Tag Archives: Calvert Watkins

FROM BOSTON (where the American Revolution Began) A THREAT AND A WARNING—“WHAT CHANCE WOULD HIS [TRUMP’S] OUTSIDER MOVEMENT REALLY HAVE AGAINST THE FULL RESOURCES OF THE US GOVERNMENT? Demands for Reform will be met with Tanks in the Street, eh?

Trump could win — but not necessarily the White House (Evan Horowitz, Boston Globe, October 21, 2016)

One widening fear is that Trump simply won’t accept defeat, instead doubling down on his talk of a “rigged election,” leading to an uprising against the established political order. But there’s an obvious problem with this approach: It doesn’t lead to victory. What chance would his outsider movement really have against the full resources of the US government? And where’s the money in it?

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/10/21/donald-trump-going-win/W9OJE03yH9FiB9fD5QMKxN/story.html

WHAT CHANCE WOULD HIS OUTSIDER MOVEMENT REALLY HAVE AGAINST THE FULL RESOURCES OF THE US GOVERNMENT?  This sounds like a threat against the people of the United States, to me: QUESTION OUR AUTHORITY, CHALLENGE THE LEGITIMACY OF OUR ELECTIONS, AND YOU WILL DIE…. am I right?  Ever so quietly, Mr. Horowitz is telling the American people: if you dare to question HILLARY’S authority, or the legitimacy of HILLARY’S election—then the government of the United States will bring out its tanks and run over you in the streets, right?  Just like Tienamen Square…. NOT so very long ago….like 27 years?

This was a followup to Horowitz’ curiously dated “October 17, 2016” article entitled:

“When you call the Election Rigged, Everyone Loses”

discussing Donald Trump’s comments during the Third Debate, which took place on “October 19, 2016” in which Trump refused to accept, in advance, the results of an election that hadn’t happened yet:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/10/17/when-you-call-election-rigged-everyone-loses/CxbmV9qmQCIGxNANlhM20J/story.html

I have to say, I just couldn’t disagree more!  When a major political candidate finally acknowledges, in 2016, that there is a possibility that the elections have been “rigged” or at the very least DRAMATICALLY manipulated, he is simply stating a completely obvious and widely known fact.

We need to eschew all convenient lies and accept what Al Gore might call certain “Inconvenient Truths”—elections in America since 2000 have been questionable when seen in the best possible light, but more likely constitute outrageous “continental and oceanic” frauds against the people from coast to coast.

The Boston Globe never (in recent memory) met a Socialist it didn’t like… but it is still disheartening to think that the City of the Sons of Liberty has sunk this low.  This is, quite simply, the diametric opposite of the Spirit of ’76 in Eighteenth Century Boston (and Virginia) which led to the American Revolution, when Patrick Henry famously intoned from the pulpit of St. John’s Church in Richmond:

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

A very dear old friend wrote back to me, after I announced that Trump’s position against acceptance had finally convinced me to vote for him, after many months of vacillation and hesitation:

OMG!  Maybe that should be WTF. This is what you got from the last debate?! How utterly depressing.  .  .   .   .   .  If you honestly think this clown would be safe in world politics, I fear for your sanity. I can’t begin to express what a disaster I think he would be as President, except to say that in a million years, I would never have believed I would find myself voting for Hillary, but he made it a necessity. Just one more thing to despise this bloviated windbag and egomaniacal twit!

I don’t necessarily deny that there are clownish and twitty things about Trump, but if he truly stands outside the current governmental-elite system, then he is worth his weight in god: I just couldn’t believe that he really was until October 19, 2016.

And, does being a Clown or a Twit really disqualify anyone from office?  I rather think history is against that.

Trump is often compared to Hitler in exactly this way, and the notion of Hitler as a clown is as old as the Three Stooges’ early production called “Nasty Spy” and Charlie Chaplin’s brilliant “The Great Dictator”—-not to mention later “Springtime for Hitler” and “The Producers”….or a thousand shorter skits involving Monty Python or other British Comedians.

Caricature and ridicule are very socially interesting and ritually powerful, as our dear old professor Dr. Victoria Reifler Bricker hath taught us to say, and understand.

The role of Royal Court Jesters in Royal Courts and the interplay between Kings and Court Jesters is likewise well-known and documented anthropologically and historically everywhere. The Maya God K— whether called Tezcatlipoca or Kakupacal, is iconographically represented as “The Jester God” and he is in fact the chief Deity of Mesoamerican Kings and Rulers, from the ancient Ahauwob of the Peten to the Huey Tlatoani of Tenochtitlan. Does that make them undignified or less royal, or does it inform us of the nature of nobility and royalty? What does it tell us that the words “Sac” or “Iztac” refer to things mythical and imaginary, and otherworldly and royal?

