Primordial

Lighting swirls amidst deep, dark shadows, thunder echoing off of silent cliffs somewhere in what will someday be called Cambria. 

Hints of far off cataclysms, dankly diluvial, sail on primordial winds as dusk’s crimson fingers claw at night’s sapphire, diamond flecked cloak.

Albian haze swiftly quickens into mist, threatening to cleave into drops, larger and larger drops, possibly armies of rushing drops, drops plummeting like raiders plundering unsuspecting shores of a world still virginally young, a world yet to yield to the tiny warm blooded invaders who’ll someday evolve into hominids. 

But not just yet. 

Soon though.

Much, much too soon.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  However, he is also fascinated by mythology, religion, physics, astronomy and mathematics, especially with matters related to quanta and cosmogony.  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

None are so Blind, as They Who Refuse to See: … a rant of sorts …

It seems like the “Mother” of all conspiracy theories, but Tucker Carlson’s article and television episode “The Deep State Removed Nixon, The Most Popular President Ever, to Cover up CIA’s Murder of JFK” smells accurate.

Conspiracy theories bloom like weeds when the information we’re provided lacks credibility and when information we ought to have is nowhere to be found.  Hiding facts is the hallmark of successful conspiracies, but loose ends seem to echo endlessly.  The argument that no definitive evidence has been judicially found to be accurate when the judiciary refuses to investigate, makes the echoes ring louder and louder and sometimes even frees bits of what would be evidence, but for the foregoing negative imprimatur, from the shadows.

Few events fit the foregoing description more than the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, but strangely, those in the public arena who most claim to have loved him seem most willing to accept an official narrative reminiscent of Swiss cheese.  I lived through the event and played a role in a requiem mass for the assassinated president held in New York City’s Episcopal Cathedral, St. John the Divine, during that awful November in 1963.  I was also a young adult during the Watergate affair and, at the time, one of my law professors was former New York governor Mario Cuomo (Andrews’s father).  I recall being surprised at the time as the most ethical person I knew, then professor Cuomo, a Democrat, cast doubts in class on how the corporate media was handling the scandal.  I also recall how massively popular Richard Millhouse Nixon was before the corporate media and his political cronies orchestrated his destruction.   I recall that rather than being the right wing conservative that history, calcifying media accounts, has portrayed him to be, he was a real progressive in foreign affairs, attaining peace with both Russia and China, and that domestically, he championed progressive programs we have yet to attain, including universal health care, and a universal guaranteed income (which he referred to as a negative income tax), and that during his administration, cabinet level departments dealing with education and the environment were first introduced.  I also know, having lived through those times, that he was hated and feared by the Democratic Party, having politically “stolen the Deep South” and resented by members of his own party, the GOP, because he promoted people in his administration from outside the traditional channels of power.  Nixon certainly was not close to perfect and he was probably justifiably paranoid with racist and anti-Semitic residue, something from which most leading Democrats and Republicans at the time also suffered.  And he cursed and used bad language in private (as if that was unusual in politics).  But he was not close to the corrupt monster most people today are taught to despise, sort of a prequel to how a really unpleasant former president is treated today (perhaps more deservedly so).

I recall the foregoing today because Tucker Carlson, an extremely popular journalist in an age when most journalist are despised and mistrusted, has openly articulated in the above referenced article what many, many ordinary citizens have long suspected, both with respect to the assassination of JFK and the removal of RMN.  And based on my experience, something similar was involved in the failure of the Jimmy Carter presidency.  If true, if accurate, and those are big ifs, it would be devastating confirmation of what a fourth president, JFK’s predecessor, warned as he left office. 

Dwight David Eisenhower warned us to be beware of the military industrial complex, what we today know as the Deep State.  And if that’s true, and if the cancerous Deep State has metastasized onto the federal judiciary, as seems to be the case, then we find ourselves temporally entering portals that advise us to “Abandon All Hope”, as so many authors of dystopian literature have long warned.

All too soon, as many of us fear, the truth will not save us, nor will it set us free.  Not that it will have arrived too late, it’s always been there.  But, reminiscent of the curse suffered by the Trojan princess Cassandra many millennia ago, too many otherwise decent people just refused to listen.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

The Revelations of John (an Exile in Patmos) Reconsidered ,… Sort of

Or perhaps, the “Reconsiderations of Bill or Guille” (an expatriate of sorts in Manizales)

Introduction

(The serious part)

The purported revelations of John of Patmos (really, an expatriate who fled to Patmos), a John who styled himself the Elder, the purported book of revelations written on or about the year 96 of the Common Era, seem, in their apocalyptic aspects, almost completely Zoroastrian.  A cartoonish culmination of the doctrine of ethical dualism.  Indeed, the version of Yešu[1] it envisions, denominated “Christ”, seems utterly different than the loving Jesus reflected in modern imagery, much more the messiah longed for by racist, ethnocentric Hebrews, to whom all others were inferiors, now, ironically, subsumed in fundamentalist Paulist Christianity[2].

