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Thursday, July 21, 2016

One More Unarmed American Gunned Down

I made the poster below as a sarcastic response to the justice system that has so far exonerated those who saw to it that Freddie Gray ended up dead.  Apparently I was not being sarcastic but I was being prophetic. This assault on the unarmed caregiver happened last Monday.  The reporting of the assault was delayed until Thursday.  What do you think that means? Why did the delay in reporting the shooting of a citizen by the Police occur? 


Edit:  This morning another delayed report of an attack on an American citizen appeared in my news feed.  This time in another Southern state, Texas. Read the AP article in the link and have it in mind next time some idiot says the U.S. is not a hot bed of racism.





This morning on my news feed was the story of an unarmed healthcare giver aiding a mentally ill patient and being shot by police in Florida while going about his work. Florida is a state in the Southern part of the U.S. Florida has a long history of racial animosity.  Whether or not this is part of the reason for an unarmed caregiver being gunned down is yet to be determined.  The news story is very disturbing.  It seems to me that this mans life was of no consequence to the shooter.  The unnamed cop fired three shots at him and was only able to hit the man once. At the very least he needs to be kicked off the force for being such a poor shot.  (sarcasm.)

As it turns out, Charles Kinsey, the victim of the police shooting, did not die.  Thankfully the unnamed officer was a piss poor shot.

As I said. It was in sarcasm and also disgust I made the poster because of the inhumanity present in the circumstances that cost Freddie Gray his life. Today was a mindblower. I never thought a cop would actually shoot a man lying on his back with his hands in the air.  You learn something new every day.

For instance here  in a video address is Donald Trump praising the police.  I have never felt so certain that the man is addled as I am now after listening to his praise of police against the backdrop of the needless violence against the poor and disadvantaged people of color by the police which is documented almost daily in the mainstream news. Do you really want a country where minorities cannot go to work without being hunted down and shot? If so vote for Trump or Clinton. If not vote for Jill Stein.

Is there anything a black person can do to keep from being shot by the police?  The question needs to be asked.  This incident cannot be considered an aberration due to the present condition of American society. Maybe society will be moved to correct this.  It's time something happens because at the present time it is clear that society thinks that only Some Lives Matter. Maybe the media is at fault for reporting shootings like this. NOT!

Please do not follow the directions in the poster.  It may cost you your life.  I don't know how the problem can be solved, but I know the problem exists.  Somebody better solve it.


POSTSCRIPT:


I do know how to solve the problem of people gunning others down.  Problem is Americans have been trained from birth to reject the only solution that will work.  That solution is to love one another and to see to it that all are getting along okay.  Society is not like that. Society is the way we made it.  We can change our minds about how we feel about one another.  We can choose to learn how to love one another.  I doubt Donald Trump is willing to take the chance. I doubt America is willing to take the chance.  Hillary Clinton cares about Hillary Clinton.  That which will save the nation is a change in heart not a change in political direction.

FOLLOW-UP

In this link the shooter explains why he did what he did.  Do you think this is  made up story to remove him from responsibility for his actions?  I hope they drug test the shooter.  He shot the man and doesn't know why he shot him.  A drug test seems reasonable if the union allows it.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

It is beginning to sound as if the police department has fingered one of its own.  They've promised that there will be no cover-up.  Why would they have to assure the people?  Well anyway it seems one of the boys in blue lied not sure when but the people in charge are really pissed off at him.  He's been placed on administrative leave without pay.  That is unusual and it makes me think the cop may have done something he may be beginning to regret.  Hopefully the details will emerge. But if one remembers the death of Freddie Gray there was a quick assurance of impending justice.  So far all have walked.  So let's not think justice will be done until we see justice done.  People need to be careful not to be duped by slick tongued politicians.

While searching the news for topics on shooting by police I found this database titled killedbypolice.net in the news.  It has killings from todays date on it.  The database simply records the killings and where they happened. It is not a justified or unjustified killing database, simply a record of the people killed by police.  I have to tell you a good number of Americans are killed by the police. It's a sobering bunch of statistics. A good number of those Americans may have deserved to be shot.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Golden Years Of The American Working Class


Note. After posting this article on the wonderful future the Golden Years hold for those of the working class I received this petition to sign. It seems a Conservative politician, Paul Ryan, is trying to make it more difficult for working class retirees.  The petition came to me from Credo. If you wish to sign it you can do so by clicking this sentence.  There is no way the activities of this man in his efforts to make life more difficult for those who need the most help can be considered humane or Christian without inverting the meanings of both words.

As an American retiree I am eligible to use the services made available by the government in association with its corporate partners for my healthcare needs. 





