Musings for Monday

W.J. Astore

A quick Google search reveals that, “According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it would cost $20 billion to end homelessness in the United States.” That’s roughly the cost of a few dozen ICBM interceptor missiles (estimated cost: $18 billion) that are unlikely to work and which may encourage potential adversaries to build more nuclear missiles to overcome them (assuming they do work, but hitting a bullet with a bullet is truly a long shot). Another cost comparison: ending homelessness in America could be done for the cost of roughly 150 F-35 jet fighters. Another: ending homelessness in America could be done for less than half the yearly cost of America’s Afghan War. Yet we’d rather build interceptors, fighter jets, and continue wars than house the homeless.

I’m seeing predictions by America’s generals that Afghan national forces will likely collapse if U.S. combat troops are withdrawn by 9/11. Yet the U.S. military has been training those same Afghan forces for nearly twenty years, all the while making “progress” according to those same generals. What gives? If after two decades Afghan forces don’t have the wherewithal to defend themselves despite untold billions in U.S. assistance and aid, isn’t it logical to assume they will never have the wherewithal?

Of course, it’s an effective strategy for U.S. generals to warn of an impending collapse after Biden’s troop withdrawal. For when it comes, they can say “we told you so” and shift the blame for the loss to Biden and the politicians. Sorry, folks, Afghanistan was never ours to win to begin with. It wasn’t even ours to lose, because we never “had” it. Never mind that: Whenever the U.S. military loses anywhere (including Vietnam), there is always someone else to blame.

The NFL draft concluded this past weekend, and once again I was astonished by the media coverage: the sheer amount of resources dedicated to it. Just go to ESPN, for example, which has “draft cards” on every player with all their vitals, including video highlights. If only the media devoted a tenth of the resources to covering America’s various wars across the globe! With verifiable metrics and video highlights (or lowlights). It’s good to know that sports are much more important to our nation than the military’s global presence and actions.

And now to return to the beginning: Why not act to end homelessness? WWJD: What would Jesus do? I always remember from Catholic mass how Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry, and helped the poor. Where’s that Jesus nowadays? He seems to have been replaced, at least in America, by Prosperity Gospel Jesus, who shares good news and money only with the richest and most fortunate of Americans.

Can I please have “old” Jesus back? The one who helped lame people to walk and blind people to see?

Jesus healing a blind man. I like this Jesus.

48 thoughts on “Musings for Monday

  1. To me, one of the biggest collective blind spots is that in helping the homeless, or alleviating food insecurity, or redressing myriad other ills, EVERYONE profits, one way or another.

    One F-35 fighter, or one ICBM, or one Navy ship, requires materials and input from dozens, if not hundreds, of suppliers, from steel fabricators to electronics designers. Now, in the above sentence, substitute, “one home,” or, “rehabbing and retrofitting one empty office building,” and the equation remains the same in terms of the level of input required. Roofing, framing, windows, solar panels, plumbing, wiring, doors, sheetrock, paint, furnaces, water heaters—-all these components represent ongoing profit streams for suppliers and jobs for builders and installers. Thirty years down the line, each structure will still need maintenance and replacement products. A house doesn’t become obsolete after a few years.

    There are two overarching differences between the expenditure of government funds for war, versus exoenditure to improve our population’s living conditions. First and most obvious is the purpose: to intimidate or kill people outside the U.S., versus helping our citizens to have better, more productive lives. Second, dollars spent on housing or childcare not only stay in this country, they’re investments that produce tangible results (e.g., homes), as well as intangible benefits (e.g., children with better starts in life). The country as a whole comes out ahead, financially and morally. War materiel dollars, conversely, represent money poured down a bottomless rathole; the end products are literally blown up or left to decay away on some far battlefield or sit empty forever in some ship or plane graveyard. Only the military contractors and their employees profit.

