Monthly Archives: December 2013

MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL: The Episcopal Clergy Indicts the Dead and seeks to Smear the Memory and Silence the Voice from the Tomb behind the Pulpit at Christ Church

On this Third Sunday in Advent, two and a half months after addressing my letter to the Bishop of Louisiana (where Bishop Leonidas Polk is buried) and the Clergy of Christ Church Cathedral on St. Charles Avenue and Trinity Church on Jackson Street in New Orleans (whose largest meeting and banquet room is called “Bishop Polk Hall”), I have received not even a whisper of a written response from any clergyman.  https://charleslincoln3.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/1-october-2013-letter-to-bishop-thompson-of-louisiana.pdf

(The Dean of Christ Church, Dean David A. DuPlantier, simply and summarily refused even to speak to me about the topic, saying my perspective and thoughts were unworthy to be discussed and that Bishop Polk was “a villain”.  This all happened on Sunday October 20, 2013, I believe.  After dismissing me and my letter “embracing slavery” and condemning Bishop Polk, Dean DuPlantier then, with a truly remarkable lack of self-consciousness, I think, having just judged me, my culture, my race, and my personal family heritage and historic inheritance as unworthy of discussion, then proceeded to deliver a fine sermon on one of my favorite Bible Passages, the Parable of the Unjust Judge in Luke, 18: 1-9.   I myself found the irony quite delicious.  Dean DuPlantier himself had become the Unjust Judge, and he was passing judgment on the man and the spirit entombed directly behind the pulpit from which he spoke.

But plans move ahead towards this historical travesty and insult to socio-cultural reality, as was just published on Friday the 13th, St. Lucy’s day, by Ms. Orissa Arend, a “New Orleans Mediator, Psychotherapist and Freelance Writer” (who has written a book about the Black Panthers in New Orleans, and their 1970 shootout  and other standoffs with the New Orleans Police, just for example: http://www.uapress.com/titles/sp09/arend.html).  

I find it more than a little ironic that the University of Arksansas advertisement asserts that “Orissa Arend has forced us to see these self-defense militants from every point of view imaginable”, adding that these “self-defense militants . . . creat=[ed] survival programs.”  Now what would Ms. Arend say if I told her that if she studied the history and origins of the Ku Klux Klan, she would discover that (honestly) the (original, 1860s-1870s) Klan MUST BE described in exactly the same terms.  

In any even, Ms. Orissa Arend’s enthusiastic article endorsing the Episcopal Church’s Mass for Racial Reconciliation can be found at: http://www.atthreshold.org/2013/12/13/a-service-of-healing-january-18-2014/.  I maintain that there is neither healing nor reconciliation to be found in distorting history and vilifying our ancestors, but my full response (which I submitted on her blog, but which is “awaiting moderation” and so, she may or may not publish it) follows (in full) herein below:

Dear Ms. Orissa Arend:
I speak for the First Bishop of Louisiana, Confederate General, and War hero in the service of his people and their liberty, whose untimely death in Northern Georgia you celebrate. I speak for the man and the spirit of the Lost Cause buried behind the Pulpit at Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans.

I ask you, and for all Episcopalians in New Orleans, Louisiana, the South, and the United States of America, to give voice to those with whom you supposedly propose reconciliation: Indeed I ask you—how can there be any reconciliation at all if the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants of the South are given no voice to speak to the honor of their ancestors and their cause in this supposedly momentous “Mass of Racial Reconciliation.”

President Jefferson Davis died in New Orleans after the opening of Confederate Memorial Hall, attended by Howard, Tilton, and many of the other great leaders of the City. James K. Polk was President of the United States and he often visited his cousin Bishop Leonidas Polk in Louisiana.

Where are the descendants of those who made the South what it is in this whole plan of reconciliation? Are you as happy that half a million Southern Soldiers died in 1861-65 as you are about the death of Bishop Polk? Should Bishop Polk’s remains be disinterred and his bones burnt and scattered in Lake Pontchartrain?

