“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Inside the mind of Joseph Campbell

hattip: Bob

The Moon Walk - The Outward Journey

Those lacking in imagination or soul might want to skip it, those who thought the mission boring, or a waste of precious time or money, they may want to pass it over.

Are we today turning mythology into fact? Let me introduce with a passage from Dante'sDivine Comedy the truly wondrous topic of this chapter. It is of that moment of the poet's visionary journey where he takes off from the Earthly Paradise, to ascend to the moon, the first celestial stop of his spiritual flight to God's throne. He is addressing himself to the reader:

O You who in a little boat, desirous to listen, have been following behind my craft which singing passes on, turn to see again your shores; put not out upon the deep; for haply, losing me, you would remain astray. The water which I take was never crossed. Minerva breathes, Apollo guides me, and the Muses nine point out to me the Bears.

That will set the mood. The breath of a goddess, Minerva, is to fill our sails, patroness of heroes; the naming of Apollo is a pleasant surprise; and we are to be guided by the Muses, teachers of all arts, pointing out to us the navigational stars. For although our voyage is to be outward, it is also to be inward, to the sources of all great acts, which are not out there, but in here, in us all, where the Muses dwell.

I remember when I was a very small boy my uncle one evening brought me down to Riverside Drive to see "a man," as he told me, "flying in an aeroplane [as they called them in those days] from Albany to New York." That was Glenn Curtis, 1910, in a sort of motorized box-kite he had built. There were people lined along the low wall at the westward margin of the city, watching, waiting, facing into the sunset. All the nearby rooftops, too, were crowded. Twilight fell. And then suddenly everybody was pointing, shouting, "There he comes!" And what I saw was like the shadow of a dark bird, soaring in the fading light some hundred feet above the river. Seventeen years later, the year I left Columbia, Lindbergh flew the Atlantic. And this year, on our television sets, we have seen two landings on the moon.

I want this chapter to be a celebration of the fabulous age in which we are living; also, of this country in which we are living; and of our incredible human race, which in the years just past broke free of its earth, to fly forth to the opening of the greatest adventure of the ages.

When I listen to some of my academic colleagues talk of their indifference to this epochal adventure, I am reminded of the anecdote of the little old lady who, when offered an opportunity to look at the moon through a telescope, commented, when she had done so, "Give me the moon asGod made it!" The only really adequate public comment on the occasion of the first moon walk that I have found reported in the world press was the exclamation of an Italian poet, Giuseppe Ungaretti, published in the picture magazineEpoca. In its vivid issue of July 27, 1969, we see a photo of this white-haired old gentleman pointing in rapture to his television screen, and in the caption beneath are his thrilling words:Questaèuna notte diversa da ogni ultra notte del mondo.

For indeed that was "a different night from all other nights of the world"! Who will ever in his days forget the spell of the incredible hour, July 20, 1969, when our television sets brought directly into our living rooms the image of that strange craft up there and Neil Armstrong's booted foot coming down, feeling cautiously its way -- to leave on the soil of that soaring satellite of earth the first impress ever of life? And then, as though immediately at home there, two astronauts in their space suits were to be seen moving about in a dream-landscape, performing their assigned tasks, setting up the American flag, assembling pieces of equipment, loping strangely but easily back and forth: their pictures brought to us, by the way, through two hundred and thirty-eight thousand miles of empty space by that other modern miracle (also now being taken for granted), the television set in our living room. "All humanity," Buckminster Fuller once said, in prophecy of these transforming forces working now upon our senses, "is about to be born in an entirely new relationship to the universe."

From the point of view of a student of mythology, the most important consequences of what Copernicus wrote of the universe in 1543 followed from his presentation there of an image controverting and refuting the obvious "facts" that everybody everywhere could see. All mankind's theological as well as cosmological thinking, up to that time, had been based on concepts of the universe visually confirmed from the point of view of earth. Also, man's notion of himself and of nature, his poetry and his whole feeling system, were derived from the sight of his earthbound eyes. The sun rose eastward, passed above, leaning southward, and set blazing in the west. The Polynesian hero Maui had snared that sun to slow it down, so that his mother could have time to finish her cooking. Joshua stopped both the sun and the moon, to have time to finish off a slaughter, while God, to assist, flung down from heaven a hail of prodigious stones: "and there was no day like that before it or after it, when Jehovah hearkened to the voice of a man."

The moon was in ancient times regarded, and in parts of the world still is regarded, as the Mansion of the Fathers, the residence of the souls of those who have passed away and are there waiting to return for rebirth. For the moon itself, as we see it, dies and is resurrected. Shedding its shadow, it is renewed, as life sheds generations to be renewed in those to come. Whereas against all this, which had been confirmed and reconfirmed in the scriptures, poetry, feelings, and visions of all ages, what Copernicus proposed was a universe no eye could see but only the mind imagine: a mathematical, totally invisible construction, of interest only to astronomers, unbeheld, unfelt by any others of this human race, whose sight and feelings were locked still to earth.

However, now, in our own day, four and one-quarter centuries later, with those pictures coming down to us from the point of view of the moon, we have all seen -- and not only seen, but felt -- that our visible world and the abstract construction of Copernicus correspond. That fabulous color photograph of our good earth rising as a glorious planet above a silent lunar landscape is something not to forget. Giuseppe Ungaretri published in that issue ofEpoca the first verse of a new-world poetry in celebration of this moon-born revelation:

Che fai tu, Terra, in ciel?

Dimmi, che fai, Silenziosa Terra?

What are you doing, Earth, in heaven?

Tell me, what are you doing, Silent Earth?

All the old bindings are broken. Cosmological centers now are any- and everywhere. The earth is a heavenly body, most beautiful of all, and all poetry now is archaic that fails to match the wonder of this view.

In contrast, I recall the sense of embarrassment that I felt two Christmas Eves ago, the night of the first manned flight around the moon, when those three magnificent young men up there began reading to us, and sending down as their message to the world, the first chapter of the Book of Genesis: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void," and so on; all of which had nothing whatsoever to do with the world that they were themselves then actually viewing and exploring. I later asked a number of my friends what they had felt when they heard that coming down to them from the moon, and all, without exception, replied that they had found it wonderfully moving. How very strange! And how sad, I thought, that we should have had nothing in our own poetry to match the sense of that prodigious occasion! Nothing to match, or even to suggest, the marvel and the magnitude of this universe into which we then were moving! There was that same old childhood dream of some Babylonian-born Hebrew of the fourth century B.C., telling of the dawn of a world which those three men up there, even as they read, had refuted! How very disappointing! Better by far, it seemed to me, would have been those beautiful half-dozen lines from the opening of Dante's Paradiso :

To the glory of Him that moves all things,

penetrates through the universe, and is resplendent

in one part more, and in another less.

In the heaven that most of his light receives

have I been, and I have seen things, to recount which,

descending, I neither know how nor have the power.

