Dave Stancliff 2011-07-31 blogarama.com

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tattoo to you…clever ways to send subtle messages to the world

ambigram tattoo

We live in the “Age of the Tat” (How do you like that?) 

I’ve been learning about different kinds of tattoos lately, and ran across ambigram tattoos! Who knew?

This ambigram tattoo (right) incorporates some of the most important aspects of philosophy into an ambigram.

It’s also particularly nice in that it is easy to read and doesn’t look strange from either direction, which is one of the hardest aspects in making an ambigram.

There are many other types that are off-the-wall like -multiple meaning ones, skull illusion tattoos, and anamorphic ones. Here’s nine other tattoos for your viewing pleasure.

Humboldt County Sheriff agrees with As It Stands column on Meth

Fight meth and protect Californians

By Michael Downey/For The Times-Standard

Posted: 08/06/2011 10:56:22 AM PDT

Re: As It Stands: Speed Kills -- so why is meth still scourging our society?

Excerpt:

“Methamphetamine abuse in Humboldt County is among the highest in the state, which is why our sheriff's department is continuing to invest in the fight against meth. As pointed out by Dave Stancliff in the Times-Standard, meth is a serious crisis that needs a serious solution. We're doing our part at the county level; we need help at the state level, too.”

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Meet the Dahlia Man – Humboldt County resident loves variety

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My friend, Carl Young of Fortuna, has a beautiful collection of dahlias that get more colorful every season as he adds more varieties of this versatile flower annually. Here’s an exclusive look at a fraction of the blooming beauties  in Carl’s back yard today. He’s still got about 50 more varieties that will be blooming soon. Got any questions about Dahlia’s?

email carl at: carlhandup@att.net

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Count monkeys for better slumber, U.S. loses triple-A credit rating, and it’s International Beer Day

Image: Capuchin monkey

Good Morning Humboldt County!

It’s coffee time. Have a nice steaming hot shot of java and let’s explore what the headlines offer this morning.

Back on line. Quite a few people were without the internet and home phones yesterday as At&t & Suddenlink experienced problems.

To fall asleep faster, listen to monkeys

Forget counting sheep -- many people prefer listening to lions roaring and monkeys calling to help them nod off, according to a new survey.

US government loses triple-A credit rating

It was bound to happen after the world saw how pathetic our Congress is after the contrived debt crisis.  Make sure to thank a Tea Bagger today because that group in the House is paving the way for America’s demise.

“The United States lost its top-notch AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's Friday in a dramatic reversal of fortune for the world's largest economy.

S&P cut the long-term U.S. credit rating by one notch to AA-plus. The credit agency said it was making the move because the deficit reduction plan passed by Congress Tuesday did not go far enough to stabilize the country's debt situation.

The S&P report cited "the gulf between the political parties" evidenced during last week's debt-ceiling debate that resulted in legislation designed to cut over $2.1 trillion over 10 years among its reasons for the first-time lowering, but GOP leaders laid the blame on President Barack Obama, according to reports from NBC News.”

Cheers! It's International Beer Day

It's International Beer Day, as if anyone needed an excuse to grab a cold one. Bottom's up!

Time to walk on down the road…

 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Naked woman at Elks Lodge golf tourney fires up wives, gadgets for people who hate mornings, and school bans Kurt Vonnegut books

Humboldt-County-sign

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a seat, and let’s see what’s happening beyond our piece of paradise: 

Naked woman at golf tournament angers Woodward officials

“City officials said they are angry that a naked woman was part of a charitable golf tournament hosted on a municipal golf course. Elks Lodge No. 1355 hosted the golf tournament in July at the Boiling Springs Golf Course. The event is a fundraiser for the lodge's annual rodeo, Elks Rodeo Chairman Neal Day said.”

I hear the leading golfer was having problems with his short game. However, with concentration, choking up on his putter, and shortening his stroke, the golfer was able to put it in the hole!!

10 gadgets for people who hate mornings

Do you hate mornings? Do you spend your days in a groggy stupor? Are you a bit of a masochist?

If you answered yes to these questions, you might find the following gadgets useful.

They will help you get up and get to work on time so you can fall asleep when the boss isn't looking.

