Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
The West Texas Little Rascals
Better Quality Photos for Download as a Public Service for Bears, Boosters & Alumni
Saturday, August 28, 2010
|Count Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy|
In this light, the political anarchism of intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky can be better understood and appreciated; but it must be differentiated from that of Tolstoy's exposition of that of Jesus of Nazareth.
Although Tolstoy more or less independently developed his thinking on the active non-violent resistance that is at the heart of Christ's teaching, after his first edition, entitled "What I Believe," he was introduced to the writings of the American Quakers, William Lloyd Garrison and Adin Ballou, both of whom deepened his understanding and led to the current edition entitled "The Kingdom of God is Within You."
|Quaker activist William Lloyd Garrison|
|Quaker activist Adin Ballou|
Given over to a basic anxiety regarding holding onto power and status, they rely upon violence or the threat of violence to achieve their ends.
Despite all their glorious and benevolent promises enshrined in constitutions and legal systems, the incipient function of all government is to preserve and protect itself. The institutions of police and military forces are given the mandate at their deepest levels to protect government and the elite who empower them.
Only after they have secured their own power do governments act outside their borders to extend the goals of its merchant and upper classes through commerce and adventurism. All foreign policy and commerce is underwritten by the ability and willingness to employ violence.
|Persian miniature of Sermon on the Mount|
The principle of violence is upheld by all social institutions, including religion, whose essential betrayal of the teachings of Christ is to ignore through specious reasoning his core teachings on active non-violent resistance to evil. This core teaching was never meant to be parsed in a way that would justify the use of violence by the state.
Indeed, the Kingdom of God is within us, hidden from those who have no eyes to see, no ears to hear; thus, it is the refuge of all who perceive the Light of Truth.
Those "of the world" who cannot or will not come to this Light of Truth, sadly, remain caught up in the bondage of suffering at the whims of social trend and the mundane attachments of the ego. All denizens of current forms of society are subject to their governments' use of violence in all the forms it takes to achieve for its apparatchiks and the elite they represent ever expanding power, status and wealth, even at the cost to its own people and neighboring nations.
This lust for power, status and wealth is the dysfunctional attempt by all to allay the existential angst we suffer in the absence of faith.
|The Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch|
Be the one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburned with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life,
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outward and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.
-Guatama Siddhattha Buddha
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
|A Kapo brutally managing fellow prisoners*|
The Jewish "kapos" of World War II Nazi concentration camps are an extreme example of the tragic manifestation of introjection. The most brutal among their peers and obsequious to their captors, they were selected by their Nazi overseers to serve as guards over the camp work-crews and to enforce docility and absolute compliance upon their fellow prisoners.
In a narrative illustration of the absoluteness of poverty in the camps, Frankl wrote that as their cigarettes ran out, many of the men would save the last one and keep it hidden for weeks. It represented the sole luxury left to them. One could tell when a man had given up when he smoked that cigarette. Death soon followed from disease and starvation.
Some survivors, though deeply wounded spiritually and psychologically, went on to make the best of their lives, deepened with compassion. Others later dealt with their suffering by becoming vengeful and bitter.
Zionist Movement and in the treatment of Palestinians where sadistic brutalities are acted-out -- racism, murder; ethnic cleansing of the land, the stealing of Palestinian water, systematic destruction of their homes, illegal acquisition of their farmland and possessions; the concentration, isolation and containment of the Palestinian people; collective punishment -- much of it acts of revenge as much as war crimes committed by wounded souls who have no conscious awareness of the racism they have introjected and externalized from previous generations who suffered the inhumane trauma of genocide which they now project onto others. It is a sickness that Frankl might describe as the national neurosis of Israel. What now seems to be the majority population of Israel is composed by Ashkenazim, many of whom have inherited an identity of victimhood, a people that cannot really be described as survivors; but rather, as a people unconsciously living as angered and pathologically cruel victims of history, acting-out the traumatic anxieties or their ancestors. No one can describe their condition as "free."
But there are others who find identification with the suffering of their neighbors and can see in the treatment of Palestinians the violence and evil perpetrated by a new generation of fascists, a generation of Jewish Nazis who now hold in their hearts the power of displaced anger through a false revenge, the vile and vicious power to dominate, the raw power of violence formerly inflicted upon their grandparent's generation by an oppressive WWII racist Aryan generation of sociopathic authoritarian leaders and their right-wing authoritarian followers. These with hearts of compassion can see the incongruity between the myth of The Promise to those made righteous by The Law and the reality of fascist nationalism.
The pathological introjections of their grandparents have continued inexorably, exploiting the Jewish motto, "Never Again," in order to prosecute a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Tragically ironic, the crimes against humanity now perpetrated by Zionists in the name of Der Judenstaat not only cast a pall of shame on Jews throughout the world; but far worse in proportion, they are being suffered by a generation of Palestinians who will communicate their victimization and anxieties to their own children for generations to come. It is the karma of generational suffering, a momentum of ignorance and lost innocence.
Yet, we must remember that not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews. The authoritarian mindset of the current Israeli government can not survive history because it is unjust. As Martin Luther King put it, "The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice."
The therapeutic remedies of Victor Frankl involve the transformation of this traumatic existential suffering into constructs of meaning and release. Israel certainly is blessed with such compassionate ones of the priesthood of transcendence. One can only guess that their absence from the public life is the result of social oppression by the cruel zeitgeist of Zionism.
*Image supplied from a Facebook collection by Patrick Mac Manus
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I dedicate this song, "Sky Pilot," to one of my favorite writers and mystics, Leo Tolstoy, who wrote "The Kingdom of God is Within You."
