Sunday, August 19, 2007

An Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi - Put impeachment back on the table before they bomb Iran.

According to McClatchy newspapers, It looks like Cheney is on the precipice of convincing Bush to bomb Iran. So, here's my question to you, Madame Speaker. If attacking Iran with nuclear weapons is on the table, how the heck can you say that impeachment is off the table? Making Republicans "lame ducks" may be "good enough" for you, but you see, they don't care. Cheney is trying to start WWIII. Cheney is the real force behind this push, and he MUST be stopped, but from the way congress has let the executive branch run roughshod over the constitution, I don't have much hope. That's why I'm writing you. We need you to be a strong leader and put impeachment back on the table. This is not about "hating Cheney" or partisan politics. It's about restoring the constitution and preventing WWIII.

Impeaching Cheney would have many benefits. It would immediately lower the blood pressure of the world by eliminating everyone's fear and anxiety, thereby lowering the risk of global conflict. If Cheney convinces Gates to bomb Iran, it's all over, and from the track record of the Democrats, they are not going to stop it. My only hope is that you will put impeachment back on the table.

It would also be a important civics lesson to the world that future politicians like Cheney cannot get away with mass murder and war profiteering during their reign of terror, only to be pardoned after leaving office.

And finally, don't be afraid of being labeled a "flip-flopper." R.W. Emerson said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."

Sincerely,
Scott Manley
Coordinator - Operation Democracy of Greater Pittsburgh

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The belligerent Bush Administration is using this pending designation to convince the American public into accepting that a war with Iran is inevitable," Kucinich said. "This designation will set the stage for more chaos in the region because it undercuts all of our diplomatic efforts."

Anonymous said...

on comcast network, starz on demand:

iraq for sale by robert greenwood

financial breakdown of the war profiteers and how much they make by invading foreign lands to secure natural resources.

Anonymous said...

www.sankirtandiary.com

When we observe certain trends in our movement, whether it is the trend to want to make ISKCON a more "equal opportunity" organization, or the trend to want to make ISKCON a more "democratic" organization, or the trend to want to dilute the siddhanta to make it more socially acceptable, the root cause of all of these trends is our contamination by secular western liberalism. Liberalism is based on humanism. Humanism and Krishna consciousness are two completely opposed philosophies. It's like trying to run a Windows program on a Macintosh. So it is not surprising that if you try to combine two completely opposite philosophies within the same religious movement, there will be difficulties.

If nothing else, life without liberalism is a much more sane life anyway.
by SankirtanDiary at September 15, 2007 11:33 PM

shick said...

Bhakta Corey, I welcome your comments again, and I am glad to see that you have a blog, and are continuing to distribute Prabhupada’s books.

I strongly disagree with your statement that democracy and liberalism is diametrically opposed to Vaisnava philosophy.

I know that Prabhupada said democracy was “demon-crazy.” I do not disagree, because society has no spiritual morals to guide them, and they are heading like lemmings, off the cliff, being misguided by demons. However the experiment of democracy is the only thing we have to save us now, since there are no saintly kings in this age. (Although King George thinks he is a saint and he talks to God.) He is actually a demon. Jesus never preached pre-emptive war, nor did he preach for tax cuts for the rich while ignoring the poor. What we have in this country in the 21st century is a dwindling of democratic principles, and is moving toward an imperialistic, fascistic dictatorship which is endangering the entire world.

Democracy and our Constitution have been severely compromised, but it is the only thing we have to work with. We are the bramanas, and we have to take the responsibility of guiding the society and getting rid of the demons that are misleading society. We no longer have the power to do it by cursing them, as bramanas of yore did with king Venu. We have to do it though the democratic process, by consensus, and by leading and organizing the general mass of people. This is a bottom-up - not top-down philosophy. A monarchal, patriarchal system is impractical in this age. We have to have checks and balances on the executive branch.

Actually, Prabhupada used democracy to settle disputes. One time there was a controversy in New Vrindaban whether or not to cut down a tree, and Hayagiva was shocked to hear Prabhupada suggest it come to a vote.

Scientists have shown that democracy is in our DNA. They studied red deer to find out their behavior in moving to different watering holes. This is an important dangerous process because of predators, and some watering holes are better than others. They were looking for the phenomenon of the alpha-male that decides for the group. What they found, however, is that when a majority of deer pointed in one direction, the whole group started moving. When they studied the behavioral phenomenon in other species, they found the same thing. It is part of Krishna’s design in nature.

Therefore, I would ask you not to demonize liberalism, or democracy, because those two things are the only hope for the survival of our species in the 21st century in Kali-yuga.

Anonymous said...

