Capitalism, Jesus, conspiracy theories, and Bohemian Grove

I have come to believe that there is no getting around the fact that capitalism is opposite everything that Jesus (and Moses and Mohammed and Buddha) taught. All the great religions are clear about one thing: It is evil to take the majority of the pie and leave what’s left for everyone to fight over. Jesus said that the rich man would have a very hard time getting into heaven. He told us that we had to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers and that the riches that did exist were to be divided fairly. He said that if you failed to house the homeless and feed the hungry, you’d have a hard time finding the pin code to the pearly gates.

The above is a quote from Michael Moore. Read the entire article here.

According to The Curious Capitalist:

The top 400’s share of the nation’s income went from 0.52% in 1992 to 1.31% in 2006—an even bigger increase than its share of taxes paid. When you chart the average tax rate paid by those in the top 400, the picture is nearly opposite.

Yet, even non-fundamentalist religious people continue to let the Republican Conservatives brainwash them into believing that somehow everyone else who is not them is an instrument of the devil. Despite Enron and Madoff and any number of smaller versions of these capitalist-inspired fiascos, there are people — people wealthy in neither money nor knowledge — who believe that the rich and powerful know what’s best for them.

Now, I’m a big fan on Dan Brown’s novels and just finished reading his latest, The Lost Symbol (which I read on my iphone with ereader). Being an eclectic agnostic brought up as a Catholic, I love Brown’s wild and well-documented speculations about hidden histories and mysteries. The Lost Symbol explores the influence of Masonic beliefs on our nation’s establishment (then and now).

But I know that, while Brown uses facts as his building blocks, he fits them together with the mortar of his imagination. One man’s conspiracy is another man’s frat party.

Which brings me to the stuff online about the Bohemian Grove gatherings, where smart powerful people dress up in costumes, light fires and fireworks, sing and enact a ritualistic “cremation of care”. What looks to me like a glorified frat party or boy scout fest is touted by the likes of Alex Jones as satanic ritual. If you want to see a conspiracy, you’ll figure out how to make it look like one.

I wish I had written down Dan Brown’s reflections on pagan rituals that described the drinking of blood and consumption of human flesh as an empowering and spiritual act — an act that gets translated daily into the Holy Communion of Christian churches.

Now, personally, I am not comfortable with secret societies of any kind, and the “old-boy” Bohemian Club makes me nervous, even though, as Daniel’s Free Speech Zone, describes:

For the last century, an elite group, called the “Bohemian Club,” has been gathering at the grove for a yearly retreat. The “Bohemians,” also called “Bohos” or “Grovers,” are an all-male pack of corporate, financial, military and government leaders. No women are allowed. The group has included every Republican president since Herbert Hoover. Both Bushes have been here; so have Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, and Collin Powell, as well as a horde of lesser-known Bohos. All together, some 2000 of them descend upon Sonoma County each summer in July and assemble in the depths of the dark forest to imbibe huge quantities of costly alcohol, to piss on the trees, and to let it all hang out for the duration of 16 days.

“Weaving spiders come not here,” is the club’s motto, meaning that they’re here to relax and not to negotiate business.

While not a “conspiracy theorist,” I, like Daniel, have a concern, as he expressed:

…given the context of today’s world and the role these men play in it, the form of the Cremation of Care ritual — the priests in hooded robes, the mythologem of human sacrifice — seems to symbolize the mindset of men who profit from war, chop up the forests, pollute the environment and scheme to privatize Social Security. The ritual most likely creates an fraternal atmosphere in which they can bond and set the stage for future cooperation in the exercise of evil.

That seems to be the essence of what the Bohemians bring out from the Grove and foist upon the rest of us.

I don’t believe that Jesus, if here today, would be a capitalist, a conspirator, or an “old-boy” networker. He certainly would not work on Wall Street, although he might be forced by circumstance to work at Wal-Mart.

He would be out advocating for a single payer health care system. And if he tried to run for office, he would be eaten alive by the far Right/eous. [pagan ritual reference intended]

Is this how the moral Germans felt?

While Hitler was spewing his hateful lies and masterminding the most horrific manipulations of all times, the good and powerless German people who understood and feared what he was trying to do must have felt the way that some of us do these days. Nothing we say or write or do seems to deter the crooks and liars who are so fiercely opposing the kind of Universal Health Care system that would save lives and ultimately save money as well. The right-wing conservatives are railroading to its certain death the ability of this country to keep its citizens healthy.

