Archive for history

The Art of History Making

Posted in Atheist, culture, history, humanity, life, politics, random, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by chouck017894

History, it has been wisely observed, is what has been bestowed upon us by the victors of some ideology.  Broadly speaking, that which is so generously and glowingly offered does not prove the victors were necessarily smarter, stronger or blessed by god, but too often serves to disguise their devotion to deceit and savagery as some example of their righteousness.

The history of humanity is largely about the repeated crises caused by power-lust and opposition to it, with the victor always claiming—or at least inferring—rule attained by divine favoritism.  That might be said true only to the degree that the human species is the most cunning and vicious species of the animal kingdom.  History books and scriptural works seem to confirm that such a means of determining fitness to rule is approved by Heaven.

Among the mountainous piles of histories few lines about the silent (victimized) majority ever get included.  (Which is why this author, not a historian in the accepted toe-the-line academic sense, searched out the information that became Time Frames and Taboo Data.)  The victors then strut across the supply lines of the real producers of a unified social life while pretending elitism as they clutch the throats of journalists, chroniclers and compilers of archives, and thereby extort wealth from the real producers in society to build monuments to themselves.

 Trying to hear some objecting sounds from the voiceless majority by any chronicler seeking honesty is a practice in self-inflicted frustration.  The result, too often, is the slow draining away of one’s faith in Truth.  History is then accepted more as an instrument of exclusion, exaggeration and pretense.  Accuracy in presenting the victor’s rise to power then gets assessed with indifference, and thus the academic books contain many errors and contrived “reporting.”  And time tends to dilute the lies, which aids and abets the deceivers, allowing them to escape the responsibility for proving the legitimacy of their claims. 

This art of making history is seen in accelerated form in today’s high-tech world of television, internet and cell phones.  Tyrants still claim divine right or blessing to tyrannize the masses, still churn out in-your-face lies, and still destroy as much genuine justice and rights of individuality as possible.  Examples:  Iran and its so-called Supreme Leader and theocratic constitution; Afghanistan and its Taliban twist on the Quran and opium trade; Mexico and its Catholicism and murderous drug tsars; the United States and its delusional religionists and the demented tea-baggers; etc., etc.

There is another unfortunate thing about any history book: that is the fact that no language can represent the reality as experienced by all persons.  That catch-22 should not cause us to give up the pursuit of truth, however, for it is in that pursuit that man’s diverse societies open themselves to broader acceptance and tolerance—the keys to enlightenment. 

So we must face the reality that only the actors change, the script repeated in only slightly modified form, and little, if anything, of spiritual value ever seriously touched upon.

Pre 9/11 War Plans

Posted in Atheist, culture, Government, history, humanity, life, politics, random, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by chouck017894

In these days, in the US, as men with real conscience are trying to clean up the war mess left by the previous administration, the nation is faced with having to consider some unsavory implications about a group of schemers that brainstormed plans on how to mismanage government. 

In 1998, when Bill Clinton was President, a group calling themselves the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) sent the President a communiqué signed by forty persons urging a comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam Hussein and his Iraq regime.  The PNAC was founded as an alleged non-profit educational organization by so-called “conservatives” William Kristol and Robert Kagan.  The position expressed by the group was that the United States was the only superpower left and the only wise thing to do was to use the nation’s overwhelming military might to “take control of the Middle East and its oil.” 

At least ten of the forty who signed that Project for a New American Century advice letter would later take up administrative positions when G. W. Bush attained the Presidency under some strangely clouded circumstances and unprecedented Supreme Court meddling.  Signatures on the open-letter to Clinton had included: 1) Richard Cheney, 2) Scooter Libby (who became V.P. Cheney’s assistant). 3) Donald Rumsfeld (who became Secretary of Defense), 4) Paul Wolfowitz (who was made Deputy Defense Secretary), 5) Richard Perle (who became Pentagon policy adviser), 6) Elliott Abrams (numersous hats within the National Security Council,) 7) Eliot A. Cohen (member of Defense Policy Advisory Board), 8) Richard Armitage (four years as Deputy Secretary of State), 9) Peter W. Rodham (six years as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security), 10) Robert B. Zoellick (US Trade Representative, Deputy Secretary of Stated, and now the 11th President of the World Bank).  We should not forget there were many others in the loop such as John Bolton and GW’s brother, Jeb.

