Targeted Attacks, Targeted Outrage

Using chemical weapons against a civilian population has once again raised its ugly head and created cause for the U.S. to step up its war campaign in Syria, give Trump a boost in his worldwide ratings, and let’s not forget—distract world interest in the Russia Election Campaign Connection!

Tell me, please—what makes a chemical attack on a civilian target more disgusting, more abhorrent, more outrageous and worthy of condemnation, political drama and fear than conventional bombing of a hostile target that kills untold numbers of civilians… the so-called collateral damage? Want the truth? Nothing. Nothing makes this attack more worthy of outrage. Civilians, innocents are dead either way and one method is a disgustingly bad as another.

What makes a chemical weapon attack more inhumane than the lack of support for the millions of people in third world countries starving to death, used as experimental subjects in the biological warfare experiments or simply ignored by their governments who are selling the countries resources for millions and providing nothing to their people?

Biological warfare… what? Most thinking people on this planet have figured out the outbreaks of a variety of viruses always… ALWAYS occurs in third world countries. Don’t be fooled… it isn’t coincidence, it isn’t their environment or lack of hygiene (although these are contributing factors that enhance the test results). It’s an experiment to determine the best ways to eliminate large populations while simultaneously developing antidotes to save the “worthy” populations of the world. Simple, isn’t it?

Use of chemical weapons in war has been around at least since WWI. There have been earlier experimental uses, but WWI was significant as it was the final proof of concept that opened the chemical weapon’s Pandora Box and ushered in a whole new world of products for the Military Industrial Complex to expand. While instilling fear and condemnation in the populations of the world, the MIC urged their puppet governments to experiment and establish a new branch of warfare… chemical warfare, and produced not only the weapons, but a sundry list of defense equipment. Every army of the world developed chemical warfare units to defend against chemical attack.

Now, President Trump, has used the chemical attack on a civilian target in Syria (certainly horrific) as reason to flex his military muscles. The world news broadcasts the outrage, while simultaneously inducing fear of greater war. Governments around the globe, allies of the United States, are praising Trump’s act while the enemies of the U.S. are rattling sabers.

Meanwhile, corporations and banks continue to increase their stranglehold on the enslavement of the majority of the world’s populations. Democratic governments, in particular that of the United States, continue to pass laws that increase financial servitude while decreasing individual rights and liberties. Every dystopian film ever produced, every dystopian book ever written has foretold the finality of the road we as a race of people are traveling.

I’m for changing direction. Anyone else?

An Open Letter to Millennial and Gen X Americans

First, allow me to apologize for the mess my generation (Baby Boomer) dumped on your future. I won’t go into all of it here, but please know that I and many of my generation fully know of our part in the current disgraceful and dangerous situation the United States finds itself in at this point in history. It was inadvertent, to be sure; but, nonetheless deadly if something is not done to reverse the current sociological, political and financial situation We the People of the United States, and in fact, the entire world (thanks to globalization) are currently enduring.

Second, I’ve discovered, on a variety of social media sites and forums, a distinct lack of presence from young men and women of your generations. All I’m seeing are baby boomers, less than half of whom support Trump and his staff of fascists while being the most vociferous, and the majority of my generation decrying the raping of our country (her people and land) by spouting nothing more than outrage, signing petitions and agreeing with each other on social media with little ass and no fight to back up our words.

Despite our apparent helplessness… it’s not our fight, it’s yours. It is your future, the world you must live in, raise families, and hopefully enjoy peace, security and well-being. Baby Boomers will support you, but you must take up the banner and lead. It is your fight against an establishment that grew to become a monster from the establishment we helped build… an establishment we thought would “do the right things.” Well, they haven’t and on behalf of my generation, we’re sorry, and though we know how to fix it, we can’t do it ourselves. We need your help; rather, we need each other’s help—our sense of what needs to happen and your technical expertise, youth and energy to lead and follow through. Here’s what I think needs to occur. I’ll start with the most difficult, but necessary hurdle to establish and allow the rest of the actions to follow:

Set up and grow (FAST) a ground roots movement to establish a third political party. Senator Bernie Sanders showed us how to do it. His main supporters (those who drove the train, activated the internet and in fact, established his prominence across the country and the world) were from your generations. Yes, you made it all happen with your technical expertise in the world of IT, advertising, marketing and promotion, and you can do it again; but this time with a leader of your generation. As good as Bernie could have been, as great as Senator Elizabeth Warren could be—a Gen X or Y leader would be far, far better. Forget about the Democratic Party changing to meet your needs. There are not and never were two political parties in America… only one that appeared to show a choice by advertising themselves as opponents. They are both owned and operated by the highest oligarchical bidders. Even when it seems they are doing good things, saying the right things, they are simultaneously doing better things for their peers and keeping as quiet as possible about it as they go. The current administration and Congress is nothing short of a deja vu of Hitler’s Third Reich in 1933 when Hitler became chancellor. The Trump administration is following, almost to the letter, the plans established by Joseph Goebbels (in this case Steve Bannon). Be alert for a false-flag terrorist attack. Hitler had the Reichtag (the German Congress) building burned and blamed it on the Communists. His ratings (if there were such things at the time) would have shot up quickly, just as Trump’s will as the nation unites in flaming patriotism against a fake enemy.

The target is the 2018 elections—that’s what I meant by FAST.  The 2020 elections may be too late. I’m not crying wolf here, the 2020 elections may be too late! The aim is to place as many third party representatives, senators, governors and mayors as possible into office. It matters not whether these people replace republicans or democrats—remember there’s no difference in them.

Attain a majority in the House and Senate in the 2020 elections. This is the goal of the grassroots effort, the ultimate success of a third political party. From this advantage changes can happen. Primary among these changes should be:

Agreement to amend the Constitution or enact laws to:

Establish term limits for all Congressional seats, federal courts and the Supreme Court.

Repeal Citizens United and establish a fund that supports individual campaigns for future political offices. No lobbying, individual or institutional funding permitted.

            Establish a budget that reduces defense spending by 50% and channeling that money into programs that enhance the living standards of the homeless and poor, changes to the ACA that fixes current problems and bettering our public school systems with up to date technology and courses expedient to the current world economies, sciences and social standards.

            Step up efforts to slow and or stop climate change by shutting down old, fossil fuel energy sources and increasing sun, water and wind generators.

Stop privatizing prisons, water wells, schools and other heretofore social programs (fire, police, planned parenthood, etc).

Establish strict regulatory laws on banks and corporations while instituting a “flat rate” tax based on profit. Eliminate tax free laws for institutions like churches, evangelists or private foundations.

Eliminate the IRS/income tax and substitute those lost tax revenues with a nationwide sales tax on all purchases except food and medicine.

There’s more… much more, but you’ll have time to work on those things as you go. So, what do you say? Will you ignore my pleas or will you unite, find a leader and take charge of running the current ruling class from their lofty perches? Let us… the Baby Boomers see you taking charge and I promise, we’ll be right behind you in full support.

FIX

A paranormal fairy tale by Michael Golvach

Having read for review “Bloody Gullets” and “What I Did This Summer by Davey Fitz,” (a short story related to the full novel, “FiX”) I, once again, have the distinct pleasure of introducing the brilliantly twisted mind of Michael Golvach to new readers.

In the paranormal thriller “FiX,” David Fitz, a small time drug dealer, and his girlfriend, Juno, are on the run from David’s boss. What they hoped would be witness protection turned into a set-up and David’s boss, held for only twenty-four hours of questioning, was free and hot on their tail. From that point onward, the story turns into a serpentine tale of betrayal, new friendships with Cadence and Brent (whose personalities and talents are far deeper than meets the eye), violent paranormal events, murder, blood (lots of blood) and twists and turns enough to provide even the most jaded reader an exciting and dizzying reading experience.

Golvach’s skill in creating an illusory scene that reeks of reality is unparalleled by anyone I’ve read in the past except the indomitable Edgar A. Poe. His characters come alive as everyday people with talents and short-comings trying their best to survive a hostile environment and eventuality that grows weirder and more complicated with every turn of the page. So much goes on, so fast in this story, it’s impossible for me and my meager talents to describe. How Golvach keeps it all together and pulls every unimaginable facet into a tightly woven, beautifully executed story is beyond me. Bur you can trust me on this; you will never see what’s coming, and that makes “FiX” a must read story for every reading fan of paranormal / horror thrillers, crime mysteries and believe it or not, a love story.

