Loathsome Ted

 Posted by on April 8, 2016 at 8:00 AM
Apr 082016


Ted Cruz provokes a round of Bronx cheers from natives with “New York values”

An AP/GFK poll released yesterday shows that presidential candidate Ted Cruz has a net unfavorable rating of 33%.  That’s 10 points less than Donald Drumpf (with whom he shares a mere 26%approval rating), and 20 points higher than Hillary Clinton (40% positive rating).  Drumpf and Clinton are two well-known commodities with substantial history and exposure.  Drumpf ‘s negatives are as much a feature as they are a bug of his strategy to appeal to the lesser angels of certain demographics he needs for a core constituency.  The Clintons spawned an entire cottage industry of conservative haters during the nineties, which waned after Bill Clinton left office.  Now that Hillary is running for president, it is back in full force.  In contrast, Cruz, with the exception of his success at shutting down the US government in 2013,  has been on the national stage for only a year since he announced his candidacy. What, then, makes him so loathsome?

When he tries to be personable, or God forfend, humorous, Cruz somehow comes across as creepy; or at least unauthentic. His reading of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to his daughters on the Senate floor during his filibuster of Obamacare had all the charm of a dentist doing a root canal without anesthesia. With a face made for radio, we can chalk up Senator Sourpus’s electoral successes, not to the appeal of his personality, but to the professionals running his campaign.

His fellow Republican Senate colleagues find him even more loathsome than does the general public. In addition to calling Senate Leader Mitch McConnell a liar for bringing the Export-Import Bank back to life, he called him “a puppet for Democratic leaders and a foe of conservatives” for refusing to add a rider defunding Planned Parenthood in the 2016 budget bill. He pressed his attack on McConnell by forcing a procedural vote that was, in effect, a backdoor referendum on his leadership. McConnell, no shrinking violet when it comes to playing political hardball, blocked him from speaking on the Senate floor, cementing Cruz’s reputation as persona non grata on both sides of the aisle. (Karma alert: Cruz is now courting his estranged Senate colleagues for support in winning the GOP presidential nomination.)

All of which pales in comparison to Cruz’s success in actually shutting down the entire government in 2013 for not defuning Obamacare, Ted’s greatest achievement in the eyes of his loyal followers.

After dropping out of the presidential race, Cruz’s fellow Republican senator Lindsey Graham announced his support for Jeb Bush. When Jeb’s campaign cratered ($130 million dollars just doesn’t buy what it used to), and the field of contenders shrank from 17 to 3, poor Lindsey found himself hoisted on the horns of a dilemma: Who to support now?  Drumpf or Cruz? In late January, he announced his choice, lamenting:

It’s like being shot or poisoned. What does it really matter?

Graham put the disdain of his Senate colleagues into even greater relief when in February of this year he told the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 72nd Congressional Dinner crowd:

My party’s gone bat shit crazy…If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.

Good one, Lindsey. With a record of statements like that, one could be forgiven for assuming that you would support the only other candidate with a path to the nomination, Donald Drumpf. But so great is the GOP’s fear that Drumpf would lead it to utter ruin,* that a mere three weeks later, I see you steadying yourself with one hand on your fainting couch, clutching your pearls with the other, raising money for Cruz. Must really suck to be you.

In close, a question for Cruz: How’s that whole sneering “New York values”  dis of Drumpf working out fer ya?

Cruz rotten apple_big

Senator Sourpus really knows how to make an impression

*The same AP/GfK poll found that “two out of three people now have an unfavorable view of the party. The 67 percent negative rating is up from the 58 percent who viewed the GOP that way in October 2014. Just 30 percent of Americans now have a favorable view of the GOP…”


Ayatollah Drumpf and the Republic(ans) of Gilead

 Posted by on April 5, 2016 at 12:00 AM
Apr 052016

 Ayatollah Drumpf

Ayatollah Drumpf laying down the law to American women seeking an abortion

Last week was widely believed to be Donald Drumpf‘s worst week on the campaign trial to date. On the foreign front, he suggested that decades of nuclear non-proliferation be scrapped, arguing that Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia should get themselves some nukes. He doubled down on that by saying NATO should be scrapped. On the domestic front, he proclaimed that women should face criminal punishment for having an abortion. He doubled down on that as well, saying that the men who get women pregnant should bear zero consequences, bringing to mind an earlier post of ours titled: Ayatollah Santorum & The Republic(ans) of Gilead, that referenced and even earlier post: Coming to America: The Handmaid’s Tale.*  Well, move over Rickster, and make room for The Ayatollah Drumpf. 