If so, I want nothing more to do with the Episcopal Church, because it will have betrayed the very reasons, the very traditions, which have always caused me to adhere to it.  I  am writing to you in part to ask that you circulate to your readership the letter I wrote to the current Bishop of Louisiana on October 1: https://charleslincoln3.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/1-october-2013-letter-to-bishop-thompson-of-louisiana.pdf.

To this letter I have so far received no reply whatsoever from the Bishop or anyone else although I published it on-line and circulated it to other members of the Diocese of Louisiana, especially here in New Orleans.

I personally can think of nothing more futile and repugnant than a Mass for Racial Reconciliation which falsifies the truth about the origins, nature, and history of Black African Slavery on the one hand, and treats my ancestors, and other people descended from or who may admire the founders of the Episcopal Church in Louisiana, as criminals, outcasts, and victims. Leonidas Polk was a hero and a visionary, as were many if not most of the Confederate leaders.

Ironically, the Confederate vision was one of a free and constitutional government. Even more ironically, the people of America today suffer from multifarious and complex forms of corporate and governmental oppression which portend of a universal slavery for all mankind.

I submit to you that the Presiding Bishop’s proposed Mass for Racial Reconciliation is a sham designed to distract Americans from certain grim realities including the fact that we are headed towards a very dark future, without freedom, without lawfully constituted or ordered government which depends for its authority on a high tech set of chains and whips which make the instruments of chattel slave ownership in the Old South look like the Palaeotechnic toys they were.

In Barack Obama’s America—more blacks will spend a year or more in prison than were ever slaves. More people (white, black and hispanic) will pass through the so-called criminal justice system than were ever black in America. This is the most imprisoning nation in the world. Is it a coincidence that the 13th Amendment which abolished chattel slavery authorized slavery or involuntary servitude as a punishment for a crime? Or that the standards of due process of law have declined while the likelihood (or now near certainty) of conviction after arrest has risen exponentially in America since the adoption of the 13th Amendment? Does it matter that there really was NO “prison culture” to speak of in America prior to 1861, but ever since 1865, Prison Culture has grown and grown and grown? 

I think the Proposed Mass for Racial Reconciliation should be scrapped until it can be redesigned to address historical truth and present socio-cultural and economic reality. I would submit that THERE CAN BE NO RECONCILIATION UNLESS ALL PARTIES, INCLUDING THE DESCENDANTS AND ADMIRERS OF THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT AND ARMIES AND THEIR CAUSE, ARE ALSO PRESENT AND SPEAKING. ANY RECONCILIATION WITHOUT US WILL BE FALSE AND EPHEMERAL AT BEST, DECEITFUL AND DISHONEST AT WORSE.

Stern Words for Wall Street’s Watchdogs, From a Judge

EITHER the Federal Government needs to FOLLOW and ENFORCE its own laws, or it needs honestly to abandon and seek through the democratic process to rewrite those laws. Recent and current wild variations in “prosecutorial discretion” create a lack of predictability in enforcement of laws against Banks and other Financial Institutions, aka “Wall Street” (broadly defined). This unpredictability, in turn, leads to the impression that the Government jails those who do not support its agenda fully or sufficiently, and lets those who do run “hog wild” (in the vernacular slang of Dixie and Texas, which seems particularly appropriate when speaking of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve system. A government which only arbitrarily and capriciously enforces its laws is a government of no “law” whatsoever.

Deadly Clear

In the New York Times – By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: December 16, 2013

NTBTGTJWASHINGTON — It used to be common for the federal government to prosecute prominent people responsible for debacles that rattled the financial system. Michael R. Milken, the junk bond artist, went to prison in 1991; Charles H. Keating Jr., the face of the savings-and-loan crisis, pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud in 1999; and it looks like Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former chief executive of Enron, will be in prison until 2017.

