21st Century Music, Art and Design

Conscious Music, Progressive Politics, Inspiring Art

Robbie Robertson and Bob Dylan

Robbie Robertson and Bob Dylan

Yuya Joe College's Facebook Wall

Flag of Earth

Flag of Earth
by James Cadle, modified by inclusion of NASA image of our planet

Occupy Toronto Market Exchange


Monday, May 13, 2013

Canada's future? First Nations partnerships

Global leaders look to Idle No More for answers

We don’t waste resources. Why squander native talent?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Historical Jesus REVEALED in new novel Ari Loves Salome

FREE Download of e-book available this Friday and Saturday, 09NOV and 10NOV!!!

Ari Loves Salome, story of real-life Jesus!

Jesus WAS married with children!!!

Ari Loves Salome reveals the conflicts Herodians faced when having to choose between serving the Romans and representing their Judaic brethren. The story begins with the birth of Aristobulus of Chalcis (Jesus), carries through his childhood and education and marriage to Salome (daughter of Herodias, aka Mary Magdalene). At the height of their popularity they issued a coin with a portrait of Aristobulus on one side and Salome on the other, and these are the only known likenesses of Jesus and Mary Magdalene that were made during their lifetimes. The story culminates with the sad but somewhat inevitable destruction of Jerusalem and subsequent exile to Rome.

Though doubted by many, Aristobulus' marriage to Salome and rise to the northern Israel kingship carried great expectations of Messiah-ship, and the trials and tribulations of Ari, Salome, James, Paul and other contemporaneous relatives provide delicious drama.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Remembering St. Patrick Arthurs - Patriarch, Author, and Friend

St. Patrick of Toronto - 21st Century Rasta Prophet

I had been living in the High Park area since moving to Toronto a year earlier, and Patrick and Lisa had moved into the Indian Road house where I used to live and rehearse with my bandmates in Joe College and The Rulers. One day after I had moved out and they had moved in, on Roncesvillle Ave I ran into Lisa who was wearing a Haile Sellassie I button and i asked her, "Is he a good guy?"
I remember she said something like, “yes, you should read about him.”
I did.
St. Patrick introduced I and I to Rastafari consciousness, the ital purity of thought and reasoning of the ages. We were already herb smokers, yet the new community elevated smoking from a personal / social act to one of inspiration and divinity.
The trouble with Canucks is that they have been so busy showing the the good side of their faces, they became frozen and forgot how to feel. - All italic quotes from Soul Revolution, by St. Patrick

Morgan St Patrick Arthurs was born in Westmoreland, Jamaica on November 11, 1939, and passed away in Toronto, Ontario on September 30, 2012, surrounded by close family and friends. Patrick left behind a massive legacy, including seven children, five grandchildren, plus several books and a wealth of friends in Canada and around the world. Brother Patrick was a Rastafarian prophet and core disciple of Haile Sellassie I and of Berhane Sellassie I (Robert Nesta Marley).

Any feeling can be captured in music.

When they moved into 63 Indian Road, Lisa was pregnant with Shem, so I got know him from when he was a baby and a toddler, and he was always a perceptive, insightful and friendly kid. Soon they were off to Jones Ave and then Lumsden, and the family grew with the additions of Elisha, Nathan and Hannah.

Patrick was the son of Henry Arthurs and Lynette Fletcher, the brother of Neville, the father of seven children (Melanie, Craig, Daniel, Shem, Elisha, Nathan and Hannah) and grandfather of five (Nigel, Roman, Iylah, Iyabo and Irie). After a standout career as a Jamaican athletics star in the pole vault, Patrick moved fto the USA to attend University in Arkanas in the late 1950s, moving on to Canada in the 1960s.

Yes, we have really cut through a lot of wax to come up with a wick of truth.


In 1975 Patrick published his first book, Soul Revolution, the Diary of a Rastaman on the Freedom Road, and it is a musical and spiritual tour de force that resonates with truths and rights and justice and overstanding, even unto this day. In 1982 Patrick published Mental Earthquakes in Divers Places, and continued writing and publishing Rasta theology the rest of his life. He was a loving husband to Lisa Conover for over two and a half decades, and was a longtime friend of Alvin Seeco Patterson, of Judy Mowatt, and of Rita and Bob Marley. I remember Patrick telling me about the last time he saw Bob Marley in this life, he had been backstage at Maple Leaf Gardens with Seeco and other Wailers, and he was able to present Brother Bob with a very old, large Bible, which Bob was pleased to receive. His final glimpse of Bob Marley on this Earth was outside of MLG, seeing Bob walk up the steps onto the Babylon By Bus tour bus, and he had that Bible in his hands as he bade farewell to Toronto.
If truth has to take the sides of offense or defense, then nobody wins.

