Saturday, December 28, 2013

AA: "Flight 11 Did Not Fly on 911!"

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

AA Flights 11 (North Tower) and 77 (Pentagon) did not fly on 9/11. The source for this information is AA itself. WikiScanner discovered that American Airlines had changed the Wikipedia entry to state that Flights 11 and 77 did not fly on 9/11. If they did not fly, they could not have been hijacked by Arab "terrorists".

WikiScanner offers users a searchable database that ties millions of anonymous Wikipedia edits to the organizations making the edits originated. It does this by cross-referencing the edits with data on who owns the associated block of internet IP addresses.
Although these flights were daily departures before and a month after September 11, 2001. Neither flight 11 nor 77 were scheduled on September 11, 2001. The records kept by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics ( do not list either flight that day.
To make the point: the source for these revisions to the WikiScanner entry is American Airlines. The story is not about Wikipedia. The story is how American Airlines corrected a Wikipedia entry. It is about the evidence that Flights 11 and 77 did not fly on 9/11 – and that this information comes from American Airlines.

Everyone logged on to the internet does so from an IP address. In this case, the IP was from American Airlines. It’s traceable. I confirmed the American Airlines IP address with a WHOIS lookup and Google search. Therefore, American Airlines itself is the source for the revisions to Wiki revealing, officially, that neither Flight 11 nor Flight 77 were in the air on 9/11.

My look up returned the following:
Location: United States [City: Ft. Worth, Texas]
OrgName: American Airlines Incorporated
Address: P.O.Box 619616
Address: MD 5308
City: DFW Airport
StateProv: TX
PostalCode: 75261
Country: US
NetRange: -
NetName: AANET
NetHandle: NET-144-9-0-0-1
Parent: NET-144-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Assignment
NameServer: DNS-P1.SABRE.COM
NameServer: DNS-P2.SABRE.COM
NameServer: DNS-P3.SABRE.COM
NameServer: DNS-P4.SABRE.COM

RegDate: 1990-10-31
Updated: 2002-06-27
RTechHandle: OG60-ARIN
RTechName: Gelbrich, Orf
RTechPhone: +1-817-931-3145
RTechEmail: ************
OrgTechHandle: ZW72-ARIN
OrgTechPhone: +1-817-967-1242
OrgTechEmail: ************
# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2008-06-29 19:10

# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN’s WHOIS database.
The Four Planes on 10 September 2001

According to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reply from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the last known pre-9/11 flights for three of the four aircraft involved in 9/11 took place in December 2000 -- nine months before 9/11. No pre-9/11 flight information was provided for American Airlines flight 77 (N644AA) by BTS.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How Two Bushes Sold Out America

Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

China is a leech in more ways than one. By way of Wal-Mart, it has destroyed decent wages and productive job creation in the U.S. See the CIA'S own list: China is No 1 with the world's LARGEST POSITIVE Current Account Balance; the U.S. (thanks to Wal-Mart) is DEAD LAST with the World's largest NEGATIVE Current Account Balance. (formerly called the Balance of Trade Deficit

We don't have far to look for culprits. They are not hiding behind bushes. They ARE the 'Bushes". Let's take a look at the history before it gets re-written:

  1. Any Democratic President has presided over greater economic growth and job creation than any Republican President since World War II.
  2. When Bush Jr took office, job creation was worst under a Republican, Bush Sr, at 0.6% per year and best under a Democrat, Johnson, at 3.8% per year.
  3. Economic growth under President Carter was far greater than under Reagan or Bush Sr. In fact, economic growth in general was greater under Johnson, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton than under Reagan or Bush. Democrats always outperform a failed party: the GOP!
  4. The job creation rate under Clinton was 2.4% significantly higher than Ronald Reagan's 2.1% per year.
  5. The "top performing Presidents" by this standard, in order from best down, were Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Kennedy. The "worst" (in descending order) were Nixon, Reagan, Bush.
  6. Half of jobs created under Reagan were in the public sector --some 2 million jobs added to the Federal Bureaucracy. Hadn't he promised to reduce that bureaucracy?
  7. Reagan, though promising to reduce government and spending, tripled the national debt and left huge deficits to his successor. Bush Jr's record will be even worse.
  8. By contrast, most of the jobs created on Clinton's watch were in the private sector.
To sum it all up: any Democratic President beats any Republican President since World War II. The GOP eagerly hitched its wagon to the star of elitism. When just 1 percent owns more than the rest of us combined, it is safe to conclude that the GOP --as a viable party --is finished! Good riddance!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Has the GOP Inspired Prejudice about Texas?

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

For some reason, millions of people who have never been to Texas persist in spreading lies, and misconceptions about the state, "dissing it" though they have never bothered to confirm their prejudices by actually visiting the state. Nevertheless --they are convinced or have convinced themselves that Texas is a horrible and backward place. How much blame must be directed at Bush for having destroyed the reputation of a state that had been Democratic or progressive for over one hundred years?

Texas is not a 'backwater'. Second only to California with a population of 26.1 million residents, it is, perhaps, the nation's most cosmopolitan state. In Houston, officially the nation's fourth largest city, you will find a population as least as diverse (perhaps even more so) than those of New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Having often visited all three of those cities, I suspect that that is the case.

The Houston Grand Opera is typical of the trend. Last time I checked, it was the nation's most honored Opera Company having introduced 43 world premieres and six American premieres since 1973. For its efforts, HGO has received a Tony Award, two Grammy Awards, and two Emmy Awards—the ONLY opera company in the world to have won all three honors.

Houston may very well be the nation's greenest large city. Large parks include the very large Memorial Park known for a network of hike and bike trails through virgin wooded forests. Hermann Park, between downtown and the Texas Medical Center, is somewhat smaller but equally green and equally popular with joggers, bikers and nature lovers.
Hermann Park enjoys a choice location in the Museum District half-way between downtown and the Texas Medical Center, famous for having pioneered the science and art of heart transplant.

The famous/legendary Howard Hughes was hurrying "home" to the Medical Center but died enroute. I covered that story and was among the press when Dr. Michael DeBakey revealed to us that Hughes had died enroute.

Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas.

My title asked the question: has the GOP inspired prejudice about Texas? YES! Dallas suffered as a result of the JFK murder though the city had nothing to do with it.  Houston has fared somewhat better though Bush Sr lived in a high rise just outside Loop 610 north of the famous Galleria. I can only say this about Bush Sr whom I knew: he was NO Texan. Nor his idiot son!

Here's the kind of information that you might find in a guide book. I offer it for what it is worth:
Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States.
Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively. Other major cities include El Paso and Austin—the state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as a former independent republic and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today.[9] The origin of the state name, Texas, is from the word, "Tejas", which means 'friends' in the Caddo language.[10]
Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest.[11] Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10 percent of the land area is desert.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Supreme Court Justices Should Stay If They're Able To Work

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Some liberals have recently called on Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire so that President Barack Obama can choose her replacement. At 80, she is the oldest justice on the court. Some fear that if she chooses to stay, a Republican succesor to Obama might nominate another A. Scalia. God help us! But Justice Ginsburg believes that Supreme Court justices should not be influenced by political assessments of a party's future prospects with respect to the court.

One of Ginsburg's shining moments came with the dubious ascension of one George W. BUsh to the White House. With respect to Bush v Gore, Ginsberg's decision was the best, better even than those who agreed with her. Scalia's decision was poorly written, his conclusions wrong and wrong-headed.
Not only that --Ginsberg was, I believe, outraged that the case had been "dumped" on SCOTUS. At the end of her decsion, she wrote simply: I DISSENT --not "I respectfully dissent" as is normally the practice.
Rarely has this Court rejected outright an interpretation of state law by a state high court. ...The extraordinary setting of this case has obscured the ordinary principle that dictates its proper resolution: Federal courts defer to state high courts' interpretations of their state's own law. This principle reflects the core of federalism, on which all agree. ...Notably, the Florida Supreme Court has produced two substantial opinions within 29 hours of oral argument. In sum, the Court's conclusion that a constitutionally adequate recount is impractical is a prophecy the Court's own judgment will not allow to be tested. Such an untested prophecy should not decide the Presidency of the United States.I dissent.
--Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Justice, U.S. Supreme Court (Bush v Gore)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Jefferson, Washington and Separation of Church and State

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

There may be millions of people in the United States who do not share our founders' reverance for what Thomas Jefferson called the "wall of seperation" between church and state. Many throughout the ranks of the religious right wing, for example, are eager to court bigots and fanatics, promising them a "theocracy" in exhange for their "souls". The following excerpt is typical of a "movement" to create an American Theocracy:
If conservatives are smart, we will make the GOP a relic of the past, and will go to the polls and vote the "Jesus Christ" line...Search out the spiritual life of every candidate, and eliminate those who do not follow the one true God.Long before November, we should have all of the members of our churches and their families commit to EVERYONE voting... Done properly, the turnout should be about 10% liberal and 90% conservative/Christian/ Tea-Party/etc. It would speak very loudly to have this kind of turnout.