    In simplest terms, it’s a question of rampant evil versus overpowering good.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes. If only the poor and the homeless had retired generals and admirals as lobbyists. And companies like Boeing and Raytheon to advocate for building homes on their behalf.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I wanted to get this in before the Bible quotations got too deep:
    There has never been a “Golden Age.” There was never a time of peace and prosperity. We haven’t gone “wrong” and our values haven’t disappeared. The Christian Kingdom of Prester John did not exist.
    From all indications, God checked out after the Old Testament, and handed the keys to the store to The Kid who said you weren’t supposed to worship him, but rather, his father. That part of the message seems to have been lost. And then, if you believe, he died and was resurrected. (That there is nothing in the historical record to back this up is, apparently, neither here nor there.) Remembering an old bumper sticker: “The Bible: God said it, I believe it, that settles it.”
    We’re still awaiting the arrival of the Angelic Pope. The Second Millennium is still close to 300 years away (for those of you unfamiliar with Church history, the First Millennium was dated from the Donation of Constantine, not the birth or death of Jesus).
    The Sermon on the Mount cuts both ways: if you believe the meek shall inherit the Earth (which was flat in those days), then there are no problems. Something will work out for them, never mind. God has a Plan. And didn’t Jesus say, “the poor you will always have with you”? Yes, he did. It’s in The Bible. In red ink, no less (King James version).
    “Thoughts and prayers” – the mantra of neo-Christians, pseudo or otherwise – have never changed anything.
    The people who hold all the cards and make the rules (military, politicians, business/industry) don’t buy into any of “the Christian ethic.” Never have, never will. The reason is as simple as it is obvious. As my Uncle George (a tres successful gambler) would say, “There’s no percentage in it.”
    I would like it to be otherwise, but it ain’t.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. How true. And then there are those who do find a percentage in Jesus. Just think of all those evangelical preachers in their mansions. And just think of the Vatican and all its wealth.

      There’s a percentage in Jesus — as long as you ignore His most essential teachings.

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    2. Could not agree more on all points, Bill. Even among believers, those who know history and know the origins of all the references are few and far between. The cherry-picked dogma of each version of each sect is all the adherents know, for the most part. Hence, your “percentage” quotation and its absolute applicability. Money talks, AND walks.

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    3. The Resurrected Christ can see not much has changed with the People in this Year of the Lord 2021, since Jesus said it in the Year of the Lord 33 (guesstimation – our Time in years is measured from that 1st Christmas)
      You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
      This people draws close to me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
      In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

      The Literate know these words of the Christ are not addressed to Atheist unbelievers, but to those who claim to believe.

      Btw, Christ is Resurrected in me 46 years now, and I have experienced enough “Proofs” of God at Work in me and through me, my Faith, Joy and Thanksgiving for so many Saving Graces, brings something new in my Life Every Day.

      Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
      If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land:

      It takes a lot of Patience, Trust, Reverence and Humility for a Finite Mind to reason with the Eternal.

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    1. Or tune into someone like Joel Osteen and Google his mansion. These ministers of the word of God seem to have a grand and abiding affection for Mammon.

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      1. Even Jesus predicted that there would be Christians of the thorns and brambles, those who become ensnared in a form of sensuality which Jesus found unuseful for his own ends. See Luke 8:7, 14. It’s found also in Mk 4 and Mt 13, I believe.

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        1. Jesus is not talking just about Christians in Mark 4:18-19, but People in General.
          Christianity became the newest Jewish Sect only AFTER Jesus left this World.

          And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
          And the cares of THIS world, and the DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, and the lusts of other things entering in, CHOCK the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

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      2. On second thought, maybe Jesus had a use for that type of Christian, esp. a smarmy guy like the Joel Osteen. Consider the apparently unrelated story about Zacchaeus, the wealthy tax collector who appears in Luke just before the parable of the minas. Such people where a small minority of the area, yet somehow Jesus manages to approach him and to wiggle his way into Z’s home. Surely that was not a matter of chance but of calculation. Jesus and his followers, having no jobs and limited resources of their own, need people to support them. What better way could there be than to lay guilt trips on extortionists who work for the ruling power? This saves Jesus and company the hazards of burgularies and robberies which, in effect, are outsourced to tax collectors, who have a license to steal.

        Seeking donations from the poor and from manual laborers would be grossly inefficient in terms of revenue obtained per amount of time. And it would seem bizarre to claim that his ministry was for the benefit of the poor if Jesus and the apostles were found trying to dig loose change out of the satchels and hiding spaces of ordinary folks. So, the ministry quickly settled upon the idea of shaking down local scoundrels, perhaps with the help of a mob and some muscle recruited for this purpose. Probably Matthew was a good resource for obtaining names and locations of targets after Matt’s own wealth had been consumed.

