Friday, September 15, 2017

"History...a Nightmare" vs. "History...to Hope"?



"History is a nightmare we are trying to wake up from."
-James Joyce
VS.
"It is history that teaches us to hope."
-Civil War Talk website
---

"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."
-Winston Churchill

“If the people really knew [the truth] the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don’t know and can’t know.”
-British Prime Minister Lloyd George, on Great War

"“It is necessary to know how to conceal...and to be a great pretender and dissembler...those princes who have done great things have considered keeping their word of little account, and have known how to beguile men’s minds by shrewdness and cunning. In the end these princes have overcome those who have relied on keeping their word.” “Occasionally words must serve to veil the facts. But let this happen in such a way that no one become aware of it..."
-Machiavelli
VS.
"The first casualty when war comes is truth, and whenever an individual nation seeks to coerce by force of arms another, it always acts, and insists that it acts in self-defense."
-American senator Hiram Johnson, on Great War

“.... more deliberate lies were told than in any other period of history, and the whole apparatus of the state went into action to suppress the truth”.
-War Journalist Phillip Knightley, on Great War

"When war is declared, Truth is the first casualty."
-Member of Parliament Arthur Ponson, Falsehood in War-time, Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations During the Great War


from Wikipedia:
Historian Anne Morelli's explanation of "Ponsonby's classic in "ten commandments of propaganda":

"We do not want war.

The opposite party alone is guilty of war.

The enemy is the face of the devil.

We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.

The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.

The enemy uses forbidden weapons.

We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.

Artists and intellectuals back our cause.

Our cause is sacred.

All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors."


Notice how ALL--or at least most--of those characterize nearly all wars in history, and include present-day conflicts, especially the 7 ones that the U.S. and other countries are currently engaging in!

See also, Jesus Wars and The Great and Holy War by Historian Phillip Jenkins

At this juncture in my aged life--
after at least 57 years of reading history tomes--it would seem that history is
neither "a Nightmare"
nor a "Hope,
but
rather our past life, and so we ought to study it for dear life, hoping that we can ferret out what is true from all the myths, all the intentional lies and semi-lies, and all the misunderstandings, confusions, and distortions that comprise the FOG of HISTORY.

Seeking the Truth,

Daniel Wilcox

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Stepping to Art


Stepping to William Wordsworth

I call to you
Out of the sandpaper scuff of my boots on the sidewalk
Where I come to its cantered edge,
I step down the curb side and walk across the width of that coastal street,
Munching construction gravel under foot
And stare down into the aqua wash of low lands of a California
Morning
Briskly brushed over raptap cottages and electric-blinking monoliths,
And the worth of words to describe this wonder does not yet appear—
Even you would have been wordless.

--

Fall Impression

In that loud shout drenching our senses,
Sun-jaded trees ungreened and thundered color

Reverberating the world--to 'Gogh' over the limit;
They left tremoring rainbows burst earthbound, and shingled

In that wind--melted yellow, orange, and maroon,
Fingerpaints jagged, leaved in black wrought branches;

Then wild strokes of northerly gusts rogued down,
Zagged etchings counterwheeled in swirling emotion--

Hacking our senses, hueing our minds until glazed--
And so reeled sideways down in that kaleidoscoping
Monet


-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in The Write Side Up
--revised

--


after

all my nerves torn loose
in the streets dancing jangles
staccatoed electric wires
ripped loose from my telephone-souled
dangerous lightning night


-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in Mad Swirl

--


walking night

saplings blacken along
our sidewalk against the misted night
a refracted light sky over
wrought iron candelabras on stands
lamping the coasted evening


-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in Writer's Ink

--






In the Light of Beauty,

Daniel Wilcox

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Guest Post from Neil Carter on Fallacious Beliefs


This is a lucidly powerful article by Neil Carter showing the fallacious nature of many religious people's beliefs when tragedy strikes, especially horrendous natural disasters.


Note: While I agree with Carter's in depth analysis of what is wrong--that the major religions' answers are false and delusional, I strongly disagree with his own alternative answer. He promotes "Godless" as the alternative answer to the ultimate nature of reality.

BUT I think that the real answer is more a matter of God-MORE and Divine-LIGHT:-)

We humans--aware, ethical, rational primates, very finite in an incredibly complex cosmos, don't "know" the ultimate nature of existence, but we can agree that there are good hints toward what that transcendent reality includes inherent within it--life, conscious, finite awareness, math, reason, ethics, the awesome structure of the universe itself (often termed "natural law").


What Praising God in the Storm Reveals About Faith

by Neil Carter

"Nothing puts the cognitive dissonance of faith on display like a destructive storm system ripping through a religious community. “Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?” –Amos 3:6 “I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things.” –Isaiah 45:7

This week people all over the southeastern United States are bracing themselves for another potentially disastrous storm, thanks to a significant uptick in oceanic temperatures the world over. People in southeast Texas have already suffered massive damages and now the nation turns again to prepare for Hurricane Irma, whose path we have yet to sufficiently predict.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2017/09/06/praising-god-storm-reveals-faith/#bB8cerVO4xbsXpZb.99
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/#1qaWuurKA5Ri4Kk8.99






















Separating from fallacious concepts and beliefs, seeking the truth about Reality,

Wilcox

Friday, September 8, 2017

Guest Post by Professor Randal Rauser: "Could God be punishing Texas?"