--John Stone, comment left on "The Batavian"

Now George Washington is reputed to have been a "man of faith". But many others were not. As many if not more are described as "deists", better described as a philosophical view of a supreme being as opposed to an organized religion.

The bottom line is this: nowhere may be found any reference to "God" or deities of any sort in the Constitution. The fact of the matter is that our founders were prominently and most often not very religious. Some were Deists, some may have been atheists, and some probably did not care. That there is no clause in the Constitution that bases our nation on an "establishment of religion" is to be expected.

The single most effective challenge to would be theocrats is Thomas Jefferson's famous letter to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptists:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

--Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Danbury Baptists

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How You Can Disprove Sarah Palin by Just Looking at the Sky

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Sarah Palin is a "young Earther" who believes in a Biblical young universe, created by God just 6,000 years ago. Much longer ago was the beginning of a vast migration of an African tribe out of Africa, into Asia and eventually across the Bering Straits into Alaska enroute to what is now called the United States. (No --Sarah Palin did not see them coming from her front porch.) It is hard to imagine how they managed to begin or complete this journey if the universe had not yet been created!

As they passed through Sarah Palin's back yard, she was not at home! She may still be "out to lunch". She would not be conceived and born for at least another 30,000 years give or take a thousand. In this period of time, wolves --and nature of which they are a part --did just fine without her, without GOP fairy tales and/or lies about almost everything --science, economics, ethics, the age of the Earth and the greater universe of which Earth is but a tiny, tiny part.

Palin is proven wrong whenever we look up at night and see ANDROMEDA --the nearest Galaxy to Earth. No observatory is required. Andromeda is the only galaxy that may be visible to us via the "naked eye". It is but a mere 2.5 million light-years (2.4×1019 km) from Earth. Every other Galaxy is much farther away.

This is direct, observable, provable evidence that shatters the kooky, fundamentalist belief that God made earth and universe over a period of just six days 6,000 years ago.
Andromeda Galaxy, named for the mythological princess Andromeda, is the nearest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way. It is the largest galaxy in what is called the "local group" which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and about 30 other smaller galaxies.

The Andromeda Galaxy is the most distant object visible to the naked eye. Merely seeing it disproves Palin. The light from many galaxies seen in this "deep field" photograph began its journey to earth several billion years ago. Each photon from any star in any galaxy that appears in this photo disproves, if not rebukes, Sarah Palin's insistence on a fairy tale if it is not a lie.

Any object more distant than a mere 6,000 light years is enough to disprove Palin and her anti-science, anti-smart, pro-ignorant, pro-stupid sponsors and constituency. Images from our orbiting cameras --like Hubble --are stunning --a vast star field in which almost every object is a galaxy. See the photo at right. Every object in this photo is much, much more distant than Andromeda. Every object in the "deep field" disproves Palin.

Recently, "we" photographed the most distant "object/event" --the "Big Bang" itself! This object is some 13.7 billion light years distant. It has taken light from that "object" 13.7 billion years to reach Earth. This development exposes Palin's psuedo science and/or superstition is MACS0647-JD which may be the farthest known galaxy from Earth at some 13.7 billion light-years distant! The Universe, then, is at least 13.7 billion years old.

The Lesson of Wheat

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

Creationists are wrong on every count. They believe that the ant-eater has a long snout and tongue so that it can reach the ants underground. That is a reversal of the process of logic. The only verifiable fact is stated thus: the ant-eater can reach ants underground BECAUSE it has a long snout.

It is easy to understand that over eons, those potential ant-eaters which had longer snouts could, in fact, reach ants and thus survive and, by surviving, the organism passes on its DNA in the process. Those who could not would die not having passed on its DNA.

The difference between evolutionists and fundies is the "direction" of LOGIC from premise to conclusion. For example, every TEXAS COWBOY who has ever said: "Never kill a slow roach; you just improve the breed!" knows the truth of "evolution" if he has not thought about it in those terms. That is likewise true for every farmer who has bred for desired characteristics.

When fundamentalists deny evolution by way of "natural selection", they mistake outcomes for causes. Conclusions must derive from premises or unexplained facts!

At last, there is the problem of wheat! Wheat does not grow in the wild. Would fundamentalists have us believe that there was a "special creation" of WHEAT? The best hypothesis is that wheat evolved from prairie grasses long, long ago perhaps aided, initially, by ancient farmers.

Monday, December 09, 2013

The Elites Do Not Create Jobs; They Export Them!

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Some years ago, I covered a news conference held in Houston by Milton Friedman, the darling of the U.S. right wing for his near laissez-faire economic perspective. Friedman was wrong but would never admit it. In fact, when someone raised the issue of "job exportation", Friedman was adamant: "jobs are not exported!" The working person knows better!

At last, a major media outlet is telling the truth about economics! "Business Insider" now says: "Sorry, Folks, Rich People Actually Don't 'Create Jobs'! They are a bit late! I was saying that in my very first economics class as a Freshman. I never believed that "wealth trickled down" or the focus group approved label: "supply-side economics". It was all bunkum when Reagan exploited it to float his tax cuts for the very rich; it is bunkum now but, alas, too late to prevent the decline of U.S. industry --steel, automobiles, radios, electronics. Those industries are now dominated by China and Japan. Wal-Mart may be their "agent" in the U.S.
"As America struggles with high unemployment and record inequality, everyone is offering competing solutions to the problem. In this war of words (and classes), one thing has been repeated so often that many people now regard it as fact.

"Rich people create the jobs."

Specifically, by starting and directing America's companies, entrepreneurs and rich investors create the jobs that sustain everyone else.

This statement is typically invoked to justify cutting taxes on entrepreneurs and investors. If only we reduce those taxes and regulations, the story goes, entrepreneurs and investors can be incented to build more companies and create more jobs.

--Business Insider, Sorry, Folks, Rich People Actually Don't 'Create The Jobs'
GOP right wing elitsts are wrong when they propose that wealth is the creation of ultra-super rich tycoons, robber barons, the top 1 percent. These folk do NOT create wealth; rather --they siphon (or suck) the wealth that is, in fact, created by labor. The very rich move money around --most often to offshore accounts. Even the conservative economist Adam Smith (the father of modern economics) believed that "value" was created by "labor".

Related is the fact that the U.S. is no longer a NET EXPORTING NATION. We occupy the very bottom of the CIA's own World Fact Book with the world's LARGEST NEGATIVE Current Account Balance (formerly called the Balance of Trade Deficit); Guess who is on top!! CHINA! It is easy enough to trace this trend to Nixon's trip to China. I have reason to believe that the trip had been set up by Bush Sr. It may have been the high price U.S. labor was forced to pay to get our sorry asses out of Viet Nam.

I must hasten to add that neither Obama nor Clinton is responsible for this outcome. The details of America's "new" relationship with China was worked out during the Nixon administration --most obviously by George H.W. Bush, Nixon's "special envoy" to China. The result of these U.S. trade concessions may be seen in in the aisles of Wal-Mart, the empty houses in Detroit, the stilled mills in Pittsburgh.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Nature of Creative Genius

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The genius mentality sees analogies where ordinary minds see only isolated instances. Einstein, for example, made a cosmic leap from a tram departing the clock tower in Bern to a faster than light space craft. Looking backward the tram passenger sees the hands on the clock tower moving forward. Einstein was inspired to conduct one of his famous "thought experiments"; he imagined the same tram exceeding light speed at which time the hands on the Bern clock tower would run backward as his tram overtook light waves that had recently departed the clock tower.

