"During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man.

"To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.

"No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

Thomas Hobbes

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office."

H.L. Mencken

Greetings and Salutations!

If you are here, then by definition you are somewhat curious about what I'm about, and my thoughts on this and that. In half a century aboard this vale of tears we call Planet Earth I've observed much, some good, some bad. 

One other thing. You won't find me backing up any position by quoting religious scripture, saying it's God's will, or any other such nonsense. Karl Marx was wrong on  ninety-nine times out of one hundred, but he hit the nail on the head when he said "Religion is the opiate of the masses". Jesse Ventura was even more accurate- "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers."

Phil Cohen


Things are the way are, politically, sexually, and most other ways because this is the way the species homo sapiens operates. 

Man has been evolving for something like 500,000,000 years. Entire species have come and gone, related to us as humans, but perhaps mot quite identical.... the Neanderthal come to mind. Against this 500,000,000 march of evolution, we have a much shorter track record as human beings in civil society.

Sometime about 15,000 years ago give or take a 1,000 either way, people figured out agriculture, and began moving from being hunters and gatherers to become farmers.... man gained the ability to live in one place, and support himself and his family.

Here is where things get very interesting. About 7,000 years ago, give or take a few centuries here and there, civilizations arose. With civilizations, we get politics, political power..... and the need for organized religion.

Now even in the caveman days, there were always dominant males.... an examination of the behavior of primates in the wild gives great insight as to how our ancestors may have behaved in small groups. As man evolved and the groups became bigger, those in power realized the need to project their power outside the immediate small group. It all came down to the need to control people, control their lives, their thoughts, their labor..... and reap the benefits of their labor. 

At some point, some unknown genius realized that the human animal is for the most part a creature that lives in fear.... fear of larger animals, fear of the forces of nature, fear of the unknown and the like. Fear was a defense mechanism that kept humanity from becoming extinct. 

Our unknown genius realized that one could get a majority of the people to act in manners quite antithetical to their own interests if one could hand them a ritual and a line of reasoning that would allay their fears.

From that stroke of genius, we have inherited all... well, let us say much that has blighted humanity ever since. In all of our earliest civilizations political power used organized religion to further its own ends. Wherever you go on this planet I doubt you will find an instance where this was not true. If the Emperor Constantine had not had a political motivation for proclaiming Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire, Western history would have been quite different.

When Rome fell, a very strange thing happened in the West. The Church survived, and a doctrine arose, propagated of course by the church itself, that the Church had superiority, dominion as it were, over governments. In ancient times, this would have gotten the average preacher impaled. While the actual political power of the church in Rome was broken, at the cost of millions of lives, by a series of religious wars, the idea of state religions continues in the west.

A similar problem exists in the east. Islam expanded in a violent manner in the 7th century, and was spread across the planet by the sword over the next few centuries. While the original caliphate was short-lived, political powers in the Islamic world have long used religion to control the populace, basically by keeping them in ignorance and fear.

While Karl Marx recognized organized religion for what it was, his Bolshevik followers Lenin and Stalin, used all of organized religion's tools to proclaim their own philosophy. In the case of the old Soviet Union, the term "state religion" was more than a pun. Even Hitler and his followers recognized the value of setting up their own religion, and the possible threat posed by a rival "organization".... if that sounds like organized crime, perhaps the shoe fits. While Hitler and his henchman persecuted individual Catholic priests, the relationship between the Nazi regime and the Church in Rome was far more cozy.

Anyone with an ounce of intellectual integrity cannot discount the role that the Japanese state religion played in the atrocities that the Japanese military committed in the 1930s and 1940s in China, Manchuria, the Philippines, New Guinea, and the South Pacific. Again, the death toll ran into the millions. The cure- two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities, a military occupation, and an enforced rewriting of the Japanese state religion. The cure was not politically correct, but it did end the insanity and removed the threat of Japanese conquest from the region. 

Today the planet faces its greatest threat from religious fanaticism. Muslim terrorists worldwide, Christian terrorists in the USA- they call themselves "pro-life", Catholic terrorists in Northern Ireland, Protestant Christian Terrorists in Northern Ireland, more religious terrorists than can be counted in India and Sri Lanka, and I've probably missed a few. Let's not forget the environmental terrorists or the "animal rights" terrorists either.... they get no free pass or absolution here. 


Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has at least one. 

Much of what I've noticed is that the human species is going to do what its going to do. Much of what has been dished out by political power in the few thousand years since man has had "civilization" is designed to limit critical thinking and promote blind obedience.

This goes on today, promoted as much by self-appointed "outsiders" on the American Left, as by corporate interests on the right.

In voicing my opinions, I probably will be attacked as a racist or a reactionary. I am neither, and unlike most, I have credentials to prove it. My parents are white and Jewish, my middle-son's mother was black, my youngest son Hispanic. Unlike that greedy fraud of the Rainbow Coalition, my life is a rainbow. 

Phil Cohen