        So, how does this involve Jo’el? You can’t lay a guilt trip on him for having robbed the masses under the color of law. Still, the ministry craves wealth, and the more the merrier. Zacchaeus would surely have agreed if anyone tried to make him keep his promise about repaying his victims four times over after he gave away half of his possessions to the poor. We may presume, I think in all fairness, that Zacchaeus had few skills other than schmoozing and working as a licensed criminal. There is no basis for belief that he could have honored his promises without continuing his business as a tax collector or by bamboozling the masses in the name of Jesus to give Zacchaeus some money. So, how did Z follow through? Did he get a job as a carpenter working for Jesus’ father??

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        1. I got curious about “ Jesus the dome head”; so I read the link. There’s room for meditating on the firmament of day 2; when one opens up to the world of structured water; that liquid crystalline state when water is in it’s most highly organized and purest form. Gerald Pollack has done some very interesting work that he details in his book, The Fourth Phase of Water Beyond Solid Liquid Vapor. Gilbert Ling is also a wise one on this topic and a mentor to Pollack. I’m in favor of waking the population up to this knowledge; because water has been one of the most abused inhabitants of our existence. Especially since it’s so vital to healthy outcomes. I look forward to the day when humanity helps create a world filled with the simple pleasures; shelter from the storm and a cool clean glass of water in her most exalted state.

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          1. On Day 1 of The Genesis the record says,
            And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
            And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
            And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated between the light and between the darkness.

            The last line suggests to me God did not know what light was, and is also on a Voyage of self-discovery as we are, made in the Image and Likeness of God. God would be awfully bored knowing everything before it happens for all in all Eternity.

            The Reality I see Today is Darkness is still on the deep mysteries of this Whole Earth, as the larger World is a void and without form for the Individual in their little speck of Earth.

            In the Jewish Bible version of the Patience of Job, it’s recorded 2 Times,
            Now the day came about, and the angels of God came to stand beside the Lord, and the Adversary, too, came among them.
            The Lord said to the Adversary, “Where are you coming from?” And the Adversary answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth and from walking in it.

            The Christian Bible is slightly different, recording,
            Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

            The point is, to this very Day, in the way of Satan or the Adversary, the People are still going to and fro on the Earth, following every new fad, and either they’re feeling up or depressed.

            The Christ addresses that situation this way in the NT with the criticisms of the Jewish Religious Establishment, The Religious Establishment all these Years later, is still the Religious Establishment.
            But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the markets, and calling to their fellows,
            And saying, We have piped unto you, and you have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and you have not lamented.

            For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a devil.
            The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.
            But wisdom is justified of her children.

            In other words, in this World, you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, so for God’s sake and our own sake for a better Future, DO SOMETHING!
            The Religious Establishment all these Years later, is still the Religious Establishment.

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  3. The DHUD is spreading agitprop to increase its budget and the personal influence of its principals. You ought to expect that from a cabal of bureaucrats. Experience has shown also that they will never “end homelessness” with central plannng and gigantic budgets, unless they mean to establish a prison state complete with (ahem) extra homes for those who reject the do-gooders’ way of life. So the perennial complaint about homelessness is an unctuous wedge used to push us further toward totalitarian government, which is the perennial object of “Progressivism”. (You, too, can walk away from that sludge if you will let your eyes be opened.)

    Notice also that homelessness is a purely local problem, even when we find it in many different locales. So I prefer to imagine the $20B being spent on airstrikes against the DHUD, its sympathizers, the Congress, and the FRS. This would have the salutary side effect of further discrediting the officer corps of our military which, by the way, is turning toward a race war against “the People” in whose name the military carries out its activities.

    Now, Christians claim that Jesus of Nazareth affirmed the torah. This means that he believed the chauvinist dreck found in Ex. 19:5-6, to give just one example of scriptural evidence of the radical narcissism of the sons of Israel. JC thought also that he was maschiach, the national hero and warlord which Israelite nazis promised theirselves and for whom the pious remain hopeful. So Jesus would not have been confused in the least about what the supremacists intend to do if they acquire the power to do it. The goal is stated bluntly in passages such as Isaiah 66:22-24. To understand them, all you have to do is read without prejudice and to interpret them with some street smarts as your aide. If you lack these, you can begin to cultivate them by reading Aesop’s fables. The one about The Bitch and Her Whelps is a good place to begin. A walk alone at night through a ghetto inhabited by the usual black lives would be another way to acquire some street smarts. LOL.

