Saturday, December 15, 2018

Authority, Power and Corruption - more from Robert Bly


Lord Acton was attributed with the commonly recognized phrase, 

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely 

Corruption, the effect, is illustrated in that cartoon, acting as an anchor beyond the buoyancy or ship's capacity to stay afloat.  It may work for awhile, corruption, but eventually brings the house down, a Titanic tragedy that takes the innocent with the guilty.    

On a personal level, Robert Bly writes in Iron John:   
There’s a general assumption now that every man in a position of power is or will soon be corrupt and oppressive. Yet the Greeks understood and praised a positive male energy that has accepted authority.
Authority and Power are not always the same. The first uses power judiciously and generally has some Skin in the Game and thus, sees the use of a power as a reflection on them, the outcome; whereas the second is much more inclined to abuse, assessing no costs are skin-lost the consequences of abuse, corruption.  

Forgiven, forgiveness - more from Robert Bly

Continuing on insights from Robert Bly, the reason(s) why forgiveness is the best course for life and living, 
Each of us deserves to be forgiven, if only for our persistence in keeping our small boat afloat when so many have gone down in the storm.
Forgiveness enables those wronged to be released from those who wronged them.  It is possible (but not impossible) that the one that wronged will never seek forgiveness--let alone admit to their wrongdoing(s).  It is within your own will or power that, when wronged, you forgive...such that their power is diminished, perhaps dead. 

Only in forgiveness are you truly free; this said from one who struggles to forgive or be forgiven.  

The deepest wound - more from Robert Bly

The image to the right (or above) is from the film, "Braveheart"; in this segment, the boy imagines sitting aside his now dead father, the sharing of, "Follow your heart".  

The fathers wounds are physical, mortal while the son's is emotional, the experience(s) of his village's sufferings under the reign of a tyrant.  

Another excerpt from Iron John,  
...where a man's wound is, that is where his genius will be.  Wherever the wound appears in our psyches...whether it stems from isolation, disability, or disease, that is precisely the place for which we will give our major gift to the community. 
Where is your wound?  If you know...than do you will to give your gifts? 

With age comes health - more from Robert Bly

Continuing on this book and the general theme of manhood, is the natural aging process.  As I share this..., age is (or has been) creeping up on me; the realities that my physique is morphing into an older version without any chance of reversal or "anti-aging".  I can pretend that I am younger but then there is reality, right? 

In Iron John, Robert Bly remarks,  "I know men who are healthier at fifty than they've ever been before, because a lot of their fear is gone." 

In this potential fear-less aging is mental or emotional maturity, "because a lot of fear is gone."

What fear(s) do I mean?  To answer that, I ask another question: 
What fear(s) do you have?

Our Fathereless Nation - the plight of the children

 

The social ills of a fatherless country are serious, a growing statistics.  What is sure about fatherhood (as positive, participating parents) is that where father's go, so to marriage and family and finally, society.  Without the presence and participation of fathers, the family as an institution is doomed.  

Where have all the fathers gone? 

There is more than one answer; that is, there are variety of reasons why...nevertheless, this social ill of our society grows and the consequences are enormous and very troubling; virtually all risks for young people are raised with the consequences often long-term, lasting a lifetime.  The most troubling aspect of this trend is that it by design; yes, the decline of fathered families is intended to undermine our society and to weaken social strength.  

More on this is sure to come.

Iron John, Robert Bly -- The perpetual "victim"

My first and only copy of this book came to me from a church, I believe, when my children were very young.  In and around that time, a men's movement called "Promised Keepers" was underway, inspired and initiated by the convictions of a college football coach.  

