Sunday, October 19, 2014

Revenge of the Donuts

Yesterday I had to drop off prescriptions at the pharmacy and wait for them to be filled.  So I thought I would take advantage of this opportunity to have a coffee and donuts while I waited.  So I bought a (large) vanilla frosted donut and a (also large) maple frosted donut that turned out to be a cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee.  Things were going as planned but when I sat down to enjoy my treat things went off the rails.  It seems unnoticed by me my vanilla frosted donut had frosting all over the side I didn't see.  So when I reached in to my bag I immediately got frosting all over my hand.  So I quickly switched hands and began licking the frosting off of my fingers without realizing I now had frosting on my other hand and the coffee cup (that little paper sleeve you get from Starbucks).  I tried eating from the over frosted side only to get frosting all over my face so I looked like one of those "Got Milk" advertisements gone bad. I managed to finish the donut and licked my fingers more or less free of vanilla frosting.  Undaunted I retrieved my Maple donut and bit into it and discovered it was cinnamon roll.  But the frosting didn't seem to be adhering to the roll. So as soon as I bit into it the frosting slipped over the side and all over my fingers and hand -- I mean ALL OVER my hand -- all fingers and even the back of my hand.  This was an emergency so I tried eating it as quickly as I could before the frosting completely covered my hand.  As I struggled with my coffee and this ongoing disaster I heard a soft "plop".  I looked down and OMG -- a huge glob of frosting had slithered off of my roll and onto the floor between my feet.   I sprung into action throwing away what was left of the offending roll and taking those little wax paper things that came with the donuts and tried wiping up this pile of frosting -- only succeeding in making it larger without out actually picking it up.  HELLO -- why did you think they use wax paper with the donuts??  I did get a napkin from the cashier and more or less picked up the mess or least reducing it to an invisible sticky spot waiting for the next unwary customer.  At this point I took the remainder of my coffee and retired to the men's room to wash my frosting covered hands and face.  Once I was frosting free I picked up my coffee only to realize that little sleeve thingy was covered in frosting.  So I threw away the coffee and rewashed my hands.

At this point  I went back to the pharmacy to pick up my pills -- which weren't ready. So I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket to call Phyllis to tell her I would be late.  OMG -- the face of my cell phone is now covered in dry frosting. So I sprung into action and began licking the face of my cell phone to free it of the frosting.  As I am engaged in this activity I notice this nice lady sitting next to me staring at me.  I stop momentarily and told her -- "I loaded a taste driven App and I am testing it". 

To end this little saga those little buggers gave me indigestion -- thus "the Revenge of the Donuts". This may signal the end of my love affair with donuts.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Living The Life

I think it was Robert Benchley who said that the world is divided into two groups, those that divide people into two groups and those who do not.  This is certainly true regarding beds, not just the size and shape but the “tucking”.  Some people are pro-tuckers and some are distinctly anti-tuck, and as typical in our marriage my wife is extremely anti-tuck while I am definitely pro-tuck.   I guess my pro-tuck position comes from my days as a military cadet where my bunk had to have military corners with the covers taut as a drum.  This is difficult to achieve yet the Army expected you to sleep in your bunk – not on top of it but under the covers.  To sleep in the bunk and under the covers and still have it pass inspection each morning is no easy feat.  What you learn to do is to sleep without actually touching anything, you sort of wiggle in and slither out in the morning without actually moving in your sleep.  To this day I can sleep in a bed without it ever appearing to be slept in.  Naturally as my wife observes me sound asleep with my arms crossed across my chest, she commented that all I need is a Lilly because I appear to be ready for a “viewing”. 

Naturally I disagree with that assessment but she maintains she cannot sleep in a bed with me when it is tucked, because then she must sleep “Egyptian Style”.  Which I am sure causes you to ask precisely is meant sleeping Egyptian Style?   Haven’t you ever seen those Egyptian paintings?  You know – the ones where the person is shown facing you but their feet are turned to the side!!    THAT is what my wife describes as sleeping Egyptian Style because she feels when the bed covers are tucked in her feet are trapped in the Egyptian position and must face to the side.  And with that observation I am ready to describe a recent event regarding sleeping styles.

We were staying in a hotel recently where the Chamber Maids had raised the art of tucking a bed to a high art.  The sheets on these beds were stretched so tight that the Flying Wallenda`s could have used them for a safety net.  These maids must have been built like the incredible Hulk to get these sheets this tight.  To turn down the sheets required the strength of ten and even then all that got you was a tiny little space which you could use to struggle into this drum like structure.  In fact this bed could be used as a birth control device or even to restrain inmates because movement once inside was virtually impossible.  In fact even breathing was a challenge – in short I loved it.

