I Took This Shift Because Of Her --- Politics - Justice - And Wrestling With The Angel
Monday, June 30, 2008
There's a band playin' on the radio
And it's drowning the sound of my tears
They're playing "Oh Yeah" on the radio
Oh - oh - oh
Roxy Music - Live At The Apollo - 2001
Check out the beautiful background singing chick. My God, you have not forsaken me.
Steely Dan (prize goes to the person who knows what a "Steely Dan" is). Actually, the prize will be a Steely Dan, if you really want it.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
What The Hell Happened?
You've talked to Kennedy Assassination conspiracy theorists. You've heard about UFO's, and ghosts, and 9/11 Truthers, and reptilian beings living beneath the Denver airport. People are drawn to the mysterious. Sometimes, it seems, the stranger the explanation, the more likely we are to want to believe.
I defy you to go on YouTube and come back with even one real ghost video. Find me a video that shows the Jewish contractors who created the controlled-detonation that brought down the Twin Towers. Show me the footage of the mafia shooting Kennedy.
It ain't there.
But, you know what? There was one event that really happened, for which there is absolute rock-solid evidence, and, as yet, no reasonable explanation. The Tunguska Event, an explosion in the Siberian Forest of Russia, in the year of 1908, which was 1000 times the size of the Hiroshima Nuclear blast.
From Agence French Press:
PARIS (AFP) - A hundred years ago this week, a gigantic explosion
ripped open the dawn sky above the swampy taiga forest of western
Siberia, leaving a scientific riddle that endures to this day.
A dazzling light pierced the heavens, preceding a shock wave with
the power of a thousand atomic bombs which flattened 80 million trees in a
swathe of more than 2,000 square kilometres (800 square miles).
Evenki nomads recounted how the blast tossed homes and animals into the
air. In Irkutsk, 1,500 kilometres (950 miles) away, seismic sensors registered
what was initially deemed to be an earthquake. The fireball was so great
that a day later, Londoners could read their newspapers under the night
What caused the so-called Tunguska Event, named after
the Podkamennaya Tunguska river near where it happened, has spawned at least a
half a dozen theories.
The biggest finger of blame points at a rogue rock whose
destiny, after travelling in space for millions of years, was to intersect with
Earth at exactly 7:17 am on June 30, 1908.
Even the most ardent defenders of the sudden impact theory
acknowledge there are many gaps. They strive to find answers, believing
this will strengthen defences against future Tunguska-type threats, which
experts say occur with an average frequency from one in 200 years to one in
"Imagine an unspotted asteroid laying waste to a significant chunk of
land... and imagine if that area, unlike Tunguska and a surprising amount of the
globe today, were populated," the British science journal Nature commented last
If a rock was the culprit, the choices lie between an
asteroid -- the rubble that can be jostled out of its orbital belt
between Mars and Jupiter and set on collision course with Earth -- and a
comet, one of the "icy dirtballs" of frozen, primeval material that
loop around the Solar System.
Comets move at far greater speeds than asteroids, which means they
release more kinetic energy pound-for-pound upon impact. A small comet would
deliver the same punch as a larger asteroid.
But no fragments of the Tunguska villain have ever
been found, despite many searches.
Finding a piece is important, for it will boost our knowledge about the
degrees of risk from dangerous Near Earth Objects (NEOs), say Italian
researchers Luca Gasperini, Enrico Bonatti and Giuseppe Longo.
When a new asteroid is detected, its orbit can be plotted for scores of
years in the future.
Comets are far less numerous than asteroids but are
rather more worrying, as they are largely an unknown entity.
Most comets have yet to be spotted because they take decades or even
hundreds of years to go around the Sun and pass our home. As a result, any comet
on a collision course with Earth could quite literally come out of the dark,
leaving us negligible time to respond.
"(I)f the Tunguska event was in fact caused by a comet, it would be a
unique occurrence rather than an important case study of a known class of
phenomena," Gasperini's team write in this month's issue of Scientific
"On the other hand, if an asteroid did explode in the Siberian
skies that June morning, why has no-one yet found fragments?"
