Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009. 

The Changing of the Year

The Changing of the Year:  2009  Ringing in the year of Obama     With Inauguration Day only weeks away now,  we are truly on the cusp of  a new order:  It is the Changing of the Guard.  Let us pray for Barack Obama,  he has many national and global challenges to face.  Happy New Year to all.  
From Nietzsche's From High Mountains:
Sure of our victory,  we celebrate
The Feast of Feasts:
Friend Zarathustra's come,  the guest of guests!
The world now laughs,
rent are the drapes of fright;
The wedding is at hand,  of dark and light. . .  


New Year's Eve in Times Square,  New York;
my dear husband and I used to love this.  





 

Hitchens a Present Day Nietzshce and Gadfly

Like a present day Nietzsche and Socratic Gadfly, with a Kierkegaardian aura to his pestering,    Hitchens continues to pester the good religious people of this world.   And I cannot thank him enough.  All of his arguments about the major religions being petty fossilized tyrants,  leftover meddlesome dinosaurs,  have the stamp of authenticity about them.  There is nothing great,  Hitchens insists,  about the great religions of the world,  and their abysmal history serves as the illustration.  They came to us at a time when we were lacking in knowledge:  of science,  evolution,  psychology,  and sociology.  We should put them to bed,  and refresh ourselves in new perspectives.  He is ornery,  and a nasty drunk,  as anyone who has seen him  guzzling and brawling on C-span author's forum can attest to.  But he is always himself,  never apologetic,  and somehow is pleasant,  most pleasant.  to behold, and to listen to.  His book is his contribution to the culture wars, and their self-contradiction.  

Obama Silent on Gaza Crisis

While Israel rejects the call to truce,  Obama's continued silence on the Gaza crisis is making many Arabs feel pessimistic about his message of global change.  He has conceded that Israel has the right to self-defense;  that Palestinians may feel likewise is an idea that Obama keeps shrouded in his silence. 
 
Obama's youthful and virile presentation ,  coupled with his compassion and his eclectic heritage and background,  seemed an almost magical recipe for a new start in the middle east. 

His hesitation bespeaks a timidity which might be construed as bordering on cowardice.  He will inherit the Gaza-Israel conflict,  but it remains unclear whether he will have the strength to address it in a way which departs from US business as usual in foreign policy  ( unquestioned support of Israel and its agenda)

. "It is difficult to sympathize with a group [Hamas]  that does not identify itself as a Nation-State."  Barack Obama , December 2008


As a philosophical exersize,  I did consult the I Ching with this question:  What is Obama actually feeling and thinking right now with the Gaza conflict.?  Using the James Legge translation,  I received hexagram 50, The Cauldron,   with lines 3,4, and 6 changing to hexagram7,  The Army.    Some lines:

His progress is stopped. . . but soon the genial rains will come,  and his action will be in every way advantageous. . . The Cauldron designed for the ruler's use, has it's feet broken and its contents overturened.  The subject will be made to blush with shame. There will be evil. . . The transformational work is done, and action will bring good fortune. . . [leading to The Army]. . . My translation/interpretation:  Obama is in fact concealing his true ideas and feelings,  and is experiencing considerable shame regarding this.  In the future,  a cleansing situation will give him the opportunity for fresh action,  which will cross ideological lines,  and be innovative and successful.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Elder of Ziyon: Why would Israel bomb a university? Here's why!

Elder of Ziyon: Why would Israel bomb a university? Here's why!

Elder of Zion's piece is most enlightening.  On the other side,  here is Brian McLaren,  author, speaker,  activist:
http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/israel-gaza-truth.html

and from the Pacific Free Press:  http://www.pacofocfreepress.com/news/1/3521-plan-of-attack-seeing-gaza.html 


Israel Terrorizes Gaza Strip

No end in sight in Gaza Crisis:
As Israel terrorizes Gaza strip,  UN Chief calls for cease-fire, and Huffington Post says, "Israel Stop,  just stop!" 

The Obama Effect

Originally published by the Gnosis Arts News Desk

by Eugenio Hurtado

Now that Barack is the new US president-elect, we all want to know what effect, if any, his presidency will have on racial and sexual equality in this nation.
Well, we asked the I Ching this very question, and the response was straightforward:

President Obama Will Bring Progress. But What Kind?
"Progress. The powerful prince
Is honored with horses in large numbers.
In a single day he is granted audience three times."

