Saturday, June 30, 2007

Why the 4th of July is Still Worth Celebrating

My family has been celebrating the 4th of July with a reading of the Declaration of Independence for a long time now. I am descended from many families; all of them include individuals who participated in the American Revolution. My application to the Daughters of the American Revolution used Benjamin Pillsbury, who served at Valley Forge.

The stories you hear about Valley Forge were designed to keep people away from the training camp being run that winter. General Washington was getting some professional pointers from Baron Friedrich von Steuben This is reported as training for the soldiers but it was Washington himself who most needed it. The General's record up to that point had not been stellar. Training in strategy and tactics at the level practiced for war at that point in time was not available in the Colonies. Personally, I think it showed a lot of courage on Washington's part to admit he needed help and then make sure he got the best available.

After the Winter of Valley Forge General George Washington improved dramatically as a commanding officer.

It would be a long war anyway.

Lt. Pillsbury was a homesteader in New Hampshire when it was still the frontier. The town he helped found, Sandown, NH, contains the oldest still in use Meeting House in New England. Benjamin helped build it.

In the generations following the Revolution celebrating the 4th included food and fireworks, but it went a lot deeper. That is where we need to go again.

Then, some member of the community, and communities were small then, would stand where everyone could see and hear him and begin, “

The unanimous Declaration of the

thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

The Founders knew that what people in other parts of the world thought of them mattered. They intended to become part of that larger community as a people, using government in a revolutionary way. Government would not be master, but their agent, the contractor who carried out some work for them, with proper oversight, naturally.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This is the Bedrock of American Thought. All people are born possessed of God-given, inherent rights. Government has no control over the actions of individuals as they peacefully carry out their lives.

“ — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

Government is whatever the People DECIDE it will be. End of story.

“ — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

And if we need to have another Revolution or use any other means to bring government into alignment, that is our absolute, God-given right so be it.

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Just because we like the style of architecture does not mean we can't do a really drastic retrofit and evict the management. We will put up with a lot but there is a limit to our patience. The power is ours, always in the people.

“ — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

That preamble, the Mission Statement and Principles of Operation for what the Founders were about to carry out, ran to 356 words. Terse and to the point. Those assembled laid it out for all of posterity, and the Bill of Particulars was 655 words. I wonder how many Bills that pass unread through Congress are that short? But the Founders were not benefiting from lavish retirement plans; they are not getting junkets from Corporations.

After outlining their reasons for Independence the Founders went on to document their many attempts to achieve redress without this most drastic step. That section is just 326 words.

The Founders put it all on the line; they acted transparently, declaring for the entire world their intentions, their principles, and their reasons for the action that they took that day. They declared for a freedom many of them would not live to enjoy. The Declaration closes with, “— And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

The reason that the Declaration of Independence should be reread at least once a year is to remind us and our posterity that what was necessary once could become so again. The generations coming after the Revolution grew up hearing the stories and understanding the costs exacted from people they knew as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors. They saw bullet holes and they decorated the graves of those who fell in battle and were killed by British soldiers. For those who lived through it the Revolution was very personal.

Myself, I have been compiling my own Bill of Particulars for some time now. The list grows every day. Th fact is, we would have changed the government before now if not for the many frauds used by the corrupt to hold onto power. Stolen elections, falsified disasters, phony wars, lies, and larceny, they have done it all.

This 4th of July take some time. Gather together. Read the Declaration in its entirety. Consider your own Bill of Particulars. If you send it to me I will begin a compilation that may well be needed in the not too distant future. Lt. Benjamin would understand, he participated in the Exeter Revolt, the first insurrection after the Revolution.

America is a vision as yet unrealized. That vision for America is one that speaks the power of individuals, a power that comes from our inherent, God-given rights. It is a vision that rejects the use of government to meddle in our lives, given to us by God, never by government.