After putting their heads together the American government and the healthcare industry settled on Medicare as the answer to the healthcare needs of American retirees.  Medicare is free!  Bingo you're insured at no cost if you qualify.  But there's a problem which I discovered in real time. Medicare Part A claims to pay for Dr. visits.  Maybe in government speak they do. But I have in my hand a bill due for $35 for a doctors visit. Medicare Part A did not pay for my Dr. visit entirely.  The office visit was $180.  I'm happy that they paid the larger amount.

It's not all sunshine and daisies though. There is another part of Medicare that one must pay for. I pay $63.20 per month for this additional insurance. The doctor tells you what's wrong and then sends you to the people who are designated to fix your problems.

I was sent for a sonogram that cost $431.  Medicare paid $82.81 the insurance company paid $260.29 leaving me with a balance of $87.90 as my obligation.  If I spend a total of $3400 on my medical upkeep in a year I will receive free medical treatment from that point on until December 31 when I begin from scratch again.

These expenses are not world shaking expenses for some people. But let me put this in perspective and see how it works out.  My monthly income from Social Security is less than $1200 in addition to that I receive a stipend from the VA which is about $133 a month. 

Rent is my biggest expense. I pay $530 a month to live where I live.  But there are other expenses too. Internet is about $66.  Trash pick-up about $42.  House insurance about $31.  Electric $40 or $50. Health insurance $63.20.  Not included is a $100 a year for county taxes.   The total monthly expenses are about $770.

This leaves me with about $430 to  spend during the month.  Out of this I must buy household items, clothing, food for me and my family members. I have 4 cats which by themselves consume $100 of my income each month. If they need medical care I am their insurance provider and they are covered 100% with no out of pocket expenses whatsoever.

This kind of set up makes it a horrible experience for the retiree who accesses these benefits.  When the patient is not able to pay he receives threats from bill collectors demanding that he or she pay what they cannot pay.  If he does pay he must go without paying other bills or without necessary things like food.  Just before the hammer falls he receives shut off notices and more harassment.  Believe me this is the reality of many retirees among the American working class.

So back to the budget.   Subtract $100 from the remaining $430 and there is $330. My biggest additional expense is involved with the purchase of medicine.  My medicinal needs cost between $15 and $20 a day.  None of it is covered by my insurance.  So it is easy to see I go without my medicine a lot cause I just can't afford it.



From this it is evident what the American working class can look forward to in their golden years.  While the bills sit here looking at me this morning, yesterday I received a call from the hospital saying the Dr. had scheduled yet another sonogram, this time for my heart.  I had to decline knowing there was no way I could pay for the services.

It should be clear Medicare did pay a good amount.  But what is also evident is that even the little left to pay looks like a lot when you have $20 and two weeks to go before any more funds arrive and $12 of that has to go for cat food. 

Let this be a lesson to you.  If you are  of the working class and live in America and go to work every day and work all your life you will get you tired out, poor, sick and broke by the time you are old enough to enjoy your Golden Years. And if you have not been able to earn enough to make ends meet tough shit you should have worked harder and longer. If you don't believe me ask any conservative. You'll learn that society owes you nothing. That's how the conservative politician says "thank you for your service to the economy" to the working class citizen. Even though you contributed one third of your wages to the Federal Government and spent all you earned in American stores, conservatives argue the government owes the citizen nothing at all when it comes to meeting life's needs. I call Bullshit on that. What do you think?



Have a nice day and try not to get sick if you are a member of the working class because if you get sick you're screwed.







Sunday, July 10, 2016

An Attempted Exorcism On The 4th Of July 2016

This blog post was inspired by the events of October21, 1967. 



"An Attempted Exorcism On The 4th Of July 2016"  is a political statement reflecting complete dissatisfaction with the cavalcade of BOZOS offered to the American people to choose from.  This election year has been a joke and it is turning into an insult. God only knows what comes after that.

As for the video I was sitting about 15 feet from the fireworks and used my camera in my phone.  I don't know where that Demon voice came from it just showed up.

So this video is a political farce just like this years selection of candidates to be President.  They give us an entire cast of BOZOS and one long time servant of the war and financial industries to vote for and then have the audacity to tell us we're free because we can vote. If you vote, stop your bitchin' of course you'll be fooled again.

An exorcism is needed don't you think?





Saturday, July 09, 2016

Religion As The Deadly Sin ( a poem by David H. Roche)




Born to Trouble






Religion As The Deadly Sin


A tether on my spirit
hobbles on my feet,
blinders on my eyes
bitter when I eat.

I heard the Lord singing
and I wanted to dance;
but getting caught by religion
I lost my chance.

Now in my troubles whenever I pray
I cling to my treasures
of wood, stubble and hay;
turning my back on the Temple within
I chose religion...
that was my sin.