To predict what the imagery of the poetry of man's future is to be, is today, of course, impossible. However, those same three astronauts, when coming down, gave voice to a couple of suggestions. Having soared beyond thought into boundless space, circled many times the arid moon, and begun their long return: how welcome a sight, they said, was the beauty of their goal, this planet Earth, "like an oasis in the desert of infinite space!" Now there is a telling image: this earth, the one oasis in all space, an extraordinary kind of sacred grove, as it were, set apart for the rituals of life; and not simply one part or section of this earth, but the entire globe now a sanctuary, a set-apart Blessed Place. Moreover, we have all now seen for ourselves how very small is our heaven-born earth, and how perilous our position on the surface of its whirling, luminously beautiful orb.

A second thought that the astronauts, coming down, expressed was in reply to a question from Ground Control asking who was then doing the navigating. Their immediate answer was, "Newton!" Think of that! They were riding back securely on the mathematics of the miracle of Isaac Newton's brain.

This stunning answer brought to my mind the essential problem of knowledge considered by Immanuel Kant. How is it, he asks, that, standing in this place here, we can make mathematical calculations that we know will be valid in that place over there? Nobody knew how deep the dust on the surface of the moon was going to be, but the mathematicians knew exactly how to calculate the laws of the space through which the astronauts would fly, not only around our familiar earth, but also around the moon and through all those miles of unexplored space between. How is it, asked Kant, that mathematical judgments can be madea priori about space, and about relationships in space?

When you walk past a rippling mirror, you cannot predict what the dimensions of your passing reflection are going to be. Not so, however, in space. Through the whole of space there are no such transformations of the mathematics of dimension. When we saw on our television screens that parachuting spacecraft of the second moon flight descending from the sky to the very spot in the sea that had been programed for its splashdown, we all became eyewitness to the fact that, although the moon is over two hundred thousand miles away from us, a knowledge of the laws of the space through which it moves was already in our minds (or at least in Newton's mind) centuries before we got there. Also known beforehand was the fact that speeds out there could be timed according to earthly measure: that the distance covered in a minute out there would be the same as in a minute here. Which is to say, we had prior knowledge of those matters. And we know, also, that the same laws will apply when our spaceships get to Mars, to Jupiter, to Saturn, and even out beyond.

Space and time, as Kant already recognized, are the "a prioriforms of sensibility," the antecedent preconditions of all experience and action whatsoever, implicitly known to our body and senses even before birth, as the field in which we are to function. They are not simply "out there," as the planets are, to be learned about analytically, through separate observations. We carry their laws within us, and so have already wrapped our minds around the universe. "The world," wrote the poet Rilke, "is large, but in us it is deep as the sea." We carry the laws within us by which it is held in order. And we ourselves are no less mysterious. In searching out its wonders, we are learning simultaneously the wonder of ourselves. That moon flight as an outward journey was outward into ourselves. And I do not mean this poetically, but factually, historically. I mean that the actual fact of the making and the visual broadcasting of that trip has transformed, deepened, and extended human consciousness to a degree and in a manner that amount to the opening of a new spiritual era.

The first step of that booted foot onto the moon was very, very cautious. The second astronaut descended, and for a time the two moved about carefully, testing their own balances, the weights of their gear in the new environment. But then -- by golly! -- they were both suddenly jumping, hopping, loping about like kangaroos; and the two moon-walkers of the following voyage were giggling, laughing, enjoying themselves like a pair of lunatic kids -- moonstruck! And I thought, "Well now, that lovely satellite has been out there circling our earth for some four billion years like a beautiful but lonesome woman trying to catch earth's eye. She has now at last caught it, and has caught thereby ourselves. And as always happens when a temptation of that kind has been responded to, a new life has opened, richer, more exciting and fulfilling, for both of us than was known, or even thought of or imagined, before." There are youngsters among us, even now, who will beliving on that moon; others who will visit Mars. And their sons? What voyages are to be theirs?

I wonder how many of my readers saw that motion picture,2001, of the imagined space odyssey of a mighty spacecraft of the not very distant future, a future indeed that most of those watching the film would themselves live to see. The adventure opens with some entertaining views of a community of little manlike apes a million or so years ago: a company of those apelike hominids known to science today as Australopithecines, snarling, fighting with each other, and generally behaving like any agglomeration of simians. However, there was among them one who had in his dawning soul the potentiality of something better; and that potential was evident in his sense of awe before the unknown, his fascinated curiosity, with a desire to approach and to explore. This, in the film, was suggested in a symbolic scene showing him seated in wonder before a curious panel of stone standing mysteriously upright in the landscape. And while the others continued in the usual way of ape-men, absorbed in their economic problems (getting food for themselves), social enjoyments (searching for lice in each other's hair), and political activities (variously fighting), this particular one, apart and alone, contemplating the panel, presently reached out and cautiously felt it -- rather as our astronaut's foot first approached, then gently touched down on the moon. And he was followed, then, by others, though not all; for indeed there remain among us many still who are unmoved by what Goethe called "the best part of man." These remain, even now, in the condition of those prehuman apes who are concerned only with economics, sociology, and politics, hurling bricks at each other and licking then their own wounds.

Thoseare not the ones that are heading for the moon or even noticing that the greatest steps in the progress of mankind have been the products not of wound-licking, but of acts inspired by awe. And in recognition of the continuity through all time of this motivating principle in the evolution of our species, the authors of this film of which I am speaking showed again symbolically that same mysterious panel standing in a hidden quarter of the moon, approached and touched there by space travelers; and then again, floating free in most distant space, mysterious still -- as it has always been and must forever remain.

One of the earliest signs of a separation of human from animal consciousness may be seen in man's domestication of fire -- which I would like to relate to the symbolism of that slab. When this domestication occurred, we do not know; but we do know that as early as 400,000B.C. fires were being kindled and fostered in the caves of Peking Man. What for? That is something else that we do not know. It is clear that the hearths were not used for cooking. They may have been used for heat, or to keep dangerous animals away; more likely, though, for the fascination of the dancing flames. We have from all over the world innumerable myths of the capturing of fire; and in these it is usual to represent the adventure as undertaken not because anyone knew what the practical uses of fire would be, but because it was fascinating. People would dance around it, sit and watch it. Also, it is usual in these myths to represent the separation of mankind from the beasts as having followed upon that fundamental adventure.

Fire is revered generally as a deity to this day. The lighting of the household fire is in many cultures a ritual act. We hear of the holy Vestal Fire as the most honored goddess of Rome. The fascination of fire, like that of the symbolic panel in the film of which I have been telling, may be taken as the earliest sign in the records of our species of that openness to fascination and willingness to adventure for it at great risk which has been ever the essential mark of the uniquely human -- as opposed to common animal -- faculties of our species, and which is eminently represented in the adventure to which I am here giving praise.