Interestingly, old Johnny seemed most bothered by the sexual and dietary heresies of the Nicolaitans, followers of Nicholas the Deacon, a real apostle (unlike Saul, albeit as a replacement) and member of the Jerusalem Community.  As in today’s uber polarized world, relatively irrelevant issues were used to divide people who had much more in common than in conflict, the apparent goal (as it is today) being the elimination of any who held contrary views, regardless of how innocuous.  The Nicolaitans’ horrible heresy (according to their detractors, including John but strangely, not Saul), involved the belief that monogamy was not essential and that sharing those beloved with others was a positive, rather than a negative thing, true love promoting the joy and pleasure of the beloved, rather than restricting it; but also, the belief that it was not inappropriate to eat food (specifically meat), offered in sacrifice to idols if it had first been exorcised, … probably important when food was scarce.

John was not original in his revelations, primarily using imagery, threats and promises old before Yešu had purportedly incarnated.  Imagery, threats and promises made in writings such as the books of Daniel and Ezekiel in the Old Testament, 1 Esdras in the Apocrypha, the Book of Enoch in the Pseudepigrapha, the Assumption of Moses, and, portions of the Synoptic Gospels.  He merely placed them in a new, anti-Roman Imperial context, and directed them specifically against the Roman Emperor and those who followed him, especially followers of Yešu willing to compromise the beliefs Pauline Christianity required of them.  In essence, he was a plagiarist, but that was not looked down upon in antiquity.  Indeed, a popular literary device at the time was the antithesis of plagiarism, giving famous others credit for what one had written in order to enhance its impact.

Of course, all of the threats and promises reflected in John’s purported revelations were to take place while the Roman Empire continued to exist in its pagan version.  It’s hard to believe that they applied after the Roman Empire became Pauline, when it became Pauline Christians who engaged in persecution, torture and murder, as well as who placed restrictions on religious beliefs; actions such as those attributed by John to the Romans.  Hence, everything predicted should have taken place prior to the Emperor Constantine’s decrees in the year 331 of the Common Era, decrees which made Pauline Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. 

Through distorted rationalization (such as are common today in journalism) disassociated from the religious aspect of John’s purported revelations and focused exclusively on their political dimension, i.e., the existence of the Roman State, one could, albeit unconvincingly, argue that the promised (or threatened) events need only have occurred prior to the fall of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire in the year 1453 of the Common Era.  And if later, only if today’s Vatican State is seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire against which John railed can an argument be made that the prophecies of John’s purported revelations remain merely inchoate, rather than utter claptrap.

Interestingly, the sexual beliefs associated with Nicholas the Deacon seem to never have gone out of style and seem, at least since the 1960’s, to have emerged from the closet, as it were.  As to eating food sacrificed to idols, well, who knows?  Who can tell where today’s food has its origins, regardless of labeling laws, … except perhaps for Kosher food.

Summary of John’s Imagery

(The satirical part.  Accurate, but satire just the same.  Unavoidably so):

Yešu, in his role as the Pauline “Christ”, purportedly speaking from heaven to John, addresses messages to seven angels, each responsible for one of seven specific Pauline churches in Asia Minor.  One might ask why Yešu, in heaven, would need the assistance of John, to address his angels, but evidently the divine communication network was not functioning at the time.  So much for ubiquitous omnipresence.

With reference to the seven angels, one each had purportedly been assigned the role of guardian to Pauline churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Thyatira, Pergamum, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.  Evidently, five of the angels were not doing such a great job at eliminating those who found the doctrines of the Nicolaitans reasonable.  Yešu seems especially miffed with the angel charged with guarding the Pauline church at Pergamum, where “Satan”[3] was purported to have his headquarters. 

Interesting. 

One wonders if Pergamum has been carefully searched in quest of a portal leading to the infernal regions.  For anyone interested, the site of Pergamum is located sixteen miles from the Aegean Sea on a lofty isolated hill on the northern side of the broad valley of the Bakır River, a site currently occupied by the modern town of Bergama, in the province of İzmir in Turkey.  One wonders if, as in the Colombian municipality of Rio Sucio, they have biannual carnivals dedicated to “the Devil”.

Following Yešu’s message to his angels, strangely, via John (as I’ve noted), he describes to John, evidently for transmittal to us, a message concerning seven seals (no, not the animals, just scrolls) on which is (or will be) purportedly written an account of events that “are about to take place” (the term “about” was evidently to be interpreted in a very broad manner, a manner to include any temporal period whatsoever; hmmm, a bit suspicious that).  But only Yešu is purportedly authorized to open the seals (no one else being worthy). 

There follows a bit of equine fantasy (I’m rather fond of horses myself) as the first four seals, if ever opened (John assures us they will, be, Yešu told him so) for some reason deal with horses.  Sigismund Schlomo Freud might have had something to say concerning that imagery, had it ever been brought to his attention.  Perhaps it was and perhaps he did.  Hmmm, on at least one occasion Freud did discuss equine fixations as follows: he interpreted horses, as a phobia (unfortunately he did not discuss them directly as a fixation), as symbolic of the father, and that fear that a horse would bite represented fear of castration as punishment for incestuous desires towards the mother, an expression of the Oedipus complex.  One might wonder what that tells us about John.  As far as I know, Yešu had no personal interaction with horses, only asses, although certain ranks of Roman soldiers in Palestine (where Yešu lived) did use them.  For the safety of my eternal soul then, I’ll limit my observations to John.

