hankrules2011

A polymath rambling about virtually anything

For Those Not Keeping Track…

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 29, 2021

This is the China that states and entities have been fearing for several decades.

This nightmare story has been making the rounds amongst global leaders, analysts and China watchers for the past couple of days. Lest anyone think this an aberration, it isn’t nor is it intended to be by the CCP.

China takes Uganda’s only international airport

Let me rephrase that first sentence. This is ONE of the Chinas. I suspect we’ll see more variants in the near future. I suspect many will, particularly in that region. Is 2025-7 still a realistic deadline? It’s nearly December 2021. Some generals have been mentioning 2022 throughout the year, some others 2021. Softly. It’s nearly 2022. What the future holds… 超限戰

Much more has been and can be said about regional and global geopolitical tensions, particularly pertaining to the East Asia region, but I’ll just put some links to some things I’ve posted or written lately.

Those PLA-built coastal Chinese hypersonics seem even less amusing now…

Virtually all of these pieces were taken from my LinkedIn page, where I post commentary as often as possible. Meaning those without a LinkedIn account won’t be able to access them, for which I apologize. If that’s the case and you want to read at least the source pieces, leave messages here, let me know, do something — or even look them up yourselves! — and if you can’t find the original source, I’ll find it for you and post it. These are important and critical times in the world for so many reasons. China’s big and the potential problems it presents sometimes seem insurmountable, but with Russia’s designs on its neighbors in Eurasia and a US-led NATO stuffing missiles on all of the borders of the newly NATO’d former Soviet satellites, I understand why Putin’s feeling threatened and ticked as hell, but the last thing we need is a two front narrative. Of course that doesn’t take into account issues in the Middle East, attempts at illegal proliferation with certain states vowing to literally stop at nothing to ensure that doesn’t take place, as well as renewed violence at certain places along the China/India border, which happens to be the longest geographic national border in the world — and it’s nuclear — and when mixed with an illegal nuclear India, the second most populous country in the world behind China — and catching up — AND a burgeoning regional hegemonic rival to China ALSO up against their worst energy, an equally illegal nuclear Pakistan that is armed to the teeth, pumping out nukes like crazy, paranoid as shit, lives for basically one thing which is to obsess about India and its nuclear destruction should Pakistan be lucky enough to pull that off, which means that THREE nuclear countries, all hostile, are all sitting there in a row having a pissing contest. The India/Pakistan region is considered by most global military and civilian leaders to be the most volatile and deadly in the world.

BUT it doesn’t stop there! Ever since the US dumped Pakistan and fled Afghanistan with its tail between its legs, predictably, nuclear China and nuclear Pakistan have been growing quite chummy, and — shocker — both unstable nuclear states have a Real problem with nuclear India between them. Nice. Something else I’ve found interesting is that analysts and experts have been writing and publishing on these dynamics all year, but I have YET to see what I’m about to mention — because I am the “groundbreaker,” you know 😉 — but with all of the people around the region/world freaking out about an unstable, tension-filled THREE nuclear state S/SE/E Asia region, why has no one — and I read hundreds of items daily, probably thousands, from all over the world — why has no one mentioned the FOURTH just north of all of them — Russia? Forgotten in the mix of crazies? They’re actually not as crazy as some others, but they’re damned dangerous and despite the extreme unlikelihood of any worries in the region of a crazed Russia nuking everyone, we all know it only takes one nutjob to set off a chain reaction that couldn’t be stopped, so even if Russia is the more “mature” (and I’m not entirely willing to go there) nuclear player in a four-nuke area, it doesn’t mean we should forget that the most volatile place on earth doesn’t just involve two nuclear enemies, and now possibly a third, but FOUR nuclear states and with the world going crazy, WTH knows what could come of that dynamic?

And with that, I’ll stop for now because A) I have other things to attend to and B) if I really wanted to drive this or these points home, I could keep going for days and weeks and never come to a logical stopping point so I’m forced to create one of my own — which I’ve done. If anyone would like some more substantial resource suggestions (in the way of books, journals, etc.), leave a comment (or look at my Goodreads author page library, as I have libraries on Asia, geopolitics, military, etc.) and I’ll be happy to make some recommendations.

