Sunday, September 27, 2015


Prince Metternich by Thomas Lawrence

Americans cling to their assumed naivete about the world outside our borders, while their government maintains a foreign policy in support of ruthless religiosity and inequality around the globe. American foreign policy is not wise or scientific. It is based on the same balance-of-power strategies of Metternich's 19th century Austrian Empire. And it simply fails nearly every time for everyone except American business interests.

I suggest reading this excellent article about a key figure in the formation of what is now ISIS. It is about an execution in Jordan. It reveals the dark side of our most praised ally in the Middle East. It also provides some insight into the disparity that exists between the lives of average citizens in America and in Muslim monarchies. 

The article:

The king demanded vengeance and ‘Zarqawi’s woman’ was sent to the gallows

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Acceptance is the foundation of all religions. That is acceptance of the status quo, which is founded on patriarchy, misogyny, homophobia, power, greed, war, etc.. Those who worship anthropomorphic gods are the most primitive. Those who rationalize the Universe into a neat package of intelligent design of some indeterminate single designer are not much more advanced in terms of their social progressiveness. 

Even the least idolatrous forms of organized Buddhism, a philosophy founded on individualism and discovery of the capacity of consciousness, lean toward acceptance of the patriarchal status quo, based in the cultures within which these forms of Buddhism have evolved. The iconic Zen Master, for example, is the patriarchal archetype. The novitiates are his children. 

Science, in its true form of skeptical inquiry, will always be anti-God for this reason, because science is based on a relentless challenging of the status quo. Progress relies on science for this very reason. Religion rejects science for this very reason. Therefore, progress and religion are basically incompatible.

Friday, September 25, 2015


My favorite radio interview program is Hardtalk on BBC. It is the antithesis of American TV or talk radio. It is intelligent, confrontational and topical. It hosts major figures from all over the world.

Today's Hardtalk can speak for itself. Hungary's Foreign Minister explains the Hunagrian experience with the current invasion of Europe by economic migrants and refugees.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Colby Melvin, self-proclaimed gay activist. 

I am annoyed by a Youtube thing...well, actually, I am annoyed by many things on Youtube, but this one is particularly annoying. 

There is a new carelessness with the term "activist" among gay men in all media. An activist is someone who engages in intentional actions to change the status quo, to right a wrong, to promote social justice, etc.. However, "activist" on Youtube and elsewhere, when applied by self-promoters to themselves, seems to mean "a pretty boy with bleached teeth and naturally muscular proportions who looks good in designer underwear". 

Activism, such as promoting human rights for gay men in ISIS-controlled territory, is hard work. It doesn't require a porn body, cool dancing or trendy tattoos. It does often require the determination to work many hours voluntarily (and often unrecognized) for an organization in one's free time after working a plain old day job as an out gay man. In other words, activism is service, not self-aggrandizing exhibitionism in front of a camera. 

For many years I avoided calling myself a "gay activist". Why? Because I was humbled by the relentless voluntary service many men of my generation gave to the worldwide community of homosexual men in the pre-HIV days of Gay Liberation (1969-1982). I worked under the leadership of some of these men. I also worked as a co-leader in my own profession's early LGBT association. Somehow the word "activist" was reserved in my mind for people like Edward Carpenter, Oscar Wilde, Harvey Milk, Henry Hay, Peter Tatchell. They are our gay male Martin Luther Kings.

But now I see pretty boys in designer underwear wagging their asses on Youtube describing themselves as "gay activists". I suppose, compared to them, I am a gay crusader of epic proportions, but the relativity of that comparison is as odious as any comparison of one generation to another. I am not about to become an activist against bimbos-posing-as-activists. I would just like young gay men to turn off their streaming videos long enough to consider what they can actually do to change the plight of those like themselves all over the world who are under the threat of exile, torture and death. Pretty boys in underwear are just not going to cut it.


The first instinct after trauma is to say, if conscious, "I think I'm OK." Pain and terror usually set in after the shock of the event wears off. 

Europe is in a state of shock after the trauma of invasion. This is evident from the outside, as I hear the conflicting and troubling reports on the current crisis. Just calling this invasion "migration" is a symptom which denies the reality of the situation.