Anyway, again according to Yešu (via John), when Yešu opens the first seal, a white horse will appear whose rider will go forth to conquer. Other seals will then be opened, and three more horses: a red one, a black one, and a pale one, will appear in rapid succession.  According to analysts of John’s purported revelations, the four horses and their respective riders purportedly symbolize the conflicts that will mark the beginning of the final destruction of the Roman Empire (and have nothing to do with an Oedipal Complex, but, … who knows).

When the fifth seal is opened, the souls of those who have been waiting for the purported second coming, in duly respectful tones but obviously “verily” annoyed, will demand to know (respectfully of course), how much longer they have to wait until their suffering is avenged, but will be advised (one assumes by Yešu) that they still have a while to wait, and that their wait is likely to be unpleasant, but that if they are patient and faithful (it seems they were not merely souls, but living entities as well), they will be among the redeemed whose names are written in a “Book of Life”.  Evidently, such souls will never have been previously exposed to the revelations of John and will thus be ignorant of what is happening; apparently not being all that conscientious in complying with their Pauline educational obligations.

According to good old John, the scene then changes and we will embark on act two of his revelations.  One wonders if John’s production might not make a good video game.  Four angels representing the four winds of heaven will be told to hold back their winds (hmmm, flatulent angels) until “the servants of God have had seals placed on their foreheads”.  “Ouch”; one wonders if that will hurt.  It seems quite a bit like branding.  Then, apparently, notwithstanding the billions who have, since the dawn of the Common Era, attempted to comply with the usually incoherent, incomprehensible and contradictory instructions they keep receiving from the heirs of Paul (and presumably John) in Yešu’s name of course, all but a very few of them, 144,000 to be precise, will be sentenced to perdition.  As of the dawn of 2023, the world’s current population is approximately eight billion people, most of whom may have souls (although most politicians, lawyers, journalists and priests may not).  As of the dawn of 2023, it is estimated that 117 billion people have lived on Earth, the vast majority having lived following the start of the Common Era.  Assuming that Yešu decarnated (a neologism for when he abandoned his “carnate” form) approximately 1,990 years ago, as 2023 dawns, that means that, were the events “imagined” by John to occur today, an average of only about 72 people per year would have been “saved”.  One wonders at those stuck in Limbo, all the unbaptized infants, etc., what is to happen to them?  That means that fewer people will be “saved”, regardless of their piety, belief and conduct, than currently comprise the 0.01% who rule and own us.  What are the probabilities that such 0.01% have somehow cornered this market as well?  Hmm, they currently constitute about 800,000 people; that means that less than one in five of them will make the cut.  Interesting situation, at least for them.  For the rest of us, it’s apparently “Abandon All Hope”.

Anyway, according to Yešu (according to John), before Yešu opens the rest of the seals, another series of disasters will be heralded by seven angels, each one carrying a trumpet. One wonders if the seven angels are the same each time, or if they arrive in teams of seven.  The trumpets must be huge as they have massive destructive power when blown, although they perhaps are only indicia of coming calamities, Harbingers in Black, perhaps like those that the Latin American poet César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza wrote about in his poem, “Los Heraldos Negros”. 

Following the blowing of the trumpets, a massive earthquake will purportedly occur, turning rivers to blood.  The light of the sun and the moon will be extinguished and the stars will come unglued and fall to Earth.  Then things will really get bad, especially for any surviving persecutors of (one assumes) the 144,000 lucky ones.  Given all the schisms in Pauline Christianity since John’s day, where members of each Pauline denomination claim all others are to be condemned to Hell as heretics, certainly a form of persecution, it would seem that the most avidly religious may well be both among the punished and the vindicated, concurrently, which may explain the 144,000 number.

John, apparently paraphrasing Yešu, unless he has a really good memory, then maligns dragons, equating them with poor old confused Satan (remember the whole thing with Hêl él, Lucifer, and Sama’el; now they’re turned into a dragon, yeesh!!!).  But apparently, Satan and Marcus Cocceius Nerva, the Roman Emperor in the year 96 of the Common Era (when John purportedly wrote his “revelations”), are to be considered one and the same.  Poor Nerva; he did not reign long at all, just fifteen months, and he was a reformer of sorts, no Caligula or Nero.  But then, perhaps communication was slow back then and good old John thought that someone else was in charge.  However, one would assume that Yešu would have known better.  Perhaps poor John just misunderstood.  After all, it may be that Yešu was declaiming to John in Enoquiano, the mythical celestial language.  And there have never been all that many certified, or even qualified Enoquiano translators and interpreters, at least since the fall of that tower in Babel.

Anyway, ….

The “Dragon”, a-Satan (clearly a reference to Hêl él who rebelled in Heaven against YHWH and then purportedly schemed with Herod I, also known as Herod the Great, to do away with the infant Yešu) will somehow have been busy along with his retinue of angels (supposedly fully one third of the former Heavenly Host), challenging Yešu, YHWH and the Holy Spirit, purportedly working through poor Nerva (more probably his predecessors as Nerva was the first of the Five Good Emperors, or perhaps his successors, or perhaps the Papacy, or who knows who).  At any rate, “he” (whoever “he” is) will have been the one who will have been persecuting Yešu’s followers.  Hmmm, that “he” could be any leader of any purportedly Pauline church[4] since, based on the aforementioned thousands of Pauline schisms, almost all followers of Yešu will have been commended to condemnation in Hell and to damnation (assuming the two things are different) by other followers of Paul, given that they each consider all others blasphemous heretics.