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St. Lucy’s Day and Night, the 13th of December: To My Mother Alice, to my Grandmother Helen, and to Professor Cleanth Brooks

I come back to John Donne’s “Nocturnal” poem every December 13, because it is the greatest Calendrical Celebration written in the English Language, though Eliot’s Wasteland and Four Quartets, and Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream have obvious, explicit, and implicit calendrical significances.  I dedicate this year’s nearly annual republication to my mother Alice, my grandmother Helen, and to Professor Cleanth Brooks, the three people who first taught me to appreciate and love the 17th Century by the time I was 16.  

If time travel were ever to be truly invented, that is the century I would most want to visit and into which I would travel and deeply explore.  I would start, I think, from Athens, Greece, to see the Parthenon before its final destruction by gunpowder.  Then from Athens up the Adriatic coast past Dalmatia and the east Coast of Italy Venice, Modena, Milan, and then job back east to Vienna, travel through Austria (still then the last outpost of Christendom against the Turks invading from the Southeast) and southern Germany to Paris in the time of Louis XIV and the foundation of Versailles.  After exploring the Northern Italian, Southern German, and French Countryside I would to the lands of both my grandfathers’ ancestors in London, Essex, East Anglia, Lincoln and Yorkshire.  But then from there I would follow their descendants to Jamestown and explore the earliest tidewater settlements, perhaps visit the early Lees and Madisons, before turning north to Maryland, Philadelphia, New York Boston and Cambridge.  In that latter small town by the Charles River, I would visit the fledgling Harvard College, the only such institution of higher learning north of Mexico and the Caribbean, and ask to have a look at their library and sit in on some classes.  From Cambridge and Boston I would go first up to visit my grandmother’s ancestors in Quebec and Montreal, and then canoe down the echoing stillness of the Mississippi River to the realm of the Natchez and Caddo, where my grandmother’s ancestors would later move.  And then I would take off across Texas through Comanche country to Santa Fe and Taos.  Finally I would go all around 17th Century Spanish Mexico from Querétaro and Guanajuato to Mexico City, Cordoba, and Tlaxcala, and back to beautiful Mérida, Yucatán and especially Izamal, Motul, and Valladolid.  From these outposts of civilization I would like to visit the last free and independent Itzá Maya of Tayasal by Lake Petén, the direct descendants of the rulers of Chichén Itzá, and watch their use of hieroglyphic books contemporaneous with, as Michael Coe pointed out, Cotton Mather reading theology at Harvard and preparing to burn witches at Salem.

A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day

BY JOHN DONNE

‘Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s,
Lucy’s, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks;
         The sun is spent, and now his flasks
         Send forth light squibs, no constant rays;
                The world’s whole sap is sunk;
The general balm th’ hydroptic earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the bed’s feet, life is shrunk,
Dead and interr’d; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compar’d with me, who am their epitaph.
Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring;
         For I am every dead thing,
         In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
                For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness;
He ruin’d me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death: things which are not.
All others, from all things, draw all that’s good,
Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have;
         I, by Love’s limbec, am the grave
         Of all that’s nothing. Oft a flood
                Have we two wept, and so
Drown’d the whole world, us two; oft did we grow
To be two chaoses, when we did show
Care to aught else; and often absences
Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.
But I am by her death (which word wrongs her)
Of the first nothing the elixir grown;
         Were I a man, that I were one
         I needs must know; I should prefer,
                If I were any beast,
Some ends, some means; yea plants, yea stones detest,
And love; all, all some properties invest;
If I an ordinary nothing were,
As shadow, a light and body must be here.
But I am none; nor will my sun renew.
You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
         At this time to the Goat is run
         To fetch new lust, and give it you,
                Enjoy your summer all;
Since she enjoys her long night’s festival,
Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Both the year’s, and the day’s deep midnight is.

New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile (aka—I’m not crazy, everybody really does hate me….)

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/07/14/whatabout7/

Is this building falling or exploding? If you say “falling” you need to take your meds…..

 by Kevin Barrett

Recent studies by psychologists and social scientists in the US and UK suggest that contrary to mainstream media stereotypes, those labeled “conspiracy theorists” appear to be saner than those who accept the official versions of contested events.

