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Monday, August 31, 2009

CHAPTER EIGHTY THREE. DEFANGING TEHRANYSAURUS REX



Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Apr 18, 2010 3:06 PM PDT


This essay is dedicated to Azar Nifisi, whose brilliant Reading Lolita in Tehran revealed to the average American the painful experience of losing hard-won freedoms. In this poignant book, she helps the empathetic person understand the pain of being subject to the whims of men who wanted to control the thoughts and actions of others. Her undaunted courage shines through in her account of the resistance of a small group of women to those who invoke moral authority that they themselves cannot comprehend.



When I was attending Portland State University in the late 70s, the school was populated by a large segment of Iranian students sent there by the then-secular government or by their oil-rich parents. The latter could be recognized by the beefy Trans-Ams they invariably drove to impress American girls who were looking for excitement and a generous date who would provide a taste of the good life that many could not otherwise experience and with which the ads in the Western corporate media tantalized them.

The other group of Iranian students was comprised of those who were trying to understand and take home the more important lessons that living in a democracy could teach them. They hoped to better their lives and those of their families and friends upon their return home. Among them was a brilliant and studious young woman who I met when we were both tutoring other students. In my loneliness I worshipped this beautiful, idealistic patriot and lover of freedom.

In the more tolerant United States at that time, I and any young man or woman who wanted to attend college could do so because education was commonly understood to have a value to society. The corporations that had begun to seize power in America had not yet succeeded in crippling our system of higher education in their effort to squeeze the last public dollar for their profit instead of the needs of the People.

In the days before Reagan rose to power with the help of the corporatocracy, the American people maintained the fiction first challenged during the Vietnam era that we are all one people who had each risen through hard work in a society that understood the concept of a level playing field. This was our reward for freeing the world from the grip of Fascist tyranny at the cost of hundreds of thousands of young American lives. The so-called Greatest Generation had reaped the benefits that they and their children then enjoyed. We were the products of the resulting baby boom and innocently expected that we would continue America’s proud tradition of taking care of its workers and their families forever.

Events moved swiftly in those days. The Iranian students began demonstrating regularly at PSU. I watched with curiosity as these determined men and woman agitated for the American people to understand that the government of Reza Shah Pahlevi was a puppet of the CIA that had put the cowardly Shah into power. Pahlavi maintained his grip on the forcibly secularized Iran through a repressive regime backed by the Gestapo-like Savak. The universities flourished in the new society, which was secularized and allowed woman such as Nifiski to not only learn but to teach other young men and women.

The CIA had installed the Shah to assure the control of the Iranian oil supply for the benefit of their masters, the economic elite in the US and the oil rich countries of the Mideast. These were the nations that formed OPEC, the great little tool that American, British and French-based transnational oil corporations found so useful to maximize profits from oil by manipulating supply. Iran had made the mistake of nationalizing the rich oil fields that this criminal cabal considered its own. Among these allies were Goldman-Sachs and its friends in the IMF and the WTO. Also profiting from this arrangement were the various corporations internationally that comprised the military-industrial complex.

This arrangement was convenient for everybody concerned, except the citizens of the nations involved. Among them, only Americans as a whole failed to worry about the growing power of these international corporations and the increasing irrelevance of nations. They failed to recognize that 1984 was just around the corner. The Hydra that is the cabal of international criminals thus busied itself unencumbered in the task of enslaving the world.

They happily made war, subjugated the poor people of the Mideast and fed money to keep well-oiled the Israeli war machine that they thought could alone ensure the security of their joint enterprise. They pumped just enough oil to soak Europe of its wealth and subsidize the fat and happy middle class in the US. The Puppet Masters of the Senate used cheap oil in America to keep the middle class complacent and willfully ignorant through the skillful manipulation of the corporate media.

The media had become drunk with their success in revealing the threat to democracy of Watergate and CIA spying in America. In its stupor the Hydra grew stronger, feeding off the suffering of millions throughout the world. The media have not yet awaken, nor have the American people who depended on its integrity to understand the workings of its government, the former leaders of which had slunk off into the shadows.

It is amazing how fast the Puppetmasters of the fascist shadow government walked back from the dark side where the shadows dwelt and into the light of day. The vanguard of the re-emerging international Army of the Night was led by such traitors as Ollie North and G. Gordon Liddy. Both had either belonged to or worked hand in hand with the CIA and other minions of the Hydra to undermine democracy in America. These latter-day Benedict Arnolds were rewarded for their roles in the October surprise and Watergate with national radio shows.

The more deluded among the Greatest Generation listened to their confused rantings with rapt attention. They lionized the traitor North and nod their heads when Liddy told them to “shoot for the head” when gummint agents come to take their guns that they use them to rape their daughters under the guise of “religious freedom.” Individual freedom uber alles, they silently thought. The powerful just naturally have the right to treat the powerless as possessions, don’t they? They have earned it by servicing the nation and its Puppetmasters, after all.

The silent majority stayed silent while the counter-Revolutionaries proceeded to undermine the intent of the Founding Fathers and those who died to establish our inalienable right to self-determination. The traitorous psychopaths who were the principle owners of these international corporations set about acquiring and consolidating the mass media and brainwashing the eager youth of the far right into accepting the false doctrine of original intent. The more farsighted among them knew that in the end, the plan was to hand all power to the corporate traitors who established the Heritage Foundation, the Heritage Institution, “Liberty” University and the think tanks and law schools from whose dark halls sprang the likes of John Yoo, Bybee, Scalia, Alito, Roberts and the simple-minded sharecropper’s son, Uncle Thomas.

Others merely joined in the effort for profit, not realizing that they were not buying America but selling it out. This is the inevitable fate of a society that forgets that a democratic government is established only by the just consent of the governed and its purpose is to serve the people, provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare in order to secure the blessings of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights were once recognized to be the God-given and therefore inalienable right of men and women. In the cult of greed that arose around the false prophet Reagan, all this was forgotten and then lost.



Meanwhile, back in Iran the power of the people prevailed. The CIA puppet Shah Rezi Pahlavi fell to forces led by the Muslim Fundamentalists who the CIA had deliberately brainwashed into thinking that democracy was evil. Here in Portland, rich and poor Iranians alike cheered. Thank Allah almighty, they were free at last. Little did they know that they had let loose a force that would lead the nation to the brink of self-destruction. In an act of sheer madness, the Ayatollah’s men kidnapped 50 Americans under diplomatic protection. This was how these deluded pseudo-Muslim Fundamentalists slapped the face of the Great Satan whose face they clearly saw, while most Americans did not.

The result was that to save face after this colossal blunder, the Ayatollah made a deal with the devil that sealed their fate. They helped North, Poindexter and other traitors subvert the American government. Unsubtly manipulating the price of oil, OPEC colluded to bring about the recession that put Reagan into power in the stead of James Earl Carter, the peace monger.

Carter was and is a devout Christian who understands the need to eliminate America’s dependence on foreign oil through conservation. Arms were traded for hostages, money was exchanged and the wheels of injustice being properly oiled, the deed was done. The corporate media aided and abetted this coup by ridiculing Carter’s conservation efforts and promoting Reagan’s false promises of making the United States the “shining city on the hill.”

