Monday, July 31, 2006

A Confederacy by Other Means; to The Free Market News Network tomorrow, 8/1/06

by Bernie Quigley

As autumn rapidly approaches with the most important 2006 elections, panic rattles the hollows of the Shenandoah Valley. Virginia’s Senator George Allen is more than 10 points ahead of his Democratic opponent, the colorful, fierce and talented Jim Webb. Webb was four points up to Allen, and then in the last few weeks he fell back. And if Allen wins, they say, he will seek the Presidency.

Allen is getting a Git ‘R Done boost with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It is the same gut feeling of stirring power that arose in my old home town of Tobaccoville, NC, not a few years back now, as new post-war economy first began to boost spirits and moral across the South. It built a culture of Big Church, Big Hair, Big Guns and Big Cars, and Wailing Jennings and Johnny Cash to boot. It brought forth a life force and a richness of spirit unique to this country, born of Jesus, Grand Ole Opry and boot leg whiskey, and nothing quite like it had come before.

Git ‘R Done is the basic idea inherent in this current Iraqi war plan. You want to try to generate that sense of abject terror NASCAR drivers used to feel at the Wilkesboro track near us when they saw the big black car with the big number 3 on it coming down directly upon them at 140 miles an hour. For fighting wars this indigenous sense of élan is a necessary component. But winning wars takes something else.

The colorful and perceptive Grady McWhiney, historian of the South and the plain folk of the South, said spirited Confederate generals fought the same way. Without question, Lee had a strategy and it was not all that different from General Giap's exactly 100 years later – fight until the Others got tired and went home.

But Islam will never get tired, and the more we git ‘em in Iraq and Lebanon, the more unified they become from Spain to India.

Allen will fade by November, but 75% of Republicans still say the invasion of Iraq was worth it. Well, had you polled the fallen Confederacy in 1870, you'd have gotten better than 75%.

One unintended consequence of the Israeli invasion could well be the lifting of the veil of the Israeli army. We in the West have presented an image of toughness and testosterone for almost two decades now, designed by Jerry Bruckheimer and his Hollywood cohorts (from Wikipedia: “thumping pop music soundtrack, simplistic plots, and highly telegenic if sometimes improbable cast members”) and Detroit with its tough trucks and tough talking ads. And the constant propaganda from the neocons and their fellow travelers and coat carriers: It is the end of time itself! History is over! We won! We are the world’s only Superpower! Again and again however, failure grinds down the rhetoric and we are once again reminded of Vietnam.

I keep hearing not to forget the lessons of Vietnam but then I keep forgetting them again.

Recently, at the funeral of my old and dear friend, Barr Ashcraft, (above, left) who photographed the war in Vietnam for Time/Life and with whom I’d passed many nostalgic evenings in Chinese restaurants reminiscing about South East Asia, I had some opportunity to reflect. I think Barr might have appreciated or at least nodded benignly at my consideration that the war in Vietnam could not have been won because the Vietnamese people and the Vietnamese spirit could not be conquered. Nor, as we are seeing today, could the South be truly conquered. There are other ways to territorialize the Others – school prayer, Creationism, anti-abortion laws, gay marriage amendments and open gun laws – anything which gets a rise on the Charles River. Allen calls himself a Jeffersonian Republican. That’s code for States Rights. Politics is war by other means.

Nor can Islam be conquered.

Technology in Vietnam was a substitute. Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense during the war in Vietnam, who admitted later that he hadn’t a clue, nevertheless had unbridled optimism about the technology. The war in Vietnam would be won by technology. It was supposed to be sensitive enough to track a man peeing in Laos on the Ho Chi Mihn Trail. But it didn’t. Nor did it track any large trucks or munitions carriers. The North Vietnamese were using ox carts. McNamara felt tricked.

Either way, win or lose, in Iraq or in Virginia, I think Allen will seek the Presidency. It’s that Hillary thing. Bill keeps giving all those speeches. That boy can’t help himself. Elvis won’t leave the building. I hear from perceptive political watchers that if Senator Clinton seeks the Presidency in 2008, the Republicans will not give it to John McCain, who wants it badly and who would win easily. They will extend themselves, and push for someone in the corner of the more conservative Christian Right.

Allen has just the face. He looks and sounds a little like Ronald Reagan, and the nostalgico wing of the Republicans will go for him. He could win against Senator Clinton.

But this would be poor citizenship by both parties. Both of these people are antagonists. Neither are good managers and it’s a management thing, stupid.

The same source says that if such a case occurs and he predicts that it will, then Alan Greenspan’s prediction of a third-party challenge in 2008 or 2012 will come about. Then Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York, will step forth as a third-party Independent candidate; a moderate conservative with an emphasis on management, competence and excellence rather than ideology. Disgraced (but not stupid) and Rehabilitated Clinton pundit Dick Morris says the time has never been better for a third-party candidate.

Bloomberg could build a mature conservative bi-partisan effort of “New West” Republicans, Libertarians and a few Democrats away from the Clinton wave. And in a three-way race with Senator Clinton and Allen, he could win. Picture this: Mike Bloomberg as President, Wes Clark as Vice President and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Secretary of State. It would carry the day and it would carry the next 20 years. Then either the Old South Republicans with George Allen at the helm, or the Clinton Democrats with Hillary at the helm, would demise.

General Clark wouldn’t do it. He’s committed to his ticket. And given the outside possibility that the Democrats come to their senses, he could very well get the nomination himself. I’d pick someone from the West for Bloomberg’s ticket; Mitt Romney (of Utah, by way of Michigan and Boston), if he would take it.

But here is another possible scenario. In a three-way race between Senator Clinton, Mike Bloomberg and George Allen, all three candidates could come in under 50%. And Article II of the Constitution, I have been informed, demands that the House of Representatives chose the victor if no candidate gets more than 50%. Bloomberg would then do poorly, because there are no Independents in the House yet to back him. Hillary might do well because the Democrats will likely pick up a few seats in the House in 2006. The House of Representatives would then choose Hillary as President.

That would be some bad kung fu. The South will not be governed by Hillary. It would bring on a Constitutional crisis. Richard A. Viguerie, who pioneered the contemporary conservative movement, already has to be thinking about a Constitutional Convention now that the Bush Presidency has failed his organization. There was never a political solution to the issues of the Christian Right in the first place. There is only a Constitutional solution, one that would perhaps devolve some rights and responsibilities from federal government to state governments and regional circles. And under President Hillary, Tom DeLay would soon find his way to The League of the South, which calls for "natural states" and seeks secession by democratic and legal means. The South would call for a Constitutional Convention and seek limited or complete autonomy.