A tether on my spirit
hobbles on my feet,
blinders on my eyes
bitter when I eat.

The Spirit of Life
was removed from the throne
and in it's stead were built
temples of stone.

Temples of stone
instead of Spirit and bone;
I traded Spirit and Life
for temples of stone.







Poetry and art by David H. Roche (C) 2016

I kind of like this poem and am continuing to work on it changing this and that as you may have noticed.  Check back and see how it goes.


Friday, June 24, 2016

A Rose of Sharon on Marine Drive (video and photography)

While waiting for a ride I spied a Rose of Sharon bush between the sidewalk and the traffic.  It was pretty and inspiring.  I took some photos and made a little video.

ENJOY:



Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Fellowship Of The Mystery: video and art

The fellowship of the mystery is how, in the 1st century, Paul of Tarsus describes the mystical / spiritual relationship that is the experience of the one enlightened by the knowledge of Christ.

For many Christ is the icon of the Christian faith. For me Christ is the icon of the Christian faith but more specifically Christ represents the source of all that is. I appeal to the works of another 1st century enlightened one, the writer of the Gospel of John, as seconding that idea.  In the opening verses of John, Christ is described as Logos.  Logos is translated as the 'Word' of God. 

Logos, however, is more than speech or simple language or the simple telling of a story.  In the meaning of the word Logos, chosen to describe the characteristics of Christ, there is more importantly the sense of a primordial intelligence which organizes creates and sustains existence and by so doing represents the key to understanding ones own place in the expanse of reality itself.  This needs to be understood clearly in order to catch a glimpse of what it means to enter into the fellowship of the mystery.  Without this knowledge being paramount I would not consider the Christian faith as holding meaning for me.


Here is the working definition of Logos which is the basis of faith in Christ because it reveals his eternal divine nature. 


Bible-researcher.com provides the following introduction to the meaning of Logos.


"The word λόγος (logos) in the prologue of John's Gospel is a word with a very interesting history in ancient theological writings. It is translated 'Word' in English versions, but this translation does not express everything that the term would have suggested to ancient readers.


For the benefit of students, on this page I have reproduced discussions of the term λόγος by four New Testament scholars: Marvin Vincent, Frederic Godet, Hugh Mackintosh, and John Campbell. Vincent, whose explanation I think will be found most helpful, briefly explains what the word meant in the context of theological discourse in the milieu of Hellenistic Judaism (especially after Philo), and he argues that John "used the term Logos with an intent to facilitate the passage from the current theories of his time to the pure gospel which he proclaimed." Godet and Mackintosh are largely in agreement with Vincent, and Campbell also agrees, though he evidently does not share the others' high view of Scripture. After these excerpts I add Wilhelm Nestle’s more general discussion of the philosophy of Philo from his revision of Zeller’s Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy.

My own opinion is that the contemporary Hellenistic understanding of logos in theological contexts (esp. in Philo) should not be discounted by those who wish to understand John's meaning. The contrasts between Philo and John, which the scholars here want to emphasize, should not obscure the fact that John is using a word which was already full of meaning for Jewish readers in his day. When he asserts that the logos became flesh he is indeed saying something that was never dreamt of by Philo or the Greek philosophers; but in all other respects it is their logos — the cosmic Mediator between God and the world, who is the personification of God's Truth and Wisdom — that John is referring to when he asserts that Christ is its incarnation.

M.D.M." 

Click here to read the entire article at bible-researcher.com.

ENJOY THE VIDEO!





By conceiving of Christ as the cosmic intelligence, beginning and sustainer of the universe in which all of reality is comprised a sense of true mystery and hope appears spontaneously.  Furthermore a sense of the kind intention of the source of our existence accompanies this knowledge.  In this way it does seem right to say that God did LOVE the world. In this way Christ IS the 'Light of the World'.

Jesus described the fellowship of the mystery in the Gospel of John.  Let me set the scene for you.  It was in the evening and Jesus and his disciples were walking and talking together about the Kingdom and his soon departure. His disciples had no idea through his entire sojourn with them what it was he had been trying to teach them.  But he left the following words for them to consider after his death.  You can read them in John 17:

19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

You may have noticed this is not the usual approach to understanding the spiritual nature of the relationship with Christ. Most explanations of the faith involve putting together bible texts which are designed to get the listener to be overcome with guilt and confess to a capital crime and then agree that Jesus was killed on his or her behalf to keep them from burning in hell.  If you agree to this state of affairs you are said to be 'saved'.

I didn't receive any lasting relief from that doctrine after decades of practice.  Frankly I have never done anything so bad I needed to be executed for. So having an innocent man get executed on my behalf just did not make sense.  It seemed like overkill to me.

