Friday, September 30, 2016

FEATURE ARTICLES. WHAT DOES THE U.S. CONSTITUTION ACTUALLY SAY ABOUT RELIGION? PT 2.


Religion, World Peace, Faith, 3D

In part 1, I quoted Article six of the U.S. Constitution.  I pointed out that this section of the Constitution, along with the First Amendment, are the only two places that religion is referred to in the entire body of the document.   I will now quote from the Bill of Rights, the section that references religion.

First Amendment-  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

There you have it.  These two passages make it clear what role religion would play in the development of the new republic, and at no time do they contradict each other.
  • Congress would not address the subject of religion in any way.
  • There would be no religious test to hold public office.  One need only swear allegiance to the Constitution
  • Since religious freedom is considered a right that every American has, it cannot be taken away.  In other words, creating and passing legislation that removes this right is not possible.

For those who claim that the founding fathers had an agenda that would establish Christianity as an essential part of our legal system, and that it is justified within the body of the Constitution, ignore certain details.  None of the following appears within the ratified document;
  • God.
  • Jesus.
  • Christian or Christianity.
  • Prayer.
  • Bible. 
In fact, the only word that could possibly be a reference to a Supreme Being is the use of the term "Lord".  However, this word is used only once in the following fragment; "...in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven...".  This was a common way that dates and times were presented in print, and was not considered to be an expression of faith.

It is amazing that many of todays Lawmakers wish to regulate public policy according to the faiths and beliefs of certain segments of American society.  This completely ignores the obvious intentions of the Framers of the Constitution.  Why would they make it the law of the land to require no religious test to hold public office, and then seek to Legislate by Doctrines found in certain faiths?
(See PT.3 in a future posting.)

Date- 11/11/2013.




LOGIC. IT'S NOT JUST FOR VULCANS, AND VIEWERS OF "THE BIG BANG THEORY." #3.

Faust, Wage War On, Fight

In the following two examples, we are faced with the same category of flawed reasoning.

A)  Statement-  "I think Same- Sex Couples should have the same Rights and Opportunities as Heterosexual Couples."
       
Answer-  "So I guess we have to allow Brothers and Sisters to get married, or let children get married no matter how old they are.  Even worse, such a thing as Bestiality must be legalized."


B)  Statement-  "Churches enjoy Tax Exempt Status, that is why they cannot endorse any Political Party, Candidate or Platform."
      
Answer-  "Really, Priests and Ministers can't be allowed to vote.  If they do, it would be illegal, and the State will shut them down."

The above are actual examples I took from talk radio, but this Logical Fallacy can be found all across the Media. They are both examples of STRAW MAN ARGUMENTS.

A Straw Man argument takes a proposition or assertion, and refutes it by misstating or misapplying what was said.  Often this is done by claiming to argue against something that was not part of the original content, and attempts to create a position that the opposing side never proposed, endorsed or even addressed.

In the first example, the initial statement only proposed that Same- Sex couples be given status equal to that of Heterosexual couples.  Since Heterosexual couples have restrictions that may or may not allow them to Legally Marry, ( i.e. Age, Bloodlines, Freedom of Choice without Coercion, Bigamy etc.), these would also apply to Same- Sex couples.  There is no reason to think that legalizing Homosexual Unions would exempt them from the guidelines already established for Heterosexual Couples.

The second example applies to Public Political Behavior that occurs at Church Sanctioned Activities, and behavior that is private in nature. Church officials can express their opinions freely, and legally comment on any part of the Election Process, as long as it is not done at an official event that acknowledges their Authority or Capacity within the Church.  Also, I am unaware of any Law that prevents a member of the Clergy from voting, apart from guidelines established for every citizen.

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 5/22/2014)

THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE? #2.

Sea, Sailing Vessel, Ocean, Sunset, Sky


That leads us to the First Major Problem that is encountered when Researching any Subject Dealing with THE PARANORMAL.  Just because a Book, or any Published Work lists a BIBLIOGRAPHY, DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT HAS BEEN RESEARCHED PROPERLY.  Listing Source Material is Meaningless, if the AUTHORSHIP IS OF DUBIOUS OR QUESTIONABLE RELIABILITY.

I Mention the BERMUDA TRIANGLE, because there is perhaps no Greater Fabrication of a LEGEND THAT HAS NO REAL BASIS IN FACT, AND IS BASICALLY THE CREATION OF A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL. ( I will Discuss This in a Future Post.)  However, for this Post, let us begin to ask some basic questions, and see if we can understand the Reasoning behind the MYSTERY.

I Published a Map of the Area in Question in an earlier Post, so you can Reference it by Scrolling Up. That brings me to the First Point:

I CAN DRAW A CIRCLE, SQUARE, TRIANGLE, TRAPEZOID etc., around any area of the GLOBE, AND FIND EXAMPLES OF MISSING PERSONS, BOATS, PLANES. This is especially TRUE IN BODIES OF WATER, AND MOUNTAINOUS REGIONS, WHERE DISCOVERY AND RECOVERY OF EVIDENCE WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE.

However, for the sake of Argument, let us say that this area has more Incidents of UNEXPLAINED DISAPPEARANCES THAN SIMILAR REGIONS IN SIZE AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS. How could this be Explained?

THIS BRINGS US TO THE NEXT POINT:

UNEXPLAINED AND UNEXPLAINABLE DO NOT MEAN THE SAME THING. 

