Friday, October 24, 2014

Breaking Bad . . . on Barbie






Aaron Paul, a star on the TV show Breaking Bad is protesting the fact that two Breaking Bad action figures (Walter White and Jesse Pinkman) have been pulled off the shelves of Toys R Us and then he gets the "ass of the month" award for suggesting that Barbie toys somehow "pose more harm" than the two drug dealing murderers in the Breaking Bad show.

I would hazard a guess that most kids who play with Barbie and Ken are not likely to become felons. On the other hand, neither are kids who play with breaking Bad characters likely to develop drug habits or kill their playmates. I would also guess that most kids who are raised by violent, abusive parents who live in and around the drug culture probably WILL develop those behaviors. I may be out of line saying it but at least half of the parents in the world seem to be incapable of handling the job of raising responsible, honest children.

The entertainment industry caters to adult tastes (the adults, not the kids, are the ones with the money to buy what they are selling). Sexually explicit' and 'graphically violent' are definitely adult tastes and they are profitable. That's NOT the tragedy!

It's almost Halloween and every TV station and movie theater will  be showing movies that feature violence and a fair amount of sex. We all watched these graphically gory movies as kids (at least I did) and the vast majority of us have not been 'corrupted' by them. Why? Because most of us also had parents who did not confuse movies and reality. We had rules and, if we were lucky enough to have good parenting  we also had consequences (sometimes painful consequences) for unacceptable behavior. The consequences are what we remember most.

The tragedy is that there are kids who have never known consequences for unacceptable behavior and will not understand the consequences until the consequences are doled out by the police and the justice system.

I remember and no doubt will always remember one day when I was about 5-years old I sat down in the living room in front of the TV to watch a wrestling show that already was showing on the TV. It was exciting to see these guys roughing each other up and throwing each other around (it was like my Saturday morning cartoons with real people) but then my excitement turned to stomach-clenching fear when one of the wrestlers took off his cowboy boot and began hitting his opponent (I remember his name was Pat Patterson) in the head. I was shaking and too traumatized to even turn away from the tableau on the TV. I had never seen someone having his face turned into a bloody pulp before. I was just a kid and didn't realize that no one was really getting hurt, at least not as badly as they appeared to be hurt. But I didn't want to watch wrestling on TV for many years after that.

My point in sharing this little bit of biographical information is to emphasize the fact that the younger you are the more impressionable you are and at a young age, depending on many different factors in your young life, you will either try to emulate what you see on the screen or you will be repulsed by it. Parents who act early to suppress bad behavior will be most successful. The way the world is now, a parent that doesn't have a child's behavior under control by the age of 10 has, very likely, already lost the battle. (I know this from experience.)

Breaking Bad is just a TV show and the Breaking Bad action figures, which are the actual subject of this post, are toys that will harm no one who is not already on the wrong course.

Toys R Us is a business and every business in America should be allowed to sell or not sell any LEGAL product or commodity without undue political (or media) influence. If people are unhappy with your business choices they will go somewhere else, all on their own, without petitions being signed and delivered by annoying people like Susan Schrivjer, the Florida mom who started the petition to save the world from two plastic action figures.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Airlines, Close the Gates! Ebola is Coming!



It's becoming more and more obvious that The American Health System in general is not prepared to safely treat someone with Ebola. If there was a good supply of this mystery drug that cured the first Ebola patient allowed back in the United States it would be a different story but there isn't and the CDC (Centers for Desease Control) is apparently playing a guessing game when it comes to Ebola virus containment. There needs to be a lot more research done in that area. In the meantime we are all at risk!

More distressing than the Ebola patients that we know about are the ones we cannot identify. THAT will, eventually, unless serious and immediate changes are made, be the start of an epidemic that could easily ravage America and Americans.

Right now, according to news reports, about 150 people a day are being allowed into this country from areas of the world where there is NOW an Ebola epidemic, based only on their body temperature when they get on and/or off a plane. That could be stopped in a "New York Minute" by President Obama -- if he wasn't (in this citizen's opinion) such an incompetent fool.

Since the President acts like he either doesn't fully understand the risk or doesn't care, the airline industry and the FAA need to step up to the plate.

The airline companies themselves can cancel all flights from Ebola epidemic areas, to not do so is criminally negligent. Major International airports can refuse to allow these flights to land. They are risking their employees lives and risking their reputations by ignoring an obvious autonomous action that, if ignored, could and will start an uncontrollable spread of the Ebola virus. They don't have to wait until the president makes a statement or signs a paper. If the FAA tries to block that from happening they will be committing virtual agency suicide. A sixth grader could easily figure out that the safest course of action is stopping international flights (and cruises) from these countries, until the CDC has more correct answers and workable solutions, that is that safest course of action.