I have discussed in earlier chapters some of the other orders of fascination by which the members of our species have been led to surpass themselves: the fascination felt by hunting tribes in the animal forms all about them, by planting tribes in the miracle of the planted seed, and by the old Sumerian priestly watchers of the skies in the passages of planets and circulation of stars. It is all so mysterious, so wonderfully strange! Nietzsche, it was, who called man "the sick animal,"das kranke Tier; for we are open, undefined, in the patterning of our lives. Our nature is not like that of the other species, stereotyped to fixed ways. A lion has to be a lion all its life; a dog, to be a dog. But a human being can be an astronaut, a troglodyte, philosopher, mariner, tiller of the soil, or sculptor. He can play and actualize in his life any one of any number of hugely differing destinies; and what he chooses to incarnate in this way will be determined finally neither by reason nor even by common sense, but by infusions of excitement: "visions that fool him out of his limits," as the poet Robinson Jeffers called them. "Humanity," Jeffers declares, "is the mold to break away from, the crust to break through, the coal to break into fire, the atom to be split." And what fools us out of our limits in this way?

wild loves that leap over the walls of nature,

the wild fence-vaulter science,

Unless intelligence of far stars,

dim knowledge of the spinning demons that make an atom.[1]

In the beginning, as it seems, it was the fascination of fire that fooled man onward to a life style formerly unknown, where family hearths would become the centers and revered sanctifiers of distinctly human circles of concern. Then no sooner was he separated from the beasts than it was the animal and plant models of life that impressed themselves on man's imagination, luring our human species on to large mythological patternings both of the outward social orders and of inward individual experiences of identity: shamans living as wolves, ritualized covenants with the buffalo, masked dancers, totem ancestors, and the rest. Or a whole community might govern itself according to plant laws and rites, sacrificing, dismembering, and interring its best and most vital members to increase the general good. "Truly, truly, I say unto you," we read in the John Gospel, in continuation of this image, "unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life shall lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (John 12:24-25). Or again, Christ's parable at the Last Supper of himself as the True Vine: "As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches" (John 15:4-5).

As here expressed, the mythic imagery of the plant suggests an organic participation of the individual life in the larger life and body of the group, "fooling him out of his limits." Comparably, among hunting tribes with their rites based on mythologies of covenants with the animal world, a reciprocity is recognized that extends the bounds of concern of the human spirit to include much more than its own most immediate interests. The most exalting fascination that has ever, up to now, inspired human thought and life, however, was that which seized the priestly watchers of the night skies of Mesopotamia about 3500B.C.: the perception of a cosmic order, mathematically definable, with which the structure of society should be brought to accord. For it was then that the hieratically ordered city-state came into being, which stands at the source, and for millenniums stood as the model, of all higher, literate civilization whatsoever. Not economics, in other words, but celestial mathematics were what inspired the religious forms, the arts, literatures, sciences, moral and social orders which in that period elevated mankind to the task of civilized life -- again fooling us out of our limits, to achievements infinitely beyond any aims that mere economics, or even politics, could ever have inspired.

Today, as we all know, such thoughts and forms are of a crumbling past and the civilizations dependent on them in disarray and dissolution. Not only are societies no longer attuned to the courses of the planets; sociology and physics, politics and astronomy are no longer understood to be departments of a single science. Nor is the individual interpreted (in the democratic West, at least) as an inseparable subordinate part of the organism of a state. What we know today, if we know anything at all, is that every individual is unique and that the laws of his life will not be those of any other on this earth. We also know that if divinity is to be found anywhere, it will not be "out there," among or beyond the planets. Galileo showed that the same physical laws that govern the movements of bodies on earth apply aloft, to the celestial spheres; and our astronauts, as we have all now seen, have been transported by those earthly laws to the moon. They will soon be on Mars and beyond. Furthermore, we know that the mathematics of those outermost spaces will already have been computed here on earth by human minds. There are no laws out there that are not right here; no gods out there that are not right here, and not only here, but within us, in our minds. So what happens now to those childhood images of the ascent of Elijah, Assumption of the Virgin, Ascension of Christ -- all bodily -- into heaven?

What are you doing, Earth, in heaven?

Tell me, what are you doing, Silent Earth?

Our astronauts on the moon have pulled the moon to earth and sent the earth soaring to heaven. From the deserts of Mars this Mother Earth of ours will be again seen, higher, remoter, more heavenly still; yet no nearer to any god than right now. And from Jupiter, higher, farther; and so on; and so on: our planet ever mounting, higher and higher, as our sons, grandsons, and their great-great-grandsons proceed outward on the paths that we, in these latest years, have just opened, searching, adventuring in a space that is already present in our minds.

In other words, there has just now occurred a transformation of the mythological field that is of a magnitude matched only by that of the Old Sumerian sky-watch in the fourth millenniumB.C., and in fact, what is dissolving is the world not only of gods and men, but of the state as well, which they, in that inspired time, brought into being. I was greatly impressed, many years ago, by the works of a man whom I still regard as having been the most acute student of mythologies of his generation: Leo Frobenius, who viewed the entire history of mankind as a great and single organic process, comparable, in its stages of growth, maturation, and continuation toward senility, to the stages of any single lifetime. Very much as the individual life begins in childhood and advances through adolescence to maturity and old age, so likewise, the lifetime of our human race. Its childhood was of the long, long distant period of the primitive hunters, fishers, root-foragers, and planters, living in immediate relationship with their animal and plant neighbors. The second stage, which Frobenius termed the Monumental, commenced with the rise of the earliest agriculturally based, urban, and literate civilizations, each structured to accord with an imagined cosmic order, made known by way of the movements and conditions of the planetary lights. For those lights were then supposed to be the residences of governing spirits; whereas, as just remarked, we now know them to be as material as ourselves. The laws of earth and of our own minds have been extended to incorporate what formerly were the ranges and the powers of the gods, now recognized as of ourselves. Hence, the whole imagined support of the Monumental Order has been withdrawn from "out there," found centered in ourselves, and a new world age projected, which is to be global, "materialistic" (as Frobenius termed it), comparable in spirit to the spirit of old age in its disillusioned wisdom and concern for the physical body, concentrating rather on fulfillments in the present than on any distant future. The residence of the spirit now is experienced as centered not in fire, in the animal and plant worlds, or aloft among the planets and beyond, but in men, right here on earth: the earth and its population, which our astronauts beheld and photographed rising above the moon into Heaven.

My friend Alan Watts in a lecture once proposed an amusing image to replace the old one (now no longer tenable) of man as a Heaven-sent stranger in this world, who, when the mortal coil of his body will have been cast away in death, is to soar in spirit to his proper source and home with God in Heaven. "The truth of the matter," Dr. Watts proposed to his audience, "is that you didn't comeinto this world at all. You cameout of it, in just the same way that a leaf comes out of a tree or a baby from a womb. . . Just as Jesus said that one doesn't gather figs from thistles or grapes from thorns, so also you don't gather people from a world that isn't peopling. Our world is peopling, just as the apple tree apples, and just as the vine grapes." We are a natural product of this earth, that is to say; and, as Dr. Watts observed in that same talk, if we are intelligent beings, it must be that we are the fruits of an intelligent earth, symptomatic of an intelligent energy system; for "one doesn't gather grapes from thorns."[2]

We may think of ourselves, then, as the functioning ears and eyes and mind of this earth, exactly as our own ears and eyes and minds are of our bodies. Our bodies are one with this earth, this wonderful "oasis in the desert of infinite space"; and the mathematics of that infinite space, which are the same as of Newton's mind -- our mind, the earth's mind, the mind of the universe -- come to flower and fruit in this beautiful oasis through ourselves.

