Everyone knows by now, Atlanta Falcons star quarter-back Michael Vick has been indicted for his role in the illegal dog-fighting sport. He and two other men were charged on July 17: Purnell A. Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Quanis L. Phillips, 28, of Atlanta. Also charged was Tony Taylor, 34, another co-defendent. Taylor has pleaded guilty, and will testify about the whole dog fighting ring.
So, what are we to make of this? Vick certainly didn't need the money. And it isn't a racial thing--the dog fighting sport. It isn't a particularly black custom. One simply has to wonder, then, Why?
Men have pitted animals against each other, and men against other men, for millennia. It has been custom in nearly every culture in the world. It's something men do. Is it barbaric? Is it heathen? Or is it just what men do?
Vick is a professional football player. He's constantly up against other men, in a forceful, physically competitive way. Joe Namath, former NYJets quarter-back, once said (in Sports Illustrated, back in the '60's) that professional football was a school of brutality. Michael Mandelbaum repeated the same thoughts more recently, in his book, The Meaning of Sports (2004). Reviewer Pet Hamill says:
Warlike, nonlethal brutality is the essence of football. The line is the infantry, Mr. Mandelbaum says. The running backs are the cavalry. The backfield, especially the quarterback, is the artillery, "hurling deadly objects over the adversary's first line of defense." The quarterback throws the "long bomb" or is "blitzed" by the opposing defenders. Coaches (the models are Bear Bryant and Vince Lombardi) rule their teams as if they were George S. Patton-style generals.
If that's true, about brutality, then there is certainly nothing foreign to football in dog fights. And haven't we all heard the expression, "I got no dog in this fight"? A dog fight is a metaphor of any kind of contest. A dog fight is universal, archetypal contest.
Fighter dogs training their lethal skills on hogs, another
lovely custom: Hog dog rodeos
Ah, but it strikes Americans, Puritan-based American society, as ghastly. It is appalling to our senses, and makes us sick to even think of. And to think that people watch dogs kill each othe--for sport? For entertainment? For enjoyment? How could we sink so low!
I"m saying it isn't really all that low. It's what people do. All of us. We fight. It is the spirit of the race. We're fighting now in Iraq. Muslims slaughter each other on a daily basis, and are ready to slaughter non-Muslims as well. The world is a blood bath.
I'm saying the offense at dog fighting, or cock fighting (also illegal) is a bit misplaced. Liberals (like Senator Byrd who denounced dog fighting as "barbaric") advocate abortion, whole-sale. Liberals who stand up for animal rights sit down for the rights of the unborn. I know that sounds like an artifical juxtaposition for dramatic effect, but, it is nevertheless true. What's the different between slaughtering the unborn and watching dogs fight? For that matter, between boxing and dog fighting? What about that other sport, no holds barred fighting between men?
Japanese dog fighting
I don't share the moral outrage at dog fighting. I would never be involved, because I don't think it is healthy, psychologically. I don't think animals have souls, but I do think they have feelings. I would assume that people who like to see dogs fight have a psychological issues, therefore. But then, wouldn't that have to apply to football, boxing, wrestling, and many other things?
Blood and cruelty seem very much a part of our daily diet down here on earth. Violence is par for the course.
And yes, lots of people like having a pit bull on a leash because it is a sign of strength, meanness, cruelty--and above all--power. But that's basically juvenile. It is vicarious expression of a very scared, insecure person, no doubt. Dog fighting is vicarious cruelty. That's about the long and short of it. The people involved may seem to be perfectly normal people. Many sex offenders, molesters, and rapists do too.
I'm just not sure what the correct assessment of this situation is. Vick was part of an illegal gaming operation, the key word being "illegal." Enough said, really. Whatever the psychological evaluation of the case, the bottom line is that dog-fighting is illegal. Vick was into it. He knew it. There was no misunderstanding. For that, he is amply guilty. Just how morally wrong dog-fighting might be is simply another issue.
Vick gambled with his career. He lost. He is a careless man, morally. The behavior around this dog ring is vice-like. Addictive. This is a hidded element, certainly, but a very strong one. What appalls you in the beginning can turn around and become fascinating and highly desirable. Tobacco and alcohol certainly work that way. Like most vices, these are acquired tastes. The first natural reaction is physical revulsion. But, once one becomces acclimated (deceived?), it all becomes pleasurable.
They didn't go easy on Paris Hilton. She did time. Lots of it. (Twenty-three days of it.) Most "minorities" and illegal Mexicans in LA don't do more than two days for a DUI, if that. Some are released the same day. Go easy on Vick? Why? The people want their star quarter-back? He's black? He misunderstood something? What would be the reason to "go easy?"
Finally, I'd say there are sports, then there are abused sports. Men love contest. Women too. There have to be healthy contests. I think some are far more healthy than others. While I have compared footbal with dog fighting, there really isn't a comparison. Football is not a fight to the death. True football, true sport, does not intend injury on the opponent. It's not about blood. It is a match of skills and strength, not injury. War is war. Sports may seem to be similar, and every liberal would see any physical contest as 'evil,' but this is superficial. I realize liberals don't want men to be men, but men are men. Sports is essentially immune to emasculation.
Dog fights do not bring about healthy human relations, to my knowledge. Human athletes find all kinds of encouragement in human relations, especially team athletes, but also solo players, like runners, vaulters, etc. I would never say that competing against another person for the mastery is a particularly healthy activity, but it can be very productive. The antithesis of the Christian spirit perhaps, an athletic competition can bring a man out of the ghetto. Unfortunately, without true religion, he brings the ghetto with him.
Mandelbaum's book likes to blame religion for the whole phenomenon of competition, the whole inspiration of war. I say no, true religion is the attempt to harness the lethal spirit of dominance. True relgion seeks to uplift the fallen, not to knock people down. It is false religion that aggrandizes the killer, such as we see in modern Islam.
Can a prophet change his mind? Can a prophet re-interpret what he said before? It is a strange question.
Most BadEagle.com readers know that I at least profess to believe in the ancient Hebrew version of the world. I take the Bible as the definitive description of reality. Yet, I find very mysterious matters present in the scriptures. Take the beginning of the book of Judges, for instance, set around 1200 BC. (Now, Rabbi J. H. Hertz calls it "that dark age in Bible history when there was no king in Israel, and each one did that which was right in his own eyes." Judges 17:6. Pentateuch and Haftorahs, [London: Soncino Press, 1972].) Most scholars like to think the book of Judges is a compilation of more than one author, and thus they greatly diminish any authority attributable to 'inspiration'--which most scholars don't believe in. However, orthodox tradition says Samuel wrote the book.
In any event, the setting is clear enough: the tribes of Israel have entered the land of Cana'an, and they were to drive out (expel) all non-Jewish tribes present. The social conditions of these pre-Israelite "fertility cults," as they are called in scholarly circles, had reach a point of intolerance. Heaven judged them. Their time was up. THey had to go. Their 'national probation' was ended. They had proved themselves unworthy of the land, and they would be removed from it.
However, Israel did not complete the job of expulsion. Chapter 1: 17-36 is a catalogue of failure, a hall of shame for each of the twelve tribes of Israel, showing exactly where they failed. Chapter 2: cites a very pointed rebuke of the Angel of the Lord, and a grim prophecy of the future. Allowing these sex cults to remain in the land would cause suffering to Israel, and the heathen gods would become a trap. As it turned out, the minute Joshua and the elders of his generation passed on, the populace of Israel immediately turned toward the heathen versions of reality. Baal the Phoenecian sun god, and Ashtaroth, the Mesopotamian moon goddess, are cited as the chief components of the cults. Israel was attracted to this sex-based take on the world. It was captivating. Indeed, it was vice-gripping. The generations to follow could not keep a straight path. With the divine appointment of the shofetim (judges) from time to time, the people did reform. But as soon as such a leader passed on, the society reverted back to the idolatrous sexual approach to life, the cultic approach.
Now, the curious matter is outlined in Judges 2:20-23. There is seeminly an anachronism of sorts. The text says that the Lord was angry at Israel, and He would no longer drive out these cultic heathen from the land of Israel. He would no longer remove their bloody, grotesque ways from before Israel. This is odd, because this had to a great extent already happened, at the time of Joshua. Even in that generation, the job wasn't complete. In other words, it was the Lord who was driving them out, through Israel. Israel was only His implementation. But now, some generations later, the Lord announced that He isn't going to do it any longer, since Israel was not showing any disposition to cooperate, or to abide by His ways.
