive him of that autonomy.

Sometimes too optimistic, the Sagittarius man may overlook any
negative aspects of his financial decisions, so caution must always
play a significant part in this man's fiscal planning.

Fashion & The Sagittarius Man

The color purple represents artistic creativity, so this hue will be
found in the imaginative Sagittarius man's life.

Turquoise is another color associated with the sign of the Archer.

Being a free-spirited intellectual, the Sagittarius man would have
embraced the ‘hippie' culture.

Even today, this man shows signs of being a bit restless and
irresponsible, and while some might have a cutting edge wardrobe,
many Sagittarian men are slapdash in their dress.

Check out this man's workshop and you'll find all the modern tools,
you just won't find them put away in a neat and tidy order.

Relationships & The Sagittarius Man

Cheerful and trustworthy with a lot of friends, that's the
Sagittarius man.

He's generous and always willing to help friends and family
when they need it, but his sometimes reckless character
causes him to make commitments he's unable to fulfill.

Ask the Sagittarius man for advice and he'll give it without
hesitation, but his straightforward and honest response may
not always be what you want to hear.

Don't ask this man a question unless you're ready for his answer!

Romance & The Sagittarius Man

Partners may want this man to express his affection and dedication
more than he does, but the Sagittarius man's freestyle nature often
prevents him from making these emotional commitments.

An imaginative lover, the Sagittarius man shows no inhibition
when it comes to bedroom antics and will enthusiastically explore
new areas of romance with his partner.

Health & The Sagittarius Man

It's easy to understand why the Sagittarius man is always active
once you realize that his Zodiac sign rules the hip and thigh
sections of the body, areas characterizing motion in the human
anatomy.

Aches, fractures, and bruising are common in the hip and thigh
regions of the Sagittarius man's body.

Controlling his weight by staying active is good, but he must be
careful and not put excess strain on his legs.

He may put on some extra weight in his later years, but the
Sagittarius man doesn't worry about this, he's still physically
attractive and accepts it as part of maturing.

Career & The Sagittarius Man

The Sagittarius man needs to be challenged with new and thought-
provoking tasks.

If you don't keep him intellectually motivated, this gentleman will
quickly move on.

Entrepreneur, market researcher, forester, academic, travel guide,
consultant, philosopher, teacher, or publisher, these are all
occupations that the Sagittarius man should consider.

Highly idealistic, the Sagittarius man is a humanitarian who would
flourish in any vocation where he could see himself as a defender
of the right, and supporter of the underdog.

http://www.cafeastrology.com/articles/sagittariusmanlove.html

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Human Farms

Global Leadership – It’s Broke and It Needs Fixing

By Anthony Evans
Information Clearing House
December 14, 2013

After reading a large number of well expressed and passionately
motivated comments relating to the subject of war and the
injustices and atrocities happening on a daily bases, an analogy
I once heard of a sick and dying tree always comes to mind.

The people in the village where the tree was located adored
the tree, it was a holy tree and they couldn’t understand why
the leaves were starting to turn yellow and fall to the ground.

As the villagers knew very little about trees they worked with
what little knowledge they had and they diagnosed the tree’s
problem as coming from the yellow turning leaves.

So following this reasoning they started to treat the sick leaves
and the braches they were connected to in hope of stopping the
disease from spreading, and this practice went on until nearly
all the leaves had fallen to the ground.

Fortunately, a wise traveller was passing through the village that
knew something about trees and assessed that the problem was
not coming from the individual leave and branches but from the
root of the tree, which he proceeded to treat.

In a short time the tree recovered and the villagers were wiser
for the experience.

Sometimes when I hear or read well educated and articulate people
publicly analyzing issues relating to the collapse of society, the
struggling economy, and the perpetuation of war, I can’t help but
think of the villagers diagnosing the tree’s problem by looking at
the individual leaves for the cause.

One of the more powerful commentaries on war in our society,
which presents a convincing argument on how war is used by
our world leaders, comes from one of the most controversial
books of the last millennium, The Report from Iron Mountain:

On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace, where it states
“Although war is "used" as an instrument of national and social
policy, the fact that a society is organized for any degree of
readiness for war supersedes its political and economic structure.

War itself is the basic social system, within which other
secondary modes of social organization conflict or conspire.

It is the system which has governed most human societies
of record, as it is today.

Once this is correctly understood, the true magnitude
of the problems entailed in a transition to peace, itself
a social system, but without precedent except in a few
simple pre-industrial societies, becomes apparent”.

The report goes onto say;

“It must be emphasized that the precedence of a society's
war-making potential over its other characteristics is not
the result of the "threat" presumed to exist at any one time
from other societies.

This is the reverse of the basic situation; "threat" against
the "national interest" are usually created or accelerated
to meet the changing needs of the war system.

Regardless of the controversy surrounding the report’s
authenticity, I believe the document has accomplished
what the wise old traveller had archived in our analogy,
diagnosed the root cause of the problem.

