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CGI2014CGI-CrimeSceneAt this year’s Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, the operative word, according to Hillary Clinton, is interconnectedness, and the mantra is “Re-imagining Impact.”

Given the nature of CGI (public-private access & engagement), the speakers, the attendees, the sponsors, and alas the credulous press, it’s only fitting that NYPD surrounded the meeting’s venue with “crime scene” tape.

The biggest crime being committed today, especially among society’s elites, is in the setting aside of Logos — and re-imagining the world in their own image. This leads to utilitarianism (with people using others for profit and pleasure), rather than fostering real interconnectedness based on truth and love.

There is a pattern to life that is being violated today by rights activists and capitalists. An example of that came in one of the sessions with Hillary Clinton saying: “We can not grow the global economy if we do not open the doors to women.” She went on to say that “it’s distressing to see how hard change still is…with those external and internal obstacles that are cultural and religious, and based in views of women’s roles and their capacities that are just no longer affordable — they’re wrong and they’re also no longer affordable.”

Photographs: Stephen Wise


NoMenDuring the Reign of Terror in France (1793-4) a French Royalist, Mallet Du Pin, is reported to have said: “There are no longer any men in France, there are only events.”

Today in the United States the same could be said — with one addition: “There are no longer any men in the U.S., there are only events and brands.”

In the recent case of Ray Rice, the NFL player involved in domestic violence, we see the “NFL” brand and the “NOW” brand (National Organization for Women) more concerned with their brands than with the persons involved. The result is comic book justice, driven by mobs, as the Justice League swings into action. “Rice has to go!” “Godell has to go!” “Assad has to go!”

If the National Organization for Women were truly coherent in their activism against domestic violence, they would also be working to end abortions. Over 1 million abortions are performed in the U.S. each year — the worst kind of domestic violence — with victims all around.

MadMen2014Brand anthropologists and Baptist ministers (especially corrupt ones) like to encourage herd and mob behavior.

Herds (faceless numbers) and mobs (raging sex organs) tend not to embody the truth, justice, and unity that engender healthy persons and society.

The mounting mental illness in America is testimony to that.

The Flag DRAWINGS O'Keeffe, Georgia American, 1887-1986 1918 Watercolor on paper 11 15/16 x 8 13/16 in. Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley (M1977.132)

The Flag
O’Keeffe, Georgia
American, 1887-1986
Watercolor on paper
11 15/16 x 8 13/16 in.
Gift of Mrs. Harry Lynde Bradley

In analyzing the Great War (1914-1918), one commentator described it as “a catastrophe that came from nowhere.” Actually the war started, continued, and (never really) ended from darkened hearts and minds — driven by greed, pride, vengeance, and self-interest.

Sadly, today’s leaders seem even more lacking in goodness than their predecessors. The U.S. made crisis in Syria is testimony to that.

UN-Avengers2014Jewish Thinking (Cain): characterized by a sense of exceptionalism, insecurity, and vengeance, finds expression in rebellion and domination—while seeking identity, redemption, and freedom.

BastilleDayNYC2014c“The French Revolution began at the top—in the world of fashion, birth, and intellect—and propagated itself downwards.” Francis Parkman

“The fall of the Bastille marked the end of royal absolutism. It was a triumph for the cause of liberty, and for the Parisan mob. With this victory for violence the revolution had taken a bloody step forward.” Winston Churchill, The Age of Revolution (Dodd, Mead, 1957)

Analysis: The ‘liberty’ of the mob might be sweet, but it can’t sustain persons and society — as we saw with the Russian Revolution and the so called Arab Spring. Churchill’s view that liberty triumphs through violence (toward others) contributed to two World Wars, and the Holocaust, and the slaughter in Gaza today.

True freedom starts with overcoming ourselves.

Pastries by: Epicerie Boulud, at Bastille Day Street Fair, NYC



PrideNYC2014r“Tis pride that pulls the country down.” Shakespeare, Othello

Pride leads to darkness, blindness and brokenness. Only humility can heal us, and lead us to know the love of God.

NYCPride2014fPrideNYC2014eNYCPride2014hPrideNYC2014hPeople with same-sex attractions are being targeted, encouraged and exploited by conniving politicians and corporate interests.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

RaniaMatarMiddleEast-FemalePerspectiveOn a day that saw a prominent female activist gunned down in Libya, Howard Greenberg Gallery in NYC opened a photography exhibit titled The Middle East Revealed: A Female Perspective.