    If you have any doubt about the true character and mentality of Jesus (assuming that he existed), see the extravagant parables about minas and talents. In Luke’s version, clever Jesus uses a fictional nobleman to liken himself to Herod the Great traveling to Rome to obtain authorization for his kingship. The story’s nobleman, after returning to his land, orders the execution of all who reject his Godly, loving rule.

    A true Ebrew Jew that Jesus was, much like Simon, the chosen rock who whacked Ananias and Sapphira to resolve a trivial dispute about a donation to Simon’s commune. Christians, alas, have cared little about reality since the nazis abandoned them to their own devices after the crushing defeat in the war against Rome’s multicultural empire about 1,950 years ago. Christians and a great multitude of infidels who still think in Christian grooves, would rather indulge in comforting daydreams about the warlord curing lame riffraff and blind rabble. Jesus, the world’s most popular dome head, did nothing to cure cripples and those who have scales over their eyes. Rather, his cult has excelled at making people both passive and oblivious, like sheep with cataracts.

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    1. Damn! It doesn’t get any blacker than that. Which is why I seldom read Hedges. I already know that the world’s situation is terrible, without being hit in the face with the fact that there’s no hope whatsoever.

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    2. May I reproduce the one paragraph from Hedges essay that I think hits the nail on the head? He uses facts from history to back up his point very well and note in particular the last sentence. For all that is wrong, I don’t see evidence that we have reached that point of revolution. Cheap goodies hold it off.

      “We will extract ourselves from this culture of sadism the way the dispossessed extracted themselves from the stranglehold of crony capitalism during the Great Depression, by organizing, protesting and disrupting the system until the ruling elites are forced to grant a measure of social and economic justice. The Bonus Army, World War I veterans who had been denied pension payments, set up huge encampments in Washington, which were violently dispersed by the army. Neighborhood groups, many of them members of the Wobblies or the Communist Party, in the 1930s physically prevented sheriff departments from evicting families. In 1936 and 1937, the United Auto Workers union carried out a sit-down strike inside factories that crippled General Motors, forcing the company to recognize the union, raise wages and meet union demands for job protection and safe working conditions. It was one of the most important labor victories in American history and led to the entire automobile industry in the United States becoming unionized. Farmers, forced into bankruptcy and foreclosures by the big banks and Wall Street, founded the Farmer’s Holiday Association to protest the seizure of family farms, one of the reasons bank robbers such as John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde and the Barker Gang were folk heroes. The farmers blocked roads and destroyed mountains of farm products, reducing supply and raising prices. The farmers, like unionized auto workers, endured widespread government surveillance and violent attacks from the FBI, company goons, hired gun thugs, militias and sheriff’s departments. But the militancy worked. The farmers forced the state to accept a de facto moratorium on farm foreclosures. Mass demonstrations outside state capitals at the same time pressured state legislatures to block the collection of overdue mortgage payments. Tenant farmers and sharecroppers in the south unionized. The Department of Labor called their collective action a ‘miniature civil war.’ The unemployed and the hungry throughout the country squatted in vacant homes and on vacant land forming shantytowns that were known as Hoovervilles. The destitute took over public buildings and public utilities. This constant pressure, not the good will of FDR, created the New Deal. He and his fellow oligarchs eventually understood that if there was not reform there would be revolution, something Roosevelt acknowledged in his private correspondence.”

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  4. I encountered a link to your blog at Lew Rockwell’s site this past weekend. As it turns out, one of the regular writers, Charles Burris, has just posted a relevant video about the “homelessness industrial complex”, esp. as it is in California.

    How California Created the Homelessness Industrial Complex
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/how-california-created-the-homelessness-industrial-complex/

    The video is an interview of Scott Silverman, a guy with decades of experience working with the homeless, He’s also the founder of Second Chance. “Almost half the homeless in the country are in California”, he says. As you may know, California is virtually a one-party dictatorship owned by a totalitarian cabal known popularly as the Democrats. They are, by far, the more communist faction of the Bipartisan Party, and they never discover that they are a leading cause of every social problem.

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    1. Thanks for checking my site out and offering some fresh perspectives. Is it fair to say you’re libertarian?