Congress failed to fulfill its responsibility to oversee an out of control CIA after North admitted his treason. Poindexter’s implausible denial of a central CIA role in the coup was accepted by the politicians in charge who feared that the people would be more upset by undergoing the ordeal of another impeachment trial so soon after Watergate than by the subversion of their government by the CIA on behalf of international corporations. Unfortunately they were right, or so proclaimed the corporate media.

Even more incredibly, the American people failed to take to the streets to Take Back America after the hunting of President Clinton produced a monkey trial that even they refused to buy into. It is astounding that even after demonstrating his willingness to compromise with the coup regime the persecution did not stop.

Clinton’s gift to the shadow government after the coup was signing on to the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Apparently, the man from Hope had lost hope that Americans would rise up and take re-establish democracy. Having thrown in his lot with the counter-Revolutionaries, he discovered that the corporate elite did not take kindly to having the Office of the President occupied by someone who had struggled up on his own and who wanted to represent the People. He was not fully appreciative of their important role in ruling the nation by virtue of birthright. It was out of a sense of duty as much as self-interest that the moneyed elite thought it necessary to destroy the Presidency of this aspiring leader of the ostensibly free world.

Perhaps Clinton’s mistake was that in his naiveté, he challenged the privilege of the medical-industrial complex without fully appreciating the extent to which the traitors now in control of the government also controlled the corporate media. Having allowed him to win the election, they set about tightening their control of the media in preparation for their final assault on democracy.

Now the stage is set for what Christians call Armageddon. According to the Mayans and Nostradamus, this outcome was so obvious that it was foreseeable thousands of years ago. It would appear that the End of the World as we Know it was destined to come about from the beginning of time, in a manner of speaking.

However, others believe that the prophecy of Armageddon was not a promise but a warning, one that Mohammed clearly described in the fourth to the last Sura. Humankind was created with free will and we may collectively choose to determine that the End of the World as we Know it will be a wonderful thing. If we can shift the collective human consciousness from survival of the fittest to survival and spiritual growth of all, it will be as if Heaven and Earth will have become one.

Those who live for wealth and power are headed for a fiery death. Whether it is the one that they expect to happen here on Earth or whether it will be in another dimension of existence, their end is near. Soldiers For Peace throughout the world outnumber them one million to one and we are not going to allow them to impose their design of worldwide slavery while we are alive to stop them.

We operate in cyberspace, where the Matrix is seen for the illusion that it is. We cannot be detected by those who lack the vision to see the world as we do. The world as it is teetering on the balance between stability and self-destruction. We do not choose for those who we love to die for the cause of allowing the apparently powerful to destroy humanity.

The easy way to avoid the war between Iran and Israel that both governments seem to be itching for is to establish an international consortium consisting of the United States, Israel, Russia, Germany and France. This group would under inspection build and launch a geosynchronous communications satellite above Tehran. The hardliners in the Iranian government can scream bloody murder, but if they shoot it down they will have to evacuate Tehran first or murder even more innocents than they are already doing. This would merely hasten the fall of the government of Iran and the Ayatollah, hereafter referred to as Tehranysaurus Rex, the King of Tyrants in our beleoved Persia. The will of today's Iranian students will not be defied if the US and Israel truly want peace.

ATT may cry foul at the thought of providing anyone with free Internet services, especially since the FCC recently approved the illegal merger of this behemouth with Comcast. The oil inndustry may whimper that if a free Iran opts out of OPEC, their splendid little arrangement will fall apart when Chavez joins in the effort to undermine their control of world oil prices. How, they will ask, can we justify never-ending war if neither oil nor terrorism can be used as an excuse?

Oh, well. No one ever promised them that they could rule the earth for a thousand years after Armageddon. Jesus is not coming down on a white horse with a flaming sword to slay the bad guys and save the faithful who only wait and do not save themselves. The last Jihad will be the first, a peaceful one in which the death of the ego is complete and the Eternal One becomes a stable entity of peace and harmony throughout the Universe.




In the words of REM (which also is a dream state):



That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane.
Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn.
World serves its own needs, don't misserve your own needs.

Feed it up a knock, speed, grunt no, strength no.
Ladder structure clatter with fear of height, down height.
Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for hire and a combat site.

Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the furiesbreathing down your neck.
Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tetheredcrop.
Look at that low plane! Fine then.

Uh oh, overflow, population,common group, but it'll do.
Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed.
Tell me with the rapture and the reverent in the right - right.
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, brightlight, feeling pretty psyched.



It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower.
Slash and burn,return, listen to yourself churn.
Lock him in uniform and book burning, blood letting.

Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate.
Light a candle, light a motive. Step down, step down.

Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh,this means no fear - cavalier.
Renegade and steer clear! A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies.
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.



It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide.
Mount St. Edelite.Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic,slam, but neck, right? Right.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...






Rick Staggenborg, MD
Portland, Oregon

NOTE: It was pointed out to me after this was written that the anti-government forces in Iran are not all opposed to theocracy or the oppression of the religious leaders who run the country in their own interests. 

The US promotes "freedom" in Iran but the corporatocracy that owns Congress simply wants to work with the economic elite in Iran to make a profit at the expense of the people. It supports not democracy but fascism, as do these burgoise "reformers" in Iran. 


Here is an excellent article on the subject.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

CHAPTER EIGHTY FOUR. A BRIEF HISTORY OF SLAVERY


 


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Apr 21, 2010 12:02 AM PDT



This chapter is dedicated to Moses, Socrates, Christ, Mohammed, George Washington, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, Dwight Eisenhower, Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. 

Each fought slavery in his own way. None feared speaking truth to power, understanding that it is only truth that will make us free. Whatever the failings of some of them, the decisions each made to believe in and devote their lives to freedom and justice in the world brought us to a place where Americans can finally finish the task of forging a democracy. Only when free of the threat of annihilation at the hands of a US-dominated corporate Empire will the nations of the world at last be able to find their own ways to the path to  permanent, worldwide peace.


It is less obvious that this implies a deep debt of forgiveness to those whose malicious acts set the world stage and brought us to this perfect day: Pharaoh Ramses II, the frightened politicians of Athens who murdered Socrates, the founders of Sparta who created a society that valued the state  over human life and dignity, the Sanhedrin who murdered Christ for the effectiveness of his argument for unity, violent pagan tribes in Seventh Century Arabia whose utter depravity inspired Mohammad to seek a higher form of wisdom than the worship of wealth and power, British Imperialists who assumed the God-given right to rule over others, misogynists of all stripes who inspired Adams, Anthony and countless other women to fight for the rights of all of us in fighting for equal rights of women, slave owners in Africa and the Americas, Hitler, men sitting in board rooms and on the US Supreme Court who handed control of the US government to the military-industrial complex, Cheney, the Saud family, members of Congress and Parliaments, Prime Ministers and Presidents have always acted according to their natures. What else can any of us do?

Christ and Mohammed, Buddha and Krishna all understood that only when we accept that all humans are members of the family of Mankind are any of us ourselves fully alive. To deny the humanity of any of them is to deny the humanity of all of us.






No one knows when slavery began, but surely it arose after the original sin of murder. Sides were chosen, tribes formed and battle lines were drawn. The oral tradition that predated the dominant written traditions did not record that once, we were all brothers and sisters, originating from a common community that arose in Africa tens of thousands of years ago. We are as a point of biological fact all one People.