Is that a promotion I smell? Wow, success smells a lot like bacon — but that might just be my alarm clock.

 

Vonnegut library offers banned book to students

“Up to 150 students at a Missouri high school that ordered "Slaughterhouse-Five" pulled from its library shelves can get a free copy of the novel, courtesy of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, library officials said on Thursday.”

What led up to this situation? Believe it or not…just one person.

“The Republic School District took the move at its April 18 meeting following a complaint lodged by local resident Wesley Scroggins in the spring of 2010.

In his complaint, the Missouri State University associate business professor called on district officials to stop using textbooks and other materials "that create false conceptions of American history and government or that teach principles contrary to Biblical morality and truth."

Pretty pathetic isn’t it? How is it lone extremists manager to get their way against a majority? It seems to be the story of our country in the 21st Century. It was certainly the story during our contrived debt ceiling fiasco.

Time to walk on down the road…

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fly away vultures, fly away, you’ve done your job today…

The Tea Party vultures who roosted in the House and polarized our entire political process during the contrived debt ceiling crisis picking away at chances of compromise, are flying back to their own hunting grounds to play for the rest of the summer. Their jobs done.

Meanwhile the Senate has some unfinished business with the FAA. The government has been losing about $30 million a day in uncollected airline ticket taxes since the shutdown began on July 23, when FAA's operating authority expired.

If unresolved through Congress' August recess, lost revenue could tally about $1.2 billion. But what’s this? According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today:

A bipartisan compromise to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that has left 74,000 transportation and construction workers idled, has been reached! I’m still waiting for final details. For some interesting reason a unanimous vote to pass is expected. Oh! I know why…the Tea Party flock can’t gut the compromise at the last minute. None of them are circling the ceiling in the Senate with a vote. 

The Tea Party gang leaves behind them a pretty sharp 512 point dive in the stock market today, and a worried string of investors. Economists and investors worldwide are shaking their heads in disgust as the prospects for our government passing any meaningful legislation until after the 2012 presidential election is over and the new “vulture culture” in the House is done ripping up anything not on their menu!    

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Odd Art: California man selling Hitler’s parents’ photo

Who the heck would want that monster’s parents hanging in their house? This ranks right up there on my odd meter:

“An Orange resident is auctioning off oil-paint portraits of Adolf Hitler 's parents that once hung in one of the Nazi dictator's mountain homes.

Ken Biggs, 72, says he acquired the portraits of Alois and Klara Hitler in France in the early 1970s from his wife's cousin, who was "terrified" to have the paintings and intended to cut up the relics.”

Story

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Klara and Alois Hitler/circa 1930s

Hacker changes recipe on Hershey’s website, the logic of gang colors, and snake hitchhikes on family car

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Glad you could join me in having a cup of coffee this morning. It’s still dark outside, and I hear birds socializing outside my window. Here’s a few news items to entertain you while we enjoy our coffee:

Hershey's website hacked, recipe changed

Is there nothing safe from hackers! Good grief, some clown hacked the Hershey website and changed one of their baking recipes. Really? Was it really that bad?

 The strange scientific logic of gang colors

Why would a career criminal advertise his gang affiliation to police? What does biology have to do with gang colors? Consider the peacock: The male of the species displays an enormous, brightly colored tail in order to attract females. But a heavy, highly visible tail would also attract predators and make the bird an easily caught meal. A female nonetheless prefers to mate with a male who has a bigger, brighter tail because, in order to have survived, "he must be strong and fast.

So the handicap of bright colors helps gang members?
Yes, in the long run. Wearing brightly colored clothes that identify these gang members to police helps to weed out less-competent members from the gang, as they are more likely to get arrested. Gang colors create group solidarity, but also signal to others that anyone who's seen wearing the colors must be stronger, faster, and smarter than the police — a big plus in the cutthroat world of gangs.

Sneaky serpent  catches ride on family car

First there were Snakes on a Plane; then there were Snakes on a Train (can you say "straight to DVD"?) Now ... you guessed it: Snakes on a car.

That's what the Fisher family from Memphis, Tennessee found slithering on the windshield of their SUV -- while they were driving. The sneaky serpent had snuck into the engine and decided to show himself once things got too hot under the hood.

