Reincarnation–Fact or Myth

I have found this a very interesting topic over many years. It is not one that is treated as a serious issue particularly in the scientific community which views life as a biochemical state made up of atoms and different compounds, but with no spirit or concept of an afterlife. Since I started out as a liberal arts major and ended up with a background in physics and mathematics, I tend to bridge both worlds in my thinking. I have many books on the subject of reincarnation and have read many accounts of near death experiences in which people have been declared clinically dead and yet survived. Many of those who survived recount experiences in which they viewed their operations from the ceiling and heard themselves declared to be clinically dead. Others recount experiences of going through a tunnel toward a light in which they were greeted by friends, relatives and counselors who told them their mission in life was not yet finished.

Many of the major religions accept reincarnation as part of the cycle of life where one works out problems they have before they are accepted into a permanent state where it is no longer necessary to reincarnate. Most Christian religions accept the idea of Jesus of Nazareth as a soul worthy of resurrection without the need to reincarnate. Buddhists, depending upon the particular version of Buddhism, view the quest for enlightenment as a means to attain a state of permanent reincarnation. Buddhism is based upon the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who sought enlightenment, rather than to follow his father as the ruler of a state or region in eastern India. I have no intention of going into the various versions of either Christianity, Buddhism, or the Islamic religion. The topic is too vast for my purposes which is to discuss briefly the concept of reincarnation which is permanent state of existence where birth and death as we know it is no longer necessary. Wikipedia has an excellent overview of Buddhism which you can read if you are interested. My interest and reading has been primarily devoted to Zen Buddhism and to the Tibetan version of Buddhism.

One of my favorite books is a compilation of Zen thought, ZEN FLESH ZEN BONES, A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings(1957 and 1985) compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki. It consists of a series of Koans which are thoughts designed to help the unenlightened to become enlightened. Here is an example of having attained enlightenment: MUDDY ROAD

TANZAN AND EKIDO were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

“Come on, girl” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous, Why did you do that?”

“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”

Another book I found of great interest was written by a Irish Priest who left Ireland and spent ten or more years studying with a Zen Master in Japan. The book is entitled: CHRISTIAN ZEN: A WAY OF MEDITATION, by William Johnston. He was amazed that he could ask any question without fear of reproach by the Zen Master, who would usually answer much like Tanzan did in his answer to his fellow monk. William Johnston was amazed at the manner used by the Zen Master to enable the Priest to answer his own question for himself. He stated that if he had stayed in Ireland as a Catholic Priest he would never have thought through the answers to his questions in such depth.

Another author I have read extensively, was Ruth Montgomery who wrote many books on the subject of reincarnation, including one entitled Strangers Among Us(1979), and one entitled Aliens Among Us(1985). In the book Strangers Among Us, she discusses people who she calls Walk-ins, as enlightened beings who are permitted to take over the body of an adult being who wishes to depart and has given permission to an enlightened being, who has undergone many reincarnations, to come back and work on a specific task without going through rebirth, childhood, and adulthood. Ruth Montgomery started out as a journalist and turned to writing books on many topics related to reincarnation. Among her associates were Edgar Casey a medium who worked with a medical doctor to help develop cures or treatments for diseases of his time. Casey had many books written by others based upon various topic he discussed over many years one entitled Edgar Cayce on Atlantis, compiled by Edgar Evans Cayce(1968) his son and who was the Director for the Association of Research and Enlightenment.

There are so many authors who have written upon this subject that I will not attempt to name them all, but I must at least list some of the books in my personal library which relate to the topic of life and other lives.

Gina Cerminara, Many Lives, Many Loves(1963), Lobsang Rampa, The Third Eye(1956), Carlos Castaneda, The Fire From Within(1985), George Gamow, One,Two,Three Infinity,…Facts and Speculations on Science(1988), Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics(1976), The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward Fizgerald(1962), Kahlil Gibran, The Profhet(1923), and R.G.H. Siu, The Tao Of Science, An Essay on Western Knowledge and Eastern Wisdom(1957). My list is short because it is up to the reader to explore this topic and come to their own conclusions. If you choose to explore it, you will come across many more authors, skeptics, who deny any afterlife. It is up to you. I hope you enjoy your journey.

