Saturday, January 18, 2020

Star Myths of the World: Beyond Any Doubt

I've just published a new video entitled "Star Myths of the World: Beyond Any Doubt," providing some new examples and evidence along with some of the compelling examples and evidence discussed in previous videos, all showing that the fact that the world's ancient myths are based on celestial metaphor should really be established beyond any doubt (although this evidence continues to be ignored by academia and most media outlets), and should be considered alongside all the archaeological evidence as pointing to the likely existence of an ancient sophisticated and possibly world-wide culture predating any of the most ancient civilizations known to conventional history.

Some aspects of this video were inspired by an interview done with Dr. Robert Schoch in 2016 by Al Borealis of the Forum Borealis podcast, which can be accessed here. That interview is listed as "Program 6" in Series 2 on Forum Borealis (under "Shows").

The quotations referenced in the above video can be found at about 1:41:00 and 2:53:00 in the interview, and you can also hear Dr. Schoch and Al Borealis discussing worldwide myths at about 2:06:00 in the interview.

Please note that although my video was inspired by their conversation, this does not imply that either Dr. Schoch or Al Borealis agree with me on myths or on anything else.

Please support the work of researchers like Dr. Robert Schoch and podcasters like Al Borealis in any way that you can, and please feel free to share this video with those who might find it to be helpful to their lives.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

"The media has covered up all aspects of the truth about this case and this horrific killing of this great prophet"

January 15 is the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., born this day in 1929.

He was one of the clearest, bravest, and most powerful voices against racism, poverty, oppression, exploitation, and violence that the world has ever known.

Above is the complete audio recording of his speech "Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence," delivered on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York City.

It deserves to be heard again today, in Dr. King's own voice, because its message is as relevant now as it was in 1967.

In this towering speech, he calls each one of us to listen to the voice of conscience, and repeats the powerful words of the executive committee of the Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam:

"A time comes when silence is betrayal."

He also acknowledges the "great difficulty of moving against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world" and the constant situation we face in this life of being "always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty."

Beginning at the 32:00-minute mark in the above video, Dr. King declares:
Surely this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and dealt death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world -- of the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours: the initiative to stop it must be ours.
As the world knows, Martin Luther King, Jr. was brutally murdered exactly one year to the day after delivering this powerful and moving speech.

What the world has been prevented from knowing, despite overwhelming evidence which was in fact presented in a civil trial in 1999, is that the brutal murder of Dr. King was not the work of a "lone assassin," but rather of a criminal conspiracy which was vast in its scope.

Even to this very day, nearly fifty-two years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and over twenty years since the evidence of a criminal conspiracy was presented in a court of law in this country, the awful truth about the killing is completely ignored in all official statements honoring Dr. King on his birthday and on the anniversary of his murder, and the media continues to completely ignore the awful details of that conspiracy and its implications, as if that evidence had never even existed.

Noted attorney William F. Pepper, who knew Martin Luther King personally, originally accepted the official story regarding the assassination of Dr. King, but later spent decades researching the evidence that the official story could not possibly be true. He represented the King family in the wrongful death lawsuit in 1999 which presented overwhelming evidence of a far-reaching conspiracy in the murder of Dr. King.

Below is an interview with William Pepper conducted in March, 2018 in which he describes some of the overwhelming evidence which completely demolishes the official narrative regarding Dr. King's murder. It is extremely disturbing to contemplate -- and it reveals how completely collaborators in the media are complicit in continuing to remain silent about this information, even as they give lip service to the legacy of Martin Luther King each year on January 15th and April 4th.

Beginning at 0:32:30 in the below clip (or at about 36:25 in this original version of the interview, in which the "sound" is a little off and not perfectly synchronized with the video), William Pepper says of the media cover-up of the evidence presented in that 1999 trial:

"The media has covered up all aspects of the truth about this case and this horrific killing of this great prophet."

Extensive transcripts of that trial, including the cross-examination of witnesses revealing absolutely damning evidence which points to the inescapable conclusion of a conspiracy in the murder of Dr. King, are presented in William Pepper's 2018 book, The Plot to Kill King.

This extensive evidence, presented in a thirty-day trial, with actual transcripts, completely blows away any attempts by defenders of the official narrative to try to dismiss the damning nature of the witness testimony by launching "ad hominem" attacks against William Pepper himself.

Other interviews with William Pepper in which he discusses the overwhelming evidence regarding this criminal conspiracy and the absolute silence in the mainstream media regarding the conspiracy to kill Dr. King can be found in other alternative media outlets, including among the archive of Bonnie Faulkner's long-running show, Guns and Butter. See for example interview #348 from June of 2016.