Let us once more recall: when that protohuman troglodyte Sinanthropus, in his dismal cave, responded to the fascination of fire, it was to the apparition of a power that was already present and operative in his own body: heat, temperature, oxidation; as also in the volcanic earth, in Jupiter, and in the sun. When the masked dancers of the totemistic hunting tribes identified themselves with the holy powers recognized in the animals of their killing, it was again the apparition of an aspect of themselves that they were intuiting and honoring, which we all share with the beasts: instinctive intelligence in accord with the natural order of Mother Earth. Similarly, in relation to the plant world: there again, the apparition is of an aspect of ourselves, namely our nourishment and growth. Many mythologies, and not all of them primitive, represent mankind as having sprung plant-like from the earth -- the earth "peopling" -- or from trees. And we have the image of the "Second Adam," Christ crucified, as the fruit of the tree of life. There is also the Buddha's tree of wisdom; and Yggdrasil of the early Germans. All are trees revelatory of the wisdom of life, which is inherent already in the plant-like processes by which our bodies took shape in our mothers' wombs, to be born as creatures already prepared to breathe the world's air, to digest and assimilate the world's food through complex chemical processes, to see the world's sights and to think the world's thoughts according to mathematical principles that will be operative forever in the most distant reaches of space and of time.

I have noticed in the Orient that when the Buddhists build their temples they often choose a hilltop site with a great command of horizon. One experiences simultaneously in such places an expansion of view and diminution of oneself -- with the sense, however, of an extension of oneself in spirit to the farthest reach. And I have noticed also, when flying -- particularly over oceans -- that the world of sheerly physical nature, of air and cloud and the marvels of light there experienced, is altogether congenial. Here on earth it is to the lovely vegetable nature-world that we respond; there aloft, to the sublimely spatial. People used to think, "How little is man in relation to the universe!" The shift from a geocentric to a heliocentric world view seemed to have removed man from the center -- and the center seemed so important! Spiritually, however, the center is where sight is. Stand on a height and view the horizon. Stand on the moon and view the whole earth rising -- even by way of television, in your parlor. And with each expansion of horizon, from the troglodytal cave to the Buddhist temple on the hilltop -- and on now to the moon -- there has been, as there must inevitably be, not only an expansion of consciousness, in keeping with ever-widening as well as deepening insights into the nature of Nature (which is of one nature with ourselves), but also an enrichment, refinement, and general melioration of the conditions of human physical life.

It is my whole present thesis, consequently, that we are at this moment participating in one of the very greatest leaps of the human spirit to a knowledge not only of outside nature but also of our own deep inward mystery that has ever been taken, or that ever will or ever can be taken. And what are we hearing, meanwhile, from those sociological geniuses that are, these days, swarming on our activated campuses? I saw the answer displayed the other day on a large poster in a bookstore up at Yale: a photograph of one of our astronauts on a desert of the moon, and the comment beneath him, "So what!"

But to return, finally, to the mythological, theological aspect of this moment: there was a prophetic medieval Italian abbot, Joachim of Floris, who in the early thirteenth century foresaw the dissolution of the Christian Church and dawn of a terminal period of earthly spiritual life, when the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, would speak directly to the human heart without ecclesiastical mediation. His view, like that of Frobenius, was of a sequence of historic stages, of which our own was to be the last; and of these he counted four. The first was, of course, that immediately following the Fall of man, before the opening of the main story, after which there was to unfold the whole great drama of Redemption, each stage under the inspiration of one Person of the Trinity. The first was to be of the Father, the Laws of Moses and the People of Israel; the second of the Son, the New Testament and the Church; and now finally (and here, of course, the teachings of this clergyman went apart from the others of his communion), a third age, which he believed was about to commence, of the Holy Spirit, that was to be of saints in meditation, when the Church, become superfluous, would in time dissolve. It was thought by not a few in Joachim's day that Saint Francis of Assisi might represent the opening of the coming age of direct, pentecostal spirituality. But as I look about today and observe what is happening to our churches in this time of

perhaps the greatest access of mystically toned religious zeal our civilization has known since the close of the Middle Ages, I am inclined to think that the years foreseen by the good Father Joachim of Floris must have been our own.

For there is no divinely ordained authority any more that wehave to recognize. There is no anointed messenger of God's law. In our world today all civil law is conventional. No divine authority is claimed for it: no Sinai; no Mount of Olives. Our laws are enacted and altered byhuman determination, and within their secular jurisdiction each of us is free to seek his own destiny, his own truth, to quest for this or for that and to find it through his own doing. The mythologies, religions, philosophies, and modes of thought that came into being six thousand years ago and out of which all the monumental cultures both of the Occident and of the Orient -- of Europe, the Near and Middle East, the Far East, even early America -- derived their truths and lives, are dissolving from around us, and we are left, each on his own to follow the star and spirit of his own life. And I can think of no more appropriate symbolic heroes for such a time than the figures of our splendid moon-men. Nor can I think of a more appropriate text on which to close this chapter's celebration of their doing than the following lines from Robinson Jeffers's Roan Stallion:

The atoms bounds-breaking,

Nucleus to sun, electrons to planets, with recognition

Not praying, self-equaling, the whole to the whole,

the microcosm

Not entering nor accepting entrance, more equally,

more utterly, more incredibly conjugate

With the other extreme and greatness; passionately

perceptive of identity. . .[3]

The solar system and the atom, the two extreme extremes of scientific exploration, recognized as identical, yet distinct! Analogous must be our own identity with the All, of which we are the ears and eyes and mind.

The very great physicist Erwin Schrödinger has made the same metaphysical point in his startling and sublime little book, My View of the World .[4]"All of us living beings belong together," he there declares, "in as much as we are all in reality sides or aspects of one single being, which may perhaps in western terminology be called God while in the Upanishads its name is Brahman."

Evidently it is not science that has diminished man or divorced him from divinity. On the contrary, according to this scientist’s view, which, remarkably, rejoins us to the ancients, we are to recognize in this whole universe a reflection magnified of our own most inward nature; so that we are indeed its ears, its eyes, its thinking, and its speech -- or, in theological terms, God’s ears, God’s eyes, God’s thinking, and God’s Word; and, by the same token, participants here and now in an act of creation that is continuous in the whole infinitude of that space of our mind through which the planets fly, and our fellows of earth now among them.


