Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Could any of us live without the internet?

Could any of us live without the internet? ... President Obama thinks we could!

"And meanwhile, you’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter. And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- (laughter) -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy."
..........Remarks President Obama at Hampton University Commencement

Sure, we could all do with a little technology "downtime, however these remarks are censorship, disguised as caring for the masses. A sort of "kill the messenger" type attitude. "Internet good" when it likes me, "Internet bad" when it says mean things about me, or even tells the truth.

Remember when the newly sworn-in President Obama started out his term without the device he calls his favorite, the Blackberry. He was so addicted to this device it had to be customized, for security reasons so he could continue to use it during his term. This is a device so addicting it has been dubbed the Crackberry. I remember this philosophy when I was a kid, "do as I say, "not as I do."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Setting The Record Straight . . .

Recently, President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, said, Arizona SB 1070 is discriminatory and warned that trade and political ties with Arizona will be seriously strained by the crackdown. According to Calderon, the measure “opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement.”

The president of Mexico is scolding the State of Arizona about intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement? Really? Where is the protests against the systematic racism that is at the very heart of human smuggling? Where is the outrage that the cost of “brown” labor is kept artificially low throughout our continent by the very acts of human smuggling? Where is the outrage when the narcotic pushers strap dope to grandmothers? Where is the outrage that law enforcement has not done enough to stop the drop house rapes, tortures, and murders? Where is the outrage at the environmental impact that the human smugglers have inflicted on the natural desert with the trash and debris they leave strewn from the border to Tucson? Where are the sniping politicians from other States as Arizona goes broke cleaning up the Federal governments mess?

You want outrage? I’ll show you all outrage. The south didn’t want slavery to go away because it was “good for the economy”. It sickens me that this conversation even needs to happen today. How did we forget the Jim Crow attitudes that kept Americans of African descent in menial low paying jobs for so long after the 14th Amendment became law?

The underground economy of brown labor needs to be in the light. It will not happen until we stop the smuggling. We must shut down and seize the drop houses, the modern day version of a slave ship. We must uncover and prosecute every group, every charity, and every person that enables this slavery, the importation of illegal drugs, and gives sanctuary to murderers. These groups and people are behaving like organized criminal enterprises and are aiding and abetting them.

How many of the very people that are protesting are involved in smuggling? Are they not ashamed that these protests embolden the smugglers? Are you not ashamed of the crimes being committed against the innocent of your own country of origin? Grandmothers having cocaine and methamphetamine, and marijuana duck taped to their bodies and sent across the border. Why isn’t the Mexican government and Mexican Citizens ashamed of this? Their sisters and daughters and mothers are being used as mules for dope. Where is the shame? Brothers and fathers and sons are killing each other in the streets of Tucson. Where is the shame? Where is the protest for those deaths and atrocities being committed by the home grown terrorists, the ones you are supposedly trying to escape for a better life? If it is better here, if here is where you want to be, why are you allowing that filth to come with you? Why are you not leaving those criminals at the border?

The United States of America is a nation of laws. It is what keeps us civilized. Our commitment to justice is what keeps us from being like the countries you are coming from. Are you not ashamed to condemn the very country you claim to want to be a part of?

If the only reason you are here is for economic reasons, why are you here? If you are not here to be a citizen of the United States of America, why are you here? If you are not here to serve our nation as well as be served by it, why are you here? If you are only here to visit, why are you still here? Boycotting Arizona is not the answer, if it is, start the boycott by leaving.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My "Ricky Martin"

I didn't realize Ricky Martin was such a great actor. I really never thought about is sexual preference until he felt the need to announce it to the world. I am not really sure why public figures feel this need, to proclaim their sexual identity to their fans. Sure, tell your family and friends if you want, however I think the fans would figure this out themselves if you lived a gay lifestyle. . . dated men, not women, for example. I thought he was straight, based on his own words, his open relationship with women and his videos. Ohhhh, those videos, they were the fantasy that Ricky Martin provided, and that is all that was important to his female fans. On some level, as a fan, I think we forget that celebrities in videos, are not unlike actors in movies, they are just acting and it is not a representation of their real life. I wish him the best and thank him for "Livin La Vida Loca"

