A Journal of America's Political Soul Heaven & Earth: Where Politics and Spirituality Meet
June 23, 2024  
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Issue No. 9 - Heaven & Earth
F E A T U R E S :

New » A Message for Humanity

On Morality: The Most Sacred Good

On Courage: Acting in the Presence of Fear

From Darkness, Awakening: A Department of Peace

Spirit Matters:
G&G Interviews Michael Lerner

We Still Need a Religious Left

9/11 and the American Empire:
How Should Religious People Respond?

Saving Fundamentalists From the Religious Right

The Dark Jesus: Spiritual Imagery Inspires Change and Heals Racism

Will We Choose To Survive?

A Sneak-Peak Interview with the Messiah

G&G Arts - Essay
Whose Good? Who's Evil?

This is Sprouts, the G&G discussion forum. Read the comments below and then weigh in with your own comments. Or select another issue...

Patrick Irwin of Ithaca, NY writes:
A fascinating picture is beginning to emerge for me (though I do not consider anything proven at this stage of the non-investigation). I see a scenario in which many enemies and competing interests all played out their parts by seeking what was in it for them. Islamic fanatics saw a chance to stick it to the US, ISI saw a way to get a piece of the pipeline action, US shadow-government saw a chance to get the Patriot Act passed and invade the oil lands, Mossad saw a way to get the US to invade its threatening neighbor, Big Oil, etc...need I say more?

Rob Arnow of San Francisco, CA writes:
I just read the updates -- really good work.

Jon Tveite of Ogden, KS writes:
Al Qaeda may well have been responsible for 9-11. But who is responsible for Al Qaeda -- that's the really interesting question. I am getting increasingly tired of those who refuse to consider that the US and our foreign/economic policies may have had something to do with creating and maintaining the atmosphere of hatred that gave us Al Qaeda. I'm not a "blame America firster," but I do think we would be insane not to do some soul-searching and try to figure out why so many people hate us so much.

Jealousy may have something to do with it, but it's not just jealousy. Kooky fundamentalism may have something to do with it but it's not the whole story (and where does kooky fundamentalism come from, anyway?). We will never see a significant diminishment of the danger that Al Qaeda-types present until we look at ourselves and how we behave in the community of nations.

Lois of St. Helena, CA writes:
Great to know about Garlic & Grass! I live in Northern California but assist Daniel Hopsicker in his probe of the flight schools in Venice, Florida. These schools trained 3 of the 4 terrorist pilots, and there is about to be hot breaking news any day this week at Daniel's website, www.madcowprod.com. Daniel will also soon finish a book with all of his findings, entitled Welcome to Terrorland. Fascinating writings -- people are coming out of the woodwork at a rapid clip.

HesNoGoodToMe of Madison, WI writes:
I read Mr. Dale's article [911: The Confluence of History, Conspiracy, and Prophecy], and it was very interesting. I thank you, Mr. Dale, for it. But the last paragraph throws me for a loop. Are you saying we should be passive about what is going on and sit back and wait for the light? I don't feel I can just sit back, considering that my tax dollars are being used and have been used to kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people for many many years. It disturbs me that your article's concluding premise is: it's time to kick back and wait. That is what I get out of it, and I just don't think being passive is the right thing for me or anyone to do right now.

John Henry Dale responds:
I'm sorry if I seemed to be advocating passivity in my article. That was not my intent.

Not to sound condescending, but have you throroughly read what I wrote in that last paragraph? The last sentence reads:
"So if we are, as all the ancients forecasted, at the peak of the wave of history, perhaps we should learn how to surf this wave rather than worrying about whether or not there are sharks swimming nearby. "
What I am saying here is actually almost the opposite of how you apparently interpreted...read more

Mike Ward of Springfield, VA writes:
Beautifully done website. Thanks for highlighting this important issue.