The denial is gradually wearing off. "Head and heart." is the new slogan of some European politicians who have done the numbers for the cost of absorbing the invasion. This is the bargaining phase of adjusting to trauma. Trying to mentally minimalize the damage to avoid having to accept the inevitable results, which are life-transforming. 

There are cheery stories about Italians putting African migrants to work as chefs who devise fusion cuisine. But there are also less cheery stories about the sudden infusion of children and adolescents into the European sex trade, which is dominated by large organized crime syndicates. There are even stories which try to compare the internal migration of Europe in World War II to the current situation. This is indeed a stretch.

The arms dealers of the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China are all largely responsible for the current crisis. Yet a huge arms-dealing 'fair' was held in London this summer as the invasion occurred. This is hard evidence that corporate power is not invested in global peace or leadership which honors human dignity through progressive civilization. The arms dealers are not traumatized. They are celebrating. 

Unfortunately, many on the Left in The West have juxtaposed arms-dealing with invasion in a clumsy self-defeating paradigm: Weapons bad; refugees good. This is a stunningly myopic denial of the larger issues of dysfunctional religion, overpopulation and climate deterioration. Cramming human beings with Iron-Age belief systems and no respect for the environment into tighter spaces with those who are educated beyond superstition and committed to progress, even without weapons, is a recipe for conflict.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Since the EU has admitted hundreds of thousands of migrants without proper screening from countries which house Islamic terrorism, I propose that all international airports should immediately dismantle all security measures which impede the travel of the flying public. Why bother to search, interrogate and x-ray people who have paid money for a boarding pass with appropriate documentation? Why victimize them with scrutiny when the aggressive push past borders without regard for international law?

Few politicians in Europe have been brave enough to challenge the stupidity of yielding to aggressive mass migration. Yesterday on Russian Television (RT) I saw video of Syrian men throwing rocks at police in Croatia because the migrants were being prevented from forcing their entry onto trains. This morning I heard a BBC interviewer trying to shame a Hungarian member of the EU Parliament for stating the obvious: There will inevitably be violent consequences of allowing people from a religious war zone into Europe without proper vetting. 

So, why bother to monitor international airports? It seems a waste of time and money now that the doors of Europe are wide open to potential jihadists.

Friday, September 11, 2015


Viktor Orban, Hungarian PM, under fire for opposing aggressive migration.

Eastern European governments are being cast as the Scrooges of the invasive migrant crisis in the E.U. by corporate media. This is perhaps the most obvious evidence of the New Global Order demonizing those who protest against it. Eastern Europeans are former victims of more recent social engineering by the Soviets. They perhaps know better than Western Europeans where this form of domination, motivated by undemocratic goals, leads.

As I observed yesterday, the current E.U. reaction to aggressive movement of unexamined immigrants over its borders is not democratic. The E.U. reaction is based in idealized corporate capitalism. It is economic, not sociological. It does not take into consideration the disruption of stable populations by masses of people with post-traumatic syndromes. It does not take into consideration the destruction of indigenous cultures by hundreds of thousands of traumatized people from vastly different cultures, which have much less progressive value systems. 

Why would the elites of the E.U. neglect these considerations? Why would they force this cultural disruption on their citizens without democratic referendum? Why are they now crying out to the U.S. to help pay for and mollify their decisions, as they have often done? 

The migration crisis is a shadow play of the real global human crisis. Overpopulation of the poor and environmental deterioration of sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East have boiled over into the developed nations of the E.U.. The failure of progressives in the E.U. to face the cultural, political and economic chasms which lie between them and their neighbors in the name of politically correct hypocrisy has allowed the New Global Order of (heartless) corporate domination to foment crises through arms deals and profitable civil wars instead of frank cultural debate and constructive detente. The elites of the E.U. are dumping the disastrous results of their mismanagement on their populations, who have grown fat and complacent. I believe this is destined to reap a whirlwind of global social upheaval in the future. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Angry migrants demanding entry to E.U. in Hungary.