UNEXPLAINED-  A DEFINITIVE CAUSE HAS NOT BEEN FOUND.  ALTHOUGH
DIFFERENT EXPLANATIONS MAY BE OFFERED, THE AMOUNT OF RELIABLE AND TESTABLE EVIDENCE IS NOT SUFFICIENT ENOUGH TO ALLOW US TO DRAW A CONCLUSION WITH REASONABLE CERTAINTY. 

UNEXPLAINABLE-  THAT THE INCIDENT, BY ITS VERY NATURE AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING IT, CAN NEVER BE REASONABLY EXPLAINED, REGARDLESS OF THE QUALITY OR QUANTITY OF THE EVIDENCE FOUND, AND PROPERLY ANALYZED.

One Question that is often asked, when we examine Popular Myths and Legends,
is why are so many "INCIDENTS" OR "EVENTS" LISTED AS UNEXPLAINABLE?

THE ANSWER:  LOOK AT THE INDIVIDUALS MAKING SUCH JUDGMENTS, AND THE POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF MAKING SUCH ILL-INFORMED DECISIONS. 

AFTER ALL, POLITICIANS DO IT ALL THE TIME.

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 4/12/2016)

QUICK HITTERS. POST #17. THE PRESIDENTS IMMIGRATION SPEECH- WHAT DOES HE ACTUALLY SAY? PT 1.

Girl, Summer, Dress, Pretty, Woman

Lets try a Novel Approach. Ignoring what the Political Pundits on Television and the Radio Have to say, and actually READ THE TRANSCRIPT FROM PRESIDENT OBAMAS IMMIGRATION SPEECH.

It is available on line.  So, if you are interested, why not Download it, before passing Judgment.

The following Posts on this Topic, are my Thoughts and Opinions taken directly from the Transcript.

Lets get started.

He opens by praising the Two- Hundred Year+ History of the U.S. welcoming Immigrants from around the World, and the Advantages it has given the Country over other Nations.

However, he goes on to say:

"...Today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it.  Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules.  Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them less."

From this passage we can take the following;

-  The President is acknowledging the State of the Immigration System, AND THE NEED FOR IT TO BE FIXED.

-  That the way the system is currently operated victimizes;  Legal Immigrants who follow the Law, and Honest Business Owners who offer good wages and benefits, who see competitors using undocumented workers to save money.

The President goes on to say;

 "All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America."

-  In other words, the Advantages and Responsibilities go hand and hand.  With one comes the other.
LOOK FOR PART 2.

Date-  11/25/2014.

FEATURE ARTICLES. MESSAGE TO ALL PROGRESSIVES: DON'T YOU SEE IT, EVEN NOW? PT 1.








The first Debate is over, and like everyone expected, Hillary Clinton showed her Intellectual Abilities, and Donald Trump just showed up.

So, Progressives should be feeling pretty good, after all, this should show everyone who the better Candidate is, right? I mean, it's common sense, right?

That Attitude is a real problem, and the best chance Trump has in winning this Election. With him, it has never been a matter of Intellect, Emotional Stability, or even a Coherent Political Platform.
The people who got Trump to where he is now, understood that getting him elected counted on the following;

-  Winning the Republican Nomination meant securing the support of those groups who were most likely to vote in the Primaries, now , as in the past. Being the most popular Republican Hopeful means very little if the vast majority of Potential Primary Voters stayed home.

-  Potential Nominees canceling each other out, by Talking about Traditional Republican
Values and Goals. Trump Talking a lot, but saying nothing of Consequence, would help
set him apart.

-  That Offensive Speech, along with a Lack of Knowledge, means very little if your Supporters
could care less, as long as it serves Their Political Agenda.

See part 2.

9/30/2016.





ETHICS AND MORALITY. MORAL COWARDICE- WHEN YOU SACRIFICE YOUR PRINCIPLES, SO NOT TO OFFEND. PT 1.


Book, Hands, Reflecting, Bella, Thinking

While writing about Political Issues through the years, one recurring theme I find most disturbing;  
MANY AMERICANS DEMAND THAT THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS REVEAL AND STAND BY A SET OF MORAL PRINCIPLES THAT ARE EASILY IDENTIFIABLE AND UNCHANGING, YET ARE AFRAID TO FOLLOW THIS LINE OF REASONING IN THEIR OWN LIVES.

Many individuals are deathly afraid to reveal their personal beliefs on Religion and Morality, in fear that their family or friends will ostracize them.                                                 

This has always fascinated me.  Why would any person deceive others, just to maintain a relationship built on lies?  Yes, I understand that a Human Being is essentially a Social Animal, and the need to be accepted is a fundamental desire. However, what do you sacrifice, in the name of being part of a particular social circle?

To be clear, I am not including the individual who is trying to interact with an extremist group, or others that are clearly irrational in nature.  Sexists, Homophobes, Religious Fanatics, Xenophobes etc., are examples of Mindsets based on Fear, Hate and a general loathing of Humanity.

This article is to ask why an Intelligent and Caring person would decide to mask their beliefs, which are genuine in nature, from those that mean the most to them.
Let me ask a question, to all of my readers. Think of the people you are closest to,
they may be a relative, or a friend.  By close, I mean an individual that you consider a close confidant, in that their advice would be considered a prominent part of any important decision that you make.  Would you be afraid of offending them, if they found out that there were certain moral absolutes that you were not in agreement?
Look for PT 2.

