Friday, November 29, 2013

Reflections on Thanksgiving/Black Friday Madness

Black Friday has overtaken Thanksgiving, which has become Black Friday Eve.

This is an exceedingly sad development.

Locally, a television news station reported that prospective buyers were staking claims in front of retail stores twenty-four hours before opening Thursday evening at 8 PM. This is nothing new in itself, the 24-hour stakeout for first buying privileges. What is new, that this occurred the night before Thanksgiving Day. Hard-core prospective buyers camped out rather than celebrate a day of giving thanks.

What, if anything did these people give thanks for, other than another opportunity to beat their neighbors out of first grabs at goods?

This is a positive sign of capitalism?

Think abut this. Thousands of people stood in long lines overnight, a full day ahead of scheduled store openings throughout Thanksgiving Day. And some believe this is a positive indicator of the success of capitalism!

When I was a boy Thanksgiving meant giving thanks to God for our blessings. We were poor by the standards of our parish and neighborhood, and the private school we attended. We gave thanks for the food on our table, that our parents lived together and not separately. We said prayers of thanks for our health, and for our freedoms, and especially that we did not live under communism. We expressed our gratitude for those in our lives, and that we were among the privileged of this world. We were grateful for our opportunity to learn and attend parochial school, to learn about our world, and to dispel ignorance. We expressed gratitude for our friendships, if not person-to-person then privately in prayer. We gave thanks and we meant it. Thanksgiving Day was a day of sacred gratitude.

For us, there was no Black Friday shopping. It seemed absurd, and out of the question. Bargains would still be available the next day, on Saturday with far less rush, hustle and bustle. Friday after Thanksgiving was a day to be spent reflecting on the previous day’s feasts and parish community football games. The chances were our father returned to work that day, and our mother was emptying closets of stored Christmas decorations. That was our family tradition, and we all took part. It was a warm, blessed day in which to relax and enjoy our freedoms, and all that we had been grateful for in our lives. At the end of the day we enjoyed a simple family meal, and usually that transformed into a ceremony of decorating a Christmas tree together, until the last bulb was hung, an angel rested atop the tree, and finally the lights would be lit.

Obviously there are a great many of us that have much to be thankful for, especially those whose circumstances are such that they can choose to wait twenty-four hours in lines, in cold weather, just to spend money frivolously. As much as they have, it is not enough. Getting more takes precedence over being grateful for what is at hand, and what has been consumed since the previous year.

And I contrast this with those who spend Thanksgiving Day in service to others … without compensation that registers in the hearts or minds of the greedy. This is to say, volunteers who prepare and serve meals to strangers, whether homeless or well to do, in fact receive heartfelt compensation immeasurable in material perspectives.  There are no metrics to measure their reciprocity.

I’m convinced, those who choose to serve others understand the sacredness of gratitude; those who cannot give thanks debase humanity. An example: a flash of numbers on a network television screen indicates that, over the past seven years, four people have been killed and sixty-seven injured during Black Friday Madness. Is there a better way to debase humanity than by fighting to one’s death over a toy? And this week, another five deaths were added to that list, with more than eighty injured:

During the past two weeks there had been numerous articles expressing “outrage,” perhaps feigned and exceedingly disingenuous, posted on AlterNet regarding retail giants to be open during Thanksgiving Day. The retailers that opted to open, it now seems proven, merely anticipated how Americans really feel about Thanksgiving, and giving thanks: “It’s Black Friday Eve to avid buyers.” So why not give those people what they want?  

AlterNet exists primarily to promote atheism, thus in essence it holds nothing sacred. Condemnation and ad-hominem attacks are its forte. To criticize retail employers for scheduling employees to work on Thanksgiving has been contradictory of AlterNet’s historic themes, holding that sacredness is a sham. Especially taking a day to give thanks to a God they say does not exist. I believe that it’s been media like AlterNet that has helped to create this displacement of Thanksgiving by Black Friday. In promoting atheism, writing posted on AlterNet reinforces the self-centeredness that is displayed during Black Friday Madness. Selfishness is at its core, and AlterNet writers applaud and encourage that self-centeredness, that me-first attitude, and that delusion that we owe no gratitude to anyone or any Being but ourselves.

