Tag Archives: California

Stonehenge by the Sea

Friendly Fairy Tales

Stonehenge by sea

Rocks protrude, waves crash,
Mist embraces the shore.
What giant moved these rocks here,
To fight the tide and battle time?

This enchanted place calls to me,
Like Stonehenge by the Sea,
A crossroads between the past and future,
Nothing settled, always changing.

Even the sky changes in a heartbeat,
Water battling earth, air carrying their cries:
Elemental soundings, missing only fire.
Magic enfolds, perhaps the fire is in me.

Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham

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Quiz questions, views, left- and right-wing anti-Semitism

An Orthodox Christian got confronted by a friend who recently posted a link to an article on anti-Semitism which claimed that anti-Semitism of the left was more dangerous than anti-Semitism of the right. He found the article biased and tendentious for several reasons and writes

For one thing, the author seemed to characterise “the Left” in much the same way that antisemites characterise the Jews — with stereotypes based on innuendoes. Just as for antisemites there is no need to substantiate any accusations against “the Jews”, so for those authors there is no need to substantiate any allegations against “the Left”, because those are something that “everyone knows”.

Anti-semitism from which site it may come in whatever country it may be uttered is also something which is wrong and should not be accepted. the writer of the article may have been writing about the “the Left” in the American sense, which means still a very conservative group, because the left for Americans can be a group which belongs to the Democrats.

Steve Hayes aged 9

The writer of Khanya, Steve Hayes considers himself a a liberal who believes that theological liberalism leads to political conservatism and vice versa. According to him there is primary an ascetic struggle as part of the training and discipline we need in order to engage in other aspects of the struggle. {Thoughts on Spiritual Warfare (synchroblog)}

The primary aspect of spiritual warfare, therefore, is the struggle against the passions leading to theosis (divinisation, godliness). {Thoughts on Spiritual Warfare (synchroblog)}

When we look at today’s society we can see al lot of ungodliness and it is just because so many people are so far away from God’s rules that there are so many problems in this world.

Soon after seeing the anti-Semitism article, someone posted one of those quizzes on Facebook that purport to show whether you are left or right. Hayes questions

Is it accurate? I don’t know, but I thought it would be interesting to do it to see what the quiz authors regarded as “left” or “right” characteristics, which can itself be revealing of social trends.

Funny to see I had exactly the same result as him, getting following result:

Your political views:

result

You can take the test here,and compare your results with ours.

I can assure you I am not for Tax-increases but I am for a better distribution of wealth and a better differentiation for the wages and a better performance related pay.

Hayes is anti-war, anti-abortion and anti-capital punishment and writes

Most of those who claim to be pro-life are less than solidly so, and are rather full-of-holes pro-life. If you want a more accurate test to take your political temperature, try the Political Compass.

Having tried it myself it showed my Political Compass

Economic Left/Right: -6.13
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.67

personalised chart

My position plotted against the UK parties in the 2015 general election would be

UK Political Parties chart 2015 including Respect, Sinn Féin, Scottish Socialist Party, Plaid Cymru, Scottish National Party, SDLP, Green, Liberal Democrat, Conservative, UKIP, Labour, DUP, BNP

which I think would not be a bad picture.

Hayes remarks

Be that as it may, very few of the characteristics ascribed to the left, either in the test or in the antisemitism article, appeared directly in the quiz questions. There was nothing about intersectionality (whatever that may be) or “identity politics” (which sounds like a pretty right-wing thing to me). But there were quite a lot of questions about Christian values. One of a group of four that I opted for was “kindness”, because it came closest to the Christian value of love, though whether the test counted that as “left” or “right” I’m not sure, but I noticed that it does place the Christian value of forgiveness on the left. {Anti-Semitism, anti-leftism and anti-Christianity}

I consider Jesus a “communist avant la lettre” and have seen several tests where the agapè love is considered to be “leftish”. The Christian value of forgiveness is also many times placed on the left.

Though what shocks me and troubles me a lot is that several people in the U.S.A. who call themselves “Christian” or “Born again Christian” have not much feeling for other people and or not much interested in sharing with those around them. Many of them oppose anything what has a smell of socialism or systems where is demanded that people help each other or provide money in a fund or system like Obama Care to help others. Lots of those so called Christians have also a very averse attitude to true or non-trinitarian Christians, Jews and Muslims. All that worship the Only One True God and not their Trinity seem to be people they would like to see to “burn in hell”.

Clearly when hearing lots of North Americans talking on the little screen, they give an impression all those who do not belong to their Christendom are disgusting people which should be thrown out of the country. Some have such weird ideas about other faiths that we in Europe can wonder if they did not learn about them in their schools and if the media does not give any good advice. Looking at some TV-station , like Fox, we see lots of de-information and no objective information.

In the American media we see a lot of anti-black racism and a lot of Islamophobia, plus the choice of many to consider those with a “white” skin (I would say an light tainted orange skin) superior to those with an other coloured skin. As such the Jew comes into the picture as well, having not the Caucasian looks. Jews all over the world comes in all shades — from blonde to black. In Israel the conflict between Jews and Palestinians isn’t about race. Nor are the tensions between Jews from Europe and those from the Muslim world — though activists and academics sometimes import the terms “black” and “white,” in defiance of their lying eyes. But on many American platforms the looks of the Jews bring sayings against them which I would prefer not to hear in a civilised country.

