Thursday, July 30, 2009


Humility is a strange animal; once mastered it becomes just another tool. To those struggling to achieve it, great benefits are reaped. Once mastered its value to self decreases while the benefit to others greatly expands. You have now become a rabbi, a teacher of the way. For a master to be humble, it is so effortless it no longer has the same merit as one who is still battling pride. There is a danger here of thinking one's self as enlightened. You my start off with great empathy and pity for the world, and soon find yourself looking down on others as being less than yourself.

Pride has found the back door!

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now--the people here and now.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Our blogs and E-mail no doubt is the most important, unique method for communicating and developing relationships since the telephone. Simply because, they are convenient and easy to use. We also find it familiar and safe because it is similar in many respects to writing letters or keeping a journal. Of all the methods for developing relationships on the Internet, it is the most common - and perhaps the most powerful.It is a more reliable, less chaotic way to express yourself. Even when other online tools improve greatly by becoming more effectively visual and auditory - as in video teleconferencing, our need for writing will never disappear. Many people will prefer it because it is a non-visual and non-auditory form of communication.

There is said to be a difference in cognitive style between people who love to communicate with written words and those who don't. I am more of an actor than a writer! When corresponding with you, or anyone I always feel like half of me is missing, and many times I find myself at a loss as how to best to communicate my true feeling without the use of all my animations and sound effects, that are so much a part of my dependency for being vocal to satisfy my desire for greater power, expressiveness and clarity.

In the typed text of the Internet, we are unable to observe one's actions or hear them speak. All those subtle voice and body language cues are lost, which can make the nuances of communicating much more difficult especially if your writing style often deviates a little from the norm. But we humans are indeed creative beings. A skilled writer is able to communicate with considerable depth and subtlety in the deceptively simple written word. Despite the lack of face-to-face cues, I find conversing via the Internet a challenging and sophisticated, expressive art form that is well worth mastering.

It can be frustrating, at times I feel like I've made little progress in evolving. I can write the song, but there is only one of you who really knows the way that I sing and dance to it.

Somehow, that must and will all change, as an illustrated orator is not of much use here.

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now--the people here and now.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Heinz 57

This Milestone is a very significant event as birthdays go. If I can make it past next Fathers Day: I will have out lived my dear father. My health is good, and I'm sure that I will make it. I had a sexy dream this morning, So far it has been my best birthday present, yes it was that good. He he, I think researching Subliminal Sex Messages had something to do with it. It has been a good day, and so nice to hear from old and new friends. I love you all!

When I'm awfully low
And the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you" ;-)

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now--the people here and now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bhagavan Ramana And The Mischievous Squirrel

~~~~~ Ramana Maharshi - The Sage of Arunachala ~~~~~

It is only natural for animals apart from humans to flock Bhagavan Ramana's presence. It is not surprising that His infinite love and compassion naturally sent forth vibes that drew animals and humans alike to His feet. There are numerous interesting stories of Bhagavan's interaction with animals, like Lakshmi the cow, Nondi the monkey, Jackie the dog and so on. Not to miss the squirrels that formed an integral part of the Ramana family.

An interesting incident involving a mischievous squirrel, like all other day to day happenings in the ashram is impregnated with spiritual potency. An earnest eye like that of Suri Nagamma, who has recorded this incident in her 'Letters From Ramanashram' will not miss out the spiritual message hidden beneath the stories.

A squirrel was accustomed to eating from Bhagavan's own hands. It was customary of Bhagavan to feed the squirrel with nuts. One day when the squirrel came for his food, Bhagavan was occupied with reading or some other activity that He delayed in feeding it. The squirrel, perhaps angered by the delay, bit Bhagavan's finger. Amused, Bhagavan said that, as a punishment He was going to stop feeding it with His own hands

Saying so he left the nuts on the window sill asking it to fill its belly. The squirrel was virtually upset. It ran all over the body of Bhagavan as if to plead with Him seeking His forgiveness. Bhagavan, however was unmoved. This continued for two to three days. The squirrel was also obstinate enough not to eat until Bhagavan fed it. Ultimately Bhagavan gave in, feeding the squirrel with His own hands out of His immeasurable compassion.