If we allow the truth about the past to be replaced with lies, we will be unable to understand what is going on in the present, with grave implications for the future as well. This is exactly what George Orwell foresaw when he warned in Nineteen Eighty-Four (a novel dramatizing the deliberate replacement of the truth with pervasive lies, in order to oppress the people): "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

I would strongly suggest that on the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., everyone take time to listen to at least one of Dr. King's speeches, in his own voice. His words speak for themselves, and speak to the situation in which we find ourselves today. The issues he spoke about are every bit as pressing today -- even more so, in fact, because leaders like Dr. King who can reach across the barriers which tend to divide men and women from one another have been ruthlessly eliminated, and real issues and causes like the ones Dr. King championed have been replaced by arguments deliberately designed to divide and distract and turn one group against another.

The very fact that the truth about his horrific murder continues to be completely silenced tells us everything we need to know about the state of the First Amendment and the media in this country -- and about the power of the truth and the power of the people, should they ever begin to understand what is actually going on.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Stay strong, Betelgeuse -- stay strong!

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

If you haven't seen the news already, the web is abuzz lately with the observation by astronomers who monitor the brightness of certain stars that the red "super-giant" star Betelgeuse has suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly dimmed over the past few months.

According to certain specialists who focus on observing Betelgeuse, the star is known to be variable in its brightness, going through fairly predictable cycles of dimming and brightening, but this latest dimming is unprecedented in that the star has dimmed more than at any time in the past hundred or so years that its relative brightness or dimness has been measured using objective instrumentation to measure and record Betelgeuse's magnitude.

Here are several recent articles on the web discussing the sudden dimming of Betelgeuse, including one which features some interview segments with astronomer Edward Guinan on NPR ("National Public Radio," in the united states), in which you can listen to the interview as well as read the transcript:
Most of the stories linked above contain very much the same information, but each provides a few different details to help give a fuller perspective if you visit them all (each is relatively short).

One theme that is present in many of the articles is the breathless anticipation, sometimes expressed as a positive hope, that this sudden dimming presages the inevitable collapse and massive explosion of Betelgeuse into a supernova, ending the star's life in its present form. 

Such an event would create a spectacular cloud of colorful gas and plasma in the sky, so bright that it would rival the brightness of the full moon during hours of darkness (bright enough to cast shadows on earth during the night, as during a full moon, which is so bright that you can typically read a book under the light of a full moon on a clear night) and even be visible during the day. But the familiar Betelgeuse in the constellation of Orion would be gone forever in its present super-giant form.

Some of the articles above quote first-year graduate student in astronomy at UC Berkeley Sarafina Nance expressing her hope that Betelgeuse will go supernova during our lifetimes, while noting that she and other astronomers are quick to point out that although they expect Betelgeuse to collapse and explode at some point in the next hundred thousand years or so, there is no way of knowing when that might take place. Nance is quoted as saying:
Disclaimer: I don't think it's going to explode anytime soon. But I am excited [for] when it does. It would be so incredibly cool! By far and away the most incredible event to happen in my life.
That interview with National Geographic is cited in the National Geographic article above.

While it would of course be a spectacular and exciting event, I for one very much hope that Betelgeuse will not collapse and explode anytime soon, and send these words of encouragement to the star: "Stay strong, Betelgeuse!"

Betelgeuse forms the important "shoulder star" of the constellation Orion, one of the most recognizable (probably the single most-recognizable, in fact) constellations in the night sky. The constellation contains the highest ratio of bright stars to total stars of any constellation, and includes the brilliant belt of Orion, three second-magnitude stars in a nearly (but not perfectly) straight line, familiar to nearly everyone on earth, and has a beautiful hourglass-like symmetry that would be forever altered should Betelgeuse explode.

Betelgeuse can be seen in the image below as the star in the "upper left" of the hourglass-shaped outline of Orion as we face the photograph:

image: Wikimedia commons (link).Here is what H. A. Rey has to say about the constellation and its stars, from his indispensable book The Stars: A New Way to See Them (first published in 1952): 
Superb constellation. When Orion is up he dominates the southern sky, you can't miss him. His most striking part is the BELT, three bright stars in a straight row; you can easily trace the rest of the constellation from there. -- A hunter by profession, Orion is heavily armed, with a raised club, a shield, and a sword dangling from his belt [note that the upraised club and extended shield, sometimes envisioned as a bow, are not shown in the image above]. No other constellation has so many bright stars, five of 2nd mag. and two of 1st mag.: reddish BETELGEUSE in the left shoulder, and bluish-white RIGEL in the right foot. Rigel is a giant star, 33 times the diameter of the sun and 20,000 times as luminous, over 500 light-years away: what you see in the sky these nights is light which left the star before Columbus was born. Betelgeuse is a supergiant, 400 times the sun's diameter, 3600 times as luminous, about 300 light-years away [note that in the articles cited above, astronomers now appear to have revised this estimate for the location of Betelgeuse to between 640 to 724 light-years away]. One of the stars in Orion's sword looks slightly fuzzy; field glasses reveal a hazy spot around it: the GREAT ORION NEBULA, a luminous gas-cloud, extremely thin but so vast that 10,000 stars the size of our sun could be formed from its mass. It looks so small because it is 300 light-years away. 46
Orion in its present form is a familiar figure and an extremely mythologically-important constellation, and I for one am not desirous of seeing its outline radically altered forever, despite the fact that witnessing a brand-new supernova (from a safe distance) would certainly be, as Sarafina Nance says, "so incredibly cool!" Of course, as many of the articles above point out, and as H. A. Rey himself explains in the above-cited paragraph, when he is talking about the light from the star Rigel, because Betelgeuse is hundreds of light-years away (now thought to be between 640 and 724 light-years away), this means that by the time anyone on earth sees the explosion of Betelgeuse, that supernova event would have actually begun at least 640 years earlier. So it may be that it has in fact already taken place, and we are still just waiting to see it -- but I personally hope not.Orion plays vitally-important role in many of the world's ancient myths, including in the widespread memory of a lost "Golden Age," which the authors of Hamlet's Mill appear to have equated with the Age of Gemini (see discussion in an early blog post here from all the way back in 2011) and which they associate with the world-wide myth pattern of a benevolent god who comes to live among mortal men and women for a time, teaching them important civilizing skills, before leaving again -- often to sleep beneath the sea (such as in the stories of the god Saturn sleeping beneath the waves in the cave of Ogygia, which is also related to the fate of King Arthur sleeping an enchanted sleep beneath the surface of the lake).This pattern of a benevolent ruler going down beneath the waves, the authors of Hamlet's Mill appear to argue (although their explanation is enhanced and clarified a great deal by the later work of Jane B. Sellers in Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt) is likely related to the way the dazzlingly beautiful constellation of Orion is "held beneath the horizon" by the inexorable motion of precession over the course of millennia.The looming figure of Orion also plays a central role in the gospel account of John the Baptist at the Jordan, in which John declares, "he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear [. . .] whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3: 11 - 12).In a previous video from 2017 (embedded below) and in this previous post from 2016, I explain that the figure being described in this important text is undoubtedly an Orion-figure, and that the upraised arm of Orion (the arm, in fact, above the "shoulder-star" of Betelgeuse) represents the "winnowing fan" described in the passage from Matthew chapter 3 quoted above. This correlation is extremely significant, because as students of Greek myth know, the figure of a "winnowing fan on the shoulder" is also central to the ancient epic of the Odyssey, as I discuss in my 2016 book Star Myths of the World, Volume Two: Myths of Ancient Greece. This correspondence, as well as other parallels between the Odyssey and the events described in the New Testament gospels, can also be explored further in a previous post entitled, "Parallels between the Odyssey and the Gospels," from 2018.And these are just a few examples of the tremendous importance of the constellation Orion in the system of celestial metaphor underlying the world's ancient myths.For these reasons, I would very much desire to have Betelgeuse continue as a red giant star for hundreds of thousands more years, if not for millions more.Personally, I haven't really noticed that Betelgeuse is any dimmer than usual, but the astronomers who measure such things are telling us that it is very dim, and might be in serious trouble -- so I am sending along thoughts of encouragement to the red supergiant, and urge others to do the same. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

"To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime: it is the supreme international crime"

image: Wikimedia commons (page one, page two).

As a citizen of the united states, a graduate of West Point, Ranger School and numerous other Army schools, and a former officer in the Regular Army, sworn to support and defend the Constitution, I am disgusted at the despicable, immoral and illegal murder of General Soleimani (of Iran), General Al-Ibrahim aka Mahdi Al-Muhandis (of Iraq), and their drivers and accompanying soldiers, by drone strikes on their cars as they were driving from the Baghdad Airport while on their way to attend the funerals of members of their militias killed by aircraft strikes days earlier. 

The Constitution contains provisions for the declaration of war, because the Constitution explicitly states that one of its purposes is "to provide for the common defense" of the nation.

It assigns the grave authority of declaring war to the Congress, in Article 1 of the Constitution, and it is understood that the founders gave this authority to Congress because the members of Congress most fully represent the will of the people, and the rules and procedures of the two houses of Congress require deliberation and debate before enacting legislation and certainly before declaring war, enabling different arguments to be aired and considered.

The representatives of the people of the united states have not declared war on either Iran or Iraq, and   thus no state of war exists between the united states and those countries, making the cold-blooded assassination of officers (or anyone else) from those countries illegal and completely against the "laws of nations" which is described in the Constitution (see sentences underlined in red from Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, shown above).

Indeed, by all accounts, this dastardly assassination was perpetrated before Congress was even told about it. By the time the Congress was told, the assassination of the two generals and their accompanying soldiers had already taken place.

