All this talk of ancient religions from the deserts of the east."Are we not Hyperboreans?"* I do not accept the concept of "Original Sin" so I have no need to be forgiven of anything, thanks anyway. What kind of debased self loathing could lead to the worship of a Deity that hates it's own worshippers? The Gods created man so that they would become strong and be an asset to them. So that they could look upon their creation and be proud. It seems to me wise to choose to give favour to Deities that reflect our strengths and values. Conversely it seems self destructive to honor the weak,the sickly, the pacifist, and all else that is loathsome to a proud and healthy Society. Behold what this hath wrought!!!
At the time of the Winter Solstice, when light begins to regain strength over the encroaching darkness, The Sacred Yule Tree is removed from its carton, in which it was macickally transported from the Land of the Chinese Emperors. His legion of skilled(yet strangely tiny) elves have crafted a wondrous tree everlasting, which is assembled in 3 parts and is lit with more lights than there be stars in the sky. Its needles neither dry nor turn brown. Truly it represents the tree of life Yggdrasil, and the multi hued lights are as the Rainbow Bridge, which is called Bifrost and leads to Aesgard. There dwells Odin,The All Father, Chooser of the Slain, Meadbringer, Master of Cargos, Lord of Vallhalla, The One-Eyed, The Master of the Runes. All men and women, the Thralls, The Jarls, and the Princes were created by Odin and his two brothers Villi and Ve, the sons of Bor.
Then the sacred offerings are placed upon the wondrous and everlasting tree. Treasures hoarded from a lifetime rich in luck and labor. At the top Rides Brunhilde, Odins daughter, crafted in the Edwardian fashion to resemble an angel of some eastern mythology. Below The fire -ringed one stands Lord Vader of the Empire, who cautions all who pass by that"You are not a Jedi yet!" From another Quadrant flies a small miniature ark of white, marked with the mysterious runes NCC- 1701. So ingeniously crafted is this contrivance , that when a hidden button is pushed, the voice of the sacred St.Nimoy reminds us all to" live long and prosper". By the roots of this wondrous tree, like the Harts that gnaw upon the roots of World Tree lurks a hidden vessel of Romulan design. There is a wondrous Crystal Stag encased in a hollow globe of ice that never melts. There are sleds and tree spirits and the wonderful golden apples that the goddess feeds to all who shall live forever.
On the opposite wall, facing the most splendid of trees, is a most amazing likeness of the Martyred St. Stonewall of Chancellorsville, And on his left the likeness of Uncle Robert The Beloved. An old .44 cap and ball musket guards the southern wall, and a lamp always burns in the window to show that All-Fathers law of Hospitality reigns in this hall throughout the season. Thus it is in the Mountain Fastness of the Land of Romney. My wish to all this holiday season is that the gifts of the Gods do not too soon slip away from us. That strength,courage,wisdom and cunning wax greater and wane less. That our swords remain sharp and our minds clear. That we may slay our enemies and increase our friends. Also-Free Ammo and Beer for everybody!!!
*Nietzsche-"The Antichrist" 1-1
December 23, 2006
December 22, 2006
Listen, oh children. Gather round the fire and I will tell you a tale in this festive, joyous season as we celebrate the origins of one World Religion by enacting traditions stolen from scores of older religions.
But let's back up a bit.
Around 5000 years or so ago, a bunch of fairly unsophisticated nomads wandered into the land of Egypt, which was marginally more civilized (although they did still worry about death an awful lot). They stayed and worked for a while, then left, taking what they could of the Egyptian culture ... which wasn't all that much. Of the thousands of "commandments" in the Book of the Dead, they redacted the mess down to a handy, fits-on-your-camel, Ten Commandments, and set about developing their very own religion, to explain why life was so crappy ... basically, they decided while sitting around dung-fed fires in the cold, God hates us. Why does God hate us, they asked themselves? Well ... we hate people who do bad things to us, so God must hate us because we do bad things to HIM ....And so, a religion that was to change the world was born. And that religion, cooked up by simpleton nomads, had children of its very own over time.
The older brother religion (ever the more precocious, as older brothers usually are), came about because one of the followers of that old old religion started to wonder if maybe God doesn't hate us because we do things to Him, but instead, God hates us because we do things to each other! What a concept. It really caught on among those who were pretty fed up with their angry god, whom they (in a fit of originality) called "God".
