Saturday, 29 October 2011

Music To My Ears

Over half a century ago, after having left university to start a serious search for answers to and about life, I was in the Hollywood Bowl one evening, listening to a classical music concert under the stars, when I got thinking about the favelas in Rio, which were in the news at the time, for whatever reason. There was such a disconnection between those two worlds; my living such a rich-environment life in southern California, and the poor in the rickety favela ‘homes’ climbing up the hillsides in that distant country, and city. But instantly, through the music - too, reaching for the heavens - I realized the connection between our worlds.

Human culture. Principally, music.

An international language. If not the international language.

It also reminded me of my somewhat painful attempts to engage in the world of music, when my mother, unbeknownst to me, organized for me to learn how to play a musical instrument. Somehow ‘it’ turned out to be the clarinet; and I played it dutifully from then - I was in about the fifth grade at the time - through junior high, when I gave it up upon entering high school, and being too involved in other things to continue with it. I was not a bad clarinet player - I succeeded in becoming first chair in my junior high school orchestra - but it, simply, wasn’t my cup of tea. I was not a natural. Now basketball; that was a different story...

But back to this story. Sitting there in the open air, being bathed in the notes and harmonies of a first-class orchestra, I realised the value of music in bringing us humans together, in common cause, of creating a better world together than the one we were living in. There were far too many in poverty around the world. There was something wrong with The System; and I would find myself, some years later, finally realising - really getting - what that was. It was money. Specifically, interest-bearing money.

This was not the way to make music together, I thought. We need to get our act together better, I thought further. Not, that it would be nice if we did. But that we needed to. It was imperative, for our wellbeing, that we did; and for that of the planet. Gaia, our home away from home: beginning to hurt terribly from our treating her ungraciously, even at that stage. As I say, this was over half a century ago, now.

And it’s now time to do something about it. Because we don’t have much more time, before it will be too late, to wake up, and realise that we have been living in a dream. A dream of producing more and more stuff, that isn’t basically needed, in order to continue to grow - and produce even more unnecessary stuff - which isn’t the answer to the future. The answer to the future is to blend our instruments, and create harmonious music. Not discord.

And a good way to get to that answer would be to help the poor have access to the wherewithal to make music. That we can blend our instruments that way; metaphorically. But also truly. For we have all been written into the same piece of music by the same Composer. And it’s time to do Him, and ourselves, the honour of holding a great concert, on planet Earth, beneath the same stars that shine upon us all.

Come let us join our many golden flickerings, and create one life; together. Forever. - in the words of a song by the New Troubadours (‘Change Can Come’). That note sounded almost forty years ago, now.

It really is time.

28 October 2011

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Just because the subject is up...

"Fury as councils to axe free places in private nurseries" (title to an article in The (Glasgow) Herald of 17 October)

Ah. The old Tinstaafl debate...

I have a very hard time with 'freebies', and that mentality. The mentality of 'entitlements'. If that mindset is all that I had known in life, I might understand better why people have so easily gotten brainwashed by it. It would - could easily - seem so 'natural' to them. But it's only natural in socialist-like settings.

I am an American. I came to the UK (Scotland) as an adult, so I didn't grow up in this sort of culture, of 'entitlements'. Perhaps that is why it rubs me so much 'the wrong way' - like, raw.

My position: No one is 'entitled' as a matter of 'right' to the earnings of any other person. That is theft. Not so pure, and not so simple - we do pay taxes to cover community-wide services like roads and public transport and police and fire services, and so forth. And yes - public education. And the latter is obviously where this business, of the attitude of social 'benefits', stemmed from. But it has become the proverbial foot in the door, for more, and more, and more 'entitlements' to muscle their way through to the public trough. And soon, it gets out of hand. As could have been seen, by anybody with eyes to see. It would have taken some very astute observers, and politicians, to keep a lid on the matter - a stopper on the door, to keep it from being widened more and more; as more and more people voted more and more money out of other people's pockets.

Oh yes, they were taxpayers, too, to start with. And it was the idea of a 'national insurance tax' to start with. But then the mentality of pure 'entitlement', and also of 'soak the rich', comes into play; and many people do get seduced by the idea of getting 'something for nothing'.