This 4th of July read the Declaration. What the People did once can be done again, and we will.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Iowa's Ed Failor, Jr. Pimps for the NeoCons: June 20th, Try-Outs for Corporate Presidential Candidates

Edward D. Failor, Jr., Executive Vice President of Iowans for Tax Relief, and those working with him on the Presidential Forum to take place on June 30th are feverishly ignoring Congressman Ron Paul, the breakout Presidential candidate who is now in undisputed control of the Internet. They obviously fear Paul's participation in the otherwise lackluster line up of candidates to appear at their forum, put on by Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Christian Alliance. Like so many defective Ken Dolls the other candidates mouth slight variations of the NeoCon Line. In effect, the forum is free advertising for approved candidates orchestrated to keep dissatisfied Republicans in line.

Edward D. Failor, Jr. is determined to make sure that the only real Republican candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, remains as little known to his natural constituency as possible.

Candidates will be given time at the podium to spout. Those spouting will be Senator Sam Brownback, Congressman Duncan Hunter , Mike Huckabee, Governor Mitt Romney ,
Congressman Tom Tancredo and the Honorable Tommy Thompson. A short perusal of Failor's Googles reveal that he is Senior Advisor for Iowans for John McCain and also has donated to McCain's campaign. Yesterday there were more candidates confirmed but the likes of Guiliani and McCain are melting like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz. Things are changing rapidly on the IFTR website; Failor's thumb-fingered approach is not making him any friends outside the beltway.

Failor keeps trying. Recently he was briefly interviewed on Mickelson in the Morning, a Talk Radio Show airing on Station WHO out of Des Moines, never managing to explain why the sponsoring organizations would exclude Paul and include such non-starters as Tommy Thompson and Duncan Hunter. A piece of advice Rove should have issued: Have your story straight BEFORE the media calls.

Real tax relief for embattled Iowans has been slow in coming, something well known to those living there to whom taxes remain a real issue. This appears on a site in Iowa, "Iowans for Tax Relief" has a name that, “ belies its purpose. It supports special interest carve-outs and corporate welfare tax subsidies that shrink the tax base and raise the rates on the rest of us. It also refuses to even consider eliminating the deduction for state income taxes in exchange for lower rates” according to Roth CPAs, an accounting business in Des Moines. The article goes on to say that a better name for the group would be, “ "Iowans for Special Interest Loopholes and High Rates."

Given their attitude towards Ron Paul, long known as the Tax Payer's Best Friend, this should surprise no one.

The two organizations in charge, Iowans for Tax Relief, and Iowa Christian Alliance, actually illustrate in a microcosm what has happened to America during the last 40 years.

It is a story all of us should know.

It began with a small, pimple-faced group of Young Republicans filled with more unrequited testosterone and ambition than brains, fraught with that low cunning that is so evident in children of Kindergarten age. At the same time across the South, sitting and scratching, there were a cadre of white men who had never made it in life. Science was too exacting; business demanded they provide value. They were in the habit of doing what earlier generations of similar men liked doing, sitting around thumbing through their Bibles and inventing rationalizations and justifications why they were superior to those uppity blacks and why women should stay home and tend to their needs.

If the two groups above had grown out of it things would be different today. That did not happen. Instead, those acne enhanced Y Rs, Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson, went on to entice those Yellow Dog Democrats into the Republican Party while at the same time the subset of Reed and Robertson found funding that enabled their marginalized Armageddonist oriented churches to move into the main stream. One of them, or perhaps in happy cooperation, they wrote the plans for taking over the Republican Party, putting their plans into action in Texas in the early 90s. They cheerfully issued instructions on how to do this along with outrageous propaganda containing the same revisionist history that would have so astonished the Founders.

Their friends, using those now empowered Yellow Dog Armageddonist Republicans began a campaign that used revisionist history like a club to remake American understanding of the foundations on which America stands from A to Z. Beginning with the absolute barrier erected by the Founders between Church and State they began their campaign to reverse the progress of Americans towards equality and social justice through a Constitution founded on English Common Law for a bastardized Biblical interpretation as the law of the land. That, they could make mean anything.

Today dozens of members of Congress actually cite the specious babblings of such opportunists as David Barton who has become a multimillionaire selling books that are constructed from revisionist history devised from various sources over the last 200 plus years. Obviously products of the same American schools that stopped teaching the truth about American's Founding documents over a century ago, those elected to Congress credulously accept the painfully constructed arguments that attempt to document a unanimity that never existed in American thinking and install one form or other of Armageddonism, a set of cranky marginal mythologies based on the fantasies of a small group of English and Southern preachers, as history.