Joe Patti of Chatham, NJ writes:
The president and the white house staff routinely hold back information from the public, probably for two reasons: security and power. From a security perspective we're led to believe info is held back because if revealed it might expose a protected source (spy), or it may cause panic, or it may not be completely confirmed, or some other bogus reason. From a power perspective info may be held back because the leaders made mistakes they are trying to hide or are saving the info to use as a trump card against the "bad" guys (other countries, criminals, or opposing party members) at some later time. It's human nature to be less than 100% forthcoming on 100% of the issues, notwithstanding the duties of office. It has always happened and will continue to happen, so get used to it!

With that said, I would say it is farfetched to think Bush knew the attacks were coming...he was probably better briefed than the American public, but that's what we want, isn't it? It is far more likely that powerful self-serving people were asleep at the wheel, which creates suspicion. Their incompetence and poor team-oriented behavior block the synergy that could otherwise develop. Changing this is a super challenge. It would be easier to weed out the corruption in the New York City subway system bureaucracy!

Max Bushnell of Philadelphia, PA writes:
As a registered, voting, and open-minded patriot, I'm saddened by this latest issue of G&G. Many months ago I met the editor of G&G, and we discussed the pros and cons of political persuasions - how one affiliation may or may not be better for the environment, education, poverty, and world peace. We challenged one another to defend or justify our beliefs. Although I was not in agreement with many of his views, I could appreciate and respect them. I do not promote blind allegiance, nor do I subscribe to the belief that my party is anywhere near 99% right on all issues. Moreover, I promote and embrace forums such as G&G. I encourage others to challenge the system, and ask why, how, when?

Unfortunately there has been a departure from the world of non-fiction here. The tragic circumstances of 9-11 were a result of the delta between the geopolitical haves and have-nots. An issue focusing solely on conspiracy theories pushes the validity and value of this journal past the threshold of meaningful information. I hope to see G&G get back to articles of substance that can motivate people toward change. This entire issue serves as nothing more than a playground for sleep deprived, ex-prozakians to spew their dream world of coincidence, numerology, and fantasy upon an innocent audience. Like so many others, I am seeking factual information as inspiration for the advancement of this planet and all of its inhabitants.

Tony Brasunas responds:
It can indeed be dangerous to wander down a path of paranoia and dark hunches, and
G&G hopes never to become a cesspool of negativity or lies, but rather a place of truth, optimism, hope. G&G has a further obligation to look where the mainstream media aren't, to publish especially stories the big newspapers are ignoring based on financial or other decisions. This issue fits in.

What I wrote in this issue's intro is the truth about my thoughts. But in the end this discussion right now is what
G&G is all about - this is it, to wrestle with difficult issues in an environment of freedom. All readers are invited to join G&G and comment or submit an essay or article for the Update to Did Bush Know? (Deadline, Feb. 10).

Larry Jeppesen of Henderson, NV writes:
I believe that Condoleezza Rice knew, but was afraid to say anything to King Bush because of his family business ties to the Bin Laden family.

Tom Dworkin of San Francisco, CA writes:
Did Bush know? There's lots of evidence. I'm a bit skeptical about the motivations of mainstream media, but articles from one of Michael C. Ruppert's respected "From The Wilderness" newsletters found strong, mainstream-media-corroborated evidence of:
  • Pentagon officials carrying out "detailed" emergency drills based upon the crashing of a hijacked airliner into the Pentagon
  • FBI agents in Arizona writing a memorandum warning about suspicious activities involving a group of Middle Eastern men taking flight training in Phoenix
  • President Bush receiving intelligence briefings at his Texas ranch mere weeks before 9-11. The warnings indicated Osama Bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners.
Still, I think there are more important investigations. September 11th has happened. We cannot change the past, but we must shape the future so more madness of King George does not embroil us in a global war.

A few weeks ago I felt frustration, but I now feel there is hope. Our numbers are growing. Hundreds of thousands in Washington D.C. and San Francisco spoke out loud and clear on January 18th. Still more people all over the world did the same. The press can no longer ignore us, though they still downplay our numbers. I do fear that Liberalism alone will not be able to defeat the Ultra-Reactionary Regime that's occupying our government. Maybe more radical action is necessary.