Hitler was obviously an actor who rehearsed a role. So was Ronald Reagan. Recently republished photographs from he 1920s show that Hitler learned his oratorical style and practiced it privately in front of the Camera. Well??? Some of his poses, while learning, were definitely funny. Most actors have to practice before becoming capable of world class, memorable presentations… Many people criticize Trump because he is not an actor—the express and explicit criticism is “he does not know how to act in public” or “he does not know how to act like a President.”

Adolph Hitler did not know how to “Act like a Fuhrer” when he was a painter or a corporal in Kaiser Wilhelm’s Army. Who disputes that?

Every lawyer who appears in Court either “represents” or “acts on behalf of” another—and a lawyer’s acting is not metaphoric, but in fact had better be Oscar winning or else the lawyer loses…. Hillary is a lawyer and she knows how to “act” her role much better than Trump. We expect our rulers to be excellent actors. We accept that they should wear costumes and take positions (i.e. pose artificially) and effectively dance around their enemies.

Congress Assembled “Acts”, as do Courts of Law, and “Leaders” in Parliamentary Politics, so what is surprising that Ritual and Theatre are so intimately linked. “Tragedy” was originally the name for the rituals of Dionysus…. So was Hitler a Tragic Figure or a Comedian? He may have been some of both. Hitler, like Benito Mussolini, was born a common man, not an aristocrat like Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Winston Spencer Churchill, who was born at Blenheim Palace, home of the Dukes of Marlborough for three hundred years now.

What seems certain is that, whether you regard him as a clown or a tragedian, Hitler’s “acting” is so memorable that it made an indelible mark on the world, and that, out of the 20th Century, even if Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt are memories consigned to Marx’s old Midden Heap or Dustbin of History…. the name and role of Adolph Hitler may well be remembered with mystery, awe, and fear…. and that is what my old Harvard Linguistics Professor, the late Calvert Watkins, would call “imperishable fame”, or “the immortality of the Gods”….

I think what I really took away from the Third Debate on 19 October 2016 (which Evan Horowitz apparently knew all about on 17 October 2016? to write about it in the Boston Globe?) is that Trump may be enough of a clown to really ACT FOR or REPRESENT me (and 150,000,000-200,000,000 or so) other “traditional Americans” against the current global elite.

For those of us in that category (150,000,000 or so “Traditional Americans”), the past eight years have truly been an abomination marking the final crystallization of life into the future predicted by  Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984.

Clowns stand, throughout the symbolism and iconography of the world, for established orders TURNED UPSIDE DOWN—and THAT is exactly what we need in America today—the Bush-Clinton-Obama Oligarchy MUST be stood on its head and shaken, the course of history must be reversed, and maybe this  possibly over-sexed Orange-haired clown is just the man to do what needs to be done….

Albert Pike: Lawyer, Brigadier General Mason & Spiritual Leader of the South

Despite my great fortune in education and work to have worked and studied under some very great men, including the late Harvard professors Gordon Randolph Willey and Calvert Watkins, as well as the very much alive Federal Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael W. McConnell, and Kenneth L. Ryskamp, no man ever influenced my mind and intellectual growth more than my grandfather, Alphonse Bernhard Meyer, who died when I was not quite 20, on the Monday before Mardi Gras, on February 18, 1980.  

Among my grandfather’s most treasured possessions were an autographed set of the works of Albert Pike inherited from his own father Herbert Bernhard Meyer.  Another member of the Meyer family, Elard Hugo Meyer had written extensively on comparative mythology, in particular famous for preparing and updating the Fourth Edition of Jacob Grimm’s Deustsche Mythologie and later for his own magna opera Indogermanische Mythen, Die Eddische Kosmogonie, Die Mythologie der Germanen.  My grandfather himself, although he had formally studied only biology and chemistry, leading to his lifetime commitment to the greater health, safety, and technology of the United States Armed Forces, was a great student of comparative religion and literature himself, keeping shelves of  heavily worn books of Arabic, Egyptian, Gnostic, Heretical (Eastern) Christian, Persian, Sufi, Zoroastrian, Vedic, and Hindic mysticism and literature.  