The American Religious Right staunchly decries social engineering whenever the issues of coordinated immigration, planned parenthood or gay rights come up. They demand the right to squelch sex education, squelch women's rights, deny residency to potentially valuable children of undocumented aliens and deny equal rights to homosexuals. Those reforms all represent social engineering, an evil according to their Libertarian mindset. 

I hear little comment from the Religious Right on the current influx of migrants into Europe. I don't hear Angela Merkel described as a social engineer on Fox News. I don't hear the E.U.'s sudden enthusiasm for hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa described by the American Right as social engineering. But what else can it be? Surrender? 

National borders have not been so massively overrun in Europe in the modern era. And certainly not by non-Europeans. In previous times, this would be seen as invasion. Now it is called migration, a suitably vague term, applied to the seasonal movements of herds of bovine creatures. 

Listening to Angela Merkel and other E.U. power brokers reveals the actual process: That is indeed social engineering. Of course, it is all wrapped up in Vatican-endorsed Christian charity, but the frequent references to the E.U.'s aging population in the context of capitalism tell a different story. Admitting these migrants is indeed corporate capitalist social engineering. 

I have no skin in this game, so I ethically reserve judgment on the consequences. However, I am not blind or stupid. Capitalism benefits those who have wealth at the expense of those who aspire to it and rarely achieve it. That is the con game. So who will benefit most from this social engineering theoretically? Well, if the capitalists get cheap labor and many more taxpayers, they will have managed to make a great deal of profit off the expense of the current taxpayers, since the wealthiest taxpayers pay the smallest proportion of taxes which go to accommodate and assimilate migrants. We have seen this work well for American business owners from farms to restaurants to construction companies. We have also seen the result in the deterioration of public education and quality of life in migrant epicenters, like Lawrence and Chelsea here in Massachusetts. 

So, is there any wonder why corporate capitalist media worldwide is pro-migration as it now stands in the E.U.? That aside, is there any wonder that the corporate global media, held in part by wealthy Saudi Arabians, would tout the advantages of hundreds of thousands of Islamic migrants into secular Europe at a time when The West is souring on petrochemical economies? And is there any wonder that the corporate media in the U.S. which bows to the likes of the Koch brothers, is going along for the ride? 

The simple reason why social engineering is feared based on history is that it has always been used by the wealthy or most vicious minority to subjugate the majority. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany are examples. But the French Revolution's Reign of Terror is another example. ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is another example. The Taliban in Afghanistan...another. While I suspect Angela Merkel and Pope Francis feel that their foray into social engineering is based on cheery goodness, it is not democratic. There has been no public referendum, just propaganda. And, in my understanding of history, the repercussions of this form of social engineering can be very grave. 

Monday, September 7, 2015


Bernie Sanders is leading Hilary Clinton in Democrat polls. Hell, Joe Biden, not exactly an impressive candidate, is also gauged as more popular than Hilary. Why? Why would the most likely woman candidate for presidency be so unpopular with those who identify as Democrats, a Center-Right political party? And why would she be less popular than an Independent with socialist ideals, Sanders?

The answer is pretty evident. The electorate is finally awakening to the Big Lie of corporate capitalist government which the Clintons represent as strongly as any Republican candidate. That Big Lie is an assertion that the U.S. is still a democratic republic. Beginning with Eisenhower and culminating with Reagan, corporate control of our government has solidified. The lobby system and unharnessed corporate political contributions, stamped with the approval of the Supreme Court, have encased our government in an invulnerable country club for the top 10-20% of the population.

The only downside to Sanders' popularity is its likely scattering of the voting public into ineffectual camps. This would be less hazardous in a parliamentary system with multi-party rule. While the appeal of the first female Present of the United States may yet propel Hilary into that chair, the likelihood of real social, political and economic progress in the U.S. is poor. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015


The confusion and political wrangling in Europe over migration stands in stark contrast to the faces of the migrants themselves. No intelligent human being could deny their suffering or needs. The shoreline of Libya is littered with washed-up corpses daily, due to the exploitation of traffickers. But migration is also being exploited by media with little intelligent commentary. The labor of the migrants may soon be exploited, once they find out that their European hosts will eventually require some form of payment for their initially sentimental generosity. 

