Friday, December 31, 2010

My Top Two People of 2010 - Marisela Escobedo Ortiz and Bob McIlvaine

Seeking to know the truth about her daughter's murder, Marisela Escobedo Ortiz was herself murdered while protesting the release by Chihuahua state judges of a suspect in her daughter's 2008 slaying:

http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_16898169

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Marisela Escobedo Ortiz


Bob McIlvaine seeks to know the truth about his son's murder at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNzRzG9_TSo&feature=related

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Bob McIlvaine

Friday, December 17, 2010

Google and Amazon: An Author’s Business Partners in the New Digital Age



According to Wikipedia, “Google runs over one million servers in data centers around the world, and processes over one billion search requests and about twenty-four petabytes of user-generated data every day'” while Amazon is “America’s largest online retailer”. The publishing industry is undergoing a technological revolution the likes of which we haven’t seen since the invention of movable type 500 years ago, and because I am a freelance writer and an author I have been drawn into business partnerships with both Google and Amazon as a result of this revolution.

Google is involved with the CIA while Amazon, until recently, has been hosting Wikileaks.

Amazon acquired a print-on-demand publishing company a couple of years ago and went into the printing/publishing business, in a big way (BookSurge and CreateSpace as: On-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of Amazon.com). Amazon’s CreateSpace features a no fee do-it-yourself approach; and for authors who are not able to do it themselves, Amazon’s BookSurge’s offers authors the opportunity to have their books designed and edited for a reasonable fee. Being able to have my book printed, distributed, and sold by “America’s largest online retailer” at no cost to me, through CreateSpace, was an opportunity that I was able to take advantage of.

Google has had its Google Books for some time now, but only recently opened its (long awaited) Google ebookstore. The benefit, to the author, of partnering with both Google and Amazon is that this enables the author to have a book available in various ebook formats (with Google) as well as print and Kindle ebook format (with Amazon). The cost-savings of the ebook technology is passed on to the book-buying consumer: ebooks are a lot cheaper than print, they’re available immediately, and there are no shipping charges.

The thing about this is that all of this—the new digital POD/ebook availability thing—really is very new.

As I’ve said before, the invention of the printing press and movable type (during the early sixteenth century) created a technological leap forward in the communication of information and causing the greatest proliferation of ideas that the world had ever seen. Ideas and information could now be communicated–written, printed, and widely distributed—more quickly and efficiently and this gave writers the ability to influence many people’s thoughts concerning the relevant issues of the day. Such mass influence was impossible before the technological development of printing with movable type, and it was the technological development of printing itself which fueled the societal changes that later occurred (e.g., the Reformation, the Renaissance) due to the widespread proliferation of ideas via the new print media.

Until the technological innovation of the telegraph (during the late nineteenth century), printed materials (e.g., books, pamphlets, newspapers, illustrations, political cartoons) were the best means by which to communicate ideas and information. The telegraph was able to provide information instantaneous and it was the combination of the telegraph wire’s instantaneous capabilities along with the already well established and widely circulated print media (i.e., newspapers) which brought about a revolution in both how and when the news would be reported from that point on.

I can remember when the network television news programs still had the sound of the teletype in the background, and the theme music to go with it. The teletype was a machine that printed-out—continuously—the latest news coming from the wire services and it was the means through which the networks gathered the news. The wire services owed their very existence to the technological innovation of the telegraph and its wire, which is why they were called wire services. Wire services, such as the Associated Press (the AP), still exist, and remain their primary sources for news gathering. And the latest technological innovation in communications—the internet—has now become a primary source for news gathering too.

The digital era is a time of momentous changes in communications technologies, which is reshaping the communications industries. It’s amazing what can be done digitally today. I was able to write a book and make it available to anyone with internet access—in both print and digital formats. And it’s cost me nothing, except for the technological tools I used to do this with: my laptop computer and internet access (I used free Wi-Fi). In the not-so-distant past it cost an author thousands of dollars to self-publish, now it costs nothing. The publishing industry is changing rapidly due to this revolution in communications technology, and it is struggling to find its new self. For instance, having worked for both a large newspaper (the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) and a large paper company (International Paper) I have been expecting the crisis many newspapers are now facing: circulation and advertising is down, and the costs of printing the news on paper is very high . . . my local newspaper offers free mobile (iphone) related apps.

Two of my favorite publishing outlets are Scribd and the Internet Archive’s Community Books, which offer various ebook format editions of my book (including mobile) FREE. Scribd is, by far, my favorite publishing outlet . . . I get lots of reads daily on Scribd, and reads is what I, as writer, am most interested in: readers.

It’s a communication and information revolution and I suppose it was inevitable that Google and Amazon (or whatever else they may have been called) would become two of the main channels of the new digital information/communication revolution . . . who knows?

Monday, November 29, 2010

A World Without Nukes: Dream? or Nightmare?

Nuclear_explosion_by_kingsandji

“A world without nukes would be the ultimate nightmare. We voluntarily disarm while the world's rogues and psychopaths develop nukes in secret.” Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post, 11/26/2010)

“A world without nukes would be the ultimate nightmare.” That’s a very strong statement which most people, I think, would strongly disagree with. I think most people hope, someday, to live in a nuclear weapon-free world. So what, exactly, is Krauthammer’s reason for making such a statement? Krauthammer’s a writer, and I’m a writer too. Writers write sentence by sentence, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a newspaper column or a book, so why does Krauthammer say that “A world without nukes would be an ultimate nightmare”?