      I agree that government bureaucracies are always suspect, e.g. HUD. But many people exempt the largest bureaucracy of all, the Pentagon, from being scrutinized, which is truly crazy. The Pentagon has yet to pass an audit and probably never will. And the Pentagon is awash in cash.

      With respect to homelessness, it’s a problem that could be addressed if we as a country had to the will to do so. Many people go bankrupt and lose their homes, for example, due to medical bills. If we had a single-payer system like most other advanced countries, there would be no bankruptcies caused by medical bills.

      I’d wager that many of the homeless are also people suffering from mental illness, PTSD, drug addiction, and similar problems. The answer here is to get them the proper help, and among the first steps is to get them off the street, if only for their own protection. Warehousing them in prisons isn’t the answer.

      But who cares about the homeless? Let’s build more stealth bombers and interceptor missiles!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, not libertarian. Libertarianism is a secular, atomising creed used to divert people from communism, and most libertarians are full of shit about “free markets”. The ringleaders prefer markets rigged with limited liability, artificial personality, indefinite lifespan for firms, etc. This puts them in good company with democrats, communists, “conservatives”, and so on. (In fairness, there is a retired Professor of Finance, Mike Rozeff, who called for “a full-liability society”. His efforts acquired little traction, however.) Rootlessness is great fun for hard headed secularists, and Abrahamic theocrats, too, have reasons for supporting incorporation. Funny that corporate capitalism works so well at corrputing and undermining Abrahamic piety.

        The libertarians’ preference, too is rather ironic given their hostility, in most cases, to central banking. That system was established to serve the interests of corporate capitalism, militarism, and welfare statism. It’s been a critical element for all sides in the world wars, too, which is how we know that antiwar activists as mostly full of shit. It appears that this latter club has other priorities, like public preening, harassing “conservative” political enemies, and collecting donations so that the club’s members don’t have to get real jobs. Probably there is a widespread financial conflict of interest tied to stock markets.

        It so happens also that I’m also not a veteran of a large criminal organization. Or at least my employers weren’t nearly as bad as your Department of Democracy, the DoD. We had to ask customers nicely to pay us. We had no power to throw them into prison if they didn’t pay, and there was no arsenal of democracy to share with allied police departments who promised to help us with deadbeats. If a customer switched providers, it would have been considered fraud to send him invoices with demands for payment for services he had refused. Even worse, when we were short of help, we couldn’t direct our paid politicians (and we had our share) to conscript cheap labor (i.e. slaves). We were very oppressed in comparison to the Department of Democracy.

        Now, if most people lacked the morbid fear of death which is so prevalent among secularists (including Christians and Muslims*), they would not worry so much about sickness and death. Among such people there would be a far lower obsession with health care, esp. the extremely expensive stuff and the vast quanities provided to the aged near the very end of their lives. Abandoning secularism would resolve much of the problem, but of course, it wouldn’t allay the anxiety and vicarious suffering of busybodies. Solving this other psychological problem calls for harsh measures against which you can’t raise a coherent objection given your ideals.

        Since you like history and are concerned about militarism, maybe you would enjoy reading about a famous Italian militarists’ own contribution to the enslavement of Italy back in the 1930’s. That too was promoted on the pretext of compassion. See The Fascist Government of Italy by Schneider for its chapter about a state accident and insurance company set up by the Fascists. (Fyi, they were never right wing e.g. not crown and altar conservatives.) I won’t, however, recommend that book as an introduction to the mystery of Fascism, which came from people who were quite like you.

        I would add further, against your misguided desire for communist health care, that many of allegedly “advanced countries” are destroying theirselves, or at least their indigenous populations are being destroyed. Because diversity, antiracism, refuge, and other disingenuous excuses. We shall see if the replacements (aka the diversity) care to perpetuate the animal farming schemes of which you are so fond. Probably the POCs and Islamists will support it for some time to come. The burden still falls disproportionately upon the indigenous populace, now often called “white supremacists”, esp. when they dare to object to race war by mass migration, grooming gangs, opportunistic bullying, legalized discrimination, brainwashing of children in schools, and so on.