Dear prabhu
Please accept my obeisances, All glories to you and Srila Prabhupada.

I agree with you about democracy is better than the wrong kind of religious monarch, such as a muslim king.

In short, the philosophical differences between liberalism, or utiliarism, and Krishna consciousness is that the former holds the basic notion that
human nature is good. KC on the other hand holds the notion that conditioned human nature is bad, or sinful. I do not know about you, but as for my own self, I cannot claim to be a liberated soul, and thus I must category myself in the conditioned category. So for the philosophical platform, the two idealogies are incompatible.

About your comments with "pre-emptive war", from what I understand, and I may be wrong, but I believe we were attacked first. I understand that it has
become a popular fashion to have sympathy with muslims, but here is a little bit of history. There was one muslim king in India who would order his soldiers to bring him enough brahmin threads every single day, enough to use
to lift this heavy metal object he had. By "bring him threads", it meant kill the brahmins. The muslims are highly responsible for the destruction of the Vedic brahminical culture. Therefore, I have a hard time having much
sympathy for such religious fanatics as the muslims. Are the muslims perhaps just a little bit more demoniac than George Bush?

As for the "tax cuts for rich" comment, please consider some logic. The "evil rich men", whom I guess that you are refering to, the CEOs of corporations and big businesses. Where do they get their money? From their customers. Therefore, why would the rich want to keep all the money to themselves? Then, we, the customers, wouldn't have any money with which to buy their products, making them rich. So, the way the business men are thinking is, the more money the average citizen has, the better, because the
more they will spend on buying our products, making us rich. This is a
rational and logical understanding of capitalism, not a passionate and
idealistic socialistic viewpoint.

I do not understand how you can make the claim that the US is moving towards a dictatorship. What would the government gain by "enslaving" everyone? Once
again. If the common man has money, then they will spend it on the products of the big businesses. Therefore, if anything, the big leaders want the
common man to have as much money as possible.

It is good to see that you have an understanding of the social roles of ISKCON and the role we are supposed to play in helping revive spiritual culture worldwide. But will impeaching Bush and Cheney magically cause the world to become Krishna conscious? I doubt it highly. This is one of those
things we call "bridge preaching". For example. I may want to reach a
certain audience, so I subtly, or not so subtly, preach their own ideas to them, in order to attract them, and then insert some Krishna consciousness to them. The real danger here is that, we might end up crossing the bridge onto their side, instead of bringing them over to our own side. There is no
need for bridge preaching. We have the best philosophy in the entire
universe. We can get people to join us by preaching direct Krishna
consciousness. The honest men will accept. We do not want to attract
dishonest people, anyway, who are more concerned with something other than pure Krishna consciousness.

To be blunt, if you had the same enthusiasm for book distribution and preaching that you have for the liberal rhetoric, you would become a very powerful sankirtan warrior. Sometimes we get sidetracked by certain things,
and this was the point of my article. Liberalism is a side-track. It will not help us become Krishna conscious. I am saying this to try to clarify things, not to hurt you, but to add a little clarity of thought.

As for democracy, I accept Srila Prabhupada as my absolute authority. Whatever he says, I accept 100 percent. Therefore, if he demonizes democracy, modern society, equal rights, then I have no choice but to follow his example. I am simply aspiring to become the surrendered puppet of Srila Prabhupada. I will only preach what Srila Prabhupada preached, regardless of whether they are socially acceptable to karmi society, or even to our own
devotee society, for that matter. One example- Srila Prabhupada taught that our daughters should be married by age 14-16. If they weren't, they would find men anyway, and thus degrade to the level of prostitutes. How popular
do you think this idea would be to preach, even within our own ISKCON? But the fact remains, this is what Srila Prabhupada taught in his books.

You said that democracy and liberalism are the only hope for the human race. I believe that Srila Prabhupada said that Krishna consciousness is the only
hope for the the human race in this kali yuga.

Your humble servant, Bhakta Corey

shick said...

Bhakta Cory,

PAMHO, AGTSP.

Thank you again for your reply. I would like to expand a little bit on my answer, and address a few of the points you made. You said that liberalism and KC are incompatible, because liberalism is based on the premise that humans are essentially good. I agreed, and I told you that "The general mass of people are not evil. Most of them are innocent."

Conservatism, on the other hand, is based on the idea that people are evil, therefore they must be controlled and punished by the police and armies. Do you think that today's neo-conservative ideology is more compatible with KC?

