Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dubya Strangelove

First art imitates life, and now we have life imitating art. If we got rid of the art, then we'd just have people repeating the same tragicomedic mistakes � over and over and over � without anyone to make fun of their dumbitude. It all shows just how prescient Santayana was when he wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

I am, of course, talking about the classic black satire, Dr. Strangelove. The movie was art imitating life, specifically the Cold War of the 1950's and early '60's. Now we've got life imitating art � Dubya Strangelove, as it were.

The similarities are positively eerie. We've got the good-natured but aimless and clueless Dubya reprising Peter's Seller's role of President Merkin Muffley (the entire male line of the Bushes appears to be genetically Muffleyeske. What a bunch of spaghetti-spined wimps � except when they start a war. Then, it's "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!" which was the last line in the movie, cried out by the wheelchair-bound Strangelove, who is so ecstatic about the nuclear war that has just started that he rises up from his chair, his paralysis overcome by the joy of destruction.)

I decided years ago Daddy Bush is so dull-witted he couldn't cut soft butter with his forehead, but at least didn't try to start WWIII, unlike his squished-head, lop-eyed son. As far as I'm concerned, if you want to disprove evolution, just take a look at the slippery-slope descent of American presidents from Washington to Dubya. The Bushes appear to be as dangerously inbred as British royalty. If it keeps up, in another century we'll be ruled by monkeys. Monkeys with tiny, little rudimentary heads, with eyes set too close together ("Look, son, there's goes King Chim Chim on his ducal tricycle!" "Daddy, why does his crown keep falling down over his eyes?").

And this guy is trying to slowly start Holy World War I (a "warren terrism," as he calls it). Let's call it mission creep by creepy missionaries.

Then we've got Richard "Prince of Darkness" Perle, whose head full of tangled brain-wiring has apparently shorted out just as badly as his genocidal dopplelganger, Sterling Hayden's Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper, who started WWIII to save the US from having its "precious bodily fluids" polluted by the "Commie rats" (in today's world, read "Iraqi" for "Commie"). I wonder if Perle secretly has a taste for stogies and drinks made from "distilled water and pure grain alcohol"?

If things go really bad, I wonder how Perle will go down in history? I've seen lots of books that are compilations of serial killers, but I can't remember one that covers government mass-murderers � at least domestic ones. Since history is written by the winners, everyone is familiar with foreign mass murderers � war criminals, really � but I've yet to see one that covers American mass murderers like Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, McNamara, Daddy Dumbya, Clinton, Albright, Reno, Kissinger, Nixon....Perle, obviously, would be in that book.

And now it looks like we're involved in the early 21st century version of the Cold War � quickly becoming hot � as Dubya's administration rattles sabers and talks about nuking several postage-stamp-sized countries. Just astonishing. We've got the whole of history to guide us, and still the US is making every mistake ever made by every past Empire. And if this nonsense keeps up, we're going to end up like every Empire in the history of the world � collapsed. The perps in government will, of course, scratch their heads, furrow their brows, and go "Huh?" (The sheeple will also go, "Huh?" once they unglue their eyes from the collective Coliseum known as the TV.) If these guys have any kind of education, they apparently got it from reading the back of a box of cereal. And maybe they got their degrees from inside that box � the degrees that read "Harvard" and "Yale." ("Hey, lookie, I even got a toy whistle, too!")

I'll bet there are a lot of people out there right now who understand how Cassandra felt. She was the figure from Greek mythology who the gods gave the gift of prophecy. She really could see the future. The gods also made sure no one would believe her. Such is the power of myth. Prophets really are never honored in their home countries � most of the citizens don't know enough to peek over the walls of the propaganda-box and see the truth outside. Hey, if these stories didn't embody universal truths they wouldn't have survived thousands of years, right?

I don't think it takes any kind of mystical gift of prophecy to see the future, at least in a general way. All you have to do is look at the past, which always repeats itself, and then pay attention. Both Polybius and Plato, for example, noticed that democracy turns into tyranny. Where are we? Do-do do-do, do-do do-do. Next stop: The Tyranny Zone.

The hideous Madeline Albright can easily be the brutal, ape-like Major T.J. "King" Kong (played by ex-rodeo clown Slim Pickens). Kong's the one who rode the Bomb as it fell from the aircraft's belly, waving his hat and yelling "Yee-haw!" To be truthful, I consider Albright (along with Janet Reno) to be more Frankensteinish than anything else. They lack only bolts in their necks (every time I see the hideous Reno and think of her involvement in the incineration of Waco, I see this image of her as Frankenstein's monster in The Bride of Frankenstein, muttering, "Dead...I love dead"). The catastrophically incompetent Reno has no business being governer of Florida, but I can think of an ancient Greek isle (one populated by stocky ugly female softball players with buzz cuts) she would greatly enjoy ruling.

As the warmongering Sgt. Bat Guano (played by Keenan Wynn) we have William Bennett, who had fortunately disappeared for several years. At first I thought he had tripped over his excruciatingly boring bat-guano doorstop of a book, The Book of Virtues, and possibly put himself into a coma, but if he did, now he's back, fat on taxpayer money, all eyedar and eardar and brown-nosedar and slot-machinedar, searching for what he perceives as the "enemies" of the US government (a government which he apparently perceives as being identical with the country), whether they are foreign or domestic, animate or inanimate.

There is one thing I will say about Guano: as ignorant, warmongering, and pig-headed authoritarian as he was, he at least had the courage to join the military, something that our current crop of chickenhawk arm-chair generals have done their damnedest to avoid.

The satyr Bill Clinton would make a wonderful Buck Turgidson, the drinking, partying, womanizing general played by George C. Scott (Turgidson, fortunately, was able to throw a ho(e)-down without getting impeached).

Turgidson was based on General Curtis LeMay (one of the clumsy architects of the Vietnam non-war), whose career reminds me of lines from Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach: "And we are here as on a darkling plain/Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight/Where ignorant armies clash by night."

As for Dr. Strangelove himself, that role was taken by the booger-eating Henry "I Learned Propaganda from Herr Goebbels" Kissinger a long time ago. You could put Strangelove's and Kissinger's pictures next to each other and caption it, "Separated at Birth." Want nightmares? Imagine both of their heads on one body. If your children misbehave, tell them they/it lives in their closet or under their beds. It would scare them even more than the urban legend about the razor-sharp Hook dangling from the teen-agers' car as they're parked in Lover's Lane. I sincerely hope Henry doesn't have a fetish for wearing one black glove.

There are of course some differences between the movie and real life. There's no Doomsday device (give the government time; just give them time). In the movie the "shadow" government at least waited until the bomb was irrevocably on its way. Here, we've got the sniveling, uh, weasels of the State heading for the hills before anyone even says "boo" to them. My first thought was "What about babes?" then my second thought was, "They don't need them," since the Essence of Politician is first screw each to other, and, after that, all the citizens.

If the "shadow" government survived and everyone else didn't, then the world would be repopulated by fascist ubermench troglodytes � literally the mutated Morlocks from H.G. Well's The Time Machine. Now that Hillary and Bill's Traveling Pandemonium Horror Show has been cancelled, Senator (sob) Hillary's now three-quarters of the way toward her true Morlockian self, and getting yuckier by the minute (although I doubt her descendents will be much trouble � they'd be unable to run very fast since they'd have her fat ass. They'd be shaped like one of those bowling-pin Bobo clown figures. The kind that when you knock them down they bounce right back up because they are so bottom-heavy.)

One of my mini-nightmares is some Mad Scientist with a truly wicked sense of humor creating an animal from the DNA of Hillary, Jennifer Lopez and a goat. Then you'd see some real butting contests.

When I was a teenager I used to think the B-52 that got through, nuked the Russians and started WWIII couldn't possibly happen. The government simply could not mess up that bad. Oh yeah? What a foolish, naive boy I was! How about the student visas for two of the dead Sept. 11 hijackers showing up at their flight school six months after they flew the planes into the WTC? Who's in charge of the INS, Gilligan? A stoned Gilligan? How about Bob Denver's beatnik character from Dobie Gillis � Maynard G. Krebs? Maybe Maynard's in charge of the entire federal government! If the feds can't even get something as simple as a visa right, I'm to believe they can protect the citizens? Har har!

Ezra Pound once wrote, "The artist is the antenna of the race." He may have otherwise been an loopy as they come, but he got that one comment right on the mark. Dr. Strangelove is almost 40 years old, and it's still as relevant today as it was then.

I'm sure that Stanley Kubrick is chuckling right now. I know I am.

Jesus the Healer

In a nutshell, the problem is this: did Jesus heal anyone, or did he not? There is no in between. Either he did, or he didn't.

I think he did. Why? I spent a few years as a newpaper reporter and editor. Those with such experience tend to develop the ability to tell reporting from creative writing.

I find the Gospels to be straight reporting by by humorless, literal-minded men (it is because of their humorlessness and literal- mindedness that they completely missed Jesus' humor--which runs rampant through he Gospels--and most especially his irony).

The Gospels are certainly not literature, although Jesus' short, pithy, witty, easy-to-remember comments are.

I don't think the Gospels are very good reporting, either. If they were, they'd have a lot more information in them. The writers forgot to describe what Jesus looked like, among many other flaws.

The above means, in my opinion, that the "miracles" Jesus did are true. The reason I use quotation marks is because possibly they really aren't miracles. Perhaps what he did is the way things are supposed to be. That means they natural, not "miraculous."

The Gospels read straight reporting, with very little embellishment. This doesn't mean I don't think there is some fiction in the Gospels. I don't think the Bible is the literal Word of God (I've heard this called, and I believe correctly, "idolatry of the written word"). The Virgin Birth reads like fiction to me. I certainly don't think Jonah was swallowed by a big fish, or that Noah had an ark full of ants, beetles and termites.

