Hypocrisy? or Just Being Inconsistent?


February 28, 2022- The just-concluded Conservative Political Action Conference featured several speakers with a similar message: The Far Left is a dictatorial entity. Many on the Left, citing the fear that so many of their opposite numbers seem to have of former President Trump, claim that the Right is the autocratic force.

Both are correct, insofar as each side practices intolerance and outright anathema towards those with whom they disagree. The calls for the imprisonment of people who express an opposing point of view have increased dramatically, since 2016, and all the more since the onset of the COVID pandemic. I have heard calls for the executions of various figures on the Left, and there are the rabbit-hole dwellers who say that this has already happened! Conversely, there are thousands of comments on posts, each day, wondering when the participants in all aspects of the January 6th events will be punished.

So, we have each group calling out the other for hypocrisy. I have a slightly different take on the matter. For decades, society has subconsciously pushed the idea that the way to get out of a bind is to distract, to engage in false equivalency, to muddy the waters. People my age have made a fine art out of looking under rocks to find fault with those whom they themselves wrong-as if the actual victims brought it on themselves. Those in subsequent generations have astutely taken note.

Since the last Perfect Being ascended in 1892, and the last Perfect Exemplar, in 1921, it stands to reason that anyone can be taken to task, for one thing or another. I have experienced plenty of table turning, over the years, and probably have done the same to others, at one time or another. Yet, I think there is a subtle difference between hypocrisy and inconsistency of conduct. A true hypocrite builds a brand, career or reputation around consistently throwing stones at others, while knowingly doing the exact same thing to which (s)he objects in others. Occasional inconsistency, or even past behaviours which one has overcome, do not constitute hypocrisy, IF one owns the faux pas and is actively making amends.

We are all works in progress.

Sane and Intelligent Patriotism


February 27, 2022- Recently, we have been treated to the spectacle of a field grade officer, in the United States Army Reserves, making public statements supporting the unprovoked attack of one country upon another-as a way of expressing opposition to our own sitting president.

Baha’u’llah taught that love of one’s country, as expressed in patriotism, should be sane and intelligent. Shoghi Effendi, His great-grandson and the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, from 1922 until his passing in 1957, explained the Baha’i teachings on this matter further: “Let there be no misgivings as to the animating purpose of the world-wide Law of Baha’u’llah. Far from aiming at the subversion of the existing foundations of society, it seeks to broaden its basis, to remold its institutions in a manner consonant with the needs of an ever-changing world. It can conflict with no legitimate allegiances, nor can it undermine essential loyalties. Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame of a sane and intelligent patriotism in men’s hearts, nor to abolish the system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive centralization are to be avoided.”-Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah.

This World Order, as opposed to the partisan or financial globalist orders, recognizes the essential need for society to be constructed from the ground up, first with a securely functioning family, then community, state/province/prefecture, nation and commonwealth. None may be allowed to cancel the other, particularly from the top down.

This principle honours the human need for loyalty and belonging. By its lights, a citizen exhibits loyalty to family, state and nation, then gradually may reach the understanding that the human race is one entity. This understanding can never be forced upon anyone. Conversely, peace officers, military and government officials-at any level, must honour the citizens and their elected representatives, regardless of the officer’s or official’s personal views about those representatives.

In my humble opinion, that is the meaning of sane and intelligent patriotism.

What She Knew


February 26, 2022- The forthright man told of his reaction when one of his children broke the news of gender reassignment. He also had the courage to walk alongside that child and grew in his understanding of what was behind the process. When that child’s life ended, father and child parted as friends. Most importantly, the adult child was friend to self.

When I was a child, I was far from athletic and presented a gentle disposition. That didn’t set all that well with some of the other boys in the neighbourhood, or with those in my paternal grandmother’s neighbourhood, when we visited over there, every other Sunday. In retrospect, the bullying wasn’t all that bad and I was rarely attacked physically. One thing I always knew, though, was that I was solely interested in girls, and never felt the secret urge to BE one.