The spiritual import from the incident as Suri Nagamma has recorded is that, perseverance as exercised by the squirrel is what is needed for a devotee to attain salvation.

By: Priya Devi R

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now--the people here and now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Natural Born

View the video and comment on its contents.

The controversy is the difference between a natural born U.S. citizen v. a U.S. citizen. To become The President of the United States; one must be a Natural Born U.S. Citizen.

Requirements for a Natural Born U.S. Citizen

1) Born on U.S. soil
2) *Both* parents must be U.S. Citizens

Accordingly, Mr. Obama’s father was not a U.S. Citizen but was subject to British rule. Therefore both of Obama Jr.’s parents were *not* U.S. citizens and Jr. is *not* a *Natural Born* Citizen.

There is no question whatsoever that B.H. Obama is a U.S. citizen because one of his parents—his mother—was a U.S. Citizen.

(What is a natural born citizen?)

This will make it more clear without a doubt, Exactly What IS a Natural Born Citizen?

Too little too late! What now my friends?
May God have mercy on us all.

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now--the people here and now.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Missionary Position

Ho ho ho he he he, this is so funny, yet sad and true.
My dear friends, for your pleasure I must post this link. ...
... (Missionary Position) ...

Girls I know you will have fun with this. Boys for your sake, you had better pay attention, and take this to heart!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The only way out of our problems

The first and most essential step towards wisdom is acknowledging reality, however painful or embarrassing that may be.

The second is reflecting on that understanding and seeing what you have been denying about yourself, about others around you or about the situations you find yourself in.

Then—and only then—comes thinking about the action needed to deal with what you have found.

The quicker you face reality, the less damage it’s likely to do to you. The longer you stay in a state of denial, the more you are hurting yourself and the worse the final stages will be. As always, it’s your choice.

This post was written by: Carmine Coyote

May God guide your steps always.

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now--the people here and now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No Matter What

No matter what our kids and the new generation think about us,


ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren't overweight. WHY?

Because we were always outside playing...that's why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on..

No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill,
only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem

We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones,
no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping pong paddles, or just a bare hand and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

It was when a family of 4-6-8-12 grew up in a house of a 1000 square feet or less and did not need 4000 square feet to raise two kids.

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

From my brother Robert:

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now--the people here and now.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Would You Think It Odd?


Would You Think It Odd? Would you think it odd if Hafiz said,

"I am in love with every church
And mosque
And temple
And anny kind of shrine

Because I know it is there
That the people say the different names
Of the One God"

Would you tell your friends
I was a bit strange if I admitted

I am indeed in love with every mind
And heart and body.

O I am sincerely
Plumb crazy
About your every thought and yearning
And limb

Because, my dear,
I know
That it is through these

That you search for Him.

How Does It Feel to Be a Heart? (Hafiz)

Once a young woman asked me,

"How does it feel to be a man?"
And I replied,

"My dear,
I am not so sure."

Then she said,
"Well, aren't you a man?"

And this time I rep[lied,

"I view gender
As a beautiful animal
That people often take for a walk on a leash
And might enter in some odd contest
To try to win strange prizes.

My dear,
A better question for Hafiz
Would have been,

'How does it feel to be a heart?'

For all I know is Love,
And I find my heart Infinite
And Everywhere!"

Persian poet, Shamseddin Mohammad Hafiz:

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now - ~ - the people here and now.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Xinjiang Repression - China

With the media's effort to deify the late Michael Jackson; we have ceased receiving real news here in America. There are those in power who would like nothing better than to keep us in a black hole, as evil continues to march roughshod over the life and liberties of the freedom loving peoples of this world. Thank God for the Internet!

China in Tiananmen, Tibet, Xinjiang ..same country, same repressive approach!
The bloodshed started when police fired on a peaceful protest. In the 60th year of Communist China’s existence, it’s becoming clear the party has failed to weld together this huge nation, that resentment of the Han Chinese majority simmers in Muslim Xinjiang just as it does in Buddhist Tibet. It’s also worth remembering that in repatriating Guantanomo Bay inmates, the U.S. refused to return the Uighur detainees to their homeland and the tender mercies of the Chinese authorities. Instead, it found homes for them in Bermuda and Palau.