If the Gospels were all fiction, there would be a great deal of embellishment and explanation--rationalization, actually--in an attempt to convince everyone the stories are true. If they were untrue--fiction--I suspect there would have been a consistent attempt to idealize him, and there would have not been such stories as his denying he was "good" ("Why do you call me good?" he asks a woman who calls him "good rabbi." "No one is good but God." That comment has the ring of truth to it.)

Consider the story where Jesus stands in a boat and heals the people on the shore. Why did he stand in a boat? Because if he had stood on the shore the people would have crowded him into the water. He would have been standing ankle- or even knee-deep in mud or sand (unless he wanted to stand on the water the entire time). It's the only--and obvious--reason why he did it. It never occured to the reporters who wrote the Gospels to explain why he was in that boat. If the story had been fiction it would have explained his brilliance in understanding people, or had him standing on the shore, with the people being too awe-stuck to go near him, fearing some sort of retribution if they got too close, or touched him.

Instead, it's merely reported he stood in the boat, and "power" went out of him and healed people.

Not once did anyone in the Gospels deny Jesus's miracles, not even his opponents. That fact no one denied what he did is significant. Instead, his flabbergasted opponents claimed he was in league with the Devil. This is exactly what some people would do today if Jesus--or anyone else--showed up and started healing people.

The more narrow-minded fundamentalists would sputter, "But we are the representatives of God on Earth. We are the saved ones. If we can't heal, and he can, he can only be a tool of Satan!" Would a Jimmy Swaggart accept such a man? I doubt it.

When Jesus goes to raise a little girl from the dead--claiming she is only sleeping--people laugh at him and mock him. That story also has the ring of truth, because this is exactly what people would do today.

Human nature does not change. People in those days are the same as now. When Jesus goes to raise Lazarus, he is told, "Already he stinketh!" And after four days, he wouldn't smell so great. This is straight reporting.

When Jesus is walking around, a sick woman touches his hem--and in those days men did wear hemmed robes--and steals his power to heal herself. And he doesn't know who did it! He turns around and says, "Who touched me? I felt the power leave me." He doesn't have a clue as to who touched him.

Is this the way a fiction writer would put it, if he wanted to convince people he was the all-knowing and all-powerful Son of God?

When he is at his house, some men knock a hole in his clay roof and lower a sick man into the room. If it was fiction, do you think he might have levitated the man into his room, and miraculously fixed the hole? But he didn't. The Son of God sat there will a hole in his roof. Apparently he didn't even know they were bashing a hole in his roof, or if he did, he didn't care.

Probably strangest of all, he can't heal people unless they believe. He is surprised at the lack of faith of some people, because he can't heal them. Is that the way a fiction writer would handle it if he wanted to convince people the Son of God was walking the Earth? I suspect he would have Jesus heal the people whether they believed or not, to show the irresistible power of God. No one could resist the little girl's power in Stephen King's Firestarter; Jesus can be one-upped by a girl who's less than ten? This is the difference between reporting and fiction.

I believe there is just too much straight reporting in the Gospels for them to be fiction. When Jesus goes to John to be baptized--why would the Son of God need baptizing anyway?--he comes up out of the water and is hit by the Spirit of God. He is so confused he retreats to the wilderness and fasts for 40 days and nights. When he comes down his relatives think he is crazy and attempt to lay hands on him.

This is exactly what would happen today if someone claimed he knew God and could heal people. His relatives would probably try to have him taken away for observation ("Mom, Dad! Call the cops! Your son is claiming he's the Son of God and says he can heal people and raise the dead!"). Today, such a person would probably be pumped full of anti-psychotics.

Jesus doesn't engage in outrageous miracles. He doesn't fly through the air on a magic carpet. Lightning bolts don't fly from his eyes or his fingertips. With the exceptions of getting angry and cursing the fig tree and walking on the water, he does little more than heal people, without much fanfare.

And when he's crucified, none of the people he's healed show up. If that's not a true story, showing what human nature can be like...

How could he do these healings? I don't know. He said there was "a power" inside him. I'll take him at his word. But was that power only inside him? Was it outside, also? Was it both inside and outside at the same time? Is it possible there is no difference between "inside" and "outside"?

In the Gospel of Thomas (which I believe contains some genuine sayings) he makes the comment, "The Kingdom of Heaven is inside you, and it is outside of you."

I do know that Jesus said, "All I can do, you can do and more." This saying has almost been completely ignored by Christianity, which has instead spent several hundred years and a great deal of effort convincing people the purpose of Christianity was to avoid Hell (a word which does not exist in the Bible, and is indeed based on the Norse pagan goddess, Hel, who was ruler of the Underworld. (How did a pagan goddess get into the Christian Bible?)

Is this power he spoke about inside all of us, only we are not aware of it? Is it all around us, without us being aware of it?

When I was in my early teens I read a great deal of science fiction, fantasy and horror. About 200 books. I usually know fiction when I read it. I'm pretty hard to fool. I don't believe in alien abductions. I don't believe in channeling. Carlos Castaneda is fiction, as is T. Lobsang Rampa. The Book of Mormon is excruciatingly boring, poorly-written fiction. The Koran is overwhelmingly fiction. Scientology and the Nation of Islam are fiction. Even some of the Bible is fiction.

Science may deny the "miracles" of Jesus are possible. That just shows the limitations of science. Science, at one time, denied bacteria and viruses existed.

The Gospels? I think about 95 % of them are true.

Narcissism in the Bible

Since narcissism is univerally inherent in all of us--and we arealmost always unconscious of it--it affects nearly everything we do. This includes religion.

As I've noted in other articles, narcissism involves splitting people into "all-good" and "all-bad," projecting all evil onto the "bad," scapegoating it, and trying to destroy it, leaving only the perfect "all-good." It is, in my opinion, the basis for human sacrifice.

For a current, political/religious/economic example of this, the US has for decades considered itself "good" (indeed chosen by God), which automatically devalues the more "backward" countries, in greater or lesser degree, as "bad."

This led the US government to believe it could interfere in those countries, including, currently, the Islamic ones, essentially reducing foreign citizens to the status of "things."

In the case of the narcissist Osama bin Laden, he has a grandiose view of Islam and a devalued view of the US. He believed this gave him the right to mass-murder US citizens. In response, the US devaluved bin Laden and his cohorts as "the evil ones." It's all just a vicious circle, for millenia, everyone elevating themselves and devaluing others.

Obviously, there is such a thing as mass psychopathology. To put it as simply as possible, all narcissists--and all countries are narcissistic--are abusive. The US abuses other countries, they abuse us back, then we abuse them again. Around and around and around we go, all through the ages.

Let's apply narcissism to the idea of "perfect" religious books. All books are written by humans. People may claim it was under the direction of God, but when it comes right down to it, they're all written by people (actually these books are written by the winners, as all history is written by the winners. Then they grandiously claim they won because God was on their side).

The fact that there are so many holy books, with so many different interpretations by so many different people, shows that something has gone wrong, somewhere.

Why, then are some books, such as the Bible and the Koran, considered by some fundamentalists to be perfect and without flaw, no matter how many obvious mistakes, mistranslations and contradictions are in them? (I use the example of God walking through the Garden of Eden. God has feet?)

Because in their narcissism some people idealize--idolize-- these books (and in their narcissistic self-deception they can't admit it--they're terrified to, believing something awful will happen to them.) This means that anyone who disagrees that these books are perfect are going to be scapegoated, and the attempt will be made to destroy them (or send them to Hell.) This has been the history of the world.

Incidentally, the word "Hell" does not exist in the Bible. The word Jesus used, "Gehenna," is a proper noun referring specifically to one place, a trash dump outside the city. It was always on fire and the dead animals in it were full of maggots (translated in the Bible as "worms.") It was also the place where children had been sacrificed to Moloch.

It is interesting that Jesus used in his sayings a place of human sacrifice, just as I always found it interesting that the Gospels fail to mention that when he drove the money-changers out of the Temple, there left with them those who sold small animals, such as pigeons and doves, for sacrifice to God.

"Hel" is a Norse goddess, ruler of the underworld, who was not particularly scary except that half her face was featureless. The concept of "Hell" is an invention of dishonest, narcissistic and arrogant people who, not content with merely cursing or killing their enemies, wish to torture them for eternity.

Malignant religious narcissism is why, past and present, so many people have died in the name of religion ("Since we have God on our side, you must have the Devil on yours, so you are an unholy threat and we must kill you.")

Society sits on top of our biological, animal nature and represses it. Narcissism, since it is part of our primitive biology, is actually opposed to society. When it erupts from our animal nature into society, it damages and sometimes destroys civilization.

A definition of idolatry is to worship the Created instead of the Creator; to worship that which is false, and to worship Man and his opinions instead of the truth. To worship a book (created by man's opinions) over God (the Creator) is called "idolatry of the written word." Therefore, fundamentalists of all religions are idolators who have murdered an untold amount of people throughout history...all in the name of a "holy" book. (It's also assuming that God, having spoken once, will never speak again.)

The Third Commandment (correctly translated as "Word" or "Utterance") predicted this would happen: "You will not use God's name for vain purposes." This doesn't mean not to say "goddamn." It means not to use God's name in vain causes, like murdering people...in the name of God.

A book is not reality. It's a map, a model of reality. It can be a good map or a bad map, but it's still only a map, not reality. If it's logically coherent and corresponds to reality, it's a good map. A non-narcissistic map like that of Moses: "Don't steal, kill and envy" is a good map, one that is the basis of every successful society. A hideously narcissistic map like that of Karl Marx: "Murder, steal and envy," invariably leads to destruction and genocide.

What is truly curious about the Ten Commandments is that nearly every one of them represses our narcissistic animal nature. Murdering, stealing, and deception (lying) are what animals do it each other as their nature; envy is, as psychiatrist Richard Restak has pointed out in his book on narcissism, The Self Seekers, probably the main symptom of narcissism. Murdering, stealing, lying, envy, and splitting things into either "all-good" or "all-bad" (scapegoating) are a sure bet, slowly but surely, to bring a society to ruin.