Migration has slowed here in the U.S. with tougher border control. For example, U.S. Coast Guard, off the coast of Florida, has been vigilant. They announced that they have seized 30 tons of cocaine in their patrols. This means they have been doing their job and have most likely also been maintaining that coastal border against illegal migration. This has its domestic benefits. I speculate the decrease in migration in the U.S. and gains made in diminishing drug importation has allowed law enforcement to begin to look more scientifically at the massacre of American Black men in their own communities.

Being old does not automatically impart wisdom to a lazy brain. However, getting old with an open mind does. Bus loads of prosperous gray-hairs with purses and backpacks filled with pictures of their grandchildren wend their way around the planet constantly to the delight of the charter-tour industry. Yet the impact of all this wending and gawking on the state of humanity is minimal. Their cherished offspring are left with a planet diminished by those who brag about them.

Perhaps the person-to-person contact which is developing in Europe to deal with migrants will yield some results. Some Europeans are opening their homes to migrants. However, as reported this morning on BBC, some homeowners in Germany will profit handsomely. Officially stamped refugees will garner 400 Euros a month from the German government for monthly rent, even if that is rent is in a private home. Some in the German government are already doing the math and panicking. 400 Euros a month for 800,000 migrants would come to over $400,000,000,000 ($0.4 trillion) a month! Will Pope Francis being liquidating Vatican treasure to help pay for this? I doubt it. Will the Russian oligarchs and Arab oil magnates who are buoying the British economy contribute more to N.G.O.s or the EU? I doubt it. 

The consolation of being childless, old and non-religious is the knowledge that whatever develops from the mishandling of the problems of today will have limited repercussions on a life coming into its final days. I cannot imagine the internal suffering, conscious or subconscious, of those who are religious and responsible for multiple lives entering the inevitable epoch of planetary disaster to come. If they believe in an afterlife, it would seem that afterlife would entail horrible payment for what they have done or what they have failed to do. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015


I suppose the random reader of my essays might have difficulty imagining that I spent twenty-plus years delivering direct nursing care to patients in hospitals, homes and hospice. The same reader may also find it hard to comprehend that I have spent twenty years living with life-threatening disease, which has been both critical and chronic, given the year. That reader might have expected that I am more like Donald Trump than Mother Theresa. And that reader may be correct in some ways, but horribly wrong in others. 

Age, life experience, professional experience and ongoing education have made me who I am. And I try daily to be who I am, as honestly with myself as I try to be with others. This takes conscious effort in a world that prefers nicety and hypocrisy over truth, as evidenced in social media, like Twitter and Facebook. I had an exceptional pair of role models, my parents. 

My father, a painfully moralistic police officer, fought bipolar illness through exhaustive daily hyperactivity, but somehow managed to be a decent guy to most people under most circumstances. He was candid and kind in a practiced way, unless his moral sensibilities, more 19th than 20th century, were crossed. My mother, the daughter of an illiterate peasant mother from abroad, had to fight for survival from childhood. Yet she educated herself throughout her life and had a natural brilliance at perceiving and exposing hypocrisy or dishonesty. 

I carried these models into my work, first as a secondary-school teacher and then as a nurse. Despite being emotionally and psychologically rejected by my parents for being homosexual, I appreciated their contribution to my perception of the world. I was never a wide-eyed rube. I observed, learned, applied and learned more from my mistakes in the application of what I thought I knew. My formal education in science and humanities was also in use. I never submitted to conformist notions of what I could see for myself. 

Observing and trying to understand process was something I took to naturally. I could never understand how some people could wake up and drift through their lives without look at the process of their lives. This served me well in my ten years as a psychiatric nurse. My contribution to the lives of my patients in individual and group interactions was often simply pointing out my perception of the process of their experiences: Setting out from point A to point B to point C and the choices/repercussions/coincidences which shaped their current state at point D. This is powerful stuff for someone to take in when he/she feels like he/she is drowning in circumstances beyond control. 

Sentiment is a treacherous sea. Crisis is the reef upon which the sentimentalist crashes and often sinks. Understanding process is the life raft which can keep a person from drowning. 