Writers are also careful with the words they use. The words: “world”, “nukes”, “ultimate”, “nightmare” are packed with meaning and Krauthammer intends to pack a punch with them . . . to persuade his readers to follow his point of view, which is the establishment’s point of view. Writer’s, especially those, like Krauthammer, who are well paid to engage in social/political polemics on a regular basis, are likewise prone to misuse words in order to persuade those who disagree with their views. Their writings should always be read very carefully, with suspicion. For example, Krauthammer, here, equates a nuclear weapon-free world (many people’s hope/dream) with a nightmare. Worse yet: an “ultimate nightmare”.

The late (murdered) president John F. Kennedy once said:

“What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace - - the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living -- the kind that enables man and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children - - not merely peace for Americans by peace for all men and women - - not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all of the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by the wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations unborn.” John F. Kennedy, Commencement Speech at American University (06/10/1963)

I agree with Kennedy. And I find Krauthammer’s misuse of words regarding this subject repugnant. Krauthammer want’s to persuade his readers into believing that a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American (nuclear) weapons of war is our only hope/dream and tries to convince them, by a subtle equivocation of terms, that we are in mortal peril if we don’t have this Pax Americana. For Krauthammer, “a world without nukes” = “a world in which rogues and psychopaths develop nukes in secret”. But these two things, “a world without nukes” and “a world in which rogues and psychopaths develop nukes in secret are not the same, or equivalent.

Like Kennedy, I think it’s foolish—and very dangerous—for nations to arm for total nuclear war “in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all of the allied air forces in the Second World War ”. What does this—an end to the nuclear arms race and disarmament—have to do with “rogues and psychopaths developing nukes in secret”? Surely Krauthammer knows there will always be rogues and psychopaths—or sociopaths—amongst us . . . why does he tell us we invite disaster—an “ultimate nightmare scenario”—if we choose to scale back or even lay down our national nuclear offensive/defensive capabilities? Kennedy’s dream of a nuclear-free world wasn’t/isn’t a nightmare, Krauthammer’s dream of a world with nukes, with the US enforcing a new Pax Americana, taking out rogue nations and psychopathic dictators, is the real nightmare.

If we’re looking for rogues and psychopaths (better: sociopaths) the world, especially since 9/11, has indeed been threatened by them. Two names, in particular, come to mind here: Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney.

I, for one, hope for and dream of a nuclear-free future, one in which generations unborn can be free of the threat of nuclear annihilation. Krauthammer, apparently, does not.

And I’m not the only one either . . . far from it, there is a global resistance of nuclear weapons.

Monday, October 4, 2010

9/11 - America's Open Wound


9/11 – America’s Open Wound

I was accused, recently, in a letter to the editor of the Public Opinion, which was titled: Essayist's points make no sense (September 13, 2010), of making nonsensical points in an essay that I had written, which had been published previously in the Public Opinion (September 3, 2010). The point, which I made in the essay and which this letter-writer took issue with, was this: That I believe elements of our own government were responsible for the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

I realize this is not something one hears on the nightly news, but it’s hardly nonsensical. Consider the following news story, which concerns a recent press conference held by the group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, that took place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Thursday September 9, 2010

1,270 Architects/Engineers Reveal Hard Evidence of Explosive Demolition at World Trade Center on 9/11

Former US Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK) and Richard Gage, AIA, Founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth Discuss Scientific Findings - National Press Club, Washington DC, 2:00 pm, Thursday, September 9, 2010

“Gravel and Gage will host a central press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, presenting hard evidence that all three WTC skyscrapers on September 11, 2001, in NYC were destroyed by explosive controlled demolition . . . Senator Gravel notes, 'Critically important evidence has come forward after the original government building reports were completed.'"

Have you heard about this? I don’t think Gravel and Gage are talking nonsense. Do you? After all, architects and engineers are usually some of the most scientifically-minded and fact-based people that one would ever want to meet. They’re hardly the type of people given to making nonsensical statements, especially in public . . . at the National Press Club no less.

I think the real question we need to ask ourselves is: Why did they feel the need to do so in the first place? Because there’s a media blackout concerning the many questions surrounding the horrific events of 9/11 that still remain unanswered?

Peter Lance, a five-time Emmy award-winning journalist, answers this question for us, in great detail, in his book: Cover-Up: What the Government Is Still Hiding About the War on Terror (New York: Harper, 2005). Cover-Up is Lance’s second of three books that he has written on the subject of the 9/11 cover-up. Is he just writing nonsense too? Lance doesn’t go so far as to say that 9/11 was an inside job, although I think it obvious, Lance simply wants a new (real) investigation into the events of 9/11, allowing the chips to fall wherever they may, as do I.

I’m of the opinion that citizenship requires involvement and taking responsibility for government, not a blind obedience to government regardless of how corrupt that government has now become.

Is any of this making sense to you? Is it nonsensical? I think it’s not only sensible to believe that 9/11 was an inside job, I think the inside job argument makes the most sense out of the plethora of information that we now have available to us about the terror attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. After all, our government has been known to have done this sort of thing before—staging “incidents” in order to gain public support for its latest military venture (e.g., the USS Maine, the RMS Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, Operation Northwoods, the Gulf of Tonkin).

9/11 is America’s open wound. The only way this wound can heal is for the truth to come out, no matter how ugly the truth about 9/11 turns out to be.

I’m not the only person in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, the US, or the world who believes this either . . . far from it.

There are numerous 9/11 Truth groups that can be found throughout all fifty states, and many, many more that can be found in nations throughout the world.

Nonsensical?

Rather, the American people are beginning to wake up from their government controlled, mass media induced slumber.

