Tuesday, May 17, 2011


   To those that have followed my blog,I wish to apologize for not writing this past week or so. Call it writers block,(not really as I have a lot to say on almost every subject know to man),I face the keyboard and cannot find the will. or courage to write anything. So after 10 or 15 minutes I close down the laptop and tell myself that I will write something tomorrow.And as they say,tomorrow has yet to come.Hopefully this situation won't last to much longerWell that's it for now.Keep the faith I will be back,tearing apart the false assumptions and beliefs that abound in this world of ours.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


  1. -     When we look at the problems that beset our country and the way our politicans go about trying to solve them,then certain things stand out.The first thing is that for supposedly intellgent beings,seeing that they all have college degrees and on top of that rich or at least well to do,they are very shortsighted.It was once said that the first duty of a politician is to get reelected.So true. It is because of this desire to get reelected,that their approach to solving problems is very shortsighted. Only those solutions which produce immediate results that can be attributed to the politicians legislation or his parties belief system is considered.It is these things that can be translated into votes that the politicians care about.Thus it is the party line and the parties politicial beliefs that rule the way politicans approach all things. This may sound somewhat cynical,but this view point is a direct outcome of having a politican class.
  2.      A permanent political class creates and infects the members with an insidious virus or belief.This belief does like this,the voters continue to elect me,therefore my belief system and my judgement on all that comes before me must be superior,otherwise I would not be reelected.Therefore it follows that I know what is best,no matter what anyone else has to say.With this belief system,true solutions to the myriad problems facing us as a nation will never be considered.An because of this belief system by the political class,problems continue to grow until the point is reached were the solution to the problem becomes worst than the orginial problem.This is the reason that the political class will never question the assumptions which the operate under.
  3.      Now when the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution forming the United States of America,they never considered adopting term limits for the presidernt or members of Congress or the Senate.To them it was inconceivable that any individual would make it their life's mission to be continuely elected to office.The way they viewed service to the country was that an individual would serve a term or two then return to private life.A politican to the way of seeing things was a lot like that of a militia ,a priviate citizen who would take up arms when the need arose and once the threat was dealt with,returned home and lived their lifeuntil the next time that their community or nation need them.So what the solution to the problem facing us today.Well that's easy,institute term limits for our congressmen and senators.That would insure that the politicans would not be wed to any particular political belief system.They would be more open to solutions that they had not thought of or considered before. Will this solve the problem.no really but it would be a good start.Our politicans must learn to question the assumptions by which they approach a problem,and see if the assumption they are operating under is valid.It is really amazing how problems will fall when one questions assumptions.So what do you believe.will this help solve the problems facing us?I know what I believe,but the question is what do you believe?


     The idea for this post comes from a friend in England.At first glance I thought it would be an easy post,after all what makes a good neighbor is oblivious. Or is it. It was once said that good fences make good neighbors. Now the assumptions from this saying is obvious,especially if you know were the saying comes from.When the west was being settled in America,a conflict arose between cattle ranchers and the farmers.The cattle were eating the farmerss.s crop,so to solve this problem the farmers erected fences to keep the cattle out.Thus were the ranchers and farmers were able to live peacefully side by side.So the assumption was you stay and do what you want on your side of the fence,and I'll do what I want on my side.simple,isn't it. Now if that's was all it took to be a good neighbor,wewould be home free,but were not.We must also take into consideration the historical concept of what a good neighbor means,which brings us to religion.
     The biggest influence in the west on what it means to be good neighbor is of course Christianity,in the far east it is of course Buddhism. Christianity bases its view on two beliefs. The first one is to love thy neighbor,and the second one is based on the principals of the Ten Commandments.Briefly it means that one should offer one's neighbor any help that it is within one's power to give.It also means that one should ponsibletakeinto consideration the effect that ones decision about the use of ones property,will have on ones neighbors.An example of this would be if one had a tree who's branches might cause damage to the neighbor's house if they broke.Being a good neighbor would mean removing those branches that could damage the neighbors house. It does not mean that one has to remove a tree because leaves might fall on the neighbors property.After one can not be responsible for what wind might blow from ones property to another.Would one be responsible for trash that the wind blew onto your property and then blew on to one's neighbor property. Of course not. The same goes for what happens if birds perch upon one's tree. After all Nature happens.A good neighbor would shovel snow from the neighbors walk if they were unable to do so,the same goes for mowing the grass,for the same reasons.Boiled down,being a good neighbor means behaving in such a way as you would wish your neighbor would do for you. Unfortunately in this day an age of political correctness,and me-ism,some individuals have taken it to mean that they can dictate to their neighbors close and far how their neighbors should behave,and even believe.
     To me personally,it means to make sure my chosen lifestyle impact as little as possible my neighbors peace and quiet and the enjoyment of their property.Reasonable accommodation is the key.But that is my belief, the question as always is what do you believe?That is as they say the question.Hope this post helps in deciding how to interact with ones neighbors.             

Monday, May 9, 2011


     Since this blog deals with assumptions in all aspects of life,I would recommend that the readers of this blog obtain a copy of James P Hogan's sci-fy novel,:Inherit the Stars"It is the perfect blending of science,logic and fiction,and the story shows just how assumptions can help or hurt in one's search for the truth. However,I must warn you, that once you read Hogan's work,it is addictive.Each book leaves you with the desire to read something else he has written.It's an addiction that I highly recommend.
     There are certain assumptions to God,intolerance and death that link all three together.This post ame about because of the violence in Egypt,between the fundamental Muslim's and the Christian minority/all because of a rumor.Now the assumption about God that all religions share is that God expects its creation to live a certain way.Now according to the basic tenets of each particular religion,this lifestyle can be gentle and caring or violent and cold. The problem is that any fundamental view of religion and its tenets,places the greatest value on the most basic values of the religion.Even though the vast majority of Muslim's look at Islam as a caring and gentle religion,one cannot hid the fact that Islam was created as a warrior religion,to counter the invasion of christian crusaders into the middle east.Thus the violence between fundamental muslim's and the minoriy christians in Egypt.Interolance in its most vile form.Now the basic assumption about death,goes hand in hand with the view of God that religions hold.Death in this context is just a transtion from one form of existence to another.That in the existence after death,reward or punsihment will be given out by the God that each religion recognizes.Thus what one does during ones life has meaning,here and after death.Thus the fear of death,  but what if there is no life after death,then death only has meaning to those that are still alive.For the person who dies,has no idea that they are dead.One moment they possess consciousness and the next nothing.There's nothing to fear since you won't know your dead.So see its all about the assumptions one makes in life about the most basic beliefs.Is there a God,do you believe in religion,if you do then you must accept the assumption that death is not final.I know what I believe,but the question as always is what do you believe? And does this belief control what you do and how you live and approach life?An interesting question to contemplate,don't you think.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


          To all my female readers of this post,let me wish you a Happy Mothers Day.Not only are you the glue that holds the family together,but the binding agent for society,and without whom there would be no future for the human race.So enjoy your day,and know that you are Loved and appreciated in our hearts and thoughts even if they are not expressed openly.I will leave you with this true story.
.        In the late 1980's I was in charged of a kitchen at a juvenile detention facility for the state of California ,in Campo,California. I had approximately 30 women working for me in the kitchen who's average age was around 40.The first Mother's day I was working in the kitchen,my big boss drove out to the camp in a van loaded with 30 dozens bouquets of red roses for our female employees.After getting all the ladies together, we passed out the bouquets to each and everyone. That done,my boss, made a small speech of appreciation to the ladies for their hard work during the last year,at which point he asked me if I had anything to say.I replied ,"yes",and in front of all my employee's I ask him,"Were was my bouquet of flowers?"  He looked at me with this strange face and said,"Richard,its Mother's Day remember." "I know",I replied",but you can ask any of the ladies here,that I am called a mother more often everyday than any of the ladies here.It seems almost every 10 ot 15 minutes I hear the pharse,"Richard you Mother #$^%&$." Both my boss and the ladies broke out laughing,but I will have you know that the following Mother's Day I received my very own bouquet of roses from my boss,presented in front of the assembled ladies.
       I hope this true story brought a smile to your lips and a laught to your soul. So once again Happy Mother's Day to one and all.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