The fur flied fast and furious over Drumpf’s remarks on women and abortion. Katha Pollitt from The Nation and Gail Collins from The New York Times last week offered op-eds on the same page of the Times. Pollitt noted the hypocrisy of John Kasich and Ted Cruz‘s seemingly outraged rebuttals to Drump’s statements. Re Kasich, Pollitt wrote:

Mr. Kasich has signed 17 anti-abortion measures into law since he took office in 2011. Half the clinics in Ohio in operation at the beginning of his tenure have closed or stopped performing abortions.

I’ve also heard that he cut a million bucks from Planned Parenthood. As for Cruz, she writes:

In a statement, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said, “Being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child, it’s also about the mother.” He would permit legal abortion only to save the woman’s life — no exception for rape and incest victims — and tried to shut down the government in his effort to defund Planned Parenthood…

Beyond the current GOP presidential field, Pollitt reminds us of the larger war against women:

Abortion opponents claim that, before Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion laws never went after women. This is not entirely accurate: Oklahoma criminalized the woman as well as the provider. Women didn’t go to prison before Roe, but they were punished. They were forced to remain pregnant under even the direst circumstances. If they rejected that fate, they were forced to self-abort or seek illegal providers, risking death and injury. They were interrogated by the police, subpoenaed and forced to testify in court against their provider.

Today, the law is still going after women for abortion. In Indiana last year, Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for what the prosecutor charged was an illegal self-abortion. In Tennessee, Anna Yocca was charged with attempted murder for trying to end her pregnancy with a coat hanger. In Pennsylvania, Jennifer Whale went to jail for giving her daughter abortion pills. Have our kinder, gentler abortion opponents spoken up for any of these women?

Around the world, countries — El Salvador, Mexico and the Philippines among them — sometimes jail women who obtain illegal abortions. In 2013, Ireland approved a law with a very narrow exception for the life of the mother. That is paired with up to a 14-year prison sentence for women and providers for abortions that don’t pass the test.

While Pollitt goes on to point out what a disaster Drumpf is proving be for the anti-abortion movement, Collins brings that salient political point home:

Maybe Donald Drumpf did everyone a favor with his famous jail-the-women comment. When he blurted out that “there has to be some form of punishment” for anyone who has an abortion, he blew the cover off the carefully constructed public face of the anti-choice movement.

Let’s take a look.

There’s no reason to imagine Drumpf ever gave a millisecond of thought to the details of abortion policy until he got trapped in that merciless interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC. There are certain right-wing tropes that he just grabbed onto when he started his presidential run. One is that whenever the topic comes up, he’s supposed to announce he’s “pro-life.”

“I know,” Matthews followed up, adding, “But what should be the law?”

Drumpf babbled about totally unrelated topics, but Matthews, cruel man, pressed onward: “If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under law. Should abortion be punished?”

“Well, people in certain parts of the Republican Party and conservative Republicans would say yes, they should be punished,” the candidate replied.

Wow. Drumpf both passed the buck and smashed the anti-abortion movement’s most basic sales pitch: that their war is about protecting fully developed fetuses from being murdered in the womb. The fact that more than 90 percent of abortions happen in the first trimester, that shutting down Planned Parenthood clinics robs low-income women of health care and family planning services, is beside the point. You’re not supposed to admit that stopping abortions limits women’s choice, and heaven knows you don’t say you’re punishing them.

You never blame the woman, you paint her as a victim.” said Robert Jeffress, a Dallas pastor and Drumpf supporter who was one of the very, very few anti-abortion public figures who didn’t cringe and demand that Drumpf walk back his comments. “That conservative orthodoxy has been born out of political expediency rather than logic.”

Ooops. What was that about the Emperor’s missing wardrobe?

SNL presents two female perspectives on Donald Drumpf; one with and one without a brain

While Drumpf has brought his considerable experience with tabloid/celebrity journalism to bare on the GOP presidential battle, enabling him to manipulate the media’s desire for ratings to their mutual benefit, his most innovative tactic was to throw away the dog whistle and target his racist and misogynist appeal directly to his constituents’ ids. For decades the GOP has used coded language―camoflage―to appeal to what is now Drumpf’s largest and most loyal constituency: alienated, racist, misogynist, underpaid white males. (His support among women in general is an anemic 30% or so, polling best among “security moms,” terrified that their children will be slaughtered by Muslim terrorists, a scenario that he regularly reinforces by his pledge to block any of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims from entering the country.)

The blowback from his remarks was so strong that he immediately tried to “walk them back” (a favorite talking-head euphemism these days). He first blamed MSNBC for maliciously editing his remarks out of context; and when that was shown to be false, fell back on his tried and true get-out-of-jail-free-card: his claim that he’s not a politician, an excuse his followers readily adopt when pressed about his many contradictory positions and remarks. (In their eyes, Drumpf’s ignorance and incurious approach to complex matters isn’t a bug; it’s a feature.)