  1. 8 minutes of reading is worth an attachment to the ancients. Far out.

  2. "A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth."

    Tim O'Brien

    "Mythology is not a lie. Mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth — penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words, beyond images. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told."

    Joeeph Campbell

    "Reason has a sister. She's very beautiful, but, she has a very ugly name. Her name is Unreason. And she's a friend of writers. She's been a friend of writers since the very beginning."

    Richard Rodriquez

    Six part series for those who might become interested in Joe.

    Also see another Moyers effort -

  3. .

    Since it was Campbell, I didn't plan on reading it; however, you caught me with the last picture.

    A nice bit of showmanship.


    1. A little unexpected of so great a mind, alas. But expected you would be attracted to the pig.

    2. Since it was Campbell, I didn't plan on reading it; however, you caught me with the last picture.

      A nice bit of showmanship.


  4. The lady in the pic has the true relationship to that gruppy crutch, the pig reason, who leads astray.

    1. Or, reason can get you to the moon, but can't tell why it is there, or why one should go.

  5. Neil Armstrong Deserves a State Funeral -

    But he would have probably turned it down.

    Neil Armstrong, 38 years of age, literally had the world at his feet. He had become, through a series of circumstance and preparation, perhaps the most famous man in the history of the world. He could have cashed in on his fame, on his accomplishment, or merely traded on his name for the remainder of his life. His desire? To work for NASA for a while longer and then go back home to Ohio to farm, fly, and teach aerospace engineering. That's it.

    Armstrong's humility was not an affected "aw, shucks" false modesty. It was borne of a sense of self-worth achieved through accomplishment at the highest level in aviation engineering. Armstrong was self-confident and his mettle was tested to within an inch of his life on more than one occasion. Yet Armstrong was the living embodiment of the phrase "To thine own self be true."

    Read more:

    1. Mr Armstrong knew he was just a Naval aviator, doing his job.

      He knew he was not a not a mythic hero.

    2. .

      Heroes aren't determined by their opinions of themselves but by their actions and how they are viewed by others.


    3. Exactly, Mr Armstrong was a Naval aviator, doing his job.
      Who was the fifth man to walk on the moon?

      Same mission, same risk, same level of heroism.
      Yet he'll reside for eternity in the Tomb of the Unknowns.

      The boys of Khe Sanh and the Chosen reservoir, were doing their assigned mission, at higher risk of mortality, yet there were no State Funerals for the heroic survivors.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. .

      I responded to your first post which seemed to indicate Armstrong was not a hero as opposed to your second post which says he is one hero in a long line of heroes. I have no problem with the legitimacy of the second argument but it is obviously different from what was implied in the first.


    6. I'd submit Q that the veterans of Korea and Vietnam are not considered mythically heroic.
      Just another dogged face, discharged GI.

      Which is what Mr Armstrong was, another GI that did his duty to his country.

      Not mythical, at all.

  6. Good to see the girls are back.

    1. Oh well, here Rufus --

      all the democratic women you want --

      Meanwhile Todd Akin proves he is nuts (every party has a few) --

      If Miss T were still around we ask her - o wait, she was straight all along.

    2. I predict Sunny will have a post on this soon.

    3. If you haven't figured it out, a lot of democratic women are raving nuts.

    4. "We now know how to purge men of sin and put them on a path towards god. Why can't every gay man in America have that knowledge? Just 4 weeks of live breastfeeding can cure them of their terrible suffering. Why aren't we talking about this?"

      Somewhat dumbfounded by the brazenness of Akin's pronouncement, the reporter then asked if this supposed treatment only worked on men.

      "Lesbians can be cured by drinking something else," Akin replied "I'll leave that one to your imagination."

      Claire McCaskill has issued a statement denouncing Akin's latest gaffe as "an outrageous and offensive pseudoscientific slander" and called on national Republicans to "respect the choice of Missourians" and allow Akin to continue his campaign.

      I'll have to point this out to my new gay couple, and see if they go for it.

      But, I need a wet nurse.

    5. Maybe everyone in America is nuts. How would we know?

    6. .

      I don't know. Now Akin seems to be making more sense.

      At a minimum, the cure couldn't hurt.


    7. .

      I assume he is talking direct application from the doner host.

      I wounder where he got his medical degree?


  7. Mr Netanyahu has probably not yet decided to bomb Iran, any more than Iran has yet decided to build a bomb. And one reason the outcome is so hard to predict are the many variables ahead.


    Another variable is whether Mr Obama would, as Mr Netanyahu would like, set a date by which the US would itself enact the military option unless Iran had agreed to halt its perceived march to "breakout" capability – when it could quickly build a bomb if it so decided.

    Another possibility is that the President supplies Israel with the deep penetration bombs it lacks in return for a delay which would allow more time for sanctions and diplomacy to work. But for now at least, Mr Netanyahu, is keeping the world guessing.

  8. Colonialism and empire dies hard. Eisenhower told the Europeans enough was enough, but little men dragged a once great nation into Europe’s sordid fetish and can’t seem to get enough of it.

    France confirms it is working to establish buffer zone within Syria.

    France has confirmed that Western states were working with Turkey to establish buffer zones within Syria as the international community scrambled to formulate a response to the rapidly worsening crisis in the country.

    The “international community,” Who are the internationals? Who from Asia, from South America, from Eastern Europe, from Scandinavia, from Southeast Asia?

  9. Ein Ruckzug zum Der Geistfestung!

  10. Well I guess everybody's got a role to play - sifting through bird droppings looking for gems...

  11. Boobie, quick, get more guns!!:

    Texas judge warns of ‘civil war’ if Obama re-elected

    Paul Koring

    Washington — The Globe and Mail

    Published Tuesday, Aug. 28 2012, 8:37 AM EDT

    Last updated Tuesday, Aug. 28 2012, 9:41 AM EDT

    Not many Republicans call for tax hikes.

    But County Judge Tom Head, the senior elected official in Lubbock, Texas, has a very good reason.

    The city, he says, needs more armed police to back the judge when he takes on the hordes of United Nations troops poised to invade America.

    Judge Head, a police veteran himself, is girding for war. “I’ll stand in front of their personnel carriers and say, ‘You’re not coming in here,’” he told a local television station, igniting a furor that has spread like a Texas grass fire.

    In a nutshell, here’s what worries Judge Head, who also leads Lubbock’s emergency preparedness unit and must plan for everything from tornadoes to civil strife: Should President Barack Obama win another four years in the Oval Office, the president will “hand over sovereignty of the United Sates to the UN,” Judge Head explained in a televised interview. And like any forward-thinking emergency planner, Judge Head wants to be ready for the ensuing bloodbath.

    “I’m thinking worst-case scenario – civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe,” as U.S. citizens rise up to defend the nation, the judge continued. “And we’re not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations. We’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy,” he added. At that point, in Judge Head’s scenario, the beleaguered president will “send in UN troops” to crush American (and Texan) patriots.