Actually, the aforesaid “he” ought to be easy to recognize as, according to good old John (as told to him directly by Yešu), “he” will have seven heads and ten horns and will be somehow further identifiable by calculating his number, it should be “666” (although how our numbers are calculated remains a mystery); so be in the lookout for anyone fitting that description.

As the end finally draws near (again), again according to John as told directly by Yešu, or perhaps only by Yešu’s voice, three angels will appear (one wonders what will have happened to the other four, if indeed they are the same, or why the change in numbers if they are different; and whatever will have happened to the horses and their jockeys?).  One angel will announce that the hour of God’s judgment has come, the second one will yell that Babylon has fallen (which happened millennia ago so is no surprise) and the third will be doing his best to terrify anyone who’s been worshipping “the Beast” (probably the Dragon, you remember, our composite nemesis), all of whom are to then be thrown into a lake of fire where they will forever be destroyed. Hmmm, that seems a bit oxymoronic at best, poor phrasing, as destruction seems a final event rather than a process.  But then again, as you may recall, it may be that Yešu was declaiming to John in Enoquiano, hard for mortals to understand.

As if that’s not enough, with all the bad guys frying in a lake of fire (sounds sort of like something the Nazis were accused of doing), seven more angels will then appear (ahhh, the seven reunited perhaps), each one carrying a bowl filled with one of seven plagues as YHWH will be really wroth!!!!.  One wonders at the interaction of the fire in the humungous lake into which billions of bodies and souls are frying, with the plagues, which are to be as follows, almost as though they were a recipe: the first bowl will have some sort of agent generating “foul and evil sores” on the men who at the time bear the mark of the beast and who worship its image (does that mean women will be exempt, just asking, that will certainly please feminists); the second, will be poured into the sea (which sea is not clear), and will turn its waters into blood (which supposedly had already occurred to rivers somewhat earlier), but this time, killing everything there (assuming our pollution has not already done that).  Hmmm, it seems YHWH will become a mass polluter. Then, similar calamities, all different, will follow as each angel carelessly empties its bowl, without any thought for the consequences.

So, having destroyed everyone and everything except for the 144,000 lucky prize winners, Yešu will finally return, riding on clouds (hopefully not thoroughly polluted) and, amazingly, it appears that the fiery lake and plagues will not have been enough to destroy all the “wicked”, because more will be slain by the light Yešu’s coming generates (as though he were radioactive).  Apparently, concurrently with that event, the Dragon (a-Satan, etc.) will be bound underground for a thousand years and the Earth itself will be condemned to a thousand year period of desolation.  In the meantime, the 144,000 lucky righteous ones will have been flown to a celestial city where they can hang out with YHWH, Yešu, the Holly Spirit, and those angels who’d declined Hêl él’s invitation to rebel.

But that’s only for a single millennium.  Apparently, somehow, during that time, the remainder of the 117 billion will have recovered; revived so that they can be destroyed again.  Interesting to speculate as to when they will have died as their torment was to have been perpetual, what with the fiery lake, the plagues and all.

Anyway, according to John, as told to him by the voice of Yešu (one wonders if his voice is an entity in and of itself, which would seem to make the trinity a bit crowded), the celestial city will land on earth and someone or someones will engage in one more wars (which will probably make the 144,000 very happy, as, assuming they coincide with the current 0.01% who rule us, war seems to be their favorite pastime), and the wicked will be destroyed … again.  After which, the residue of humanity will live happily ever after, perpetually partying with YHWH, Yešu, the Holly Spirit, and those angels who’d declined Hêl él’s invitation to rebel, in the celestial city now on earth.  Given the slight population, it could be on a tiny Island somewhere in the Caribbean perhaps, perhaps near Eden, a new Jerusalem with streets of gold,  walls of jasper and gates of pearl (and what about windows?), in the midst of the good old River of Life, which will flow eternally from the throne of God, with neither sorrow nor crying allowed (or else), for God will wipe away all tears (one wonders, with no crying, from whence tears will appear), and there will be no more death.

One does wonder a bit what might happen to any of the happy denizens of the grounded celestial city, should they become a bit too independent; one wonders whether “free will” will be an aspect of that paradise; one wonders, … just asking, what would happen to any who might transgress.  You know, sing out of tune or harp off chord or something.  Perhaps wonder about dear old Nicholas the Deacon.

Anyway ….

Amen.

Concluding Observation

One wonders what happened after good old John sobered up.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.


[1] Yešu, commonly referred to as Jesus, or the Christ, or Joshua, or Yeshua, but the correct Aramaic variant (the name he might answer to) was Yešu.  He never, ever, ever answered to Christ.