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bill Clinton being Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton marked the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing by repeating the same old rhetoric from 1995. “Anti-government talk emanating from conservatives naturally, inevitably led to the death of 168 lives in the wreckage of the Murrah Federal Building." There is always a risk that some isolated, violent incident could happen, but to link that to American citizens who are expressing their point of view is unconscionably. Is Mr. Clinton saying that law-biding citizens do not have the right to assemble and voice their opinion? To link the Tea-Party movement with the Oklahoma bombing is typical liberal style politics . . . I recently read that Bill Clinton and his former crony, in all that is political, James Carville, are focusing on minimalizing the Tea Party folks. Such attention clearly means that the Tea Party Movement is making inroads. It is not surprising to me that without any particular leader in the Tea Party movement, they would just attack the movement itself. As far as I am concerned this is only the beginning. However, this tactic of smearing your enemies will not work when it is focused on American citizens. American’s are tired of being “bullied” by politicians and they are going to show how tired when the go to vote in the next election.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Historical New York City

Historical New York City

The Lower East Side — To walk those streets always gives a person the sense of what life was like in the City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Tenement House Museum only reinforces that feeling. I always tell my friends they should not miss this part of the city when they are visiting.

For its splendor and grandeur — Grand Central Station

For its small-town feel— Commerce/Barrow/Morton Streets plus St. Luke’s place in the West Village.

There are some historical treasures that are more personal then others. Maybe not officially historical – I read of the subway tunnel at 173rd and Broadway. A family member has a journal describing — day to day — the building of that tunnel. The journal belonged to his grandfather, he was the contractor on that job and his foreman kept a careful record of each day’s progress. Some of the hardest rock in the city had to be blasted People complained about damage to their stores, windows, houses — As they made progress in the tunnel the sludge had to be carted out. It was an amazing accomplishment and having the first-hand record of it makes it all the more interesting.

I’m sure we all have our favorites . . . . .

I will close with —

The words of F. Scott Fitzgerald — “The view of Midtown from the 59th Street bridge in the evening always makes my heart sing.”

Friday, November 30, 2007

Clay Pots, Watches, The Human Eye, Oh My...

Is common sense allowed as we consider how our lives and this universe got here?

Archaeologists will say that a clay pot is solid evidence that a civilization once lived here. No one believes that the ground, or wind, or chemicals randomly assembled to form that clay pot and accidentally painted a design on it. People made it. If a simple clay pot shows human design, what do we conclude about an object whose make up is far more complex? Like, the human eye. It can distinguish among seven million colors. It moves 100,000 times each day with automatic focusing and the eye handles 1.5 million simultaneous messages.1

Are we to believe that though a clay pot did not arise from natural means, the human eye just came about from elements in the atmosphere? Some would say that science demands such a conclusion, because to believe in God is not scientific. How is that different from finding the clay pot and starting with the assumption that people didn't exist in that location, so scientists must now find out how that clay pot developed from the elements in the ground or air.2

We're told that producing a human eye takes a long time. It is assumed that such random chance takes a great amount of time to perfectly assemble something complex. So, here is a test. Let's say someone handed you a plastic bag filled with all the parts to a watch, where you were certain that all the correct springs, screws, discs are in that bag. How long would you be willing to shake that bag hoping that the pieces would fall together and the screws would each find the right hole and tighten nicely? There must be some possibility that it could happen. Picture yourself shaking that bag. You probably wouldn't shake it beyond 30 seconds. Why not? Because common sense tells you that no matter how long you shake that bag, the pieces will never align to become a working watch. It wouldn't matter if you shook that bag one minute or thousands of years.

Just because someone argues that "maybe, someday, somehow, by chance"... should that line of reasoning supersede common sense? Like the Emperor’s New Clothes, shouldn't there be a voice in the crowd saying, "Yeah, but complex life arising from simple non-life is such an outside chance, wouldn't it make more sense to look for another explanation?"

What about the likelihood of life on Earth? Maybe you are aware of all the perfect conditions that were necessary for us to be here: the earth's perfect distance from the sun, the perfect combination of gases in our atmosphere, the perfect tilt and rotation of Earth, the perfect gravitational force, the presence of water, and on and on.

Astrophysicist George Smoot explains that the degree of fine-tuning required for life to exist on Earth would be similar to shooting an arrow all the way to the unofficial planet Pluto (four billion miles away) and having the arrow come within a hundred yards of the target.3

Do you like to bet? Would you be apt to bet if the odds were 5:1 against you? How about if they were 6,000:1 against you? If you were to bet on the universe developing without a Designer, the odds of our universe forming on its own is 10124 to 1.

Again, just because there is a vastly remote chance that all the requirements perfectly fell into place by chance, why would a reasonable person conclude that it actually did come about that way? If the odds of a jet making it safely to its destination were 10124 to 1, who would get on that plane? We are so reasonable in so many areas of life. We look at clay pots and watches and are willing to say that obviously people made these, even if we don't see those people. Could not the same logic be used when we consider the human body and the universe?