PENNSYLVANIA - 9/11 Truth

Chambersburg - Southcentral PA – A. J. MacDonald, Jr. – ajmacdonaldjr@gmail.com - http://theworldperceived.blogspot.com - Thomas Klein - 717.264.7158 - frthomas@embarqmail.com

Conshohocken- SW PA - Emerson Johnson - 610.828.2460 - favoritefactfinder@yahoo.com

Devon-: Philadelphia suburbs - Betsy Metz 610.293.8101 – emetz999@aol.com

Erie - Doug Dailey - ddailey741@ymail.com

Lancaster - South central PA - Stewart Bradley 717. 299.1248 – st0069@hotmail.com

Lehigh Valley - Meetup Organizer – lv911truth@mail.com - http://join911truth.com

New Kensington - Western Pennsylvania - Dwaine Moore - 724.351.3863 – http://www.bcmin.us

Philadelphia - Phyllis Gilbert - 215.732.9349 – peaceact@critpath.org

Philadelphia - Jonathan Gold - 610.322.3380 – gold9472@Comcast.net

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How I Became A Liberal Communist Tree Hugger


Actually, I haven't "become" anything but I've been called all of the above. I suppose that what those words actually mean is a matter of interpretation . . . isn't it? Perhaps the best way to analyze these words is to consider them as utterances, in the Bakhtinian sense, as words or phrases, written or spoken, that have originated within a particular social context. In this case, a sociopolitical context, or, as Bakhtin would call it: a sociopolitical speech genre. These are powerful, socially and politically created words (and situations!) that we've inherited from those who've preceded us; words that are intended to be persuasive. (Political speech, especially when it's a combination of words and images, is always propagandistic.)

Sociopolitical speech is almost, by definition, polarized. There are two sides to every debate and every story . . . polar extremes are to be expected. Even violent ones.

War is violent, by definition.

The warmongering and the fearmongering continue, unabated, in America . . . the Muslim fanatics are (supposedly) out to get us, you know.

I was accused of having been brainwashed recently, which is odd . . . considering that I haven't watched television news in many years. If I were to sit in front of the television set every night and watch, oh, say, Fox News perhaps, then one might say, accurately, that I may be allowing myself to become influenced by the media, or brainwashed, by Fox News. But considering that I never watch television, how can one say I'm being brainwashed? I do watch Alex Jones occasionally, but Alex has been around for years . . . and so have I.

I'm quite capable of discerning truth from error concerning Alex Jones. I would say that Jones is 98% correct, and it's encouraging just to know that he's out there . . . even if his broadcast is only three hours a day, five days a week, and two hours on Sunday. Compared to Fox News' 24/7/365 influence, Jones is a piker when it comes to being able to influence anyone; let alone brainwash someone. Brainwashing would require that someone have 24/7/365 access to every home in America . . . sort of like Fox News has . . .

Hmmm . . .

I'm hardly a Liberal, as anyone who has ever taken the time to read my writings knows. I'm a Libertarian with Christian moral convictions. And there's a BIG difference.

I'm also a Constitutionalist, with a strict interpretation; meaning that I believe the US federal government should be restricted to doing only that which is specifically outlined for it to do in the US Constitution, which is, after all, the whole point of the US Constitution to begin with; including, especially, the US Congress alone having the authority to wage war.

Hmmm . . .

And I'M brainwashed?

I'm no fan of the federal government, I can assure you. And I think a Liberal is, by definition, a fan of the feds. I am not a fan of the feds at all.

I've had my run-ins with the feds over the years, and I don't think they're a big fan of me either. I can't imagine they think of me as a Liberal. Heck, if you count my last run-in with the feds in DC, I've been arrested and locked up by them a grand total of six times now: three times by the US military, twice by the FBI, and once by the US Park Police.

Crazy . . . can you imagine, too, how many times I've been stopped and asked by the police to show my ID, so they could run me for warrants . . . I've lost count . . .

And I'm not a bad guy either, that's the thing. I just have that bad guy mystique . . .

Anyways, a Constitutionalist Christian Libertarian like me is far from being a Liberal or a Communist . . . and although I do love trees, I'm not a tree hugger. I used to work for a very large paper company and we had a saying: paper is a renewable resource. But I am against cutting old growth trees . . . . I think it's criminal for someone to do that.

When it comes to economics, I'm more a fan of Adam Smith than I am of Karl Marx, so I certainly can't be a Communist. I'm for Ending the Fed too, which is not exactly the political stance on the Federal Reserve that a good commie would take. Is it?

But I suppose that, since I am against the war(s), the Global War on Terror, the rise of the US police state, the failed War on Drugs, and suspect that rogue elements of our own government (and others) were behind the terror attacks of 9/11, this DOES make me a Liberal Communist, in the Glennbeckian sense of these terms.

On the other hand, there are good reasons for Beck and others considering me to be a Liberal and a Communist. I believe that being a Christian is a communal activity, not a personal affair. So yes, I believe in social justice, relieving the plight of the poor, having compassion on those who are less fortunate, working to build a more just society for all people, including those not-yet-born. I recently spent a week at the DC Catholic Worker House and God knows the Catholic Workers are considered Communist, even through the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, Dorothy Day, had the same sociopolitical ideology that I have: social justice is the work of God's people, the Church, and not of the government.

All of which makes me an odd bird, politically speaking, I know. I mean, just what political category do I fit into anyway? The Liberals are mostly proaborts and the Conservatives are mostly warhawks (some of them chicken-hawks), so where does that leave me? I'm pro-life and I'm anti-war; two issues which need to become related in the minds of many people. I mean, have a heart people!

As I've said before, I don't know about you, but I've seen carnage—meaning: the bodies of human beings that have been torn into chunks of flesh, or meat, and it's always broken my heart to see this. Not right away, of course, but afterward. A person that someone loved torn into bloody pieces of meat. Killing someone requires justification; like self-defense. Preemptive killing is murder, and is considered such by the states and the federal government except, it seems, when it comes to our military adventures (in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan) and abortion. For us Americans, it's okay for us to tear people to shreds anytime we feel the need to do so, isn't it? I mean, what is justice? And who really cares about that anyway . . . ?