When I think of all the evenings I spent conversing and playing music with Patrick and Lisa and their kids, I now believe this conscious circle of good people was the foundation that led to meeting my wife and building our own family.
I met my wife Heather at a party at 48 Abell St, just off Queen West. Brother Tsepo lived at 48 Abell for a time, as did Sister Loyce (Afrikan Hempress) and our late Brethren Dave Hamilton.
                                            Afrikan Hempress Sista Loyce spoke and sang      at the memorial service foe St. Patrick

Mind is Music. Music is food for spiritual life.

In 1982 I was honoured to deliver a letter from Rita Marley to Saint Patrick, and I was enthralled to be helping re-unite and re-connect two crucial spiritual families. It may seem a small thing to some, however at the time it was momentous for me.

                                            Rita Marley

When I can begin to accept the confusion of my own life, it's easy to see the turmoil of other people's lives as they relate to me.

A few years later my son David and I were able to spend a memorable Mother's Day at 48 Abell with Cedella Booker, the warm and wonderful mother of Robert Nesta Marley, on her first visit here. It was the 10th Mother's Day since Bob's Passing, and Cedella shared many beautiful hours with us, and told us that Bob spoke often of Toronto and would say “Mom, you have to go visit there, it is a very special place.”

Cedella went on: "For the past year or so I have had problems with the veins in my legs, making it difficult to stand or walk, and I have been in severe pain for many months. I would like to tell you all that, being here with you today, I feel no pain. My legs are pain-free and I am happy and joyful to be sharing this day together."

                                  Cedella Booker, mother of Bob Marley

Bob's Mom then spent several minutes speaking personally with each and every one of us, and while I was conversing with her, she was bouncing my son David on her knee and hugging and kissing him. It meant a lot to me then and still does now.

I need a vacation because I find my job interfering too much with my work.

I became good friends with St Patrick and Saint Lisa and watched their family grow up strong and righteous. Over the years I had hundreds of conversations with Patrick and watching how he loved and respected his own children provided me a good example and a strong foundation for when I was to become a Dad myself.

When we were organizing the two-day Toronto memorial for Haile Sellassie I's reburial in the year 2000, Patrick was fully supportive and along with Samuel Ferenje, Jahn Hoy's former speechwriter and travelling companion, Pat was a keynote speaker on both nights and his heartfelt and divinely insightful words were much appreciated by all.

                                                  Judy Mowatt, member of I-Threes and friend of St. Patrick

My belief is that Saint Patrick will be remembered as a fervent disciple of Haile Sellassie I, Jah Ras Tafari, and that his writings will stand the tests of truth and time. Some years ago the title Ras Haile Tafari was received for Bro Patrick, and though I wrote of it I don't believe I mentioned it to him or that he ever utilized it, however he lived every day as a man worthy of such a lofty handle.

Friend and son-in-law Ras Jah Paul provided spiritual drumming (together with Ras Tsepo and Empress Deb) at Patrick's memorial service.

I Give Thanks for the blessings of knowing him and his family. May Patrick Morgan Arthurs Rest In Peace, and Rest In Power, and may his legacy be one of music and creativity that lasts for generations.

                                                      Toronto singer Jay Douglas spoke at Patrick's funeral.

For those who were unable to attend the funeral, it was a wondrous and deeply touching affair shared by family and friends of many generations. Drumming was provided by Ras JahPaul, Ras Tsepo and Empress Deb. Among those who paid tribute and spoke to honour Patrick were his cousin Tsepo Anthony Fletcher, MC Simba, Franklins Ford, Al Peabody, Jay Douglas, Frank from the barbershop, Danielle, Lena, Daniel, Loyce, Lorenzo, nephew Michael Arthurs, son Craig, son Shem, daughter Hannah, daughter Elisha and many more.