[2] The adjective Paulist is added because Saul of Tarsus perverted the original teachings of Yešu, for his own purposes, in opposition to the religious movement that initially sought to promote the beliefs espoused by Yešu as promoted by Yešu’s brothers and apostles through an organization known as the Jerusalem Community.  He referred to his counter movement as Christianity and to Yešu as the “Christ”, a Greek term roughly analogous to messenger or messiah.  Saul, who renamed himself “Paul” for some reason, first tried to destroy the Jerusalem Community through legal and religious means within Judaism (including assassinations) but eventually found it much more profitable to coopt it, disassociating them from their Jewish origins by melding Jewish beliefs with Greek spiritual philosophies.

[3] Known to latter pre-Pauline Hebrews as ha-Satan, the unfortunate syncretic composite through mistranslation by Jerome of Stridon of the Hebrew archangel Hêl él, Lucifer, the Roman god of truth and light, and, YHWH’s chief legal advisor and prosecutor, Sama’el.  Poor Lucifer, eternally calumnied since then.

[4] All leaders with the possible exception of a certain Jorge Mario Bergoglio, also known currently as Pope Francis I.  He’s an unusually forgiving and empathic sort who refuses to condemn anyone.

A Political Reality Check as we Remember Martin Luther King, Jr., DD

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., DD, who we remember and honor today, would, I believe, be profoundly ashamed of us.  He believed in love and empathy, in equity and justice, and in peace.  Instead, we have polarization and perpetual war.  Instead of seeking to remove the chains that bind us, we proudly polish them, in the name of hypocrisy.  We revel in a non-existent democracy, and in non-existent liberty, our freedom of expression is censored so that opinions contrary to those necessary to maintain the hold of the few over the many will be silenced and reality distorted, as we are continuously bled of the little wealth the powerful still do not control.  And like good slaves, we are grateful that it isn’t worse, …  although it is much worse than we believe.

An example: We have become so used to fake scandals manufactured by the Deep State in order to tighten its grip on power that we are in a turmoil over the purported “privately held government records scandal” now impacting Deep State darling Joe Biden, reflexively, declining to think.  The reality is that some “government records”, including those classified as secret, top secret, etc., have always been retained by previous office holders and probably more so by members of the Deep State’s core, the intelligence community.  Of all the recent faux scandals, this may be the most stupid, and that applies to both its Trump and Biden aspects.  The Hillary Clinton aspect has been all but forgotten, as has that which dealt with Barak Obama. 

There are real scandals that should concern us rather than the continuous stream of invented scandals that keep deflecting us from realizing the real source of most of the world’s problems, the Deep State and its penchant for perpetual war in order to shift wealth to the worst among us, no matter what the price.  Those were scandals that mattered to Dr. King, who we purport to honor today as we destroy the legacy which he died to bequeath us.

The Deep State has us utterly polarized and consequently, paralyzed, as we are robbed, killed and maimed purportedly in the name of democracy, liberty and human rights.  Greater hypocrisy would seem impossible.  Wake up, but really, not like the somnambulant cancel culture puppets who do so much to divide us and to deflect us from resolving the issues that most harm us.

Without empathy we will never attain real equity, real equality, real justice, real peace, real democracy or real liberty.  Dr. King had a dream which the Deep State and its minions have turned into a nightmare.  Ridicule, calumny, destruction of historical monuments, hate and disrespect are not the tools that will lead us to the metaphorical mountain from which Dr. King saw the future we and our progeny deserve.

Something to ponder on this anniversary of Dr. King’s birth.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Pop, the Good Things

Leonidas (Leon) Theodore Kokkins (1916-1973), my stepfather.  I called him Pop.

Crumb buns, jelly doughnuts and Kaiser rolls on Sunday mornings along with the Sunday papers and perhaps a ride along the causeway in Miami Beach in our black Pontiac convertible, circa 1949, with the top down of course (1952 through 1954).  Then, on to Charlotte.  We had a different car, perhaps a 56 Chevy, but it was not memorable.  Charlotte, the city, on the other hand certainly was.  I became Billy Kokkins there, long story but it never stuck. We left all too soon, back to Miami Beach, briefly, then to Colombia where I was born (and my baby brother Teddy’s infamous famous hunger strike; … he missed Pop).

So, … on to New York City!  Pop’s home town.  Queens: first Ozone Park, then Hollis, then Queens Village, then Flushing, all in the space of four years.  In New York, the routine was similar but the car was a sky-blue 1959 Chevy with a sort of split trunk and a hard top.  I liked the Pontiac better.  Actually, I loved the Pontiac.

But childhood ended in New York.  In the fall of 61, boarding school, separation, college at the Citadel in Charleston, and suddenly, I was an adult on my own.

Way too soon, everything was gone and we were scattered, barely still a family.  Disfunctionality had fast become the norm and we were trend setters.

1973, Pop’s final year.  He passed away in the early spring, very young (57).  A beloved enigma, at least as far as I was concerned, but like all enigmas, a mystery.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Involuted Lacunae

“I actually liked Babel” he admitted, “I admired its audacity.”

“Then, why destroy it” asked his adversary, or perhaps his assistant, at least at one time, the Archangel Hêl él?