The above quoted report uncovers one of the most obvious,
and most sinister facts of our time; the global war system
dominates our social and economic systems, not the other
way around, and that none of our world leaders with any
weight to their status, are trying to change this situation.

Leadership establishes the culture of an organisation or
enterprise, and as I had found out when I consulted for
companies implementing risk management systems into
their general management structure.

If the most senior person at the top of a company had a big
appetite for risk and a low regard for safety, then that is
the culture that would prevail throughout all levels of the
organisation, regardless of the systems or training they had
in place.

If Government leaders, as with corporate leaders establishes
and maintains the culture of a country, it raises the question,
why do our leaders continue to promote a global system based
on war?

If we accept the concept that we live in a world dictated by the
system of war, and that leadership decisions made on a daily
bases have their foundations in securing dominance within this
system, then what we see and hear on a daily bases with regards
to the war machine makes perfect sense.

If this situation is to change we need to stop focusing on the
symptoms of this global military disease and go to the root of
the problem, LEADERSHIP.

However, to change from a war culture to a peace culture would
require a radical shift in the attitude of our present global oligarchy
and the economic powers that support, and often dictate global
activities to our elected leaders.

The only other alternative in securing support from our global
commanders for a shift away from a dominant war system to
a peace system would be major global leadership change, which
at this stage seems highly unlikely.

If our current leaders use the constant pretense of a threat
to our nation’s boarders for staging war, we really need to
start questioning this concept we have towards ‘Defense’
and ‘Boarders’, and have a good look at what boarders
truly represent.

Putting it simply; boarders represent the enclosure of land,
and securing ownership/control over anything inside these
enclosures.

Inside these boarders we have a lot of other smaller enclosures
that are surrounded with fences and other boundary markers.

The British monarchy has a long history of Enclosure dating back
to the early 11th century, and is also the policy they enforced in
most countries they colonized.

We are constantly brainwashed by our trusted leaders with the
illusions of freedom.

This illusion is fed to us every day by corporate media, and we
lap it up, knowing full well that the managers of these enclosures,
our governments, can take our freedom and possessions away
from us anytime they want.

Their ability to exercise this executive power is increased
tenfold during times of boarder disputes and conflicts.

If you look at Google Earth and look down on a country like the
USA, and then zoom in past the country’s boarders, and past the
state and city boarders, right down to the suburban white picket
fence.....

Now remove the illusion of freedom, ownership, human rights,
freedom of speech from the picture and it starts to look very
much like any other cattle or a sheep farm, where the human
cattle, the "sheeple" occupants are being fed and fattened on
an unnatural diet of lies and proper gander.

The question should not be why we are fighting wars to protect
our boarders and this illusion of freedom, but why we have
these boarders at all, and why do the majority of our worlds
most powerful political and economic leaders wish to maintain
these boundaries, military institutions, and these human farms
they call countries?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37122.htm

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Does Christmas Obscure Jesus?

Does Christmas Obscure Jesus?

By Rev. Howard Bess
Consortiumnews.com
December 12, 2013

The emergence of Jesus as a Jewish prophet of note was
something that no contemporary would have predicted.

After all, he lived in a world where leaders were determined
by the prominence of their birth or by their effective use of
violence.

Jesus possessed neither. He came from humble origins and
taught nonviolence.

Jesus gained a following among the poor as a reputational rabbi,
meaning that he lacked a formal education and religious training.

He also lived in the small town of Nazareth, nearly 100 miles
north of Jerusalem, the area’s primary seat of religious and
political power.

The earliest written record of the life of Jesus was the gospel
written by an unknown author called Mark, who says nothing
about a miraculous birth or about royal lineage.

The fiction of his miraculous birth to a woman with royal ties
was fabricated decades later.

Instead, Jesus represented a very small tradition within Judaism
that arose occasionally from the ranks of the poor to critique
and challenge the dominant religious, political, social and
economic powers which dominated the society and offered little
to the people.

Jesus gained his reputational status as a rabbi by telling stories
and presenting aphorisms that stirred the minds of his audiences
and incited their understanding.

Completely committed to living the Israelite Torah (law and will
of God) on earth, Jesus was devout in his faith and radical in his
application of Torah to everyday life.

According to Mark’s account, Jesus began his public ministry
with a great announcement:

“The time has come. The reign of God has arrived.”

For Jesus to make this pronouncement in remote Galilee added
to the seeming absurdity of what he was setting out to do.

Not only did Jesus live and teach in a rural area far from the
centers of power, there is no record in any of the four
gospels that he ever entered the two major cities in his
vicinity, Tiberius and Sepphoris.

His heart, mind and soul were with the rural poor trapped in
cycles of ignorance and desperate need.

Despite his lack of formal education and his distance from urban
sophistication, Jesus was an astute observer of the religious,
economic, political and social hierarchies that raped the land and
terrorized the common people of his area.

A careful reading of his stories and his aphorisms reveal how
radical he was.