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 4/10/2014)

FEATURE ARTICLES. FACING THE TRUTH.- WHAT IS THE REALITY BEHIND THE OPPOSITION TO UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE IN THE UNITED STATES?


Medic, Hospital, Laboratory, Medical

Although I have covered this subject under the category of Ethics and Morality, this article covers an area that is distinct.  The bottom line is that there are individuals and/or groups in the U.S who do not want Affordable Health Insurance for everyone.  Basically, they are thinking of no one but themselves. 

They may state other reasons, but it only is to avoid admitting the truth publicly.  However, I would like to make it clear that any of the following are not to be considered 100% inclusive.  There are members, perhaps even a majority, who would reject the self-centered mind-set of those who are part of their group.

  • Those with Health Care Plans that provide extensive coverage, beyond that of most regular plans.-  They consider their status as being among the elite, regardless of actual impact on society through their actions as an employee.  To them, there are the Haves and the Have Nots.
  • Citizens who in the past were not covered.  This group includes those who are now covered because they became part of a protected group.  Since they suffered in the past, why should others not suffer as they did?
  • Those who realize that with the addition of millions of newly insured Americans, that there might be a delay in receiving non-life threatening care.
  • Since it's true that the new law will not affect everyone equally, why should it   be applied and financed by those who don't see any immediate benefit.

What really amazes me is the often blatant hypocrisy of many opponents of the new law.  "Why should I help fund a law I don't need," they shout to the heavens.  However, they conveniently forget;
  • Grants and Scholarships.                
  • Small Business Loans.                               
  • Home Mortgage Loans.
  • Flood and other disaster relief.
  • Bailing out Financial Institutions,
      because of criminal and/or professional incompetence. 

Get the picture. All of the above are examples, among others, of Government Assistance to a select portion of the population.  I wonder how many opponents of Universal Health Care, or their family, can honestly say they have never turned to Government for aid in a time of need, or to rescue their High Incomes from a corrupt "Trusted Adviser."

There are practical reasons to support Universal Health Care, that will benefit the U.S in the long term.  I just hope that practical is never equated with moral.

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 10/10/2013)









THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD. THE WORLD OF CRYPTOZOOLOGY. PT 4. BIGFOOT- SECTION 1.



King Kong, Skyline, Woman, City, Monster, Silhouette

What awaits us in the Deepest Parts of the Unexplored Forests of the Pacific Northwest ?

-  or maybe its the Mountains of Appalachia?

-  Could it be the Remote Back Roads of New England, New Jersey, or New York?

-  What about the Lands around the Great Lakes, and the Upper Mid-West?

Come to think of it, there is one Type of Cryptid that seems to have found a Home in every one of the 50 States in the U.S., and All the Provinces and Territories of Canada.


CRYPTID-  A LEGENDARY OR MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURE WHOSE EXISTENCE HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN, OR EVEN REASONABLY POSTULATED BY EVIDENCE AVAILABLE FOR TESTING OR ANALYSIS.

Cryptozoology, is the one area where Evidence does not Have to meet any Kind of Scientific, or Critical Thinking Criteria.  So, that is where we find the continued insistence that such Improbable Creatures actually do exist.

The Number of Cryptids that are Promoted as Real by Cryptozoologists are Numerous, and are said to exist just about everywhere on Earth.  However, to begin with, Lets look at the Most Famous Example found on the NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT.  I am Referring to the Backwoods Beast known as BIGFOOT.

When Starting a Discussion about any possible living thing, particularly one that is Unlikely to Exist, the MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO IS TO ACTUALLY DEFINE WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT, AND WHAT WOULD CONSTITUTE VALID QUALIFYING EVIDENCE PROVING ITS REALITY.  

That is the First Problem, and it Points out something that will be a Detriment when Talking about any CRYPTID;

THAT WITH ONLY PURELY SUBJECTIVE TESTIMONY OFFERED AS THE "BEST EVIDENCE",  A PROPER DEFINITION IS NOT REASONABLY POSSIBLE.  IT CAN BE CHANGED EASILY, SINCE IT IS NOT BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF SCIENTIFIC THEORY.

That brings us to first IMPORTANT QUESTION-  WHEN SOMEONE WRITES OR TALKS ABOUT BIGFOOT...

... WHAT ARE THEY REFERENCING?
SEE SECTION 2.

FIRST PUBLISHED ON-  12/26/2014.


CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. ORGANIZED CRIME- WHAT IS IT, AND CAN IT BE STOPPED? PT 2.



Gunshot, Muzzle, Pistol, Weapon


When Talking About Organized Crime, at least as it is Categorized in the U.S. and Most Industrialized Countries in the World Today, we are Referring to a Recent Invention. 

How Man Governs,Goes to War,
Conducts Business etc., has changed over the Centuries, and so has the Strategy and Tactics that Enable One Person or Persons to Take what Another Has, Without Permission, Proper Recompense, and Negative Consequences. 

Of course Crime is more than just Theft, but Financial Windfalls are at the Heart of Virtually Every Unlawful Activity.  All Roads seem to Lead there.

But I'm getting Ahead of Myself, so Lets return to the History of Organized Crime.
(To be Abbreviated O.C in the Future.)

In the Broadest Dense, O.C has existed Throughout Recorded History. BANDITRY on Land, and PIRACY on the Water, have Targeted Civilizations from the Greco- Roman World to Imperial China, and the Infant Nation called the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.  The Key?  Go where the Wealth is, or Plunder and Rob those Populations unable to stop you.