It is a mythology with no relationship to the truth

Coming from widely divergent spiritual viewpoints the original four main cultural and religious groups that made up the Colonials slowly changed their thinking over that 200 years prior to the Revolution moving towards diverse understandings of our spiritual nature. The common element was the move to see the individual as possessing a one on one relationship with God, this becoming the basis for rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

The foundation of American government is that only individuals possess sovereignty and so rights, this the gift of God.

The book written by Chris Rodda titled, “Liars for Jesus,” reveals in painstaking detail the original documents in their unaltered form, putting the events in a time frame that shows what actually took place. The separation of church and state was an absolute in the minds of the Founders, who coming from different and conflicting Christian beliefs could not have done otherwise.

Barry Goldwater and generations of Americans who knew the Republican Party as the defender of small, local government, low, local taxes, and individual rights would not recognize the Frankenstein monster that today is the GOP.

The world according to Bush and his Rovian Brain performed an about face that has lead to millions of deaths, our ongoing subsidies to Israel, an obscene surge of profits for Big Oil, Mass Munitions, and the ongoing evisceration of the Constitution. The ongoing gorge that makes Willie Wonka look like an aesthetic is now in overdrive, leading to the exclusion of Ron Paul from a forum in which, if Republican values still existed, only he should be entitled to participate.

Ed Failor doubtless expects to be well compensated for the service performed. He probably hopes to get to be Karl Rove's assistant at the Bush Library at SMU.

However, many Republicans and others who never imagined they would ever be Republicans aren't having it. Perhaps the most astonishing component of the Ron Paul Revolution is the strong cross over of individuals who are inspired by Ron Paul and are determined to return the Republican Party to its previous vision and by so doing give America the means to change course.

In Iowa a group calling itself Ron Paul Republicans are beginning a registration drive intended to restore the heart and mind of the GOP. That is one thing Ed Failor has accomplished however unwittingly.

The interim Ron Paul Republican chairman for Iowa is Ben Olson, a life long Iowan farmer who has long admired the Congressman.

Change is in the air in Iowa; from there hope could spread across the heartland renewing us as a nation. It can happen because Americans remember how to do it themselves and this revolution will take control back to the roots of freedom.

Friday, June 08, 2007

What Ben Laden, Bush, GE and Tammy Faye Baker have in common

What do Osama Ben Laden, George Bush, the Board of Directors for GE, and Tammy Faye Baker have in common? The answer is not their choice of eye liner.

They all profited, or are still profiting, from genocide. Of the group the only one who objected to what was going on, and not for the reasons that would strike Americans as appropriate, was Osama Ben Laden.

The conflict in the Middle East is escalating as the tides of death rise throughout the region. This is the ugly reality that America has tolerated. It is an ongoing genocide that began in Palestine in 1948 and which has continued, an open secret to which Americans remain largely oblivious, as children are used for target practice by Israeli soldiers and peace workers are mangled.

There are more questions than anyone can answer in one interview, more questions than can be answered in a life time, most likely. But the broad strokes are here and those provide the mapping for the territory we will be exploring.

It has been claimed by many that Palestinians celebrated when they heard about the attacks on the Twin Towers. Not only was this untrue, it was an intentionally fabricated lie rolled out using film from an event years before almost immediately. Our anger stilled potential protests and the questions we should have then asked.

For the last more than 50 years America has poured money into Israel, more money than is received in foreign aid by all other countries combined. America pays for Israeli weapons that Israel then uses to kill Palestinians, using those Palestinian children for target practice.

Israeli's today live a prosperous life style; Their economy continues to prosper. Americans who subsidize them through taxes experience economic downturns from every direction.

Nothing about American foreign policy and Israel makes sense, least of all the eradication of a country to make way for the condos and clubs that are displacing the rightful owners of the land that in 1948 was Palestine.