The welfare mentality...sapping individual initiative. Living off of other people's earnings, like leeches. Deadbeats. Layabouts...

Yes, it is the individual's fault, ultimately, as to a sense of responsibility. But it is also - and I would say equally if not more so - the fault of the leaders of the society, and the structure itself; making it too easy for the citizenry to rest on their oars, and expect others to do the heavy lifting, as it were. And then everybody turns to pointing their fingers at each other; or blaming the system, for their not getting their 'fair share' out of the goody box...

So. I see red, figuratively and literally, in all this. (Or at the least - as to the latter 'take' on it - varying shades of pink.)

And yet. And yet...

And now for another side to this matter. Because I see the future, too, in it. Just with a couple of ingredients missing in the mix. The 'mix' between individualism and collectivism; 'capitalism' and 'communism'; self and society.

In the current campaigns going on in the streets of the U.S. and the UK in particular, I see signs that read 'Education is a right', and 'Health care is a right'. And you know what? They are. In a proper context. And it is the hem of that garment that these people are touching. The point being obscured by the trees of the moment. ('They're a privilege, not a right!' 'Nonsense! They are a fundamental right!' 'Nonsense! That's slavery!' 'Nonsense! That's just good common sense!' 'You're a commie!' 'And you're a fascist - and so's your old man!' 'And your mother is'...)

Consider a society where everything is provided by the society - that is, by the people in their grand 'collective'. There is enough food and housing for all; there is free-to-cheap energy (we're just about there, on that front, anyway); there are cars and bicycles and such, held in common, with individuals capable of 'purchasing' specific such items, beyond those held in common, from the credits they have received - 'earned' for various services to the collective. But the motivating power of the system is just that: service to the 'collective'. Not out of a desire for personal aggrandizement. (Although individuality will still be expressed, because there will inevitably not be enough of everything for everybody, and so they will make choices.) And the motivating power, more precisely - behind this concept of service to the Whole - will be very clear.

It will be, not 'money'. (And particularly not 'profit', since the key to the whole shift in civilizational level is to do away with interest-bearing money, and one of its major outcome structures, fractional-reserve banking; by then having been superseded.) Rather, it will be - and the system will have come about - out of gratitude to our Creator for life with meaning.

Out of the recognition that life has Purpose, and that Purpose is Good. That life has meaning, beyond just in and for itself only. And once humanity really gets that - that life is not just about 'creature comforts', and bound by the space between the cradle and the grave - we will move out of the troubled waters of the present, and into the smooth sailing of the future; beginning to appear on our horizon, now.

Also because of the recognition, by then - as part of the recognized (re-cognized) Plan in and Purpose to the life experience- that We Are One Another. That through the process that we recognize at one of its stages as reincarnation (with its attendant law of karma), we are but playing parts while in incarnation. Now a prince, now a pauper; now male, now female; now one race or nationality or creed or religion, now another. For learning lessons, in the school that is life. And so, as we do unto others, so do we do unto ourselves.


Because We Are All One.

Needing now to release our sense of individuality - of individuation - and return to our Source; as part of One Holy Being.

Join the move into the New.

It's going to happen anyway. With you, consciously, or without you. Because

the play is over.

It's time now for the real thing.

And the way to get there - the only way it will come about - is for each of us to give it our best shot; as it were.

The new paradigm can't work - will not work - if people individually take advantage of it.

And so we really need to release these thoughtforms of 'freebies'.

There really is, then, no such thing as a free lunch.

But if we all 'give it our best': the best will be manifested.

It's all a matter of attitude. To receive, you must first learn to give. And if we do - when we do - 'all else will be added unto us'. For life does not exist in a vacuum.

There's far, far more awaiting us.

But first things first:

cleaning up, and setting to rights, our home.

Our home, that is, away from Home.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Free Speech - Or Not

[another hobby horse of mine]

"7 October 2011

Dear Adam et al at FIRE [Kissell; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education]

I appreciate the work that you folks are doing, because your hearts are in the right place; but I have a fundamental constitutional question about this 'free speech' matter. I'm wondering if you can help me (as obviously, you folks have researched this matter, and its 'paper trail', a lot).