At the time, few alternatives were available to people seeking
change.

Roman rulers and their retainers held all the power and wiped
out protesters without hesitancy.

Yet, collaboration with the political and economic elites was
viewed as treason amid the misery of the common people in
Galilee.

Any cooperation with the oppressors could set brother against
brother and kinsman against kinsman.

As a rabbi of the poor, Jesus made people aware of the injustice
inflicted by the rich and powerful, but he also sought to teach
them a new way to set the wrong right.

He taught them that the reign of God was more than a hope
for the future but a way to achieve justice in the here-and-
now through actions taken by faithful believers.

Mark’s gospel lays out Jesus’s path for establishing the reign
of God on earth (and Matthew and Luke repeat the message).

Fundamentally, Jesus redefined the meaning of what it was to
be great, declaring that greatness did not belong to the rich and
powerful.

“If anyone wants to be great, let him be the servant of all,”
Jesus said.

It was a restatement of the great command to love your neighbor.

When Jesus first laid out his simple plan to establish the reign of
God on earth, he spoke to poor, disenfranchised, frustrated, angry
and powerless rural peasants.

He challenged them to bring Israelite society into line with the
noblest ideals of Torah by creating a society based on service
to others.

Yet, even two millennia later, the greatest disagreement among
followers of Jesus remains his vision of this path to greatness
through service to others.

Today’s worldly, like the royalty and rich of Jesus’s time, still
assert that greatness comes from wealth and power.

But the servant message still echoes through the halls of history.

I am hopeful for the future because many people grasp Jesus’s
message, that the reign of God can be a reality on earth.

In recent years, there has been a rise in “emergent” Christian
churches, marked by an interest in the historical Jesus and the
practice of what he taught.

I am hopeful also because a kindred spirit has appeared at the
Vatican with the election of Pope Francis, who has invoked the
spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, who has criticized income
inequality, and who has made establishing the service model a
priority.



The Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister, who
lives in Palmer, Alaska.

http://consortiumnews.com/2013/12/08/does-christmas-obscure-
jesus

Friday, December 6, 2013

Invictus

Invictus

By William Earnest Henley
Poetry Foundation.org
December 06, 2013

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182194

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Welcome Back, Jesus

Welcome Back, Jesus

By Robert Scheer
TruthDig.com
December 4, 2013

Forget, for the moment, that he is the pope, and that Holy Father
Francis’ apostolic exhortation last week was addressed “to the
bishops, clergy, consecrated persons and the lay faithful.”

Even if, like me, you don’t fall into one of those categories
and also take issue with the Catholic Church’s teachings on
a number of contested social issues, it is difficult to deny
the inherent wisdom and clarity of the pontiff’s critique of
the modern capitalist economy.

No one else has put it as powerfully and succinctly.

It is an appraisal based not on “just pure Marxism coming
out of the mouth of the pope,” as Rush Limbaugh sneered,
but rather the words of Jesus telling the tale of the
Good Samaritan found in Luke, not in “Das Kapital.”

As opposed to Karl Marx’s emphasis on the growing misery of
a much needed but exploited working class, Francis condemns
today’s economy of “exclusion” leaving the “other” as the
roadkill of modern capitalism:

“Today everything comes under the laws of competition and
the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the
powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves
excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities,
without any means of escape.”

It is a message that applies to disrupted worldwide markets in
which massive unemployment is now common, as well as to
the underemployed and working poor who are the new “normal”
even in still wealthy America.

They make up the bulk of those ejected from a once largely
unionized industrial workforce, who are now left to compete
for low paying Wal-Mart style jobs that require government
handouts to avoid the extremes of poverty.

They are the victims of what the pope refers to as “trickle-down
theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a
free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater
justice and inclusiveness in the world.” It doesn’t, and instead
“a globalization of indifference has developed.”

That is an obvious truth, whether divinely inspired or not.

So too is Francis’ excoriation of “the new idolatry of money,”
although here one can find evidence in Scripture that this
idolatry is not so new given the description in Matthew 21:12
when Jesus “overthrew the tables of the moneychangers” in
the temple.

But the pope is clearly right when he links our recent economic
crisis to the modern worship of the gods of finance capitalism:

“One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with
money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and
our societies. ... The worship of the ancient golden calf has
returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money
and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly
human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the
economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack
of real concern for human beings. ..."

This is a pope who in his native Argentina bothered to witness
and tend to the needs of those who suffered most, and he
comes to us now as a singular voice to remind us of the Occupy
movement, which mostly secular liberal mayors in U.S. cities
brutally silenced to suit the convenience of the superrich who
own our politics.

The pontiff writes:

“While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially,
so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity
enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of
ideologies, which defend the absolute autonomy of the
marketplace and financial speculation. ... A new tyranny is
thus born. ... The thirst for power and possessions know no
limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which
stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile,
like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a
deified market, which become the only rule.”