However, my darling wife could not get her bed untucked.  She pulled and struggled while calling down all of the dark forces of evil onto the heads of the Chamber Maids, the Hotel, and me for (silently) laughing.  Having fallen exhausted across the still well tucked bed she activated the “Knight in Shining Armor” alarm.  So I jumped into action grabbing the edge of the well tucked sheet and gave a mighty yank.  The sheet did yield some and with a second yank accompanied by all of the appropriate grunts and mopping of sweat stained brow, the bedding came loose enough to allow my wife to snuggle in for a good night’s sleep.  But alas, it was not to be.

Sometime around 1 AM, I am startled awake by what appears to be a snow storm in the room.  White things are flying through the air, whirling like a tornado.  All of this is accompanied by shouts and muttering about Egyptians, iron maiden torture devices, curses, and calls on Satan to punish all tuckers!!  When this storm of bedding subsided my wife’s bed looked like a white capped volcano – sort of like Mt Kilimanjaro, with the snowy little head of the wife peeping out of one side.  When I enquired if I was one of the tuckers whom she was condemning to Hell to be tortured eternally by Satan, she turned her head toward me -- showing her red pupils like something out of a horror movie and said – and I quote “You tucker!!” or at least something that sounded like that and promptly closed her eyes in what I assume was peaceful sleep in a totally untucked bed.

But this is just the most recent example of what has become our own version of BEDLAM.  As I said I can sleep peacefully in a bed and leave it pristine and orderly while my dear wife attacks her bed with a vigor normally associated by a SWAT team dealing with a serial killer.  But the differences go much deeper than mere tidiness.  For example my normal body temperature wouldn’t excite your average funeral director while hers can melt ice at ten paces.  Obviously this has some seasonal advantages – you would think – but alas – No.-- I require piles of quilts, blankets, which my wife views as weak and effete while she sleeps under the stars like a pioneer woman, comfortable with only a light weight nightgown – in the dead of Winter she might add a sheet as cover.

Obviously these differences in sleeping style are not easily reconciled and inevitably must lead to a compromise.
So Phyllis sleeps with her feet uncovered so they can “breathe” and that pitiful lump of covers in the corner is me.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

History And Realpolitik

Sometimes it is truly frightening to watch world leaders make decisions and take actions that history clearly demonstrates are doomed to failure.  In 2002 a book was published “Warrior Politics” which was an essay on “Realpolitik”   In this short book the author uses historical references gleaned from some of the worlds great thinkers and philosophers to put the 20th century into perspective.  Certainly the 20th Century will go down in history as a pivotal period.  It included the rise of Communism and its ultimate failure.  A failure still not recognized by many academics and politicians who still think Socialism and Communism are viable political structures but previous failures were not due to any inherent flaws but because the implementers were incompetent.  The 20th Century saw genocides on massive scales, not just in Germany but in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia as well. It saw what was thought to be the decline and fall of racism but what in reality merely changed the face of racism as society fragmented along both race and economic lines. 

Without doubt two of the most important events in the 20th Century were the two world wars but it is worth noting that these two wars parallel the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage.  In the second century BC Carthage was the dominant power in the Mediterranean but that power was being challenged by Rome.   After the first Punic War Rome imposed an unjust peace on Carthage which directly led to the succeeding wars which were costly in lives and treasure.  This is precisely what happened in the 20th Century.  Germany was a newly minted country and a rising power in Europe.  This drive for power brought it into conflict with France and England and gave rise to WWI.   But the allied powers failed to see the parallel with the Punic Wars and imposed the unjust Treaty of Versailles.   This treaty led directly to the rise of Adolph Hitler and WW II.

But these are only the most obvious lessons to be gleaned from history and as the 2oth century fades into history we find the 21st Century leaders repeating the mistakes of history.   We find the US – much like Rome – embroiled in a seemingly endless series of wars.   The Pax Romana taxed the Roman Empire just as the Pax Americana is taxing the American Empire – and for many of the same reasons.  America is engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, China, India, and Pakistan.  But for what purpose and for what advantage to America?  The glib answer of course is that these are necessary to protect America both economically and militarily, which of course would have been the response of any of the Caesars.  But there are no specific answers coming out of Washington, because there are no concrete advantages to America.  Why is the US subsidizing Palestine (Hamas) when they are clearly the group who are the aggressors against Israel and have never shown even the slightest indication that they want peace.  In fact the only thing they want is for Israel to vanish and all Jews (and Christians) to be driven from “Arab Lands”.  We entered Afghanistan for the purpose of capturing Osama bin Laden, that is accomplished but once it was clear he was no longer in Afghanistan what was the purpose of us lingering there?  An even larger question is why didn’t the US destroy all of the poppy fields?  The answer has been this would have turned them against us – are they for us now?  Aren’t these fields the source of much of the drug trade throughout the world and the revenue source for the Taliban?  At least the Romans could justify their military excursions on the basis that conquests generated greater revenues for the state, but for the US these military adventures are merely costly with no tangible benefit for America.