“I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth…” Could God be punishing Texas?
by
Randal Rauser


In addition, there is a more in depth article, too. Randal Rauser: "Ten days ago I posted an article titled “‘I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth…’ Could God be punishing Texas?” Since then I rewrote and expanded the article and this morning it was posted at Strange Notions as “Does God Punish People Through Natural Weather Events?“

https://strangenotions.com/does-god-punish-people-through-natural-weather-events/

The answer is NO!

Reject the false and often horrific views of God that so many Christian and Muslim leaders are claiming.

Instead, seek the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, September 7, 2017

the god of infinite evil and hurricane harvey, irma...



Christian spokesperson and actor Kirk Cameron's god is totally opposite from the God that my parents thought existed. We grew up in Nebraska thinking that any God who intentionally slaughtered millions of humans via disease, war, and natural disasters is NO God at all.
Cameron makes God look like, not only an abusing father, but a mass-murdering parent, infinitely evil.

--

"In video taken this morning at an airport in Orlando (Florida), Cameron explained how the natural disasters were obviously signs from God."

"One thing we know about hurricanes — and all weather — is that...This is a spectacular display of God’s immense power."

"And when He puts His power on display, it’s never without reason. There’s a purpose. And we may not always understand what that purpose is, but we know it’s not random. And we know that weather is sent to cause us to respond to God in humility, awe, and repentance."

"God wanted us to be humble, so he killed dozens of people in Houston, decimated an entire island, and is still creating chaos in the Caribbean."
--Kirk Cameron

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/09/07/kirk-cameron-the-hurricanes-were-sent-by-god-to-make-us-more-humble/#qTgVoSL2ubMcpKUl.99

On the contrary...

In the Light of Compassion, Equality, and Goodness,

Daniel Wilcox

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Save the Dreamers!


"Meet Larissa Martinez. She was the 2016 valedictorian of McKinney Boyd High School, and is on full scholarship to Yale. She is bright, hardworking, and is a credit to her family and community."

"She is also in danger of being deported at any moment. She was brought to America with her mother, who was fleeing an abusive alcoholic husband."



DACA is Literally the LEAST we can do: Here's Why Ending it is Stupid

"Dreamers are an economic boom"

"Dreamers have passed background checks, paid fees, stayed in school, obeyed the law, attended college, paid taxes, and served in the military. Dreamers and their families pay taxes just like everyone else, but in most cases they are not eligible for many of the benefits and services that citizens receive especially when it comes to education. Most are not eligible for federal or state aid."

"Extending hospitality to the dreamers costs America exactly nothing. In fact it’s a huge net gain to the economy."
by Tim Suttle

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paperbacktheology/2017/09/daca-is-literally-the-least-we-can-do-heres-why-ending-it-is-stupid.html#DJv7eB6Yhl2ThrXI.15



In the Light of Compassion and Hope and Dreaming,

Daniel Wilcox

Israel Evicts Elderly Palestinian Family--Who Owns the Land?




http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41159653


Tragic how humans only think of themselves--in this case Jewish settlers:-(, focused on their own lives, not caring that they have forced an elderly Arab family out of their home of many years.

At other times, Palestinian haters do the same, and much worse as when they praise Palestinian murderers as "heroes."

Have both sides forgotten each other's histories, all the suffering, injustice, etc.?

Yes, the problems of land ownership are incredibly difficult.

Why didn't the Arab family buy the house if they have lived there for 53 years?

Since they have lived there for so long, why didn't the Jewish owners of the property--who sold it to Jewish settlers--help this elderly Arab family to stay?
(It's true that the Israeli owners allowed the Palestinians to stay while the case was legally fought through in the courts. BUT why not help the elderly Arab family keep it?)

Why go back now and change things from back in 1948, punishing this elderly Arab family now, who probably had nothing personally to do with the loss of the house in the 40's?

And why, if this is necessary, WHY has NOTHING been done for all the Arab lands lost, stolen back then by Jewish soldiers?

Look at the maps, study the histories. Jewish people confiscated millions of acres of Palestinian land.

Of course, everything is unfair in war.

And why is the Israeli government also still trying to take away land owned by a Palestinian family near Bethlehem, who have a Turkish legal deed from about 1906?!

All of this smacks of nationalistic and religious selfishness, prejudice, inequality, injustice, and inhumanity.

Based on Israeli reasoning, here in California in the U.S., I ought to lose my home that my family has lived in for 26 years.

And it ought to be given back to Mexicans who used to own this land before it was stolen.

Of course, the Mexicans also stole it from the Chumash native Americans.

So utterly sad.

Two wrongs don't make any right.

(Note: I lived for most of a year on an Israeli kibbutz near Bet Shean, have seen and studied the Israeli-Palestinian chasm for many years. Have also been a guest of a Palestinian family in the city of Nablus, Palestine.)






Troubled in the Light,

Daniel Wilcox