The show includes works by four contemporary Middle Eastern female photographers: Rania Matar (top photo) Reema Al Faisal, Boushra Almutawakel and Shadi Ghadirian, plus photographs by American Margaret Bourke-White from 1940 Syria.

Perhaps it can be said that ‘feminism’, rooted in egoism and materialism, leaves a vacuum in women and society—that is now being filled by PhARMA and militias.

The best antidote to egoism, and the key to satisfaction, for women and men, according to the Sufi writer Inayat Khan, is in understanding: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Photographs: Stephen Wise



TimesSquare-Bloomsday2014Liberty Leading the People — perhaps to hell.

America’s “Rights Revolution” is turning the ‘oppressed’ into perps.

Photograph: Stephen Wise


Father'sDay2014 (2)For the United States, a country without father and mother, supplements are often used to fill the void.

A better way starts with being in the Spirit.

We’re not orphans when we participate in being in a conscious and concrete way.

Rainbow2014During the Octave of Easter, a rainbow above an art and frame shop in Woodside, NY had special poignancy.

This is the sign of the covenant which I give between me and you, and to every living soul that is with you, for perpetual generations. I will set my bow in the clouds, and it shall the sign of a covenant between me, and between the earth. And when I shall cover the sky with clouds, my bow shall appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you, and with every living soul that beareth flesh. (Genesis 9:12-14)

PriestsOfTheWorldU.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s statement today, that the U.S. “expects other nations to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and avoid provocative actions,” is interesting given that the U.S. has been a serial violator of sovereignty for all of the 21st century — from Iraq to Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Iran (cyber), Syria and now even Ukraine — having supported the coup there.

American policy makers, increasingly guided by Jews who see themselves as priests for the world, are setting aside the U.S Constitution, the U.N. Charter and Natural Law in their efforts to re-design the world and reshuffle its leadership deck.

“This concept of priesthood provides the model for Israel’s self-image and for its role among the nations of the world.” Nahum M. Sarna, Exploring Exodus (Shocken Books, 1986)

On a recent trip to the United Nation, LE asked an Egyptian diplomat: “Was it a mistake to get rid of Mubarak?” He said “yes.” We then asked: “Is the Arab Spring with its coups and attempted coups in Egypt, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine (engineered by outside parties) a violation of the U.N. Charter?” Without hesitating he said “yes.”

“Individual liberty, freed from all bonds and all laws, all objective and social values, is in reality only a death-dealing anarchy.” Pope Pius XII, 1951

BookfairTheKingInYellowThe 1895 psycho-thriller “The King in Yellow,” by Robert Chambers, is making a comeback. Climbing to #7 on Amazon’s list last week, the book seems to have struck a chord with young people, but not the book selling elites. None of the vendors at the recent Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair had a copy for sale. Most hadn’t even heard of the work. One reason might be that “The King in Yellow” offers a prophetic glimpse of the “Imperial Dynasty of America” — one that delights young people but makes their elders nervous.

In the city of New York the summer of 1899 was signalized by the dismantling of the Elevated Railroads. The summer of 1900 will live in the memories of New York people for many a cycle; the Dodge Statue was removed in that year. In the following winter began that agitation for the repeal of the laws prohibiting suicide which bore its final fruit in the month of April, 1920, when the first Government Lethal Chamber was opened on Washington Square.

“Ah! I see it now!” I shrieked. “You have seized the throne and the empire. Woe! woe to you who are crowned by the crown of the King in Yellow!” The King in Yellow (F. Tennyson Neely, 1895)

DogsRule“The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.” Arab proverb

Today, dogs-rule (mob-rule) is being called self-rule (democracy).

Photograph: Stephen Wise

UkrainianInstituteOfAmerica (2)The scene outside the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York today.

A comic book auction was being held inside while a coup was taking place in Kiev. The U.S. and E.U. are interfering on the side of the thugs — with the Molotov Cocktails.

More than a few U.S. diplomats, and their political bosses, look at the world through the eyes of Superman.

In his book “Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero,” Danny Fingeroth presents Dr. Fredric Wertham’s critique of superhero comics from the standpoint of psychoanalysis.

“Wertham’s problem with comics stemmed from the fact that many of the troubled, violent children and teenagers he saw in his practice were comics readers.”

