Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Waning Moon

"Good Night Moon"
The Moon for Dec 25, 2010 (At Midnight, US Central time, as viewed from the Northern Hemisphere)

At no time in my Irish heritage that reaches back past Ellis Island to the counties of Mayo and Galway...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.

...did I ever account for the freedom my family cherished and the loyalty we fought for in wars to Christianity.  Don't get me wrong.  My Irish heritage spells out a strong faith in God.  A Christian God.  But, never once, (I am third generation in the USA.) did any member of my family attribute their cherished freedoms and comfort in life to anything but 'clean living' and 'hard work.'

As I close this Christmas message and reflect on 'the state of the condition' of the country and the people the Plutocracy left in its wake, I reclaim my country's history and a right to call the USA mine, the Tea Party an event in the human condition and the Revolutionary War as a manifestation of the power of the individual.

I resent the Republicans playing word games with my country's history and attempting to remove the authority of that history to a political party with a pathetic past and dissolving future.

The United States of America belongs to all of us.  It's rich history of heroes of individuals on a common mission for freedom, liberty and happiness belong to us all. 

The common good is about 'the state of the human condition' in the United States of America.

I reclaim my country and the right to be a person with a rich heritage that proclaims my values as important.

It is more than an ideology.  It is a long history of 'the individual' to achieve freedom, meaning and expression within the liberty of a government structure that serves and protects.

Barney Fife and the Preamble to the Constitution

School House Rock - Preamble (America Rock)

The Apostle Paul is a very difficult pill to swallow for Rome as he was born a Roman.

His Roman name was "Saul."  He was a deliberative man and a bit of an insider.

He turns from any potential as a Roman working from inside the loyalties of a Principate and instead finds even deeper power, more penetrating power, in the way Jesus defined the 'individual.' 

To raise a slave to savior was an axiom he could not ignore.  There before him, realizing Jesus was known to perform miracles, was the quintessential example of the power of the individual that had become the basis of a Roman's Principate.

Granted, Jesus, to most Romans would appear to be a mystical character, hence, he is a blasphermer and crucified for it.  But, to Saul, whom later took the name of Paul, Jesus was the pinnicle of perfection to the Roman ideology developed over time in 'The Principate.'

Romans were 'thinkers' and 'philosophers' and held esteem regardless of their musings. 

Paul was no different.  He saw the power that was the life and ministry of Jesus and became a devoted disciple to his work.  The preaching of Paul went on for decades following the crucifiction of Jesus by the power of Rome.  He established the first Christian church about 48 - 49 AD. 

Paul believed in the individual as a means to define life within the power of a soul.  It was the empowerment of the individual that would further define democracy and its origins among 'any man.'

The Romans were tremendous liars.  Their lies were necessary to 'establish' and 'maintain' the 'stereotypes' that empowered their 'social structure.'  While 'life went on' in ways rarely discussed in Roman history, there were realities even within 'the women of Rome' that were 'measures of power' outside the 'stereotyped' definitons of its culture.

The importance of the Christian as a scapegoat to that set of stereotypes was vital to the survive of Rome, but, not the emergence of Constantinople.

The power of the individual moves forward through human history in interesting and subtle ways.  To honor that concept, remember, the pyramids could not exist without the slave.  The king, the queen and the emperor could not exist without the pyramid, the Parthenon or the Colosseum.

Millenium would pass. Another great empire would be born. A militarized empire.

One that would expand beyond its boundaries and create a centralized authority in Rome.  An empire that at its demise was far too large to be defended by a single military and a cohesive government.

The Great Roman Empire which was replaced in its weaker days by Constantinople.

Emperors, Generals and soldiers were among the richest of the Romans.  Their compensation system was based in 'tribute/tax' and the 'idea' of 'salary' to soldiers.  Wages became a vital link to the life of any Roman.  The military was its survival. 

Rome was not a fortress city as Constantinople was and required a strong and well paid military in order for it to be protected from invasion or looting.

In the later days of Rome, the looters would ravage the city of assets and leave their Emperors and Senators in states of disarray to stop them.  That is the time when Rome diminished in its splendor and Constantinople became the 'capital' of all that was possible.

The most remarkable aspect of Romans was their evolution to include those outside of 'the people of Rome' to those that 'earned the name of Roman.'

See, paying a miltiary was expensive and of course the best way to keep them loyal to the empire was to increase their pay.  That took many forms other than money/currency.  The currency became the ability to move from the ranks of the military into the leadership of Rome.

