Johnny Depp – Finding The Creativity In Madness


The very first question that comes to mind is why would Lawrence Krauss be interviewing Johnny Depp for an Origins Project Dialogue? Professor Krauss and several unnamed colleagues are do some research on madness in the minds of those with a higher than average IQ. There are many reasons to understand this mentality; look at Hitler for example. Madness in a brilliant mind can be very dangerous, or it can be very creative. Johnny Depp is brilliant, creative and very very mad.

Krauss is developing an interview style much like the master himself; James Lipton. IT was all together a wonderful, warm, funny, informative and all around enjoyable evening. Depp opened up about his childhood, told stories about the great Hunter S. Thompson and let the audience in a few secrets about upcoming stuff.

The even shook hands and agreed to make a movie about an unsong great character in history Thomas Paine. Should be interesting.

I am looking forward to Professor Krauss’ next dialogue!

To Pray or Not To Pray…That Is The Question


Recently the Church of Satan in Phoenix challenged the City Council when the tried to requested to say the opening prayer at a City Council Meeting. The City Council opens every public meeting with a prayer; a Christian prayer. The Council members reacted by holding an emergency meeting to decide what to do. They took a vote; not a vote on whether or not to let the Satanists say the opening prayer, this of course would have ended up in the State Supreme Courts where chances are the Council would have lost. They took a vote on whether or not to ban prayer all together at their Council meetings. The council voted 5 – 4 to ban prayer, rather than let the Satanists have their say. Talk about cutting of your nose to spite your face.

So who really won? Many say the Church of Satan really won, claiming that a ban on prayer is what they really wanted. Some say the Council and it’s Christian members one by not letting the Satanists say the prayer. I would say us Atheists and the Secular won this one. Let’s here if for no public prayer at Council meetings.

Let’s Talk About First Ladies


Let’s start with our current one; Michelle Obama

https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/first-lady-michelle-obama

A product of Chicago public schools, Michelle Robinson studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin. She served as assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall before becoming the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares youth for public service. In 1996, as Associate Dean of Student Services, she developed the university’s first community service program, and under her leadership as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

In 2010, she launched Let’s Move!, bringing together community leaders, educators, medical professionals, parents, and others in a nationwide effort to address the challenge of childhood obesity. In 2011, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. In 2014, Mrs. Obama launched the Reach Higher Initiative, an effort to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university. In 2015, Mrs. Obama joined President Obama to launch Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government-wide initiative to help girls around the world go to school and stay in school.

Let’s look at Hillary Clinton;

https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/first-ladies/hillaryclinton

As an undergraduate at Wellesley College, Hillary mixed academic excellence with school government. Speaking at graduation, she said, “The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible. In 1969, Hillary entered Yale Law School, where she served on the Board of Editors of Yale Law Review and Social Action, interned with children’s advocate Marian Wright Edelman. After graduation, Hillary advised the Children’s Defense Fund in Cambridge and joined the impeachment inquiry staff advising the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. She joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas Law School in 1975 and the Rose Law Firm in 1976. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the board of the Legal Services Corporation, and Bill Clinton became governor of Arkansas. Hillary served as Arkansas’s First Lady for 12 years. She chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee, co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Legal Services, and the Children’s Defense Fund.

As First Lady, in 1993 the President asked her to chair the Task Force on National Health Care Reform.She wrote a weekly newspaper column entitled “Talking It Over,” which focused on her experiences as First Lady and her observations of women, children, and families she has met around the world. Her 1996 book It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us was a best seller, and she received a Grammy Award for her recording of it. Hillary Clinton was elected United States Senator from New York on November 7, 2000. She is the first First Lady elected to the United States Senate and the first woman elected statewide in New York. Hillary Clinton served as U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.

Barbara Bush; As wife of the Vice President, she selected the promotion of literacy as her special cause. As First Lady, she called working for a more literate America the “most important issue we have.” Involved with many organizations devoted to this cause, she became Honorary Chairman of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. A strong advocate of volunteerism, Mrs. Bush helped many causes–including the homeless, AIDS, the elderly, and school volunteer programs.

Rosalynn Carter; As First Lady, she focused national attention on the performing arts. She invited to the White House leading classical artists from around the world, as well as traditional American artists. She also took a strong interest in programs to aid mental health, the community, and the elderly. From 1977 to 1978, she served as the Honorary Chairperson of the President’s Commission on Mental Health.

Claudia Taylor ‘Lady Bird’ Johnson; At the University of Texas she earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and in journalism. She helped keep his Congressional office open during World War II when Lyndon Johnson volunteered for naval service; and in 1955, when he had a severe heart attack, she helped his staff keep things running smoothly until he could return to his post as Majority Leader of the Senate. In the election of 1960, Lady Bird successfully stumped for Democratic candidates across 35,000 miles of campaign trail. As wife of the Vice President, she became an ambassador of goodwill by visiting 33 foreign countries. She created a First Lady’s Committee for a More Beautiful Capital, then expanded her program to include the entire nation. She took a highly active part in her husband’s war-on-poverty program, especially the Head Start project for preschool children. She supported causes dear to her–notably the National Wildflower Research Center, which she founded in 1982, and The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. She also served on the Board of the National Geographic Society as a trustee emeritus.

