29 October, 2017

Mystic Chords


https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e9/57/bc/e957bcf23d84ecb9d9a4c2cc13622c8e.jpg


We can keep up pretenses; we can shrug; we can laugh
but we can't trick the truth just by wearing a mask.
We're going at each other with hammer and tong.
Straining, almost to breaking, what has held for so long!

But we cannot deny and must not abide
Such fanatical insistence that the right is all on one side.
Slurs and calumny we excuse as either a joke or a jibe.
And betray the truth, just to gain a win for our tribe.

We each harbor anger and lust to prove which side is right,
And we turn every discussion into a vicious and protracted fight.
We can’t call back the taunts that set brother against brother
While compatriots precipitously morph into some alien other!

Instead of modeling gratitude, we fumbled the chance
Each of us hardened our attitude of intolerance
And betrayed the quest for understanding and our nation’s dream,
Sadly, forgetting that we should all be playing for one American team!

With the differing perspective, that arises from each unique situation.
It sometimes looks as though we are a crowd, not a nation.
The divisions that incite us are hard to confront or to even explain
When we stubbornly insist the other side deserves all the blame!

We still have a chance to follow the true guiding light
And recommit to amity and put an end to this fratricidal fight.
So, a stark choice confronts us, and it does so clearly,
Is it proving we’re right or doing what’s right that we value most dearly?

28 October, 2017

Wholly Misogynistic!


dailyatheist.deviantart.com

Saint Albertus Magnus, a 13th-century, Dominican theologian, minced no words:

“Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison to his. Therefore, she is unsure in herself. What she cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one’s guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil.”



Virtually nobody knows or cares about Albertus Magnus in the 21st century, but the virulent anti-woman attitude he championed is still doing grievous damage. Those who recognize this toxic element of contemporary culture often call it slut-shaming – the act of putting down a female human for being too sexual to make her feel inferior or guilty. Too sexual could mean a whole range of things, but author Jessica Valenti’s slut definition probably says it best: “women engaged in any activity besides knitting, praying, or sitting perfectly still lest any sudden movements are deemed whorish.” 

Any people who seek to subjugate others, gain an advantage if they can make the targets feel uneasy about the fact that they exist in corporeal form. Therefore, the Holy Books of the Abrahamic religions are replete with misogyny as were the pronouncements of many founders of the Christian sects. These slurs and venomous canards have nothing to do with divine inspiration and everything to do with the subjugation of women.

Although men theoretically benefit in a twisted way from this calumny, it harms most of them as well. The basis of this seeming paradox is evident. Denying, dismissing, discounting half of humankind deprives all humans of the contributions of the discard and denigrated half. In the contrived conflict between male and female human beings, this prejudice and repression are particularly pernicious. If humankind has the “better angels” in which Lincoln placed such hopes, those better angels appear almost exclusively in female form. Saying that women are the better half of humankind is neither stereotypical nor prejudicial, it closely approximates the stone-cold truth.

While shaming and blaming serve the interests of people who want to manipulate, dominate, and exploit others, they are always malign activities. Shaming and blaming have no win-win aspects. They are ploys used by some profoundly misguided or authentically predatory people [usually men] to subjugate and victimize others [usually girls or women].

In Western culture and especially in contemporary American culture either explicit or implicit misogyny by ostentatiously devout Christians has a profoundly deleterious impact. As most know, Christianity began as a Jewish heresy and eventually took over the Roman Empire and ultimately attacked and destroyed pagan civilization. Then, it treated Europeans to the Dark and Middle Ages before losing its stranglehold sufficiently during the Renaissance to set the stage for the Enlightenment, Rationalism, Science, and partial political liberation.

In the Christian worldview, a male Supreme Being created the World and the first humans. Although this deity purportedly has omnipotence, omniscience, ubiquity, and benevolence, the behavior attributed to it does not comport with these attributes. The deity first created a male – in its image. Then, the deity created a female – from the male’s rib. The deity told the man not to eat a particular fruit but did not give any convincing explanation merely an order. If the female ever got the message is unclear, but according to the legend, the deity did not tell her. As the fable goes, the male and female lived naked in a paradise where they wanted for nothing.

A previous creation of the deity, a devil now commonly called – Satan – the adversary. Tempted and tricked the female into eating from the forbidden tree and she, in turn, induced the male to do so as well. The deity promptly went berserk and cursed the male and female and every human being who would ever exist because one of the deity’s creations fooled two of its other creatures into doing something the deity forbade.