(1) The federal government does not guarantee the citizens in any state anything except (1) a republican form of state government, and (2) via the 14th Amendment, "equal protection of the laws" - ie, in terms of the original intent, as I understand it, that state laws must in effect be color blind; no respecter of persons; all are equal before the law; and cannot be deprived of "life, liberty or property, without due process OF law" (my emphasis) - ie, there cannot be arbitrary government, acting outwith the law.

(2) The Constitution is a contract, stating what the federal government can and cannot do. The Bill of Rights is an example of what rights and powers the federal government does and does not have - and any others not specifically delegated to it are retained "by the people" (with respect to rights: the 9th Amendment), or "are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" (with respect to powers: the 10th Amendment). The point is that the several States were not surrendering up much power to the federal government; just in matters dealing with other countries, etc etc. All else not limited and delegated (in the words of Madison: "few and defined") remained in the purview of the several States, as secured for their citizens in law in their state constitutions.

(3) Somewhere along the line, the Bill of Rights - ie, an example of rights not allowed to be trampled on, or adjudicated upon, by the federal government, since it was not ceded the power to do so by the Constitution - has been turned on its head, and made to apply FROM the federal government (& its judiciary) TO the states. Without an amendment to this effect, this would appear to have been a bit of legalistic legerdemain; accomplished apparently by a VERY liberal reading of the 14th Amendment's 'due process' clause.
Instead of just taking this clause as a statement outlawing arbitrary law, liberal law school professors (presumably seeing their chance to establish a unitary form of government in the country, whereby they could control the whole from the top; easier to take over that way, bend to your interests), interpreted this clause as 'incorporating' the Bill of Rights (and by inevitable extension, all those rights and powers previously retained by the people and the States, and held in check by their state constitutions) into being now residing in the purview of and control of the federal government, and its Supreme Court's interpretation thereof. Before this 'principle' of 'incorporation' (nothing black-letter legal about it; it's simply an opinion, that the Supreme Court has ended up agreeing with), all these rights - freedom of speech and press, etc etc - were held within the purview of the several States And it is that turning of the Constitution on its head that I object to.*
I agree that our rights preceded the Constitution, for that argument. I don't agree that the Constitution guarantees those rights - legally. Only by what has come to be custom. And I don't like the way that was brought about. It was brought about, as I indicate - and in my opinion - by sleight of hand.

(4) A thought here: the 14th Amendment made the citizens of every state also citizens of the United States; and the federal government could thenceforth theoretically override any state constitution's provision that doesn't give its citizens the rights and privileges of ALL the citizens of the United States - or that doesn't apply the laws applicable to the United States/federal government to their citizens. But that didn't happen at the time (and so it wasn't recognized as part of 'the deal' at the time; thus going to the legitimate legal principle of original intent). Nor for some time later. So one has a right to the assumption that that wasn't what was meant (intended).
In my research into this curious matter, some years ago - the Matter of The Pilfered Constitution - I had to trace the paper trail all the way down to around 1941, for the first time (at least as I could find) that the Supreme Court interpreted the First Amendment as applying from the federal government to the States. (It involved, as I recall, a person burning the American flag as a political protest, and getting censured for it by his state, under whatever state ordinance; with the Supreme Court citing the First Amendment to let him off.) And that seemed to open the door for more of the same; ie, in that vein, of court interpretation.
It seems rather strange that constitutionalists didn't kick up a major fuss over it at the time. Or maybe they did; and that was the beginning of control of the mainstream media in this regard. In any event: the cry, down to our day, of 'our constitutional rights', seems due to a misunderstanding of the Constitution as she is wrote, not as some would like it to be interpreted, or assume that it actually reads. They need to actually read it.
As to the 14th Amendment opening this door:

(5) The 'principle' of 'incorporation' found by some in the 14th Amendment - assumed to be there - is not the only affront to legitimacy occasioned by that amendment. It turns out that the 14th Amendment itself may not even have been ratified properly anyway. So maybe the answer to a number of judicial errors (the 'personhood' of corporations is involved in this matter as well) can be overturned in one fell swoop: by challenging stare decisis, in declaring the 14th illegally obtained, and reinstituting its best features - legally this time - without the toxic ones. And maybe then The People can have some faith and confidence in their constitutional law again, as writ. Not as proclaimed by devious players in the game of government.