The 'concept' came into being when Augustus threw off the 'mantle' of Rome and became his own 'entity' if you will.  He formed what came to be known as "The Principate."

...As Princeps, (click here) even under the new constitutional system, Augustus had no more right to establish a line of succession than was possible in the Republic. Being the first to hold such a position, however, allowed the new system to develop under a powerful and capable leader. As time passed, the concept of the Republic drifted farther and farther into oblivion. The long rule of Augustus, the elimination of opponents and the fear of a return to civil war and imperator generals seemingly destroyed any concept of a re-established Republic.

Augustus was alone made the head of the state, and there was no established order for succession. Naming a successor was akin to a provincial governor establishing his own hereditary rule. It simply didn't happen. By the time of Augustus death in 14 AD, however, it was absolutely inconceivable that there wouldn't be a replacement Princeps. Holding Tribunician power of the veto, administrative authority of the Consulship, religious domination as Pontifex Maximus and supreme command of the armies, the idea of Augustus really being just 'first among equals' was really a farce. While the Senate still officially had the right to name someone to that position, there were none who could possibly argue with the edicts of the divine Emperor himself....

While Augustus ruled for a long time and held power due to the 'potential corruption' of the emperor lineage, the 'idea' that others were 'equals' would not disappear and the future for Rome would include a 'tetra-authority.'  (Four Romes under one mantle.)

It would be sometime later that Marcus Aurelius would find his best advantage by establishing power among those that 'achieved' as well as those that were 'entitled.'

Marcus was a conscientious and careful administrator who devoted much attention to judicial matters.  His appointments to major administrative positions were for the most part admirable. Difficult tasks were put in the charge of the most capable men; he was not afraid of comparison with his subordinates. Social mobility continued as it had been under his predecessors, with men from the provinces advancing into the upper echelons of the Roman aristocracy. Those of humble birth could make a good career; such a one was Pertinax (126-193), a gifted general, who in early 193 became emperor for a space of less than three months.
The judicial administration of Italy was put in the hands of iuridici, who represented the emperor and thus spoke with his authority....

...Although Marcus was a devoted thinker and philosopher, he was deeply religious, at least outwardly. The state cult received full honor, and he recognized the validity of other people's beliefs, so that the variety of religions in the vast extent of the empire caused no difficulties for inhabitants or government, with one significant exception. The Christians were not hampered by any official policy; indeed the impact of the church spread enormously in the second century. Yet their availability as scapegoats for local crises made them subject to abuse or worse. There was violence against them in 167, and perhaps the worst stain on Marcus' principate stemmed from the pogrom of Christians in Lugdunum in southern France in 177. He did not cause it, nor, on the other hand, did he or his officials move to stop it. Indeed, Tertullian called him a friend of Christianity. Yet the events were a precursor of what would come in the century and a quarter which followed....

Indeed, the Christians were convenient 'scapegoats' for the Romans.  After all, their savior was considered a blasphermer in some circles.

The one true aspect to the Chrisitans was the 'individual' and the power of that individual.  Jesus was an individual with great insight to the human condition.  While the Romans within their principate were willing to have 'others' rise to power in loyalty to the leadership, the Christians were a threat.  They were a threat to that loyalty as the definition of 'individual' under Christianity took 'every man' as a leader.

One of the most dramatic 'episodes' in ungoverned people is a documented record of 'A Sea of People;' otherwise known as "The Sea People."

Rameses III recorded his conflict and defeat of the sea peoples at Medinet Habu.

There are drawings in Egyptian hieroglyphics of a victory by Rameses III of the Sea People.  So, for the most part we knew they existed.  They were not weak people, as a matter of fact there are some musings that the "Goliath" in David and Goliath was a member of this society which when land based were the Philistines.

They were not necessarily learned people as there are no writings or recordings BY them so much as records by others OF THEM.

The Sea People hold testiment to a greater understanding of survival at any stage of the human condition. 

It is easy for anthropologists and archeologists to piece together ancient human history through established civilizations, but, far more difficult to actually define 'the people' as 'the masses' that actually lived during those times.

It is very easy to define a people by their documented leadership, but, far more difficult to define a people by their 'human condition' or 'state of play.' 

I do not view "The Sea People" or "The Sea of People" as a single record of a human society poorly understood or documented, but, more an understanding of 'the human condition' as has moved history forward in those years, decades, centuries and millenium where 'profound' history lacks. 

I do not believe 'The Sea People' were a single phenomena.  I believe that is where most human live life.  Among each other, sharing strife and coming to common realities. 