An Audience for Multi-Genre Series

Until now, I’ve avoided writing blog articles that address the business of authoring. I’m not an editor, so I’m unqualified to write about editing or its associated subjects. I’m not an indie author, although I started out as one and failed miserably. I can’t write about that; it’s too painful to recall. I’m not a self-publisher that could talk about the ins and outs of publishing, marketing, et al. So, why the hell am I writing an article about writing, now?

Evolved Publishing and I are pondering a plan for my current Eloah Series that concerns our target audience for the book. Readers, please do not take offense with the “target” tag. In this sense, it’s innocuous and refers to identifying reader’s preferences by category and genre. My books are undoubtedly multi-genre. Within the series, readers will find elements of science fiction, fantasy, reincarnation, aliens, alternative history, religion, spirituality, agnosticism, atheism, paganism, paranormal, supernatural, metaphysical and quantum physics, neatly wrapped into a suspense thriller format with unforgettable fictional and historical characters.

Can you see the problem? How does one promote and market a novel series like this? Obviously, we’re not sitting around twiddling our thumbs, and it’s not like readers aren’t buying the books or downloading with Kindle Unlimited. But, we believe the series has so much more potential—bestseller potential, even mega, “Robert Langdon,” film potential.

We think we’ve got a handle on it, but to be sure you’ve got the right keyword when searching for the Eloah Series… do not search by keyword or category or genre at all. Simply type Eloah by Lex Allen into Amazon’s search block and you’ll be on your way to an exciting, potentially best-selling science fiction, fantasy, reincarnation, aliens, alternative history, religion, spirituality, agnosticism, atheism, paganism, paranormal, supernatural, metaphysical and quantum physics, suspense thriller trilogy you’ve ever read. A story that you will not soon forget and one that you will eagerly refer to family, friends, neighbors, the milkman, the postman, your grocer cashier, the dog-catcher, the…

Thanks!

Demonstrations – The Sad Truth

Demonstrations and protest marches are good for the soul, but do they accomplish anything? No, they don’t.

All right, let me redact that conclusion. Protest demonstrations give participants and supporters a sense of accomplishment, it makes them feel good. They get out there with their signs, their friends, their neighbors and a bunch of folks of like mind, and they march. They march and they chant, march and chant—all the way to a stage where some politician or activist gives a speech. Then some celebrities show up and they sing or give another speech. The protestors are excited and brimming with a feeling of accomplishment. Well and good, great even… but have they accomplished anything?

Sorry, but the demonstration, however popular, however large, regardless of the massive media coverage, did not do a damn thing to change the deplorable situation We The People find ourselves in—politically, economically, socially or religiously.

The majority of our elected politicians and those serving as heads of government agencies, the chief executive officers of corporations, and the heads of the international banks and monetary funds don’t give a rat’s ass about you, me, our children, our environment or our future.

Their one and only concern, the omniscient god they owe allegiance to is MONEY and the power it gives them over the so-called 99%. If you don’t believe it, allow me to close this statement with a single word that provides inviolable truth and closure to the topic at hand; a word uttered several times a day by our current president’s press secretary… “Period!”

So, are we now on the same sheet of music? I know, it’s tears in your beer song, but there is a tune on this jukebox, popular in the good old days of unions (real—for the people—unions) called, Strike!

 If you get international news where you live, and it comes at a time you could see or hear it, (not the middle of the night or while most people are at work) you’d get real proof of the efficacy of strikes. Please ensure that the news outlet you are listening/watching does not belong to the chain of news operatives owned by Rupert Murdoch. If the only news you can get comes from his international web of disinformation and dissension aimed at befuddling and brainwashing, you won’t find the truth.

But, I digress.

In almost every European country, the most effective way to change a bad policy is to strike. Unions in Europe are strong, dedicated to their membership, tenacious in their dealings with government and corporate entities, and… okay, unions in Europe are owned just like those in the U.S. But, they get results and they can legally strike. Were they unowned and truly in it for the people, they’d get great results.

Strikes are effective. As powerful as the 1%ers are, as weak as the union representatives are, the people still get a compromised result. If they strike for higher wages, say six percent, they will ultimately get two and a half, maybe only one. The keys to winning a strike are unity, numbers, and patience.