And who would stop it from doing so today? Howard Dean?
Attn. Readers: Please take a look at a new blog, Miss3’s Dreams, Visions and Contemplations. Miss3 lives on the highest road in the Ontario wilderness and dreams the dream of Peace and Awakening. I have had the pleasure of listening to her dreams these past three years. The only others I know of who have read them are three German, French and Swiss Depth Psychologists, the Swiss, perhaps one of the world’s most prominent. Now all the world can read her dreams. This below is a reply to a dream she had about trying to get help for her sick mother in a hospital:

Miss3 - Here is a reply to “Dr. Bell, Mr. Lemon and the Governor”: What I like about this dream it that it tells the story of the Western world in its entirety in the past 600 years with the rise of the Power Principle (Yang, father, corporation, bureaucracy) which can only rise in opposition to the Love Principle (Yin, mother, family, nature). It can be sized up in this phrase: Mother is Sick. The essence of Old Europe and the Christian Age (the Age of Pisces, begun with the light over Bethlehem & the arrival of the Three Celestial Ones to the cave) can be seen in the same picture which dominated Europe for 1,000 years from 400 AD to 1,400 AD (Miss3 – this can be seen as the rise and fall of the Templars age and place as well; Ile de la Cite in Paris form the rise of Clovis to the execution of the Templars – the Secret Society perhaps of which you dream – recall Jung’s essential dream of being a Knight with a red cross on his shield; it was as well the same “secret society” – the sign of the Templars). That Picture is Madonna and Child.

In this picture the Divine Mother/Earth Mother represents the Earth. The Baby Jesus represents the human race. This formed the Yin/Yang of Christendom. Notice, however, that Mother (the Earth) always dominated Child (Human Race) lest Man dominate Earth. Pisces was a Yin age and Earth/Mother dominated – so it went until the 1500s. As the Power Principle (Yang) rose it dominated the Mother. Michelangelo clearly, intentionally, illustrates this in his work on commission from his “Warrior Pope” who extended Christian expansionism and imperialism globally. In His Madonna of Bruges, he has the Divine Mother place the Baby on the ground to walk – “better to serve” his Warrior Pope. In the Sistine Chapel the Male Principle ascends to the sky - a muscular red-haired Jesus, virtually casting the Mother away and discarding her in contempt.

Mozart’s “Magic Flute” well expresses this principle of the Renaissance; the Cosmic Father rising above the Cosmic Mother. – the protagonist Tamino, entering life’s journey, leaves behind the Cosmic Yin principle – the Mother here is Dark; Kali, the Death Mother, surrounded by zodiac stars. He joins instead with the Cosmic Yang principle (Sarastro, the “wise” priest of Isis and Osiris) – in language of the play, "The sun's rays drive away the night, destroy the evil power of the dissembler” – that would be Earth Mother.

The Mother cannot be well while Napoleon reigns. “Bell, Lemon, Governor” characterize the Three Visitors who accompany the avatar – in this magnificent play, they appear in a ship in the sky to advise Tamino (avatar of the Enlightenment), guiding him from Cosmic Mother to Cosmic Father.

This is history of then to now; the history of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. The Baby Jesus, alone, rising to the sky without Mother, brings detachment, egomania, confusion and schizophrenia to the human race. The Male Principle rises instead to a new avatar; well pictured here as a caricature of Napoleon, who was indeed the embodiment of Enlightenment (the Dark Shadow of Jefferson, but perhaps its Darkest Characterization was yet to come and perhaps we have not yet seen it).

My feeling is that you have comprehensive dreams like this one – and Cosmic Dreams Dreams like others in this list is because you personally hold to and embody the Mother. But there is something else. In its history, Canadians have not broken with the Mother in entirety as Americans have. The Queen is in mythical terms Mother Incarnate, archetype of the Earth Mother & the Triple Goddess reigning back into antiquity. The American Revolution (and the French) break with the Mother and identify instead with Tamino, the avatar of the Power Principle. I have seen this full gift in an Australian woman as well – also subject to the Queen, but not in Americans.

A man I admire greatly here in the U.S. (that would be Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s chief of staff) says we in America are an “evolutionary” society and not a “revolutionary” society. I hope he is right, but I think he is wrong. There may be no hope of Returning to Ourselves (as my Book of Common Prayer asks us to do) to those who have broken with the Mother.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Arnold Bounce
(Vote for Hillary, Stupid)

by Bernie Quigley, for The Free Market News Network, 7/26/06

For the second time in less than a decade, we have experienced the Arnold Bounce. It is the primal desire for a Strong Man – like Rabbi Loeb conjuring a Golem; like Superman – to come and help us out of our problems.

But Arnold Schwarzenegger is no Golem. His is the better sense in California and it has saved the state with an economy larger than France’s from falling to the economic status of a netherworld like Venezuela’s and dragging down the rest of us with it.

At the beginning of the invasion of Iraq two figures arose defining new sensibilities; Howard Dean and Arnold. Apparently the recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon likewise triggered deep fears and wishes. Arnold had fallen way behind by the fickle California voters. But since Israel’s invasion of Lebanon his numbers went up 8% above his opponent, State Treasurer Phil Angelides, all but insuring victory in his upcoming election.

The poll was conducted between July 10 and 23, the same time as the invasion. Something else is at play here of course; the rational and reasoned mind of the Governor and of the 8% or more of Californians who have changed their opinions of him. It is significant that the day after President Bush proudly vetoed stem cell research in a swaggering reaffirmation of his feed-store political philosophy and theology, the Governor of California conspicuously committed extensive funds to the same research.

Not only did the Governor of California commit the West to the journey ahead in the 21st century, he did something even more important. He stepped forward, not for the first time, as the leader of a new party – a party within a party – running directly in opposition to President Bush.

This action truly marks the ascent of the West as we have seen it growing since Nixon/Kennedy. Much has been said of Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy – he went to Duke Law School – and Ronald Reagan’s nod to states rights to carry the South. Mischief and propaganda. These men had no Southern instincts whatsoever and Reagan’s nod to Jefferson’s vision of federalism was absurd. Reagan was the most Hamiltonian federalist President on record.

But Reagan was quintessentially a Western man and Nixon was the essential Orange County post-war politician. Both were completely Western in outlook and orientation. Indeed, so was our most important President since Yalta in my view; the one who would establish the long-term precedent for our country and open the West to full participation in the American condition; Dwight Eisenhower. The chief poet and prophet of the Eisenhower era got it right (“Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”). On Jack Kerouac’s road to liberation, the highway always headed West.

We have been seeing the growth of the West in America and of a Western Republican Party since Yalta. The Southern Strategy was a passing political expedient. What we are seeing now is a division between the folkloric Southern Republicans and the clear, rational and formidable Western Republicans. That which hatched when Eisenhower’s Texas Mennonite mother sent him forth into the world matured with Reagan and awakens with Arnold. We can begin to see the outlines of a new “party-within-a-party” now for the first time.

And none too soon.

This week in Denver, Senator Clinton unveiled her new campaign slogan: “It’s the American Dream, stupid.”

As Arnold’s New West Republicans step forward into a gulf of maybe 80% in the middle of the electorate, the Democrats take a step back.