The citizens of the united states are now being assured that abundant intelligence exists showing that these generals were planning attacks on American targets in Iraq and beyond, just as we have been told that the Iraqi militia positions hit by American airstrikes were somehow determined to have been linked to rocket attacks on the "K1" base in Kirkuk where one contractor was killed -- thus far without any actual evidence having been presented to the world to back up these allegations (very limited details have been released).

Why should we have reason to doubt what we are being told about the perpetrators of the attacks on K1? 

Why should we have reason to be suspicious about the allegations we are hearing about General Soleimani preparing extensive attacks on Americans?

We have every reason to be suspicious about those allegations and to suspect that things are not necessarily as we are being told, because the entire pretext for invading Iraq in the first place, seventeen years ago in early 2003, was based on complete lies and fabrications. 

The most dastardly of these lies, used to support the war of aggression against Iraq, was the lie that Iraq had something to do with the attacks of September 11, 2001.

There is now so much evidence which shows that the official story of what took place on that awful day is a complete pack of lies that nobody who examines that evidence can possibly fail to conclude that we have been lied to about September 11th for going on nineteen years -- and those lies have been used to "justify" (falsely justify, of course, which is no justification at all) wars of aggression which have resulted in the deaths of many hundreds of thousands (probably now numbering in the millions) of innocent civilians, including children, and in the complete devastation of numerous countries and the immiseration of their people.

Wars of aggression are absolutely condemned in the "laws of nations." The Constitution does not provide for the declaration of war or the raising of armies in order to commit wars of aggression. The Nuremberg military tribunal, convened in the aftermath of World War II to try Nazi war criminals, declared that "To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime."

The assassination of General Soleimani and General Al-Muhandis must therefore be viewed in this context. These assassinations are tantamount to an act of war, an act of war which could be characterized as a war of aggression, the supreme international crime. And these assassinations were committed without even the consent of Congress, not that Congress has done anything to stop the illegal wars of aggression which have been perpetrated under the false justification (which is no justification at all) of the official story of September 11, 2001 -- an official story which can be easily shown to be an outright pack of lies.

There is also the fact that these officers were going to attend funerals of militia members who had been killed days earlier in airstrikes which themselves were committed on the pretense that those militias had something to do with a rocket strike on K1 in Kirkuk, hundreds of kilometers away -- allegations which must also be viewed with suspicion. 

In point of fact, these militias (and their leader, the late General Al-Muhandis) were actively engaged in combating ISIS / Daesh in Iraq and Syria, and these airstrikes and now the murder of their general should be seen in the context of abundant evidence which points to the conclusion that ISIS / Daesh has been secretly armed and enabled all along by certain nefarious forces using it as a proxy force or a "foreign legion" to carry out regime change against the Syrian government (another war of aggression which has led to massive loss of life, displacement of families, and impoverishment and immiseration).

Indeed, General Soleimani has been widely credited with being the master tactician and strategist who enabled Syria to defeat the murderous brigands of ISIS / Daesh, which is part of the reason he was so popular and so respected. 

A few years ago, all we heard about from the news-media and from politicians in the united states was how horrible ISIS / Daesh was, and how important it was to defeat them. We hear next to nothing about ISIS / Daesh anymore -- but for some reason those very men who are presently fighting ISIS / Daesh in Iraq are now categorized as "terrorists," airstrikes are carried out against their outposts, and the cowardly assassination of their leaders while those leaders are driving from the airport on the way to the funerals of those killed by those airstrikes is celebrated as some kind of heroic accomplishment, with nary a voice in the controlled media raising a single question.

I am personally revolted by those who order and carry out drone strikes on funerals or on weddings, and I would argue that everyone who believes in the law of the gods (or the law of God, if you prefer, or the "law of nations" described in the Constitution) should be equally revolted at such barbarous behavior.

The Declaration of Independence signed on July 4, 1776 spent quite a bit of space enumerating war crimes perpetrated by Britain, against which the founders of the united states were justifiably outraged. 

The lines of the Constitution reproduced in the image above include the authorization (given to Congress, in Article 1, section 8) "to define and punish piracies on the High Seas, and offenses against the law of nations." By this we see that the founders held offenses against the law of nations to be in the same category as piracy -- and no doubt they would have seen the assassination of officers of nations with whom a nation is not at war as a violation of the law of nations (indeed, such assassinations are universally understood to be a violation of the law of nations to this day).

We also see in this passage from the Constitution the rebuttal to those who will argue against my objections above, saying that "even if we are not at war with Iran or Iraq, we certainly must have recourse to stop their military leaders if they are plotting and committing crimes against our citizens or our soldiers." To this rebuttal, I would first point out that the illegal invasion of Iraq was made under false pretenses, but beyond that, we can grant the objection and show that the Constitution clearly anticipates the likelihood that there will indeed be some enemies who do not observe the "law of nations" (including these enemies in the same category as pirates) -- and that the Constitution quite explicitly gives the authority of defining and punishing such behavior to the Congress.