Do you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Future of America Depends Upon Justice for the Unborn


The Future of America Depends Upon Justice for the Unborn

(photo: abortion - 10 weeks)

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Seuss once said: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

I agree.

Last month I was working with a fine young Christian man—the kind of young Christian person who inspires hope for the future and can be found across this great nation— who said something that really surprised me. He said something to the effect of, “I think abortion is okay as long as it’s right after conception (like via “the morning after pill”) or still very young/small.”

I think I said something like, “So all that matters is that we kill them when they’re small . . . preferably by chemicals, as opposed to scalpels. But the point here is that one has to have a justifiable reason to take a human life and to have an abortion is to intentionally destroy a human life. Simply not wanting a little someone around is not just cause for taking a human life, so matter how small/young it is.”

I also told him two stories from my own life-experience. The first was that, when we were young teenagers, my best friend got his girlfriend pregnant and, because they didn’t want her parents to find out they were having sex, they aborted the child. My friend and his girlfriend later married and had three kids. I think her parents figured out that they were having sex. This couple, especially the woman, always regretted having aborted their first, who would have been their oldest, child.

The second story is that of my ex wife. She got pregnant at 16 (not by me) and hid it from her mom until it was too late to get an abortion, which is what her mom (not my ex wife) wanted to do. She had the child, a boy, and she gave him up for adoption. He contacted her when he turned 18 and they have been corresponding ever since. He’s very happy to be alive, knowing he could have been aborted, he’s very happy with his life, and he’s also a very successful businessman.

And that’s a lot better than ending up in the toilet, or in the garbage can, isn’t it?

Life is unique; especially human life.

I once watched Bill Moyers interview Dr. Leon Kass, MD on PBS. Dr. Kass is one of the brightest thinkers in America, and he’s also a distinguished bioethicist (whose books I’ve read). The following is an excerpt from this interview,

BILL MOYERS: You mean down when we were mere cells?

LEON KASS: When we were--

BILL MOYERS: Or a cell?

LEON KASS: We were a very special kind of cell, Bill.

BILL MOYERS: Potentially.

LEON KASS: No, no. We were-- when you-- look, when-- R.G. Edwards created the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, 1978, he said, and he sort of stumbled over the truth. He said, "She was beautiful then and she is beautiful now." And by "then" he meant when she was a zygote, when she was a fertilized egg which he had fertilized.

What really struck me was just how little Bill Moyers thinks of human life in its earliest stages.

Just like the young man I worked with.

Dr. Kass is a wise man who is in awe of life, especially human life, and he realizes the continuity, over time, of our being. We were all zygotes once. I, the person who I am now, this body, was once as small as the period at the end of this sentence.

“We were a very special kind of cell, Bill.”

I suppose “the morning after pill” is a conscience relieving solution to an unwanted pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancy? Simply swallow a pill and your pregnancy is over!

Sounds like the modern, scientific, and merciful way to kill your unborn child. If they’re really small they won’t feel anything . . .

Mercy is one of the reasons the guy that I used to work with gave me for using “the morning after pill” or getting an abortion early: they don’t feel any pain.

But who are they?

They are the same kind as us: people.

“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to ask for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee.” ~ John Donne

By saying this Donne is telling us much the same thing as Dr. King was telling us when he said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” What Donne is saying is that we’re a small part of a much larger human family and that we’re all mortal. When the bell tolls the death of anyone, it may as well be my own death, because sooner or later I will die. The death of anyone is a loss to the human family of a unique individual. In the case of abortion, the death of each human being via abortion is, in a sense, the death of us all, because the single, unwanted human zygote, embryo, or fetus is a microcosm of humanity. The unjust, intentional putting to death of a single, small, growing human being through abortion is the death of us all, because we turn our head and ignore, for the most part, the deathly matter.

Are YOU going to be the one to kill it? Whatever size it is? I’m not.

Not if it’s human, sorry.

And HUMAN it is; it being: the small person (people or them).

I realize that pseudo intellectuals like Peter Singer would have us (i.e., our society) allow for abortion and infanticide (i.e., the murder of infants up to two years of age) but I think Dr. King would really have issues with such inhumane and murderously brutal injustices as abortion and infanticide.

Wouldn’t he?

Abortion and infanticide are based, philosophically, upon a genocidal instinct that transcends ordinary classifications of hated, which becomes a hatred for the bodily existence of another person (however small). This (small) person’s nationality, religion, gender, and race are irrelevant; the intention of abortion and infanticide being to destroy a human life simply because it exists.

Notice how, in the dialogue above, Moyer’s use of potential life is summarily dismissed by Dr. Kass.

You weren’t a potential human life, or person, when you were a zygote Bill; you were you: a living, growing, human person . . . the same—although much more mature—unique human person that you are right now (e.g., same blood type, same unique DNA).

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, “The medical examiner's office received a total of 19,916 human remains, which included fewer than 300 intact bodies or torsos. It identified 10,190 body parts, some as small as a finger tip, primarily through DNA testing. About 9,726 remains remain unidentified.”

Although we don’t like to think about it, the finger tip of an unborn child who has been legally killed by an abortionist would also be identified as being “human remains.”

In short, this is indisputable scientific evidence that the unborn child is a human being. But we already knew that, didn’t we?

Isn’t that the point, after all, of killing it to begin with? Because it—a living, growing, human being—is; it exists here-and-now and we don’t want it to?

So we desire a humane way of being rid of this . . . human.

Better than carving it up into little pieces—not as ugly, or as brutal, in appearance.

Suffice it to say that, in this case—concerning Kass and Moyers—Dr. Kass comes across as much wiser than the average person which, in this case, is represented by Moyers.

Size (or age), in this case, doesn’t matter.