David Fitts of Lexington, KY writes:
Consider the following quote, aired by CNN, published in the Guardian Newspaper and still available on the official White House web site. This took place 12/4/01 at a "Town Meeting" in Orlando, Florida:
"Well Jordan, you're not going to believe what state I was in when I heard about the terrorist attack. I was in Florida. And my chief of staff, Andy Card -- actually, I was in a classroom talking about a reading program that works. And I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower--the TV. was obviously on, and I use to fly myself, and I said, 'There's one terrible pilot.' And I said, 'It must have been a terrible accident.' But I was whisked off there-- I didn't have much time to think about it, and I was sitting in the classroom, and Andy Card, my chief who was sitting over here walked in and said 'A second plane has hit the tower. America's under attack." Bush repeated the same story in January, 2002. He "choked on a pretzel" a few days after his second rendition. [View a G&G article on this exchange]

Paul Bottis of Worcester, MA writes:
We need to accentuate the positive. The Green Party is one of many voices that advocate the need for change in failed, antiquated political and economic structures, but very often they bring about the opposite of their original intents. There are two sides that reformers must present: one is to point out where failures occur, the other is to offer solutions.

I find that most often the literature from within their organization, and the writers they feature, put emphasis on the wrong side of the equation.

Jordan May of Denver, CO writes:
I like Garlic & Grass. It is a very interesting read and a nice alternative to the mainstream media.

Kim Grose of San Francisco, CA writes:
Pretty amazing articles in this Media issue. It is incredible to read about how third party candidates on left and right are systematically left out, even though one knows this is happening during elections, the examples in the article were impressive. Also, I really enjoyed the railroad barons article -- can't believe the impact it has that corporations have rights like humans, or that it was a willful error in the legal record.

John Henry Dale of Charles Town, WV writes:
Congratulations on a fine piece of journalism. I really enjoyed reading Garlic & Grass. Peace.

Shahid Buttar of Palo Alto, CA writes:
In its continuing struggle to revitalize itself, the American left faces a crucial decision. Contemporary conventional wisdom among many liberals holds that votes for Greens in recent elections have siphoned votes away from Democrats, thereby providing an advantage to Republicans. Under this view, Republican leadership over every branch of the national government is caused in part by Greens �spoiling� elections.

Two fundamental errors plague this conventional wisdom. First, it implies that each voter�s expression of preference should be subordinate to a strategic calculus aimed toward ensuring the least of two evils. This implication, however, puts the cart before the horse. The reason we value democracy is precisely because it allows individual voters to voice their preferences. Strategic electoral sacrifices have no place in the vision pursued by this country�s Founders.

Second, the conventional view fails to suggest to Democrats the most effective way to avoid the �spoiler� problem....read more

Sam Fuchs of Boston, MA writes:
I read Bruce Cole's commentary on voting machines [No Paper, No Trail: An Open Invitation to Electoral Fraud], and cannot believe things are as opaque and lacking verifiability as he implies; I guess I'll need to do some research on my own if I want to be comforted about what is only an opinion now. It has certainly raised my awareness of the issue.

It would've helped if the author had some more info regarding how prevalent these machines are now nationwide, and whether his questions have been dealt with by others, and if so, how.

Bruce Cole responds:
I'm a bit confused as to where Mr. Fuchs might be hoping to find "comfort" in this controversy. Trusting the integrity of our electoral systems requires, in my mind, more than just blind faith that the corporations that make the machinery are trustworthy. I need to be assured that the technology can be checked independently against the evidence of actual ballots, an assurance impossible with touch-screen voting machines (as they are currently designed).