Screenshot of the top of my Goodreads Author Page

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Thoughts on the book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 4, 2021

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After WarmingThe Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Not new in terms of primary predictions but just a hell of a lot closer than 20-25 years ago. And it’s scary as shit. Naturally the US is just one of a handful of countries that not only doesn’t give a shit (our conservative owners) but stunningly STILL argues fantasy vs reality. Of course those with brains know what is going on. The uber-rich, banks, massive corporations, the boards, top execs, etc., naturally know all of this is true and they have the whole time. But they fight bitterly to refute reality and the rest of the world — why? There’s an excellent book out there (Bruce Cannon Gibney’s A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America) with a premise that baby boomers are literally a generation of sociopaths so selfish and greedy, they’re willing to sell out their kids and grandkids and, hell, the whole damn world, content to let the earth and all on it get destroyed — in large part due to THEM and actions and inactions. Why? What will this accomplish? They’re so unbelievably blinded by narcissism, greed and power that they somehow can’t see, even as they massively fund new institutes to research extending the (their) human life span and much more, yet these big, rich mini-Kings are so fucking stupid that they seem not have realized what every powerful peoples throughout history (the Egyptians? Aztecs?) found out — you can’t take it with you! Yet they act like you can. If they’re not amassing wealth to pass down their family line/corporate descendants—and they’re not because in their continuing denial that the earth is not flat, that the galaxy spins, that humanity has set in motion, already underway, the virtual complete destruction of the earth so there will be NO descendants to speak of to pass on billion dollar inheritances. And they’ve more than proven they’re just fine with that. So the net result is what exactly? Something as basic and juvenile as the race to reach the finish line and “win” because you’re the richest? That’s brain dead stupid. But leave it to the Me Generation to not think rationally or for the good of others when considering the future.

As far as I can figure, when you die, you *might* leave one or two things to prove you existed. First, a legacy of some sort. It doesn’t have to involve fame, wealth, anything. Families can pass on heirlooms, admiration for certain religious leaders and a variety of notable people (NOT as defined by Wikipedia’s criteria) might leave a famous legacy for a period of time. Writers, artists and musicians can leave various legacies, as can certain inventors, generals, scientists, etc. You get the picture. Do you want your legacy to resemble Donald Trump’s? Cause that’s basically what we’re talking about. People who are often quickly forgotten because they leave no legacy of any real value. Except in some cases, my second example of what people can leave. Wealth, property, investments, inheritances, etc. But we’ve already established those responsible for this crisis or in denial don’t care about that. They’re willingly sentencing their grandchildren to death along with everyone else so the second example is moot. Yet surely some of them must know this. But apparently not care or we would be joining the rest of the world to try to save the planet.

So the only answer is none. Pure selfish greed to amass as much money and power as possible despite the fact that A) they really don’t want to pass it on and B) they’ve already ensured that ultimately they won’t since 2-3 generations later, their destruction of the world will have been complete. (The US DNI annual threat assessment of the US Intelligence Community for 2021, given to Congress in April labels climate change as, after dealing with COVID-19 and its aftereffects, the second greatest transnational threat to America’s greatest security and humanitarian threat there is and it provides plenty of recent examples and near-term concerns. And this is not new. I recall one of the leaders on the Joint Staff as early as about 2005 stating that global warming/climate change posed one of America’s greatest national security threats — source forgotten, insufficient time to look it up, sorry. If you don’t believe me and want to see the report or if you DO believe or are on the fence or whatever, you can find it available through the ODNI here.) So anyway this makes Reason A moot too, because what good is it if you leave a legacy of art, music, architecture, writing when it will encounter the same fate as Reason B thanks to the same cause for the same reason. Which again is what exactly? They’re the new Egyptians, Aztecs, whatever, but they’ll be the first successful ones? That’s the only possible reason, it seems, which proves their brilliance and superiority are bullshit. The Me Generation, despite a glut of educated, successful faux geniuses have never given a shit about anyone but itself, proven over the decades by all they’ve done and continue to do. Maybe they should be called The Worst Generation instead, cause Baby Boomers is too generic a term for what they’ve been and done. And honestly that’s hard for me to say considering my spouse, friends, cousins and I are all either Baby Boomers or on the back end cusp, so I’m indicting us as well (though I think a good argument could be made that it was the large percentage of Boomers prior to the last two years who are mostly responsible, but that’s both biased and a subject for a different piece).