When I listen to or read about world events in various media, I realize that the current state of journalism is very sentimental. I speculate this has to do with the resurgence of religion over the past decades here in the U.S. and abroad. I also speculate that journalists, being human, are no more prone than anyone else to look past their denial that the human species is in an ecological death spiral. And, in these capitalist times, sentimentalism sells. Crisis gets eyes on the page and screen. Solutions and the process of finding them are rather boring stuff to the masses with limited education in scientific process and even less patience. 

Studying process honestly as an individual or within a professional capacity when addressing social problems is a key to successful outcomes. The sad lack of it is obvious when looking at the current state of governments worldwide. Immersion in the sentimentality of crises pays off too well. It secures posts and allows for cash flows which can be siphoned into off-shore accounts. Neither G.O. nor N.G.O. executives are innocent of exploiting human pain and suffering for some form of personal gain. 

Crushing war and crime by global disarmament may never happen. Even the star ships in science fiction utopias carry vaporizing weapons. Ending overpopulation and environmental degradation through improved education and health care may never happen. Science fiction has humans rushing to find new planets to repeat the cycle which doesn't work here and now. Human beings may never evolve to being ruled by applied understanding over blind sentimentality. So many human beings still cling to ignorance and superstition like addicts. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Ayaan Hirsi Ali does not need me to defend her as an intelligent and worthy spokesperson for intellectual liberation and feminism in relation to Islam. But I do bristle when I see her dismissed out of hand by the "it's all good" crowd of  privileged Western academics. Yes, it's all good for them in their ivory towers, as it always has been and as, they assume, it always will be. 

There has been a concerted attempt by wealthy Muslim-American intellectuals, mostly men, to discredit Hirsi Ali through their Ivy League connections on campuses and in media. I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that they are also encouraged by their wealthy and overly influential Saudi classmates, since Hirsi Ali has correctly pointed her finger at the devil she amply knows, Saudi Arabia. 

Cassandra foresaw the fall of Troy in Greek mythology, but the Greeks say she was cursed by Apollo in their favor so that none would believe her. Perhaps some day jihadists will say that The West was deafened to the thoughts of Ayaan Hirsi Ali by Allah to insure their victory. Only time will tell. 

I offer this recent article in Foreign Affairs by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It is not casual reading. It is thoughtful writing on a wide view of foreign policy. I think any intelligent reader will come away with an image of its author as an intelligent, educated and mindful human being. She is wisely defusing the contrived Islamophobia bomb from within by talking about real issues which lie deep beneath the slogan wars of junk media. 

I like this passage:

The conventional wisdom today is that the Cold War was won on economics. But this is a misunderstanding of history. In fact, in the 1950s and again in the 1980s, the United States appealed to people living behind the Iron Curtain not only on the basis of Americans’ higher standards of living but also—and perhaps more importantly—on the basis of individual freedom and the rule of law. Soviet dissidents such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov, and Vaclav Havel did not condemn the Soviet system because its consumer goods were shoddy and in short supply. They condemned it because it was lawless, lying, and corrupt.
Today, there are many dissidents who challenge Islam with as much courage as the dissidents who spoke out against the Soviet Union. Just as critics of communism during the Cold War came from a variety of backgrounds and disagreed on many issues, so do modern critics of unreformed Islam. Qabbanji, for example, has expressed strong criticism of U.S. and Israeli foreign policy, whereas other reformers, such as Ansari, are more pro-American. But such differences are less important than what the reformers have in common. They are all challenging an orthodoxy that contains within it the seeds of an escalating jihad. Yet the West either ignores them or dismisses them as unrepresentative.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Migrants grouped at Turkish-Syrian border.

A Syrian teacher, a refugee in Europe, was quoted as saying, "You have to help us. We're human." 

This is certainly an idealistic statement, voiced in desperation. I understand desperation. I have experienced it. Yes, it is possible to experience desperation in The West. However, though truly desperate, I realized that I was responsible for my own salvation. This realization in subsequent life choices/events has served me quite well. I was able to come to this realization through pursuing education and through rejecting much of what I had been bullied into believing as a child. 