NEO experts are likewise unsure about the size of the
Estimates, based on the scale of ground destruction, range from
three metres (10 feet) to 70 metres (227 feet).
All agree that the object, heated by friction with atmospheric
molecules, exploded far above ground -- between several kilometres (miles) and
10 kms (six miles).
But there is fierce debate as to whether any debris hit the
This too is important. When the next Tunguska NEO looms, Earth's
guardians will have to choose whether to try to deflect it or blow it up in
space, with the risk that objects of a certain size may survive the fiery
passage through the atmosphere and hit the planet.
The Italian trio believe the answers lie in a curiously-shaped oval
lake, called Lake Cheko, located about 10 kilometres (six miles) from ground
Computer models, they say, suggest it is the impact crater from a
metre- (three-feet) -sized fragment that survived the explosion.
They plan a return expedition to Lake Cheko in the hope of reaching a
dense object of this size, buried 10 metres (32.5 feet) in the lake's
cone-shaped floor, that reflected sonar waves.
But what if neither comet nor
asteroid were to blame?
A rival theory is given an airing in this week's New Scientist.
Lake Cheko does not have the typical round shape of an impact crater,
and no extraterrestrial material has been found, which means "there's got to be
a terrestrial explanation," Wolfgang Kundt, a physicist at Germany's Bonn
University told the British weekly.
He believes the Tunguska Event was caused by a massive escape of 10
million tonnes of methane-rich gas deep within Earth's crust. Evidence of a
similar apocalyptic release can be found on the Blake Ridge on the seabed off
Norway, a "pockmark" of 700 sq. kms (280 sq. miles), Kundt said.
That's the whole article. You can see how far scientists are from having an actual explanation for this eery event.
Here are some videos on the Tunguska Event.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
With A Little Help
From My Friends
This is classic (and subtitled). Don't miss it.
It looks like us Christians better get back to work on the narrow-minded arrogance. We're losing ground to the Muslims; who believe that if you are a homosexual, apostate, or adulterer, not only will you go to hell, but you ought to have your head cut off right now to expedite your trip to hell.
I mean look at the results of this poll. We are not nearly dogmatic enough. (uh, that's sarcasm, if you don't know)
From Yahoo News:
The study confirmed some well-known political dynamics, including stark
divisions over abortion and gay marriage, with the more religiously committed
taking conservative views on the issues.
But it also showed support across
religious lines for greater governmental aid for the poor, even if it means more
debt and stricter environmental laws and regulations.
By many measures, Americans are strongly religious: 92 percent believe
in God, 74 percent believe in life after death and 63 percent say their
respective scriptures are the word of God.
But deeper investigation found that more than one in four Roman
Catholics, mainline Protestants and Orthodox Christians expressed some doubts
about God's existence, as did six in ten Jews.
Another finding almost defies explanation: 21 percent of
self-identified atheists said they believe in God or a universal spirit, with 8
percent "absolutely certain" of it.
"Look, this shows the limits of a survey approach to religion," said
Peter Berger, a theology and sociology professor at Boston University. "What do
people really mean when they say that many religions lead to eternal life? It
might mean they don't believe their particular truth at all. Others might be
saying, 'We believe a truth but respect other people, and they are not
necessarily going to hell.'"
Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum, said that
more research is planned to answer those kinds of questions, but that earlier,
smaller surveys found similar results.
Nearly across the board, the majority of religious Americans believe
many religions can lead to eternal life: mainline Protestants (83 percent),
members of historic black Protestant churches (59 percent), Roman Catholics (79
percent), Jews (82 percent) and Muslims (56 percent).
By similar margins, people in those faith groups believe in multiple
interpretations of their own traditions' teachings. Yet 44 percent of the
religiously affiliated also said their religion should preserve its traditional
beliefs and practices.
"What most people are saying is, 'Hey, we don't have a hammer-lock on
God or salvation, and God's bigger than us and we should respect that and
respect other people,'" said the Rev. Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the
Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.
By the way, if you ask me, who is going to hell, here's my answer:
"I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
I'm sorry, but I don't believe Ed McMahon can not come by $200K. And, if he can't. Then, he ought to think about downsizing his lifestyle, instead of going on television and being the tool of Socialists who want the government to bail people out of contracts they signed willingly.
