January 27, 2023- Frankenstein has never been alone- at least in the minds of onlookers.

The characters in a recent historical fiction series about World War I traded the insult “Monster!”, with some regularity, as the decidedly monstrous acts, which some of them indeed committed, came to light. “Women at War” pulls few punches, in delineating both patriotic acts and inglorious schemes-among both French and German adversaries, in the early days of the “Great War”. Few of the principals are spared the consequences of their flaws, sometimes almost immediately following their acts of honour and heroism. Only two-a priest and a brothel owner, consistently behave in a truly wretched manner.

“Monster” is a seldom used word, these days, as we focus on origin stories whenever encountering despicable acts. In my life, I have encountered few hideous souls-and even they were made, not born, into monsters. I learned the details of the last one’s life, even as she was doing her utmost to freeze my soul.

I have only been so characterized once, by someone who had scant room to talk, though his life experience should never have happened, especially to one so young. When children seem monstrous, almost invariably, they have had diabolical role models, whose actions should not be witnessed by anyone. The only question is, “How far back does the monstrous lineage go?” Hitler, after all, was raised by a hideous father, whose own story foreshadows his child’s descent into demonism.

I ponder this tonight, in thinking about the most recent spates of massacre by firearm. I know many people who believe, honestly, that firearms are necessary for self-defense. None of them would think, for a moment, of using a gun on a child, or other innocent person. In each of the recent cases, someone who is either filled with self-loathing, or has been indoctrinated in the ideology of fear, has carried out an assault on innocents. Time, and juries of their peers, may well cast the perpetrators of these crimes as monsters.

For now, each of us has to weigh our own actions, daily, and rise above our own basest instincts. Let us defend innocents from those who would harm them for their own gain, and not harm anyone in our own right.

Is Life Formulaic?


February 4, 2022- In the 2019 film, : “The Rising Hawk”, a small party of Ukrainians fends off both a much larger Mongolian force and their turncoat Ukrainian allies. This is reportedly based on an old Ukrainian legend, of a heroic fighter who lived into his nineties and his wife and helpmate, who in this telling is the daughter of the turncoats’ leader. It is a somewhat farfetched, and rather formulaic, action film, with people switching sides when convenient for the plot and brute strength displayed at exactly the right moments. It’s also a sign of the cinematic times that the film uses plot twists from at least three other films.

There are a few political movements, current in a few countries-including this one, that seem to be dependent on plot formulas turning in a certain direction, at just the right moment. It is no accident that the leaders of these movements have established their standing with a fair audience by borrowing shopworn tactics of demagogues past. There is a lot of wishful thinking on the part of those who believe that the world ought to unfold in a prescribed and orderly manner, as prescribed and ordered by a certain elite. Life, however, is not formulaic. There is an urban myth that Benito Mussolini made the trains in Italy run on time. Another credits Adolf Hitler with the humming of the German economy, by the late 1930s. Neither tale is true. Economies on a national scale have numerous moving parts, not credible to any one person-or clique. Effective strikes and slowdowns by labour movements can bring even the most hardheaded tactician down to size.

The film itself, ironically, demonstrates the humanity of the tough Mongolian leader, seen crying at the death of his son. There is also enough brutality on both sides-or on all three, if you will, to once again show the futility of war-even as there is a nod to valour. Finally, there is a split-second switch of fealty, near the end.

Is life formulaic? No, as it happens. Free will most often seems to get in the way of the best plot lines.

The Road to 65, Mile 46: Gaiea


January 13, 2015, Prescott- (This is my third attempt at this post.  Word Press has CENSORED the first two).

Now, then, there are many who are bothered by the idea of world government, including, apparently the people who run this site.  I will once again address three areas of concern that have been expressed to me by good friends who are political conservatives, and presenting the Baha’i point of view on each.

1.  Global dictatorship:  Historically, every leader, or group, who have come to the fore by advancing themselves as Masters of the Planet, have been primarily interested in self-aggrandizement.  This has transcended the “men of their time” argument, which may have been applicable to Hammurabi, at the dawn of civilization- then again he wasn’t interested in ruling the planet. The others, from Nebuchadnezzar and Ramses II to Hitler, Stalin and Saddam Hussein, as well as the dangerous “wannabes” of Islamic State, have shown more than a slight narcissistic tinge to the eye of history. Naturally, then, people turn a jaundiced eye towards any call for an international government.

The Baha’i Teachings acknowledge the need for, and progression towards, an international governmental structure.  Our commercial systems have been global for several centuries now, and the systems of transportation and communication are commensurate with commerce.  Technology has advanced to the point of near instantaneous contact with all but the most remote communities in the world.  There are many conditions which are of concern to all residents of the planet.

The difference between the global system advocated by Baha’u’llah and those previously sought by authoritarian leaders is, simply, put:  The people of the world will bring the former into being, not by violent revolution and uncontrollable blood lust, but by a carefully considered and informed, “ground-up” democratic process.  There is no place in said global system for an army of jackbooted warriors, or for undisciplined thugs.

2.  Deception:  Scriptures of the past warn us to not fall for the honey-tongued promises of a false prophet.  This is sage advice.  Whenever change is widely-accepted as necessary, there are scores of individuals who come forth with “Our own” programs for healing the ills of the world.  Again, most of these prove to be rooted in narcissism, if not greed.  We are warned to “separate the wheat from the chaff” and “be alert to discern” good from evil masking as good.  We see these readily today, in those who predicate their acts of terror on service to the Prophet, or to the Lord.

The Baha’i Teachings call for independent investigation of truth, for comparing the lives of leaders with their words.  A life is a person’s most telling proof of honour and trustworthiness.  Baha’u’llah writes “Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.”  Universal, compulsory education is also essential, as an educated people are less likely to be duped.

3.  Loss of identity:  This is the primary allure of nationalist, tribalist and religious fundamentalist movements.  The fear of many is that, as large governments tend to be disconnected from the people they purport to rule, a global system would be far worse, and anonymity would befall the vast majority of the populace.  Therefore, the words are:  “Resist, stand your ground”.

Baha’u’llah teaches us to love unequivocally:  Oneself, family, neighbours,community, town or city, state, nation and planet.  In the world that is emerging, there is no need to sacrifice the social structure of the planet, at any level.  “Be fair to yourself, and others”.  “O ye beloved of the Lord! Commit not that which defileth the limpid stream of love or destroyeth the sweet fragrance of friendship. By the righteousness of the Lord! Ye were created to show love one to another and not perversity and rancour. Take pride not in love for yourselves but in love for your fellow-creatures. Glory not in love for your country, but in love for all mankind. Let your eye be chaste, your hand faithful, your tongue truthful and your heart enlightened. Abase not the station of the learned 139 in Bahá and belittle not the rank of such rulers as administer justice amidst you. Set your reliance on the army of justice, put on the armour of wisdom, let your adorning be forgiveness and mercy and that which cheereth the hearts of the well-favoured of God.”- LAWḤ-I-HIKMAT (Tablet of Wisdom)

I fully expect that, this time, this post will be on my site, to be read or ignored, freely, by those who happen upon it, without censorship.