But my grandfather explained his interests by repeatedly asserting that the study of comparative religion was only the road back to understanding of our own lives, our own truths, and above-all the meaning of death and of our lives in the hereafter, and he connected all of these to doing good works and making contributions to the lives of the living on earth.  In this my grandfather thought that no one had ever contributed more to his own understanding than the writings of Albert Pike.  My grandfather had achieved 33rd degree masonry at the early age of 30, in the same year he had chaired the first $1,000,000 fundraising campaign in the history the Dallas YMCA (his last campaign, in 1979, netted the Y $10,000,000).  

Like Elard Hugo Meyer, Pike had also written on Indo-Aryan Deities and Worship as Contained in the Rig-Veda as well as the Lectures of the Arya and above all, his multiple editions of Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasonry and Morals and Dogma of the First Three Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasonry in addition to The Meaning of Masonry and Points within the Circle.  Pike’s and Meyer’s writings coincided in bringing together the concepts of Ancient Learning and Language for Modern Morality and Virtue.   Albert Pike was often said to be one of the founding commanders of the Ku Klux Klan and its “Chief Judicial Officer” just as Hugo Meyer was said to be one of the spiritual forefathers of the Artaman League, the writings of Herman Wirth, and Himmler’s Ahnenerbe.  Others say that Albert Pike was somehow connected to the development of international banking and the Federal Reserve, but this appears to be related only to some of his extremely early writings as an Arkansas Lawyer and Court officer.

Although Albert Pike was born in Boston, lived in New Orleans and New York City, and died and was buried in Washington, where he is the only Confederate General commemorated by a statue, Pike spent much of his life in Arkansas, where he is remembered as the founder of the first legal reports (recording the deliberations and decisions of judges to establish precedent and common law) and the first form books to guide practice in this state known to so many only as the gap along I-40 & I-30 between Tennessee and Arkansas, connected by the lives and military-political careers of both Governor-General-President-Governor Sam Houston and Representative & legendary Alamo Hero Davy Crockett, among so many others.

Albert Pike (1809–1891)
Albert Pike was a lawyer who played a major role in the development of the early courts of Arkansas and played an active role in the state’s politics prior to the Civil War. He also was a central figure in the development of Masonry in the state and later became a national leader of that organization. During the Civil War, he commanded the Confederacy’s Indian Territory, raising troops there and exercising field command in one battle. He also was a talented poet and writer.

Albert Pike was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1809. He was one of the six children of Benjamin Pike, a cobbler, and Sarah Andrews. He attended public schools in Byfield, Newburyport, and Framingham, Massachusetts. His received an education that provided him with a background in classical and contemporary literature and in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. He passed the examination required for entry into Harvard when he was sixteen. He was unable to pay the tuition at Harvard, however, and began to teach, working at schools in Newburyport and nearby Gloucester and Fairhaven.

He began to write poetry as a young man, which he continued to do for the rest of his life. When he was twenty-three, he published his first poem, “Hymns to the Gods.” Subsequent poems appeared in contemporary literary journals such asBlackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine and local newspapers. His first collection of poetry, Prose Sketches and Poems Written in the Western Country, appeared in 1834. He later gathered many of his poems and republished them in Hymns to the Gods and Other Poems (1872). After his death these appeared again in Gen. Albert Pike’s Poems (1900) and Lyrics and Love Songs(1916).

Pike left Massachusetts for Santa Fe, in what was then Mexico, in 1831, one of many at the time attracted to the developing West. From Santa Fe, he joined in an expedition into the lands around the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers. Somewhere along the route, he left the expedition and walked to Fort Smith (Sebastian County). He taught there in rural schools for a short time, but his literary skills early involved him in Arkansas politics. In 1833, he published in local newspapers letters in support of Robert Crittenden’s candidacy for territorial delegate to Congress. The anonymous letters, signed “Casca” after one of the Roman politicians who assassinated Julius Caesar, were considered very persuasive and secured for him a statewide reputation as a writer. They also attracted the attention of Charles Bertrand, owner of the Whig Party’s Arkansas Advocate, who invited Pike to Little Rock (Pulaski County) to work as the paper’s editor. Pike accepted the job and moved to the capital city. While working for the Advocate, Pike published a series of stories and poems about his adventures in New Mexico, the material later published in his Prose Stories and Poems Written in the Western Country.

In addition to editing the newspaper, Pike secured additional work in Little Rock as a clerk in the legislature. He married Mary Ann Hamilton on October 10, 1834. The couple had six children. Hamilton brought to the marriage considerable financial resources, and she helped Pike purchase an interest in the Advocate from Charles Bertram in 1834. The next year, he became its sole proprietor. Pike studied law while editing the newspaper, ultimately passing the Arkansas Bar exam in either 1836 or 1837. In the latter year, he sold the newspaper and devoted his time to the law. He demonstrated considerable legal prowess early and represented clients in courts at every level, including the United States Supreme Court, which he received permission to practice before in 1849.