Jackie Kennedy; As a Vassar student she traveled extensively, and she spent her junior year in France before graduating from George Washington University. In Washington she took a job as “inquiring photographer” for a local newspaper. She devoted much time and study to making the White House a museum of American history and decorative arts.

Eleanor Roosevelt; In Albany, where Franklin served in the state Senate from 1910 to 1913, Eleanor started her long career as political helpmate. She gained a knowledge of Washington and its ways while he served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. When he was stricken with poliomyelitis in 1921, she tended him devotedly. She became active in the women’s division of the State Democratic Committee to keep his interest in politics alive. From his successful campaign for governor in 1928 to the day of his death, she dedicated her life to his purposes. She became eyes and ears for him, a trusted and tireless reporter. When Mrs. Roosevelt came to the White House in 1933, she understood social conditions better than any of her predecessors and she transformed the role of First Lady accordingly. She also broke precedent to hold press conferences, travel to all parts of the country, give lectures and radio broadcasts, and express her opinions candidly in a daily syndicated newspaper column, “My Day.” After the President’s death in 1945 she began her service as American spokesman in the United Nations.

Now lets look at possible future First Ladies….

Mary Jane O’Meara Sanders  is an American social worker and academic. Sanders was provost and interim president of Goddard College from 1996 to 1997, and then president of Burling College from 2004 until she resigned in 2011, after allegedly committing federal band fraud to the tune of 10 million dollars for which she will possibly be under investigation for. Can we trust her?

Melania Trump; She earned a degree in design and architecture at University in Slovenia, She has graced the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, British GQ, Ocean Drive, Avenue, In Style, New York Magazine. Her major layouts include the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Allure, Vogue, Self, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Elle.  She has also co-hosted The View with Barbara Walters. She was Honorary Chairwoman for Martha Graham Dance Company in April 2005, is an active member of the Police Athletic League which honored her with Woman of The Year 2006, has been an Honorary Chairwoman for The Boy’s Club of New York for five consecutive years, and in 2005 The American Red Cross awarded her with Goodwill Ambassador which she has proudly served for four years. In April of 2008, she was asked by Love Our Children USA and NASDAQ to participate in the Fifth Annual National Love Our Children Day and the beginning of National Child Abuse Prevention month by ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ. In February 2010, Melania Trump announced the launch of her debut jewelry collection with QVC, “Melania™ Timepieces & Jewelry”. In March 2013, she launched her Skin Care Collection, “Melania™ Caviar Complexe C6”. What is she going to do, design clothes for the homeless?

Can you either of these two really being a First Lady we can be proud of?

 

Ancestral Line of Jesus According To Luke


Jesus was the son of Joseph

Joseph was the son of Heli,

Heli was the son of Matthat

Matthat was the son of Levi

was the son of Melchi

was the son of Janna

was the son of Joseph,

was the son of Mattathias

was the son of Amos

was the son of Naum

was the son of Esli

was the son of Nagge,

was the son of Maath

was the son of Mattathias

was the son of Semei

was the son of Joseph

was the son of Juda,

was the son of Joanna

was the son of Rhesa

was the son of Zorobabel

was the son of Salathiel

was the son of Neri,

was the son of Melchi

was the son of Addi

was the son of Cosam

was the son of Elmodam

was the son of Er,

was the son of Jose

was the son of Eliezer

was the son of Jorim

was the son of Matthat

was the son of Levi,

was the son of Simeon

was the son of Juda

was the son of Joseph

was the son of Jonan

was the son of Eliakim,

was the son of Melea

was the son of Menan

was the son of Mattatha

was the son of Nathan

was the son of David,

was the son of Jesse

was the son of Obed

was the son of Booz

was the son of Salmon

was the son of Naasson,

was the son of Aminadab

was the son of Aram

was the son of Esrom

was the son of Phares

was the son of Juda,

was the son of Jacob

was the son of Isaac

was the son of Abraham

was the son of Thara

was the son of Nachor,

was the son of Saruch

was the son of Ragau

was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,

36 Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,

37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,

38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Grow Up And Put Away Childish Beliefs; Like Religion


1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

When I was a child I had a blanket that was my shield, my protection and it was my comfort.

When I was a child I believed that thunder was god bowling, that the rain was gods tears and that Noah actually put two of every animal on the ark. As a child I believed that stepping on a crack would break my mothers back and that four leaf clovers were good luck. As a child I believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. I believed that if I ate a watermelon seed a plant would grow in my tummy and that if I didn’t smile my face would freeze that way.

I know better now.

Remember when you were a kid and that story your big brother would tell you scared the hell out of you; the first 500 times they told it? Sure it was scary the first hundred times you heard it, but after hundreds of nights where there was nothing under the bed you just weren’t afraid anymore?

Well when I was a kid I also believed that if thunder was god bowling and that the rain was his tears. I believed that god would protect me from evil as long as I loved him. I believed that the devil was responsible for all the evil in the world and god was responsible for all the good.