I think Ed McMahon is allowing himself to be used as a P.R. boon for Socialists. He is doing a disgusting thing, in my opinion, by parading himself all over, attempting to make us feel sorry for him.
Read the ridiculous AP article, if you really want to do so. But, haven't you already heard Ed's story a hundred times on every TV newsmagazine show?
Welcome to the world, Ed. You gambled and lost. Now, pay your freaking debt, or suffer the consequences. You've made tens of millions of dollars in your career. I don't feel sorry for you.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Is it ice, or salt?
From the International Herald Tribune:
Shallow trenches excavated by the lander's backhoe-like robotic arm have
turned up specks and at times even stripes of mysterious white material mixed in
with the clumpy, reddish dirt.
New photos showed the exposed bright substance present only in the top
part of the trench, suggesting it's not uniform throughout the excavation site.
Phoenix will take images of the trench dubbed "Dodo-Goldilocks" over the next
few days to record any changes.
If it's ice, scientists expect it to sublimate — or go from solid to gas,
bypassing the liquid stage — when exposed to the sun because of the planet's
frigid temperatures and low atmospheric pressure.
Even if it's not ice, the discovery of salt would also be significant because it's normally formed when water evaporates in the soil.
I say, it's cocaine. How else are the martians going to stay up through those long Martian nights?
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Here's why: People are social creatures, and their behavior is based on imitation to a much greater degree than generally supposed. How else to explain why a generation decides at once to pierce their tongues, or why stocks rise and fall? How to explain how a child learns language? Even our desires are not our own; we learn them from others.
"We don't even know what our desire is. We ask other people to tell us our desires," he said during a lecture at Stanford's Old Union in February. "We would like our desires to come from our deepest selves, our personal depths—but if it did, it would not be desire. Desire is always for something we feel we lack."
Envy and resentment are the inevitable consequences of this drive toward mimesis. These emotions, in turn, fuel conflict; it occurs whenever two or more "mimetic rivals" want the same thing, which can go to only one. It might be a woman, a presidency or a research grant. Many religious prohibitions are meant to regulate and control such conflict.
"When we describe human relations, we lie," Girard said. "We describe them as normally good, peaceful and so forth, whereas in reality they are competitive, in a war-like fashion."
In literature, such mimetic desire can create comic masterpieces: A Midsummer Night's Dream is a classic he frequently cites. Or it can inspire the novels of Balzac, in which the characters strive to outdo each other in snobbery and imitative social values. Such imitation can even be totally imaginary. Don Quixote wishes to be a knight errant, because he is imitating the heroes in the books he has read.
On a societal level, such conflict seeks a release, and the outlet is a scapegoat. A third party—often an outsider, a foreigner, a woman, someone who is disabled, the king or president—is blamed and demonized for having caused the conflict. Scapegoats are not seen as innocent victims; they are seen as the guilty cause of the disorder. The calls mount for the sacrificial victim, and the mob itself creates a sense of harmony.
"Joining the mob is the thing that people don't realize. They feel the unity but don't interpret it as joining the mob," Girard said.
The mob prevails. The victim is killed, exiled, pilloried or otherwise dispensed with. Rivals reconcile, and peace and unity are restored to the community.
"If you scapegoat someone, it's a third party that will be aware of it," he said. "It won't be you. Because you will believe you are doing the right thing. You will be either punishing someone who is guilty or fighting someone who is trying to kill you, but you are never the one who is scapegoating."
In a sleight of hand that unsettles Girard's critics, the fact that there is no proof is proof. It is not that the scapegoaters suppress the history of their scapegoating, he said, "scapegoating itself is the suppressing."
For this reason, tragedy and religion in ancient Greece are inextricably entwined. Take the story of Oedipus. A plague is destroying Thebes, and whom does the mysterious oracle find at fault? The outsider, the lame newcomer king, whose expulsion brings peace to the city-state. Euripides' The Bacchae is the same—disorder is tearing apart the society and the women are going crazy. Pentheus, the young leader, is at fault—his collective murder brings sanity and harmony to Thebes.