Superman, (with the big S on his uniform—we should, I suppose, be thankful that it is not an S.S.) needs an endless stream of ever new submen, criminals, and “foreign-looking” people not only to justify his existence but even to make it possible. It is this feature that engenders in children either one or the other of two attitudes: either they fantasy themselves as supermen…or it makes them submissive and receptive to the blandishments of strong men who will solve all their problems for them—by force.

In these children there is an exact parallel to the blunting of sensibilities in the direction of cruelty that has characterized a whole generation of central European youth fed on the Nietzsche-Nazi myth of the exceptional man who is beyond good and evil. Fredric Wertham

With the world’s Supermen (and women) fanning the flames of revolt, these words of Lincoln are more true than ever: “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.” Abraham Lincoln

Superman wanna bees should be restrained and hospitalized — not allowed to direct U.S. foreign policy.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

Alpha&Omega“If you seek Truth, you will not seek to gain a victory by every possible means; and when you have found Truth, you need not fear being defeated.” Epictetus

RideAloneTechnology contributes to immaturity and immorality (self-defeating behavior).

manayigalozeri“You have developed among you a dangerous Messianic spirit…I have learnt from my own experience that the sword alone offers no solution…Israel will not survive as a democratic state if she continues being a society that occupies another nation.” Ariel Sharon, Knesset 23 October 2004

The question now is “what are the goals of the ‘new’ (badass) Jews?” And “how will that affect the trajectory of the U.S., Israel, and the world?”

“Jewish history consists of a unique series of events—accidental or purposeful—which have had the practical effect of preserving the Jews as Jews in an “exile” to fulfill their avowed mission of ushering in the brotherhood of man…What the Jews themselves have thought of their destiny has shaped their history more profoundly than did events.” Max Dimont, The Indestructible Jews (The New American Library, 1973)

IAmKing2013Bill de Blasio, the ‘progressive’ new mayor of NYC, is calling for an end to social and economic inequality — which is interesting given the fact that it’s been the progressives (the disruptors), in recent years, who have done much to promote inequality, by saying “I am King.”

When people say “I am King” what they really mean is “I am equal to God” — which history has shown leads to new forms of oppression and injustice, and ultimately ends badly (see Trotsky).

Only when our convictions and interests are aligned with truthfulness can real progress and development happen. This is in keeping with the Spartan principle of “calling that which is just, equal; not that which is equal, just.” And in the words of Martin Luther King: “I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity. If you want to be important, wonderful. If you want to be great, wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.”

Nissan2013“The car made it possible for man to do more things by enabling him to go in a shorter time to more places where something was cooking. It also made it virtually impossible for man to think any longer. It mechanized the last chink of time. Its operation—or even its motion—demanded too much attention for introspection. With the radio going, it became a sort of cheapskate traveling circus; two rings and a continual performance. Sitting in his car, man decerebrated his species.” Philip Wylie, Generation of Vipers (Rhinehart, 1942)


LE Observation: Seeking to empower women and girls, activists can fail to understand cosmic unity and wholeness—and the real power that comes from participation in being. When men or women say: “I am King” — they alienate themselves from the source of being, and tend toward non-being.

It takes a royal, spiritually mature, person to be able to freely serve others; in the gift of self we find our self. Today the ‘assertion of self’ — egoism, is replacing the ‘gift of self’ and society is diminished.

“God, who has created me and who has power over me like a ruler, is also my own power because without God I am unable to do any good deed, and because I have only through God the living spirit through which I live and am moved, through which I learn to know my own ways.” Hildegard

FP091113dOn the 12th anniversary of al-Qaeda’s take down of the World Trade Center, the Obama administration began delivering weapons to al-Qaeda fighters who are sowing terror in Syria.

NYNOW2013bWith ‘going green’ becoming a religion, the results can be comical and ironic — as individuals become dried twigs — increasingly driven by absurd dogmas, egoism and algorithms, with little connection to real life.

CrashTruck081113CrashTruckDriver081113After crashing into a parked car in Queens, NY, the driver of this truck agreed to have his t-shirt photographed. It was his second crash in half-an-hour.

Often times we see enormous power in the hands of truly f*cked-up people — from truck drivers to pundits to heads-of-state. The challenge is for men (and women) of action to master themselves first.