The most recent study was published on July 8th by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK). Entitled“What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories,” the study compared “conspiracist” (pro-conspiracy theory) and “conventionalist” (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites.

The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.” In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

Perhaps because their supposedly mainstream views no longer represent the majority, the anti-conspiracy commenters often displayed anger and hostility: “The research… showed that people who favoured the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile when trying to persuade their rivals.”

Additionally, it turned out that the anti-conspiracy people were not only hostile, but fanatically attached to their own conspiracy theories as well. According to them, their own theory of 9/11 – a conspiracy theory holding that 19 Arabs, none of whom could fly planes with any proficiency, pulled off the crime of the century under the direction of a guy on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan – was indisputably true. The so-called conspiracists, on the other hand, did not pretend to have a theory that completely explained the events of 9/11: “For people who think 9/11 was a government conspiracy, the focus is not on promoting a specific rival theory, but in trying to debunk the official account.”

In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist – a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory – accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it.

Additionally, the study found that so-called conspiracists discuss historical context (such as viewing the JFK assassination as a precedent for 9/11) more than anti-conspiracists. It also found that the so-called conspiracists to not like to be called “conspiracists” or “conspiracy theorists.”

Both of these findings are amplified in the new book Conspiracy Theory in America by political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith, published earlier this year by the University of Texas Press. Professor deHaven-Smith explains why people don’t like being called “conspiracy theorists”: The term was invented and put into wide circulation by the CIA to smear and defame people questioning the JFK assassination! “The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.”

In other words, people who use the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” as an insult are doing so as the result of a well-documented, undisputed, historically-real conspiracy by the CIA to cover up the JFK assassination. That campaign, by the way, was completely illegal, and the CIA officers involved were criminals; the CIA is barred from all domestic activities, yet routinely breaks the law to conduct domestic operations ranging from propaganda to assassinations.

DeHaven-Smith also explains why those who doubt official explanations of high crimes are eager to discuss historical context. He points out that a very large number of conspiracy claims have turned out to be true, and that there appear to be strong relationships between many as-yet-unsolved “state crimes against democracy.” An obvious example is the link between the JFK and RFK assassinations, which both paved the way for presidencies that continued the Vietnam War. According to DeHaven-Smith, we should always discuss the “Kennedy assassinations” in the plural, because the two killings appear to have been aspects of the same larger crime.

Psychologist Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph agrees that the CIA-designed “conspiracy theory” label impedes cognitive function. She points out, in an article published in American Behavioral Scientist (2010), that anti-conspiracy people are unable to think clearly about such apparent state crimes against democracy as 9/11 due to their inability to process information that conflicts with pre-existing belief.

In the same issue of ABS, University of Buffalo professor Steven Hoffman adds that anti-conspiracy people are typically prey to strong “confirmation bias” – that is, they seek out information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs, while using irrational mechanisms (such as the “conspiracy theory” label) to avoid conflicting information.

The extreme irrationality of those who attack “conspiracy theories” has been ably exposed by Communications professors Ginna Husting and Martin Orr of Boise State University. In a 2007 peer-reviewed article entitled“Dangerous Machinery: ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ as a Transpersonal Strategy of Exclusion,” they wrote:

“If I call you a conspiracy theorist, it matters little whether you have actually claimed that a conspiracy exists or whether you have simply raised an issue that I would rather avoid… By labeling you, I strategically exclude you from the sphere where public speech, debate, and conflict occur.”

But now, thanks to the internet, people who doubt official stories are no longer excluded from public conversation; the CIA’s 44-year-old campaign to stifle debate using the “conspiracy theory” smear is nearly worn-out. In academic studies, as in comments on news articles, pro-conspiracy voices are now more numerous – and more rational – than anti-conspiracy ones.

No wonder the anti-conspiracy people are sounding more and more like a bunch of hostile, paranoid cranks.

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