        If you wish to abolish American militarism—and you do form some phrase not inconsistent with this goal, then you want also to extinguish the means to finance it. Government borrowing and central banking are obvious perps here, though it runs deeper than this given the ideals of democracy secular humanism. On the other hand, if you’re not serious, just as the libertarians aren’t serious, then you want to keep the financial means in place, knowning full well that those means are most likely to be used ad nauseum, or until the occurence of some truly great calamity, whichever comes first. (Fyi, Murray Rothbard condemned the system as the welfare-warfare state, iirc, but his thinking was diverted effectively by guys like Rockwell. And MR was naive enough to become entangled for a time with the Kochtopus.)

        It’s your choice, I suppose, about whether or not you want to abolish American militarism. I’ve read, however, that belief is not really a matter of willpower or choice. This makes sense if you think about it. Try to believe that Elijah rode to shamayim (heaven) on a fiery chariot, as mentioned in 2 Kings. But first believe, as do I, that the cosmos has neither any center nor any edge, and no rakia (firmament) i.e. no shamayim. I think you’ll find that it’s impossible to will yourself to believe both sets of propositions given the contradiction.

        Watch the video. Maybe you are still teachable about some of the real issues, esp. the HIC for which you publish some rather banal advocacy. I swear, it’s like you’re stuck in the 2000’s and your browser won’t load any sources of ideas not found at Truthout, The Nation, Mother WhatsHerName, and so on. There’s scant self-awareness and growth among your type, but still lots of the old fashioned sneering and smug innuendo which, I’m happy to admit, helped to drive me away from the “antiwar” movement before Barry was elected.

        =============

        * Note the intense preoccupations of their religions with the human body. Their leaders have long taught that there will be bodily resurrections and, in some cases, physical ascension to the shamayim, which we know is imaginary. That dogma is sensualism on stilts, and it’s a sure sign that the alleged unsecularism of Christianity and Islam is not what the ringleaders make it out to be.

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        1. There’s a lot to digest here. But here’s the rub: I don’t want “communist” health care, whatever that is. I just want health care. Period. Affordable to the people. All people. I don’t care what it’s called. But I do know the current system is a nightmare that bankrupts people while making a few oligarchs very rich indeed.

          Yes, I want to end American militarism. I’m sure finance is part of this — “follow the money” is always an apt phrase and good advice. But militarism is also an ethos, an ideology, increasingly a way of thinking for many people. Attacking the financial networks that support it strikes me as necessary but insufficient.

          Finally, you mention the sneering and smug innuendo of certain people — but then you suggest I am of a type that has scant self-awareness and little capacity for growth. Do you see the tension here?

          In sum, I always worry when people come to my site and start by putting me down, or I suppose you might say “in my place” (as someone with scant self-awareness and so on). I just don’t see comments like this as valuable or constructive. So it’s perhaps best if you move on. Find people with more self-awareness and with greater capacity for growth. Good luck!

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          1. “Attacking the financial networks that support it strikes me as necessary but insufficient.”

            Of course it strikes you like that. It’s a short move from there to casting aside the idea that it’s necessary. Then you don’t have to think about uprooting those financial networks. Or even about strangling them a little. Because “I just want health care. Period.” Because compassion. And because without those financial networks, you’d have to put up a large sum of your own wealth to support the people whom you pretend to care about so much.

            I stand by my claim that you are smug, lacking self-awareness, and all that. “I just want…”, you wrote while doing you best to channel Veruca Salt. “Don’t care how. I want it now,” she sang halftruthfully. Like another spoiled brat, she expects to get what she wants at someone else’s expense, costs be damned.

            Remember, now: It was you who made worse the political problems which aggravate you so much. You built that, buddy boy.