I have grown up since then, I know that thunder is caused by an increase in pressure and temperature from lightning which produces rapid expansion of the air surrounding and within a bolt of lightning. I know that the more water vapor there is below a cloud, and the stronger an updraft is it causes the water vapor to condense into cloud water or ice particles, and precipitation will form within the cloud, and then it rains.

I also know that if no god can protect me from the evil in humans no matter how much you love him. I also know that there is good in humans that don’t even believe in god.

I have put away all my childhood things, the blankies, the dolls and the toys. It is time to put away those childhood beliefs as well.

 

 

 

To Richard, From a Feminist; A letter to Richard Dawkins


“Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton

 

Dear Richard Dawkins,’

Feminism is not an issue and it isn’t political. Feminism is a stand for what is a moral, ethical and international dilemma, the violence against, the oppression and inequality of women. I believe that Dawkins is a good man, rational, reasonable, moral, enlightened, empathetic, intellectual activist who believes, sees, speaks out and stands up for women’s rights, secular freedom and scientific education for the good of the whole of humankind. What he isn’t is a run of the mill man, biased, sexist, racist, misogynistic, religious or hypocritical. He is educated, brilliant, secular and extremely influential and is or at least should be held to a higher standard. He has put himself in a position to make a difference on a global scale for the cultural, intellectual economical, scientific and political advancement and enlightenment of humanity. He has placed himself among those who know they can and will make not only a difference but history. His work is and will be studied, taught and remembered alongside of Newton, Einstein, Darwin, DeCartes, Hume, Oppenheimer, Krauss, Tyson, Bethe, Bohr, Feynman and others who have changed the course of our very existence. So yeah, I expect more of him than most.

Recently Dawkins has been misquoted, , misinterpreted, misunderstood and had completely missed the point of feminism. This is not entirely his fault but it is entirely his responsibility. It is his responsibility to clarify, rectify and unify this divide among free thinkers that he has caused, the cause in which he has fought so hard for; secular freedom and reason depends on him. This cause of secularism and reason isn’t his to divide but it is his to unite. Common Richard, don’t group all feminists into this rape culture and militant feminism; just as you don’t like being lumped in with atheists that have caused harm in the world, those that have damaged your cause; don’t let a few damage ours.

Your’s truly;

and atheist feminist.

 

Vice President Joe Biden and Lady Gaga?


This Sunday Vice President Joe Biden will introduce Lady Gaga when she will perform the song ‘Til It Happens To You’. The VP’s presence at the Oscars is to promote the ‘It’s On Us’ Campaign. He is bringing awareness to the problem of rape on college campus. Support this campaign.

http://itsonus.org

Biden drafted the Violence Against Women Act, he has been an outspoken advocate in the fight to stop the violence against women.

 

Origins Project Panel on Evolving Ethics: Food, Sex & Death


This was an interesting panel, Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, Jason Robert, Director at Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, Christopher Wharton, Director at Food Systems Transformation Initiative, GIOS, Ron Broglio, Senior Sustainability Scholar, GIOS and Associate Professor of English, Joan McGregor, Professor of Philosophy at the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at ASU.

Lawrence Krauss moderated. Peter Singer is a world renowned animal rights activist who really made me think about factory farming. Though I could not commit to being a vegan as he is I definitely walked away with a more remorseful outlook on how the animals are ‘farmed’. Though I didn’t quite agree with everything he stands for, as I think he is somewhat extreme; but I do see that we can and should be more humane in our meat eating endeavor.

https://origins.asu.edu

No Representation Without Taxation


The Revolutionary war began when Americans refused to pay taxes without being represented. They coined the phrase ‘No Taxation Without Representation’.

Well I think it is high time and equally valid to state that there should be No Representation Without Taxation.

 

To argue that religious institutions aren’t represented is absolutely not true. To use as an argument for this that we have a separation of church and state due to the First Amendment is equally false. There is no separation. And the First Amendment was written to protect religion from government not to protect government from religion.

Let me give you a good example;

Congress has a Congressional Prayer Caucus, a Chaplain of Congress (with an office in the Capitol) elected by Congress and paid with tax payers money. Military Chaplains are also paid with federal tax dollars. How again is this the separation of Church and State? How is this not a violation of the First Amendment? It isn’t.

Congress has had a Chaplain since 1774, no that is not a typo, the office of House and Senate Chaplain came to be before the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration Independence was written.

Here are the requirements for Tax Exempt Status per the IRS

Tax-Exempt Status

Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify for tax-exempt status, the organization must meet the following requirements (covered in greater detail throughout this publication):

  •  the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific or other charitable purposes;
  •  net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder;
  •  no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation;
  •  the organization may not intervene in political campaigns;
  • and n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

IRC Section 501(c)(3)

All organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:  

  • their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual;
  •  they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests;
  •  they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation;
  •  they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office;
  • and n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

 

Congress even wrote special legislation regarding the IRS’ right to audit churches and religious institutions;

Special Rules Limiting IRS Authority to Audit a Church

Tax Inquiries and Examinations of Churches

Congress has imposed special limitations, found in section 7611 of the Internal Revenue Code, on how and when the IRS may conduct civil tax inquiries and examinations of churches. The IRS may begin a church tax inquiry only if an appropriate high-level Treasury official reasonably believes, on the basis of facts and circumstances recorded in writing, that an organization claiming to be a church or convention or association of churches may not qualify for exemption, may be carrying on an unrelated trade or business (within the meaning of IRC § 513), may otherwise be engaged in taxable activities or may have entered into an IRC § 4958 excess benefit transaction with a disqualified person.