One of the major reasons for the ultimate decline of Rome was the rampant corruption at the top.  The Justice system was corrupt the politicians bought votes, and the politicians were engaged not just in power struggles but in lining their own pockets.  Does any of that resemble the US Congress today?  The voter roles are clearly corrupt and this is so widely accepted that it is a joke.  Key politicians pay no taxes (unless caught) and enact legislation to enrich themselves and to pander to special interests.  The Justice system may not be for sale but it certainly is out of control.  The courts have begun to act as a legislative branch via their interpretation of laws which has given us rules that are totally counter to the majority will. 

The 20th Century saw the decline of morals as well as civility as drugs and sexuality became more and more accepted.  Marriages declined, divorces increased, and children being born out of wedlock saw a dramatic increase.  An ever increasing number of citizens chose to live marginal lives on the government dole rather than seek work.  This too parallels Rome where the population depended on government subsistence and entertainments.  This destabilized the Roman government as it became harder and harder to support the unemployed.  No government can sustain large numbers of unemployed for extended periods and the strain of this is already apparent in the US.

The result is American prestige is declining just as America has entered into a decline.  Any sense of shame or moral authority is gone via Court decisions that permit everything in the name of free speech.  People increasingly look to the government for help and support rather than rolling up their sleeves and taking care of themselves and their families.  The Congress has lost any sense of fiscal responsibility as they spend money on special interests while borrowing money to give away.  Rome was not conquered it rotted away and there is a message there that should not be ignored by our Congress or the American People.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why -- The Rich – The Poor

It seems that everyday we are regaled by some well meaning liberal about the evils of the rich, the unfairness of wealth, the unfairness of poverty, and demands that the government do something to eliminate poverty.  What seems to be lacking is any question regarding the poor and how they got to be poor.  Certainly there are the “haves” and the “have not’s” in America but to classify these as those who have and those who don’t is a mistake.  The proper classifications are those that work and those that don’t, those that do and those that don’t.   We have those who obey the law, who support themselves and their families, and those who don’t.  The discussion shouldn’t be about income inequality but about personal and civic responsibility.

The political left focus on what they see as “income inequality” because some people make a great deal more than others and that isn’t “fair”.  For them the government should act as referee and level the playing field in effect the government should play Robin Hood and take from the rich and give to the poor, even though the poor have done nothing to earn it.  For the political left people should not be held accountable for their decisions if those decisions leave them in poverty, instead the government should redistribute the wealth more equitably. 

There is an irony here because this is a philosophy that is destroying America but the irony is that rather than helping the poor, it is actually locking them into a life of poverty and dependence on the government.  In effect this effort at redistribution of wealth does not benefit the poor but instead benefits the politicians and their power base.  It is a deviation of the basic value system that built America and simple common sense because it promises a level of material success that in not only not earned but cannot realistically be achieved.

The well meaning liberals have not empowered the poor as intended but have enslaved and trapped them into a life of dependence and entitlement, a life as a victim of society without hope of things ever getting better.  The idea that income equality can be achieved by taking from the successful and giving it to the poor is flawed at the outset.  It penalizes the hardworking successful individual who has made good life decisions while rewarding those who have made poor choices and decisions.  The reality is that each of us leads a life built upon choices and decisions.  When we make good decisions and choices these lead to rewards but when we choose poorly the results lead to failure and disappointment.  Of course through hard work and effort the effects of these poor choices and decisions can be reversed, but when the government steps in and attempts to mitigate the consequences of these bad decisions, dependence, disappointment, and poverty are the result.

It only requires a minimum effort to see that success and failure manifest themselves in family income.  Those who choose to drop out of high school, who have children prematurely and out of wedlock, have a greater possibility of living a life marked by failures, low incomes, and disappointment.  But those who finish high school, finish college, and dedicate themselves to work and self improvement have higher incomes and success.  The fact is that our futures are determined by our choices.

There is no doubt but that there is income inequality.  Income is tied directly to effort with those making the most effort having the highest incomes and those with the least having the lowest.  However, it is the effort and sacrifice that is the determinant not the education.  A bus boy at 16 can – through hard work become a waiter, then perhaps a co-owner of the restaurant, and eventually the owner of multiple restaurants and wealthy.  Another boy at 16 might choose to study and aim for a top university and a medical degree leading to a specialty and a high income.  Both boys become wealthy and successful husbands and fathers whose success was determined by their effort and dedication to a goal.  But another boy goofs off in school, doesn’t continue his education, gets a job as a laborer, has a couple of kids by different women, cannot maintain child support payments, and never seems able to get ahead and becomes dependent on the government. The inequality was in effort which led to negative outcomes and inequality of income.

The question then becomes “does the government have the moral right to take the wealth from the successful and distribute it to the unsuccessful in the form of government handouts?  While those who wish to take care of the poor by taking the wealth from one group and giving it to another may make them think they are doing the right thing, the reality is they are taking away the dignity, motivation, and freedom from those they wish to help.  The inequality of income is tied directly to the inequality of effort.  Government programs designed compensate for this inequality of effort fail because they make no demands on those they wish to help.  In effect they offset the lack of effort by making no attempt to motivate those they wish to help by motivating them to make greater efforts to become independent and self-sufficient. 