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        2. I have been tagged with the label of socialist and communist a whole lot in the last decade. I am not a world traveler and I haven’t read the best selling material or heard the hits of either of these two ideologies. So I guess I’m just stumbling in the dark and am an ignorant american.
          Wanting a shared relationship with “my fellow americans” on the avenue of health care gets those labels voiced in my direction. Why do people today assume that because you feel their should be a mutual togetherness to the structures of societies commons; that such a sensation is rooted in some previously attempted governance structure? I happen to understand that everything that exists in consciousness springs from one Source; that expression being a unity in diversity. The nameless absolute is within all structure; so one is always interacting with oneself. To quote a Beetle, We are one together. Since jettisoning the false ideology of an individual self; I have become intimately aware of the need to provide better outcomes for all humanity. Caring for others health is a choice to relieve the sufferings of my fellow travelers on this human journey through the cosmos.
          I also have witnessed and believe that the mechanisms that have generated wealth in our fine nation have also; to a large extent helped generate many of today’s modern disease. For them to buy up the levers that govern our rights to collectively communicate and bargain for a shared health experience that would involve all formally created institutional structures that have an interest in creating disease and health and we the people; is not becoming of a society based on freedom of expression. It stops my mind when I know that capitalists thump their chests when creating wealth from another souls disease and misery. Can anyone explain this and shed light on my ignorance?
          In my understanding war can be substituted for sickness and disease in this equation. If this is communistic then… we’ll I will have to be so labeled. On these two topics it will be the most difficult of journeys to go against my nature and remove the ink of these tattooed labels which have stained my hide.

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        3. After making it all the way through this screed, I am reminded of the Man in Black’s (let the reader understand) comment to Vizzini the Sicilian: “Truly, you have a dizzying intelllect!”

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          1. Darn it! I thought you were talking about me. Most of my friends I’ve met over the decades say I’m “dizzy” and my neighborhood friends used to give me marbles for gifts asking me…. did you loose these?
            My father was a great marble shooter and that was one of our pleasures. He couldn’t play the physical sports I preferred due to a WWII leg injury. I don’t believe I ever was good enough to even give him a challenge but he always “made the games seem close”. I never knew if my friends were gifting me marbles to replace the one’s I lost from my skull or that they just wanted to add to the collection my dad and I shared?

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  5. I’m going with that old, New Testament standard from brother Timothy. The love of money is the root of all evil. This ancient malady has infected our state-of-the-art class of cravenous coveteers. The doctors got no cure for the victims of the contemporary variant strain that cascades through the wards within Wall Streets Infirmary. Today’s fortune junkies are so strung out on a buck, lying spaced out amongst the treasured assets of their palatial estates; they fail to recognize the brilliance of creation that peers back at them while they chant mirror mirror before the looking glass that hangs upon the opulent sparkling wall.
    They remain out of step with reality and do not even bother to travel to their connections in Washington to score the latest fixation. The compromised, sold out others do that bidding for them. Never returning to the kingdom within the mansion gates to deliver an honest assessment of the outcomes for their enemies labeled The Common Man; for fear of lost promotion or even worse, that dreaded demotion. They bite their tongues and deliver the needed fix that will deliver the most up to date Aurelian Halcyonic Highs!
    No, they never get out of their euphoric doped out dilemma to come down off their throne to shake the fever of their riches; to see the reality of the phony world they created for their rivals. They never dare to come and look into the eyes of the thing that scares them most; fearing when they did get close to their enemy, that they would surely see that the face of their foe looked just like them.
    The cure for this illness is found within the brilliance of the created form. Within the magnificence of it’s oneness. Let’s turn to the letter of Paul, (not the Beetle); he penned to a group that hung out at the gatherings in the town of Galatia. He encourages anyone who wants to get into a deeper relationship with the message Jesus taught to remember that….2:20… I am crucified with Christ, and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living within me. The fruit of this Christ Spirit, he goes on to tell them is; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self control. This is the selfless nature that the Buddha championed and that the pearls from Advaita-Vedanta bring. Dying to oneself is the true heroes journey; and the most challenging of cures. It’s the only death I wholeheartedly support. But the fruits of the effort as Paul confessed to the Galatians are a meal fit for the cure of war and poverty and homelessness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “They never dare to come and look into the eyes of the thing that scares them the most…”

      And they don’t CARE to look, either. They’re consumed with their enclaves and their toys. Everything else means nothing to them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Utejack,

      If the love of money is the root of all evil, then what is the root of that love? What is it, other than operant conditioning and the fact of money’s existence prior to the arising of that love? What is it other than God-made human nature?

      Is it thrist? Or does the problem run deeper than that? Well, probably the missing root involves ignorance and egocentricity.

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      1. The Writing on the Wall record in Daniel 5 during the Captivity of Babylon some 2600 years ago tell about that.

        Ancient Babylon is the Biblical Model of the Nation reaching Military-Economic Superpower Imperial Hegemony status, the US being the latest, greatest of them all to this Day.