This book? Well written, important book. The subject is more of a horror story to me than simple nonfiction, but we can’t hide our heads in the sand. This is necessary. Recommended.

View all my reviews

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“How Do You Solve a Problem Like Facebook?”

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 2, 2021

“How do you solve a problem like Facebook?” Interesting question. Intriguing. Funny, I was talking with my wife about these very issues, & more, just within the past 24 hours. Finally got around to glancing at email just now, this article was the first thing I saw. Obviously it’s a controversial article, topic, issue, etc., and I literally know, have worked with, have former colleagues and friends and hundreds of connections at Facebook so I want to tread a little lightly, but I’ll just say I’ve not really been thrilled with where they’ve been going over the past decade for many reasons. Facebook has great power and can use it how it wishes. A decade ago, people were happily playing Oregon Trails, Angry Birds, talking with friends and relatives about all sorts of stuff (music, reading, travel) you literally never seen anymore because the money is where the hot stuff is and that’s in ticking people off, engaging in flame wars, encouraging the degradation of once rational humans, etc. Not everyone, but it’s been shown that’s more than potential – that’s been fact & much more (don’t have to point just to Haugen. Cambridge Analytics remains a great place to look at the goings-on.) I got off Facebook years ago and was happier than I’d felt in years, because all I ever seemed to do was encounter people who felt their purpose in life was to rip me hard for just about anything. When I publicly intellectually destroyed these bozos every single time, usually within minutes, they resorted to childish name calling and religious threats of eternal damnation. Didn’t need it, walked away. Nicholas Carr is one of several to write some interesting books lately that go further than the surface things I’ve mentioned. One is The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. In fact it was a nonfiction Pulitzer nominee. (Another more recent book of his is The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us.) Don’t have to buy into it, but makes for an interesting read. Facebook has done a lot of good. It’s also done a lot of bad. Sometimes I view it as a metaphorical Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors.

(Movie’s a lot of fun. Seymour isn’t.)

Source: The Mary Sue

I really don’t mean to Facebook bash. Like I said, I know hundreds of good, decent people there and most people I know are still users. But I think it’s good to read pieces you may not always agree with though, just to get other perspectives. So I urge you to think about reading this because it brings up some food for thought. (And don’t misunderstand me. Power, potential, do good, power corrupts, rein in — one of those rare things found in the US that can’t be looked at in a traditional American Calvinist black/white construct. I’m not damning Facebook. Just urging thought, analysis and reflection, at a minimum.) (I mentioned there are a number of books and resources out there these days. You can look many up yourselves, so I’m not going to post a list, but another potentially interesting book is Cathy O’Neil’s Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.)

[This blog post is an expanded and modified version of a small post I made on my LinkedIn page on October 30, 2021.]

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Polite Society

Posted by Scott Holstad on October 20, 2021

An interesting first blog post from aginggenxer. I tend to agree with most of this & often think if people would just STFU & we could magically go back to much of the late 1960s, the ’70s & part of the ’80s when it was not only not cool to bring up politics & religion in most places but certainly with strangers & certainly not to flame the hell outta them pre-Internet — cause people weren’t that big of an asshole yet, or at least in person — well, yeah maybe this is idealistically naïve but it’s hard for me not to think things would HAVE to better to whatever degree. The last place I lived was very one-party to an extreme degree & for some reason everyone there assumed everyone else — you, me — shared the same political/spiritual beliefs so you’d be standing next to a total stranger & they’d start spewing venom, hate, BS, unwanted religious garbage, etc., expecting you to join them in their hate fests, but if you ever got a word in to tell them no offense, but I disagree with nearly everything you say, the look of shock, betrayal & hatred was borderline shocking, & if in a crowd for something like a community celebration & these morons started spreading the word about troublemakers like US around, it was then wise to start edging toward wherever you left the car. Cause no one had your back when tens of thousands of gun packing people want your scalp for daring to be their neighbor who doesn’t agree with their personal beliefs! They never stop to think, what if the tables were turned? More proof that they’re morons. But the point is, I think agingggenxer makes a good point because like them, when I was younger, you knew enough not to bring those things up & most employers usually had a written policy that those were not workplace topics that would be acceptable. After working with a ton of otherwise likeable people over much of this century & hearing everything from rude jokes to wanting to exterminate fellow citizens who did not see their way — WTH did THAT become acceptable??? — I’ve spent much time coming to hate both major political parties & wishing I were in Finland or Denmark or freaking anywhere but here! Anyway, I thought this was worth sharing. Comments are welcome. Cheers!