How viciously ironic that the Right/eous portray President Obama as a Hitler figure, when it is they, his opponents, who are copying Hitler’s tactics of spreading distortions and disinformation, manipulating and inventing language that totally misrepresents the truth and stirs up the most primal fears of those who adhere to the right-wing’s philosophy and values

This from an article in The Nation: Reverse Reverse Nazism and the War on Universal Healthcare

The spinmeisters of the right have done quite a job with what used to be straightforward English etymology. Thanks to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, “integration” was inverted to mean “takeover” and “colorblindness” is code for abandoning the advances of the civil rights movement, which itself is synonymous with an “industry” of exclusion. It’s no surprise, then, that whenever a piece of progressive legislation comes to the table, the same manipulations come into play from right-wing pundits who shamelessly profess their desire to see the Obama presidency fail. Thus it is that America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 is being turned upside down as the neat equivalent of Germany’s Bankrupting Forced Death Act of 1939.

Like the Nazis, the Right/eous are playing to the fears of people are afraid that change will somehow mean that they will get less because someone else will get more. They are the same people who were afraid of integration and feminism, and they follow the leaders who validate their fears and keep them riled up and misinformed.

From the article cited above (read the entire piece here):

But if you listen as though deciphering pig Latin and realize that this demographic is speaking from a well-managed, near-hypnotic looking-glass world where every word from the mouth of a Democrat (or a liberal, or a Latina, or a Canadian) is a lie, a betrayal… then it all makes sense. Their world truly has been turned inside out, by the election, by the economy, by the precarious conditions that threaten us all. But for those whose sense of identity has been premised on a raced, masculinist, conservative Christian hierarchy of American power, the world must seem even more emotionally terrifying than any actual facts would indicate.

I am afraid. They are afraid. If the Health Care legislation doesn’t pass, I think ALL of our fears will be realized. They will get less of what they already have. I will be OK because I have health benefits from a government job, but my adult son and the millions (yes, I said MILLIONS) like him will still go without.

This is the time for strong moral leadership to step up and take some risks and vehemently press for a Universal Health Care System that, when enacted, will alleviate all of our fears.

I am inclined to ask here, “What Would Jesus Do?” Certainly not support the profiteers of the for-profit health care industry.

C’mon President Obama. Rise to the position of leadership that we put you on and press for the changes we so desperately need.

a time to disbelieve

This quote from Talking Points Memo.

Rightwing fearmongers and demagogues
thrive only to the extent the mainstream media
believes they’re thriving.

It’s all a matter of persistent marketing, isn’t it? Say something loud enough and often enough and pretty soon it will be believed.

The leaders of the Right/eous (both political and religious) know and use this strategy well. And, in many cases these days, various Right/eous factions have banded together to strategically defeat a health care plan for America that will both save lives and money.

While there is evidence from other countries regarding how well a single payer national health plan can and does work there is no evidence showing that it won’t work here in America. There is only the persistent and consistent marketing message from Right/eous telling us to believe that it won’t work and that any health care reform has to come about very slowly.

What is this, “faith-based politics”?

The TPM piece cited above ends with this:

Sometimes reform has to occur in a big way, everything or nothing, if it’s to happen at all. That’s the way it is with health care reform at this stage. Every moving piece is related to every other one. That’s also why a public option is necessary.

So forget the authoritative sources. Mobilize and organize. We can get comprehensive, meaningful health care reform if we push hard enough. And we must.

it’s not just that 11:11 thing again

Well, actually, it is that 11:11 thing again, with but an added twist.

According to the 2012 Blog,

..What to make of the fact that the winter solstice in 2012 will occur at 11:11 universal time? It is of course this event that is so deeply linked with the Mayan calendar and its ending – or, if you are a fan of “The X Files”, the date of the alien invasion.

And we all know what December 21, 2012 is, right?

And as far as 11:11 is concerned, this account really spooks me.

I guess I could lie and say I’m posting this at 11:11, but it’s more like 2 a.m.