   Who killed Ted and Alice, thats the question.Now what does that have to do with assumption?. When I was teaching world history I would start off each and every class at the beginning of each an every semester exactly the same way. Once seated I would ask the class to close their eyes and picture their home.Upon entering the house they find Ted and Alice lying in the center of the living room,stone cold dead in the middle of the room. Around them were bits of broken glass and the carpet was wet around their bodies.Have the picture in your mind? Now I would tell them they could ask me any question that takes a yes or no answer,their problem was to discover exactly  how Ted and Alice died.
           Needless to say,every class proceed in exactly the same way.The questions would follow a similar pattern. Were they shot?,hit with a blunt object,poisioned,strangled? As the time ticked by the possible ways in which Ted and Alice died became more and more outragerous.The mystery writers in hollywood would have been envious with the number and ways Ted and Alice were killed off. Just before the end of the period, I would point to one student an pose the following question,"How did you get your name." The immediate reply would be," My parents gave it to me." Ok, I would reply," How did Ted and Alice Die."
          Ask yourself this, just what are you assumming not only about Ted and Alice, but about the problem as a whole.I'll give you a hint, the assumpation you are making is so basic, you aren't even aware that you are in fact making it.The reason you, like my students are having a hard time solving the problem,deals with the fact that you unconsciouly make a very basic assumpation about Ted and Alice.The assumpation that you and my students are making, is that Ted and Alice are human.Ted and Alice, those are the names we associate with males and females.The unspoken thought is that it refers to human male and females. And because we assume that they are human, all the questions deal with how human beings can be killed or how they can die.Logical and normal, but absolutely wrong. The answer to the problem is that Ted and Alice are goldfish.It seems that their bowl was knocked over and broke when it hit the rug. Thus the presence of broken glass and the rug being wet.If one gave equal emphasis to the broken glass and wet rug as one did to the names Ted and Alice, the problem is easily solved. Easy isn't it,once it is explained.
           It is this tendency to make assumptions about something as basic as names,which is the primary reason why problems seems so complex and unsolvable.If you cannot solve a problem no matter what you do, its not because the problem can't be solve, its because you are making the wrong assumptions. If you change the assumption then solutions can be found.The posts from here on will deal with differnt problems and the assumptions we are making concerning them.Then we will explore possible solutions if we change the working assumptions.Will we solve the problems facing us individuality, as a society, or as human beings,who knows? But the attempt is in and of it's self worthwhile. So remember this my friends,"Question everything you believe to be true,you might be surprised at the answer

Friday, May 6, 2011


We all make assumptions every minute we are awake.Some of these are very deliberate when making decisions, but most are completely unconscious.It is these unconscious assumptions that allow us to navigate through our harried existence on this spinning blue-green globe.It is usually these unconscious assumption and the way we try to solve the problems we see because of them that the solutions we try are not effective.A great exmaple of this is what I call, "Fleas on a Cat". I have a cat named Bragg, who a friend gave me about a decade ago.He's a great companion, even though he drives me crazy occasionally.Lately, I noticed that he has fleas. Not Good. Well, I know one sure way to kill fleas, that is to throw Bragg into a blast furance.High heat is 100% effective in killing fleas.There is a drawback to this solution; it will kill Bragg. I can hear the outcry."Are you insane,why would you even think about throwing your cat into a blast furance.Of course, I would never consider that as a viable option;after all I love my cat.Now ask yourself,why no one living on the face of the planet would consider throwing my cat into a blast furance just to kill fleas.The reason is, that when asked how to kill fleas on a cat,everyone would assume that you want the cat to live, and the fleas dead.Everyone makes that unconscious assumpation and approaches the problem with that goal in mind.So the way we can kill fleas becomes very limited,as long as we want Bragg to live.(please excuse the way this blog is one long paragraph.I am new to this and have not figured out how to start new paragraphs...I will figure it out, trust me.)Now back to the topic under discussion. When we try to solve problems, before we decide on a particular solution,we need to examine the assumpations we are making concerning the problem.Both conscious and unconscious ones. And see if they are valid.Because if the assumpations we are making are false, then no matter what we try to solve the problem, it will fail in part or in whole.Take a brief moment and think of all the problems that our society has faced over the years.Have we ever solved one, or do they continue to grow so much that we despair of them ever being solved.The reason for this is easy. The assumpations we are making, both conscious and especially the unconscious ones are false.As they say when programming computers,"Garbage IN,Garbage Out."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

WHAT IS THE NATURE OF HELL? Repeat-for you enjoyment

 While going through some papers last night I came across an old test from forty years ago,and I Thought you might like it.By the way it received an A.
                Question: Is Hell exothermic ( Gives off heat ) or endothermic ( absorbs heat )

       First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into hell; and the rate at which they are leaving.I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave.Therefore no souls are leaving.
       As for how many souls are entering Hell, we need to look at the religions that exist in the world today.Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions,and since people do not usually belong to more than one religion at a time.We can safely project that all souls go to Hell.
      With the birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.Now we look at the rate of change in the volume of Hell.This is because Boyle's Law states, that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of hell has to expand  proportionately as souls are added.
      This gives us two possibilities: 1) If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell,then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase untill all Hell breaks loose.
                                                   2) If Hell is expanding at a faster rate than the increase of souls entering Hell,then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
       So which is it.If we accept the word of Sandy who I asked out three weeks ago, and who said she would go out with me when Hell freezes over. And note, that I slept with her last weekend,then Hell must have frozen over.The fact that I slept with her, also gives proof to the existence of a Supreme Being.For she kept reapting over and over as we were having sex; O'My God!!! O'My God!!!
      Therefore we can state that Hell is endothermic and that a Supreme Being does in fact exist. Thus we have an answer to the question: What is the Nature of Hell?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


      Last night I was watching television when a commerical came on for Disneyland.The theme ofthe commerical was what could you do if you had one more day at Disneyland. Well it got me thinking,just what would someone do if they were granted one more day  at the end of their life. An to add another level of complexity,what if you could also go back and change a decision you made that sent you down a path that you believed was wrong.Would you spend it with a loved one,or someone in your past that had died,or maybe just slowly drifted away.Or would you choose to spend it with some important or not so important figure in history.So many possibilities, and only one day to experience your choice.
     It has been said that one's life unfolds as it was meant to be. But if that's true that means that there is no free will, that everything is preordain and that we are just actors reading or lines and going through the moitions called for in the comsic script.I for one do not believe in this theory.I believe in the multiverse,were each decision onemakes creates a new reality, and the possibile reality's are infinite.Here's a mind bender. Suppose you decide to go back and change the outcome of a bad decision.Once that change is made does it alter the future of your life and the direction of the world in general.If it does do your memories alter to fit the new reality. Then what happens when you come to the end of your life and once again are able to have one more day? Trying to think about all the possibilities,will make one dizzy and create a headache to end all headaches.
      If you decide to comment on this post,I would ask you to said how you would use the extra day.Myself, I am quite confilcted. On the one hand there is a spur of the moment decision that sent my life down a path that was unexpected.I have always wondered what would have happened if I did not make that particular decision. Would I have achieved my dream of going into spaceas an astrouant,to fly jets.Who knows.I do know that I have had an impact on the livesa of not only family members,friends and definitely on a number of strangers.This is true because for a period of time i was a firefighter,paramedic,and taught emergency medicine to hundreds of individuals.These individualsI suspect impcted other lives etc,etc.But then again,if I changed that one decision,I would not have met or known individuals who I have come to love and whose friendship I cherish. The known or the unknown, that as they say is the decision.I just don't know if I could make the decision how to spend that extra day. Could you,and if so what will it be? Have plenty of asprin handy my friends?I look forward to your replies.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


     Well, after such a long absence in writing this blog, I wondered were I would start. After all there are a million different thoughts and ideas running wild throught my mind. So to get back into the flow of writing again,the thought occured to me it would be fun to highlight some of the dumbest thing our elected politicans have said lately.The first one,and I offer apologies to Penny,my online friend in England,since it is the comments of the England's Forgien Office that I will highlight first.Last week Nato forces sent a smart bomb into the family compound of Libya's leader,killing his youngest son and three others.Then his supporters in the capital of Tripoli attacked the British Consulate.At which point the Foriegn Office of the British Government issued a statement deploying the fact that the consulate was attacked.Saying it was another example of Libya's failure to live up to its international obligations. Lets see,the British Government in patnership with Nato just tried to kill the leader of Libya,and they are surprised that Libya did not protect their Consulate.Now I ask you, what the hell did they think was going to happen? Duh!!
    Now to this side of the pond,as my friend Penny would say.The dumbest saying of the week goes to a would be politician,Donald Trump.The reason I say a would be politician is because even though he says he might be running for president,he never will. The reason being is that he would not like his financial dealings to be made public.Anyway,for weeks he has been saying that President Obama should release his long form birth certificate.Well the president finally got the State of Hawaii to release his long form birth certificate, and what did Donald Trump say.Mr. Trump got up before the camera's and said,"I am pround that I finally got the President to release his birth certificate,now we have to check out the particulars and see if it all checks out.I hope it all does."What!!!! Does he really think that the State of Hawaii would issue a fake birth certificate just to fool him and the american people.And this is a man who says he wants to be president.DUH!!!!!!!
     Well I guess that's it for my first post in over a month.I hope it made you think about other stupid stuff our politicans have been spouting over the years.Do you think we should have a IQ and Common Sense test before a person could run for office. I know what I think, but the question is what do you think?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