URUMQI, China — Scattered bodies and a pool of dried blood bear witness to China's deadly crackdown on Muslim protests and stifling discrimination in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang region.
"The Chinese always treat us as so low," an ethnic Uighur Muslim told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday, July 6, requesting anonymity.

"They don't even want to look us in the eye because we are too low," added the man, who owns a dry-cleaning shop in the regional capital Urumqi.

China Bulldozes Uighur Identity
Eroding Uighur Identity

At least 140 people were killed and hundreds wounded when police cracked down on a protest by Uighur Muslims in Urumqi on Sunday, July 6.
Thousands of Uighurs went to the streets, burning and smashing vehicles in protest at China's discrimination as well as cultural and religious controls on Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Testifying to the crackdown, a meter-wide pool of dried blood lay on the ground near the Donghuan market, just east of the bazaar district where much of the protest unfolded.

A few blood-stained bricks were scattered close by.

China vowed to use the strongest means possible to prevent the protests from spreading to other areas.

Rights group worried about clampdown in Xinjiang.

"Xinjiang will prevent the situation from spreading to other areas using the most powerful measures and methods and safeguard regional stability," Nur Bekri, the chairman of Xinjiang, was quoted as saying by the China News Service.

Up to 2,000 helmeted riot police dressed in khaki fatigues and wielding shields and batons are patrolling the streets of the Muslim-majority region as paramilitary policemen armed with semi-automatic guns stand watch at major intersections.

Several truckloads of German Shepherd guard dogs were driving up and down main avenues.

"They look down on us. This has been going on for centuries," said the Uighur man.

Xinjiang and its Uighur Muslims, a Turkish-speaking minority of more than eight million, continue to be the subject of massive security crackdowns.

Muslims accuses the government of settling millions of ethnic Han in their territory with the ultimate goal of obliterating its identity and culture.

They also cite a recent government plan that has brought the teaching of Mandarin Chinese in Xinjiang schools, replacing their local dialect.

Beijing views the vast region as an invaluable asset because of its crucial strategic location near Central Asia and its large oil and gas reserves & News Agencies

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now--the people here and now.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Love others, and we will be loved

The way.

To the extent that we love others, we will be loved. To the extent that we work for others' happiness, we will enjoy protection and support. This is the law of cause and effect..

To encourage another is an intense task of inspiration, of rekindling their life energy and calling forth their indomitable spirit. Underlying this must be an earnest wish for their happiness. .

The bamboo groves of autumn are beautiful. Each bamboo tree stands independently, growing straight and tall toward the sky. Yet in the ground, out of sight, their roots are interconnected. In the same way, true friendship is an enduring bond that connects self-reliant individuals. .

Generosity of spirit to respect those whose character and personality are different from yours is the very foundation of friendship. .

Buddhism teaches that powerful opponents can actually be our greatest allies, because they enable us to forge strength of character and develop fortitude. .

I believe friendship is the most genuinely humane relationship of which we are capable. To be understood and appreciated for oneself is a vital experience in life. .

It is this time and this place that matter--not some other time or place. What matters is here and now--the people here and now. .

It is important to keep the promises made to friends. This is the true meaning of friendship. To become people who can do so, however, we must first learn to keep the promises we have made to ourselves. .

If you remain sincere in your interactions with others, you will naturally come to find yourself surrounded by good friends. .

Friendship is the most beautiful, most powerful and most valuable treasure in life. It is your true wealth. No matter how much status people may gain or how rich they may become, a life without friends leads to an unbalanced, self-centered existence. .

There is no true joy in a life lived closed up in the little shell of the self. When you take one step to reach out to people, when you meet with others and share their thoughts and sufferings, infinite compassion and wisdom well up within your heart. Your life is transformed. .

Friendship is tested and proven in adversity. Perhaps only those who have suffered truly demoralizing blows can fully appreciate the beauty of friendship. .

Just as a spring breeze awakens tender new shoots of green, sincere encouragement can thaw a frozen heart and instill courage. It is the most powerful means to rejuvenate the human spirit. .