Over the years, I’ve accumulated a following of various catalogs. Clothes, especially, but there are other kinds as well.
But the catalog I got in the mail today is one of a kind in my long list of order offers. And I don’t know how or why they got my name. I can’t help wondering if someone put my name on their mailing list just to annoy me.
I mean, this is what this slick catalog is selling:
— a 20 CD set of lectures entitled “The Hand of God in the History of the World.”
— a read-aloud series for children: “How God Sent a Dog, Stopped Pirates, ande Used a Thunderstorm to Change the World.”
— a book: “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God.”
WTF!!! I guess their marketing guru never got a look at the sidebar of this blog.
Oh, and then there’s “The Wise Woman’s Guide to Blessing Her Husband’s Vision.”
Now I’m grinding my teeth!
In between all of this, pages of miltary, detective, construction, outdoor, and battle costumes and tools for boys. And what do the girls get? Equal pages of cutsy dresses and dolls, baking sets and aprons, tea sets and crochet gloves AND a book on “How to Be a Lady.”
Groan. Nausea. Twitches.
And. AND. This, and I quote from the blurb on “Return of the Daughters”:

For the first time in America’s history, young ladies can expect to encounter a large gap between their years of basic training and the time when they marry…if they marry. Now Christian girls all throughout our country are seriously asking: What’s a girl to do with her single years?

This documentary takes

… viewers into the homes of several young women who have dared to defy today’s anti-family culture in pursuit of a biblical approach to daughterhood, using their in-between years to pioneer a new culture of strength and dignity — and to rebuild Western Civilization, starting with the culture of the home.

I have to admit, the writing in this catalog is good, the presentation skilled. And that even makes it more scary. I am not linking to its website because I don’t want to give it any additional visibility.
Finally, the back cover:

A Creation Celebration. … each episode will build your appreciation for the brilliance of God’s design and will teach you how to dispel evolutionary myths…

Evolutionary myths!!!
This is one catalog that I’m going to feel great pleasure in throwing into the recycle pile. That is, after I rip off the address label and stick it in the mail with an order to take my name off their !@#$% list.

turn water into gasoline?

When I bought my non-hybrid 2008 Ford Escape, I just couldn’t resist all the bells and whistles I got on this demo model. I had thought about a hybrid. But the wait was long and my old Subaru would consistently refuse to start, and no one, including the dealer, could figure out how to fix the problem.
Anyway, here I am with a car that averages 22 miles a gallon at a time when gas prices are spiraling and the only place I don’t have to drive to get to is the mailbox.
So, I get on the Net and google “turn gas engine into hybrid.”
And, guess what! There is a way to do that. And, supposedly, it’s not a big deal. Many sites advocate just doing it yourself with stuff you can buy at the hardware store, but that just seems like a dangerous way to do it. Suppose you ruin the engine you have.
The smart thing to do, it seems to me, is buy something already manufactured to do the job. The best site I found about using water to turn a gas engine into a hybrid is “fuelfromh2o.”
This is how they explain the process:

The process is as follows, you start with water and an electrolyte NaHCo3 [Sodium Bicarbonate]. You add DC current, the H2o breaks down into H2 & O [we just call it HHO]. We introduce it into the engine by use of the engines vacuum. The HHO combines with the gasoline and air in the combustion chamber and is burnt. Once burnt, it converts back to H20 [water]. Its now going to absorb the inner heat from the engine normally at 350 – 400*F and turn into super heated steam. Then its pushed out during the exhaust stroke and out the tail pipe. There it condenses back into to water vapor and eventually collects back into water. So you start with water and end with water.

So what are our results, first and foremost a really odorless exhaust. Lowered Co2 emissions, NO2 emissions go almost to 0, In short the exhaust emissions drop off the scale as you know them and you produce water vapor from your vehicles tailpipe. Why vapor instead of water??? Because the hydrocarbon fuel [gasoline] produces enough heat during combustion to keep the burnt HHO in a water vapor state, so it will totally condense into water outside of the exhaust system [eliminating any internal corrosion].