Thus, the Constitution makes provisions enabling Congress to act and deal with pirates and those who commit felonies in violation of the law of nations. 

Tragically, however, if the members of the Congress are willing to accept the lies within the official narrative of the mass-murders perpetrated against American citizens on September 11, 2001 despite all of the evidence which has surfaced in the past eighteen years (or at least to pretend while in public that they accept the official narrative), then they will no doubt accept or pretend to accept whatever "evidence" is trotted out to show that the militia bases hit by the airstrikes last week were somehow connected to the rocket attacks on K1 in Kirkuk, and whatever "evidence" is trotted out to show that General Soleimani was planning some kind of extensive attacks on Americans in Iraq and outside of it.

But the fact remains that no such evidence was even brought before the Congress, prior to the moment that these extra-judicial assassinations by drone, tantamount to acts of war, were perpetrated.

But it gets even worse. We now have the spectacle of the united states vice president, suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, tweeting allegations (never heard before, even in the official report of the events of September 11, 2001) that General Soleimani was somehow partly responsible for September 11, 2001. 

Does the big lie about the mass-murders of September 11, 2001 have no limit to its applications as a tool for attempting to justify new illegal acts, even today in the year 2020? 

Can anyone still be so ignorant of the evidence that the official story of September 11, 2001 is an outright lie (a completely unsustainable lie) that he or she will fall for these arguments?

What makes this incredible and hitherto-unheard allegation against the murdered General Soleimani so shocking is the fact that General Soleimani actually assisted the united states in strategic and tactical planning against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the immediate aftermath of the September 2001 attacks.

I myself was at West Point as an instructor at the time of the September 11 attacks, and at the time I uncritically accepted the official story attributing those attacks to fanatical Sunni extremists, and continued to do so for many years afterwards. For about eight years, I was vehemently opposed to any suggestion that the destruction and mass-murder that was committed on that day had somehow not been the work of nineteen hijackers with box-cutters. 

However, it is no longer the year 2001. 

More than eighteen years after the fact, there is simply no excuse for not realizing that the official story is an unsustainable lie. 
  • World Trade Center Building 7 collapsed into its own footprint at a speed indistinguishable from free-fall speed, despite not being struck by any airliner. 
  • Hijacked airliners continued to fly around for over an hour without being engaged by any military interceptor aircraft, even after the World Trade Center towers had been struck. 
  • Something (we are told it was a jetliner) struck the Pentagon (the central headquarters of the entire American military) without ever being engaged by any ground-based air-defense assets. 
  • Numerous military drills involving aircraft were taking place on that same day, by "astonishing coincidence" (unless we are prepared to believe that somehow these nineteen extremist hijackers also managed to schedule massive military drills on the same day that they had selected for their operation). 
  • The crime scene of the collapsed towers of World Trade Center 1 and 2 was not investigated but instead was deliberately and rapidly destroyed, the steel carted away in short order, never to be subjected to rigorous forensic analysis. 
The list of events which demonstrate beyond any doubt that the official narrative cannot possibly be true goes on and on.

To try to stretch this lie, the lie about what took place on September 11 and about who was responsible for those mass-murders of thousands of innocent civilians, over this week's murders of General Soleimani and General Al-Muhandis is beyond belief. 

The American people need to wake up and condemn the wars of aggression which are being perpetrated in their name, under absolutely false pretenses, wars of aggression which (in the words of the Nuremberg tribunal) constitute "the supreme international crime," and they need to demand that their elected representatives condemn this illegal, immoral and unconstitutional behavior.

We have had almost nineteen years of evidence which shows that Congress will not lift a finger to stop these criminal and unconstitutional wars, as long as their constituents are not raising any outcry. We cannot expect Congress to do the right thing unless we demand it, in massive numbers and expressing our outrage at the crimes that are being committed in our name.

Nobody else in the world can do it for us -- it is up to the citizens of the united states to make these demands.
Preamble: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. 
Article I. Section 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and General Welfare of the United States; [. . .] 
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations; 
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and to make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; 
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; [. . .]

Thursday, January 2, 2020

I will send a book to your public library! Introducing the "Pillars of Wisdom" Library Book Donation Project

I'm pleased to introduce a new concept which I am calling the "Pillars of Wisdom" Library Book Donation Project (see video above).

This program allows anyone to nominate a public library and select one of my titles, and I will donate that book to the nominated public library.

Limit is one donated title per branch, so be the first to nominate your favorite library! Of course, you can always request that the library add other titles through their ordinary acquisition process -- just ask anyone on the staff how to request a title, which usually involves filling out a slip of paper.