The moral foundation that would preclude Black Friday Madness is scoffed at by AlterNet writers, and undoubtedly its readers as well. Blame it on retailers for not preventing the Madness, chaos and potential violence in their stores? AlterNet does. Yet at the same time they condemn religious leaders and churches for teaching moral standards that condemn the greed expressed voraciously by the mobs.

AlterNet itself is a paradigm of competitiveness, yet it subtly and insidiously condemns competitiveness. It publishes vicious and quite false, although sometimes quite clever, attacks on upon those who strive to raise moral standards in this society. It celebrates and promotes Progressivism in fierce competition with religion, religious beliefs and practices, prayer, pro-life advocacy, corporations, religious freedom, conservative politicians and political views, and the rights of others such as Boy Scouts to follow or adhere to traditions and moral principles that have guided them for more than one hundred years. AlterNet’s pretense is to be above criticism while being prolific in personal attacks upon those with differing views, such as Sarah Palin. Yet it’s “facts” are often quite shady, and its assertions are often blatantly false.

This is how and why Thanksgiving Day evolved to become Black Friday Eve. When people are led to believe in nothing, and that values that they once held sacred mean nothing, it is an easy transition to become just another greedy fool willing to beat someone to the ground over a plastic box destined to be obsolete in a mere few weeks.

And to see w what fools bargain hunters actually are, look here.  

To echo words from Oprah Winfrey, Eckhardt Tolle and many other false prophets of the New Age as espoused on AlterNet, “When you finally awaken and hold nothing and no one sacred … you are free to become your own god.”

And that’s the essence of the problem behind Black Friday Madness.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Regeneration and Cannabis

There are few experiences worse in life than hearing the words, “You have cancer.”

Fortunately, I have not had that experience.

Yet a day does not pass, so it seems, before I learn of yet another of us indirectly connected to my circles who has been given these words to contemplate. 

From the American Cancer Society [apparently existing for the perpetuation and spread of cancer in America]

“About 1,660,290 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2013, and in 2013 about 580,350 Americans are projected to die of cancer, almost 1,600 people a day. Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.“

For most of us, the word “chemo” leaps into our consciousness as soon as we learn that an acquaintance has been diagnosed with cancer. If we know the person, images of them come to mind. Then we imagine how they will look during and towards the end of chemo treatments. Much of their hair will be gone. They are thinner, not having been able to hold food within long enough to digest. They’ve aged noticeably.  The radiation within takes its toll on healthy cells along with the cancerous ones. 

From the World Health Organization: 

"Cancer treatment requires a careful selection of one or more intervention, such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. The goal is to cure the disease or considerably prolong life while improving the patient's quality of life. Cancer diagnosis and treatment is complemented by psychological support."

Seven out of ten will die from this treatment.

And all this is unnecessary. Wasting away this way in an expensive waste, because there are numerous natural cures for cancer, including cannabis. 

By saying this I’m not offering medical advice to anyone, and in no way am I “practicing medicine. Just reflection on the facts revealed in this video:

Then again, there is Rick Simpson, who claims to have seen fifty people “cured” or healed by using the famous cannabis oil sharing his name.

As I see it, Rick Simpson is not “practicing medicine” either. Rather, he is guiding people to make a life saving substance using natural plant material.

The process by which cannabis derivatives crush cancer cells is well known in medical science. It has been known for nearly four decades in medical and governmental circles. At any time since it was first known how and why these cannabis derivatives “suffocate” cancer cells, responsible people in the know had the option to speak out, or speak to the mainstream media. There is no record of anyone doing so, as far as I know. [Excluding the few who have advocated for limited use of “medical marijuana since the 1990s.] Rather than stepping forward with these truths, an untold number of fellow citizens chose to remain silent as millions of human beings were made to suffer and allowed to die.

