Monday, January 1, 2007

Learning About Islam With Imam Ellison

By Don Feder
FrontPageMagazine.com | January 1, 2007


Rep. Virgil Go
ode (R, VA.) finds himself in the line of fire.

The Anti-Defamation League says it’s time for Goode to “rethink” his “ill-considered remarks” which demonstrate “a serious lack of understanding of the fundamental religious guarantees enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.” That bad, huh?
The Council on American Islamic Relations (Jihad R US) says of
Goode’s comments, “There can never be a reasonable defense for such bigotry.”

Even the American Humanist Association is agitated. Its president, Mel Lipman, fumes, “If Virgil Goode is to continue serving in Congress, he needs a refresher course in basic American civics” -- from the ACLU, no doubt.

The occasion for these fevered condemnations was a letter Congressman Goode sent to a number of his constituents, in response to the announcement of Rep-elect Keith Ellison (D, Minn.) – a convert to the Religion of Peace – that he would bring a Koran with him to his swearing-in ceremony.

“I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way,” Goode wrote. While The Ten Commandments and “In God We Trust” are prominently displayed in his congressional office, “The Koran is not going to be on the wall of my office.”

If that weren’t enough of an offense against multiculturalism, Goode went on to observe that unless we “stop illegal immigration totally” and end “the diversity visas policy, pushed hard by President Clinton” allowing more immigration from the Middle East, “I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States.” And that’s not a good thing?

Meanwhile, Ellison wowed the Sons of the Prophet ( Dearborn , MI chapter) at a conference on Sunday. “You can’t back down, you can’t chicken out, you can’t be afraid, you got to have faith in Allah, and you got to stand up and be a real Muslim,” Ellison told those gathered for the annual convention of the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America.

According to Jihad Watch, the Muslim American Society has ties to the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson says the Islamic Circle of North America “is on record as calling for jihad in the United States .” They sound like real Muslims to me.

Abu Ellison rhetorically inquired of the Dearborn Brethren: “How do you know that Allah … did not bring you here so that you could understand how to teach people what tolerance was, what justice was?”

Right you are, Keith. After all, there are so many shining examples of justice and tolerance in the Muslim world, where minorities are treated with such admirable fairness, justice is impartially administered and respect for human rights is a standard we could all emulate. (Please note the sarcasm here.)

“We all support the Constitution, one Constitution that upholds our right to equal protection,” Ellison told CNN’s Wolfe Blitzer.

Yes, but wouldn’t you say Goode is a vile bigot? Blitzer inquired. Ellison nobly declined to engage in “name-calling.” “I don’t know the fellow and I’d rather just say he has a lot to learn about Islam,” Ellison condescendingly replied.

Poor, ignorant Virginia backwoodsman that he is, Goode just doesn’t know enough about Islam to appreciate its exquisite beauty and lofty principles – like the thing about Jews being the descendants of apes and pigs.

We all have much to learn about Islam, and perhaps the Minnesotan can help to enlighten us.

But first, consider this: The book which Ellison will proudly schlep to his swearing-in has been used to justify the following:

· The Madrid bombings of 2004, the London bombings of 2005 and the plot to blow up as many as 11 trans-Atlantic flights that unraveled in 2006

· The Beslan massacre – where 186 Russian school children and 158 adults died in a hostage crisis in 2003

· Rioting in Pakistan , Afghanistan , Nigeria and Libya (over Danish cartoons dissing Mohammed) in which 139 were killed

· A series of blasts in Mumbai , India , in July, which left 209 dead and more than 700 injured

· Attacks during this year’s celebration of Ramadan (280 in 17 countries) in which more than 1,600 were killed. I didn’t kill anyone for Hanukah. Guess I’m just not serious about my religion.

· The murder of a priest and a nun, the firebombing of churches in the West Bank and multiple death threats following the Pope’s comments on Islam and the balance between faith and reason

· The ethnic cleansing of 90% of Kosovo’s pre-1999 Serb population, not to mention the destruction of hundreds of churches, monasteries, convents and shrines in the province

· The ritual slaughter of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh

Think anyone in the mainstream media is curious about how America ’s first Muslim congressman feels about the foregoing? Think again.

There’s a teenaged girl in Indonesia on whom an indelible impression was made. Noviana Malewa has a scar from a machete cut running from her cheekbone across her face and down her neck.

Noviana was lucky. On October 29, 2005 she was walking home from school with four teenaged companions, when the group was set upon by machete-wielding attackers dressed in black. Her friends were decapitated.

The inspiration for this atrocity came from which literary work: 1) “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” 2) “Sense and Sensibility” 3) “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” 4) “It Takes a Village” or 5) “The Koran”?

It is the very book Ellison will proudly carry to his swearing-in that was the motivation for these murders.

The heads of the four teens were found in bags on the steps of a church with the following message, “We will murder 100 more Christian teenagers and their heads will be presented as presents.” When apprehended, one of the murderers said the killings were planned as a “gift” to mark the end of Ramadan.

To help us ignoramuses learn about his faith, perhaps Imam Ellison could explain the following verses in the Koran, with special reference to their relationship to justice and tolerance:

· “Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number.”

· “Fight those who do not believe in God…Nor acknowledge the religion of truth (Islam) even if they are people of the Book (Christians and Jews) until they pay the Jizya (poll tax) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

· “Ye Muslims are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind.”

· “As to the thief, male and female, cut off his or her hand: A punishment by way of example, from Allah for their crime.”

· “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication, flog each of them with a hundred stripes.”

· “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is crucifixion, or the cutting off of the hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land.”

· “The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, so Jews will hide behind stones and trees and the stone and the tree will say ‘O Muslim. ‘O servant of God! There is a Jew hiding behind me: come and kill him.’”

And please -- I beg you -- don’t cite the Bible verses about dealing with civilians in conquered cities, or the penalty for blaspheming or cursing one’s parents.

It’s been 3,000 years since a Canaanite city was put to the sword. ( Israel doesn’t even have capital punishment for Muslims who murder Jews in the name of Allah.) Christianity’s last crusade was half-a-millennium ago. I know of no Western nation that applies the death penalty to those who sass mom and pop.

On the other hand (the one that hasn’t been cut off), execution for adultery, fatwah/death warrants for “insulting the Prophet,” the rape of female captives, honor killings of women suspected of extra-marital sex, suicide bombings and other excursions into holy war are regular occurrences in the Muslim world.

Such crimes are condoned by the highest religious authorities in Islam, including the scholars of Al-Azhar University and Adb al-Rahman al-Sudais, sheikh of Mecca’s Grand Mosque. (Ain’t Islam grand?)

On January 3, Ellison will take an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States with his hand on the Koran. But are the two in any way compatible?

Our form of government is based on the Bible. At the dedication of the Bunker Hill Monument (1843), Daniel Webster declared that the Bible “is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, and his equality with his fellow-man.”

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt put it in 1935 (speaking on the 400th anniversary of the printing of the English Bible), “We can not read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic.”

Christianity and Judaism are embraced voluntarily. Throughout its history, unto today, conversion to Islam is often under duress. (Ask the 1.9 million who died in the Sudan’s second civil war – 1983 to 2005) The Bible appeals to reason. Islam is based on blind, unthinking adherence to the Koran. Benedict XVI alluded to this in his famous remarks at the University of Regensburg.

The Bible contains the seeds of our current conception of equality under the law and human rights. (The American Revolution was preached from colonial pulpits. The anti-slavery movement started in the churches of New England.) That’s why the Western world pioneered the abolition of slavery. That’s why the Islamic world still has it.

If there’s anything in the Koran compatible with civil liberties, it has yet to be discovered. The Koran is the basis for the system of dhimmitude – the subjugation of non-Muslims. That’s why democracy has never developed organically in the Islamic world. If the Islamic advance into the heart of Europe hadn’t been stopped at the Battle of Tours (732 AD), our government might resemble Iran’s or Saudi Arabia’s – where freedom of conscience is not exactly enshrined in law.