All books are fiction. Even "non-fiction" books are fiction. They are not reality. They may be convenient, useful fictions, but they are still--all of them--fiction. They are supposed to point to reality, not replace it. If you read a non-fiction book about war, you're not actually in a war.

Many books are propaganda. They are attempts to convert people to the view of the book. If the targets are children, this can be particularly insidious, because it's an attempt by adults to essentially hypnotise them for life.

Such attempts at hypnosis are not the exclusive province of religion. Science, for all its claim of an open-minded search for the truth, is also guilty. Maybe not as guilty, but certainly not as pure and disinterested as it is portrayed.

One needs only to look at the writings of Richard Dawkins, an atheistic nihilist who attempts, quite wittily, to propagandize that his peculiar and extraodinarily narrow view of Darwinian evolution applies, without evidence, to everything in the universe. His is not a search for the truth; his is an attempt to ensorcel people as he has been ensorceled (since he idolizes evolution as God, he not surprisingly devalues and scapegoats its opponents as "possibly evil.")

Such people are self-appointed priest-kings, and self-appointed Messiahs; they attempt to set up closed systems, supposedly the absolute truth, with no dissent tolerated in doctrine or by followers. Freud did it, and so did Ayn Rand. This is not education but an attempt to blind people. They are idolaters who idealize themselves and their systems (Freud once said he thought "most men were trash.")

Pete Singer, author of Animal Liberation, is another example of an idolator. To him Nature is an idol; human beings are evil because they "damage" nature, so he unconsciously scapegoats them and calls for human sacrifice--he has suggested that infants and the elderly be euthanized.

As idolators, such people are scapegoaters. All idolators are scapegoaters.

When one reads fiction, and becomes engrossed in it to the exclusion of the outside world, one is actually hypnotised. But when one reads a "non-fiction" book, doesn't realise it is fiction, then the hypnosis can last for years. This is one of the reasons why people have such a hard time breaking free of religious cults; they think fiction is reality, and are terrified to leave...thinking something awful will happen to them.

When one person or group narcissistically claims their book is perfect, and therefore logically outcasts and scapegoats another group, the latter group, being deemed evil, will be cursed.

We may smile at primitive tribes whose shamans and witch-doctors try to cast spells on people, but what is the difference between them and more "modern" people who curse other people because they don't believe as the cursers do? Is this not a modern-day spell? Is it not literally an attempt at sorcery?

There is an amusing scene in the late '70's movie, Love at First Bite, (which is a comedy about, of all things, a disco-era vampire) when the vampire (George Hamilton) is sitting across a table from a descendant of van Helsing (Richard Benjamin.) Each is trying to hynotise the other: "You're getting sleeepy..." "No, you're getting sleepy!" "No, I'm not sleepy, you are!" And on and on, back and forth. Finally, the love interest of both of them (Susan St. James), rolls her eyes up, gets up and leaves.

This is comedy in fiction (made funnier by the fact there is a religious tone to the movie, "good" against "evil"), but in real life the effects are not amusing.

When people speak of an angry, hateful God, they're projecting their own worst, grandiose, immature, hateful narcissistic characteristics. Which is why Jesus spoke of God as "Abba," ("Daddy") an attempt to overthrow this narcissistic projection onto God. He did this in a more subtle way with John the Baptist, who comes across as a cranky fundamentalist when he refers to people as a "brood of vipers." Jesus counters this by referring to them as "children who wouldn't pipe" and then demotes John by referring to the least in the Kingdom of Heaven as greater than him.

Satan, (which means "adversary" or "accuser," then, would be an "all-bad" narcissistic projection ("the evil is not in me; it's out there.")

I suspect this projection of human characteristics is how human sacrifice got started. How to placate these awful gods? We must project our evil onto a scapegoat and then destroy it. With the evil gone, the gods will be sated and not destroy us. But why not sacrifice, say, a mouse? Not important enough. So what's important, in fact the most important of all? Human life. This is why in the Bible children were sacrificed to Moloch.

I doubt the sacrificers really wanted to sacrifice. They were terrified not to.

There are quite a few subtle references to the evil of sacrifice in the Bible. The myth of Satan is the story of a psychopath who wishes to sacrifice everyone; Adam tries to sacrifice Eve and Eve tries to sacrifice the serpent: Gehenna was a place of human sacrifice: Jesus drove out of the Temple those who sold pigeons and doves for sacrifice.

The Nazis and Marxists engaged in human sacrifice, as do fundamentalists. We have to get rid of these evil people or we will be destroyed! When Muslims blow planes out of the sky in the name of jihad ("holy war") it's still human sacrifice. For that matter, all war can be considered a form of human sacrifice.

A map of the world is not the world. A very detailed map (logically coherent and corresponding to reality) is an excellent map. A bad map, on the other hand, will only get you disoriented, lost, or killed.

In the long-run what the map produces is what counts. Jesus' comments about "bad trees producing bad fruit" and "good trees producing good fruit" are relevent. Unfortunately, a tree can be both good and bad at the same time, and produce both good and bad fruit. This is why religion has created such good and evil. (The anti-narcissism in religion, exemplified by the Golden Rule, is one of the things that has advanced society. The narcissism in religion-- "I'm right and I'm going to kill you and send you to Hell"--is what has sent society and religion backward.)

There is, unfortunately, a lot of narcissism in the Bible. In the Gospels some Pharisees scapegoated the outcasts, such as the diseased, prostitutes, the poor, women, and gentiles. They were considered impure and unclean. This is an excellent example of "We are good because we are God's chosen--we are wealthy, healthy, male, and of the right religion. You, because you fit none of those categories, are bad." Pure narcissism.

It is these hypocrites that Jesus spoke against when he attempted to include outcasts in society. He was trying to overcome his opponents' narcissism.

However, not all Pharisees are as the Gospels portrayed them. Jesus himself was apparently a Pharisee speaking against the close-minded fundamentalists of his age. Unfortunately, the writers of the Gospels turned around and scapegoated the Pharisees--and especially the Jews, even though Jesus was a Jew. These scapegoating of Jews in the Gospels is what has led to nearly 2,000 years of anti-Semitic genocide. This is why, as M. Scott Peck has so clearly pointed out, that scapegoating is the genesis of human evil.

If the Jews have been historically devalued and scapegoated, then who has been idealized? Jesus has--he has been idolized as God.

However, he never claimed he was God (the closest was when he said, "I and the Father are one.") When he was addressed as "good rabbi," he claimed, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God." His healing power was stolen from him, and he did not know who did it; he was helpless to heal unless people had faith that he could; he said people would know "the Father" and be told all they needed to know; he said people could be his equal when trained, and could do all that he did, and more. He said there were things he did not know, but only God did.

Jesus, then, has been turned into an idol. Hence all the killing done in his name. All idolators are scapegoaters, and all scapegoaters are idolators. Seeing something as "perfect" always involves something else being scapegoated to order to maintain the "perfection."

One of the ways he was narcissistically idolized is through the Virgin Birth. The word "virgin" is actually translated "young woman." The two Jewish writers of the Gospels, being able to read the original writings, never mentioned the Virgin Birth. The two non-Jewish writers, only having access to the mistranslations, created it (and stories of virgin births exist in other mythologies, so, like "Hell," this is more pagan influence in the Bible).

The power of Christianity comes from believing we are forgiven. Nietzsche made some interesting comments about forgiveness. When he wrote that "God is dead" he didn't mean that God had actually died. He meant that the educated people of his time had ceased to believe. And with no one to forgive them, they would begin to hate themselves or hate others. He predicted the horrors of the 20th Century.

When people can't forgive, they scapegoat. If they can't forgive themselves, they cast their evil onto others and scapegoat them.

The Wit and Humor of Jesus

“Do not look dismal."--Matthew 6:16

After reading Elton Trueblood's “The Humor of Christ” many years ago I realized many of Jesus' sayings are humorous, even witty, and don't make any sense if taken literally. Worse, the traditional, false, literal interpretation is the opposite of the humorous true one (for example, the ironical "He's really smart" means the exact opposite).

If the wit of Jesus had been noticed at the beginning of Christianity terrible evil might have been avoided -- most of it done by close-minded, humorless people convinced their way is the only way, and those who disagree are evil and must be destroyed.

Few know that the word Jesus used to describe God-as-Father -- "Abba" -- translates as a humorous "Daddy" or "Papa." Or that "the meek shall inherit the earth" is better translated as "the gentle but strong..." Or that the "Ten Commandments" is correctly translated "Ten Words" or "Ten Utterances." ("Commandments" is completely wrong.) Or that the Third Utterance -- "You shall not take God's name in vain" is a misleading translation -- the real one is "You shall not carry God's name in vain," which means not to use God as your justification for selfish causes. Which, in many ways, has been the history of religion.

Jesus never wrote anything down, so his existing sayings cannot wholly be trusted. Since he lived in a predominantly non-literate society, great importance was placed on the accurate oral transmission of information, so I believe almost all of the sayings are accurate.

All translations are very risky business. The old saying (and there are many like it), "All translators are liars" is true. A poem that rhymes in its original language will not rhyme when translated. Neither will puns work. Jesus spoke in Aramaic; the Gospels were written in Greek and then translated into English. It's astonishing they make as much sense as they do.

Another problem is that you have to know the speaker's tone of voice and the look on his face. This is why the wit, irony, ridicule, exaggeration and satire that Jesus consistently engaged in comes through so rarely in the Bible. Too bad YouTube didn’t exist in those days.

The political and social context in which he lived and spoke are all very important -- and little of this is in the Gospels. Some study is necessary to gain an understanding of the society in which he lived.

I am using the “The New Testament in Modern English,” by J.B. Phillips. It's not a direct translation, but a paraphrase (it is impossible to directly translate something).

Not all translations are from it; others are from places I can't remember. Only a few of the "humorous" sayings are from Trueblood; most are my opinions.