There is no easy path to success but there is an easy path to failure.  Everyone has the freedom to succeed just as through decisions and choices they have the freedom to fail.  The stark reality is that the harder you work the greater the rewards and government programs intended to thwart that simple fact, do not work and instead lock those they intend to help into a life of poverty.













Sunday, August 24, 2014

1984 And Reality

Of course our educational system has deteriorated almost to the point of non-existence, but not all of our lack of an educated population can be laid at the doorstep of the NEA.  Unfortunately, some great literary works are simply ahead of their time and because of that they pass into oblivion before their relevance is truly known.  I think this is the case with “Brave New World”, which deals with cloning, drugs, and promiscuity and “1984” which deals with distortion of the truth and government surveillance.

The novel “1984” is a multi-dimensional work that has largely fallen out of favor and I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it is because so much of it is true today that it has lost its impact and the people who should be teaching and reading it, have not experienced the world before these things became commonplace.  It must be remembered that this novel was published in 1934 and television didn’t really exist.  But when it was published the idea of having moving pictures broadcast into your home was revolutionary much less having the television watching you.  Today everyone has a television and while that television doesn’t exactly watch you, we are nevertheless under constant surveillance.  There are cameras everywhere—some obvious but many obscure and others hidden altogether.  This is done for our ‘protection” so it is accepted with few if any complaints – just like “1984”.  However, this isn’t what brings me to contemplate the relevance of this novel, because there are three other things in this novel that I think people should stop and consider.

First, there is the running theme throughout this work that words in “Newspeak” have different meanings than they used to.  This of course is true on the surface but when you stop and think about these words and their meaning today, you will find that perhaps George Orwell wasn’t too far off.  For example, I cite “love is hate and hate is love”.  At the superficial level of Newspeak this is merely a contradiction in terms, but step back and apply this concept to some of our liberal and conservative thought positions, such as; homelessness, welfare, and affirmative action.  These are all things “loved” by the left and “hated” by the right but on closer examination and with a little thought it can be argued that the left actually “hates” the homeless, the poor, and minorities, while the right actually “loves” these. 

For example the left will (and is already) spending large sums of money on the homeless by providing them with shelters, food, clothing, and in some cities (San Francisco) a stipend, thus “proving “ that they “love” the homeless even though living on the street can be exceedingly dangerous, unsanitary, and a threat to public safety.  Being homeless is their ‘right” no matter what its impact is upon society as a whole and it our responsibility to make them as comfortable as possible, thus demonstrating our love and respect for them.  It could be argued that this also demonstrates our superiority – Noblesse Oblige. 

The right on the other hand strives to take the homeless off of the streets by forcing them into shelters, by limiting the amount of time they can receive aid, by forcing them into drug rehabilitation, and putting them into custody if they fail to comply with the law (no public urination or sleeping under overpasses).  All of these actions are viewed as a clear demonstration of the insensitivity of the right-wing, in effect demonstrating that they “hate” the homeless, but do they?   Is giving them food and shelter – forced or not – wrong?  Isn’t the purpose of homeless programs to make them NOT homeless?  Isn’t improving their life, getting them off of drugs, giving them shelter, training them for employment, better than simply enabling their self-destructive behavior?  Or is the purpose of “programs for the homeless” to make them comfortable being homeless?  Note that many of these programs are justified on the basis of reducing the number of homeless but do in fact enable homelessness.  The attitude spoken or not, seems to be that the homeless have a “right” to be homeless and the rest of us must accept their decision regardless of its impact on our lives.  Doesn’t the public good take precedence over an individual’s right to self-determination?  I submit that the liberal left is not only enabling self-destructive behavior but that they and their well meaning programs are a form of class warfare intended to keep some members of society in the lowest class while allowing them to pat themselves on the back for all of their good deeds.  I further submit that the left hates the homeless while the right is attempting to actually help them and thus loves the homeless.  Or as George Orwell so aptly said “Love is Hate, Hate is Love”, but that isn’t all that he said.  What about “War is Peace and Peace is War?”

The left the world over is for peace.  They demonstrate at the drop of a hat over anything that (in their opinion) even remotely appears to be aggressive.  They have demonstrated against the B-1 bomber, the B-2 bomber, Star Wars, military deployments, ROTC, any new weapons, bigger defense budgets, and anything having to do with the American military or American interests.  It is worth pointing out these same peace loving people also demonstrate in support of Fidel Castro, the Palestinian Murderers, Ho Chi Minh, the Arab Cause, the Sandinistas, Saddam Hussein, and generally any regime that announces it is “for the people” regardless of their obvious brutality and subjugation of those same people.   Apparently, Peace in their eyes does not mean freedom from death and conflict, it just means that these are kept out of the public eye.  For these people Freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly apparently do not matter as long as there is no American presence and a controlled economy.  The fundamental belief for the Peace activists appears to be that Peace can be defined as a “lack of war”. 