The concept of tolerance that permits the election of a Muslim in an overwhelmingly Christian country is not based on the Koran, but the book Muslims believe it supersedes.

While Ellison is teaching us benighted Islamaphobes about justice and tolerance, perhaps he could save a few lessons for his co-religionists in the Muslim world (like the headhunters of Indonesia ) – where such concepts are non-existent.

And this was in 2003.

SOME FACTS ABOUT ISLAM IN AMERICA:

  • Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the US. By the year 2010, America's Muslim population is expected to surpass the Jewish population, making Islam the country's second-largest faith after Christianity
  • There are currently about 6 million American Muslims. There are about 2,000 mosques in the US
  • Most American Muslims, 77.6%, are immigrants – 22.4% of American Muslims were born in the US.
  • (Source: US State Department)


    AND NEVER LET US FORGET THEIR GOAL....



    24 comments:

    Freedom Fan said...

    Guys, looks like worf really is in charge of Ms. Cornell's blog now. He's deleting my comments for no reason other than to show his might. I've left the Cornell blog.

    Freedom Fan said...

    I sent this to Ms. Cornell:

    Lydia,

    I am saddened to learn that you have put Worf in charge of your blog. He is now deleting comments for no other reason than to show off his might.

    He may try to say that the reason is that I have had something to do with "locking him out".
    That would be untrue. I really doubt it is possible for anyone to manipulate the servers at Google and that is what it would take. It's a good conspiracy theory -- nothing more.

    I have enjoyed my time on your blog. Goodbye.

    -Freedom Fan

    VOLTRON: said...

    Well FF, you're welcome here.

    You never did say wether you would like me to add you to the list to make your own posts here?

    Either way, keep in touch!

    VOLTRON: said...

    It IS interesting though.

    After reading through that mess it would seem that their paranoia has led them to do the very things they accuse us of.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly don't (and wouldn't if I did) have the ability to affect Lydia's blog.

    Hell it was a big enough challenge to do what I did here. And this is after reading many looonnnnggg tutorials and cutting and pasting HTML and Java scripts...LOL

    Freedom Fan said...

    Volt yes thanks, I would like to be able to post as well as comment. I am also forming some thoughts about your topic.

    Yeah, the libs over at Ms. Cornell's blog kinda went ape shit and started deleting Conservative comments. Just shows to go ya that liberalism cannot withstand the light of honest debate.

    The way that british gary reappeared so suddenly, to celebrate the demise of free speech, has me convinced that "Thu" was his sock puppet. Both are equally vacuous; kinda like leisure suit larry but with a goofy limey accent.

    Anyway let them talk to each other until they are bored to tears and the blog goes the way of vapid Air (head) Amerikka. I was spending way too much time there anyway because ripping libs is so easy and fun.

    VOLTRON: said...

    The invite is in your email FF.

    VOLTRON: said...

    Yeah, I think I should stop dropping in as well.

    We have SOME good discussions, but as soon as Clif shows up he starts with the personal attacks right away.

    No one else seems to see them and they claim I start attacking Clif.

    I just LOVE how Clif quotes Jesus and then launches into me AND my boy with such bile. Such a good christian that one.

    Hypocrites all.

    VOLTRON: said...

    This is funny, Worfs in a pizzing match with some one calling themselves "bbq". I bet he gets tired of deleting his posts.

    He even deleted one of mine trying to HELP Clif....LOL

    (and I think Lydia lied. Worf HAS to be the one doing it, he couldn't "tell" Lydia's friend fast enough to do whats going on.)

    Also, since he IS a "team member" over there I'm sure HE has the power to moderate comments as well...

    VOLTRON: said...

    Wow! Now clif says no one will debate him...last comment he posted to me was about wanting to watch my son shower.

    Evidently he has something for young boys in the shower...

    Anonymous said...

    Sorry dolty boy but it was asking YOU if YOU watch your NON son shower three times a day like YOU said he did.

    X...Clif

    Anonymous said...

    It is YOU who blather about somebody elses son boy NOT me.

    Johnny moo moo said...

    BG said

    "Lydia, I think Worf should be congratulated for policing the terms of your blog. It's been long overdue especially as you don't get the time."

    My Psychiatrists warned me there would be days like these........someone pinch me!

    Johnny moo moo said...

    Cliff

    Act like an officer and fight like a man...........leave the kids out of this.

    Anonymous said...

    OK Johnny;

    Bush is getting ready to Surge in Iraq.

    George Bush is getting ready to push a surge on to the country, a surge of troops into the morass that is Iraq. He is asking the country to allow more troops to be sent into the Fiasco he created in the country of Iraq even though he does not have a plan for victory or a strategy for withdrawal. Bush wants to put in more troops so he an look strong, look like he is doing something after he got spanked last November in a national election, and undermined by the Iraq Study Group. The ISG said Iraq is real bad and getting worse.

    Bush now wants to make more American sons and daughters to enter into that country in the beginnings of a civil war. He wants to try to save his legacy with more US blood. Blood from soldiers who just no longer believe that we have a strategy for victory, and the majority of whom no longer believe in the War. Bush wants people to die and get maimed just so he does not have to say he was wrong.

    Wrong for lying about the WMD’s

    Wrong for ignoring Gen Shinseki.

    Wrong for “Mission Accomplishment”.

    Wrong for “the insurgency is in it’s last throes”.

    Wrong for “stay the course”.

    Wrong for “bring it on”.

    Wrong for calling those who realized the war was illegal and immoral traitors.

    Wrong for ignoring Generals who called for a change in strategy.

    Wrong for refusing to fire Rumsfeld last year instead of the day after the election.

    WRONG

    Sending more troops into Iraq in 2007 is as wrong as it was sending MORE troops into Vietnam in 1968 when Gen Westmoreland asked Lyndon Johnson to do it. Iraq is past any possible American Military victory with 150,00 or even 200,00 troops. Iraq is no longer an insurgency but an actual civil war between two groups who have fought before for control.

    Bush failed, he had NO plan, and allowed Cheney and Rumsfeld to use a flawed strategy and inadequate force to invade a country and NOT secure it.

    They failed to secure the weapons, like the US did in Germany and Japan after the WW2 surrenders.

    They Failed to secure the weapons and Ammunition in Iraq like they did at the end of WW2. They failed to improve the lives of the Iraqi people because the republican patricians they outsourced the Iraq reconstruction were in for the MONEY, not the mission. They hired 25 year old campaign workers from 2004 who had NO experience in reconstruction of a war torn country.

    They hired Bernie Kerik to reconstitute the Iraqi police so they lost a year with rising chaos. The same Bernie Kerik who had to drop out of contention for Director of Homeland security because of his criminal problems. A man who was barely qualified to be NYC police commissioner, let alone rebuild a police force from scratch.

    They passed out contracts to US companies which bypassed the Iraqi people. They allowed unemployment to rise, electricity production to fall. Potable water supplies to fail. Governmental services to suffer along with the people. They branded an entire group of people who KNEW how to make Iraq work criminals and then wondered why Iraq did NOT work any more.

    They did the dumbest thing possible most of the time, and people suffered, both Iraqi civilians which fed the insurgency, and US troops who were trying in vain to stabilize the country and get it back on it’s feet. They failed in 2003, 2004, 2005 2006, and each year the War got worse. The war got more violent, and sectarian violence grew even when they ignored it. People were forced out of their homes and neighborhoods, and the Americans who failed to secure Iraq in 2003 were powerless to stop it in 2006.

    They did not protect the people in 2003 from the Iraqi insurgents or out of control American contractors and military personnel, and NOW they barely can protect barricaded areas of Baghdad. The entire province of Anbar is lost, cities like Ramadi and Fallugha are too dangerous for patrols unless they act like major combat operations continue. Now in 2006 they are fighting for control of Baghdad a city that supposedly fell April 9th 2003. Stalingrad comes to mind when I think of this.