Perhaps the wheels are finally starting to fall off the improbable Drumpf war wagon. More’s the pity, as his nomination would all but guarantee that the Dems retain not only  the presidency, but regain control of the Senate, the US Supreme Court; and a distant possibility, the House as well.

Fux News’s Greg Gutfeld laments the internecine war that Drumpf has unleashed among the right-wing punditocracy

But credit where credit is already due. Drumpf, our favorite bull in the GOP china shop, has already succeeded in destroying any remaining illusions that the Republican establishment serves the real needs of women, racial minorities, the middle class, and its poorer and less-educated largely white male constituents. He has caused a near melt-down among conservative media pundits. And now with his fumbling of the abortion issue, he’s undermined forty years of post-Roe v Wade political strategy.

Of course, clinics dedicated to women’s health care will continue to close under Republican governors, and attempts to defund Planned Parenthood at the state and federal level will proceed on schedule. But the myth that this part of the conservative agenda is serving the needs of women gives the lie to their whole criminalization argument, which logically leads to a punitive regime for women, if not in law, then most certainly in reality.

Ayatollah Santorum, the former leader of the Christian Taliban, hands off his turban to Ayatollah Drumf

Ayatollah Santorum, former leader of the Christian Taliban, hands off his turban to Ayatollah Drumf


*From the WikiP entry:

Set in the near future, in a totalitarian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government, The Handmaid’s Tale explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain agency….in the Republic of Gilead, a country formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. It was founded by a racist, male chauvinist, nativist, theocratic-organized military coup as an ideologically driven response to the pervasive ecological, physical and social degradation of the country.

Beginning with a staged terrorist attack (blamed on Islamic extremist terrorists) that kills the President and most of Congress, a movement calling itself the “Sons of Jacob” launched a revolution and suspended the United States Constitution under the pretext of restoring order.


 Posted by on April 1, 2016 at 4:44 PM
Apr 012016

RollingPwned: Why Bernie Must Be PrezDon’t let those punchy headlines fool you;  it’s the black and white Bernie who’s telling it like it is.


My twenty-one year old car is old enough to vote, and like Bernie Sanders, is time-worn and tested to go whatever distance.  Like anything worthwhile it requires occasional maintenance, so it was off to Mike the mechanic today for a checkup.  I spent some time in the waiting area, and what I found there, totally hot off the press, was Bernie on the cover of the RollingPwned™.

I heard that, “The what??”  Now I’m no RollingStone subscriber or reader.  I just bump into it more or less irregularly in the circles I travel in, thus I’m a longtime fan of Ralph Steadman and Hunter Thompson in the past and Matt Tiabbi in the present.  But it’s a total coincidence that I learned of the recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton in a recent edition of RollingStone by co-founder, Jann Wenner;  a few days before I discovered this RollingPwned™ in the wait room of an auto repair shop today.
Wenner shorter:  I’m not impressed by multi-millionaire Wenner’s idea of what constitutes his “reality of modern America.”  Like so many other Americans, he’s willing to be told by Clinton what is possible and what is not.  And his dolorous “I have been to the revolution before— It ain’t happening” shtick is pathetic.

So.  I’ve gotta spend a few good hours with this mag, even though I already know why Bernie must be Prez; and the other articles promise to be more than entertaining.

—Matt Tiabbi

The new Democratic version of idealism came in a package called “transactional politics.” It was about getting the best deal possible given the political realities, which we were led to believe were hopelessly stacked against the hopes and dreams of the young.

For young voters, the foundational issues of our age have been the Iraq invasion, the financial crisis, free trade, mass incarceration, domestic surveillance, police brutality, debt and income inequality, among others.

And to one degree or another, the modern Democratic Party, often including Hillary Clinton personally, has been on the wrong side of virtually all of these issues.

Because:  You’ve been to one party, you’ve been to them all.  It’s time to surf. Because every few seconds, another wave washes towards humanity, and if he will catch it, he will ride reality anew.

*prez |prez|
  informal term for president.

HILLARY CLINTON: The Tip Of The Iceberg

 Posted by on April 1, 2016 at 6:06 AM
Apr 012016
Tip Of The ClintonOriginal inset illustration by Roberto Parada

OpenSecrets.org - Center for Responsive Politics


Emily’s List    $939,881  $930,961  $8,920

Citigroup Inc $883,547  $875,547  $8,000

DLA Piper       $847,930  $820,930  $27,000

Goldman Sachs $821,031  $811,031  $10,000

JPMorgan Chase & Co  $771,111  $768,111  $3,000

Morgan Stanley $754,538  $749,538  $5,000

University of California $608,858  $608,858 $0

Time Warner $591,524  $566,524  $25,000

Skadden, Arps et al $522,688  $518,188  $4,500

Corning Inc $492,750  $474,750  $18,000

Paul, Weiss et al $427,062  $427,062  $0

Kirkland & Ellis $443,420  $426,420  $17,000

Greenberg Traurig LLP $411,640  $403,540  $8,100

Sullivan & Cromwell $396,625  $396,625  $0

Akin, Gump et al $393,531  $390,031$3,500

21st Century Fox $363,899  $363,899  $0

National Amusements Inc $366,640  $363,640  $3,000

Lehman Brothers  $362,853  $359,853  $3,000

Harvard University $359,451  $359,451  $0

Ernst & Young $360,127  $340,127  $20,000


So Yeah, you probably heard it’s “what they offered.”  Um no*.