The US House of Representatives and the US Senators Getting Rich

It appears that members of Congress are immune from the laws governing insider trading on the stock market. Suppose a member learns that a firm is going to come out with a new invention that will cause the stock price to increase dramatically. They can use that information to get rich, but if I were working for the same company and used that information to help out a relative, I would be subject to being indicted and possibly sent to prison for the same act. But members of Congress can use such information without fear of reprisal. Retired Senator Judd Greg and his brother made millions over the closing of an obsolete Air Force Base.  This explains why so many members of Congress do not want to increase taxes on  millionaires, because they are protecting themselves from paying more taxes.  No wonder the middle class voters have such a low opinion of Congress.   It is too bad that so many members of the middle class, who are uninformed, do not choose to vote out these millionaires and allow public financing of elections.  Public financing of elections would bypass the need to become a millionaire first or rely upon corporations to buy a Senator or Congressperson in order to become a member of Congress.

The other problem is with the Supreme Court.  We appoint the members of the Supreme Court for life, with no real means of removing them for failure to uphold a balanced view of the law and the constitution.  We have seen the willingness to the Current Supreme Court members to sell themselves to the highest bidder in their Citizens United case making a Corporation a person and allowing corporate money to buy anyone without any moral or  ethical values.  The current crop of would be Republican Presidential Candidates has gathered millions from Corporations, and the Supreme Court has made themselves available for purchase by attending ALEC meetings and have dipped into the Corporate coffers for their own accumulation of wealth.

The Republican Presidential Candidates have made their approval of the Citizens United windfall by using podiums which are labeled “Citizens United.”  I have no doubt that if we have a Republican elected as President, it will be business as usual and that the middle class will continue to decline until we have as a richer class of the “Haves and the Have Mores.”  to quote the Supreme Court Appointed but not Elected President George Bush.  My final admonition to the voters is to become informed, and to vote for those with ethical values which favor the entire population.  We do not need Senators like Mitch McConnell or Congresspersons such as Boener.  We need people willing to compromise and to vote for laws favoring the best interests of this nation.

Politicians, Supreme Court Justices, and Other Public Officials for Sale or Already Sold

Walter L. Bell, Ph.D.

It is amazing that with all the attention paid by various media outlets that more attention is not paid to investigating politicians who are obviously for sale or have already been sold by large corporations who funnel money to them. We have not yet heard anything new regarding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who failed to file proper income tax returns on money earned by his wife. His excuse that he did not understand the tax laws is inexcusable. I personally do not understand all the tax laws, so I do the next best thing and hire a trustworthy Certified Public Accountant to do my income tax. We have also not heard anything about censoring Supreme Court Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Alito for their attendance at the secret meetings held by the Koch Brothers to plot ways to secure control of state, local, and the federal government by buying politicians such as Governors Scot Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasik of Ohio.

To give you a concrete example of the great Governor of Ohio, Cooper Tire Company negotiated a contract at one plant in Ohio and convinced the union employees to give up about $30,000 each, in wages and benefits over a three year period of time, to help make this particular plant profitable. The union did so and the plant became one of the most profitable in the Cooper Tire Company. After getting the union to give up wages and benefits, the management used much of the money to vote themselves huge bonuses. Now after three years of profits, the management of this particular Cooper Tire installation is trying to coerce the union to renegotiate their contract to again give up more wages and benefits so that they can again give themselves huge bonuses.