The willful ignorance of the haves and enforced ignorance of the angry and often violent have-nots cannot change that reality. We may have our own perceptions of reality, but we share this unique moment in the space-time continuum. At every moment, we are at the crossroads of divergent futures. Our individual and collective choices will determine what road we take. Our children will bear the burden of paying for our mistakes. It has never been more important that we wisely choose than at present.

Every decision we make has a moral implication and our choice determines whether we become more or less free. The world is a house divided, and a house divided against itself cannot long stand. A world civilization cannot long endure half-slave and half-free. If God exists, we are worthy of its grace and the gift of democracy and freedom only to the extent that we care for, protect and promote the well-being of the least among us.

Abraham, the spiritual Father of the People of the Book, was the first to attempt to reunite a tribal People who regard themselves as "The Chosen." This is an unfortunate choice of words, since it implies that there is a God who chooses favorites, a patently ridiculous notion. In fact, many rabbinical scholars take this to mean that the Jews were chosen to be an example to Mankind, for better or worse. Some Jews argue that the Exodus was a just punishment for abandoning the faith that they could create a just society. Many regard Israel as an abomination, arguing that the Torah promises that Israel will only be restored by God's will, not by those who believe in the myth of racial superiority.

Abraham is said to been designated by God as "the Father of many nations." Jews, Christians and Muslims all claim his lineage. It is remarkable that all recognize their common source and yet so few who claim to be adherents of those faiths see the obvious corollary : they are all members of one family. Perhaps this is no surprise given the rifts that developed in his immediate family, when blood ties were considered by Sarah to be more important than the bonds of affection Abraham felt for both his sons. It may be that this is the most important lesson that we can learn from the story of his life.

Since they had not learned the lesson sufficiently before having been enslaved in Egypt, it was perhaps necessary that Moses be chosen to lead the Hebrew tribes out of bondage. Even after the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, the Bible tells us that the Israelites immediately resumed squabbling when safe on the other side. Only a sign from God gave Moses the credibility to lead them to the Promised Land. Nonetheless, some still seem to have been lost.

Among the most lost were those who became the Sanhedrin. These high priests caused to be crucified a radical rabbi who brought to his people the message that he had encountered in his travels: If are all children of the one God, we must treat every man and woman as our brother and sister. The message was of Jesus was so simple that a child could understand it. That is what made it so dangerous that Herod and the Quislings of the Sanhedrin believed that they had to kill Christ. This was not an act that was likely supported by the majority in Israel, but Israel was not a democracy.

Ancient Israel granted undue power to those who claimed to speak for God. Those entrusted with this power demanded death for the man many felt to be their own messiah. The Temple soon fell, and those who had abused their power lost it. The Jewish people were once again nationless. Those who remained in the Mideast formed isolated communities, surrounded by Pagans until the rise of Islam. Their communities were incorporated into the Caliphates, in which they were free to worship the same God, being recognized as fellow "People of the Book" and descendants of Abraham.

Mohammed is said to have had a series of revelations from God in a time when his people were divided into tribes warring over water and wealth. He brought the same message that Christ, Krishna and the Buddha had brought before, in different times and places. A relative peace fell upon the Caliphate once formed in which Jew, Christian and Muslim lived in harmony and mutual respect as Mohammed taught that Allah had bidden the faithful to do. A relative peace reigned for hundreds of years.

The collective wisdom of Greece was salvaged by Muslim scholars from the ruins of the famous library of Alexandria that had been savaged by the invading Romans. These great works were lovingly transcribed and studied in the first great universities in Baghdad, Tehran and Salamanca in Northern Spain. The world's greatest scholars converged on these centers and together kept hope alive while Europe plunged into the Dark Ages as the Catholic Church cynically used torture and murder to enforce its political theology and maintain its grip on power.

The seeds of corruption of Islam were planted early, when Mohammad established the tradition of representing both the secular and the religious authority at the same time. While careful to act as a governor in a secular fashion that recognized the equality of rights of non-Muslims, it was inevitable that lesser men would not always be as scrupulous. After his passing, religious and civil authority  were wedded in the office of Caliph, which literally means "successor." Initially attempts were made to choose Caliphs by consensus, but in the end the office became hereditary and the chance to form a the world's first true democratic tradition was lost .
Inevitably, granting political power to religious leaders causes them to lose the first jihad, the struggle to conquer the self. They forget that the essential message of all great prophets is to purge the illusion of separateness from their minds and see the reality that all of us are interconnected and interdependent. In the Islamic world, Shiite began to war with Sunni as Islamic fundamentalists sought to dominate others by claiming Qur'anic authority, just as fundamentalist Christians claim Biblical authority to decree what beliefs make one a "true" follower of Jesus. Traditional tribal leaders continued to make war to advance their own interests, only now claiming to be advancing a holy cause.

With the Roman Catholic Church made common cause with an Eastern Church whose dominion was under threat by Islamist forces, the stage was set for a clash of civilizations. Citing among other evidence of the need for a "holy" crusade against Islam the burning of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem decades earlier, Pope Urban II whipped “Christian” warriors into a blood frenzy of revenge. The Crusades that followed stained the name of religion for all time, as few in the Church resisted this mad rush to war.

Western soldiers under the banner of the Roman Catholic Church swept upon Jerusalem like a horde of locusts, employing the tools of total war and “burning the village in order to save it.” It took the singular skill and determination of Saladin to beat back the invaders and in the process, teach them about chivalry. It is said that in the process, Islam gained many new followers among the Crusaders who remained behind.

Following the final defeat of the Crusaders, the last Caliphate arose. The Ottoman Empire came to control most of the Mideast and was considered the pinnacle of Eastern civilization at the time. Like all Empires, its government eventually became more interested in maintaining power than the integrity of its national soul. In the great war to determine the New World Order of the 20th Century, it ended up on the losing side. The Empire fell to the collective corporate power of the Allies, which were at the time seriously regarded by educated persons as“democracies.”

In the aftermath of WWI, the Mideast was carved up according to the classic British rule of divide and conquer. Kurdistan was incorporated into three “nations” that were themselves carved from pieces of other nations and cultures. The lines were drawn with the intent of dividing the oil wealth of "Iran," “Iraq” and "Turkey" according to the agreements of the self-styled Masters of the Universe of that time, the parents and grandparents of today's global elite who are so anxious to collect their inheritance that they are willing to destroy it in the process.


The war to end all wars was nothing but a contest for control by two alliances of what were essentially fascist nations, where the rich made common cause with politicians against the People. We have come to a time when we must build a united international front against fascism and war to save human civilization and give our children their only chance to live free.

The United States has become the world's only superpower. It is controlled by corporate terrorists led by the international banksters. Other governments are lining up  behind them, the economic elites of those nations eager for a share of power and wealth in the coming fascist New World Order. Given their combined military might, we can only defeat them when the people of the US rise up and take back America for the People. Only then will the Peoples of other nations be able to free themselves form the tyranny of their own governments. That begins with freeing our minds from the illusion of separation from one another.