Robert Bly is more a poet but here, combines the mystic legends of manhood in combination with sage instruction, instances to reflect (on); here is one excerpt from the book: 
The inner boy in a messed-up family may keep on being shamed, invaded, disappointed, and paralyzed for years and years. "I am a victim," he says, over and over; and he is. But that very identification with victim-hood keeps the soul house open and available for still more invasions. Most American men today do not have enough awakened or living warriors inside to defend their soul houses. And most people, men or women, do not know what genuine outward or inward warriors would look like, or feel like.
When one is a perpetual victim or prey, everyone else is the predator, every challenge or constraint a predation, giving the excuse for  variety of indulgences and excuses.      

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Neither Liberty nor Safety - Robert Higgs

"Fear is the most elemental and powerful human emotion," so says Dr. Higgs (during an interview posted to YouTube in 2009).  He elaborates that, with fear, people act instinctively rather than rationally--which is why the state is ever and always using it.  

It is not the conduct of the state so much as the capacity and capability to cause pain in the individual's life, projected or protracted to the public, society.  One recurring condition (causing fear) is a crisis   He writes in On Crisis and Government Expansion:
We know that other great crisis will come. Whether they will occasioned by foreign wars, economic collapse, or rampant terrorism no one can predict with assurance.  Yet in one form or another great crises will surely come again.... When they do, governments almost certainly will gain new powers over economics and social affairs. 
Given this cycle (or crisis...fear), what becomes of you, me and us?  
Can anyone really have a fulfilling life if constantly or continuously faced with fear?  Is Liberty or Safety possible under these conditions?   
No, not at all.     


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Committment (to Marriage)

There is a growing and disturbing statistic among young people and particularly men:  

The lack of commitment  

Without commitment (and without going into the reasons for this growing statistic), what is left with a "lack but no real relationship at all--whether in marriage or any other....  

What remains for those without real relationships?  A lonely, loveless and lame life--if life at all!  Without commitment, there is no plan, but only the present, living for today without any tomorrow, a pitiful and profitless place 

Yes, commitment costs, which is why there is a lack...; that there is a perceived if not potential cost that outweighs the benefits of marriage. 

Are they right, these non-committed?    The answer is troubling to society as a whole, for in fact, marriage is a high-risk proposition, a coupling without contract or otherwise, legal precedence in matters of divorce. Add to this current condition, children, and the father incurs more risks in near-certainty that, whatever the basis of divorce, he will lose his children.   

What then is commitment (under these conditions) but uncertainty and costs beyond our ability to know except when/as such is experienced, incurred, a sad state indeed. 

  

Trust (in Love)

Trust is vital to any healthy relationship albeit family, friend or other, society.   Even in marriage, trust trumps marriage in terms of faith and commitment.   From George MacDonald:
To be trusted is a greater compliment than love. 
If trust exist and is then broken or violated--as can and does happen--getting it back is hard, maybe impossible, but part of trust is understanding that it is never the be all end all; it is not self-sustaining or sure to hold at all times without some deeper commitment, perhaps love.  With commitment, one is able to trust and keep trusting in something, if not that "someone", at least trust, a commitment to something that gives help and hope, lending truth amid much false, fraudulent, and flawed information and belief.  

Why do we trust?  Because otherwise there is only fear.  

The New Politics of Sex...Stephen Baskerville - Child Custody

As one who knows firsthand the travails of child custody, I come now with much conviction and consternation of a system that unjustifiably removes a parent from his children.  

In short, child custody is a business; an opportunity legalized per Title IV-D of the IRS code. Yes, children need to be cared for by responsible, loving parents, but the financial need is really only part of that care and further, degrades all other functions that a father potentially provides to the family.  Baskerville writes:  
Mothers are not the only ones who can profit by creating fatherless children. Governments also generate revenue from child support and therefore from the proliferation of single-parent homes.
This revenue is a subsidy; an incentive provided to each state based on their collections of child support (e.g. In the state of Alabama, for every dollar collected, the state receives two dollars per Title IV-D).  Add to this program the penalties for child support arrears or delinquency and what you have is not only a racket but also a ransom; a system that imputes a once-part with the liability for the children unjustly taken from him and in effect, establishes a "pay to play" system without any defense of his visitation. 