Well, the catastrophic happening that the PNAC had considered as probably necessary for flexing military might conveniently came to pass  after a minimally discrete amount of time under the newly installed born-again president.  The entire world remembers the date of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, and remember as well the peculiar collapse, story by story, of the towers.  With that, of course, the nation had to take up arms and bring down the villains—who were declared to be in Afghanistan.  The best way to accomplish the capture of the terrorists, it was counseled, was to cut through Iraq and “free” the people.  It had a cockeyed biblical ring to it.  With that advice the neo-cons set about to propagandize and  idealize for the US citizens the concept of war on terrorism—and in doing so failed to assess the shortcomings of their assumed world-control strategy.

The biggest enthusiasts for the war on terrorists happened to by what Tam Dalyell, British Labor politician and member of the House of Commons from 1962 to 2005, referred to as chicken hawks—most of them men like Dick Cheney who were draft-dodgers in the Vietnamn war, but who were/are obsessed with the idea of war and world control. 

By the close of 2006 the glory days of the PNAC faded into nothingness, but its passing left behind the stench of terrorism, the Iraqi War and Afghanistan instability as legacy.  And it should have taught a lesson:  that the most important thing to remember about “conservatives” is that the serve in the word refers to helping themselves, and what everyone else should guard against is the con part.

Burden of Proof

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, history, humanity, politics, random, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by chouck017894

In a court of law, at least in the United States, there is declared an obligation to prove affirmatively a disputed claim relating to an issue that is being contended in court. Because it is always the plaintiff (claimant) that brings the action, it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to persuade the court of the merits (truth) of his case. The plaintiff must therefore establish his case beyond a reasonable doubt.

In a civil case, however, the claimant is allowed what is called “a fair preponderance of the evidence” to establish the truth of his claim. In other words, reasonable doubt can be muddied and manipulated by legal theatrics.

How do these rules of “justice” stand up when questions regarding religion are presented? Unfortunately, history shows repeatedly that in cases debating issues of “belief” the scales of rational justice too often suffer considerable abuse.

In a theocracy, for example, where some religous faction holds iron-fist control of the state, “justice” is balanced against a defendant’s acceptance of the in-power’s religion. In such a religion-dominated governing setup, if one is charged with even a misdemeanor and does not subscribe to the prescribed manmade dogma, the defendant has virtually no chance of receiving genuine justice. When a faith system—any faith system—exerts muscle over the balance of national inquiry, neither spiritual nor human welfare is being served: only those in the seat of power benefit.

So it was considerably alarming in the United States when, in the opening days of the 21st century, the citizens of the U.S. found religious fundamentalists actively seeking to destroy the whole foundation of democratic principles in hopes of imposing their narrow concepts of a “Bible-based” nation. Through their clamor and forgery of the nation’s true history they thus placed themselves in the role of plaintiffs in the court of popular evaluation. Unfortunately for them, the claim of “revealed” wisdom and guidance made by these would-be controllers is not a premise that can be advanced beyond reasonable doubt. Presenting the Bible as their authority is not persuasive either, even in a civil court, for there are countless translations and interpretationsof that book. Moreover, the original authors of those stories were convinced that Earth was the center of all Creation.

But there still remain reasons to worry about the religious fanatics seeking to chip away at the principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution and in the Bill of Rights. The heavy-handed manner of the Supreme Court in the 2000 election belied the noble principles of “goverment of the people, by the people, and for the people,” and by Supreme Court rule a man was set in the Oval Office who brazenly claimed to be chosen by God! Inspired by biblical tales no doubt, he and his cohorts quickly mired the nation neck-deep in an illegal war; those who were taken prisoner were held without charge and without access to legal counsel; torture was approved and indulged in; citizens’ rights to privacy were betrayed—and numerous other biblical niceties were extended. Meanwhile the rich quickly got richer as they sank even deeper into spiritual poverty.

Secularism and History

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, culture, freethought, history, humanism, nontheism, random, religion, secularism, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 19, 2009 by chouck017894

Human history has shown that secular thought—by which is meant the evolved life essence that seeks unity and mutual respect in human affairs—is not exactly a natural animal ambition. In this regard we might therefore conclude that secular dedication—or humanism—is spirit (if you will pardon the expression) that is evolved above the ego-gratification that activates religious posturing and which seems constantly seeking victims to put down.

For those of us who prefer to think for ourselves and subscribe to rational interactions with others, it must be admitted therefore that we are not exactly following animal inclinations. Secularism is something of a cultivated, cultured awareness of human inner potential that develops out of a calm intellect and wide-ranging compassion. This is a bit unlike religious practice that wears a benevolent mask to cover a face of emotional and spiritual insecurity. These are animal fears, which drive them to pretend exclusive access to, or favoritism from an alleged prejudiced “maker,” and from that sand fortress they seek to climb to heaven over the bodies of those not related to their pack.