But this follower, original thinker that he was (also an older brother, as it turns out) was a pretty ordinary cuss, all in all. He died young, and left only a handful of followers. But they were real clever. See, some of them had travelled a bit, and they had heard some of the tales told about the deities of other religions. So to puff up their dead carpenter/philosopher, they made his momma a virgin, miraculously (ahem) recalled tales of his wondrous feats of intellectual and magical prowess from an early age, and started trying to remember just WTF he had been on about all those years. And so Christianity was born, like its central figure, an immaculate conception, made not born (despite the Nicene Creed), with more heads than a hydra.
Centuries passed, and as the fledgling religion drew adherents among the weak and downtrodden (of whom there were quite a few - downtreading being a Roman speciality at the time). And as the hordes of followers of this religion proliferated, the leaders of its internal organization continued their clever tricks. See, some of them had travelled a bit, and they heard tale told about the deities of other religions. So to make their milque-toast credo more palatable to the folks they were trying to "bring into the fold", they continued their tradition of accreting the local tales onto their God.
Your religion involves a big tree and winter fire festival? Hey, we gots a winter fire festival and a tree, too! Your God rides a sleigh drawn by reindeer? What a coincidence! But in Our religion, he's just a spirit, sorry. Maybe if you'd put up more of a struggle, we'd give him more chops and given him a Realm (like we did for Hern and Pan). But since you just rolled over, spiritually, we'll just fold in some stuff, okay?
But back to our tale.
Eventually, the parent religion started showing signs of dementia - it wouldn't talk to anyone new, it shut itself up in isolation, it even started getting mean and snapping at anyone who tried to understand it. Eventually, it moved to a warm climate (very near its younger child, for convenience, you know?) and started dressing funny. It did nothing worthwhile, anymore, but carried a big stick with which to whack its neighbors.
While the older offspring (who by this point was pretty well-off with literally thousands of accreted deities working for it, mostly in sweatshops and subsidiary "saints days" and such) the younger offspring was not doing too badly, either. Following in the parent's footsteps, little brother kind of pared down the overly complicated mythology of its elders, but copied big brother, too, by focusing on the downtrodden and weak. Of course, being somewhat simple, the younger child was far less flexible about incorporating the local deities. But despite being a tad intolerant and belligerent, it was doing okay, and grew and grew and grew.
Those brothers have never gotten along too well. Today, they still whack at each other - usually over divvying up stuff that belongs to neither of them (naturally). Seems they are always trying to brain each other with the jawbone of an ass, a scimitar, a musket, a tank, a Boeing, a .50 cal, an IED, a SAW, an autonomous killbot, a genetically modified plague, a nano-disassembler (oh, wait, those last few are for next war).
But at this time of the year, it behooves us to recall that we are all the philosophical descendants of dung-fire nomads puzzling out the mysteries of the universe with all the intellectual and educational equipment that a lifetime of deprivation and wandering the sand can give.
Makes ya proud, don't it?
Merry Christmas, y'all.
December 20, 2006
December 19, 2006
May I offer a few words from the voice of experience?
In the fair nation of Chile I was offered a position pimping for the local brothel. I accepted. The house needed someone who could speak a variety of languages and I needed my motorcycle sprung from the clutches of the Chilean authorities. The list of characters includes the following: Everett (Peace Corp volunteer), one madame, one German captain and his engineer, thirty-five Filipino sailors, enough whores to keep the sailors happy, two Caribinari (Pinochet's guys), six cops, three bartenders, ten taxi drivers, one customs official, a crane operator, and yours truly.
The plot I hatched was Byzantine in its complexity. I'm not proud of what I did, but Machiavelli would understand. I arranged things. That's what pimps do. I'll give you the bottom line. The sailors got laid and the whores got paid. Everett bedded the madame; they were hot for one another. I knew that Everett had a groin full of clap, but tough luck; I needed the bitch out of the way. She ran the town. I wasn't going to spring my bike without her say-so. Customs got a cut as did the crane operator. The cops got free drinks and free nookie after the sailors were done. The cabbies got double duty, to and from the ship at exorbitant rates. The Caribinari got nailed by their wives courtesy of madame who was sick and tired of paying their bribes. The captain and I got drunk while his engineer found the woman of his dreams (at least for a night). The bartenders picked up the residue, spare change and lost wallets. Hoo-ha! Time to leave.