Pike developed a lucrative law practice, and his clients included many of the tribes in Indian Territory. Among his clients at this time were the Creek (Muscogee) and Choctaw, whom he represented in a case against the U.S. government that secured payment for lands taken in the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814. Pike learned several Native American dialects while working as their attorney.

From 1836 to 1844, Pike was the first reporter of the Arkansas Supreme Court, charged with writing notes on the relevant points in court decisions, then publishing and indexing the court’s opinions. In 1842, he published the Arkansas Form Book, a tool for lawyers providing models for the different kinds of motions to be filed in the state’s courts. His reputation as an attorney also secured him the appointment of receiver for the failed Arkansas State Bank in 1840. As receiver, he attempted to collect the debts owed to that institution. At the same time, the fees he received for this work were lucrative and secured his fortune.

An ambitious public figure, Pike joined others in 1845 in supporting actions against Mexico, what became the Mexican War. He helped raise the Little Rock Guards, a company incorporated into the Arkansas cavalry regiment of Colonel Archibald Yell, and served as its captain. Pike concluded early on that the senior officers of his regiment were incompetent, and he shared his observations with the people back in Arkansas through letters to the newspapers. Following the Battle of Buena Vista, he leveled particularly harsh criticism against Lieutenant Colonel John Selden Roane. After the publication of a particularly vitriolic letter by Pike in the Arkansas Gazette, Roane demanded that Pike apologize or “give him satisfaction.” Pike refused to apologize, and the two fought a duel near Fort Smith on a sand bank in the Arkansas River. In the exchange of fire, neither hit his antagonist, and the two were persuaded to halt the duel, with honor satisfied.

Returning from Mexico, Pike reestablished his law practice. He promoted the construction of a transcontinental railroad from New Orleans to the Pacific coast, writing numerous newspaper essays urging support for this project. He moved to New Orleans in 1853 to further his railroad activities, although he also continued to practice law. He translated French legal volumes into English while preparing to pass the local bar exam for Louisiana. Ultimately, he successfully obtained a charter from the Louisiana legislature for one of his railroad projects. He returned to Little Rock in 1857.

In the years immediately following the Mexican War, Pike’s concern with the developing sectional crisis brought on by the issue of slavery became apparent. He had long been a Whig, but the Whig Party repeatedly refused to address the slavery issue. That failure and Pike’s own anti-Catholicism led him to join the Know-Nothing Party upon its creation. In 1856, he attended the new party’s national convention, but he found it equally reluctant to adopt a strong pro-slavery platform. He joined other Southern delegates in walking out of the convention. Pike believed in the idea of state’s rights and considered secession constitutional. He philosophically supported secession, demonstrating his position in 1861 when he published a pamphlet titled State or Province, Bond or Free?

In 1861, the Arkansas state convention named Pike its commissioner to Indian Territory and authorized him to negotiate treaties with the various tribes. As a result of his experience there, the Confederate War Department appointed him a brigadier general in the Confederate army in August 1861 and assigned him to the Department of the Indian Territory. Pike assisted the tribes that supported the Confederacy in raising regiments. He believed that these units would be critical to protecting the territory from Union incursions, but his belief that the Indian units should be kept in Indian Territory brought him into early conflict with his superiors. In the spring of 1862, General Earl Van Dorn ordered him to bring his 2,500 Indian troops into northwestern Arkansas. Despite his opposition to the move, Pike obeyed, and his Indian force of about 900 men joined Confederate forces in northwest Arkansas. On March 7–8, 1862, they participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge (a.k.a. Elkhorn Tavern), led by Pike. Pike proved a poor leader, and he failed to keep his force engaged with the enemy or in check. Charges circulated widely that the men had stopped their advance to take scalps. After the battle, Pike and his men returned to Indian Territory.

Opposition to Confederate policy over Indian Territory would continue to be a source of conflict between Pike and his superiors. Unhappy with Pike, in the summer of 1862, General Thomas C. Hindman, commander of Confederate forces in Arkansas, attempted to extend his authority over the territory. Pike responded by issuing a circular that refused to surrender control and charged Hindman with trying to replace constitutional government with despotism. Ultimately, the dispute between the two went to Confederate authorities at Richmond. The authorities decided in favor of Hindman and reprimanded Pike. On July 12, Pike resigned from his position in protest. With his resignation, Pike retired to Greasy Cove (Montgomery County). He was appointed as a judge of the state Supreme Court in 1864, but little is known of his activities on the court.