The Fishers caught it all on video and posted it to YouTube, where, predictably, animal lovers blasted the couple for not stopping. But all's well that ends well: Hitchy McHitchhiker eventually slithered off the car and to safety.

Time to walk slither on down the road…

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Doga: practicing Yoga with your dog for a centered universe

When yoga goes to the dogs, they call it doga. And while doga may not measure up, fitness-wise, to a game of fetch or a run on the beach, experts say practicing yoga with your pet can soothe the not-so-savage beasts of both person and pooch.

"I consider it partner yoga," said Suzi Teitelman, a Florida-based instructor who has been teaching doga to man, woman and beast since 2002. "It's my lifelong passion." Teitelman stumbled upon doga because her dog liked to lie under her while she practiced. "When you feel good, they feel good," she said. "They want to be around your goodness."

Classes, DVDs and a training manual followed. Teitelman said she's trained more than 100 people around the world in doga, some from as far away as China and Japan. Disco yoga, kid yoga, beach yoga, spin yoga and yogalites are but a few of the trendy hybrids saluting the sun at fitness centres these days, all takeoffs on the 5,0000-year-old practice that coordinates movement and breath.

But Teitelman insists she teaches a traditional yoga class, even if the downward facing dog is flesh and blood."We chant together to feel the vibrations, then we start moving into twists and turns," she said.Traditional poses such as warriors, triangles and backbends follow, possibly enhanced by a little dog balanced at the belly or waist.

"The person takes dog deeper into a stretch, and the dog takes the person deeper," she said. "If you have a dog on your arm in a standing posture it helps balance and strength." Teitelman believes the rewards of yoga accrue to human and animal alike. "You're moving their body. They're getting touched, they're getting love," she explained, "and everybody needs to be hanging upside down."

Dr. Robin Brennen, a New York City veterinarian, was sceptical of the hugely popular doga classes at the Bideawee animal shelter and learning center where she works. Then she attended one. "I witnessed the demeanor of the animals changing during the class," she said. "They'll come in barking, seven, eight, nine dogs in room, but by the end of the session, they're sleeping. They're in savasana (the final resting pose)."

Brennen said unlike running or jogging, doga is not physically strenuous for the dog. "It's a level one yoga class and with this big dog in front of you it's hard to do poses," she said. "It's basically stopping and starting." But then doga isn't about dogs doing yoga, but about owners interacting with their dogs. "It really highlights the human-animal bond," she said. "For me, being in animal rescue, and seeing so many homeless pets, and people who very easily discard animals, I like these activities on the other side of the spectrum."

But she is doubtful about the spiritual side. "It's hard to think of a centering practice like yoga being centering to an animal, because it's hard to know what centers them," she said. Teitelman believes doga can embrace other domesticated creatures. "It definitely works with cats," she said, "and when I do downward dog my bird comes over."

But Brennen has her doubts. "Cats? Obviously you'd have to change the format. They want their feet on the ground. Then there's the scratching and clawing factor."

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Random thought: Case closed on D.B. Cooper

I’m thinking the FBI has some mixed feelings right now. They’ve searched for the mythical plane hijacker D.B. Cooper for four decades with no success.

Then out of the blue some woman says she knows the identity of D.B. Cooper, the nickname given to the man who carried out the only unsolved plane hijacking in U.S. history: her uncle. "I'm certain he was my uncle, Lynn Doyle Cooper, who we called L.D. Cooper," Marla Cooper told ABC News.

The FBI won’t say for sure yet, but they’re going over evidence his niece Marla Cooper, of Oklahoma City provided, and agree her story fits the timelines involved. If what she says is true, it wasn’t police work that finally caught up with Lynn Doyle Cooper, it was the Grim Reaper! 

Her famous uncle isn’t going to have to worry about doing time behind bars in an earthly prison…because he died in 1999. Case closed.

Giant rats with poisonous hair, cops try to defuse ‘neck collar’ bomb on teen, and ‘Death star’ debunked

Good Morning Humboldt County!