I got my bike back in the Port of Baltimore. I broke it out of the crate, and she fired right up when I hit the kick start. It didn't last. A few weeks later I was T-boned at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue at the Calvert Street Bridge. I reckon my gods were watching out for me. I landed on my feet. Not a scratch. The Chilean madame must have had it in for me and made contract with her own gods. A bit of social disease will make a woman all sorts of ornery. Not sure what happened to Everett. Last I heard, his wife was on her way to join him in Chile. Good luck.
You see, I don't recommend sleeze as a way of life. Lay down with dogs and get flees. In the case of Iraq, you get desert flees. I have no sympathy for fools who get caught. I got out when I could. Words to the wise.
I urge you to read the New York Times article referenced above before proceeding further - it will give you a frame of reference.
While this is hardly a unique story, it is worthy of a quick read, but just in case you are the sort who ended up dancing around his desk in third grade before reading the "Ignore all directions above" line at the end of the worksheet, I will summarize the story thusly:
A US citizen (a native of the windy city) was in Eye-rack as a contractor for a security company. After a while, he got a "bad feeling" about his employers and contacted the FBI and other security types to report his bosses. Sure enough, the company was dealing arms to any and sundry bad guys. So they turn the case over to the Army "intelligence" boys, who perform a sudden snatch-n-grab on the company. This raid worked real well. The Army put the Qorner Gun Shoppe out of business, and arrested many-several badguys. Unfortunately, they also arrested our hero - the contractor-turned-FBI informant.
For the next ninety days, there followed a truly Kafka-esque drama, with the informant being tortured, isolated, and occasionally questioned as he repeatedly and honestly insisted on his role in the incident. He even (I kid you not) told his interrogators how to confirm his version of events - though evidently that was not a high priority for them. During his questioning, he was (allegedly) not allowed to see most of the "evidence" the interrogators were supposedly attempting to verify. Even after his story (that it was HE who fingered the gun-sale operation) was confirmed, he was still held in conditions that would get the county lock-up shut down by the feds and then released with ominous warnings that there would be trouble if he blabbed about his experiences.
Consider the irony, if you will, of this poor schmuck's fate. Consider that all of it resulted from his attempt to help the US effort by revealing corruption and crime. Consider the perfidy of his interrogators. Consider that, though quickly acknowledged as a citizen, his rights to habeas corpus, to legal representation, to humane conditions, were completely ignored. Consider that this is long AFTER the cock-up (pardon) at Abu Ghraib. Consider that during most of his ordeal, frantic inquiries as to his whereabouts and condition were being sent by his friends and family and elected representatives, and stonily ignored by the military.
I suppose the most infuriating aspect of this story is that none of it needed to happen. A phone call from the dim-bulbs running Kamp Kwestion to the FBI would have sufficed. A check of the informant's cell, his laptop or even (gasp) his paperwork, would have confirmed his version of events. And the Army - acting ever like five-year-olds with cookie crumbs on their shirts - KNEW they screwed the pooch here and AGAIN tried to cover it up, even to giving rather obvious consideration to "disappearing" their victim.
We won't even touch on the question of why a firm using US citizen-employees was selling guns to insurgents in Eye-rack under the noses and other facial features of our own "watchdogs" - that's a question for another day - but the Catch-22 experiences recounted here are truly rage-worthy.
Lemme hear an "Ooo-rah!"
December 07, 2006
Greetings once again Y'all. Got a few more letters from Jesse at Holiday Island. There is a very interesting IMHO link to an article by Hugh Hewitt at the bottom of this post. It has alot to do with careers for young men under 25. It looks like the 21st Century is going to be just as calm and peaceful as the last one. I have been giving the young lads I know the same advice.
I am sure you are all familiar with the Marine Corps doctrine that states that all soldiers shall be first trained as rifleman. One good man with a rifle may persuade many a miscreant to the path of rightousness. I'm sure you are all at least somewhat familiar with "The Creed" taught to all potential Marines. Here is the completet text as Jesse sent it to me from Camp.
The creed of a United States Marine
By: Major General W.H. Rupertus, U.S.M.C.
"This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...
My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...
My rifle is human, even as I because it is my life. Thus I will learn it as a brother. I will learn it's weaknesses, it's strengths, it's parts, it's accessories, it's sights, and it's barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...
Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy but peace!