At the end of the Civil War, Pike moved to New York City, then for a short time to Canada. After receiving an amnesty from President Andrew Johnson on August 30, 1865, he returned for a time to Arkansas and resumed the practice of law. In 1867, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and entered a new law partnership with General Charles W. Adams. He also edited theMemphis Appeal. He may have become involved in the organization of the Ku Klux Klan at this time, although this is not certain. He moved to Washington DC in 1870. There, he engaged for a time in politics, editing The Patriot, a Democraticnewspaper, from 1868 to 1870. He also practiced law in partnership with Robert W. Johnson, former U.S. senator, until 1880. Although less interested in Arkansas affairs, one of his last major roles in the state would be his support to the Grant administration of Elisha Baxter’s claims for the governorship in 1874.

After he ceased practicing law, Pike’s real interest was the Masonic Lodge. He had become a Mason in 1850 and participated in the creation of the Masonic St. Johns’ College in Little Rock that same year. In 1851, he helped to form the Grand Chapter of Arkansas and was its Grand High Priest from 1853 to 1854. In 1853, he also associated with the Scottish Rite of Masons and rose rapidly in the organization. In 1859, he was elected grand commander of the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, the administrative district for all parts of the country except for the fifteen states east of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio, and held that post until his death. After the war, he devoted much of his time to rewriting the rituals of the Scottish Rite Masons. For years, his Morals and Dogma (1871), still in print, was distributed to members of the Rite. Over his career, he published numerous other works on the order, including Meaning of Masonry, Book of the Words, and The Point Within the Circle. As he aged, he also became interested in spiritualism, particularly Indian thought, and its relationship to Masonry. Late in life, he learned Sanskrit and translated various literary works written in that language. As a result of his work in this area, he published Indo-Aryan Deities and Worship as Contained in the Rig-Veda.

Pike died at the Scottish Rite Temple in Washington DC on April 2, 1891. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery there. On December 29, 1944, the anniversary of his birth, his body was removed from Oak Hill Cemetery and placed in a crypt in the temple.

Pike was much honored after his death. His Masonic brothers erected a statute to him in 1901 in Washington DC, making him the only former Confederate general to have a monument there. Authorities also named the first highway between Hot Springs (Garland County) and Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Albert Pike Highway. The Albert Pike Memorial Temple in Little Rock bears his name, and his Little Rock home remains standing. After renovation, the home opened as the Arkansas Arts Center’s Decorative Arts Museum in March 1985. In 2004, it became the Arts Center Community Gallery, a multi-purpose gallery in which local and regional art is shown.

For additional information:
Albert Pike Letters and Documents. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Allsopp, Frederick William. Albert Pike: A Biography. Little Rock: Parke-Harper, 1928.

Baker, Virgil L. “Albert Pike: Citizen Speechmaker of Arkansas.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 10 (Summer 1951): 138–156.

Brown, Walter L. A Life of Albert Pike. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1997.Duncan, Robert Lipscomb. Reluctant General: The Life and Times of Albert Pike. New York: Dutton, 1961.

Keller, Mark, and Thomas A. Besler Jr. “Albert Pike’s Contributions to the Spirit of the Times, Including His ‘Letter from the Far, Far West’.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 37 (Winter 1978): 318–353.

Carl H. Moneyhon
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

This entry, originally published in Arkansas Biography: A Collection of Notable Lives, appears in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture in an altered form. Arkansas Biography is available from the University of Arkansas Press.

Related Butler Center Lesson Plans:
Arkansas Civil War Drama (Grades 7-12)Arkansas Poetry Connection (Grades 7-12)Who’s Who in Arkansas (Grades 5-8)Last Updated 8/2/2012

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in the late 19th Century and his interests were passed on to his American cousins.

St. George the Anarchist? Adolf the Good Shepherd? St. George of Lydda was not a Good Shepherd, but on AH’s 124th birthday we might well reflect whether Der Fuhrer appealed to the sincere craving most people have for a Good Shepherd, a true leader: meditations at the Cusp of Aries & Taurus: April 20-23, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana

Today is St. George’s Day, the national day of England, Aragon & Portugal, Greece, and Russia (literally the Four Corners of Europe).  The real dragon that the historical St. George slew was not a scaly monster with wings but (in effect) the last gasp of Pagan imperialism and imperial taxation for the ancient Gods in Rome.  He was a nobleman who died a noble death for the highest of all causes: preservation of his own faith, morals, philosophy, and religion.  