Now let’s look at how much this elected office pays;

Total Salary Expenditures

 

I fail to see how being an elected member of Congress does not influence legislation.

From an article by Paul Singer, USA Today;

“We do what we can to make sure that legislation emerges with what we believe to be American, Christian values,” said caucus member John Fleming, R-La. “We believe that a democracy is only functional if there is a certain level of virtuousness among the nation. Freedom also requires a certain responsibility and that requires a certain moral code. The moral code that we as Americans have lived by for over 200 years is based on what? The Ten Commandments.” 

Rep Randy Forbes VA  and a dozen other Prayer Caucus members traveled to North Carolina in March to launch an initiative called PrayUSA, asking government officials and other to sign a resolution calling for prayer. The initiative is part of “a tactical strategy to effectively challenge the growing anti-faith movement in our Country,” the foundation says.

And the foundation blog advocates strongly for the defense of conservative Christians like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who was briefly jailed for refusing to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.

“Criminalizing Christianity is not the America envisioned by our Founding Fathers,” reads a blog post on the foundation website about the Kim Davis saga. “Sadly, the balance of power in our country is being undermined within the legislative branch and increasingly supplanted by both executive fiat and judicial tyranny. The government was never designed to replace God and therefore, does not have the authority or right to redefine the laws of nature or of nature’s God…..  We are fighting for our freedoms—silence and inactivity will leave us vulnerable and open to further attack. Christian…it is time for us to wake up and be engaged!”

How is this not influencing legislation?

 

 

While the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the a House and Senate Office of the Chaplain stating that it is a tradition and should be respected it is important to remember that slavery was considered a ‘tradition’ as well.

MARSH v. CHAMBERS, 463 U.S. 783 (1983)

CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.(1)

 A statute providing for the payment of these chaplains was enacted into law on September 22, 1789.

Clearly the men who wrote the First Amendment Religion Clauses did not view paid legislative chaplains and opening prayers as a violation of that Amendment, for the practice of opening sessions with prayer has continued without interruption ever since that early session of Congress.

It can hardly be thought that in the same week Members of the First Congress voted to appoint and to pay a chaplain for each House and also voted to approve the draft of the First Amendment** for submission to the states, they intended the Establishment Clause of the Amendment to forbid what they had just declared acceptable. In applying the First Amendment to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, it would be incongruous to interpret that Clause as imposing more stringent First Amendment limits on the states than the draftsmen imposed on the Federal Government.

This unique history leads us to accept the interpretation of the First Amendment draftsmen who saw no real threat to the Establishment Clause arising from a practice of prayer similar to that now challenged. We conclude that legislative prayer presents no more potential for establishment than the provision of school transportation, beneficial grants for higher education, or tax exemptions for religious organizations.

A paragraph from writings by James Madison point out that Madison was concerned about respecting the religious rights of all religious sects;

JAMES MADISON: The tenets of the chaplains elected by the majority shut the door of worship against the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the evil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor.

Though Madison did see the payment of the Chaplain by the National Treasury as unconstitutional, what he deemed a violation of the First Amendment was the appointment of a Protestant, not the appointment of a Chaplain.

 

Observing Our Origins In The First Galaxy:Adrian Liu


April 15,2015, Adrian Liu, recipient of the inaugural Postdoctoral Lectureship Prize, gave an interesting lecture; introduced by Lawrence Krauss for the ASU Origins Project ‘Adrian Liu is an astrophysicist working to make the exciting new field of 21cm cosmology a reality. He has garnered multiple teaching awards, including the Buechner Teaching Prize, the Henry Kendall Teaching Award, and the Goodwin Teaching Medal. He is currently a Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, and will begin an appointment as a Hubble Fellow in Fall 2015.’

I really enjoyed this lecture. He was very articulate and easy to understand. I am looking forward to see what he does in the future!

I was able to approach Lawrence Krauss after the lecture, even thought they were not  doing a book signing afterward Krauss graciously signed my copy of ‘A Universe From Nothing.’

https://origins.asu.edu

Lawrence Krauss and Noam Chomsky


March 22, 2015 I attended my first Origins Project Dialogue with Lawrence Krauss.

I have never been a big fan of Chomsky. I have been a huge fan of Krauss since I first watched a debate with Michael Shermer against D’Souza and another Christian Apologist. He has been my ‘patron saint’ of science and non-belief ever since. I admittedly was somewhat surprised to learn that Krauss had such reverence for Chomsky, for starters Krauss makes no secret about his opinion of philosophy; it is anything but favorable and sometimes he finds it intolerable even as much so as religion at times. Not because Chomsky is unworthy or respect or even reverence but because he is in my opinion a pacifist more than an activist; I would even go so far as to call him an apathetic complainer, even anti-American. His disdain for the U.S. government and it’s institutions borders on Right Wing Conservatism even Tea Party politics, if he wasn’t an atheist who condemns religious scripture. What he doesn’t condemn is the Church or it’s institutions. In fact he often praises them for the good they do in the world with the poor, the sick and the hungry. Support of the Catholic Church let alone religion in general is not something Krauss has ever shown. Ever.