Injustice anywhere—like the unjust taking of a human life through abortion—is a threat to justice everywhere.

Ask not whom the abortionist kills, he’s killing you . . . he’s killing us all; in microcosm . . . the purest form of genocide (or specicide).

Believe it or not, the biggest obstacle to political reformation, now, is the abortion issue. Why? Because the Left, which is supposed to stand for human rights supports, for the most part, a woman’s right to choose to hire an abortionist, usually a man, and pay him to kill her child (unless of course she’s using the “more humane” morning after pill).

The Right, which has no history of supporting the oppressed, like the Left does, has picked up the human rights banner which the Left dropped (i.e., the banner of the smallest amongst us, the not-yet-born) and managed to gather most of the pro-lifers into its party. The Left, which perceives the abortion issue as irrevocably tied to the women’s rights issue could easily become the party of life and justice, thus transferring most of the pro-lifers from the Right into its own party, if the Left would simply acknowledge the truth: abortion is the intentional, violent destruction of an innocent human person.

Women have rights in our society. They have equal rights with men. But neither a man nor a woman has any right to kill an unborn person. Some jealous, angry husbands will always seek out their cheating spouse's lover in order to kill him. But this doesn't mean that the state (i.e., the government) should legalize such killings. Likewise, women (and men) will always seek to be rid of their unborn children. But that doesn’t mean that the state (meaning: the government) should legalize such killings.

What would Dr. King say . . . ? Can you imagine? And why is no one else, of any popular significance, saying it?

What’s happened to justice? Human rights cannot be in subjection to women’s rights, or to men’s rights. These rights are innate; inviolate, God-given.

And that was Dr. King’s whole point, wasn’t it? Equal rights for all people via Natural Law . . . as outlined for us in the Declaration of Independence?

I had a rather unique perspective of Glenn Beck’s recent rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. I walked from Dupont Circle to the rally that morning and, as I was walking down 16th street, only a few blocks from the White House, I passed by the Planned Parenthood at 16th and L and, as you can imagine (or maybe you can’t) it was very busy, being a Saturday, which, apparently, is a good (i.e., popular, or common) day for the unborn to die.

Tens of thousands of pro-lifers were at the Beck rally . . . but not at the clinic, in order to protest. Hundreds of pro-choicers were at the anti-Beck rally, not far from the Lincoln Memorial, attempting to make Dr. King’s dream of a more just society a reality. But they weren’t at the clinic either. There was only a very small group of Catholics there, at the clinic, protesting.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small . . .”

It’s time for America, meaning the American people, to reconcile human rights to the abortion issue . . . to seek justice. If the Democrats would rethink the abortion issue through the lens of Dr. King’s Natural Law paradigm the Republicans would go back to being their old rich, fat cat, country club selves.

Support Life!

Consistently!

End war, end abortion, end poverty, end racism, end capital punishment . . . and seek instead to build a culture of life!

And Justice!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Natural Law in Perspective

The perspective of this photograph is correct, philosophically speaking. The law, which is symbolized, here, by the US Capitol Building, is placed in subjection to Dr. King's philosophy of Natural Law, which is symbolized, here, by (both) Dr. King's words and image.

Unfortunately, Washington has things the other way around: Dr. King's (and America's) philosophy of Natural Law is placed in subjection to Positive Law (i.e., the wills of lawmakers on Capitol Hill).

I've written, extensively, on this subject before, and I will not rewrite what I've already written here. Suffice it to say that Natural Law trumps Positive Law; Natural Law is much more helpful in constructing—legally and philosophically—a more just society anyways . . .

And this (i.e., Natural Law) is no new idea either. It's only been around for the past 2,000 years or so . . .

In short, if it's good enough for Dr. King, it's good enough for me too.

In fact, Dr. King's entire philosophy is dependent upon Natural Law; and for one to deny the existence of Natural Law would be tantamount to denying the philosophical justification underlying Dr. King's call for equal rights for all peoples, regardless of race, creed, or color, as outlined for us in the US Declaration of Independence.

Hmmm . . .

But, like I said, I'm not going to rehearse this matter here. I only wish that all of the hulabaloo over Glenn Beck's recent rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington had been the catalyst for a much greater interest in Dr. King's Natural Law-based philosophy.

Perhaps this very brief essay this will do exactly that . . .

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shame and 9/11 Truth


I was protesting the wars at the Pentagon a couple of weeks ago and, strangely enough, I felt ashamed; because I had chosen to hold a sign that read: "9/11: An Inside Job to Lead Us into War". But why did I feel shame for this? It's the truth. I think that what I was feeling was embarrassment, because it seemed as though virtually everyone who passed by me (and read the sign) was (probably) thinking I was a kook. And that's embarrassing. Or perhaps it was because I was ashamed at having to be there, at the Pentagon, to begin with . . . that I need to protest my own government, because of its crimes . . . like I was ashamed to be an American.

But I think, too, that my feeling had something to do with being at the Pentagon itself, because virtually everyone who passed by me (us) seemed to be against me (us). Perhaps there was some element of fear as well? But I'm not afraid of the authorities or of going to jail for a sociopolitical cause, which I've done before; although our government does do its best to keep us living in fear. It just seemed so surreal; sort of like protesting the Dark Side's unholy ambitions on Darth Vader's Death Star.

Not too unlike protesting in front of an abortion clinic though . . .

When it comes to 9/11, I'm not the one who needs to be ashamed. I didn't kill anyone on 9/11, but someone did. Some group (conspiracy) of people did. And I don't think it was a group of Islamic fundamentalists that brought down WTC buildings 1, 2, and 7 . . . I think it was elements of our own (federal) government (i.e., the military-intelligence complex).

But does this make me a kook?