Devil'sWeed“What has come to be associated with the notion of the postmodern approach to morality is all too often the celebration of the ‘demise of the ethical’, of the substitution of aesthetics for ethics, and the ‘ultimate emancipation’ that follows.” Zygmunt Bauman, Postmodern Ethics (Blackwell, 1993)

That President Obama would choose the Leno Show to speak to the American people about Russia’s Putin is in keeping with the ‘news as entertainment’ plague that stimulates the eyes but deadens the consciousness, in the age of unreality.

In his remarks Mr. Obama suggested that Russia’s actions, vis-a-vis Snowden, hearkened back to the Cold War — a time when Russia (the Soviet Union) was demonized by the US.

Actually, it is Mr. Obama and the entire US government who are acting more like Lenin/Stalin, these days, and Putin more like Jefferson. But the American people, gorging on American pop-culture, are too empty, disconnected, or complicit to do anything about it.

The words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn could be applied to Americans today: “The (jail) cell was constricted, but wasn’t freedom even more constricted? Was it not our own people, tormented and deceived, that lay beside us there under the bunks under and in the aisles?” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago (Harper, 1973)

Artwork: Syd Shores, inker of Captain America

MarcusSophie7“We are columns in Time’s hall, mortals, Wherethrough Life hurrieth…” Francis Thompson (1859-1907)

Photograph: Stephen Wise

24. PML 129355, fol. 3vThe central role of the Eucharist in the religious and civic life of the Middle Ages is explored in a new exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum in NYC, through September 2, 2013.

For Catholics today the Eucharist is still the sacrament of sacraments — ‘the source and summit of all Christian life.’ Its worship is directed towards God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

“If our Eucharistic worship is authentic, it must make us grow in awareness of the dignity of each person. The awareness of that dignity becomes the deepest motive of our relationship with our neighbor.

We must also become particularly sensitive to all human suffering and misery, to all injustice and wrong, and seek the way to redress them effectively. Let us learn to discover with respect the truth about the inner self that becomes the dwelling place of God present in the Eucharist.” John Paul II, The Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist (1980)

The Eucharist is a ‘continuous invitation,’ from the ‘son of man,’ to participate in divine life, but sadly many excuse themselves from accepting the invitation — opting for other gods.

superman75Today the man of steel seems to be attracting more followers, even among Christians, than the Son of Man — with catastrophic consequences for the world.

F(O)UNDINGCulture052213aA recent symposium: F(o)unding Culture, organized by Czech Center New York and the Aspen Institute Prague, explored the subject of ‘art as a common good,’ with particular emphasis on state and private funding.

The first panel (which included: Benjamin Barber, Wendy W. Luers, Krzysztof Czyzewski, Jan Bondy, Fritzie Brown and Andreas Stadler) addressed the ‘concept of advancing public diplomacy through the arts’ and lessons learned from the experience of the US and Central Europe in securing ‘sustainable development in the field of art and culture.’

In his remarks, Benjamin Barber (Senior Research Scholar at CUNY) commented that “democracy permits arts to flourish and arts permit democracy to flourish.” While some of the speakers suggested that government funding has had an adverse impact on the arts others said the same about private and corporate funding. Perhaps a more significant issue, one that wasn’t really addressed, is what effect the arts, of the last 100 years, have had on Europe, the US and the world? Are democracies truly flourishing? If not, what role have the arts played in undermining societies?

DoNotSitArtSince the 1913 Armory Show, and the arrival of Dadaism, Cubism, and Surrealism to America’s shores, the art world in the US has delighted in its assault on tradition, nature and form — fomenting a counter-culture and contributing to a band of rebels, driven by misguided freedom and self-absorption.

“I am working for myself; what else have I got to work for?…I have got nobody to excite me except myself…I’m very lucky, of course, to be able to earn my living by something that really absorbs me.” Francis Bacon

The resulting toxic egoism, characterized by no fear, no rules, no boundaries or regrets has been infused into into all areas of American society and is being exported to the world — with Predator Drones, Credit Default Swaps, BPA etc.

It’s interesting how America uses her culture to destabilize other countries and even torture people (see music used on prisoners at Guantanamo) all in the spirit of advancing democracy — without realizing the adverse effect it has had on her own people. Democracy and society don’t work if everybody is a rebel.ArtworkPleaseDoNotSit

SameSkyImmaculeeImmaculee Ilibagiza, author of Left to Tell, joined Francine Lefrak at a Same Sky event, 3/6, to commemorate International Women’s Day, and the work Same Sky is doing in Rwanda.