“I didn’t, not really, I just set events in motion so that those who dared consider the faintest possibility of challenging me turned, instead, on each other.  It was a reflex reaction, one I’ve long regretted.”

“But what of their language, and their knowledge; their music and their poetry” asked Hell-El, fully knowing the answer but perhaps wanting to add a bit of salt, perhaps black salt from the Himalayas, to the metaphorical wound?

“Fragmented, unfortunately, couldn’t be helped.  I hadn’t the time to consider consequences before I acted, and thus, unintentionally loosened Confusion; Misperception and Misunderstanding from their bonds, and they quickly mated and sired Disdain and Manipulation and Treachery, which in turn, bred politics and religion and journalism, and, if not the Law, unfortunately, the legal profession.”

“Pity that!  Unfortunate. Right.  The end of possibilities you once fancied.  ….  On another front, any news from Humpty Dumpty and his egg shell restoration project”?
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Call for a Real Liberal, a Real Progressive Political Movement in the United States

As usual, the United States is embroiled in an armed conflict.  Since war is supposedly illegal, we no longer have them, we have police actions and special military operations and clandestine interventions, etc.  The latest, that one involving the Ukraine, is a bit different, a bit more Machiavellian.  The United States orchestrated it (with help from its NATO allies) and is financing it but is maintaining that it is not actively participating in it, other than through assuring and facilitating its continuance in order to weaken both the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, regardless of the cost in lives and infrastructure for the Ukrainians (the United States designated tools) and perhaps, in the near future, if its luck holds, the Taiwanese.  That nuclear holocaust is a risk is irrelevant.  The ends, apparently, justify the means, and narrative management will take care of all but the radioactive fallout.

Thank goodness Donald Trump was eliminated to make the foregoing possible, after all, it’s a project started during the Clinton administration and implemented by the good old troika of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden (with an assist by Hunter).

So, how is the foregoing feasible, you know, with the United Nations Charter, the United States Constitution, etc.?  Well, well-orchestrated political dynamics in and through the United States certainly help.  There’s the purportedly defensive “North Atlantic Treaty Organization”, now morphed into a world-wide neoliberal enforcement organ predicated on “Mafian” principles; there’s the European Union, NATO’s echo chamber; and of course, there’s the  United States’ bipartisan dictatorship.

Let me explain the latter. 

There are two major political parties in the United States which, between them, split almost all political offices and posts at every level.  One, the Democratic Party, has under the leadership of a certain Nancy Pelosi, with the assistance of a certain Chuck Schumer, become monolithic in its voting patterns (except for two recalcitrant senators, one from West Virginia and one from Colorado, considered pariahs and traitors).  The other is a strange collection of feuding caucuses under divers, would be leaders, who find it difficult to govern.  Not a bad thing as Will Rogers, a noted political comedian from the first half of the twentieth century once noted when he explained that “no one’s life or property was safe while Congress was in session”.  Oddly, he was a Democrat and once described that political party in terms that now apply to its principle opponent.

Until fairly recently, interestingly enough, both parties were controlled by the same people, whose artfully planted moles in the federal bureaucracy shielded their interests from any populist threats.  Somehow that managed to briefly change in 2016, making formal and informal structural changes in the electoral system necessary in order to preserve democracy’s innocuousness.  After all, democracy’s supposed to be just for show.  The control by the unorganized but highly disciplined state within a state that some of us refer to as the Deep State was shaken, perhaps bent a bit but not broken, and it is now firmly back in place.  Thanks to an artfully crafted, controlled and managed “pandemic”.  A curse for many but a blessing for the privileged few who rule us.

But, what does the foregoing mean? 

Well, to all appearances, it means that ideology free monolithic autocracy and pragmatism have triumphed over principles, equity, democracy and liberty, nasty things the latter, every one.  Monolithic autocracy, is maintained, sustained and fueled by the hate, disdain and polarization which the Deep State, now a memeplex all its own, loves.  It sets us against each other domestically by gender, by race, by nationality, by sexual orientation, by religious beliefs and then does all it can to absolutely silence dissent through censorship, censorship directly by our government (all three branches) as well as through its allies in Internet technologies and platforms, and through abuse of the criminal justice system to attack political enemies, all while loudly accusing everyone else of doing exactly what it is it is in fact doing (the foregoing phrase kind of reminds us of the famous observation, “that depends on what the meaning of “is”, is).  There is a problem though.  Today, only the Democratic Party is sticking to the script, although a number of traditionalist Republicans keep trying to bring the good old GOP back into line.  But fortunately for the Deep State, at least right now, the Democratic Party controls all of the federal political branches (although how legitimate that control is and how it was attained is questioned by all too many potential voters; but that is irrelevant).

To the delight of the Deep State, that “Democratic” Party applies Deep State principles and tactics internationally, as well as domestically, seeking economic and political control by planting conflict everywhere which permits perpetual sowing of the profits of perpetual war, albeit in the name of peace, democracy and liberty.  And admittedly, those profits are not meant to be shared, at least not broadly.