In sum:

(6) The federal government was illegally made the guarantor of various domestic issues, like 'free speech'. There were debates on these matters between the Federalists and the Republicans in the 1790s and 1800s. But I still say that the Supreme Court has no legitimate business ruling on issues that are the rightful business of the people in their several states. The states, being states, and not just pretend entities, have the inherent power to regulate the 'rights' of their citizenry. From fornicating in the streets; asking for photo IDs in order to vote; permitting, or not, abortion - etc etc. There is a legitimate legal concept called 'contemporary community standards', which means, in effect, government by the consent of the governed - and that consent may vary from state to state. One size does NOT fit all, in a federal form of government. A majoritarian attitude towards art in the public museums and galleries of the state of New York may well differ from the majoritarian attitude towards the same in the state of Indiana, say; etc.
I'm saying that 'rights' can be legitimately regulated, as the price of living in a social construct we call a 'community'; and absent a clear and specific delegation of power to the federal government via the Constitution to regulate on such matters, that regulation legitimately takes place within the several States. As the 'laboratories' that they are, for such things. Places to try out various approaches to societal matters. Welfare issues; and so forth and so on. The federal government and its Supreme Court have no rightful business forcing all the states to fit their procrustean bed, of 'interpretation'. It was the same with the Roe v Wade decision. And it is the same with 'free speech' issues.
We give the federal government total, unitary control over us to our peril. You folks at FIRE may not like that take on the Constitution. But you'll have to convince me that the truth of the matter is otherwise.

And not to say that the principle of 'free speech' is not a good thing. Indeed, it is. Letting the federal government, and its Supreme Court, sit in ultimate judgment on what constitutes free speech is another matter entirely. And one that I don't support.

Let me know where I'm wrong in my take on this matter. I will be very happy to hear about it. Because I care about such matters, deeply. The matter, in its essence, of the rule of law, as opposed to the rule of men, with agendas.

Best regards,

'Stan' Stanfield

* And which is behind Roe v Wade, eg. That sort of thing is rightfully - ie, constitutionally - a matter for the several States to decide for themselves.
By rights, those who want the federal government to run the whole show should propose an amendment to the Constitution saying something like: 'All those powers previously reserved to the States or to the people shall now reside in the federal government." And let's see how they go with the debate - fair and square."

Thursday, 6 October 2011

So things are heating up...

As the Occupy Wall Street event continues, and morphs into something of a movement, some observations.

First of all, to clarify my basic perspective; and that is, that there is some truth on both sides of this confrontation - which is part of an unfolding process, to a new, higher level of consciousness, for humanity to inhabit, in order to get to 'the Promised Land' - a Golden Age, just a bit out of our reach just yet, as the process of unfoldment plays its way out into the light of that new day.

Some salient points of the process. On the one hand:

* It is immoral to seduce people into a dependency/'entitlement' mentality. Whatever justification there has been - has been employed - it has been outrageous and immoral to allow a dependency culture to be created, wherein people feel that the state owes them something, that they are 'entitled' to - owes them a living, or a home; an education; healthcare, childcare, and so forth. That just by virtue of being a member of the society, they are owed various 'entitlements'. Like communist/socialist states declared, in order to buy the fealty and loyalty of their citizens. A better word for which is serfs - property of the state. To do, in return, what the state wants them to do; since it owns them, lock, stock, and barrel. In a nutshell: the generation of a 'something for nothing' mentality; going on for generations.

Having said that:

* There are intimations of the future 'state' in all of this. Because where humanity is headed is a stateless society - much, indeed, like Marx envisioned; sensed; where 'private property' was a thing of the past. Where everything would be held in common. Just not the way that Marx, and other materialists -'secular humanists' - assumed, just looking at life in a linear fashion, not grasping the full dimensionality of it, and of 'human nature'. And thus they saw the need for the equivalent of a police state, until the serfs could be educated to a higher state of consciousness - the New Man, aka Soviet Man.