"The first culture which rebels against that system is the Jewish culture," Girard said. He explains that the Bible is actually counter-mythical. Over a period of centuries, the books of the Old Testament begin to catch on to mankind's scapegoating mechanism. While they describe and even celebrate violence, they gradually begin to question and fight it as well.
For example, many of the psalms "show a narrator who is surrounded by a crowd of good-for-nothings, who are trying to encircle him and turn him into a victim." The story of Job also is revealing: "It's a small community, but he's been the dictator for years. Everybody loves him, he does no one any harm," Girard said at the Old Union lecture. "One fine morning he wakes up, and everybody is against him. His three 'friends' are ready to explain how bad he is now. And everybody is ready to explain how bad he is at the same time. He has turned from the absolute hero to the scapegoat of the community. Job is like a long psalm and shows you what happens to communities. No myth will ever show you that."
The climactic victimization is with "the announcement of what we call the Passion."
"Jesus accepts to be the victim, and we don't really know why," he said. "There, what the Gospel said is that it is God himself who has allowed all this scapegoating, and says, 'You can forgive me, since now I am ready to become your victim myself.'"
The evangelical revelation contains the truth on the violence, available for two thousand years, René Girard tells us.
Friday, June 06, 2008
The Dates That Changed Rock n' Roll Forever
From the Telegraph:
30 SEPTEMBER, 1946 T-Bone Walker, pioneer of the electric guitar, records Bobby Sox Blues with Jack McVea and His All-Stars for Black & White Records in Hollywood. The song, addressed to a teenager with 'a head full of nothing but stage, screen and radio' presages Chuck Berry's Sweet Little Sixteen, 12 years in the future.
6 NOVEMBER, 1948 Vernon and Gladys Presley and their 13-year-old son, Elvis, move to Memphis from Tupelo, Mississippi.
31 MARCH, 1949 RCA Victor introduces the 7in, 45rpm single to compete with Columbia's 33rpm long-player, launched the previous June.
25 JUNE, 1949 At the urging of its staff writer Jerry Wexler, the trade magazine Billboard changes the name of its 'Race Records' charts to rhythm and blues.
10 DECEMBER, 1949 Fats Domino enters Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios in New Orleans with bandleader Dave Bartholomew for the first time. They record The Fat Man, the first of his long string of hits for Imperial Records over the 13 years that follow.
JANUARY 1950 Sam Phillips opens the Memphis Recording Service, where his motto is 'We Record Anything-Anywhere-Anytime'. He is soon recording local area bluesmen B.?B. King and Howlin' Wolf and placing their masters with the independent labels RPM in Los Angeles and Chess in Chicago, respectively.
31 DECEMBER, 1952 With his new single I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive climbing the charts, country superstar Hank Williams sets out by car from Knoxville, Tennessee, for Canton, Ohio, to perform at a New Year's Day concert. He dies at the age of 29, probably of acute alcohol poisoning, in the back seat of his Cadillac somewhere en route.
JULY 1953 Elvis Presley, a graduate of Humes High School, visits the Memphis Recording Service, where he makes an acetate recording of two songs, My Happiness and That's When Your Heartaches Begin, ostensibly as a present for his mother.
8 APRIL, 1954 Decca Records signs Bill Haley and His Comets.
12 APRIL, 1954 Atlantic Records releases Shake, Rattle and Roll by Big Joe Turner. Bill Haley and His Comets record Rock Around the Clock with producer Milt Gabler for Decca Records in New York.
10 MAY, 1954 Rock Around the Clock is released as the B-side of Thirteen Women (And Only One Man in Town) by Bill Haley and His Comets.
19 JULY, 1954 Sam Phillips releases Elvis Presley's That's All Right on his Sun Records label. A version of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe's Blue Moon of Kentucky is on the flip side.
2 OCTOBER, 1954 Presley, making his debut at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, sings Blue Moon of Kentucky. He is not invited to return.
19 MARCH, 1955 The film Blackboard Jungle, starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier, opens; Rock Around the Clock plays over its opening credits.