Outside of that, the impact on politics and government; the difference he has made in communities, society and academia is volumes. He is the most cited living scholar in history and has authored over 100 books. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 at the age of 16, and went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. as a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1951-1955, earning a degree in Linguistics, Philosophy, and Mathematics.

His activism over the course of history has landed him in jail several times. He even landed on Nixon’s enemy of the state’s list. His protests of the Viet Nam war to his condemnation of religion he has never held his tongue.

Krauss in his truly reverent and heart felt introduction he even said that where most people might ask ‘What would Jesus do?’ I ask ‘What would Noam do?’. That in my mind was one of the most sincerely reverent statement I have ever heard. He went so far as to call Chomsky his Mentor; he was one of Krauss’ instructors at MIT.

I won’t say I was disappointed by the dialogue but I most definitely was not impressed by Chomsky, I was however more that awestruck by Krauss. He was everything I expected and more. Not only in his ability to have such an inspiring and informative conversation with Chomsky but by how approachable he was afterwards when they were signing books. I unfortunately didn’t get a book signed, the line was at least 500 people long. What I did manage to do was go up to the side of the table he was on; it seemed everyone was waiting for Chomsky, and I loudly said ‘Professor Krauss’ and when he turned around I told him I had a gift for him, then I gave him a copy of ‘Los Alamos Place Names’. It is not only my home town but my family legacy is there in the ‘X Lovato Field’ which is a softball field named after my dad in 1975. He was very receptive.

A couple of weeks later I tweeted him; ‘I hope you enjoy the Los Alamos Place Names book I gave you’. To my absolute surprise he tweeted me back the same day’ Thank you very much. I was pleasantly surprised. From that moment on I have attended every local event here in the Phoenix area but one. I have even gone to the smaller talks on campus at ASU in the Marston Theatre inside the Tech 4 Building where Krauss office is.

https://origins.asu.edu

Politically Remiss


As of late I have been somewhat remiss in political blogs. Though I have indulged in a few rants on social media, none have been up to the usual level of my rants. After much contemplation on this matter this lack of ranting has been in part because once I get started, given the current Presidential Campaign candidates on the Republican side I am actually to angry; appalled; taken aback and just plain embarrassed.

Be that as it may I can sum up the entire line up in one paragraph; Trump thinks this campaign is a performance, like he is the star of his own reality show. My only hope is that those that are supporting him are just enjoying the show and when it comes down to actually voting for him they won’t do it; this is assuming he actually wins the Republican ticket. Scarier still is the fact that Cruz and Rubio are even scarier. Their phony Right Wing good old boy Conservative Christian act is very very dangerous; especially for women. The scariest of all is that of the lot Jeb Bush is the least threat, and I have no doubt that either Democrat that will be running will have the best chance running against him.

Now to the democrats. I like Bernie but I think he is unrealistic about many things. Socialism in theory is not a bad thing but in a Capitalistic nation it just won’t work. The only thing I hold against Bernie is his wife. Why does she matter? Because as First Lady she will have many responsibilities and she will have the ability to make changes to many things concerning women’s issues, educational issues and many social and cultural issues as well, here and abroad. I don’t think she has the personality, the experience, the education or the gumption to be the kind of first lady that Hillary, Eleanor, Dolly, Jackie or even Nancy was. I won’t be upset if Bernie wins but I am a Hillary girl all the way and I will tell you why.

Hillary Rodham Clinton had me at ‘Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights once and for all’. She went to the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing. This is the whole speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXM4E23Efvk  . She was First Lady at the time and our government was strongly opposed to her going but she went anyway and not only did she go she gave a no holds barred speech about the violence and oppression against women that no one had ever spoke out about, especially not the First Lady of the United States and never so bluntly and graphically. She held nothing back and it was beautiful and empowering and it worked. She made a difference in the final outcome of the agreements come to by every nation in the world, over 180 governmental organizations and they made official

Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action .

 

Yes, the fact that she is a woman greatly influences my supporting her, but not just because she is a woman. I would not support just any woman; absolutely not Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina. Elizabeth Warren absolutely yes. Hillary has the most experience having been a Senator, Secretary of State and a First Lady; twice. But the most important factor is what she has done for women around the world.

 

Obama’s Decisions About Syria; Or Lack There Of


It boils down to this, Obama blew it when he didn’t help the Syrian Rebels when they first started fighting back against Assad, for that matter Obama should have acted when Assad first started killing his own people. Yes there were valid political reasons for his decisions but the had to have been something, or at least more he could of done than he did.

Because he didn’t help the Rebels, ISIS stepped up and offered to help the Rebel’s and many accepted their help and even fought with them, but even if no one accepted their help I am willing to bet they would have started fighting Assad anyway. Not out of the kindness of their hearts or even to help fellow Muslims, they are fighting Assad to take the country away from him and when they do they will be no less tyrannical to the Syrian people.