       Just a quick note to let everyone know why have not started writing on my blog.Well the truth is that my life nright now is in such turmoil right now writing about events in the world is the last thing on my mind.The main question is were will I be living the next six or seven weeks. It could be in the apartment were I am right now, could be in another state on a temporary or pernment basis.or if the worst happens living on the street till the end of may.Unfortunately I will not even have internet  again until around april 22nd so posting anything will of course be impossible.I would tell anyone not to worry about me for I have had circumstances like this happen in the past.Hopefully this will be the last time this situation will ever come up. This situation tells me that I am correct in believeing that I am better off staying a hermit,than becoming personally involed with other individuals.Help them out.that's fine but don't take it personally.O well, so that's what has been happening. With any luck things will be back to normal by april 22 or may 20th at the latest.So until then take care,and know I will miss your writings and miss my daily posts.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


     Since yesterday was my birthday,and now I am closer to 70 than to 60,a moment of reflection seems to be in order. The reason that I have entitled this post,"On Borrowed Time" is because thats the way I view the last 44 years of my life. You see when I was 21 years old I was in the jungles of Vietnam and was sure that I would not  see my 22nd birthday, I was wrong, and have since viewed each passing year of life as being borrowed time.Now the thing is that when you are living on borrowed time you want to make it count and be worthwhile.Well I returned from the jungles of Vietnam and went to college with the thought of becoming a teacher.However the most important idea that became the guiding principle of my life came from watching an episode of the tv series Star Trek.
     Let me explain about the importance of Star Trek to me.When I came home from the war to say my outlook on life was bleak,dark and sour would be an understatement.My view of mankind in general and its future was one of self annihilation in the very near future.I returned from Vietnam on August 25,1966 and two weeks later was moving into a college dorm.The college was called Shimer ,and it ranked as one of the top academic school in the nation and according to the Saturday Evening Post one of the top drug schools in the nation. It had a student populationof about 275 students. At anyone time at least 30 to 40 were attending Oxford University in England,with another 25 to 30 attending the University of Chicago.So on campus there were about 200 students and I was the only veteran and a combat veteran to boot on campus. The rest of the student body could rightly be described as long haired hippies.They were really great kids but a little naive as far as the way the world really worked.Anyway one night I wandered into the student union to watch a little tv and on came this science fiction series called Star Trek.Now ever since I was 8 years old I was an avid reader especially of science fiction,so a tv show about space immediately caught my intrest.It was the first time in which mankind was shown has having done away with fighting among ourselfs and had learned to cooperate for the common good. Of course we fought with other aliens but not with ourselfs.And to a war weary veteran it immediately became dear to my heart.But in Janurary 1967 an episode aired that literally change my life and world view.
     The episode was called,"Tomorrow is Yesterday" in which the U.S.S. Enterprise is hurled back into the early 20th century  and is spotted as an UFO by a US Air Force pilot.The plane that the pilot is flying is accidently destroyed and Captain Kirk has the pilot beamed aboard.When a check by the computer finds no metion of the captain in the historical records Kirk decides to take the pilot with them back to the 24th century.Then Mr.Spock informs the captain that he had made a mistake,yes I know Mr. Spock making a mistake,anyway the mistake was not checking to see if any of the pilots descendants were important enought to be in the historical record.Well it turns out that the pilot's son would be the first person to set foot on mars,so the pilot had to stay.What a novel idea,that one could be important to mankind because of what a descendant would do,or that one could change the life of someone who could impact history hit me like a ton of bricks.This then became the guiding principle of my life. I became a teacher,firefighter,paramedic,volunteer and tutor.When an opportunity came along to help someone I took it.Ok maybe the odds of my helping someone who directly or indirectly impacts the history of mankind might be almost zero,but a chance is still a chance.Fortunately, I was never big on possessions with the exception of books,so I have given away at least 50% of the money and possessions I have made and acquired over the years.An though it sometimes meant that things might be a little lean for a while,to my way of thinking it was worth it. Call me crazy,but the feeling you get helping others is like no other and add to it the possibility of helping that one individual who could end up changing the world, well all I can say it is addictive in the extreme.Well that's the story of Borrowed time.You know how I feel about it but as always the question is what do you think about it?  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Just a quick note to tell everyone that I am back.and will be posting again starting on St. Patrick's Day.To tell the truth i have really missed making a daily post on topics that catch my intrest and hopefully yours.So until tomorrow.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


      I am going to be helping a freiend for the next two weeks,so once again I will not be posting.I am of the belief that with those that you trutly call a  friend that there is nothing you would not do to help them over a rought patch or a problem were you help can carry the day.Well that situation has arisen with one of my friends.So like my might mouse picture I have posted,"Here I come to save the day!" With that said this blog will be inactive till March 16th,2011,the day before my birthday.I will once again be posting then and hopefully all of you who have been following this blog will do so once again starting on March 16ht.Till then I wish everyone good health,fortune and most of all good reading.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


      Just a quick post to tell everyone that the move is done.But what a mess, I will be unpacking for days to come,putting up bookshelves and arranging my books so they are in some sort of logical order. It's 1am, my back is killing me,took a pain pill,a hot shower is next and then bed,sweet,sweet,bed. Beginning tomorrow I will once again begin writing post on the topics that catch my eye that day. I wish to thank all of you for putting up with the pause in theposting of this blog.See you all tomorrow.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


     This post might be somewhat sporadic for the next few days to a week. I am moving to a better place,and moving really takes it out of me. I hate to move,so I have a tendency to stay in oned place for extended periods of time.There is a draw back to staying  in one place ,you start to accumulate stuff. Piles and boxes of stuff that fill up all avaible space and then some.When I moved into this apartment I had maybe a dozen books with me. I had quite a few in storage,but did not move them with me. Yesterday I packed up the books in the apartment,and would you care to venture a guess as to the number of boxes it took. Well, I would venture to guess you were very much on the low side. It took twenty large boxes to pack up the books. I kept up a count as I packed them and the total was well over the 600 book mark.I will probably add a few more to the collection,but I am leaning on getting a kindle. The reason is the other day I saw a commerical about the kindle which stated the battery lasts almost a month,and it could hold up to 8,000 books in it's memory. 8,000 books at the tip of my fingers in a device that can fit in my back pocket,I will be in heaven.However I can see one major drawback to having that many books at one's finger tips.Here's the problem,I am in my sixties and since I have lived in a city for fifteen years now, I take public transportation, since the only place I have to be on time is a doctors appointment or going to the movies.I almost always carry a book with me to read while waiting for the bus, and while on it. I cannot tell you how many times I will look up from the book I am reading,and exclaim,Were in the hell am I.For as sure as the sun rises in the east.I missed my stop.When I read ,everything else in the world ceases to exist as far as my awareness is concern. Can you imagine what will happen if I have 8,000 books at my finger tips.I may end up living on the bus,unable to tear myself away from the tome before me.
     Yes I have an addiction to books and reading,it may be a legal  but it can cost more than drugs or alcohol.And I have yet to hear of a readers anonymous, or a twelve step program for addicted readers.Ok,maybe it's not that bad,no I assure you it is,I'm a geek addicted to knowledge and books.The only genre that I don't care for and avoid are romance and horror.I have read the classic's in both genre but modern day novels do not intrest me,everything else I can't wait to get my hands on.Ideas and knowledge can there be any greater quest to be on.That is the purpose of language,to convey ideas,and to enlighten and enlarge one's worldview.But the misuse of language can be the source of all the problems.As the french writer Antoine deSaint-Exupery the author of the Little Prince,would say about language,"Language is the source of misunderstanding."Which is why poets and writers are so concerned with its use and the words to convey their ideas,Of the two, poets are the most elegant in the use of language.,while writers are the most descriptive when using language.which bring us back to books.There is one thing I know for a fact;,that the writers of blogs and those that read them all suffer from the same afflication that I have suffered from for the last sixty years.Books,Books,So many books and so little time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