Of all the translations I have read the Phillips' portrays the humor of Jesus most clearly. The others scarcely portray it -- especially the inaccurate King James version. No one ever spoke as the KJV is written: it's too formal, archaic, emotionally distant, and unrealistically severe (the word “amartia,” for example, actually means "to miss the mark," as in archery, but has historically been mistranslated as "sin").

I'll use the sayings in the Synoptic Gospels in roughly chronological order. Since John is so different I will discuss it separately. I also believe the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas contains some genuine sayings of Jesus.

Of great importance is that Jesus lived under Roman occupation, where the Romans put as intermediaries between them and the people (peasants, really) a wealthy, patriarchal elite -- a combination of fundamentalist, lawyer, judge, politician -- the Pharisees and scribes. (The conquering Romans rarely interfered as long as they got their money.)

Although there were many good people among the Pharisees, others were self-righteous, materialistic, intellectually arrogant, self-deluded, and consumed with ritual piety. A self-appointed and self-perpetuating priesthood (as all of them are) they ostracized many people as impure, unclean outcasts -- the ill, the poor, the female (whether Hebrew or not), and the gentile. Innocence didn't matter -- they were still outcasts, their lives being an indication they had somehow offended God. (When Jesus ate dinner at a leper's house, his behavior was unacceptably outrageous -- lepers had to live in a small village of their own away from the main village.)

One theory, for which there is a great deal of evidence, is that Jesus was a Pharisee, who attacked not all, but only the hypocritical ones. People generally attack those who are closest to them but with whom they have important differences.

The Gospel's view that all the Pharisees were small-minded hypocrites cannot be true. If Jesus was a Pharisee, then it was the duty of the others to "test" him and see if he really was what he said he was, or else a false prophet, which in the fragile political climate of the time would be a terrible danger. The Romans had more once than once killed many Judeans. This is what the Pharisee's public debate with Jesus was about -- to see if he could pass their testing. The last thing needed was a bunch of hot-headed militant nationalists seeing Jesus as their long-awaited king, rising up against the Romans and bringing destruction to their nation.

The public debates then are the same as they are today. The audience is usually on the side of the one who can defeat his opponents with wit. I once heard a debate in which one panelist told another that evolutionists "believe in fairy tales because they think a frog can turn into a prince." The pros and cons of evolution aside, it was a very witty remark, appreciated by almost everyone.

Jesus used a similar kind of wit to attack the prejudice, the chauvinism, and the narcissism of his opponents -- to shame them for their false sense of superiority and entitlement and for their ostracism of the innocent as their inferiors. His wit would have also made him popular with the crowds.

There are several theories of humor, but nearly all agree humor comprises three elements: suddenness: incongruity (when two highly different ideas are juxtaposed, the result is laughter), and superiority, (where there are winners and losers).

An example: A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and says, "What is this, a joke?" The last line, the punchline, is sudden; it is incongruous, and there is superiority (the bartender is ridiculing all three of the men.)

Jesus used all three elements in his sayings (it is sudden, incongruous, and ridiculous to imagine a camel trying to go through the eye of a needle). That he called his opponents "phonies," "hypocrites," and "white-washed tombs full of bones" shows how severely he disagreed with them, and how he tried to show the superiority of his ideas over theirs.
The first instance of wit in the Synoptics is when Jesus sees Peter and Andrew fishing, and says, "Follow me and I will teach you to catch men."

It's not great wit; kind of corny, really. But it's a little bit funny. "You guys are catching little fish. Come with me and I'll teach you to catch the big ones."

A humorous saying that has caused a lot of trouble: "You have heard it said to the people in the old days, 'You should not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her -- in his heart."

Literally, this saying makes no sense. Human nature is such that idle sexual thoughts are common, so common that most people don't pay much attention to them. So what could Jesus mean by this preposterous saying?

Everyone is familiar with people like Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker -- judgmental people, harshly criticizing and condemning other peoples' sex lives. . .then they get caught with hookers (in Swaggert's case, twice), and in adultery. Or with their boytoys.

So Jesus mocked them, essentially saying, "Are you claiming you have no sexual desire?" If they were to say “Yes,” they would be no better than anyone else. If they were to say, "No," people would laugh at them as liars. They were stuck being unable to answer him.
As Voltaire once said, "Lord, please make my enemies ridiculous." Henri Bergson, in his famous essay on humor, made the comment, "a rigid virtue is easier to criticize than a flexible vice."

Jesus was mocking the self-righteous as being pompous and ridiculous. They had no answers for him, which the Gospels make very clear. He left them speechless and therefore objects of laughter by the people. The scribes and the Pharisees were supposed to have all the answers. How then could this man leave them speechless? Did Jesus have a twinkle in his eye during this bantering?

After the 'adultery' saying there is another troublesome saying: "Yes, if your right eye leads you astray pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members that your whole body should be thrown onto the rubbish heap.

"Yes, if your right hand leads you astray cut if off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than that your whole body should be thrown on to the rubbish-heap."

The saying is ridiculous is taken literally. Since it comes right after the adultery saying, it is obviously aimed at the self-righteous. Why? It’s irony. Imagine someone with a peg-leg, an eye-path, and a hook. It’s a funny image.
Jesus is telling the self-righteous. “You don’t watch to touch, look at, or even put a toe on those whom you have turned into outcasts? Well, to make sure you can never do it again and will go to Heaven, cut off all those body parts.”
Imagine the laughter of the crowd. Imagine if Jesus suggested Jimmy Swaggart cut off all his offending members so he couldn’t sin with hookers again? His eyes, his hands, his feet…and I can think of at least one other thing, too.
Right after this saying is another one: "Whatever you have to say let your 'yes' be a plain 'yes' and your 'no' be a plain 'no' -- anything more than this has a taint of evil."

How often have politicians refused to answer a question with a 'yes' or 'no'? They perpetually evade. The same kind of people existed in Jesus' time. So he said something that left them speechless: "Answer the question yes or no or you're tainted by evil." How could they possibly answer? They couldn't. Again, they were stuck.

An example of hyperbole: "You are heard that it used to be said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' but I tell you, don't resist evil. If a man hits your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well."

Literally, this doesn't make any sense. But if it's seen as 'don't return hate for hate' or 'don't fight fire with fire,' then the meaning is clear. It's also a comment on the fact that hate damages the hater much more than it damages the hated.
This is the meaning of Jesus' saying, "He who calls his brother a 'fool' in is danger of Gehenna." Gehenna was a place of human sacrifice and death...so those who mocked, humiliated and insulted others -- called them 'fools' -- should be prepared for revenge.

"For if you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even the tax collectors do that!" Funny…being loved by tax collectors because you pay your taxes, even though his listeners knew that tax collectors don’t love anyone. How could the crows not smile?

The next sayings: "Beware of doing your good deeds conspicuously to catch men's eyes or you will miss the rewards of your Heavenly Father.

"So, when you do good to other people, don't hire a trumpeter to go in front of you -- like those play-actors in the synagogues and streets who make sure that men admire them. Believe me, they have had all the reward they are going to get...

"And then, when you pray, don't be like the play-actors. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners so the people may see them at it."

These are obvious: he is calling opponents a bunch of phonies, consumed with superficial ritual while missing the deeper meaning of their own teachings. He portrays them as being pompous and blind.

Here is a very famous saying: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and fail to notice the log in your own?" This one is obvious -- someone with a log in his eye (and doesn't know it's there), who's judging the speck of sawdust in someone else's.

"If any of you were asked by his son for bread would you give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish would you give him a snake?" These are again examples of incongruous humor.

"Be one guard against false prophets, who come to you as wolves in sheep's clothing." One of his best-known sayings, and one of his funniest and saddest. Wolves hidden under sheep's skins trying to infiltrate a flock...how many cartoons have used this image?

"...a foolish man who built his house on sand. Down came the rains and up came the floods, while the winds blew and battered that house till it collapsed, and fell with a great crash." Who would build their house on sand, and who would not laugh at them for doing so? This sounds much like the fable of “The Three Little Pigs.”

"Foxes have earth, birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere he can call his own." There are at least three ways this one can be interpreted. One, it almost sounds as if Jesus is feeling sorry for himself, which I find hard to believe. Second, he is scolding everyone, which sounds petty. Third, he is making fun of himself, which I think is the case here. Only the utterly self-righteous can't bend enough to poke at least a little fun at themselves.

There is also a saying of his about Heaven and earth not passing away until “every dot and comma of the Law is complete.” This is a curious saying. The Pharisees were ridiculous in their application of the Law: they meticulously washed the insides and outsides of their cups and they strained their drinks to remove gnats. They were obsessive-compulsives.
Since Jesus overthrew all of this silliness, he obviously was making fun of fulfilling “every dot and comma,” especially since those “dots and commas” were the curly ends of the Hebrew letters.
Another saying: "Nobody sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on to an old coat, for the patch will pull away from the coat and the hole will be worse than ever. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins -- otherwise the skins burst, the wine is spilt and the skins are ruined. But they put new wine into new skins and both are preserved." He’s comparing his opponents to old coats and old wineskins, so full of their opinions that anything new will rip holes in them or burst them open.

One of the -- at first -- most disturbing stories about Jesus is when a woman implores him to heal her daughter. He appears to insult her by saying, "It's not right to take the children's food and give it to the dogs."

She responds: "Yes, but even the children can eat the scraps that fall from the table."

"If you can answer like that," Jesus says, "your daughter is healed."

On the surface, this is an appalling story. She begs to have to daughter healed. First Jesus ignores her -- then he insults her.

This is not what happened.

Jesus was not even supposed to acknowledge this woman's presence, because she was a woman and of a different ethnic group (tribe, actually.) But he wants to heal her. How? He uses humor. No one can fault him.

What he really said to her was, "It's not right to take the little children's food and give it to the little house puppies (that beg at the table.)" I'm sure he had a twinkle in his eye. He was also giving her the answer: "Yes, but even the little house puppies can eat the little scraps that fall from the little children's table."