Finally, Judges 2:23 says that the reason the Lord was going to leave the homicidal heathen in the land was "that through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not. Therefore the Lord left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered He them into the hand of Joshua."
I'm confused. Joshua has been dead for several generations (Judges 1:1; 2:7). Now, we've already been told that the work of expulsion was not complete even under Joshua. Judges 1:17-36 is about what happened after his death. That was the catalogue of failure. Then Judges 2:7 says that Israel was faithful until Joshua had died, and then the big failures started. And the reason? The Lord would not drive out the murderous heathen. And the reason for that is "that I may prove them"--meaning Israel.
It sounds like a set up. It sounds like the Lord set it up. The reason for the catalogue of failure was the fact that the Lord would not expulse the heathen. But then the reason for that is because Israel was not cooperating, but rather was fascinated with the sex cults.
The thought seems circular here. The cause and effect is not completely clear. God judged the heathen. Their time was up. They were to be expulsed. But God was pleased to use Israel in this process. Israel failed to carry through the cause of God. Then God judged Israel--by leaving the pricking pagans to "try" them, to see what Israel was really made of, whether they had it in them to obey or not.
But even that is a bit of a stretch. The Lord had already told Moses they didn't have it in them to be faithful. (Deuteronomy 31:20). In fact, the Lord was actually ready to liquidate all of Israel, and begin all over again with Moses! That was at Mount Sinai! (Exodus 9:10)
Michelangelo's "Moses," 1515, San Petro de Vincolo, Rome..
Yet, the Lord kept Israel. The Lord held on to Israel. The Lord loved Israel. Forever.
For all this craziness, I find great comfort in this story. It is the hope of the world. I dare say, it is nothing other than human. Any person with any notion of relationg personally to the God of Heaven, must find the very greatest encouragement in the story of Israel.
If God can endure Israel, then all the rest of us need is an invitation. The fact is, that invitation was given to us through the ancient prophet Isaiah (45:22; 55:7), and through the body of Christ (John 3:16).
But now, let's not act like we're going to be any different from the Jews. We have no reason to think we're going to have a better go at it than those who have gone before. Let's not make the prophets liars! I believe that's called anti-Semitism.
Was the American Revolution an act of rebellion? Were the founders and supporters of the new nation, who comprise only about a third of the colonies' population, only rabble rousers? Were they brigands? Were they terrorists? Were they nothing more than a political gang of hoodlums?
Not according to Dr. J. Rufus Fears. In a speech he gave in Oklahoma City, April 12, he said America's founders were distinguished precisely by their fine and elevated moral characters. It wasn't rebellion at all. It was a solemn effort for a noble independence, after years of immoral oppression by England. (This talk was given at the local chapter of the World Presidents' Organizations, and published in article form in in July, 2007 issue of Perspective, the magazine of Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. It is titled, "Moral Character and Freedom.")
Dr. Fears points out how different the American Revolution (1776) was from the French Revolution (1798), the Russian Revolution (1917), and the Chinese Revolution (1939). (And Dr. Fears doesn't even mention the Iranian Revolution of 1979). These other revolutions were about tyranny and dictatorship, Napoleonic, Communist, or Isamic. They all ended either in slaughter of the unarmed masses, unprecedented oppression, or both. Why was the American Revolution so different, ending so remarkably?
George Washington, who knew only one King, and one Lord.
"The Prayer at Valley Forge," by Arnold Friberg. 1976
"Because of the moral character of our founders, embodied by George Washington," answers Dr. Fears. "What other figure in history, whether Julius Caesar or Napoleon, would have passed up the opportunity to become a dictator?"
The colonies certainly did want to make George Washington their new king. As they separated themselves, by war, with King George III of England, their tendency was to simply establish their own 'kindgom' here in North America. But George Washington was disappointed in the colonists. "Nothing in my entire life has so wounded me as the very suggestion that I would somehow consider being a king."
The new country was founded on the very idea that a kingship was an unsuitable arrangement for free men, for men of conscience. That kind of liability was precisely what the colonists had fought to free themselves from. Completely outnumbered, their determination and their faith won for them the victory. Some 25,700 colonists perished, either by war, weather, disease, or British prison. Yet, so uncertain were many of them about government, they thought to appoint George Washington as their new king.
By 1787, more inspired minds prevailed, and the United States Constitution was presented before all. Later, Washington wrote,
"I am sure there never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs than those of the United States, and I should be pained to believe, that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God, who is alone able to protect them. (1792).
The men that created the new nation in America were not ignorant men, literally or spiritually. That is the message of Dr. Fears. The founders of the United States of America was religious men, yea, men studied in the Bible itself. Their senitments toward others, and towards themselves, was not about power, tyranny, or oppression. They gloried not in these things, as did the rest of the world. They gloried in individual freedom. As much as possible, they wanted to see freedom happen. Government existed only to protect those rights, not to dictate. (Much of modern America has apparently lost the ability to discern the difference between rights and coercion.)
In the Declaration of Independence (1776), they said,
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."
If there was ever a moment of true brotherhood, true nobility, true sacrifice in Western European history, it was that moment. Who is willing to sign such a document today? Who today would have signed the Declaration of Independence? Who believes what they believed? Who is American?
Would you have signed the Declaration of Independence? Would you sign it today?
I've just made my second attempt to present my music on YouTube: Rhapsody. This piece is part of a work called "Meditation and Rhapsody" for unaccompanied (solo) violin. It was written a year ago, and the world premiere was performed by Lina Bahn, violinist, at the National Museum of the American Indian, in Washington, DC, Sunday, October 8, 2006.
Lina Bahn, violinist
A rhapsody is generally understood as some sort of wild, frenzied dance, as in Bizet's opera Carmen (1875). Actually, the origin of the word is more enlightening. It comes from an ancient Greek word, rhapsoidia, which comprises two other words, rhaptein (to sew together) and aidein (to sing). A rhapsodist was one who sang epic poetry. In the ancient days, the history of the people was preserved in recited verse--in sung poetry. Yes, there was the inherent charm, and the historian/poet/singer was regarded as somewhat of a prophet. It was a 'high' to hear him. But, the word came to represent just the high itself, the "rapture," and that became associated with dance--or whatever you had to do to work yourself up into a frenzy.
The rhapsody became associated with the gypsies, because of their natural flair for music and dance, and general entertainment (--dare we say, swindling side shows?). The gypsies are an outcast Hindu people, from the sindhu (the "river," or India). When they began their migrations westward in the early 7th century, they brought with them the sitar, and the koko (later called the Persian revavah, and the Arab rebab)--the plantive instruments with seemingly unlimited pitches and plaintive notes. (Modern 'blues' musicians would call it all bending the notes.)
The gypsies were in the Balkans by the early 10th century. European music of course had evolved toward the natural overtone system of tuning musical pitches, which disallowed the quarter-tone pitches so peculiar to the Asian instruments. At least as early as Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Europeans were fascinated with the gypsy music. They tried imitating the weird intonations on European instruments, and came up with a peculiar scale or two. Of course, Franz Liszt (1811-1886) is most famous for his piano transcriptions of gypsy music, called "Hungarian Rhapsodies." Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was still experimenting with gypsy melodic lines in the second movement of his "Estampes." (The 'gypsy' scale, in Western terms, is characterized by that lowered 2nd. Pitches are lowered or raised elsewhere, but that lowered 2nd seems to be the tell-tale alteration. Who knows, the gypsies may be the source of the Neopolitan 2nd. They were in Italy. They were in Corfu by the mid 14th century.)
While I was doing one of my masters in the late '70's at Emory University, I did a paper on the gypsy effect on Western music. It was called, "The Hired Mourners." I wrote it for my favorite professor, Lawrence Alexander, at the Institute of Liberal Arts. I proposed a thesis that gypsies represent the first transcontinental musical influence in music history, and I'm not talking about style. I'm talking about music theory, musical scales. Tuning. Pitches.
David A. Yeagley, American Indian classical composer.
In any case, I applied my own harmonic system to the gypsie spirit. "Rhapsody" provides the dramatic contrasts typical of the gypse allurement. It is swash-buckling, a bit, but that's the whole spirit. I have always been fascinating by solo violin, let alone the gypsies, who long ago made that instrument their lugubrious own. A solo violin is, I think, a fantastic experience. Add to this, the strange attraction of gypsie people, and I'm sold. I'm drawn to people who seem far away, from a different time, a different place, who live in two worlds. They are present, but distance. Indeed, it is a grandeur of distance that draws me. Of course, I never played the violin. I can scarcely remember ever holding one. (I think I was eleven years old.) But, we press on.