However, Modern Day Organized Crime differs from what we see in the Past, on Several Key Points;

-  There is Less Reliance on the Single Individual Leader, which Allows for the Continuation of Criminal Enterprises, with an Emphasis on Succession.

-  The Concept of MONEY LAUNDERING, WHICH MEANS USING PROCEEDS FROM CRIMINAL ACTS TO FUND LEGITIMATE/LEGAL ACTIVITIES, USUALLY IN THE BUSINESS SECTOR.

-  That it is Often More Beneficial to BRIBE, PAYOFF, OR CORRUPT LEGAL AUTHORITIES, INSTEAD OF FIGHTING THEM.

-  On a Regular Basis to Encourage and Reward the Rank and File for Services Rendered.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Date-  2/12/2015.

FEATURE ARTICLES. WHAT PROGRESSIVES MUST LEARN. PT 13. DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF HATE. #2.

Criminal, Terrorist, Rifle, Weapons

Progressives, no matter where found, must understand, and not forget, that the REPUBLICAN PARTY THAT EXISTS TODAY IS DIFFERENT FROM THE PAST. THOSE WHO HAVE LED THE CHARGE TO NOMINATE DONALD TRUMP, ARE FROM A SMALL NUMBER OF EXTREMIST FACTIONS WHOSE RISE TO POWER WITHIN THE PARTY HAS BEEN DRAMATIC. IT HAS ALSO BEEN THE RESULT OF THE PARTIES INCREASING USE OF INTOLERANT AND HATE FILLED PROPAGANDA TO STIGMATIZE THE OPPOSITION, AND MISLEAD THE PUBLIC.

The Problem for the REPUBLICANS, was the Idea that these FACTIONS could be
Utilized for the benefit of the Party as a whole, but controlled and prevented from attaining to much power and influence within the Parties Hierarchy. When needed they could be Mobilized for Money, Votes, Voices on Radio, Demonstrations, or any Party need that could not be satisfied Through Normal, Traditional, Intellectually Honest or Morally Commendable Channels.

These Factions Include Individuals who could be Described in the following ways:

-   RELIGIOUS ZEALOT.

-   RADICAL ISOLATIONIST.

-   ECONOMIC BIGOT.

-   ANTI- INTELLECTUALIST.


Now, they're Racists, Bigots, Homophobes, Xenophobes etc., , to be found in
every walk off life. However, in the Republican Parties case, They now call the shots by setting Policy, and promoting certain Individuals as Candidates to Nominate for the Upcoming Election.


(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 9/7/2016}

THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD. THE WORLD OF CRYPTOZOOLOGY. PT 3.


Eery, Fear, Stalk, Frankenstein, Forest

Before you can even begin to Scientifically Justify a Belief in the Existence of a Legendary or Mythological Creature, several Criteria must be met.

1)  What Type of Physical Evidence are you using to back up the Claim? Is it still Available for Study and Analysis by Independent and Qualified Researchers, who have access to the Best Technology?

2)  How was any and all Evidence Obtained?  
The Who, What, Where, When and How Set of Questions that can Validate or Invalidate any Conclusions regarding the Reality of the Creature in Question?

3)  Is the Evidence best explained by the Introduction of a Previously Unknown Member of the Natural World, or do the Laws of Probability Indicate a more likely Solution?

4)  To what Degree are you Relying on Anecdotal or Eyewitness Testimony to Support a Conclusion that Asserts the Existence of a Real and Tangible Entry into the Animal Kingdom?

5)  If these Creatures Exist in the Wild, and their numbers are Large Enough to Populate an Extended Area or Region, how many must be living to Overcome the Problem of Genetic Diversity?

Remember, much of what you see on Television regarding Cryptozoology is Virtually Worthless, from a Scientific or Critical Thinking Perspective.  These Shows present Certain Speculative Ideas as the Result of Meaningful Thought Processes.

However, when you Ignore the SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND THE RULES OF LOGIC, YOU ARE LEFT WITH OPINIONS THAT ARE LITTLE MORE THAN EMPTY WORDS.  THESE ARE OFTEN USED TO DUPE THE GULLIBLE AND THE DESPERATE.

A Good Start to Identifying this Line of Irrational Thinking, is to see how they stand up to the Questions that are asked above.

Real Science is done when these, and Other Pertinent Questions are Answered, and not Ignored.

In the next Installment, we will begin looking at the Different Creatures that make up the Cryptozoological World.
END OF PART 3.

Date-  12/9/2014.

WHAT A SHAME. TELEVISION: HOW DO I KNOW IF IT IS WORTH MY TIME? PT 1.


Cinema, Film, Movie, Theater


This is a Question that should be Simple to Answer. Shows that Promote Pseudoscience and Pseudohistory are Often Advertised in ways that are almost Comical and Satirical in Nature. 

However, should all Programming be Disregarded if Commercials about such Shows Indicate a Lack of Professionalism and/or Intellectual Discipline, with little regard for Proper Research Methods?

This Depends on the Type Viewing Experience that you want to have.


Suppose you want to be "ENTERTAINED" , WITH NO REAL DESIRE TO EVALUATE THE TRUTH OR REALITY OF WHAT YOU ARE SEEING.

WATCHING "TALL TALES", which are not meant to Impart Factual Data, but to ENCOURAGE "SUSPENSION OF BELIEF" AS A WAY TO ENJOY THE STORY, ARE THE BEST EXAMPLES OF THESE.  If this is Appealing to you, Tune In, and Treat it like an OLD FASHIONED "CAMPFIRE" STORY, WHICH IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY.