More to come...    

Friday, December 7, 2018

The US - Fraying at the Edges


I took this picture near my place; a defunct car lot, the flags left behind are shreds, fraying well behind the edges.   

Is the US fraying too; is our nation on the brink of some major crisis as strong, solid evidence of a trend and trajectory spiraling downward?   To answer the question is to first determine who and what we are; a nation with great influence and expanse on scale with empires.  The next question, on confirming imperialism, is to accept that all empires rise and then fall, ascend and then decline over centuries of historical existence. 

As I write this content, I can think of several reasons why any the above is certain; questions answered, answers confirmed.Thus, I accept that

The US  is fraying at the edges.  

Lock Him Up

No one wants to be caged but then some are, whether they need to be or not.   

When/as the system of justice is not just--but deliberately and intentionally evades and excuses justice, it is corrupt and criminal.  

Can the criminal justice system be itself, criminal?  

Ninety-eight percent or more of criminal cases in the U.S. are adjudicated with the plea bargain (and not by trial).  In the plea bargain, the prosecutor (or defense as a proxy) coerces the defendant to admit or confess guilt.  Often if not always, the prosecutor has already determined the verdict even before a Hearing let alone any Trial; and in this determination, the defendant is made aware of the outcome should he insist on his right to a trial.  By admitting his guilt, under compulsion, the defendant receives a lesser sentence or punishment.  Meanwhile, one part of the fifth amendment has been breached:  "No defendant shall be compelled to self-incriminate".   

Again, "Can the criminal justice system be itself, criminal?"  The answer, while clear, does not matter; for the purpose is not to determine guilt/innocence but to punish irrespective of the evidence; therefore, "Lock Him Up".


 

Taken Into Custody, Stephen Baskerville

This book, its author, is the most valued of any I have read regarding post-divorce child custody; all the details and developments of "this industry" or institution--of/for which I have myself been effected, once married with children.  

How "the system" operates would shock many; for nothing is more intrusive and invasive in the life of family than the state in the process of divorce and child custody. From the author, Stephen Baskerville, 
What is taking place here should be made very clear: citizens who are completely innocent of any legal wrongdoing and simply minding their own business--not seeking any litigation and neither convicted nor accused of any legal infraction, criminal or civil--are ordered into court and told to write checks to officials of the court or they will be summarily arrested and jailed, Judges also order citizens to sell their houses and other property and turn the proceeds over to lawyers and other cronies they never hired.
My case, while personal, is not uncommon; that is, to be forced to divorce, forced to surrender your children and forced or imputed with the liability to pay for the children unjustifiably removed from your care.  What's more, the state can and will carry this civil case further by jailing and criminalizing the non-custodial should the parent refuse or otherwise, not maintain these orders.  

Much has been written on the egregious matter and much more will come.

Feminism in America

What is feminism?  It is a movement that alleges for equality; specifically, it is an ideology that supposedly seeks political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes. 

How do you do that (assuming that it is not yet complete but is making progress, plans long underway); how do create equality when even two persons of the same gender are not purely equal and, regardless, will not be treated equality by others, public or private?   In short, can equality be achieved when it has never existed before in both the natural and supernatural?     

For women to potentially achieve egalitarianism, must they want to be men, like men or more. Does feminism want to be precisely like men and thus be equal (presuming that feminism holds masculinity as ideal)?  No, that is not what feminism seeks--to be as men--but finally, it seeks to exalt and extend the superiority of women to an entitled position of power, the end result, superiority.  Perhaps if women were superior, then the future would better for us all; after all, feminism presumes that women are not men, but better.       

They Can...?