    They were wrong about so much for so long I wonder why anybody listens to them any more. Why is Bush even given the change to send 20,00 more young Americans into the meatgrinder to kill more Iraqis and die in a country that no longer wants us there?

    Why is anybody listening to Bush at all?

    Why is a war criminal allowed to continue to pursue his war crimes?

    Why are American and Iraqi lives being sacrificed to save a EGO?

    At some point the EGO must be sacrificed to save the lives.

    Anonymous said...

    Protesters disrupt press conference on lobbying reform

    Washington Business Journal

    House Democrats tried to unveil their lobbying reform package today, but their press conference was drowned out by chants from anti-war activists who want Congress to stop funding the Iraq war before taking on other issues.

    Led by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain soldier, the protesters chanted "De-escalate, investigate, troops home now" as Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., began outlining the Democrats' plans to ban lobbyist-funded travel and institute other ethics reforms. The press conference was held in the Cannon House Office Building in an area open to the public.

    Emanuel finally gave up trying to be heard over the chants, and retreated to a caucus room where Democrats were meeting.

    Sheehan says she has nothing against lobbying reform, but she and her fellow anti-war activists want Democrats to know they will keep pressuring Congress to end the war in Iraq.

    "We wanted the Democrats to know they're back in power because of the grass roots," Sheehan says.

    The anti-war activists held their own Capitol Hill press conference earlier in the day before deciding to attend the lobbying reform press conference as well.

    Before the chanting started, Sheehan got a hug from Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

    Anonymous said...

    U.S. Marine kills Iraqi soldier in fight

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A U.S. Marine killed an Iraqi soldier during what the U.S. military described on Tuesday as an "altercation" at a security post in Falluja.

    A U.S. statement did not say what sparked the fight, which occurred on Saturday, or how the Iraqi soldier was killed. The Marine has been assigned to administrative duties, it said.

    "An Iraqi soldier was fatally wounded during an altercation with a Marine at a post at the Falluja Government Center," the statement said, adding that 300 U.S. Marines operate in Falluja alongside 700 Iraqi police and 3,000 Iraqi soldiers.

    "The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has initiated a criminal investigation," the statement said.

    U.S. spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Salas said the incident would not impact plans to hand security for the area over to Iraqi authorities.

    "Marines and Iraqis from the two units continue to live, eat, and fight alongside each other," Salas said in the statement.

    Anonymous said...

    Operation: Save Bush's Legacy

    If press reports are correct – that George W. Bush will approve a troop “surge” in Iraq of 17,000 to 20,000 soldiers – the follow-up question must be whether the escalation will do anything but get more Americans and Iraqis killed while only forestalling the defeat of Bush’s war policy.

    By Robert Parry

    01/03/06 "Consortiumnews" -- -- Even top advocates for the “surge,” such as retired Army Gen. Jack Keane and neoconservative activist Frederick W. Kagan, have argued that U.S. troop levels must be increased by at least 30,000 for 18 months or more to bring security to Baghdad, what they call a “precondition” for any successful outcome.

    “Any other option is likely to fail,” Keane and Kagan wrote in an Op-Ed article in the Washington Post on Dec. 27, 2006.

    So, the more modest escalation of up to 20,000 soldiers would appear to represent what might be called “Operation: Save Bush’s Legacy,” with the goal of postponing the inevitable until 2009 when American defeat can be palmed off on a new President.

    Right now, Bush seems caught between his determination to stave off admission of failure and the shortage of U.S. troops available to throw into the conflict in Iraq. Just to reach a 20,000-troop increase, Bush would have to delay the scheduled departure of two Marine regiments now deployed in Anbar Province. [ See NYT, Dec. 29, 2006]

    The escalation to 160,000 troops, from the current 140,000, also would be hard to maintain for long, since the Pentagon has warned that existing troop levels in Iraq already are straining the U.S. military and forcing repeated tours for soldiers and Marines.

    Yet all the signs point to Bush going in that direction. Over the past few weeks, he even appears to be orchestrating a slow-motion purge of senior military leaders who oppose the “surge” and instead favor a phased withdrawal.

    First, Bush fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Nov. 8, just two days after Rumsfeld sent Bush a memo suggesting a “major adjustment” in Iraq War policy that would include “an accelerated drawdown of U.S. bases” from 55 to five by July 2007 with remaining U.S. forces only committed to Iraqi areas that request them.

    “Unless they [the local Iraqi governments] cooperate fully, U.S. forces would leave their province,” Rumsfeld wrote in his Nov. 6 memo.

    Proposing an option similar to a plan enunciated by Democratic Rep. John Murtha, Rumsfeld suggested that the commanders “withdraw U.S. forces from vulnerable positions – cities, patrolling, etc. – and move U.S. forces to a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) status, operating from within Iraq and Kuwait, to be available when Iraqi security forces need assistance.”

    And in what could be read as an implicit criticism of Bush’s lofty rhetoric about transforming Iraq and the Middle East, Rumsfeld said the administration should “recast the U.S. military mission and the U.S. goals (how we talk about them) – go minimalist.” [NYT, Dec. 3, 2006]

    Though many Americans viewed Rumsfeld as the personification of Bush’s “tough-guy” strategy in the Middle East, the Defense Secretary’s downfall may have been caused by his going wobbly on the war.

    Mistaken Judgment

    Washington insiders also may have been wrong when they interpreted Bush’s selection of former CIA Director Robert Gates as a concession to the “realists” advocating a disengagement from Iraq. It may actually have been the opposite – the replacement of a disillusioned Rumsfeld with a dutiful Gates.

    The “conventional wisdom” was misguided, too, when it assumed that Bush would interpret the Democratic victory on Nov. 7 as a sign to begin winding down the Iraq War. Instead, Bush signaled his disdain for anyone suggesting a troop withdrawal.

    In Amman, Jordan, on Nov. 30, Bush mocked the expected recommendations from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, headed by longtime Bush Family adviser James Baker who considered a troop drawdown combined with a revived Israeli-Palestinian peace process and direct talks with Iran and Syria as the only realistic course.

    But Bush declared that U.S. forces would “stay in Iraq to get the job done,” adding “this business about graceful exit just simply has no realism to it whatsoever.”

    When the Iraq Study Group issued its formal report on Dec. 6, Bush gave it a cool reception and indicated it would be only one of several reports on Iraq that he would consider. Bush said he wanted Gates to undertake a review with the U.S. generals.

    During a classified briefing at the Pentagon in December, Bush then reportedly made clear to the brass that he had no interest in finding a way out of Iraq. Gen. James T. Conway, the Marine commandant, described Bush’s message as: “What I want to hear from you is how we’re going to win, not how we’re going to leave.”

    Soon, there was a drumbeat from White House allies and from neoconservative circles for a military escalation, not a gradual withdrawal. That suggestion, however, was countered by a Pentagon leak revealing that the Joint Chiefs of Staff opposed an escalation because they doubted it could achieve any lasting strategic objective.

    Bush, who has always insisted that he listens to his generals on military matters such as troop levels, reacted to their resistance to the “surge” with a purge.

    The first to be pushed to the door was Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East who suddenly announced that he was accelerating his retirement which would take effect in March. Abizaid, who speaks fluent Arabic, was criticized by some in Washington for being too concerned about Arab sensibilities.

    Getting the bum’s rush with Abizaid will be Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq who had called the idea of a troop escalation unnecessary and possibly counterproductive. The New York Times reported that Casey would be replaced in February or March, several months ahead of schedule.

    “As Baghdad spun further out of control [in 2006], some of the President’s advisers now say, Mr. Bush grew concerned that General Casey, among others, had become more fixated on withdrawal than victory,” the Times reported. [NYT, Jan. 2, 2007]

    By ousting “surge” opponents – from Rumsfeld at the Pentagon to the top commanders in the Middle East – Bush and his neoconservative aides in Washington appear to be taking personal control of the Iraq War strategy.