"Thank you" is a miraculous expression. We feel good when we say it, and we feel good when we hear it. When we speak or hear the words thank you, the armor falls from our hearts and we communicate on the deepest level. .

Friendship is not a matter of the amount of time you spend with someone. Rather, it is a measure of the strength and depth of the spiritual resonance that arises between you. .

In Japan, the mountain potatoes known as taros are rough and dirty when harvested, but when they are placed in a basin of running water together and rolled against each other, the skin peels away, leaving the potatoes shining clean and ready for cooking. Similarly, the only way for us to hone and polish our character is through our interactions with others. .

Genuine sincerity opens people's hearts, while manipulation causes them to close.

A Buddhist scripture states that "the voice does the Buddha's work." The voice has the power to convey one's compassion for another. No matter how much you care, the sentiment alone will not communicate itself. When your feelings are conveyed in words, your voice will have the immense power to move another person's heart. .

The heart of one person moves another's. ... If one's own heart is closed, then the doors of other people's hearts will also shut tight. On the other hand, someone who makes all those around him or her into allies, bathing them in the sunlight of spring, will be treasured by all. .

It is much more valuable to look for the strengths in others-you gain nothing by criticizing people's imperfections.

To commiserate with, to feel pity for, another falls short of genuine compassion. Understanding is key. People manage to draw the strength to carry on simply knowing that there is someone out there that understands them unconditionally. .

You cannot judge the quality of another's friendship by superficial appearances, especially when things are going smoothly. It is only when we have experienced the worst, most crushing of times-when we have plumbed the depths of life-that we can experience the joys of genuine friendship. Only a man of principle, a woman of resolve-a person who stays true to their chosen path-can be a trusted and true friend, and have real friends in turn. .

People who come to your aid in a time of personal crisis are people of genuine compassion and courage. More often than not, people will try to act as though nothing is wrong. Others are either afraid or refuse to get involved, and quietly drift away. .

Our voice resonates with life. Because this is so, it can touch the lives of others. The caring and compassion imbued in your voice finds passage to the listener's soul, striking his or her heart and causing it to sing out; the human voice summons something profound from deep within, and can even compel a person into action.

Daisaku Ikeda is a Buddhist philosopher, an educator and a prolific writer and poet. As president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) lay Buddhist movement, he has devoted himself to wide-ranging efforts for peace and individual empowerment, and has founded cultural, educational and peace research institutions around the world.

Central to Ikeda's thinking is the idea that a self-directed transformation within the life of each individual, rather than societal or structural reforms alone, holds the key to lasting peace and human happiness. This is expressed most succinctly in a passage in his best-known work, The Human Revolution: "A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind."

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Independence Lost

The great myth of the land of the free:

Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe
Thomas DiLorenzo

Edited and written by David Gordon, senior fellow of the Mises Institute and author of four books and thousands of essays.

Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe. By Thomas J. DiLorenzo. Crown Forum, 2006. 223 pgs.

Thomas DiLorenzo calls attention to a vital fact that demolishes the popular view that one of Lincoln's primary motives for opposing secession in 1861 was his distaste for slavery. Precisely the opposite was the case. It is well known that, in an effort to promote compromise, a constitutional amendment was proposed in Congress that forever forbade interference with slavery in states where it already existed. Lincoln referred to the proposal, the Corwin Amendment, in his First Inaugural, stating that he was not opposed to the amendment, since it merely made explicit the existing constitutional arrangement regarding slavery. Of course, Lincoln was here characteristically mendacious; nothing in the constitution prior to the amendment prohibited amendments to end slavery.[1]

So much is well established, but DiLorenzo adds a surprising touch. Far from viewing the Corwin Amendment with grudging consent, Lincoln was in fact its behind-the-scenes promoter. "As soon as he was elected, but before his inauguration, Lincoln 'instructed Seward to introduce [the amendment] in the Senate Committee of Thirteen without indicating they issued from Springfield.' … In addition, Lincoln instructed Seward to get through Congress a law that would make the various 'personal liberty laws' that existed in some Northern states illegal. (Such state laws nullified the Federal Fugitive Slave Act, which required Northerners to apprehend runaway slaves)" (p. 54, quoting Dorothy Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals).