aginggenxer

When I was a girl, my father always told me that it was considered impolite to talk about religion and politics. My parents were always secretive about their political leanings. We didn’t practice any religion in my home and we also didn’t talk about anyone else’s religion. I had friends who went to church weekly and that was cool; that’s what their family did. They never talked to us about it unless my brother or I asked.

As I observe our country, now divided in the worst possible way, I long for the days when strangers didn’t ask you about your most deeply held beliefs. We have a new neighbor. A few weeks ago, my husband and this new neighbor met for the first time. This neighbor asked my husband about his religious beliefs and tried to get him to talk about his political beliefs. I see no reason for…

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An Intro to the Finnish Readers of Rendezvous’ssa re US Writer Scott C. Holstad, Circa 1993

Posted by Scott Holstad on October 13, 2021

When I started getting published in 1988-89, somehow — I no longer remember how — I came into contact with some Finnish writers, editors, publishers & magazines by at least 1990. At the time, Bukowski was very popular in Finland (& with me as well) & I’m afraid that like many, I emulated him just a tad too much for my first couple of years. But I started to branch out, set my own tone & feel, & develop my own reputation (never close to Bukowski’s, of course). In the meantime, I started getting published in small magazines in Finland, typically in English but sometimes in Finnish — which I didn’t read at the time. One editor really liked me, solicited stuff from me constantly, was a great guy & eventually asked if he could publish a small booklet of my poems, which kind of blew my mind (as it would be my first international book; I had already had something published in the US). My first poetry collection came out in the Spring 1991. I agreed to Jounni’s request & my 2nd collection, Industrial Madness, came out in December 1991. Other editors & magazines started soliciting work from me, I got to know quite a few good people over there & elsewhere in other countries that would strongly support me for years, such as Belgium, the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, etc., & I started working with some Finnish friends & colleagues in L.A., where I was living at the time. (This helped me realize I wanted to move to Finland.) That first magazine, & the publishing company, was named Sivullinen. Published me a lot. But soon Sivullinen was joined by Sieto Kukka, Solinar, Talvipaivanseisaus & others. I also started getting fan mail. Now as strange it must seem to those of you who never knew me or heard of me as a writer, I actually did go through a 15+/- year period of massive productivity & was sometimes referred to as the most prolific man in the world at the time! (“Man” because no one could beat the late Lyn Lifshin, though I competed well for awhile. “Queen of the Small Press?” How many hundreds of books, many thousands of magazines? Every single literary one I ever saw, it often seemed like. But I was the male Lifshin “Lite,” so had some standing in that literary world.) So I started receiving fan mail from all over the world. And lots of requests, solicitations, offers to publish my books, & the occasional bra in a package from some sweet but delusional girl in a few different places. I had been getting published with Buk in many of the same mags since 1990, started corresponding with him then, would later go over to his house in San Pedro when I moved to Long Beach and he was nice enough to sign a few books for/to me, as well as a Bukowski t-shirt. This made me seem cooler to those that didn’t realize I wasn’t worth shit compared to the big boys. Nonetheless, Buk and I went from being published in a lot of the same magazines (with Gerry Locklin) to being put on the cover of a Finnish magazine, the name of which I no longer recall, which made it appear that we were standing side by side when in fact, it was just a slick Photoshop job of getting a photo of each of us to look, oh, like we were actually literally beside each other. But in a sense, we were at that moment. And even better, the cover screamed “Bukowski and Holstad!” Awesome. I actually don’t know why I was THAT excited because as the former editor of Caffeine magazine noted, for much of the 1990s, Caffeine was literally the biggest poetry magazine in America and since I started out with Rob in issue 1 and since he wanted to start off with a bang, among those he published were Ginsberg and Bukowski. On the cover. With me. And Buk and I appeared on many future covers of Caffeine and of some various other publications while he was still alive, but I’m not actually trying to brag so much as simply describe what it was like back then.