With the vast majority of humanity claiming a belief in God, it is critical that we learn to put aside our differences in the way we perceive it. After all, none of us can understand God in its totality, for if it exists it is by definition everything seen and unseen that exists not only in the Universe we know but another we cannot. Religion can be defined as a set of beliefs that must be accepted in order to be considered a member of that faith. When it is so defined, it defeats its purpose by separating us into groups with different senses of identity. That allows us to be enslaved by those who understand this but have no faith in either God or Man. If instead we define a religion as one way of looking at the world to try and understand its underlying reality, it can be liberating, as Vishnu, Buddha, Abraham, Christ and Mohammed all tried to teach us.


It is possible to create a real democracy in the US and thereby allow it to spread throughout the world.The evil of corporate personhood is increasingly recognized in the US, where the Revolution that has never been completed. The battle to abolish corporate personhood in the United States will first have to end in victory if the world is to be saved from the evil designs of the international corporate terrorists who seek to enslave its people, in a fascist New World Order. The Army of Soldiers For Peace International is prepared to challenge the virus infecting the human consciousness that makes war seem inevitable in our fevered minds.

It seems that it is all over the metaphorical shooting. In America and elsewhere we are gradually emerging from our slumber by the clanging of an alarm from somewhere in the distance. Reality is impinging on our waking dream. We are beginning to realize that each of the great prophets of the Book has merely reminded us of what Krishna and Buddha taught their own people in their time and place.

It is the nature of reality itself, not simply the reality that men create, that we are inter-related and interdependent. Each action that we choose to take involves a moral decision. In this time of tribulation, we must each decide whether we will choose to live as slaves or to join together to free ourselves from the slavery of the belief that war is inevitable. In the time of awakening, we will come to our senses and agree that war is unimaginable.

I know not what course others may take, but as for me: Give me liberty or give me death.



In the immortal words of George Harrison:

We were talking
about the space between us all.
And the people
who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion,
never glimpse the truth.
Then it's far too late
when they pass away.

We were talking
about the love we all could share.
When we find it
to try our best to hold it there.
With our love, with our love
we could save the world, if they only knew.

Try to realize it's all within yourself.
No one else can make you change.
And to see you're really only very small
and life flows on within you and without you.

We were talking
about the love that's gone so cold.
And the people
who gain the world and lose their soul.
They don't know,
they can't see,
Are you one of them?

When you've seen beyond yourself
then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.
And the time will come when you see we're all one
and life flows on within you and without you.



Rick Staggenborg, MD

Founder, Soldiers of Peace International


Roseburg, Oregon

CHAPTER EIGHTY FIVE. HISTORY DOES NOT REPEAT ITSELF.




Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Apr 27, 2010 11:32 PM PDT


This chapter is devoted to my loving children Margaret, Bruce,  Charley and Alex. Together, they give me hope for the future and the inspiration to continue my work.


It is often said that history repeats itself. Like the phrase “I could care less,” the idea is the opposite of what was meant by the individual who the speaker is trying to quote. 

The truth is that I couldn’t care less for the idea that history invariably repeats itself. It is men and women who refuse to believe this that make history. History is the record of human progress since we began to record it, first in our memories and then in the written word. 

While there are patterns in history, the quote from George Santayana was “Those who cannot remember (and therefore fail to learn from the mistakes of) the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is a much more hopeful statement, for it implies that if we learn from our mistakes, we can continue the ageless quest to perfect ourselves and our societies.
  
Believing in something is the only way to see how to make it real. It is not possible to be an agent of historical change without studying the history of what has led to a problem or dysfunctional belief system and trying to spot the mistakes in reasoning that led us there. If we are motivated by desire to fix the problem and guided by the belief that a solution is possible, we have a chance to find an answer to the problem. 

If we start by assuming that human nature itself is corrupt and therefore the sordid recent history is a portent of things to come, then we give in to despair.  Despair is a "sin" because it has caused us to give up hope that we can create a real democracy in the United States It is our duty to our children to find a way to regain our faith in the idea that we can rule ourselves if we work together to end fascism in the United States and thereby end it in the world.

History need not repeat itself if we accept our duty to future generations and fight now for democratic reform. The most crucial objective in the battle plan to take back America is the abolition of corporate personhood. When we get this amendment on the floor of Congress we can make the issue of support for it a litmus test in all subsequent Congressional elections.

If we really want to be a free people living in a democratic society, we must stop pointing fingers and work together to pass a Constitutional amendment to counter the fascistic decision of the Supreme Court that established in law the psychotic notion that corporations have Constitutional rights. It is essential that we stop playing into the politics of division that have left us feeling angry, helpless and alone. To end fascism in America, we must end the civil war to finish the Revolution.

It does not matter in the end that we lost the first battle to use the social justice issue of health care for all to build a coalition of Americans united in a common cause that affects all them. While the necessity of establishing a single payer system of universal health care in the United States is obvious to those of us who understand the moral and economic arguments, they will be lost on those citizens who we most need to reach until we heal the divisions that threaten to permanently shred the social fabric that holds any society together. 

It is far easier to make the point that the Senate is too corrupt to work for the people and not the corporations. That is why the underlying message that was not made often enough in the health care "reform" debate is that we must work together to abolish corporate personhood. The alternative is that we and our children will become economic  slaves of the fascists who are greedily consuming what wealth they have not already stolen at the same time that they tear at the social safety net designed to protect us from their depredations.

We must remember that both self-identified conservatives and liberals are beginning to understand that the American experiment in democracy is much closer to failing than most had realized, myself included. We must realize that it is our tribal mentality that has brought us to the brink of self-destruction. Until we break down the walls that artificially divide us we cannot work together to pull ourselves away from the pit of Hell on Earth at whose  brink we stand. 

Citizens United has given us the golden opportunity to do just that. We must educate our neighbors that the corporate junta that runs the United States can be deposed by a nonviolent revolution whose purpose is to pass a Constitutional amendment abolishing corporate personhood. Over two thirds of both self-identified conservatives and liberals are angered at the fact that the Supreme Court has removed all constraints on corporations that can afford to buy our Congressional representatives. We can and must fight together to restore the rights of citizens by curbing the invented "rights" of corporations.

We are all one people in the United States and in the world at large. As citizens of a global community we must keep in mind that all politics is international. If we truly want to end war, we must abandon the illusion that we are separate from our fellow men and women, as Buddha and Christ taught. We must again come to recognize that we are all brothers and sisters. 

The original sin of murder led us to forget that by creating tribalism and war. When we remember our true nature and forgive those who have strayed too far from the Garden to find their way back alone, we will find our way back home and have Heaven on Earth.




In the immortal words of Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam):


Well I think it's fine, building jumbo planes
or taking a ride on a cosmic train.
Switch on summer from a slot machine.
Yes, get what you want to if you want, 'cause you can get anything.

I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass,
for your lorry loads pumping petrol gas.
And you make them long, and you make them tough.
But they just go on and on, and it seems that you can't get off.

Oh, I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

Well you've cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air.
But will you keep on building higher
'til there's no more room up there?
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?

I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?






Rick Staggenborg, MD


Roseburg, Oregon

CHAPTER EIGHTY SIX. THE DEATH OF TRIBALISM




 Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on May 6, 2010 5:36 PM PDT



This essay is dedicated to Abraham, who tried to bring the tribes together. I hope that the day will soon come when Israel and other nations remember that there were no tribes in the Garden, in the days before Cain slew Abel.