But what about those people who favor a strong defense budget, a large an effective military, programs to defend the weak, and programs intended to thwart terrorism, governmental murder, and the subjugation of their people by a variety of dictators?  Are these people, war mongers?  History tells us just the opposite and in fact history would demonstrate that the very philosophies and positions taken by the Peace Activists lead inevitably to war and bloodshed, while those of the “hawks” either lead directly to peace or to much less bloodshed.  The Roman Empire endured for a thousand years and during that period the people prospered, yet Rome had a huge Army that was engaged in small wars and skirmishes for that entire time.  Had it not been for their well trained Army and a willingness to use it, Rome would have perished.  Of course there are those who would say that the Pax Romana was maintained by the subjugation and oppression of all of those they conquered.  There is a grain of truth to this argument because there were those people who wanted to be free of Rome but not to be free as much as to subjugate and oppress free of Roman interference.  The fact is the greatest majority of the people within the Roman Empire were quite satisfied with the situation.  In fact most of the barbarians who pressed Roman frontiers really didn’t want to crush Rome, they wanted to become Roman. 

This latter point is one that seems to be lost on the “peace at any cost” crowd because most of the world wants to become “American” and those that are opposing American dominance and wish to be “free” from American Imperialism are much like those that opposed Rome, they really want to oppress and subjugate without interference from America.  Unfortunately, American Imperialism is much less overt than Roman Imperialism because it is cultural and economic.  However, that isn’t the point, the point is that what the Peace activists see as “war mongering” might more accurately be viewed as “peace mongering”.  Thomas Jefferson crushed the Barbary Pirates and that ended the piracy issue against American shipping.  General Pershing crushed the Philippine (Muslims) rebels and that ended that until recently when the Muslims once again are in revolt against secular authority.  President Truman dropped the atomic bomb and ended WW II at a stroke, costing hundreds of thousands of lives but saving millions.  This can be contrasted to the peace lobby who prevailed in the 1930’s in their attempts to “give peace a chance”, which was simply interpreted by Hitler as weakness and led directly to WW II.  Therefore, once again George Orwell appears to be correct in that War is peace and peace is war.  But of all of Orwell’s vision of the future none is more clear cut and chilling than the role of his protagonist, Harry Winston.

Harry Winston was charged with “rewriting history”.  When I first read this book, I saw this as an example of how a dictatorship (ala the USSR) laid claim to events that never transpired – in effect a form of propaganda.  Like so many people I dismissed it as a literary mechanism because history is simply recording facts, facts that cannot be disputed because they were witnessed by thousands.  Yet every day I see history being rewritten not through lying but through interpretation and omission.  Thomas Jefferson was a slave owning hypocrite who didn’t believe in nor practice the glorious words he wrote down.  George Washington was another slave owner who didn’t believe in the ideals he fought for and deserves little to no credit for his role in founding the nation.  Harry Truman was a power mad Dr. Strangelove who needlessly slaughtered thousands of innocent people when all he had to do was threaten.  We have been witnesses to the deification of Jack Kennedy at the expense of Lyndon Johnson with the Viet Nam debacle being laid at the doorstep of Nixon and Johnson rather than Kennedy who initiated it.   We find that the Civil War was about slavery rather than about States Rights.  More recently we see the Los Angeles Times digitally altering a photograph to imply a threatening soldier rather than a soldier with his gun pointed away in a non-threatening position.  There is another very famous photo of a Vietnamese Colonel shooting a Viet Cong in the head at point blank range – a summary execution.  What was not reported was that the Viet Cong had MOMENTS before shot an unarmed family of four who were lying at his feet at that very moment.  The colonel simply shot him too late but the implication was that this was the summary execution of an unarmed captive soldier.  So history was written by omitting certain facts that did not support the desired viewpoint, which was the South Vietnamese were thugs, the Americans Imperialists, and the Vietcong valiant patriots. 

History is a fragile thing and historically it has been written by the victors.  Certainly the Gallic Wars would be quite different if they were written by the Germans and Gauls rather than by Caesar.  Still if you read enough history written by various people on both sides you can eventually develop a relatively truthful view of events, but that was before political correctness.  Today history is being rewritten not by the victors but by a small number of activists who wish to twist the facts to support their own agendas, which almost universally are left leaning.  We are rapidly, if we aren’t already there, approaching a point where newspapers cannot be trusted to report the facts, that history books cannot be relied upon to give an accurate view, and pictures are no longer worth 1000 words but are not worth anything because they cannot be relied upon to reflect the truth.  In effect, political correctness has infected our society with multi-culturalism, moral relativism, and immorality masquerading as morality and the victim appears to be history. 