As to whether my questions have been dealt with by others (other than the several links I provided in my essay), I just came across two excellent examinations of this issue, one from Farhad Manjoo in Salon.com entitled, "Voting in the Void," and one by Van Smith in the Baltimore City Paper Online entitled, "Future Vote." The ground they cover is similar to that of my article, though they provide interesting additional bits of information. Another good page that has links to many others in the same vein is EcoTalk.org's Voting Security page. And Rebecca Mercuri, a PhD in computer science, offers a more scholarly treatement of the same problem. To date there have been no answers to these serious crtiticisms, from the manufacturers or any experts, other than the bogus, "Trust us, the technology is flawless"-type argurment quoted in Manjoo's piece
. . . read more

Kim Grose of San Francisco, CA writes:
Great website! It has become my homepage -- with all the links to the different media, it's a great resource. I enjoyed the homage to voting, and love the idea of getting $100 to vote -- is there any hope for this? The soulful article on voting reminded me of a book I want to read: Hope's Edge. Have you heard of it? It's Frances Moore Lappe's new Diet for a Small Planet and it's a wonderfully inspiring and well-researched book on movements and organizations around the world.

Nancy of Federal Way, WA writes:
Why don't you list buzzflash.com as a non-profit news source? I don't know of another that lists the current news reports that we most need to know about. Thanks.

Lynne Michelson of St. Louis, MO writes:
I grew up in a staunchly Democratic household and recall with fondness canvassing with my mother for Eugene McCarthy for President. His slogan was "Be Green for Gene" -- weirdly predictive of the current progressive political party. We wore white flat-top hats holding green flowers to symbolize McCarthy's committment to the environment. I also worked for George McGovern, who fared poorly in his presidential bid. After these losses and the horrifying assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King in the late 60's, my disillusionment turned to resignation and then finally to apathy, and I left politics altogether -- until the most recent elections some 30 years later.

The Monday preceding the November 2002 election found me at the dentist. As I waited, the receptionist and I talked about the upcoming election, and she said she was going to be a Republican election judge. I asked her, "Can you tell me why you vote Republican?" I really wanted to know. She was well-versed politically, and said she votes the person rather than the party. Bush, she said, was consistent: he responded to the nation's need for clarity, strength, direction, and order. To her he was giving the people what they were asking for: action after 911.

The next day, November 5th, I arose early and went to vote. Finding my polling place mobbed, I was optimistic -- high voter turnout usually helps the Democratic cause. At 9:00 I reported to the St. Louis County campaign office of Jean Carnahan, and found donuts, coffee, juice, excitement, and later a full lunch. We were given ponchos, flashlights, and street addresses; it was time to GOTV: "Get Out The Vote"...continued

John Henry Dale of Charles Town, WV writes:
Thank you so much for Garlic & Grass. I will be sure to contribute something in the future.

I have been meeting with the Mountain Party here in Jefferson County, WV, and I'm planning to run for office in either a state senate or county comission election in '04. The Mountain Party is pretty much aligned with the Greens, but not formally, though I think they ran Nader as their Prez candidate in 2000. The cool thing is that we have a ballot line, so we don't have to do some massive petition drive for '04. Also the MP speaks to a pretty local, WV grass-roots citizenry in a progressive, but not disenfranchising way. Even the name connotes anyone from farmers and rednecks to plain old John Smith to hippies and progressives. Who doesn't like Mountains? In a sense, part of gaining an environmental and humanitarian justice-based political majority is going to involve acting like these things are not abnormal. That's what I liked about the people at the meeting. They weren't bitter and ranting -- they were formulating a realistic plan for getting these issues into the public arena and fielding good candidates.

My plan is to keep working with the Mounatin Party and working from a totally pro-positivity and pro-peace standpoint. Meantime, thanks for keeping the torch.

Lauren Patti of San Francisco, CA writes:
Hi, I would like to voice my appreciation for Garlic & Grass. I think it is well written, effectively communicating an all too silent viewpoint. Thank you for offering a forum for much needed expression.

Marcela Nievas of Melbourne, Australia writes:
Well done. It's fantastic! Maybe I could provide some Australian contributions?




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