Because he didn’t act when Assad started killing his own people Russia was able to step up without declaring war on the Western world and therefore he moves ever close to his goal of expanding Russian territory. Needless to say America will not take arms against Russia, some even call them our allies. So at this point if we help Syria that is what we will be doing, we will be not only aiding terrorists but we will be taking on formidable foe in Putin. I we help Assad and Putin against ISIS we are helping as mass murdering war criminal. It’s a lose lose situation.

Many Americans don’t see the big picture, what they see is that we aren’t helping fight ISIS, therefore helping terrorism.

It seems to me that not getting involved at this point is a brilliant move. Why risk American lives, spend money this country doesn’t have and why deplete our supplies when if we wait this out till either ISIS wins or Assad wins then if going to war is still the only option we have only one enemy, but make no mistake immediate action has to happen. If we hesitate or try to negotiate or impose more useless sanctions either side will maintain their momentum, ISIS will continue where Assad left off in his attack on the Syrians; If Assad wins this war the Syrians will pay for their crimes against their sovereign with their lives and their fellow Syrians will once again be living under the oppressive regime.

But what is most likely is Obama is hoping that Putin will be able to defeat ISIS. Then under this assumption that he is our ally he will try to play politics and negotiate away Assad’s regime. Which will be a mistake. Will it affect us here at home? Not in the traditional sense, but anyone of conscious will acknowledge the immorality of indifference to the crimes against humanity Assad’s regime has and will commit.

So what do we do? We sit it out and wait.

Islam; Christianity and Terrorism


Let me start by pointing out that Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all monotheistic religions of the same god. Call him Allah, Yahweh or Jehovah he is the same god. Something that most Christians do not know and do not want to know is that Muslims worship the same god, read the same Bible; Old and New Testament and they also believe in Jesus Christ. They, like the Jews just don’t believe he was the son of god, Islam does however see him as a prophet of god. They also differ from Christians on the Resurrection as they believe that god ascended Jesus into heaven before he died on the cross. They all three believe they are descendants of Adam, of Abraham and of Noah.

Another not well know fact and also a commonly disputed fact; as much so as their god being the same god and their holy books being the same is that Muslims claim the Quran was given to Muhhamed by the Arch Angel Gabriel. Yes that Arch Angel Gabriel.

What does all this have to do with terrorism? Just as Christians can’t all be lumped in the same group as Jim Jones, Davis Koresh, Adolf Hitler or those that took part in the Inquisitions or the Crusades, not all Muslims can be lumped in the same groups as terrorists; ISIS, Al Queda or Boko Haram.

Frontline: The War In Syria


There are several episodes in this series ‘Syria At War’. I recommend all of them.

I consider Frontline to be one of the most credible sources out there. For the past few decades I have counted on them for factual reports of events around the world. I trust PBS, always have. One doesn’t need to do much more than consider Frontlines sources and to consider who they interview and where they get their stories from.

For a comprehensive understanding of what is going on in Syria, who is Assad and what is his regime capable of , what ISIS has to do with it and where they came from as well as how they rose to power. An in depth understanding of how Obama and his administration played a part in the war in Syria and the rise of ISIS as well as an inside look at Putin’s Russia, a factor that has yet to reveal it’s influence.

I recommend starting with Obama’s War and the Inside Assad’s Regime.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/syria-at-war/

 

 

Syria: What’s Really Going On


There are a lot of opinions about what is going on in Syria and exactly what part the United States had to play it all of it. After many heated debates on social media I realize there are many wrong ideas about what is going on there but there seems to be two extremely different views on America’s part in it, most believe we are responsible because we meddled in their civil war, I see what is happening as a direct result in America’s lack of involvement.

Most refer to the conflict as a civil war. A civil war is defined as a war between citizens or civilians of the same country, a war between opposing factions or regions of the same country. I don’t know if I would define the war in Syria as a civil war. This is a war between civilians and a Fascist regime. Actually I would say this didn’t start out as a war at all, it started out as a nation of peaceful demonstrators calling for a totalitarian dictatorship to step down and demands for a democracy. The Assad regime responded to these protests, not by meeting their demands and stepping down but by killing the unarmed demonstrators with gunfire, bombs and air strikes. This was a nation of civilians, not a militia or even a militarized rebel force, but civilians. Civilians who then became victims of chemical warfare. Since 2011 over 200,000 Syrians have been killed by Assad. For 3 years the rebel forces asked for help with weapons and a show of support from it’s western ally’s in France, Great Britain and America. These please went unanswered or with little to no actual help. All of Syria’s ally’s simply left their calls unanswered. With a force of less than a few hundred severely untrained and poorly armed rebels the terrorist group now know as ISIS took advantage of the opportunity to step in with men and might and without being asked took up arms against Assad and his regime, a regime that is now supported politically and militarily by Putin’s Russia. The tens of thousands of Syrian refugees that most Americans are rejecting and refusing asylum are fleeing from these two considerable forces who are destroying their country and who are nothing more than collateral damage.