It is time for the workers to vote out any politician, like Walker and Kasik, who were bought and paid for by the corporations belonging to ALEC, and to get a Democratic majority in the House and Senate, with Obama as President and recall the Supreme Court Members who voted for Citizens United. Only the House of Representatives can recall a Supreme Court Member, so we need a solid majority of Democrats who have not been bought and paid for by the Corporations who belong to ALEC. You can easily tell who those politicians and corporations are by looking up www.ALEC.com. You can easily find your own state representatives and senators as well as the corporations, such as WalMart, who are providing the money to buy the politicians.

If you remember, former WalMart women employees tried to get the Supreme Court to force WalMart to compensate them for wages and promotions given to male employees while ignoring equally qualified women employees. It was reported that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy was rude and made disparaging remarks to and about the women in the this class action suit. We as citizens should not tolerate actions by the Supreme Court which are derisive to 99% of the citizens of the United States. I am in favor of the so-called Tea Party and the 99ers who have been out peacefully protesting politicians of all flavors who flaunt the will of the people. I do not always agree with the solutions proposed by these two groups, but I applaud their dedication to our nation.

We also have two of the Right Wing Supreme Court members who were invited to a meeting and lavish dinner by the big pharmaceutical firms, and who want the Supreme Court to rule on the Obama Health Care provisions and return the laws to the same firms who disallowed Health Care for preexisting conditions and for the provision that would require everyone to pay for at least a minimal amount of health care. This provision would allow the costs of emergency medical care to be added to those members who already pay for their health care. It appears that the Supreme Court is going to hear the case that the pharmaceutical firms want them to hear, so it certainly appears that the Right Wing members have already made up their minds to vote against the new health care laws just as they did on the Citizens United Case. Again, we have not only our Congressional politicians being bought and sold, but the Right Wing Supreme members are apparently on the “Take” as well.

RICK PERRY SECEDES FROM THE UNION TO BECOME PRESIDENT OF THE NATION OF PERRY-SIMMONS

Since Rick Perry has described Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme and has decided to Secede from the United States, we need to allow him to do so and take all of his billionaire buddies with him. I think it is now time for the United States to provide Governor Perry with a little slice of Texas for his own country. The part I am referring to is in Andrews County in west Texas where for $100,OOO Rick Perry signed the legislation to allow billionaire Harold Simmons to set up a radioactive waste dumping site. Now that Rick The Great has decided to run for President of the United States, Harold Simmons has apparently donated $1.2 million to Rick(The Great)Perry to help his presidential bid. Since Perry does not want any government regulations, the NATION OF PERRY-SIMMONS would not need a constition, an army, a police force, hospitals, trains, airplanes, or any kind of motorized vehicles. They would not need hospitals because billionaires and on-the-take-politicians are too unscrupulous to die from disease. No self respecting microbe, germ or virus would go near them for fear that they would mutate into some kind or organism that would alter their way of life.

There is one problem with this proposal. It appears that Perry and Simmons have violated the laws of the United States with respect to the setting up of the nuclear waste site. I doubt if the Federal Government will allow the State of Texas to dump nuclear waste because any nation or any corporation could dump their waste on United States soil, poison the soil, the water supply, and the citizens of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

There is another problem associated with Rick Perry and his candidacy for President of the United States. Mr. Perry likes executive orders or signings whereby he can bypass the congressional and judicial system or our government and become a unitary executive or the supreme ruler of our nation without any checks and balances. An example of this tactic used by the Texas Governor is the appointment of persons to boards which govern the various functions of the State of Texas. For example, Perry appointed a person to the board governing teacher pensions so that funds from these pensions could be monitored and used at his discretion. In exchange for such a favor one such candidate paid the governor over $100,000. There are hundreds of such organizations in Texas such as the board that governs drugs. An appointment to the drug board provided Perry with another large amount of money and provided drug companies with many favors in return such as freedom from law suites in case the drug killed the patients who had been administered a particular drug. In fact in his years as Governor, Perry has become a very wealthy multimillionaire . If Perry were to be elected as President of the United States we would expect the same tactics to be instituted at the national level because Perry does not believe in governmental regulations nor does he believe that receiving money for appointments or for any other reason constitutes an illegal act. In this instance and many others, he is a reflection of the ethical values of the Republican Party and of individual Republicans who are willing to sell their souls for individual gain at the expense of the national interests.