The feeling of shame, or embarrassment, is a uniquely human emotion. Dr. Leon Kass, in his book Toward a More Natural Science, points out the fact that animals do not feel shame; shame is a uniquely human emotion. In short, we are not animals.

The true criminals behind the terror attacks of 9/11 have yet to be brought to justice. Instead, they continue supporting the doctrine of endless wars, torture, and unlawful detentions they began nine years ago. Who is running America? The military-intelligence complex?

It's hardly embarrassing for one to believe that the terror attacks of 9/11 were perpetrated by rogue elements within our own government, or that the WTC buildings (1, 2, and 7) were brought down in some manner that didn't simply cause their collapse but caused them to disintegrate. Many intelligent people believe the government is covering up the truth about 9/11, and I don't think they should feel any shame for believing this. (See Peter Lance's (.pdf) 9/11 Timeline 1981-2006) I think it's more shameful for one to accept, at face value, the official government explanation of 9/11, because such acceptance reveals how little thought one has chosen to invest in this most important of subjects.

America needs citizens who are willing to think.

Please, examine the evidence for yourself . . . as so many intelligent people are doing. . .

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Scholars for 9/11 Truth

Pilots for 9/11 Truth

Firefighters for 9/11 Truth

Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth

9/11 Truth

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why Beck’s Jingoism Appeals to His Many Followers


I happened to be in Washington this past week, so I went to see the crowd at Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally on Saturday (8/28). It's not often that I'm able to see a large crowd of people who have been taken-in by jingoistic sloganeering, and it was a rather unsettling experience for me.

Jingoism is marked by a rabid nationalism and militarism expressed in an aggressive militaristic foreign policy.

Beck's call for "supporting our troops" and "restoring honor" to our great nation is propagandistic patriotic sloganeering at its best.

Beck's use of terms such as: God, faith, hope, charity, honor, family, life, liberty, freedom, and rights are, in Beck's hands, emptied of their true meanings and given nationalistic propagandistic meanings.

I hope that Beck's followers come to understand the true meanings of the terms Beck uses.

Beck's 8/28 rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington occurred on the 47th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., where he gave his famous I Have a Dream speech.

Beck endorses Dr. King and what he stood for, and this is Beck's (and his handlers') weak point.

As I've said before, I write about Dr. King's legal-social philosophy often, because I believe his is the best philosophical basis for legal-social theory: natural law. And because, as Dr. King noted, this legal theory is also the philosophical basis of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

At issue here is: Justice. What is it? And how do we know whether or not our nation is acting justly?

Does Beck have the answer? Is Beck the man who, like Dr. King, can lead us our nation on the path of justice? Can Beck tell us how to go about building a more just society?

I think not. (Nor am I (by far) the only one who thinks he is not.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wave(s) of the Past


When it comes to world events, it's helpful to keep things in historical perspective.

For example, here in the US, the news often focuses upon two, important issues: 1) illegal Mexican/Central American immigration; and 2) Islamic terrorism. To put things in historical perspective, the Spanish were exploring the New World before Martin Luther began, in 1517, to reform the Catholic Church; and the Islamic Ottoman Empire began twenty-five years after the death, in 1274, of philosopher/theologian Thomas Aquinas and ended, in 1922—an outcome of World War I.

From this—historical—perspective, is it any wonder that the population and inculturation of Muslims in both Europe and the US should increase over the years? Or that the population and inculturation of Mexican/Central Americans in the US should increase?

The march of time and of history continues on . . . and these two, great empires of (historically) recent times—the Spanish and the Ottoman—will continue to influence US and European population and culture for many years to come.

Here in the US, some people believe that the US should be English only; meaning there should be one, official language in the US: English. But, for all practical purposes, the US is already a bilingual nation: we use both English and Spanish. (One need only examine common warning signs or product packaging found in the US in order to note this.)

Although we are familiar with the fact that English settlers celebrated America's first Thanksgiving at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621, Spanish explorers celebrated what could be considered America's first Thanksgiving south of present day El Paso, Texas in 1598.

Twenty-three years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, the Spanish were celebrating thanksgiving in America . . . at a distance of over 2,000 miles west of Plymouth.

America has a rich Spanish history, which many Americans fail to appreciate, and the current influence of Hispanic persons and Spanish culture in the US is simply the continuation of this history.

Europe has a rich history long influenced by Islamic culture, beginning only twelve years after the Prophet Muhammad's death in 632. Muslim persons and the Islamic culture will continue to influence Europe for many years to come.

The (historically recent) demise of these two, great empires is the historical event that has given rise to today's news about illegal immigration and Islamic terrorism.

The old cause we see the effects of.

Time, and history, marches on . . .

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Ground Zero" and the Truth


“The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million -- that number again -- hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists -- Iranian in particular -- openly prepare a more final solution.”

Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post, June 4, 2010)

The current controversy over a proposed mosque located near “Ground Zero” is, like so much of the news, much ado about nothing.

Muslims—or “Islamofascists”—are not responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001. Elements of the US military-intelligence network are responsible for that.

I’m more offended that there’s a US federal building near “Ground Zero”.

Charles Krauthammer, in a column titled: Sacrilege at Ground Zero, says:

“Location matters. Especially this location. Ground Zero is the site of the greatest mass murder in American history -- perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.”

Krauthammer perpetuates the myth that Muslims are responsible for 9/11; therefore guilty of “the greatest mass murder in American history”.

I suppose that he, and others like him, will consider anyone who disagrees with him (and his position) an anti-Semite, who longs to be rid of those “troublesome Jews” and "openly prepare[s] a more final solution.”

However, it’s far more likely that Israeli intelligence agents were involved in the terror attacks of 9/11 than it is “the Muslims”.

Hmm . . .