To participate in the "Pillars of Wisdom" Library Book Donation Project, simply go to the "Books" section of my main Star Myths of the World website, and scroll down until you see the nomination form.

Why would I start such a program?

Well, for one thing, I support the public library system! I spent a lot of time in my local public library in San Mateo, California when I was growing up. In fact, when we had to write about "my favorite place" in an essay one year, I wrote about the library.

Second, I would like to make information about the incredible connections between the world's ancient myths and the stars and constellations, and the life-changing wisdom this system has to offer us in this very present moment of our lives, available to those who might need it.

And third, I am sure that there are many libraries and librarians who are completely unfamiliar with my work and might never hear of my books otherwise. 

Of course, you can always just walk into any library and ask them to order any of my titles, through my distributor Ingram (which is a very large distributor and capable of distributing the books worldwide). At this time, the book donation program is primarily intended for public libraries in the united states (because shipping books overseas is often very expensive, costing more to ship the book than the actual purchase price of the book), but if you want books added to a library in another country, you can always just ask the staff how to request an addition to the collection.

When you participate in the "Pillars of Wisdom" Library Book Donation Project, you have an opportunity to make one of my books available to many different men and women who will be able to check it out and read it, for many years into the future. I hope you will take advantage of this program while I'm able to make it available.

Thank you for supporting my work, and for supporting public libraries.

I wish you all good things in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Years Eve: "In the midst of great abundance, our leaders promote privation"

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

As one year rolls into a New Year, it is only natural to contemplate the passing of time, and to consider the future.

Recently, I was reading Warren Mosler's essential book entitled The 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy, which he graciously makes available for free in the "Mandatory Reading" section of his website, and there encountered the following vitally important passage under the "fourth fraud" (regarding the notion that the social security system in the united states "is broken" and will eventually "run out of money" and, according to some proponents of neoliberalism, should be privatized.

After explaining that a sovereign government can always make social security payments, should it have the will to do so, Warren Mosler goes on to explain that (as with virtually everything else in economics) it is not the "payments" or the "availability of money" that are the real issue, but rather the availability of actual resources, and the ability to turn those resources into the goods and services men and women (and children) require.

Regarding the ability to provide for the aged in the future (the heart of the social security question), he writes:
Let's look at it this way: 50 years from now when there is one person left working and 300 million retired people (I exaggerate to make the point), that guy is going to be pretty busy since he'll have to grow all the food, build and maintain all the buildings, do the laundry, take care of all the medical needs, produce the TV shows, etc. etc. etc. What we need to do is make sure that those 300 million retired people have the funds to pay him??? I don't think so! This problem obviously isn't about money.  
What we need to do is make sure that the one guy working is smart enough and productive enough and has enough capital goods and software to be able to get it all done, or else those retirees are in serious trouble, no matter how much money they might have. So the real problem is, if the remaining workers aren't sufficiently productive, there will be a general shortage of goods and services. [. . .] 
And the story gets even worse. Any mainstream economist will agree that there pretty much isn't anything in the way of real goods we can produce today that will be useful 50 years from now. They go on to say that the only thing we can do for our descendants that far into the future is to do our best to make sure they have the knowledge and technology to help them meet their future demands. The irony is that in order to somehow "save" public funds for the future, what we do is cut back on expenditures today [he is referring to the various forms of "fiscal austerity" preached by proponents of neoliberalism in all its horrible and deleterious permutations], which does nothing but set our economy back and cause the growth of output and employment to decline. And worse yet, the great disappointment is that the first thing our misguided leaders cut back on is education -- the one thing that the mainstream agrees should be done that actually helps our children 50 years down the road. [link to source document here]
The heart of the issue are the resources given to a nation by the gods (or, if you prefer, by nature -- gifts which the ancient wisdom preserved in the myths, scriptures, and sacred traditions of the world universally saw as originating in the divine realm, the realm of the gods).

And the most important of all those resources given to any nation by the divine realm are the men and women whom the gods allow to be born into that nation.

If we allow those gifts to be wasted or squandered, we are going to have serious problems. And, judging by the level of unemployment, under-employment and homelessness in the united states (as well as in other nations, but the problem is reaching crisis levels in the united states), the gifts of the gods (or, if you prefer, the resources given by nature) are being wasted by bad economic policy.