You probably know that during WWII, when many men were drafted or enlisted in the military, there was a shortage of labor needed to support the military; and in this shortage, women were called into a service too, many more, to fill labor demand. As to the posture, this from Wikipedia, 
The poster was very little seen during World War II. It was rediscovered in the early 1980s and widely reproduced in many forms, often called "We Can Do It!" but also called "Rosie the Riveter" after the iconic figure of a strong female war production worker. The "We Can Do It!" image was used to promote feminism and other political issues beginning in the 1980s
So thinking myself of the association to the war (effort); in fact, the posture is apparently associated with feminism and the whole sense of entitlement and equality, foremost for feminism.  Can they do it, have they done it--or will they in time--is a question from one who does not really understand this movement  (because I am not part of it or have no interest...); yet, it is a part of me, us and them.  Yes, feminism is a movement that affects us all whether accepted or acknowledged.  As human behavior however, none dare or desire to be equal; that when they speak or act for equality what they are aiming for is, always, power over others regardless of what is best for the commons, community and culture. Equality is finally, in a personal or public way, not a reality.     

Saturday, November 17, 2018

When Disaster Strikes...Matthew Stein - Part 1

Another reading (off and on) this book is, per the subtitle,  Guide for Emergency Prepping...Survival

Not that long ago (two or more generations), families planned for "crisis"; they farmed, canned (preserved), kept livestock and in all other ways were more self-sufficient--to include the community, societal strength.   

As community and society wains, so too does this extended resource while farming is notably a fraction of that some generations ago.  Where does this leave us, community and society, against consumerism, cultural and communal effects of dependence?   

Never before are times more critical than now; that whether financial, social-political or international; yet today, we (us) are the cusp of a crisis as no other in spite of the notion that "We have never had it better".  

For "We have never had it better", is soon exposed as an illusion. 


 

Same Old, Same Old, So it Was - new cover design

Still mulling over this one, the short stories against the theme, a new cover design is shown to the right.  

The inspiration behind this design is, first the color of clay in the given region of North Alabama; and while the color is not very appealing, it is matched to the clay, color.  

The image happens to be the homestead of one of the family but rather than using the basic color image from Google, I came to the ink-carving for several reasons: one, to add the somewhat aged theme and two because it reminds me (both ink caring and color) of some art created years ago by someone from my own family.  

More to come and this cover and the theme lead to stories and more stories, A reflection of changing times.  

 

The New Poltics of Sex - The Sexual Revolution, Civil Liberties & the Growth of [the State]

Now reading (more studying) this 2017 publication, my understanding-comprehension of my own experiences(s) grows; for in the rise of divorce, marriage and family breakdown, is the product of social and then political movements beginning with the sexual revolution. 

When/as a government is secularized (presumed to once be previously influenced and even founded on holy principles), a facsimile of individualism develops; not one that protects the individual bur rather one that ironically and finally punishes the individual under the authority of a collective idealism.  In simple terms, "real individualism" cannot occur via dependence on state power; but always, the state acts on its own interest--which has nothing to do with individualism, the protection and respect of individuals. 

 More to follow...

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Him Who Cares Till When - Part 1

Him Who Cares Till When is a return to a common theme; the fragmented family of divorce and child custody.    

The narrator is also, somewhat, a therapist attempting to help four siblings work-through the woes and worries of their young experience of familial conflict--the casualties of divorce and its potential aftermath as both the marriage and family are "torn asunder".   
The children, now young adults, fill the expected "roles" from the pursuits for perfection to the rebel without a cause.  

What is the answer for recovery; for peace and possibly reconciliation beyond the concerted and concentrated effort to destroy relationships through deception amid other potentially devastating behavior, intentions?  

More to come. 

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Tall Tells on Tredegar Cove - Part 1

Tall Tells...take on a new tone, targeted for a younger audience with much zeal and zannious from the guide, "Tall Tale", to the main character who travels through a tunnel on a ventrue to Tredegar Cove.  Unpredictable and untelling, the plot places the reader in  a place colored in orange but cloaked with darkness as bothe the guide, Tall, and the venturist, Sojourner the soul, testify and witness, knowledge and faith passed from the wiser to the learner.    