From that moment, Einstein understood that to overtake light is to travel backward in time. Every day we travel at speeds less than that of light. The hands on the clock go forward; therefore, we go forward in time –not backward. To go backward in time requires that we "overtake" the speed of light, that we overtake those beams of light that had already left us behind! This insight has profound implications should we decide, one day, to “go where no man has gone before”.

Many other examples of genius may be found to include Newton's insights inspired by the simple fall of an apple from a tree. In all cases, however, the genius mentality finds pattern where others see only chaos, analogies where many may see only isolated phoenomena, things-in-common as opposed to mere but obvious differences. Genius sees the bigger picture, finds order in chaos but often, and as well, we see frightening faces in a stained wall. We see the "boogie man" -not in daylight --but at night! Nevertheless, those "frightening images" are, as well, the products of the creative faculty, the creative genius.

The subtitle of a timeless anthology by Brewster Ghiselin is "Reflections on Invention in the Arts and Sciences". In almost every case, it is the artist, the writer, the scientist him/herself who "reflects". We are privileged to share those very thoughts as they are put down in diaries, letters, memos to one's self. In this volume may be found near ramblings by Thomas Wolfe, the lucid mind of Einstein, the toubled mind of van Gogh and, as well, the meditative thoughts of William Wordsworth on Westminster Bridge.
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
--William Wordswroth, Composed upon Westminster Bridge
I am inclined to conclude that only the creative "genius" could a write a single sentence so rich in imagery and mood, so evocative of time and place.
I cannot imagine a "writer" failing to get something out of this book. Not all of the essays in this anthology are about writing. Some are about the visual arts! One is a letter by Albert Einstein. Another, by Roger Sessions, is about musical composition. The art of sculpture is not forgotten. Nor collage.

Nor science. Kekule is "covered" for having dreamed of a snake eating itself by its tail. Awake, Kekule made the quantum leap: this was no mere snake; this was, rather, the molecular structure of the Benzine molecule.

Most "essays", however, are about writing especially as writing is believed to be and ought to be a creative enterprise. In a single volume, you will find many writers/authors and all of them, it seems, are "speaking" directly to you. That is especially the case with Thomas Wolfe's "The Story of a Novel".

Think of it as a Monet but with words. There are dabs and strokes both here and there and up close they mean very little, but from a respectable distance, the whole will coalesce. So it is with "the creative process". In a single setting, Wolfe gives you "his" Paris.

The only other "work" which does the same and as well is Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue". Or, of course, Monet's series of paintings of the cathedral at Rouen, a cathedral which seems, as if in a movie, to dissolve before our eyes.

Wolfe writes: "During that summer in Paris, I think I felt this homesickness more than ever before, and I really believe that from this emotion, this constant and almost intolerable effort of memory and desire, the material and the structure of the books I now began to write were derived."

Now --the obligatory "recommendation": get this book! You won't regret it.

Is the GOP a "Kooky Cult" or a "Crime Syndicate"?

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

As it is true of individuals, it is also true of groups: they are what they do! The GOP, like any other group or any individual is defined by what it has done over the years. I am of the opinion that most of what the GOP has "accomplished" has been harmful to American society over all and to individuals in specific cases. This includes the GOP's apparent disdain for the environment, its horrific record with respect to any "class" that is not fabulously wealthy. By its many acts and as many omissions, the GOP has created the ruling elite.

I have often called the GOP a "kooky cult, possibly a crime syndicate". Following are The defining characteristics of a cult according to Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.
  • The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
  • Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  • Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
  • The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
  • The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
  • The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
  • The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
  • The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion. Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
  • The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  • The group is preoccupied with making money. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
  • The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group.
  • They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
  • --Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why There is a Recession/Depression During Every GOP Regime

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Every major economist has espoused the 'LABOR THEORY of VALUE'. That includes the conservative Adam Smith and the left-leaning Karl Marx. ERGO: a declining "real' wage that should go to labor TRICKLES (in fact, FLOWS) upward to the ruling elite.

The Axis of Reagan/GOP are wrong. Wealth does not and has never trickled down. "Suppy Side Economics" was and remains a scam, a con sketched out, it is said, on a napkin by Arthur Laffer. Laffer is remembered for his "Laffer curve" illustrating the theory that reducing taxes for the very wealthy would result in increased production. That has never happened. It's either a lie or a fairy tale or both.

The GOP embraced it immediately! They claimed that by cutting taxes for their base of wealthy folk, wealth would trickle down and create jobs. The opposite occurred. A recession of some two years followed Reagan's tax cuts. It was the deepest, longest depression since H. Hoover's big one!

Not addressed with Laffers' curve is the fact that elites have the purchasing power to bid prices UP! That's not inflation! It's theft! At least since Ronald Reagan occupied the White House, the GOP has tried to peddle tax cuts that have benefited only the eilte classes with various forms of trickle down theory. No GOP plan has ever worked! By now, the wealthy (if not everyone else) knows that "trickle down" or "supply side theory" is bunkum. The elite classes, however, will always resurrect it if it is believed that they can milk it for another tax cut or "stimulus" as they often like to call it.

The elites know what the general public does not: wealth does not 'trickle down'. Rather --it is labor which creates value and 'value' is the very source of a nation's wealth. Windfalls/tax cuts are not re-invested in ways that create jobs. They are squirreled away offshore or, in other ways, removed from circulation. The results are obvious: a recession/depression or --at best --a slow down follows every GOP tax cut. Every GOP administration since 1900 has presided over a recession/depression. Just a fluke? Not a chance!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pioneering Ancestors

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Some of my long time FB friends may recall that my Great Uncle Lawson "Loss" Hart was the federal marshall who tracked down, outdrew, shot and killed the outlaw --Bill Dalton of the infamous 'Dalton Gang'. (depicted right)I just found some more interesting stories and information about my Great Grandfather --Timothy James Hart.

He fought on the side of the confederacy in the Civil War and later emigrated to Texas. It was in Cooke, County where he was put on trial for killing a man. He was acquitted " reason of self-defense." Timothy James Hart was buried in Antelope, Jack County, Texas.

Timothy James Hart is known to have spent some time in California (L.A. area). Given the fact that several "Hart" relations of mine continued westward to Los Angeles, I am now inclined to believe that I may be related to the movie star William S. Hart whose hand prints may be seen in concrete at Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. So far, it would appear that the "Harts" were rancher/pioneers, law enforcers, veterans of the Civil War, and movie stars/producers.
note: depicted is Lawson "Loss" Hart, Federal Marshal

Monday, October 07, 2013

Cure for terrorism may be worse than disease

The following article was originally broadcast on KPFT-FM (Pacifica) in Houston, Texas during Bush Jr's run up to war against Iraq.

LEAD-IN BY HOST: Anyone who has ever read a campaign manual will recognize a typical tactic: dictate the agenda and change the subject when it is most advantageous to your candidate. The same tactic can now be found in the Bush Administration. Having gone to war by claiming Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, the administration is now shifting the focus. The slogan du jour is now the "liberation of Iraq". Reporter Len Hart finds the origins of this tactic in Ronald Reagan's failed war on terrorism...

The global ambitions of the Bush regime are made easier by the widespread media dissemination of several myths which predate what Republicans themselves boasted was a coup d'etat in Florida in the year 2000.

One of those myths --which plays into the hands of administration hawks --is little more than a pernicious lie: that Ronald Reagan waged an effective war against terrorism during his administration.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Ronald Reagan's policies foreshadowed those of Bush. But as an opponent of "terrorism," he was completely ineffective. The standard must be the extent to which administration policies reduce the terrorist threat. That can only be measured by counting the number of such attacks.

The public record is documented by the FBI and those numbers are published by the conservative Brookings Institute. During the Reagan years, the U.S. sustained an average of about about 18 terror attacks per year!

By contrast, the number of such attacks against the United States during the Clinton years averaged slightly more than five per year! Put another way: terror attacks against the United States under Reagan were more than triple the nubmer of such attacks under Clinton.

Clinton, however, is villified by conservative pundits and media for failing to wage a Reaganeque war on terrorism. One wonders: is it preferable to wage a war and fail to not waging a war and succeeding?