There are those who believe an armed revolution, another French Revolution (1789–1799), is the only recourse left to us. Then, a group that represented 98% of the population in the King’s court (non-aristocratic folks, people like you and me, the 99% of today) known as the Third Estate, were subordinated by two other aristocratic bodies although they comprised only 2% of the population (religious and business leaders—today’s rich, the 1%ers). The French commoners rose up and overwhelmed every one of the 1%ers. It was the most significant revolution of the common people in Europe, ever. As an aside, the French Revolution was surpassed only by our own revolution against British monarchy (dictatorial rule) a decade earlier. Is that American spirit long dead?

I hope not.

But armed revolution is not the answer. An armed revolution today would be far more devastating than anything the French or our ancestors did three centuries ago.

The solution, friends, neighbors and countrymen/women is to strike! Not a union strike… a We The People strike. A strike that is uncompromising, determined and patient. Here’s an example:

The newly designated Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVoss. She was confirmed for this post after a heated confirmation hearing that clearly showed her unqualified and unfit to serve in this position. I watched almost every minute of the hearing and I was appalled at the audacity of this woman’s lies and the facts presented that clearly showed her incapable of objectively and knowledgeably leading a huge government agency that controls every public school in the United States. Well…

Our illustrious Senator’s split their votes along party lines (except for two GOP Senators who crossed the aisle to vote against Mrs. DeVoss’ confirmation… bless their hearts). The Senate split 50-50 and was then decided in favor of Mrs. DeVoss by the Vice President. Duh!

We now have a Secretary of Education whose goals are to reinstate religion and creationism in public schools, separate special needs students from their peers, and privatize all public schools (along with vouchers that will cover perhaps one-quarter of the private school’s tuition, but more importantly, the kids who take these vouchers will face ostracism throughout their school years). All three acts should be anathema to every American citizen… except of course the rich, the fanatically religious, and the neo-Nazis over there in the corner, rubbing their hands with glee, until the fanatically religious and Nazis parents discover they can’t afford the private schools, or their kids become psycho cases due to brutal ostracism and mobbing by the rich kids.

What to do? STRIKE!

The National Education Association (NEA) together with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) controls, at the nuts and bolts level, every facet of the public school system, and a strike announced by either of these entities would do the trick. But they serve under the auspices of the almighty U.S. Department of Education, are therefore government or public organizations, and as such incapable of striking as it is illegal for them to do so.

But, if every public school teacher in the country went on strike, refused to work until Mrs. DeVoss is removed from office and a new, moderate, educated, knowledgeable person, unfettered by money or religious belief is proposed for confirmation by the Senate… We The People would ultimately win this battle.

Strikes work for everyone, in every walk of life, in every profession and job set.

A well-organized, determined strike hits corporations, banks, and the government representatives owned by these multi-rich entities. Strikes are effective because they affect the bottom lines of the corporations and banks… no production equals loss of sales, equals stock market plunges, equals victory for We the People.

In days gone by, unions were the only source and leadership capable of initiating and maintaining a prolonged strike. The people had no internet and were incapable of rallying enough support to accomplish the mission. Union chiefs were the only solution. Unfortunately, today’s unions, are merely pawns for the 1%ers and most unions have been designated governmental or public organizations and therefore, incapable of striking as our fearful leaders have made strikes by these entities illegal. If you’re wondering why they are illegal, it’s because strikes are effective. They work.

To my mind, there are only two ways to take back our country and reverse the oligarchical system of government we have been pushed into:

Armed revolution (a decidedly bad idea) or… Strikes by We the People with huge assemblages of people in every industry, association and organization, coordinated, sustained, and unrelenting.

We can also continue as usual—protest, rant and rave, cry, scream and blame each other and everything for our current state of government. We can surrender, accept or ignore the slavery that big money has placed us in. We could pass it off for the next generation to worry about. We could allow the fear that government uses to shackle us to our places to dominate our lives, the lives of our children and their children.

No, the only option is to resist and the best way to resist is through strikes that cripple corporate and banking bottom lines; strikes that clearly show the will of the people against the inhumanity of corporations and banks.

Hurt the corporate bottom lines and government will change accordingly.