There were two American Indian women violinists programmed on the NMAI concerts in 2006, Heidi Senungetuk, and Tara-Louise Montour. I prosed a performance to both, months ahead of time. Ms. Senungetuk finally responded in a simple email that she wouldn't be able to do it. Montour never responded at all.
Enter: Lina Bahn. Lina, violinist for the Corigliano Quartet, and member of the Contemporary Music Forum (Steve Antosca, Director) was made available to me as a performer. I quickly sent her the score. After some weeks without hearing from her, I contacted her, only to find out she had lost the music! I was terrified, because I knew it wasn't an easy piece, and she had only a couple of weeks to learn it. Well, I sent her another copy, and in that very short time, she was able to render a rather snappy performance, I must say--in public. I was completely stunned.
Lina is ethnically Oriental, I am American Indian, and it was gypsy music. Why it made perfect sense, didn't it? We had the world covered--at least demographically, and perhaps ideologically as well. Aside from all that, I hope you enjoy the music. Hear the Rhapsody on YouTube. Louis Ballard loved it. "I'm going to steal your music," he said to me in Washington. "I like your double stops." Well, Lina, that was for you. (Double stops is when a violinist plays more than one string and the same time.)
Lina Bahn, violinist
I finally succumbed to the lure of YouTube. Well, maybe I can say it differently. I decided to try using this means of communication to educate, to elucidate, or to help establish a perspective. Is such a thing possible?
I have posted something called "The Writhing of Earth Worms Under a Great, Uplifted Rock". It is the second movement from a three-movement trio I wrote for oboe, viola, and basson. It is an example of my new concepts of harmonic organization, but somewhat limited due to the fact that, for this movement, I chose a modal style of harmonic relations between the voices. All three movements of the trio are strictly contrapuntal, or, fugal, but this second movement is also modal, not strictly within my harmonic theory. It involves all the significant Baroque compositional prodedures, of course, but, the modal element was a new experiment. This feature will be more clearly perceived after I post the other two movments, which are more strictly within my harmonic theory.
Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750, master of the
I felt obligated to demonstrate the meaning of the concepts I have presented in a few recent blogs, concepts of music, words, and consistency. "Classical" music, I insist, pertains to the nature, character, and content of the music, not what instruments happen to be playing it, or where it happens to be played. The Beatles performed in Carnagie Hall in 1964. They used a string quartet in a couple of songs, "Yesterday," and Eleanor Rigsby." None of this was remotely related to classical music.
I simply note that time honored, established words are most likely to be usurped by lying, cheating knaves. Liberals, generally speaking. The attempt to use top-shelf words to validate the less worthy, or the unworthy, is a communist use of language. In the usurped use of the word "equality," everyone has the right to use whatever word he wants, whenever he wants, for whatever reason he wants. Thus, words are diluted to their most abstract, "inclusive" use. This is called 'redistribution of word meaning.'
Karl Marx (1818-1883) modern usurper
of the word "equality."
But I believe certain words have historical reference, and should be understood in that way. "Classical" music, as I explained before, generally refers to the highest order of intellectual, artistic craft, both in composition and in performance. The word is rightly reserved for that specific reference. Some may call this elitism, or snobbery, but I call it consistency, respect, and accurate communication.
"The Writhing of Earth Worms" was given its world premiere by members of the Contempory Music Forum, Steven Antosca, Director. The performance was at the National Museum of the American Indian, in Washington DC, Sunday, October 8, 2006. Of course, not everything on the program was classical, unfortunately for my thinking. In fact, the Museum's approach to "Classical Native" contributes to the popular obfuscation of the concept. Alas, "inclusive" is the catch word here, and that means much 'other-than-classical ' was included in the concert series.
Steve Antosca, Composer and Director of the
Contemporary Music Forum, Washington, DC.
I have only recently learned the basics of YouTube, with the kind help of Randy Allsbury, publisist for my book, Bad Eagle: The Rantings of a Conservative Comanche. (His professional site, BeliefMarketing.com is temporarily down, but he can be reached at RandyAllsbury.com.) He actually posted some of my music on YouTube first, including this "Ambrosian" chant, Sancte Michael. (This of course was the music commissioned by Richard Poe for his "Chant the Rosary" catechism, recorded by Allsbury.) Then we decided I should create my own YouTube file, and he proceeded to show me how. As I said, this is just the beginning.
American Indian classical music is simply not widely established yet, and it is difficult to do when there are those who confound or abuse the meaning of the terms. Consider this my modest attempt to begin recovering the truth in this matter of music and history.
One more thing. I had written a duet before this, for oboe and bassoon, which was premiered in Israel in 1998. I intended to write a second duet, but, at the suggestion of Natalie Synhaivsky, I added a third voice, thus, a trio. I faithfully acknowledge Ms. Synhaivsky for her contribution of thought. I might add, my older brother Fred (deceased, 2000) had made a similar suggested. Natalie had visited my studio here in OKC when my mother was still living. She looked directly at the manuscript of the first movement, and said, "Oh, please add a third voice!"
In today's globalist political jargon, "immigrant" refers to a person moving from one country into another, whether legally or illegally. If large numbers of people move from one region to another, it is called "migration," or "demographic shift." The incidental matter of nationhood, national borders, or law, is not part of this globalist conversation. In the globalist mind, there are no boundaries. People are like wild herding animals, moving whither they will, in search of better pastures. They have a perfect right to do so. National borders are foreign to nature, or so imply the liberal globalists. Of course, they show they know nothing of nature's order at all. Nothing is more inherent in nature than territory. Thus, the liberal metaphor of herding animals is inapplicable and mistaken.
The Mexican invasion of North America (i.e., the United States) absorbs much of the demographic dialogue. Europe, of course, has been invaded by the Hindus, the Arabs, the Orientals, and the Africans for decades. In 1993, David A. Coleman, a Lecturer in Demography from Oxford University, told the UN European Population Conference in Geneva that "Western Europe and North America face increases of between one and two million entrants per year, mostly from the Third World," and that some 60 million people had "asked" to migrate to the Western world. In the true Communist spirit, he suggested that the only viable long-term solution therefore is: to reduce the gap in the economic disparities between developed and developing worlds. Experts at Geneva said the "continued population growth, economic weakness and political instability" continue to drive massive numbers of migrants to flee their countries of origin in search of economic and political refuge. In other words, it is the fault of those prosperous nations, who have created green pastures, that the hordes of Third World beggars descend upon the fruited plains. One nation must not excel above another. That creates inequality, and "drives massive numbers of migrants to flee their countries." Clearly, people are mere animals, in search of better feeding ground. Those that create prosperity are declared to be less than animals--to be evil misers who deny others.
Paramedics yesterday [8-8-04] helped
migrants rescued from an overcrowded
boat off the coast of Sicily after nine
days at sea in a journey from Libya.
Race and ethnicity are of course barred from demographic globalist conversations. For instance, Ariel David, in a recent AP wire, cannot bring himself to idenity even the nationality, let alone ethnicity, of the people dying in the water trying to float across the Mediterranean to reach the closest European land--Italy. Not until the fourth paragraph of his story does he mention, "North Africa." He daren't say African Negro, of course, nor is he disposed to mention Algeria, Tunisia, or Lybia as countries of origin. Indeed, maybe they weren't. Maybe the Africans did some major migrating across their own continent. And after all, Africa is not a country, a nation, a religion, a culture, or even a tribe. Africa is a continent, that's all. People drown to escape it, frequently. It is a huge but seemingly untold story.
Ariel David mentions three recent incidents of attempted crossing, all of which met with deaths of those involved.
Thousands of migrants try to reach Italy's coasts every year, brought in by smugglers who make lucrative runs on often fragile and overcrowded boats.
If the migrants do not have the necessary documents and a job awaiting them in Italy, they are ordered to be deported, but authorities say many never leave and instead make their way up the peninsula to find work or family in continental Europe.
"Migrants." That the justification based on pretended natural law. "Ordered to be deported," but "many never leave." That is the very real discomfiture of human law and order. The wording of the AP report reveals the wholly denigrating philosophy behind UN demographics, and globalist interpretations. Nationhood is out. Nationality is passe. People have the right to go wherever they want to go, wherever they are willing to risk the journey. If you have more then they, it is their natural right to demand of you. If you created prosperity, you attracted the flies, and they have a right to at least clean your toilet. They have a right to you.
Pat Buchanan described all this migration nonsense as The Death of the West (2002), and he offered a number of observations as to why and how this is coming about. But the real reason is always neglected: the lack of patriotism. The "migrants" are nationless. They are homeless. They have no country. Therefore, they "migrate." Therefore, they invade other countries. They trespass. Therefore, they rob. They are robbers.