ALEC–AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL–LIMITED GOVERNMENT, FREE MARKETS, FEDERALISM

ALEC is an organization which is made up of some of the richest persons and corporations in the United States. It produces boilerplate legislation for state legislatures throughout the nation which are often passed without any thought by the legislature of a given state. It patterns itself after the Propaganda Techniques of the Nazi Regime of World War II. Lately, as an example, it was running advertisements on the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System to try to sway public opinion on those employees who had retired and moved to other states to retire. If a retiree moves to another state, that retiree has only to pay taxes required by the state of their present residence. This right was won by a women who moved from California to Nevada after she was retired and was required to pay California taxes even though she had not lived in that state for fifteen years. She had sued the state of California in Federal Court and won. This right was extended to every retiree throughout the United States. The corporation running this advertisement was none other than Comcast, one of the largest cable companies in the United States, and which extended its reach into politics by recently purchasing CNBC.

A woman who works for ALEC, had written that ALEC was based upon the Republican principles of President Thomas Jefferson and the Federalist Papers. At the time the Federalist papers were written, there were basically two parties, the Federalist Party and the Republican-Democratic Party. The Federalist Party became the Whig Party and the Republican-Democratic Party became the Democratic Party. The Whig Party then became the Republican Party, so to link Jefferson to the Republican Party by the woman from ALEC was a complete misrepresentation of Jefferson’s political beliefs which were very liberal. I asked the woman from ALEC if she had ever read the Federalist Papers because if she had she would not have made the error of trying to tie Jefferson to the conservatism conveyed in the Federalist papers. After I wrote my email to her she changed the introduction, but still tried to tie Jefferson to the conservatism of the Federalist Party.

The Republican members of the Supreme Court are all members of the Federalist Society. In fact, justices from both the Republican and Democratic members of the Supreme Court have looked to the Federalist Papers in making decisions throughout the history of the Supreme Court. The Federalist Papers defined our system of government and our nation as a Republic and not a Democracy as defined by the city state of Athens, where decisions had to be made by the people gathered in one place such as a public square. Obviously in a nation the size of the United States, a voice vote of all the citizens gathered in one place would not work, so we now have elections at the Federal Level decided by the Electoral College where members of the Democratic and Republican Parties are chosen at the state level and are expected to cast their votes for their respective candidates. This system worked well until the Supreme Court decided to appoint Bush as President in the 2000 election rather than allow a recount in the State of Florida. Again this same group of conservative justices looked the other way when the wide spread voter fraud in the state of Ohio again favored Bush in 2004.

When the Republican Members of the Supreme Court voted in the Citizens United Case to make Corporations a person, they extended their prejudices even further by allowing corporations to donate millions of dollars to any political candidate of their choice without any disclosure as to its source, its candidate, or the amount of money. In recent elections in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio corporations under the umbrella of ALEC have purchased votes by buying and paying for Governors and State Legislatures whose politics are aligned with their own interests and beliefs. The Republican Justices of the Supreme Court claimed that corporations should be allowed free speech just as individual citizens enjoy free speech, but unless an individual is extremely wealthy, free speech can be very costly. I cannot make much of a dent by donating a few dollars to a candidate of my choice.

If you want to read the Federalist Papers for yourself, you can download a PDF copy free. These papers are not easy to read, but are well worth your time if you are interested in the history of our nation and the reasons we have evolved as we have both politically and economically. You can also buy a copy by visiting my Amazon Store.

The New Assault on the Middle Class by the Republican Party

The Party of No! has a new no nothing agenda planned for the citizens of this country. Here is a sample:

1. Repeal the new Health Care Law and give it back to the states. This fantastic idea is now being put forth by Congressmen from Arizona. Since when did the State of Arizona have any new ideas worth considering?