Already in the preparation for the previous American election we could find several lies about Obama his origin and birthplace. This was for us already an indication that there was more brewing and that a significant portion of Americans felt horror that an Afro-American could become president.

Race is the most pervasive reason that some Americans believe they can discriminate against and despise others. When you see certain Jews their body clearly shows certain marks, which are good enough a sign for those so called Christians to call them murderers of Jesus and to hate them.

Some may think anti-Semitism just isn’t as bad as other forms of racism, but it is. Worse is it when there is an attitude of

Jews don’t count as a group worth protecting.
Jonathan TaubesJonathan Taubes, a student activist at Binghamton University who worked with progressive campaigns in Binghamton, on and off campus, writes
Jewish people face bigotry in this country, and the history of institutional anti-Semitism here is real, but today we find ourselves mostly free of persecution. We should recognize that privilege and use it to fight for the vulnerable. {Dear Allies, Don’t Downplay Anti-Semitism in Trump’s America}
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) showed at the beginning of this year that the number of anti-Semitic incidents remained significantly higher in 2017 compared to 2016. In addition to the significant bump in the first quarter of this year, there was also a distinct increase after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August.
Since 1979, ADL has counted anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. and reported the numbers in its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents. It can be said that also in the U.S.A. the amount of injustices to Jews became too high. New York State (267 incidents); California (197); Massachusetts (117); Florida (69) and Pennsylvania (58) incidents of crimes against Jews for their race.

In August, ADL recorded a “meta-event” rarely seen in America: the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., which featured shocking and violent expressions of anti-Semitism and racism, including the display of swastika flags, chants of “Jews will not replace us!” and other overt anti-Semitic acts.

There seems such a fear that they would replaced by Jews and Muslims or that their world would become Islamic. Though then why do they not question their own religion and their own religious members. In case they would be strong believers there should be no fear that they would leave their faith. When they are standing strong in their faith they should even be able to come to witness to Muslims and Jews and have them to come to Christianity.

Anti-Semitic incidents spiked on and immediately following Charlottesville. Of the 306 incidents reported in Q3, 221 took place on or after the August 11 rally.

The Charlottesville rally was one of at least 33 public white supremacist events in the U.S. so far this year, which were supplemented with 188 incidents where white supremacists used fliers to spread their message to new audiences, especially on college campuses.

Police departments and human rights groups across the United States of America and all over Europe show that there is a dramatically rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes. When the president’s chief counterterrorism advisor, Sebastian Gorka, was found to support a violent anti-Semitic militia in his parents’ native Hungary, there showed a situation where the left talks about white supremacy as if Jews aren’t affected and anti-Semitism is just a distraction from real issues – when, in fact, anti-Semitism is at the core of the white supremacist ideologies today’s leftist movements seek to upend.

The anti-Semitism article Hayes encountered, also has a significant comment on the Christian worldview — How Anti-Semitism’s True Origin Makes It Invisible To The Left – The Forward:

In addition to the belief in a shadowy group with the power to affect large-scale outcomes, conspiracy theories also reflect a worldview in which reality is the product of a timeless and cosmic struggle between good and evil. These kinds of dualistic narratives are especially enticing to groups that view themselves to be under existential duress, and as Elaine Pagels has shown, this has profoundly shaped Western culture. Jews under Roman occupation and early Christians under Jewish ostracism and gentile persecution developed theologies of the oppressed in which the devil and his demonic host squared off with God and his angels.

Hayes believes that there is a cosmic struggle between good and evil,

though I’m not sure that it is timeless. The Christian take on it is that in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the decisive battle was won by good, and we live in the last days of mopping up operations.

That we live in a time close to the end-times we may see in the signs given in the bible, which we can recognise clearly. But that should not have to mean we should let everything happen like it goes now.

Hayes thinks that

Western Christianity tends to be legalistic, to share the values of the Right rather than the Left, preferring punishment to forgiveness, and justice to kindness (in the left-right quiz mentioned above).

but than he forgets to see what real Christians preach.The real lovers of God recognise what the Nazarene Jew has done and do now that there is no such place as a hell to torture people for ever. Real Christians keep to the bible teachings and not to the human doctrines and human fear-mongering to have their flock under control. though Hayes recognises the appalling falsehoods that several Christian denominations

smack of perversity even to attack its perverseness.[1] And the conclusion is altogether evil. {Love the sinner, hate the sin}

For him is in his Orthodox theology the Church a hospital where sinners can be healed rather than a courtroom where they are to be judged. He should know that it is also in other Christian denominations, like the Christadelphians for example. In the Christadelphian faith it is even so that we consider no man to judge others, except those in function as judge, but still it being up to Jesus to give the end verdict.

He rightly says

if we are Christians we must love the sinner but hate the sin.