        The king of Babylon, the record goes, threw a feast for 1000 of the Elite of the kingdom, and they worshipped the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone.
        In other words, from then to now, It’s the Economy, Stupid!

        That’s when the Imperial Mantle shifted from Babylon to Persia.
        Ancient Babylon is now Iraq, and Ancient Persia is now Iran, as History repeats itself in Our Generations.

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      2. The Reality is, Human Nature and God’s Nature are at War, the Bible calls the War between the Spirit and the Flesh.

        Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
        And says to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
        Then Jesus said to him,
        Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.
        Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.

        Lessor mortals failed the Test and made lessor deals with the devil for much less.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. If one goes back the way one came, one will discover that root. Who is it that seeks “money”? I’m fairly convinced that over concentration/consumption of wealth leads to imbalance. One caught up in overconsumption has lost the stasis which is so necessary to fuse the polar opposites and dissipate that
        “love of”; so that it no longer is a factor that possesses power. See the “love of” through the eyes of bare attention, create Clear Comprehension and then become purposeless through purpose.
        Money is another mental construct and the contents of mind can be manipulated unless handled through the laser focus of mindfulness
        Nyanaponika Thera said this…..
        Only by training oneself again and again in viewing justly the presently arisen thoughts and feelings as mere impersonal processes, can the power of DEEP ROOTED, ego-centric thought habits and egotistic instincts be broken up and reduced, and finally eliminated. ( my emphasis on the deep rooted)
        When self delusion dies; that central Light of Consciousness illuminates the mind and the opposing forces which manifested earlier divisions become united.
        Have you checked out Pollack’s, exclusion zone, in relationship with the firmament? Like I mentioned; it got me thinking and it should be a hoot training my attention on the charges, polarities ect.I’m not really sure if there’s anything there to be discovered; but it did spark my curiosity.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. And a certain scribe came, and said to him, Master, I will follow you wherever you go.
    Jesus said to him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has not where to lay his head.
    And another of his disciples said to him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
    But Jesus said to him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
    Matthew 8; Luke 9

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    1. Because I had some bad experiences orally from a way too long stay in braces
      (11 years)… I saw this article and read it. My father-in-law Jerry told me while I was trying to save the teeth that I was doing a good job of helping my dentist to purchase new boat covers; docks; ect. for my dentists boat. My wife Cat and I were talking about this yesterday after I saw the article and we were joking that pretty soon your feet, ears, nose , hands wouldn’t be covered by health insurance and you’d have to get special policies for them. I always thought it strange that as postal workers the thing you did the most on the job was reading addresses and you had to buy a special policy for eye care because it wasn’t covered either…. i laughed when I saw this because I thought maybe you posted this to “ troll my bad teeth “ …

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    1. It’s a very pain filled read; but this is penned by a wise old soul. For every pro -war story a news outlet publishes or broadcasts; an honest real life evaluation of the actual “war theater realities” should be put before our eyes and ears. The words of Dan Rather describing the presses fear filled atmosphere of our nations press rooms is telling. Fearing loss of employment they created the future horror stories that had to be played out in the lives of military personnel and the downtrodden Afghan citizens. Dylan would have asked them, “Is your money that good?”
      Eric is a great truth teller and hopefully his wisdom finds it’s way into the American narrative. Thanks for posting this.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I remember Dan Rather reporting the CIA was running opium from the Golden Triangle during the Vietnam War to finance their operations.
        That was the one and only mention of it. It was not mentioned by any other news outlet or a followup on CBS.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Here’s a story back at ya’. Maybe you’ve seen it. It’s a tale that brings out many different emotions about the outcomes that are manifested because of our failed modern war practices. These sad results followed a participant in the Vietnam conflict. We never calculate these costs of war; and I’m sure there will be many haunting stories nipping at the heals of everyone who participated in these forever wars. The terrible thing is most folks won’t connect the dots; and just point fingers of blame from their isolated lawn chairs in the grandstands of commentary.

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    3. Thanks for posting this passionate account of the futility of War only to enrich the investors in the Military-Industrial Complex.

      This encapsulates the insane absurdity of it all,
      I participated in a mission nicknamed “Operation Highway Babysitter,” in which the infantry secured the road, allowing logistics convoys to resupply the infantry—all so that the infantry could secure the road, so that the logistics convoys could resupply the infantry.

      Liked by 2 people

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