The truth is, the countries of Africa and the Middle East are not really countries. Their boundaries were drawn up, quite artificially, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Great Britian is responsible for most of this territorial confusion. The tribal feuds, the land conflicts, the ancient animosities amongst the people that comprise these so-called "countries" are so deep, so visceral--and so hidden from world view that the average Westerner has no idea of why these people behave like they do. The vast tribes of Africa and the Middle east have not been allowed their nationhood. What has been given them is impossible and impractical. It has bred some of the most ghastly tyrants in modern times.
The leaders of the Third World are the most corrupt in the world. They know they have no real country, with no real "people." They are riding the rough social waves as profitably as they can. They people have no sense of nationhood, and therefore no patriotism. Therefore, they move, at will. Only a supreme dictator can whip them into some semblence of submission. (Enter Saddam Hussein.)
Not that the Western countries are without corruption, but, they became the prosperous nations they are through the Judeo-Christian social and economic values--which include respect for nationhood. Islam never created a prosperous nation, but only masses of thieves and attackers, all fomenting under war lords, even as we see today.
"Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14: 34. The Third World speaks for itself. It doesn't have what people want. People want to get out of the Third World. They want to come to where things are better--the West. They aren't interested in anything else. They are without home, heart, or country. The "migrations" of the masses are the result of failed nations, failed concepts, and lack of patriotism.
Patriotism is much more powerful and sacred that most people realize. Without it, you have the hordes of the homeless.
And staying in your hut because it's more convenient isn't patriotism, either.
The term classical music is much abused these days. It is one of those power words which everyone likes to rip off and use to validate something of lesser or other quality. This seems especially true in the case circumstances of certain American Indian composers.
Let's define the term first. Classical music is a historical term, referring to music of the Classical period (ca. 1750-1830) of Western European music. "Classical music" is a general term for Western European music from the Baroque (ca. 1650-1750), Classical (ca. 1750-1830), Romantic (1830-1880), Impressionistic (1880-1910), and Contemporary (ca.1910+) periods. The classical period, as denoted here, specifies a type and style of musical composition, as do the other periods. There are certain characteristics which comprise each period. To the general public, "classical music" stands for practically anything written for orchestra. This is quite an erroneous conception.
When I say I wrote the first classical music for American Indian flute, I mean that I have written and recorded music for the flute which is classical in content. I never said I was the first to write music for Indian flute and orchestra, or Indian flute and classical instruments. Orchestra instruments are from the classical music era, but they can obviously perform other kinds of music. Some of the Beatles' music has been arranged for orchestra.
Louis Ballard, (1931-2007)
The famous Louis Ballard (1931-2007), for instance, has written all kinds of "Indian" music for orchestral instruments. He is a historical figure at this point. In 1969 he wrote a piece called "Why the Duck Has a Short Tale." It isn't identified or described as a flute concerto, but described as being "for narrator and orchestra." It was for the Phoenix Symphony. That same year, however, he wrote a piece called "Ritmo Indio," which did include an American Indian flute, but not as a focus. It's just a lightly used instrument among others. The music is scored for a small chamber ensemble, not orchestra at all. The flute part is insignificant, and isn't listed in the instrumentation (on the above link). The flute part uses only the natural pentatonic scale inherent. The music for the flute is therefore not "classical" at all, for classical music is not pentatonic. And the ensemble music is more in the Contemporary style, rather than classical in style. Again, writing for classical instruments does not mean the music is classical. Classical refers to content, nature, character, etc., not the instrumentation.
Classical music is about content, about intellectual interest, about inner musical value, not the ostentatious, the superficial, or the merely sensual. Classical music, as a term, represents the highest order of musical activity. It is the top term. Therefore, it is highly abused and regularly usurped. People want to think they have the value, without the work. (Ballard simply wrote his music, not concerned what what kind of music it was called. It was "serious" music, that's all. Not "classical," per se.)
In 1993, for example, non-Indian composer James DeMars wrote a "concerto" for American Indian Flute called "Two Worlds." It was written for Carlos Nakai, who, of course, cannot play classical music, but only the standard "toodle-doo" routines on the basic pentatonic scale, the five notes inherent in the Indian flute. DeMars' music is not really classical either, but in the pop style of John Williams and the movie score venue--all luscious and sensual, but without musical gray matter. Entertaining, but without intellectual interest. It certainly represents no "classical" music for the Indian flute. If the New York Philharmonic were backing up Nakai, it wouldn't mean he was playing classical music. He can't.
Unfortunately, for all Ballard's serious, historic accomplishments, he never showed any real interest in other Indian composers until the last three years of his life. In fact, he was averse to the idea of an Indian composers cadre. He made no effort to encourage young Indians to become composers. He simply went about his own work, quite successfully. However, he never made a single professional recording of his "classical works. Though his works have been performed all over the world, few people are familiar with any of this work. They may know his name, but his music is generally inaccessible.
Now, there's another elder, George Quincy, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Oklahoma composer of quite apparent Choctaw heritage, long time success in New York night clubs. He is a first-rate composer of lyrical, popular music, indeed. He has his own performing group, too. But he doesn't write classical music. Makes no pretensions of doing so, really. He is a professional musician--but specializes in popular music. Again, writing music for classical orchestral instruments doesn't make the music classical in quality. And he only recently has turned his attention to the idea of "Indian" music. We can certainly welcome more of his beautiful melodies in that direction.
George Quincy, Choctaw (c.mid-60's?)
When I said I wrote the first classical music for American Indian flute and orchesta, I meant just that. "Clouds of an Evening Sun" (recorded 2003, released 2004) was recorded with James Pellerite (non-Indian) and the Polish National Radio Symphony for the OPUS ONE label, the longest established label for contemporary American "classical" composers. The music is in a passacaglia/rondo form, and the flute part exploits all the chromatic possibilities on the flute. Unlike other people who play or write for the Indian flute, my music involves all the notes, not just the pentatonic scale inherent. Therefore, it is the first classical music written for the American Indian flute, and the first recorded.
James Pellerite was the only flutist I knew that was then able to play the American Indian flute in a classical manner, as a classical instrument. I went on to explore his technique, and the next year wrote Ten Etudes and a Sonata. He recorded it on the AZICA label for an album called Awakenings (2004). I'm very specific when I use terms. I don't usurp them, or use them in a sloppy, catch-all manner, as is the slippery custom of some, who are trying to validate their work by words rather than content. Some of this nonsense is innocent, committed by non-musicians. Sometimes it is the intentional obfuscation of disingenuous knaves who secretly perceive themselves as failed musicians.
In any case, on a final note, we must mention an Indian musician named Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (1876-1938). This was a remarkable women, half Nakota Sioux (by her mother), and half white (by her father. She lived a fascinating life, and stand out as someone way, way ahead of her time--in all respects. She was a trained musician, as well as an author and activist. She was in the Boston Conservatory of Music by the 1880's, while barely a teenager, and teaching at Carlisle by 1889. Quite a precocious child she was. (However, we don't really know what levels she really achieved in music. That's a fact. It appears she was advanced, cerainly more than usual, certainly for an Indian. Hers is a stunning story.)
In 1913, while living on the Unitah-Ouray reservation in Utah, where her husband was working, she collaborated with the classical music composer William Hanson on an opera, Sun Dance for which she wrote the libretto and songs, and contributed substantially to the music, which she played for Hanson on her violin, so he could score it.
Well, it wasn't exactly an opera. (Here we go with term usurpation again, by those not trained in the arts, but simply eulogizing the accomplishments of others, rightfully so). Sun Dance was a musical. The above quoted account, like most, was written by a non-musician, and probably a non-Indian who knew neither music nor Indians. This musical was produced by a professional company only once, in 1937, by The New York Light Opera, which specialized in music theatre, performing the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, and Rogers & Hammerstein, etc. "Light" opera is not opera, and certainly not grand opera, in the historical sense of the terms. It is a generally smaller, "lighter," in different form, a different venue, and a different experience. Perhaps Sun Dance should have been an opera, but, as indicated in historical record, it wasn't.
Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, 1876-1938
William F. Hanson, who wrote Sun Dance, is otherwise completely unknown. Gertrude certainly contributed to his opera, but offering him Indian songs and lyrics is not writing grand opera, for sure. Nor is it orchestrating it. However, the work of this woman is astounding, and BadEagle.com will surely feature her in the future. The way in which early white social activists romanticized their Indian heroes and heroines is sometimes an obstacle in understanding the truth. If left alone in their own accomplishments, our ancestors generally shine more brightly. Truth and integrity shine brightest, and longest. We do well to percieve the realities behind the glory which we seek to remember.