He also writes that he is soon to train on the A4, The m249 S.A.W. and a rocket launcher. Can't wait. He gets 10 days leave on Jan 5th. He wants to come up on the mountain. I cannot imagine that the ice or snow shall stop him.
Best wishes all-Muninn
December 01, 2006
From the Associated Press:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The pastor at Anchorage First Free Methodist Church was mystified. Why was the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals chastising him? No animals are harmed in the church's holiday nativity display. In fact, animals aren't used at all.
People, however, do dress the parts — Mary, Joseph, the wise men, etc. The volunteers stand shivering at a manger on the church lawn in a silent tribute to Christmas.
The Rev. Jason Armstrong was confused by an e-mail this week from PETA, which admonished him for subjecting animals "to cruel treatment and danger," by forcing them into roles in the church's annual manger scene.
"We've never had live animals, so I just figured this was some spam thing," Armstrong said. "It's rough enough on us people standing out there in the cold. So we're definitely not using animals."
Seems the confusion started with the church's choice of phrase. PETA flagged Free Methodist's display as a "living nativity," and indeed, that's how the church describes it on its Web site.
To PETA, that means animals.
"Those animals are subject to all sorts of terrible fates in some cases," Jackie Vergerio, PETA's captive animals in entertainment specialist, said. "Animals have been stolen and slaughtered, they've been raped, they've escaped from the nativity scenes and have been struck by cars and killed. Just really unfathomable things have happened to them."
In the letter to Armstrong, Vergerio shared some sad fates of previous nativity animals — like Brighty the donkey, snatched from a nativity scene in Virginia and beaten by three young men. Ernie the camel fled a creche in Maryland but was struck and killed by a car. Two sheep and a donkey had to be euthanized after a dog mauling at a manger scene in Virginia. "
Well, we can remember back in the day, when PETA got its start, protesting the pig races at the Montgomery County Fair in 1981. Back then, they were just a pack of laughable bowbs who somehow confused the event with something that actually mattered.
At the time, a quartet of unhappy and unhealthy-looking folks with homemade plaquards stood outside the fairgrounds, shouting that forcing Porky Pig to amble 25 feet for his dinner twice a night was "cruel".
Eventually, of course, the fair organizers and the huckster maintaining the six "racing pigs" saw the light, and slaughtered the beasts forthwith.
Mmmmmm. Bacon! (insert gargling sound)
I share this news item and reminiscence, not to try to convince any reader that PETA people are insane (that is self-evident), but rather to point out an interesting historical process that we may observe in the "Rise of PETA". From the most humble of beginnings - trying unsuccessfully to convince a bunch of country-folk that "pigs are people, too" - the organization has grown to national, even international, fame, with professional staff, technical capabilities that rival the CIA and NSA, celebrity spokespersons, and a budget in the millions.
You just have to be impressed, don't you?
They are not unique in their success, however. There is recent precedent ... L.Ron's bunch, the Scientologists, has shown similar success taking a loonie idea (have you monitored yourself lately?) and by carefully following the cult manual Hubbard crafted back in the day, rising to national, even international prominence. They, too, have professional staff, technical capabilities that rival the CIA and NSA, celebrity spokespersons, and a budget in the millions.
Not bad for a self-help program developed by an alcoholic writer of second-rate (to be charitable) science fiction. Again, you just have to be impressed by their success.
Naturally, like any cultish, secretive group, both PETA and Scientology have made some pretty collossal blunders over the years. As above, PETA occasionally hares off after a tormented wild goose or abused red herring, while Scientology has been known to kidnap, brainwash, torment and emotionally mesmerize poor harmless, though ultimately embarassing, celebrities.
But you can't dominate the planet without breaking a few egg-substitutes. You can't prepare the population for ascention without using a few couch-jumping mummers along the way, can you?
To address my initial subject: which the better cult - PETA or Scientology? - I think I would have to say that, while the "Stranger in a Strange Land" wannabes of Scientology continue to remain a fascinating study in navel staring self-deception, I have to go with PETA, which wraps its lunacy in a robe of animal-product-free, faux leopard-print compassion and humanitarianism ...
See, while Scientology, I deem, will ultimately fade like most fads among the LaLaLanders, PETA will, like grannies who donate their fortunes to their cats, probably always be with us. PETA's got legs.
Well, leg-shaped meat-free tofu products, anyway.