He pretends to insult her -- teasing her, really -- and gives her the answer. Any crowd around him would appreciate the whole exchange. Even if they were of different tribes. Humor, as always, is the great ice-breaker. It almost always breaks the tension.

Jesus is also engaging in one of his 'two-birds-with-one-stone' sayings. His disciples want to send the woman away because of their own prejudice -- their own belief in their superiority and her inferiority. So here Jesus is shaming them and showing them what is really in their hearts -- and doing it through humor. The Gospels record no response from his disciples. What could they say?

Because of this, Jesus can be portrayed as the mythological Trickster, who, not surprisingly, has a malicious streak -- hence his cursing of the fig tree. At the same time, he appears to have had a self-depreciating sense of humor. When the woman gets the best of him, he can smile, laugh at himself, and admire her.

"...so be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves." I’ve seen this translated as “understand the intellect of serpents,” which makes more sense. Either way, it’s an oxymoron -- putting together two things that are opposite, e.g. "pretty ugly” or “a little big.” It’s also incongruous to pair snakes and doves.

"What did you go out into the desert to look at? A reed waving in the breeze? No? Then what was it you went out to see? -- a man dressed in fine clothes? But the men who wear fine clothes live in the courts of kings! But what did you really go to see -- a prophet?" More of his bantering and teasing, and deflating the crowd's expectation of him as being something other than an ordinary-looking man, in ordinary clothes. Unlike many preachers today with expensive clothes, big cars, big mansions…big hair.

When some Pharisees claim he is curing because he is in league with Beelzebub, he one-ups them:..."whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this world or the world to come." Taken literally, this makes no sense. The only way it makes sense is if the translation is wrong -- which it is. The correct translation means "chastising, pruning." Jesus essentially said, "You say I'm in league with the Devil? For that you will be chastised and your badness pruned away." He turned the tables on them. I doubt they had much of an answer.

"Hell" as I wrote, was actually "Gehenna," a trash dump always on fire. (The word "Hell" exists nowhere in the Bible.) He was saying the wrong teachings of his opponents would be burned up like trash. "Hel" is the pagan Norse goddess who ruled the Underworld. She wasn't scary except half of her face was featureless.

One of his most famous sayings about the close-minded and arrogant: "The blind leading the blind, and both shall fall into the ditch." I’ve seen cartoons about this one, too (Actually, I have a theory about any of Jesus’ saying – if a funny cartoon can be made out of one, then it’s a funny saying, not a literal one.)

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you are a city that kills the prophets..." There is hidden irony here. "Jerusalem" means "city of peace." More incongruous pairing – a city of peace that murders its most peaceful people.

"Look at the lilies that grow wild in the field. They don't weave clothes for themselves..." This is a poetic device; Jesus used two rhyming Aramaic words, amal and azal to describe the weaving of clothes.

Another curious construction: referring to Herod, he says, "Go and tell that fox..." He uses the feminine for "fox" – a vixen. A fox, then as now, is crafty and cunning. But why the feminine? Obviously, it's an insult. It sounds as if he's calling Herod a sissy.

Jesus not only made puns, but bad ones: "Your name is Peter (Rock) and you are the rock on which I am going to build my church." (Later he calls Peter "Satan" -- obviously teasing him. He certainly could not have literally meant that the man on whom he founded his church had Satan hop in and then hop out seconds later).
Later some of the Pharisees try to trap him again by showing him a Roman coin and asking him if they should pay taxes to Caesar or not. He takes the coin and answers, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."

These Pharisees are being dishonest. If they were as devout and pious as they claimed, they would not have a Roman coin on them. It bore the likeness of Caesar -- a graven image they would have been forbidden to possess. And there is no indication that Jesus ever gave the coin back to them. How could they protest, since they weren't supposed to have it in their possession in the first place?

Another well-known, and misunderstood saying: "Believe me, a rich man will find it very difficult to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Yes, I repeat, a camel could more easily squeeze through the eye of a needle than a rich man get into the kingdom of God!"

A camel trying to squeeze through a needle's eye is ludicrous. One explanation of this saying is that some people are obsessed with money and material possessions to the exclusion of truly important things.

Another explanation is the guy was a pompous jerk -- in public -- Jesus saw through him and tailored his saying to deflate him. He did this often -- see the stories below of his arrest and his encounter with Nathanael.

A last possible explanation is that in that age the rich, who comprised ten percent of the population but owned two-thirds of the wealth, used the coercive government of the government to steal from the other ninety percent, who owned just one-third of the wealth. So this guy was probably a thief, and Jesus suggesting to him that he give back what was stolen.

"...I tell you that tax-collectors and prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of Heaven in front of you." Here we have the self-righteous, convinced they are entering Heaven while excluding outcasts, and Jesus is saying the most outcast of all are better than the self-righteous. This is why he said "The last shall be first and the first, last." The outcasts will enter heaven before those who are convinced they will enter before everyone else.

"Is a lamp brought into the room to be put under a bucket or underneath a bad?" A lamp under a bucket would be smothered and go out; one under a bed would catch it on fire. Not only are many of his saying not literal; they have to be understand imaginatively.

"...their whole lives are planned with an eye to effect. They increase the size of their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their robes; they love the seats of honor at dinner parties and front places in synagogues! They love to be greeted with respect in public places and to have men call them 'rabbi.'" I'd be embarrassed if I was described like this. A phylactery was often worn on the forehead: imagine it growing...and growing...and a tassel too long would trip the wearer.

Then there is the one about how everyone rushes to get the best seats in front, then when all are seated, the host has everyone in back take the front seats, embarrassing everyone who was fighting.

"You are blind leaders, for you filter out a mosquito yet swallow a camel." Here he mocks their blindness: they'd swallow camels but not notice it. Swallowing a camel? This is more of his humorous exaggeration.

When he was arrested, he said, "So you've come out with your swords and staves to capture me like a bandit, have you?" This is not a correct translation. "Bandit" should be translated "militant nationalist." He’s mocking them, telling them “You come to arrest me as a militant nationalist when you know perfectly well I am not one.”

There isn't much humor in the Gospel of John, except at the very beginning, when Nathanael says, insultingly, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

Nazareth at that time was an insignificant little village in the middle of nowhere. Galilee was just as insignificant of a province. Hence, Nathanael's question could be considered appropriate.

Jesus, seeing Nathanael coming toward him, banters with him, "Now here is a true man of Israel; there is no deceit in him!" He’s telling him "I know how little you think of me," but turns away the barb with a joke.

Nathanael, surprised at being seen through so easily, asks, "How can you know me?"

Again Jesus uses humor: "I saw you underneath that fig tree." Pious Jews in that time studied the Torah under a fig-tree. Jesus was using humor to say to Nathanael: "I see through you."

There is one humorous saying in the Gospel of Thomas that I believe is true. When Jesus is asked is circumcision is useful, he replies, "If it were, circumcised fathers would produce circumcised sons though through mothers."

This is witty, and just a little bit risqué'. I suspect it's true because it is similar to a saying in the accepted Gospels where Jesus claims circumcision came not from Moses, but from those who came after him.

A Jesus that is witty and humorous -- and definitely not literal -- is a Jesus little-known today. It is not the Jesus of accepted history. His teachings have in many ways through the centuries been hijacked by the very people to whom he was opposed, to the misfortune of a great many people.

Know Your Enemy and Other Truths

When I was 21 and in college I moved back home over the summer. I found some neighbors had acquired one of those little yappy dogs that had no understanding of property rights. This obnoxious little beast followed me to my door and stood there yapping, out of range of my foot. Rocks were satisfying but the dog was so stupid it had no memory. It never learned.

Complaining to the owners did no good. They were trouble-makers, anyway, and thought the whole thing was funny. I thought about rigging up a silencer for my little .22 semi-automatic pistol and sending the monster to Dog Hell, but then decided I should be able to outsmart a dog instead of killing it. What is a dog's IQ, anyway? About 5, maybe?

Fortunately, I had just read Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf, a wonderful book about Mowat's life among artic wolves. He had the same problem I did. The wolves never harmed him, in fact completely ignored him, but they did not respect his property. They got inside his tent and looked for food, right behind his back. Once a wolf peed on his tent while he was in it.

Noticing the wolves marked their boundaries, Mowat tried the same thing. After drinking several pots of tea, he marked a line a few feet inside theirs, just to see what they would do. He wrote that the wolf came to his line, looked shocked, looked at Mowat, then marked his line farther back from Mowat's. After that, there was no problem with the wolves crossing into Mowat's territory.

Following Sun Tzu's advice, in The Art of War, to know your enemy (which allows you to outsmart and defeat him), I decided Mowat was doing a wise thing. So after drinking two beers and two glasses of water, I waited until about 11 pm, then marked a Line of Death from the street to the houses in back, right along my parents' property line. While whistling the whole time.

The dog never crossed the line. Instead, he sat on his side, giving me reproachful looks. He didn't even yap at me anymore. Problem solved.

This episode not only illustrates the importance of knowing your enemy, it also points out wisdom of Robert Frost's quote that "Good fences make good neighbors." It also shows the truth of that old saying, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." I could have fought with that dog, its owners and the police all summer, but fortunately stumbled onto a simple prevention. Indeed, a cure.

These three truths are important because they apply to the universal fact that all empires fall. They fall from two things: overextension abroad and decay from within. Part of the decay from within is from letting barbarians into the country. This is what the Romans did, and what we're doing now. I still don't know if we'll end up like the English Empires or the Roman. Only time will tell.

Many Americans don't bother to know and understand their enemies; they don't understand that good fences make good neighbors, and they forget that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Simple, universally true rules, easily memorized and easily understood.