This positive omen confirms what our staff has thought all along. We realized back in the beginning of Obama's campaign that Obama was no mere politician; he was a statesman of high capability. We believe that Obama will be able to reforge crucial allies around the world.

It is equally refreshing to know, however, that Obama will not only improve relations with other countries, but right here within our own - if the I Ching be correct.

However, such progress will not be without some struggle. The I Ching also reports that Obama will bring about "progressing, but in sorrow." (Change Line 6). Clearly, with the shape that's our economy's in, Obama has his work cut out for him in terms of domestic policy.

Oaama's "Ancestress"
Additionally, the I Ching mentions Obama's ancestress in connection with the inquiry:
"Progressing, but in sorrow.
Perseverance brings good fortune.

Then one obtains happiness from one's ancestress."

Perhaps this pivotal "ancestress" is his mother? Perhaps the fact that Obama is of mixed racial as well as national heritage, will be just the key ingredient for his success in improving racial equality? It is certainly worth considering.

"It's The Little Foxes that Spoil the Vine"
This is a famous proverb we say in church. It actually comes from a reference in the Hebrew Bible, but it contains wisdom for today.

Listen to the judgment of change hexagram - #64 BEFORE COMPLETION:
"Before Completion. Success.

But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
Gets his tail in the water,
There is nothing that would further."

And the Image:
"The image of the condition before transition.
Thus the superior man is careful
In the differentiation of things,
So that each finds its place."

Yes, Obama certainly has the virtue and power to improve racial and sexual equality. But this progress will be difficult because there are so many smaller problems (little foxes) that will stand in his way. If President Obama can put all these problems in proper perspective and order, there are great portents for social change possible during his administration.

Monday, December 29, 2008

MORE ON THE GAZA CRISIS

A perspective not heard openly,  but echoes what many I know are thinking, and speaking privately :http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/38556


". . . in fact,  these attacks were the pretext, and not the cause of Israel's aggression . . . Israel is a serial aggressor. . . most of those killed were civilians:  women and children. . . the world community sits in silence as Israel continues its viloations and war crimes. . . "

OBAMA AND HAMAS, IN THE GAZA CRISIS

Obama,  Hamas,  and the Gaza Crisis
While there has been much talk in the past about Obama understanding,  and perhaps identifying with,  the POV of Hamas,  and even rumors that were he in power now,  he would send US troops into Gaza to stop the Israeli troops,  I think his deferring to Bush in the present moment is not simply a mask behind which his true intentions are waiting for the time for action.     In other words,  his stance will not be different in the future:  For all the talk of his radicalism,  he remains a centrist in most things;   perhaps in too many things,  as is becoming clear.  

WRIGHT'S PIECE ON US-IRAN UNDER OBAMA

What will US-Iranian Relations be under an Obama Administration?  Read  Air America's  Ann Wright's fine piece:  http://airamerica.com/blog/2008/dec/29/ann-wright-iranians-ponder-us-iranian-relations-obama-administration

In this article,  Wright claims that recognition,  involvement in the MidEast process,  and peace,   are all high on the list of what Iranians want.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

SHEPHERDING THE MASSES TO CHANGE












Obama Art from a Thirteenth Generation Artist
Shepherding the Masses to Change:  Shepherd Fairey's
Obama Art Instrumental in
Campaign






( At top:   The Artist with one of his commissioned Obama Campaign posters;  in the black and white at upper left,  Fairey with a gaze as dreamy as his Barack posters'  wistful stare.  The artist is as ethereal looking as the images he imposed on America;  there is the impression that unconscious storms brew within the man and the politician  he uses as a projection. )



Election season was made to feel surreal with Fairey's images gazing from various positions ,  as though the cities'  landscape had become his  own exhibit.   Something in the serious gaze which Fairey chose as his Obama-palette,  the eyes raised to some distant mountain top,  and the American-flag colors,  subdued  and softly muted,  and with the oddly 1960s-style words of "Hope,  Progress,  Change",  had the most curious effect on me,  and many people I knew.  Most of them Obama supporters,  but some not.  And yet still  mesmerised,  inwardly transfixed.  These were strangely hypnotic images.  