The deification of the market rests on denying that ethical
considerations trump the goal of profit maximization.

The market itself becomes the higher power no matter the
consequence for the exploited, the poor and the defenseless.

“Behind this attitude,” Francis writes, “lurks a rejection
of ethics and a rejection of God.” That is because ethics
inevitably represents a judgment that “makes money and
power relative.”

Finally there is a stern warning by this leader of a church with
many followers in economically desperate areas that a status
quo based on the extremes of exploitation contains the seeds
of its own destruction.

“No to the inequality that spawns violence,” the pope
writes with words that apply to the poverty ghettos of
the most affluent nations, words that echo those used by
the Rev. Martin Luther King in organizing anti-poverty
marches at the time of his assassination.

“The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence,”
Francis warns, “yet without equal opportunities the different
forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for
growth and eventually explode.

When a society, whether local, national, or global, is willing
to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programs
or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems
can indefinitely guarantee tranquility.”

Amen.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/welcome_back_jesus_
20131203

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dollar to the Giant

Dollar to the Giant

By Robert Hall
Trade Reform.org
November 30, 2013

Echoing rust. Factory line.
Dead-child memory of another time.

The sign said this spot was USA–
Too young to know it didn’t have to be this way.

Sweat-stain genius, practical hands,
built factories, built the goods, built the land.

First steps forgotten. History blind,
We’re connected to our roots by a credit line.

Wakening giant. Hunger and rice.
Caught the scent of our money, knew we wouldn’t fight.

Slippery giant. History wise.
Put down his guns, put on a friendly disguise.

We closed our eyes

And the Giant from the East woke up from a sleep,
hunger for the heads of our young.
No suspicion of war, through the open door,
manifest of Mao Tse-Tung.

Ulterior plans in the giant’s hands,
steel cages hit our shores in a flood.
And all we received for a moment of greed,
was paid for with our children’s blood.

We gave up our future, families and friends.
Dollar to the giant, dollar never seen again.

Agreeable climate: pickpockets and noise.
The bankers jumped to the giant like little boys.

Economy experts selling their time,
But nothing made nothing.
Can you spare a dime.

Productivity’s children sleeping in chains.
Giant kept our credit up, kept us entertained.

Fear-fallen children couldn’t say no,
Wouldn’t read label made in Chinese.
Where did the money go?

Detoured discussion about manufacturing trade.
Instead we’re led to every trap the giant made.

The future decided at the giant’s store–
Took every dollar we had and loaned us money for more.

Who are we doing this for?

The Giant from the East, a billion-head beast,
feeding on the hopes of our young.
No resemblance of war,through the open door,
mannequins of Mao Tse-Tung.

Invisible plans in the giant’s hands,
temptation hit our stores in a flood.
And all we received for bargains we believed,
was paid for with our children’s blood.

We traded in our future, families and friends.
Dollar to the giant, dollar never seen again.

Reckoning rust. Factory line.
Lost-dream memory of a better time.

All the signs say this choice was Made in USA–
Too numb to know it didn’t have to be this way.

http://www.tradereform.org/2010/07/dollar-to-the-giant

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Waitress

The Waitress

By Atmosphere
November 29, 2013

A city full of people and my favorite is that waitress
And she treats me like some type of common vagrant

I see her everyday, but there's nothing to say
Unless I decide to step inside of that cafe

I only get to sit if I buy something to eat
Otherwise it's best to keep my feet moving down that street

And damn she's a hard bitch
Talks at me like I'm the bad dog that got into the garbage

Yeah I know that the toilet is for customers
You ain't got to tangle up the strings to make this puppet work

It doesn't have to be a game of patty cake
But it ain't like you don't know I sleep in that alleyway

And by the way, I can see it in your eyes
You're angry with your life, not a stranger to the fight

I bet you hate every man that you date
And you're probably addicted to all types of escape

You take it out on me that you're all alone
When you know you got your own closet full of hollow bones

Watch the tone when you speak to old folks
I'm grown, just trying to get out of this Minnesota cold

Look lady, I'm homeless, I'm crazy
I'm so hopeless, I'm suicidal daily

If you and I can't coexist, let's fake it
'Cause I ain't got the energy it takes for this relationship

I'm waiting for a city bus to flatten me
And transport me to the ever after happily

Maybe reincarnated with luck
Come back to Earth as a cockroach in your tip cup

She said she's had it up to here
She's gonna call authorities if I don't disappear

I love her threats, it rejuvenates my breath
I give her stress for the reaction that it gets

I got a pocket full of panhandled money
On a cup of bad coffee and a stale honey bun

In front of everyone she calls me bum
But she notices my absence on them afternoons I don't come

So here I am, thorn in her hip
Holding down the corner table all morning with some corn chips

Ignoring the insults and evil eyes
I feed off of 'em, I wonder when she'll realize

That she's the only reason I visit
The only woman in my world that acknowledges my existence

And if my ship ever comes, I'll miss it
Because I'm getting old and I ain't got much left to give it

So there it is and I have to live with it
I had the chance to make a difference, but I didn't

In the cafe bathroom drinking free tap water
Thinking, damn, I should have been a better father to my daughter

http://www.metrolyrics.com/the-waitress-lyrics-atmosphere.html

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We Gather Together to Ask ...