Had we helped to fight Assad, or at the very least offered help to the rebels so that they could fight his regime ISIS never would have been able to waltz right in and take up the Syrians fight as their own. ISIS is not fighting for the justice and freedom of the Syrian people, they are fighting to take over Assad’s rule of this war torn country. The people of Syria have an oppressive regime no matter who wins this war. Now, we cannot offer aid of any kind, in the air or on the ground or even support by arming the rebels, the rebels are now the most feared terrorist group in the world. A terrorist group who we now cannot fight without our part helping a Fascist regime that is killing it’s own people.

My one question is this, where does this leave us with Russia? If ISIS wins the stronghold may be one we cannot fight without having to go up against Russia. If Assad wins we cannot then begin helping a rebel force that may no longer be a force nor can we create one without going up against Russia. If we help Russia defeat ISIS we are supporting Assad, who’s regime is committing crimes against humanity no less horrific that the crimes committed by Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot.

At this point the only help we can now offer is to help the Syrian refugees. These refugees are not terrorists nor are they poor illegals looking for a handout. They are victims of genocide and terrorism and they are victims of political games that allowed them to be betrayed by their allies.

The Ancestral Line of Jesus


Abraham was the Father of Isaac.

Isaac was the father of Jacob and his brothers.

Jacob was the father of Judas and his brothers.

Judas was the father of Phares and Zara.

Phares was the father of Esrom.

Esrom was the father of Aram.

Aram was the father of Aminadab.

Aminadab was the father of Naasson.

Naasson was the father of Salmon.

Salmon was the father of Booz.

Booz was the father of Obed. Ruth was Obed’s mother.

Obed was the father of Jesse.

Jesse was the father of King David.

King David was the father of Solomon. Bathsheba was Solomon’s mother.

Solomon was the father of Roboam.

Roboam was the father of Abia.

Abia was the father of Asa.

Asa was the father of Josaphat.

Josaphat was the father of Joram.

Joram was the father of Ozias.

Ozias was the father of Joatham.

Joatham was the father of Achaz.

Achaz was the father of Ezekias.

Ezekias was the father of Manasses.

Manasses was the father of Amon.

Amon was the father of Josias.

Josias was the father of Jechonias and his brothers.

Jechonias was the father of Salathiel.

Salathiel was the father of Zorobabel.

Zorobabel was the father of Abiud.

Abiud was the father of Eliakim.

Eliakim was the father of Azor.

Azor was the father of Sadoc.

Sadoc was the father of Achim.

Achim was the father Eliud.

Eliud was the father of Eleazar.

Eleazar was the father of Matthan.

Matthan was the father of Jacob.

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, Mary was the mother of Jesus.

If Jesus was the son of god, if Jesus was conceived in her of the Holy Ghost and Joseph never ‘knew’ Mary then how in the hell are all those fathers the ancestors of Jesus?

Living In A Politically Correct World


With all the heated discussions lately about the Confederate Flag and the like political correctness has been charged with being socially wrong. The problem with political correctness is that we all have a different idea about who’s politics are the correct ones. In my mind when you attach the word politics to any thing, especially if it involves behavior, you are automatically creating a conflict. The whole idea of political correctness I would assume was to create a kind of universal list of terminologies that would help those who hold  political office to speak to and or with the general public without favoring or disfavoring any one ethnicity, religion, political party, nationality, gender or age group. It may have seemed a good idea and it may have started with good intentions but I wonder if it hasn’t made communicating more difficult and well, even more offensive.

Being politically correct in itself offends many people. I myself go back and forth on how I feel about this false politeness and pretense of niceness. I see political correctness may have it’s place among politicians as it if fundamental that our elected officials do not favor any one peoples, ideals, religion, or class for they are meant to represent all of us; but does political correctness really have a place among the masses? I for one am damn tired of playing nice with religious people, bigots, ignorant people and most of all the bleeding hearts in the world that think we should all just accept everyone and everything. I for one am tired or worrying about offending everybody when it comes to ideas, politics, religions, cultures and nationality.

Before it comes across that I am insensitive to other peoples feelings let me assure you I am. It is important to understand that when it comes to race, appearances, medical conditions or any other aspect of a human being that one cannot change or has no control over I am absolutely what would be called politically correct. But I don’t need that term or it’s supposed meaning to tell me what not to say to somebody, I know because my parents taught me manners and I have an innate sense of politeness and consideration for other peoples feelings. But when it comes to aspect of humanity that exist by choice everything is fair game and it’s open season. Especially when it comes to stupid people and stupid ideas and stupid behavior or beliefs.

Redneck is not an ethnic slur it is a lifestyle. Skinhead is not a medical condition it is an attitude. Bible thumper is not a religion it is a self righteous attitude; I guess you can tell which one of those groups angers me the most. Nigger is a racial slur. Cracker is a racial slur. Chink is a racial slur. Gook, spic, wop, kyke and pollack are racial slurs.  Retard is an insult. Cripple is an insult. Broad is offensive. Fat Chick is offensive. Street people is judgmental. Bum is judgmental.