Since 1950 the overall rates for lung and bronchus cancer deaths has risen by 217.9%. However, for those under the age of 45 these rates have decreased significantly. Coincidently, a higher percentage of persons this age admit to consuming cannabis compared with those aged 45 and over. For this latter group, each decade of life from 45 on to those over 85 increases dramatically. Percentages increase as follows: 29.5; 71.9; 281.7; 541.9; and 680.2 percent. Another way to look at this: the older the group, the less likely a higher percentage have consumed cannabis for a significant period, either simultaneously of independently with tobacco and alcohol consumption. Younger “stoner” generations are less likely to get cancer. Science explains why.

And these percentages translate into hard numbers. This year of 2013, approximately 7.6 million people are expected to die from cancer. Globally for all age groups, this is down a mere 12.1 percent for all age groups since 1950. Accumulatively, we find that more than 250 million people have died from cancer during this period, with an increasing annual death rate since cannabis was found to treat cancer effectively. The war against cannabis has been a government war against people, resulting in millions of avoidable deaths.

Anyone with half a brain should see that something is seriously wrong with this fact, that cannabis derivatives have been demonstrably known to destroy cancer yet 250-plus millions of humans were allowed to suffer and die as they have, and as many still do.

Consider, if you will, that cancer is only one of numerous known ailments treatable with cannabis derivatives. And, cannabis is only one of numerous effective treatments based on natural products proven to relieve suffering, including cancer cures.

Within our bodies, every day, regeneration takes place. New cells replace old, worn-out cells. This is how we live. Without regeneration we all die rather quickly.

For decades, activists have been “crying in the wilderness” for government agencies to “repent” of their crimes against humanity that have taken the form of cannabis prohibition. I applaud all of these fighters for the cause of human freedom. Some, like the late Jack Herer, have been outspoken on the need for regeneration of a global economy based on cannabis, or hemp. 

"Rag paper, containing hemp fiber, is the highest quality and longest lasting paper ever made. It can be torn when wet, but returns to its full strength when dry." Jack Herer.

Cannabis freedom is obviously a life and death issue. The longer it is postponed, the more people will die needlessly, and so many more will inevitably suffer for its prohibition.

Cancer is, on our bodies, a state wherein the natural process of regeneration of cells is prohibited. In our society, the prohibition of plants such as cannabis, and cannabis specifically, is a cancer within the natural economy of humankind.

Our global society is in dire need of regeneration, and cannabis freedom is an essential nutrient. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Regeneration in preparation for a Christian Holocaust

About two years ago during a conversation with one brother, I was astonished, momentarily, by what he said. I shouldn't have been surprised considering everything else I'd recently learned from the man.

He said, if not exactly in these words then very near them, "Within a short time, the next five years at the most, the Catholic Church will be history. And that will be a very good thing for humanity." He was, as I'd also been, a "cradle Catholic." One of our late aunts had been a teaching nun until her retirement. Obviously, this brother had missed the point of his education in Catholic schools a long time ago.

My brother prides himself in being a progressive. Hence I should not have been surprised by his arrogance or its related hatred of the Catholic Church. While many readers might well consider me "brainwashed" for disagreeing with "progressives" regarding a necessity to abolish the Catholic Church and Christianity in general, I find that position ludicrous.

Faith, for everyone who has it, is deeply personal. In fact, it's a personal power in the sense that Carlos Castaneda wrote about personal power. 

My brother's statements, though, are best understood in the larger context in which we are placed.

Faith, and all other forms of personal power, are under attack by political powers that be, as well as economic powers wielded by corporations, both for-profit and not-for-profit.

The present context is very much like that of Germany during the period 1928 through 1945 regarding attitudes towards Jews and Judaism.  Although the National Socialists, or Nazis, did not take official political power until 1933, they had real power within Germany from 1928 forward. The blame game they played cost thousands of lives before 1933. Many targets and victims were not Jews at all; any influential person who voiced outspoken disagreement with the Party, its agenda or philosophy would meet a violent death. This included Catholic priests and nuns, Lutheran ministers, other Christian leaders, mayors, police chiefs, military officers, local politicians, leaders within political parties, and just about any influential person who spoke out. A very small percentage of victims were communists or Jews; most were ordinary Germans.