The underlying drive in animal behavior is physical survival, whether loners or pack animals. Devotion, respect and love does not extend beyond their immediate needs or wants. Seen in this light, the practice of organized religions is anchored in and dedicated to the primal animal inclinations from which we should be striving to evolve above, for catering to such inclination cannot be said to be the means of approaching humankinds’ higher potential.

In a very real sense, secularism/humanism is an abiding understanding that higher human potential is not shackled to theistic pretentiousness. However, liberal humanism is a relatively recent development in human affairs—an unfolding–or the evolvement–of intellectual empathy that heralds humankinds’ ability to transform itself into a more noble status. The religionists’ idea of Heaven seems likely to be but a dim primitive perception of this process of evolution into higher potential. Unfortunately, they have yet to learn that ultimately the only means of approaching and receiving man’s higher potential is to meet the diverse faces of life with genuine respect, compassion and integrity.

Institutional Faith

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Christianity, history, religion with tags , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by chouck017894

In the timeframe in which Jesus is accounted for in the New Testament there was no word for an institutional-type place of worship. The closest approximation to that idea was the Greek word ekklesie, Latinized as ecclesia, meaning assembly or gathering–from which we give respect to the word ecclesiastical, now used to pertain to church or clerical things. From ekklesie there also evolved the Ecclesiastiucus, a book of the Apocrypha that is also known as “Wisdom of Jesus, the Son of Sirach.” And we should not forget the word ecclesiology was coined to mean the study of the Christian Church as an institution. Nor can we ignore the word eccelesiolatry which is a reference to worship of the church, especially extreme devotion to its principles or traditions.

The point of this is that nothing was ever suggested in NT presentation (or OT) that instructed the establishment of an institutional complex where faith could be utilized as a business venture to be presided over by a dogma-mesmerized and material-minded hierarchy. The Christian “fathers,” based in Rome and inspired by the Roman Empire manner of governing, contrived to choose church personnel in a manner that paralleled the “chosen people” of the Old Testament.

Christianity was then presented and marketed by the “founding fathers” as a new revelation of truth, and those men in supposed attendance of Jesus have been characterized as enlightened men and saints by generations of faithful. That the average Christian does not pay any attention to their claimed “holy word” is disclosed by passages in the NT that spoke of the disciples as “unlearned and ignorant men.” The faithful also refuse to note that the disciples brought before Jewish judges were judged to be idioti–idiots. And various cultures within the Roman Empire spoke of the early Christian movement as a “vulgar faith.” Celsus, the second century Platonic philosopher, spoke of the Christians as, “The rude and menial masses, who had hitherto been almost beneath the notice of Greek and Roman culture…”

Many, many men who influenced the early church did not have any particular respect for those whom they attracted. Jerome, for example, called a “saint,” spoke of the fierceness of the followers’ ardor which so frightened those who came to join that they fled in fear saying “…it is better to live among wild beasts than with such Christians.” And Julian (331-363), the Roman Emperor, renounced Christianity comparing them with “…the deadliest wild beasts (that) are hardly so savage against human beings as most Christians are against each other.” Julian also noted, “There is no wild beast like an angry theologian.”

The fanatical Christians, believing in literal mythology, went on to smother rationality, and Europe was plunged into centuries of darkness as the church institution, never dreamed of by Jesus, reigned supreme. Is it any wonder that Jesus chose not to return?

Science on Clay Feet

Posted in history, prehistory, science with tags , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by chouck017894

Unfortunately, science shares a number of nasty little habits that religion and politics have indulged in for millennia: the practice of suppressing or even disposing of evidence that runs contrary to the line of belief (theories) that they have put in place as being unquestionable fact. As in religion and politics, it is the fundamentalists of science that labor at obscuring truth to protect their financial and directional authority.

Making dogmatic pronouncements by persons held to be authorities in their field of interest betrays their loyalty to that discipline by doing so, for no line of science can remain a true research branch if it closes and locks a door of investigation. If the theorists truly hold a key to some truth then they should have no fear of questions or of further investigation. Equally deplorable are the scientists who refuse to look through–let alone step through–a door into something that is prejudged by them as too “outrageous” to even consider. More often than not such scientists–like the religionists and politicians–haven’t actually bothered to study the proposed investigation that they so freely criticize.