We should never let institutional religion and it's lying clergy lead us to war. They will rationalize false limits upon the commandment, "Thou Shalt Not Kill." They will equivocate, attempting to convince us that our nation is chosen by God, and thus, that war is our sacred duty.
We should never let greedy oligarchs and their lying corporatists trick us into sacrificing our blood and the blood of our children for their self-aggrandizement and lust for power by claiming their cause is the cause of liberty, justice, freedom, or to spread democracy. Indeed, they hold close their own definitions of these words.
Resist not the force of evil nor any of its perpetrators; rather, love your enemies and do not to them what you would not have them do unto you.
"Sky Pilot" by, Eric Burdon and the Animals
Monday, May 31, 2010
SUPERMAN IS AN "ILLEGAL ALIEN"
living anonymously among us.
Photo by DULCE PINZÓN
Her photo essay is brief and inspiring. Dressed as various superheroes, her subjects-in-masquerade, accompanied with a brief tag-line for each, tell a story of survival and heroic contribution to family, a story hidden from scrutiny by their anonymous public personae. Pinzon, however, brings a hint of the real truth of their lives into view using the simple metaphor of the superhero in costume so that we can appreciate the brothers and sisters, not unlike ourselves, struggling for a living here among us.
Dulce Pinzón writes this introduction to her photo journal:
I was born in Mexico City in 1974. After college at the Universidad de las Americas in Mexico, I moved to New York to become a photographer in 1995. I'd grown up in a middle-class household; my dad owned a construction business. But after my savings ran out in New York, I had to do service work to get by: I worked as a waitress and a nanny, and realized how difficult it was to be an immigrant. Initially I had a student visa. Before I got my green card, I also had to go back and forth across the border every six months. It was a very humbling experience.The photo essay, containing nine photographs, can be viewed here. Beware the subtle humor contained in them.
Meanwhile, I worked as an English teacher and a union organizer, helping Mexican immigrants with various issues, like landlord-tenant disputes. Through this work, I got to know many Latino workers in New York. I wanted to share their experiences, but not the story we usually hear, if we hear of them at all. In a sense, Latino workers in New York are hidden -- hidden in kitchens, hidden inside houses. Most of the U.S. national news about immigration is very sad: bitter political disputes in Arizona, or images of desperate immigrants trying to cross the border. So much pain numbs you.It is easy to overlook the practical contribution of immigrants to American society, as well as the enormous financial contribution they make in sending remittances home. A lot of Latino communities survive on that money; some say the sum of remittances even surpasses the income we get from selling oil, in the case on Mexico.
I saw a Spiderman costume in a store in November 2001, and that's when everything came together in my head. Comic-book superheroes have an alter ego, and so do immigrants in the United States. They may be insignificant or even invisible to much of society, but they are heroes in their homelands.
Many of the people I photographed for this series, between 2004 and 2009, were my students or people I worked with as a union organizer. We had a friendly relationship; they trusted me enough to give me their real names and how much money they send home. It was very important to me to include that information. My work is a tribute to them.
"Dulce Pinzón is a photographer working in Mexico and New York." -- FP editors
Thursday, May 27, 2010
With weekend campers still enjoying the Lake late Sunday afternoon, the Bamorhea Fire Department was alerted to an approaching super cell that contained a tornado. The tornado had touched down in Fort Stockton and was reportedly heading west along I-10.
The last reported location of the tornado was at Hovey Road, nearly midway between Balmorhea and Fort Stockton. The Fire Department volunteers deployed at the crest of the road crossing the dam at Lake Balmorhea and waited.
When the storm hit Fort Stockton early Sunday afternoon, it caused a blackout in surrounding areas, including Balmorhea, that lasted until 10:00 AM Monday.
At the time of the electrical blackout, this editor, camera in hand, headed east on I-10 following a utility vehicle that I assumed was heading to the site of the disruption. As I neared the Hovey Road exit darkly ominous clouds came into view, accompanied by a rainbow.
I noticed in the rear-view that the utility truck, which I had passed by then, had pulled to the side of the road. This was an intuitive indicator that danger lay ahead, so I stopped as well. Winds were picking up and becoming fierce. I got out and began taking photos of what turned out to be the super cell that later caused alarm in Balmorhea among the emergency team. It had begun to rain.
As the dark super cell continued to approach it's clouds became more and more ominous looking.
I took a chance to slip by northward with the super cell on my right. When I got to Hovey Road, 18-wheelers were pulled over and banked against the protective hill at the top of the exit road as the storm passed on their right on the other side of the hill. Suddenly, a very heavy rain ensued and the storm began to shower us with pea-sized hail. At that, I thought I might be in danger so I headed back home, south on I-35 as soon as my intuition told me it was safe. My concern was that the super cell would cross over the hill.
When I exited the storm, all became calm again and the sun was shining in Balmorhea. I headed for the lake where I was sure that I could get a view toward Ft. Stockton from the top of the dam. I could only see the leading edge of the storm high up.
At the dam I stopped briefly to talk to the emergency crew who were keeping a close eye on the storm; then I headed out across the dam looking for an unobstructed view.
The clouds were not quite so ominous anymore and seemed to be heading northwesterly now. They would skirt north of Balmorhea, relieving us all. Before doing so, and as the sun went down, the cell begin to present itself, lit by the sun, in golden glory. Underneath the thunderhead, there appeared an angel formed in clouds that seemed to be holding the heavenly clouds on its shoulders, much in the manner that Juan Diego must have experienced in visions at Guadalupe.