Warren Mosler in his "Deadly Innocent Frauds" book takes the charitable view that this bad economic policy is "misguided" in its origin, as he says in the quoted passage above (in the final sentence of the cited text). In fact, while some of the bad economic policy may be innocently or naively "misguided," it is far more likely that these policies are deliberate, because fiscal austerity leads very directly to privatization, by the following mechanism:
  • Fiscal austerity, by definition, requires higher taxes and lower government expenditures, and demands "balanced budgets" 
  • This austerity policy seeks to take away fiscal authority from elected leaders and deliberately hinder their ability to provide proper infrastructure and services, which
  • leads to demands to "privatize" that infrastructure and those services (and, if "balanced budgets" are not met, the same policies can also lead to demands to sell-off the public domain in order to help "reduce the deficit")
Privatization is incredibly profitable for those connected insiders who are able to purchase the public domain and the services that properly stem from the gifts of nature to the people of a nation (such as privatizing rivers, forests, ports, roadways, and the electromagnetic spectrum).

Previous posts discussing the problems of neoliberal austerity include:

(among many others)

Indeed, as Warren Mosler (and other pioneering MMT economists) explain elsewhere (including in earlier chapters in his "Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds" book), the presence of widespread unemployment and under-employment is irrefutable proof that either taxes are too high, government spending is too low, or some combination of the two (i.e., "both!"). In other words, unemployment is a sign of the deleterious impact of fiscal austerity (which, by definition, demands higher taxes and lower government expenditures).

The reason high taxes and low government spending lead to unemployment is that the taxes remove the ability of the people (outside the government) to buy goods and services, and if the government does not spend a commensurate amount to countervail the impact of those taxes, then goods and services (including labor) will be left un-purchased.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

To correct the problem, the government can increase spending to purchase un-purchased goods and services -- and the most important thing it could offer to buy is any un-hired labor of those who wish to work but cannot find work (and do so at a living wage that enables workers to put a roof over their heads and food on their table).

If defenders of neoliberalism (as many will do) wish to declare that those who are homeless are homeless because "they don't want to work," they should see what happens if (as MMT proponents suggest) the government creates a "transition job" program, also known as a "job guarantee" -- using its power to purchase idle resources in an economy, including idle labor of anyone who wants to work, by providing voluntary (not forced) jobs for anyone who wishes to perform productive labor. 

Otherwise, it is extraordinarily callous (and almost certainly false) to declare that anyone who is homeless is making a choice to be homeless.

In another paper entitled "Soft Currency Economics," made available in his "Mandatory Reading" section of his website, Warren Mosler declares: 

"In the midst of great abundance, our leaders promote privation."

This statement goes to the heart of neoliberalism and austerity, which are destroying people's lives around the world, including in the united states.

The ancient myths declare that the natural resources are gifts of the gods -- gifts from the divine realm -- and that includes the gifts and talents and abilities of men and women.

When we deliberately squander them, it is an affront to the divine realm, an affront to the gods.

The most important thing we can do for future generations, as Warren Mosler states in the passage cited above, is to ensure they have the skills and ability to provide the goods and services they will need, and at the heart of ensuring that is to provide education.

There are those who would deliberately sabotage such education of the next generation, in order to more easily impose austerity (and thus more easily privatize those gifts of nature which the ancient myths teach are gifts given by the gods to all the men and women of a nation).

The ancient wisdom preserved in the myths has lasted for untold millennia, having been passed down from generation to generation, and those ancient myths can continue to inform and educate us today. Although there are those who try to suppress the ancient message preserved in the world's myths, those myths still proclaim a message which is diametrically opposed to the austerity and false privation which is preached by the proponents of neoliberalism.

It is a message from the infinite realm. And it is a message of abundance, and not artificial privation imposed upon the people.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

New video: "Yule and the Wisdom of Odin"

Above is a new video I've just made, entitled "Yule and the Wisdom of Odin" (12 29 2019).

The Yule season in northern Europe spanned a period on either side of the winter solstice, and appears to have been closely associated with the god Odin the All-Father. Odin is a complex god and a boundary-crossing figure, which may help to explain his association with this great turning point of the year. The very word Yule is thought by some to be connected with one of the names of Odin. And even to this day, if you want to wish someone Merry Christmas in the language of Norway or Denmark or many of the other lands of the far north, you say “God Jul!” ("Good Yule!"). And in the song "Silent Night" in Norwegian, the lyrics are saying "Glade Jul, Hellige Jul," or “Glad Yule, Holy Yule.”

Other names of the god Odin include: 
  • Mimir’s Friend, 
  • Wolf’s Enemy, 
  • Gunnlod’s Embrace, 
  • the Wise Victory-Tree, 
  • the Raven-Tester, 
  • the Bale-worker,
  • the Spear-Lord, 
  • the Long-Beard, 
  • the Hanged One, 
  • the Hooded One, 
  • the Masked One, 
  • the Terrible One, 
  • the Wise One, 
  • the Concealer, 
  • the All-Father, 
  • the Yule-Father, 
  • the Wanderer, 
  • the Awakener, 
  • the Truth-Finder, 
  • the All-Wise, and 
  • the Sage (among many other names).
Odin is the god who sees through the surface appearances to the deep hidden heart of things, most clearly in his ordeal to gain the secret of the runes, but also in his quest to obtain the Mead of Poetry, as well as in his pursuit of the wisdom preserved among the oldest jotuns, the giants of Norse myth whose time predated that of the gods, and who were the first beings, before gods and men.