Clinton’s slogan is, of course, a play on her husband’s campaign slogan which was so well thought of by people like those who write for Salon who do not consider themselves to be stupid. “It’s the economy, stupid,” seemed to come directly from James Carville, the Ragin’ Cajun & Bill Clinton’s pit bull, sent out to TV talk shows to fight with people who talk like that.

Next to Gerry Ferraro’s, “It’s my turn,” I thought it was the worst slogan I had ever heard. It was geared to the Sixties crowd and Doonesbury readers who think everyone other than their own generation is stupid. But other issues aside, you could not quite hear that coming from Bill Clinton himself as he didn’t seem to have that core of vindictiveness within him. Hillary however, who started her career chastising people older than herself, and continuing now into her old age chastising those younger, as she did recently when she gave a college commencement address and told the young ‘uns they had no work ethic, gives it a particularly nasty twist. (After her daughter called her to complain, she apologized to the whole graduating class. Wow. Did any of you go to college in the Sixties? Work ethic? For summer reading, try some of Ann Beattie’s New Yorker short stories from the period about lounging around college dorms for 10 years or so smoking dope and listening listlessly to Cat Stephens, waiting for the war in Vietnam to end so you could finally quit graduate school.)

When Hillary says it, it makes you actually feel kind of stupid. She is an Introvert, I have been informed by a perceptive reader, and feels uncomfortable on the podium without the cocoon of her friends. It gives everything she says in public kind of a nasty cast. But a lot of people like that. I have a little shadow, one of Hillary’s bloggers – I think it is her paid blogger - who follows my words and responds whenever I rag on her. He says that’s what people like about her. (Did I already say Wow?)

Senator Clinton is said to have a 42% ceiling. That means 42% of the voting public has told pollsters that they would never vote for her under any circumstances. The only Democrat with a higher ceiling is Ted Kennedy (45%).

It would seem that in a season of Republican incompetence and mismanagement which almost appears annually now like the Fire Season in the Southwest, the Democrats would have every opportunity.

Yet at the peak of mayhem, Howard Dean’s Party has once again taken a step back. Senator Clinton takes her husband’s slogan for her own of course, to let you know that she is part of the Bill Clinton package. But it is a package that lost the House and lost the Senate and polarized this country since it hasn’t seen or felt polarization since the 1960s. And this time the Democrats have virtually mobilized their own undoing. If the Democrats lose 49 or so states in 2008 with Hillary as they did with George McGovern and again running against Reagan, it will be the end of the Democrats.

And just as we saw one party disintegrate in the 1850s at the hands of the Jacksonian Populists (which have been compared today with the Bush Republicans) we will see the Democrats fall and a new party step forward in their place. With the Arnold Bounce we are seeing it now: New West Republicans. That gap of 80% alienation from the two political parties which Alan Greenspan warned of at this retirement which could very well sponsor the awakening of a Third Party in 2008 or 2012 will be filled by a new outgrowth of the Republicans. And the binary consensus and divisions ahead will be between Old South Republicans and New West Republicans. The Democrats will be left to history with their spiritual father, the Whigs.

It is not just Hillary. The Democratic Party seems lost in its nostalgic past. Barack Obama, a new Senator for Illinois, is widely talked of as a Presidential candidate today in Democratic circles. In fact, his office says he gets over 300 calls a week for speaking engagements. What is it that compels Democrats to bring a virtually unknown Senator to want to run for President? And one at that who takes the narrow view, like Senator Clinton, of sending party money only to specialty candidates (like them)? It is this: Obama is a nice-looking and pleasant young black man with a handsome smile. Period.

In Iowa in the last few weeks, Mark Warner was asked about some controversial issue which I didn’t quite hear, listening in on C Span. But the answer was the same answer I have heard from him again and again on the campaign trail here in New Hampshire and elsewhere. And it is the right answer.

“97% of what I do on my job is management,” he said. Warner has been voted Governor of one of “the best managed states” in America. He presents himself to the Democrats as a manager. Indeed, he is a great manager. And he is not the only great manager the Democrats have. Wesley Clark is not only a great manager, but a man of wisdom, compassion and intuition. Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas, is as great a manager as the Republic is ever likely to see.

How little interest the Democrats have shown in managers like these and other good and competent managers like Mike Easley, Governor of North Carolina, or good, hard-working and thorough-going politicians like Woody Anderson, running for Representative in Arkansas. They seek only celebrity at the Big Top. If they cannot awaken to the new century and continue as they have as the Left-Over-from-the-Sixties Party, this absurd Hillary campaign will be their last.

And the Arnold Bounce will reformulate the Republicans into the ascending party of the new century. Even now we can see with elections 18 months away that the important event will not be a Democratic Convention which attempts to extend Bill’s career by anointing his wife, but a Republican Convention contending between Old South Republicans and New West Republicans.

I don’t think the Israel invasion which bounced not only Arnold but the stock market will continue bouncing. I think it will go much as it has gone in Iraq.

But the moment has been instructive. Who do we call to when our deepest uncertainties are awakened? Who do we instinctively seek when fear touches to the core of our being? We have seen moments like this in the past – they are the primary crises which called forth Washington, Lincoln and Eisenhower. And when the storm is endured and equilibrium is returned to the world, they bring forth the values which define us for the next 80 to 100 years.

We call them out of chaos. This time we are calling Arnold.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Feelings of War

Yesterday, at a college fair where various colleges send representatives, I was talking to two reps from West Point. I was struck at how strongly they felt about Bush and the Iraq war - felt being the operative word here, and how little rational or intellectual a function they expressed. In a word, it made no difference to them whether we were wining or losing. They were only concerned that we were fighting. I thought to myself that it was odd, coming from men so close to war. You don't win wars with "Feeling Types" in Myers-Briggs terminology at the helm; you win wars with rational men like Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Eisenhower and Wesley Clark. This runs parrallel with what we are seeing; feelings of war; a war without objective - a desire to whoop, rather than to territorialize and master the opposition.

Which prompted a thought on third & fourth generations asTypes which I sent to the Fourth Turning forum:

. . . the generations as Strauss & Howe describe them can be given Myers-Briggs classifications I would think. What leads the Third Generation into incompetent leadership processes is that they strive to be like the First Generation. The First is formed organically in the crucible of difficulty and chaos, while the Third is a "Feeling" relationship of the Third to the First. The First wants to Survive. The Third wants to "be like" the First ("The Greatest Generation . . .", etc. - these are Feeling manifestations). For example, there is a Jonathan Chiat’s essay in the LA Times this week claiming President Bush is stupid. It misses the point. Bush is not stupid and did as well in college as John Kerry. The reason he makes bad decisions is because he is an Feeling/Introvert type trying to do the job of an Intellectual/Extrovert Type. (Had his life not been chosen for him he would have been a fine rancher or preacher.) Leadership derived thus is charicatured and not authentic.