The Revolution Won’t Be Televised

Guest post by Niklas Stephenson, a German/American activist and blogger.

The trajectory leading us to our current state entails portions of failed communication or communication stylized for the wrong intentions on a massive scale. The rise of social media platforms and the dependency upon these have given a shaky ground for dangerous ideology to develop and grow if vile, inhumane opinions are not challenged. In times where communication becomes limited to a necessity to reach means we cannot begin to question the effects and causes of systemic mechanisms and political action.

Our communication lacks depth, because the time for purposeful social communication is eroding. The means to survive and provide in the 21st Century is a struggle void of love and empathy and stealing our time, due to our situation in the modern extremism of profit and means of production. We work harder for less today [in terms of means to provide, as costs of living go up massively but wages stagnate] than we did perhaps before the oil crisis in the 1970’s which enabled the paradigm to turn towards Neoliberalism, because the old order could not provide explanations for this crisis. We lack time to question our surrounding environment and we lack the muse to question critically outside of given contexts – it is dry, theoretical and a long journey to understanding. Shui and Blankenburg have often questioned how we are supposed to oppose the system when we receive everything from it: our thought, action, behavior, norms.

Love and empathy are important in communication because it lays the groundwork for understanding others and our surroundings. Void of these we think in individualist terms easily manipulated by ideology. It causes our communication to take place in a superficial state making it nearly impossible to transfer vital information. The mass apparatus of social media and entertainment flood our senses with disinformation – discrepancies to human nature. Waves of poison are thrown at the people: materialism, consumerism, jealousy, competition.

Who will question the Status Quo if it is omnipresent in emotion, character, society and interpersonal exchange? Who will know alternatives to the Status Quo?

The answer can only be those that we raise to question it. We have to start with our children. Raise them void of authoritarian measures, teach them to think critically, to more or less be a guide to their own understanding of the world and to teach them how to use, question and understand new media [no dependency on it to acquire knowledge, for example] – the natural establishment of human character will take care of developing a solid ground for empathy and love – possibly enabling communication based above the lowest superficial step. We have to protect them from the poisons spewing from all channels into their Lebenswelt. Essentially the young will teach the old as society changes and the environment is shaped by the young analog to their manifested and self gained ideals. Parallel to that we have to find means to enable those capable to teach others without the barriers of legitimization handed down by the institutions of education controlled by the state whose interests are per usual not ours.

“The Revolution will not be televised” wasn’t just an empty, hip phrase. It is a statement with depth that requires empathy towards who said it to understand the rationale behind it.

The revolution is social and mental – break the chains of mental entrapment of systemically accepted ideology. Individualism or isolation is prone for exploitation – we are social animals and we seek social contact. But we are also tired and seek easy solutions – that has to change.

Angel’s Guardian

I love vampire stories that are different that break away from the Bram Stoker mode and creates a new species of vampire. With “Angel’s Guardian,” Zeecé Lugo does this and more. In the short story prelude to this new series, “Vampire, Not Monster,” Lugo hinted at what this new species of vampire might look like. In the title, and in the prose that followed, she gives us a glimpse of the differences between the vampire Maxim and vampires of past stories and folklore. With the opening chapter of “Angel’s Guardian” Lugo smacks the reader in the face with a major difference of this new species of vampire and continues with more surprises as the story unfolds.

Lugo’s skill in storytelling through prose, that delivers vivid images of the written scene, is second to none. She wastes no time introducing and revealing her characters so that the reader gains instant empathy, sympathy, dislike or outright hatred for each of the actors, protagonist or antagonist. Another facet of Lugo’s writing I appreciate is verisimilitude, a big word for sense of reality, realism. Lugo’s characters bleed, and she pulls no punches showing the reader why. If one of her characters gets shot, you won’t see that character on the next page or chapter doing things in real life that would be impossible for someone with a wound like that. If there’s a sex scene… you’ll read a sex scene rather than an “off-stage” word or two that says, “they had sex.”

I strongly recommend “Angel’s Guardian” to all readers who appreciate a fast-paced, thrilling suspense/horror tale based upon new character concepts, and filled with realistic characters and scenes. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in this series.