Which brings me to this collage I made this morning. And I do apologize for the state of the little article on the left. It’s barely readable, but I ran across it recently, hadn’t seen it in years/decades and couldn’t contain my enthusiasm, because it’s been a long time. So this little barely readable article is obviously in Finnish and it’s by the editor of what was a new-to-me Finnish magazine that would go on to publish me often: Rendezvous’ssa, or shortened in English, Rendezvous, It’s a little Introduction about me to the magazine’s readers. Appeared around the beginning of 1993. Since I was once so active in Finland (not only in writing/publishing, but in business as well, in other areas), I had various Finnish friends & colleagues & a couple would translate things like this, or longer, for me, but that was a long time ago & even though I learned to read & speak several languages, I’m beyond rusty now. And I no longer have access to translator friends. I can recall the person who translated this for me back in ’94, but I lost whatever the content was many years ago, so while I generally remembered what this said, I wanted to be able to read it fairly accurately again, so I decided to make an attempt to translate it myself. Which I did. Despite being rusty by many years. But with the admission that I had to refer to some sources a few times, the two more prominent being Google Translate & Translate.com. I frankly felt neither of them (or any others) did a perfect job & a couple of clauses virtually contradicted each other, so I basically just loosely translated it as reasonably accurately as I felt I could/should & the primary reason it may appear to a Fin to not be perfectly accurate is likely because of grammatical differences in the two languages, such as subject/object placement, etc. I moved a few things around but didn’t consciously try to add or eliminate anything of note. You’ll notice there were two or three words that I simply could not figure out, even within the context, so I guessed as best I could. I actually have hundreds of Finnish contacts and connections these days, many of them in the FDF, so if any of them were to see this & wish to correct me, improve this or comment, I’m open. So here’s my little goofy collage, which will mean little to most, but brings back good memories for me. Cheers!

Finnish introduction of US writer Scott C. Holstad to the readers of Rendezvous’ssa, followed by an English translation of my own

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Book Review on Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America by Evan Carton

Posted by Scott Holstad on August 13, 2021

Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of AmericaPatriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America by Evan Carton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