When Introverts try to do the work of Extroverts they do it poorly and results are conspicuously caricatured, as when Extroverts try to do the work of Introverts. This runs across the political spectrum - the desire for a second Clinton, a second Dole, a second or third Bush or another Kennedy are all Feeling responses.

Fourth generation will leave this behind. Worth noting the choices of the Daily Kos crowd, most of whom are under 30: Al Gore, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, Mark Warner - Warner is yielding; Gore is booming. All are legitimate managerial types who would appeal to Intellect/Extroverts. None are Feeling types. Good news for Gore & Clark.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ron Paul, a Lone Star Shines in Texas

by Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network, 7/20/06

In case you missed it, it was a remarkable event. Ron Paul, representative from Texas and a regular voice on these pages, speaking eloquently in Congress and broadcast on C Span, a singular voice of reason, courage and integrity, a lone star, rising from Texas. Paul was speaking in opposition to the ongoing actions in the Middle East, involving on the one hand, the United States, and on the other, Israel. You recall that the Texas Ranger rose from the dead to a heroic life, in the great American epic of the Masked Man. That was the picture I had of Paul.

The other voices were disheartening. The constant waves of rhetoric by skilled and effective propagandists, wave after wave of the same we have heard for decades now, supporting America’s role in propping up the state of Israel.

I have never seen President Bush look so happy. This is it, just like we heard it coming for ten years on the folkloric short-range radio stations in the hills of North Carolina and Virginia. Armageddon. Jump starting the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ.

No exaggeration. At the beginning of the war on Iraq I had the pleasure of informing some of our allies in the House of Commons of the regular programming in the mountains of North Carolina and running throughout the Appalachians, calling for war against Islam to the end of the world. They were in disbelief, or maybe it was denial. The Left Behind books clearly state the premise. They have sold over 100 million copies.

At the beginning of the war on Iraq there was some concern by rabbis in New York City as the neocon plan to help the Christian Zionists jump start Armageddon was so explicitly outlined in the Left Behind books. But, asked the rabbis, doesn’t this theme go that in the end the Jews will be destroyed? Have you all thought this through?

Something else: Anyone who lived in New York City in the 1970s will have noticed an ad placed on page two of The New York Times every morning, right next to the Brooks Brothers ad. The ad was placed by Hasidim Jews fairly recently over from Russia to Brooklyn neighbors adjacent to mine. The Russian Jews warned non-orthodox and secular Jews against Israel. In the wise tradition of Kabala, there are always two paths; one leading to grace, one to disaster.

Today, as we watch the disaster unfold in the Holy Land, New York speaks with one voice apparently, and that is the voice of that Midwestern Methodist Bible Thumper, Senator Clinton. As she told The New York Times yesterday, she supported “whatever steps are necessary” to defend Israel against Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. America must show “solidarity and support” for Israel in the face of the “unwarranted, unprovoked” seizure of three Israeli soldiers by members of Hamas and Hezbollah, which she described as among “the new totalitarians of the 21st century.”

“We will stand with Israel because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones,”

CNN’s Lou Dobbs, who’s voice is becoming that of a new man of the people, was more reticent.

Yesterday he said: “As our airwaves fill with images and sounds of exploding Hezbollah rockets and Israeli bombs, this seven-day conflict has completely displaced from our view another war in which 10 Americans and more than 300 Iraqis have died during the same week. And it is a conflict now of more than three years duration that has claimed almost 15,000 lives so far this year alone.”

A good thought. But it’s not two wars. Its one war now.

The neocon strategy depends not so much on Israeli lobbying cash to the cowardly herds in the Senate and the House as to the passivity and denial of ordinary Americans. They have now a fait accompli. Even the passive advocates of the invasion of Iraq like The Times’ Thomas Friedman, said it early on: there will never be peace in the Middle East without the presence of American soldiers. (Like the appeasers in the Senate, Kerry and Edwards, he changed his mind after the tide turned, and called it a mistake.)

We hear only occasionally of four permanent bases being built by Americans in Iraq, so better to protect our Israeli ally. Yet the important blogs, which should be speaking up, are strangely silent on the invasion of Lebanon. Content to chase mice instead. If silent now, hold your peace thereafter.

The best public article in the public venue I have seen on the Israeli invasion came from Harold Meyerson of The Washington Post.

“I wonder if this is how the summer of 1914 felt,” he asks, reviewing the history of Europe’s decent into a century of total war, “ . . . how the kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers (and the killing of eight other in the Hezbollah raid) has escalated in less than a week to what may be the brink of a cataclysmic regional war with ghastly global implication.”

Meyerson ends with a call for a “genuine international army . . . and more assertive than the Boy Scout troops that the United Nations periodically deploys . . . is needed to restore the peace.”

It is the neocon’s dream come true, but it is not a bad idea, because there are so few other options now in these last few days. For decades we have passively followed their cues like bread crumbs leading us into the forest. Now there is no way out.

We have to again face the same primary question we faced at 9/11; at the failed governmental response to Katrina and time and again as the invasion of Iraq was planned and executed.

Has federalism as Alexander Hamilton conceived it failed as a business model? It was perhaps the perfect model 180 years ago when almost all Americans were either factory workers or field hands. But the evidence grows daily that as a business model, One-Size-Fits-All Federalism no longer delivers the goods of conferring citizenship or of enhancing the productivity or the spiritual and cultural growth of Americans.

If so, the Democrats have no solution, nor do the Republicans. Libertarians have solutions. Indeed, the few Libertarian “free staters” who moved up here to New Hampshire last year might be consulted.

Every state should be a free state, and if we 300 million of us can be herded off a cliff by so very, very few influential lobbyists and propagandists with sacks of cash in hand, then we are not a free people. Perhaps we have come to act as hordes rather than citizens because under the Hamiltonian vision, people have no sense of place. People today no longer identify with a particular place and its holistic culture, but are drawn instead to the vaguest of secular themes and seek identity in the most ephemeral vagaries of popular culture. Under Jefferson’s vision identity is linked not with a idea, but with an actual place.

This distinction is at the core of our identity on the North American continent. Nothing has shaped us more than the conflict between these two views. From Jay’s Treaty to today we have followed the Hamilton view which strengthens the massive singular force. Jefferson’s view strengthens the region and the family. It was sent into remission in 1865. We should look at it again.

I don’t think that at the moment we are on the verge of a third World War. But clearly, as Meyerson outlines the passage of events that quickly tumbled out of control in 1914, it is troubling. The question is now, do we have the courage to shape alternatives?

Perhaps we don’t. The great ambassador George Kennan considered when he had neared death that the United States was too vast a country to be a real democracy; that the Hamiltonian direction made us subservient instead, and he cited the 75% of Americans who fully supported the invasion of Iraq. He endorsed the idea of the development of regional circles of autonomy as Jefferson’s vision proposed, the same idea which was quashed in 1865.

