Archive for August, 2011

I guess I haven’t been clear.

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

I was criticized the other day for being religiously closed-minded; for rejecting any ideas about God except my own. It hurts when that happens. Let me say this about that: I believe in God in a Big Way. I believe we were all created, by something utterly incomprehensible to me. I believe we all seek for truth the way we choose. Seeking, I believe we find it. What we find – whatever it is – I believe is real.

I love Jesus because I looked for him and I found him; because my relationship to him has become how I live. I only tell you what I believe. I don’t ask you to believe it. I don’t condemn you if you don’t. I believe we were all created and we all have life.  I am not a good Christian.

There are self-proclaimed ‘Christians’ who publicly condemn and despise their neighbors. They have their own understandings of Jesus Christ. They looked for what they’ve chosen to believe, and they found it. Pity. If someone hurt you while chanting “I love Jesus,” I am sorry – more for them, perhaps, than for you.

About operating systems and autonomy…

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Reflecting on Mr. Jobs makes me sad, the way I was saddened when Mr. Reagan got Alzheimer’s . These were guys who did everything they could to stupefy and control us. But they were sincere. They thought of us as mere creatures to be tamed and manipulated. But they believed it was for our own good. No one deserves to suffer. No matter who they are.

Remember the abused proverb, ‘give a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and feed him for life.’ Apple Computer is all about giving you a fish, and lining you up to pay in advance for tomorrow’s. The company has spent billions of dollars preventing you from knowing how your computer works, so now there are many, many people who are proud they don’t.

The machine in front of you is far more powerful than you think. You very likely know nothing about it. You’re paying a lot for that. More than you know.

Try the only way.

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

You’re told your 401k is your best retirement guarantee. A paper account controlled by speculators acting outside the law, your 401k is as good as the stock market. So Democrats remain devoted to big banks, begging them to keep the stock market up. Republicans, who say out loud they’re for a wealthy elite and a declining middle class, want a government that does nothing except pay back bond holders. But if China attacked, every Republican in Congress would stand up tomorrow and vote for a ten trillion dollar deficit increase. Threaten that tiny elite and, of course, they’ll be happy to hire the little people to help them out.

As the middle class declines, and your desperation increases, corporations turn up the noise about the economy. They play it like a religion: too complicated for you to understand, but in absolute control of your life. It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s a perfectly comfortable, affluent elite class which enjoys you doing without, and does everything in its power to make sure you do. There’s no ‘right,’ ‘left,’ or ‘objective’ press. There’s just one loud corporate voice yelling they can’t understand it, but your life’s going to have to get worse.

Keep cheering on your favorite promoter, and you will lose. If you work for a living, Republicans are sneering at you, and Democrats are sacrificing you for their wealthy friends. No-one on television is offering alternatives that work, because rescuing the middle class will cause a few rich folks to get by on a bit less.

There are alternatives. Good ones. Start talking about asset taxes on the rich, legislated maximum pay ratios in public corporations, and massive government reinvestment in building the country. Start thinking hard about nationalizing international banks. Realize you’re not going to ‘beat the system’ on your own. You’ve got to rebuild America together. You’ve got to promote small capitalism, responsible taxation, and the rule of law. There are people on your side, at last, talking about getting out on the street. It’s the only way. You might as well call it the ‘Only Way.’ Make it a movement. Be an ‘Only Way’ supporter. Support an ‘Only Way’ candidate. Start marching.

Sitting by, helpless

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The country is not threatened by suffering people. The country is threatened by comfortable people afraid of suffering. I cannot understand why I have been so blessed. I didn’t obey the commandments. I didn’t follow the Word. I haven’t been much good to my neighbors. I want to help. But I can’t.

I remember decades ago, reading a book about a society mostly turned into zombies, raging around every night slaughtering whatever real people survived. The non-zombie hero hid out after dark. During the day, he searched for sleeping zombies and pounded a stake into their hearts. At the end he was defeated – not by raging zombies, but by zombies recovering their indestructible peopleness; people, again, whose enduring humanity had triumphed over their zombie influences. He had been murdering his own kind.

Despite our pretended differences, we’re all in the same frenzy. Republicans, born with hearts that don’t care, see pictures of starving Somali children and hope they’re already dead. Republicans dream of solving the planet’s problems by exterminating most of the people on it. But Democrats believe the same lie, that you’ve got to make more money for the rich to help the poor. All the lemmings rush to the sea together.

Remember, for the day you begin to recover: human nature is not competitive. The economy does not have to grow for the nation to prosper. Rich wanting to become richer is bad.

I visited a family that watched a television so I sat with them for a while. It was a popular twenty-four hour propaganda channel with a ‘news’ format. Attractive people vigorously, loudly, preached nonsense to footage of current events, peppered with warnings about the future. Odd, I thought, how we’ve made it so easy for corporations to use the Constitution against the country. But it’s the right thing to do. We can’t grow beyond a panic without listening to it. Fear is not the way. We will emerge from this, after a lot of death and suffering, still human despite our zombiness.

Begin at the start.

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

I’ve been hoping if I just vote for some good people, things will start going right with the world. Well, I think good people are important – but who is?

Jesus says, ‘I am not good, only my father is good,’ or something like that. I think he’s the guy, too, who says you can’t serve two masters. Today, men and women stand before throngs and claim to promote God in government. There is no sort of God – who is God – who can be promoted. There is no sort of God – who is God – who can be offended. When people say, ‘God wants or doesn’t want,’ they diminish their faith to insignificance. When leaders stand and claim to promote God’s will, they shame themselves. But the throngs cheer louder.

There is joy in faith in the Lord; joy in believing God is not ours, but we his. It begins with loving everyone; with seeing no enemies, nowhere. It’s a miracle in its performance, and it doesn’t appear on a stage.

Agitate, rally, and vote if you will. But first, go home and forgive somebody.

Stop worrying about it.

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Today we received reports of a cure for cancer and the stock market took off. But it won’t help the country.

There are lots of suffering people in the United States, but the cruel fact is: most people aren’t. The country is too fat. The biggest problem facing the poor is obesity.

This is real tragedy. The Greek kind. We inherited an obscene national prosperity, and set about ripping each other to shreds while we squander it as quickly as possible. There are colloquialisms for people who behave this way with a windfall. You look them up.

Topical drift

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Some old folks don’t know they’re dying. Some younger ones aren’t even trying. I’m still busy proselytizing. I see my story’s getting old.

Jesus is right, of course. What proceeds from our hearts – recommends or condemns us. There is an eternal hell, but nobody stays there forever. There are big stories blaring from the loudspeakers: rich men pretending to shove each other around. But I’m just a little guy, keeping my head down. I’m sure something new will turn up soon.

I got a letter from an old friend. I put off my sword and buckler, and lay back in the meadow’s new grass under the morning sun, listening to the brook. And I was happy.