We Gather Together to Ask ...

By Rosemary and Walter Brasch
Dissident Voice.org
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Segued into a 10-second afterthought, smothered by 60-second
Christmas commercials, is the media acknowledgement of
Thanksgiving, which nudges us into a realization of all we are
thankful for.

But the usual litany, even with the omnipresent pictures of the
less fortunate being fed by the more fortunate, doesn’t list well
this year.

Our thanks seem to be at best half-hearted or at least insensitive
and shallow.

All of us might be thankful for peace if America still hadn’t been
involved in two recent wars.

The Iraq war lasted almost nine years; the other, in Afghanistan,
has lasted more than 12 years and is the nation’s longest war.

And now it appears that we will be in Afghanistan for several
more years.

When we first went there in 2001, it was to capture Osama
bin Laden. We can be thankful that has been done.

But why are we still there? And why should Americans still be
getting wounded and killed?

There were 4,486 killed and 32,000 wounded in Iraq, an unnecessary
war that was launched with bravado and no long-range plans.

In Afghanistan, there have been 2,292 killed, almost 18,000
wounded.

American children who are 12 years old years and under have
never been able to be thankful for peace!

We used to say some Irish children never knew peace, now it’s us.

We know there are thousands of veterans who have committed
suicide or are trying to overcome the aftermath of traumatic
head injuries, loss of limbs, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The care has been so abysmal that combat veterans, who were
given excellent care by combat medics in the field, are dying in
VA hospitals while waiting for simple surgeries or treatment for
more serious health issues.

We remember to say thanks for their service, and attempt to salve
our collective conscience with charitable funds, flowery words, and
flying flags.

But it must be hard for those who served to be truly thankful to a
nation that holds parades on Main Street without acknowledging
that many of those honored sleep on that same street every night,
with no affordable decent housing available to them.

And they hope for something warmer than an American flag to
wrap themselves in.

More than one-fourth of all adults who are homeless are veterans.

Is our one line of thanks really enough?

In addition to our country’s homeless vets, whole families are
also homeless, many direct victims of corrupt banks and semi-
corrupt politicians, who never thought twice before foreclosing
on the homes those families cherished, leaving them on the
street, while not one executive had to give up his or her opulent
office for a prison cell, despite the crimes they committed
against the people.

For those foreclosed upon who managed to find a new way of life,
to find shelter, to find work, their reward is a worthless credit
rating despite having excellent credit before companies downsized
and outsourced to “maximize their profits” and banks foreclosed
upon them.

Unlike major financial institutions and corporations that
squandered funds and went into bankruptcy and then were
bailed out by the Congress, families can’t even get small
loans to pay security deposits on their downsized apartments.

Many families are living in one room in cheap motels, so many
that schools have redirected bus routes for stops for the many
school children living like this.

Those families would surely be thankful for a secure home.

Who should we direct all our thanks to?

Many of the executives who sit on bank boards are heads
of companies, the same companies that have chosen not
to recycle their profits by expansion.

That, of course, would provide new jobs, something so
many Americans would be truly thankful for.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have jobs are grateful as
we gather around our holiday tables and give thanks for the bounty
before us.

Unless, of course, we’re the working poor.

For them, the horn of plenty may be empty this close to the end
of the month, and every month.

Many, including those working minimum wage jobs, have to rely
upon food stamps to help provide food; Congress, willing to spend
fortunes on junkets, now plans to cut foodstamps.

There are those who earn upper-class incomes who decry the
“welfare” recipients who they believe are predators of tax funds.

There are some who are welfare cheats, but most just want a job
and enough income to feed and clothe their families and have some
left over for other basic necessities.

If the politicians would hire more caseworkers, there would be
better care for the nation’s underclass, and far fewer people
scamming the system because there would be better oversight.

Many charitable organizations struggle mightily to get enough
funds to feed more and more of our nation’s hungry as more
and more workers are forced to accept part-time jobs at
minimum wage.

Full-time jobs could provide benefits, but Congress and our
state legislatures, always willing to raise their own salaries,
won’t raise the minimum wage to at least a few cents above
poverty levels.

The reason? The working poor have no lobbyists.

And yet both houses of Congress have dozens of committees,
including ethics committees, that seem to be more of a way to
showboat their politics than to meet the needs of the country.

Maybe we need one more committee, this one made up of people
who aren’t millionaires and aren’t able to parlay lobbyist money
into November victories.

This committee, made up of the working poor, will advise all
of us of what the problems are, and what the solutions can be.