If we have become a nation of hordes a new vision of federalism should be considered. Rather than go again to 1914 we should go again to 1775 and hold a new Constitution Convention. Jefferson should be considered. Regional circles of influence devolving influence to regions which have matured in the last 200 years should be considered. The UN and all of the post-war alliances should be ditched (after the neocons and the Bush administration are held to their war crimes) if they have become simply vehicles for the New Templars pressing influence in the Middle East.

On one blog yesterday I did see an interesting headline from New York City not in lockstep with Hillary: It read, “The Sovereign State of New York.”

A free state does not follow blindly to warfare engendered by a handful of sociopaths and radicals who manage to find their way into the state department. It is not in New England’s long tradition either to follow such crumbs into the forest, although we have been doing so since 1865.

But maybe we won’t this time; indeed, let’s consider, never again.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Appeasers, Collaborators, Fellow Travelers

by Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network, 7/15/06

Let’s begin again from the beginning and look to those who held the coats, turned aside or insidiously egged them on from secret and private places. We have come now to the verge of great human disaster and we have come daily over the last four years. We have come by increment; by the accumulated cowardice of those who waited for the storm to pass; by the timidity of those in public places too weak to speak up; by journalists and government officers too afraid to do their jobs who yielded instead at the moment of crisis to accommodation.

Forget the public caricatures who spiraled this disaster upward; Brooks, Coulter, O’Reilly, Krauthammer. God made them Tricksters and Monkey Gods to test us and to send us into difficulty. (It is how we grow.) Let’s look to the human element they awakened and seek out those among us who did not find the moral compass to guide them or the instinct to act with honor and character when the moment drove us to action. They have failed us. They have failed to do their job and they have failed the Republic. They need to go home now. And if our Republic is to live in honor (and when all systems and standard practices fail, honor is all that is left), they need to be clearly named and their actions taken out of obscurity for all too plainly see.

History needs to know. Children need to know. Let’s identify them now. Let’s put their pictures on milk cartons.

Appeasers: Most prominent among them, Democratic Senators John Kerry and John Edwards, who voted for the invasion of Iraq knowing full well that it was planned in secret corners of the Pentagon and at the offices of Washington lobbyists and think tanks a dozen years before. They hoped it would end in a week as the Trickster pundits of war told them it would. Today, with astonishing hubris they continue to seek office and influence after announcing their vote was a great mistake.

Fellow Travelers: The mealy mouth and the mediocre in government offices and at editorships of influential newspapers and news outlets like The New York Times and the BBC who were promoted to their positions directly after “Mission Accomplished” day. Check the record. They are everywhere in our Republic and in Europe’s Lost Tribe, our elderly ancestor and protectorate just across the Irish Sea, at newspapers and in government offices. Most are as incompetent as Porter Goss, who set the paradigm, come and gone so quickly as CIA chief, but to no one’s surprise. We could include here those who beyond the imagination of our Yankee ancestors did not appease so much as accommodate, and brought to even local newspapers in the high mountain places of New England articles promoting torture of political prisoners and shameful and illegal acts of war (rest assured; they are all from out of town). We might include here the names and faces of the British advisors and prominent American journalists who advanced the idea of embedded journalists, insuring from the beginning a human rights disaster.

Collaborators: Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman. Those who directly supported this disaster and still do either because they are too stupid to be in public office or too shrewd. Either way; put them on milk cartons so the children will know.

We are now at a Vichy moment; a moment like that portrayed in the movie Casablanca, about an incident at Rick’s Café American which turned the world from accommodation to character. Today we are all Monsieur Rick, tormented and torn between man and mouse, waiting for the man of courage and valor and resolute conviction to arrive and order the playing of La Marseillaise.

Maybe it is the first day of the new century. Or the last day of the last. Yet in spite of everything, it is auspicious. We have now seen the worst of what the American condition has to offer, played out in public lives in full. But behind the curtain others are emerging, among who are likely to be the best among us. They are: Jim Webb and Mark Warner of Virginia, General Wesley Clark, Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Mike Bloomberg of New York, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, George Pataki of New York.

None of these political leaders were in a position to appease or collaborate when the moment of crisis came and went. Let’s start again here and start from scratch.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett, Dead at 60

At the beginning of things there is always a man or a woman, half avatar, half man and sometimes half mad, who awakens the others and sometimes awakens the world. They are later forgotten and despised. James Otis is forgotten, John Adams remembered. The names of those killed in the Boston Massacre are likewise forgotten for the more dignified; the Gray Champions of the Revolution. The Beatles had such a friend, Stu Sutcliffe, an art student friend of John Lennon, who left the group early and died young. And as they recorded Sgt. Peppers at the Abbey Road studios in London, in another room in the same building was another man like that; Syd Barrett (second from right) who was recording an album with his new band, Pink Floyd.

He would leave the group shortly as Stucliffe left The Beatles, but his influence would awaken one of the very few groups of performers of the period that went beyond sociology and into the spiraling arc of raw art and awareness; a true artist’s journey which could claim kinship with Lennon’s.

Pink Floyd was pilgrim’s music; artists striving to retain sanity in their quest for fuller consciousness; spinning inward in a world which had been spinning outward for 500 years. Just before the period began, Swiss psychiatrist C.J. Jung had made observations about his patients who were having dreams and visions of UFOs. What was similar in many of these dreams was that the person often commented that she or he had burns on their faces. Jung’s comment was that these dreams brought the dreamer to a new consciousness; or rather to an old consciousness which had been left behind in the march to the material outlook of the past 500 years. They were suddenly Awake, and the shock registered in dream as a burning shock of a sudden awakening of consciousness & enlightenment. I’d always thought of all the Sixties group (which were different from the 70s groups) the music of Pink Floyd most explicitly expressed this same phenomenon. First day awake and the shock of awareness sometimes brought madness and death. (But everybody dies.)

The later lyrics of Pink Floyd are about the Self and the Anima if one wanted to do more than dismiss them as madness. Summer play might match them with The Upanishads and the Tao te Ching and with a reading of some of Jung's work (Memories, Dreams, Reflections & Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies) on these themes. They are prefect gate openers for anyone wanting to explore the inner life. But Syd Barrett wrote more simple work, including touching lyrics about his cat.

“That cat's something I can't explain,” he wrote in Lucifer Sam, a song on the album appropriately called, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

I liked this because you don’t have to go to the dark side of the moon. It’s all there in your cat.

He died yesterday at 60.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

We Are All Soccer Moms Now

by Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network, 7/15/06

The last time the Italians won the World Cup for soccer I was living in Bensonhurst; the Brooklyn neighborhood where Goodfellas was filmed. When I got off the subway from Manhattan it looked like VJ day in the neighborhood, which was exclusively Italian except for myself and the two Koreans who ran the grocery store. Bensonhurst still had strong links to the old country and every eye was on the World Cup.