Afghanistan will never accept democracy as long as its people continue to define themselves as members of clans. Clans, like all tribes, are artificial distinctions between members of the family of humanity. Democracy depends on the common understanding that all members of a society are equal in the eyes of the government and must be treated as such.

In a democracy, the united people form a government for all its citizens to guarantee that all citizens are subject to a uniform system of law designed to establish justice, promote domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare. Domestic tranquility, justice and the general welfare in turn can only be assured by avoiding international conflicts that tend to split society along lines of those who support and those who oppose war.

War supporters tend to be war profiteers or nationalists who fail to understand that worldwide democracy will never happen until nationalism is regarded only as pride in one’s culture, not the destructive idea that it is somehow better than other democratic nations and peoples.

Members of clans assume that life is a struggle between warring factions and that it is natural to choose sides and continue the struggle against any potential threat. In contrast to the democratic ideal that men and women are essentially good, the clan mentality assumes that they are naturally aggressive toward one another.

Mohammed was born into and lived in such a culture before he is said to have been visited by an angel who told him another world was possible. The angel told him to go out and teach that all men and women are created equal in the eyes of the Lord and thus entitled to equal right to dignity, respect and justice. 

This idea was so powerful that he was driven from Mecca under threat of death. It remained so powerful that the tribal leaders in that city-state sent an Army to kill his small band of supporters in Medina. It was so powerful that this small band of the faithful were prepared to fight to the death to defend their right to believe in and spread Mohammed’s message.

The rise of the worldwide movement that is Islam would not have occurred had Mohammed’s followers submitted to death or slavery, as is the fate of any tribe that presumes to rule others. Instead, they were inspired by their belief that we are morally compelled to defend ourselves against the destruction of our faith in peace.

In order to preserve and spread the message they believed was set to them directly from Allah, they fought and overcame tremendous odds to prevail against the frightened, angry and murderous rulers of Mecca. Their heroic struggle and miraculous survival after many weeks of conflict was learned of by surrounding tribes, who joined in the battle to save these men of God who were protecting their women and their right to practice their new religion.

Eventually, the Army of the warlords was defeated and the new Army re-entered Mecca. According to the dictates of the Qua’ran, they did not murder or enslave the men of Mecca nor did they rape and enslave their women. Instead, they set a new precedent by forgiving those who had trespassed against them and forgiven them the debt in blood that the victors traditionally took from the vanquished, according to the prevailing understanding of justice in that time.

The followers of Mohammed had understood God’s will to be that men who have lived in bondage can only be free by the act of mercy and forgiveness toward others. As had Jesus before them, they had learned to love their neighbors as their brothers and sisters and saw their duty to God and Mankind to spread this message of love and acceptance.

In Arabic, the word “Islam” means “submission.” This is not submission to men who would enslave them, but submission to God. With this new understanding, the Islamic movement flourished and the tribes were nearly united throughout what became the Muslim world. Unfortunately, Mohammed’s words were forgotten upon his death, and new and powerful tribes were formed because his successors quarreled over the right to succession in the role of “leader” of the Islamic world.

One family that claimed such divine right slaughtered another and the cycle of violence began anew. Fortunately, one member of the slaughtered family survived and went on to establish a Caliphate in the New World of Spain and Northern Africa, while the Meccans came to quarrel with the nationalistic Persians. The Islamic movement was thus split into three factions, two of which eventually came to despise each other.

Despite their differences, each Caliphate flourished as they accepted all who lived within the boundaries of their domains. Selemanca, Baghdad and Tehran became centers of learning and Muslim, Christian and Jew were treated as one People of the Book, with equal respect and justice. 

The knowledge of the Greeks that had been threatened by the Roman Empire was preserved in this the new world order and the lessons of the past were pondered and built upon by Islamic scholars, who travelled freely between the three centers of culture. Even after the Mongol horde invaded and slaughtered thousands of the faithful, the Islamic movement survived when the invaders who stayed behind after the sacking chose to submit to this powerful idea and become one with the Muslim people.

In the Christian world, Rome had risen again in a new guise. The Roman bishops had asserted the right to rule over the civil governments of the warring nations of what became the Unholy Roman Empire. Those who challenged the authority of the Church were subjected to torture and painful death by the representatives of the Popes who jealously guarded their power over the people from Kings and “heretics.” 

Science was suppressed in the name of preserving the power of the Pope to determine Truth. Inevitably, the false doctrines they proclaimed served their political ambitions. They taught that their false God had given them the right to despotically rule over the people that Jesus had attempted to free.

A schism in the Roman Catholic Church in the 14th century produced two Popes, forcing Christians to choose between a Pope who claimed authority by virtue of being selected by the College of Cardinals and an Anti-Pope who claimed the right to rule by virtue of being supported by his allies.

At the same time, the Eastern Orthodox Church attempted to preserve something of the essence of Christ’s message of equality under God by maintaining a Church that was less hierarchical and in which men and women were allowed to think for themselves without fear of the punishment of the Church, whose prelate was considered first among equals but who did not presume to speak for God itself.

Thus, the stage was set for perfect storm that were the Crusades. Armies of the unholy Church were formed led by men from the ranks of the “nobility” in the feudal societies of the time. The power of these “Lords” arose under the authority of Kings who were said to have the divine right to subjugate their people according to the doctrine espoused by Popes who claimed to speak for God.

As this crime against man was being plotted under the leadership of Urban and subsequent pretenders to the throne of God, a lone voice emerged in the corner of the Empire in protest against this crime against humanity. Centuries before Luther, a humble priest and theologian named Wyclif began to write and preach that the Pope lacked the moral authority to order Christians to kill in the name of Christ. Having supported the Pope against the Anti-Pope, he shifted his support and changed his allegiance to that of Christ and his message.

At the risk of excommunication, imprisonment, torture and horrifyingly painful death, Wyclif argued one heretical doctrine after another. Although he compromised himself intellectually at times so that he would remain free to preach his central message, he constantly pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in the false Christianity of his time.

Earning the undying enmity of his political enemies, losing his teaching position at a prestigious university, being charged many times with heresy and losing the support of the Pope who he inveighed against, he relentlessly pursued the truth as he understood it. He did not assume that he could divine the knowledge of God by himself, instead becoming the first to openly attempt to translate the Bible into English from its original language of Hebrew so that the common man could ponder it for themselves and discuss the wisdom it contained. 

Wyclif wanted the People to be able to study the Bible on their own so that they might have the opportunity to form their own opinions on the nature of God and its will. He recognized that the power of an increasingly corrupt clergy stemmed in large part from its knowledge of Latin, in which Mass was delivered to the illiterate peasants who they pretended to shepherd. In translating the Bible into the common language at that time and place, he allowed parishioners to decide for themselves whether their priest taught them truly.

The fuse of the Crusades was lit when an insane Caliph burned the Holy Church of the Sepelchure in Jerusalem. Outraged, Pope Urban declared Jihad against the Muslim rulers of Jerusalem in the name of Christ and the embattled faithful in the land of birth of the Jew who founded the movement intended to save Israel and the world from the misery of unending war.

Having completely perverted his message and re-establishing a religion that stood for nothing but the maintenance of the power of Popes and Kings, Pope Urban and his successors declared unholy war against those he considered infidels. The leaders of the so-called Christian and the so-called Muslim worlds collided in the conflict that would threaten to destroy both.