 

Kubrick’s Game

Antonio Mascaro, professor at the UCLA School of Film and Television, receives a package that contains a reproduction of a famous Kubrick photo originally posted on the cover of Look Magazine. On the back of the photo are the words, “Follow me to Q’s identity.” Mascaro calls on Shawn Hagan, an introverted, perhaps borderline autistic, student expert on film director Stanley Kubrick for help in deciphering the message. Shawn, in turn, enlists the aid of two of his friends at UCLA. Intrigued, Wilson Devereux, a former child movie star and Samira “Sami” Singh, a graduate film student, eagerly agree to help Shawn solve the puzzle. So begins a story and treasure hunt that will keep you guessing and turning the pages as fast as possible.

Despite differences in premise, characters, and writing style, a comparison of “Kubrick’s Game” to the Robert Langdon series of puzzling suspense thrillers by Dan Brown are inevitable and appropriate. Still, I entered this book with some trepidation as I’ve little to no knowledge of Kubrick—neither his biography nor his films. Although I’ve seen several Kubrick directed and produced movies, I couldn’t give you any details about them other than title and premise. The good news is that my fears were unsubstantiated due to the author’s writing style. Taylor Kent writes with authority, great wordsmithing, and characterization. He is adept at showing the story so that even a reader with zero knowledge of Stanley Kubrick or his films can follow and enjoy the tale. Verisimilitude is a major piece of novel writing I appreciate above all else. To me, it is the most important facet in enabling readers to suspend disbelief. If realism, regardless of the story genre and content cannot be won… the entire story is lost. Every scene, every act, every character written in “Kubrick’s Game” is founded on a bedrock of verisimilitude and Derek Taylor Kent has joined the small number of authors I call favorites.

My Problem(s) with Fundamentalism

by Dr. Bart D. Ehrmann, provided courtesy of Guy Teague

From Wikipedia: Bart Denton Ehrman (/bɑːrt ˈərmən/; born October 5, 1955) is an American professor and scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is one of North America’s leading scholars in his field, having written and edited 30 books, including three college textbooks. He has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman’s work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.

Dr. Ehrmann:  My Problem(s) With Fundamentalism: A Blast from the Past. What are fundamentalists, and why don’t I like them? Here is a post I published almost exactly four years ago now. My views have not changed!

QUESTION: You note that fundamentalism is dangerous and harmful. How do you define fundamentalism and why do you think it’s dangerous?

RESPONSE: There are of course actual definitions of “fundamentalism” that you can find in scholarship on religion, but I sense that you’re asking more for a rough-and-ready description. Years ago I started defining fundamentalism as “No fun, too much damn, and not enough mental. When I was a fundamentalist myself (yet to be described) I understood it in a positive way. Originally, in Christian circles, it referred to believers who held on to the “fundamentals” of the faith, which for us included such things as the inspiration of Scripture, the full deity of Christ, the Trinity, the virgin birth, the physical resurrection, and, well, probably a collection of other doctrines. Fundamentalism, for us, was to be differentiated from liberalism, which had sacrificed these basic fundamental doctrines to the gods of modernity. And we would have nothing of it. Some scholars today understand fundamentalism to be an inordinately conservative branch of a religion (Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, for example) that stresses that it alone has the truth, that insists that everyone agrees with its perspective, and that focuses exclusively on religious issues with no interest in for broader concerns of society such as social justice. I don’t agree with that last bit.

But I do think that fundamentalism in its various brands is insistent that it is right, everyone else is wrong, and there needs to be borderline militant (either verbal or physical) action to bring others into line with the truth. In Christian circles fundamentalism is almost always tied directly to a view of Scripture as being an inerrant revelation from God that has no mistakes in anything it says, so that there are no real contradictions or discrepancies in the Bible as the Word of God, and no discrepancies in the Bible’s description of historical facts or scientific realities.

And so if Genesis says the world was created in six days, it means six days – with mornings and evenings (not geological periods). If it says Adam and Eve were the first man and woman, they were the first man and woman. If it says there was a universal flood, there was a universal flood. If the book of Joshua says that the walls of Jericho came a-tumblin’ down, then they came a-tumblin’ down. Everything, to its precise detail, is absolutely right. And being absolutely right is absolutely necessary, because if you don’t have some kind of absolute standard of truth, then everything is up for grabs. There is no longer any objectivity. There is no way to know anything for a fact. And most important, there is no way to know anything about God. And that means that there is no way to be saved.