Tredegar Cove couples both the "real world" and fantasy.  Individuals and institutions are interchanged; for example, the local bank or banking is characterized by BOOZER,  known to do his share of boozing, while the local government or law, HUSLEY HUSTLE--implying the law is a hustler.  There is both  a serious aspect and a satirical one, both a hardness and hilarity, for Sojourner to absorb in the school of life.  As to good and evil, the separation is depicted by color; good as nesbitt orange and evil as gray, almost black.  

Good things arrive from the beginning of "Tunnel Time" from Sojourner's passing to arrival in Tredegar Cove.  While in route however, the young venturist is confronted by a series of objects and a character are too that magically appear, drawing to some degree on the past but also prescient of what to come.  

More to come.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

IN THE LESSENING - the potential to be - Part 1

IN THE LESSENING is a dystopian novel, a time beyond, when much of the U.S. population is gone; those that remain divided between the METRO, a network of subterranean systems, and a relative few of hodgepodge villables called communities.  

The story is influenced by classics first read in high school, 1984, Watership Down, Fahrenheit 451 and a host of films going back to the 1927 silent film, "Metropolis".  Rather subdued compared with the violence of of some other stories, still, the plot picks-up with the understanding that the Metro is predatory and, at times, hunts down lone members of a community simply for sport. 

Community is in every sense that; a developing collection of leftovers that somehow survived was is implied as a thermonuclear attack and, through strength beyond only one, came to be, resilient and steadfast.  Communities have some form of interconnectivity that, unlike the "wired" Metro, relies on the ancient forms of communication and contact, couriers that run routes, delivering and receiving dispatches and such.  As to the basics, each and all contribute and are encouraged to ply and develop trades, salvage and then create, supplying their needs one with another. 

The plot picks-up with a Metro shuttle derailment and the rescue of one sole survivor of the system.  How Community responds to this loner is quite remarkable given their plight, Metro's treatment of these defenseless souls; but then, that is what makes Community and true community--what is their body and blood, the secret of their survival in the lessening.  



Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Father and Future Felon (sequel to A Once and Always Father) - Part 1

The second of my books, A Father and Future Felon, comes on the heels of A Once and Always Father.  This second in the series picks-up post-divorce in 2008, when arrested for sending monies to my children, a graduation gift to my oldest then completing high school.  The books is a tribute to fathers whether those that are in fact fathers as well as those that fill the spot in some meaningful way.  

Going to jail for the second time, a second in the violation of an injunction, my desire to contact my children supersedes the statues of this order/injunction for more than one reason; that while knowing that "the law is the law", I also know that this law or order was predicated entirely on a lie--and nothing more.  As Saint Augustine so aptly puts it, any law based on a lie is immoral.   

Jail is a fascinating and fierce place; on the one hand--sometimes shackled--is the company of others reminiscent of my school days, both the good and the bad.  On the other hand is the case that invariable ends with some kind of punishment given that defendants seldom receive a trial, but almost always, must confess their guilt--regardless of the evidence--per the plea bargain.   

There is much more to add to this book, a summary; but for now, I will close with a simple confession:  a system that first takes a parent's children by force--without just cause--is a tyrant; and a system that then imputes that now childless parent with the financial liability for children forcibly removed  is a thief.  Thus, the child enforcement system is both a tyrant and a thief.  

More to come.  

Friday, July 13, 2018

His Children and Far from Safety - A Play about BO

My third book, His Children are Far from Safety, is written/formatted as a play, script; the reason for this is that, with multiple voices are characters, the matter of who-is-who (or who is speaking) seems to be clearer.  

Loosely based on the Book of Job, the book or play, begins with a single character, BO, who loses children among other things through divorce, a series of crisis or calamity. As with Job, BO transitions through the expected series of emotions and feelings, vacillating between depression and self-pity and entitlement, self-righteousness.  Whereas Job sought an audience with God, BO seeks a day in court with the modern institutions behind much of the loss, the crisis.  