“The dignity of every human being and the vocation corresponding to that dignity find their definitive measure in union with God.” Pope John Paul II, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women

HanCouture4Wu Tzu said: ‘The Right Way’ is the return to fundamental principles. (The Art of War)

If a return to fundamental principles and traditional Chinese culture means becoming a warrior state, it’s worth noting that didn’t end well for the Han Empire — nor will it for the American Empire.

“The flame of militarism which burns itself out.” Toynbee

Weltanschauung“The judgement on such a secular philosophy of life and education will depend on one’s Weltanschauung (world view)…For others, however, Montaigne’s concept of human autonomy will mean nothing but the consumation of individualistic self-assertion and the arrival of man at a precipice from which he may suddenly fall into lonliness, despair, and the relativism of all values.” Robert Ulich, History of Educational Thought (1950)

ZeroDarkThirtySun Tzu said: “Treat the captives well, and care for them. All the soldiers taken must be cared for with magnanimity and sincerity so they may be used by us. This is called winning the battle and becoming stronger.”

The PhDs who had America go ‘dark’ weren’t very smart.

NoPantsDayIndianFamily2013aAs participants of the 12th annual No Pants Subway Ride assembled in Flushing Park (one of five locations around New York City), LE met an Indian family that had come to be recognized.

The plan called for Arun, a technologist, and his son to remove their trousers at the appointed time, while his wife documented the ritual for their Facebook page — perhaps an alternative to the Ganges River.

NoPantsDayIndianFamily2013 (2)

HerBodyHerChoiceIn his state-of-the-state address yesterday, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo called for a women’s equality act that would codify abortion rights in state law. To emphasize his point, he twice yelled out: “Her Body, Her Choice!”

In New York, female minors can get an abortion without parental permission. And yet less than a year ago Governor Cuomo, citing health risks, signed a bill into law requiring that minors get parental permission — in writing, before getting body piercing or access to a tanning booth. Most honest medical professionals would agree that abortion poses a far greater health risk, physical and psychological, than a tanning booth.

Often times political leaders and activists see a woman as just a body, and a fetus as just a clump of flesh. As a result, their advocacy is based on a flawed understanding of (or rebellion against) the bigger picture of the human person and truth. LE once asked Gloria Steinem — “Where do women get their power?” She replied: “Their body.”

Photograph: Stephen Wise

Gitmo-ClarkChuck Hagel was introduced today by President Obama as his choice to replace Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense. In his remarks Mr. Panetta said that “A strong democracy depends on a strong defense, but you can also not have a strong and stable defense without a strong and stable democracy.”

Since 9/11 Americans have seen their government go rogue, under the guise of keeping everyone ‘safe and secure’. At home that has come to mean total surveillance, forfeiture of assets and indefinite detention and interrogation for anyone labeled a terrorist. In foreign policy it means fomenting revolutions, wars-of-choice, assassinations, plundering of assets, and the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction (American values?).

It’s hard to see where democracy still exists in the U.S. today — given the disregard for the rule-of-law (by the ruling class), the disregard of the will of the people (especially in matters of foreign policy), the elimination of checks and balances, a calamitous fiscal situation and presidents that are appointed.

When Mr. Hagel mentioned “advancing the global goals of freedom, decency, and humanity” one couldn’t help but think that he is being used as a human shield by much darker forces.

While the democracy movement may have failed in the United States, future generations can learn from America’s mistakes in the hope of establishing more stable and just democracies. Democracy can’t be built on the sands of egoism.

Photograph: Edmund Clark, Guantanamo

Nature=HumanityActivists and politicians in the United States are trying to broaden the definition of equality, in an environment where words matter — but at the same time words such as ‘nature’ are losing their meaning.

Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects is presenting sculptures by Agnes Denes (Nov. 15, 2012 — Jan. 19, 2013).

The exhibition, Sculptures of the Mind: 1968 to Now, includes “Human Dust” — a bowl of real cremated human remains. “Dust that strives to perpetuate itself,” is how Ms. Denes put it. Sounds like U.S. foreign (and domestic) policy.

From Lance Armstrong and David Patraeus to storm Sandy — the events of the last couple of weeks offer a meditation on power, and the consequences of human beings acting as strong-willed machines, attempting to violate nature.

“Drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will come back every time.” — Horace

Various political leaders are speculating on what can be learned from storm Sandy. A good place to start is to exorcize (get rid of) the notion that man is autonomous.

Photographs: Stephen Wise