And so the stakes are very high for Christian fundamentalists. Which is why they tend to be not only isolationist in their thinking (holding to historical and scientific views that have been thoroughly discredited), but also evangelistic in their zeal – since agreeing with them is absolutely essential for anyone who wants to avoid the (literal, of course) fires of hell.

So why do I think it’s dangerous? Lots of reasons—enough for a book. To keep it short and simple though, fundamentalists tend not only to think explicitly that stated views of Scripture are absolutely true, but also that their own inferred interpretations of Scripture are absolutely true. This view necessarily has serious implications, especially when fundamentalists have anything like a modicum of power, either within their own communities or in society at large. Fundamentalists at one point were convinced that because of Noah’s curse of his son Ham, that blacks were, for biblical reasons, supposed to be slaves to whites. Fundamentalists have constantly argued that since the Bible says so, women are inferior to men and are to be subservient to them.

Fundamentalists regularly argue that the Bible condemns abortion (it doesn’t, actually) that a woman who exercises her right to choose has in fact committed murder. Fundamentalists are opposed to the teaching of real science in the schools, are intent on filling their children’s minds with complete scientific nonsense (the world is only 6000 years old; there was no big bang; the fossils have been placed into the rocks by the Devil to confuse us). And as a result they refuse to adhere to the principle that thinking human beings should be taught how to THINK FOR THEMSELVES.

Fundamentalists do not want to promote thinking – even though they often say that they do; they want to promote abject obedience to authority, whether the authoritative scripture (as interpreted of course by the authoritative interpreters – i.e., themselves) or the authoritative leaders of their community, who may insist that women are going to the Devil if their knees show while wearing dresses or that masturbation is a sin that will send you to hell or that adultery is literally an unpardonable sin. Just for starters.

So yes, I think fundamentalism is very dangerous. It not only destroys minds; it refocuses minds on nonsense (the world will end Sept 11-13, 1988), and fills minds with absurdities (from talking snakes in the Garden of Eden to the innate inferiority of women to men; which two things, by the way, are related in their minds). Why fundamentalists are almost to a person passionately devoted to a particular interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, I’ll never know…..

January 20, 2017 – The Day of the Trumpalypse

Guest Blog by Niklas Stephenson – a German-American millennial currently living in Germany. He is college educated in social work and politically active on the staff of Activism Munich an international, non-profit media organization.

January 20, 2017 – The Day of the Trumpalypse

Today will one day be called The Trumpalypse. Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States, will be stylized to become the personification of evil politics and interest. But, it is not the end, merely an acceleration of a process begun almost a century ago.

Trump is not the devil. He is you, me, and all Americans. Trump results from a hyper-consuming and materialistic society. He is the personification of our lack of moral backbone and ethics. When you see Trump you are seeing a subconscious reflection of yourself: narcissistic, self-indulged, self-proliferating and self-contained in your own corner of the world.

The massive outcry of disingenuous politicians and so-called leaders will resonate over and over, accompanied by the overture of media sensationalism. Prominent leaders will call for a conjoining of movements behind party lines and persons. Don’t take the bait! Don’t drink the Kool Aid!

The two divergent paths in the political woods of American politics ultimately lead to the same result. On the left, a donkey tried to lead the way but the natural being of a donkey is obedience and its masters are—Wall Street, Big Banks, and the Military-Industrial-Complex. On the right, the Elephant now stands ready to smash everything in its path toward greed, religious bigotry and hate, without remorse and thus opening the gates to dangerous ideologies and a collapse of American society as we know it. The destination of either results in a further perversion of capitalism, neo-liberalism, and an increased concentration of wealth power and privilege for the chosen few while hundreds millions of people suffer.

Resist! Stand up and refuse to follow either of these perverted similes of democracy. Organize and find an ax to create your own paths stemming from a reality you see for yourself. Look inside to your subconscious mind and find the moral, ethical, truthful, honest reflections that are surely there. Smash through the dark forest of American politics with your ax and create your own path. This path will be hard, but it will be your path and you’ll find millions of fellow rangers seeking justice.

Resist and push for a paradigm shift in American politics, society and humanity… or perish. It’s that simple.