What is most extraordinary about The Sea People is their existance at all.  No profound leader.  No notable general.  And what seems as though a more 'common democracy' with 'common goals.'

The invasions by The Sea People of Egypt also shows how a mass of people long to improve their human condition.  How they come to a 'tipping point' if you will that sets them on a path to 'achieve' regardless of their preceived 'status' or 'understood' inferiority.

Somewhere in the human history at people that have suffered and perhaps paid a price to move history forward.  It is not uniquely American to seek these values and goals.  They are there as a part of the human condition throughout history.


With only occassional mentions of their power and prowess.

The ancient societies of the Mediterranean are truly fascinating. Well documented.

It all makes too much sense to deny the existence of civilizations before the birth of Jesus. 

The hominids out of Africa, the civilizations of Mesopotamia and the migration of peoples along waterways and across what was believed to be the 'entire world' known today as the Mediterranean Sea.

The basis of democracy wasn't dreamed up by the USA's forefathers, it was 'found' in 'theory' by prior civilization that 'appreciated' the 'interconnectedness' of all the people of its society.

The Greeks were not so much rulers as they were philosophers.  The 'art' of the ship.  The Agean Sea, the gods and goddesses, the Titans, the conept of hero, Olympia and the games of human strength and speed, the "Illiad," the Trojan Horse and the Odyssey.

Fanastic people with a commitment to survival.  But, what I find fascinating about the Ancient Greeks is not the structure of their theology, although that is fascinating all by itself, 'Heaven and Hell' you know?  But, more than their theology, the 'striving ot human' to be godlike.  Strong.  Endurable.  Able to battle monsters of all kinds of origins and 'ideas.' 

The Greek citizen was more than themselves as a human being, they were 'almighty' within themselves.  They could 'achieve' and grow to be legends.

The 'individual' and the 'collective' was among the understanding of what made their society incredibly mystical and strong.

But, to return to Christmas...

...and the actual event.  It all seems to odd to me that modern day Christians believe wealth and power actually accompany such an uprise of the poor and the helpless.

For the story of the birth of a christ by the name of Jesus is about rising above the 'status' of power to realize the dignity of the individual and the survival of the masses in the face of ideologies that ignore them and crucify them.

The event of the birth is truly interesting and mired in all kinds of indigen images and circumstances. 

Jesus was the son of a miracle.  I have entered into this blog at a previous time (years ago when Mr. Kristof of the NYTimes inspired a discussion of it.) the fact that James the Lesser (A Christian Disciple of Jesus) recorded the virginal birth Mary.  She was assigned to the temple at the age of three having never been allowed to touch the ground before she scampered up the temple steps to be raised by the manna of angels as she wove the colored cloths for the temple over years.

At the age of twelve, what would be considered a "Bat Mitzvah" she was betrothed to a ninty year old man by the name of Joseph.  He was entrusted with her virgin status and hence the conception by an angel of Jesus.

When the time came for the birth, it was realized the Romans were seeking to destroy all babies of that year and possibly that generation although history doesn't paint it that way.  So, Joseph traveled with Mary to Bethlehem and found only a stable capable of giving shelter to his donkey and birthing wife. 

It is quite understandable how a woman could give birth in such a structure considering the body heat of the animals that lined the stalls would provide a comfortable temperature for the infant to be comfortable. 

Then, of course, once again we are told of the angel and its heralding to wise men and shepards.  They were all men other than Mary.  Interesting, huh?  Men were viewed at that time as authority and it was authority that Christians most needed in their lives to secure their status as a people of a single god.

The stories of Jesus, even after this birth, virtually happen at the witness of men.  Not women.  That is profoundly Hebrew concept.

But, none the matter.  The wise men witnessed, the shepards told the stories to the common people and slaves of Rome and a savior was born of a virgin, whom herself was recorded as a virgin birth while not given status by the Council of Trent.

Jesus esteem was not among the wealthy.  It was not among the powerful.  It was among the powerless, the entrapped and the victimized.

"The Pliocene" is the time of Earth where fossil remains prove there was a rise in Hominid development.

That, of course, brings Africa into view.  It is there the earliest forms of hominid life is proven to exist.  If there were any other it would have shown up by now.

Facts are what they are.

The Pliocene was also a time of global swamps and large mammals.  It is considered to be the time of great biotic content of Earth.  It is that content which provided vats of oil deposits and there is absolutely no denying that now, is there.

But, this is not about evolution vs. creation.  That and the discussion of past extinctions are two separate topics and demand respect all by themselves.