To opponents of violence as a means of conflict resolution, to those to whom equity, truth and justice are somehow relevant, GOP traditionalists are not much better than Democrats, but at least the GOP is not monolithic, there is internal dissent expressed in actual congressional debates and non-uniformity of votes, with a wing led by Rand Paul that demands de-escalation of external conflicts and freedom of belief and speech at home, opposed to GOP traditionalists like the Cheneys and the Bushes.  And there are civic leaders like Tulsi Gabbard, an awesome statesperson, except for her Islamophobia, but she at least thinks for herself and is not owned by the billionaire class.  In truth, there are viable political leaders everywhere, in third parties and among those who refuse to be part of political parties (which have become the self-serving sectarians James Madison promised in the Federalist Papers would not evolve.  The anti-Federalists, unfortunately for us, were right on almost every point, as history has shown). 

Federal elections in the United States (now a dysfunctional mess as promoters of electoral fraud in the name of “democracy” obliterate traditional norms) are set to take place in a few weeks.  Elections that impact men, women and children everywhere, most of whom cannot participate as they are not United States citizens.  I wonder what would happen if they could?  How might all of the people in all of the countries that the United States has fragmented and looted, … purportedly for their own good (or at least that’s the story), usually under Democratic Party led administrations (think WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen and now the Ukraine but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg) vote?  But they can’t, at least not unless they have managed to enter the United States and surreptitiously usurp the franchise, … and vote for the Democratic Party.

The foregoing makes United States voters committed to peace and equity morally responsible for selecting world leaders who really believe in peace and in sane environmental policies and in sustainable economics and in equity and in real justice.  A daunting task at which we too often fail because our choices are drastically limited to those of whom the Deep State approves.  As to those who do not come up to Deep Sate standards, well, not that he was great, or even decent, but look at what happened and is happening to Donald Trump, whose main crime is that he does not believe in perpetual war and dared to suggest dismantling NATO and bringing troops back from overseas.  Look at what happened to Tulsi Gabbard, the star of the Democratic Party’s presidential debates until the rules were changed to exclude her.  Look at what happened to Dennis Kucinich, gerrymandered out of a congressional district by his own party (the Democrats, who with crocodile tears now constantly scream against gerrymandering, at least any gerrymandering that is not their own).

All of this is possible only because, notwithstanding the famous “First Amendment”, the United States does not have (and really, never has had) a legitimate free press but rather, only purported journalists tasked with spewing mind-controlling narrative on a 24/7 basis.  There are, of course, miniscule exceptions, exceptions like the imprisoned Julian Assange and those who look up to him, but there are less and less of those as more and more realize on which side their bread is buttered, or how dangerous it is to actually investigate and honestly share findings.

So, … as elections once again approach, we, the electorate, find ourselves confused, bored, disillusioned and disinterested, anticipating results we feel are preordained.  Except of course, for dedicated and either well compensated or deluded Deep State activists, some of whom, like lemmings, vote in blocks regardless of how often they have been deceived.  But then, that’s what polarization is for.

Going into these imminent elections, we are once again unprepared for alternatives, either because they have been prevented from evolving or because the corporate press and social media moguls have obfuscated them.  At best, once more, we can vote against greater evils, although they are difficult to identify.  If only Tulsi Gabbard could run for everything, but alas, she’s not running for anything, although she has endorsed a few candidates.  Still, perhaps by recently resigning from the Democratic Party (but not joining the GOP), she has provided a sort of benchmark for our personal electoral decisions.

Too many of the most decent among us will refuse to participate in what they see as a charade but that may well perpetuate the Deep State’s hold on power, and that, in turn, may well accelerate the day on which our political decisions will no longer have any relevance, as the universe may at last find itself rid of the infection posed by our species, decisions which will no longer be relevant as our, and many innocent species, will no longer inhabit this sphere we call home.  Is that a depressing or hopeful thought?  I guess that depends on one’s attitude towards being rebooted.

Not that there isn’t hope for a peaceful world.  One where equity and justice prevail; where truth is relevant and where we are each not only free, but empowered to attain or full potential.  But that requires a great awakening and a rejection of those who currently enforce de facto, if not de jure slavery over so many, either in a pretty velvet casing or through brute force.  Rejection of those dedicated to ruling us through polarization and perpetual war.  Rejection of those who hoard the world’s resources forcing hundreds of millions to live in abject poverty and to die or be maimed in meaningless conflicts.

There is a saying that it is always darkest before the dawn and it is pretty dark right now.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Biography of Sorts

It started towards the end of the third quadrant in July. 

Monthly quadrants are not all equal, of course.  Those in February are usually seven days long except in quadrennial years, and then each quadrant is approximately seven days and six hours long.  April, June, September and November have quadrant’s that are seven days and twelve hours long, but January and March and May and July and August and October and December are a tiny bit more complex.  And they’re in the majority.

In that July with which we were concerned, the day with which we were concerned was the twenty-second, a sort of magical day in astrological terms, and it was towards the end of the third quadrant because in July, as in January and March and May and August and October and December, each quadrant is seven days and eighteen hours long, so the third quadrant would end at six in the morning of the twenty-third day.  And this was still the twenty-second day.