The young Gertude
The first public mention of my Holocaust grand opera, in writing, was in 2001. It was in a FrontPageMagazine.com article by Richard Poe, February 20, 2001. Since that time, there have appeared a few internet articles about other "Holocaust operas." I find this interesting. At the time I wrote the first and only grand opera (a musically specific term), no one I knew had heard of any such effort. That included the late Mr. Jack P. Eisner, the Holocaust survivor whom I met in Israel in 1998, and whom I came to know personally, and on whose personal experience my opera is based. (Mr. Eisner passed away in August, 2003.)
Now, in 2002, there was an article on Buzzle.com, (an unfocused British venue of eclecticism), which tells of a operatic setting of Sophie's Choice, the movie. The composer is Nicholas Maw. It was apparently a lavish production, based on William Styron's 1979 fictional novel, Sophie's Choice. So, it apparently wasn't based on an actual experience of a person, and the composer apparently had no personal experience or communion with an actual Holocaust survivor. It was premiered in December, 2002. My opera was completed in 2000. Of course, mine has never been produced. (In fact, it isn't completely orchestrated. I've never had the support, I must say, in spite of the fact that Zubin Mehta endorced my score. I do have part of Scene 2 from ACT I recorded, however, with the Polish National Radio Symphony.)
In April, 2003, there was a small production of Cincinatti Conservatory's composition professor Joel Hoffman's "The Memory Game." That was an in house performance at the conservatory. Hoffman began work on it in 2000, and it was not a grand opera, nor was it about the Holocaust itself, but a personal story which uses the Holocaust as a backdrop, as to most Holocaust musicals, novels, and movies. The review gives no indication of what kind of music style is employed by the composer, whether popular or classical, contemporary or music theatre style.
A Drake University law professor, Cathy Lesser Mansfield, pulled together a tiny local performance of her small work, "The Sparks Fly Upward," in April, 2004. She apparently started writing music on this work in 1977, while still in highschool. It is a feat for a non-professional musician, yes, but it is not a grand opera, or even known except at a very local level. The Drake review doesn't say when the work was completed, but give only the date when it was first put together with locals, in its present form. We assume it is complete now. Again, we have no indication of the style of music.
Czech-Jewish composer Hans Krasa had his children's opera "Brundibar" performed by the St. Konrad School children in January, 2005. The BBC posted an article from Ravensburg, Germany. This is certainly not a grand opera, but a musical, written in 1938. It's first performance was in 1942, at the orphanage. (There was a separate librettist, Adolf Hoffmeister.) It really has nothing to do with the Holocaust, per se, but follows a simple, classic Hansel and Gretel type story line. "Holocaust Opera?" A serious misnomer, made to order for the BBC. Brundibar is a children's musical, that happened to be written before the Holocaust.
In September of 2006, Stefan Heuke's "Das Frauenorchester von Auschwitz" was performed in Monchengladbach near Duesseldorf. His score was completed in May of 2006. It's based on Fania Fenelon’s 1976 novel “The Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz”. Fenelon, who died in 1983, was the most prominent survivor of the Auschwitz orchestra. In her book, she recorded her experiences. An interesting take, indeed. A grand opera? No. Not the form. A Holocaust opera, definitely. Written before mine, no, but six years later.
Then there is David Amram's work, "The Final Ingredient," again on the popular side. But it was produced for television in 1965! David Amram is one of the most versatile musicians of our day, like an even more popular Leonard Berstein. However, Amram's involvement in popular music, jazz, etc., will forever bar him from the brotherhood of classical musicians. That's just the way things pan out. Nevertheless, he has always been a terrific talent. "The Final Ingredient," however, again, is not a grand opera, but consists of one act. The original telecast was reproduced on a CD in 1996.
So, in the last analysis, Mr. Jack P. Eisner was correct when, in 1998, he told me that my opera would be the first grand opera on the Holocaust. "It's never been done," he told me. Even by 2000, when I complete my score, Nicholas Maw's "Sophie's Choice" was still two years off. No one knew anything of it until then. I post these findings, not to diminish the stellar accomplishments of the composers, nor the quality of their work, but simply to reaffirm the validity of my own claim. "Grand opera," "classical music" (as opposed to John Williams-style popular orchestra endeavors), are terms very specific. I used them in reference to my own work, because they are appropriate, and true. That's all. They aren't true for the works I have cited here. Other terms apply instead.
Of course, my grand opera of classical music has not been produced. Jack at one point wanted me to make a popular-style musical out of it, like these other later productions. But, before he died (I was with him just a few weeks before at the Mayo Clinic), he asked me what I wanted produced, a musical or an opera. I said the musical would be popular, but my grand opera would be historical. I wanted the opera. He said he would produce it. Unfortunately, he passed away.
I do not expect Jewish people to support me in this grand opera, Jacek. Jewish people themselves are used to being the "anthropologists" of other ethnic groups, not the other way around. Nobody speaks for them. An Indian from Oklahoma, the composer of the first Holocaust grand opera? No way. I've tried justifying my spiritual extravagance, but, the fact is, I trespassed private property--of the most intense kind--in the biggest way. It was spiritual, it was sacred. I had no place indulging my vicarious soul in that way. But, the fact is, I did, and Jack loved it. But once told me (in his 5th Avenue New York high rise appartment) that the Jew can never trust the Gentile. "Even you," he said, looking me straight in the eye. Yet, he trusted me with his opera, indeed.
In my recent Journal entry, "The Rosary According to Poe," I mentioned the matter of my spiritual trespassing. I've done it more than once. It's a grand opera when I do it, indeed. Grand opera on the Holocaust, epic poetry about a Persian empress, or Ambrosian chant for the Rosary, what's the difference? As an artist, I'm a free man. The artist is an emperor, eh?
And, yes, I've written the first classical music for the American Indian flute. I have the first solo album of an American Indian classical composer (Awakenings). I do put a lot of weight on the word "classical." I've invested in a new harmonic system, but my compositional prodedures are classical, in the historical, European sense. I suspect that the composers cited above are going to have to be considered "popular," not really "classical." In classical music, there are compositional procedures to be observed, not just the use of high-power names and words. The content of the music has to be there for it to be "classical." You can't just call it an "opera," or a "symphony" an have it automatically qualify for what these words mean.
And finally, grand opera is a historical term, with specific meaning. A person who would dispute my claim that my opera Jacek is the first grand opera on the Holocaust, simply doesn't know some basic terms of music history. Such music evolved in the 1820's and 30's. It was a French development. Now, Maw's "Sophie's Choice" may be have been expensive to produce, and may be very large, but, the score was apparently completed two years after mine, and I don't haven't seen or heard a production of "Sophie's Choice," so I don't know how "classical" it is, either.
Well, in case anyone was interested. I said I wrote the first grand opera on the Holocaust. I did.
"It's justice. It has to be done!" Thus said an Amazon chieftess to a younger woman. It was just a Xena episode, but, that thought about justice was very telling. Justice is painful to administer--if you don't have any personal stake in it. For most of us, justice is some kind of revenge, that's all. But, for a third party to have the responsibility of administering that "revenge," this is difficult. This is painful. Thoughts of mercy, clemency, and human compassion always interfere in the mind of the third party.
Alison Bruce, and Queen Melosa in the 1995 Xena Amazon episode
Not long ago, I made some statements about justice that outraged many. Speaking of the illegal Mexicans here, of the mass trespassing trend, I wrote a series of blogs condemning all aspects of it. One of those articles was entitled, "Illegal Immigrants Must Die" (February 22, 2007). In that article, I wrote,
A criminal--and that's what an illegal immigrant is, throwing in with other criminals--smugglers, drug dealers, or terrorists, is no one's responsibility but his own. No one made him come illegally into America. He came of his own free will, knowing the risk. I say, let him die where he falls. Let the buzzards eat his body.
This was in the context of protesting the cost of illegals to the United States public. I went on to say,
If they take the risk of committing an illegal act, and associate themselves with the underworld, then when they happen to get shot here in America, they do not deserve to be taken to an American hospital. They should be left where they fall. It is no one's fault but their own. That would compassionate, and just. If no illegal assistance were given them, others would not be encouraged to take the same risks. That would be compassionate. If they were left to die where they fell, they would only be paying the price they agreed on--by circumstancial association. That would be justice.