That was the first I ever heard of it. There was no suggestion of interest in the World Cup on the subway or in Manhattan. Or anywhere else in North America for that matter. 24 years later interest is immense and even my local paper here in the mountains gave the Italian victory a front-page picture as large as that of Big Papi and the gang when they won the Pennant a few years back. That’s because a lot of new groups have come to the United States since 1982, including Latinos and Central Europeans, from countries where soccer is very popular. They have brought their enthusiasm for the sport with them.

Then there is something else. Soccer Moms. Soccer Moms was a political constituency discovered by pollsters and pundits during the last Presidential elections. “Soccer Moms,” they would say. “That is the critical vote you’ve got to get.” I never understood why the Soccer Mom vote was so crucial and so sought after compared to say the African-American vote or the NASCAR Mom vote or the Bensenhurst Italian-American vote. And it seemed in the last two elections that the Soccer Mom constituency’s candidate lost pitifully against another so weak and incompetent that he is considered by many political historians to be the worst President ever. Maybe all the CNN commentators and Fox pollsters who herd the hordes over the cliff are Soccer Moms.

But Soccer Moms are different than Bensonhurst Italians or African-Americans or Southie Irish like myself. Bensonhurst Italians and African-Americans know who they are; they know where they came from and they know where they are going. Soccer Moms seem to be something which started as a concept and then looked for a bunch of people to occupy the concept and then maybe even get some candidate elected to political office. Then they would be real people. Like the homunculus, Pinocchio, Soccer Moms started first as an idea which sought to be a real child. Maybe they are looking for the First Soccer Mom President. But she’s not there yet. And she never will be. It is an illusion.

But what a culture clash occurred in the last minutes of the World Cup. What a gleeful, joyful and even giddy vision of world harmony and peace had been going on; a picture of people from all lands sharing and caring in a Paul McCartney kind of vision of world play. Soccer Moms have bumper stickers on their cars which read “Intelligent men play soccer.” Wow. Thanks for sharing. No, there will never be a Soccer Mom President.

Intelligence is part of the Soccer Mom concept/homunculus. That great Soccer Mom paper of record, The New York Times, was way on board this time and published an op-ed on the World Cup by a guy who wrote a book for the “intelligent” person’s guide to soccer. I guess he didn’t want just some chump from Detroit or South Philly reading it who hadn’t yet completed his Ph.D. Or the British thugs and goons who beat to death their opposing fans in a soccer match in Europe a few years back in riots worse than those at Watts or Detroit which left 80 dead; bludgeoned with clubs, bottles and knives, similar tools of contention as those in the slaughter at Rwanda.

That the United States lost to Ghana made no difference. It makes it better! It’s all part of the Wonderfulness! In the techno-suburb of the Soccer Mom everyone gets a trophy.

What is fairly spooky about this that it all disassembled as fast as a schizophrenic on an on-line forum when the great French player, Zinedine Zidane, in the last minutes of play bonked Italian Marco Materazzi in the chest with his head. In terror, Soccer Moms of the World fled across the bridge in the opposite direction (“The Horror! The Horror!”)

France Asks ‘Why?’ – Nation Stunned at Star’s Violent Exit,” read one of the headlines in our local paper. Even in France, Sports Minister Jean-Francois Lamour called Zidane’s act “unpardonable.”

Unpardonable? Villeneuve’s loss to Nelson at Trafalgar was unpardonable. Pierre Laval’s bow to Vichy was unpardonable. But anyone lucky enough to live far enough north to be able to watch Don Cherry Saturday night after Saturday night and year after year on the CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada knows what happened. Hockey Moms know what happened. The Italian player appeared to take a dive.

This is something which crept into international hockey a few years back, and Don Cherry, a former hockey coach turned commentator and a kind of Canadian Uncle Sam, railed against it week after week. In a sport in which there is a lot of physical contact, when a player checks another and that player feigns injury, it is a dive. The team feigning injured gets an opportunity to score if they can convince the referee that an actual foul took place. In hockey, it has fairly disappeared in recent days, because it is easy to spot when you are looking for it.

The Italian team won by an extra point shoot out. When I saw the clip it was with hockey eyes. The first thing that registered was: dive. I expect that many Canadian hockey fans who saw the head butt felt the same thing. But the glassy-eyed, hands-across-the-waters world press, pitching this event broadly, not so much to soccer fans as to fans of Beck and his Spice Girl wife, charmed by the mother-daughter vision in Bend it Like Beckham, was shattered. All of the accounts of the World Cup asked the same question: Why? Why?

Here in the local press, there was only one mention well into an article by an actual sports columnist of comments by the French coach Raymond Domenech.

“But it’s a shame. It’s sad. He (Materazzi) did a lot of acting and for such a big man, a gust of wind made him fall over. It’s regrettable.”

It is all part of the Homunculus Theater which is Soccer Mom, trying to become a real person. And it is the part of this phenomenon as it bleeds and projects into politics which continually sends the most incompetent charlatans, hustlers, weenies or their wives to run for President as if it were an American Idol contest. If it continues, it will destroy the country.

But I have seen the future and it is beautiful: Hockey Moms.

My family and I first discovered this when we took the snow train to the end of the line in northern Ontario in the dead of winter to a terrific little French-speaking town called Hearst, where there is nothing to do but play hockey. We stayed in a little bed and breakfast and an elderly gentleman who had come to watch his grandson in a hockey competition kindly invited us to attend with his whole family. It was a great little event, with a moose head on the wall of the school gymnasium blowing smoke out of its nose every time a goal was scored. The players were the best from across Canada for 11-year-olds. To us, new to the sport, they all appeared to play as well as the Great One.

Somewhere in the middle of the game one of the children fell to the ice and laid there holding his ear. No one moved to help him. My wife got concerned but the old man told her to wait. The referee skated around the boy, but no one touched him or moved to help him. After maybe two minutes – which seemed like a lifetime to my wife and myself – the boy got up by himself, brushed himself off and rejoined the game. This is the Canadian ethic which pervades the national sport of hockey. It is an ethic of fair play, no whining, endurance and perseverance. It is the North American legacy of Lord Nelson and will be perhaps, Victoria’s enduring legacy to our continent. It is based on duty and a sense of community rather than a sense of personal happiness and individualism. In North America, it is virtually the opposite of the Soccer Mom’s leisure-class ethic.

It brings to Canadians a social conscience and commitment which was best expressed when Hayley Wickenheiser led the Canadian woman’s hockey team to gold victory in the 2002 Winter Olympics, and head coach Daniele Sauvageau gathered her team around her for a final good bye. Huddled in a circle she gave them three words to bring with them to the world: “Responsibility, Determination and Courage.”

I hope it trinkles southward. And now that Raleigh, North Carolina, is the current holder of the Stanley Cup, there is evidence that it will.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

July 5, 2006

Comments RE Harvard's Daniel Gilbert . . .