Why should the US, which is a broke, collapsing empire, continue to support the apartheid state of Israel? Why should the US continue to fight the enemies of the Zionist state of Israel? Why do US politicians continue to do the bidding ofAIPAC? Why do so many US Christians continue to support—unthinkingly—the unbiblical, secular state of Israel?

I’m not worried about mosques or Muslims; I’m worried about the US military-intelligence network and the US politicians doing Israel’s bidding.

As I said, the news is mostly distraction; distraction from the truth.

Especially 9/11 Truth.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Social Theory and Unproven (and Unprovable) Assumptions


I talk about this a lot, so I may as well write something about it too. Actually, I've already written about it, in my book . . . on the first page: that all thinking
is based upon unproven and unprovable assumptions.

Because this is the case, all social thinking—or social theory construction—is based upon unproven and unprovable assumptions too; therefore a good social theory simply needs to be the best, or the most workable, social theory possible.

Think of it like this, mathematics, which is nothing if not rational and logical, is based upon the unproven and unprovable assumption that the invisible laws of logic (somehow) prevent 2 + 2 from visibly equaling 5. The law of non-contradiction seems, somehow, to exist, but it's not provable as to how or why it exists, it's just assumed to be true, because it works. Likewise, the assumption of an invisible divine being—God—is not provable, but we cannot escape the visible phenomenal world in which we exist, and this world testifies to the existence of a divine being who is greater than the world, through whom the world came to be, and who sustains the very existence of the world.

As I've said elsewhere, we have only two social theories from which to choose today: natural law or the will to power.

While I'm on this subject, let me say this: social theories premised upon atheism, humanism, or agnosticism begin and end with the will to power; and with people (i.e., humankind) as the highest (ultimate) authority. There is no higher standard to which a person can be held (legally) than to a human standard and to positive law alone, which reigns supreme (i.e., the decrees of human legislatures and the decisions of human courts).

Social theories which are premised upon God and the natural law (i.e., divine, eternal, moral laws of the universe) provide a standard above that which is human, which transcends humankind and positive law; positive law must live up to the natural law standard.

When I discuss this with people I try to get at the heart of the matter by asking: What are the unproven and unprovable assumptions that you're basing your social theory upon, and do they work, for a society, better than mine work? Would a society based upon your assumptions be more or less just? If the person is an atheist, antitheist, humanist, or agnostic I will always point out the fact that neither of our assumptions, which we base our social theories upon, are provable, but that one of our social theories works, as a social theory, better than the other: mine (i.e., natural law). So, since mine works better than yours does—because mine better conceptualizes justice, as justice applies to society—mine wins.

People may not like to hear this, but it's true. And, when it comes to constructing social theories, I'm nothing if not pragmatic.

This makes natural law somewhat of a "right makes might" position; rather the opposite of the "might makes right" position, which, ultimately, is the only logical conclusion of the will to power philosophy.

I have total confidence that, in any debate concerning social theory, natural law will beat the will to power as the better philosophical foundation for social theory construction; hands down. Natural law was good enough for 2,000 years of Western Civilization, for the author of the Declaration of Independence, for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and natural law is certainly good enough for us, today; because it beats the will to power, any day.

So, when it comes to social theory . . . may the best (i.e., most just and workable) unproven and unprovable assumption—natural law—win

The Arizona Law and Justice


The Arizona Law and Justice

As I've said before, there are two solutions to the illegal Central American/Mexican immigration issue: 1) legalize marijuana; thereby defunding the Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations, which would help to end the violence; and 2) grant those illegal immigrants already here amnesty or asylum and refugee status, and then secure the borders.

Recently, some young people, who are living in the US illegally, were arrested in Washington, D. C. for protesting the illegal immigration issue; meaning the lack of an immigration reform policy, such as amnesty. These young people are illegal immigrants, but they have lived in the US virtually their entire lives, having been brought to the US at a very young age by their parents, who entered the US illegally. And no one, with any sense of justice, would send these young people back to wherever it is that their parents had emigrated from, such as Mexico, would they? These young people are, for all practical purposes, Americans; people who would feel like foreigners in any other nation other than this one. Yes, they are here illegally, but who would wish to see them returned to the nation of their births, now?

I've heard stories, over the years, about families of illegal immigrants being returned to Mexico, or wherever, and of their children, who had lived in the US virtually their entire lives, who didn't even speak Spanish. How do these kids feel being sent to Mexico and they can't even speak Spanish? The young protesters in Washington are trying to point out the injustice of their situation. These young people's situation poses a very real moral dilemma concerning immigration reform, which needs to be resolved . . . before this group of young protesters is prosecuted and deported.

The value of this sort of protest is that it forces people to recognize the reality of the illegal immigration from a real person's all-to-real perspective: that of the young person who has grown up in the US as the child of an illegal immigrant. Anyone should be able to see the injustice in sending someone who is, in every way, an American except for their immigration status. And then we should grant their parents amnesty.

We should also applaud the courage of these young people: to risk being sent to a foreign land in order to force us to fix the problem, which we said we'd fix years ago. Regan, during the 1980's, granted amnesty to illegal immigrants. I remember; because I lived in El Paso, Texas at the time. I saw hundreds of people waiting in line at the Texas Department of Public Safety office in order to file for immigration amnesty. If Regan could do it, why couldn't Bush, and why can't Obama? After all, what's the big deal?

I know this: there's no way the government's prosecuting and deporting those young protesters, because to do so would be a grave injustice.

It's time, now, to deal with this issue: legalize marijuana and grant amnesty.

The philosopher Plato believed that, in order for someone to be a ruler, the person had to know "the good", or what justice is. That's what we need with this illegal immigration issue too: leaders who know what justice is.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

America’s New Declaration of Subservience


America's New Declaration of Subservience

Have you looked through the philosophy section of your favorite large bookstore lately (e.g., Barnes and Noble, Borders)? This section is usually not very big, in most of these stores, but, no matter how small they may be, there are always plenty of books by two of the worst, but (today's) most popular philosophers: Frederick Nietzsche and Michel Foucault.