I have no glib answers to this problem but the Alarm was sounded by George Orwell over 70 years ago and it grows louder each day.  1984 is upon us and the words and pictures that surround us carry the aura of Newspeak, where nothing is as it appears and frequently is exactly the opposite of what it appears to be.  Be vigilant.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Science or Pseudo-science

The study of science has a long history with some triumphs and some quackery, but beginning in the 19th Century it began to become more respectable with the formulation of the scientific method.  This method can be viewed as 1) Question 2) Hypothesis 3) Experiment 4) Data analysis 5) Conclusion 6) Duplication.   This is empirical science which can be repeated with the same results.  And example would be the demonstration of Einstein’s hypothesis that light has mass.   But somewhere along the way science deviated from this process and became based on faith and the belief that the hypothesis was all that was required even if it couldn’t be demonstrated.  Perhaps this division began with Darwin and his theory of Evolution.  Even though Darwin’s requirement for proof in the form of transitional fossils has never been met, Evolution has become FACT even though all that has ever been demonstrated is environmental adaptation and not speciation.  But this is just an example and once you begin to look more closely at particle physics and cosmology the issue of faith based science becomes more obvious.

The world of physics and cosmology is littered with questions and very few answers.  What passes for answers are really more like possibilities than answers and even those possibilities have built in logical conflicts.  For example science has determined – through observation – that the universe is expanding and that galaxies at the edge of the universe are accelerating and nearing the speed of light.  But if these galaxies are accelerating then logically they must have had staring point and a zero speed.  To answer this question science has postulated the Big Bang.  At some point the entire universe came into being at one gigantic explosion of superheated energy.  The temperature of this energy is believed to have been 10^23 but heat is the result of energized particles which didn’t yet exist.  Ignoring that detail -- how fast was it accelerating?  That probably isn’t as relevant as knowing that it is still accelerating and nearing the speed of light.  It is accepted that the Big Bang (which may or may not have happened) created space and time and energy.  Furthermore in violation of the law of entropy this energy organized itself into particles and ultimately into stars and planets.

But if the Big Bang created space-time then where was this infinitely dense mass of energy?  Furthermore, current thinking is that in this initial burst of energy it was expanding faster than the speed of light in violation of the General Theory of Relativity.  Without getting involved in that contradiction the implication is that if the energy released was moving beyond light speed then it must be concluded that the energy released must have slowed down below the speed of light in order for mass to come into being.  But if the energy was slowing down then what caused it to slow down and then to restart its acceleration?    Exactly what kind of energy was released at the Big Bang since it was moving beyond light speed?  Science now believes that mysterious energy was “dark energy” which remains mysterious and unknown, but scientists believe ultimately it will be identified and explained without resorting to some faith based explanation like intelligent design.

If we accept that the Big Bang was a gigantic release of some mysterious energy moving beyond the speed of light the question then arises is why did it slow? Newton’s Law says that a body in motion tends to remain in motion.  There was nothing to impede its expansion or momentum but something did in fact cause this mysterious energy to decelerate and begin to undergo a transformation from energy to mass.  And that introduces another question and that is “mass” – where did this mass come from?  Did the energy released at the Big Bang have “mass” because if it did that would violate general relativity which states that mass cannot exceed the speed of light.  This means there cannot have been mass at the beginning.  Science also tells us that photons only have mass in motion so this mysterious energy did not emit light and is believed to be “dark energy”.   So some pure energy was released traveling faster than light with an incredible temperature but no mass meaning there were no particles like photons, electrons, protons, neutrons, or anything similar.  Then were did these particles that generated all of that heat come from?  Apparently some mysterious force caused this burst of energy to decelerate and in defiance of the law of entropy – begin to  coalesce into differing forms yielding electrons ( a negatively charged energy field), protons ( a positively charged energy field) and neutrons (mass but no charge).

In conclusion it seems unreasonable to expect a scientist to follow the scientific method and duplicate the creation of the universe but is it unreasonable to expect that they make logical sense?  In the beginning they postulate that there was a bundle of energy with infinite density.  For anything to have density it must have mass and if it has mass it must have space but there was no space because the Big Bang created space and time.  So this -- their hypothesis is illogical at the outset.  From that illogical start we find general relativity ignored, Thermodynamic Laws ignored, Newton’s Law of Motion ignored, and of course the Law of Entropy ignored.  Where the mysterious energy came from is not addressed but is simply accepted that it spontaneously came into being without any initiating force.    And there you have it! Science has explained how the universe came to be without any proof or logic whatsoever, but expecting you to have faith that they are correct.  An example of faith based science ignoring empirical science and many of its own laws.   Of course there is an alternate hypothesis regarding the origin of the universe and it is widely known and accepted – I think it begins with “in the beginning there was chaos …”




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Soccer Tees, Pluto, and Harris Tottle

There is a fascinating book available titled “”Non Campus Mentis” which is a collection of excerpts and quotes from the various tests and papers of students.  It is always fascinating to look at history through the eyes of the students which is what the author has done and when you read what he has gleaned you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  The teacher’s present the materials but then something seems to be lost in the translation from mouth to ear because the students don’t seem to hear precisely what is being said or hear it and then don’t have a clue as to what it means, how to spell it, or even how it applies to anything.  So here is a summary of World History which I have compiled based on the responses taken from this treasure trove of school tests and papers[1].  The spellings have been left intact and I leave it to your discerning eye to distinguish between what is written by me and by the students and for this reason I have elected to not use distinguishing quotation marks.