Opposition was systematically culled. Thousands of unsolved murders muted voices and created a docile population. This set the stage for a coming Jewish Holocaust within the midst of a Second World War.

Although I don't agree with much of the official story regarding the Holocaust, or its official numbers, it is indisputable that an atmosphere existed targeting one group of people identified primarily by its religious beliefs, the Jews of Europe.

The same thing is happening today in this world. John Allen argues in his new book that  persecution of Christians is as virulent and widespread ever. 

Living Dangerously: Christian Persecution Around the World

Also noteworthy, that there will be No toy drive in South Carolina this year ... due to Christianity being the basis of Christmas.

Interference in the practice of Christianity in any form, and a concerted effort to eradicate any influence of Christian tenets on the behavior of individuals, especially children, is rampant in America and other developed zones of the world.

Another warning appears in England, coming from a government minister, Lady Warsi, Minster of Faith. "There are parts of the world today where to be a Christian is to put your life in danger. From continent to continent, Christians are facing discrimination, ostracism, torture, even murder, simply for the faith they follow." Baroness Warsi wrote for The Telegraph.


Now we have the docile population of the United States passively accepting religious suppression without an audible murmur. It goes further than suppression when numerous individuals are prosecuted for "offending someone" within a military base for merely expressing a personal belief that happens to be based on religious teaching. Like a Christmas toy for a homeless child, it need only be a derivative of Christianity to invite persecution or suppression.

This is not the same country that my father and grandfather, and genetic predecessors going back to the American Revolutionary War, were fighting for in numerous wars to defend "freedom,"  including religious freedom.

Just as it happened in Germany during the years 1928 through 1945, there will continue to be an acceleration of religious persecution as its tolerance becomes more widespread. Poverty and the fear of  economic loss were driving forces in the rise of National Socialism in Germany. The same fears, the same descending economic conditions, are present in America, Europe, and other developed countries today. Yet today, there are estimated to be about two billion {2,000,000,000} Christians in this world compared to an estimated fifteen million Jews in Europe in 1930. The number of targets and the vehemence of persecution set a stage for unprecedented violence and inevitable bloodshed to come. We are but a few shorts steps away from total acceptance of the persecution of all Christians, a tragic development that my brother, raised in the Church, would likely welcome.

True Christianity teaches tolerance if nothing else: "love your enemy as you love yourself." Why is this deemed to be a threatening and intolerable belief?

The answer is found in other trends sweeping this globe, all under the banner of "Progressive adjustments to this modern world." Expounding on these trends must be reserved for future posts.

For now, it seems clear that we must re-energize and reconfirm basic tenets of decency for the benefit of all humanity, no matter what source those tenets of decency spring from, no matter whose writings, or which religions, if any. We need those seeds of civility and decency replanted in order to regenerate tolerance of all, and freedom of all to express and live their religious beliefs.

No engineer would deprive a house-builder a strong foundation for the structure. No person should deprive, or seek to deprive, another  person from building a stronger foundation for their life. For some, religious beliefs provide that foundation.

The persecution of Christianity is here in force. It will continue; it will become increasingly tolerated by docile masses living in economic fear if for no other reason. The persecution of Christians and Christianity will gain momentum in the future, and follow a similar path to that of the Judaic Holocaust of Europe in the Twentieth Century. Throughout the coming decades, this necessitates a continual regeneration of core values, and regeneration of the personal power provided by faith.



Friday, November 15, 2013

Regeneration and regressiveness

Since Obama began his occupation of the White House economic discontent has spread around the globe. A look at European Union unemployment statistics tells part of the story:

Unemployment statistics for the European Union

But wait a minute. Allow me to regress, as my mind is sucked backward to younger days, reading something from Marx. No, not Groucho, but Karl. What did k. Marx write about discontent of poor masses? Call them to revolt, did he?

