Thursday, December 29, 2016


You can have your zombies currently watching a rerun of an episode of the original Star Trek titled A Taste of Armageddon. The Enterprise is escorting diplomats to a world that refuses to open diplomatic relations because the planet is at war with a former colony. A war that has been going on for five hundred years. 

While they are in preliminary negotiations at "attack" begins. An attack that the sensors do not detect any weapons being used or any damage. Spock realizes that the war is being waged by computer. The buildings and infrastructure survive. Casualties are recorded and expected to report to a suicide station within twenty four hours. And the citizens comply. The head of the ruling council explains that they've accepted that they are barbarians and murderers. The people die at the rate of one to three million a year but the planet and the "civilization" survives. 

When the Enterprise is declare a casualty Kirk does what he usually does when the prime directive is involved. Changes the rules. He and Spock throw several monkey wrenches into the works and destroy the war computers. Kirk admits that yes we're killers with generations of blood behind us but we don't have to kill anyone today. That's how it starts. We don't have to kill anyone today. And we'll worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes. 

Faced with fighting a real war with real weapons the two worlds are open to the idea of negotiating an end to the war. Kirk points out to the others that a real war wouldn't cause any more casualties than they've already suffered. 

This is one of the scariest TV episodes or movies I have every seen. As I said keep your zombies. 

Monday, December 19, 2016


So, Trump is officially the next president. This has been coming for decades.

Think about it. The constant efforts to undercut the judicial branch of the government. Any judge that showed a glimmer of a backbone was labeled an activist judge and it was suggested that he or she didn't know what the hell they were doing.

The constant efforts to undermine public education. It'll probably fall back on the states. Some states will still have decent systems. The others? Poor kids will be damn lucky to get any kind of education. some ultra conservatives seem to believe that everything from schools to libraries should be turned over to the private sector. Keep the peons ignorant and docile. Good luck with that.

The constant drumbeat that scientists can't be trusted. It would never have occurred to me as a college freshman to get up in class and challenge my biology professor about evolution or much of anything else until I had a class or three under my belt. Now we're told that those of us who do research, question, wonder are "elitist" and not to be trusted.

And oh for the days of three networks and PBS. Like it or not everybody got pretty much the same information. Now it's a buyer's market and if the buyer chooses to remain ignorant? There isn't much the rest of us can do about it. At least not right now. Anyone who has dealt with an internet troll knows how hard it is to get unwanted information through the cult barriers. Did I say difficult? Try downright impossible,

Saturday, December 17, 2016


A Brazilian bishop has been quoted over the years. "If I feed a starving man, they call me a saint. If I ask why he is poor they call me a communist." Helder Camara  was lucky. Either the Brazilian right wing wasn't quite as blood thirsty as some American trained death squads in El Salvador or they still marginally respected the bishop because he was a bishop. Didn't stop the US supported dictatorship from trying to silence him. 

At least HE died at a good old age and didn't find himself in the shoes of Oscar Romero. Gunned down while he was celebrating the mass.

The Rebel Jesus

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
While the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by 'the Prince of Peace'
And they call him by 'the Savior'
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgment
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus

Jackson Brown

Friday, December 16, 2016


Jackson Brown wrote this back in the eighties when El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras were going to hell. Since then we've had Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. How soon before the guns, bricks and stones are here? 


I've been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear

You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you've seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war

There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interests run

On the radio talk shows and TV
You hear one thing again and again
How the USA stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends?
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can't take anymore
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can't even say the names

They sell us the president the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us everything from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars

I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Apologies for the weird formatting. Not quite sure how to fix this.

ust had a very subversive thought. We have this whole crop of fundies with their "if it isn't in the Bible it isn't 'Christian.'"

News flash Christmas isn't in the Bible. Yes, the story of the birth of the future footsore rabbi from Nazareth IS in the Bible. But, if I have my history straight official commemoration of the birth started during the reign of Constantine.

Christmas? Christ's mass. Yep, the December date close to the solstice is part of what became the yearly liturgical cycle starting with what has become Advent and ending with Pentecost. As follows

Christmas Eve
Feast of the Nativity
Feast of St. Stephen (first official martyr)
Feast of St. John for John the Baptist
Feast of the Holy Innocents (Herod's blood bath)
Just because
Feast of the Holy Family
Eve of the Feast of the Holy Name
The Feast of the Holy Name Jesus' circumcision, either one
Feast of Mary the Theotokos
Epiphany when the three kings arrived with gifts is on January 6. And in many countries THAT day is the day gifts are exchanged.

All of these traditions were added years or centuries after the Bible was written. So, the whole argument about what to say is really, well totally weird. We get all hung up on the words while conveniently forgetting that Jesus (if he existed) was a Jewish guy who was crying in the wilderness with the messages of the old Hebrew prophets in the hope that maybe, just maybe people would listen this time around.

Of the few of you who actually know me you will know that my sense of humor is well, sort of off the wall. Out in far left field actually.

God has sent prophets over the years from Amos through Jeremiah to Zechariah with mixed and apparently futile results. This is how it goes in my weird imagination,

"Son I need to talk to you. Remember that conversation we had a three or four eons ago on the other side of the Milky Way."

"Yeah, the one where I end up on earth eventually learning the difference between oak and cedar and end up walking the length and breadth of the Holy Land?"

"That's the one. It's time. I've got a great family all picked out for you."

"OK dad, Catch you on the flip side. I've got a feeling I'm going to get into more trouble that all the other prophets put together."

"Afraid so, Son."

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I wish this tool would read a history book. Preferably Bruce Catton's the Coming Fury about the run up to and the first few months of the Civil War.

How many of you know that there were four, yes four, presidential candidates in 1860?
Abraham Lincoln for the Republicans
Stephen Douglas for the northern Democrats
John C Breckinridge for the southern Democrats
John Bell for the Constitutional Union Party
And we all know how well THAT turned out. Douglas damn near killed himself touring the south after the election trying to persuade them not to secede.
Nearly a century later the Dixiecrats turned on Harry Truman for his early civil rights efforts. During the Johnson administration and the Nixon era the Southern strategy resulted in southern Democrats becoming Republicans and a lot Republicans (me included) becoming Democrats. Couldn't stand the thought of being in the same party as Tricky Dick Nixon.
So yes there are people of color in this country (Doh) And you sir should be locked in a small room with basic facilities, MRE's, a stack of history books and not allowed out until you've read them. There will be a test.
So much post truth America.