Let us begin with ancient Egypt which has always been a challenge because counter to all logic on a map the Nile runs up (North) rather than down which has always caused consternation for the observer who views Egypt on a map, because as we all know,  there was Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt.   Lower Egypt is actually farther up than Upper Egypt which was – of course – lower down than the upper part.  This is why we learn geography as a factor in history.  Egypt was certainly an interesting and powerful civilization.  The rulers of Egypt were entitled as Faroes with one of the most famous being King Toot.  Of course one of the most famous things in Egypt is the pyramids.  The pyramids were large square triangles built in the desert.  O’Cyrus was a god who lived in a piramid and would give you the afterlife if your sole was on straight.  The Egyptian upper class was able to live posthumously through the arts and facts buried with them. 

And this brings us to that other great civilization – the Sumerian also known as the Mesopotamian which existed in a valley near the Eucaliptus river where flooding was erotic.  Babylon was similar to Egypt because of their differences they had apart from each other.  Egypt for example only had Egyptians but Babylon had Summarians, Acadians, and Canadians, to just name a few.  The Babylonians honored their gods by building pyramids in the shape of zeplins.  Mesopotamia was dominated at various times by the Medes, Persians, and Assyrians.  The Assyrian program of exterminating various ethnic groups failed to promote cultural diversity.  And so closes our tour through the truly ancient cultures and brings us to the Mediterranean and the Classical Age.

Athens, Sparta, and Pluto were Greek city states.  Some were Oglearchies but Athens was a democracy resulting from the reforms of Colon and Percales.  Sparta demanded loyalty, military service, and obscurity from its citizens.  King Xerox of Persia invaded Greace but fell off short at the Battle of Thermosalami.  Religion was polyphonic and featured such gods as Herod, Mars, and Juice.  Thucydides was a noted historian who collected facts objectively and saw himself as responsible only to Clio, the Greek Mouse of History.  Eventually the Greeks were conquered by Phillip of Mastodon who was later killed in a family sprawl.  He was succeeded by Alexander the Great who conquered Persia, Egypt, and Japan.  Sadly he died with no hairs.

The Greeks were important and laid the foundation for western civilization.  They were important at culture and science.  The scientific method came into use when the Greeks learned never to take things for granite when solving a problem.  The Atomists discovered E=MC^2 and other mathematical things.  U Clid proved that there is more than one side to every plane and Pythagasaurus fathered the triangle, while Archimedes made the first steamboat and power drill.  But perhaps the greatest gifts of the Greeks were in the form of philosophy.  The pre-Socratics lived long before Plato and were not decisively influenced by his work.  Perhaps the greatest philosopher was Socrates who was accused of Sophomorism and sentenced to die of hemroyds.  His student Plato invented reality and was teacher to Harris Tottle, author of the Republicans.  Other philosophies included the Epicureans for them lust was a must.  Others were the Vegetarians and the Synthetics who said “if you can’t play with it, why bother”. 

The Greeks were eventually replaced by the great Roman Empire which was founded sometime by Uncle Remus and Wolf.  The Roman upperclassmen demanded to be known as Patricia.  Senators wore purple tubas as a sign of respect.  Around the 120’s B.C the Gretzky brothers failed to stop these and other injustices.  But the Republic carried on and struggled with the other great Mediterranean power – Carthage. Hannabelle crossed the Alps with a herd of eliphants and thus invaded Africa.  After they defeated Carthage the Romans brutaly salted the people and razored the city.  Scipio was called “Africanus” because he served in Spain.  The Republic prospered but eventually it came to be dominated by Julius Caesar who was famous for inspiring his men by saying “I came I saw I went”.  Caesar was assassinated on the Yikes of March and is reported to have said “Me Too Brutus”. 

Following the assassination of Caesar Rome was subjected to many turnoilic events, oncluding Anthony’s elusive affair with Cleopatra.  The shrewd Octavian grabbed hold of the Empire and he kept the people happy by giving them breaded circuses.  Augustus (aka Octagenarian) founded the Roman Catholic Empire and punished those involved in sibilancy and adultery.  The symbol of his authority was the Cross.  He put it everywhere.  Augustus did have to leave the Empire due to his death. 

There are many theories about the fall of the Roman Empire and many were totally not possible and some of them were.  This included more than enough religion, too much slavery, not enough water, and smoking from lead pipes.  Then the Empire was swept with a tidal wave of Goths, Hungs, Zulu’s and others who impacted Rome.  Athena the Hun rampaged the Balkans as far as France, where he plumaged and tortured people of the villages he captured. Thus ended the Roman Empire and Western Civilization entered the Dark Ages where it was mostly dark.