    Which brings us back to the tax hike and the looming risk of armed confrontation on the outskirts of Lubbock.

    “I don’t want them in Lubbock County,” Judge Head said of the foreign invaders. But nor does he want to face the blue-helmeted hordes alone. “I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there who have no training and little equipment. I want seasoned, veteran people who are trained that have got equipment,” which, he said, justifies the need for a sales tax hike.

    Even the addition of some tough Texas lawmen may not be enough. “You know, we may have two or three hundred deputies facing maybe a thousand UN troops. We may have to call out the militia,” Judge Head warned."

  12. Ash again leaves no doubt in any functioning mind that he is an idiot.

    1. Ash quotes a Texas judge, and is proclaimed an idiot.

      Seems that it is Judge Head that resides in a world of idiocy.

  13. The ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) is high with this one. :)

  14. CT-SEN race looking better and better for Linda McMahon (R CAND).
    By: Moe Lane (Diary) | August 28th at 10:00 AM |

    What in blazes is going on in Connecticut? Quinnipac polled the McMahon/Murphy CT-SEN race, and it found the same results for that race as did Rasmussen: 49/46 for the GOP candidate. The Q-poll is also showing Obama over Romney… by seven points, which as Hot Air notes is actually awful news for the President; he should be up by double digits there. All in all: this is not yet an upset situation… but it is becoming a bit evocative of the Johnson/Feingold WI-SEN race in 2010.

    This should tell any functioning mind that this election is going to be a blowout for the Republicans as 'bob' has been saying.

  15. In Missouri, we've gone from Lean Romney, to Toss-up.
    In Wisconsin we've gone from Lean Obama to Toss-up.

    221 Obama/Biden
    Toss Ups 136 - "The Surge" of the Undecided.
    181 Romney/Ryan

  16. This is ezzackly where ol rufie said it wuz: tighter'n a tick.

  17. Just think, that crazy old coot ain't just a voter; he's a "Judge."

    1. A large portion of this country has gone totally, batshit crazy.

  18. Jist in case that gal up there is sufferin' from "lesbo'ism" I'd like to volunteer my services.

    anything for the "public health," ya know

  19. With, or without (mostly without) the republicans

    Science Marches On

    If we're going to be saved, it's going to be here.

  20. The rallying cry of the r convention seems to be "we built it."

    Okay, who builds the levees?

    Do you want to gut the Army Corps of Engineers, ala the pubs, and eventually get Katrina II?

    Or, do you want levees like NO has Now?

    This goofy libertarian/tea party nonsense of "we don't need gummint" was rejected by every thinking sixth-grader that I'm aware of. And, yet, it's "playing in Baton Rouge;" go figure.

  21. On the Republican convention stage tonight, you’re going to see a really large clock. But the clock isn’t for keeping time. The idea isn’t to stop speakers from going over their allotted time, or the convention from running late. It’s a debt clock. And the idea is to blame President Obama and the Democrats for the national debt.

    But in doing so, the Republicans will end up blaming Obama for the policies they pushed in the Bush years, and the recession that began on a Republican president’s watch, and a continuation of tax cuts that they supported. They’ll have to. Because if they took all that off the debt clock, there wouldn’t be much debt there to blame him for at all.

    The single thing you should look at to understand the debt clock and what it is — or isn’t — telling you is this graph from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It does something very simple. It takes public debt since 2001 — which is when we last saw surpluses — and breaks it into its component parts.

    Neat Graph - Components of the Debt

  22. The truth is the complete reverse, since higher mileage standards have prompted U.S. automakers to become competitive with efficient foreign cars, while reducing U.S. oil consumption by 2 million barrels per day by 2025. Romney’s own plan for “energy independence” uses Citigroup research based off the assumption that “‘the United States will continue with strict fuel economy standards that will lower its oil demand.” We’ll get even closer to that goal with 54.5 MPG standards.

    These standards have helped revive the auto industry. Automotive News reported that new fuel-efficient vehicles are the key drivers of the 2012 increase in sales:

    “The changeover to high-mpg models, in all segments is the key market driver this year. Dealers say it has been the release valve on pent-up demand as fuel prices soared.”

    In addition, the new standards reduced U.S. gasoline consumption this year. The Energy Information Administration cites the improvements in fuel efficiency as one of these reasons, noting the standards “help reduce gasoline consumption, as more efficient vehicles use less fuel for each mile driven.”

    Both the existing and proposed improvements in fuel economy have the support of domestic and nearly all foreign auto companies, the United Auto Workers, states, and other stakeholders.

    Romney once supported fuel efficiency, by adopting California standards setting limits on carbon pollution from vehicles as Massachusetts governor. In 2002, he proposed tax breaks for fuel efficient cars and an excise tax for gas-guzzlers.

    A few years later, Romney blasted achievable 35 MPG by 2016 standards as an “anvil” weighing down the industry.
    But since the auto industry bridge loans, and measures like CAFE standards, automakers have bounced back, with fuel efficient cars as a major driver of the 2012 increase in sales. The industry has created 139,000 jobs since 2009, with its strongest sales in the last quarter.

    But Romney’s administration would allow our domestic auto industry to once again fall behind its competitors in the rest of the world. It would leave drivers vulnerable to oil and gasoline price spikes. And it would increase our demand for foreign oil imports. The only winners would be big oil companies and members of the OPEC oil cartel.

    Romney Opposes Fuel Standards

    I can't decide if it's the "party of stupid"tm or the party of corrupt.

  23. SO, ezzacly how many employers Would/are thinking they might drop their group health insurance, and send their their employees into the gummint healthcare pool?

    Les ask about 512 of'em.

    Survey Says: eh? Zero?

  24. Under the administration's initiative to allow states to apply for waivers to increase employment among welfare recipients, welfare funding will remain unchanged, the federal time limit on benefits will remain unchanged, and work requirements will still apply.

    The only difference is states can opt to be held accountable to moving people into real jobs, rather than counting hours of activities. To obtain a waiver, a state must commit to increasing the number of people leaving welfare for work by 20 percent.

    Republicans proposed, and Congressman Camp voted for, even broader welfare waivers in 2005. Romney sent a letter with 28 other Republican governors supporting a version of those welfare waivers in 2005, saying "increased waiver authority" was important for "moving recipients from welfare to work."

    But now Romney has flip-flopped to oppose giving states greater flexibility to increase the number of welfare recipients moving into jobs.

    From The Detroit News:

    That Romney, He be having him some 'piphanies, huh?


  26. For all that were pissing and moaning about a little voter ID, especially Quirk -

    Dead voters & a dying democracy?

    Last Updated: 2:27 AM, August 28, 2012

    Posted: 10:18 PM, August 27, 2012
    Share on email Share on facebook More Sharing ServicesMore Print
    headshotGlenn Harlan Reynolds

    Americans will fight and die for democracy, but when it comes to the actual business of elections, stuffed ballot boxes and cemetery voters are the subject of jokes more than outrage — though a democracy in which elections are decided by fraudulent votes created by corrupt politicians is no democracy at all.