George’s father, Gerontios, was a Greek, from Cappadocia, Asia Minor, a high officer in the Roman army of the Eastern Empire and his mother, Polychronia, was a Greek from the city Lydda, Palestine.  George’s parents were both pre-Nicene, pre-Imperial adoption Roman Christians and from noble families of Anici, so their child was raised with Christian beliefs, although it is probably fair to say that Christian beliefs of the late 3rd century might have included a lot of what we now consider “Gnostic” and other heresies.  His parents decided to call the future saint by a rather humble name: Georgios, which in Greek means “earth-worker” or “farmer”.  

No records attest or even suggest St. George’s birthdate or exact age, but “as a young man,” sometime in his early-to-mid twenties, before A.D. 302, George traveled to Nicomedia (now Turkish “Izmit” by the Sea of Marmara), the imperial city of the Eastern Roman Empire (from 284-324, just until the foundation of Constantinople).  There in what was then the Primary Center of the collapsing Roman Empire, George offered his services to the Eastern Roman Emperor Diocletian and applied for a commission in the Roman Army, specifically the late imperial version of the Praetorian Guard. Diocletian welcomed this young nobleman, apparently quite warmly, as the Imperator had known George’s father, Gerontius — one of his finest soldiers.  By his late 20s, George was promoted to the rank of Tribunus and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia.

In the year AD 302, Diocletian (following his junior imperial co-regent Emperor Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice (tax or offering of some sort) to the ancient Roman gods still prominent at the time.  A Christian himself, George son of Gerontius objected and with the courage of his faith approached the Emperor and ruler.   Roman Emperors, presumably, did not much like their edicts to be questioned, since their edicts were law.  (The current President of the United States feels much the same way).  

George’s actions put Diocletian in a pickle, however.  George was either his best or one of his best tribunes and the son of either his best or one of his best officials, Gerontius.

In what can only be called an act of Anarchism and Defiance of Leadership, George loudly renounced the Emperor’s edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and Tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ.  Diocletian sought to convert George, to “save” him as it were for Apollo, Jupiter, Juno, and Zeus, even offering gifts of land, money and slaves if George would bow down and sacrifice to the Roman gods.  The Emperor essentially offered George massive and generous bribes and benefits, which the saintly young Christian never accepted.

Recognizing the futility of his efforts, Diocletian was left with no choice but to haveGeorge executed for his defiance.  But, just to make the Emperor’s situation worse, before his execution George gave all his not inconsiderable wealth to the poor and prepared himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords from which George survived three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia’s city wall, on April 23, 303.

A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians as well, and so they joined George in martyrdom. George’s body was returned to Lydda in Palestine for burial, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr.  So the Dragon that George slew in fact was the dragon of obedience in violation of his faith, of his God and of his Truth.  St. George was a nobleman who followed no leader but Jesus Christ, although he might have been close in wealth to the Emperor had he consented to the bribery and pressure.   So let us feast today in memory of St. George the Anarchist, whose defiant death as an Imperial Tribune, so close to the emperor, brought the triumph of Christianity in Rome one major step closer.  

For all these reasons St. George was truly heroic and a model for our time, and his inheritance of the Ancient Indo-European mythic status as Dragon Slayer is altogether appropriate and fitting (see Calvert Watkins: How to Kill a Dragon Oxford University Press).  It seems particularly appropriate to celebrate St. George one week after April 15, in honor and memory of all who in adherence to their faith in freedom and the Constitution to defy the illegal taxes and sacrifices required of them in these United States today.  

In following Jesus Christ, St. George in fact died more as a Dragon himself than as a sheep—he died with full knowledge of the earthly riches and power he could have possessed, if only he had abandoned his Lord for his earthly leader.  

And all of this happened on the Cusp of Aries & Taurus (Does History Make Myth or does Myth Make History?): Does the following astrological characterization (“randomly” selected not by me but by Google as the first listed) seem at all appropriate for a week commemorating Adolf Hitler, Cannabis sativa L., Earth Day, Good Shepherd Sunday, and St. George’s Day?:

“Often times referred to as the as the “cusp of power”, the Aries/Taurus combination is one you do not want to fight against. I say this because you may never win; a fire/earth combination is never easy to beat. Aries is a fiery and impulsive sign.  They charge forward even where angels fear to tread and have no problem doing what needs to be done to obtain their objective. The Taurus part of this combination grounds the impulsiveness and provides an air of practicality and endurance. It is like a tug of war and the feel of both involved is set in concrete.
The Aries Taurus combination is truly dominant and capable of being a force you cannot control. Make no doubt, they will be a leader wherever they end up being and you will do their bidding. At home or even at work, they are the established principal and do not like submitting to someone else’s authority. At the same time, all of this ‘being the alpha’ of the group can also overwhelm them causing them to lose their drive or ambition. They begin to question if it is worth all their effort and skill. But for as strong as these two signs are, they are also very, very dangerous.
They are the first signs of the zodiac as well as their element and quality. Like many first signs you will always have a fight for lead position. They surround themselves with people who are not afraid to go toe to toe with them and don’t mind going that extra mile. They enjoy a challenge and love to be intellectually stimulated. As someone who loves an Aries Taurus cusp, you will need to be patient with them as they can be quarrelsome and changeable at the best of times, especially if you have their heart. You will get the brunt end of many aggressions because again, they expect you to be able to take it. If you can remember that they are likely to follow their instincts rather than rules, it might help you two get along better.  As a person living within this cusp, you are a bundle of energy at the best of times. The Aries in you is ready to take on the world while the Taurus in you thinks great idea but let’s sit down and plan strategy before you attack. If you are unable to find your own personal balance you are left restless and stressed. Finding the proper balance takes time, trial and error. You have to find your own path, one where you can let your aggressive nature out to play while keeping certain things in life stable and relaxed.”

(http://xstrologyscopes.com/articles/aries/aries-taurus-cusp)

We’ll see what happens today, but so far Sunday, April 21 has been the most dramatic day of this “Cusp” for me, mostly because of what happened at Church.  It was the Fourth Sunday of Easter and “Good Shepherd Sunday”—due to my own schedule and whereabouts on Sunday I ended up going to the evening service at the Trinity Church Chapel on Jackson Street instead of my usual trip to “Real Presence” at the Cathedral.  The 6:00 pm service at Trinity is much more conservative and traditional than the radically “avant guarde” event at the same time at Christ Church on St. Charles.  

The drama started immediately when the opening hymn was (Episcopal) 1982 Hymnal: 522 (Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken–http://www.hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/522).  The words are almost irrelevant: the tune, the music, is Franz Joseph Haydn Opus 76, no. 3: the world knows this as Deutschland über Alles.  Interesting choice the day after Hitler’s birthday, don’t you think?  To aggravate the complexity of the thought, and the coincidence.  Father Henry Hudon’s sermon concerned “Leadership” concluding “the Good Shepherd is the one who leads his flock, whom his flock will follow willingly.”   The Psalm was 23 of course:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
He leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul: 
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; 
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: 
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Historically speaking, Adolf Hitler was not a “Good Shepherd” for Germany or the world.  He did not lead them to green pastures or still waters but led Germany into near total self-anihilation by fighting a war that should never have been fought.  Even if we consider that Hitler had been a Good Shepherd for Germany right up until September 1, 1939, the invasion of Poland ultimately led to the cancellation of any good thing he or his regime had ever done.  Hitler did indeed lead the world into the valley of the shadow of death where everyone, both Germans and non-Germans, had much to fear in those days.  Goodness and mercy were not notable features either of the Third Reich nor the World War, nor of the Allied Occupation of Germany which followed.   The War Crimes Trials held in 1946-49 (and sporadically thereafter) are among the greatest mockeries of justice in history.

But none of this changes the fact that Hitler operated as a remarkably “Good Shepherd” in the sense of a persuasive leader—a man whom his people followed.  Many in the Patriot movement criticize Americans for being “Sheeple”—and yet our religion, or symbolism, everything in Christianity teaches us that the Lamb of God should be the leader of all the sheep.  The Gospel on Sunday was John 10:22-30 “My sheep hear my voice.  I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life and they will never perish.  No one will snatch them from out of my hand.  What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand.  The Father and I are one.”  

One of Hitler’s Harvard-educated followers Ernst Hanfstaengl once rhapsodized about the Nazi leader, “What Hitler was able to do to a crowd in 2½ hours will never be repeated in 10,000 years,” Hanfstaengl said. “Because of his miraculous throat construction, he was able to create a rhapsody of hysteria. In time, he became the living unknown soldier of Germany.”  Hitler’s sheep knew his voice, but perhaps he did not know them.  Hitler not only gave an early death rather than eternal life to a huge number of his people, especially a near generation and a half of the good-looking young German men pictured in film-clip after film-clip from the 1930s shouting “Sieg Heil.”  What could be more ironic?  Hitler’s personality followed very closely to the Aries-Taurus cusp described above.  Was it written with Hitler in mind?