Whatever one thinks of  Frank Shepherd Fairey,  the Generation X artist  -  and indeed,  some have labeled him a "Plagarist"  and self-serving enemy of art  -  his Obama posters of "Hope ,  Change, Progress"  brought inspiration to millions during the campaign


Knowing the human psyche through years of philosophical study,  and the reading of Jung,  Freud,  Reik,  and many others,  the fact  that Fairey tapped into the American collective psyche,  unconsciously hungry for Change,  is clear to me.   Quasi-Socialist in their look,  and lending to Obama a sort of heroic image frozen on posters and city murals,  Fairey's art work bespoke the FDR era of serious commissioned artists. On his website,  Fairey says he links his work to the phenomenology of Martin Heidegger. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

OHIO 2004 VOTER FRAUD QUESTION RESURFACES

Suspicious Death?   Top GOP consultant subpoenaed in Ohio 2004 Election Fraud Probe killed in plane crash:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-derrick/mike-connell-key-figure-i_b_152582.html  
and from OpEd News,  The suspicious,  disturbing death of election-rigger Mike Connell:  http://www.opednews.com/articles/the-suspicious-disturbing-by-Bob-Fitrakis-and-H-081221-549.html
and from DemocraticUnderground.com,  this truly disturbing piece:  http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x4712367

Contemplating Obama's Role in MiddleEast Peace Process: Just Ramblings





"
 
. . . and your silence gives consent."~Plato

  Ramblings:
(At the bottom of this post is a link to Muhhammad  Sahimii's Prayer for Obama,  which clarifies and illuminates these ramblings,  and brings all into focus.  SMK)
 Strikes come after days of warning,  in retaliation for rocket strikes on Israel


  With 205 dead after mid-morning reprisal  strikes by Israel on Hamas security compounds within the Gaza strip, one is led to reflect on what Obama's future  role may be in future Middle East Peace process. Will his philosophy of diplomacy and unity be formidable enough to effect substantial change in this area?

  I recall reading Brian Klug's essay on the idea that Zionism and a home state for Israel was and is highly controversial,  and the idea that asserting this is anti-Semetic is nonsense (much the way that charges of homophobia against those who do not support gay marriage is nonsense).  To move toward post-Zionism,  to stop the Islamophobia which demonizes Muslims:  All of these Klug asserted in 2003 as worthy and perhaps necessary goals.  Does Israel constitute a legitimate Jewish state,  or is its Zionist mania a drain on the world at this point?  

What will Obama's stance truly be in his alleged support of the state of Israel?  Zionism at all costs is clearly not the answer,  and perhaps was a delusion at the outset.  Charges of anti-Semitism clearly have little to do with the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,  and perhaps a messianic psychology has wrought its own  strange nemesis and secret animus.   Chris Hedges,  an author whom I especially respect and admire for his robust thinking and candor,  has made the assertion that the lengthy occupation by Israel has both "transformed and  deformed"   its society,  and led it into "abandoning Democratic principles and norms".  



But what of Obama in all of this?  The situation to a layperson such as myself is complex and mysterious,  illuding any strand which can be followed to grasp  the situation firmly.  It is highly nuanced:   Can there be any doubt that Israel is attempting to warn Iran regarding  its impending nuclear build up and their refusal to tolerate such;  striking the Hamas,  who they view as Iran's puppet?

Conversely,  Chief of Parliaments National Security Commission Boroujerdi has said that the US and other western countries who support the Zionist regime should be sent the bill for the mess.   He also says the strikes show "flagrant disregard"  for human rights and the weakness of the enemy.  I am inclined to say there is some truth in this, but then,  I have a particular beef with Zionist philosophy,  and do not want to risk being prejudiced by philosophical conflict.  Nor am I qualified to give much commentary on this subject (  that is,  after all,  why I call my blog,  "Musings"  and not something more authoritative like "Pronouncements"-  LOL). 

  And of course much points to Hamas being the villain in so much of this,   and retaliation by Israel being appropriate.   Thus far,  there has been no commentary coming from Camp Obama,  so we shall wait and see.  Innovation and a radical new stance may have been part of the Obamamanic Machine which spins delusion;  more likely,  some like myself were too inclined to see Obama as holding the key to change on a grand and global scale.  Or perhaps the situation is too far gone,  too complex,  for any clear political solution,  and will require decades and even centuries to evolve.