Understanding Christ as the divine organizing principle of the universe and ourselves united since before birth by the predetermined will of God indelibly one with Christ as a basic truth of reality is much more assuring and meaningful to me. I've been called a heretic for my faith. But it's this faith or none, this makes sense to me.

What Jesus was teaching was about the Kingdom of God which as it turns out to be is an introduction to the spiritual nature of reality in general. We can think this way because Paul describes Christ as the sum of all spiritual knowledge in whom all things consist and are held together.  That sounds like Logos, doesn't it?


What stands out in my mind is that Jesus claims he was incarnated for the purpose of dispensing information about the Kingdom of God.  This means he came to dispense consciousness transforming information concerning ultimate reality which Jesus, in his teaching, always contrasted with mundane everyday reality. 

Ordinarily science and spiritually are seen to be by their various protagonists as mutually exclusive. I was blown away to discover that the new breakthroughs in physics and consciousness research present to the mind a state of affairs that readily accepts the spiritual notion of unity in Christ and that such a unity is reflected in reality itself.  I first encountered this new paradigm in the lectures of physicist Tom Campbell and immediately understood how agreeable this knowledge is with the knowledge of the meaning of Christ as Logos. (Note I have not heard Mr. Campbell make the same connections I did so do not attribute my ideas to him.) I simply found his ideas as complementary to the notion of Logos. Whether you have a spiritual or merely physical interest in the nature of reality Campbell's work is always edifying.

The heart of the Gospel of the Kingdom proclamation had as it's purpose revealing the unity of all that is represented by Christ as Logos. It is this unity which is described in the Gospel of the Kingdom.  In effect it is another way of thinking about oneself as well as another way of regarding the spiritual nature of life and reality in general.

By engaging ones consciousness with the knowledge of Christ as the 'light of the world' whose words are said to be 'spirit and life' one can encounter all kinds of calamity and endure it all. But let's be clear. Any redemptive power in the Gospel of the Kingdom resides in it's ability to communicate the reality of Logos to your understanding.


There is a story told about Jesus and his disciples.  Jesus and three of the disciples were caught in the middle of a storm and the disciples feared they would drown.  They asked Jesus to save them.  But they had to wake him up first. He was sound asleep in the midst of the gale.

Well Jesus wasn't all that pleased with being woken up as he had been working hard and needed the rest.  What did he say to his frightened disciples?  His words to them were:  "Where is your faith?"  I find this significant because faith is an attribute of consciousness, and consciousness is the fundamental matrix of reality.  If the disciples had understood, as the enlightened One, Christ, understood, they would have realized no matter what happened they were secure. For those who have the 'mind of Christ' to die and cease to exist is similar to the act of changing ones clothes.

This line of thinking only makes sense if one begins with the premise that reality has consciousness as its foundation.

Fare thee well.






Monday, June 13, 2016

Passing through the valley of the shadow: visionary art and poetry

Passing Through The Valley Of The Shadow is visionary art combined with poetry.  The music provided by YouTube and Bill Canino combine to do a really good job along with the images.

The art is an expression of a quest for an understanding of 'Being' and what it means to find oneself 'Being'.  After all, here we are all headed to the charnel house. Don't you have a few questions?








Upon the realization that life itself is a deathtrap some ask themselves "WTF?  I mean how is it I have to die?"  Before long the materialist answers no longer provide a satisfactory answer to the questioner who knows in his gut that life is not meaningless but that a life that ends in death is indeed ultimately meaningless. Not the living of the life, but life itself must be seen as diminished in value if it must end.  At this point spiritual options are able to step in and fill in the gaps and unsuitable limitations the materialist paradigm places on the human ability to encounter, describe and experience reality.

  
Religion has given spiritual knowledge a bad rap. Religions provide answers and the one who receives the answers is supposed to 'believe' them. I've found such a program not only useless but harmful.

On the other hand the spiritual path is not a group venture.  We do not approach the Holy City as a happy singing bunch of identical cloned saints.  Instead the Spiritual journey is solitary and the encounter with the spiritual is personal and the reason for this is so that you can 'hear' if something is 'spoken'.  Following are some words for the seeker from the Buddha:

  "Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true law.

If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no companionship with a fool." 


The purpose of the spiritual quest is a quest for the knowledge of the meaning of ones own existence.  Once that knowledge is acquired one is able to proceed without fear.  This is not the same as belief in a standard theological answer.  Yes you will believe the knowledge, but only because you know it is true.  That is not the same as religious belief which is mainly comprised of answers someone has given you to questions you have asked. Such a practice is like cheating on a test except you can't pass that way.








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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.