    That contradiction is the subject of “Who’s Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote At Risk,” by journalist John Fund and former Justice Department attorney Hans von Spakovsky.

    For all the national outrage about “hanging chads” and the like back in 2000, very little has been done since to improve the reliability of our system for registering and identifying voters, and recording and counting votes. In some ways, in fact, we’ve moved backward.

    An ideal voting system would:

    * Make it easy for voters to register.

    * Positively ensure that voters were who they said they were.

    * Make certain that no one could vote more than once.

    * And guarantee that votes properly cast would be properly recorded, while making the recording of fraudulent votes impossible.

    Unfortunately, no such system exists — and the ones we have are far from the best available.

    Current voter-registration systems are flawed, with huge numbers of dead or disqualified voters still on the rolls. And, since voter-ID enforcement is poor, in many places a person can simply claim to be one of those people and vote in their name with no one the wiser.

    (Sometimes it’s worse than that — one voting-rights activist, a twentysomething white guy with a pony tail in Washington, DC, managed to get a ballot in Attorney General Eric Holder’s name.)

    You might call our system “Third World,” but that would be an insult to the Third World. As Fund and von Spakovsky note, to register to vote in Mexico a voter must provide a photo, a signature and a thumbprint. The Mexican voter-registration card includes holographic security, a magnetic code and a serial number. Before voting, voters have to show the card and have the thumbprints matched by a scanner.

    Similar safeguards apply in many other countries, along with simple precautions to prevent repeat voting (remember those Iraqis with purple thumbs?) that America lacks.

    Read more:

    1. In the United States, meanwhile, only 17 states even require identification in order to vote. Holder & Co., claim that requiring photo ID would be racist, because getting a driver’s license, etc., costs money. This claim has consistently been rejected by courts, and with good reason: If requiring photo ID to vote is racist, then what about requiring photo ID to exercise other constitutional rights, like buying a gun?

      Of course, the real objection to requiring voter ID isn’t based in civil rights, but in civil wrongs. With elections often decided by narrow margins, the ability to produce a few thousand more ballots can often swing the results. (In Minnesota’s 2008 disputed US Senate election, won by Al Franken — who proceeded to cast the deciding vote in favor of ObamaCare — the margin of victory was 312, but it turned out that 1,099 votes were cast by felons who were ineligible to vote. Many of them have gone to jail, but Franken has remained in the Senate).

      Voter ID makes that kind of trickery harder, which is why political manipulators oppose it.

      Voters understand this. According to a Washington Post poll taken earlier this month, 74 percent of Americans support laws requiring voters to show photo identification.

      The irony is that it is precisely the people who Eric Holder et al. purport to speak for — poor, often black, inner-city residents — who suffer the most from voter fraud.

      Many of America’s largest and worst-governed cities suffer from entrenched and corrupt political machines that maintain their position in no small part via voter fraud. Corrupt machines (like that of Detroit’s disgraced ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick) siphon off money that should go to essential services and instead divert it to political fatcats and their supporters. Efforts at reform are often defeated with fraudulent votes.

      As we approach a presidential election that may prove to be as close as 2000’s, Fund and von Spakovsky’s book is a wake-up call. If democracy in America is to survive, something must be done. Will we do it?

      Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee; his new book is “The Higher Education Bubble.”

      Read more:

  27. Dear Ash - I thought you were criticizing Joe Campbell, if you weren't I take back calling you an idiot, even though you are an idiot and everyone knows it.

    My google/profile dealy isn't working again, but it was I, bob.

  28. Born alive abortion survivor who missed the Obama recommended "Comfort" room lashes out at O'killer --


  29. Judge said the dozer driver could not see her, which makes sense to me.

    Israeli judge dismisses damage suit in death of Rachel Corrie, but NY Times still clings to the myth
    Leo Rennert

    An Israeli judge, after an exhaustive trial, dismissed a damage suit brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie, who was run over by a military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. The judge ruled that her death was a "regrettable accident," brought about by her failure to keep out of a military zone during the second intifada. His decision clears the Israeli military of any wrongdoing.
    It notes that the operator of the bulldozer could not have seen Corrie as she climbed aboard a pile of dirt and then lost her footing. Corrie was a 23-year-old activist and member of the International Solidarity Movement, known for its violent tactics in radical causes. Her death quickly turned her into a mythical icon -- a martyr -- for the Palestinian cause.
    Stripping away all the anti-Israel legend, the judge handed down a lengthy ruling that, point by point, corroborated Israel's own investigation that there was no intent or negligence on the part of the bulldozer operator, while Corrie engaged in reckless behavior as an all-too-willing human shield for Palestinian provocateurs.
    Western media perpetuated the Corrie sacrificial myth and she gained global fame in a stage play. Judging from early dispatches about the court's anti-Corrie ruling, mainstream media and other liberal, cultural outlets are not about to let a judge's decision get in the way of their Corrie adultation.

    Read more:


  30. Smaller economies in the region have been sucking in cash even as China's allure has dimmed. Sameer Goel, head of Asia rates and foreign-exchange research at Deutsche Bank, said he has been surprised at the amount of money coming into Asia, given economic data for the region have been "fairly poor."


    In Singapore, overseas money has helped prices of residential property open to foreign investment to increase nine times in the last 10 quarters.

    Yip Sau Leung , associate professor of economics at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, said this trend carries risks. "My worry is that more easing from the West will cause property prices to go even higher and create a full-blown asset bubble," he said.

  31. Computer models suggest the network is capable of easily handling a "100-year storm" similar to Katrina, which was classified as a Category Three hurricane when it made landfall. And while much of New Orleans and Southern Louisiana remains below sea level, and therefore vulnerable to at least some flooding, the authorities are confident they can prevent a major catastrophe.

    They are helped by the fact the people of New Orleans no longer adopt a laissez-faire attitude to extreme weather. By yesterday afternoon, citizens had largely finished reinforcing their homes and stocking up on supplies, and vulnerable areas were evacuated.

    "We are not expecting a Katrina-like event with breaking the levees," the city's Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, reassured his citizens. "We're going to be all right."

  32. In the same Politico interview, Romney is paraphrased as saying he would “treat his cabinet like a board of directors.” One significant difference Romney apparently did not mention is that a CEO works for and is hired by the board of directors, while the cabinet works for and is chosen by the president.

    Another is that the cabinet has nearly two dozen members, which is so large as to be nearly unwieldy for a corporate board. Anyway, whatever the case is for replacing Obama, his poor use of his cabinet probably isn’t at the center of it.

    Some of Romney’s campaign rhetoric, alas, isn’t worth risking a mild suntan for, let alone raindrops. It’ll be a successful convention for the Republicans if by the end of it voters aren’t hoping that the presidential debates get rained out, too.

