Carnival Barkers

Rush Limbaugh: What would Jesus take?

Jesus: All your wealth, thanks.

Society isn't remotely close to being able to accept an egalitarian, truly Christian society. There is too much greed, much too much greed, institutionalized greed.

Case in point: Trump. Instead of talking about the hard things, like global warming, health care refugees, declining employment, aggregation of wealth, depletion of resources, overpopulation, he accuses the president of being a foreigner, and the media fall all over themselves twittering and chattering about it, taking him legitimately....because it's useless drama that distracts people from remembering that our country remains a broken husk of it former self, that the banks have won.

We're forever wandering in the wilderness listening to guys like Limbaugh, or Trump, or any self-obsessed barker. They are the antithesis of our professed Christian morality - they exhibit the opposite of our shared, collective happiness. They are in it for themselves.

They bark about our president being alien, or foreign. They demand his papers, which he is forced to eventually produce. They delegitimze by spinning lies and are paid brilliantly to do so. They are small bits of psychological poison destroying the collective psyche.

They are destroying society by undermining what made it great - collective sacrifice.


The Discontinuity of Christianity

I got sick.

The past week or so, I've been suffering from a reoccurring nose-bleed, what they call in medical parlance, a gusher. It's been bad, really bad. Just yesterday I was attending my aunt Merna's 100th birthday party, honker in tow, when out of the blue it started draining.

After 30 or so minutes or so in the bathroom trying to patch up my poor nose, my fiancé and I left to go home. And the poor bathroom.

Naturally, when you get sick your first thought is to get checked out. Go to the doctor, see some medical professional, something to make the problem go away. That was my thought, but directly after thinking that I wondered how I'd pay for it. Really, I checked myself from going to see a doctor because I live in a society of people who think that things like seeing doctors should be rewarded to those with the best ability to pay for it.

Now, I'm not saying I don't want to pay for going to see the doctor. I do, it's just that we've made such routine things so god damned expensive here in America that, unless you have insurance, your ability to pay for unforeseen medical emergencies is nearly impossible.

So, I'm at a crossroads. Down one road lies medical help, down the other suffering. There's a toll being collected at the beginning of the first road, and a toll being collected at the end of the second. You see the choice, yeah? Between financial or physical pain?

I've been meditating on this lately - seeing as how I'm becoming a father soon, getting married in a couple of weeks. I'm wondering to myself: what kind of world do I want to raise my family in? I'm in America, the "promised land" as many around the world see it, Christian Country as many here would describe it. But, are we? Really?

I don't think we are - in fact, I think we've become something far removed from what was originally professed as Christian gospel. We've turned into a barbaric collection of selfish people, a society of individuals whose god is 100k in the bank. We've lost any remembrance of what it means to live together, to live in a society, to share responsibilities and look after one another. We've become rabid egoists who care little for those who are different than us or those born into generational, institutional poverty. We no longer consider these our responsibility, if we ever have. We, as a society, have failed each other. We've sold our collective souls for cheap imported goods and a fucking swimming pool in the back yard. Yep, we've become the thing all those Christians for all those years warned each other against. Ironic, that.

So, here I am, an atheist in a supposed Christian society, without health insurance, facing a possible medical emergency, and I call the hospital and they kind of shrug their shoulders. I had the thought of asking the secretary if she could recite the Hippocratic oath for me, just to see if she even knew who or what that is, but decided against it. Really, does it matter anymore? Does countering the savage, runaway locomotive of ignorance matter anymore? People don't really care, even if you correct them, even if you unload a shelves worth of historiography on them they'll just squint and kind of burp out a response, an unapologetic apology, because, you see, they've got theirs and that's all that really matters.

This world, what we've let it become, is upside down. The atheists have to become prophets in order to warn the people against their false gods, money and greed. It's sad, and deliriously absurd.

I'll go see the doctor, and figure out a way to carve out that money. I'll protest my taxes going to fund endless wars of aggression instead of a little help over here. I'll consider moving to another country, one that doesn't treat their citizens so cruelly, with such wanton disregard. I'll keep reminding Christians that they've lost, that god is dead.

Will it matter, going forward? We'll see. In the end, it is important to continually remind myself that my change, my living-that-way-regardless-their-savagery, my reaching out to neighbors and fighting for the little person, for the less fortunate, is what's important.