Yesterday I posted my thoughts about religion and the current migration crisis in Europe. I am sure it has, and will, rankle those prone to religion and hollow sympathy. That hollow sympathy is best represented by the armchair humanitarians who would indignantly instruct average citizens of Europe to absorb the culture shock and expense of hundreds of thousands of traumatized migrants. 

The demanding Syrian teacher represents the victims of patriarchy/religion/politics who have invested their faith in things they had been taught as children, until their lives have become unbearable. These people have played their part in a written script for their lives. They have schemed for survival and bowed to authority when it suited them. They have had children and done conventional work. They feel they have done everything right and are being unfairly persecuted. I get it, but I do not accept their perception of the greater reality. I do not see them all as hapless victims. 

The failure or inability to gain a realistic view of the world through skeptical education has its consequences. A quick look at the Muslim world will illustrate what I mean. And those consequences are not the responsibility of the rest of the world to assuage. In fact, previous attempts by developed nations to assuage ignorance, violence and poverty where they had held back civilization are now popularly condemned as imperialism and colonialism. 

The supporters of the Muslim religion cannot ethically demand or rationally expect salvation from their own internal ideology and its consequences. Just as we in the Judeo-Christian world cannot be saved from our own indoctrination without doing considerable work on ourselves. The movement from Judeo-Christian fundamentalism and sectarianism has yielded the less violent and improved standard of life which economic migrants to the U.S. and Europe seek.  That is the movement from faith to skepticism. From religious belief (submission) to scientific challenge (discovery). 

Here in my own neighborhood this week I have seen wealthy Muslims, happy Muslim men and grumpy Muslim women in full concealment. I have seen haughty Muslim fathers amusing themselves without care with their sons while their women and daughters slog along behind with suitcases or packages. These Muslims are most likely far from being migrants. They are most likely members of the elites in their societies. They do not look concerned about the Middle East. Like the wealthy in all societies, they feel immune from suffering. And they too are human. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


The mounting migration crisis in Eastern Europe is fascinating to the press, who offer countless heart-rending anecdotes about women with children they had without any idea of how they were going to care for them and scoff at governmental leaders who are attempting to humanely protect their own boundaries and cultures. The promotion of a masochistic Christianity in the face of aggressive invasion by some is simply nuts. Here in the U.S., by the way, poverty among our own citizens is on the rise. Perhaps this is an eventual sacrifice Europeans wish to make in the name of corporate-globalist largess. Perhaps not. Only time will tell. 

The spearhead of the migration invasion of Europe is Muslim and Syrian. This may account for much of the concern of many rational citizens in invaded societies. However, Europe has worked itself into a corner by adopting the Islamaophobia myth which states than anyone who fears beheading and Sharia assassination for being gay (or female or sexually active outside of marriage or resistant to female genital mutilation) is a neurotic and unenlightened bigot.

Well, call me a bigot. At least I can hear you because I haven't been thrown off a building by ISIS or hanged by an Iranian mob or thrown into prison by an Egyptian court or knifed by a Muslim family member for being a gay man, and so on, and so on. 

The word "asylum" seems appropriate when discussing determinedly religious migrants from war-torn Islamic societies. Those who persist in their belief that the ideology which has subjugated them and alienated one sect from another to the point of destroying their home countries perhaps belong in an asylum. Those who are fleeing to The West and have had it with religion altogether may be tremendous contributors to world progress. They don't need an asylum. They need help and resettlement now. It seems to me this could easily be done with a simple means test: "Do you believe in The Prophet and an omnipotent Allah?" A similar means test could also be applied to other 'faiths'. 

This brings me to my point. I believe all gay men from Muslim countries deserve to be considered refugees from oppression. They should be granted immediate permanent visas by all Western countries which have decriminalized homosexuality. After all, didn't the U.S. grant immediate visas to Cubans, regardless of their circumstances, for simply coming into the U.S., based on that island's Communist regime? Being forced to live in a Communist system which is attempting to provide equal education, housing and employment for all seems like a walk in the park compared to the day-to-day lives of gay men in just about any Muslim country. 

So, how about it, Western democracies? Let the gay men in. Let the women who reject patriarchy in. Let the godless in. It is really for your own good. In fact, it may be one good way to prevent your democracies from degenerating into hyper-religious, conflict-ridden madhouses.