We must

  • Love the oppressor but hate oppression

  • Love the corrupt politician and businessman, but hate corruption

  • Love the warmonger but hate war

  • Love the exploiter but hate exploitation

and I would add that we should protect all those who have no voice and should come up for all those who are discriminated or done wrong.

Lest it seems that Hayes is saying that the line between good and evil runs between Eastern and Western Christianity, making “us” superior to “them”, he quotes a Western Christian, G.K. Chesterton, on this:

The whole case for Christianity is that a man who is dependent upon the luxuries of this life is a corrupt man, spiritually corrupt, politically corrupt, financially corrupt.

There is one thing that Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony. They have said simply that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to kill the rich as violators of definable justice. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to crown the rich as convenient rulers of society. It is not certainly un-Christian to rebel against the rich or to submit to the rich. But it is quite certainly un-Christian to trust the rich, to regard the rich as more morally safe than the poor.

A Christian may consistently say,

“I respect that man’s rank, although he takes bribes.”

But a Christian cannot say, as all modern men are saying at lunch and breakfast,

“a man of that rank would not take bribes.”

For it is a part of Christian dogma that any man in any rank may take bribes. It is a part of Christian dogma; it also happens by a curious coincidence that it is a part of obvious human history. When people say that a man “in that position” would be incorruptible, there is no need to bring Christianity into the discussion. Was Lord Bacon a bootblack? Was the Duke of Marlborough a crossing sweeper? In the best Utopia, I must be prepared for the moral fall of any man in any position at any moment; especially for my fall from my position at this moment.

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The Blues Can Make You…….Happy!

Lots of people have forgotten how to look at nature. We only can be happy such marvellous photographers like the retired psychotherapist/mental health director Cindy Barton Knoke can bring the incredible beauty and richness of the world back onto their doorstep.

Perhaps because she now can take lots of time and can not be disturbed by cell phones, because they do not work out there where she lives: the outer limits of no-wheres-ville to a home she calls “the holler.” People perhaps also are better to forget their GPS, because it misdirects. Looking at her pictures I can believe you quickly can be taken away far far away in the countryside, forgetting time and other people. Sometimes I even think she got caught up in a paradise on earth.

I would love she would be one of the persons not minding to share some beauties with us. Because she herself presented herself not yet, I take the liberty to already share and direct you to her pages, where you might find liberating animals, and see where the odd or unusual, becomes something magic.

Even when she gives us the advice best not to wander too much out there, in heavenly Appalachia in rural California she allows us to have a look at the wonders of her world, which also can bring the peace or the wonders of the creation to others living in cities and other rural environments where weather conditions may not be so nice.
At her place the people (and their dogs) are kinda twitchy, but they may perhaps be still more connected with each other and with their environment, than by those living in the more industrial and economical parts of the world, where many have lost feeling with nature.

It looks incredible that she has the blessing to be able to see all those lovely animals. Nice that she can capture them also so beautifully, and bring lovely pictures of woodpeckers, redwing blackbirds, wren, yellow finches, robins, doves, hummingbirds , kestrels …

Enjoy the beautiful world of the hidden imagination of natural reality, which if people would closely in their garden can be hidden also somewhere there, be it different, but also so magic. …

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If you’d like to follow Cindy Knoke elsewhere, please check out the following links:

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  • Cindy Knoke: With an Eye on the World (becausewerepoets.wordpress.com)
    Today’s feature is a photographer whose work is as beautiful as her own humanity.  In fact, it is not enough to say that it is merely beautiful.  Infused throughout her work is the unambiguous rawness of her passion for nature and her love of life and all that the natural world has to offer the patient observer.
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    Since her retirement from serving her fellow human being in such a demanding way, Cindy takes about 3 months out of each year to travel.  Her focus, as you will see, is photography, a focus that began as means by which she could document the experiences of her travels.  And Cindy has documented such travels as her self-drive trip through Kruger National Park in South Africa, her adventures through the Amazon, and an excursion to Antarctica.  For those of you that don’t know, the lowest temperature ever reliably recorded in Antarctica is -89.2 degrees Celsius (-128.6 degrees Fahrenheit).  Most recently, Cindy enjoyed a tour Patagonia.  For details of the trip, check out her blog entry Lodging Options In Southern Patagonia!
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    Cindy Knoke, a beauty through and through.  While she would not regard herself as an artist, I must, and will, say that she is a photographer that I look up to, personally; not just for her talent and skill, but for the love that she expresses for what she does.  It is honest, it is pure, and it is purposeful.  It is real.  What can I say?  That she is an example of what we artists may do when we set not only our minds to it, but our hearts.  With an eye on the world and her finger ever on the shutter button, Cindy Knoke captures moments in vivid color stills just as we poets capture the very same in black and white.  And while we will not all call ourselves artists, even stilling time itself, that the moments we cherish or the moments we abhor may be immortalized, living beyond our natural lives, is an act of creativity.
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DSC05865
When Samson waves high five at you!
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Or the variegated Pride of Madeira blooms~
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The blue morphos dips her azure wings?
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And Samson flashes his hues of blue~
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The blue headed lorikeet can do it too!
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When Morphos lifts her wings……
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These hues will drive the blues from you!
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Cheers to you from nature’s beauteous blues~

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