     While searching through the news reports and the blogs that I follow.Now since they read mine ,I of course read theirs,and like my best friends blog ,they all were devoted to poetry.Being someone who is more comfortable with prose I am envious of those who can put their thoughts into poetic form.Well I was reading a blog by Lorel called "Silver glimmer dust' and the poem she wrote call "Crippling Composition" in which she compared life to a jigsaw puzzle.Once I read it I knew I had my inspitation for my post this evening.Life is a jigsaw puzzle what a brilliant view of the complexity of life.It would take a poet to distill life into that mind frame.So thank you Lorely, and now on to my take on life as a jigsaw puzzle.
     The first thing that comes to mind looking at life as a jig saw puzzle is putting the pieces together when we do not know the picture.Normally you have the box top picture to guide you,but in life there is no picture.So we blindly guess as to what the picture should be,and yes we guess wrong time after time.So putting the puzzle to gether becomes somewhat problematic,and it is a nightmare if the picture turns out to be a solid color.I have tried one of those and it takes the patience of a saint or someone who has no concern for time.Now scientists have always thought of life in terms of mathematics and that to them life can be approach in the logic tree model. Now for those who are not familar with the logic tree model here it is in a nut shell.All decisions are reduced to a either or decision. In a situation that has seems to be complex it is reduced to one decision at a time. Here's an example,lets say you have to decide whether you should take a certain job which might mean moving.The logic tree would go this way,the first decision would be 1)to either take the job or not. If you don't take the job then no futher decisions are necessary and the problem is at an end. Now if you decided to take the job then a whole new set of decisions are needed.Example;to move your possessions or to store them.If you decided to store them then no futher decision is necessary.If you decided to move them then the decision is to either move them yourself or to have others move them. You see how it goes either or at every stage. One decision stops the process the other moves it to the next step.
     Now if life is a jigsaw puzzle then the logic tree would be this,each piece you pick up the decision is work for you persowhether or not it meets a general observations as to whether or not it might fit the space. If the decision is that it does not.then no futher decision concerning that piece is needed.If it does then the decision is whether it fit a more specific set of parameters.And so on and so forth.Believe it or not this method of approaching lifes problem actually does work in over 99% of the cases in which you need to make a decision.Therefore it makes putting the jigsaw puzzle together a heck of a lot easier.Whether or not it would  work for you is a decision for you to make.Or you can keep guessing at each junction,as to whether or not the piece you are holding will fit.I know what I believe is the correct way to approach lifes problems but as usual what do you believe?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


       There was an article that I received in an E-mail about the Kepler space telescope,published in Discovery News.The chief scientist for the Kepler telescope said in a speech to the American Association for the Advancement of Science,in Washington,D.C. that the Kepler as search about 1/400th of the Milky Way galaxy and that they have discovered 1,235 exo-planets around distant stars,of which 53 were in the habitable zone,or as it is commonly call the goldie locks zone.Neither too hot nor too cold,the zone were water can exist in its liquid state. With these figures as a starting point,he estimates that there could be as much as 50 billion exo-planets in our galaxy,which futher means that their could be 500 million planets in that goldie lock zone.500 million planets that could have liquid water the basic building block that is needed to support life as we know it.That's a little high,but Dr.William Boruck say that figure could be on the low end.So ok,that's 500 million so if we posulate just 1% of these planets are fully capable of supporting life that is 5 million planets.At 1/2 of 1 % that's 2.5 million,at 1/4 of 1 % it's still 1.25 million planets.So maybe the vision of Star Trek is not that far off .Pablo Picasso,the painter was once quoted as saying,"Everything that you can imagine is real."However my favorite quote is from Jodi Foster in the movie Contact who when ask if she thought that there was other intellegent life in the universe,said,"Well,if we are the only intellegent life that's a lot of wasted space."Great answer, for it says, if you believe in God,The question becomes,Do you Really think that in the entire cosmos he would limit himself to creating only 1 intellegent lifeform.How could anyone reply ,No he only created us and no one else.The vast cosmos is there for our enjoyment. Now remember we were only talking about the Milky Way Galaxy.There are literally millions of galaxies.You do the math. So are we unquite in the universe?
     I know that I did an earlier post call "Are We Alone?" which basiclly covered this same topic but using the mathematical Drake Equation,but any time the question makes the news I will in all probably do another post on the topic.Don't let it be said that you were not warned. I'm a geek at heart.I will end this with a quote by Groucho Marx,"Those are my principals and if you don't like them......Well I have others."Wait, for some reason I am into quotes and useless facts tonight.So here are two others.Useless fact 1) Your right lung takes in more air than your left lung. Useless fact 2) An adult human head weights about 12lbs (5.4 kilograms0 or about the same as a light bowling ball. Had enought I could go on all night,if you don't believe me ask my friend JL,she has had to suffer this fault of mine for years.Sorry JL.love ya.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


      A friend of mine wrote in a post how she see's me,which I wish was the way I see myself.But then we always see ourself's different than others see us. It reminded me of a poem that I found in a Texans motel in the late sixties,entitled "The Man in the Mirror". the author is unknown but almost fifty years later I still remember it. So that you might enjoy it,here it is:
                                                     The Man in the Mirror

        When you get what you want in the struggle for life and the world makes you king for a day'
         Just go to the mirror and look at yourself and see what that man has to say.
        He's the fellow to please never mind all the rest,for he's with you clear to the end,
        And you passed your most dangerous difficult test,if the man in the glass is your friend.
        You may win the whole world and get pats on the back as you pass,
        But your final reward will be heartache and tears,if you cheated the man in the glass.

     Or as Shakespeare once said,"This above all to thine ownself be true,And it must follow as the night the day,Thou canst not then be false to any man." Both in the poem and in the quote of Shakespeare the theme is; be true to what you believe to be true and don't worry about how others see you. It doesn't matter.The only  thing that matters is how you see yourself. Good or Bad it will be reflected back when you look at yourself.So I guess it is not that unusual that you would see yourself differently than others see you.Therefore my advice is when someone gives you a complement accept it,and don't worryif it's not how you see yourself.
    Since its Sunday and I want to keep it somewhat light,I will keep this post short.Hope you enjoyed the poem,I know I have for the last forty some odd years.One last thought. In my mind I still see myself in my late twenty's or early thirty's; so every morning when I look into the bathroom mirror,I see my reflection and ask this question,"Who in the Hell is that person,that can't be me.!" What can I say except Have a great day everyone. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011


      One of the giggest debates taking place right now,besides the budget is education.Not the curriculum but were the control for the curriculum should be.Local or federal,this is important because of the amount of money that the federal government gives to the state and local school districts.Ever since the "No Child Left Behind" law was passed the federal government has been slowly but surely imposing itself into what the school can and should teach.In the late 1990's the lack of demonstrative improvement in the education of both grammer and high school students brought about the hue and cry for a system to track the progress or lack of a child's education.Thus came the passage of the No Child Left Behind Law. Each year the students would be tested and those scores would be made public.If a school did not meet minimum standards for two or three years in a row,then federal funds would be with held and the students could transfer to another school.Sound reasonable doesn't it,but like most things the test is in the details.What happened was that the schools started to place the emphasis on teaching the students what would be covered in the test and how to take it.No longer did the school worry about whether or not if the students actually learned,but whether or not they could pass the yearly test.Fail for a couple of years and the school was in danger of being closed ,teachers laid off or fired and federal funds lost.The problem with the law was that the ramifications were not thought out,and such it was doomed to failure.Holding schools accountable is needed,for society could not tolerate an educational system that produced students who could not read or were functionally illiterate,or a system which had high drop out rates.Something had to be done,thus the No Child Left Behind Law.
     What has taken place was a struggle between local control or federal control.Now the problem with federal control is that like all federal programs they promote a one sizes fits all approach.An even the most poorly educated individual knows intuitively that a one size fits all approach is doomed to failure.This is why our founding fathers leaned to local control on most every problem that society faced.That is why the federal government was limited in what it was allowed to do,and the power of the state and local government was made paramount.This is seen in the fact that the local board of education are elected by the individuals whose children education they would oversee.The only problem with this system is the assumption that the individuals who were elected to the Board of Education would be educated and understand the need for a rational approach to education. This approach not only would extended to the curriculum but also to the behavior of both teacher and student.The major problem that the Board of Education had when dealing with the curriculum was not so much with the content,though there were major problems in that area,but in the way in which it was taught.The Board took the word of those who were intrusted to teach the students that they knew the best way to teach the student and that those who did not receive an approved education in the methods of teaching were not qualified to teach.Therefore those that were in charge of teaching the curriculum were allowed to use methods that were not proven to be effective.Combine that with the fact that the school system was hobbled by what they were allowed to do in respect to discipline in the classroom.A perfect storm as far as education was concern.Now we are faced with the problem of how to fix the system and how to implement those changes.What is at stake is not only the future of our country but also the future of our planet. For we cannot allow others to dicate the direction our world will take without or particaption in the process.This particaption will mean that we must have a highly educated population now and in the future. So just how much control over the educational system should be local and how much should rest with the federal government.I know what I believe but the question as always is what do you believe?    