  (* addendum:  Just found this piece in Huffington Post,  by Muhammad Sahimi,  entitled "Let us Pray for Obama",  which is an excellent and illuminating analysis of Obama's future burden:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/muhammad-sahimi/let-us-pray-for-obama_b_153610.html  )   and another excellent piece ,  "Is there a Middle Ground in the Israeli-Hamas Warfare? :   http://www.arabisto.com/p_blogEntry.cfm?blogEntryID=1406


  Also,  from 2006,  but still timely,  in this author's opinon,  is this piece from Matt Hutaff,  "What does it take to see that Israel is a global menace the U.S.  should not support?"  :  http://www.thesimon.com/magazine/articles/canon_fodder/01196_it_time_stand_against_israel.html





Cannon Fodder for the bold:   Available @Amazon.com,  The Case Against Israel by Micheal Neumann (Counterpunch and AK,  2005)


   *  and a question to ponder :   Does AntiZionism=AntiSematism?  I think not,  but I am open to opinions,  comments,  and refutations,  of course!

From the UK: Censorship

From the Brits:  Internet Censorship for all:  Why is it that the Brits are so good at those logical fallacies,  such as appealing to popular sentiment,  as in    Argumentum ad popolum?  We have also spent the last 12 years or so moving increasingly in this direction.  Although much of it is apparently justifiable on grounds of protecting minors,  there is that Nietzschean "bad smell"  to it all:    UK Nanny State:  Secretary of Culture wants blogs,  websites given censorship ratings:http://www.hydtechwriter.com/2008/12/uk-culture-secretary-wants-website-ratings-censorship/

Friday, December 26, 2008

"One uses excessive behavior to show moderation. . ."


"He veils his light, but shines.":
Obama and I Ching Prophesy



". . . one uses excessive behavior to show moderation. . . "

I first became acquainted with consulting the I Ching/Yi Jing, the ancient Chinese Classic of Changes, when it came by way of recommendation from a philosopher-author whom I greatly respected, Lou Marinoff. I had met Marinoff in New York at a reception, and was reading his book, Plato, Not Prozac, about Philosophical Counseling, and came to a chapter in which he told of his using the I Ching with his clients. He also said he had been consulting the text for decades, and had never regretted it.

I knew he had been at Oxford, and was brilliant; I also knew Jung had been a believer in the ancient collection of yin-yang wisdom; basing his acausality theory of synchronicity largely on his experiences consulting it. I bought the Wilhelm edition at a bookstore up in Provincetown, and began using it as a matter of course, when serious questions arose in my mind, regarding life situations.

Throughout the 2008 primaries and general election, an avid Obama supporter, and fraught with anxiety like others, I consulted it and was amazed at how accurate it was :When Obama was losing ground to Hillary Clinton in the primaries, and with the Jerimiah Wright scandal, it had counseled to have patience, that Obama was destined to win, but "what happens will not be believed in, until after it has taken place."( from the James Legge translation, Hexagram 49 ) Indeed, his historic landslide surely fulfilled this in November. Prior to this, when Obama had lost New Hampshire after his surprize victory in Iowa, just the night before the loss, a consultation with the oracle had spoken of incurring loss, but that loss would not be permanent; and that there was an opportunity to gain fresh momentum, but it would be some time in coming. When he was slipping in the polls, twice I received these wise words about him:

" . . . He veils his light, but shines. Wounded at the beginning, he does not eat for three days. Wherever he goes, the host has words against him. . . In the end, his light cannot be extinguished; . . . for the will does not give up what has been ordained. . .Though shock confronts him, he does not let go the sacrificial chalice. Afterward, he will have a rule. . . If he be a superior man, he will be carried by the people; but the inferior man will never fulfil the role of the sovereign ."

Again, events unfolded as indicated. Jung's law of acausality has something in it, of that I have no doubt.

Thus it was that I came to consult it again recently regarding Obama's problems concerning his choice of the Reverend Rick Warren to give the invocation at his Inauguration, and the ensuing fury from many leaders in the gay community; and received hexagram 62, Small Passing, with these cryptic words: One uses excessive behavior to show moderation. It is almost as though the I Ching is implying that Obama turned to the Christian right to show his modesty, his governing from the center, and to differentiate himself from the last Democratic Administration, the Clinton era. (*See this blog's archives for November 23, "Obama's Moment and Hexagram 23 of the I Ching" for a further example. SMK)

MARKETING OBAMA : Change we can bank on

                                                             
Riding the wave of Obama Mania:  Retailers and Online Marketers can't get enough of Obama or his Change Mantra




 Change We Can Bank On:  Using Incentives/Rewards Program to Fund Obama's Youth








Putting Incentives cards to work to stimulate sales, and give consumers an opportunity to put some of their dollars back into Obama's platform of change. 