I define a barbarian as someone who does not understand the basic rules that are necessary for a society to survive and flourish: Do not murder. Do not steal. Keep your word. The fact so many in the Third World do not follow these rules is why the Third World is the Third World. They try to blame their poverty and lack of freedom on us. They should instead look in the mirror. I've met immigrants who don't even understand these rules. Talking to them is like my trying to talk to that dog. Huh? What?

For the first time in our history, the US is invading other countries while simultaneously letting our enemies from those countries immigrate here. Even an inept President like Jimmy Carter had the sense to deport Iranians when Iran took Americans hostage. But I have yet to see the deportation of the few million potential Fifth Columnists in the U.S.

It's been estimated there are between six and eight million illegal immigrants in the US. The INS esimates that about 150,000 of these illegals come from the Middle East--41,000 from Pakistan, 25,000 from Iran, 20,000 from Lebanon, 11,000 from Egypt, 3300 from Syria, 3000 from Sudan, and 1000 from Iraq. And in the six months following 9-11, the State Department issued almost 200,000 visas to Middle Easterners and southern Asians, areas known to be havens for al Qaeda.

The way things are looking, the U.S. is going to invade Iraq, followed by Iran, Syria, then Eqypt. If these invasions happen, these illegal immigrants are a national security threat. Even if the invasions don't happen, they are, as far as I'm concerned, a threat anyway.

If in some parallel universe somewhere, Mexico had invaded the US, and allowed hundreds of thousands of Americans to enter Mexico -- including me -- believe me, I'd be smiling. As would all of the rest of the Americans.

I blame most of these problems on the leftism that has infected America over the past few decades. People naturally form themselves into tribes. Tribes often fight each other. Leftists believe these tribes can get along under the guise of "multiculturalism." They're wrong. There is no country in the world where this has been shown to be true.

The main things that keep these tribes from fighting are the free market and political liberty. The main thing that will cause them to fight is politically-enforced "multiculturalism."

It's obvious that some of these immigrants hate America and everything this country stands for. All 19 of the hijackers who flew the planes into the WTC and the Pentagon did it from U.S. soil. They didn't fly the planes across the Atlantic from Saudi Arabia. If they hadn't been allowed in they could not have done what they did.

What gives the federal government the right to set immigration policy for the states? For counties, for cities, for neighborhoods? How can several hundred people in Washington DC decide what is right for everyone in the country? Answer: they don't have the right, and they can't.

Richard Maybury, writer, investment advisor and Vietnam helicopter pilot (his site here) has had an enormous influence on what I think.

Where English Common Law has not taken root it's not such a good place to live. Still, in these areas there is still some law, although it came from other countries than England. About two-thirds of the world he calls Chaostan, where there is essentially no law. They never developed the belief in law as something objective that can be discovered through the use of reason. What "law" there is is based only on political power. And as Mao Tse-Tung noticed, "All political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." These lands can be ruled either by a tyranny or chaos. Nothing else.

This entire area, to quote historian Bernard Lewis, is involved in a "downward spiral of hate and spite, rage and self-pity, poverty and oppression," which is caused by their lack of understanding of Natural Law, political liberty and economic freedom.

As you can easily see, the coming World War III (the "Oil, Empire and Israel War") that Dubya and his foolish advisors are hell-bent on getting us into, is in Chaostan. And this is where all of our enemy immigrants are coming from. People who have little understanding of "Do not murder," "Do not steal," and "Keep your word."

Worse, they come from a religious tradition that condones suicide/mass murder, slavery, theft and rape against those who do not belong to it, and understands not reason but military force. Should we really be allowing these people into the U.S., most especially while we are at war with their countries? What sort of insanity is that?

I am not a believer at all in playing with tarbabies. And that is exactly what this coming war is going to be -- a tarbaby. I've met people who've told me, "Well, we'll just conquer them and impose democracy and capitalism on them, just they way we did Germany and Japan." To which I answer: "Germany and Japan were countries that had long histories of civilization. They just went temporarily insane. The countries you're talking about invading have never had anything approximating political liberty and economic liberty."

Sure, we can impose our values on them. We can slaughter nearly everyone, then we can start anew. That's what happened with the Great Flood and Noah's Ark. But we don't want to do that, and we're not going to.

What I did with that little heinous beast of a dog is what we should do with our enemies. I kicked him off of my property, as we should kick them off of ours. And I kept him off. When I decided he was my enemy, I realized I had to understand him to defeat him. Just as we need to understand our enemies to defeat them (I'll take Sun Tzu over Rush Limbaugh every time).

We need to win by outsmarting them. Sometimes, outsmarting an enemy is doing the opposite of what he expects. I'm still not sure why the planes were flown into the WTC. A symbolic victory? Americans have already forgotten about it. An attempt to destroy the economy? If they believed that, they're dumber than I thought. An attempt to drag the US into an endless guerilla war on the Asian landmass? A possibility.

The way to win is to withdraw from the coming WWIII. Kick out the Fifth Column, bring the Empire home, and at home increase political liberty and economic freedom. Shut down most of the federal government. Cut taxes by 90%. Get rid of all the job-destroying regulations. Then watch the explosion in high-paying jobs. Watch workers' incomes double. Drill for our own oil and build more nuclear power plants. Unleash the power of the free market and watch the advances in all sciences. We'll get stronger and they'll get even weaker, because they'll no longer be getting our oil money. Trade with them, but have no political connections with them. It's what George Washington counseled over 200 years ago. And he was smarter than all the neo-cons put together.

That's how we outsmart them and beat them. What can they do then? Not much.

I didn't need a pound of cure -- or a pound of war -- to beat some stupid dog. What I used, literally -- and what the US can use--was about an ounce of prevention.

The Dilemma of the Libertarian Homosexual

Many "pure," anarchist libertarians are homosexuals. Specifically, the leftist-libertarians. They also tend to be anarchists, or, as they put it, anarcho-capitalists.

They are stuck in a dilemma. Like the Marxists they so strongly resemble, they believe that once the State "withers way," then all will be equal – there will be no prejudice, no sexism, no ageism, no "homophobia," no racism. This is why they are leftist. The words they use -- "sexism," "homophobia," etc. -- ultimately mean nothing because they can mean anything.

This "equality" is the leftist, utopian, never-will-exist pipe-dream. The Left exacerbates what problems that do exist by setting people at each other’s throats; the Right ameliorates them, because they know the free market and liberty tends toward toleration.

What leftist-libertarians believe would happen is not what would happen. Like all leftists, they don’t merely misunderstand human nature; they don’t understand it at all.

Under a totally free market, people will arrange themselves into loose hierarchies, with many different tribes, with the leaders at the top and the lazy and stupid at the bottom. This places homosexuals in a quandary. Their tribe has never been accepted as the equal of heterosexuals, and never will be. That’s why there is such an uproar over gay marriage. The most homosexuals can expect is tolerance, and little else.

The fact they’re never been totally accepted is why so many of them (the leftist ones) wish to use the power of government to pass laws granting them what they see as equal rights, but everyone else sees as special ones.

I have worked with homosexuals, blacks, Jews, Asians, whatever. We all got along just fine, because it was work. However, afterward, everyone went back to his or her own tribe. After all, you don’t see straight guys hanging out at gay bars. That’s the good thing about the free market and liberty: everyone can associate with who they want. It’s why so many homosexuals have moved to San Francisco, to be with their own tribe. That’s the why it should be; it minimizes conflict.

My experience with a fair amount of homosexuals is that they can’t comprehend that straight guys can’t be turned. Some seem to think if you catch them as kids, they can be raised gay. They can’t. It’s so strongly genetic it can’t be overcome, contrary to the hallucinations of the NAMBLA crowd.

The hard left doesn’t really believe there is a human nature. Male, female, straight, gay...they believe it just depends on the way you’re raised because human nature is (they delude themselves) infinitely malleable and plastic. If that was true, then homosexuals, who are raised in straight society, would be straight. But they’re not, just as heterosexuals raised in a homosexual society would still turn out straight.

Ever since I was a teenager, I wondered why anyone would care if a guy (or girl) had sex with someone of the same sex. Later, I realized for the most part, that wasn’t the problem.

The problem is that a substantial number of homosexuals are pederasts – they like boys in their early teens. That’s the reason why the fashion industry, which is dominated by homosexuals, uses female models who have the build of 12- and 13-year-old boys. The women who complain about such things apparently don’t realize what the real problem is. It’s not heterosexual men.

Then there is the problem that homosexuals, who make up two percent of the population, are responsible for at least one-third of all child sex crimes – murder, rape, molestation. I see no reason why it was any different in the past. Or why it will be any different in the future.

I had half-a-dozen homosexuals hit on me in my teens. It happened to many of my friends, too. Suddenly, at the age of 21, it stopped. Damning coincidence, isn’t it? I wasn’t a teenager anymore.

This tendency toward pederasty, and self-destruction through drug abuse and disease, and child sex crimes, are the real reasons societies have always frowned on homosexuality. And it doesn’t help that these self-destructive tendencies are the reason that two-thirds of all AIDS cases are among homosexuals.

And it also certainly doesn’t help when they refuse to admit these things about themselves.

What leftist-homosexuals hope to do is expell the right wing from libertarianism, thinking they can impose their agenda. It won’t work. They’re wasting their time. They’re fighting battles they’ve already lost.

What exactly do they expect to do? Use social pressure and ostracism? Or, in the long run, will their statist beliefs finally surface, after which they’ll give up any pretense of being libertarians and become just plain leftists?

Most of them can’t really support the Right, because they realize that leads to vast majority of people will only tolerating them, or at best, find them amusing, the way the late Paul Lynde was amusing. Or Richard Simmons, or Liberace.

If they support the Left, then they’re stuck heading back into trying to use the State and law, something that libertarians are supposed to see as one of the worst sins of all.

So, they are stuck in a dilemma to which there really is no solution. Under complete liberty, they can only expect tolerance but not complete acceptance, (as one tribe will tolerate but ever really accept another) or under statism they can expect special rights but resentment and dislike from nearly everyone.