Friday, February 18, 2011


     At first glance the title of this post would seem to indiciate that it would deal with charities or organizations that provide services to families or individuals.Well you would be both right and wrong at the same time.It sounds a little zen doesn't it.What this post will de dealing with is artifical or prosthetic limbs.Now civilization can be viewed in a number of ways. It improves the lives of mankind in general,has allowed humans to spread around the world an increase their numbers to the breaking point worldwide.Man can now peer into the distant past when the universe began and to understand it's inner workings.At the same time it has produced enviromental damage to the oceans and polluted our lands and the very air we breathe.The pro's and con's are legion and can be debated till the end of time,but there is one area were there is no arguement.That area is the relief and improvement of the lives of individuals who have lost limbs and other body parts.In fact it would be safe to say that everyone knows someone who makes uses of a prosthetic.Wait,you say I don't know anyone who is mising an arm or leg.That may be true but how many people due you know who wear dentures.Dentures are in fact a prosthetic.
    We can go to the very dawn of civilization there are reports that the early Egyptian's use artifical or prosthetic limbs. Starting in the 14th century artifical limbs started to become functional.Limbs that could in some respect minic the movement of the orginial limbs they seek to replace.One of the most famous individuals in history who has been immortalize in both the written word and song was the 18th century British Admiral Horatio Nelson,who was missing and arm and one eye.War the biggest area that destroys the life's of so many soldiers,who come home missing one or more limbs.It is the use of these prosthetic limbs that allow these brave individuals to live full and useful lives without relying on the goodwill and charity of others.Ask yourseves this questionin what other area of human endeavor does as much to improve the daily life of those missing limbs or body parts. Prosthetic's also include heart values,hip and knee joints.They are now working on prosthetic's that response to the electrical impluses of nevers and to thought.Think of it,individuals who are completely paralyze and who cannot talk are able to use their thoughts to control a computer which allows them to talk and operate a wheelchair for mobility.Who knows with the advances that science and medicine are making,maybe just maybe there will come a time were individual who have lost limbs or have had spinal injuries will be able to grow or regenerate limbs or nerves. After all if some species of lizards and starfish can regrow severed limbs and tails why can't man. Even the lowely earthworm can completely regrow itself if chopped into pieces.Thats the question that both science and medicine has been asking itself and I am cofident that sooner or later the not only will be able to answer that question,but will do away with the need for prosthetic's.Let us hope. As usual I know what I believe but just what do you think will happen?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


     I saw a commerical on tv that talked about volunteer firefighter and volunteer fire departnments. It caught my intrest since I myself was a volunteer firefighter and was on the board of directors on four volunteer departnments in the mid 1970's .Actually the real reason for this particular post is that I want to impart a particular call that happened in 1978.Wait for it,as I will get to it shortly.
    First let me give a general backround of volunteer firefighting. Now what I say about volunteer firefighter and departnments is about the ones in the United States. However I would bet my last dollar that it applies to volunteer firefighter and departnments worldwide.Volunteer firefighting has been around since villages and town first spread across the landscape.At first it was just neighbors with buckets forming a line to throw water on a neighbors building that caught fire.Then when the hand pump came into being the first volunteer fire departments were created.Today in the United States there are about 26,000 volunteer fire departments ,with 73% of all firefighters being volunteer. These firefighter not only fight fires but also provide emergency medical care,rescue,prevention services along with civil defense,and diaster response and liaisons with local,state, andfederal agencies. They are and always have been the first line of defense against diaisters both natural and manmade. It takes a very special type of person who will place themselves in danger to serve and protect their neighbors.Cops and firefighters are a very special breed.
     Ok now to the tale of one small mistake.In 1978 the volunteer fire department that I belong to decided to hold an annual fund raising event. These fundraisers were the primary source of funding for the fire department.Anyway it was decided that the department would hold an annual holloween costume party. For months before that date in October every detail was forseen and address. The community building in the local county park was reserved ,notices about the event was spread to every person in the community.Then came the big night,and the community came out in mass to support the department. In anticaption of a possible call during the event we parked a rescue rig and a pumper close by.The party was in full swing when what we thought might happen did.A call came in about a car over the side of a hill,with the california highway patrol was on scene.That's when we realized that we made just one small mistake.Every member of the department was in attendence,but no one was in uniform. Every member was in costume.We looked at each other and struggling to hold in the laughter sprang into action. Now since I was the fire chief the rescue vehile was mine.I would arrive on scene,and take charge,provide emergency medical care if necessary. Now I was dressed as a white knight with chainmail and a large red cross on my chest. The fire captain that rode with me was about 6ft6inches tall and skinny as abean pole. Now he was dressed as Dracula white face,red lips,fangs ,in a 19th century suit with flowing cape.We took off to the scene of the accident,lights and serin blaring.Knowing the pumper would follow shortly with additional personnel.
     We pulled up behind the parked CHP cruisers and sprang into action. Now picture this,the CHP officers were down at the wreck and could not see us.All they could see was the flashing red and blue lights. Grabbing the medical equipment from the rig we jumped over the edge,quick stepping down the hillside to the wreck.The two CHP officers stood there with eyes wide open and mouth agape not believeing what they were seeing. A white knight and Dracula bounding down the hill towards them.Letting the officers know that we really were firefighter's and explaining that we were at a holloween party when the call came in.Then the pumper arrived at the scene. A clown was driving with a cave women in the captains seat. On the back of the pumper was a california brown bear and a hobo.What a picture we presented,to traffic that was driving by.Fortunely the accident victums were not conscious when they were pulled from the wreck and given aid..Unfortunely Dracula and myself had to accompany the ambulance to the hospital in all our splendor.
    Well that's it,one small mistake,and a ridiculously funny situation occured.I hope that you enjoyed the tale,I know every time I think of it I smile.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


     Tonight Feburary 15th,2011 President Obama will unveil his budget for the federal government for the fiscal year 2012. The budget will be around $3.73 trillion with a deficit of approximately $1.1 trillionThis deficit will be about 500 billion less that the $1.6 trillion for 2011.However as good as this looks it does not tell the true story.,but we will get into that in a few moments.Now these figures are truely astounding.The national debt for the fiscal year 2010 is $14 trillion dollars. Now before we go any futher ,it might be a good idea if with spelled out excatly what each of the following terms mean
                                  1)Budget-comprises total expenditures and the total receipts of the federal government
                                 2)Deficit- total expenditures less total receipts(such as income taxes)received.
                                 3)National Debt-acculmation of every year's deficit since 1789 less all accumulated surpluses.(since 1789 we have had only 13 years with surpluses)
                                4)Debt intrest payments-amount paid to investors who have bought treasury bill and bonds.
     Ok,now that we have the terms defined we can proceed to the discussion at hand.Over the next few days and weeks the budget deficit,national debt and it's intrest payments will be front and center in the public consciousness.Events around the world will take a back seat to the discussion about our fiscal health,unless some government around the world falls in a revolution.Now the argument will revolve around what is necessary spending,how much and were spending should be cut.Now let us look at the supposed drop in the deficit from last year.This drop consists of $90 billion in cuts and around $410 billion in new taxes.Smoke and mirrors,if you don't look to closely it looks great.Another trick of smoke and mirrors is the statement that some sort of cut will reduce the deficit over ten years.Did you spot the trick,No,well here it is. When they say that cutting the deficit this year by $so much  and thus save this amount over the next decade,they assume that the amount saved this year will automaticly be added to the budget the following year.Therefore we can say we won't add that amount to the federal budget and thus reduce the deficit by that much.
      Smoke and mirrors,that all the politicans are offering us. Now that the question is can we resolve the problem of the national debt with just spending cuts without raising taxes.What if the raise in taxes is targeted at paying down the debt?Would that be acceptable?How about the President Obama's pledge to cut the deficit by half by the end of his first term.Did you spot the trick?Actually there were two.The first is that the president is saying no longer will we operate on $1.6 trillion dollar deficit but only on $800 billion deficit.Now that is progress isn't it.The second trick is that the president is saying that I will have a second term and will continue my austerity program.Smoke and Mirrors,that's all they seem to be offering us. Lets look at our reflection in the fun houses mirror.See the reflection shows us as skinny,well great.I no longer have to worry about my diet,after all my reflection is skinny,just look at it.
    If nothing catches my eye tonight,well look at ways in which he deficit can be tackled without all the smoke and mirrors. But as to what answers to the deficit the politicians offer us,do you believe them? I know what I believe but as usual what do you believe?