HOWEVER, IF YOU WANT TO MIX ENTERTAINMENT WITH AN EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY, AND VALUE THE "SUBSTANCE" OF WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO WATCH, THAN YOUR STANDARDS WILL HAVE TO CHANGE.

THIS IS WHERE THE HANDLING OF THE SUBJECT MATTER IS IMPORTANT. IF ATTEMPTS TO DECEIVE YOU INTO ACCEPTING BOGUS OR FAULTY INFORMATION AS FACTUAL OFFENDS YOUR SENSE OF INTELLECTUAL HONESTY AND INTEGRITY, THEN AVOID CERTAIN PROGRAMS COMPLETELY.



The Problem is: How can we KNOW?

Sometimes, the COMMERCIALS/TEASERS GIVE US A PRETTY GOOD IDEA. If not, the First Few Minutes, INTRODUCING THE SUBJECT,  AND THE HOSTS OR "INVESTIGATORS", MAY LEAVE SOME CLUES ABOUT THE MATERIAL THAT IS TO FOLLOW ON THE SCREEN.

CLAIM OR TEASER #1-  "THIS WILL REWRITE HISTORY"...OR..."THIS WILL SIT SCIENCE ON ITS HEAD."

Although I am not going to say that it is a CERTAINTY, ANY PROGRAM THAT USES SUCH DIALOGUE TO BEGIN THE EPISODE IS PROBABLY... 

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 11/6/2015)

THE CLASSROOM. #22. DONALD TRUMP IS NOW THE LEADER OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. ELIZABETH WARREN. U.S. SENATOR.



Donald Trump, Politics, America

It's real – he is one step away from the White House.

Here's what else is real:Trump has built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia. There's more enthusiasm for him among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls.He incites supporters to violence, praises Putin, and, according to a columnist who recently interviewed him, is "cool with being called an authoritarian" and doesn't mind associations with history's worst dictators.

He attacks veterans like John McCain who were captured and puts our servicemembers at risk by cheerleading illegal torture. In a world with ISIS militants and leaders like North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un conducting nuclear tests, he surrounds himself with a foreign policy team that has been called a "collection of charlatans," and puts out contradictory and nonsensical national security ideas one expert recently called "incoherent" and "truly bizarre."

What happens next will test the character for all of us – Republican, Democrat, and Independent. It will determine whether we move forward as one nation or splinter at the hands of one man's narcissism and divisiveness. I know which side I'm on, and I’m going to fight my heart out to make sure Donald Trump’s toxic stew of hatred and insecurity never reaches the White House.

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 5/3/2016)

QUICK HITTERS. POST #3. STATISTICS AND POLLS; PAY NO ATTENTION. PT 2.

MANIPULATING THE RESULTS IS TO EASY.

This should be a given, but it is often not reported or ignored. That Survey or Poll results can be greatly influenced by the Tactics of those conducting them.


Consulting, Businessmen, Statistics

Example-  How often do you here a poll prefaced by the words like...

"... among registered..."

"...survey of likely voters..."

"...who identify themselves as.."

"...popularity among age groups..."

What do they all have in common? They tell us virtually nothing.

-  Where did the questioning take place?  Particularly, the "COMMUNITY."  Even in a small city or town, political differences can vary greatly, so knowing the exact locations can give us an indication about the validity of reported results.

-  How much of the information acquired about those who were interviewed or polled, was self- reported or unverifiable?

-  What were the guidelines or standards set that could disqualify an individuals answers from being included in the final results?

-  If there was more than a single question asked, was each individual asked ALL of them, or did previous answers influence the length of the interview?

-  What protocols were in place to guarantee that the Interviewers or Pollsters followed proper procedures?

Date-  9/20/2014.

ETHICS AND MORALITY. BY DEFINITION? DEFINE BEFORE YOU DISCUSS. PT 3.


Head, Brainstorming, Idea Circles, Think, Human, Idea
HUMANIST-  The belief that all decisions regarding moral behavior, either individually or as a society, can be found through intellectual reflection and discourse.  It rejects any faith based grounding of proper ethical
behavior.

Christian Humanist-  Accepts the Divine nature of Jesus, but believes that God gave man the ability and mental discipline to find ultimate truths regarding proper moral behavior.  Scripture is not the source
for finding ethical absolutes.  The Gospels may be correct, but must be judged on a case by case basis.

Secular Humanist-  Believes that faith based institutions have no place in deciding public policy or law.  Religion is purely an individual choice, and should not influence the legal system in any way.  A Secular Humanist is not by definition an Atheist.

Deistic Humanist-  Closely resembles the Christian Humanist.  Believes in an ultimate power (God), that is the prime mover in our universe.  However, this power created the laws of nature and set reality in motion, but leaves the concept of morality as something the human mind can comprehend without Divine interference.

Keep in mind these are my definitions.  You are free to disregard or accept them. My main goal is to show that we often use blanket definitions on certain belief systems.  However, some of these systems are not uniform, and vary in how they view the nature of God, Reality, Morality, and the Universe in general. 

Date-  2/8/2014.

CONSUMER GUIDE TO AVOIDING SCAMS AND SCOUNDRELS. HOMEOPATHY- MEDICAL ADVICE FROM THE IRRATIONAL. PT 1.