At this point I have to express one of my biggest pet peeves that is also the perfect example of what I consider to be the most unpolitical correct tern I know; African American. I have gotten grief over this more times than I can count. I personally do not ever hear an ‘African American’ call themselves or each other such. I do hear black people calling themselves and other black people black; or often times black folk. For starters, not all black people are from Africa and there are many black people in the world don’t live in or have never even been to America, and not all people from Africa are black. Those generations of slaves may have been from Africa but the last few generations of the descendants were born here so they are just American. South Africa is heavily populated with white people and those that are here in America are not considered to be African American. And we don’t call those from Mexico Mexican Americans or we don’t say German American, or Chinese American, Japanese American, Russian; Polish, German or Irish American do we?

And let’s talk about this whole Confederate flag issue. To say that the disrespect towards black people as human beings that flying that flag shows is being politically correct is in itself offensive. Whether or not you want to argue what the flag means or represents to black people it is saying that we are proud and remorseless for the crimes against humanity that were committed by those that owned and condoned slavery. One could also argue that the Swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being and that just because the Nazi’s adopted it to represent their Aryan Heritage and their Anti-S emetic movement that Jews should not be offended by it. It is too bad that these two symbols didn’t have an offensive beginning and that they no longer mean what they were intended to. It is too bad that some stole these symbols and made them their own to represent their hateful and inhumane beliefs and actions but the fact is that they did and it does. If it is ‘just a symbol that it shouldn’t be offensive because that’s not what we use it for’ then why are those that defend this fighting so hard to flaunt them? If it is just a symbol then it should be no big deal to take them down and for it to be wrong to display them. Standing on pride instead of principle is anything but politically correct.

We don’t need political correctness what we need is human decency and respect; or at least no disrespect, towards things about human beings that they have no control over or choice of.

Another Post About Flags


I understand made points about being overly politically correct, I really do and often times political correctness flat out pisses me off, for obvious reasons but also because tip toeing around hurt feelings more often than not prevents issues from being faced, dealt with or resolved., However…..I really believe this isn’t about offending anyone, it’s about whether or not we have grown up since the days of slavery, since the days of papal rule, since the days of medical and scientific ignorance and since the days of plain ignorance. It’s about learning from our mistakes. Yes there are those that take any point to far, like the moving of a grave of a Confederate Soldier. I don’t support certain ‘flag removing’ because it offends black people, I support it because gestures like waving a flag means something, to everybody. A flag represents what you stand for, what you believe in, what you represent and what you would defend to keep. These things are the reasons we humans came up with flags. Flags are a universal symbol that in one glimpse states important and sometimes life or death qualifying beliefs. The whole point is that one does not need to ask what another’s view, politics, religion and ideals are in the eyes of any that would threaten those things. A flag in battle shows whose side you are on and what you are willing to die and kill for. A flag in battle can save your life or cost it. A flag in front of a building tells you if those inside are friend or foe, think about US embassy’s in foreign countries; the Old Glory tells any American they can be safe there, get help and even be defended against harm or any injustice that may be done to you there. A flag is a symbol of pride, sometimes what you are proud of is a crime against humanity; slavery was not offensive it was morally wrong and inhumane. My great great grandfather Joshua B Mabery was a well-known, wealthy land….and slave owner. I am proud of my heritage and do not apologize for my ancestors offenses, by the same token I, we have grown as a Nation and as human beings; we no longer own slaves. Flying flags proudly that represent this inhumane way of life says to me that if you could you would, that though you suffered defeat and the law of the land says you can no longer enslave another human being that is the only reason you don’t. This in not ‘offensive’ or politically incorrect it is immoral and dehumanizing. This is not a slip of the tongue it is a slap in the face not only to black people but to any human being that fought and died for their right to be treated as what we had no right to disallow them…….human beings. If you truly in your heart of hearts don’t see black people or any Peoples as less worthy than yourself then no one should have to make you take down a flag that says otherwise, that flag would have been folded up and put away a long time ago….

Retiring The Louisiana Fleur de Lis Flag Along Side the Battle/Confederate Flag


I just read an article about the issue of the state of Louisiana and the fleur de lis symbol on flags. Unlike the Battle/Confederate flag that has become of symbol representing our history of slavery and whether or not it actually does represent that; the fleur de lis is now and started out as a symbol flown by slave owners in support of slavery. The words fleur de lis are French for ‘black code’. This symbol was branded on the shoulders of slaves who tried to run away so white people knew that slave was not an obedient one. It is without question on either side a symbol of oppression. The argument here is not what that flag represents the issue is should the Fleur de Lis flag be flown or should it come down and placed in a museum. In response to the words in the article “when does it stop” I say this. It stops when all symbols of hate and oppression are no longer proudly flown. Yes it seems extreme, yes it is a difficult process sometimes given that this particular symbol is so ingrained in Louisiana architecture etc., But if we preach and practice really ending all hate and prejudices against all human beings, then a lot of changes have to be made. People have died for less. No longer flying a flag really isn’t that big of a deal. I am not saying tear down buildings or remove walls. Just stop flying these flags of oppression. If we are no longer slave owners then this symbol has served it’s purpose and it’s time is done. Take it down.

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