One such quest is described in the Vafthruthnismal, in the Poetic Edda, or Elder Edda, in which Odin seeks out the ancient jotun Vafthruthnir, and engages the giant in a riddle contest. 

Of this episode, Professor Carolyne Larrington of Oxford says (in her translation of the Poetic Edda):
[. . .] Odin is characterized by his obsessive quest for wisdom, particularly for information about Ragnarok. In this poem he sets off, against his wife's advice, disguised as a poor wanderer, to test his wisdom against the giant Vafthrudnir, known only from this poem. Once Odin has proved his mettle, by answering questions which the giant puts to him, he is invited to risk his head in questioning the giant. Vafthrudnir's Sayings (Vafthrudnismal) belongs to the genre of the wisdom contest, known in many other cultures. Two protagonists ask each other questions or riddles, until one fails to answer. Thus the questioner must know the answer to his question; the answerer corroborates the interlocutor's information, rather than providing new facts. The trick question with which Odin wins the contest seems to be a favourite of his, since he also uses it to secure victory in a riddle contest against King Heidrek in Heidrek's saga. Vafthrudnir's questions elicit simple mythological facts: the names of the horses who draw the day and the night, the name of the river which divides giants and gods and of the field on which the battle of Ragnarok will be fought. Odin's questions are more pointed: he draws out the history of the universe, its past (vv. 20 - 35), and present (36 - 43), culminating in questions about the future and Ragnarok (44 - 54). Some scholars have speculated that Odin's real aim is to discover his own fate (52 - 3); once he hears about the wolf, he brings the contest to a speedy end with his unanswerable question. Odin alone knows what he whispered into Baldr's ear [. . .]. As a contest between god and giant, Vafthrudnir's Sayings is mimetic of Ragnarok. Vafthrudnir's answers emphasize the ancientness and authority of the giants as the first of beings, but Odin's questions lead away from the giants and their claims, to the final triumph of gods and men. It is they, Odin's descendants and creations, if not Odin himself, who will survive the final conflagration. The giants may have had a past, but they have no future; Vafthrudnir's defeat in the contest symbolizes the final defeat in time of the giant race. [36]
Note that the Norse myths thus portray the pursuit of wisdom as a process of seeing through riddles. Odin, in disguise, gives his name in this contest as Gagnrathr, or "Riddle-Reader." The very nature of a riddle is the requirement of being able to see beyond the literal meaning, to see connections and patterns that are not necessarily apparent on the surface. The god who is called in other places the All-Wise gives his name as the Riddle-Reader: he is not content with surface or literal appearances. He is also the god of poetry – and poetry by its very definition eschews the literal, perceives and evokes hidden connections, and pierces through surface appearances.

Note how this tendency is the very opposite of the inability to see through the “eye-illusions” prepared by the jotun Utgarda-Loki in the episode of Thor’s visit, accompanied by Loki and two mortal companions, to the realm of Utgard, where even Thor’s unmatched strength and power is defeated through illusion. That episode shows that if we believe lies about ourselves and about the world around us, we can be easily defeated, even if we are more than capable of  overcoming those challenges, based on our actual potential and ability. 

This is very much the situation that the people of virtually every nation on earth find themselves in at this very moment in history, living in a world of incredible abundance, but presented with the illusion of scarcity by the proponents of austerity, who want to take that abundance for themselves, and whose power depends on the inability to see beyond the literal, and therefore the ability to see beyond the illusion. 

At this Yuletide season of the year, associated so closely in the northern lands with the god Odin -- the god who is obsessed with seeing beyond the literal and surface of things, the god who introduces himself as the “Riddle-Reader” to the ancient jotun Vafthruthnir -- we should think very carefully about what these ancient myths, this ancient wisdom given to humanity for our benefit and blessing in this life, these stories of Odin and Thor and their visits to the realm of the jotuns, mean for our lives in this very present moment.

I am convinced that it is absolutely imperative that we stop allowing ourselves to be tricked, as Thor and his companions are tricked, by illusions that cause us to sabotage our own potential, illusions perpetrated by those who realize that we are actually far more capable than even we ourselves realize, and who don’t want us to reach our true potential (we ourselves often participate in that sabotage, by accepting the illusions and lies given to us by others, as Thor and his companions do in that story) – and instead that we begin to read the riddles and start to see the connections that may not be obvious on the surface. The ancient myths actually present this as a matter of utmost importance – indeed, a matter of life and death. 

And so, as they say in Norway and in other parts of the far northern region of our planet, God Jul!