By the end of the Crusades, the murdering invaders had wrought havoc in Jerusalem, pillaging, murdering and raping its inhabitants in the name of Christ. The honor of Christ was avenged at the price of perverting his message and endangering the success of his mission.

The Jews were devastated and a legacy of hatred was left that caused great despair among their people for centuries to come. Persecution by so-called Christians left them shattered and dispersed in the Diaspora. Few were left to defend their tribal faith in their ancestral homeland, while Islam re-emerged in Israel and the remaining Jews who had not fled in terror were outnumbered by the Islamic faithful who had not left.

The Muslim world was re-established in a fractured and weakened form through the courage and faith of Saladin, the hero who would not submit to Christian domination.

In the West, the Caliphate of Spain fell to invaders claiming to represent Christ, partially in response to the efforts of the Caliph who wanted to impose Islam in what later became France. When Spain was united by the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand in 1492,  the Jews were banished.  Later, the last remaining Moorish state in Cordova fell to the treachery of the Catholic King and Queen, who had promised that they could live in peace under their rule.  Thus was 800 years of peace ended by the invading Goths of Europe, under the banner of Christ. The Dark Ages had come to Spain even while the Renaissance flourished in Italy. 

Eventually, all of Europe emerged from the Dark Ages, having benefited from the knowledge accumulated by the Muslims who had ruled benevolently in Spain, Northern Africa and the Mideast. Though devastated by pestilence, famine and conflagration, Europe slowly began to form the tribes that would war against each other until they sparked the World Wars that devastated humanity.

Isaac Newton studied in the countryside while the Great Plague raged in England, developing the calculus and his theory of gravity and energy in splendid isolation. In a principality of Germany, Liebnitz independently developed calculus using a different system of symbols. 

The countrymen of each claimed the right to call their native sons the creators of this powerful mathematic technique when in reality they were only discovers of what had always been true. Newton humbly admitted that if he had seen farther than others, it was only because he had stood on the shoulders of giants. Among these were the faithful followers of Mohammed who had kept the spark of civilization alive while Europe languished.

World War I was one in which the shifting alliances among the tribes of Europe inevitably led to the conflict. Powerful corporate interests dictated that Germany must be kept in check at any cost. The people of the United States wisely remembered the Founders warning to avoid foreign entanglements and elected a President who had kept us out of war until his re-election in 1916. Unfortunately, the promise of peace did not last.

Whether motivated by the desire to have the influence to establish the League of Nations after WWI or whether driven by baser motives, Wilson entered the war on the side of the Allies. The Axis was defeated, Germany subjugated and the Ottoman Empire divided along lines assured to provoke useful ongoing conflict among the various cultures in the new “nations” so created. Among these were Iraq, Turkey, and modern Palestine. The Arabs were betrayed despite the heroic efforts of T.H. Lawrence in Arabia to achieve a just peace for these allies of the West.

The punitive nature of the Treaty of Versailles that ended WWI and the betrayal of the people in the Mideast would not be forgotten. The people of America grew briefly rich from the sweat of its laborers and the Ponzi scheme that was the stock market of the 1920s until the inevitable crash.

Then as now, the rich and powerful over-reached , forgetting that a healthy economy and society depends on a thriving middle class. Having precipitated a worldwide economic crisis for the first time, the plutocracy was not prepared to deal with the consequences. I

n Germany, Italy and Spain, the right seized the power of the governments, remaking them into tools of the corporatists who started the war. Capitalizing on the fact that a desperate people will trade freedom for the illusion of safety and prosperity, these newly fascist nations blindly followed their authoritarian dictators back into war. They vainly sought revenge against the nations that subjugated them in victory.

In the aftermath of the worldwide war against fascism, Britain could not resist using the old trick of dividing and conquering in places where it had no business meddling.  They gave up resisting Israeli settlers who illegally invoked their “right” to repopulate the historic Israel at the point of a gun when the native Arabs resisted and at times just to prove their dominance.

Although some of the Jewish settlers resisted the militias who terrorized Arab villagers, they could not stop the tide of angry Jews who had suddenly embraced the formerly fringe doctrine of Zionism.  The Jewish minority proceeded to begin a pattern of seizing the lands of others in order to achieve a majority.  In a land occupied primarily by Arabs for centuries before the Jews returned, the native Arabs found themselves homeless by the thousands. Once more, England had betrayed the Muslim world and moved the clock forward toward the time of reckoning that is now at hand.

Shortly after Israel was declared a nation, Britain allowed Indian independence while drawing the boundaries of the new nation such that Kashmir was destined to be a flashpoint between India and Pakistan. Why not, when it was so much cheaper to have their colonial subjects fight each other instead of the corporate Empire that England has been for centuries?

The old trick of dividing and conquering was perfected by the United Kingdom, a tiny island nation that could not otherwise have built and maintained its Empire as long as it had. The sun still does not set on the British Empire. They have simply become a franchise operation in partnership with ostensibly American corporations. The truth is that the UK, the US and other nations who have submitted to the authority of the WTO do not believe in nations, only a one world "government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations. 

The world has not yet learned of the perils of tribalism and nations are moving closer to a crisis in the Mideast as a result of their short-sighted, self-interested actions. Oil has dictated international policy since WWI and if there is to be a WWIII it will be because of oil. The stage has been set for a final solution in the Mideast, whether by fire or through the recognition of the interdependence of all nations and all peoples.

We were endowed by free will through the Creator and we must exercise it now or risk the end of human civilization as we know it. There is still time to save humanity from the fate that will result if good men and women choose to do nothing. Those of us who recognize the signs of the End must work together to assure that it will not be an end to civilization, but only an end of the world as we know it.

If we succeed, the Lord’s Prayer will have been answered. God’s kingdom will come to Earth only when God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. If God’s will is not that we save ourselves from the lesser angels of our nature, then God cannot be the source of universal love that all believers in the immortality of the soul regard it to be.







In the immortal words of Joni Mitchell:




I came upon a child of god.
He was walking along the road
and I asked him, where are you going?
And this he told me:
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm.
I’m going to join in a rock n roll band.
I’m going to camp out on the land.
I’m going to try and get my soul free.


We are stardust.
We are golden.
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden.


Then can I walk beside you?
I have come here to lose the smog.
And I feel to be a cog in something turning.
Well maybe it is just the time of year
or maybe it’s the time of man.
I don’t know who l am
but you know life is for learning.


We are stardust.
We are golden.
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden.


By the time we got to Woodstock
we were half a million strong.
And everywhere there was song and celebration.
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky.
And they were turning into butterflies
above our nation.


We are stardust,
Billion year old carbon.
We are golden,
caught in the devils bargain.
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden.




Rick Staggenborg, MD
Beaverton, Oregon

CHAPTER EIGHTY SEVEN. A CIRCLE HAS NO LEFT OR RIGHT




Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on May 22, 2010 8:19 AM PDT



This chapter is devoted to Harry Stack Sullivan, the brilliant developer of many of the techniques of interpersonal psychotherapy. The most important thing that I learned from him was that we are all more alike than otherwise.






Interpersonal therapy is a tool I use daily in psychotherapy. My job as a therapist and a physician is to help my patients realize which of their symptoms are treatable without drugs, which might be better borne without the benefits or harm of medicine and what the safest and most effective treatments are when medication is wanted or cannot be avoided if the symptoms are to be adequately addressed.