2. Take all private and public pensions and confiscate their assets. I could hardly believe I was hearing this one. Public pensions are under assault because some states have used the money for other projects and are now not able to fund the pensions of those who paid into them over many years. This is another example of the kind of governance we had under the Bush Administration. How is this different from the Bernie Maddoff Ponzi Scheme? The private corporations used this tactic to escape the pension plans set up by labor unions and transferred it back to the Federal Government while they abandoned the US workers and set up shop overseas. What is missing is this whole scheme is that if you take away the buying power of the retired citizens of this country the net effect is to make the US a third world country unable to support itself. The public employees retirement system(PERS) for the state of Oregon is not only solvent, but it returns a surplus of income to the State of Oregon in the amount of about one and one half billion dollars to the treasury after all the bills are paid to its employees an to its retirees.

3. The Republicans have called President Obama the most corrupt President the United States has ever had. When questioned about this they tried to retract the statement, but they have promised to spend the next two years holding hearings and wasting taxpayer money investigating ever law passed in the last two years. So the Party of No now becomes the Party of Useless Hearings wasting the taxpayers money and collecting fees from corporations who pay them to do their bidding. The TEA PARTY EXPRESS is basically being ignored while the Republican Party brings this country closer to bankruptcy.

4. Finally, I would call upon my fellow citizens to demand an accounting of everything our politicians do that does not rebuild the factories and infrastructure of this nation, that taxes corporations importing goods and materials from other countries and that does not actively reward the middle class for its labors. If we do not do so, we will have lost all that we have worked for to build this nation.

The Senate Needs to Send a Strong Message to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky

I do not know what the Senate rules are for censoring one of its own Senators, but something needs to be done when Senator Mitch McConnell apparently intends to spend the next two years making certain that President Barack Obama does not get elected for another four year term. If that is all he intends to do then he should resign from the Senate and form his own party and raise money to defeat the President if he decides to run again. Even though I am from the State of Oregon, when a Politician such as McConnell is dedicated to getting rid of the health care bill passed by the last congress because he can no longer receive money from the Health Care Industry, particularly if we should turn the health care bill into a Public Option, he should be publically censored by the Senate. I am outraged that McConnell, according to one source leads the way in receiving money from the Health Care Industry. If he is so opposed to the changes in the Health Care Industry, why doesn’t he give up his health care benefits as a Senator and buy his own health care plan on the open market as he is advocating for every ordinary citizen. Every Senator, whether he or she is directly from your own state, represents you as a citizen of the United States. So why should we allow a Senator to spend his time and our money, we do pay his salary even though he is from a different state, on the sole purpose to ensure that President Obama is a one term President of the United States.

My view is that the Republican Party has forgotten that we are the United States of America and that even though they would like to be in power, they must have more important duties than simply oppose every good idea the Democratic Party has to offer, and whether they like it or not, the Health Care Legislation while flawed is a step in the right direction.

Censoring Senator Mitch McConnell should be the first item of business by honest and patriotic Republican Senators, because in a time of war for a Senator to make it his sole priority during the next two years to defeat the President of our Great Nation sounds to me like a treasonable offense. So what about it, you who are members of the Senate, are you going to allow a member to do nothing positive for the next two years but thwart the President of the United States? Where is your oath of allegiance, your duty to uphold the constitution of the United States and to care for the welfare of all of our citizens? Have you forgotten why you were elected in the first place? Why do you not do something about the Supreme Court of the United States which has extended its powers, at the expense of both the Congress and the Executive Branches of out government? So far their policies have favored the Republican Party, but in the long term it will affect both the Republicans and Democrats, and the Executive Branch regardless of who is in power. So my challenge to both the Senate and the House of Representatives is to get off you duffs and do something positive for a change. As for the Supreme Court, you also need to set aside your petty one sided view of the world and do something to restore the power you have stolen from the other two branches of government, but your brains seem to be missing when two of your members attend a meeting of the Billionaire Koch brothers to plot ways in which to give more money and power to giant corporations. What happened to the phrase “of the people, by the people, and for the people”? It appears to be construed to mean for “of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations” or “of the Republicans, by the Republicans, and for the Republicans,” and to hell with the rest of the nation.