That would be justice. "It must be done," as the Amazon queen said. It can be an ugly thing. A painful thing. A horrible thing, justice.
Recently, a Minuteman friend of mine sent me some pictures of justice. They are straight from the desert. (He later sent me a letter which I believe is related to these pictures. "I came across her laying out in the desert while we were on a patrol,. A young women who probably had been pretty when she was alive. She had trerrible knive wound in her side. I am still having a little difficulty with the memory of that sight."
This is justice. No, it seems like satanic cruelty. It seems the ultimate denigration of humanity, to demonic delights. But, it is justice. There are consequences for wrong doing. That's part of the reason wrong is wrong, part of the reason wrong is to be avoided, not exploited. Someone did something wrong here. The Mexican government? The Mexican village where the girl was from? The coyotes? The drug runners, the pimps--oh yes, the American employers who hold out hope to the hopeless? The young woman herself--why would she risk the trek? Why would she tempt the unforgiving desert? Had life no meaning to her at all?
Justice. It includes all of us, surely. That young woman out there, desiccated under the sun, was someone's daughter. Someone's sister. Maybe someone's mother. What an end. What an unthinkable end--in the absense of all love. Is the soul of man so very dry? Is there no thought in cuidad Mexico for their own people? Is there no instruction, no values, no right thinking? Just herded masses of mindless sheep, to be shorn or lost, according to circumstance? Justice is more heartless than El Presidente is irresponsible. Yes, individuals are indeed responsible for their own decisions and actions. But there is undeniably a relationship between government and social conditions. It may not be one that can serve as an excuse for failure on either end, but it is one that cannot escape the consequences of cause and effect. It is a cruel justice that would leave a young woman mummified were she fell. It is a cruel indifference that would encourage more of the same. It is downright stupid for Mexicans to continually risk such a plight.
God knows who is responsible for what. We are not able to judge. We can only sense, sometimes, what we ourselves are responsible for. Looking at the lost body of this lost woman, it feels like the human race is responsible.
Chant the Rosary--in Latin. That's the title of Richard Poe's new entry on Poe.com. In a most unusual and unique offering on any internet site, New York Times best selling author Richard Poe has created a classic, didactic device as an aid for devotees of the Rosary who may wish to sing, rather than just say, the Rosary. The research put into this post has been astounding on his part.
Yes, I offered my assistance, not because I am Catholic, nor because I am at all versed in Catholic doctrine, but because Richard couldn't find any recorded examples of certain prayers in the Rosary. He spent an incredible amount of time searching. There were prayers of the Rosary that simply had not been recorded, to his knowledge. For these, he asked me to compose the chants. For this musical comission, I felt I was basically qualified. No, this is not a dimension of my musical experience that I have promoted, or for which I am eminent. However, chant and cantorial are things I have deeply cherished all my life. I would never have undertaken this commission lightly.
So, I have now lent my musical knowledge to the patronage of Mary.
But I have also long before lent my literary inclinations to the Freudian/Jungian female archetype. In the 1980's, I wrote a collection of epic poetry for Farah Diba Pahlavai, former Empress of Iran. (It was published, epic by epic, in Persian Heritage Magazine in the late 1990's. Jahan-dideh, it was called, aggrandized the the imperial female. If Mary is about the archetype of motherhood, Jahan-dideh was about the archetype of womanhood. These things are all ancient in their presence and influence within human nature, the human mind, male or female. And if Mary was about the heart, Farah was about the mind. If Mary is queen of hearts, Farah was empress of the mind.
It was all symbolism. All analogy. All imagination. And probably all sublimated sexual energy, to be frank about it. I am not uncomfortable with Freudian theory and its extension in the work of Carl Jung. Sexuality, in it's most normal dimensions, is a perpetual and titanic struggle. But, whereas in the ancient days, the goddess tended to be nasty and bloody, Mary became the pith of compassion and love. I made Jahan-dideh about supreme consciousness, created through the triumph of suffering, the victory or the accomplishment of struggle. It was about the worthiness of suffering and the inevitably favorable outcome. I used the shape of a woman's life, a woman foreign to me in every earthly way, but one who seemed to invite the focus of everything I knew or felt.
Far afield? It's called religion and art. Sentiment and expression. Fantasy, and a lot of academic research.
Perhaps it was a bit vain. I don't really know. I know artists tend to value the present, very intensely. I know Jahan-dideh took some three years to write, and I was in the middle of social work (with emotionally disturbed children) during those years. I was experiencing, at close range, agonies that to me were indescribable. The tragedy of broken lives seemed abject. I had to seek at least a symbolic solution. Jahan-dideh may be the expression of that desire. The artist really can't give a full account or explanation for a major work of art. It happens, for better or for worse. It is driven.
Her Majesty, Farah Pahlavi, former Empress of Iran
Yea, art intrudes. Art is relentless.
I am not Catholic, yet I was willing to participate in something most dear to the heart of believing Catholics. I am not Persian, but I was willing to share the spiritual life of a modern Iranian in an artistic archetype. Furthermore, I am not Jewish, but I created the first, and so far the only, grand opera on the Holocaust, Jacek, based on the personal story of Jack P. Eisner, whom I knew, whom I had met in Israel in 1998.
Through art, I have participated in great things, mighty things, that are apparently not part of my personal life. I have intruded into the sacred places of others, in time and space, history and spirituality. I have no bounds but that which drives me, no temple but that of life. All life. The world. Perhaps this is a flamboyant way of justifying my tresspasses against the altars of others. Perhaps I feel ashamed for such unbridled license.
I fancy myself a free man. Maybe I'm a slave of the wind.
Jack Eisner (left) and me (right) in Minneapolis.
Richard Poe, who, by the way, was my tutor in journalism, was pleased to ask me to write chant for the Rosary. How could I refuse? It was an offer, one I could not refuse. Richard was editor of FrontPageMagazine when I first connected with David Horowitz. I have known Richard a good while now. His books on American politics are numerous and famous, like Seven Myths of Gun Control (2001), Hillary's Secret War (2004) and Shadow Party (2006). Why would he take such a profound interest in the Rosary at this time? I don't know. I know that he asked me to help him provided some chant for the unchanted. I knew I was able. He asked me for music for prayers which had none. I knew I could provide.
It is not an alien thing that has happened. What befell me on this day was not foreign. Not musically, and not psycholgocially.
The Roman governor Pilate found himself in the most classic position any person in authority can find himself: being required to make a decision, but not wanting to make it. Every individual faces this position, even as governor of his own life.
Pilate believed Jesus was innocent. Despite the intense hysteria fomented against him, despite the wild and irrational accusations yelled out in a chorus of public mania, Pilate could see very clearly that the man before him was innocent. (Mattew even writes that Pilate knew it was "for envy they had delivered him." Matt. 27:18.)
How many times do we face a situation where we feel we know the truth, plainly and calmly, even though the world seems to call madly for a wrong course? How many times does our conscience tell us to honor the right and the true, yet the pressure of spouse, family, friends, neighbors, church, government, and country--yea, the world, tells us to do something wrong?
Now, Pilate had authority to release Jesus. He declared his "judicial" opinion more than once: "I find no fault in him," and "What evil hath he done?" But Pilate presented his opinion as though it were simply that, and one that could be taken or left, at will, by the national leaders. He did not propose to rule over them, even though that was his Roman-appointed position--at least in the matter of the death penalty. The national leaders could not envoke capital punishement. Only the Roman imperial leaders could.
But Pilate did not wish to make a decision. Certainly, he did not wish to impose his personal decision. The fact is, he had experienced riots in Jerusalem just a few years prior, soon after he took office (AD 26, succeeding Valerius Gratus). He knew the volatility of his circumstances. Interestingly, he had brought his wife with him to Judaea, a rather daring move, since the new laws of Augustus permitted it. For a long time prior, a Roman governor appointed to a dangerous province was not allowed to bring his wife.
In this midst of this incredible social crisis, the trial of Jesus, Pilate received a message from his wife. She had had a terrible dream, or a nightmare. She didn't personally come to him, but sent a messager into the court. (She no doubt was in no condition, psychologically or physically, to make a public appearance. She was too 'uppity' for that--although not uppity enough to be included in Vicki Leon's Uppity Women of Ancient Times, 1995). So the message comes:
"Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him." Mattew 27:19
Heaven knows what that dream was about. It obviously involved Jesus. It obviously was terrifying.
But the meaning of the dream was interpreted by Pilate's wife to mean, "Don't get involved!" This man is innocent! Don't touch him! The contents of her nightmare were such that Pilate's wife ordered her husband to stand back.
But Pilate was the Roman Governor. It was his decision, by profession, by appointment, by responsibility. Pilate's wife is saying, "Stay away from it. Don't have anything to do with it. In other words, avoid it! Shun the responsibility. Evade the burden. Avoid the weight. Run from it!
Was her dream from God? Did she misinterpret it? She commanded her husband to back off. It must have been a stunning message, to come from his wife, this early in the morning, in the midst of a hysterical and brutal "trial." Was it the voice of God to Pilate? Did he consider it a voice from heaven--to chose the easier path? To allow a mob to destroy an innocent man--one you know is innocent, one you believe is innocent? What kind of a message is this for an imperial judge--flee the judgement?!
After trying to scheme for Jesus' release (by offering to release an insurrectionist, robber, and murderer), Pilate decided to follow his wife's counsel. The crowd unexpectedly called for the release of the violent insurrectionist, and for the crucifixion of Jesus. Pilate literally, figuratively, and dramatically washed his hands of the whole affair. He pretended to himself, and to the public, that he had no responsibility in the matter. He feigned release from duty. He would have nothing to do with that just man. Indeed. Forever.
Now, where we stand in relation to this lesson is ominous. We're often taking responsibility where it isn't ours; that's called butting into someone else's business, or covering for a child, or a spouse, or a friend. But we do also often avoid responsibility for decision making, with the thought that this somehow exonerates us from any wrong doing, and releases us from suffering any consequences--either from evading the decision or from making the wrong decision.
But, as we all must know, evading the decision is usually the wrong decision.
Agrippa I (according to Philo) wrote that Pilate "feared that they [the national leaders] might complain to the emperor about...his corruption and his acts of violence, and his habit of insulting people, and his cruelty, and his continual execution of people untried and uncondemned, and his never-ending and gratuitous and most grievous inhumanity. As it turned out, his fears were realized in AD 37. For his brutal handling of another popular movement in Judaea, Pilate was removed from office by Vitellius, president of Syria, sent to Rome to answer before the Emperor. However, Titus died before Pilate arrived, and it is reported that Pilate was banished to the south of France, and finally committed suicide, though this latter end not historically demonstrable.
Yet, Pilate was determined to be clear of fault when it came to Jesus. He would have nothing to do with that decision. Like, that got him off the hook? Just saying "I am innocent of this judgement"? For some special reason, Pilate wanted divorced from this responsibility. He obviously didn't really care what happened, not enough to risk a riot, or his own precarious position before the people. So it seems what he cared about was his personal position, more than anything else. Yet he lost all, very shortly after his "decision" to recuse himself from Christ.
That's where most of us identify with Pilate. We toy with the truth. That's where most of our national leaders identify. And political life seems so complicated. It is hard to even know what the truth is, or what the right course of action is. So it seems. Therefore:
The greatest want of the world is the want of men-- men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.
Words written, of course, by a woman, over a hundred years ago (1903). Different woman. Different dream.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
The last words of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, followed by sixty-six personal signatures from thirteen colonies. Indeed, most of them did lose everything they owned, some even their lives. It was a terrible risk they took. And they didn't have unanimous support. In fact, they had something like one third of the population supporting them.
But it was a grand vision, and they risk all for its accomplishment. One wonders if today such men still exist? (I think they are in Serbia, or along America's southern border with Mexico.) Men still have grand visions, and set out to make them come to pass. However, freedom, the quest for freedom, the price of freedom, few if any are willing to make the effort or pay the price. Those men may be in Iraq, currently. Those there among the Iraqis who really want freedom are so beset with murderous Muslims that the true patriot is hardly identified. Iraqi patriots I'm afraid will be last to be identified in history.
That freedom should lead to a global dominance base on economic reality was something I'm quite sure was not on the minds of the founders. That their principles of government should be used to create materialistic globalism would come to them as a complete surpise, I would think.
In 1796, George Washington wrote:
Towards the preservation of your government...it is requisite...that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assualt may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown.
John C. Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington (1931-1944), vol.35, p.225.
Freedom is like love--a little hard to put in words. It is an overwhelming feeling, certainly. When I was teaching college, I got to the point that I was determined that my students would know something about reality, not just history. The first day of class, I would introduce myself, then go to the blackboard and write out three words: "Love, Truth, and Patriotism." I told my students that it didn't matter what course I taught, humanities, ancient or modern, psychology or intro philosophy courses, they would learn something from me about love, truth, and patriotism. That was my purpose for being there.
Of course, I wasn't allowed to teach much longer after that. Even in a state like Oklahoma, buckle of the Bible belt, state universities don't wish to be associated with such political notions as conservatism, let alone out-right patriotism. How dangerous, hurtful, and offensive!
Yes, I was a bit naive. I thought Oklahoma was the place for patriotism. I thought Oklahoma could set an example, could lead out in a new wave of true love for the country--even to the point of picking up discarded beer cans off the street. I had all sorts of plans. Governor Keating wanted to help me get a mandatory patriotism course established in Oklahoma public schools. A liberal Democrat in the Oklahoma Senate, Penny Williams (Tusla) killed the bill on her desk. Rotten luck for patriotism in Oklahoma.
But BadEagle.com was created shortly thereafter. I was put on the Young America's Foundation speakers list, and recently I've been put on the John Birch Society's speakers list. There are plenty of people out there who love the country, and who want to see patriotism in action. What I have noticed, however, is the fear of legal suit. The ACLU of course uses tax dollars to fill suits. Few people know this, but this is the reason for so many suits. Law school flunkies are making their living off tax dollar supported legal suits.
I will continue to advocate love of country. America is nowhere near perfect, but it offers more to more people than any country in the history of the world. Whatever her sins, she presses on. Yes, she set up shop on someone else's land, but, she let the world know it. There was a time when Indian images were on every building, every piece of money, every school, and Indian names were called out for every river, creek, stream, state, mountain, and sports team! A rather impressive social token, wouldn't you say? The Indian will never, ever be forgotten. In the history of the world, what people, dispaced and defeated on their own land, have ever received such permenant honor and recogniztion by the invading country?
And Indian head penny, of 1859--when the plains wars were in
full swing. Even then, America honored the Indian.
Were there is greatness, there is great error. That is life here on earth. Compensations, reactions, balance, it all grinds and heaves together like a giant cement mixer. It's all pouring the concrete of the future, a path for better things. Ronald Reagan said the best days are always ahead. Doesn't mean bad days don't come, too, but, there have been improvements, have there not? Take a trip to your local Walmart supermarket. Then go to a third world grocery.
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness And every gain divine!Katherine Lee Bates, 1893.
It's easy to be a Ghost Dancer, to prefer the old days, the way things were. It is easy to hold onto values that seem passed, and to refuse to participate in the present or the plan for the future. But, I say, we need the warrior today, in all American patriots. There is a war going on over America. There is a war to change America into something that was never invisioned or intended. We still have to fight for America, daily. The Revolution is still in progress! The quest for freedom and independence is as real and vital today as it was in 1776. There is no recess from evil, not on this earth. Freedom is constantly attacked, from all sides, within and without. It is the prize of the earth. Only the brave can achieve it. Only the brave deserve it. Only the brave truly have it.
O, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
o'r the land of the free, and the home of the brave?Francis Scott Key, 1814.
The 1777 original stars and stripes of the United States.
Remember that, even though love and patriotism alike are overwhelming emotions, they must be harnessed by reason, principle, and truth. Love of country is an instinct, and intuition, but it must be informed, taught, trained, and directed. Flag-waving itself can mean next to nothing in the way of true patriotism. A country is not a sports team, not a social club, not a political movement. A country is family. A country is a home. A country is a parent. A country is the heart of humanity.
Indeed, let all nations behold the values which founded the United States of America. Let them adopt those values, if they wish to improve their own lots. There is no point in everyone trying to come to America. This is an insult. This is self-denigrating. People should pay the price for freedom in their own countries. Then they would have honor and dignity. To leave their country and to come here is ignoble, really.
America is not a haven for orphans. America is a lesson in what to value, and what to do. That's what people need from America.
Ah, but these things are fading from view. Globalism, unbridled capitalism, greed, oppression, all seem to rise like a storm cloud over the world. This isn't what America was about. This isn't what the founders envisioned. This is the inevitable result of a selfish human nature, unable and unwilling to recognize the values of the Declaration of Independece and the Constitution of the United States.
So, we have a great country. The greatest. Let's not give up on her. She's floundering. She's tottering, yes. But we must rush to her aid, not scoff at her, not condemn her, not beat her to death with wrong words. She is the most precious nation in the world. Patriots will see that she remains such forever.
So now Muslim medical doctors are in on the act--the act not of saving lives, but destorying them. What could be more astonnding evidence that the Muslim cannot and must not be trusted? (Indeed, it's already happened in America--in Florida.) The Muslim is foreign and deadly in all his values. He must be confined to his own country, and barred from international travel. Indeed, all Muslims must be deported and returned to their home countries.
Sound a bit radical? It would be, if the Arab countries weren't building indoor ski resorts in the middle of the desert. In other words, they have the money to take care of their own. There is no reason for Muslims to leave their own countries--except to create havoc in someone else's. They are colonizing the world, and the world leaders are cooperating with them! Why? Globalism. Unbridled captalism. In the last analysis, globalism is the capitalist version of Communism. With Islam at the helm, or on the forefront, modern globalism is must about as tyrannical and cruel. It's just not on as large a scale as Communism was (is)--yet.
Pakistani militants at the Red Mosque in Islamabad today. Aamir Qureshi/AFP-Getty Images
"Secular" Islam doesn't work, either, not for long. Students are rioting--with guns--in Pakistan as we speak. Islamabad has a war going on within. "Secular" Islam vs. real Islam. The true Islamicists will never acquiesce to a peaceful coexistence. Never.
It's all about keeping people in their own countries. That's the safety of the world. That is the most simple, reliable solution. Of course, no such solution will even be suggested by the leading globalists of the world. Daily, America hires foreigners in the work place--illegally. Then tries to bless them with all the benefits of being American. This is eradicating the whole idea of being American.
A police officer stands outside the Forth Street Mosque in Glasgow, Scoatland,
Tuesday, July 3, 2007, after bomb disposal officers performed controlled explosions
on a car in the car park. The controlled explosion was carried out early Tuesday
morning on a suspicious car parked outside the mosque in Glasgow, the city were
two men attempted to set off a car bomb at the airport on Saturday. Police said there
was no indication that the mosque had any connection to the bombing attempt in
Glasgow, or to two cars packed with gasoline and gas canisters discovered in
London on Friday. (AP Photo/Andrew Milligan/PA) I say, send the Muslims home
and bulldoze the mosques. This is the obvious solution, but it will never happen.
Commentators love to talk about our fascinating "intelligence" systems, our tracking, our surveillance, and even our courts. We can catch those buggers, even before they commit the next mass murder. We're winning! they say. And at the same time, the security agencies and the media love to 'terrorize' everyone with forebodings of future attacks.
I don't want to hear any more about future attacks, or safety, or security. Unless our leaders are willing to put their foot down, deport Muslims, declare a moratorium on all immigrants for ten years, and ban Islam from the free world countries, the subject of security is moot. It is nearly silly. Security forces can congratulate themselves on their superior cunning and intelligence, as they take away our freedoms one by one. The whole security system will soon be under the control of the Democrats anyway, and we know what to expect from them: censure, imprisonment of innocent Americans and patriots (like Border Patrol guards), and fines for political incorrectness. Oh, yes, and much higher taxes.
Moderate Muslims? Far too little, far too late. Sorry. Their contentions are weak. They only provide cover for the murderers. Their presence must be sacrificed. If they prefer being in countries other than their own, they need to realize and articulate the reasons why, and go to their own countries and change those countries into what the moderates want to see. Don't come here, to the free world, and try to change the free countries into some socially retarded historical anachronism.
It made a good movie title, "Black Hawk Down." Police use it. "Man down!" It is an emergency cry.
I'm wondering if conservatives are down? The real ones aren't, of course. But there are a lot of people who apparently still don't know what it means to be a conservative. Indeed, some people think the whole neoconservative thing was an invasion of moderate Democrats into the Republican party. It is difficult to discern motive, and conspiracy theory is rampant on all sides. But there are some straight facts coming out about conservatives.
I've discovered a new blog called Vigilant Freedom 9/10 Group, hosted by various conservatives. Two of the most recent blogs are telling:
How is this to be assessed? Look at this statement, from the blog on Keene:
David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), has been moving, along with several other paleo-conservatives like Dinesh D'Souza, towards a partnership with Saudi-funded, pro-Hamas institutions. A forewarning was the appointment of Grover Norquist to the ACU board.
A second forewarning was the appointment of Suhail Khan to the ACU board.
Then Tuesday, David Keene joined United for Peace and Justice, the ACLU, the Communist Party-USA, as a speaker in the "Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice" to
"...call on Congress to restore habeas corpus, fix the Military Commissions Act, end torture and rendition and restore our constitutional rights. Activists from all fifty states will gather at Upper Senate Park on June 26, 2007 and deliver tens of thousands of signatures to Congress, urging the restoration of our rights."
This is troubling. Fifty-three major, liberal sponsor groups are then cited, along with thirty-one regional groups. All of these are notoriously liberal, and some far Left.
The blog on Bush is no less alarming.
So, the next phase of The Project has started. At last we have bi-partisanship, as the State Department, CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, and of course the White House, combine forces with Pelosi, Reid and Leahy to bring the Muslim Brotherhood into the USA in full force.
Our government is now officially pro-Islamist and will oppose those of us who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood. The goal of the Muslim Brotherhood is to restore the caliphate and impose sharia law worldwide. Apparently our State Department, CIA, DIA and the White House have accepted this as an inevitable situation. No doubt the individuals involved in this decision figure they, at least, will come out on top.
These sentiments sound ominous, but the Vigilant Freedom does cite many news articles, with links, and despite the disturbing tone of the posts, they seem to be legitimate--which is a devastating reality.
So the globalists have it. They don't see the point in nationalism, or trying to keep Islam out of the free world. They think they can work with Islam. It's all about business.
Well, by the above definitions, the American Conservative Union is anything but conservative. It is globalist. Today, globalism is the capitalist version of world power, as opposed to the Communist version. It appears that both are actually Left.
In such a world of usurpation, let's remember that every term, every word, and every idea can and will be usurped--robbed--by the Left. This has been going on since Karl Marx applied "equality" to materialism. (Actually, it goes back to the Ancient Greeks. Plato himself noted that ignoramous mind set that associated equality with materialism, around the middle of the 4th century BC, in The Laws, BK 6, in the section T. J. Saunders calls "The Notion of Equality.") At this point in American political history, our politicians have so adulterated our language that the only sure direction for "conservatives" is to vouch for the United States Constitution. After all, that is the outline of our nationhood and government, not the Qur'an. And not the Republican Party.
There is a Constitution Party (since 1992), but the one organization that has always vouched for the Constitution is the John Birch Society. Historically, that's the fact of focus for the JBS. However, the JBS is not a political party, and offers no candidates for any political office. The JBS is simply humble advocate, a faithful witness, for the United States Consitution. The society is neither Republican or Democrat.
I call attention to the John Birch Society for this reason: even the United States Constitution is being usurped before our eyes. Hillary Clinton is offended and angry when her ideas are identified as anti-American and unpatriotic. Why, every politician has the right to use those precious words, American, patriotic, and "constitutional." So, we do well to study the Constitution.
Yes, it has been interpreted by our own "rabbis" and "imams" and "clerics." We call them attorneys. The Consitution has been buried by over two centuries of interpretaion. Robert Bork clearly displayed how the legal profession usurped the power of the Constitution, in The Tempting of America (1997). Why, the American Civil Liberties Union is hell-bent on destroying America--in the name of the Constitution! So, we can't simply refer to the Constitution, quote it, and expect it to stand.
We have to know it, understand it, and live by it. It's a hard call today. It is very much like the Bible--the social circumstances, that is. We all know how important and central the Bible is. Yet, everyone thinks he knows what it means. There are professionals out there who claim to have authority to interpret it, and to tell people what it means. It's the same thing with the Constitution. Therefore, we are all going to have to study the Constitution for ourselves, just like we study the Bible for ourselves.
Dinesh D'Souza, famous conservative
Finally, about the Vigilant Freedom blog, I must say, Dinesh D'Souza is not a paleoconservative, by definition. A paleoconservative is one who believes that a nation must have an ethnic base, together with it's language, it's religion, and it's culture. D'Souza is a Hindu. He is a foreigner by race. For that matter, Michelle Malkin is a foreigner by race. These are Americans by ideology, by values, by choice. But they are not paleoconservatives. This rather loud error on Vigilant Freedom makes me wonder a bit. I agree with the assessment that the conservative movement sometimes seems like a tottering mass of hypocritical globalists, but, we needn't cite wrong examples of it.