I cannot help a patient without engaging in a genuine conversation in which he or she lets down the guard that many of us carry around all or most of the time. When I am doing psychotherapy I am engaged in an intensely personal conversation that begins the first time we meet and that deepens over the course of the therapeutic relationship.

Establishing trust in such a relationship means allowing the person who is asking for help to know who I am as a person. My job is helping people deal with some of life’s most soul-shaking experiences. I help them to make wrenching decisions, to live with the consequences of things they cannot control and with decisions whose consequences control their lives. In the process of learning how to help others, I come to understand and change myself for the better as well.

I have learned to understand how men and women do terrible things and how their victims bear the selfish, cruel and destructive actions of others. What is more important, I have learned how to maintain my empathy for the victims of this mindless cruelty without losing myself in anger at the perpetrator. As a member of Soldiers For Peace International, I know that I have a mission that transcends anger and desire for revenge. I know from my work as a therapist that anger will only interfere with the mission of SFPI to end war.


I am determined to not let the suffering of victims of social injustice  to be in vain. To the extent that I am able, I will further the cause of establishing unchallenged democracy in America through my work to abolish corporate personhood. This is the only way to cure the insane society in which increasing numbers of citizens see themselves as separated from the rest, who they consider responsible for their misery. 

The cure for the depression, anxiety and anger of the average American is to Take Back America through a Constitutional amendment that would abolish corporate personhood and restore the power of government to the People. I cannot see another way to achieve this in the foreseeable future unless someone introduces an amendment on the floor of Congress that would abolish it. 

We must encourage candidates has the to have the courage and integrity to challenge sitting members of Congress to choose between corporations and the People. If even one candidate or sitting member of Congress is elected and follows through on the campaign promise to introduce such an amendment, we can use support for it as a litmus test of loyalty to the People in every subsequent election. This person can and must arise when the People speak with one voice and declare their willingness to stand behind such candidates. 

There is a way to end the partisan paralysis caused by the leaders of both major acting in the interest of the corporations over Americans citizens. We must learn to cast aside the self-imposed distinctions of left and right, party affiliations and religious fundamentalism  that translates into support for authoritarian "solutions" to problems affecting all of us. The corporatocracy is able to impose the  will of  the economic aristocracy because it promotes the divisions among the People of the United States in order to serve the interests of a minority over the both the individual citizen and the nation as a whole.

The only way to convince voters to take a chance on a candidate not chosen by the Puppetmasters of Congress is for those of us seeking fundamental change to win the support of both those who consider themselves Conservatives and those who proudly label themselves Liberals. The abolition of corporate personhood is the issue where the Left and Right will come round full circle. It is the issue that will remind us that we are all Americans and citizens of the world.

Americans  have a duty to remember the sacrifice of those who have died to preserve the Union and those who felt that they were defending their homeland from a foreign invader during the first American Civil War. In that time, Americans were torn between fighting for a slavery-based society or to remain a weakened but partially unified nation. We are in a similar time now, with each American deciding for him- or herself whether we were meant to be one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all or whether we are to submit to becoming slaves of corporate masters.Thus, we have come full circle from the time of the Founders, who risked and often gave their lives to fight the fascists of their day and establish the hope for democracy in America and the world.

I believe we are one nation under God, though I would defend the right of another to deny it. Whether for love of God, Man, family or self we must come to understand as Harry Stack Sullivan did that our commonalities are much more important than our differences. We should treasure those differences that give life its complex and delicious flavor to those who care to embrace it in all its joy and pain. We must not let our differences divide us.

This is how we End the Civil War and Finish the Revolution. If we dare to talk to each other in a spirit of understanding and respect, we will find that we have left the American Revolution incomplete. Too many of us fell asleep in history class but it is never too late to learn from the mistakes and successes of the past. Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. 

Those who do not remember the instructive lessons of the past will be unable to re-establish democracy in a nation where the citizens of this once-great democratic Republic have allowed fascistic corporate control of government to take root and grow nearly out of control. Once rooted, the growth of fascism threatens to choke the life out of  the tree of Liberty.

We need to understand that our forefathers fought the Revolution only after the patriots in Boston decided that the forced import of British tea subsidized by the government was too much to bear. They knew that the King and leaders of the House of Lords profited from this cozy arrangement. In the meanwhile, the British government was casually destroying the burgeoning cottage tea industry and hurting the American shipping industry on which it depended. This was a government in which they were not represented and had little influence.

For three decades, too many Americans have dreamed our lives away. They have been enjoying the fruits of a false economy and have left us, themselves and all of our children to suffer the hangover from their drunken spree with our money. We began to wake up when we found out that we had to cover the bets that they bankers had made with our hard-earned money they expected to multiply by their imaginary winnings. 

The largest economy in the world has been and remains under the control of war-profiteering bankers with no loyalty to the United States, its citizens or the citizens of other nations who are dying for democracy. In its failure to prevent the rise of unchecked corporate power in the United States, its citizens have been complicit in the murder of millions of innocents throughout the world who are the victims of a war-based economy. 

When the middle class and the poor were treated with the respect and compassion that is the hallmark of America since its founding until 30 years ago, the economy thrived. The average American was and remains willfully ignorant of the fact that their standard of living depended on the suffering of others on distant shores. Now that the consequences of unbridled selfishness are devastating the American economy, those who cheered the myth of American exceptionalism must acknowledge the essential interdependence of all who depend on the fair distribution of the Earth's resources and the wealth that is generated only by the sweat of the worker.

The anger of the dying middle class is palpable and survivalists await a showdown at Armageddon. Fingers are being pointed everywhere by the perpetrators and the mobs of the unemployed and retired follow them in their blind anger. 

Survivalists don’t know when or where to shoot but are gripping their guns ever more tightly as they await the advent of the imaginary socialist government that they believe is coming to take them away. Fascists masquerading as conservatives have again spun myths that raises alarm bells in our reptilian brains. 

The hurt and angry average American must be shown that the consequence of valuing individual rights over collective responsibility is economic subjugation of all Americans. The result is the stripping of  the thin veneer of civilization from American society and rendering angry mobs resistant to reason. Only by talking to each other without fear of anger can Americans come together as one to Take Back America for the People.

Those who have not been following events and reading between the lines are easily swayed by corporate propaganda into believing that those of us preparing to Take Back America are naive dreamers, unrealistic and not to be listened to. 

These politicians and the partisan followers of both major and minor parties do not seem to realize that the power of a people united has been proven by the events of 1775. Fortunately, there are untold millions of us who do understand that we can and must Take Back America for the people.  They must understand that no political faction in the United States can do this alone.

The ranks of the Libertarians are swollen with angry and frightened citizens who believe they must protect their property and that of their friends and family at all costs. Those of us who know better must help them understand that it is this selfishness and tribal mentality that is at the root of our recent surrender of democracy.  To assure the individual Liberty that their leaders place over social responsibility, they must understand that in a Revolution, we all hang together or surely we will all hang separately. We can and must make common cause in restoring democracy to the United States.