Bach Flower Therapy, Bach Flowers

With Affordable Health Care now becoming available to every American, there is one industry that is facing the loss of tens of millions of dollars.  Because adequate medical treatment will be a positive improvement on the lives of millions, the desire to seek out "Alternative" treatments from dubious or even bogus sources will be dramatically decreased.  Perhaps, this will mean the end of one of the greatest medical travesties in history- HOMEOPATHY. 

This is not a case of a fringe theory with results that are hotly debated by the Medical community.  How anyone with a minimal ability to reason and understand the choices that affect their lives would want to follow this lifestyle is astonishing. Homeopathy lacks, in every way, the bare minimum to be called a valid choice when dealing with medical conditions in human beings.

Homeopathy, as it is practiced today, is still basically the same as it was two hundred years ago.  The basic theory is that all disease is not caused by outside sources, but from imbalances within the body itself.  To check these imbalances, one must take a diluted mixture of the poison harming the body.

In the beginning these "dilutions" were small, but enough toxins were present in the "remedy" to cause harm to the individual.  To solve this problem, Homeopathic Practitioners came up with an unusual solution.  The answer was to dilute the substance many times over, even to the point where there is no molecular identity of the "Active Ingredient" within the "Remedy".  To put it another way, the so called treatment has no trace of the substance that is supposed to heal the body. 
(Look for pt 2 in a future edition.)

Date- 11/9/2013.

ETHICS AND MORALITY. PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD. PT 1.



Bible Text

Why is it that people with certain Moral Beliefs, automatically feel it is their mission to see that others also adopt this same ETHICAL SYSTEM?

What is even more Disturbing, is their desire to see it instituted into Law, either by Statute or Judicial Decree.  Unfortunately, the Lack of Freedom to Choose never seems to bother them, unless it inhibits their own ability to make Individual Decisions.

FREEDOM OF RELIGION, AS A RIGHT, INCLUDES THE ABILITY TO OBEY OR DISOBEY ANY FORM OF RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE.  IT IS NOT A MATTER OF SELECTING WHICH FORMS OF FAITH CAN BE LEGALIZED, AND ADJUSTING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO CONFORM.  NONE OF THEM ARE TO BE PART OF ANY CODE OF LAW, BECAUSE THE CONCEPT OF 'FREEDOM OF RELIGION' WOULD BE MEANINGLESS. 

A Response to this is could be something like : "The Word of God is Absolute, we must Convert or Convince others that their only hope for Salvation is accepting 
Scripture, and Submitting to Gods Will."

This type of Response makes the following Assumptions;

-  DEFINING "GOD" IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY, AND MUST BE ACCEPTED.

-  That Their DEFINITION OF GOD IS THE CORRECT ONE.

-  THAT FAITH ALONE IS REQUIRED AND NECESSARY.  NO LOGICAL PROOFS, OR SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY IS NEEDED TO "KNOW THE TRUTH."

-  That GOD HAS REVEALED INSTRUCTIONS FOR A MORAL LIFE, THROUGH INTERPRETATIONS OF SPECIFIC TEXTS, WHICH MUST BE ACCEPTED AS TRUE AND INFALLIBLE.

-  "SALVATION" IS A DESIRABLE GOAL , THAT CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED BY OBEYING THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

Now there is nothing UNCONSTITUTIONAL OR ILLEGAL about believing any of the above.  A FREE SOCIETY allows each of us to find answers on our own, and being able to share our BELIEFS OR FAITH with others. 

HOWEVER, THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONVERTING OR CONVINCING SOMEONE TO ACT OR BELIEVE CERTAIN RELIGIOUS DEFINITIONS OR ABSOLUTES VOLUNTARILY, AND FORCING THEM TO THROUGH THREATS OF CRIMINAL OR CIVIL SANCTIONS INSTITUTED INTO LAW.

LOOK FOR PT 2 IN A FUTURE POST.  

Date-  12/5/2014.

WHAT A SHAME. PUTTING A FACE ON THE TRUE ENEMIES OF CHANGE.






Why is it that any time a CONTROVERSIAL INDIVIDUAL RUNS FOR OFFICE, THE MEDIA ADOPTS THE ATTITUDE THAT; "THIS IS A SIGN OF THE TIMES, A NEW MOVEMENT BECAUSE OF DISSATISFACTION WITH POLITICS AS USUAL." THIS DECLARATION IS SAID TO MIRROR THE ATTITUDE OF DISSATISFIED VOTERS, WHO ARE TIRED OF TRADITIONAL POLITICIANS RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT.

Mask ManSorry, but this is simply not True. If it was, the Same "Old, Rich and Powerful Politicians" would not be Re- Elected Time and Time Again.  Even the BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENCY, WHICH HAS SEEN SIGNIFICANT BENEFICIAL CHANGES TO THE LIVES OF MANY AMERICANS, (AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, LEGALIZATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, MANY STATES RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE, ADOPTING POLICIES THAT ARE IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FINDINGS OF CLIMATE SCIENCE etc. ), HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH THE SAME ATTITUDES, PREJUDICES, AND SELF-CENTERED MINDSETS THAT HAS HINDERED SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHANGE FOR DECADES.  What is really Absurd, is that those who oppose such changes, and want to maintain the Status Quo, ARE THOSE SCREAMING THE LOUDEST ABOUT OUR BROKEN POLITICAL SYSTEM.