If on this Thanksgiving Day our thanks seem hollow, perhaps it’s
the hollow victory of our veterans surviving combat only to be
subjected to problems at home, or the hollow sound of an empty
house that has been foreclosed upon, or the hollow growling of
a worker’s empty stomach, or maybe the hollow pain of those who
should seek medical assistance but can’t because there are some
among us who want to destroy federal law, which allows those who
are less fortunate to have adequate medical attention.

Most Americans want to help others; there are some politicians
who mouth the words but say nothing.

May we all remember that when the basic needs are filled for
all Americans, only then can we be truly thankful for the day.



Rosemary Brasch is a former Red Cross national disaster family
services specialist, secretary, union grievance officer, and labor
studies instructor. Walter Brasch’s latest book is the second edition
of Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/11/we-gather-together-to-ask

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Problem is Civil Obedience

The Problem is Civil Obedience

1970 from the Zinn Reader, Seven Stories Press

By Howard Zinn
Information Clearing House
Monday, November 25, 2013

I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvy, that
things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail and the
wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power
and the wrong people are out of power, that the wealth is
distributed in this country and the world in such a way as not
simply to require small reform but to require a drastic reallocation
of wealth.

I start from the supposition that we don't have to say too much
about this because all we have to do is think about the state of
the world today and realize that things are all upside down.

Daniel Berrigan is in jail-A Catholic priest, a poet who opposes
the war, and J. Edgar Hoover is free, you see.

David Dellinger, who has opposed war ever since he was this high
and who has used all of his energy and passion against it, is in
danger of going to jail.

The men who are responsible for the My Lai massacre are not on
trial; they are in Washington serving various functions, primary
and subordinate, that have to do with the unleashing of massacres,
which surprise them when they occur.

At Kent State University four students were killed by the National
Guard and students were indicted.

In every city in this country, when demonstrations take place, the
protesters, whether they have demonstrated or not, whatever they
have done, are assaulted and clubbed by police, and then they are
arrested for assaulting a police officer.

Now, I have been studying very closely what happens
every day in the courts in Boston, Massachusetts.

You would be astounded, maybe you wouldn't, maybe you have
been around, maybe you have lived, maybe you have thought,
maybe you have been hit at how the daily rounds of injustice
make their way through this marvelous thing that we call due
process.

Well, that is my premise.

All you have to do is read the Soledad letters of George Jackson,
who was sentenced to one year to life, of which he spent ten
years, for a seventy-dollar robbery of a filling station.

And then there is the U.S. Senator who is alleged to keep
185,000 dollars a year, or something like that, on the oil
depletion allowance.

One is theft; the other is legislation.

Something is wrong, something is terribly wrong when we ship
10,000 bombs full of nerve gas across the country, and drop
them in somebody else's swimming pool so as not to trouble
our own.

So you lose your perspective after a while.

If you don't think, if you just listen to TV and read scholarly things,
you actually begin to think that things are not so bad, or that just
little things are wrong.

But you have to get a little detached, and then come back and
look at the world, and you are horrified.

So we have to start from that supposition that things are really
topsy-turvy.

And our topic is topsy-turvy: civil disobedience.

As soon as you say the topic is civil disobedience, you are saying
our problem is civil disobedience.

That is not our problem.... Our problem is civil obedience.

Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who
have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and
have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this
obedience.

And our problem is that scene in All Quiet on the Western Front
where the schoolboys march off dutifully in a line to war.

Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the
face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty.

Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of
petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country.

That's our problem.

We recognize this for Nazi Germany. We know that the problem
there was obedience, that the people obeyed Hitler.

People obeyed; that was wrong.

They should have challenged, and they should have resisted;
and if we were only there, we would have showed them.

Even in Stalin's Russia we can understand that; people are obedient,
all these herdlike people.

But America is different. That is what we've all been brought up on.

From the time we are this high and I still hear it resounding in
Mr. Frankel's statement you tick off, one, two, three, four, five
lovely things about America that we don't want disturbed very much.

But if we have learned anything in the past ten years, it is
that these lovely things about America were never lovely.

We have been expansionist and aggressive and mean to other
people from the beginning.

And we've been aggressive and mean to people in this country,
and we've allocated the wealth of this country in a very unjust
way.

We've never had justice in the courts for the poor people,
for black people, for radicals.

Now how can we boast that America is a very special place?

It is not that special. It really isn't.

Well, that is our topic, that is our problem: civil obedience.

Law is very important.

We are talking about obedience to law-law, this marvelous
invention of modern times, which we attribute to Western
civilization, and which we talk about proudly.

The rule of law, oh, how wonderful, all these courses in
Western civilization all over the land.

Remember those bad old days when people were exploited by
feudalism?

Everything was terrible in the Middle Ages, but now we have
Western civilization, the rule of law.

The rule of law has regularized and maximized the injustice that
existed before the rule of law, that is what the rule of law has done.

Let us start looking at the rule of law realistically, not with that
metaphysical complacency with which we always examined it before.