I've written about these two philosophers before, as well as how their philosophies are antithetical to the formation of a sound or workable sociopolitical theory and to social harmony in general, yet their selfish, greedy, exploitive, power-based philosophy is the de facto sociopolitical philosophy behind America's federal governmental regime, and has been for (at least) the past fifty years.

And, since America seems to be so enamored with the will to power philosophy proclaimed by these two "philosophers", I thought I would present, here, a brief document that can replace the now defunct Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights:


America's New Declaration of Subservience


"American citizens have no rights, per se; citizens are allowed to have and to do only those things the federal government wills for them to have and to do."


I told you it would be brief. That one sentence really explains it all, but, because some citizens may not understand it, I will now expound upon this New Declaration.


You, the American citizen, are not allowed to do anything which the federal government forbids and you are to do everything which the federal government demands of you. This includes obeying whatever laws, rules, and regulations that the federal government may, at anytime, decide to institute and you must adhere to them all. Those who fail to do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The federal government will maintain at all times a large (standing) military force in order to prosecute any war(s) at the times and in the places of its own choosing. All citizens are hereby warned not to act or speak against the federal governments war-actions, as any such un-American activity will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The federal government will maintain its own militarized police forces as well as support and augment all state and local police forces in order to maintain the presence of military force both at home and abroad. Those who resist any federal, state, or local police agents will be dealt with severely and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

You, the American citizen, are to maintain at all times appropriate identification documents on your person, to maintain full or partial employment, to pay all federal, state, local (and other) taxes to the proper authorities, to purchase health care or to obtain assistance for such care from the federal government, to apply for and receive assistance from the federal or state government(s) for any and all other necessities that you may require (e.g., food, housing, disability, unemployment), you are to maintain a smoke, drug, and alcohol-free lifestyle as per all federal health care regulations and you are required to be tested at a federal testing site at least once a month for substance use/abuse (unless you are required to do so more than once a month by legal/judicial authorities).

Although we are currently experiencing difficult economic times, dissent of any kind will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Thankfully, the military, police, security, and correctional fields are open for employment to all personnel who are qualified for the many jobs that are now available in these fields (and this will likely remain the case for quite some time to come).

Make no mistake, the federal government, along with its state and local governmental agencies, will tolerate no law-breaking of any sort whatsoever. There is no shortage of prison space and, if you chose to defy any authority, you can rest assured that we have a cell waiting just for you.

So don't make trouble, work hard, pay your taxes, and do whatever we say, because we have our eye (and ears) on you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

America in Crisis


America and Natural Law

The Declaration of Independence presupposes natural law: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held America’s feet to the fires of its natural law-based legal documents: The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King told Americans that: “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’"

Crisis: America

America is in crisis. Having rejected natural law in favor of posiitive law alone (i.e., the decrees of the legislature and the judiciary divorced from natural law standards, which positive law is supposed to live-up to) our nation is now floundering upon the (Nietzchean) seas of the will to power, seas wherein greed and power trumps compassion and justice. War, fear, torture, oppression, colonial occupation.These are but a few of the issues we face. There are three (3) top priorities which the American People must take responsibility to correct if our nation is to become what it is supposed to be: a just and compassionate nation. And if the American People abdicate their responsibity to rise up and put an end to the injustices we perceive. America—as we know it—will cease to exist:

1) End the wars, end the torture, end the eavesdropping, and end the colonial occupations; 2) End—completely—America’s support of Israel; 3) Begin a restoration of America’s founding legal and philosophical basis for creating a just society: natural law.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Wrong ANSWER to the Arizona Question


The Wrong ANSWER to the Arizona Question

From an email, which I received from ANSWER, regarding its (recent) protest of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer at the National Governor’s Association Meeting in Boston, today:

“At the rally opening, Jennifer Zaldana, representing the ANSWER Coalition, said ‘Today, our message will be heard: Legal Rights for Immigrant Workers! And this is not only a message to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, but to all of the state governors. We will not let the racist Arizona law SB 1070—or any racist bills being considered across the country—go unchallenged.’”

Okay, well, I’ve written on this subject before . . . and I suppose I’ll have to keep writing about it, because so many people are just plain getting it wrong.

Please consider what Jennifer Zaldana, representing the ANSWER Coalition, said: “Legal Rights for Immigrant Workers!”

Okay . . . who, I ask, has a problem with that? That being what she said.

America is a nation made up of immigrants. We’re all immigrants. So who, in their right mind, would oppose immigrants?

Perhaps it’s the workers aspect of what she said that some people oppose? No, we know it’s not that.

We know what she means, and what she supports, yet what she also refused, honestly, to say: “Legal Rights for Illegal Immigrant Workers!”

But this doesn’t sound quite right, does it? It doesn’t quite ring true.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Mexico, the Mexican people, and their culture; that I’ve been to Mexico many times; and that my heart is broken over the violence in Mexico, which is caused by America’s failed war on drugs. Heck, I even have a large image of La Virgen de Guadalupe on the back of my pick-up truck’s rear window!

But I am not in favor of open borders. Immigrants ought to immigrate legally, not illegally, and I cannot support illegal immigration . . . from anywhere, not just Mexico and Central America.

I am not a racist. And for anyone to say that I am a racist, simply because I believe that people ought to immigrate to this—or any other—country legally, would be wrong . . . or worse: it would be a lie.

Please people: get over yourselves.

Consider this: a nation is like a home. And who among you would allow anyone and everyone who wished to do so to enter and live in your home?

Right: none of you.

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