We as individuals can fight most of the problems caused by the Obama Administration, problems like crime caused by our shattered economy and by our lack of border security. For other problems they are causing the country we can go after the Administration legally (and also by voting many of Obama's lap dogs out of office in three weeks) but the spread of a disease is almost completely out of our individual hands.

Remember, Election day is Tuesday, November 4!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Huckabee in La-La-Land

Mike Huckabee has threatened to "Leave the Republican Party" if the GOP does not actively, openly and loudly oppose gay marriage.

It wouldn't be a big loss for the GOP if Huckabee leaves and takes his few thousand homophobic followers with him. In fact it would be a plus for the GOP to be rid of someone who is so blind to America's problems that he is willing to desert the party that is America's best hope over a non-issue like Gay Marriage.

Hey Mike, how about pushing the GOP to take meaningful positions on stuff like the threat of radical Islam, American terrorists, the potential Ebola crisis, the disgraceful National debt, America's ever weakening military might, the growing distrust of our allies (if we have any left after 6 years of Obama), the government's rejection of the Free Market (the very system that made us the most powerful nation on earth), the massive influx of illegal aliens that is being ignored by this administration when it is not being encouraged by this administration, or the government's refusal to take advantage of our natural oil and gas resources to free us from dependence on foreign energy, Or maybe you could urge the GOP to do something simpler like getting Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi freed from the Ciudad, Mexico jail where he's been rotting away for the past four months for no real reason.

No Mike, gay marriage will not destroy America but people like you will unless you get your heads out of the sand and focus on real problems.

The social issues and religious mandates you push don't belong on any national agenda. All the Christian values like worship, respect, humility, honesty, morality, generosity, forgiveness, and other  values are  absolutely wonderful for personal growth and personal relationships but our country is dealing with enemies, disease and poor leadership, things that we can't pray away.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Supreme Court: 'It IS what WE Say It Is!'



As Christians tear their hair out over the latest Supreme Court decisions that legalized same-sex marriage in five states and effectively reversed lower court rulings in six others, very few citizens seem to challenge the Supreme Court's power to bend and twist the U.S. Constitution until it fits the world view of those 9 senior citizens in black robes who appear to care not a whit about individual freedoms. We should be 'in their faces' but as it stands, we have to accept their decisions and sit in awe of their power.

What an 'awesome' power it is! Supreme court decisions are final. Neither the Congress or the president have veto power over Supreme Court decisions.

So we have 9 super beings, 9 demigods right here in our midst with the power to control our lives, for the rest of their lives, from their seats of power. The problem is, the Supreme Court, originally intended to decide Constitutional issues, was given virtually unlimited power by Article III of the Constitution (http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii). Unlimited power to rule on every aspect of our lives.

U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 2, Paragraph 1:
"The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects."

What's more, if these given powers do not specifically apply to a given case, the court has (or is at least unchallenged in assuming) the power to "interpret" their Constitutional authority so that it does.

If there is an inherent flaw in the Constitution, this is it! It dismisses the concept that the United States is a Constitutional Republic, i.e., A form of government in which power is explicitly vested in the people, who in turn exercise their power through elected representatives. Through elected representatives! Supreme Court Justices are NOT our "elected representatives." They were put in power by our "elected representatives" but that power is subject to political deals; a seat on the Supreme Court is figuratively 'bought and paid for' by powerful political operatives and once a justice is sworn in, he or she is effectively removed from the "power that was explicitly vested in the people. Justices are effectively, ABOVE the Constitution. The Constitution says what the Justices say it says and it means what they say it means.

Is there any one person, or any 9, who should have that much control over American life?

This is not to say that the Supreme Court is not an essential department of government, my point is that it sits as the most powerful force in the United States and it sits with virtually no controls over it. There is no reason or logic that implies that the Supreme Court should have anything to say about our personal lives, i.e. who we marry or who we hire or do not hire in our businesses or even how we educate our children. Most Supreme Court Justices are where they are because of political deals rather than their devotion to the American way of life or to the U.S. Constitution.

Speaking of 'who we marry' it is interesting to note the fact that there is NO MENTION of marriage in the Constitution! Shouldn't that automatically exempt the purely social institution of marriage from Supreme Court's jurisdiction? This important technicality, it seems, is being ignored. The Supreme Court, as I see it, acting well outside the bounds of it's charter, has inundated us with marriage laws as well as other laws that effect society, without the explicit power to do so.