  33. In this update, I’m going to focus on the polling we’ve seen in one particular state, Michigan, where there is an exceptionally wide spread between firms showing relatively strong numbers for Barack Obama, and those which have good numbers for Mitt Romney instead.


    There are also surveys that you don’t necessarily want on your side, however, and some states seem to have a concentration of them. One of them is Michigan, where since mid-July we’ve seen polls showing everything from a 14-point lead for Mr. Obama in Michigan to a 4-point lead for Mr. Romney.

    That is a remarkably wide spread — too wide to be caused by statistical variance alone. Someone is getting this race wrong.

  34. On this day in 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered people to evacuate the city prior to Hurricane Katrina.

  35. Meanwhile, Kaleeforneea is gettin' some more o' them 1,000 Megywatt Solar/Hrs.

    Ca ISO

  36. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona… each state had a representative speak briefly to affirm the support of their delegates for Mitt Romney (my personal favorite expression of state pride:(((( “Idaho, the first to sue ObamaCare!”, heh).)))) There were a few exceptions, with Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, etcetera actually having more delegates committed to Ron Paul (cue wild cheers), but after New Jersey’s turn came the “Over the top” alert indicating that Mitt Romney hit the 1,144 votes he needed to lock this thing up.

    So, that’s the official nomination clinched — onward!


  37. Some patent lawyers and industry executives predict the decision could affect a number of players in the mobile-device and software industries, including Google Inc. GOOG +1.20% Both Samsung's Galaxy and Droid models are built around mobile software provided by Google.

    Representatives of Google couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

    Separately Tuesday, Moody's Investors Service issued a note saying Friday's verdict is 'credit negative' for Samsung but 'will not have any impact' on its credit rating. It said Samsung 'has a strong diversified business position and substantial financial cushion to absorb the cash damages.'

  38. I can't tell you how Joe Campbell voted. I don't know. I do know he was for a strong defense and felt Western civilization and its individualism was the best thing going.
    He talked of our American eagle on your one dollar bill - take bill out now - and how she has her head turned towards the side of peace, but her left talon over there has those arrows in its claws, and we best keep those sharp, he said. He noted how many tribes, civilizations, nations have gone down, and noted too the Indian Hindu saying about life: it's the fish in the sea, the big eat the small, and the small better be fast. So he thought our ways were well worth defending, and peace through strength was the way to do that. Because, finally, life is a serious affair.


  39. God Bless Republican Americans! Especially Hispanic ones.

    From what I can see, they are every bit as good at giving meaningless political speeches as the democrappers.

  40. Anyone visiting Google's Mountain View headquarters in California will come across an eclectic collection of statues. There, on a lawn, stands oversized models of various foodstuffs, including a gingerbread man, an éclair and an ice cream sandwich in the shape of a robot.


    While Samsung was found to have infringed a number of Apple's design patents, it was also judged to have copied software features such as the "rubber-band" effect, where – when the user is scrolling – the screen bounces after the top or the bottom is reached.

    Manufacturers which build mobile phones and tablets around Google's Android operating system are able to adjust it, but this feature was once built into Google's Android operating system while other effects which Apple claimed had been copied still remain.

  41. Sam, always choose respect over love.


    1. Did you know New Jersey makes more slot machines than any other state?


  42. Safire Speech for Nixon;



    To: H. R. Haldeman
    From: Bill Safire

    July 18, 1969.



    Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

    These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

    These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

    They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

    In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

    In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

    Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

    For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.


    The President should telephone each of the widows-to-be.


    A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to "the deepest of the deep," concluding with the Lord's Prayer.

  43. No one involved thought there was much chance of them getting back.

    After they did, they realized there was a chance.

    The fact that they all did, nearly miraculous.

    Millions of events involving hardware, software, and humanware, all working perfectly.

    ...except for 13.

  44. Armstrong saw himself as a test pilot doing his job:

    He also did not expect to make it back.

  45. Most normal folk regard Columbus, Captain Cook, and etc apart from sailors who followed.

    Same with Newton and physicists.

    Ford and etc.

    ...and etc.

    Some folk don't.

  46. I thought Ann Romney did well, and Mia Love.

  47. Talk about a government program that exceeds expectatations by orders of magnitude:

    The two little Mars Rovers that could.
    ...and do.

    As well as all of the Moon Walkers, Drivers, and Golfers making it back, and not as random shriveled heads in helmets strewn about Texas as with the Shuttle Lab Rats.

    1. According to some it was all a waste of time and money, and was boring to boot.

  48. For Shame, boobie:

    You should be mourning the victims of Katrina II.

    ...and the whole convention should have been called off in respect.

  49. Obama has calmed the storm, fear not, ye of little faith.

  50. I was the first person here and most places on the blogosphere to bring up Mia.

    She ain't no dummy.

    But that Indian Squaw down South Carolina way, Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haleym is the one that steals my heart.

    1. I'm still with Sarah.Mia is no dummy. Good woman. Mia is a Mormon. Switched over from voodoo.

    2. Occasionally, once in a long while, I get something wrong -

      Born Ludmya Bourdeau in Brooklyn, New York in 1975; she was largely raised in Connecticut.[1] Both of her parents immigrated from Haiti in 1973.[2] After they moved to Connecticut, her parents brought her older siblings from Haiti.[3]

      I thought she was born in Haiti.

    3. Love favors "fiscal discipline, limited government, and personal responsibility."[19] She has also said that she asks herself three questions whenever she approaches an issue, "Is it affordable? Is it sustainable? Is it my job?"[20]

      At her college orientation, Love’s father told her: "Mia, your mother and I never took a handout. You will not be a burden to society. You will give back," a philosophy she underscores on the trail and uses to sum up her conservative views.[21]

      Love is pro-life and has been endorsed by the Susan B. Anthony List.[22] She supports domestic energy exploration, local control of education, Second Amendment rights, and state control of public lands.[23]

      Love’s race has been the subject of much attention, as she is the first black woman mayor in Utah history.[24] She has said that if elected to Congress, she would “join the Congressional Black Caucus and try to take that thing apart from the inside out” and has described the Caucus as “...demagoguery. They sit there and ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t. They use their positions to instill fear. Hope and change is turned into fear and blame. Fear that everybody is going to lose everything and blaming Congress for everything instead of taking responsibility." [25]

  51. That's because despite 43 months of Democratic mismanagement of economic policy, the Republican Party, amazingly, is still losing market share. A recent analysis by the centrist Third Way think tank found that in eight swing states (including Florida), GOP registration is down 79,000 (or 0.7 percent), while the ranks of registered independents have grown by 487,000 (6.4 percent).

    Voters clearly don't like what President Obama has been selling—swing state Democratic registration is down 800,000, or 5.2 percent. But they have steadfastly refused to endorse the Republican alternative.

    So the party that hasn't figured out what it believes cannot afford to alienate any of its members who disagree strongly with one another. Though you will hear a lot this week about Republican unity against President Obama, that masks an ideological peace that at best is fragile, unattractive, and unsatisfying.