 Bloomberg says that the fee that Goldman Sachs paid isn’t “what they offered” – it’s what she charges.


Her fee for delivering speeches is at least $200,000, according to people familiar with the payments who weren’t authorized to talk publicly.  Clinton received payment for at least 27 addresses.  Some of her fees, including all of those for college campus appearances, have been donated to the family’s nonprofit foundation.

“All of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and life-saving work. So it goes from a foundation at a university to another foundation,” Clinton said in an ABC News interview last week.

Her contract with the University of Buffalo for an Oct. 23 speech stipulated that her $275,000 fee be paid to her speaking agency, Harry Walker Agency Inc., and then remitted to the foundation.

Clinton retained the right to approve her surroundings — from the moderator to the set.  She also banned recording or broadcasting of her remarks, and required the school to pay $1,000 for a stenographer to transcribe Clinton’s remarks for her records.

Her husband was paid for 544 speeches between 2001 and 2012 with fees ranging from $28,100 to $750,000, according to financial-disclosure reports.

Since then, Bill has given more than 40 more speeches, including one for the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot, Israel that earned him $500,000. That’s correct, it was donated to the Clinton Foundation.  And the Republicans already have their lines of attack on Clinton for her post-government earnings, and Willie‘s too.  However.

Her earnings represent a fraction of the Clinton family’s total income and yet were large enough to rank her not only in the top 1 percent of the nation’s earners but in the top one-hundredth of the 1 percent.

“Bill and I have worked really hard and we’ve been successful,” she said last week in an appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” “We believed we could pretty much make our way up the ladder. Now, I think a lot of young people don’t believe that anymore.”

(my emphasis)

She’s right.  A lot of young people don’t believe that anymore—  that a 1 percenter has got their backs.  It’s a lot to swallow.


Trouble ahead, Lady in red,
Take my advice you’d be better off dead.
Switchman’s sleeping, train hundred and two is
On the wrong track and headed for you.


* Hillary Clinton is represented by the elite “Harry Walker Agency,” which bills itself as the “world’s leading speaker’s bureau. ( Her page  on their website;  she’s “exclusive” to the agency.) 

Demonizing Muslims: Make America Hate Again

 Posted by on March 29, 2016 at 6:06 AM
Mar 292016

siege 3Fear of Muslims turns New York city into an armed camp in the film, The Siege

President Obama, the intelligence community, the US military, police chiefs across the nation, academics, some politicians— you know— people who are in a position to actually know what they’re talking about— have been warning for years that demonizing Muslims and their religion plays right into the hands of terrorist groups like al Qaeda and Daesh/Isil/Isis that are actively recruiting young men and women to join their ranks.  Furthermore, it hurts intelligence collection collection efforts by alienating the very communities that have a working knowledge of individual  terrorists and potential terrorists.

This latter handicap endangers civilians and military personnel alike.  There is an excellent film called The Siege (1998) starring Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, and Bruce Willis, that brilliantly demonstrates what happens when the constitutional balance between freedom and security is violated by those who promulgate fear.  The story follows a small group of Iraqi terrorists who bring New York city to a grinding halt.  Seems they were a bit upset that George H.W Bush, who, while leading a coalition of forces that dislodged Saddam Hussein‘s troops from Kuwait, also decided to destroy the majority of Iraq’s civilian infrastructure;* and imposed a sanctions regime that resulted in the death of 500,000 Iraqi children.

Terrorists, especially those with origins in Iraq where the original Isil group was formed under the leadership of  Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and was then known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, really don’t need help from US demagogues like Donald Drumpf and Ted Cruz to swell their ranks.

Cruz wants to make a real-life sequel to The Siege by putting entire Muslim communities and mosques in the US under surveillance: specifically, to “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods.”  And he has tried to burnish his macho foreign policy image by carpet-bombing Isil where they live, no matter the collateral damage, or that it would likely constitute a war crime.

Drumpf, after hating on Mexicans as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.;” hating on women as “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and “disgusting;” also wants to ban the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims from entering the country; as well as kill the relatives of Isis members.

The tombstone below, found in Central Park over the weekend, says it all.