And against which, citizens in their capitalist, private-property societies - and from painful experience in the socialist and communist models that were tried out in the 20th century - rebelled. And rightfully so. But in that reaction, a warning: Don't be content to let the current outcome of this left-vs-right confrontation be 'business as usual'. For - as indicated above - there are seeds of truth on both sides of this historical equation; or rather, process, as I posited.

As to this process: let me quote from a comment I made to an article on the e-letter site World New Daily, referring to the subject of 'Obama Administration Filled with Activists for Globalism' (by Aaron Klein, posted on 1 October this year). The article referenced the backgrounds of various players in the Obama administration, and - interestingly, and honestly enough - noted that there were some very 'rightwing', capitalist names among the 'usual suspects' on the left of the political scene in the U.S. The article prompted this response from me:

"1) I trust that the people on this thread will at some point realize that there is an element of truth on both sides of the debate, and that the answer is to take it up a notch from its current level of stand-off - and that in point of fact, that process and needed movement is precisely where we are at in our historical time and place globally. As for this sense of a 'dialectical process':*

"2) I hope that everybody is noticing, in the article itself, the illuminative crossover that is taking place, evidencing that what is going on politically is, in greater truth,not a matter of 'left' vs 'right',but is a matter of the PTB playing them both off against each other, in order to bring abut the desired synthesis stage of a secular New World Over, commanded by a powerful elite; which would, indeed, be odious, for being under the control of power-hungry men, who would be proving the axiom, Without a vision, the people perish.

"But then they are, after all, serving a higher purpose. And out of all of this - all of this sturm und drang that Man has been engaged in long enough - will come a Golden Age. An age of celebration, with the Prodigal Son having returned to the house of his Father - by choice. And the wiser for the experience; of having wandered in the wilderness of life, cut off from his roots. To mix a few metaphors; but hopefully drawing a coherent picture, of where we're at, and what we need now to do."

A couple of points. Clearly, the PTB of this level of reality, on this planet, have 'a vision'. I simply meant that, in the absence of an overriding vision, of the Plan and Purpose of life, men are led astray, by their lesser impulses: impulses to power, and so forth. And secondly, I am saying that, with the help of such discerning articles as this one, we - humanity - have the ability to see what, precisely, is going on, and how the PTB are working 'both sides of the aisle' in order to unfold circumstances to their liking.

'Their': the so-called 'globalists'. The magalomaniacs, who would sacrifice anybody, and in any numbers, to further their cause. Believing, as they demonstrably do, that the end justifies the means.

The philosophy of tyrants down through history.

And so what is going on, for them to further their end.

Item. The Obama administration - and like the Bush administration before it - is quietly trashing the constitutional safeguards against tyrannical takeover of the American state. One example: a secret Justice Department memo authorizing (justifying) the federal executive to engage in lethal targeting of anybody whom the executive branch/administration determines is an enemy of the state - ie, justifying sate-sanctioned assassination. Purely on the say-so, ultimately, of the Commander in Chief. Who is being given such powers under the state of war that the PTB have declared, in their War on Terror - the excuse they needed to trash the Constitution, and its safeguards against such highhanded measures by the Executive. Item. Building on powers put in place under the preceding Bush administration, the Obama administration has created a Council of Governors, to advise him on such matters as a 'state of national emergency' - giving him cover to declare such a state, and therefore impose Martial Law on the country. All its taking to do so being something like (orchestrated) battles between forces of the 'left' and the 'right' - or 'a new Pearl Harbor'. As 9/11 was, to further the 'vision' of the Neocons, who wanted American hegemony - an imperial presence - in the Middle East.** Item. Executive branch rules and regulations depriving the public of the right to be able to grow their own food, because the PTB have plans for the culling of the populace, down to 'manageable' proportions (including with vaccine ingredients; another subject in itself), and they can't have individuals being 'off the grid' - independently able to take care of themselves. Item. 'Smart meters' in homes, so that if the residents (or other inhabitants, unknown to the state) exceed their quotas, of energy usage (or CO2 levels, for the number of people officially staying there), their energy sources can be cut off, and/or other foul deeds done to them, as unilaterally declared 'enemies of the state' (see, eg, Agenda 21).