       I was going to do this post on President Obama's 2012 federal budget and what was laughingly called spending cuts and deficit reduction.However that will have to wait until tomorrow,since another article caught my attention.And what you ask could pull me off the budget and take me to an entirely different subject. That's easy,it was an article about the Department of Transportation and what the Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said that his department was looking to regulate. These new regulations would deal with the problem of distracted driver's and what would be allowed in cars in the future. Now if that was not enough these regulations would also regulate what drivers would be allowed to do while in the car.
     Now remember that the President said his administration would look at those regulations that impacted business and get rid of the pointless regulations that clog the books.According to the web site, Regulation.gov the Department of Transportation has 1.2 million pages of regulatory and adjudicatory rules that are on the books.Yes you read it right,that's 1.2 million pages of regulation concerning driving on the highways of the nation.Usually laws and regulation fall under the authority of the individual states. After all it is the state that issuses driver license's.You would be right,except that the federal government can regulate commerical vechile traffic,and if the federal government wants to regulate how drivers use or behaves on the highway system they can do so. Actually what they do is either tell the states that if they do not pass a particular law or regulation they will withhold federal highway funds.The other way is to tell the car manufacture to add or remove a particular piece of equipment.So what the Department of Transportation wants, the Department of Transportation gets.
     With the presidental directive to remove unnessary regulations from the booksit would seem that ,the Department of Transportation would have its hands full just reviewing 1.2 million pages of regulation.Can any rational human being even visualize what 1.2 million pages of regulations look like.Now what is it that they are looking to regulate now. How about hands free devices such as bluetooth cell phones,navigational devices.Now add drinking coffee,eating donuts,consuming hamberburgers and of course shaving and applying makeup.Ok I can see shaving and applying makeup since to do so one must keep glancing at one's reflection in the mirror.Look at yourself too long,Wham a car accident. Logical.The same with donuts,after all the jelly or powder sugar could fall on one's lap. The same goes for eating hamburgers;,ketchup,mustards or pickle could fall,and when one looks down,Wham a car accident.Logical,maybe?Now lets look at hands free bluetooth cell phones. The reason given is that when talking the driver is distracted,paying attention to the conversation and not on driving.Ok that seems logical,but wait what about talking with a passanger,doesn't the same thing apply.I would think so. Therefore the only way to prevent that from happening is to isolate the driver from everyone in the vehicle.That would do it.However I don't think the voting public would allow that to happen,do you?
     It seems that our elected and appointed officals are not the brightest bulb in the room, or are operating with a few cards short of a full deck.However you want to put it, they seem to want to regulate just about every aspect of our lives,Can we stop this tendency in our elected and appointed officals?I know what I think, but as usual what do you think?

Monday, February 14, 2011


      I am feeling a little under the weather today,can't seem to keep to thoughts together at the same time.Hopefully tomorrow the posts will once again be avaible to one and all.till then Happy Valentine'sday everyone.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


      Well it's sunday,so something light seems to be in order.SinceValentine'Day is monday,February the 14th,I thought we should look at it's relationship with cupid and love.It's seems strange that once again Valentine's Day has fallen again on the 14th as it has since 500AD,wait a minute I just realized that it was set up that way intentionally.It must be the love in the air or the overdose of choclate that caused a temporary brain freeze.The first recorded writing on Valentine's Day was in 1382 by Geoffry Chaucer who wrote:
     Now let us jump almost 200 years in the future to 1590 when Edmund Spence wrote in the Faerie Queene:
   But if we wonder when the sickly sweet poetry rhyming began, you know the type.The one were you receive a sugar rush just reading the words without eating any sugar ,or choclate candy.That began in 1784 when an English Nursery Rhyme was published in the book Grammer Gurton Garland which said;
    But the real commerical push to send the words of love in cards came to be in the 1850's when cards were made with lace borders,hand painted hearts,and cupids.You know those chubby flying ambassador's of love who shoot the arrows from their bow,willy nilly at one and all,regardless of age,race or belief.But the real reason for Valentine's Day is one that is not spoken about,it teachs young children to express the feeling of love to others that are not of their family.Who among us cannot remenber the hesitation or even fear at being laughted at or being made fun of when you want to expressed a feeling of liking or love to someone else.Even when it was made mandatory to give one to every classmate,it still was scary.If you liked someone special in the class you worried that about how it would look if you gave one that was to personal.Being laught at was the worst thing that could happen.
    So on this day devoted to expressing one's feeling and love,with flowers,candy and candlelight dinner and remember those innocent days of childhood,and be glad you don't have to worry any more about being laught at. Now the only worry is whether or not your mate,girlfriend/boyfriend thinks you have shown your love sufficiently with flower,candy and intimate candlelight dinners.For woe be the one who forgets this day,cupid does not like to be ignored.So enjoy and be grateful it comes only once a year.


Saturday, February 12, 2011


     Well a miracle has occured in Egypt,not only did a largely peaceful demostration force Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from office,but not only was an American flag not burnt,but there were no chant of Death to America.Now all the political pundits on cable television are whipping up the ether with dire predictions that the outlaw political party the Muslim Brotherhood would take advantage of the up comming elections and turn Egypt into an Islamic State. Now this might be good for ratings but it has no legitimate basis in reality.
   First of all these individuals have a need to make a link between the revolution that took place in Iran in 1979 and the peaceful protests that took place in Egypt.First of all the army in Iran did not seize control of the government from the monarchy of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi,but were supported of the Islamic clergy. This clergy with the following of university students who held that the western culture was a plague on Iran that had to be wiped out. The idea that Ali Shariati vision of Islam as the true liberator from the colonialism,neo-colonialism and capitalism was the one that was held by millions of the Iranian poor and middle class.Thus Iran became a Islamic state that the followers of the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini desired. Now in Egypt the protest or revolution had two main goals in mind,that of getting rid of the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and installing a democratic government.Yes it's true that the Muslim Brotherhood is organized,and if there was a power vacuum after Mubarak resigned then maybe there would be cause for alarm. However the Egyptian army took over the control of the government with the promise of  free democratic election and would only run the government till the elections took place. The other thing that makes this different fron Iran is that the military does not side with or even care for the Muslim Brotherhood.It's not even sure if the Military Council will allow the Muslim Brotherhood  to participate as a political party in the elections.
     As I pointed out in yesterday's post the overriding sentiment of the vast majority of egyptians is the idea of free speech,assembly,freedom from censorship,and democratic elections.Yes they also expressed the idea that the Islamic religion should have some role in the state but not the overriding one.The question that everyone should be asking and debating is,will this populist uprising spread to the rest of the Middle East. First there was Tunisa, and the young people of Egypt seeing what was possible,took a gamble that they could do the same thing.Will the people of the  Middle East state seeing what happened in Egypt say to themselves,if they can do it why not us.I know what I believe,but as usual the question is what do you believe will happen?

Friday, February 11, 2011


     I came across an article that made my blood boil and made me question just how far we have come as a society.As you can guess from the title of this post that it deals with children.The treatment of children that we will get into shortly, is enought to raise your blood pressure,but what drove me up the wall was the oblivious assumption that this treatment is based on. What also caused me to raise an eyebrow,was the fact that of all the nations in the world and in the United Nations, only the United States and Somalia have refused to sign on to a particular policy. This policy is Article 37 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.Wondering just what was it that the United States found so objectionable in Article 37,I went online and read what it said. Now this article prohibits the detention of children except as a last resort and for the shortest appropiate period of time. It also prohibits the toture & other creul,inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment.Of course this part dealt with the treatment of refugee's. Then in the section on the rights of children,it states that children are to be protected from child abuse,neglect,exploitation cruelty and abuse in the criminal justice system.After reading the whole document, I could see how some of the language in the section could raise concern that it would require  the United States to forego some of it's sovereignty.But to be in lockstep with Somalia,that is a little to much.
     Now here is a fact about the state of the juvenlie justice system in the United States. We are the only nation on the planet that allows children under the age of 18 to be sentence to life in prison without the possissibility of parole. At the present time there are 2,574 children serving this sentence for crimes committed before the age of 18. We as a society have said that they are basically throwaway kids and the only thing they will know is the inside of a prison.This seems to fly in the face of what we know is fact in the development of a child's brain,and decision making skills.Let me give you a brief overview on how the juvenlie justice system came about and developed in this country.
    Before 1900 children who were convicted of crimes were sent to prison with adults.Then with the beginning of the progessive era between 1900-1918,the states began establishing youth reforms that embelished the idea that society had the responsibilty to help children recover from what was seem as poor upbringing, so that the state was in fact acting in "parens patriae" or as the parent or guardian of the child.Thus was born the juvenlie justice system that was basically a civil court rather than a criminal one.If it was decided that the child needed to be locked up in order to receive treatment, the confindment only lasted until 21 at the latest.Then in 1967 & 1969 the Surpreme Court said that juvenlie's were entitled to due process under the 5th and 14th admenment of the Consitution. So juvenile court stated to take on a criminal justice look.With a steep rise in juvenlie crime in the late 1980's and the mid 1990's the public started taking notice of juvenlie crimes. Then a series of school shootings and other horrendous offenses cause the public to fear a new breed of juvenlie superpredators was being born. To combat this states begin lowering the age in which juvenlie's could be tried as adults.Some states lowered the age to as low as 10 years.And with the mandatory sentenceing laws,the judges had no choice but to sentence any child who was convited to life in prison without the possibility of parole.The perfect storm for the juvenlie justice system.
     Can you spot the flaw in the assumptions that the juvenlie justice system is operating under.It easy,the assumption is that the child is fully functioning and can make decisions based on the full knowledge of what society expects. However science has shown us that a child's brain is not fully developed,nor is their impluse control.Since we know that this is true how can we expect them to act like adults. kids kill for a variety of reasons,including prolong emotional or physical/sexual abuse,brain damage or mental illiness received from drug addicated mothers.
     Charles Manson,"Son of Sam" killer David Berkowitz were sentence to life in prison but with the possibility of parole.If we can give killers like this the hope of freedom,how can we say a child killer cannot be saved.There are kids that society needs to be protected from,but at the same time we must administer to the needs of our kids.I know what I believe,but the question is what do you believe?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