I see the smell of my fine virtual coffee has got your attention this morning. Good to see you. Have a cup with me as the sun rises and a new day begins. Today we have:

Giant rats that kill predators with poisonous hair

By utilizing the same plants that African tribesmen use to poison their arrows, the furry fury known as the African crested rat can incapacitate and even kill predators many times its size, researchers have found.

"This is the first mammal that is borrowing a deadly poison from a plant and slathering it on itself without dying," said study researcher Jonathan Kingdon, of Oxford University in England. "This is an extraordinary thing to have evolved."

Poison from this tree bark has been used by hunters to take down large prey, like elephants, for thousands of years. "Evolution has mimicked something that hunters do," Kingdon said. "It [the crested rat] is borrowing from the plant just as the hunters are borrowing from the very same plant."

Image: Police gather near the home of an 18-year-old woman who had been forced to wear a "collar bomb"

Cops rush to defuse bomb strapped to teen's neck

UPDATE: It wasn’t a real bomb around the girls neck."The offender went to a lot of trouble for a particular reason, but what that reason was, police are still working to determine," Murdoch said. Story

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Australian police were trying to defuse an explosive device strapped to an 18-year-old girl's body in a wealthy neighborhood of Sydney on Wednesday, according to local reports.

Police said they did not know how the "collar bomb" had been strapped to the teen's neck, but it was understood that she did not put it there herself, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The Daily Telegraph reported that police believe a ransom note was attached to the girl, who is part of one of Sydney's richest families.”

2012 Watch: 'Death Star' debunked

Doomsayers have been wringing their hands for years over the possibility that an unseen companion to our sun periodically diverts a hail of comets toward Earth, sparking mass extinctions like cosmic clockwork. Now an astronomer has shown that the evidence for such a cycle in the flux of comets or asteroids doesn't actually exist.

The research is the latest knock against claims that the dark companion, nicknamed Nemesis or the "Death Star," might be out to get us in 2012.

Like many other 2012 myths, the Nemesis hypothesis had a smidgen of scientific research behind it. Back in 1984, paleontologists proposed that there seemed to be a 27 million-year cycle of extinctions that may have had an extraterrestrial cause. The prime suspect was a hypothetical brown dwarf or red dwarf that disrupted the orbits of comets on the solar system's fringe and sent them screaming earthward.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crime fighting in Idaho: police tell man to stop wearing bunny suit

Okay. There was this guy...

“Police in Idaho Falls said on Tuesday they have told a 34-year-old man to stop wearing a bunny suit in public after residents complained that he has been frightening children.”

C’mon…nothing scary about a Bunny Suit. What’s all the fuss about? Just look at this guy’s smile.

“Police warned Idaho Falls resident William Falkingham after a woman said she saw him dressed in the costume, peeking at her young son from behind a tree and pointing his finger like a gun, according to a police report.”

Ooops! Looks a little over the top, but let’s not jump to conclusions. He was just using his finger. Let’s see what else the article has to say.

“An investigation of the sighting led officers to question other neighbors, "who expressed that they were greatly disturbed by Falkingham and his bunny suit," the report said. He also occasionally wears a tutu with the bunny suit, according to his neighbors.”

A tutu? That just doesn’t go with Peter Rabbit. What was the guy thinking? A rabbit in a tutu? No! No!

“Falkingham told police that while he "enjoys wearing the suit," he understood their concerns, and that he could be cited as a public nuisance for that type of behavior.”

Whewwwww…I feel better. I don’t know about you but that tutu killed the whole effect! He understands he could get in trouble if he does it again. Really? Why do I think we’ll be hearing from William again?

Attention dieters! Your starving brain cells are fighting back!

Finally! I found out why I can’t slim down. Why my mid-range bulge won’t deflate despite past attempts to downsize it.  

After all of these years of failed diets I’ve discovered my own brain was thwarting my dieting attempts with “feed me” signals! Sneaky, sneaky. I could have been a loser!”

 

According to new research, when dieters cut calories their starving brain cells fight back!!!

It makes perfect sense to me. The question is, “Why should I even try now?”