This is about survival and the lack of clout that 'power' has within its understanding.

Power and Survival are fickle.

There is seriously no rhyme or reason to it and power is not a pre-requisite to survival.

On the contrary. 

Power is often so enamored with its own 'perfection' of the 'state of play' that it fails to survive frequently of its own ideology.

The survival of the societies of the orient are interesting and not completely understood even today.

The history of Asia is mired in cultural revolution.  As time went by the ancients became a road map of the future of the Chinese communists.  Their ancients are not necessarily correctly interpreted, so much as 'decided' by power that be, rather than scientific standards.

The Chinese origins began along the river system.  The ancient river systems of The Yellow River and the Yangtze and their tributaries.

The interesting aspect to the ancient Chinese civilizations is the realization they lived along rivers and were destroyed by them due to the low elevation and episodic flooding due to ice ages and their warming.

Some of the very earliest Chinese civilizations were literally drowned when ice caps melted and covered the land creating oceans.

See, some of the ancient pollens found in China didn't originate there.  While further study is necessary, the pollens indicate a far different origin.

What occured during ice ages, of which caused four of the past five extinctions on Earth, is that massive amounts of water (fresh water) were frozen in the caps of Earth.  This exposed the entire coastal plain off of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers.  There was a time when the Yangtze River had a mouth that reached into the coastal area now covered by the Pacific Oeean waters.  When that occured and the coastal area of China was exposed the plants were not developed.  Their pollens were airborn and little were water born as the headwaters of the great rivers were serviced as much from melting 'edge' glaciers as any other source.  There were no plants growing on the glaciers and today the best any glaciologist can find anywhere are lichens.

So, the pollen that is found in ancient sediments at the old mouth of the Yangtze belongs to ancient plants of Japan.  The other possibilities are too remote to have an influence.

So, as the ice caps melted and the waters increased in the oceans the coastal plain of China began to flood.  For unsophisticated societies and villages there was no understanding to know how to survive.  Many coastal villages of these ancients drowned, but, the survivors moved further inland and up the river systems. 

The flooding would cause changes in course of the grand rivers of ancient China.  This too would bewilder the people and cause their deaths and diminished numbers.

Some of the cultures would survive, but, some would not.  The Quinliangliang culture is one that would be lost and its remains incorporated into 'the tales' of other Chinese societies.

Today, the Quinliangliang culture is nearly considered a myth.

Over time the Chinese cultures would become a mystery to other civilzations as they were fierce warriors with ancient medicinal methodologies.  Very spiritual.  The kings and rulers were not gods, but, treated with enormous dignity and as if a treasure.  They were the 'schooled' people that would come to understand survival and now best to maintain their people. 

The ancient Mongolians would have a genetic influence on the Russians of the north.  The ties between Russia and China exceed their common governmental systems, but, reach back millenium.  That is something the juvenile cultures of the Americas simply don't understand and choose not to.

Across a great continent and into a passive ocean at a distant chain of islands lay yet another civilization.

The civilization known as "Easter Island."  There are survivors on that island generations after its demise.  They have returned and live among the ruins of their ancestors.

The Easter Islanders came to their island due to over population of the other 'Oceana' islands. 

Easter Island was the last in a chain of islands in the Pacific.  Is was not uncommon for these people to find it difficult to continue paradise on their home islands as their numbers grew and subsequently set out to find yet another island paradise to contiue their lives.

This was the fate of the Easter Islanders.  They landed in boats carved out of trees and set up housekeeping no different than their ancestors before them.

The problem arose with the Easter Islanders when their natural resources could not keep up with the next generations of people.  They literally deforested the island as their population grew and depleted their fisheries.  They destroyed what was left of any wildife of the island without realizing it was necessary for their survival.  What they managed to maintain to some extent were domesticated chickens they had brought with them.  But, it was difficult raising the chikens under stone mounds to protect them from the sun. 

Water became an issue because the forests were gone and the tropical rainfall that supplied their 'rain barrels' full of fresh clean, salt free water no longer existed. 

With their hardship realized, their holy men decided the gods could not find them in such a distant place and set out to build larger and grander stone statues as they lined the shores. 

The island itself, over time, became divided into separate tribes or villages if you will.  There were three that can be discerned, although I am confident some small collection of peoples were lost in decaying evidence.  They didn't war among each other as one might expect.  The island was too small to support war.  So, they chose to become 'status' symbols of authority and the stone quarry became a place of wars to build the largest and best godlike depiction and to move it to the shoreline where 'the eyes' of the statues would find the missing gods.