    The President seems determined to put in place a military hierarchy that will fall in line with his edicts, rather than disagree with him.

    The Iran Gamble

    But less clear is whether Bush will stop at a 20,000-troop escalation in Iraq or whether he will “double-down” his Middle East bet further by expanding the war beyond Iraq’s borders to confront other U.S. adversaries in Syria and Iran.

    Along with Israeli leaders, Bush has declared that Iranian progress on a possible nuclear bomb is unacceptable. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has even called the prospect an “existential threat” to Israel.

    But Bush and Olmert are facing a ticking clock if they want to act before they lose one of their few remaining international allies. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has agreed to resign from his post sometime in the spring.

    So, with Bush purging his regional military commanders by March – and presumably replacing them with more pliable generals – the next few months could prove to be crucial for the future of the Middle East.

    Though Bush may yet back away from the idea of expanding the war beyond Iraq, his apparent decision to escalate U.S. troop levels there suggests that he will do whatever he can – even if it bloats the death toll – to escape the opprobrium of having committed perhaps the greatest strategic blunder by any President in U.S. history.

    With 3,000 American soldiers already dead along with possibly a half million or more Iraqis, Bush is determined to escalate the war in the Middle East into a pitched battle for his presidential legacy.

    Anonymous said...

    Spence: $2M settlement underscores loss of freedom

    Jackson attorney battles FBI, big government, Patriot Act.

    By Angus M. Thuermer Jr

    01/03/07 "Jackson Hole News" -- -- Fresh from winning a $2 million settlement in a suit against the FBI for wrongly tying an Oregon lawyer to the Madrid bombing case, Jackson Hole attorney Gerry Spence warned Tuesday of growing fascism in America.

    Spence was the lead attorney in a case brought by Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield against the FBI for his arrest in the case that saw 191 people killed in Spain. The FBI began investigating Mayfield after computers said his fingerprints came close to matching a print found on a bag containing explosive detonators connected to the March 11, 2004, bombing.

    Mayfield announced the settlement last week in Portland, Ore., but the flamboyant Spence has been missing from many of the news reports of the incident. He spoke in a telephone interview from his home in Jackson Hole, cautioning against the government and corporations consolidating increasing power.

    “It’s a very frightening time in our country,” said Spence, who has made a career championing the cases of the common man and underdogs. “What happens is that the corporate king, or the government-corporate king, the two combined, [are] leading us into fascism.”

    As part of the settlement, Spence secured an apology from the FBI and will be able to continue a case challenging the Patriot Act. He said, however, that the mainstream media is shunning his warnings and that even a Congressional committee dis-invited him from testifying about the Patriot Act once majority members learned what he would say.

    Spence said the Mayfield story begins when the FBI received a copy of the print through Interpol, the international police agency, and used a computer to compare it to those it had on file. Among the prints in its database were Mayfield’s, on file since his service in the military.

    “Out popped 20 potential matches that now need to be viewed individually by the expert,” Spence said of the computer’s work. Mayfield’s was the fourth-best match, but he shot to the top of the list, Spence said.

    “What we have here is a Muslim card that was played,” Spence said.

    He characterized Mayfield as “a Kansas farm boy who married an Egyptian woman.” Mayfield converted to Islam.

    “In their papers for the arrest of Mayfield, they allege he had represented a known Muslim terrorist,” Spence said. “In fact, his representation was only on a child custody matter. They arrested him primarily because he was a Muslim.”

    Before the arrest, however, the FBI investigated the lawyer secretly.

    “They got a secret warrant and secretly came to Mayfield’s house and broke in like common burglars,” Spence said.

    Those famous FBI shoes were the giveaway.

    “In this case they didn’t realize in the Mayfield family – they take their shoes off before they go into the house,” Spence said. “There were shoe prints in the carpet. Locks were locked that weren’t usually.

    “They knew they were invaded but they didn’t know by whom,” Spence said of the Mayfield family, which includes three children.

    “Under the Patriot Act they have the power to install secret microphones and to bug the telephones and to put microphones under the kitchen table and under the bed,” Spence said. “One is never given the opportunity to determine what they have done, what they have taken and where they have disseminated this information.

    “They went into his papers, copied his computers, took his DNA,” Spence said. On one occasion, Mayfield’s son was terrified when he saw a stranger trying to break into his home, Spence said.

    The FBI also suspected Mayfield because he went to a mosque and advertised in a Muslim Yellow Pages directory. Ford and GM use the same advertising venue, Spence said.

    “And they claimed he must have had false papers because they couldn’t find any evidence he had left the U.S.” to take part in the bombings, Spence said. “If you have stayed at home and minded your own business, you’re also a criminal because you have fooled the FBI.”



    FBI denies role of religion

    The FBI has rejected allegations religion played a role in the investigation. In a statement issued earlier this year, the agency noted that it had cooperated with the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General in a probe into the botched investigation.

    “The OIG report concluded that religion played no improper role in the identification or investigation of Mr. Mayfield,” the FBI said.

    But once the investigation was under way, religion did weigh in, according to the probe.

    “FBI fingerprint experts probably were more resistant to re-examining their conclusion that Brandon Mayfield’s fingerprint matched one on a bag containing detonators like those used in the attacks in Spain because of his religion, Inspector General Glenn Fine said in the executive summary of a 273-page report that otherwise remains classified,” the Associated Press reported earlier this year.

    Spence said that when it came time to arrest the lawyer, the media got a tip.

    “The press was at hand when the FBI came in to arrest him, including a reporter from a national magazine,” Spence said. “Which means that they had notice of the arrest and of the case and what the government was going to do some time prior to the arrest. And it was leaked by the government to the press so the press could be on hand, which may be in violation of federal criminal laws that deal with privacy.”

    Spence said the settlement precludes him from pursuing that potential violation. Being jailed hurt Mayfield, he said.

    “He did suffer some injury – some physical injury being handcuffed and shoved in cells,” Spence said. “It was an experience that would be a nightmare for you and me as it was for him.”

    Mayfield spent approximately 11 days in jail.

    Spence said it also was upsetting that the investigation violated attorney-client privilege.

    “They looked at his client’s papers,” Spence said. “This is a horrible thing.

    “If we give the attorney information, it is secret,” he said. “It can’t be obtained by the court or anybody else. It’s as sacred as the parishioner-priest privilege.”

    Spence said arrogance of the FBI was key to its shortcomings.

    “The thing that makes this thing so bad, so very bad, is that the FBI was instructed by the Spanish police that they had made a mistake – even before they arrested Mayfield – and that this was not Mayfield’s fingerprint,” he said. “When you talk to the infallible FBI and tell them they’ve made a mistake – that’s heresy.”

    Spence said the FBI flew a crew to Spain to convince investigators there that they were wrong, the FBI was right. The Europeans would not budge.

    The FBI characterized the excursion differently, saying in a statement that it sent two fingerprint examiners to Madrid to compare an image of the fingerprint to the original in possession of Spanish authorities.

    The incident is troubling because the charge Mayfield potentially faced carried the death penalty, Spence said.

    “Consider what would have happened if the Spanish National Police had not remained solid in their position,” Spence said. “You then go into court with the average jury who has been told by the FBI it doesn’t make mistakes and that fingerprints are an absolute science.”

    He criticized the FBI culture, and prosecutors in general. “You have people in the organization, like in any government prosecutor’s office, who want to be able to put the big trophy on the wall and to be able to say, ‘I solved the train in Spain case,’” Spence said.

    The FBI contested that its agents were power hungry. “The OIG also found no evidence of misconduct on the part of any FBI employees involved in this investigation,” the agency said in a statement.

    The FBI’s most recent apology, published on Washingtonpost.com, said the agency was sorry “for the suffering caused by the FBI’s misidentification of Mr. Mayfield’s fingerprint and the resulting investigation of Mr. Mayfield, including his arrest as a material witness in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the execution of search warrants and other court orders in the Mayfield home and in Mr. Mayfield’s law office.