Drumpf Tombstone

The epigraph reads: Made America Hate Again

*The decision to destroy the Iraqi civilian infrastructure resulted in the following: electric power stations (92 percent of installed capacity destroyed), refineries (80 percent of production capacity), petrochemical complexes, telecommunications centers (including 135 telephone networks), bridges (more than 100), roads, highways, railroads, hundreds of locomotives and boxcars full of goods, radio and television broadcasting stations, cement plants, and factories producing aluminum, textiles, electric cables, and medical supplies.

The Real Burial And Resurrection Of Jesus

 Posted by on March 27, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Mar 272016

The Resurrection Tomb of JesusAll five of the women then sat down on the stone near the entrance and talked over the situation. It had not yet occurred to them that the resurrection of Jesus had already happened.  They had been by themselves over the Sabbath, and they conjectured that the body had been moved to another resting place.  But when they pondered such a solution of their dilemma, they were at a loss to account for the orderly arrangement of the grave cloths; how could the body have been removed since the very bandages in which it was wrapped were left in position and apparently intact on the burial shelf ?

Perhaps the most inspiring account in The Urantia Papers is the detailed explanation of what actually occurred in the final days of Jesus of Nazareth;  especially the events in, and around his burial tomb on Good Friday, and beyond.  The Christian belief in the Resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the “empty tomb.”  But this is not the truth of the resurrection.  Anyone who has sought understanding of the empty tomb and Christianity’s subsequent attempts to explain it, will find great comfort in reading the full account.  We hope to whet your appetite for the adventure with the following excerpts.

The Jews did not really bury their dead; they actually embalmed them. Joseph and Nicodemus had brought with them large quantities of myrrh and aloes, and they now wrapped the body with bandages[¹] saturated with these solutions. When the embalming was completed, they tied a napkin about the face, wrapped the body in a linen sheet, and reverently placed it on a shelf in the tomb.

After placing the body in the tomb, the centurion signaled for his soldiers to help roll the doorstone up before the entrance to the tomb. The soldiers then departed for Gehenna with the bodies of the thieves while the others returned to Jerusalem, in sorrow, to observe the Passover feast according to the laws of Moses.

There was considerable hurry and haste about the burial of Jesus because this was preparation day and the Sabbath was drawing on apace. The men hurried back to the city, but the women lingered near the tomb until it was very dark.

While all this was going on, the women were hiding near at hand so that they saw it all and observed where the Master had been laid. They thus secreted themselves because it was not permissible for women to associate with men at such a time. These women did not think Jesus had been properly prepared for burial, and they agreed among themselves to go back to the home of Joseph, rest over the Sabbath, make ready spices and ointments, and return on Sunday morning properly to prepare the Master’s body for the death rest. The women who thus tarried by the tomb on this Friday evening were: Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Clopas, Martha another sister of Jesus’ mother, and Rebecca of Sepphoris.

Aside from David Zebedee and Joseph of Arimathea, very few of Jesus’ disciples really believed or understood that he was due to arise from the tomb on the third day.

. . .

At two forty-five Sunday morning, the Paradise incarnation commission, consisting of seven unidentified Paradise personalities, arrived on the scene and immediately deployed themselves about the tomb. At ten minutes before three, intense vibrations of commingled material and morontia³ activities began to issue from Joseph’s new tomb, and at two minutes past three o’clock, this Sunday morning, April 9, A.D. 30, the resurrected morontia form and personality of Jesus of Nazareth came forth from the tomb.

After the resurrected Jesus emerged from his burial tomb, the body of flesh in which he had lived and wrought on earth for almost thirty-six years was still lying there in the sepulchre niche, undisturbed and wrapped in the linen sheet, just as it had been laid to rest by Joseph and his associates on Friday afternoon. Neither was the stone before the entrance of the tomb in any way disturbed; the seal of Pilate was still unbroken; the soldiers were still on guard. The temple guards had been on continuous duty; the Roman guard had been changed at midnight. None of these watchers suspected that the object of their vigil had risen to a new and higher form of existence, and that the body which they were guarding was now a discarded outer covering which had no further connection with the delivered and resurrected morontia personality of Jesus.

Mankind is slow to perceive that, in all that is personal, matter is the skeleton of morontia, and that both are the reflected shadow of enduring spirit reality.  How long before you will regard time as the moving image of eternity and space as the fleeting shadow of Paradise realities?

As far as we can judge, no creature of this universe nor any personality from another universe had anything to do with this morontia resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. On Friday he laid down his life as a mortal of the realm; on Sunday morning he took it up again as a morontia being of the system of Satania in Norlatiadek. There is much about the resurrection of Jesus which we do not understand. But we know that it occurred as we have stated and at about the time indicated. We can also record that all known phenomena associated with this mortal transit, or morontia resurrection, occurred right there in Joseph’s new tomb, where the mortal material remains of Jesus lay wrapped in burial cloths.