Not everyone is clear, as to their gender, as their childhood and adolescence progress. The reasons for this range widely-possibly the effects of additives in foods, possibly chemical imbalances, possibly lack of either same sex or opposite sex role model. The causes are all speculative, but the result, for those who choose gender reassignment, is a physically and emotionally excruciating process-lasting several years and possibly the rest of the person’s life.

I have friends who are transgender. It is because of them that I have made my own transition, from glib detractor of those who chose gender reassignment to one who sees the background of the process more clearly. The person who makes such an irreversible choice does not lose humanity nor becomes less worthy of the love of friends and family. The person grows in need to be enveloped in love, much as does a woman who undergoes an abortion or someone who is suffering an addiction. No one has the right to discount another person’s pain.

The young adult mentioned above died while asleep, and was thankfully in a supportive living space. Suffering appeared to have come to an end. What she knew about herself was confirmed-and accepted by those around her, at long last.

I will forever be glad to be male and cisgender; (he/him). I extend the peace of identity to everyone.

The Winter General


February 25, 2022- The message on my computer was unequivocal: “The Russians are in Ukraine to cleanse the area of human trafficking groups and other unsavory entities.” Others have told me that the Far Right’s new “White Knight” is merely seeking to de-Nazify eastern Europe”. These are certainly interesting, unique perspectives on the current situation in that long-suffering region. They have yet to convince me, however, that Ukraine is unique, as a center of human trafficking, or that Russia is squeaky clean in that regard.

There is a widespread attitude, across eastern and central Europe-and in many other parts of the world, that life is cheap, that women and girls are “useful commodities” and that masculinity is affirmed when females are “kept in their place”. Besides that, I know of no country on Earth that is free of human trafficking or other forms of exploitation. Assuredly, our own country has its challenges in that area.

Any time a human being becomes messianic, regardless of the issue at hand, demons appear in his/her mind. For those on the Far Right, anything progressive or to do with the Democratic Party in this country, or Social Liberals elsewhere, is to be rooted out and extinguished-because of reports that so-and-so committed incest or that that certain people in that category are engaged in Satanic rituals. Those on the Far Left do much the same, in disparaging their opposite numbers.

The president of Russia has targeted some questionable entities, in his war of conquest-but they are red herrings, diversions. His true aim seems, to these eyes, to be a wall-building exercise- whose long-term aim is to “restore the greatness of Mother Russia”, by taking one country at a time, as Alexander of Macedon, Chingiz Khan, Napoleon and Hitler did before him. HIS messianic fervour is astonishing in its breadth, but underwhelming in its depth. Those placing their hopes for moral cleansing, in the hands of that particular Winter General, are bound to be disappointed.

Time of Han’ba


February 24, 2022- Once upon a time, in an Austrian town, a little boy was regularly terrorized by his father. The boy wanted his father to respect him, so he internalized his father’s brutish manners and refused to cry after his beatings. When his father died, the boy was 13 and assumed the title Haus Herr. He would beat his younger sister, in the way his father had beaten him.

The boy grew into manhood, served in his country’s army and resented any weakness he encountered in society, including that of government officials. He tried to overthrow that government, was arrested, tried and imprisoned. Once he was released, he joined with like-minded authoritarians, succeeded in overthrowing the government and led his country into oblivion. The world remembers him as Adolf Hitler, the original Fuehrer.

Many, since, have followed in Hitler’s footsteps. Some have had abysmal childhoods, even if they enjoyed material comfort-as Hitler himself did. Others lived meager, miserable lives in childhood, but were spoiled by their parents, to the best of the parents’ ability.

One of the latter is Vladimir Putin, who grew up in a tenement in what is now St. Petersburg, facing off against rats, who taught him the meaning of fighting when cornered. He also faced off against human bullies, and became a judo master, in response. Becoming self-reliant, and having been pampered with expensive gifts on occasion, in a nutshell made Putin value machismo and greed.