I understand that some of the News Media no longer CARES FOR INTELLECTUAL DISCOURSE, AND WOULD RATHER WALLOW IN THE CESSPOOL CREATED BY REALITY T.V., CELEBRITY WORSHIP, AND GOSSIP COLUMNISTS MASQUERADING AS NEWS REPORTERS AND ANALYSTS. OFTEN TIMES, THIS RESULTS IN CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE BROADCAST MEDIA TROTTING OUT TIME WORN CLICHES LIKE, "THE VOTERS ARE TIRED OF THE SAME OLD BACK ROOM POLITICS", IN AN ATTEMPT TO SHIFT ATTENTION AWAY FROM FINDING REAL ANSWERS, TO REAL PROBLEMS.

In Addition, Efforts to Confront Past Unresolved Issues, (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, THE CONFLICTS IN IRAN AND IRAQ, AND CREATING TREATIES TO PREVENT THE INCREASE IN NUCLEAR WEAPONRY AMONG ALL NATIONS,etc.), HAS RESULTED IN SYSTEMATIC ATTEMPTS BY THE OPPOSITION TO SABOTAGE OR PREVENT ANY PROGRESS THAT COULD YIELD POSITIVE RESULTS.

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS:

THOSE WHO HAVE OPPOSED MOST, IF NOT ALL POLICIES CHANGES PROPOSED BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION , ARE LED BY POLITICAL LEADERSHIP THAT HAS BEEN ENTRENCHED FOR YEARS. THE MAIN REASON FOR SUCH OPPOSITION SEEMS TO BE A DESIRE TO PREVENT ANY SUCCESS THAT COULD BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, AND STOPPING PERMANENT CHANGES IN DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY THAT WOULD NO LONGER FAVOR A PRIVILEGED FEW. 

Date-  6/2/2016.






LOGIC. THE NEED TO EDUCATE, AND MAKE IT THE ENEMY OF IRRATIONAL, SELF-CENTERED, AND PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT. PT 2.


Woman Reading A Book


When we Discuss Educating Young People on the Practical Uses of LOGIC AND CRITICAL THINKING IN EVERYDAY LIFE, THE POLITICAL SYSTEM IS AN AREA OF SPECIAL IMPORTANCE.  

ENCOMPASSING CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LAW, THE ECONOMY, AND OTHER PARTS OF DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY, ELECTING AND SUPPORTING THE MOST COMPETENT, HONEST, AND CAPABLE INDIVIDUALS IS A GOAL THAT EVERY CITIZEN SHOULD FEEL IS A RESPONSIBILITY, ONE THAT SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY.

In a free and open open society, POLITICIANS CAN GIVE AN OPINION ON JUST ABOUT ANY SUBJECT, USUALLY WITH LITTLE FEAR OF PUNISHMENT. However, that does not mean they know what they are Talking About, or even care, as long as there are Those who are willing to close Their Minds, and Accept What is being said at Face Value.

THIS IS MANIFESTED BY THE POLITICIAN WHO IS ADEPT AT DELIVERING A SPEECH THAT CAN LAST FOR HOWEVER LONG THEY NEED IT TO, USING WORDS AND PHRASES THAT MAY SOUND INTELLECTUAL AND INSIGHTFUL, BUT LACK ANY REAL SUBSTANCE OR MEANING.  THE BODY OF THE SPEECH IS JUST EMPTY RHETORIC, SPOKEN BY SOMEONE WHO KNOWS OR CARES LITTLE FOR THE FACTS, OR ADDRESSING REAL ISSUES WITH KNOWLEDGE AND COMPETENCE.

SO HOW CAN WE INSTRUCT YOUNG LOGICIANS IN IDENTIFYING THOSE POLITICIANS WHO TALK A LOT, BUT SAY LITTLE THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED OF ANY VALUE?

IT IS TO TEACH THEM THAT NOT ALL POLITICAL SPEECH IS OF EQUAL WORTH, AND HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VALUABLE AND VALUELESS.  TO DO THIS, WE SHOULD POINT OUT THERE ARE TWO MAIN FORMS OF POLITICAL SPEECH THAT ARE USED TO SWAY VOTERS, BUT USE DECEPTION, PREJUDICE, AND A SELF-CENTERED MINDSET TO IGNORE AND AVOID PROVIDING REAL ANSWERS THAT MIGHT ACTUALLY WORK TO THE BENEFIT OF ALL AMERICANS.

THEY ARE...

-  ...THE UNSUPPORTED CONCLUSION/BASELESS ASSERTION.

                               AND

-  ...THE VAGUE/UNDEFINED MESSAGE.

LOOK FOR PART 3.

Date- 1/24/2016.

ETHICS AND MORALITY. JUST ANOTHER EXCUSE. PT 1.



TV Reporter

As another Election Cycle approaches, we are again 
being Subjected to Daily Analysis about what the Average 
Voter is Thinking and Looking for in a Candidate.

In Reality, They seem to be Nothing More than Sound Bites,
with the Media Trying to Create Controversy by finding 
Perspective Voters who are;

-  Looking for Reasons to Justify Their Lack of Knowledge.

-  Desperately trying to Blame any Problems They Have, Socially
or Economically, on other groups.

-  To Complain about how Recent Political Activity That May Have
Benefited others, is Unfair or Unjust because it didn't produce 
Immediate Positive Affects on Their Lives, or Disrupted a World View 
that Confronted Personal Prejudices, Irrational Judgments, or Past
Injustices.

-  So Self- Centered that even Trying to Explain to Them the Long Term
Goals of New Policies falls on Deaf Ears.