I say:

1) Lets find a way to return the power over marriage not to the states or to the people but give the baby with the dirty diapers back to the church. They gave birth to him and should have custody. Marriage is a relationship between two people; always has been and should be. No one gave the Congress, or the Federal courts the explicit power to decide who those two people are. The Supreme Court assumed that power!

2) Let's also find a way to reign in the general power of those nine old folks in black robes and live in fear of them until we do.

3) While we are tackling these two tasks; tasks clearly worthy of "The Impossible Mission Force", let's also find a way to restore State Sovereignty in America and bring America back to where it is supposed to be. The 50 sovereign states have, over the years, been vandalized. Their power of self-rule has been diminished to the point where they can make few decisions without the forced advise and consent of the Federal Government. This was permitted by the Supreme Court and, we can only assume that it accurately reflets the thinking of those nine black-robed demigods.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Curse of Being White




"Black Muslim convert beheads White woman"

That's a trumped up headline we have not seen, probably will not see and, indeed, SHOULD NOT see!

Why? Because factually, at least at this point, it's a FALSE CHARGE intended to raise the specter of racism when racism probably had nothing to do with it! (I said "probably" because, like the news media, I have been guilty of being too fast to rush to judgment.) Who knows what tomorrow's headlines will bring?

Why then, did only a few media sources question it when the tables were turned in Missouri and a large black man was shot and killed by a white police officer in the line of duty. The news media rapidly JUMPED on the racism angle. While most did not emphasize it, virtually every story mentioned that a "white" police officer shot a "black" man" and then left it up to the reader's imagination.

Take this August 16th sub head in the Daily Mail next to a picture of Darren Wilson: "Darren Wilson, the white cop who shot dead unarmed black man" (That's a direct quote and also the worst case from what may be the most irresponsible newspaper in the civilized world.).

It seems that white on black violence is still (all these years after racial tensions were actual headline-worthy news) looked at, regardless of the circumstances, as the 'evil that white people do', while black on white violence is often looked at as "understandable" if not "justified" due to the sins of our white ancestors.

Oh those "sins" were very real and white people, no matter how decent they act toward 'people of color' will, in many minds, always carry the 'white curse', the brand of racist.

Why is that so? Well I'll leave that up to your imagination.



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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

PM Cameron: A Justifiable Lie or a Coward’s Stance?










In My View: The actions of ISIS and ISIL are the true expressions of Islam as dictated by the Qur’an.

When British Prime Minister David Cameron stood in front of the TV cameras days ago and made the statement: “They (ISIS/ISIL) are killing and slaughtering thousands of people; they boast of their brutality, they claim to do this in the name of Islam, that is nonsense, Islam is a religion of peace.” He was telling a bare-faced lie — but he might have had an understandable reason.

To be sure, the civilized world was (or should have been) shocked by Cameron’s apparent cowardice! Here is a man who certainly must be aware that the “monsters” who have beheaded several citizens of Western Nations (including his own) in  videos spread all over the world are following the instructions to Muslims as laid out in the Qur’an, the holy book of this supposed “religion of peace’, the book they claim to be the true word of Allah.

According to the Qur’an, non-Muslims are simply “cattle” who can be slaughtered as a tribute to Mohammed, Islam’s  ‘prophet’ of God. If PM Cameron claims Islam is the religion of peace it is either through inexcusable ignorance or a justifiable fear of a Muslim uprising in the streets of London if he should reveal his true feelings. Cameron, I’m sure, is well aware of the true nature of Islam, and well aware of the threat to British citizens. His lie is justified, at least in his mind, as protection of the home-front.

The same can be said about President Obama. His apparently cowardly stance is, in his mind, justified by what will certainly happen here, in the streets of America, if he admits that the Nation of Islam and it’s many offshoots are following the religion of evil, not Peace.

Both countries have the same problem. We ignored the truth out of a misguided “Christian Charity” until it was too late. Britain especially is flooded with Muslims.

What is Islam, really! It is a religion that is supposed to be based on the true word of Allah (God), as revealed to a man history has shown was a psychotic sociopath: the Prophet Mohammed, prophet of Allah. His revelations are set forth in the Holy Book of the Qur’an. The Qur’an itself is the most important religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a direct revelation from God.