Fast forward to our present day. A series of perceived personal affronts has led the Russian autocrat to execute an invasion of Russia’s southwestern neighbour, Ukraine. Authoritarian personages, the world over, have congratulated him for his strength-even gaslighting the Jewish president of Ukraine as “a tyrant” and “a Nazi”. While there are people who believe in Nazi philosophy in a good many countries around the world-including Ukraine, Russia, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany itself, such fawning over the actions of the Russian government do little or nothing to extinguish the other dreadful philosophy. Indeed, the sycophants’ boast, that the Russian people themselves support their government’s actions, is belied by the massive demonstrations, both organized and spontaneous, around the Federation.

Han’ba is the Romanized form of the Ukrainian word for infamy. It is that sort of time in our lives.

Truth to Power


February 23, 2022- A week after Ottawa, the world saw images of Climate Strikers blocking access airports in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich. This time, the focus was on ending food waste, which the group sees as contributing to global warming.

It occurs to me that there is an increase in the number of people engaged in socially disruptive public demonstrations, in many more countries, over the past eleven years. This is, one way or another, a shot across the bow of any authoritarian government, or individual satrap. That is good news for authentically democratic regimes. A little constructive criticism never hurt anyone. It is actually very bad news for those who think demonstrations by conservatives are a stamp of approval for their more blinkered, retrograde policies. There will come a time, should a reactionary or revanchist government come to power in the U.S., that the authorities will step on the toes of the mobs who put them in the driver’s seat.

Then, the parting on the right will turn to parting on the left, again. This was true in France, circa 1795-7. It was true in Spain and Portugal, in the 1970s and was certainly the case in the unraveling Soviet bloc, from 1985-1993. It will be the case again, as hyperactive curbs on individual rights are always the result of a wall being raised between those in power and those on the street.

What is also happening is that the political center, often mischaracterized as “sheep” or “The Silent Majority”, is finding its voice. The recent recall of three socially hyperactive members of the San Francisco School Board was largely effected by those who were neither Right nor Left, but just fed up with some ill-conceived actions or announced plans, such as renaming schools presently bearing the names “Abraham Lincoln” or “Paul Revere”. There will continue to be increased scrutiny and activism, at all points on the spectrum.

I see it as a collision of mindsets: Those who think an elite can do the best job, on behalf of the people, and those who have confidence in the collective judgment of an informed electorate. Keep speaking truth to power. The elitists may actually learn something.

The Day of Six Twos


February 22, 2022- Today was given the moniker, “Twosday”, for the numerical palindrome and ambigram it serves up. A palindrome, of course, looks the same when written either frontwards or backwards. An ambigram, on a calculator, looks the same whether right side up , or upside down.

Astrologers find shifts in energy happen on such a day; scientists, not so much. Today did not seem to bring any of the seismic events that similar palindromic days have in the past-such as the deaths of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josef Stalin. Then, too, this year has a distinct feminine energy flow to it, the behaviour of Vladimir Putin aside.

My day was also quiet- gathering forms for my tax return, and missing one key part, which will be retrieved tomorrow; exercising and getting laundry done, followed by two Baha’i gatherings on Zoom. It was said there would be snowfall by evening. We await that to come to fruition, and thus I refrained from taking on any work for tomorrow. Arizona weather is noted for two things: Sameness and occasional last-minute surprises. Either one could define tomorrow.

There does seem to be a slight energy shift, however, and it would do my heart good to see a boomerang effect, back towards peaceful resolution of geopolitical wrangling.



February 21, 2022- The skeletal remains of Russian thistle, commonly called tumbleweed, were advancing across the road, north of Chino Valley, clogging the pavement, in one section, almost as if they had a consciousness of their own.

As I was on the “home stretch” of the drive back to Prescott, this afternoon, the keening wind that had been with me all along I-40, kicking up a few tumbleweeds here and there, was even more insistent in its transporting the thistle balls from west to east. I drove through the above-mentioned mass, which was fortunately only one layer thick and a few feet long, north to south.

It could easily have been worse, and as I type these words, in the comfort of Home Base, I think of those traveling the same roads, with much the same level of wind, in the darkness. There was also a huge dust storm along old Route 66, visible from the freeway. Wind can generate what feels like swarms of obstructive materials.