Mixing Blood and Making Babies

Many years ago, one of my friends, a Filipina, told me that in the Philippines, many if not most of the women prefer white men. The reason, she told me, is they wanted to have what she termed "exotic-looking babies." She called this "mixing blood."

The women wanted their children to be taller, heavier, stronger, better-looking, and lighter-skinned, although being smarter was not one of the prime criteria. "Exoticism" was the main reason.

She also informed me these half-breeds made up the bulk of the most popular entertainers. Nearly all of them, in fact. She also mentioned that most Asian men wouldn't marry an Asian woman darker than they were. They didn't want dark children; they wanted them to be lighter.

She also told me every time her 40ish mother saw someone on TV with blue eyes, she'd yell, "Look, blue eyes!"

I have very blue eyes, and have been on the receiving end of such comments, always from dark-skinned brunettes, Asian women, black women, and Jewish women. In fact, I have been stared at by Filipinas. I've always known the reason for this -- my blond hair and blue eyes. Because I'm light, and they're not.

The theory --actually it's a myth -- is that if everyone in the world interbred, we'd all end up with no race, and everyone the same light brown color. This isn't what would happen. What would happen is that people would arrange themselves into a hierarchy, with the lightest at the top and the darkest at the bottom, just as is done today in every country in the world.

For good or bad, light skin is preferred nearly everywhere. Even in Mexico, which most everyone thinks is nothing but metizos, the upper classes (who are white Spanish) have been breeding themselves lighter and lighter.

One of the most surprising things I ever saw was when I turned on some South American Spanish-speaking TV stations and saw myself looking at a bunch of white people, many of whom had blond hair. I thought I would be looking at a bunch of Antonio Banderas. Hardly. In most cases, I couldn't tell the difference between them and Americans.

I was also surprised to find that most of the rulers of the Arab lands looked European. It appears to be a truism that the lightest always end up ruling, no matter what race is involved.

If, somehow, everyone was the same race, but still had the same genetics of every race in them, sooner or later they'd recreate the races, since same would mate with same. We'd end up with what we have now -- the lighter at the top, the darker at the bottom, the more intelligent at the top, the less intelligent at the bottom. Just the way the world is pretty much right now.

I know a woman who is half African, half white American. She's what is called "high yellow" and essentially has white features. She married a white man with blue eyes (she's also commented on my blue eyes), who is the father of a little girl with white skin, blue eyes and straight black hair. What do you think are the chances that this girl, when she grows up, is going to marry a white man? About 100%, I'd say. In two generations the family has gone from black to white. The black side, in fact, has disappeared.

When I was in college I knew a black woman who would only sleep with white men. When I asked her why, she said: white men are smarter and better-looking, treat women better, and, probably most of all, her kids would be smarter, better-looking -- and lighter.

She reminded me of something I heard Arsenio Hall say once, when he was a teenager and knew a black girl who had broken up with her white boyfriend. Her mother threw a fit, claiming she was a fool for breaking up with "that white boy," claiming "niggers ain't shit," and she'd end up with a "lazy nigger" like she did. Had I heard her say such a thing, I would have stood there speechless. The woman wanted her blackness to disappear.

The extinction of complete races is something that will never happen, no matter what fantasies liberals engage in. Human nature being what it is, not only would the races recreate themselves (isn't that what they originally did in the first place, if indeed they came from one race?), there would be the resentment and hate from those on the bottom toward those on the top, if they try to share the same land. That's why multiculturalism (more accurately named multi-tribalism) will never work.

The yellow-skinned woman I mentioned? She's treated better by whites that she is by blacks. I've seen black men be utterly vicious to her, to the point I thought about hitting them. I know why they acted like that, and I think she does too: envy. They can't stand the fact they know they can't have her, and she is better than they are. That high-yellow skin drives them nuts.

With the minor interbreeding that's going on (and it will always be only that), the races will not disappear, therefore there will always be conflict.That's why different races and ethnic groups should have their own land.

What will happen is that interbreeding will cause those who are non-white to be absorbed into the white race.

So, all the haters out there who'd like to see white people disappear: sorry, it ain' gonna happen. The exact opposite will happen, actually.

Trapped in the Federal Twilight Zone

I've occasionally been having the feeling for the past few years that I'm stuck in an episode of The Twilight Zone. The main difference is that now it's color instead of black-and-white.

Let's take the airports, for a good example. When I'm at one there are lines two hours long. Except for the fact no one is smiling, everyone looks like they're about to start doing the Conga. I keep having this image that if I was to find a special pair of sunglasses (like the ones Roddy Piper wore in the movie, They Live, which showed who the aliens were) most of the people in those lines would have the heads of sheep.

Then those scarier-than-Pennywise-the-Clown clerks (the women with the big poofy hair and the make-up applied with a paint-roller) ask everyone the same stupid, meaningless questions, over and over: "May I see your driver's license? Have your bags been out of your sight? Has anyone tried to give you anything?" It wouldn't surprise me at all if soon it was escalated to, "Are you now, or have you ever been, a terrorist? Do you have any explosives on or near you? Are you capable of detonating a nuclear weapon? Do you have poison gas in your tooth? Do you have a grenade secreted in any of your orifices?" (What a way to blow up a plane --"Look out! He's got his butt up against the window!")

Then we have the airports patrolled by the National Guard -- except they're carrying unloaded weapons. This is in some ways a good thing. since I wouldn't want an M-16 to be dropped by some 18-year-old searching for a doobie for a bathroom break, and accidentally fired toward those long lines of sheeple. "Uh...sorry about that, dude."

When I look at the those screening luggage and searching passengers I often see the same kind of people who flew the planes into the WTC. I also see the very same kind of people loading luggage into the airlines ("Damn, these fuel-air bombs are heavy"). Some of them are even wearing the bin Laden one-layer wedding-cake turban. Instead what we are getting are people who are totally innocent being subjected to preposterous searches.

How in the world did Richard "Stinky" Reid make it onto the plane? "Oh no no no! We have to let him pass! It's profiling! Let's completely ignore the fact he looks like a Charlie Manson dog-humping lunatic! Let's do a full body-cavity search on Grammy here! No one can accuse us of being prejudiced then!" It's PC growing like the Blob, engulfing every bit of common sense in its path.

At my local airport one man apparently didn't want to stand in a long line to be searched (investigators suspected he was going to miss his plane). Somehow, he joined a line of people and bypassed the search. I guess he got on his plane in time. All I can say is: yay! for him. However, the whole airport went on Super, Super-Duper High Alert, and they shut down everything searching for this guy. I think they even had bomb-sniffing dogs. That's hardly the first time an airport's been shut down, even though everyone with one working brain-cell and a non-puckered butt knew it was a complete joke.

This is ridiculous. I'll bet Rod Serling would be impressed, though. He'd probably be scribbling ideas down like mad ("This'll be better than the one where the slot machine was chasing the guy and cackling, Frrranklinnn! Frrranklinnn!")

Another man was told he could take a disposable lighter onto the plane, but would have to check his refillable one. There is not one person in the entire universe who has a rational explanation for this. Because there isn't one!

We're told laws were passed to make the screeners "highly-paid professionals." "Highly-paid" I believe -- just more people to vote Commie. Uh, I mean Democrat. But "professional"? That's about as l ikely as Arnold Schwartzenegger being put into the hospital by a Pomeranian.

People who can stand there eight hour a day searching luggage could only do it if their IQ is less than 100. In their case "professional screener" is a perpetual oxymoron. A smart person would have to be high or boozed-up the whole shift to handle a boring job like that. For that matter, maybe the not-so-smart ones, too.

It's a good thing I can't read minds. If I could, here are some of the thoughts I would get from the screeners: "I've been charged with drunken driving three time, but boy did I fool them!" "I'm a convicted rapist -- look at the boobage on that babe! Wait 'til I get my hands on her!" "I'm a child molester -- and here comes some little kiddies for me to search!" I'm still waiting for the first screener to get popped in the snotbox for feeling up some guy's wife or kids. Or maybe even his cute little dog.

It really is too bad I don't have some kind of psychic powers, like the characters in a Stephen King novel. I'd walk through the airports, and everytime I came across a sleazy screener, I'd zotz him and make his gizzard fall out. ("Ooh, yeah, now I've got my hands on her --huh? What?" Plop.)

Then, on the airplane, if you go to the bathroom during the last half-hour of the flight, you get arrested. This raises the question: what if you just stood up, flipped ougt your crank and whizzed in the aisle? Wouldn't the charge of public indecency be a fraction of the charge for actually going to the restroom? What about if it's a four-year old? ("Mommy, I can't hold it any longer!") What then? "On your face, kid!" Click, click. "Wah! Mommy! Daddy! Wah!"

Personally, I'm boycotting the airlines. If everyone else did too, things would change but fast. Government is just like one of those big clumsy stupid dinosaurs who when when a T-Rex was chewing on its tail the message got to its peanut-sized brain two years later. Right now, it all reminds me of that old Texas saying about a monkey trying fuck a football.

I also get the Twilight Zone feeling outside of the airport. I agree with Rush Limbaugh much of the time, but recently I heard him claim that Dubya's almost complete unfamiliarity with pop culture (Leonardo DiCaprio? Whozzat?) is a sign that he's a Deep Thinker. I guess this means that Dubya spends his evenings reading Plato and Aristotle while stuffing Cheesy Poofs into his Cheesy Poof hole.

The irony of this is lost on Rush. Orwell saw this years ago: Ignorance Is Strength. Sometimes I get the feeling that while Rush is talking he is suddenly snatched away, in a nanosecond, and replaced with some goof who sounds and looks exactly like him. When he starts talking like that he's either self-deluded or a cynical liar (I suspect the former). Recently he's been reminding me of a woman I know, who's totally normal until she starts talking about how aliens kidnapped her and stole her eggs ("I'm sure I've got some half-alien kid out there somewhere").