Islam has one clear objective and that is NOT to bring peace to the world; a Muslim’s objective (clearly stated in the Qur’an) is to either kill or convert (by force if necessary) everyone who does not follow the teachings of the Qur’an. I repeat EVERYONE! This is the only path allowed to them by the Qur’an. This is done to advance the ultimate objective of the Muslim religion, the institution of a world-wide caliphate. A true Muslim who follows the teachings of Mohammed has no other choice.

The Muslim ‘religion’s’ teachings must be recognized as a declaration of war, a war by Islam waged against all non-Islamic countries and their non-Islamic citizens, and even some Islamic countries who prefer a less aggressive interpretation of the Qur’an.

The Qur’an is the source of the evil that is flooding Middle Eastern countries with blood and attacking the countries of Obama and Cameron who are both unable to acknowledge pure evil when the see it by publically recognizing the Qur’an as the source of that evil.

From the Qur’an (8:50-60): Let not the unbelievers think that they will ever get away. They have not the power to do so. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy…

This is the Quranic justification for the action of the warriors of ISIS/ISIL.

And this from the Qur’an (47:4): When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.

Sound familiar?


It should!

How then can we explain the many thousands of people who call themselves Muslim but are living in peace among those of us who are considered by the monstrous religion known as Islam to be worth less than cattle. These people are are either ‘closet terrorists’ who are waiting for their instructions to destroy as many of the Kafirs (unbelievers) as they can or they themselves are infidels (by the Muslim definition) who have rejected Islam; they are no longer true Muslims! If they were true Muslims they would not be able to live in peace among the camels, goats and pigs.

If you do not want to destroy all that is not Muslim you are an infidel. If, however, these closet converts were to identify themselves as followers of any religion other than Islam their lives and the lives of their families will be seriously threatened and the threats would, if at all possible, be carried out.

Monday, September 15, 2014

How Many Gods?

How many Gods are there in this world? Must be thousands or perhaps millions; or perhaps there is only one, known by a million different names. Then again, the gods imagined by the human race may only be a fiction made up to answer the millions of questions that can't be answered by man.

It's all guesswork. No one has looked into the face of any god, not while they were alive and could talk about it, but yet throughout the history of this planet, millions have died at the hands of those who believe in a particular god and as many at the hands of those who do not believe in any god. That does not illustrate the existence of any particular god,it simply illustrates an inate human need to hold onto a belief that helps explains life and the reason for existence.

WE ARE HERE! WE MUST HAVE COME FROM SOMEWHERE!

It seems virtually impossible for any sentient, thoughtful human to deny is that there was a creative process that brought our complex world amid all the ever-changing and sometimes opposing forces of life into being. Then look at yourself! Only a fool would suppose that a magnificent, complex 'machine' like the human body, or even any one of it's thousands of parts, just happened by chance. I'm not talking about the seeming impossibility of Creationism, or the best guesses of man (evolution and intelligent design) I'm talking about the almost certain objective reality that there was an unknowable, intelligent creative force at work in the universe.

The main diference between a religious person and me is, a religious person has given this force a name, a gender identity and the power to control life and nature, I on the other hand do not relate that creative force with the religious person's "controlling" force and I don't believe that anyone should claim to know the unknowable.

Back when man first started populating the earth he certainly also marveled at this miracle we know as life and because of his inquisitive nature he certainly began to create a scenario that allowed this "magic" to make 'sense.' After many thousands of years that scenario, passed down through the ages and embellished by each successive generation, created religion and religious texts.

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The preceding is simply a collection of my thoughts on the subjects of life, human nature and the unknowable nature of life and it's equally unknowable origin. I do not claim to have written or divulged any truths.

Religion, in it's traditional sense, is a necessity for some as a guide to daily life with the ultimate objective of gaining eternal life for the spirit or soul at the end of ones physical life. For others, traditional religion is an anathema because they see it as pure mysticism that has no place in day-to-day life and they see faith as an excuse for not knowing what will happen next.

Believing in something however, even for skeptics, is a necessity -- it's something built into our DNA and for those of us with little or no faith in established religions we often turn to philosophy or science.

My personal inspiration and guideline for life has, since my early teenage years, been the following inspirational piece called the "Desiderata." For years a copy of the Desiderta hung on my bedroom wall and I always tried to follow the Desiderata's guidelines for life but, like most people, I am not always in control. Just another imperfect human!

The word desiderata is a form of the Latin word "desideratum" which means: "something that is desired or felt to be essential."

The origin of the written work is uncertain but legend has it that it was either found in Saint Paul's Church in Baltimore, Maryland and distributed to parishioners or it was actually written by the man who eventually copywrited it (in 1920), the American writer Max Ehrmann (1872 - 1945).

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DESIDERATA

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920