LA paper op-ed in which the author makes the perceptive observation that our brains are wired to respond only to short-term problems. In an NPR interview Gilbert talks about building our own cultures which we cannot adapt. Comment: There are always “two minds” present in human endeavor; Old Mind and New Mind. Guangzhou Journal in today’s NYTs shows Chinese spending thousands for “lucky license plates” – the carriage of Old Soul, even twice as much as the upscale “New Mind” would pay for the car. The Old Ways are always present and must be as it is those to which we return. Roy Atkins very interesting book, Nelson’s Trafalgar, points out that in 1805 the English had no idea how to preserve wood, food or water; the ships rotted before they hit port and the decaying biscuits filled w/ maggots provided protein for the sailors. Old Soul guided the ships across the seas & into battle (Old Soul, realm of the Earth Mother). At the same time the most complex metallurgy was going on, building intricate watches and small machines. Soon, New Soul would dominate and complex systems would improve the sailor’s lives. Complex, non-sustainable systems are matrices; cultural casings. India, for example, was a matrix built by outside invaders. When it failed, the casing was filled by indigenous religious culture. Rome was similar; when the regime failed, religious culture filled its roads and aqueducts. Old Soul is like a snake moving into a complex lair built & abandoned by another creature. In our time, non-sustainability of systems has sent us to the skies. Now we are coming back to earth. I talk to women about their dreams and they dream of the earth giving birth.

The race to the moon and The Beatles were parallel events; Old Soul contending with New Soul (This timeless story is perfectly told in Mozart's The Magic Flute.) In 1969 New Soul ascended/Old Soul yielded. Today, there is less interest in space travel & the program is forced and the lives of the brave astronauts are jeopardized by adventurism and politics which pollute the experience. Simultaneously, Old Soul rises – and when the countervailing bro, New Soul (Captain Kirk & Co.), fails, Old Soul (Lennon & Co.) rises again unrestricted.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Some thoughts on Dreaming from Quigley in Exile . . . for a Summer's Day.

Better than a hundred years not seeing one's own immortality is one single day of life if one sees one's own immortality. - The Dhammapada

I'd rather be dead than cool. - Kurt Cobain
Notes on Persona Madness

(Keep the aspidistras flying.)

Persona Madness is a condition where anything someone says is accepted as truth because that person is considered to be a genius. Basket ball players with IQs hovering around their shoe size who talk like Susan Sontag, for example. But this is worse when people who are brilliant in one area, like Ghandi, or have a momentary inspiration, like Einstein, speak on other issues in which they have no knowledge, inspiration or special exertise. Einstein suffered largely from it, endorsing world socialism and initiating nuclear warfare ("My biggest mistake," he said later. Dude! Big mistake!) and celebrating every passing trend of the Euro avant garde after his 1905 discovery brought him celebrity status. The idolitry of the religious traditions carries over to a conventional secular life in which all truth is seen as scientific (this used to be called "scientism" - the blind faith of science; a world in which the Cigarette Smoking Man said, "Science is their religion.") Stephen Hawking today, perhaps more than any other, projects himself as a prophet whose hypothoses need no explaination, no matter how rediculas, simply because they popped into his head. His book, A Brief History of Time, brought coffee table pretentions to Suburban Moms and the rising classes (upper working class) 20 years ago, while obfuscating the material. Obfuscation was part of its cashe. Just to be considering the matter made you a far more formidible critter than your old lint head dad or share cropper grandfather 50 or 100 years ago. (Said the perceptive Tony Soprano psychiatrist to her son studying French Deconstructivists at the upscale New England college, Bard, "A Deconstructivist. And your grandfather a general contrator.") Zen asks you to remove mystery to find truth, not weave mystery to obscure clear thinking. (Einstein, incidentlally, made the claim that this religion was the only one to fit the needs of scientists. And he well explained himself on this point.) Hawking intentionally mystifies. Paul Davies book, A Cosmic Blueprint, published at the same time, clearly and eloquently explains the same material and links it to its enlightened traditions.

In a speech June 13 in Hong Kong, Hawking said the survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy Earth.

If we fail in the duties of this life and the dharma path on this earth, what in the world makes this 80's pop culture huckster staging a comeback think we would do better elsewhere?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lost and the Black Horse

You all seen Lost last night? The appearance of the Black Horse to Kate in the forest & earlier during her arrest, arrives from the world of dreams and is well represented in a Taoist story about oxen. When you are young, the horse is big and hard to ride; it is the threat and the challenge of the life force as you approach it - it is frightening and chaotic - but a life well lived finds the horse and finds equilibrium with the horse as Kate does later in the program. A Dharma tale well told by the brillinat young director, J.J. Abrams. Click there on D.T. Suzuki for the parable of the oxen as it applies to Kate, the Horse and to Lost.

More on Lost from an April 5, 2006 entry in Quigley in Exile

God doesn't know we're here. No one knows we're here. - Henry Gale

Like Shiva, Henry Gale casts aside his old body for a new Dance of Creativity - a dance of rebirth; the eternal dance of life and death. Hidden in its center of Lost is a contemporary Quaternity. With pseudo-ads for Hanso's Corp.'s (see Hans in Thomas Mann's 1924 classic, The Magic Mountain, for Lost prototype) "subliminal advertising" and spin offs like the Bad Twin book, Lost brings the Trickster forth like we haven't seen him since Sgt. Peppers or the Surrealist Movement of the 1920s.

Buffy is Prophecy - Lost is a "Returning to Earth" myth for our day

For young viewers who have not yet read The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, there is no better beginners guide to the tv show Lost. The Prisoner in Lost, marked by the Christ wound in the right chest, is Jesus, indicated by this book which is given to him by Locke. It comes from a chapter called The Grand Inquisitor. After the Bros K, go quickly to the classic spooky film, The Night of the Living Dead, for advanced insight into the Hatch & the Others. The X Files also has a Grand Inquisitor episode in which Jesus is an Alien, imprisoned and tortured by The Cigarette Smoking Man. (As it is with Dali's Orange Monk, and the Alien Christ of The X Files, Henry Gale comes from the sky - it is the mark of the Aquarian, from an air sign in the zodiac.)