It is easy to forget the responsibility of citizens of the United States to safeguard democracy through civic engagement that recognizes the inherent dignity of each of us and honors it with civil political  discourse. The Revolutionary period was one in which colonized  people took to the streets and taverns and debated amongst themselves whether they could and should take control of their own collective destiny. In the end, Common Sense prevailed and the revolutionaries seized the day and their own collective destiny.

The question of whether democracy was possible hinged on whether men and women are basically good or whether they are incapable of overlooking narrowly defined self-interest and working together for the common welfare. The majority came to believe that the better angels of our nature are stronger than the selfish part of our nature. Had the majority concluded as does the majority today that Man is inherently evil and war inevitable, the American experiment in democracy would never have been conducted. If we abandon the very belief that makes democracy possible, we abandon democracy itself. We must not fail to find and act on our common interest in this, its darkest day.

The essential assumption of the American experiment in democracy is that if men and women are inherently good, they can rand by right should rule themselves. Americans have for too long abdicated that responsibility to leaders more interested in wealth and power than in serving the interests of ordinary Americans. They must now understand that the wealthy as a class always puts its own interests over the masses because they are raised to see life as a game of Monopoly.

Once colonials made the momentous decision to forget their differences and to work to ensure that they and their children would be free, they launched a Revolution that has not yet been concluded. They fought a King and the corporatocracy of their day. at the risk not only of failure but their very lives. We must do no less than finish the battle to strip the power of the international corporate terrorists of today if we are to honor their sacrifices and those of the men and women after them who died defending our hard-won freedoms.

The first European Americans and the African Americans risked their lives, their property and their sacred honor to challenge the greatest military power of their day. Having been invaded and dominated by the mercenaries of the corporate Puppetmasters of the Eighteenth Century, they fought back with the conviction that God was on their side in the struggle to give birth to the uniquely American experience of democracy. 

If the United States is to become  the beacon of hope to the world that our Founders intended, then we must clean our own House and Senate to ensure that the last, best hope of Mankind does not perish from the Earth.

During the advent of the American Revolution, patriots  depended on support from the rich European nations who were alarmed at the rise of England that was threatening world domination. The French came to our aid thanks to the brilliant work of Thomas Jefferson, who wooed the French court while rooting for the demise of the French aristocracy. Benjamin Franklin also played an important role, playing the American rustic for the amusement of the sophisticates of the French court. Meanwhile, John Adams was judged too dour and quarrelsome to succeed at winning French support, though he was able to help the Dutch government to understand the benefits of standing with us against their rival.

Once victory was secured at Yorktown with the help of the French navy and the Marquis de Lafayette, the new nation turned inward. The Founding fathers counseled the avoidance of foreign entanglements while the new nation shored up its defenses. Jefferson was still in Paris when the French people took matters into their own hands in the bloody Revolution there. He unwisely opined that “The tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots from time to time.”In this day, the only way to finish the Revolution is to abandon violence as a means to our end.

We are today living with the consequences of the widely held belief that democracy can somehow be established with violence. The foreign entanglements that are bankrupting the United States have been widely acknowledged, but the full costs to Americans and victims of war in other nations has yet to be appreciated by the masses of average Americans. 

The American Revolution will not be complete until the people of the United States abandon this belief and work to secure liberty from the corporatocracy through the democratic process and not through the threat of violence, which is the ultimate tool of the international corporate fascists that have seized control of our government. The Crisis is international and as at the beginning of the American Revolution, so is the solution.

It did not take long for leaders of the Federalist Party to look for conquest in the North through the acquisition of Canada through force. While the goal was to end British domination, the effect was to betray the French, whose compatriots supported us during the early stages of our own Revolution at a heavy cost to the French crown and the aristocracy of France.

Adams to his credit opposed this war of conquest and all Imperialist wars. Though he had already begun the counter-Revolution through the Alien and Sedition Act, the arch-conservative Adams had sided with his rival Jefferson and bravely taken on the leaders of his own Party in resisting an even more foolish war against the French in the early days of the American Republic. Neither was a perfect man, but both believed in their vision for America and it did not include Imperialist expansion, though the doctrine of Manifest Destiny proved them wrong.

With this history, it is remarkable that the American people have split under similar lines as those drawn in the early days of the Republic, when the issues are even more clearly apparent. today. We must remember that when government operates it must do so with the just consent of the governed. Stolen elections have undermined the legitimacy of the US government. It is the right and our duty of Americans to alter it, not foolishly abolish it. 

To study our history carefully we must not accept the Bolshevised version that the corporate media would have us accept. We must reject the self-serving myths that promote the interests of the wealthy and powerful among the hard-working citizens who truly believe that  their hard work will automatically bring the economic rewards the myths of their Masters have injected into their collective unconsciousness. 

Together we must reject the revised version now being considered by the Texas Textbook Commission, whose aim is to help us to forget the ideals upon which the United States was truly founded. In recalling our recent history, we may remember that we came together once to fight worldwide fascism and won.

Today’s world is more complex than at the time of the Founding, making it easier to deceive those who do not recognize the interconnectedness of and mutual respect for each other that is the essential assumption of democracy. 

Battle lines are being drawn between self-described liberals and conservatives to fight a new Civil War rather than finishing the Revolution. We cannot afford to fight each other. There is no place for the loser to go now that we span the continent and threaten to impose totalitarian control over the world, in league with soulless international corporatists who respect no national boundaries and care nothing for the peoples of these nations.

In war, there are no winners. We must end this most Uncivil War and finish the Revolution. In the name of all that is Holy I will not cease to fight for a future for our children and grandchildren. that is worthy of being our legacy to them. We are closer to victory than most appreciates precisely because the corporatocracy seems to be so close to the total economic enslavement of the citizens of this planet by the imposition of a fascist New World Order. The human race is waking up to its impending reckoning.

It is up to us now individually and collectively to choose what future the world will take. We can choose endless war and Hell on Earth, or choose to recognize that our mutual survival as a human civilization depends on recognizing our interdependence and acting together to eliminate the threat at its source.

Freedom will begin in America on the day that a Constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood is introduced on the floor of the Senate. Only then will the Puppets sitting in the Roman Senate realized that Americans swayed by the lies of the corporate media and these self-serving politicians have awoken will they realize the fate that awaits Kings and Queens when the abuse of their subjects becomes intolerable. Only then will these corrupt politicians understand that Rome is burning around them. while they were fiddling to the tune of their corporate Puppetmasters. They will then have the choice of putting out the fire by putting the  interests of the People before that of corporations. Should they fail to understand the power of a People united they themselves will be consumed by the fires of the Hell they have created.




In the immortal words of Neil Young:



Won't need no shadow man
runnin' the government.
Won't need no stinkin' WAR.

Won't need no haircut,
won't need no shoe shine
after the garden is gone.

After the garden is gone.
After the garden is gone.

What will people do
after the garden is gone?
What will people say
after the garden?

Won't need no strong man
walkin' through the night
to live a weak man's day.

Won't need no sunshine,
won't need no purple haze
after the garden is gone.

After the garden is gone.
After the garden is gone.

Where will people go
after the garden is gone?
What will people know
after the garden?

After the garden is gone.
After the garden is gone.

We live in the garden of Eden, yeah.
Don't know why we wanna tear the whole thing to the ground.
We live in the garden of Eden, yeah.
Don't know why we wanna tear the whole thing down.

And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden.



Rick Staggenborg, MD
Portland, Oregon