John Brown. The John Brown Gun Clubs. He was controversial, hated by many, admired by some, likely a hero to many victims. A political/historical lightning rod. Some would agree he was a humanitarian and race patriot while possibly disagreeing with some of his methods and actions. Others will hate him and his legacy for eternity. I found his upbringing, strong convictions and willingness to do virtually anything and risk everything in order to do what he felt was not only right, but likely ethically and morally necessary. Yet while I agree with his views on the issues he faced and attacked, I remain bothered by one thing. He grew up in a very historically traditional Euro-American puritanical household, much like me in a stringent Calvinist family, much like many Americans historically. For these people, there is nothing but black/white, hot/cold, “right/wrong,” heaven/hell. In other words, no gray areas, no moderation, no compromise, and a total refusal to consider anyone else’s interpretation of their Christian religious beliefs (historically Calvinist or Calvin/Knox-influenced) could possibly be right when THEY are the only ones right. We’re talking many millions of Americans over the past 400 years up to today’s evangelicals/fundies. So while I think racism/slavery and his moral objections were right, the fact remains that Southern “Christians” used the very same holy book, the Christian Bible, to justify slavery and even argue Jesus/God demanded it — and like it or not (and I do not), Jesus (I think) and certainly Paul essentially condoned if not encouraged slavery in the letters, sermons, teachings, etc., attributed to them. So if John Brown was using the Bible as his moral compass for what ultimately started/resulted in the Civil War, he actually technically would likely have been very wrong! Which begs the question, if he (or anyone like him) were that fervent in America (like many other monotheists in other countries and cultures) to take one or more issues from their holy books and make it their lives’ obsession to the point of murders and even war, would anti-racists and progressives still support and praise him? Because then what would be the difference between them and “radical” Islamist jihadists? They’re referred to as extremists, but aren’t they possibly (because I’m not entirely sure) acting the most accurately of that faith in following through on their holy book’s teachings? Despite their methods and actions, which the rest of the world does not condone and for which they are termed terrorists? Wouldn’t US evangelicals, who took extreme views (and too many do) possibly using their holy book (too many of them don’t since virtually ALL of them cherry pick the hell out of anything and EVERYTHING they assert is required or banned by God while they conveniently ignore their god’s words and commands on many things they don’t like or agree with, proving them to be the worst of hypocrites) as justification to become a type of American Taliban? I mean, what’s the damn difference? So my concern with John Brown — and I’m EXTREMELY anti-racist/antifascist and I support the John Brown Gun Clubs — is that if he had chosen to focus on a different issue to the extremes that he did using the Christian bible as his justification, what if for example he had theoretically decided it was NECESSARY to practice a form of genocide on ALL known or suspected gay/lesbians in America, as well as any other issue he felt personally strongly about, strong enough to become a mass murderer while hero to many?

And just to drive that example in harder to make my point while also being 100% accurate in my descriptions of most influential US Christians today, what if he felt so strongly about “The [Jewish] Law” — because Jesus is quoted as stating he came to [earth] to abide by and follow The Law, a fact that is conveniently glossed over by nearly every Christian alive as they tell everyone that while the assertions that homosexuality is an “abominable sin” as seen in the Sodom story — in the Old Testament (“the JEWISH Bible”) — and some are willing to kill over that [as well as abortion], a) neither of which Jesus ever mentioned while instructing his followers to care for the old, sick and poor over 160 times in the Gospels and b) I’ll probably get shot for writing this, but the majority of practicing Jews are pro-choice and they are because they are largely convinced that the Judeo-Christian god is NOT opposed to it and hence is (essentially) pro–choice himself (sorry for the male pronoun). Before you firebomb my house, I know you Christians violently disagree, and for over 50 years one major reason I’ve heard my whole life is that it’s “Murder” (and millions of babies have been murdered because of it) … why? Because naturally life begins at conception, and of course God certainly made it that way, so we need to harass women who may be seeking one and kill doctors who perform them. Right? Uh, no. And you don’t know why because Christians not only don’t read their holy book, the Bible (they read convenient little devotionals with a couple of verses instead), but they sure as hell don’t read the Old Testament because it’s obsolete and doesn’t count cause it’s the “Jewish Bible” and the “angry” god of the OT changed to the Jesus/God of love and peace in the New Testament (which is an entirely different topic, but they’re wrong about that too, per his own words, but since they don’t read their bibles, they don’t know that).