It almost seems like that Those Interviewed consider any Action or Stand 
Taken by an Elected Official IMMORAL, IF THEY DO NOT PERCEIVE AN 
IMMEDIATE POSITIVE IMPACT IN THEIR OWN LIVES, EVEN IF THERE 
IS NO REASONABLE DETRIMENT TO THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE.

What is even Worse, is the Memory Lapse that occurs when it is pointed 
out that other Policy Changes have Benefited Those who are now Criticizing
a Specific Issue.

So, HOW MUCH EMPHASIS SHOULD WE PLACE ON OVER THE AIR 
OPINIONS GIVEN BY THE "VOTING PUBLIC," WHICH ARE OFFERED 
BY DIFFERENT MEDIA OUTLETS?

SEE PART 2.

Date-  7/31/2015.

THE MYSTERIOUS WORLD. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE? #2.



Church Ruins

That leads us to the First Major Problem that is encountered when Researching any Subject Dealing with THE PARANORMAL.  Just because a Book, or any Published Work lists a BIBLIOGRAPHY, DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT HAS BEEN RESEARCHED PROPERLY.  Listing Source Material is Meaningless, if the AUTHORSHIP IS OF DUBIOUS OR QUESTIONABLE RELIABILITY.

I Mention the BERMUDA TRIANGLE, because there is perhaps no Greater Fabrication of a LEGEND THAT HAS NO REAL BASIS IN FACT, AND IS BASICALLY THE CREATION OF A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL. ( I will Discuss This in a Future Post.)  However, for this Post, let us begin to ask some basic questions, and see if we can understand the Reasoning behind the MYSTERY.

I Published a Map of the Area in Question in an earlier Post, so you can Reference it by Scrolling Up.

That brings me to the First Point:

I CAN DRAW A CIRCLE, SQUARE, TRIANGLE, TRAPEZOID etc., around any area of the GLOBE, AND FIND EXAMPLES OF MISSING PERSONS, BOATS, PLANES. This is especially TRUE IN BODIES OF WATER, AND MOUNTAINOUS REGIONS, WHERE DISCOVERY AND RECOVERY OF EVIDENCE WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE.

However, for the sake of Argument, let us say that this area has more Incidents of UNEXPLAINED DISAPPEARANCES THAN SIMILAR REGIONS IN SIZE AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS. How could this be Explained?

THIS BRINGS US TO THE NEXT POINT:

UNEXPLAINED AND UNEXPLAINABLE DO NOT MEAN THE SAME THING. 

UNEXPLAINED-  A DEFINITIVE CAUSE HAS NOT BEEN FOUND.  ALTHOUGH
DIFFERENT EXPLANATIONS MAY BE OFFERED, THE AMOUNT OF RELIABLE AND TESTABLE EVIDENCE IS NOT SUFFICIENT ENOUGH TO ALLOW US TO DRAW A CONCLUSION WITH REASONABLE CERTAINTY. 

UNEXPLAINABLE-  THAT THE INCIDENT, BY ITS VERY NATURE AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING IT, CAN NEVER BE REASONABLY EXPLAINED, REGARDLESS OF THE QUALITY OR QUANTITY OF THE EVIDENCE FOUND, AND PROPERLY ANALYZED.

One Question that is often asked, when we examine Popular Myths and Legends,
is why are so many "INCIDENTS" OR "EVENTS" LISTED AS UNEXPLAINABLE?

THE ANSWER:  LOOK AT THE INDIVIDUALS MAKING SUCH JUDGMENTS, AND THE POSSIBLE BENEFITS OF MAKING SUCH ILL-INFORMED DECISIONS. 

AFTER ALL, POLITICIANS DO IT ALL THE TIME.

Date- 4/12/2016.



WHAT A SHAME- A look at the low points in the modern media. HUMILIATION TELEVISION; IT DOESN'T GET ANY LOWER THAN THIS. PT 5.


Kitchen, Work, Restaurant, Cook, Chef


Now, at this point in the episode, if we are to take everything at face value as being true to life, several disturbing things about this business are made clear;

1)  Many of the "Problems" would be apparent to anyone who has a modicum of intelligence.

2)  The reasons for failure include just about every aspect of the Day to Day operation. ( Bad Food, Customer Service, Hygiene etc.) 

3)  The Lack of Training and/or Education, Proper Supervision, Desire to Succeed and Pride in ones appearance and performance is astonishing. This is especially amazing for a business in the "Service Industry."               

If all the above are present, and have to be addressed for the business to move forward, my question is this: Why in the world would you want this establishment to continue to operate?

Yes, I know controversy and confrontation boost ratings, but why would anyone want these often borderline criminal sites to continue to prey on the public?  Remember the show is promoted as being real and not staged. (Which, as I alluded to earlier in the article, is unlikely.)  If the goal is to keep the business open, the following questions must be asked;

- Does anyone think two or three days of screaming and insults, together with a few hours of training from "Experts",  will wipe out years of bad habits and carelessness?

- Will a fresh coat of paint and new furnishings turn lazy and indifferent employees into Dynamic Team Players?

- Can classically trained Chefs with years of experience, turn around a  Kitchen staff with little training in Basic Meal preparation?

- Will employees suddenly start to care about the proper and safe handling of all food stuffs, and will respond positively to training in this area?

- Do you think incompetent Managers will suddenly gain the necessary people skills to properly supervise other employees?

(Look for PT 6 in a future posting.)

Date- 1/11/2014.