OK, I think. If it’s that easy, why isn’t everyone running out to buy what they call an “HHO Generator?”
Well, one reason, is that it’s not that cheap. Another, I suppose, is that most people, like me, don’t want to fool around and try to install something like this themselves. The smart thing would be to have someone do it who knows what he/she is doing.
I go to their list of distributors. There aren’t any near enough to make it possible for me to go there to have a HHO generator installed.
It does seem like such a good idea! Why isn’t the reality more widespread?
As the fuelfromh2o site says:

This technology has been around since the middle 1800’s. YEAH THATS RIGHT!!! Back before the take off of the industrial revolution and the real use of oil and coal to power our factories and vehicles. But oil and coal was easier technology and easily found and CHEAP. GUESS WHAT “NOT ANY MORE”! So if you could gain performance, better fuel efficiency, smaller bills at the gas pump. WOULD YOU DO IT??? Whether you purchase our HHO units or go to a competitor’s store or website and purchase theirs. Just as long as you the consumer realize that you have been methodically led into a money pit concerning energy and fuel.


I would love to do something. Anyone have any suggestions??

is Obama Rove’s Frankenstein?

It’s a long article, but you really need to go here and read it. Excerpts follow:
Evidence of a covert campaign to undermine the presidential primaries is rife, so it’s curious that the Democractic Party and even some within the G.O.P. have ignored the actual elephant in the room this year. That would be Karl Rove. Long accused of rigging the two previous presidential elections, this master of deceit would have us believe that he’s gone off to sit in a corner and write op-eds.
Not so. According to an article in Time magazine published last November, Republicans have been organized in several states to throw their weight behind Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic rival of Hillary Clinton. At least three former fundraisers for President Bush flushed his coffers with cash early on in the race, something the deep pockets haven’t done for any candidate in their own party. With receipts topping $100 million in 2007, the first-term Illinois senator broke the record for contributions. It was a remarkable feat, considering that most Americans had not even heard of him before 2005.
The Time article went on to explain that rank and file Republicans were switching parties this spring to vote for Obama in the Democratic primaries. Though not mentioned in the piece, a group called Republicans for Obama formed in 2006 to expedite the strategy. Many states have open primaries, allowing citizens to vote for any candidate, regardless of their party affiliation. In Nebraska, the Democratic mayor of Omaha publicly rallied Republicans to caucus for Obama on February 9th, according to Fox News Channel. Called crossover voting, the tactic is playing a crucial role in what appears to be a Rove-coordinated effort to deprive Clinton of the nomination. Even with his more well-known dirty tricks arsenal – phone bank sabotage, fake polling data, swiftboating, waitlisting, electronic voting equipment, Norman Hsu, etc. – Rove would be hard pressed to defeat Clinton in November, since she’s generally popular nationwide and has promised an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. If the contest isn’t close, the vote-rigging won’t matter. (Several influential Republicans admit as much in a February 11th story for Politico.)
If, on the other hand, Obama wins the nomination (or even the VP spot), Rove’s prospects brighten considerably.

Last year, at the same time she commanded a huge lead in the national polls, political analysts and professional strategists retained by CNN and other broadcast networks began hammering across the notion that “the voters don’t like her”. The adjectives “unlikable”, “divisive” and “polarizing” used to characterize Clinton have been repeated over and over in the same manner that “biological warfare” and “weapons of mass destruction” were employed during the lead-up to the Iraq War. In both cases, the terminology traces back to a cadre of right-wing, neocon ideologues who keep the studio seats warm at Fox News. “There is no candidate on record, a front-runner for a party’s nomination, who has entered the primary season with negatives as high as she has,” Rove told Reuters last August. Earlier this month, Bush’s former senior political advisor joined Fox as a part-time election analyst.
Obama himself recites Rove’s “high negatives” comment in press interviews whenever discussing Clinton. His often bitter criticism of the former First Lady and other “Washington insiders”, who he says want to “boil and stew all the hope out of him”, represents a staple of his core political message. His campaign slogan to the effect of “I’m a uniter, not a divider” is also reminiscent of the Bush 2000 campaign, which Rove managed. Perhaps that’s not suprising when you discover that one of Obama’s speechwriters is Ben Rhodes, the brother of Fox News VP David Rhodes. (Marisa Guthrie, of BC Beat, reported this connection recently.) The latter Rhodes has been with the network since its inception in 1996. You may recall that on election night in November 2000, it was Fox that called Florida for Bush, even though the other networks declared Gore the winner, citing the exit polls. How Fox knew the polls were wrong in advance of the vote tabulation has never been explained
I, who have not necessarily been a supporter of Hillary Clinton, am changing my mind.