Derived from Jefferson and the Enlightenment (John Locke), ours is a culture based on happiness and its pursuit and on individualism. It is an outward moving journey disconnecting each from the other. It may be reaching its outer limits. (What do people want on the outward journey? My spam mail suggests they want a loan, a college degree and a large penis.) Dharma is just the opposite; an inward moving journey connecting each to the other and those past and future as well. Dharma implies duty and a path to the state of being outside of our individual ego. It is the path to ultimate innermost state of consciousness shared by everyone and by all things in the Universe. Each individual who enters enters through a gate and leaves behind what she or he had or was before. When you enter you first enter a circle. The family is a circle, the place where you live is a circle. The world is a circle. Time is a circle. Within circles there are other circles and all circles (Chronos). It is the path to Enlightenment. Misteps cause madness or death. But everybody dies. In Lost, as Claire opens the gate to Dharma, here is a caution from Kushog Wanchen, a holy man of Eastern Tibet, told to Alexandra David-Neel: "It is only prudent to beware of opening channels without due consideration. Few, indeed, suspect what the great storehouse of the world which they tap unconsciusly, contains. One must know how to protect oneself against tigers to which one has given birth, as well as against those that have been begotten by others." (Note: The stacks of lines around the Dharma insignia represent the sticks of the I Ching. No doubt, Hurley's number sequence has references there. And the clicker in the hatch which counts to 108 and repeats implies the Tibetan beads in a string of 108 on which the sylable hri! is repeated again and again. As David-Neel states: "Some understand it as signifying an inner reality hidden under the appearances, the basic essense of things.")

Lost fans might be interested in my "Three Sisters" essay in this blog about Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. In the last Buffy episode, The Slayer is revealed to be the Earth Mother incarnate, scion of the Triple Goddess & the Lady of the Lake, the ancient-most archetype of the English-speaking people. She who put King Arthur's Sword into the Stone. (Buffy pulls it out.) I wrote the essay several years ago. (I just ran into Lost last month, when it came to my country store on DVD.) Buffy is prelude to an Awakening of the Earth Mother, the essay claims, to come in the first days of the new millenium. "But today, as it is heard in a song/a prayer by Amy Lee, Evanescence and 12 Stones, she falls in sleep and has been sleeping a thousand years. She cries to have her eyes opened again and to see again and to Awakened Inside Again and to Saved Again from the Nothing that she has become."

A Visit from Spirit Bear

“I have looked into the eye of this island and what I saw was beautiful.” - John Locke on Lost

Among the Haisla people of British Columbia the Kermode Bear; called Spirit Bear because it is a black bear that is colored white, is considered a sacred animal. The tribal elders say that when you meet with Spirit Bear the Creator has a message for you and your tribe, or some healing is needed. It is a sacred moment and a moment of transition. The TV show Lost begins with an encounter with Spirit Bear.

Synchronicity is an idea developed by physicist Wolfgang Pauli and Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung after a consultation with Albert Einstein. It means a relationship between Inner life and Outer life – parallel events expressed by coincidence. In the late 50s Jung wrote that the UFO dreams and visions of his patients were predictors of a new relationship with Space – a Space Age. Today prominent dreams are of returning to earth. All the prominent and forceful dreams I have heard of the last two years are of returning to earth. Likewise these dreams predict a new period of awareness of the Earth – psychologically a “return to earth” and an Earth Age. This psychological change is reflected in Lost. Spirit Bear, the Magical Animal, leads to a door and the door is called Dharma. It is a Creation Myth (a parable of Awakening) for the new millenium. (See Returning for "returning to earth" myth.)

Lost has the same psychic tone as early UFO dreams and movies of the 1950s. Naïve (popular, entertaining - the common stone of the culture) and unpretentious art and stories always reflects these changes. The Survivor TV series and all of its knock offs are a reflection of this “return to Earth” theme in the naive culture (as Close Encounters, E.T., Alien and The X Files were "entering the Universe" dramas in the Space Age). Lost is the mythic drama which portends a new period of cultural awakening to the Earth, just as Close Encounters did to space. The Earth shares consciousness with the humans and the humans are part of the earth. This is the natural state of humans in their natural environment. Princess Mononoke, the film by Hayao Miyazaki, the computer game Myst and Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen - three of my children's favorites and mine - make a contribution. And common themes from Jane Eyre, Women in the Dunes, Gilligan's Island, The Wizard of Oz (Henry Gale), Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, Gurney's Dinotopia ("Each person who arrives in Dinotopia becomes reborn, and the birth is different for each individual," says Levka) and multiple others are applied and suggested. Notice that there are only two old people in the story; an old African-American woman named Rose (who sits closs-legged and quiet on the beach) and an old shamanistic guide name John Locke. Rose the symbol of Inner Life and the Unconscious (Yeats, Jung and the Alchemists - the Rose and the "Rosy Cross" was their symbol - Rosacrucians, Templars; y'all seen The DaVinci Code?), John Locke the father of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. They are the yin and yang (Love and Power; in the narrative voice on Lost, "faith and reason") represented occationally throughout the story by two stones, one black and one white.

Lost is a generational story - all the characters are young, and it is a story marketed to teens. Notice as well that except for the child, Walt, all of the characters wear long pants all the time (on a tropical island - compared say, to Survivor). It is a sign of responsibility and serious intention. It is geared to the fourth post-war genertion; the first generation which will take full responsibility in the new millenium (see William Strauss and Neil Howe, The Fourth Turning).

Most of the names and relationships in Lost appropriately suggest the spiritual and psychological condition at the end of the Second Millenium after the brith of Christ and the awakening of the Third Millenium, which awaits the second face of the avatar. The baby born on the island is Aaron, for example, who started the Judeo-Christian procession millenia back, incarnate again in the awakening age of Aquarius (which began, technically, on January 1, 2001). Some of these relationships are quite uncanny. The birth of Aaron restores and reunites the Earth and the Earth Mother (Claire) to its human occupant and natural child, after 500 years of separation. The island itself has a yin spirit (a Dakini in Tibetan culture), a French woman named Danielle Rousseau (like John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau was father to the Enlightenment), who has been driven to madness because she "lost her baby." This is the core theme of the rise to the Renaissance as it found flower in philosophers Locke and Rousseau, discussed earlier in Madonna/Child portraiture in which the Christ Child, representing the human race, is snatched from the arms of the Divine Mother (or Earth Mother or Mona Lisa - who represents the Earth), causing 500 years of alienation, division and divorce between earth and human.

Jung and Pauli’s book on the subject of synchronicity is The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche, published in 1955. The tragic mine accidents taking place today in West Virginia and Saskatoon all in a sequence are synchronistic events reflecting the prevalent “returning to earth” myth – the prominent and directing myth in the culture today. Of course, no government officials will view this prognosis seriously, and increased shifts in the mines is an obvious contributor, but just the same, they should shut down the mines until they have reviewed all safety procedures as West Virginia is doing and look at safety for the miners with new eyes to insure their safety throughout the industry in The United States and Canada. Congress should also reconsider its proposed spending for Space exploration and use as a barometer for public interest in these efforts evidence in the pop culture. The only space story generating interest today is that of an empty space suit, silently orbiting the earth, which was thrown out of the international space station. Space exploration is a scientific venture. If adventurism and novelty are removed from these projects they will be safer and more successful.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Romney Sheep or Coopworth?

I'm trying to find out which has the better temperment, Romney sheep or Coopworth? Also, do these sheep have dairy application? Thoughts on raising Romney and Coopworth would be appreciated. Anyone.