Certainly history is a lot more interesting when you have it explained through the eyes of the students.  Soccer Tees, Pluto, and Harris Tottle – I salute you.

[1] Henriksson, Non Campus Mentis, Workman Publishing, New York

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Good Versus Evil

Our society is tolerant.  It is multi-cultural.  It is accepting of virtually anything and everything even to the point of only lightly punishing criminal behavior.  However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that what our society does not tolerate or accept is God.  Satan is not acknowledged as a force and evil as a practice, or even as a concept, is fading out of our collective consciousness.  Our society seems to be in a decline with greater violence, poverty, sickness, and disasters occurring without anyone seeming to see any connection to either Satan or God, maybe it is time for a review.

Perhaps the best place to begin our review is with the Ten Commandments. The first Commandment is “I am the Lord, thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me” so this seems like a good place to start with the question “do we have other gods?”  Many people might disagree and claim that we have no other gods because God is simply a myth created by man.  In fact modern science has gone to great lengths to prove that God doesn’t exist.  Without any empirical evidence modern science has embraced the belief that a random and accidental event initiated life.  In fact the creation of the universe is viewed as a scientific event as yet unexplained but believed to be eventually explainable by science.  In effect modern science like all religions is faith based but has replaced God with Man in the form of scientists. Modern science requires the same level of faith as any religion does. 

Our society in general has increasingly embraced atheism as the atheists drive God out of any public display or acknowledgement that He exists.  The atheist sees his existence and the circumstances of that existence as random chance.  The atheist has no purpose in life and is not constrained by any moral boundary other than one that is self imposed or culturally imposed.  To the atheist there is no such thing as a soul or an after life and it is delusional to think otherwise.  Therefore, when the atheist attempts to suppress or repudiate God, he thinks he is acting in the best interest of society, but others might think he is merely whistling past the graveyard.

The real irony of the atheist position of course is that it has no basis in fact and rests exclusively on his belief that God’s existence cannot be proven.  The irony is that he cannot prove God doesn’t exist.  So the argument is left unresolved and a matter of faith.  But what of Satan – can his existence be proven or demonstrated?  When God created man he created him in His image and gave him free will—meaning Man was given the right to choose.  Satan takes advantage of that right and tempts Man into making the wrong choice.  This is why the fundamentalist Muslims call America “The Great Satan”, because America is filled with temptations, provide in their eyes, by Satan.  Of course this doesn’t prove Satan exists but if Satan is evil personified then it should be clear, even to the most ardent atheist, that our society is increasingly corrupt.  America is a place where free choice reigns supreme where everyone is tempted every day to commit some sin or violation of the Ten Commandments, which of course is Satan’s objective.

But the relevant question is” is our tolerant and multi-cultural society becoming more or less evil?”  Of course the arguments about the answer to this question could go on endlessly because our society has become so complicated, but perhaps we could narrow the discussion to the Ten Commandments.  These are part of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity so perhaps they allow us to address the question more easily.  For example “Honor the Sabbath” is a commandment and at one time businesses were closed on the Sabbath which varies among religions but is that true today?  Certainly some businesses remain closed on their Sabbath but I submit our society at large does not honor the Sabbath. 

What about the Commandment against adultery?  Statistics show that marriage as an institution is in decline while living together is growing.  At one time living together was even called “living in sin” and viewed as fornication but it is no longer viewed as a sin but simply accepted as an alternative way of life.  Beyond that divorce is also growing with about half of all marriages ending in divorce.  The part of the marriage vow where you are joined by God has declined into mere words without meaning.  Ministers and other men of God blithely continue marrying divorced people even though they have violated the marriage vow already.  So adultery is growing in our society and is no longer condemned either morally or legally. 

What about taking the Lord’s name in vain, is this commandment being honored today?  Anyone who has been to a movie recently knows that they increasingly border on pornography with language that is embarrassing and one time would not have been tolerated in polite society.  For all intents and purposes this commandment might as well not exist.

Of course violations of the other commandments have always existed, and existed even in the time of Moses.  I don’t think any society or religion to day actually worships graven images, nor do I believe any society today condones murder or theft or perjury.  Still all of these evils exist today and are the result of individual choice – of free will.  Satan uses the free will ordained by God to influence man to make poor choices.  These poor choices lead us away from God and into the hands of Satan.  The atheist or non-believe will argue that while evil exists in our society it has nothing to do with Satan who is as much of a myth as God.  Evil is a concept and an act defined by man.

But the dichotomy between Good and Evil is ancient with good being represented by God in some form and evil represented by Satan in some form.  Yes – God and Satan exist even if it only seen as good and evil and these forces have always existed under different names in different societies but the relevant point is that good and evil exist.  The names used to describe these is irrelevant but the question remains “ is our society more or less moral?”  Do we see increases in evil in our society?  Is our society more or less evil than it was in the 1950’s?  In the 1850’s?