When in all the nations of the world the rule of law is the darling
of the leaders and the plague of the people, we ought to begin to
recognize this.

We have to transcend these national boundaries in our thinking.

Nixon and Brezhnev have much more in common with one another,
than we have with Nixon.

J. Edgar Hoover has far more in common with the head of the
Soviet secret police than he has with us.

It's the international dedication to law and order that binds the
leaders of all countries in a comradely bond.

That's why we are always surprised when they get together, they
smile, they shake hands, they smoke cigars, they really like one
another no matter what they say.

It's like the Republican and Democratic parties, who claim that
it's going to make a terrible difference if one or the other wins,
yet they are all the same.

Basically, it is us against them.

Yossarian was right, remember, in Catch-22?

He had been accused of giving aid and comfort to the enemy, which
nobody should ever be accused of, and Yossarian said to his friend
Clevinger:

"The enemy is whoever is going to get you killed,
whichever side they are on."

But that didn't sink in, so he said to Clevinger:

"Now you remember that, or one of these days you'll be dead."

And remember? Clevinger, after a while, was dead.

And we must remember that our enemies are not divided
along national lines, that enemies are not just people who
speak different languages and occupy different territories.

Enemies are people who want to get us killed.

We are asked, "What if everyone disobeyed the law?"

But a better question is, "What if everyone obeyed the law?"

And the answer to that question is much easier to come by,
because we have a lot of empirical evidence about what happens
if everyone obeys the law, or if even most people obey the law.

What happens is what has happened, what is happening.

Why do people revere the law? And we all do; even I have to
fight it, for it was put into my bones at an early age when I
was a Cub Scout.

One reason we revere the law is its ambivalence.

In the modern world we deal with phrases and words
that have multiple meanings, like "national security."

Oh, yes, we must do this for national security!

Well, what does that mean?

Whose national security? Where? When? Why?

We don't bother to answer those questions, or even to ask them.

The law conceals many things.

The law is the Bill of Rights.

In fact, that is what we think of when we develop our reverence
for the law.

The law is something that protects us; the law is our right,
the law is the Constitution.

Bill of Rights Day, essay contests sponsored by the American
Legion on our Bill of Rights, that is the law. And that is good.

But there is another part of the law that doesn't get ballyhooed,
the legislation that has gone through month after month, year
after year, from the beginning of the Republic, which allocates
the resources of the country in such a way as to leave some
people very rich and other people very poor, and still others
scrambling like mad for what little is left.

That is the law.

If you go to law school you will see this.

You can quantify it by counting the big, heavy law books that
people carry around with them and see how many law books
you count that say, "Constitutional Rights" on them and how
many that say "Property," "Contracts," "Torts," "Corporation
Law."

That is what the law is mostly about.

The law is the oil depletion allowance, although we don't have
Oil Depletion Allowance Day, we don't have essays written on
behalf of the oil depletion allowance.

So there are parts of the law that are publicized and played up
to us oh, this is the law, the Bill of Rights.

And there are other parts of the law that just do their quiet work,
and nobody says anything about them.

It started way back.

When the Bill of Rights was first passed, remember, in the first
administration of Washington? Great thing.

Bill of Rights passed! Big ballyhoo.

At the same time Hamilton's economic program was passed.

Nice, quiet, money to the rich, I'm simplifying it a little, but
not too much. Hamilton's economic program started it off.

You can draw a straight line from Hamilton's economic program to
the oil depletion allowance to the tax write offs for corporations.

All the way through that is the history.

The Bill of Rights publicized; economic legislation unpublicized.

You know the enforcement of different parts of the law is as
important as the publicity attached to the different parts of
the law.

The Bill of Rights, is it enforced? Not very well.

You'll find that freedom of speech in constitutional law is a
very difficult, ambiguous, troubled concept.

Nobody really knows when you can get up and speak and when
you can't.

Just check all of the Supreme Court decisions.

Talk about predictability in a system you can't predict what will
happen to you when you get up on the street corner and speak.

See if you can tell the difference between the Terminiello case
and the Feiner case, and see if you can figure out what is going
to happen.

By the way, there is one part of the law that is not very vague,
and that involves the right to distribute leaflets on the street.

The Supreme Court has been very clear on that.

In decision after decision we are affirmed an absolute right to
distribute leaflets on the street.

Try it. Just go out on the street and start distributing leaflets.

And a policeman comes up to you and he says, "Get out of here"
And you say, "Aha! Do you know Marsh v. Alabama, 1946?"

That is the reality of the Bill of Rights.

That's the reality of the Constitution, that part of the law which
is portrayed to us as a beautiful and marvelous thing.

And seven years after the Bill of Rights was passed, which said that
"Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech,"
Congress made a law abridging the freedom of speech. Remember?

The Sedition Act of 1798.

So the Bill of Rights was not enforced.