Go read the whole thing.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
At the University of California, Irvine the Muslim Student Union (MSU), a virulently anti-Semitic and anti-American student group, holds several programs which unabashedly support terrorist groups and unjustly denounce Israel, America, and the Western world. MSU events have featured speakers like Norman Finkelstein, Ward Churchill, Muhammad al-Asi and Amir Abdel Malik Ali, and have had titles such as "Hamas: the People's Choice" and "Israel: The 4th Reich."
On May 12, 2008 the Muslim Student Union invited Muhammad al-Asi to speak on the main part of the campus in front of the flag poles. Al-Asi has spoken at UC Irvine before, and his speeches are usually riddled with stereotypical tirades on Jews and unrepentant affirmations of terrorist acts on American and Israel.
Out of all the MSU’s speakers, al-Asi has the most lurid personal history. A former Air Force Officer, al-Asi became radicalized by the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and is an avid admirer of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. In 1983, he was removed from his position at the Islamic Center in Washington D.C. for being too radical, and since then, he preaches his hateful message in front of the very same mosque to passers-by. Al-Asi also makes regular trips to Iran to meet hard-line officials, and as reported by the Washington Post, is under constant surveillance from the United State’s government.
Al-Asi’s hateful message was on full display during this year’s hate week. With a speech peppered with pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic overtones, he didn’t disappoint his keffiyah wearing devotees of the Muslim Student Union.
"As the years go by you are going to feel more cornered in the nation state ghetto you constructed."
The invocation of “ghetto” is a common theme in al-Asi’s speeches. To the defrocked Imam, the state of Israel isn’t a prosperous and civilized nation founded by legal land purchases and predicated on international law, but rather a bastion for alien savages that ran rough shod over an otherwise pristine Middle East. According to al-Asi, modern Jewish culture is deviant and depraved, born from thousands of years of exile and the violent “ghetto life” they failed to learn from in Europe:
"Just like you didn't learn from exile, you didn't learn from ghetto life.
You left the ghettos of Europe, there were no ghettos to speak about in Muslim Countries. You left those ghettos and came in the fashion that you did, with all the bloodshed that went with it and still continues.
You came to the holy land, which you desecrated and blasphemed with every decision that you made and still are making and then you realize that you are in a territory of hostilities around you. These hostilities didn't come from nowhere, these hostilities are a reaction to all the misery and all the hostility that you brought with you."
Amir Abdel Malik Ali echoed similar overtones in his speech on Thursday, May 15. Invoking repetitive and hazy distinctions between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, he did however characterize Jews that are politically active in Republican politics as traitors “masquerading as right wingers.” Ali was unequivocally adamant about the destruction of Israel, but was more reserved in his attacks on America, calling for what he narrowly defined as the fall of “empire.”
“In order for people to live like human beings America must fall as an empire and America is coming down. When you put the Israeli flag up next to the American flag, what it means for many of us, you will fall just like that empire is going to fall.”
Ali, however, offered no condemnation for aggressive Islamic actors like Iran and Hezbollah, who seek to undemocratically spread their influence to sovereign nations. To Ali, they are just freedom fighters, and fears about a militant Islamic revival are instigated by western propaganda:
“Our non-Muslim friends they got you all thinking that this Islamic revival is something that you should fear. That's propaganda!”
To supplement the general theme of their speakers, the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine erects a mock apartheid wall plastered with standard Jewish blood libel and hagiographic tributes to terror groups. This year, despite their murderous acts against Jews and their chartered mission to eliminate Israel, a whole section of the wall was devoted to praising the terror group Hamas for “leading the resistance against occupation” and humanitarian work in funding and implementing “relief programs, schools, orphanages, clinics, soup kitchens, and children’s programs.”
The MSU also plastered the wall with more overt and racist depictions of Jews. In a political cartoon they posted that looked as if it was ripped out of the Nazi-era publication Der Sturmer, Ariel Sharon was depicted with a stereotypical hooked-nose and over sized lips. The poster’s intention was to be a movie parody on Ridley’s Scott’s Hannibal, but it provided the dual purpose of characteristic blood libel by invoking the portmanteau Cannibal accompanied by a Star of David in the backdrop.
An independent task force investigation recently issued findings that clearly suggest anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and pro-terror speech is well documented at UC Irvine. The full report can be read here.