To update the information on Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in the recent election, he raised more money than all of the seven other members of the Senate and House combined, i.e., $20,652,563. Six of the other members raised less than $2,000,000 and one raised less than $1,000,000. My question is: “How much money did Mitch receive from lobbyist to increase his own wealth?” Until we as members of the public understand how politicians at all levels profit from public service, to the extent that they will do anything to protect themselves and other millionaires from tax increases, we will continue to have politicians whose only goal is to obstruct any legislation which benefits the working class of this nation and continue the shipping of jobs to China and other nations which do nothing to provide manufacturing and innovation in scientific and technical pursuits which have made this nation a leader in the world.

THE SUPREME COURT HAS GIVEN BIRTH: A CORPORATION IS NOW A PERSON!

By Walter Bell, Ph.D. 01/2011

Since the Supreme Court has now declared that a Corporation is a person, I now have many questions about this person:
1. Does a corporation have a Mother and Father? Was the birth of this person conceived by sexual intercourse or donated sperm?
2. Is the corporation a US citizen, an illegal alien, a terrorist, or a naturalized citizen of foreign birth? This question is important because if it is not a US born citizen, it cannot run for the Presidency. If we re-instate the draft, could a gay corporation serve, or would it have to be drummed out of the military? This makes me wonder if Cheney’s favorite corporation, The Blackwater Group, is gay? If so, we could send them off to do other tasks that have nothing to do with killing civilians in places such as Iraq.
3. Since a corporation is now a person, does it have to file an income tax return, receive its own Social Security number, and can it file for disability, and/or receive social security, medicare, or medicaid benefits?
4. How is the sex of the corporation/person determined? What if it is gay? Could it marry another gay, under some kind of same sex marriage laws which is illegal in most states?
5. Can this person/corporation involve itself in bribery such as paying a Member of Congress, a member of the Supreme Court, or a member of the Executive Branch for a favorable vote as a Lobbyist?
6. Can a member of the Supreme Court become a corporation and pay lobbyists to give money to a Member of Congresss to vote for an outcome favorable to the member of the court? Since Justice Scalia and Dick Cheney are such good buddies, maybe we will soon see a corporation, known as Scalia/Cheney, Inc. with a subsidiary known as Waterboarding/Hunting Club,Inc. with a corporate slogan: “If Waterboarding doesn’t work, then have our hunting club Shoot them for target practice.”
7. Or, since Justice Alito, is such a staunch supporter of the Unitary Executive Theory making the President a Dictator, will we soon see his favorite organization, the Federalist Society, run for President so that all the members of the society can become a collective President known as “President Federalist.” In this way, Alito could remain a Justice of the Supreme Court and a Collective President known as “President Federalist, et.al.”
8. Since a Corporation is now a Person, why not merge the right wing members of the Supreme Court into a Corporation which could pay Senators to vote for more potential right wing court members so that there would be no more 5 to 4 court decisions? We would have all 9 to 0 decisions.
9. I am certain, that my readers will come up with many questions of their own. In fact, maybe we could form a Corporation known as The Supreme Court Lunacy Voting, Inc. We could then run for Congress, hire lobbyists to help other members of Congress to vote our way. It now occurs to me that we could eventually have a Congress made up of Corporations only, and we could work to have one giant corporation become the Supreme Court, the Congress, and the Executive branch all combined into one. This corporation could be simply called the UNITARY EXECUTIVE CORPORATION which would greatly simplify decision making. Our Unitary Executive Corporation’s motto would be “It is our way or the highway.”