It won't happen. At least, not the way Karl wanted it to. Or ... was it the people he worked for, writing on consignment? At the time, and for the duration of Marx's century, the oppressive collective rode in wooden carriages drawn by horses. They were highly accessible to those discontented yet mostly docile masses. Then the czar and his family were deposed and slain by New York-financed revolutionists. Since then only armed thugs connected with one government insider group or another has been able to pull off a coup.

John F. Kennedy's death fifty years ago is no exception.

We live in weird times since the rise of Obama simultaneous with unprecedented misery and growing impoverishment of middle classes. This is to say, I find it weird, or paradoxical, that this Prince of Progressive causes presides over crushing mandates that promise to, well ... end poverty by doubling it.

Affordable health care? By increasing rates for everyone, and by forcing millions of Americans to pay for something they could nary afford before, there is nothing affordable about his program. Governments could not afford the same coverage before these mandates, and governments cannot afford it now. And like every government program, it actually does the opposite of what it claims or aspires to do.

A Defense Department starts indefensible wars.

The Federal Trade Commission kills free trade. The Commerce Department suppresses free commerce.

The Treasury Department presides over escalating debt, and an empty treasury vault.

Karl Marx was among the original Progressives. A century ago, his followers called themselves Progressives, or Modernists. The Prince of Progressives occupies the White House today, when not on another exceedingly expensive vacation.

The Prince of Progressives lives more opulently, by far, than the czars family in 1917. He claims to lead opposition to the "One Percent." He claims to represent the Poor and Downtrodden Masses, the Uninsured, the Unemployed, the Underemployed, and those who want freedom from religion rather than freedom to practice religion. In all but the last he is disingenuous. 

To borrow from Karl Marx, "Government is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. Government is the opium of the people."

Yes, you can bet your ass it's been government, not religion.

"The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of government."

At least, government as we know it. [Although we don't know our government, really, for all its kept secrets.]

The Poor and Downtrodden Masses, the Uninsured, the Unemployed, the Underemployed, and those who seek freedom to practice their respective religions without oppression from government and atheists have no serious leadership. But they do have faux leadership, from false profits.

This is a global phenomenon, not merely an American one.

Seven billion human beings have been programmed to seek answers from the source of their opium ... government. It's like asking your drug dealer to put you in rehab.

Every day, more than 25,000 children die of starvation, lack of clean water and related diseases. Today will be no exception. Yet "Progressives" have deemed "gay marriage rights" more important than those starving, dying children. Recent achievements in courts and elections are celebrated as "Progressive victories." As usual, Progressives celebrate more government rather than less. More opiates, less moral conscience.

For society to develop a moral conscience would be regressive. And I'm all for that. Because it's the only way to work our way out of the global crises we face.

The message is worth repeating: we face a dire need for regeneration of values, ideas, and a respect for life. The only way this will happen is by regressing to a point in human history during which a unifying moral conscience prevailed ... at least for sufficient numbers of people so that wars were abhorred and not welcomed, starving children were cared for, and no one was sued for declining to provide flowers or cake, or take photographs at a wedding.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Dire Need for Regeneration

Forget those stock market statistics that tell tall tales of record highs. That hasn't really happened yet, considering hard-core inflation since 2008. When the markets had reached new heights in that year, I paid $3.59 for my favorite high-protein bread. When I go to a store now the same loaf retails for $4.79, or sometimes more. A friend tells me that he used to spend $80 every other week at Winco and walk out with four bags of groceries. Now he spends the same amount and leaves with three bags. Add these same increases in prices, between twenty-five and thirty-three percent, (25-33%) to the stock index and find that the market would have to reach a minimum of 17,600 to match inflation, and more likely that number would be 19,000 before a new record is set.

And so what if the market does soar?