And thus the reason for the great 'climate change' scare: as an excuse to control the populace.

In a police state.

That The People should not allow to be fastened onto them. Regardless of its ostensible purpose - 'for the betterment of living on the planet'. It is still police state stuff. A control mentality, that does not allow humans to exercise their free will.

And therefore should be resisted. By people on both the 'left' and the 'right' of the current political scene.

People, coming together, in common cause, to create a better world - from this major Crisis state, allowing such a major Opportunity - based on Truth.

The Truth of our being. Being, in a well-put expression: 'spiritual beings having a human experience'.

Having the experience of life, on this level of existence, in order to grow from the experience. Knowing, finally, beyond any doubt, that

there is Plan in and Purpose to life, beyond just in and for itself only.

And that we can create that Golden Age by being motivated by just one factor. The highest factor of all such factors. Far beyond the lower classroom factors of the likes of 'profit'. The crowning one of all: to provide goods and services to one another, and to give of our best in doing so -

out of gratitude to our Creator for life with meaning.

Join me in that cause.

You'll be glad that you did.

Even if, momentarily, you think that life was sweeter before the revolution.

Taste the nectar of life everlasting. And you will never want to go back to its pale imitations.

In sum.

We are - humanity is - at a Turning Point (The Great Turning, in the words of such thoughtful observers of the socio-econo-political scene as David C. Korten and Joanna Macy). Once the 'stakes' were raised to the global level, by the 'right' side of the dialectical process of historical unfoldment - the side emphasizing the individual over the collective; and doing so in a merely materialistic way - a new, higher stage of the process can kick in, in reaction. And now, a culminating stage, because the stakes are the planet as a whole being subject to control by mere materialists, on the one hand, or under the guiding sway of 'spiritualists', ie, those who understand their real roots being in the 'higher realms', dimensions; 'densities' as they have been called. Not in the lower base level.

Yes, part of our natures is mammalian, with mammalian instincts. And, we have a higher nature; that 'tells' us, in many ways, that we are part of a larger Whole than the merely material; a Whole in which we move and live and have our being, to a Plan and Purpose. The Plan worked out through a process we call reincarnation, and the Purpose of which is to grow, in awareness and 'consciousness'; the better for the experience.

Let's be abut that better business, than the interim-stage stuff we are engaged in at the moment; and running the risk of getting stuck in, for the lack of a more wholistic vision. Of ourselves as sparks of our divine Source. On a journey to return Home; and know the place as if for the first time.


* This is in reference to the 'Marxist' theory of history unfolding in a process he/they called 'dialectical materialism', based on the German philosopher Friedrich Hegel's 'take' on how societies unfold. The process is characterized by a position, called a 'thesis', which triggers a reaction, called an 'antithesis', out of which process comes a 'synthesis'; but because it is not a complete process, ie, that synthesis still containing incomplete seeds, it becomes the 'thesis' of another stage of unfoldment. I happen to feel that Hegel had a good handle on how the historical process has developed and unfolded, and subscribe to it. In its way, it is the equivalent of the natural evolutionary process. (Which answers some of the questions regarding the development of Homo sapiens; but not all.)

** And I'm not saying here that the Bush administration - and its Neocons - were totally responsible for 9/11. But they were involved. As were elements of the nominal 'left'. But 9/11 gave the Bush administration the excuse they - and other PTB behind the scenes - wanted, to create a War on Terror, thus generating both great financial gains for themselves, and the circumstances to activate takeover measures, which would ultimately demolish the Constitution; get it out of the way of their juggernaught, their putsch for uncontrolled power. So it was more LIHOP - Let It Happen On Purpose - than MIHOP - Make It Happen On Purpose. As near as I can tell, at this point, from the available evidence.
All of this will come out, when the country starts engaging in truth-telling. About all manner of historical events. As part of what is needed for humanity to be able to move forward, into its new era - to learn its lessons fully. So as not to have to repeat them.