                                                       Tapping the Public Domain:  Uniting Schools,  Merchants,  and the Corporate Sector for Change
A  national project  which can  put funding back into state and federal programs may be in the offing for the start of 2009.   Created in the 1990s  by the late Andrew John Kovalinsky, a Marketing/Advertising Executive with a passion for the public welfare,  this innovative combined non-profit/corporate incentives/rewards program may be an idea whose time has come.

The program - which has a federal patent and attorney contract pending in January 2009 - will offer a rewards/incentive package to the consumer while giving public relations benefits to retail merchants and corporations.  It will also  serve as a fund -raising tool for schools  and communities.

  Additionally,  it will be quite useful in  the promotion and implementation  of Federal Stimulus Programs, Grants,  and Commissions,  for example in the  re-greening  of  parks and funding of  the arts:  both  planned under the Obama Administration.  


Through the use of prepaid gift and incentive cards,  retailers and banks will  allow their customers  to donate a percentage of the ATM transaction or purchase back into Obama's Youth Corps and other programs at the federal and state level.    For the businesses involved,  sales may be increased while public relations are enhanced.     Youth Clubs can   use the cards as awards for community service hours and special completed projects.  A  line of items for purchase -  Tees,  backpacks,  folders,  and decals  -  can be sold on the Y4O official website store in addition to retail stores.  Fast food franchises could offer a points program with  discounts while  donating each purchase  to the local club of the customer.   Said  Don Jorray  -     a business consultant who specializes in corporate incentive programs  in the New York area  -    "I think it has a lot of potential on the national level,    and is a program that certainly  can promote community and unity in terms of  schools,  merchants,  and the  corporate sector. "  

 The program was first created as an Anti-Drug/Gang/Peer Pressure Youth Club by Andrew Kovalinsky in the 1990s,  and was inspired by some of Jesse Jackson's speeches.  Originally named "Under No Influence",  the program was advocated by New Jersey Senator Gordon MacInnes and recommended  by  Fairleigh Dickinson's Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.  It appeared in a transformed venue as the mega-million dollar federally funded "Above the Influence"  under the Bush Administration .  It has been renamed "Under New Influence "  in an adoption of  Obama's spirit of Change.  It's resurgance will be a tribute and a lasting In Memorium for Andrew. 

More on this program forthcoming on this space.






Watch Obama Youth Corps Closely

Urban Youth 4 Obama:  "This is our moment."




The return of Civic Spirit: "  We are the ones who we've been waiting for. . ."  Many Democrats harbor great hope  that Obama's Youth Corps will become a force for change in the inner cities.  A Federal Stimulus Plan for the greening of these forsaken places by making parks and civic spaces would be a serious move in the right direction.  Community service which would employ youth in mural-painting,  garden-planting,  clean up and anti-gang/peer pressure programs would bring the change rhetoric into a pragmatic solution-oriented and reality-based platform and  would hearken back to the civic programs successfully implemented by FDR.

The Corporate sector should become involved as well as the civic,  and this would entail a grand show of Unity and compassionate conservatism (which throughout the Bush-Cheney years became lost in rationalizations regarding the Iraq war,  and proved to be largely a smokescreen for their original campaign regardless).  In any case,  all of this has been discussed and would appear to be in the offing, as per Change.Gov,  the official Obama-Biden transition website. 





My late husband,  Andrew John Kovalinsky,   had engineered a youth program whose time had not yet arrived in the Clinton and W eras;  in addition,  some underhanded behavior on the part of certain of his colleagues transformed and deformed the program,  which resurfaced   as a mega-program under Bush-Cheney.  No matter:     I wager that Obama's "This is our moment;  we are the ones we have been waiting for"  slogans from the election season may stand a chance in the near future  of being tested by the fire of implementation,  and may be put into the service of action more noble,  and far more fruitful,  than that which was endeavored in the Bush years.  

Under New Influence