We know that no creature of the local universe participated in this morontia awakening. We perceived the seven personalities of Paradise surround the tomb, but we did not see them do anything in connection with the Master’s awakening.  Just as soon as Jesus appeared beside Gabriel, just above the tomb, the seven personalities from Paradise signalized their intention of immediate departure for Uversa.
Let us forever clarify the concept of the resurrection of Jesus by making the following statements:

1. His material or physical body was not a part of the resurrected personality.  When Jesus came forth from the tomb, his body of flesh remained undisturbed in the sepulchre. He emerged from the burial tomb without moving the stones before the entrance and without disturbing the seals of Pilate.

2. He did not emerge from the tomb as a spirit nor as Michael of Nebadon;  he did not appear in the form of the Creator Sovereign, such as he had had before his incarnation in the likeness of mortal flesh on Urantia.

3. He did come forth from this tomb of Joseph in the very likeness of the morontia personalities of those who, as resurrected morontia ascendant beings, emerge from the resurrection halls of the first mansion world of this local system of Satania. And the presence of the Michael memorial in the center of the vast court of the resurrection halls of mansonia number one leads us to conjecture that the Master’s resurrection on Urantia was in some way fostered on this, the first of the system mansion worlds.

The first act of Jesus on arising from the tomb was to greet Gabriel and instruct him to continue in executive charge of universe affairs under Immanuel, and then he directed the chief of the Melchizedeks to convey his brotherly greetings to Immanuel. He thereupon asked the Most High of Edentia for the certification of the Ancients of Days as to his mortal transit; and turning to the assembled morontia groups of the seven mansion worlds, here gathered together to greet and welcome their Creator as a creature of their order, Jesus spoke the first words of the postmortal career. Said the morontia Jesus: “Having finished my life in the flesh, I would tarry here for a short time in transition form that I may more fully know the life of my ascendant creatures and further reveal the will of my Father in Paradise.”

After Jesus had spoken, he signaled to the Personalized Adjuster, and all universe intelligences who had been assembled on Urantia to witness the resurrection were immediately dispatched to their respective universe assignments. Jesus now began the contacts of the morontia level, being introduced, as a creature, to the requirements of the life he had chosen to live for a short time on Urantia. This initiation into the morontia world required more than an hour of earth time and was twice interrupted by his desire to communicate with his former associates in the flesh as they came out from Jerusalem wonderingly to peer into the empty tomb to discover what they considered evidence of his resurrection.

Now is the mortal transit of Jesus— the morontia resurrection of the Son of Man–completed. The transitory experience of the Master as a personality midway between the material and the spiritual has begun. And he has done all this through power inherent within himself; no personality has rendered him any assistance. He now lives as Jesus of morontia, and as he begins this morontia life, the material body of his flesh lies there undisturbed in the tomb. The soldiers are still on guard, and the seal of the governor about the rocks has not yet been broken.

At ten minutes past three o’clock, as the resurrected Jesus fraternized with the assembled morontia personalities from the seven mansion worlds of Satania, the chief of archangels the angels of the resurrection approached Gabriel and asked for the mortal body of Jesus. Said the chief of the archangels: “We may not participate in the morontia resurrection of the bestowal experience of Michael our sovereign, but we would have his mortal remains put in our custody for immediate  dissolution. We do not propose to employ our technique of dematerialization; we merely wish to invoke the process of accelerated time. It is enough that we have seen the Sovereign live and die on Urantia; the hosts of heaven would be spared the memory of enduring the sight of the slow decay of the human form of the Creator and Upholder of a universe. In the name of the celestial  intelligences of all Nebadon, I ask for a mandate giving me the custody of the mortal body of Jesus of Nazareth and empowering us to proceed with its immediate dissolution.”

And when Gabriel had conferred with the senior Most High of Edentia, the archangel spokesman for the celestial hosts was given permission to make such disposition of the physical remains of Jesus as he might determine.  After the chief of archangels had been granted this request, he summoned to his assistance many of his fellows, together with a numerous host of the representatives of all orders of celestial personalities, and then, with the aid of the Urantia midwayers, proceeded to take possession of Jesus’ physical body.

This body of death was a purely material creation; it was physical and literal;  it could not be removed from the tomb as the morontia form of the resurrection had been able to escape the sealed sepulchre. By the aid of certain morontia auxiliary personalities, the morontia form can be made at one time as of the spirit so that it can become indifferent to ordinary matter, while at another time it can become discernible and contactable to material beings, such as the mortals of the realm.

