Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Papyrus Discovery By Harvard's Karen L. King

     Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen L. King has triggered the most powerful new archaeological discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls, but it’s not what you think.
     Her small 2nd Century papyrus of a Coptic Christian reference to Jesus having a wife is interesting, but pales in comparison to what her connections to Harvey Cox have done to open our eyes to Cox’s 1999 article in The Atlantic, now a classic, titled The Market As God.   While if it were provable,  King’s papyrus might go a long way in helping Ron Brown sell more copies of The Da Vinci Code, its great impact is in shining a new light on Cox.
     Professor King, a Brown University graduate, occupies the oldest endowed academic chair in the U.S., The Hollis Chair established in 1721 at Harvard and previously held by Professor Harvey Cox the chair of the religion department at Harvard.   Cox has provided Americans with the equivalent of a Nostradamus-like prophecy concerning events in the U.S. stock market from 1999 to today.    While Professor King’s discovery points a finger to challenges to Christian tradition, women’s’ rights, Coptic Christianity’s place in history beyond making inflammatory anti-Islamic films, it also fingers Cox for anyone who wants to more fully understand what is happening in the modern world since 2008 when the wizards of Wall Street led by their high priest, Henry Paulson, called for a season of national penance, contrition and obedience.  The deity of the Market demanded it according to Paulson.
     Since the argument from design no longer proves its existence, it is fast becoming a postmodern deity---beloved in spite of the evidence.  Alan Greenspan demonstrated this tempered faith in testimony before Congress last October (1998).  A leading hedge fund had just lost billions of dollars shaking market confidence and precipitating calls for new federal regulations.  Greenspan, usually Delphic in his comments, was decisive.  He believed that regulation would only impede these markets, and that they should continue to be self-regulated.  True faith, St. Paul tells us, is the evidence of things not seen.

     "Beloved" then, was the God of the Market, when Cox wrote of it in 1999, one year before the 2000 Presidential election when GWB was gearing up to grab the White House.  In Texas David and Charles Koch were depending on GWB to bring to the Oval Office a downward pressure on federal regulators who were seeking a 97 count indictment against the oil polluters and a $350 million fine, just as their brother, Bill Koch, along with J. Howard Marshall, III, was seeking to take over Koch Industries by charging that his siblings had made fortunes from oil beneath public and American Indian lands. Governor George W. Bush supported fining Koch for releasing 15 times the allowable Benzine levels into the environment as Governor, but as soon as he was appointed President on December 12, 2000, Koch's fortunes changed at the environment's expense.  As the Bush administration polluted the political and economic landscape so it was also supporting the gassing of the local Texas populace so long as it was something less than Bhopal and so long as the culprits could remain upwind in McClennan County, Dallas County, Washington or Kennebunkport.
     David and Charles Koch's local representatives comforted themselves with the notion that the prevailing winds would keep the toxic cloud away from their front door, too.  "You must break some eggs to make an omelet," they reasoned and they wanted their share of it, even if they were eating it from a precarious position atop a wobbly perch.
    Others who were not so fortunate as to live up wind from the Koch refineries, slime pits or bung holes, went activist after noticing the high incident of cancer and birth defects among their own.  Suzie CanalesHilton Kelley and others started walking the fence line with gas sniffing computers that chronicled the state regulators' myopia. Ironically, Suzie Canales, whose sister died of cancer at 42 years old and who grew up in a nearby "race based" neighborhood, shares a last name with the lead attorney for Koch brothers in their 1999 showdown with the EPA which changed after the 2000 election from the 97 count indictment to only 1 in U.S. District Judge Jack's court.  The Congressman and his ancestor are one of Texas' large Spanish Land Grant families, Tony Canales, who also represented another oilman, Oscar Wyatt in his "UN Food for Oil Scandal" conviction.  Sadly, the congressman's own young granddaughter would develop brain cancer and like so many near the leaky refinery suffer higher than average medical problems associated with areas of high risks from petro-chemical discharges.
     With this level of economic and political pressure it was no wonder that others like Alberto Gonzales, Dan Morales, or even U.S. Army General Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of the Iraq multinational force and overseer of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, from Rio Grande City, Texas,  followed the lead of the prevailing cultural climate. While Koch Industries is a privately held company, their Libertarian views with an emphasis on unrestricted free market Capitalism make the Koch companies like a choir singing from the NY Stock Exchange's balcony during a Christmas Eve candlelight service... far removed from the explosive vapors leaking from a Koch pipeline.
    In Madison, Wisconsin just after Scott Walker was elected Governor, Koch Industries opened a lobbying office not far from the state capital.  It was widely reported that the company was seeking ways to influence a loosening of water quality legislation for its Georgia Pacific plants.  One protester said that the he felt that Scott Walker is part of the Walker/Bush galaxy of dark stars and that the body of the 19th Century slaving filibusterer, William Walker would prove it.  William Walker died in Central America trying to annex a location for a Pacific/Atlantic canal after failing to take Baja by force.  He had hopes of controlling the opium market from the Middle East and Orient and of expanding slavery throughout the region of the Caribbean.  
     "We should have his body exhumed from its grave in Honduras and sampled for DNA to match with the Walker/Bush clan.  Just like matching Thomas Jefferson to Sally Hemming's family.  The Cubans knew that Operation Zapata or the Bay of Pigs, named for CIA director, George Herbert Walker Bush's Zapata Petroleum Company, was not an enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine as much as a reincarnation of William Walker's old expansionist ambitions," said another outspoken critic. "We forget that initially Fiedel Castro appealed to the U.S. for help in establishing a new government in Cuba swept clean of the corruption that Bautista's regime had nurtured," he continued.
     The Beast's editor, Ian Murphy, made that now famous phone call to Governor Scott Walker identifying himself as a "David Koch" to which Walker reports like a dutiful doorman.  "So long as you can stay upwind of the sludge and gaseous vapors you can rake in the bucks and avoid the downside, but they're quickly running out of places to hide.  Yosemite, Yellow Stone National, the mountains of Colorado where Global Warming is, in the opinion of most responsible scientists, triggering unprecedented wild fires," said another critic who sees the world's rush toward destruction as global mental illness.
     "Beloved" was the stock market in 1999 as was the God of the Market.  Hated now.  Hated by the Occupy Wall Street Movement.   It’s Cox who is Delphic in a prophetic, but not a stoic, way.  Greenspan whose October 1998 testimony became known on Wall Street as the "Greenspan Put" and guaranteed that the contrived housing bubble would not burst on Greenspan's watch just as he had bailed out the S&L's with taxpayer's funds a decade earlier, is anything but decisive after 2008 just as GWB's deeds really come home to roost on the Wall Street bull's broad back.  We have that little Coptic papyrus to thank for reminding us.   Greenspan’s words, in light of Cox’s piercing assessment in 1999….almost ten years before the golden calf’s meltdown….come back to haunt him. 
     “My view was flawed,” said Greenspan like Aaron before Moses as the wizards' sacred admonitions continued to trigger the outpouring of little papyrus-like bills bearing "In God We Trust", but failing to fully identity which God.  Greenspan would admit after the Paulson bail out that morphed from a toxic asset rescue to bundles of cash sitting in the bankers vaults, but unavailable for business development, "I was wrong".  Meanwhile, those little "prayer cloths" await a new sacramental moment when they will be presented to appease the God of the Market.   The God of the Market's holy rubrics and protocols only allow the high priests to enter the Holy of Holies to offer the people's hard earned and graciously returned sacrifices, delivered by Washington's bearer of the sacred Arch of the Covenant.  Outside at the base of the Temple steps are the  Babylonian-style "Occupiers" calling for a new overthrow and exile of the Greenspans, Paulsons, Geitners, Bushes, Cheneys and other priestly families to Babylon where on the willows there they can hang up their lyres and liars. 
     Brooksley Born had offered in 1998 to tie the knots. As chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or CFTC, Born was warning that there wasn't any responsible regulation of the market in 1998. Michael Greenberger, Born's Chief of Staff summed up Alan Greenspan's position: "Greenspan didn't believe that fraud was something that needed to be enforced, and he assumed she probably did. And of course, she did."  The high priests of Wall Street, suspending the Golden Rule in exchange for the Ruling Gold pressured the Golden Arch bearers at Washington through the financial lobby to pass legislation prohibiting regulation of derivatives by Born's agency.  If the Temple wanted to sell sickly sacrificial pidgeons and somnolent ducks, it didn't need Born butting in trying to sweep the house clean.  Non-regulating regulations passed by the Congress and pharoah's pyramid went higher and higher for the better part of another decade as Greenspan saw himself not as Moses, but as Joseph wearing a sparkling, eye-dazzling coat of many colors beneath his charcoal Brooks Brothers business suit. Born resigned on June 1, 1999.   Like all prophets, the true truth tellers get stoned. 