Don't the intricacies of the human body and the universe give reason to say, "Though I don't see him, it makes most sense to conclude that God exists"?

1 Hugh Davson, Physiology of the Eye, 5th ed (New York: McGraw Hill, 1991).

2 Concept and the hyperlinked article that we recommend later, are by Dr. John P. Marcus. He received his Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the U of Michigan and is research officer at the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Plant Pathology, University of Queensland, Australia. He is currently researching novel antifungal proteins, their corresponding genes, and their application in genetic engineering of crop plants for disease resistance.

3 Fred Herren, Show Me God, 3rd ed. (Wheeling, IL: Day Star, 1997), 213.

The Secret Society!

Doesn’t “Secret” mean that no one should know?

For centuries, men and women have been trying to keep information from one another.

Paradoxically, many have come to the conclusion that the best way to keep a secret is to tell it to a bunch of other people and then swear them all to secrecy.

This effort is then unsuccessful, and we call the result a "Secret Society."

If the effort was intended to be successful, we wouldn’t call the result anything, because we would never hear about the effort to begin with.

Net, net . . . . the Society part is easy. The Secret part is hard.

In the past I have found information regarding these “Secret Societies in libraries around the world. Having to dig up the dirt in obscure places. Recently, all you have to do is “Google it.”

Most groups can arguably be included in more than one of the categories which follow, and probably all of them can be included under the final heading: Fictional, Fraternal, Political, Religious, and Ridiculous.

The aura of mystery surrounding the urban legend of secret societies has always been fodder for books and movies but what if it's all much ado about nothing? The smoke and mirrors game of men and women who need to be part of something.

Many secret societies have become somewhat public through their charitable contributions. However there is still the continued belief in the “secret” in “secret societies,” like the ones depicted in the “DaVinci movies." Do we need to wise up and realize that we are being fooled? Also, will these Societies never fade if people continue to dramatize the events to perpetuate these myths?

Secret societies go back to the age of Pythagoras who stated the importance of true friendship; “a friend should be ones other self, or better known in Latin, alter ego.” The movement very much resembled a mystery cult, or sect, and Pythagoras taught the immortality and transmigration of souls, himself remembering all his previous lives, including the one as Euphorbus - a warrior in the Trojan War. One of Pythagoras beliefs was that everything is based on numbers, and that true reality consisted of them. He also discovered that the tones in music are relative to the length of the strings. The Pythagorean astronomy was also important, since it stated that the earth was round and revolved around a central fire together with the other planets. This movement created a musical harmony that we are so used to that we cannot hear it.

Other more written about societies include; Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Skull and Bones, Knights Templar, Priory of Sion and numerous other groups that have formed as a social means of attaining some ideal or end.

Research has found accusations that range from the ridiculous to the sublime;

Freemasons run NASA and cover up the truth about aliens; at the same time Skull and Bones fund this country's wars, The Jesuits control the Vatican, the Bank of England, and are supreme over all Freemasonry, etc, etc . . . .

Let us not forget the Bilderberg group. The original intention of the Bilderberg Group was to further the understanding between Western Europe and North America through informal meetings between powerful individuals. Each year, a "steering committee" devises a select invitation list with a maximum of 100 names. Invitations are only extended to residents of Europe and North America. The location of their annual meeting is not secret, and the agenda and list of participants are openly available to the public, but the topics of the meetings are kept secret and attendees pledge not to divulge what was discussed. The official stance of the Bilderberg Group is that their secrecy enables people to speak freely without the need to carefully consider how every word might be interpreted by the mass media. (Media Moguls are invited but are sworn to secrecy and if details were leaked they would be banned in the future.) However, some consider the elite and secretive nature of the meeting adverse to the principles of inclusion in democratic societies.

The 2006 invitees included David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Queen Beatrix of Holland, New York Governor George Pataki, the heads of Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse, the Royal Bank of Canada, cabinet ministers from Spain, Greece. Attendees also included Bill Clinton's right-hand-man Vernon Jordan, as was his Mid-East negotiator Dennis Ross. The prime ministers of Britain and Canada — Tony Blair and Stephen Harper - have addressed the group before, as have former Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, Paul Martin and Jean Chr├ętien. In 1991 the little known Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton was on the guest list.

I’m sure it is only a matter of time until this group and their “Secrets” will be turned into the next great movie; maybe all invitees are aliens. You never know. The closest way I can relate to the secret rituals of these societies was the scene in the movie Animal House, with fraternity initiation of new members involving black-robed elders paddling pledges who respond, "Thank you, sir. May I have another?"