Let the self dissolve....(except in medical emergencies)

In the words of the Buddha:

Thus shall you think of this fleeting world,
a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.

That doesn't mean give up because it's all an illusion, just don't be so attached that it gives you an ulcer.


Graph Credit: By Oder Zeichner: from Wikimedia Commons


Teabagger Purity Pledge

The Teabagger Socialist-Free Purity Pledge

I, ________________________________, do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a
socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall strictly adhere to the following:

I will complain about the destruction of 1st Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly
being allowed to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights.

I will complain about the destruction of my 2nd Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights by legally but brazenly brandishing
unconcealed firearms in public.

I will foreswear the time-honored principles of fairness, decency, and respect by screaming
unintelligible platitudes regarding tyranny, Nazi-ism, and socialism at public town halls. Also.
I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and
participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:

● Social Security
● Medicare/Medicaid
● State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
● Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
● US Postal Service
● Roads and Highways
● Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
● The US Railway System
● Public Subways and Metro Systems
● Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
● Rest Areas on Highways
● Sidewalks
● All Government-Funded Local/State Projects (e.g., see Iowa 2009 federal senate
● Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink,
outdoor hose!)
● Public and State Universities and Colleges
● Public Primary and Secondary Schools
● Sesame Street
● Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
● Public Museums
● Libraries
● Public Parks and Beaches
● State and National Parks
● Public Zoos
● Unemployment Insurance
● Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
● Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, State or
Federal Government (pretty much all of them)
● Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any Government
Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)
● Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA
● Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the
basis for subsequent computer networking
● Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or
That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies
● Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain Inputs
From Government Subsidies
● If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will forego my VA benefits and
insist on paying for my own medical care

I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of the following types of socialist locations, including but not limited to:

● Smithsonian Museums such as the Air and Space Museum or Museum of American History
● The socialist Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments
● The government-operated Statue of Liberty
● The Grand Canyon
● The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
● The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery
● All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or in Washington, DC

I will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their government salary and
government-provided healthcare.

I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist military of the United
States of America.

I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as GE, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing,
Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of others that are paid by our socialist government to produce goods for our socialist army.

I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Department of
Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their socialist employees.

Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social Security checks.

Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private health insurance until I

___________________________ ___________________________
Signed Printed Name/Town and State

source (PDF)


Toture Memos

The Obama administration today released a series of four torture memos (dating from August 1, 2002 through May 30, 2005). The FOIA and ACLU brought a lawsuit against the administration to press their being made public, which the administration complied with today. The memos are authored by Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC (Office of Legal Council), and Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, in communication with General Council of the CIA.

This move by President Obama to respect the rule of law is encouraging - though I think the Democrats generally are dragging their feet in regards to legal action. AG Holder and Congress each have the power to investigate the illegal activity of the previous administration, but out of some sense of comity or bygones they have chosen a path of wait and see; they want to know that the public will is behind them. Of course, public will is a morphing leprechaun that promises gold but can never be pinned down. So good luck following the rainbow - better really that on this issue the administration sticks with black and white, law and the breaking of it.

In the late 90s the Republicans impeached a democratically elected president for playing around in the oval office. Republicans have nothing if not temerity - that they could impeach for a blow job and let Bush get away with war crimes is staggering. But our respect for the rule of law (legal, not parochial) is why this victory by the FOIA and ACLU in forcing the memo's public is important, because those that authorized the unlawful torture of detainees need to be investigated and brought to justice. We are a country of laws, not a country of men.

The Daily Dish provides a roundup of some of the initial reaction. Glen Greenwald is as always, an essential read.
These memos are now becoming available, and do appear to be almost entirely unredacted. They are unbelievably ugly and grotesque and conclusively demonstrate the sadistic criminality that consumed our government.
And this snip highlighted by TPM:
Sleep deprivation may be used. You have indicated that your purpose in using this technique is to reduce the individual's ability to think on his feet and, through the discomfort associated with lack of sleep, to motivate him to cooperate. The effect of such sleep deprivation will generally remit after one or two nights of uninterrupted sleep. You have informed us that your research has revealed that, in rare instances, some individuals who are already predisposed to psychological problems may experience abnormal reactions to sleep deprivation. Even in those cases, however, reactions abate after the individual is permitted to sleep. Moreover, personnel with medical training are available to and will intervene in the unlikely event of an abnormal reaction. You have orally informed us that you would not deprive Zubaydah of sleep for more than eleven days at a time and that you have previously kept him awake for 72 hours, from which no mental or physical harm resulted. (our itals)
(My Bold)

11 days.

The administration has been fiercely pragmatic though willing to capitulate at necessary moments...this being one of them. They hold all the cards right now; they're in a position of great strength when it comes to repairing the damage of the last 40 years.

Do yourself a favor and read some of the links. We all need to be reminded what happens when we elect bad leaders.


On the Backs of Giants

In Memoriam: Dr. Martin Luther King (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968).

Announcement given by a visibly shaken Robert F Kennedy, who, only two months later on 6/6/68, died at the hands of a gunman, like his brother JFK. I think in many ways it was the beginning of a new dark age in modern America, one that would take us forty years to shake out of. But, here we are, 41 years later, with a populous that is tending toward progressive causes and supporting progressive leaders. We couldn't have reached here without their help, and it is important to remember that.


Jill Tarter’s Wish

TED '09-

Winner of the TED Prize '09 (along with Sylvia Earle and José Abre), Jill Tarter offers her explanation of how humans are beginning to see beyond the frailty and loneliness of the rock they collectively inhabit.
If we are alone in the Universe, it sure seems like an awful waste of space.


13th Repost

RR, the progenitor of the fri-13th literary tradition, sent this poem in its celebration two years ago. I'd like to republish it again in honor of the thirteens and Fridays hitchen up...ultimateification.
earth. worms. contexts.

what is that?

over there beyond that obstacle, beyond that obtrusion?
where is it at specifically in relation to the present location?
how could i measure that,
taking also a measure of the context of it?
"i know that beneath that is something solidified."
"i think that defines its own category;"
"do you think that?" that said.

ultimateification: "when hegel missteps to avoid nietzsche tripping."

that thirteenth day in the sequence of days.
on that day the certain earth,
understood, and occurred tersely,
intensified by taciturnacity, and
perspicacity. i could have said it happened rapidly;
as morning broke breadge, like a bread which doubled as a bridge,
quite quickly like the quivering hummingbird wing, in a wedge.
like cutting warm mayonnaise with a long slice of frozen butter-
the set of sub variables in a category, with an edge.
(one can not ultimateificate and not speak of quivering wings, nor pledge:)
like a black cat or a hedgehog in the morning on the ledge.

a cup of coffee on a table. a white plate with warm toast not on a table.

four billion years and thirteen days ago: a vista of stark simplicity,
the faintest image blasts its way across the vast vista:
a tumble weed the size of a speck of sand seen from the moon,
with binoculars,
like nocturnal wading birds on the edge of a dark sea:
the faintest image of a white plate of warm toast on the black canvas of
the night sky.
there is a white cloud in that sky making the perfect likeness
of drifting steam from warm toast on a white plate.

the view of earth from a place by a thing not capable of conceiving of a place like

a thing sees, because it can see,
though not beyond that obtrusion,
because it is an obstacle.
though in relation to the obstacle, on a certain day,
it may use the obstacle to bend light
and see things beyond the obtrusion,
relate said thing to its present location.
it is so far away, but it is constant.
sometimes it glows green.
"what is the color green, that it should glow in such a state?",
i thought on it's behalf.
"alkd twe skeiroqw[ tyopaeqiunse" it said.

a cloudy day in context.

it could have been beneath a big montana sky,
or any other sky just as large
in any other place.
it could have been on any day where not a cloud in the sky was seen.
on just such a day,
an earthworm made its way nonchalantly through a good patch of soil,
and sort of had an epiphany.
encouraged, the worm wended its way through the rich loam...
and composed a poem.
at the end of the poem,
there was a new category for poems, defined by the worm's understanding.

true blue

true blew true-blue to who knew true blew true to.
true-blue flew true to who flew true to true-blue.
who flew to true blue?
who blew true blue?
who knew true blue?

ultimate realifying is a pot roast in the oven.
a riddle tinctured in a clue. the rind of a watermelon latent in a seed.
a coriolous storm. today it is the subtraction from context,
of earth and the worm thirteen strands woven
to a game a glass and a beade.

copyright 2007 rrz

Enjoy, and don't let the ghouls get you down.