Reagan's "War on Terrorism" was as much a cause as a cure for terrorism! The numbers prove that Reagan's loudly touted "War on Terrorism" was totally ineffective --a dismal policy failure if not a cover for the Iran/Contra hijinks in which Reagan, Oliver North, and most probably George Bush Sr. committed serious constitutional crimes while serving the interests of corporate sponsors and other rich special interests who feed like maggots upon lucrative defense contracts. Those contracts, not surprisingly, are always richer in times of "War".

The media seems to have institutionalized fantasy, lie, and propaganda. Most of these media myths are simply fallacious, circular arguments. Consider the performance of Barbara Olson on Larry King live in which she stated that Gary Condit was guilty of murder -- not because there was evidence against him -- but because there was none!

By the time Bush began rattling sabres, the same fallacy was applied to Saddam Hussein --no evidence of weapons of mass destruction is simply evidence that he hid them or moved them out of the country. Most recently, however, Hans Blix is quoted by European media as saying that it is doubtful that any Weapons of Mass Destruction will be found in Iraq and that the administration most probably knows that. It is for this reason, Blix strongly implies, that the administration and thus the media are deliberately downplaying that issue in favor another misnomer: "the liberation of Iraq."

Len Hart, KPFT News, Houston

This story was broadcast April 11, 2003.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

George H.W. Bush's "New World Order"

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Bush Sr is at his most sinister in a YouTube video in which he promises a "New World Order". It's creepy --the gleam in his eye, his evil grin, the quaver in his voice. Admittedly --Bush Sr is creepy. But this performance is off the boards.

NWO means different things to different people. As a result, very little written about it is meaningful or significant. Hitler had in mind a world dominated by the Third Reich. But recent use of the term does not necessarily mean Nazism. In some cases, it may be worse. Muddying the waters is the "Illuminati Conspiracy" which gets mixed up with with other theories about Jesuits, international bankers and an international conspiracy of Jews. Who can sort all this stuff out?

There was, in fact, an Illuminati in Europe at the time of the 'Enlightenment'. How the term came to be associated with an obvious and criminal conspiracy like the Skull and Bones, I will never know. I do know this: SCOTUS, Federal Law, numerous lesser courts, a saint (St. Thomas More) and numerous state laws, ordinances and regulations all recognize the fact that crimes not involving conspiracies tend to be petty --simple theft, robbery, mugging etc.
Real crimes --like those perped by Enron upon the state of California --are simply impossible for one person working alone. The sheer scale of such crimes requires conspiracy.

The genocide of Jews by Hitler's Third Reich 'required' the bureaucracy of the Third Reich. A lone maniac could not possibly have murdered the millions who perished during the rise and fall of the Third Reich. The minutes of Heydrich's meeting at Wannsee are a testament to the coordinated planning required to pull off the murder of millions of people. One person --a lone gunman in a depository window --cannot contemplate or 'pull off' such a crime.

Director Stanly Kubrick must surely have believed in the Illuminati. 'Eyes Wide Shut' with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman was Kubrick's take on the effect that an evil and kooky cult might have on individuals. Religious folk would say of 'members' that they had 'sold their souls'. Is that not what church people themselves have done? In psychological terms, they have surrendered to the church. The thing to be remembered is this: such groups have NO POWER but the power that is given them by their victims.

With regard to politics, the Skull and Bones is such a group! That they exist is a fact. They have no power but the monies that are bequeathed them by wealthy Yale alumni and the oaths required of their pledges. This combination is most powerful when the initiate is a believer.

I took an oath once! I pledged an honorary fraternity at University. But the oath I took was to "integrity", "scholarship" and the "pursuit of truth". I am very, very comfortable with that oath as I believe it to be the basis for a better and more egalitarian world in which individual rights are respected within the framework of a more egalitarian state which respects all peoples and all races. That oath is enough to make me an outlaw among the cultist GOP inclined.

Why Descartes' "Proof" of the Existence of God is Fallacious

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

In a nutshell Descartes' "proof" is derived from a definition of God! Simply, God must exist by definition. But that assumes his existence. If it were true, then "God" is the only thing proven to exist by definition.

There are various versions of the Ontological argument. Descartes' version differs from that of St Anselm which was, interestingly, referred to in one of the Indiana Jones movies. Descartes' latter version, indeed, proceeds from the definition of the word "God" and is, therefore, problematic from the outset! How, for example, can the existence of something not already known to exist become an argument for its existence?

For that matter, if the entity (God, in this case) is already KNOWN to exist the 'argument' is superfluous as well as fallacious. What if I imagined or conceived of a 'Big Blue Meanie' and attributed to it the property of existence? I could simply assert that 'big blue meanies' exist by my definition. Someone similarly conceived and defined 'God'. It was left to Descartes to provide the process with an imprimatur of legitimacy and 'logic'.
Descartes often compares the ontological argument to a geometric demonstration, arguing that necessary existence cannot be excluded from idea of God anymore than the fact that its angles equal two right angles, for example, can be excluded from the idea of a triangle. The analogy underscores once again the argument's supreme simplicity. God's existence is purported to be as obvious and self-evident as the most basic mathematical truth. It also attempts to show how the “logic” of the demonstration is rooted in our ordinary reasoning practices.
--Stanford University Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Descartes believed the ontological argument to be a "proof" that followed from the "essence" of "God"! But that assumes the existence of 'God'; or --as lawyers would put it to a judge --it assumes 'facts not in evidence'. If God's existence is in doubt, if it is in "need" of proof, then how may we know that "God" possesses an essence?

It's a circular argument: God exists because God exists! There is much more that can be written about this but, alas, it will not dissuade those who want to believe and who will tolerate fallacies in order to do so. I write this short essay not because I am an 'atheist'. "Atheism" is as irrational as is religion. One cannot prove that God does not exist because nothing meaningful can be said of anything which does not exist. For example: "Blue Meanies do not exist" is meaningless.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

FORGET LIMBAUGH! Work to Restore The Fairness Doctrine/Communications Act of 1934

By Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

FORGET LIMBAUGH Limbaugh is just a symptom. He's the ugly pimple that refuses 'off-the-shelf' remedies. It's time to drain the boil, pop the pimple. The REMEDY --the only remedy that will work and had worked until the election of Ronald Reagan. That is --RESTORE THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE.

The Fairness Doctrine dates to the Communications Act of 1934. The 'Act' limited the concentration of media into very few hands. Radio and TV station owners were required to provide equal time to opposing views. Individual broadcasters who operated electronic equipment or were required to monitor a 'transmitter' were required to have an engineer's licences. An expert in electronics could obtain a 'First Class' license which allowed those having the certification to repair and/or maintain radio or TV transmitters. The Communications Act also prohibited the concentration of outlets in very few hands.

To be sure, there were nut jobs exploiting the air waves but they were opposed while Limbaugh is all but unopposed but for his vigilant critics on the internet. Otherwise --he is un-accountable, irresponsible. He is obnoxious and contemptuous to any and all who oppose him. He is a megalomaniac to be sure but --worse --he is a product and symptom of GOP disease, a disease the symptoms of which include intolerance, bigotry and psychopathic behavior.

In other words, the GOP would repeal the First Amendment by decree if given opportunity and power. The Remedy: ORGANIZE block-by-block, house-by-house, precinct by precinct, district by district to RESTORE THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934 with amendments to include cable and satellite. Demand the rights that were DENIED to you by Ronald Reagan and the GOP.

Friday, September 13, 2013

21 Reasons Bush's Version of 911 is a Lie

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The Conservation of Matter and Energy is summed up simply:
During an ordinary chemical change, there is no detectable increase or decrease in the quantity of matter.
The result summed up in the quoted section describes what was --in fact --observed at the site of the collapse of the Twin Towers on 911.

The fact that towers of steel were reduced to "dust" supports my criticism of the BUSH CONSPIRACY THEORY (19 hijackers is, by law, a conspiracy); it does not support the conclusion of Bushco's 911 commission. The commission had concluded that the steel towers collapsed as a result of HEAT the source of which was said to have been burning jet fuel.