                                   Patrick's nephew Michael Arthurs spoke and performed at the funeral.

For forty years Patrick was a mainstay of Toronto's local Rasta and Reggae scene, a genuine patriarch in our midst, and he will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by many. We Give Thanks for having had the opportunity to know Patrick, a soulful and creative human being that everyone in Jamaica and Canada can be proud of. JAH Bless.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Ari Loves Salome excerpts FREE on Friday!

My novel Ari Loves Salome (by Joseph E Trainor) is available at Amazon.com as a Kindle e-book, and tomorrow (Friday, August 10th) Amazon will be offering two different short story excerpts as freebies:

The Jesus and Mary Coin

The Wedding of Jesus and Mary Magdalene

If you enjoy either or both of these short stories, here's a heads up for you: Next Friday, August 17th, for one day only, the full book will be available as a free download:

Ari Loves Salome by Joseph E Trainor

Thanks for visiting and have a beautiful day!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wedding of Jesus and Mary Magdalene - FREE eBook Friday / Saturday

Tomorrow, Friday, July 27, and Saturday, July 28, I will be giving away a free short story excerpted from my novel Ari Loves Salome, the tale of the historical Jesus (Aristobulus of Chalcis) and his wife Mary Magdalene (Salome, daughter of Herodias).

This free download for Kindle and other eBook platforms will be available from midnight (California time, 3am here in Toronto) on  Thursday until midnight on Saturday.

Download free eBook for Kindle, The Wedding of Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Earth is being colonized by corporate fraudsters

In Robert E. Gamer’s book “The Developing Nations” is a chapter called “Why Men Do Not Revolt.” In it Gamer notes that although the oppressed often do revolt, the object of their hostility is misplaced. They vent their fury on a political puppet, someone who masks colonial power, a despised racial or ethnic group or an apostate within their own political class. The useless battles serve as an effective mask for what Gamer calls the “patron-client” networks that are responsible for the continuity of colonial oppression. The squabbles among the oppressed, the political campaigns between candidates who each are servants of colonial power, Gamer writes, absolve the actual centers of power from addressing the conditions that cause the frustrations of the people. Inequities, political disenfranchisement and injustices are never seriously addressed. “The government merely does the minimum necessary to prevent those few who are prone toward political action from organizing into politically effective groups,” he writes.

Gamer and many others who study the nature of colonial rule offer the best insights into the functioning of our corporate state. We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth,” including African-Americans. The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. 

Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education. Laws are written to legalize corporate plunder and abuse, as well as criminalize dissent. And the ensuing fear and instability—keenly felt this past weekend by the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their unemployment benefits—ensure political passivity by diverting all personal energy toward survival. It is an old, old game.

A change of power does not require the election of a Mitt Romney or a Barack Obama or a Democratic majority in Congress, or an attempt to reform the system or electing progressive candidates, but rather a destruction of corporate domination of the political process—Gamer’s “patron-client” networks. It requires the establishment of new mechanisms of governance to distribute wealth and protect resources, to curtail corporate power, to cope with the destruction of the ecosystem and to foster the common good. But we must first recognize ourselves as colonial subjects. We must accept that we have no effective voice in the way we are governed. We must accept the hollowness of electoral politics, the futility of our political theater, and we must destroy the corporate structure itself.

The danger the corporate state faces does not come from the poor. The poor, those Karl Marx dismissed as the Lumpenproletariat, do not mount revolutions, although they join them and often become cannon fodder. The real danger to the elite comes from déclassé intellectuals, those educated middle-class men and women who are barred by a calcified system from advancement. Artists without studios or theaters, teachers without classrooms, lawyers without clients, doctors without patients and journalists without newspapers descend economically. They become, as they mingle with the underclass, a bridge between the worlds of the elite and the oppressed. And they are the dynamite that triggers revolt.

This is why the Occupy movement frightens the corporate elite. What fosters revolution is not misery, but the gap between what people expect from their lives and what is offered. This is especially acute among the educated and the talented. They feel, with much justification, that they have been denied what they deserve. They set out to rectify this injustice. And the longer the injustice festers, the more radical they become.The response of a dying regime—and our corporate regime is dying—is to employ increasing levels of force, and to foolishly refuse to ameliorate the chronic joblessness, foreclosures, mounting student debt, lack of medical insurance and exclusion from the centers of power. Revolutions are fueled by an inept and distant ruling class that perpetuates political paralysis. This ensures its eventual death.