My thoughts are thus with those who are planning a coast-to-coast convoy of vehicles, headed from Los Angeles to Washington, and hoping to get the President’s attention, on the day of his State of The Union address. If they pull it off, how he handles the situation will be as vital to the short term future of this country as how he handles the reported impasse in eastern Europe. Nay, it will be more vital, in the immediate future. Swarms of protesters have created chaos in the recent past, going back to the “Occupy …” events of 2011, the social justice protests of 2017 and 2020, and most recently the Ottawa and border crossing blockades, which were largely funded by right-wing activists, while taking more than a few cues from the occupants of neighbourhoods in Portland and Seattle-and the Woodstock Festival of 1969.

There is a valid credo that says “We do not negotiate with terrorists”. Ordinary citizens, gathering to express opinions, however disruptive they may be to the short-term order, are not terrorists. Those engaged in mob violence are of a different class, though-i.e. the January 6th Capitol occupants (as opposed to those who heard Trump speak and then left). My only hope is that the group which makes it to Washington will choose the tack of peaceful protest. A swarm, especially if there is another forced entry into the Capitol, would turn the group into poster children for counterproductivity.

Let there be light.

The Fire This Time


February 20, 2022, Bullhead City- Someone I know, an hour south of here, suffered second-degree burns from a misfiring gas-powered grill. A bit sore, but being tough as nails, the friend told me of how a neighbour with training in such matters got the blaze under control and treated his wounds.

Once I had ascertained that he was not suffering from any aftershock, we talked for a while about Ukraine/Russia. If that powder keg goes off, it could go in any direction. I’ve been told by others to keep my mouth shut about the matter, that it is partisan politics and not the business of anyone who is sincere about world peace.

I beg to differ. This is one planet, one human race. Those who cherry pick which group of people to support, and whom to ignore, are flying a false flag. While it is ultimately up to forces beyond our understanding and control, as to what transpires in eastern Europe, and in east Asia, for that matter, we turn a blind eye to human suffering at our own peril.

“And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”- Mark 12:32

It is perhaps ironic, maybe fortuitous, or just serendipitous, that two of the areas I have been told by my spirit guides to visit this year, Canada and east central Europe, are experiencing winds of turmoil. I know, I know, it has nothing to do with little old me. It may be that the latter area will be off limits to anyone without portfolio, in the months ahead. It may also be that, in some yet unknown way this October, I will end up in western Poland, looking over the area where my maternal grandfather’s forebears lived, before their emigration and that I will locate a friend in Croatia, whom I’ve known online since the mid-2000s. It also could be that no one is going anywhere. I leave it all to the Higher Power.

One thing remains, though: The fire this time, with apologies to the great James Baldwin, will require all of us to extinguish it.

That Which Matters Most


February19, 2022, Bullhead City- The large dining hall, filled with picnic tables that are meant to encourage families to sit together and strangers to follow suit, getting to know one another, at least in cursory fashion, is the enduring draw of Great American Pizza and Subs, in Golden Valley, AZ-about a twenty minute drive from this thriving town, itself just across the Colorado River, from Laughlin, NV.

The family-owned establishment, open Thursday through Sunday, draws people from as far as a hundred miles away. It is, as the name implies, a place that celebrates patriotism and a conservative view of life. I happened upon Great American, by chance, this evening, and put politics aside, for the sake of a fine meal-a robust “conservative”, meaning “small”, calzone. Taking up one corner of a large table, and spotting a family of seven looking about for seating, it was easy to invite them to take up the rest of the space.

We had a pleasant conversation, centered on what the adults and children noticed of the posters, paintings and other memorabilia which filled the walls and mantles of the great hall. These ranged from the serious (A warning to all patrons to mind their manners) to the whimsical (A Billion Dollar bill, featuring the likeness of Donald J. Trump).

The most important things, though, were the welcoming ambiance and the quality of the food. The rest, however tightly held people’s convictions and tenets are at any given moment, there is much in those areas that will neither be remembered or matter, fifty years hence. Kindness, generosity and respect for dignity stay in the person’s mind and heart for ages.