In the disciplines of archeology and anthropology, for example, it is held as fact that the anatomically modern human species could not have existed any longer ago than a few hundred thousand years. The theory has been that if such human beings existed million of years ago in parallel with primitive humanoids, then physical remains should have been found from sites known to be 300,000 to 400,000 years old, which could suggest the possibility of anatomically modern human’s being present before that time.  That theory of timeline for human development on this planet seems a bit too compressed, however.  But peer review literature acts as a knowledge filter which slowly and cautiously makes update corrections–a process that is constantly repeated. As example, in 1970 a new dating techinque revealed that tools found at a site in Ethiopia were at very minimum 176,000 years old–which set human presence on Earth back another 80,000 years.

A few little questions are raised in the opening of Time Frames and Taboo Data: A History of Mankind’s Misdirected Beliefs that anthropologists and archeologists shrug off. There have been found in 2.8
billion year-old rocks from South Africa hundreds of sphere-shaped metal objects, some slightly flattened on opposite ends and with three perfectly formed grooves encircling their center. There are two types of these objects. The more oval type is bluish-red with fiber-like flecks in the metal. The truly awesome thing about this type of sphere is that they were fashioned to be held in the hand and they have the ability to revolve on its own axis!

Okay, so that’s way too early for any intelligent exploration of planet Earth, right? Well then, what about a mere 200 million years ago? The Triassic Period? How could an imprint of a shoe sole–complete with tracing of stiches–exist in calcareous rock of that period? But it does: in Fisher Canyon in Pershing County, Nevada!

And what about a stele found at Quiriga in Guatemala that bears computations for its erection dated only 90 million year ago?

Are puzzles like these going to be scientifically pursued anytime soon? Don’t hold your breath.

“Father” of Christian Theology

Posted in Atheist, Bible with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by chouck017894

A thin veneer of eroticism covers not only a number of O.T. myths but also spread an ugly scar over the early Christian movement. Much of that is traceable to Augustine (born 354 CE), often referred to as “The Father of Christian Theology.” It was “saint” Augustine who, around 386, figured out a means of luring spiritual seekers into a sacred scam: his inspiration was to turn each seeker against themselves by making them feel guilty about being imbuded with sexual desires or being grateful for physical blessings.

The caliber of this “saint’s” divine inspiration is displayed in his statement that all humans are born between feces and urine. Instead of accepting this means of embodiment as part of “intelligent design,” Augustine seized upon this perceived godly goof to startle and stampede the gullible into chains of guilt.

In other words, Augustine used suggestive anti-life propaganda, such as in his Confessions and his major work The City of God, to achieve respect and power for himself. It was a cunning scheme of inventing problems and disharmony where they need not exist.

Before switching over to the young struggling Christian movement, Augustine had been a Manichaean auditore, one of two classes of Manichaean disciples. As noted in my book Time Frames and Taboo Data: A History of Mankind’s Misdirected Beliefs, the clergy of the Manichaean sect were organized similarly to the Christian ministry and the sect condemned marriage and sexual indulgence of any type. This undoubtedly contributed to Augustine’s saintly interpretations. From his Manichaean involvement Augustine construed the doctrins of “sin,” divine grace, and predestination. With additional input by “saint” Jerome (c.340-420), who also preferred the perverse titillation of guilt-fear and lamentation to thoughts of creation’s unity, “sin” became enshrined as the main theme in the Christian message to the world.

And Augustine, like the religious fanatics of today, expressed his devotion to the Lord and Savior with outbursts of hatred for all the Creator’s diverse expressions of life. For example, the Gnostics, the seekers and keepers of truth and wisdom in his time, Augustine chose to portray as enemies and waxed indignately, “The enemies thereof I hate vehemently; O that thou wouldst slay them with thy two-edged sword!” Obviously he paid no attention to the early teachings that were attributed to Jesus, such as love one another.

Augustine always inferred that God kept him posted on everything, even of the inhabited areas of planet Earth. Thus he said authoritatively, “It is impossible there should be inhabitants on the opposite side of earth, since no such race is recorded in Scriptures among the descendants of Adam.”

This “Father of Christian Theology” demonstrates the depth of pretention that is still the hallmark of Christian extremists. He would, for example, declare with fundamental certainty that “…all diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to demons; chiefly do they torment first-baptized Christians, yea, even the guileless new born infant.”

Such is the “saintly” wisdom that is being clung to by fundamentalists and claimed as revealed truth and holy word.