JET FUEL is just kerosene. Kerosene does not burn hot enough to weaken steel, let alone melt it. Every paper I have managed to scrounge from M.I.T. as well as PEER REVIEWED papers by experts, confirm my contention that airliners could not have brought down the towers. The melting point of steel is some 1,370°C (2500°F).  A jet fuel fire is not even close. Even if the fires had reached that temperature, an evenly distributed heat pattern is required to get the "controlled demolition" look --straight down at free fall rates of acceleration!

Random areas of greater and or lower heat cannot be expected to produce results that DEMOLITION EXPERTS routinely produce as a result of careful placement and timing. At last --there is the question of whether or not an ALUMINUM BODIED aircraft will or can penetrate the outer walls slicing steel beams with mere aluminum wings. Had that happened, I suspect the aluminum wings and aluminum bodies would have folded up like an squeeze box just prior to its fall to the sidewalk at street level.

The laws of physics were not repealed on 911. That means means that aluminum --among the lightest of metals --did not and will never penetrate industrial steel, i.e, the steel that was was used to construct the outer "cladding" and as well the even DENSER CORE. Both core and outer walls collapsed like a stack of playing cards.

This is not the only FATAL HOLE in Bush's theory. The worst and most obvious hole is that there is simply NO ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE that the "said" flights were even in the air that day. The BBC interviewed some of the alleged hijackers after they were said to have died in the attacks. Had they been raptured? By Jehovah or by Allah?
  1. Official Flight Data (Source: NTSB) proves conclusively that Flight 77 could not possibly have crashed into the Pentagon. Flight 77 was at an altitude of 273 feet within less than two seconds of impact. Source: NTSB, Pilots for 911 Truth, FOIA request, official computer data from NTSB.
  2. I personally challenged Purdue University where under-graduates claimed to have "modeled" a soft-bodied, aluminum airliner slicing through steel girders at WTC's Twin Towers. Nonsense! All they did was get an off-the-shelf 3-D animation program. If aluminum could slice through steel, Switzerland would make Swiss Army knives out of aluminum. They don't! They make the blades of Swiss Army knives out of HARD STEEL. Bottom line: at ANY SPEED, Aluminum will not penetrate steel. Nevertheless, Bushco would have you believe that aluminum sliced through dense steel. It did not happen.
  3. NOR will Kerosene fires melt, vaporize, or reduce steel to dust. The 'real killers', of course, knew this. That the kerosene fires were assisted with thermite and thermate was proven with wreckage gathered at 911. The pedigrees confirm that thermite, thermate samples originated from ground zero. The effect of thermite/thermate has been written up in several scholarly, scientific, peer-reviewed papers. Bottom line: steel has never melted at Kerosene fire temperatures. Unless and until the laws of physics are repealed, it never will. You can put this to the test for your self. Build a kerosene fire; throw a steel bar on it. When it melts or even weakens, get back with me!
  4. There were no Arab names on the official list of those autopsied from the Pentagon. The source for this is Dr. Olmsted, who filed an FOIA request. Olmsted had made the point that "passenger lists" are just names that someone has typed up on a piece of paper. It is not evidence that would be admitted in a court. A coroner's report, however, is evidence admissible in court. In this case, the coroner's report disproves Bush's official conspiracy theory of 911. There are NO hijacker names nor, for that matter, any Arab names on the list. Secondly, only Pentagon victims are known to have been interred; they were were interred at Arlington. Again --where are the hijackers? Where are the Arabs? Where are the passengers?
  5. On that question, a clue may have been found in an early story from the BBC. They interviewed some of the alleged hijackers AFTER they had been pronounced DEAD by the U.S. media.
  6. NTSB data (National Transportation Safety Board), an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United, indicates that the door to the cockpit in Flt 77 (Pentagon) was NEVER opened after take-off. So --how did Hani Hanjour manage to gain access to the cockpit? He was skinny (only some 95 pounds as I recall) but not nearly skinny enough to slide under the cockpit door. Sliding under a closed door requires the talents of a professional cartoonist! 
  7. How did Hani Hanjour get on board? Several early media accounts reported that Hani did not have a ticket! Anyone who thinks that getting on board an airliner without a ticket is easy should try it. I will be waiting for the results.
  8. The famous "phone calls" were pronounced impossible by numerous media outlets early on, within days of 911 as I recall. I never took them seriously.
  9. I won't dwell on this because it seems that even the mainstream media has covered it and that is: Hani Hanjour was said to have learned how to be a pilot by playing arcade simulators. Uh huh. Right!
  10. BBC interviewed some of the alleged hijackers --AFTER 911. They were undoubtedly alive! Another miracle?
  11. WTC 7 was reported fallen by a BBC reporter though it was visible behind her as she filed her story. She said it had collapsed. But it would not collapse for another quarter of an hour after she had filed her report.
  12. Larry Silverstein --a crook --had been and was bankrupt. 911 bailed him out. He had METHOD, MOTIVE and OPPORTUNITY. There is, therefore, sufficient probable cause to charge and indict him. He should stand trial for the crimes of high treason and mass murder. Capital offenses!
  13. WTC steel was ordered destroyed, hauled away and sold! The deliberate destruction of evidence is a crime. In this case, the charges include complicity and obstruction of justice. [See: Achitects and Engineers for 911 Truth]
  14. Marvin Bush handled security for the WTC before and during 911. It would appear that he succeeded in doing the job for which he was planted. You can rest assured that he was rewarded when, in fact, he should have been arrested, charged and prosecuted for his complicity in the crimes of mass murder, high treason and domestic terrorism. Marvin Bush represents "opportunity" among abundant method and motive.
  15. Though al Qaeda was blamed for 911, it is a matter of record that al Qaeda, the creation of the CIA, was founded at a Mujahideen camp in Afghanistan in 1988, during the Afghan war against the Soviet Union.
  16. Photos show people walking around in the hole in the North Tower where 10,000 gallons of jet fuel was supposedly burning.
  17. When the South Tower was hit, most of the North Tower's flames had vanished, burning for only 16 minutes, making it relatively easy to contain and control. It should not have fallen. 
  18. The fire did not grow over time; it quickly ran out of fuel and was suffocating, indicating that without added explosive devices the fires might have been easily controlled.
  19. FDNY fire fighters still remain under a tight government gag order to not discuss the explosions they heard, felt and saw --explosions that are typical of controlled demolitions. FAA personnel are under a similar gag order, i.e, "threat". Even the flawed 9/11 Commission Report acknowledges that "none of the [fire] chiefs present believed that a total collapse of either tower was possible." Who knows more about fires than fire chiefs?
  20. Fire had never before caused steel-frame buildings to collapse. Nor has fire collapsed any steel high rise since 9/11. WTC-7 was unharmed by aircraft. Only minor fires were observed on the seventh and twelfth floors of this 47-story steel building. Nevertheless, WTC-7 collapsed in less than 10 seconds. WTC-5 and WTC-6 had raging fires but did not collapse despite much thinner steel beams.
  21. Let's visit Shanksville, PA. Show me a single scrap that may be traced to an airliner! Show me the wreckage!
As Conan Doyle said: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however implausible, must be the truth!" The official conspiracy theory is utterly impossible and may be eliminated! What is left is the truth: 911 was an inside job. No one should expect me to believe or "buy into" Bush's bullshit theory, an outrageous theory that posited 19 non-existent Arabs who cannot even be placed at the scene of the crime! Anyone expecting me to believe must PROVE IT TO ME! To Republicans, wing nuts or anyone who bought it, I say: get a working brain cell for a start! In the meantime, shut the fuck up!

Lucky Larry Silverstein got bailed out and received a whopping insurance settlement. George W. Bush (and gang) got the war that they wanted. Americans must wake up and ask: was it worth it?
This is the most tragic, sorriest chapter in U.S. history. Future historians will refer to it as the beginning of the fall of the American Empire.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Why GOP Regimes Create Recessions/Depressions

by Len Hart, The Existentialist cowboy

Every major economist has espoused the 'LABOR THEORY of VALUE'. That includes the conservative Adam Smith and the left-leaning Karl Marx. ERGO: a declining "real' wage that should be going to labor TRICKLES (in fact, FLOWS) upward to the ruling elites.

The Axis of Reagan/GOP are wrong. Wealth does not and has never "trickled down"."Suppy Side Economics" was and remains a scam, a con sketched out, it is said, on a napkin by Arthur Laffer. Laffer is remembered for his "Laffer curve" said to illustrate the theory that by reducing taxes for the very wealthy would result in increased production.