In every revolutionary movement I covered in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, the leadership emerged from déclassé intellectuals. The leaders were usually young or middle-aged, educated and always unable to meet their professional and personal aspirations. They were never part of the power elite, although often their parents had been. They were conversant in the language of power as well as the language of oppression. It is the presence of large numbers of déclassé intellectuals that makes the uprisings in Spain, Egypt, Greece and finally the United States threatening to the overlords at Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil and JPMorgan Chase. They must face down opponents who understand, in a way the uneducated often do not, the lies disseminated on behalf of corporations by the public relations industry. These déclassé intellectuals, because they are conversant in economics and political theory, grasp that those who hold power, real power, are not the elected mandarins in Washington but the criminal class on Wall Street.

This is what made Malcolm X so threatening to the white power structure. He refused to countenance Martin Luther King’s fiction that white power and white liberals would ever lift black people out of economic squalor. King belatedly came to share Malcolm’s view. Malcolm X named the enemy. He exposed the lies. And until we see the corporate state, and the games it is playing with us, with the same kind of clarity, we will be nothing more than useful idiots.

“This is an era of hypocrisy,” Malcolm X said. “When white folks pretend that they want Negroes to be free, and Negroes pretend to white folks that they really believe that white folks want ’em to be free, it’s an era of hypocrisy, brother. You fool me and I fool you. You pretend that you’re my brother and I pretend that I really believe you believe you’re my brother.”

Those within a demoralized ruling elite, like characters in a Chekhov play, increasingly understand that the system that enriches and empowers them is corrupt and decayed. They become cynical. They do not govern effectively. They retreat into hedonism. They no longer believe their own rhetoric. They devote their energies to stealing and exploiting as much, as fast, as possible. They pillage their own institutions, as we have seen with the newly disclosed loss of $2 billion within JPMorgan Chase, the meltdown of Chesapeake Energy Corp. or the collapse of Enron and Lehman Brothers. The elites become cannibals. They consume each other. This is what happens in the latter stages of all dying regimes. Louis XIV pillaged his own nobility by revoking patents of nobility and reselling them. It is what most corporations do to their shareholders. A dying ruling class, in short, no longer acts to preserve its own longevity. It becomes fashionable, even in the rarefied circles of the elite, to ridicule and laugh at the political puppets that are the public face of the corporate state.

“Ideas that have outlived their day may hobble about the world for years,” Alexander Herzen wrote, “but it is hard for them ever to lead and dominate life. Such ideas never gain complete possession of a man, or they gain possession only of incomplete people.”

This loss of faith means that when it comes time to use force, the elites employ it haphazardly and inefficiently, in large part because they are unsure of the loyalty of the foot soldiers on the streets charged with carrying out repression.

Revolutions take time. The American Revolution began with protests against the Stamp Act of 1765 but did not erupt until a decade later. The 1917 revolution in Russia started with a dress rehearsal in 1905. The most effective revolutions, including the Russian Revolution, have been largely nonviolent. There are always violent radicals who carry out bombings and assassinations, but they hinder, especially in the early stages, more than help revolutions. The anarchist Peter Kropotkin during the Russian Revolution condemned the radical terrorists, asserting that they only demoralized and frightened away the movement’s followers and discredited authentic anarchism.

Radical violent groups cling like parasites to popular protests. The Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement, the Weather Underground, the Red Brigades and the Symbionese Liberation Army arose in the ferment of the 1960s. Violent radicals are used by the state to justify harsh repression. They scare the mainstream from the movement. They thwart the goal of all revolutions, which is to turn the majority against an isolated and discredited ruling class. These violent fringe groups are seductive to those who yearn for personal empowerment through hyper-masculinity and violence, but they do little to advance the cause. The primary role of radical extremists, such as Maximilien Robespierre and Vladimir Lenin, is to hijack successful revolutions.