But if you take into account the flow of funds through the fingers of the avaricious it all makes perfect sense. When you understand the who, what, why, and how they all profit the pieces come together like a jig saw puzzle. You need to know because every day your life is impacted by those lines of greed and their greed increases faster than we can produce money for them to steal.

You thought these issues were unrelated. You were mistaken. The world is fraught with congruence, most of it leading today to the pockets of around 28,000 individuals.

Evangelical Christians have cooperated in this annihilation of human life and with the stripping of property from families that lived and worked on the land for hundreds of years in many cases. They do so because their eyes are firmly fixed on Heaven, where some portion of them believe that they will see Jesus Christ descending at any moment. Most of the faithful really believe that. Those who collect their offerings every Sunday mostly do not.

Where did these people come from? Who is responsible for their odd set of beliefs? The answers are horrifying, but interesting.

The several factions of theologically based post and pre millennialists have managed to make their followers believe in a revisionist Bible; they claim to have discovered their solemn absurdities at a time when the world is headed in the direction of piercing the veil of ignorance that has both frightened and intrigued humanity for uncounted generations. It is as if a subset of the most intellectually challenged of the American culture decided that if the unvarnished truth meant they would lose their power then they would simply cancel science and all other provable truth.

At the same time Americans and the rest of the world was moving towards an enlightened sense of spiritual connection these folks were looking for the reverse gear.

Ideas most Americans had rejected, for instance the idea the world was flat, that we did not actually land on the Moon, among others, didn't even make them blink. Given how their minds work tossing ideas like the separation of church and state in the dust bin was easy.

Economically and socially their beliefs were marginalizing them, making them unable to compete in the larger world. There is a logic to ideas when they are allowed to make their outcomes seen in life. Most of them were and are white men who regretted the final installation of civil rights for Blacks in the South; they are determined not to let women escape their grasp. They harken wistfully to a time when sitting around theorizing did not bring them face to face with the need for objective proof. They were looking for a way out. Their exit came with dollar signs from Big Oil using the only medium available to them, theology.

This low end trailer park trash, who spent their time scrunching up their faces to redefine words translated any number of times from languages having a culture of which they were entirely ignorant, were capable of any self-serving delusion. Those who funded them from those corporations simply nodded and wrote the checks. They understood what they were buying, having also purchased Palestine for hysterical Zionists as the perfect medium for injecting themselves into the Middle East, in close proximity to all that lovely oil.

They needed desperately to control the political direction of America.

Politics entered the equation with Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, Jack Abramoff, and the cadre of other Young Republicans who decided in the 70s that the way to hold on to control of a GOP, that was then moving towards responsible social and environmental policy, was to change the party's demographics.

They looked around and found some likely candidates in the marginalized Yellow Dog Democrats who inhabited low end Southern Churches, the same people who seriously listened to the theologizers who sat around redesigning reality to suit their fantasies.

Money can accomplish a lot when you are inherently deceitful and have no discernible ethical or moral qualms.

Suddenly big infusions of cash and an abrupt shift in party allegiance had accomplished what most people thought impossible. The source of the money was major corporations who were getting what they paid for. The intermediaries were their new NeoCon employees. We can be sure they were well compensated.

And so time and social progress reversed itself through the lead provided by Rovian, Reedian, and Robertsonian acolytes of fantasy land and the retreat to a bizarre Antebellum South began.

Now you see it.

These same people today own their own jets, multiple residences, and hob nob with Presidents – who they put into office. They indulge their own fantasies as we watch a genocide play out in Palestine and the price of war in the Middle East rises in a wave of Corporate orgasmic excess that the world will never forget.

At home the pumping sound of American blood provides a counter point that marks the flow of funds.

The bottom line of human action is always either sex, power, or money. The three are really interchangeable for most of those involved.

The TheoCons provide the political matrix through which that 180 degree turn away reality took place. They did it with a mythology that worked on the uneducated and credulous, which too polite liberals treated kindly because they pitied those who were so obviously, they thought, retarded.

We will begin unwinding the story and naming the players Friday, at 4pm Pacific Time on the Spiritual Politician on with Col. David Antoon and Tammy Watts, who between them have spent decades studying the issues.