Please Don’t Slam Islam

Lisa and I celebrate 25 years together this very year, remarkable marks we have made together: 7 years in the 20th Century and 16 years into the 21st Century. So, two millennia and counting 🙂

We met online at the speed of a dial-up: 1200 baud via a Unix powered bulletin boarding system called TriState Online, a public service of the local phone company. One anniversary I printed a long set of conversations and placed the matrix-dotted leaves  in a binder — it’s in yonder armoire.

1200.baud

The sound of a dial-up

Human shadows grow long and weary over time. Consider this, consider this: Ibrahim the Patriarch and his family. Lisa knows more about that soap opera than do I, and she knows her sources. She is well versed in Biblical affairs involving affairs, being one who believes the actual teachings of Jesus, something long lost in trampling, trampings and rumors of war) lost or defiled in the translation. Once you die there is no telling how your follows will bend, fold and mutilate the spoken word become Word.

Lisa:

I am always moved by my husband’s compassion for the “underdog.” I know the Palestinians have religious customs we may find archaic. I had a close friend whose belief was performed daily with 5 prayers from the 5 aspects surrounding her, the knowledge that God’s eyes were on her always.

Allow me to quote a descriptive text from the pen of John Walton, a soul seeking balance rather than judgement, understanding rather than divisiveness.

John Walton:

…please be patient and take the time to read — realizing that as Christians we share in the same salvation offered to the Arabic people whose religion grew up around that God — with their own Prophet to guide them in the dogma — the same as as with Pauline doctrine… Later, Hagar bore a son to Abram and named him Ishmael, as the Lord had told her to (Genesis 16:15). Hagar’s story resumes fourteen years later when Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21). Shortly after Isaac was weaned, Sarah saw Ishmael taunting him and took the matter to Abraham: “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac” (Genesis 21:10). Although it grieved Abraham to do so, he gave Hagar and Ishmael some provisions and sent them away, and Ishmael and his mother wandered in the desert (verse 14).

When Hagar’s food and water ran out, she did not know what to do. She put Ishmael under a bush for shade and then went a few paces away so she would not have to watch him die (Genesis 21:16). As Hagar wept, the Lord called to her from heaven with words of comfort (verse 17); God then gave her a promise: “Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation” (verse 18). The Bible says that God “opened her eyes and she saw a well of water” that she had not seen in her distress (verse 19). God rescued Hagar and gave her hope and direction. God was with Ishmael as he grew up in the desert (verse 20).

BethlehemChristmasSmall

Abraham’s sin with Hagar has resulted in centuries of sorrow and bloodshed, as the descendants of Isaac (the Jews) and Ishmael (the Arabs) have been mortal enemies since Bible days. Mohammed, the father of Islam, is said to have been from the line of Ishmael, which is one reason Muslims claim a right to the Promised Land, Israel. Hagar is a revered woman in Islam since Ishmael is the father of the Arabic people. The Qur’anic version of the Genesis account twists the story to make Hagar the heroine of the story and her son, Ishmael, the child of promise instead of Isaac.alhamdulillah

The apostle Paul uses the story of Hagar and Sarah to teach a spiritual truth concerning our salvation. In Galatians 4, Hagar represents the Old Covenant, based on the Law (given at Sinai in Arabia) and human works. Sarah represents the New Covenant, based on grace and the saving work of God. In Paul’s analogy, believers in Christ are like the child born of Sarah—we are free, products of the Spirit. Those who try to earn their salvation by their own works are like the child born of Hagar—they are slaves, products of the flesh. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman” (Galatians 4:31). Paul counsels believers to “get rid of the slave woman” (verse 30)—that is, cease trying to earn salvation, because the inheritance of the children of promise can never be shared with those who live under the dictates of the flesh.

The story of Hagar is full of God’s goodness, and we can learn from the way God worked in Hagar’s life. She was a nobody, a foreign slave girl. Yet the Lord of Heaven saw her in her distress, provided for her need, and blessed her son because he was the child of Abraham. Hagar gave us the term El Roi, which means “the God who sees.” And her story reminds us that, no matter who we are or where we are, the Lord God sees us.

mashallah

 

Thank you for reading and I hope the desperation of a people being forced into a ghetto, with dwindling resources and constant raids by military police may remind you of something the current Israeli government seems unable to recognize as the same forest they survived — for its blind focus on the trees. God bless all of us and may we share the security and peace we enjoy with those less fortunate, at home and abroad.

alhamdulillah.meme

Whisper Alhamdulillah softly and reverently in an aircraft, or suffer slings and arrows. Speaking at a conversational volume and you may find yourself immediately and roughly removed from the company of some very nice people. Very nice indeed.

“Is Islam a religion of peace?”  91,400 results (0.36 seconds)
“Is Christianity a religion of peace?” 5,970 results (0.44 seconds)
“The Rosary is an assault weapon with a 50 round clip.” Philosopher Dave.

Thanks for reading.

Veganism Confronts Alternate Reality

Philip K. Dick has a great definition for reality. Slip into a time machine of some rare device and glide back 39 years to this PKD instruction manual:

“How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” (1978)

Philip K had a way with clever titles too.

From that essay:

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

it-is-sometimes-an-appropriate-response

I’m confident he would be amused to visit this place 39 years after publishing that essay, but consider the depth of his vision — he may have understood the fearsome circumstance of contemporary reality with fierce accuracy. Science fiction is good at that sometimes. 

Alternate histories are the unexpected consequence of historic events preceding the present moment. Charting the present is a matter of connecting historical dots.  The past is fully explicable, though it might have struck you at break-neck speed. Many suffer from whiplash. I am but one.

Days that happened include the 8th of November 2016. Once you regain equilibrium you wake up to a hard (or soft) landing. You realize that “it” happened.

Let’s consider that really real reality — the one that doesn’t go away just because you stop believing in it.

That reality devours every nanoparticle of a belief system that failed you somehow. 

So it seems quite appropriate to preface m wild-eyed views on veganism with article from the another perspective, an opposing viewpoint: veganism is a travesty. Click Not Healthy to weigh a specious argument from the Fruit Doctor.

The truth of veganism doesn’t go away. Animal rights still exist — even when those rights are inexpedient.

Veganism is a truth recognized by the many but practiced by the very few. Still, many non-vegans are aware of a resemblance between the typical factory farm and a death-camp. Well, slaughter does imply imply a certain amount of death.

The specie homo sapiens is capable of much denial and not a small measure of ignorance. You heed a call to close your mind to disagreeable facts, make room for more spectacle — blood and circuses.

Intergenerational theft is a reality. Old thieves like me grasp the spoils of war and limit resources, insisting that future generations fend for themselves. 

There are three-times as many homo sapiens on the same planet as there were in the year of my birth — that’s the 1947 part of my eponym. Human population consumes an equivalent number in the animal husbandry economy each year.

greedhurtingeconomy

The next celebration on the calendar in the US of Us features super-sized bowls of chips, plates with slathered wings mechanically separated from a billion birds. The hearth of America becomes a stadium filled with a 100,000 seats for 200,000 buttocks — attending a “game” that is a metaphor for war. Flaunt, preen and consume so that the economy falters not. An audience slightly larger than 100,000 observe the spectacle from the comfort of a frenetic television screen.

Enormous shopping carts roll forward with product of the grossest national product that end-stage consumerism can muster. Together they supply trillion-dollar industries that provide product for all manner of mastication. Each with a nutrition label. Here is an aphorism that may cheer you  will reading those labels: “Well I’ve got to die of something!

protein-vegan

Blood and circuses. 

Here’s an alternative to viewing Supper Bowl LI — read something from Phillip K, perhaps “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Better yet, read my other posts on a theme of vegan. 🙂

Happy reading.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

A Möbius Twist Please

 

Hariod Brawn, a fellow I follow regularly on WordPress, recently posted “What is it like for nothing to happen.” Many, including myself, have found great mill for grist there. Please consider spending a moment or five there.

gahan-wilson-nothing-happens-next-this-is-it-new-yorker-cartoon_a-g-9172121-8419447

Such thoughts as these intrigue me.

What is the science behind the abrupt discontinuity and surprising continuity of a Möbius strip? You are on one side and simultaneously on the other, or is it the other way around. Or is there just one side? A simple twist of the two-dimensional surface is radical and beautiful to ilk like me.

moebius-strip

 

Calculus allows us to keep begging the questions on a seeming, and actual, infinity:

“Are we there yet? When are we going to be there?”

Meanwhile we march on asymptotically toward an axis or several axes, or three-dimensional, four-dimensional axes.

asymptote

I say “dare to divide by zero.” But thank me not —thank the unknown scholars who introduced the zero. Roman numerals are hard-headed and in-your-face hard-nosed to math fans.

But back to nothing (or zero or zed). Consider the weight of the universe. Then consider its opposite: absolutely absolutely nothing.

“But, but the big-ass weight of the universe is a whole lot of something. Or something.”

Some time ago a science fiction author (name unknown to me) imagined a planet with never dissipating cloud cover. At no time of the day or night could an inhabitant see anything but the underside of endlessly butting together clouds. The sun was a hazy bright spot visible during the day. At night, of course, no stars. What could the inhabitants know of the universe?

Thanks for reading.

 

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund: Cincinnati 2016

Yesterday I met a young mother and her infant child at the annual PCRF picnic 2016.
img_1337
I gazed into the eyes of that beautiful woman and her precious child. Let me just inform you that they are in Cincinnati because those who can help transcended borders and the powers that be, to bring them to Ohio. Helping the helpless. Something that defines Menschheit (the word for “humanity” in German and Yiddish). Mother and child are here because white phosphorous burns to the bone. And, yes, it happened in Gaza.
dime-and-white-phosphorus-26-638
Yesterday brought souls together to share inextinguishable joy in the very spite of every attempt to extinguish the spirit of a proud people, century-long family traditions in culture, history and charm.
Yes, they melted my heart, moistened my eyes.
The occupiers who uproot ancient olive trees wishes that these people would plant their ancient roots anywhere but along the paradise of a Mediterranean shore that has nourished Philistines (Filistina) for so long.
uprooted
The occupiers boast of residing in a land celebrated as mere desert waiting for miracle workers to bring seed to fruit. The evicted and exiled Philistine people have every right listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including a refugee’s right to return. The United States signed this document in 1948, the year of Nakba.
Yesterday I attended the PCRF picnic and enjoyed splendid company, warm smiles and genuine enthusiasm. Most importantly it was an opportunity to meet people who better our world by healing wounds, providing support for families and restoring hope that the youngest and most innocent among us may flourish.
a-boy-with-the-word-palestine-written-on-his-face-takes-part-in-a-protest-against-the-israeli-blockade-of-the-gaza-strip-in-amman-december-5-2008-reuters-1
Such a delight and a privilege to speak personally with people who work miracles in the course of their daily lives. Cynicism and disillusionment are not support systems within PCRF: joy derived from mending deep wounds humbles the ego and makes room for love. 

Jimmy Carter: Epic Underdog

Google parses data and presents common search terms: a mix of auto-correct and auto-suggest. I just typed in “jimmy carter”:

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-9-55-36-pm

Then I typed in “george w bush”:

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-9-54-14-pm

net worth? National Enquiring minds want to know. Unless that worth is not monetary value. Speaking of net worth, I also read that Michael Pence would like to be a Vice-President like Dick Cheney.

The conundrum of the curmudgeon: pessimism and honesty are not mutually exclusive positions. Feel-good news about humane factory farms is not news. We are witnessing the disappearance of journalism, I am much afraid to report.

mencken-hate-everything

While we are yet upon a theme of curmudgeons and conundrums, allow me to recommend Ambrose Bierce. There are yet a few months remaining in the fell year 2016, so consider the Bierce definition of  PATRIOTISM,

In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.

Let me suggest that Dick Cheney take the net worth award, W take the quotes award. Period. Full Stop.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-10-29-41-pm

What gives with this “net worth” fascination?

Google provides no suggestions for ‘dick cheney gross worth’

However, the clarity of Carter’s insight, restraint and persistence lifts my spirit. His quiet presence as a defender of minority views and marginalized peoples makes him my role model. Search the internet for guinea worm to discover the name of its mortal enemy. Here is a small hint: it’s not the rabbit.

peace-not-apartheid
Peace not Apartheid

I like to imagine an alternate history where a Carter second term sends Reagan back where he always belonged: Hollywood. Privatizing everything does not advance the common good. But it may often advance the common bad.
Carter learns from his mistakes. Negotiation is a better for genuine peace, why do countless Presidents select “war without end Amen.”

usa_intervention_bleu

Carter did not drop a single literal bomb on any political opponent. The Camp David Accords accorded hope for the ever bedeviling slaughter in Israel-Palestine/Palestine-Israel.
500,000 nails sealed the coffin memorialized by an imagined headstone: Oslo Accords of 1993: Epic Fail. RIP

west-bank-conceptual-map
I also imagine an alternate history where Gore actually occupies the office he legitimately won.

And I voted for McGovern in 1972.

The Tyranny of the Majority

Majority rule is an expedient way to exercise authority over the unwanted and to marginalize unpopular ethnic groups, such as Native Palestinians in Palestine.

That guy on the $20 bill made the South safe for democracy. Somewhere in Jacksonian Democracy lies a lesson, one learned by 10,000 despots: if undesirables are out of the picture, they are not a problem. Future generations can safely and comfortably observe “mistakes were made.”

After the Trail of Tears, America was made safe for slaveholders again. Cherokees are for westerns or in teepees next to a Stuckeys. Have you heard this one: “I’m 1/24th Cherokee.” Really?

trail.of.tears
Look up Nakba for a similar trail of tears.

America was great I hear. But them Indians got it made now, every tribe has a casino. Sad to say, they’re fat and lazy and coddled by Washington. Things never change, I guess. Wink. Nod.

Grocery stores near reservations are food deserts. If a vehicle becomes available a real supermarket is only 70 miles away. While you are 70 miles away from home you can stock up on health care services and relax a while at the local casino. Chill with your fellow ingrates.

Native Americans are number one in death by police.(The Counted: 2016) among all ethnic groups.

The Guardian compiles this database, but for some reason such information is not collected in the US.

screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-12-38-31-pm

DJT is not a reader, but profound ignorance is no barrier to enormous wealth or monstrous feats of racism. Just a casual side note.

Ethnic cleansing silences voices of dissent.

Israel expelled 700,000 native Palestinians in 1948. Today the growth of settlements in the West Bank make population distribution look a lot like reservations in the formerly unoccupied American West.

Crows Head Soup & Vegan Anarchist

I recently discovered Crows Head Soup, a site for the perplexed among us who do not view fellow sentients as simply human resources. What happens when every molecule of flesh and bone is exploited at a mega scale? Does it even rate a half-hearted shrug?

crows-head-soup-original-recipe

Poetry strums and strikes here, it’s what poetry does.

Crows Head is a site gracious enough to allow rants that dare question the horror of the status quo. The Vegan Anarchist is a related site that is quite new, it appears on FB: a shorter vegan venue.

vegan.anarchist

This evening I read one of many pieces here that pierces the heart. It encapsulates the reality of daily existence in the confines of Butchertown, an historic town near Louisville. Some thoughts:

Visiting any supermarket in the country suggests the enormity of this flesh industry and the banality of its volume. How many tons today? How rapidly are the store shelves emptied? How many shelved products contain factory extermination camp content?
Twice as many chickens on earth as people. I won’t do the math here, but more than one in every pot by rough estimate.
Yes, man’s inhumanity to man sadly exceeds the ability to imagine, but fatalities among homo sapiens does not run into the multiple tens of billions per year of fellow sentients today.

bison.skulls.1870s
Bison skulls on the fruited plain

 

 

 

Remain humane, and thanks for reading.

Halper’s Book “War Against the People”

Cincinnati is on the Map: May 18 2016

Steady readers of billziegler1947 have now seen the name Jeff Halper appear frequently.

It is my privilege to continue bringing ICAHD and the Matrix of Control into the conversation.

jeff.halper.in.winnipeg

If this blog serves only to introduce you to Dr. Halper it has succeeded. While I am on an imagined roll, please consider finding a 1 hour 40 minutes open time slot in your viewing schedule for his talk in Winnipeg Manitoba from July 8, 2015. (Transforming Palestine into a Binational Independent State).

Excerpt:

“He is coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and a leading figure in the Israeli peace movement. Nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Halper has published several books and many articles while working tirelessly for peace, justice and public awareness, often using non-violent direct action.Transforming Israel-Palestine into a Binational Democratic State.”

Now for new business: the Cincinnati Palestine Solidarity Coalition. is sponsoring Dr. Halper on his current book tour. Click the link at the bottom of this post for updated details.

war.against.the.people

Dr. Halper has good memories of the metropolis I write in. It’s a fortune of geography and history that we both graduated from educational institutions with international reputations: Jeff at Hebrew Union College and I at the University of Cincinnati Department of Geography. Both schools on the same street, and we graduated in the same year 1969.

 

map.of.cincinnati
Source: HistoryNYC.com

Please make a pilgrimage to Cincinnati if you are anywhere near. Of course you can also read more about it right here and at the link below.

Source: War Against the People

Tolstoy, Schumacher, Climate Change & Veganism

Personal integrity requires living ethically. Climate change threatens the livability of this planet for countless species. Veganism is not Shmeeganism.

knee.deep.in.the.big.muddy

Pete Seeger let us know where we stand politically! I call it a metaphor for this election year and a perspective from the Smothers Brothers Show in 1967. I had a Pat Paulsen bumper sticker on my ’63 Corvair in 1968.

Waist deep in the Big Muddy! 

And the big fool says to push on!

Veganism is still a minority constituent of the body politic. But it’s good idea to stand on the side of truth.

Throwing a snowball on the Senate floor is as helpful for understanding the significance of two (2) Celsius degrees as an answer from genesis by ken ham.

Meanwhile Steve Inskeep throws softballs on NPR. Disclosure: Inskeep has been in my craw since replacing the inimitable Bob Edwards on Morning Edition. Just saying.

Celebrating ignorance and arrogance is exceptionally American. Global economies based on the trillion-dollar solutions of fossil-fuels, slave-labor, misogyny, ultra high-tech weapon systems and private prisons drive critical thinkers into exile. Intentionally.

Gross is our domestic product. Strength is our ignorance.

I sit on a man’s back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back.

Leo Tolstoy had his pulse on humanity. Select anything he wrote and discover splendid presence and prescience, including veganism and anarchism. Quotes

leotolstoy

The Long Failure of Western Arms

  • Tolstoy: Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence (1886)

Yes. If it’s a good idea Tolstoy wrote about it from 1828 to 1910. He stopped writing by dint of death: a century plus six years.  

E.F. Schumacher offered the planet some important advice in 1973, roundly and soundly dismissed at the time, but I sense a resurgence, at least a spirit of hope.

From Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative, a perspective on E.F.

2016efschumacher3

Thanks for reading.