I get the same feeling about Duyba. First he was a amiable, tongue-tied fratboy; now all of a sudden he's a Holy Warrior attempting to start WWIII with a bunch of countries that probably can't even manufacture their own toilet paper. If someone was to step on his foot, and the top of his head was to pop up like a lid, exposing a little alien in a Barcalounger, it wouldn't surprise me at all.

I'm also starting to get a little paranoid about the cops. Most of those on the street I consider little better than worthless, since I've had them admit to me that 99% of the time they do nothing (detectives are a different story). I've caught quite a few sleeping in their cars in hidden places. (I used to drive a taxi years ago, and was told by the other drivers where the police and city officials would go to sleep while on duty. Sometimes I would drive by and look at them with their heads back and their mouths open. I always had this fantasy of throwing a peanut in.)

Who is going to enforce all these stupid-and bizarre-laws the government is passing? The police, of course. Look at this way: who arrested the guy for peeing on the plane? Who arrested the pilot who made a ruckus about having his nail clipper confiscated? Whether the laws are right or wrong doesn't matter -- you're coming with us, perp!

I'd never make it as cop: "This is ridiculous! I'm not arresting this guy! He's in the right! I quit!" Then I would throw my badge in the nearest lake, just the way Clint Eastwood did at the end of Dirty Harry.

Then there's Donald Rumsfeld, who blithely says that innocent civilians get killed in war. Hmmm...terrorists killed a bunch of our innocent civilians (which is wrong), so we kill a bunch of innocent civilians in Afghanistan (which didn't attack us), which is right?

The Twilight Zone was about what all horror is about: things are normal, then, suddenly (and usually for no rational reason), things get weird. Sinister. Sometimes things go back to normal. Sometimes they don't.

It was also about paranoia. I'm not scared of terrorists. I am scared of my own government. Imagine if Hillary was put in charge of Homeland Security. I'd rather take my chances with the Chucky "Good Guy" doll from the movie Child's Play. (Now that I think about it, Hillary looks a little bit like ol' Chucky.)

The government gave up protecting our life, liberty and property decades ago. Now it's a behemoth, both domestically and foreign.

The longer this war (this undeclared war) goes on, the more sinister things are going to get. Right now the State is telling us War Is Peace. I'm sure there are people in the administration chomping at the bit to have teenagers "volunteer" for the draft (not only can they not say the word "slavery," they can't even force themselves to think it).

There are two sayings I keep in mind concerning perpetual war for perpetual peace. The first: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand."

The second: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (which means those who are not peacemakers will be called the exact opposite of the children of God).

Brrr. Next stop...The Twilight Zone.

The Bell Curve of Pinky and the Brain

In the spirit of all my semi-autistic Keynesian economics teachers, who thought that everything could be quantified, I will now prove, scientifically, that a) democracy is hopeless b) ideas rule everything c) Mass Man is as hopeless as a) and d) who needs Harvard and Yale when you've got cartoons?

I shall do all of this with the aid of a bell curve, which I call "the Bell Curve of Pinky and the Brain," after one of my favorite cartoons. But first, I'll explain about cartoons.

Cartoons are just modern-day myths. They're old stories in new clothes. The fact they are modern-day myths explains their popularity. Indeed, the most popular programs today are nearly all cartoons -- Spongebob Squarepants, The Simpsons, and South Park. The best ones are satires that lampoon society.

Now, about bell cuves. They're are best known for showing the distribution of intelligence, but they apply to lots of other things, too: height, weight, looks. Lookswise, Madeleine Albright, for example, would be so far to the left she'd be off of the computer screen. Hopefully, she'd be in the closet.

That vertical line in the middle illustrates the mean average. That's where the stereotypical Mass Man is. For all practical purposes, that where Pinky is. Homer is there, too, as is Cad, who was the henchman of Simon Bar Sinister, the Evil Genius in the old Underdog cartoon. Cad could do little more than say, "Duh, okay boss!"

At a glance you can see that Homer is smarter than Pinky, and Pinky is smarter than Cad. But what all have is common is that they are representations of Mass Man.

What I find curious, and a bit scary, is that in cartoons, Mass Man almost always follows the Evil Genius Who Wants to Conquer the World. If you don't think this is true, watch Triumph of the Will sometime, in which hundreds of thousands of people in a crowd part to let Hitler walk through.

Politically, I consider this problem to be "leftist." If you consider heroes like Batman, Superman and Underdog to be "rightist," you'll find they don't have sidekicks who follow them slavishly. Either they don't have sidekicks, or if they do, their sidekicks, like Robin, are pretty independent. Mass Man following Evil Geniuses is a left-wing phenomena, because a true rightist will always say, "Don't follow me and instead stand on your own two feet."

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn was right when he said, "'I' is from God, and 'We' is from the Devil." Individuals can think, but masses cannot. They can only feel, and what they feel are primitive emotions such as bloodlust against anyone outside of the group.

But back to the bell curve. At the far right side of the curve we have the Evil Geniuses such as Brain, Superman's nemesis Lex Luthor, and the mousy Brain. Since they want to conquer the world, I'd pretty much have to consider them all leftists.

That vertical mean average line in the middle of the bell curve not only illustrates intelligence, but also a few more things. Mass Man in not only defined by average intelligence, but average everything. Average curiosity and average ambition, for example. He really doesn't pay a whole lot of attention to what's going on in the world, and often thinks his leaders know what they're doing. He's generally more interested in bread and circuses, and when he does get involved in politics he tends to rabidly support his candidate or party, even if neither makes any sense.

Those guys at the far right demonstrates greater intelligence and greater ambition. Especially greater ambition, which is not always a good thing, not when they want to rule. Satan wanted to rule others, too.

And now the problems start. Mythologically, Mass Man has always been called "the sheep," and those other guys "the wolves." But how does a tiny minority of the wolves rule over the sheep?

Because they're sheep, that's why! They aren't that smart! That's why the wolves con them! The wolves tell the sheep they're eating them for their own good, and the sheep fall for it. Both Jesus and Aesop noticed this, which is why both made the comment, "All tyrants call themselves benefactors."

In fact, the wolves get the sheep to vote for them. That proves a) why democracy is hopeless. Anyone who tells the truth to the sheep, such as "You can have liberty, but security isn't possible," is never going to get voted in. On the other hand, any wolf who says, "We'll give you security, and everything else you want, for free" is always going to get the majority of votes. Democracy is the sheep voting the wolves into office.

It can be no other way. Mass Man will always outgun everyone, because there are so many of him. That's why d) Mass Man is hopeless, is true. Mass Man is hopeless, and so is democracy.

Now, what about c) ideas rule everything? Ideas lie at the right side of the bell curve. Neither Pinky nor Homer or Cad have any ideas to speak of. But villains like Lex Luthor and Brain and Simon Bar Sinister have plenty of ideas, almost all of which involve conquering the world for various reasons, and using Mass Man as cannon fodder to implement them. Obviously, those are very bad ideas, ones defined more by arrogance, blindness and hubris than anything else.

There are also good ideas, ones promulgated by libertarians and true conservatives. Those people lie at the far right, also. Those ideas include such things as liberty and self-responsibility, and peace instead of destruction. They also include some awareness of limitations. That's why Underdog was Humble Shoeshine Boy in real life. Humility, not hubris, has always been a virtue. Hubris, on the other hand, is perhaps the worst sin of all.

What we've got, then, is a fight over ideas. These ideas, ultimately, end up ruling Mass Man, once they percolate down to him. "Ideas Have Consequences," wrote Richard Weaver in a famous book of the same name. "He who works with the head, rules; he who works with the hands, is ruled," goes the old Chinese saying.

This fight over ideas is the most important one in the world, because whoever wins determines where Mass Man will go. And Mass Man doesn't even know it. He's non-reflective sheep.

I like to use the Gospels as an example of a fight over ideas. In them, the fight was between Jesus and the Pharisees. We know who won. These days, to call someone a Pharisee is an insult. It was essentially a fight over ideas between one man and a very small group of men. Yet, today, there are about two billion Christians in the world. That illustrates the power of ideas.

If both democracy and Mass Man are hopeless, what then is the proper form of government? Ideally, no one would rule anyone else. This, however, requires everyone (or nearly everyone) to be an adult. But is it possible for Pinky and Cad and Homer to be adults? Homer can pretty much run his own life, but can you imagine what would happen if he was a politician? Yet people like him vote politicians into office. Pinky and Cad do, too.

Perhaps Kuehnelt-Leddihn had it right when in Leftism Revisited he suggested some sort of constitutional monarchy was the best form of government. His evidence for it is impressive. The problem is preventing the Evil Geniuses from becoming kings. They can't be prevented under democracy, that's for sure. Can it be prevented under a constitutional monarchy? I don't know.

But what I do know is that they few will always rule the many. The bell curve shows us that. Somehow, we have to make sure the few who rule believe in liberty and self-responsibility. Mass Man, then, will ultimately follow them, because in the long run ideas rule everything.

Hey, who needs any of the "Best and Brightest" from Harvard and Yale, when you've got cartoons? Those are the guys who got us into Vietnam, which was the blind leading the blind and both falling into the ditch. That's what happens when Mass Man follows Evil Geniuses, when Pinky follows Brain, and when Cad follows Simon.

Even today those Evil Genius types are leading Mass Man into the ditch, and Mass Man is following him willingly. Only today they're called "neocons," and there are maybe 25 of them. Twenty-five people, who have infested the government, and Mass Man supports them, thinks they know what they're doing, and is happily jumping into the handbasket going straight to Hell.

The Evil Geniuses Who Want to Conquer the World must always be fought, and the fight lies in the realm of ideas, by those Underdogian heroes who understand liberty and self-responsibility, creation instead of destruction.

Where's Underdog when we need him? He could sing a modern-day version of his rhyme:

"When America's in trouble

I am not slow!

It's hip-hip-hip

And away I go!"

Underdog may be the underdog, but he never gives up, and in the long run, he wins.