As they made ready to remove the body of Jesus from the tomb preparatory to according it the dignified and reverent disposal of near-instantaneous dissolution, it was assigned the secondary Urantia midwayers to roll away the stones from the entrance of the tomb. The larger of these two stones was a huge circular affair, much like a millstone, and it moved in a groove chiseled out of the rock, so that it could be rolled back and forth to open or close the tomb. When the watching Jewish guards and the Roman soldiers, in the dim light of the morning, saw this huge stone begin to roll away from the entrance of the tomb, apparently of its own accord–without any visible means to account for such motion— they were seized with fear and panic, and they fled in haste from the scene. The Jews fled to their homes, afterward going back to report these doings to their captain at the temple.  The Romans fled to the fortress of Antonia and reported what they had seen to the centurion as soon as he arrived on duty.

The Jewish leaders began the sordid business of supposedly getting rid of Jesus by offering bribes to the traitorous Judas, and now, when confronted with this embarrassing situation, instead of thinking of punishing the guards who deserted their post, they resorted to bribing these guards and the Roman soldiers.

They paid each of these twenty men a sum of money and instructed them to say to all: “While we slept during the nighttime, his disciples came upon us and took away the body.” And the Jewish leaders made solemn promises to the soldiers to defend them before Pilate in case it should ever come to the governor’s knowledge that they had accepted a bribe.

The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the “empty tomb.” It was indeed a fact that the tomb was empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.

The tomb of Joseph was empty, not because the body of Jesus had been rehabilitated or resurrected, but because the celestial hosts had been granted their request to afford it a special and unique dissolution, a return of the “dust to dust,” without the intervention of the delays of time and without the operation of the ordinary and visible processes of mortal decay and material corruption.

The mortal remains of Jesus underwent the same natural process of elemental disintegration as characterizes all human bodies on earth except that, in point of time, this natural mode of dissolution was greatly accelerated, hastened to that point where it became well-nigh instantaneous.

The true evidences of the resurrection of Michael are spiritual in nature, albeit this teaching is corroborated by the testimony of many mortals of the realm who met, recognized, and communed with the resurrected morontia Master. He became a part of the personal experience of almost one thousand human beings before he finally took leave of Urantia.

We are not able fully to explain just what happened to Jesus of Nazareth during this period of a day and a half when he was supposed to be resting in Joseph’s new tomb.  Apparently he died the same natural death on the cross as would any other mortal in the same circumstances.  We heard him say, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”  We do not fully understand the meaning of such a statement inasmuch as his Thought Adjuster² had long since been personalized and so maintained an existence apart from Jesus’ mortal being.

. . .
In the vast court of the resurrection halls of the first mansion world of Satania, there may now be observed a magnificent material-morontia structure known as the “Michael Memorial,” now bearing the seal of Gabriel. This memorial was created shortly after Michael departed from this world, and it bears this inscription: “In commemoration of the mortal transit of Jesus of Nazareth on Urantia.”
And there is much other evidence which suggests that not all of the personality of Jesus was asleep and unconscious during this time of apparent physical death.

Earnest students of The Urantia Papers quickly learn that we mortals are but taking the first step on the eternal journey, and that we must advance a long way before we will progress by “sight” and “material” assurance;  for worlds to come we will be dependent upon faith and revelation in dealing with the many mysteries that stretch out before us now, and remain to be discovered in the eternal future.  On this day of celebration of one of the greatest of those mysteries, we wish you all a foretaste of the joy which passes all understanding.

•  •  •

¹Greek othonion (diminutive of othone) refers to a linen cloth or bandage used in preparing a corpse for burial (John 19:40; 20:5-7).

According to biblical and shroud scholar Kim Dreisbach:  In Jn. 19:40, the Fourth Gospeller uses the word othonia [Gk.] (plural) to describe the linen cloths used in the Burial. Othonia, a word of uncertain meaning, but probably best translated as a generic plural for grave clothes. The same word is used by Luke or his scribe in Lk.24:12 what had previously been described as the sindon in Lk. 23:53. Note: vs. l2 (But Peter rose and ran to the tomb, stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths (plural) by themselves; and he went home wondering what happened.) does not appear in the most ancient manuscripts, but is added by later ancient authorities.

²The Thought Adjuster is a term The Urantia Papers use to describe the Indwelling Spirit of God in man:

It is a mystery that God is a highly personal self-conscious being with residential headquarters, and at the same time personally present in such a vast universe and personally in contact with such a well-nigh infinite number of beings.  That such a phenomenon is a mystery beyond human comprehension should not in the least lessen your faith.  Do not allow the magnitude of the infinity, the immensity of the eternity, and the grandeur and glory of the matchless character of God to overawe, stagger, or discourage you;  for the Father is not very far from any one of you;  he dwells within you, and in him do we all literally move, actually live, and veritably have our being.

³ The term “morontia” is unique to The Urantia Papers;  it refers to the level of universe reality between the material and the spiritual. It may also refer to ascendant mortal creatures— you and me— or the transition worlds immediately following the material life in the flesh.