     This post will be a little different from my usual postings,I promise a friend in Ramsey,Minnesota that I would do one on Diabetes.She asked me to post a banner on my profile page that said,"Someone I love needs a cure."Which of course I did,hence this post.I went online an did a lot of research on diabetes in preparation.As I read the articles on this disease,I hope for a flash of inspiraion.Unfortunately that did not happen,so here we are.
     It is estimated that there are 171 million cases of diabetes worldwide,with the US and Spain leading the way with 82.5 cases per 1000 population.,followed by Europe and Russia at 45-52 per 1000,with central Africa,China last with 7.5-15 per 1000.Just looking at these figures it is easy to see how lifestyle and diet can play a part in this disease.This disease has been around for a long time,at least in being recognized as a disease.It was noticed by the ancient Greeks,Chinese and Egyptians being called sweet urine.Sushruta in 6BCE(before the Common Era) identified it with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.The Greek Aretaeus commented that life with diabetes is short,disgusting and painful.
     In the United States about 26 million people have the disease,with 8.6 million cases in people over 60 years old,and more than 6 million being undiagnosed.That means about 12 million people under 60 are living with diabetes.To combat this, the American Diabetes Foundation and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have made the education and the awareness of the symptoms and prevention a national priority.
    There are two types of diabetes: type 1 or juvenile diabetes which is usually controlled by daily injection of insulin and type 2 or adult onset which is controlled by a variety of means;.medications, diet, and excerise.Type two composes approxametly 90-95% of  diabetic cases.Some of the causes are smoking,an inactive lifestyle,obesity and overweight and old age.Of the five main causes of type 2,four are preventable.In terms of health care we can greatly reduce the majority of the cost associated with diabetes.Working on those four causes seems to be a no brainer.As for old age and juvenile diabetes there are encouraging signs that medical research will isolate the gene which causes the body to produce to much or too little insulin.
    So there it is,an almost preventable disease.Individually and collectively we can beat this scourge of mankind.Let each of us make a promise to ourselves and to those that we love that we will do all that we can  to avoid this disease.That way we not only will be helping ourselves but also our country.I hope that this post was educational ,I know the research was. Tomorrow we will get back to the normal topics.So take care and be healthy.See I kept my promise and one final thought, keep warm there in Minnesota.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


    I want to start this post with a line from the television show NCIS---A man walks into a bar and ask's the bartender for a glass of water.The bartender pulls out a shotgun and shoots it,just missing the man. The man say thanks ,puts a tip down on the bar and walks out. Now why did he say thanks and leave a tip.I will give you the answer at the end of this post,and you will understand how it ties in. Trust me.
    According to the lastest Pew poll Egypt is very schizophrenic in what the people believe. But before we get into that, answer this question;Ever since the protests began two weeks ago, what is the one thing that has been missing.It is the one thing that has figured prominently in every protest that has happened in the middle east since the 1950's.Give up?not once in the two weeks of Egyptian protests has an American flag been burned .That in an of itself' should have been banner headlines around the world.All the more amazing given that the Pew poll reports that 82% of egyptians have an unfavorable view of the U.S.Then again 72% have an unfavorable view of Al-Qaida.Were as 52% think that suicide bombing is permitted under certain circumstances.While 84% think that the death penalty should be enforced for leaving Islam.
    Now compare this with the 90% who believe in the freedom of religion and that democracy with it's protections of free speech,free assembly is perferable to any other form of government.80% place a high value on free speech, 88% on an impartial judiciary,while 75% believe in a media free of government censorship.Egypt has always been at war between those that favor a modernize Egypt versus Islamic fundamentalists.59% of egyptian's would pick Islamic fundamentalists, were27% would pick a modernize Egypt.32% want civilian control of the military.The one thing that tips the scale in favor of a modernize Egypt is the fact that the Egyptian army has always been an extenstion of the middle class,and as such would check the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood.
    Schizophrenic would be a mild description of Egypt today. As they say in Arabic-Only Allah knows what's next.Now back to the riddle. A man walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a glass of water. The bartender pulls out a shotgun and fires it missing the man. At which point the man says thanks and puts a tip on the bar and walks out.Now why did he say thanks and leave a tip before walking out? The answer is that the man had hiccups.What was your answer? Assumptions will drive you crazy when you try to figure out something. This is especially true when trying to figure out which way Egypt will go in the future.See I told you that I would tie it up. Now I know how I believe Egypt will go, but the question is what do you think will happen in Egypt?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


      Three topics that all bring about deep feelings and deeply held beliefs that seem to be at odds with one another.However the past few days they have been intertwine in the newspaper the last few days.Before I go any further,it is necessary that I tell you a little about myself. By nature and temperament I am a agnostic,I don't know if there is a god or not. However I was raised as a Roman Catholic,I went to Catholic school and even studied to become a Maryknoll priest for a few years. The reason I am tell you this,is because part of this blog will deal with the Catholic Church.There was an article in the Britsh newspapers that reported that the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales was worried about the influence of Harry Potter and his team of wizards.Really it's true. In the British church's publishing arm, the Catholic Truth Society published a booklet called,"Wicca and Witchcraft,Understanding the Dangers."I could not make this stuff up. The British arm of the Catholic Church is worried that the immensely popular Harry Potter books were corrupting British youth. That after reading about witchcraft and wizards,young people would flee the Catholic Church and turn to casting spells over boiling cauldrons.Ok, they didn't say the thing about boiling cauldrons,I stole it from Macbeth.But the tenor of the article brought to mind the three witches of Macbeth.They were scary enought that I could see why the Catholic Church was afraid of Harry Potter.
     Not really, you would have to be a complete idiot to think that. Am I being to hard .actually no. Religious fundamentalists and creationists seem to hold the belief that religion and science were not compatible,and anything that seem to conflict with their beliefs they had to attack and paint as being godless.Which is why that I was so completely taken by surprise when I read an article that talked about the sixth annual Evolution Weekend sponsored by the Clergy Letter Project.An organization of about 14,000 clergymembers and scientists who were holding discussions on how science and religion  are not at odds with one another. The reason they called it the Evolution Weekend was that it was taking place on the 202nd anniversaryof the birth of Charles Darwin.Whose birthday which was Feburary 12,1809.It was also the 152 years ago that he published his,"On the Origin of Species". The book that completely change the subject of biology, and the way we view ourselves.Now I may not believe that a belief in God is necessary ,since the universe is wonderous in it's complexity. But if someone wants to believe in God that's fine,as long as the belief does not make them deny the truth of science.The article went on to say that a survey of high school biology teachers said that they only spent two hours or so on evolution.Being afraid that they would be targets of the proponents of intelligent design.If that is true, is it any reason that the education system in the United States is falling so far behind in math and science.Maybe,just maybe if the Clergy Letter Project spreads to every corner of this country, science will once again take it's primary place in our schools and educational system. I know what I am hoping for but the question is what do you believe and what do you hope for?I will end this post with a quote from Macbeth,act 1 scene 7,"Screw your courage to the sticking-place,and we'll not fail"

Monday, February 7, 2011


     For the last two weeks protesters have pour out in both Cario and Alexandria, the two major cities in Egypt. In Cario,the protesters took over Tharir Square which is on the banks of the Nile. The square is approximately 480,000 sq ft,so if the protesters pack themselves in like sardines,the square could hold 250,000 people.Now let us say that another 200,000 people came out in Alexandria in protest, and 100,000 came out in the smaller towns and villages,that means around 550,000 people have been calling for Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to leave office.Considering that the total population of Egypt is about 89 million people,that means 1/2 of 1% of the population is protesting the government.Now there is an old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.Well that's the same thing with protests.If hundreds of thousands of people begin to protest at the same time and for a extended period the government will start discussions with them.The reason is simple,worldwide coverage puts enormous pressure on the government to show that they hear and understand the complaints of the people.There is one exception to this,that's if the government is a religious theocracy. A religious theocracy believes they are doing God's work,so what the world thinks does not really matter.So to ensure their continued existence they will but down any mass protest,with extreme force and brutality.
     Now we have already discussed how democracy could be highjacked by extremist elements, so the crossroads Egypt has arrived at is this. One path leads to freedom for all including minorities,the other to repression of individual liberities.Which path will Egypt take,well the signs point to freedom for all. The first sign is that the Egyptian Army is not siding with the Muslim Brotherhood and are doing all they can to keep the pro-government and anti-government forces apart.The other encouraging sign is what happened in Tharir square on Friday and Sunday.On friday which is a day when all muslim's go to mosques or pray facing Mecca the Christian minority among the protesters guarded all the entrances to the square to prevent pro-government forces from attacking their Muslim brothers in the square.Then on Sunday when the Christians held their religious services,the Muslim protesters did the same for them.If both the Christian and Muslim protesters are able to watch out for each other,then freedom is very likely.
     One of the most encouraging signs is that the newly appointed vice president has been holding talks with the protesters to find ways to defuse the situation,and allow Egypt to go back to being a peaceful country.Whether or not that President Hosni Murbarak stays in office or what types of concessions the government will have to make to satisify the protesters is anybody's guess.That a compromise will happen is almost a given since the protest has lasted so long.Whether it will happen today or next week, I can't say,but I have my opinion, but the question is what do you believe? Freedom or oppression that's the question facing Egypt now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