There was one island off the main island where a group of brave men decided it was the place they would find a new religion and they called themselves "The Bird Men."  They would dive off of high cliffs into water with questionable outcomes.  But, the one to survive the dive and swin to the not so distant island and return with a bird egg was hence the leader and would save them all.  That culture was short lived.

That is what occurs when religion and social order fails a people, they seek to understand a new reality through 'other spiritual' means.

Needless to say the only objects that would survive a deforested island would be stone statues and a quarry where they began.

Across a great ocean existed another civilization.

The Great Mayans.  Once thought to be a peaceful people, archeological digs have uncovered a war like people. 

For as great a society and as much as the Mayans contributed to humans ability to overcome adversity brought on my nature they were never able conquer the power of Earth.

The Mayans had different gods.  Fierce gods.  Jaguars and the like.  Blood ceremonies and sacrifices.  They were not passive people, they believed in ritual and power.

When the Mayan civilization feel is was due to over population. 

The Mayans were valley dwellers.  They had very sophisticated irrigation systems on a 'karst' topography.  They did well with more than ample enough annual rainfall to supply enough water to defeat any salt accumulation due to their irrigation and their population grew. 

As the valley became too small for all the people they moved into the hillsides and began to till the hills and mountains.

Being valley dwellers, they knew nothing of 'terraced farming.'  The massive amounts of rain that came washed the tilled soil into the valley, swallowing up homes in landslides that would bury entire homes and villages.  Those left on the mountain that may have survived no longer had fertile land to till. 

When those in the valley died and the land once again settled, the survivors of the day resettled there, but, in such small and scattered numbers their civilization disappeared.

It took quite some time to realize the actual truth of the Mayans.  Their cities were thought to be overrun by jumgle.  But, that wasn't what happened that caused their demise as a civilization.  Some people of Mayan lineage still live today.

The jungle grew over the Mayan cities because they were already covered in productive soil that once belonged to the hills and mountains.  The jungle was never so powerful it could destroy the Mayans, they did that by themselves.

The downfall of every, so called, great civilization was due to the glorifying of their kings and gods and ignorance of the slaves.

The origins of human civilization that portrays roots of modern society can be noted in "The Fertile Cresent." 


As noted at the title of this entry the lands of Mesopotamia has many, many peoples that claimed it as their right to occupy. 

Humans became quite inventive during this time in their histroy including understanding the superficial properties of water and ultimately irrigation.

The earliest of Mesopotamians came to understand that irrigation was not bestowed on them by the gods as it lead to great salt flats and infertile lands.  Every migration of people into those lands had slightly different approaches to handling the salts in the land, but, ultimately it was Earth and its 'properties' that always had the last word, bringing about the change in civilizations one after another.  While the kings would proclaim their victories to their gods, it was "Earth's condition" that ultimately was the victor.

The Mesopotamians, the Sumarians, the Akkadians, Assyrians and Babylonians. 

The most interesting aspect of all these so called 'contributory civilizations' was the fact they could never control their slaves.

As early as the Mesopotamian Empire it was the control of the slaves that was paramount in the king and queens agendas, for without control of the slaves their civilization would never be 'served' well enough to sustain its existence and its defenses and its armies.

In the earliest of human civilizations, the slaves devised a very clever way to escape with their freedom.  It was called, "Jumping over the wall." 

See the 'idea' of such a structure in order to control the slaves dates back to the earliest of civilizations.  A fortress to keep enemies out and capitives in.

The poor.

Those that relied for their 'daily bread' from the kings and 'wise men' were held in abatement by walls and guards whom were also feed and nutured by the kings and generals and gods of course.

So, the slaves were always the last served by these so called civilizations and they got feed up with it.  In Mesopotamia they would 'jump the wall.' 


Being slaves they had identities and god help you if you were caught either jumping the wall or running away.  Dire concequences followed.


For the slaves that actually got away what did they find? 

On the other side of the wall?

They found water and a sea and fish.  Alas, boats were built and new civilizations were created and guess what happened?

They becamse stronger than the prior civilization because they were unafraid of never having food.  And after all, fish make a damn good fertilizer.  So, at a distance from their original homes which might be just over the next mountain they began civilization anew and eventually would return home to conquer a weakened empire and once again tame the salt saturated lands, only to do it again as their methods also fell to the powers of Earth.

And so goes the story of power.

It is Christman Night.

Mary Magdalene in the cave.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" published in 1833 by an Englishman named William B. Sandys

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy