Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Ideology and Utopia

     You know the more and more that we mature, the more the stuff - all of the

stuff - we have gathered over the ages begins to weigh heavily on not only

our bodies but also our minds . . . .  And, eventually we make the move

to begin downsizing - going through boxes of old papers in the attempt to

determine what should be thrown in the shred-it bag this time . . . .  And,

ocassionally we find a paper of importance that we still want to keep.

     Such is the case with an 11 page paper that I wrote as a professional student for

Dr. A. Thomas Kraabel's “religious studies” class in the Classics Department at the University

of Minnesota almost 50 years ago.

     Why do I want to keep it?  It's a damn good paper and at it's beginning has Dr. Kraabel's

hand-writen determinnation - “60 points” ( out of 60 ); and at it's conclusion his comment

“Perceptive - You've been at this a long time.”

     In addition, portions of the paper relate parts of the background(s) to our

current political situation.

     The link above gives a good bit of Professor Kraabel's background. I am a

student of the Jewish background of Christianity to this day.

     In 1978, with the birth of my son, I named him Paul Thomas, his middle name

after Dr. Kraabel.
     The original paper was written on an old, portable, Smith-Corona typewriter and has Dr. 

scattered throughout in red ink.  I 
 the paper into a Microsoft .rtf file, edited it for readability in 

Libre Office Writer before exporting it as an HTML document.  Because of what I consider garbage in the 

generated HTML syntax, I ran the .rtf file through Open Office and also saved it as an HTML file.  Almost the 

same outcome.  So, I wrote the same paper in my slimmed down version of HTML for this presentation.

     If I recall correctly, then one of the questions for Takehome Essay A was 
Why are Plato and apocalyptic  

literature studied in this class?

     A note on sources:  An attempt has been made to present links to the latest sources which as you might

imagine after some 50 years may have been updated with pages added / deleted, etc.  I will be visiting various 

and sundry libraries ( and utilizing Inter-Library Loan ) to track down the exact location of a reference, 

so give this octagenarian some leeway in that task . . . .

Here it begins . . .
Peter Lawrence Boatman
Classics 3071
Professor Kraabel
Fall, 1976
Takehome Essay A

Ideology and Utopia

Part I

     Nilsson points to the importance of Plato for this course when he writes,
        . . . [ O ]nly one [ religious ] genius arose in Greece, Plato.  Even he wished to be regarded as a philosopher rather than as 
        a prophet, and he was accepted as such by his contemporarires.  The religious importance of his thought did not come to 
        the fore until half a millenium after his death, although since that time all religions have been subject to his influence.

     Because Guthrie points out the importance of the socio-anthropological perpective to his understanding of the task of the historian of Greek

it is not surprising to find Greek religion intimately bound to the city-state organization of society.  What should one expect, then, 

when that organization is called into question as it was, not only by the proponents of natural philosophy, mysticism, and sophism, but also by  

the fact of inter-state rivalry, beginning about 450 BCE? 
     Looking for the hot and cold on the continuum of response to this crisis, Guthrie suggests two possible courses of action:

          Either . . . join with the disruptive forces, consign the city-state with all its institutions and convictions to the past, and 
          out of the different elemets that had brought about the downfall build up a new society and a new religion to take its 
          place; or else . . . uphold the city-state, refuting its opponents when they were wrong, and using them only to add 
          strength to the framework when they were right and represented an element whose lack was a weakness in the existing
           order.  ( G:335 )

     In choosing the conservative option and upholding the ideal of 
a reformed society based on the purification and strengthening . . . of the  
( G:335 ), Plato had to confront the three threatening movements of thought mentioned above.
          About 450 BCE, speculation concerning 
the One and the Many
 had culminated in the opposite extremes of Eleaticism 
          and atomism, the one declaring that all motion was illusion and the real world nothing but immovable plennum, the other 
          that the only realities were atoms and the void and all perceptible qualities merely subjective.  ( G:338 ).

     With the absence of absolute values and standards, the sophists held a sceptical attitude toward philosophical issues and concentrated on the 
practical conduct of human affairs.  This presented a problem for Plato, however, for if there are no absolute values or standards, then his conduct 
is determined only by what is most advantageous at the moment.  There is no final justification for his elite position in society.
     Faced with this ultimate concern, Plato argued that there is a reality apart from action, and that just like the atoms of the atomists it 

cannot be identified with any objects or actions in the perceptible world.  It is, in fact, an ideal world outside space and time; that which 

inspires us, our soul ( ψυχή ), really belongs to that ideal world.
[ 2 ]
          It has had many lives, and before and between them, when out of the body, has had glimpses of the reality beyond.  Death 
          is not an evil for it, but a release from imprisonment in the body enabling it to fly back to the world of Ideas with which 
          it had converse before its life on earth.  Immediately before incarnation it has drunk the waters of Lethe . . . and forgot-
          ten all or most of its knowledge of that other world; but in perceivng through the senses, which are now its only instru-
          ments, the imperfect approximations here below, it is daily reminded of the full and perfect knowledge which it once had. 
          All knowledge acquired in this world is in fact recollection, and once set on the way by sense-perception, the philosopher 
          will ignore the body as far as possible and subdue its desires, in order to set free the soul . . . and allow it to rise above the 
          world of sense and regain its awareness of the perfect forms.  ( G:346-7 )

          Platonism stood for a view of reality as spiritual, ideal, invisible; the external, visible objects in the universe being only
          copies or shadows of the invisible realities.4

     At first a principle of epistemology, Platonism carried over into the first century CE in an ontological form influencing, among others, Philo

and, in general, the Judaism of the Greek-speaking Jews of the Diaspora.

     A comparison of the following summary of Philo's thought with that of Plato's above will show Plato's influence on Philo:
          Philo maintains a sharp dualism of soul and body or of the rational and sensual elements in man, and insists on the necessity 
          of man's liberating himself from the power of the sensual.  Virtue is the only true good, and in regard to the passions apathy 
          is to be aimed at . . . .  [ M ]an's task is to attain the greatest possible likeness to God.  This is an interior task and so public 
          life is discouraged because of its distracting influence, while science is to be pursued only in so far as it is an aid to the 
          soul's inner life . . . .  The passive state of ecstasy thus becomes the highest stage of the soul's life on earth, as it was later 
          to be in the Neo-Platonic philosophy.
[ 3 ]

Ideology and Utopia

Part II

     One turns to apocalyptic literature.  Thanks to the rich promises of the Second Isaiah, the Jews who returned from the Babylonian Exile

looked forward to a glorious future, when all the sorrows of the Exile would be forgotten in joy and prosperity.  Promises!  Promises!

For the glory of post-exilic Jewry is the story of dreams that never materialized.  There were the short-lived successes of Judas

Maccabaeus, Simon, John Hyrcanus, and Alexander Jannaeus but not without internal strife which weakened the nation.
     Looking for the hot and the cold on the continuum of response to this crisis, Kee suggests two possible lines of development for the covenant 


          [ I ]t could repeat the hopes of the ancient prophets, and leave to God the time and circumstances under which the promises 
     would be fulfilled, or it could assess the national calamities as the work of a demonic power opposed to God and shift the sphere   
     of the final triumph of God from the chronological future to the cosmic 

     The latter of these two options is expressed in a genre of literature called apocalypse and then apocalyptic.

    For the past fifty years, the method of approach to this literature has been the phenomenological method of comparison.  The book of Daniel in 
the Old Testament is singled out as the earliest apocalyptic work ( 
ca.  166 / 165 BCE ),9 and its characteristics are noted.
[ 4 ]
     These characteristics are then contrasted with the characteristics of pre-exilic prophecy, and the conclusion drawn is that there is no

essential connection between the two types.  The picture one gets can best be illustrated as follows:

    Prophecy   Apocalyptic
Eschatology:   Native, monistic   Foreign ( Iranian ) and dualistic
Object of hope:   Fulfillment of Creation   Dissolution of Creation by a different type of world
Judgment:   Coming event announced to the unrepentant; not irrevocable   Unalterable final event with firmly fixed date

     One can go either of two ways to interpret the discontinuity between the lists, either view apocalyptic 
as a decadent late  

development with no religious worth ( Buber ) or as a new phenomenon without primary connections to prophetic Yahwism

( von Rad ).
”  ( H:15 )

     Pursuing the latter of these two options, one looks for an outside influence which is usually found in Zoroastrianism, an ancient Perso-
Babylonian religion mediated by Hellenistic culture and civilization to Palestine.
     Norman Snaith provides a brief sketch of the Zoroastrian conception of the world which we can use to understand its essential notions:
[ 5 ]
          The Persian ( Iranian ) conception . . . evisages four world-periods, or ages, each of 3000 years in duration.  In the 
          first age the creation was entirely spiritual and invisible.  From before the beginning there were two spirits, Ahura 
          Mazda, the good spirit, and Angra Mainyu, the evil spirit.  When Angra Mainyu saw the light of this first creation he 
          sought by every means to defeat the good spirit, Ahura Mazda.
          All the efforts which he made were unavailing during the second Age of 3000 years.  They were years of blessedness, a 
          veritable Golden Age.
          But in the third period of 3000 years the evil spirit gained an ascendancy and created every kind of evil thing . . . .  
          At the end of this period of 3000 years Zarathushtra ( in the Greek Zoroaster ) appears and the victory of Ahura Mazda 
          At the end of each 1000 years a deliverer ( Shaoshyant ) appears, born of the line of Zarathushtra, though earlier tradi-
          tions suggest that this Shaoshyant is always Zarathushtra himself.  At last there comes the great consumation when Angra 
          Mainyu ( Ahriman ) is cast into the abyss by Ahura Mazda ( Ormuzd ), and the end of the world takes place.  Then the 
          dead will be raised and all men will be judged.  Fire will descend from heaven and all things will be burned.  All men 
          will pass through this purifying fire, but finally all will be saved, and a new Age will begin with new heavens and a 
          new earth.  All will be happiness, and there will be no evil, nor sorrow.

     Most textbooks describe the essential notions of apocalyptic by drawing on the following list of J. Lindblom:
          transcendentalism, mythology, cosmological survey, pessimistic historical surveys, dualism, division of time into periods, 
          teach of Two Ages, numerology, pseudoecstacy, artificial claims to inspiration, pseudonymity, and esoterism.

     To which Russel adds:
          the idea of the unity of history and the conception of cosmic history which treats of earth and heaven; the notion of 
          primordiality with its revelations concerning creation and the fall of men and angels; the source of evil in the 
          universe and the part played in this by angelic powers; the conflict between light and darkness, good and evil, God
[ 6 ]
          and Satan; the emergence of a transcendent figure called 'the Son of Man' the development of belief in life after 
          death with its various compartments of Hell, Gehenna, Paradise, and Heaven and the increasing significance of the 
          individual in resurrection, judgement, and eternal bliss.  ( R:105 )

     Unfortunately, this method leaves much to be desired.
     Among its adverse results, Paul Hanson lists the following:
          (1) the sources of apocalyptic are misunderstood,
          (2) the period of origin is centuries off the mark, meaning that the resulting typology of apocalyptic literature is grossly inaccurate,
          (3) the historical and sociologicial matrix of apocalyptic is left unexplained, 
          (4) the essential nature of apocalyptic is inadequately clarified. ( H:7 )
     What then is “the sociological matrix of apocalyptic”?  Not surprizingly, it developes out of events not unlike those which 

stimulated Plato.

     The surrender of Jerusalem ( March 16, 597 BCE ) and its eventual destruction ( July, 587 BCE ) ( B:323 ff. ) were decisive events for the 
social history of Israel.  When the time came to restore the community ( 538 BCE ) (B:360 ff.), there were two groups suggesting models for its 

reconstruction.  The result, as often in time of crisis, was a bitter struggle for legitimization. 

     Briefly ( and over-simplified ), the argument runs as follows:  A unified eschatological ideal originating in a community sympathetic to

Second Isaiah is to be found in a polemical form throughout the last eleven chapters of Isaiah ( Third Isaiah ).  The polemical form suggests that
[ 7 ]
the prophetic community was engaged in struggle with the uneschatological community that controlled the official cult and threatened to 

compromise the eschatological ideal upheld by the prophetic group.  Because of the oppression suffered by the minority prophetic community 

at the hands of the "hierocrats" the prophetic oracle was transformed and the development of prophetic eschatology toward apocalyptic eschatology 


          For what happens to a nation's eschatology which hitherto was construed in the historical terms of Yahweh's restoration of 
          the nation to its original political autonomy and integrity when that nation is no longer a recognizable historical entity,
          when the historical boundary demarcating Israel from the nations is replaced by the spiritual boundary setting Israel off 
          from Israel? . . .  [ R ]estoration was seen more and more as an event of the new era, an event losing connections with the
          concrete realities of history, an event removing the elect from any relation of responsibility to the present political 
          order, an event no longer interpreting divine action in the historical terms of Yahweh directing the destiny of nations and 
          kings, but tending to be viewed in terms of a more direct forensic intervention whereby Yahweh separates the righteous from 
          the wicked. ( H:150-51; cf. 209-10 )
     Viewed in this manner, the inclusion of Plato and apocalyptic literature in this class enables one to see two contrasting mentalities.  Plato 

a proponent of ideology, a member of the ruling class, so interest-bound to existing structures that he posits them as "absolute and eternal."  

And the apocalypticist, a proponent of utopia, a member of an oppressed group, whose thinking is marked by a harsh incongruity between the vision 

and the actual state of reality. 

     And, with Hanson, one can see the application to our own time: 

          When the utopian thinking becomes a direction for action, as it always threatens to become, it leads to the destruction of 
          existing structures in the attempt to realize the utopia.  It is thus understandable why representatives of the given order 
          try to render the utopian notions socially innocuous by confining them to a realm beyond history and society, where they are 
          unable to disturb the status quo.  But . . . in a period of national disaster, such control of the utopian impulse is no longer 
          possible, and therefore it bursts forth in new vigor.  (H:213)  

[ 9 ]

1  Martin P. Nilsson, Greek Folk Religion, p. 4
Plato is of extra-primary importance for this course because he found it profitable to employ his leisure time ( σχολή ) near the sanctuary of the hero

Academus, thus establishing the first European university.  Even in America the most recent statistics suggest that only one out of ten persons is
able to be similarly employed.  One wonders at our participation in this minority institution.

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2  W. K. C. Guthrie, The Greeks and Their Gods, pp. 16-17; 334
Subsequent references in parentheses following the quotes in the text, e. g., ( G:16-17; 334 ).

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3  Guthrie remarks, “. . . [ O ]ne of the most fruitful developments of twentieth-century anthropology has been a growing awareness that religion is a function of the whole personality, and that the personality is intimately bound
up with the contemporary organization of society.”  ( G:16-17 )

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4  Frederick C. Grant, Hellenistic Religions, p. xxvii.

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5  Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, Vol. I, Part II, p. 205; cf. Charles K. Barrett, Editor, The New
Testament Background:  Writings from Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire that Illuminate Christian Origins
, Revised Edition, pp. 252-268.

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6  For fuller background on this, indeed, turbulent time, the Wikipedia article on Judas Maccabeus has sub-links for
most of the family members cited in the text for which this endnote was generated.

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7  Howard Clark Kee, The Origins of Christianity: Sources and Documents, p. 171.

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8  From the Greek: αποκαλυψις, meaning revelation; first used with this meaning in the New Testament Apocalypse
of John ( 1:1 ) where it is also first used to designate a book; cf. Edgar Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, Vol. II:
Writing Related to the Apostles, Apocalypse, and Related Subjects
, pp. 582 ff.

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9  John Bright, A History of Israel, 4th Edition ( with an Introduction and Appendix by William J. Brown ), p. 426;
    subsequent references to dates in parentheses following the dates in the text, e. g., ( B:426 ).

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10  Paul D. Hanson, The Dawn of Apocalyptic:  The Historical and Sociological Roots of Jewish Apocalyptic
, Revised Edition, p. 5; originally in Martin Buber, Kampf um Israel; Reden und Schriften ( Berlin:
     Schocken Verlag, 1933 ), pp. 59 ff.; subsequent references to dates in parentheses following the dates in the text,
     e. g., ( H:5 ).

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11  Norman H. Snaith, The Jews from Cyrus to Herod, pp. 95-96.

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12  David Syme Russell, The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic:  200 BC - AD 100, ( The Old Testament
     Library ), pp. 95-96.

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13  Cf. p. 6 where Hanson states, “The origins of apocalyptic cannot be explained by a method which juxtaposes      seventh- and second- century compositions and then proceeds to account for the features of the latter by reference
     to its immediate environment.”

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14  “. . . [ T ]he originally separate salvation and judgment oracles were fused into one hybird oracle, thereby enabling
     the visionary to deliver a word which was simultaneously a word of salvation and a word of judgment.  The Sitz
     Im Leben of this hybrid oracle was a new situation in the post-exilic community within which there was no one
     Israel being promised either salvation or judgment, but two Israels, one the object of Yahweh's saving acts, the other
     of his wrath and judgment.”  ( H:404 )

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Works Cited In the Text

Barrett, C. K.  The New Testament Background:  Selected Documents.  Harper Torchbooks.  New York:  Harper & Row, Publishers, 1961.

Bright, John.  A History of Israel.  2nd ed.  Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1972.

Copleston, Frederick.  A History of Philosophy, Vol. I, Part II:  Greece & Rome.  Image Books. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday
     & Company, Inc. 1962.

Grant, Frederick C.  Hellenistic Religions.  The Library of Liberal Arts.  Indianapolis:  The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1953.

Guthrie, W. K. C.  The Greeks and Their Gods.  Boston:  Beacon Press, 1955.

Hanson, Paul D.  The Dawn of Apocalyptic.  Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1975.

Hennecke, Edgar.  New Testament Apocrypha.  2 Vols. Edited by Wilhelm Schneemeleher.  Translated by R. McL. Wilson.
     Philadelphia:  Westminster Press, 1965.

Kee, Howard Clark.  The Origins of Christianity:  Sources and Documents.  Englewood Cl1ffs, N. J.:  Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973.

Nilsson, Martin P.  Greek Folk Relig1on.  Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972.

Russell, D. S.  The Message and Method of Jewish Apocalyptic:  200 BC – AD 100.  The Old Testament Library.  Philadelphia:
     Westminster Press, 1964.

Snaith, Norman H.  The Jews from Cyrus to Herod.  New York:  Abingdon Press, [n.d.] -

Other Works Consulted

Copleston, Frederiok.  A History of Philosophy, Vol. I, Part I: Greece & Rome.  Image Books.  Garden City. N. Y.:  Doubleday
     & Company, Inc., 1962.

Hanson, Paul D.  “Jewish Apocalyptic Against Its Near Eastern Environment”.  Revue Biblique, 78 ( January, 1971 ), 31-58.

Mannheim, Karl.  Ideology and Utopia, an Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge.  Translated by Louis Wirth and Edward Shils.
     New York:  Harcourt, Brace and World, 1936.

Schmithals, Walter.  The Apocalyptic Movement:  Introduction and Interpretation.  Translated by John E. Steely.  Nashville:
     Abingdon Press, 1975.

Weber, Max.  The Sociology of Religion.  Translated by Ephraim Fischoff.  Introduction by Talcott Parsons. Boston:  Beacon
     Press,  1963.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Thank God for Norma Leah Nelson McCorvey's lawyers . . .

Whoa, a superprecedence event ( the “leak” of a “swinging for the fences,” “a 21 gun salute,” of “a withering takedown” of Roe v. Wade in a February 10, 2022 draft majority opinion in this decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Dobbs vs Jackson Women's Health Organization ) has me feeling like I'm spiraling, reeling ( and almost any of the 58 other synonyms for reeling ) back to the early '70s of the 20th century, remembering all of the energy I put into insuring a woman's right to choose, to have control over their own body, beating ( for once ) what is and has been the Republican patriarchy's mantra - “keep them barefoot and pregnant” - without hope of equality . . . ( in other words, as Jung suggests, “their jealousy of a woman's power to give birth” ).

And, only because it's a draft version, I'm not going to get suckered into mourning what might turn out to be the loss of this almost 50 year victory for democracy, but rather just put the following three proposed theories out there for you to discuss as to the question:  “Why the leak?” ( much thanks goes to New York University Law Professor Melissa Murray for setting me on this path ).

One theory, as unlikely as it is, is that the draft decision could have been leaked by one ( or more ) of the three ( or, perhaps, four ) dissenting judges.

A second theory, is that it could have been leaked by someone “in the middle,” wanting to stress test how a decision like this would play out in the public space.

Or, finally, it may have been leaked by one of the five ( or, perhaps, six ) majority justices who fears that there could be defectors from the majority opinion.  This is a way to backwalk the majority justices into a corner and make certain that they stay “on sides” in the “absolutist decision” that “takes no prisoners” and “really undermines and eviscerates” all of Roe v. Wade ( not to mention the possiblility of a whole series of other “rights” which rely on Roe v. Wade [ and its history ] and could be decided in the same way ).

Have at it ( in the "Enter Comment" section [ below ], if you feel up to it )!

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Smiling All the Way to the Bank - The "military-industrial-banking" complex

If you've seen the movie “The International,” then you may have been struck by the following dialogue between Interpol agent Louis Salinger who is interviewing the International Bank of Business and Commerce's ( IBBC ) Security Chief, Wilhelm Wexler ( who is a former Russian Stasi Colonel and Communist hardliner ), with the Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, Eleanor Whitman, secretly listening in ):

Louis SalingerSkarssen [ head of IBBC ] and that bank [ IBBC ] need to answer for what they've done.  They have to be brought to justice.  You can help me do that.

Colonel WexlerJustice . . . is not possible.

SalingerWhy not?

WexlerBecause, Agent Salinger . . . your idea of justice is an illusion.  Understand the very system that you serve and protect . . . will never allow anything to happen to Skarssen or the bank.  On the contrary.  The system guarantees the IBBC's safety . . . because everyone is involved.

SalingerWhat do you mean, “everyone”?

WexlerHezbollah.  CIA.  The Colombian drug cartels.  Russian organized crime.  Governments of Iran, Germany, China, your government.  Every multinational corporation, every one.  They all need banks like the IBBC . . . so that they can operate within the black and gray latitudes.  And this is why your investigative efforts . . . have either been ignored or undermined . . . and why you and I will be quietly disposed of . . . before any case against the bank ever reaches a court of law.

This was illustrated so beautifully on MSNBC back in March in a segment entitled:  “How Giant Investment Bank Goldman Sachs Is Profiting On Ukraine War.

And, once again, I'm reminded of these lines from the movie script for the movie “American Gangster” ( modified for the illegal war crimes of Putin's war against Ukraine ):

Detective Richie Roberts:  They don't want this to stop.  It employs too many people.  Lawyers, judges, military officers and non-commissioned soldiers, prison guards, county social workers.  The day a war is stopped, hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs.

We don't hear a peep from the 16 or 17 intelligence agencies about the place of the banks in the “military-industrial-banking complex” war effort . . . .

Which led me to ask the question on Google Search - “Which country is the largest arms dealer in the world?”  And, of course, it's still the United States.

The Worlds Biggest Arms Exporters

With the United States supplying arms to 100 of the 195 countries in the world today.

Where the US Exports Weapons To

To reiterate how that translates to per capita war spending in 2021?  Statistica states, “$2,651.62” ( in 2021 dollars ) for every man, woman, and child!

Where the US Exports Weapons To

And, if the sanctions against Russia were to work ( cf. the findings on the Giant Investment Bank Goldman Sachs above ), then we could almost redistribute the Russian percentage in the graphic in the graphic's proportions to the other players in the graphic, resulting in a 45.8% slice of the pie for the military-industrial-banking complex in the United States - and we're talking $801,000,000,000.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Review of Trump timeline on the Virus

This is a long snippet of an email response to my next youngest brother written September 28, 2020 ( previous to the Woodward / Costa book “Peril” ):

As you recall, you had a question as to why the Dems are so concerned about the Covid-19 infection rate:

Well, one reason that has been in the back of my mind for quite some time is the fact that the Trumpenführer needs to be re-elected in order to remain immune ( no pun intended ) from all of the criminal investigations at the state level in which he is named.  And, his Republican party sycophants are going to continue to use everything in their power to ensure that the President will be re-elected.  This includes the Covid-19 fatality rate amongst the plethora of other means ( the gerrymander, non-working voting machines and voting apps, closing or moving polling places, stricter voter ID rules, requiring notarization of absentee ballots, discounting the voting in states, and directly appointing the delegates to the Electoral College, not to list any more ) that are being used.

Think of it.  The President lost the popular vote by ~ 3,000,000 votes.  So, if the Trump Administration can find a way to have 3,000,000 persons die, then the President is that much closer to being able to win the election by popular vote ( it would be the second time since 1992 that the Republicans will have won the popular vote ).

How does this work, you might ask?  Appoint the Fox News Radiologist, Scott Atlas ( who had been spouting the “Herd Immunity” line for at least 4 months previous to being appointed ), as Coronavirus Task Force czar.  And, preach “Herd Immunity.”

Michael Osterholm ( Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota ) has stated for a long time that around 65 - 70% of the U. S. population would need to become infected with Covid-19 to achieve “herd immunity.”

With the U. S. population of ~328,000,000 and assuming just a 1% fatality rate ( the current fatality rate is something like 2.97% ), to reach the 65% threshold would require 2,130,000 deaths while the 70% threshold would require 2,293,850 deaths.

The target the Trump administration has been aiming for is a 91.55% infection rate.  This would require 3,000,025 deaths.  And that is why their PanCap Adapted U. S. Government COVID-19 Response Plan, dated March 13, 2020 and marked “NOT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION OR RELEASE” ( which was released in March of this year ) suggested that the virus would last at least 18 months ( July, 2021 ).

On January 21, 2020, federal officials reported the first case of COVID-19 in the United States, to which the President responded, “It's one person, coming from China.  It's going to be just fine.”

January 22, 2020 during a CNBC interview on the sidelines of the economic forum in Switzerland, “We have it totally under control.”

January 24, 2020 tweet “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus.  The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency.  It will all work out well.  In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

January 28, 2020, from Woodward's book - during a top secret intelligence briefing, national security adviser Robert O'Brien gave Trump a “jarring” warning about the virus, telling the President it would be the “biggest national security threat” of his presidency.  Trump's head “popped up,” Woodward writes.  O'Brien's deputy, Matt Pottinger, concurred, telling Trump it could be as bad as the influenza pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 Americans.  Pottinger warned Trump that asymptomatic spread was occurring in China:  He had been told 50% of those infected showed no symptoms.  Nevertheless, Trump continued to publicly downplay the danger of the virus, often comparing it to the flu.  February was a lost month ( https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/04/politics/trump-covid-response-annotation/ ).  Woodward views this as a damning missed opportunity for Trump to reset “the leadership clock” after he was told this was a “once-in-a-lifetime health emergency.”

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General declared that the 2019-nCoV outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

January 30, 2020, during a trade event in Michigan: “Hopefully it won't be as bad as some people think it could be.  But we're working very closely with them and with a lot of other people and a lot of other countries.  And we think we have it very well under control.”

On January 31, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary declared a U. S. public health emergency in response to 2019-nCoV.

Also on January 31, the president signed a “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus,” which limits entry into the United States of persons who traveled to mainland China to U. S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and their families.

February 2, 2020, during a Fox News Super Bowl interview - “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

February 4, 2020, during the State of the Union address ( the only reference to the virus ): “My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.”

When on February 5, 2020, the CDC posted the first week's Morbidity and Mortality Report ( Patel A, Jernigan DB.  Initial Public Health Response and Interim Clinical Guidance for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak - United States, December 31, 2019 - February 4, 2020.  MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020:69:140-146.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm690531 ) covering what was then known of the “novel” Coronavirus outbreak in mainland China ( FN 1 ), already a total of 20,471 confirmed cases, including 2,788 with severe illness,* ( 13.6% infection rate ) and 425 deaths ( 2.1% mortality rate ) had been reported by the National Health Commission of China ( FN 2 ).  Cases had also been reported in 26 locations outside of mainland China, including documentation of some person-to-person transmission and one death ( FN 2 ).  And 11 cases had been reported in the United States ( 9 of the 11 exposed in Wuhan, China ).

Characteristics of initial 2019 novel coronavirus cases (N = 11) — United States, January 21–February 4, 2020
Case State ~ Age ( yrs ) Sex Place of Exposure Date Laboratory Confirmation Announced
1 Washington 30s M Wuhan 01/21/20
2 Illinois 60s F Wuhan 01/26/20
2 Illinois 60s F Wuhan 01/26/20
3 Arizona 20s M Wuhan 01/26/20
4 California 30s M Wuhan 01/27/20
5 California 50s M Wuhan 01/27/20
6 Illinois 60s M Household 01/30/20
7 California 40s M Wuhan 01/31/20
8 Massachusetts 20s M Wuhan 02/01/20
9 California 50s F Wuhan 02/02/20
10 California 50s M Wuhan 02/02/20
11 California 50s F Household 02/02/20

Abbreviations:  F = female; M = male.

* Includes any of the following: dyspnea, respiratory rate >30 breaths per minute, hypoxemia, or chest x-ray with multilobar infiltrates or >50% progression of pulmonary infiltration within 24–48 hours per WHO.  (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200123-sitrep-3-2019-ncov.pdf ).

FN 1:  World Health Organization. Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Situation report 1. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2020.

FN 2:  World Health Organization. Novel coronavirus(2019-nCoV). Situation report 15. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2020.

The opinion of the 180 2019-nCoV CDC Response Team members was for more cases to appear in the United States.

Now how does all of this play into the revelations in Bob Woodward's new book - Rage ( New York, NY.: Simon & Shuster, September 15, 2020 [ which goes way beyond the revelations in his previous book on Trump - Fear - Trump in the White House, { New York, NY.: Simon & Shuster, 2018 } ] interspersed with a small selection of news reports beginning February 7, 2020 ):

February 7, 2020 to Woodward: “It goes through the air, Bob.  That's always tougher than the touch . . . you don't have to touch things, right?  But the air, you just breathe the air . . . And so that's a very tricky one.  That's a very delicate one.  It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.”

February 10, 2020, at a rally in New Hampshire: “It looks like by April.  You know in theory when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away . . . .  I think the virus is going to be - it's going to be fine.”

February 26, 2020, at the White House during a coronavirus task force meeting:  “The 15 ( case count in the U. S. ) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero .  This is a flu.  This is like a flu.  There's no reason to panic because we have done so good there's no reason to be panicked about it.”  Link to transcript of entire press conference https://factba.se/transcript/donald-trump-press-conference-white-house-coronavirus-february-26-2020?format=text.

Despite the warnings in that January 28th intelligence briefing ( recall note above for that date ), Trump continued to publicly downplay the danger of the virus often comparing it to the flu.  February was a lost month ( https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/04/politics/trump-covid-response-annotation/ ).  Woodward views this as a damning missed opportunity for Trump to reset “the leadership clock” after he was told this was a “once-in-a-lifetime health emergency.”

March 6, 2020, during a visit to the Atlanta, GA headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - “You have to be calm.  It'll go away.”

March 7, 2020, after a working dinner with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro - “No, I'm not concerned at all.  No, I'm not.  No, we've done a great job.”

March 13, 2020, during a Rose Garden announcement declaring a national emergency - “We've done a great job because we acted quickly.  We acted early.  And there's nothing we could have done that was better than closing our borders to highly infected areas.”

March 16, 2020, during a White House briefing - “I've spoken actually with my son.  He says, ‘How bad is this?’  It's bad.  It's bad.  But we're going to — we're going to be, hopefully, a best case, not a worst case.  And that's what we're working for.”

March 19, 2020 to Woodward:  “Now it's turning out it's not just old people, Bob.  Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out.  It's not just old - older.  Young people too, plenty of young people.  I think, Bob, to really be honest with you.  I want to always play it down.  I still like playing it down because I don't want to creat a panic.”

March 19, 2020 at the White House:  “And if people would have known about it, it could have been stopped right where it came from - China.”


March 24, 2020 at the White House:  “We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to flu.  We don't turn the country off.”

March 30, 2020, responding to a reporter's suggestion that he offered false assurance to Americans – “I want to keep the country calm.  I don't want panic in the country.  I could cause panic much better than even you.”

Report from Fox News, April 5, 2020 – “Some 430,000 persons flew from China to the US after coronavirus was first detected; 40,000 after the Presidential proclamation ( cited above ).”

During Woodward's last interview in July – “The virus has nothing to do with me, it's not my fault.  It's – China let the damn virus out.”

August 5, 2020, during a White House briefing on opening the schools – “If you look at children, children are almost – I would almost say definitely – but almost immune from this disease.  So few – they’ve gotten stronger.  Hard to believe.  I don't know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do, somehow, for this.  And they don't have a problem.  They just don't have a problem.” Meanwhile, according to an article published in the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases” – “Researchers in South Korea have found that children between the ages of 10 and 19 can transmit Covid-19 within a household just as much as adults.”

On August 6, 2020, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimated 300,000 deaths in the United States by December 1, 2020.  Will that number scale 10 times by that July, 2021 date?  You do the math.

September 9, 2020, talking to reporters and dismissing Woodward's book as a “political hit job” – “I love our country and I don't want people to be frightened.  I don't want to create panic, as you say.  Certainly, I'm not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy.  We want to show confidence.  We want to show strength.”

With all of the internal links in just these few references ( cf. for just one example the Altmetric links in that PubMed article cited up in the note for the February 5, 2020 date ), this is all of the documentation that I need because as we continue to see – while the United States “burns” ( no pun intended ), El Narcissismo Solipsismo fiddles ( euphemism for “plays golf” ).  And, as Jared Kushner says of his father-in-law ( quoting the Cheshire cat in “Alice in Wonderland” ) “If you don't know where you are going, then any path will get you there.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

WTF is wrong with the Stalinist party ( aka formerly the Republican party ) in Amerika?

A mainly Stalinist committee ( 3 of 4 members ) of the Michigan State Legislature writes a 55 page report detailing their investigations of voter fraud in the 2020 election in Michigan and finds that there was no fraud ( as expected ).

While after that finding it is still suggested in the Stalinist majority Michigan State Legislature that the Cyber Ninjas “fraudit” group come to Michigan to run another audit ( just to assure the voters in Michigan that all sides on the issue have been heard? )

In a book by Stalin's secretary, Boris Bazhanov ( The Memoirs of Stalin’s Former Secretary [ Moscow:  III Tysiacheletie, 2002 ] ), he quotes Stalin as uttering in reference to a vote in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1923 the following: «Я считаю совершенно неважным, кто и как в партии будет голосовать; но что чрезвычайно важно, так это то, кто и как будет подсчитывать голоса ». Transliterated as «YA schitayu sovershenno nevazhnym, kto i kak v partii budet golosovat'; no chto chrezvychayno vazhno, tak eto to, kto i kak budet podschityvat' golosa ».  And, roughly, in English, “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.”  ( cf. the historical thoughts on Draco's “Constitution” [ 620 BCE; where supposedly the only penalty for every crime was death ] with the “Draconian” voter registration laws being written in Stalinist Legislatures throughout Amerika .)

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Following the previous post this evening . . . one on how "fake news" gets started . . .

Interestingly enough, even Paul Craig Roberts had a number of references (15) to Hal Turner's WWW site with regard to some unreported remarks of VP Pence to the personnel at the Air Force base in Minot, ND last Friday (October 27, 2017 - link to reported remarks).

Now Hal Turner is a reported White Nationalist under employ by the FBI to disseminate news (on his shortwave radio program [WBCQ 7490 AM] and WWW site) to split and confound the American populace (and beyond as we shall see below).

Those reportedly unreported remarks of VP Pence were as follows (from Hal's WWW site):  “We are entering a very dangerous time, and I have come here personally to tell you that you may receive a Launch Order in the near future.  I want you to know that we have planned for all contingencies, but it is POSSIBLE that things may escalate beyond what we believe will take place.  If you receive a properly formatted launch order, you launch.  Don't waste time trying to confirm the order, because it is not standard operating procedure for you to delay like that.  If you get a launch order, carry it out.”

Besides a reference link (which may wrap) on every article (most recent count - 67) on Hal's WWW site, these reportedly unreported remarks spread far and wide to at least the following WWW sites (in alphabetical order; number of reference links [cached - unless otherwise specified] not counting “Advertisements”):

  1. ‐ Before It's News (3) [link:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:tilITezpf6QJ:]
  2. Chat Brat Anonymous [link:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:whQLTjzm6KUJ:z7.invisionfree.com/Chat_Brat_Anonymous/index.php%3Fshowforum%3D1+&cd=41&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]
  3. Indy Watch All News World Feed [link:  {uncached but archived daily} http://wire.indywatch.org/archiver/wire.indywatch.org/resources/allworld.html]
  4. Kiwi Watch (11) [link:  https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:IrdJrYIvH64J:https://www.kiwiwatch.org.nz/coming-bear-market-robert-j-shiller-project-syndicate/+&cd=31&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]
  5. Nunez Report [link:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:SSLZW1eVliMJ:nunezreport.blogspot.com/2017/10/mike-pence-we-are-entering-very.html+&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]
  6. Путь Странника WWW site [link:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:N4vtxyYKkbsJ:https://irina-irinayurevna.blogspot.com/+&cd=108&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]
  7. Seemorerocks [link:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:PUr49nyaf1EJ:robinwestenra.blogspot.de/2017/10/dprk-blacks-out-evacuates-cities-in.html+&cd=39&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]
  8. Steve Quayle's WWW site [link:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Y22mAd2eqGEJ:www.stevequayle.com/+&cd=107&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]
  9. The Deep State [link:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:ca0KwlwTXLcJ:thedeepstate.com/+&cd=70&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]
  10. The Lifeboat News [link:nbsp; http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:7g3hadgOIXQJ:members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/thread/1509449745.html+&cd=15&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]
  11. The Tribulation Now (5) [link:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:M2swJgbtZ-sJ:www.tribulation-now.org/show-notes/+&cd=105&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]
  12. Whistle Blower Jeff / Holy Spirit Wind (4) [link:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:gx1HyMrKDzoJ:whistleblowerjeff.holyspiritwind.net/2017/10/12/10-things-that-just-dont-add-up-about-the-las-vegas-mass-shooting/+&cd=49&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us]

So, depending upon where you read the "fake news," if you didn't do your homework, then you wouldn't know that it was "fake" . . . .

As always, ENJOY!

In light of the Senate Committee's Volume 4 Report . . .

I put together a History of El Narcissimo Solipsismo's Ukraine Spiel in conjuction with Russian Hacking of the 2016 U S Presidential Election HTML file and thought that it would fit nicely into a blog entry.  So, here goes:

History of El Narcissimo Solipsismo's Ukraine Spiel

In conjuction with Russian Hacking of the 2016 U S Presidential Election


Nuts and Bolts . . .

June 16 - 29, 2016

July 7 - 29, 2016

Auguust 12 - 19, 2016

September 2, 2016

December 13, 2016

January 6, 2017

March 5 - 30, 2017

July 7 - 20, 2017

August 14, 2017

November 2, 2017

January 25 - 26, 2018

March 22 - 23, 2018

June 13, 2018

October 4, 2018

July 17, 2019

September 25 - 30, 2019

November 24, 2019

December 29, 2019

From the horse's mouth . . .

January 22, 2020


April 21, 2020

Note from June 20, 2016

* The Figure in the article is missing but another report still has the references which are included below

Code for the phishing site accoounts.google.com/. . . along with the associated Google Accoounts login page (both originally from www.phishtank.com):

Google Acco<b><u>o</u></b>unt Phishing WWW site image