Let us briefly review: Not one but three creations of an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, benign deity defied its will They did so even though such a god should have known they would and should have been able to prevent them from doing so. Despite the monumental screw-up, the fables still report the deity as perfect. Thus, the deity made at least three irreparable errors at the beginning of the story and then, threw a cosmic temper tantrum when things went as an all-knowing being must have known they would go. This same deity also issued orders to the male human, but neither explained the basis for the command or ensured the male told the female human. When the adversary used the tricks, the perfect deity knew he would employ. Thus, provoking the humans into violating the command the god knew they would not keep. The allegedly supernatural entity punished the humans and all their offspring for doing something they could not assess because they had no “knowledge of right and wrong” before violating the order and could not avoid doing since the deity knew what would happen all along. How can any of the preceding be the actual story of behavior by a perfect being toward other purportedly imperfect entities?

The so-called “Good Book” records the purported words of the deity who blames this entire debacle on the first and all subsequent female human beings!  “Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her, we all die.” (Eccles. 25:22) 

One must ask, how can anyone not deranged or deluded consider this the perspective of a perfect being? This assertion about women is preposterous, and if it is not, nothing ever will be. Three males, a deity, a demon, and a human screw up a situation that the omniscient, omnipotent god should have prevented from the outset and the single female human being gets the dominant share of the blame. Such vicious nonsense is patently ludicrous, and it should act as a fire bell in the night for every woman concerning the import of this misogynistic creed


Furthermore, any male deserving the designation human should object to the gross injustice done to women in this monstrously libelous fairy tale. Let us leave aside the fictitious demon and deny the bona fides of the author of all this infamy: The so-called Almighty. This self-absorbed character is the chimera behind which some devious and covetous individuals hide to begin the nasty work of making women vulnerable to their demands.

Men want to command women to do their bidding and slake their lusts. While some men also want to fuck other men and boys, back in the day, the human authors of this horribly unjust narrative wanted to have old women to do their cooking and cleaning and nubile young women to service them with their mouths, vaginas, and anuses. Think for a moment about all the rationalizations of concubines, servant girls; virginal captives seized from defeated enemies. The positive attributes extolled in the Wholly Babble regarding women are typically related to household duties and beauty. Consider the description of Job’s daughters: “Job had three daughters. God adorned them with great beauty, no women being so fair as were the daughters of Job” So daughters of prominent men in the Wholly Babble are lookers. What a stroke of luck because further on Lot and his daughters get together at the command of the deity:




By an astounding coincidence, the eternal God of the Universe happens to have the same approach to women as patriarchs in the Wholly Babble! Women are either meek, subservient, dedicated homemakers or nubile wenches eager to do the horizontal mambo with dear old dad or anyone their dad or husband suggests. In this context remember Genesis 12:11-19: “Abraham travels to Egypt with his beautiful wife, Sarah. He tricks the Pharaoh into taking her as a wife by pretending that Sarah is his sister rather than his wife. Sarah, belonging to Abraham, has no choice but to go along with it. Sarah becomes the Pharaoh’s wife. These examples prove only one thing: The legends of the Abrahamic creeds are the result of human (male) culture, written by human men to serve male interests first, last, and always. Holy Misogyny is a human male invention, not a male god’s injunction. It presents rules based on the biases and schemes of human males seeking to shape a culture that favors them, some more than others, and makes a significant target of their covetousness more vulnerable prey because of the purported sanction of divine law for these male desires. 

The agreeability of the deity to male sexual desires extends beyond the Christian fables. Consider this account of Mohammed and his six-year-old, child bride, Aisha:

Narrated ‘Aisha:

Allah’s Apostle said to me, “You were shown to me twice (in my dream) before I married you. I saw an angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said to him, ‘Uncover (her),’ and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), ‘If this is from Allah, then it must happen.’ Then you were shown to me, the angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth, and I said (to him), ‘Uncover (her) and behold, it was you. I said (to myself), ‘If this is from Allah, then it must happen.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 140; see also Number 139)

Narrated ‘Aisha:
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old, and he consummated* his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64; see also Numbers 65 and 88)

[*the first marital sexual intercourse: the prophet married a girl at 6, but waited until she was nine before he deflowered her – how considerate!] Hey, Mohammed was tight with Allah!

In all the Abrahamic religions, the Lord works in lecherous, as well as mysterious, ways! Given the deity’s attitude, it is no surprise that the man described as the holiest person in Sodom behaved as shown in the illustration below.



Lot suggested the mob have a gangbang of epic dimensions with his virgin daughters. One should need no further evidence to conclude that the Wholly Misogynistic natures of the so-called Holy Books are inconsistent, to put it mildly, with equality and equity for women!

All of us have a great deal to gain and nothing of value to lose by recognizing and renouncing misogyny as the malevolent myth it is. We must reject blame and shame as manipulative ploys unsuited to benevolent interactions.  We must also acknowledge that sluts are figments of the deranged thinking misogyny induces. The insult slut is used to shame, blame, stifle, and silence women. Sluts are only real to misogynists, no matter their gender, who use language to hurt all women brave enough to disobey their dictates. Enough is enough. Let us say loudly and proudly – No more!

One last point needs emphasis. Wholly Misogynistic creeds and their secular progeny aka modesty and slut-shaming are wrong, vicious, and harmful no matter who does it. Men wrote the original fables and set up the patriarchal culture to benefit their gender, but some women, unfortunately, try to prosper in this malign culture by attacking their sisters based on sexist norms. 

Every one of us needs to recognize that sexuality is not shameful; what one wears is not a determinant of one’s character; who, when, where, why, and how one interacts sexually is solely one’s business and those of one’s willing partners. The Wholly Babble and all its derivatives are erroneous. Shame is a destructive emotion; blame is an aggressive action. Neither the feeling nor the practice is appropriate or productive. Now is the time for all good people whether female or male to come together and cherish our shared human nature, including its sexual components and capabilities.

For every man who likes, loves, and genuinely recognizes the full and equal humanity of all women, it is time to commit the following image to memory and consistently behave accordingly.



laveandrea.blogspot.com

The - "Not Your" - theme does not suggest any person should shun women or recoil from female beauty or nudity. It merely means that every human being must recognize that the only suitable responses to beauty are respect, kindness, and mutuality. By and large, women routinely make the world and the lives of others better. It is high time and past that every human worthy of the name celebrate, not denigrate, women, give them the credit they so often deserve and share the charms of sensuality and joys of sex in intimate, tender, equal, and jubilant conviviality.


30 July, 2017

America - The Inclusively Beautiful


O beautiful for glorious themes
Our history’s refrain,
Despite so many tragedies,
We strive ever to attain.
America! America!
Truth shine its light on thee,
And fill this land with helping hands
From sea to shining sea

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life
America! America!
May Truth thy goals refine
Until all success be nobleness,
And every gain sublime

O beautiful for heroic deeds
Where stunning valor shines,
A testament to Freedom's needs,
That stirs our hearts and minds.
America! America!
Truth mend thine every flaw
Infuse thy soul with self-control,
Thy liberty with law

O beautiful for glory told
Of valiant battles fought
When Patriots from days of old
Risked all and asked for naught.
America! America!
Truth shine its light on thee,
Until selfish gain will no more stain
The banner of the free

O beautiful for Patriots’ dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine iridescent cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears
America! America!
Truth shine its light on thee,
And fill this land with helping hands
From sea to shining sea

First version, April 2012

17 June, 2017

The Illegitimate President



72,734, 751 American voters did NOT choose Donald J. Trump. He lost the popular vote by 9,749,926 votes! He neither represents nor serves the expressed will of the American electorate!

Presidential ticket
Party
Votes[3][246]
Percentage
States
Electors
% of voters
Trump / Pence
Republican
50 + DC
538
100%
62,984,825
46.09%
Clinton / Kaine
Democratic
50 + DC
538
100%
65,853,516
48.18%
Johnson / Weld
Libertarian
50 + DC
538
100%
4,489,221
3.28%
Stein / Baraka
Green
44 + DC
480
89%
1,457,216
1.07%
McMullin / Finn
Independent
11
84
15%
731,788
0.54%
Castle / Bradley
Constitution
24
207
39%
203,010
0.15%

Five times in American history, the reactionary glitch of the Electoral College has thwarted the will of the electorate. Never has it done so more grievously than in 2016. Neither Donald J. Trump nor his party has any claim to be doing the business of the American people. At best, they are working the will of a distinct minority of 46.78%. 53.22% of American voters chose somebody else.

16 June, 2017

Come Together, Right Now!




This message was sent to Senators Casey and Toomey as well as Congress Member, Rothfus.

While it was great to see the display of unity at National Field last night, it would be better and more significant to see unity, civility, and constructive interaction regarding legislation and governance. 

The sorry spectacle of the AHCA – rushed through the House, and reworked in secret by thirteen male Republican Senators in the Senate – is an egregious example of disunity, incivility, and unconstructive action. It speaks so loudly of poisonous partisanship I cannot clearly hear or confidently heed the professions of unity. The recurring acrimony and ongoing secretiveness exhibited throughout 2017 thus far belie all soothing words.

Knock it off! Work honestly and effectively for the common interest. Govern responsibly and serve the people, not the plutocrats and corporations.  Remember it is “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” not government of the people, by the wealthy, for the corporations.

In the picture at the top of this page, the two co-chairs of the Problem Solvers Caucus, Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Tom Reed (R-NY), called for Congress to tackle comprehensive tax reform and infrastructure investment together. 

The Problem Solvers Caucus shows that there are members of Congress ready to come together to put country over party, and govern responsibly in the common interest. 



14 June, 2017

Cowards, Not Warriors


Zealots usually have some rationale for the atrocities they perpetrate. In their minds and the minds of some others, this makes them warriors for a noble cause. The fact that they almost always attack unarmed, unsuspecting people give the lie to their pretensions.  Just in the last few weeks, the following rationales have been offered by zealots of various persuasions.

1.    A widely-circulated propaganda message put out by the group on social media urged its followers to attack civilians in the West using trucks, knives or guns during the Holy Month of Ramadan. 

2.     Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, who media outlets quickly identified as a known white supremacist and right-wing extremist. “He calls for a homeland for whites, he has anti-Semitic statements praising Nazis,” said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center after examining his Facebook page.

Christian also participated in the “March for Free Speech” in Portland on April 29 with a baseball bat in tow to attack left-wing protesters. Police took the bat away, but Christian spent all day yelling racist slurs and giving the Nazi salute.

3.    A purported Sanders supporter attacked Congressional Republicans practicing for the charity baseball game against the Democrats. 

Bernie Sanders condemned the action, saying: “Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”

None of the perpetrators knowingly confronted armed opposition. All of them attacked people they thought to be defenseless. Not a one of them was truly a warrior. All of them were demonstrably cowards with a pretentious and spurious rationale for their atrocious actions. 

While I oppose the Neoconfederate Reactionary Agenda of the contemporary Republican Party, I condemn in every respect the use of violence against any of the Republicans now in power. Ballots, not bullets, are the proper means for depriving them of their power to harm America and planet Earth. Arguments, peaceful demonstrations, phone calls, letters to Congress and Editors are all legitimate means and measures. Violence and incitement to violence are not justified in any circumstance. 

Sectarian creeds do not convey legitimacy on cruelty, aggression, murder, and mayhem. Authoritarian political ideologies are abhorrent on their face, and they do not confer honor on adherents who attack others in their name. Unless there is an actual war in which people risk life and limb in combat with armed and aware opponents resorting to force does not make one a warrior in the service of any cause noble or ignoble. Violence against the defenseless is an act of cowardice and covers the perpetrator[s] with shame.

Therefore, let me state emphatically and without qualification that the moment one resorts to aggression against peaceful people of differing views or hues one confesses and demonstrates the total illegitimacy of one’s positions and ideological professions.  


12 June, 2017

They Are Magic


Written in honor and celebration the Pittsburgh Penguins’ second straight Stanley Cup triumph. They showed it was true that “Destiny had a new home.”  As Ron Cook aptly said, “The Penguins were issued so many challenges in the glorious hockey season that ended Sunday night, seemingly too many, but they failed at not a single one of them.” No, they most certainly did not!

Larry Conley 12 June 2017 

http://www.azfamily.com/story/35639845/pittsburgh-penguins-win-second-straight-stanley-cup

They made a stand
And they soared free
It always was in their mind
They knew they could break the bind
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!

Achieving their dream
Started 107 games ago
There was no other path to take
They refused to give themselves a break
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!

We have to believe they are magic
No one could stand in their way
We have to believe they are magic
They never let their aim stray
And soon all their hopes would thrive
Destiny would finally arrive
They kept the dream alive
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!

They took a stand
And now they’re home free
The planet alignment -  so rare
There's jubilation in the air
And their hopes came true.

Despite any setbacks, they came through
They rose from every stumble and fall
They kept going through it all
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!

We have to believe they are magic
No one could stand in their way
We have to believe they are magic
They never let their aim stray
And soon all their hopes would thrive
Destiny would finally arrive
They kept the dream alive
Their hearts and their aim stayed true!


https://youtu.be/dRvv8dk6a0A