Hamilton's program was enforced, because when the whiskey
farmers went out and rebelled you remember, in 1794 in
Pennsylvania, Hamilton himself got on his horse and went
out there to suppress the rebellion to make sure that the
revenue tax was enforced.

And you can trace the story right down to the present day,
what laws are enforced, what laws are not enforced.

So you have to be careful when you say, "I'm for the law,
I revere the law."

What part of the law are you talking about?

I'm not against all law. But I think we ought to begin to make
very important distinctions about what laws do what things to
what people.

And there are other problems with the law.

It's a strange thing, we think that law brings order.

Law doesn't.

How do we know that law does not bring order?

Look around us. We live under the rules of law.

Notice how much order we have?

People say we have to worry about civil disobedience
because it will lead to anarchy.

Take a look at the present world in which the rule of law obtains.

This is the closest to what is called anarchy in the popular mind
confusion, chaos, international banditry.

The only order that is really worth anything does not come
through the enforcement ... of law, it comes through the
establishment of a society which is just and in which
harmonious relationships are established and in which you
need a minimum of regulation to create decent sets of
arrangements among people.

But the order based on law and on the force of law is the order
of the totalitarian state, and it inevitably leads either to total
injustice or to rebel lion eventually, in other words, to very great
disorder.

We all grow up with the notion that the law is holy.

They asked Daniel Berrigan's mother what she thought of her
son's breaking the law.

He burned draft records, one of the most violent acts of this
century, to protest the war, for which he was sentenced to
prison, as criminals should be.

They asked his mother who is in her eighties, what she thought
of her son's breaking the law.

And she looked straight into the interviewer's face, and she said,
"It's not God's law."

Now we forget that. There is nothing sacred about the law.

Think of who makes laws.

The law is not made by God, it is made by Strom Thurmond.

If you nave any notion about the sanctity and loveliness
and reverence for the law, look at the legislators around
the country who make the laws.

Sit in on the sessions of the state legislatures.

Sit in on Congress, for these are the people who make
the laws which we are then supposed to revere.

All of this is done with such propriety as to fool us.

This is the problem.

In the old days, things were confused; you didn't know.

Now you know. It is all down there in the books.

Now we go through due process.

Now the same things happen as happened before, except
that we've gone through the right procedures.

In Boston a policeman walked into a hospital ward and fired
five times at a black man who had snapped a towel at his
arm and killed him.

A hearing was held.

The judge decided that the policeman was justified because if
he didn't do it, he would lose the respect of his fellow officers.

Well, that is what is known as due process, that is, the guy
didn't get away with it.

We went through the proper procedures, and everything was
set up.

The decorum, the propriety of the law fools us.

The nation then, was founded on disrespect for the law, and
then came the Constitution and the notion of stability which
Madison and Hamilton liked.

But then we found in certain crucial times in our history
that the legal framework did not suffice, and in order to
end slavery we had to go outside the legal framework, as
we had to do at the time of the American Revolution or
the Civil War.

The union had to go outside the legal framework in order
to establish certain rights in the 1930s.

And in this time, which may be more critical than the Revolution
or the Civil War, the problems are so horrendous as to require us
to go outside the legal framework in order to make a statement,
to resist, to begin to establish the kind of institutions and
relationships which a decent society should have.

No, not just tearing things down; building things up.

But even if you build things up that you are not supposed
to build up, you try to build up a people's park, that's not
tearing down a system; you are building something up, but
you are doing it illegally, the militia comes in and drives
you out.

That is the form that civil disobedience is going to take more and
more, people trying to build a new society in the midst of the old.

But what about voting and elections?

Civil disobedience we don't need that much of it, we are told,
because we can go through the electoral system.

And by now we should have learned, but maybe we haven't, for we
grew up with the notion that the voting booth is a sacred place,
almost like a confessional.

You walk into the voting booth and you come out and they snap
your picture and then put it in the papers with a beatific smile on
your face.

You've just voted; that is democracy.

But if you even read what the political scientists say, although who
can, about the voting process, you find that the voting process is a sham.

Totalitarian states love voting.

You get people to the polls and they register their approval.

I know there is a difference, they have one party and we have
two parties.

We have one more party than they have, you see.

What we are trying to do, I assume, is really to get back to the
principles and aims and spirit of the Declaration of Independence.

This spirit is resistance to illegitimate authority and to forces that
deprive people of their life and liberty and right to pursue
happiness, and therefore under these conditions, it urges the right
to alter or abolish their current form of government and the stress
had been on abolish.

But to establish the principles of the Declaration of Independence,
we are going to need to go outside the law, to stop obeying the
laws that demand killing or that allocate wealth the way it has
been done, or that put people in jail for petty technical offenses
and keep other people out of jail for enormous crimes.

My hope is that this kind of spirit will take place not just in this
country but in other countries because they all need it.

People in all countries need the spirit of disobedience to the state,
which is not a metaphysical thing but a thing of force and wealth.

And we need a kind of declaration of interdependence among
people in all countries of the world who are striving for the same
thing.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info