The GOP embraced it immediately! They claimed that by cutting taxes for their 'base' of wealthy folk, wealth would trickle down and create jobs. The very opposite occurred. Reagan's tax cuts were followed by a depression of some two years, the deepest, longest depression since Hoover's big one!

Not addressed with Laffers' curve is the fact that elites have the purchasing power to bid prices UP! That's not inflation! It's THEFT! At least since Ronald Reagan occuped the White House, the GOP has tried to peddle tax cuts benefiting only the eilte classes with various forms of trickle down theory. It has never worked! By now, the wealthy (if not everyone else) knows that 'trickle down" or "supply side theory" is bunkum. The elite classes, however, will always resurrect it if it is believed that they can milk it for another tax cut or "stimulus" as they often like to call it.

The elites know what the general public does not: wealth does not 'trickle down'. Rather --it is labor which creates value and 'value' is the very soruce of a nation'swealth. Windfalls and tax cuts are not re-invested in ways that create jobs. They are squirreled away offshore or, in other ways, removed from circulation. The results are obvious: a recession/depression or --at best --a slow down follows every GOP tax cut. Every GOP administration since 1900 has presided over a recession/depression. Just a fluke? Not a chance!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Mask of Wotan

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Jung's influence has been keenly felt among screenwriters, novelists, and 'literati' who often speak of a "character's shadow", one of several "archetypes", a mirror image of what writers call the "higher self".

Related to Jung is the work of Russian folk tale expert, Vladimir Propp, who thought of "archetypes" as "masks" deliberately worn by "characters". Masks are worn in both stories and in life for one of two purposes or both: to reveal and/or to hide.

In most cases a benign public mask is worn to hide facets of the personality with which the character has not yet made peace. It is a mistake, however, to equate "the shadow self" with evil. It is merely the hidden self —the object of one's search for oneself. All "quest" stories are symbolic of this process.

In both Propp and Jung, the idea is to peel away this "social facade", this "mask". The metaphor "peel away”, however; suggests that the process is an easy one but that is rarely the case. Masks are the gestalt of one's various defense mechanisms and unconscious anxieties. "Peeling them away" reveals an "authentic self" that is often difficult to reach and more difficult to confront or deal with. Throughout the 50's existentialists and other "beatniks" talked about getting down to one's "real self". Jung believed that this “real self” was the source of vitality and creativity lurking behind a "neurotic shield" —a mask!

Jung was influenced by numerous mystical religions and Taoism where terms like "inner room", "the great void," the "realm of essence," the source of things", the "Id", the "Creative Unconscious" are common.

The biggest obstacle to objective truth is one's own self image or "mask". We are inclined to believe whatever is consistent with whatever belief system makes us feel good about ourselves. In America, an entire political party espouses what was once called “supply side” economics but now more often referred to as “trickle down” theory.

The theory is discounted by almost every reputable economist upon abundant objective and verifiable data. That this theory continues to be popular suggests that it's appeal does not lie in objective truth. “Trickle down” economics is most surely a convenient rationalization of an increasingly self-absorbed life style catered to by the mass media. Has modern America become a culture premised upon mass denial?

In 1936, Jung was trying to figure out what was happening in Germany —just as many are trying to understand what is happening in America today. Jung wrote an essay called "Wotan" and in it, he tried to understand developments under Hitler, in terms of the mythology of the god Odin, a.k.a. the Germanic god Wotan. Jung wrote: "We have seen him come to life in the German Youth Movement." I am not sure what "gods" have come to life in America —but I am more inclined to characterize them as fallen demigods, if not demons. Gods or Demons, they are but manifestations of the human personality. There may be a "Wotan" in all of us.

A “mask” is but the smiley face we show the world; it's origin is the lie that we tell ourselves. I recently watched a PBS documentary about a Japanese sergeant who "supervised" British and Australian POW's in Southeast Asia during WWII. Though he had been convicted of war crimes in connection with the treatment of the POW's, the man —some 55 years after the fact —still denied that thousands of POWs had been literally worked and starved to death under his supervision. He denied that he had beaten many of them himself with wire whips.

There is an old saying that the truth will set you free. But here was a man who by his denial had made himself prisoner to the lie —his own lie. In Jungian terms, his life --premised as it was upon the falsehood that he told himself --was "inauthentic".

Dr. Gustav Gilbert, the American psychologist at Nuremberg, came to some conclusions based on his experiences keeping Nazi war criminals alive until final sentencing could be carried out. He said that he had come to understand the nature of "evil". Evil, he said, was an utter lack of empathy. I might add: that empathy with another is only possible if one has come to terms with one's own "shadow", one's own "source of creativity", one's own humanity. One who cannot see humanity in him/herself or in another is a Nazi in spirit; and “Nazism” typifies what Jung would have called the "inauthentic" life, a life lived upon lies and denial. A life lived behind a false mask.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Lessons of Recent History

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

In his essay on Shakespeare's “Julius Caesar”, W.H. Auden observed that theatrical directors throughout the 30's found it quite natural to make of Caesar a great fascist dictator, more like Mussolini than Hitler. The conspirators, he claimed, were “liberals”. Up to date analogies are irresistible. For a brief period not long before Iraq fell into utter chaos, it could be said that George W. Bush had “...crossed the Rubicon”. There are better analogies to be made.

In 1947, Auden would say of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar that it had “great relevance to our time”. That is still true, though Auden believed that Julius Caesar was about the society of ancient Rome on the very edge of doom. Auden did not believe that to be true of Western Civilization in 1947. But is it true of the US, Britain, and Western Civilization today? Are we perched on the edge of doom?

Historically, Octavian would “ride the storm” eventually prevailing at Actium, and, assuming the title “Augustus”. He would give to Rome another 400 years. One suspects that Octavian's prospects were not nearly as gloomy as those we face today.

Auden would write of the post Roman-Hellenic world that it collapsed of a spiritual failure, a lack of nerve, an inability to make sense of what was going on. This is the analogy that is to be made with the present. It is not surprising that a far flung war begun upon a pack of malicious and deliberate lies would drag on for four years. It did so because few in power understood the “story” behind the day-to-day news. The BBC stated flatly: the Iraq war has sent shock waves throughout the Middle East that will be felt for a generation. That is, in fact, an optimistic assessment.

There was yet another layer of complication. It had to do with the sense of community found lacking in America and, perhaps, to a lesser degree elsewhere. Auden makes much of the manner in which Shakespeare begins his plays. “First things in Shakespeare are always important”, he writes. It is, therefore, significant that Julius Caesar begins with a crowd scene. It is just as significant that Bush Jr seized the White House following a “stolen election” and the very worst Supreme Court decision (Bush v Gore) since Dred-Scott.

A “crowd” is always one of three important types: societies, communities, and crowds. One belongs to a society in which the individual has a function or to which one contributes in one way or another. Communities are composed of people who share a common love, goal or culture. Crowds, by contrast, are composed of members who neither belong nor join. Members of crowds are mere numerical additions to the crowd. The crowd, Auden writes, has no function. That cannot be said of the “criminal gang” that attacked vote re-counters in Florida.

Crowds arise when communities break down, when individuals for various reasons cannot share a common culture, love or enthusiasm with others. Education, says Auden, has little to do with it. Knowledgeable, highly educated people often become members of crowds for various reasons and thus help drive the enigma of fascism.

An over-simplification is tempting. Crowds are fertile ground, nurturing fascism and other forms of authoritarian governments and regimes. This was witnessed in Germany as A. Hitler rose to power. If the manner in which Shakespeare begins his plays is important, then it must be pointed out that Julius Caesar begins with a crowd scene and ends with the loss of Republic.

A crowd is most often ugly, fickle, angry yet manipulable. Kierkegaard would write of the public as merely a large crowd, “...a Roman emperor, a large well-fed figure, suffering from boredom, looking only for the sensual intoxication of laughter.” He would call the “press” the “public's dog” that is often set upon the truly great. Thus, the crowd, manipulated by demagogues and charlatans, becomes a mob.

I submit that the increasingly isolated, suburban nature of American society, in the midst of plenty, devolved into islands of isolation. The word community merely attached to a soulless suburb does not make a real community. It's only a sub-division at best. At worst –a dormitory. An affluent America became a nation of crowds, a public only loosely held together, isolated by the science of demographics whose very purpose is separation and analysis.

Given those conditions, the events of 911 were exploitable. America became an angry mob. The conditions were ripe for a would-be dictator to seize “the crown”, vowing as he did to “...export death and destruction to the four corners of the earth.” This would-be Caesar was hardly swept into office with a genuine popular mandate. Many say the election was stolen. I am among those who believe that. Certainly, Gore received more popular votes in Florida. But for 911, Bush might have been retired.

By the time Bush had survived a full term, there was little hope that a new Congress would force a positive change. I was always hesitant to believe that Congress truly knew what was going on. Until America finds its soul, its sense of real community, it will remain like a latter-day Roman-Hellenic world on the edge of doom. There is no Octavian in the wings. There is little hope that our nation will survive another 400 years or so.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Day the Earth Stood Still

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

I just watched –again –the Keanu Reeves version of 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', a high tech re-write/re-make of the original with Michael Rennie as Klaato. Both versions are allegorical, high-tech “scripture” in which a “being” from “the heavens” comes to earth where he is presumed to have “died” for our sins. Does this sound familiar?

Klaatu arrives on earth with a message: people of Earth, get a clue, resolve your differences, shut up, get your shit together! In the original, Klaatu (Michael Rennie) assumes the name “Carpenter”. Again –does that sound familiar? What biblical character do you know who was a “carpenter”?

Both film and Bible versions are parables in which are found expressions of our desire to be “saved”, specifically, we seek to be saved from ourselves.

Unlike the King James version, Klaatu does not go around preaching or healing the sick. In the original version, there is a “resurrection” in which Klaatu, is restored to life. Like Jesus, Klaatu appears once again before the “assembled peoples” (disciples?) with a final warning which translated into contemporary American “English” is “this is your last chance to get your shit together!” Then, returning to his spaceship, he leaves the Earth. In Hollywood-speak, it's “the new testament meets Roswell”.

In the first film version, the black and white version, Klaatu leaves us with a warning that ultimately there is no savior but ourselves! But –would he not have been a savior had people listened? Would not the Biblical “Jesus” have been a savior if things had just worked about a bit differently? It seems to me that a “savior” is a cultural-literary icon or archetype. Klaatu, for example, just “laid it on the line”. In so many words, he told “us” to take responsibility for what we have done with our selves and our planet --the only planet on which it is known that we can live! Mere belief or faith is no salvation nor are they a substitute for responsibility and positive action.

Klaatu's message is like that of a stern parent: grow up! Clean up your own room! Don't make life miserable for other people! Respect the environment! Live with it! It is because of this that Klaatu will never be confused with the modern protestant conception of Jesus. Klaatu did not "put on" a phony “sincere face” just before passing the plate. You won't find a Klaatu-Jesus discussed in the huge mega-churches (Lakewood, Houston) which, because of their obsession with amassing vast, very worldly fortunes seems at odds with either Klaatu or that “Jesus” of scripture who performed miracles in order to feed a multitude.

Today, those who support the mega-churches are probably inclined to chalk up your poverty to your wicked ways, your refusal to kiss up to icons and self-appointed prophets (profits?). Did "Jesus" blame the victim as the new "churches" clearly do?

Both films and the New Testament are artifacts of a culture which after some 2,000 years has yet to grow up, has yet to accept responsibility for its own fate, has yet to accept responsibility for taking the world to the brink of nuclear destruction to say nothing of the human war on the natural environment. If we should destroy ourselves in a nuclear holocaust who is to blame but ourselves?
Jean-Paul Sartre said: "A man is nothing else but what he makes of himself!" It is as true to say of the human race that we have nothing to blame but ourselves if we should “choose” to become extinct at the end of a world-wide conflagration of our own making.

Monday, July 01, 2013

"Liberal" means "Free"

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

I grew up among people obsessed with “demons”; the scariest “demon” of all was the “Red Menace”. We were kept in a state of fear –fear of commies (found under beds or outhouses apparently), fear of “labor” (strikers were called unpatriotic) and the most lethal smear of all: LIBERAL.

I looked it up. “Liberal” means “free”. I dared to asked teachers: “What's wrong with being free?” I never got an intelligent or satisfying response, at least one that could be heard among the gasps. If I ever got a direct response, I was told that a nation's government should not be involved in the "re-distribution of wealth". The "re-distribution of wealth", I was told, was "communism" and Karl Marx its biggest and scariest advocate.

If Karl Marx had been a communist, so what? So-called "capitalists" are experts at "wealth distribution". They have succeeded in looting the nation for the benefit of just one percent of the total population. What is that if not a re-distribution of wealth, the charge most often used by "conservatives" to tar "liberals"?

At the same time productivity declined precipitously under GOP regimes. As a result, the US is on bottom with the world's largest negative Current Account Balance. The Current Account Balance was previously referred to as the balance of trade deficit, a term apparently abandoned amid hopes that the "deficit" might be corrected. To my knowledge, it never was. I suppose “Current Account Balance” just looks better. “Deficit” was made a “bad” word by "conservatives" who had hoped to "position" the left, to label them and hence prevent a productive debate or --better for the conservatives --end all debate whatsoever before it could begin.

America's “financial relationship” with respect to the rest of the world must be taken into account if U.S. imperialism is to be explained. There is evidence to support the thesis that Rome's long-lived experiment with conquest and imperialism was due to its economics. The most obvious clue is the literal auction of the empire by the Praetorian Guard to one Didius Julianus, a nobleman. Julianus would not live long enough to regret his purchase. He was murdered by the Guard and the empire re-seized! Today, that is called "armed robbery".

In our time "capitalism" has often been rammed down our throats. That is especially true in the U.S. Little better, it is sold to us by capitalist blowhards with slogans, claptrap, lies and propaganda. They have done so with “moneys” that might otherwise have “trickled down”. But for GOP tax cuts it did not! Wink and nod! Even worse, we –the people –have financed our own indoctrination.

Friday, June 07, 2013

How the GOP Hijacked Texas

By Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Millions of good people in Texas are just as appalled by the rise of the GOP in that once great state as are Democrats/progressives/liberals in any other part of the country. Epithets targeting Texas are misplaced.

Texas is NOT your enemy.

 We have seen the 'enemy' and it's the GOP! The GOP knows full-well what happened in Texas and the role played by George H.W. Bush in bringing it all about.

The demonization of Texas plays into GOP hands. It's bunkum.

For some 100 years --from Gov Richard Coke, January 15, 1874 to Dolph Briscoe, January 16, 1973 --Texas was a Democratic/Progressive state.

The conversion to 'red' began with the arrival of the Bush crime and kooky cult clan of crooked, lying Republicans. The way was paved by Tom DeLay who gerrymandered the state creating for the GOP a party machine, a dependable, solid 'base' from which it could spread its crack pot, evil lies and bile.

Republicans say the plan did not dilute minority votes. But a 73-page memo, dated Dec. 12, 2003, was provided to The Washington Post by a person who claims otherwise.
Justice Department lawyers concluded that the landmark Texas congressional redistricting plan spearheaded by Rep. Tom DeLay (R) violated the Voting Rights Act, according to a previously undisclosed memo obtained by The Washington Post. But senior officials overruled them and approved the plan.

--Justice Staff Saw Texas Districting As Illegal. Dan Eggen, Washington Post Staff Writer"
Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Texas and other states with a history of discriminatory elections are required to submit changes in their voting systems or election maps for approval by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The "Malibu Effect" and Why Greed is Not Good for You

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Inflation is crudely defined as too many dollars chasing too few products. A good example of inflation: in 1960 $30,000 would buy you a mansion. 30,000 today will buy you an outhouse. That's most probably inflation. Not inflation, however, is the effect that income disparities have on markets. When a smaller percentage of the population takes in a greater percentage of the nation's wealth, people who may seem to be earning the same amount of money are actually LOSING ground because of what I call the Malibu effect. As the rich get even richer, they bid up the prices of desirable items. Malibu, for example, is just another stretch of beach. But neither you nor I can afford to live there. This is not inflation; this is money controlling the market for the benefit of the very rich. As was said in the motion picture Wall Street: "Greed is Good"!

More accurately: greed is good but only for the privileged elite, the GOP base. This is seen to have happened during the Reagan Administration as Reagan took credit for bringing inflation under control. It was high unemployment over a period of some 16 months that brought inflation under control --not Reagan! But --that's beside the point. The point is that even as inflation was "brought under control", the GINI Index began a trend of exponential increases --the direct result of Reagan's tax cut of 1982.

Economists use the GINI index to measure inequality, disparities in income. Therefore, the loss of ground that middle and lower income families and workers experienced during the Reagan regime had nothing to do with inflation and everything to do with the fact that they had been "bid" out of a lifestyle that they might very well have afforded just five, ten, twenty years prior.

Someone posting on the now-defunct NPR "How's Bush Doing? Board" wrote:
I've been working for nigh onto 36 years; maybe I've finally made it.
How much credit did Clinton's prosperity get for that? The GOP was more interested in his sex life. When the nation finally began to emerge from the effects of Reagan's tax cut for the rich [namely, the 16 month long recession, the longest since the Great Depression, it was the result of "liberal" economics policies --not "conservative" ones.

That there was a recovery at all in Reagan's regime is a triumph of Keynesian economics --not the policies of that GOP "darling" --Milton Friedman. Keynes --not surprisingly --is reviled by "conservatives". Despite GOP lies to the contrary, Keynes defended the capitalist system. What the GOP really despises about Keynes is that he did not pretend to defend the "mythical" market economy model. Keynes proposed that prudent and well-planned government spending could prevent recessions. Just as Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was "proven" by putting it to the test, Keynes theories have been --by and large --proven in England, at least by those governments having the good sense to implement them.

In the U.S., unfortunately, the right wing associates Keynes with FDR --whom they still revile however  irrationally. In fact, FDR "stumbled" upon Keynesian economics by accident. In the first 100 days of his administration, he tried everything hoping SOMETHING would work. Those programs that worked turned out to have been KEYNESIAN! "Conservatives" still have not forgiven either FDR or Keynes. It has been said: a conservative is never so miserable as when times are good.

Sadly, however, FDR was not yet spending enough to stimulate an economy that had all but died. WWII changed all that. Expenditures jumped from some 15 billion to some 105 billion almost instantly. I have not taken the time to check those figures but I am sure that my recall is within the range and can be checked out. To the extent that the increased government spending made its way into wealth creation i.e. manufacturing etc, WWII ended the depression. But the effect tended to confirm Keynes.

What is worrisome is this: the United States became addicted to war. If we are not waging a Cold War, a War on Terrorism, a Korean War, a Viet Nam War, would we slip back into depression? Most certainly --if "conservatives" get their way. Conservatives will oppose government spending on what they consider to be "social programs", but, hypocritically, have no objection to even larger amounts of spending on the military or on corporate welfare.

Reagan ranks near the bottom of the list of American Presidents since WWII in terms of job creation. But Reagan is near the top if not the top in the manner in which he helped create the "ruling elite", in other words, the top one percent of the population.

Sir/St Thomas More describes modern day Republicans: God help me, I can perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth. They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely, without fear of losing, that they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labour of the poor for as little money as may be.

--Of the Religions in Utopia, St. Thomas More

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brave New World

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The origin of the title of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is found in Shakespeare's "The Tempest", specifically Miranda's speech, Act V, Scene I:
O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't.

—William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203–206
Shakespeare's Miranda (The Tempest) had grown up on an isolated island. She had known only her father, servants, spirits and an "enslaved savage". There was one notable exception: Ariel, "...a spirit of the air", who had refused to serve the witch, Sycorax. As a result, Ariel was imprisoned in a tree until rescued by Prospero.

Early on, Ariel reveals a plot to murder Prospero. Ariel's obedience is an important symbol of Prospero's humanity, ameliorating Prospero and humanizing actions taken by Prospero against his enemies.

Upon seeing other people at last, Miranda is understandably overcome. She utters the famous line: "O brave new world, That has such people in't." It is irony if not sarcasm. What she has witnessed is not civil behavior but that of drunken louts. Huxley employs the same device when the "savage" John witnesses a a "brave new world". Huxley's work --Brave New World --dates to 1931 when he was living in Italy. Already established as a writer and social satirist, Huxley was by this time a regular contributor to Vanity Fair and Vogue. "Brave New World" was Huxley's fifth novel and his first "dystopian work". Huxley was always eager to credit utopian works by various authors to include H.G. Wells, notably his A Modern Utopia (1905) and Men Like Gods of 1923. It was Wells' "hopeful vision of the future" that inspired Huxley to write a parody.

This "parody" became Brave New World. Huxley's vision of the future, however, was quite unlike his original inspirations. Huxley served up what some critics have called a "frightening vision of the future". Huxley himself called it a "negative utopia", a "dystopia". He was clearly inspired by by Wells' own The Sleeper Awakes -ahead of its time with respect to corporate imposed tyranny and "behavioral conditioning".
In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Brave New World fifth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.[1] In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer listed Brave New World number 53 in "the top 100 greatest novels of all time",[2] and the novel was listed at number 87 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.[3]

Brave New World

Monday, April 22, 2013

GOP Hero, Saint Thomas More, was a Communist

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Thomas More --now 'Saint Thomas More' --was surely the most prominent “secular humanist” in England during the reign of Henry VIII. What makes More a “humanist”, like his friend Erasmus, is his belief in the perfectibility of humankind. What makes More a “secularist” was his insistence, unto his own death, in the separation of “God’s law” and “man’s law”, a principle that we refer to as the separation of Church and State.  Lest we forget, More died at the hands of an all powerful "state". Though it was not Henry VIII who said l'etat, c'est moi he might as well have done.

When the GOP embarked upon its unholy crusade to impeach Bill Clinton, it's many flacks tried to lend an imprimatur of legitimacy to their schemes by invoking the name of St/Sir Thomas More.

Typically, the GOP and prosecutor Kenneth Star specifically, mangled More and, in the process, proved themselves to be a party of mediocre intellects, opportunists, shallow sophists, perhaps, liars to a person! The following excerpt from Starr's interview with Diane Sawyer...
Kenneth Starr: Well, I love the letter and the spirit of the law, but it`s the letter of the law that protects us all. And, you know, St. Thomas Moore, Sir Thomas Moore put it so elegantly, you know, in A Man For All Seasons. He took the law very seriously and said, `That`s what protects us. It`s not the will of a human being. It`s not Henry VIII`s will. Henry VIII is under the law. We are all equal under the law.
In fact --no where in the play A Man For All Seasons did the character of Sir Thomas More say anything resembling that. More defended the obedience to "`s law, not God`s" [that makes More a secular humanist --a bad word among many throughout the right wing] and never made reference to either Henry VIII's law by name or description. The actual exchange that both David Schippers and Starr are both so fond of misquoting is as follows:
Roper: So now you`d give the Devil benefit of law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get at the Devil?
Roper: I`d cut down every law in England to do that.
More: Oh! (advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you --where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? (He leaves him) This country’s planted thick with laws --man's laws, not God's [emphasis mine]--and if you cut them down --and you’re just the man to do it --d`you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I`d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety`s sake.
In yet another memorable exchange:
Margaret More: Father, that man's bad.
Sir Thomas More: There's no law against that.
William Roper: There is: God's law.
Sir Thomas More: Then God can arrest him.
The dialogue above was written by Robert Bolt for the play and movie: A Man for All Seasons. But should you want to read the original More you will find comments equally biting, equally witty, comments that will most certainly curl the hair of modern right wing reactionaries and intellectual gnomes! More, they will charge, is a socialist for his comments having to do with the business class: God help me, I can perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth. They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely, without fear of losing, that they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labour of the poor for as little money as may be.
--Of the Religions in Utopia, St. Thomas More
Clearly, none of the Republicans attacking Bill Clinton had understood the movie. None of them had bothered to learn anything about their “hero” other than what they had seen in a movie. Indeed, this film is among the best movies ever made. Sadly, the real meaning of the film was lost on Kenneth Starr. He came away from it having learned all the wrong lessons and that may be worse than having learned nothing at all.