What matters more, far more, are people at the base line. In earlier posts I wrote of setting a new paradigm to measure economic health of any society. Essentially, if anyone is involuntarily homeless within fifty miles of a city center or village hub, that community is not economically successful. If anyone, especially children, go hungry during the day or go to bed hungry, that community is not economically successful. If anyone within fifty miles of the city or village center suffers an illness that is not treated because of lack of money, that community is not economically successful. And it matters not how many millionaires or billionaires hang around to artificially and deceptively boost average net worth or income statistics.

Ten billionaires in a zip code with one homeless student negate the status of that community under this more compassionate paradigm.

So ... I'm a radical. I care about people.

Don't call me a Progressive, or progressive. Instead, I'm intentionally regressive, or a Regressive.

Because I care about people.

This is an example, from a news source I like to read:

Participation in labor force hits 35 year low 

This means that our active or involved workforce has regressed to a level last known thirty-five years ago, before large numbers of women opted to drop "housewife" as their occupation and seek work outside the home.

One reason that fewer adults are remaining in the work force, in general numbers, is reflected in a comparable and noteworthy article: 357000 fewer women held jobs October - Female participation rate hits new low

People smarter than me have figured out that it doesn't pay to go to work in jobs that cost a bunch of money to keep, in transportation to and fro, and wardrobes, and meals away from home. The net gain for many low-paying jobs is hardly worth the time and stress factors. Especially when those jobs are limited to part-time hours, and employers demand seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day schedule availability of every worker. Call those "associates" 24/7 Comrades.

It's those Twenty-four Seven Comrades who are expected to report to work this coming Thanksgiving Day, or lose the privilege of working for a company run by executives who will be taking four or five days off for the holiday weekend, and paid seventy-five (and more) times what the Comrades receive.

There is, within these statistics and factors, a dire need for a new paradigm in which no child in school has to be homeless or hungry.

There is a dire need for regeneration of ideas completely separate from government and corporate intrusion.

There is a dire need for human ingenuity to be unleashed on this body of circumstances so that economic society can be regenerated, and made healthy.

The power to bring about this essential regeneration lies within those who are in the forty-two percent (42%) of adults not currently included in the active/interested workforce. Even those who are retired and elderly have something to contribute. While it is true that a percentage of those 42% are incapable of making positive contributions, many more are. Add to these a good many of the fifty-two percent of workers limited to part-time hours (only 47% of all working adults are working full-time) and we find an abundant resource of solution-bearing human ingenuity.

And here's the kicker: to unleash this power is regressive, but it's exactly what we all need. We need to regress to an earlier age wherein people were allowed the freedom to create solutions to challenging circumstances without asking permission of government or corporate manipulators.

Call me radically regressive.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

ReGeneration Essentials

We live in a period of rapid and great change.

The past few years have proven to be unsettling for so many of us human beings. Lifestyles and lifelines have been disrupted and severed. While many people applaud these changes, others of us recognize that change does not necessarily bring improvement to personal or general quality of life.

Explosive growth in numbers of unemployed in Europe and America, along with significant increases in numbers of people dependent upon food banks and supplemental nutrition programs remain strong indicators of unwelcome changes. Millions who were not poor half a dozen years ago have joined the billions who have known poverty since birth.
A look at the growing poor phenomenon tells this story: Look at elusive definitions here

Recently published financial reports indicate that corporations are setting new profit records, as usual. The number of billionaires increases each year. These are, perhaps, meaningless statistics because the real value of the United States Dollar/Federal Reserve Note has decreased steadily with inflation. More important than anyone’s net worth in Federal Reserve Notes is the fact that the number of young lives lost each day to starvation, bad water and related diseases remains consistently close to 30,000 per day.

War munitions and machinery contribute an increasing proportion of corporate profits, leading to stock price surges, as civilian deaths from the same technology steadily increase. Death is an exceedingly profitable business. 

The human spirit is remarkably resilient. Our minds are capable of ingenious solutions to individual and collective problems. Freedom to apply innovative solutions is essential to human resilience and survival.

Freedom and creativity combined in individuals will provide seeds of regeneration for humanity, even as current destructive forces sweep across our landscapes, whether material and spiritual or social and economic.

The future of all life itself begins with regeneration.