Had it been in February it would have been during the start of the fourth and final quadrant, but it wasn’t.  Had it been in April, June, September or November, the twenty-second would also have been during the last day of the third quadrant if it were during the morning but the first day of the fourth and final quadrant, had it been the afternoon.  But it was not April, June, September or November with which we were concerned, although the time with which we were dealing being the early morning of the twenty-second day, before the sixth hour, there would have been quadratic coincidence during those months.

It was in a city high in the central range of the Colombian Andes, one overlooked by a glacier astride a volcano whom the aboriginals had once worshiped (whom, not which, given that they personified it) under the name Cumanday.  Perhaps some still worshipped it under that name and it is certain that there were at least some local, dedicated proto-new agers, who did so then.  It had been the year of the dog in the Chinese calendar, although China was very far away.  He’d have preferred the year of the dragon, or at least of the lion, but no lion was included in that calendar, so it would have had to have been, its cousin, the tiger.  But it was the dog.  It seemed unfair that no lion was available given that in the more traditional Babylonian astrological family, the twenty-second day in July was usually the dividing line between the lion and the crab, although that crab had a rather unpleasant name: cancer.

And anyway, being too young to really have a vote (scream and cry though he might, and in fact, as he had) he was stuck with the available signs, a dog and a lion, and maybe a crab with an evil name.  Not so bad really.  But a dragon would have been really cool.

It had been an interesting day (in the Chinese sense).  The culmination of a somewhat unpleasant period for his mother of course, and unfortunately for her, he’d taken his time, albeit not without a good deal of internal fussing.  But he’d finally come out to see the world he’d be inhabiting for quite some time.  He’d been the first of his generation so a good deal of fuss had been made of the occasion.  New waves had formed and in concentric circles, had begun to oscillate, first nearby, then in that special city, in that special department, in that special country, in that special continent, in those special hemispheres, one vertical and the other horizontal, then in that poor, poor abused planet, then in that solar system, in that galaxy, in that universe, and finally, throughout the multiverse, at which point, the wave had started its return journey playing with time and space, and quanta, and dimensions along the way.  Examining black holes and white holes and playing with dark energy and dark matter but, as it approached its point of origin, nothing was there except radioactive residue, well, and radio waves echoing demands that everyone vote for a certain Democratic Party because Russians and Chinese with which Republicans were purportedly in league had to be stopped from destroying everything, and that the Ukraine had to be permitted to join NATO, and that a great deal of money was required, first, to keep that Democratic Party in power, and then, for more and more and more weapons to keep everyone safe from , … well, at that point the echoes became garbled.

So the wave just kept on going, back to the edge of the multiverse it had visited before. And back again, looking for that child who’d first arrived in the third quadrant of the month of July, at the intersection of the lion and the crab in the year of the dog in a once beautiful city high in the central range of the Colombian Andes, one once overlooked by a glacier astride a volcano whom aboriginals had once worshiped under the name Cumanday, and perhaps some local, dedicated proto-new agers had once done so as well.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Memories:

He’d liked his brandy sweetened.  He’d loved apricot brandy when it was “apricot brandy” and not just apricot flavored, and he liked it strong, at least eighty proof.  And he’d liked regular brandy too, sweetened with Grand Marnier.  And Armagnac, Clés de Ducs if possible; but he’d preferred Spanish to French brandies, especially Cardenal Mendoza, or in a pinch, Gran Duque de Alba.  But he hadn’t like it alone, after supper over coffee, he’d liked it with a bit of cheese, sharp cheddar if possible, and with an apple sliced with a paring knife, and with hot tomato soup.  And he’d liked it best listening to symphonic music, especially Beethoven or Bach, while he was reading, especially Tolkien, or researching religious mythology.  Especially with a roiling fire burning in a large hearth. 

Especially in a Normal-style castle, set on the highest point on a long island, set between a river and a small harbor, in a town named after cold springs.  In a castle with a gym and a football field and a baseball field, and with students and faculty members, and maintenance personnel, and a nurse, and retired military personnel who’d had adventures they enjoyed sharing.  A castle full of memories where new ones were made daily, at least for a while.

One would think those aspirations were unrealistic, unless one had lived them.  And relived them, over and over again, long after the castle was just a shared memory.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

“And then there were none”: Reflections in an Empty Pond

He remembered.  That’s all there was, and, of course, his body.  Everything else, everywhere was gone, well, except for imagination.  Strange that he’d list that last, it was possibly the most important thing that still existed.  Mankind was gone, as was nature, as was the multiverse.  Only he stayed behind; the last guardian, but guardian of what?  Of memories he guessed.

And he’d known what he was doing when he’d agreed to take on the task, if not why. 

His hair still grew, it was infinitely long now, as were his nails, and he still perspired, but that soon evaporated and then vanished into the eternal nothing, actually, infinitely longer than eternal.  He didn’t breathe and of course, urination and defecation had ended, at the end.  He’d accepted the charge when the universe was still young, when the multiverse still was.

And he’d known what he was doing, that it would be irrevocable and endless, if not why. 

But someone had to assume the role.  He’d known how desperately lonely and boring it would be, until only despair remained, without any hope for respite, without any hope for death.  Without any future, only the vacuous present and memories of the past, and his growing hair, and his growing nails, and every once in a while, a bit of perspiration that all too quickly vanished.

Hopefully the first trillion years were the hardest.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.