And herein is the deep and troubling problem: people crave leadership.  They long for a “Good Shepherd.”  This is not merely a feature of the German people at all.  The Americans since at least 2000 have recently been led down several paths by two good and persuasive leaders whom they did not question.  The paths on which the United States of America has walked since 2000 are clearly paths to tyranny, despotic dictatorship, and one form or another of Socialism or Communism which will be utterly incompatible with the Constitution of 1787, or its ten 1791 Amendments known as “the Bill of Rights.”  

The comparisons between Bush, Hitler, and Obama may get tiresome, but they are not pointless.  Very few people in the world are actually capable of living as true leaderless “anarchists.”  I fancy that I am one of the few who can manage, in large part because I am my grandparents’ grandson, and I know a few other true “anarchists”, but most people long to be told what to do.  While teaching I learned this: most students hate a professor who encourages them to go their own way and be creative.  They want strict instructions and stricter guidelines.

Prior to the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, I had spent parts of Saturday meditating as I always do on the horrible incongruity of 420 being Adolf Hitler’s birthday and International Marijuana-Pot, “Cannabis sativa culture” day.  I don’t smoke pot anymore (never did very much) but almost everyone else in the world does or seems to.  I last smoked in July 1991, right here in New Orleans in fact at a party my wife Elena and I threw in the Mary Martin suite at the Pontchartrain Hotel, within a few blocks of where I’m sitting writing this in fact.   Elena’s little sister Alex and a bunch of Maya archaeological luminaries attending the International Congress of Americanists including Clemency Chase Coggins, Merle Greene Robertson, David H. Kelley, Edward B. Kurjack, Norman Hammond, and Harriot Topsey, were having a great time lighting up in one of the rooms while others were sitting “talking shop” in another.  Elena made a gigantic scene when she found her (underage) sister smoking in a room full of adults and told everyone the horrible study of her brother George and his decline due to drug addiction (he died nine years later in January 2010, at the ripe old age of 51).  It was the beginning of the end for me and Elena but it was absolutely the last time I ever touched Pot.  

Still, as an anarchist I believe in Freedom and the right of each individual to choose his way, and for that reason I support the 420 movement to the extent that it proposes an abolition of all government interference with both the production, sale, and distribution of whatever people really want, even if they are led to destructive habits by bad shepherds….. Yes, I do think part of freedom is the freedom to follow even Bush, even Hitler, even Obama, even Stalin, but it is the duty of every Anarchist to try to turn sheep into wolves…..

Earth Day has never been that “big” a day in my life.  I was President of the Environmental Law Society at the University of Chicago and have always fancied myself an environmentalist.  But in recent years, I have become extremely uncomfortable with the Environmental Movement largely because of its alliance with “Agenda 21” and what Obama Czar “Cass Sunstein” (my former professor for both Environmental and Administrative Law at the University of Chicago) calls “Command and Control” state action.  “Command and Control” over the economy under PRETEXT of environmentalism is to my mind, totally wrong.  

I submit that sound money is the best guarantor of sound economic policy.  But for ludicrously extravagant government expenditures in the 1920s-1930s, none of the gigantic dams could ever have been built along the Colorado River and, without that hideous diversion of water, the ecological fiasco known as Southern California suburbia could NEVER have come into existence.  Los Angeles might have remained a small railroad town.  Although, pushing the model back further, the great railways of the 1860s-1890s which created (among other things) Los Angeles and Pasadena, would likewise never have happened if government had stayed limited and constrained by sound monetary policy and the Constitution of 1787, limited by the Bill of Rights.  Dams are the greatest ecological and environmental curses known to the Planet, yet they provide short term comforts which people love.  As I have often written, Dams are just the latest manifestation of “Oriental Despotism” which is the original form of state-based welfare, the original basis for welfare-based “command and control” over large populations.  Ecologically speaking, NOTHING is more wasteful, destructive, and against nature than the water-redistributive policies which have transformed Southern California, Southern Nevada, and most of Central and Southern Arizona into suburban wastelands.  Abolish the free credit easy money economy, restore gold and silver as the only lawful currency, and the dams will soon cease to function, have to be torn down, and the Southwestern Deserts will reclaim the suburbs, slowly but surely.  That is MY dream for Earth Day.

But finally, will it take a real St. George to achieve such an ecological turn around?  A modern St. George might well be the man who dismantles the dams.   St. George, the Patron Saint of England, Greece, Aragon (Catalonia), Egypt, Lithuania, Serbia, Ukraine, and Russia.   St. George, by all accounts, was a leaderless Anarchist.  He was NOT a Good Shepherd.  He apparently did not lead people at all, but acted alone and set an example.  I think this is why St. George is such an appropriate Patron Saint for England, and Americans would do well to think more of his example as well.