Extension of slavery was of course an entirely different matter, and here Lincoln refused all compromise. Here we confront a paradox. If Lincoln thought it more important to preserve the union than oppose slavery, why was he unwilling to compromise over slavery in the territories? If he thought slavery's extension was too high a price to pay to preserve the union, why was he willing permanently to entrench slavery wherever it already existed? It is hard to detect a moral difference between slavery in the states and the territories.

DiLorenzo readily resolves the paradox. Lincoln opposed extension of slavery because this would interfere with the prospects of white workers. Lincoln, following his mentor Henry Clay, favored a nationalist economic program of which high tariffs, a national bank, and governmentally financed "internal improvements" were key elements. This program, he thought, would promote not only the interests of the wealthy industrial and financial powers he always faithfully served but would benefit white labor as well. Blacks, in his opinion, would be better off outside the United States; and, throughout his life, Lincoln supported schemes for repatriation of blacks to Africa and elsewhere. If blacks left the country, they could not compete with whites, the primary objects of Lincoln's concern. (Lincoln, by the way, did not see this program as in any way in contradiction to his professed belief that all men are created equal. Blacks, he thought, have human rights but not political rights.)[2]

DiLorenzo's interpretation of Lincoln resolves our paradox, and he finds additional support for it in the views of a leading abolitionist, none other than the great libertarian theorist Lysander Spooner. To Spooner, the primary motive of Lincoln and the war party was to preserve and consolidate Northern control of the Southern economy. The Southern states could not be allowed to evade the tariff, a key element of the mercantilist American system that Lincoln favored. "He wrote that the war 'erupted for a purely pecuniary consideration,' and not for any moral reason. He labeled the economic lifeblood of the Republican Party, Northern bankers, manufacturers, and railroad corporations, 'lenders of blood money' … To Spooner the Northern financiers of the war who had lent money to the Lincoln government did so not for 'any love of liberty or justice,' but for the control of [Southern] markets' through 'tariff extortion.' … Spooner interpreted the crushing of the Southern secessionists … as suggesting that Southerners should 'Submit quietly to all the robbery and slavery we have arranged for you, and you can have your peace'" (pp. 57–59).

But the theory of Spooner and DiLorenzo faces an objection. Even if the abolition of slavery was not uppermost in Lincoln's mind when the war began, did he not eventually issue the Emancipation Proclamation? Was Lincoln at that point not a sincere opponent of slavery? To this objection, Spooner replied with a sharp rejoinder. The Republicans did not end slavery 'as an act of justice to the black man himself, but only as a 'war measure,' he [Spooner] wrote, using the exact words … that Lincoln himself used in the Emancipation Proclamation" (p. 59).

DiLorenzo, like Spooner, makes skilled use of quotations from Lincoln to support his analysis of Lincoln's policies. "In his first inaugural address Lincoln shockingly threw down the gauntlet over the tariff issue, literally threatening the invasion of any state that failed to collect the newly doubled tariff … '[T]here needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it is forced upon the national authority.' What was he [Lincoln] talking about? What might ignite bloodshed and violence? Failure to collect the tariff, that's what … he further stated that it was his duty 'to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion…' In other words, Pay Up or Die" (p. 126).

Lincoln for once spoke with complete truth. He did indeed resort to any means necessary, however brutal, to crush the Southern secessionists. The result of Lincoln's aggressive prosecution of the war was "the killing of one out of four males of military age while maiming for life more than double that number" (p. 28).

Lincoln turned aside all opposition to his ruthless conduct of the war, and he did not hesitate to act against judges who insisted on the rule of law. "In October 1861 Lincoln ordered the District of Columbia provost marshal to place armed sentries around the home of a Washington, D.C. circuit court judge and place him under house arrest … the judge had carried out his constitutional duty to issue a writ of habeas corpus to a young man being detained by the provost marshal, allowing the man to have due process … By placing the judge under house arrest Lincoln prevented him from attending the hearing in the case" (pp. 94–95).

But what is a lowly circuit court judge, compared with the Chief Justice of the United States? Lincoln ordered an arrest warrant prepared for the aged Roger Taney, who had ruled that Lincoln had no authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. The warrant was fortunately never served, and Taney escaped imprisonment. Some have doubted the story, but DiLorenzo finds confirmation in several sources, including the memoirs of Benjamin Curtis, no friend of Taney's. When he served on the Supreme Court, Curtis wrote a strongly worded dissent from Taney's opinion in the Dred Scott case. "Nevertheless, in his memoirs he praises the propriety of Justice Taney in upholding the Constitution by opposing Lincoln's unilateral suspension of habeas corpus. He refers to the arrest warrant for the chief justice, accusing him of treason, as a 'great crime'" (p. 94).

By his insistence upon the unpalatable truth about Lincoln, DiLorenzo defies the acolytes of what he aptly terms the "Lincoln cult." The "Lincolnite Totalitarians" find in Lincoln a precedent for their own assaults on liberty. Harry Jaffa, often a target in these pages, is Lincoln's foremost academic defender. Jaffa, a disciple of Leo Strauss, views Lincoln as the principal exponent of the Declaration of Independence. How can Jaffa think this, given Lincoln's brutal policies of suppression? In large part, the answer lies in the fact that Jaffa has his own agenda: "in my [DiLorenzo's] 2002 debate with Jaffa … he declared at one point that 9/11 proved that 'we need a strong central government.' It was not just a coincidence that he made this declaration in the context of a debate over Lincoln's legacy" (p. 14).

Another influential admirer of Lincoln shared Jaffa's centralizing goals. Frank Meyer, an editor of National Review, criticized Lincoln for his centralizing policies, warmongering, and repression of civil liberties. William F. Buckley disagreed, as usual without any arguments supporting his own position. Rather than respond to the obvious truths to which Meyer had called attention, Buckley airily remarked that some people "have a thing" about Lincoln.

DiLorenzo maintains that Buckley adopted this view because Lincoln's policies were a precedent for the statist and belligerent Cold War policies he favored. As usual, Murray Rothbard saw to the heart of the issue. Rothbard "quoted Buckley … 'we have got to accept Big Government for the duration [of the cold war] — for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged … except through the instrumentality of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores' … The founder of National Review was a 'totalitarian socialist,' Rothbard wrote, 'and what is more admits it'" (pp. 151–52).

Equally as bad, if not worse, is another Lincoln totalitarian whom DiLorenzo discusses in a chapter aptly called "Making Cannon Fodder." Walter Berns, in Making Patriots, seeks a means to inspire America's youth to be willing to sacrifice their lives in war at the state's behest. "To inspire 'patriotism' in the nation's youth, a national poet must mesmerize them in a cause, says Berns … Fortunately, Berns informs us, such a national poet is at hand. That person is Abraham Lincoln, whom he describes as 'statesman, poet, and … the martyred Christ of democracy's passion play'" (pp. 144–45). Worship of Lincoln is the linchpin of the "civil religion" that Berns favors.[3]

Supporters of Lincoln are of course not confined to those, like Jaffa and Buckley, who claim to be conservatives. Eric Foner, a leading academic defender of Lincoln, "was such an apologist for Soviet communism that he opposed the breakup of the Soviet Union and, naturally invoked the Lincoln legend as the reason for his opposition." He urged Mikhail Gorbachev to deal with Soviet secession movements "in the same brutal manner that Lincoln dealt with the Southern secessionists" (pp. 153–54).

DiLorenzo's well-argued and forcefully written book shows that the struggle against the "Lincoln cult" is a vital part of the case for liberty. The book is fittingly dedicated to the memory of Mel Bradford, who paid a heavy price for his devastating analysis of Lincoln, in A Better Guide Than Reason and numerous other books and essays. Ronald Reagan had Bradford under consideration to head the National Endowment for the Humanities, but a coalition of neoconservatives and leftists launched a smear campaign against him. The campaign stressed Bradford's opposition to Lincoln and unfortunately succeeded in derailing the nomination. Bradford would have very much enjoyed DiLorenzo's excellent book.

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo:

After the publication of my 2002 book, The Real Lincoln, I continued to research and write on the topic. Among the things I’ve learned since then is that Abraham Lincoln was a far worse tyrant than I portrayed him as being in that book. A thousand times worse.

I’ve also learned that there is only one genuine Lincoln scholar in America – David Donald – and he’s retired. The rest are all Lincoln cultists and court historians. The cultists, like Harry Jaffa and his merry band of Straussians, ignore actual American history, fabricate a false history, or dabble in semantics and word games in order to portray The Great Centralizer as a god-like figure. They routinely refer to him as "Father Abraham" and compare him to Jesus or Moses. They do this because their agenda is not only the deification of Lincoln, but of executive power and nationalism in general.

Their modus operandi is to provide propaganda for the foreign policy imperialism wing of the Republican Party and for the cause of dictatorial executive power, a cause that George W. Bush has embraced wholeheartedly. They assist politicians like Newt Gingrich, who recently advocated the invasion and occupation of Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea (Wall Street Journal Online, Sept. 7) in an article that began with a Lincoln quote and was peppered with other Lincoln quotes to make his case for what he calls "World War III."

The false legend of Abraham Lincoln that they have contrived is used as moral cover for foreign policy imperialism and the pursuit of empire. That’s why they have just announced that their Claremont Institute "statesmanship" award for 2006 will be presented at a black tie dinner to Victor Davis Hanson, the Lincoln-quoting, National Review Online propagandist for the war in Iraq (and for just about every unconstitutional, illegal, or immoral act the Bush administration has engaged in while prosecuting that unnecessary war).

The court historians run the gamut from hard-core leftists like Eric Foner, who opposed the breakup of the Soviet Union (saying Lincoln wouldn’t have allowed it) to mainstream liberals like Doris Kearns-Goodwin (author of Team of Rivals) and Mario Cuomo (author of Why Lincoln Matters: Today More than Ever, co-authored with Lincoln cult leader Harold Holzer). Like the Straussians, they too have found the false legend of Abraham Lincoln to be useful to their political agenda, whether it is socialism, as with Foner, or welfare statism, as with Goodwin and Cuomo.

In the academic world there exists a Church of Lincoln, but that church is built of straw (perhaps manure would be more accurate). The religious rhetoric that is used to describe Dishonest Abe, who was probably an atheist, is misleading and useless as far as understanding American history is concerned. That of course is the purpose of it.

Many of the most famous quotes of Lincoln are proven fakes, for example. He never even said "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can not fool all the people all the time." The Lincoln cultists and court historians use many of these fake quotes to present a false image of their "Father Abraham."

I also devote a chapter to the meeting Lincoln had with a number of free black men in which he implored them to lead by example and migrate to Liberia, in Africa. Fortunately for them, they ignored his plea.

Lincoln was a white supremacist all his life (as were most white people of his era) and it was actions such as this that caused some of the most prominent abolitionists to vigorously denounce him and his regime as phonies and fakes with regard to their pronouncements about human freedom. I devote a chapter to such denunciations by the great libertarian/abolitionist from Massachusetts, Lysander Spooner.

One of the most insidious acts of the gatekeepers is keeping Americans from understanding their true history as a people. The Jeffersonian, states’ rights tradition, for example, has been whitewashed from the history books thanks to the efforts of several generations of gatekeepers and court historians. I explain the truth about states’ rights, which was an important Northern as well as a Southern political doctrine prior to 1865. I also explain some of Dishonest Abe’s Big Lies about the doctrine and why he was truly the anti-Jefferson.

In The Real Lincoln I made the case that Lincoln’s (and the Republican Party’s) "real agenda" was the old Hamilton/Clay mercantilist agenda of protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare, central banking, the creation of a giant political patronage machine, and the pursuit of an empire that would rival the British empire. Lincoln Unmasked takes this much further and goes into more detail about the true mercantilist origins of the Republican Party (which hasn’t changed much); Lincoln’s personal corruption as a railroad industry lobbyist; the fact that he literally owed everything, politically, to northern protectionists; and his key role in cementing central banking into place in America. These topics were all mentioned in The Real Lincoln, but in different ways and not in as much detail as in Lincoln Unmasked.

Several chapters are devoted to just how the Lincoln cultists employ the Lincoln legend to "justify" foreign policy imperialism, "totalitarian bureaucracy" at home, the abolition of civil liberties, blind obedience to the state, and even imprisoning opponents of the regime’s wars. All of this is patently un-American, and the "sainted" Lincoln is invoked to "justify" it by the Lincoln cult.

Readers of Lincoln Unmasked will also learn that, since the publication of The Real Lincoln, a number of books have been published by very distinguished authors that support or confirm my analysis. This includes a book by a New York Times editorial writer, a former U.S. Navy Secretary, a distinguished University of Virginia historian, a liberal who writes for Harper’s, The New Yorker, and The New Republic, a "popular historian" who has authored a dozen books, a well-known journalist, and a prominent business historian. The "gate" really is beginning to rust.

Over the past several years I have received hundreds (maybe thousands) of emails from people who have read my writings about Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, his imprisonment of thousands of Northern war dissenters, his shutting down of hundreds of opposition newspapers, his not-so-hidden economic agenda, and other well-documented facts and have asked: "Why wasn’t I taught that in school?" Or, "I was a history major in college and I never heard of that!" The chapters of Lincoln Unmasked devoted to the gatekeepers explain why.

The overwhelming majority of works on Lincoln judge him by his words and not his deeds. Any politician could be made to look like a saint with that methodology. And when some of his more dastardly deeds, such as micromanaging the waging of war on fellow citizens, are mentioned they are always obscured by a mountain of hollow excuses, rationales, cover-ups, and justification.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, (Three Rivers Press/Random House). His next book, to be published in October, is Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe (Crown Forum/Random House).

Tao Te Ching verse 75

when taxes are too high
people go hungry
when the government is too intrusive
people lose their spirit

act for the people's benefit
trust them; leave them alone:

And so what do we gain from the Lincoln's legacy? We have become again an impoverished dependent nation. We borrow from Europe and Japan to defend the oil of Europe and Japan in the Persian Gulf. We borrow from China to buy the goods of China. We are as dependent on foreign borrowing as we are on foreign oil.

And the questions arise: If the men of '76, who led those small and vulnerable states, were wiling to sacrifice their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for America's independence, what is the matter with us?

Do we not value independence as they did? Or is it that we are simply not the men our fathers were?

Happy Independence Day.

People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Take no one for granted and embrace all equally with joy!
Julie A. Manhan ...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

What Makes a Religion, a Religion?

Posted by Scorn on November 6, 2008 at 6:18pm
View Scorn's blog

Ok, I have come across this question in a few groups on MySpace. I decided to answer the question to the best of my ability here.

The first thing a religion needs to be consitered a religion is some fundamental beliefs. It needs to stress some values and rules for life such as treat others as you want to be treated, dont be greedy, ect. It needs to make the person following that religious path want to better themselves.

It also needs a set of tenets and practices, often centered on specific supernatural or moral claims about reality, the cosmos, and human nature. It needs to make an attempt at understanding the world around us and what happens after death. Death is, afterall, a corner-point in all religions.

There also should be a sense of cultural traditions, writing, and mythology, as well as personal faith and religious experience. This last part isnt really a "must-have", but it definatly helps in recruting followers.

And the last thing a religion needs is people who live there life by that relgion. It needs someone to claim that faith as theres. Without this, a religion cannot exist.

This is the best that I could answer the question as of now. I feel that I have covered the basics of what makes a religion real.

Blessed be to all,

32nd Verse

The Eternal Tao has no name.
Although simple and subtle,
no one in the world can master it.

If kings and lords could harness them,
the 10,000 things would naturally obey.
Heaven and Earth would rejoice
with the dripping of sweet dew.

Everyone would live in harmony,
not by official decree,
but by their own goodness.

Once the whole is divided, the parts
need names.
There are already enough names;
know when to stop.
Know when reasons sets limits
to avoid peril.

Rivers and streams are born of the ocean,
and all creation is born of the Tao.
Just as all water flows back to
become the ocean,
all creation flows back to become the Tao.

~Lao Tzu
Tao Te Ching

People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Take no one for granted and embrace all equally with joy!

Welcome to Sacred Circle Of Light

Your presence here around this campfire, in the glow of this candle, under this lightbulb, or under this fiery sun, says you are a creature of the light and as such have the light within you as well.