The Evil Drumpf

 Posted by on March 25, 2016 at 10:42 AM
Mar 252016

Baron Drumpf HarkonnenThe Baron Drumpf relaxes after a bout with the Mormons on Tuesday.

“There is a way that seems right to a man,
but the end thereof is death.”

The word “monster” gets tossed around quite freely by political pundits and tv talking heads when it comes to describing Donald Drumpf Drumpf.  We here at the Sojourn have willingly done our part to contribute to the metaphorical mashup of images depicting Drumpf as a monster, because, you know, we think he is.  Metaphorically speaking.  But, we also speak of him being a monster because we think he is evil.

It turns out that some 68 percent of Americans also see Drumpf as some sort of an evil freak, (well above the 53 percent who feel that way about Hillary Clinton).  If both were to make it to the general election— and that is still a big if— we would have a contest between two historically unpopular nominees.   “Drumpf’s numbers are bad and getting worse,” says pollster J. Ann Selzer, who did the survey.  “A majority of Americans now describe their feelings toward him as very unfavorable.  That’s a 13-point spike from November 2015.”

But it’s not just the great unwashed— the 99 percenters— who are getting the squirts over the Baron.  There are some supposedly serious attempts underway by Republican elites to “derail” the Drumpf candidacy— 1, 2,  and there’s even a “conservative” billionaire or two, and other groups not publicly affiliated with any candidate that have ponied up some $28 million on negative ads that have aired in the past few weeks.

But let’s be clear about evil, and what we think it is.

Buddhism says that evil is degrading, whether held in thought or wrought out in deeds.  Pain and sorrow follow in the path of evil as the dust follows the wind.  Evil is the fruit of wrongly directed thinking.  It is evil to see sin where there is no sin;  to see no sin where there is sin.

There are many ways of looking at sin, but from a universe philosophic viewpoint, sin is the attitude of a personality who is knowingly resisting cosmic reality.  Error might be regarded as a misconception or distortion of reality.  Evil is a partial realization of, or maladjustment to, universe realities.  But sin is a purposeful resistance to divine reality— a conscious choosing to oppose spiritual progress— while iniquity consists in an open and persistent defiance of recognized reality, and signifies such a degree of personality disintegration as to border on cosmic insanity.

The possibility of evil is necessary to moral choosing, but not the actuality of evil;  actual evil is not necessary as a personal experience.  But we both know that potential evil acts equally well as a decision stimulus in the struggle for moral progress.  Thus evil only becomes a reality of personal experience when a moral mind makes evil its choice.

Man’s ability to choose good or evil is a universe reality;  free will is not just a philosophic concept, or symbolic ideal.  You can find this reality within you, if you know how to relax and listen;  you will sometimes “hear” your still, small voice telling you what’s right— and alerting you to what’s evil—  unless, of course, you’ve already destroyed your ability to hear it— usually by habitually embracing evil yourself.

Man’s choosing then, between good and evil— is influenced not only by the keenness of his moral nature— but also by influences like ignorance, immaturity, and delusion.  Snarly Drumpf A sense of proportion is also important in the exercise of virtue, because evil may be perpetrated when the lesser is chosen in the place of the greater as a result of distortion or deception.

Evil is a transgression of law, not a violation of the rules of conduct pertaining to life, which is the law.  Falsehood is not a matter of narration technique, but something premeditated as a perversion of truth.  The very conflicting presence of truth and untruth, fact and falsehood, constitutes the potentiality of error. The willful rejection of truth is error;   the deliberate choice of evil constitutes sin; the persistent pursuit of sin and error is iniquity.

Error might suggest a lack of intellectual keenness, but evil usually indicates a deficiency of wisdom;  sin, abject spiritual poverty;  and iniquity is indicative of vanishing personality control.

When sin has so many times been chosen and so often been repeated, it may become habitual.  Habitual sinners can easily become iniquitous, become wholehearted rebels against the universe and all of its divine realities.  While it’s true that all manner of sins may be forgiven, it’s doubtful whether a truly iniquitous person would ever sincerely experience sorrow for his misdeeds, or accept forgiveness for his sins.  Here’s an example of what I mean. 

A textbook example of the peaceful deception of pleasant adjustment to the paths of sin and death.  Donald Drumpf says he doesn’t regret his decision not to ask God for forgiveness for his sins.  Good luck with that.

“In the great day of the kingdom judgment, many will say to me, ‘Did we not prophesy in your name and by your name do many wonderful works?’  But I will be compelled to say to them, ‘I never knew you;  depart from me you who are false teachers.’  But every one who hears this charge and sincerely executes his commission to represent me before men even as I have represented my Father to you, shall find an abundant entrance into my service and into the kingdom of the heavenly Father.”
—Jesus, speaking in The Urantia Book