They unleash a reign of terror, primarily against fellow revolutionaries, which often outdoes the repression of the old regime. They often do not play much of a role in building a revolution.
The power of the Occupy movement is that it expresses the widespread disgust with the elites, and the deep desire for justice and fairness that is essential to all successful revolutionary movements. The Occupy movement will change and mutate, but it will not go away. It may appear to make little headway, but this is less because of the movement’s ineffectiveness and more because decayed systems of power have an amazing ability to perpetuate themselves through habit, routine and inertia. The press and organs of communication, along with the anointed experts and academics, tied by money and ideology to the elites, are useless in dissecting what is happening within these movements. They view reality through the lens of their corporate sponsors. They have no idea what is happening.

Dying regimes are chipped away slowly and imperceptibly. The assumptions and daily formalities of the old system are difficult for citizens to abandon, even when the old system is increasingly hostile to their dignity, well-being and survival. Supplanting an old faith with a new one is the silent, unseen battle of all revolutionary movements. And during the slow transition it is almost impossible to measure progress.

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong,” Fanon wrote in “Black Skin, White Masks.” “When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

The end of these regimes comes when old beliefs die and the organs of security, especially the police and military, abandon the elites and join the revolutionaries. This is true in every successful revolution. It does not matter how sophisticated the repressive apparatus. Once those who handle the tools of repression become demoralized, the security and surveillance state is impotent. Regimes, when they die, are like a great ocean liner sinking in minutes on the horizon. And no one, including the purported leaders of the opposition, can predict the moment of death. Revolutions have an innate, mysterious life force that defies comprehension. They are living entities.

The defection of the security apparatus is often done with little or no violence, as I witnessed in Eastern Europe in 1989 and as was also true in 1979 in Iran and in 1917 in Russia. At other times, when it has enough residual force to fight back, the dying regime triggers a violent clash as it did in the American Revolution when soldiers and officers in the British army, including George Washington, rebelled to raise the Continental Army. Violence also characterized the 1949 Chinese revolution led by Mao Zedong. But even revolutions that turn violent succeed, as Mao conceded, because they enjoy popular support and can mount widespread protests, strikes, agitation, revolutionary propaganda and acts of civil disobedience. The object is to try to get there without violence. Armed revolutions, despite what the history books often tell us, are tragic, ugly, frightening and sordid affairs. Those who storm Bastilles, as the Polish dissident Adam Michnik wrote, “unwittingly build new ones.” And once revolutions turn violent it becomes hard to speak of victors and losers.

A revolution has been unleashed across the globe. This revolution, a popular repudiation of the old order, is where we should direct all our energy and commitment.  If we do not topple the corporate elites the ecosystem will be destroyed and massive numbers of human beings along with it. The struggle will be long. There will be times when it will seem we are going nowhere. Victory is not inevitable. But this is our best and only hope. The response of the corporate state will ultimately determine the parameters and composition of rebellion. I pray we replicate the 1989 nonviolent revolutions that overthrew the communist regimes in Eastern Europe. But this is not in my hands or yours. Go ahead and vote this November. But don’t waste any more time or energy on the presidential election than it takes to get to your polling station and pull a lever for a third-party candidate—just enough to register your obstruction and defiance—and then get back out onto the street. That is where the question of real power is being decided.

Monday, March 26, 2012

First nations evacuation underway in Ontario flood zones

FORT ALBANY FIRST NATION, CP - Two First Nations communities in northern Ontario have declared a state of emergency and are evacuating residents as ice breakup on a nearby river causes jams and flooding.

The evacuation of "vulnerable residents" in the First Nations of Kashechewan and Fort Albany began as a precaution yesterday and is continuing today.

A spokesman with Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services says the plan is to evacuate some 300 residents today and take them to the northern Ontario towns of Kapuskasing and Wawa.

Greg Flood says approximately 50 people were taken from Kashechewan to Kapuskasing yesterday, where preparations to house them have been made.

He says a breakup of ice on the Albany river has caused localized flooding and ice jams near the two communities which sit on the James Bay coast.

Flood says weather conditions, mainland access for residents on an island and aircraft availability may impact the number of people evacuated from the communities today.

The ministry says vulnerable residents being airlifted out include the elderly, women, children and people with medical conditions.

The operation is being co-ordinated by Emergency Management Ontario and the Ministry of Natural Resources, in collaboration with federal, provincial, municipal and First Nations officials.

The ministry has said the first priority of everyone involved is the health and safety of the residents of the communities.

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