As with Job, BO is confronted by counselors (those who serve as voices of reason against BO's supposed rights of restitution).  These characters include: the soul (LOUS), the heart (TRA-EH), the mind (DN-IM), and the spirit (TI-RIPS); but other characters follow, among which, are the institutions that seemingly are in opposition to much of what BO stands for, seeks, and considers sacred.  

The plot expands from the personal crisis to the broader issues of this time and place; a time when family is growing increasingly weaker along with marriage and fatherhood--all necessary institutions for a relatively free society.   

Understanding the real enemy, they that plot and play to undermine the family and society at large, is key to realizing the madness behind the methods; and yes, BO begins to understand as the evidence mounts and true intentions are exposed.    


Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Once and Always Father - Why write a book, my story?

Writing is an art and one that never considered mine until a series of tragedies.  

My first book, A Once and Always Father, is dedicated to: 
My kids...and all the kids and parents who love them and want to be a part of their lives.  
The book is about my marriage, divorce and the consequences of a non-custodial parent.  
 "How is that a tragedy?," you might asks.  
The events that follow and the environment in which a parent can (and many does) conduct themselves is not at all a parent in the sense that they do not authority in their child's life--regulated by the state (court order..."visitation rights") and at times subject to whims and will of custodial parent, their desires versus the child's needs.  

This book is a proclamation aimed at reinstating one's place in and among a family--forced to divorce and made disparate by the authority of the state.  In the closing chapter, "Undone Undoing", I write: 
I was once, am and will always be my children's father.
and continue to identify  those have and do threaten that fact, attempting to erode and erase it through false testimony, manufactured criminality and the manipulation of young minds and hearts.  
Suffice to say that time has a way of revealing the truth.  
Should I be given such time than perhaps time will...and the father that I claim to be can come to realize that love wins. 



 

 



Friday, February 2, 2018

Post-Industrial Age -- Same Old Same Old - So it Was

Another book in the development, this continuing collection of short stories attempts to capture the plight of the working class in a post-industrial age.  

Although the stories occur in the deep south, such stories are indicative of life and living across our land from the California displaced to the Appalachian downtrodden.  

Wages and incomes for many, a growing number, have stagnated over a period now of four decades (beginning in the mid-70's) while millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost, the economies of smaller towns and cities severely impacted.  

I cannot overlook that the deep south, Alabama as a prime example, of the benefits impart from the growing base of international car assembly and its network of tier suppliers; yet, I cannot discount that the wages and incomes for much of the employment is on the margins--the once opportunity of upward mobility no longer evident.  

There are jobs, yes, there is also the nagging notion that future generations are (or will) not going to experience the same economy that was as the "golden age (1950-70's) but instead, the consequences of a culture in depletion, a life and living lessening.

More on this time come. 



  


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Developing a story - Courage in the Crush, Part 1

This article is a first of possibly several on the latest book development, Courage in The Crush.  At this time, the plot is being developed while the prelude is near finishing.  The theme is notably about courage, the call for love and truth, in a time and place where these attributes are desperately needed. 

Sea or marine life is, by the given illustration, the characterization of most of the cast--once again, using the animal kingdom to tell an allegorical story.  Each chapter will likely have a single narrator, the name of this primary figure having some association and application to the theme, plot.   

Crabs have been in existence for a long time; consider for example, that the horseshoe crab is declared a fossil.   Who better to tell the story of lost love and the death of the truth than one (actually many) varying crabs, crusty and immensely conditioned to the climate?  Who is more exemplary of courage than this kind, their ability to endure many changes and survive many conditions?   

The cover design to the right is black and blue, representing more or less the deep blue sea while the crab--looking intently at its reflection--attempts to first discover self and then, perhaps, address the many problems that we face today and in the future, The Crush.