According the Krishna, there are two types of human natures, divine and demoniac (BG. 16th chapter) You said that "Are the muslims perhaps just a little bit more demoniac than George Bush?" First of all, that is a racist stereotype, and if you are going to preach, it's well advised that we be a little more politically correct. You said that "I understand that it has become a popular fashion to have sympathy with muslims." On the contrary, because of that kind of racist stereotyping, in fact the popular fashion is to hate the Muslims. Hate is not KC, although it is a conservative tool, and a fascist tool. Neo-conservatives hate gays, Muslims, immigrants, and brown people in general. That is the way they get votes. Religion is based on loving your brother as yourself. That is a liberal value. Jesus was a liberal. You said, "I agree with you about democracy is better than the wrong kind of religious monarch, such as a muslim king." Again, there you go with the stereotyping. A leader should be judged on an individual basis. There have been many pious Muslim kings. George W. Bush however, is a demon, because he fits all the characteristics mentioned in the Gita; harshness, arrogance, anger, pride, etc.

(For further explanation, please visit this post on my other blog for devotees called The Vedic Observer.)

The neo-cons that are obstructing the peace effort with their votes are influenced by these demoniac propensities. They are burdening the world by their destructive imperialistic military force. Krishna appeared just to lift a similar burden 5000 years ago. Of course, we cannot kill the demons as Krishna did, but we can utilize our political system to get rid of them. That is favorable to KC. The rule is to do whatever is favorable to KC, and not do what is unfavorable. So when you say that I am "sidetracked by certain things", is naïve. Prabhupada wanted devotees to run for office. I am involved in politics in order make a difference by injecting Krishna consciousness into the dull minds of the materialists. To artificially renounce what can be used in KC is phalgu vairagya, false renunciation.

Many saintly persons have addressed issues of peace and social justice, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Thomas Merton. I live in Pittsburgh, which happens to be the home of the Thomas Merton Society. I am working with those people and introducing them to the philosophy of KC - not to convert them, but to try to inspire them in their own faith. The Thomas Merton Center is extremely active and has numerous events here every week in order to raise public awareness. Thomas Merton was a Benedictine monk. The society describes themselves as "people from diverse philosophies and faiths who find common ground in the nonviolent struggle to bring about a more peaceful and just world. We work to raise the moral questions involved in the issues of war, poverty, racism, and oppression." Prabhupada himself in the first paragraph of the introduction to the Bhagavatam, stressed the importance in of the concept of common cause. "Human society, at the present moment, is not in the darkness of oblivion. It has made rapid progress in the field of material comforts, education and economic development throughout the entire world. But there is a pinprick somewhere in the social body at large, and therefore there are large-scale quarrels, even over less important issues. There is need of a clue as to how humanity can become one in peace, friendship and prosperity with a common cause." Therefore, we can conclude from that statement, that Prabhupada was indeed, a liberal.

So, if there is any truth whatsoever in that, if you claim to be a follower of Srila Prabhupada, why do you attack the "liberal" philosophy? What has contaminated your mind? Do you watch Fox News? If you do, that would indeed be what you call a "side-track". Neo-con philosophy is contrary to KC. In fact it is demoniac. The evidence is given by the greatest demon of our age:

"...our interests overlap with the interests of the major corporations and also with those of the neoconservatives..."
~~~Osama bin Laden, 9/05/07

You said, "from what I understand, and I may be wrong, but I believe we were attacked first." Let me inform you, you are dead wrong. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and never attacked us. That is a lie perpetrated by this administration. They used 9/11 as an excuse to attack Iraq for it's oil, fueled by the racist belief that all Muslims are evil. To claim that "we are good, and they are evil" is bad theology. In the Bhagavatam, the pastime of Maharaja Pariksit and the personality of Kali, the personality of the earth Bhumi clearly states that one who accuses the evil-doer is equally as evil. How many times does Bush call them "evil-doers"? In doing that, he is, in fact perpetrating and propagandizing evil. He is, therefore, as evil as Osama bin Laden himself. The history of the last six years shows him to be the same type of personality. Why do you think that he never bothered to catch him? Because they need each other. He needs a boogieman, as does all fascist leaders. George Bush did everything that bin Laden wanted. He, at bin Laden's request, withdrew his troops from Arabian soil, (the bin sultan air base) and he attacked a sovereign Arab nation, and is continuing to drain our resources in a non-ending war. He also flew all of bin Laden's relatives out of the country just after 9/11. All these things are just what bin Laden wanted!

You said, "I do not understand how you can make the claim that the US is moving towards a dictatorship. What would the government gain by "enslaving" everyone?" Let me enlighten you as to their motive with a little historical perspective. The anti-war movement was vibrant in the 60's because people were prosperous. They had time to get involved in their government, and in order to combat that resistance, Ronald Reagan began his war on the middle class, which is continuing today - on steroids, with the Bush administration's insane economic policies. The gap between the ultra-rich and the poor has never been deeper in this country.

You say that it makes no sense that they would want the general mass of people to be poor, because then we couldn't afford to by their products, and you ask "why would the rich want to keep all the money to themselves?" That is perhaps the stupidest thing you said. It's called greed. Look it up in the Bhagavad-gita. You are right, it doesn't make economic sense. But that's why liberals want to tax the rich, and Bush want to give them tax-cuts, and de-fund all the programs that would help the poor. Martin Luther King said,

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

That is why I am a liberal, my friend, and proud to be one.

You said said that I said "democracy and liberalism are the only hope for the human race. I believe that Srila Prabhupada said that Krishna consciousness is the only hope for the the human race in this kali yuga."

You may think that Prabhupada was against democracy and liberalism, but as I just explained, KC philosophy is compatible and compliments the liberal philosophy, and as I said in my previous message, Prabhupada told the devotees to vote. That is called democracy, despite your naïve "literal" interpretation. I agree that lack of KC is the only problem in the world, and I respect your efforts to further the cause of KC, but I am trying create a spiritual awakening within the liberal movement, and take it over, which will be for the betterment of all human society. The conservative movement cannot be taken over, because it is a lost cause. All I am asking you is to respect my efforts as well, instead of attacking my principles and endeavors, which I believe are favorable to the philosophy of KC.

We are all things to all people, so that we might reach some.

Hare Krishna

Siksastaka dasa

Anonymous said...

Dear prabhu
Please accept my obeisances, All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for the kind reply. I enjoy this kind of discussion between people. So please do not take any offense at any differences you might percieve. We both are worshippers of Krishna, and that is the real platform
of unity that we have between each other. I hope I have not offended you because that was not my intention. Please remember that this is a discussion between two friends.

I had written a long point by point reply to your email, but decided to try to keep it much more short and simple, and am re-writing it based on philosophy and siddhanta.

Srila Prabhupada was opposed to the concept of equality, and to keep things organized, let's focus on his opposition to gender equality. Srila Prabhupada did indeed make distinctions based on gender, and other things.

To clarify, I actually do not have much concern for mundane politics, or mundane idealogies. If people want to impeach Bush, that's fine with me. If they want to overthrow the government, that's fine with me. I really am not
concerned with it at all.

The one mundane contamination that I will never accept, though, is this concept of gender equality. Modern society is based on this concept of gender equality, and that is why things are becoming so chaotic and insane. I am not going to take the time to quote here the parts of Srila Prabhupada's books where he speaks against this concept of gender egalitarianism, because they are too numerous to quote here. That is the main problem I see with modern society, the way they mix up the men and the
women like they are all equal. We see what happens as a result (illicit sex, pregnancy, and abortion).

So am I conservative, or liberal? Neither. Whatever Srila Prabhupada says, is my position. What I need to know from you in order for us to continue this discussion is whether or not you believe in this concept of gender equality. As for my position on all of the other points you raised, I am
neutral.

I probably should have titled my post "Life without Gender Egalitarianism" rather than Life without Liberalism. I was simply trying to attack the underlying humanistic philosophy behind the concept of gender equality.

Thank you for the stimulating conversation.

Your humble servant, Bhakta Corey

Anonymous said...

Dear prabhu
Please accept my obeisances, All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I need to indicate to you that I am going to be traveling out of town for a few days and won't be able to check e-mail. I would also like to acknowledge a couple of errors that I made in dealing with your past few emails.

My first mistake was that I even replied. My response at the beginning should have been "If you do not like what I post on my own blog, then feel free to unsubscribe yourself and discontinue reading it". That is my stance at this point. I do not believe in democracy. If you do not like what I post on my own website, then you can feel free not to read it.