      Well the day millions of football fans have been waiting for,Super Bowl Sunday.The Green Bay Packers versus the Pittsburg Steelers..Being a football fan myself,I look forward to the game,,which by all accounts should be a great one.But I would be more excited if it was the San Diego Chargers instead of the Steelers.However there is always next year. To say that this will be a super sunday for football is an understatement.It is estimated that close to a billion people worldwide will watch the game. Now I understand that what we call football is extremely popular here in the states. But our population is only 300 million,so even if every single person, from babies to the elderly watched the game that still leaves around700 million viewers worldwide.Really, give me a break.Now I know that the whole world needs a diversion from what is happening in every corner of the globe. From wars,to demonstration in the middle east and in the capitals of Europe.There is wholesale starvation in Africa,and parts of Asia,religious and political strife in almost every corner of the globe.Yes we need something to take our minds off our troubles,if even for a few hours. So I guess that the Super Bowl qualifies,but a billion people. Give me a break.
     Am I going to root for one team over the other. Of Course!The Steelers have already won a Super Bowl, so I am hoping that Arron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers win. Yes I know that the Packers have won the big game before, but not the young quarterback Arron Rogers,so the Packers get my support.Cheeseheads all the way!.Until the game begins I will probably be watching golf, or a sunday talk show. Both are both interesting and boring at the same time.Maybe a good book instead?After all I am a avid reader,between 5 to seven books a week on the average.From action/adventure to physics,to quantum mechanics,but no horror or romance.I have to draw the line somewhere.
    I must make one thing clear, even though I live in Las Vegas, I will not be betting on the game. Now if the Chargers were playing that's a different story, but not this year.Tomorrow we will once again tackle more serious topics,but until then enjoy the game. Really a Billion People?

Saturday, February 5, 2011


       Well it's the weekend and time for something light. Last night I was watching "Fringe" and decided that it would be fun to look at impossibilites.The first thought was baseball with the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.But no,that's too far out. As Nostradamus said, When the Cubs win the World Series,the world as we know it will end.Ok he did not say that,but if he had it would have been accurate.So let us move on to something else.
     It has always amazed me when two things coincide or converge.Last night around 1:30am I was watching a Time-Life infomercial for singers and songwriters of the 60's and 70's. As I listened to the beginnings of songs,some of which I haven't heard in forty years,I was immediately transported into the past.As the words and melody flowed through my mind, I remembered excatly were I was the first time I heard them.For 30 minutes I remembered my college days after a tour of duty in Vietnam.Carefree days with good friends,laughter,music and need I say it beautiful women.Well they were beautiful to a young 22 year old male.Singers like,Carly Simon,Peter,Paul and Mary,Janis Joplin,Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead the list could go on and on.The first song I fell in love with by Peter,Paul and Mary entitled ":Leaving on a Jet Plane" and Paul Simon's,"Still Crazy After All These Years."These songs were reverberating in my mind as I went to sleep.However as my head hit the pillow,I remembered an old comedy routine called,"Waiting for the Electrian or someone like him." For the love of me I could not remember who made the record, so I made a mad dash to my laptop and googled the record.The answer poped up immediately, The Firesign Theater.Great I thought ,how could I forget them,after all I could repeat the entire record my heart.It was a great comedy routine..
     Any way as I surfed the net I came across an internet radio station called "Jango".You picked the groups you wanted to hear and basically created your own personal radio station.Well since it was free I immediately signed up,and for the first time since 1972 listen in its entirety Alro Guthrie's"Alice's Restaurant Massacree".Sorry, Time-Life, I now have the singer and songwriters of the 60's and 70's for free.I recommend "Jango" to one and all.
 Wait you say,how does My Cat is Crazy fit into this blog.Picture this, its 4am and I am listening to music from Jango and out of the blue comes my cat tearing around the apartment,like he took a hit from his personal stash.The Flash could not move as quickly.As I watched him tear around the room I thought.My cat has lost it,he's crazy.But he brought a smile to my face. So there it is,music and my cat. A strange pairing to say the least.

Friday, February 4, 2011


     With the mass uprisings in the middle east from Tunsia,to Egypt,to Jordan we hear from the political pundits saying how democrary is comming to the middle east and it will not be denied.However these individuals should be careful what they wish for. We already have two examples of true democracy that have happened in the middle east and neither one has turned out well for the United States.In each case, what we have said are terrorist organizations came into power. In Gaza,Hamas has taken over, and in Lebanon,Hezbollah.In both cases these organizations were elected by the majority of the population.How could this happen, you cry. Don't they know who they are voting for? Well the answer is yes they knew who they were voting for but to the people that were voting these organizations were not considered terrorist.
     All of our presidents have told us loudly and often that it is the destiny of all people to be free,and the way to freedom is through the democratic process. It is unfortunate,that our elected leaders do not know thecountry they run is actually not a democracy but a republic. What's the difference? Well in an actual democracy the will of the majority rules,period. In a republic the rights of the minority are protected.Have you spotted what the basic problem is with the assumption of democracy.The problem that our founding fathers spotted and assured that it would not be woven into the fabric of our government.Give up?
     The basic problem with democracy and the assumption it relies on is that the majority of the population will vote for what is best for everyone. This assumption includes the belief that the majority will vote to limit their own power to ensure that the rights of the minority are respected.This is a completely flawed assumption.The majority never votes to limit their own power unless forced to by law. That is the reason that our founding fathers,at least some of them, demanded that the Bill of Rights be included in our founding document. They realized that the majority will always trample on the minority.That by definition the minority will never truly have any power in a true democracy.This is why Hamas and Hezbollah present such a threat to peace in the middle east.These organizations had a command structure so when a democratic vote was called for,by the United Nations, they were able to mount a very effective campaign to convinced the voters that they had their best intrests at heart. They downplayed their military aspect and played up their concern for the people. It was this view ,that they were concerned for the poor that got them elected to the halls of power,and  the control of their country. So unfortunately our politicans got excatly what they said they wanted, a democratically elected government.To bad it was an organization that we consider to be a terrorist one.
     So I ask you,since it is oblivious that our elected leaders do not know the differance between a democracy and a republic. Nor which form of government we have,should they be requirred to pass a test to show that they understand the type of government they want to lead. I know what I think, but as usual what do you think?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


       With the country from the plains of Kansas to the eastern seaboard buried under mountains of snow,the gobal warming crowd has jumped up crying "See we told you so. "One of the loudest voices was former vice-president Al Gore who was quoted as saying,"This is just what the scientists have been saying would happen for decades because of gobal warming."He went on to say that climate change is real and we must take steps to stop it.I ask my readers can you spot the oblivious assumption ,well I should say the two assumptions thatnare being relied on.
      The first assumption that is being used is the one we have talked about before,that mans use of fossil fuels,coal,oil are responsible for CO2 emissions and that those emissions are responsible for what is perceived as a increase in gobal temperatures.The second assumption is that the average person listening to or reading about the weather will not notice that they have slowly changed the wording from gobal warming to climate change.The reason for this is oblivious,Ever since those who would blame what is perceived as a steady increase in gobal temperatures on man,have found their arguements losing ground with the general public, they have looked for a way to regain the initiative. Well the way they settled on was to change the language. They would stop calling it gobal warming and instead start calling it Climate Change.It was a really brillant move because climate change can mean anything you want it to mean.
     To much rain, climate change is responsible, to dry,to cold,to hot,to many storms,not enought storms, yep its climate change.No doubt about it, the climate is changing and it is because of man.You cannot deny that climate change is happening, after all that is what climate does, it changes.As the old saw goes, if you don't like the weather right now, wait a few hours it will probably change.And since climate change does happen, to deny it makes you look like an idiot,so they automatically have won the argument.Game, set and match.
     The environmentalists know that if you control the language, you control the argument.In the 1970's the environmentalists were predicting a gobal freeze,then in the late 1990's with the publication of what has been dubbed the hockey stick temperature graph the argument went in the other direction, gobal warming.Then when questions arose about how the graph was made and the disclosure that some scientists tried to silence their critics,public opinion turn against those who champion gobal warming.Enter Climate Change.
     Now I am not saying that wwe do not need new forms of energy, for obliviouly we do. But let us not cut off our nose inspite of our face. Lets find new ways to create energy but also at the same time find ways to make the energy we now use cleaner.To ensure a cleaner environment it is not an either or proposition. We can do both.The question is do we go with the assumptions that have limited answers or do we go with the assumptions that have several solutions. I know what I believe, but the question is, what do you believe?