    Meanwhile, this week, Mitt Romney's co-campaign chair, Tim Pawlenty, resigned to join the high priests of Wall Street as CEO of Financial Services Round Table.  Mr. Romney congratulated him for his service to Mitt's campaign and said that he understood Mr. Pawlenty wanting to take his concern for the integrity of the market to New York and Washington, while comedian Bill Mahr said "one douche bag leaves another douche bag to join some other douche bags."  Mr. Romney did not mention that in 2001 when Pawlenty was gearing up for his run in the 2002 Minnesota elections that he was citied for taking $4,500 a month as a consultant and legal adviser to a pay-phone company called New Access, a NewTel subsidiary.  New Access had thousands of customers in seven states which they had signed up for local and long-distance service without their permission.   An approach from which Hank Paulson would take lessons in his 2008 priestly pronouncements backed as he was by fellow high priests, Judges from the Supreme Court like Antonin Scalia who defended the court's 2000 Florida election decision telling the unsigned citizens to "get over it", and by the first non-elected president in U.S. history, the fortunate son of another high priest, who committed the nation's warrior class to endless conflict with the words "bring it on."
     Thank you professor King. Thank you Coptic Christians. We could have gone another century before the word "Coptic" appeared in two articles in the same week with one reminding us that Jesus may have been more like one of us than tradition has helped us realize.   And who knew that modern Coptics not unlike Hollywood filmmakers Mayer, Speilberg and Corman, like a good story even  if it inflames and is neither an "A" or "B" film, but much, much further down the alphabet. 
      Above all, thank you Harvey Cox.  Thank you Atlantic.   And reading now the papyrus and the reference to Jesus' wife?  Were she alive, Professor King,  in that nine plus year period between 1999 and 2008 or that decade from 1998 to 2008 when Greenspan spoke and then swallowed his words, would she have been hankering for a bigger house if Greenspan had set the interest rates low enough? If she and Jesus had no mortgage in a state that prohibited home equity loans would she have pushed prayers upward to change the rules in order to do a nice new renovation?   Which God would she have thanked for her new "blessing"? The God of the Golden Rule or the God of the Ruling Gold? Would she be asking....seriously asking...."What would my husband, Jesus, do?"  Being a carpenter did he teach her how to swing her own hammer or did she buy into the Roman's notion that bigger was always better and those old ceramic counter tops, while functional, aren't like that wonderful quarried and polished granite, a by-product of gold, iron and other mining in distant lands and secured like oil fields with deadly weapons?

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