Well, let’s address several things so I can return to John Brown. 1) If the Old Testament no longer counts (and I’ve heard that from hundreds to thousands of conservative Christians around the world — it is not a minority belief), then why fight to the death over OT homosexuality and perceived OT abortion issues? Why not fight to the death about shrimp if you’re going to be consistent? Or facial hair? It’s the epitome of cherry picking and it’s so hypocritical it’s almost beyond comprehension of any reasonably intelligent person. 2) The second point is Christians are wrong about the OT’s current lack of relevance besides anything but a history text. It’s THEIR bible and their god and you know why? Jews do. YOUR god states pretty damn strongly that he is the LORD God and HE DOES NOT CHANGE! Not then, not in the first century (CE), not today. So morons, just because you think Jesus is a better, different version of God, you’re wrong on two counts because your god states unequivocally he does NOT change and Jesus (God) was NOT about peace and love, but he stated he came [to earth] bringing a sword as he intended to destroy the family unit and turn family member against family member while also instructing his disciples to go out and buy swords. That wasn’t for catching fish. 3) Your god does NOT say life begins at conception and using that entity and the holy book you don’t read as justification for that assertion and the evil acts you do is dead wrong. I don’t have time to look the OT passage up (it may be in Isiah, but it’s been months since I read it — on my 18th reading of the entire bible from front to back), but you can look it up yourselves. Many/most traditional/orthodox Jews are pro-choice because there is a passage in “their” OT bible where God is attributed with instructing the chosen people that Life Begins At Birth — NOT conception! Doubt me? Upon birth, God breathes the Breath of Life into a newborn. Not in the womb, not in some magical holding place where spirits wait to get little bodies one day. You don’t like what you just read? Not my problem, not my fault. It’s YOUR god, your religion, your holy book — not mine. Many believe the Bible is the “inherent word of God” (and seeing their theologian apologists twist hard to explain the millions of contradictions to meet that standard is hilarious; one quick example is asking which creation story/myth do you believe and why? What, I’m the fool who thinks there’s more than one? Um, read the first two chapters of Genesis and you’ll find two different creation myths, so WHICH IS IT if the bible is the “inherent word of God?”).

Okay, almost back to the book except I still haven’t made my extreme theoretical point I mentioned long ago to drive that example in harder about Brown’s reliance on the Christian Bible for his moral code to justify his belief and actions regarding slavery. What if he were as devout as is claimed but instead of slavery (or the homosexual example I provided), he felt just as strongly about the Old Testament commandment that children are to obey and honor their parents so that if they somehow fail, all families (Abrahemic monotheists — such as Christians) are instructed to take them out and stone them to death? What, crazy? Don’t believe me? Read the damn Bible, the OT, cause that’s in there! And yes, it’s a crazy example, but that was my intent.

So if John Brown, relying on his Puritanical religious background and belief system did not decide to take on slavery but instead felt just as strongly about the previous example commandment, we wouldn’t have clubs and erect statues in his honor then if he had gone around stoning kids to death for back talking their parents! Thus while I essentially admire and support his conviction and legacy, if not his actions, it’s because I believe them to be morally correct. But I fear that if he had chosen a different controversial issue to engage in the same type of actions and outcomes using his religion to justify everything, I would seriously hate his guts and any legacy he left, because he could have become a Christian Hitler — basically what most current American evangelicals want out of Donald Trump and his fascist, white christian nationalist ilk as they proudly scream publicly that they intend to “exterminate” all minorities, immigrants (despite ALL of them coming from immigrants themselves), people of color, non-“Christians” (as if they know a damn thing about their religion, as I’ve repeatedly proven within a minute of talking to any of them), and most especially Democrats, progressives, liberals, etc., or simply everyone not like them. Do you see my point? He did the right thing, but he justified it with the wrong source, because that same source was used to justify the very reason he basically went to war, as well as millions of other historic atrocities in general, so he could simply have used that same source and “moral code” allegedly arising from it to justify any violent actions to and against anyone for any reason. And that has always bothered me about any such person and a legacy I otherwise admire as I, too, call him a true patriot. Thank goodness he actually acted more as a humanist — dare I say secular humanist? — than a stereotypical monotheistic religionist, because then he might have become a historical monster just as Hitler did as he (and Mussolini) made deals with the Pope to protect the Pope’s constituents provided the Pope supported, or at least remained silent, about what they were freaking doing. Oh, and I think I recall that Hitler grew up Catholic while many of the soldiers in the German Wehrmacht were devout Lutherans. Under the belief they were acting on behalf of Christianity and the Christian god while becoming devils (metaphorically) in the process.

I feel John Brown did the right thing and I admire him, and I admire his absolute commitment and the moral code he had in order to do what I and many others view as “the right thing” in fighting against slavery and freeing slaves. Yet I worry a part of me will always be bothered that his Calvinistic religious beliefs could instead have been twisted, much like many claim Islamic jihadists have, while showing the same level of commitment to other religious commandments as he chose to interpret them… Anyway, this book? It’s one of the better books on Brown that I’ve read. Definitely recommended.

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