    “The United States acknowledges that the investigation and arrest were deeply upsetting to Mr. Mayfield, to Mrs. Mayfield, and to their three young children, and the United States regrets that it mistakenly linked Mr. Mayfield to this terrorist attack,” the statement said. “The FBI has implemented a number of measures in an effort to ensure that what happened to Mr. Mayfield and the Mayfield family does not happen again.”



    Abusing authority

    Spence said the issue goes beyond a botched investigation or the misidentification of fingerprints. He said those in power are abusing events to gain more authority.

    “Fear is a powerful motivation,” Spence said. “Nobody has been better of making us afraid, of terrorizing us, than the power structure. By terrorizing us they can pass such acts as the Patriot Act.”

    The FBI said the act was not misused.

    “The OIG report concludes that there was no evidence of misuse of the Patriot Act,” the FBI said in a statement. “The report finds, ‘contrary to public speculation,’ the FBI did not use certain provisions of the Patriot Act and that the Act did not affect the scope of the FBI’s use of FISA surveillance or searches. Instead, the OIG report found that the effect of the Patriot Act on this investigation was to enable the FBI to share lawful information with other members of the law enforcement and intelligence communities.”

    Spence said the act is undemocratic and that he was stifled when asked to testify to Congress about it.

    “The sad part of it is the American citizen doesn’t know, has no idea, what this Patriot Act permits the government to do,” Spence said. “And so when the Patriot Act came up for renewal, a minority in Congress, then the Democrats, [U.S. Rep. John] Conyers asked me to come testify about the Mayfield case so the public could have some idea of what’s going on.

    “He says, ‘You have to write up a statement – would you submit it and then we’ll have you testify?’” Spence said about Conyers’ request. “So I sent the statement in.

    “The day before I was to appear I got a call from the lawyer representing the minority,” Spence said. “‘I’m sorry, Mr. Spence, but the Republican majority has read what you are going to testify to,” the lawyer told him.

    The message from Republicans was: “If you testify, all communication between us [Republicans and Democrats] is forever lost – we will never cooperate with you,” Spence said.

    “When I got that response I prepared a press release and sent it out to every major news force in the country,” Spence said. “There was not one that picked that news story up.”

    Spence said the loss of rights in this country inspired him to write his latest book, Bloodthirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power. He said he can’t get on a talk show to promote it.

    “And so we have a very precarious condition which can lead us into what I call the Fourth Reich,” Spence said. Mussolini predicted the Fourth Reich would occur when “government and corporations became indistinguishable.”

    “That’s what we really have today,” he said. “Because we are afraid, we are angry. The average person feels helpless – ‘What can I do?’”

    “Freedom,” Spence said, “requires a little bit of danger. You have to agree to a little bit of danger to be free.”

    First published Jackson Hole News 12/06/06

    Anonymous said...

    Cooked in our own stew of cynicism and hopelessness

    Howl Reborn

    By J.D. Suss

    12/03/06 "Information Clearing House" -- --- The words I am writing and you are reading are the very fabric of illusion. Language, along with screen-mediated images, are the virus-like carriers of mental/rational consciousness. This is the mind structure of the age – ego-self parading its articulate novelty, while repressing and dominating other, more poetic structures of mind; King Reason in a (now more subtle) patri-centric mode, professionally made-up, controlled, socially correct, flings courtesy and false bravado in equal, unthinking measure – never mind its detached head whose feelings and emotions are as disconnected from its heart as its being is alienated from nature; nevermind its defensiveness, its rushing along onto the next topic, its trammeling of dialogue in a cesspool of bureaucratese, soulless prattle, code words, corporate-speak, dissimulation, and happy chatter. Eye follows eye in a thought-filled vacuum, as brain after brain vampirizes whatever rushes across the windscreen of the mind. With synaptic impulse, rational discernment snaps the verbiage into cognizable word-thought. Judgments are passed. Positions, pro and con, are neatly, quietly taken. But soon, as fingers start tapping at keyboards, as talking heads begin to gush, all will erupt onto the stage electronique, into info-bytes fed over routers worldwide – polemic-as-entertainment debuts on news talk shows. We are publicly feeding mammon in a psychic mirror world we have devised to be our socio-cultural meeting ground – a noospheric junkyard where the punditocracy fight like junkyard dogs for camera lights, for media ratings – a stage-managed agenda, crafted daily by media moguls who dance like puppets on the leashes of hollow-headed corporate minions, who in turn dance to the black-and-white monochord of their legal departments – all info-image-makers in the entertainment biz.

    Enjoy your illusion as it is re-represented to you here. In this bit of advocacy, this platform, this soap-box monologue – readers are further inculcated into the phantasmagoric. On this soul-making planet known as hell, the disenfranchisement of our more developed human potential groans on. Weary, the lead-heavy soul thrashes about in a disenchanted world, in an empty-handed search for a reality, newly borne but out-of-reach. It screams in agony for authenticity. It wanders in a daze. It looks in vain, crying, “My people, my people, where are my people”? It knows not its own folly – just as the reader/watcher is fed a daily fix of pablum-news, these words will fill the mind, reorient, discombobulate, precipitate a disorienting dilemma – perplex, provoke, stimulate the sensorium of mental delights into a puzzling new wonderama.

    The industrialized powers have triumphed. The world around us is made up of persons, places, things, activities, qualities, states of mind – wherein ceaseless activity follows the sun, archetype of the masculine, of the individuated ego. And even in the artificial luminescence of controlled environments, sleepwalking night gaunts patrol a suspect perimeter. Our safety is assured by paranoid policy wanks; huge amounts of kill-power are store-housed and paid for dearly by citizen wage-slaves. Science, laws, order are paid for too. Professional bureaucrats, installed by a corpocracy for half a century and more, bring colorless continuity to a national security state. Western techno-wizardry is exported and emulated and comprises a new, financial colonization. Inscribed within the fortresses of mega-buck global multinationals – the new area-wide demi-governments – are insatiable growth credos. Installed within are Zen-oid organizational developers who clone the humanistic lingo and teach the tricks of enlightened ways in seminars, their polished emulations having the desired effect. Managers of all levels return, glossies in hand, ever ready to consult the manual of clever deceit and slick new mind control methodologies.

    Research methodologies are the very instruments of consensus in the natural and human sciences that are used to continue propping up the illusion called consensual reality. Consensual reality polls “reliable sources” who subscribe to “facts”: objectified, normative values in an “it-world” in which they are the observers and the subject of their research is the observed. More recently, new participatory models are being used in which the observer (or co-participant) as much observes his or her own self and is observed by others in a more qualitative, more egalitarian empiricism. New methodologies such as these simply enlarge the research field, give more breadth to a study. But they barely change the basic premise of the consensual reality, which is hard-wired into human beings at birth and is nurtured throughout our lives by way of social conditioning. What reality is this? Who are these “reliable sources”? And what exactly is this social conditioning, this culture-trance?

    Consensual reality is a material universe localized to the immediate lived space, in clock-time, (real or noospherically recreated) which – while it recognizes the existence of something beyond itself – still only thrives almost exclusively in this thought-mediated, space-time, bio-physical dimension of dualisms. Archeo-magic and mythic structures of consciousness – collectively known as the unconscious – resurface occasionally from their suppressed latency, in dreams or fantasies. If we apprehend them at all we often discount them as superstition, confabulation, dejavu, or irrational nonsense. In fact, these are messages sent by the psyche, the soul, from this rich, almost gone-and-forgotten template which was traded long ago for a partial, reified, uni-dependent mind-world composed of and dependent exclusively on mental/rational consciousness – ego-selves battling and distracting one another while recognizing the banal commonality of a mundane playing field.

    While humanity speaks in high-falutin’ language about our noble aspirations, it in fact grovels around in a cave with its science and research – G.I. Gurdjieff’s “android,”[i] Idries Shah’s “automaton,”[ii] Alfred North Whitehead’s “merely well-informed man,”[iii] modern-day Sophists endlessly recapitulating through hairsplitting dialectics. We are constantly conditioned to a consensual reality and our true selves are “sleeping,” are waiting to be unbound from Prometheus, from a runaway and over-inflated archetype – the ego-as-self. As we have know, at least since Immanuel Kant[iv] articulated the process of self-delusion (but which we conveniently forget), we act and react according to pre-programmed data which has been absorbed since birth and to which we are likely genetically predisposed. The desire for excitement and sensual pleasure is mutually reinforced in our interactions with others and the multitudinous distractions humankind has created for itself – TV, movies, newspapers, spectator sports, our stereos, computers, etc. We are caught in Plato’s cave[v], we are Shah’s “islanders.” .

    Not to deconstruct so much as to expose for scrutiny this paradoxical absurdity on which the modern world has totally invested itself, let us take a deeper tour of the abyss. Let us strip away the preconceived lunacy and myth we call science, laws, education, career, culture which we forever re-breed. While intellectual giants and mystics have come along and continue to appear, calling out to humanity how it has diverged into this blind “progressive” alley, people inevitably mistake incarnated beings for their messages. They erect monuments to them as enlightened individuals and call them disciplines or religions; most follow some brilliant theorist or guru, etc. – gurus whose egos so cleverly delude themselves and others. Like sheep to the slaughter, they lose in this effort the message that could have been internalized but rarely is. Books containing wisdom and helpful guidance are left behind. The contents are interpreted to fit the variegated delusions of the readers (these words too – beware!). Still, each book, each guidance and encouraging word IS the struggle of humanity to come to terms with the suffering required of soul-making. To find some peace and contentment in this hell of ours, to improve the lot of those who will follow us – we are called to look and learn and better the conditions in this hell to the best of our abilities. This does not mean following some dogmatic, procedural formulaic toward informed autonomous reason, or devoting oneself to some arational enlightenment handbook. Yet this is what the majority of humanity does. They do it out of ignorance of the heights to which their human potential can soar; or, they wrongheadedly follow some path that they have come to believe will take them there. And in the end, alienated from their own co-creativity, they die as deluded as they were born. The world – hell – remains; the mammon – our ego-selves – still hungry.

    Birth. Nine months prior to this often traumatic event, the perinatal, is a crucial time for human development. Stanislav Grof has clinically studied the perinatal.[vi] His discoveries indicate that traumas experienced from the perinatal through the birthing process are imprinted onto our minds. As we grow and develop, these traumas begin to manifest as dissociations. The dissociations, together with imprints from post-birth traumas, dictate how our personalities form, including the counter-developmental behaviors that often result. Jean Liedloff in her book, The Continuum Concept[vii], explains further how infants deprived of in-arms love suffer certain handicapping conditions that forestall healthy development. How utterly crucial this time is! Mainstream psychology does not even recognize Grof’s perinatal period as a part of the cartography of psychological human development. Western culture would throw the baby into the nursery at once where it is deprived of its mother, its world. At home, the baby will go to a crib. When out strolling the baby goes into a stroller. How many strikes are against us before we can even walk?

    The above researchers, using research methodologies, gave us valuable insights. Shall we trash research and its methodologies? Certainly not. Should we investigate how their results may be limited and how they might be properly applied none-the-less? Surely. Has the human mind benefited from their studies by informing us how our minds might better evolve? Yes indeed. Are their results ignored, belittled, or explained-away? I believe they are. Why? Why indeed? – this is the point: because what they have explored and the conclusions on which they have expounded do not fit into consensual reality and is foreign to Western culture-trance.

    Childhood. Kids first bond with and learn from their mothers. If that bond is tenuous or that mother has her own set of developmental problems – and as a result has little to teach – that kid is going to start life with severe limitations. There are so many factors that enter into this fragile period of life, e.g., the degree of care and nurturing, the development of the father, the relationship between the parents, the influence of other adults, siblings and other children, the physical surroundings. The most crucial factor is: how much love, time and proper attention is given to the child; has the behavioral modeling that is going on around and about the child been positive? The child is being introduced and initiated into the family system. Its world view is being imprinted here. How healthy is that family system, that world view? If it is seriously flawed, the child is likely to suffer because of those flaws. A child will try to mimic the behaviors to which it is exposed. How is the child treated by others? Taunting and teasing by others that goes uncorrected can leave emotional scars that may never heal.

    Underlying all of this behavioral and developmental psychology is the consensual reality being formed for the child. The child is both active and passive participant here. It is not long before the child joins in the consensus that “yes, this is our shared reality” – Mommy, face-titty-hands, sleepy; touchy-touchy, flashy-squeaky-music toy-toys; talky-talky, Daddy-brother-sister-others? doggy, kitty, house, TV-talky-talky, big music sound!, toilet flush, kitchen, loud-soft, more talky-talky, machine sound, car sound, bird sound... The world of the infant is primarily mediated by its sense of hearing, (just as the ears, according to Jean Gebser[viii] are the predominating organ of the magic structure of consciousness). The perimeter of its world gradually opens up. The other senses become more and more aware as rudimentary thoughts are prompted, linked, given meaning – the child is the involuntary recipient of the family hermeneutics – they interpret his or her surroundings, intoning at first with baby talk, with praise or reprimand, with physical handling within the environment. In this way the child heuristically “makes sense” of its surroundings, slowly differentiating according to sound, touch, taste, and their associations. The language the child is born into – especially the structure of its grammar (e.g., how object-oriented is it?) – can influence how relational and embedded it perceives itself to be within the reality it comes to adopt.

    Timothy Leary described how to re-condition (brainwash) any person in his book, Neopolitique[ix]. One need only repeat the experience of this reality-weaning of the infant. A person is first isolated from loved ones and then made totally dependent on the captor for food, for approval, for conditional love. The cooperation of the conditioned subject is rewarded more and more until that person adopts the mindset or worldview or consensual reality of his or her captors.

    Of course the consensual reality is different for an American child than it is for a child in Siberia. Even a child of the American south will have a slightly different set of values than a child born in, let’s say, California. Besides nationality and regional differences, language, race, gender, religion, class, ethnic origin, etc., all play essential roles in the consensual reality. We might say that like Ken Wilber’s deep structures and surface structures[x], consensual reality is a deep structure and culture-trance is a surface structure. Consensual reality informs us of and situates us in the dominant Western materialist dimension, which is filled out by the time/space dualism inhering in mental/rational consciousness. Culture-trance is more circumstance-specific.

    School. There is some social conditioning that begins with interactions with neighbors. But when it comes time to go to school at about five years of age, this is when local societal influences are pooled and the rudiments of culture-trance are traded and examined and further refined. How we dress, interact, and are herded by the classroom teachers all indoctrinate children. Kids are shown how to share and play games, sing the songs of their nation; they are given coloring books with sketches of some aspects of consensual reality and told to prettify them with their crayons. Soon they are taught how to read and write. They are taught about their history and government, arithmetic, science, their grammar, etc. With each subject studied, with each group or one-on-one activity children are inculcated further into the trance-like socio-cultural identity.

    This process is one of becoming attuned to group norms, a guiding of the imagination. Like the industrial foods to which they quickly become accustomed, assumptions, lifestyle, values, and beliefs of their society are freely available and readily “consumed.” Teachers, having been through the process themselves, act as gatekeepers, standard-bearers, and custodians of these normative social expectations. They have received special training in formative mind control techniques. Knowledge as a “thing” is taught in formulations and divided into categories. The idea of separate academic disciplines is introduced at this early stage. On the informal level, children form cliques in which they learn to soothe, protect and fawn one another’s fragile egos, all at the cost of directing aggression outward toward others, i.e., non-clique members. As individuals they are too vulnerable (and why?), so they find safety in the group. This micro-modeling behavior is analogous to the macro-conditioning that is taking place on the formal level; they begin to learn dominator patterns.

    For many children there is a “home identity” and a “school identity.” In this schizoid-like state, they proceed with their indoctrination. They absorb whatever they are exposed to. They mimic their adult overseers and other children. The transmission of culture, or the social cloning process, has begun. In the late afternoon and evening they are further programmed by family, TV, and whatever other influences await them there. Home becomes a further training ground to “try-out” what they learn from teachers and especially from other kids in school. They experiment with parallel modes of behavior. Still, it soon becomes very clear exactly what the normative culture is and children are expected to internalize it.

    While socialization is necessary and important in development, where does socialization end and conditioning begin? How are they different? What exactly happens to children at this stage? What are the negative implications? How do these early school experiences lay the groundwork for the rest of their academic lives? How can what happens here be improved upon? How can we “dis-entrance” pathological conditioning while preserving healthy socialization patterns?

    As the contents of the magic/mythic consciousness of childhood are systematically suppressed, is society not colonizing the minds of children by further implanting – by way of culture-trance – a mental/rational consensual reality, and thus making future colonizers of them? Both the esoteric traditions and depth psychology recognize the need to de-condition ourselves or unlearn common patterns of perception. Jack Mezirow and others who study how we learn refer to a re-evaluation and a changing or re-orienting of our “meaning perspective.”[xi]

    Still, the saga continues through later childhood. In adolescence, puberty brings its own new set of strange challenges. As hormones begin flowing, as the voice drops in males and females start menstruating, as bodies change so do thoughts and attitudes change. It is a time of convulsive flux. With effectively no ritualistic rights of passage in the Western world, wherein the community outwardly recognizes the shift into adulthood, teenagers must make their way as best they can. They find themselves in a trumped-up world of suffering absurdities which uses the balm of romantic love and an array of entertainment devices as a counterfoil to attain some deranged semblance of balance. In this sensuous playground of excess and half-baked delights they mostly engage in narcissistic forays with one another. Bohemian excurses rule the day and night. Adults are seen as unhip, square, straight, uncool – idiot sell-outs who are completely out of touch with the pulse of the cosmos. In fact, the teenagers are in large part right – this is their last stand as proclaiming simulators of human liberty. But the ways they choose to react are equally inane. With “fun” being about their only objective – which means playing, drinking, using drugs, being irresponsible in a hundred different ways – they fall prey to their own escapist tendencies. They go to the other extreme from that of the robotic adults in reactionary, rebellious compensation for some vaguely felt deficiency within. At long last they come back to the fold, like the prodigal returnee, finally ready to embrace the whole consensual, culture-trance shittaree.

    Professors are there to greet them on the thresholds of their grand new adventures in self-regulation. Off to college they go, where many will re-experience the redolence of those carefree teenage years. They are kept in check by these proto-bosses known as professors who stand ready to rate them down for any perceived offenses against the academy. The socio-cultural pressure from professors and peers alike seems to orient them to a yielding routine of compromise. At graduation, they have prepared themselves for a life of the further routinized behaviors of “making a living” and “raising a family,” “assuming a mortgage” and “mowing the lawn.” That is, they become their parents. The cycle is perpetuated. The world is replenished with more dead souls-set-in-motion on the planet, oblivious to the sacred trust of their now-lost human potential (except with the lip-service they pay to this notion of something beyond themselves – exteriorized from them – as they were taught all along).

    And God sits on his cloud and weeps, drying his tears with his long white beard. Hah!

    For the “normal heterosexual” generally, the rest of adult life is spent enlarging one’s material “piece of the pie.” A job is procured, an apartment is rented, money is saved, a marriage takes place, kids are on the way, by-and-by a house or apartment is purchased, salary raises are hoped for and cherished, expenses multiply in tandem with wealth, littlediversions are had to retain one’s sanity – movies, theater, sports, music, computer, community involvement, clubs, etc...

    The cycle begins anew with one’s own kids.

    For a more atypical person, the above takes place in some permutation or other.

    As retirement approaches, one looks back, reminisces, watches TV, eats, and awaits final perdition, usually in the form of a nursing home (these days called a “care facility”). In the golden years, a limited wisdom of some sort has amassed itself in one’s being. It is often nominal. The person finally dies in bewildered befuddlement.

    Throughout the lives of most people living in the dominant, modernist paradigm, this type of drama plays out. With consensual reality hardwired into the psyche early in life, with agreed-upon symbols comprising the cultural ecology, one’s culture acts as a symbiotic stimulus toward an ever-fossilizing trance-manifestation of “life disenchanted.”

    How might such a vacuous life be prevented or at least avoided? What might be envisioned here are many small societies of perhaps 10 to 15 people who meet weekly, and which are similar to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. But instead of beginning with the admission, “I am an alcoholic,” each person begins with the assumption, “I am a dissociative.” That is, members of this society believe that every person in the perinatal and the infant and childhood years underwent some sort of trauma. This trauma induced some type of psycho-bio-energetic dissociation or block that interferes with one’s way of being and doing in the world. It is in coming to terms with these dissociations that wholeness is recovered. As wholenesss – the “personhood” or “the personal” – is recovered, the human mind can thrive and evolve toward the next holon of its development, toward the transpersonal. The transpersonal includes yet transcends space and time. It is integral functioning of mind in an informed, aperspectival unity. (Huh?…Wha’?) In this collaborative group, without a resident therapist to dominate and control, the group slowly pieces together their wholeness as individuals nested in community. Such a “Dissociatives Anonymous” society might be thoroughly thought out. Like AA, there can be a loose 12-step process and a text. But it must avoid devolving into yet another self-help group that provides medicaments to glaze over and make more palatable this consensual reality and culture-trance.

    Keep reading for methods that might be suggested for retrieval and integration of these dissociated parts.

    All Howled Out

    The foregoing “tour through the monstrous deformity most call ‘life’,” while it generalizes and seems to represent the worst case scenario, is every bit as pessimistic as it sounds. Even those who deviate from normative expectations and set themselves up as a “resistance to the machine,” only find themselves bit players, stooges, in a melodrama wherein everyone acts out his or her part. They are the target fodder for the more conventional camp to direct their rage, each providing for the other a projection of their own worst debilitating fears. They mirror in this dualist dance, through this contrived competition, the very polemical distraction that allows them to thrive and remain employed. Liberals, conservatives, socialist radicals, revolutionaries, anarchists – all devoted to noble causes – arouse emotion in others, which has the endpoint in a mutual feed that unwittingly satiates all egos involved. Even artists, writers and musicians are recruited into the ranks of each camp. Like well-fed farm animals they moo and bleat, whinny and cluck around in the barnyard, integral players in the dominant Western culture-trance that props up consensual reality as it manifests today. The great mass of the uninvolved just watch, with the eye of the mental/rational, the great play on the stage of the world. It is news – reality – as entertainment. Even hated commercials, which are meant to program our consumerist desires, have become “infomercial info-tainment.” This use of commercials is quite the pop art absurdity extended – advertisement foisted into the reality of an already unreal, deceptively dissociative consensus.

    Then there are the holier-than-thous who have dropped out of the rat race. They have decided not to sully their clean hands with this worldly life. They retreat into solipsistic selves and communities. Here, they create an insular place in the sun, really re-creating all of the societal elements but in “redeemed” form. Extreme examples might be the Amish or the Sephardic Jews who set themselves apart with the appearance of an earlier age. But other examples abound. New Age groups might be another, or just the lone meditator who holds aloft exploration of self as the holiest of missions and the exclusive quest of the sacred pilgrim – real love and true compassion for others be damned (except when it is convenient or someone is watching, of course).

    To avoid becoming cooked in our own stew of cynicism and hopelessness, there is one other, major saving grace that is common to humanity besides love, and that is – humor. Whenever conventional consensual reality types, their counterfoils or the holier-than-thous get to sounding too serious, this signals a real catastrophe. It lets us know that they have forgotten how narrow and limited their consensual reality is – that they have forgotten about the paradox of being human in an entranced cultural ecology and the utter absurdity of it all. Laughter lets out the uptight vibes that constrict our breathing and hold in the demons that entrance. Laughter, like love, unites like a universal, magic elixir.

    Why We Howl

    If nothing else, I want this rage-of-an-essay to establish that human beings are trying to find a way out of the paradox box of language. We have centered our lives around language games and our socialization depends on language. Indeed, the seeing eye of language and the word-thoughts of symbols are the base upon which culture-trance and consensual reality are built. Even the foregoing rant was a hopeless cry in the face of the forces that propel us into our own mind-dwarfed backwardness.

    Stuart Sovatsky presents a blueprint for escaping the reality paradox of consensual human life[xii]. Esoteric paths through this wilderness – e.g., neo-shamanism[xiii], Sovatsky's kundalini jazz, Grof's holotropic breathwork – I believe represent ways of exit out of our boundedness. We are in bondage to the intellect – the mental/rational – and we cannot use the mental/rational to overcome its own embedded limitations. So, no matter how many books I read, no matter how many authors have gone before, or how expanded or borderline the research methodologies might be – even if I read the textual prescriptions of the ancient sacred traditions – without an experiential tapping into what those texts intimate to us (and which, for example, Sovatsky and Grof seek to contemporize) there can be no authentic self-discovery. One might only be Piling h.igher and D.eeper, doing the mental-rational, consensual reality culture-trance dance. Somehow we must opt-out and take up the injunction. If we do not develop ourselves as real human beings, we simply continue to partialize the world by proceeding as partialized beings presenting a partial view in all that we do. Instead, we might seek ways of integrating our consciousness, of embracing the transpersonal. It is nothing less than enlightenment – and the good news for modern man is, this enlightenment is not as inaccessible as is commonly “thought.”

    The genius of all spiritual leaders is not what they write but their very “beingness” and “givingness” of themselves to humanity. If we just take (those non-writers but big speakers) Socrates and Jesus as examples, then we might imagine that being spiritual means to be before one’s time; that spirituality is nothing more than what Gebser's aperspectival, integral achronon really is – Wilber’s centauric-vision/logic and beyond; Kegan's 5th-order consciousness [xiv] and beyond; lateral thinking; systems thinking; all these descriptions of transpersonal being... The difference is, the time is here, the time is now, the way has been prepared. Perhaps academics, scholastic thinkers, authors, researchers are all just muttering to themselves like psychotic cellmates in the dank caves of a place called the academy. Just maybe clerics, monks and nuns of every stripe too, are babbling their messages incoherently as they stroll through their own la-la lands.

    So...we howl. We use language as an emotive sound, not as a symbol. As with the canine, we let loose our primordial cry into the vastness of puzzle space where it resounds in the bottomless pit of time and registers in our hearts as a signifier of impermanence – it throws us for an instant into the magic depths; we bound back through the absurd horror of how we have lost touch with our immortal selves, as we push onward via a direct perception of self, this world, and a renewal of our senses.

    [i] Gurdjieff, G.I., Meetings with Remarkable Men. London: Arkana, 1985.

    [ii] Shah, I., The Sufis. New York: Anchor Books, 1964.

    [iii] Whitehead, A.N., The Aims of Education and Other Essays. (Originally published 1929). New

    York: Macmillan, 1985.

    [iv] Kant, I., Critique of Pure Reason. (Original work published 1781) (Pluhar, W.S., Trans.). Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing, 2002.



    [v] Plato, The Republic. Jowett, B. The Dialogues of Plato, Vol. 1. New York: Random House, 1920.

    [vi] Groff, S., The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Consciousness. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1998.

    [vii] Leidloff, J. The Continuum Concept. Boston: Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1986.

    [viii] Gebser, J. The Ever-Present Origin. Original work published 1949, 1953. (translated by Barstad, N., & Mickunas, A.,) Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1985.

    [ix] Leary, T., Neuropolitique. Tempe, AZ: New Falcon Publications, 1995.

    [x] Wilber, K., Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution. Boston: Shambhala Publications,

    1995.

    [xi] Mezirow, J., Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey, Bass, 1991.

    [xii] Sovatsky, S., Eros, Consciousness, and Kundalini: Deepening Sensuality through Tantric Celibacy and

    Spiritual Intimacy. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1994, 1999.

    [xiii] See, e.g., McKenna, T. Food of the Gods. New York: Bantam, 1992; Cowan, E. Plant Spirit Medicine. Columbus, NC: Swan•Raven & Co., 1995; Narby, J. The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. New York: Jeremy P. Archer/Putnam, 1998, 1999; Hancock, G., Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind. New York: The Disinformation Company, Ltd., 2006; DeKorne, J., Psychedelic Shamanism: The Cultivation, Preparation and Shamanic Use of Psychotropic Plants. Port Townsend, WA: Breakout Productions, 1994.

    [xiv] Kegan, R., In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Everyday Life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.

    The author is a American metapolitical citizen, Maryland lawyer and a recent Ph.D. in Humanities, whose doctoral dissertation is entitled, The Odyssey of the Western Legal Tradition: Integral Jurisprudence – Toward the Self-Transcendence of Deficient-Mental Legal Culture.

    Anonymous said...

    Johnny want to bet Dolty Boy turns off the anonymous comments real soon?

    VOLTRON: said...

    You're right Clif.

    If you wanna spam the board at least you can use your real name and profile...

    Johnny moo moo said...

    Cliff said

    "George Bush is getting ready to push a surge on to the country, a surge of troops into the morass that is Iraq. He is asking the country to allow more troops to be sent into the Fiasco he created in the country of Iraq even though he does not have a plan for victory or a strategy for withdrawal. Bush wants to put in more troops so he an look strong, look like he is doing something after he got spanked last November in a national election, and undermined by the Iraq Study Group. The ISG said Iraq is real bad and getting worse."



    I know Cliff, he recently asked Congress for an additional 80 billion dollars. But, as Ive said before, once you lose the hearts of the people through unjustified attacks on its citizens then theres little hope of winning their support, therefore, I have no choice but to agree with you it is a quagmire.

    Stalin was finished had it not been for Hitlers moronic persecution of the Ivans......he virtually threw away millions of potential soldiers and foolishly propelled massive partisan activity impossible to liquidate/control.

    I believe Titos partisan forces numbered 250,000 alone..

    Freedom Fan said...

    Volt, I bet the old VoiceOfCrackInCement blog could use some of spammy clif's voluminous words of wisdom. Wink wink.

    TalllTexan said...

    Volt, I'll check in here from time to time. This whole kabuki dance that Lydia and Worf are putting on is about as dishonest as you get. Like you said, Volt, if he is wrong about you, then one has to ask What else is he wrong about?

    If Worf didn't actually accuse me of being a hacker or being in league with the hackers (if there are any to begin with), he certainly suggested it a few times, and, like you said, I KNOW that I wasn't part of any hacking, but proving that is another matter.

    Lydia lied for all the reasons you oultlined, above, but she also, several months ago, said that she would never give her password to anyone. Well, now we know that that is a lie as well.

    Personally, while I have enjoyed the jousting with that bunch, I'd rather not do it while Worf is in charge over there. It's kind of like getting into a boxing match where the referee is also your opponent.

    Notice how Worf demands screen shots of the lockout screens? Well, where are his screen shots? Bit of a double standard I'd say.

    My best guess is that what
    what is happening is that with all the volume, there's an occasional glitch, OR, Blogger may have some profile of that may include volume and frequency of comments posted, refresh rates, and it may profile posters based on catagories of key words, which may include curse words, or words associated threats, and after Carl threatening me with deadly force, perhaps that triggered a tripwire. WHO REALLY KNOWS. I think we've all been locked out at different times.

    Well, that's my opinion.