Second, I was foolish enough to actually respond to your whining and complaining, which you justify under the guise of "liberalism". You have successfully wasted hours of my time, as well as causing me to have to break my meditation on Krishna and book distribution in order to take the time to
respond to the childish political rantings contained within your emails.

Forgive me if this is a bit harsh, but it is where I stand. If you, or
anyone else, happens to dislike something I post on my own website, then I am sorry, but I am not changing my own position to suit your perspectives.
It is useless to even try to change my position through your arguements, because I will not budge. That is my final position.

Please forgive me for any offenses made in the previous emails, be aware that it is not my intention. Also, I do not consider it an "aparadha" to disagree with someone. It's time that we all grow up a little and start
acting like men, rather than whining "Oh, he hurt me!". I am also going to be taking the position of blocking your email address, which your false ego
might interpret as defense or defeat, but it is simply so that I do not have to listen to any more of this poisonous rhetoric that has absolutely nothing to do with Krishna consciousness.

Hare Krishna.

Your humble servant, Bhakta Corey

shick said...

Hey, Bhakta Cory,

You said, "I am also going to be taking the position of blocking your email address, which your false ego might interpret as defense or defeat, but it is simply so that I do not have to listen to any more of this poisonous rhetoric that has absolutely nothing to do with Krishna consciousness."

O.K. You have the last condescending, puffed up, self-righteous, childish word, but you didn't figure that I could contact you with from another e-mail address.

I had an answer to your previous message, but you blocked me. That being said, I respect your privacy, and I will not contact you again. God bless, go forward, distribute your books.

You don't have to respond to this, but I wanted to answer your last message.

Here is it:

"Thank you for your cordial reply. I also consider you my friend, and I enjoy discussion of various topics amongst devotees. Discussion of the philosophy of KC is the pleasure of the Vaishnavas.

That being said, when it comes your decision to focus this discussion on "gender equality", I'm afraid you've opened up a huge can of worms. My wife is a feminist, so you are going to get some strong opinions to the contrary. Let me tell you a story.

In the 80's, I was a new devotee in New Vrindaban. One day, my father visited, and was disconcerted that the women were placed in the rear of the temple in Bahulaban. He decided that, as a protest, he went back there and stood with the women. The women reported to me that were curious as to why he was standing there, but they thought he was a "nice man". At the time, I thought he was making a fool of himself in front of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but much later on, I realized he was way ahead of his time.

After the Sunday feast, my father confronted our temple president (Kuladri). He asked some questions like, "Why do you make women stand in the back of the temple, and why do you think that women are less intelligent?" etc. Kuladri's politically incorrect reply was "The only reason you ask those questions is because you have a mind like a woman."

Good preaching!

My father is a professor at the University of Vermont. He has a female colleague who loves the Indian culture, goes to India every year, and wears a punjabi dress everyday, and happens to be a feminist and a lesbian, but is completely turned off by Prabhupada's books, because of his many references to women, such as women should never be given freedom, they must be under the control of their fathers in their youth, husbands when they are married, and sons when they are in their old age, etc.

I wish you luck in your promotion of those kind of ideas in the 21st century. I think if Prabhupada would have come a decade or two later, he wouldn't have said that women have half a brain, as that would not have been accepted by the people in general.

I remember when I first came to New Vrindaban, I attended a men's darshan in which Bhaktipada was preaching about how women were "witches", and so forth. I objected, and said, "What about Radharani?" Everyone groaned, and Bhaktipada pointed to the bhakta leader and said, "Train him up!" This type of patriarchal misogynistic philosophy we have been indoctrinated with will not work in this day and age. Just like the Muslims, who cover their women with burkas, do not let them drive, or have an education, is archaic and must be adjusted in order to preach. It is not even in Vedic history, otherwise, why was the wife of Nityananda appointed the leader of the Vaisnavas after Lord Caitanya left? Why did Prabhupada give women braman initiation? That is because he was willing to adjust his preaching, according to time and circumstances.

I know you believe verbatim what Prabhupada says, no matter what society dictates. I agree that his core message must be communicated, but we have to preach according to time an circumstance. Whether you agree with it or not, the idea of "gender equality" must be respected, otherwise we will lose our audience.

In conclusion, you can interpret Prabhupada's message in a "literalist" way, but if you want to preach in the 21st century, you have to adapt your methodology to what the culture can hear. If you really believe it, go marry a 14 year old. Bhaktipada in New Vrindaban actually tried that idea. A couple of my close friends/God brothers in New Vrindaban had arranged marriages like that. I can tell you exactly who if you want to know. None of them worked. Good luck in your preaching.

Siksastaka dasa

shick said...

Bhakta Corey,

If you are reading this, you must be glutton for punishment, because I soundly defeated you in our little debate, and you had no answer, so you chose to narrow the conversation down to the issue of how women are not equal to men. That's was your only argument, and you're sticking to it. Then, when you realized you couldn't win that argument either, you blocked my e-mail, like a petulant child.

I have figured out why you are a conservative. It's because you are a sexually repressed little bramacari, and that repression has turned you into a misogynist, someone who has so much deep fear and hatred for women that you have to make yourself socially superior to them, and justify it by using scripture, or Prabhupada's writings, because you are TERRIFIED of the vagina. That is why you show all the symptoms of a sexually repressed Republican fundamentalist. That's my diagnosis, and I'm sticking to it. They don't call me "Dr. Shick" for no reason. My advise is, seek help. Prabhupada said that bramacaris need to talk about "the vagina problem."