 

 

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The last of the lamprey, avoid sunburn by drinking wine, and Thais practice death to get new start on life

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Awww the aroma of freshly brewed virtual coffee. The songs of the early birds in the growing light…another day in paradise! Pull up a chair and have a cup with me if you don’t have anything better to do. This is an interesting world we live in:

Last of the lamprey: NW tribes drive effort to save primitive fish

As long as American Indians have lived in the Pacific Northwest, they have looked to a jawless, eel-like fish for food. Tribes once harvested the lamprey from rivers throughout the Columbia Basin, which stretches from the Oregon coast up into Canada. But with dozens of hydroelectric dams in the way, the fish has followed the path of the buffalo — from a food staple of a people to a curiosity.

Drink wine, don't get sunburned

Important health tip for the summer: Drink more wine! A better protection against harmful sunburns might be a healthy dose of SPF sauvignon blanc, suggests a new Spanish study.

A compound found in grapes or grape derivatives may protect skin cells from skin-damaging ultraviolet radiation, report researchers from the University of Barcelona and the Spanish National Research Council. The flavonoids found in grapes work to halt the chemical reaction that kills skin cells and causes sun damage.Previously, vino has also been found to fight Alzheimer's, ward off prostate cancer and even prevent cavities. I’ll drink to that!

To start life afresh, Thais "practice" death

For those facing a run of bad luck and wanting to start things over, one Thai temple has an unusual solution: "rehearse" death with a mock funeral, including lying down in a coffin.

Pram Manee temple in Nakorn Nayok province, 107 km northeast of Bangkok, holds two of the rituals every day: at exactly 9:09 a.m. (2:09 a.m. British time) and 1:09 p.m., since the number nine is believed by Thais to bring good luck.

Time to walk on down the road…

Monday, August 1, 2011

Reflections on the night…

Night is dark

Hiding in pain
Night is quiet

But trouble remains
Night is still for
those 

suffering…

Night delivers dawn
Dawn delivers day


Day delivers hope

Dave

On God, and not jumping to conclusions...

If people ask me if I believe in God, I say “Yes I do.”
If you ask me what my religion is I’m going to say I don’t have one. I don’t belong to any organized religion.I see them all as paths to one true God (for lack of a better description), but prefer my own direct path.I believe in an omniscient entity with no name. No gender. No political affiliation.
I say God, because I haven’t found a better word that describes absolute power over all the many universes and planets. God’s design is beyond my mere mortal thoughts and imagination.
Sometimes dreams and visions blur into a twilight state and God gives me a message. It always takes time to understand the message. Sometimes I jump to conclusions and panic myself. Like this morning.
A sentence haunted my sleep. A question in the dark. “Is your house in order?” Several long dead relatives asked me that question throughout the night, but would say no more when I called out their names.
I woke at 4:30 a.m. to the barking of my pug  Millie. I led her downstairs and to the backdoor. As she did her thing in the darkness, I stood by the door waiting and wondering what the question meant.
I tried going back to bed afterwards, but the question picked at my brain like a Raven in a cornfield. Was I going to die soon? Is that what was going to happen? Didn’t that question insinuate my time would soon be up? Maybe today? Maybe tomorrow? I felt a sense of panic.
I got on my computer and posted on my blog (below), trying to divert myself. Trying to mentally put my fingers in my ears and go “blah, blah, blah…” at that stalking question.
I always refused to be afraid of death because I accepted it as an inevitable part of being a mere mortal. No one gets out alive right? No use in beating that fact down with talk of being immortal.
When I go for a walk my spirit soars and I see God everywhere. Conversations take place with every step and I open myself to the entire universe . I allow the beauty around me to soak in as I tromp down the road having my personal visions and revelations.
My walk this morning centered me as it always does, and I’ve came away from it with the answer to the question, “Do you have your house in order.” The answer is no, there’s something I need to do that I’ve been putting off for far too long. Not a will either. I have one of those.
The upshot is, I don’t think I’m going to die soon and the question was a prompt from a powerful friend to take care of something.
As It Stands, I’m sorry that I can’t share what the answer was with you, but suffice to say…I’m going to have a good day! I hope you do too.

Skyjacking mystery may be solved, a look at wacky fair food, and a veterans museum battles for survival

A 1971 artist's sketch released by the FBI shows the skyjacker known as 'Dan Cooper' and 'D.B. Cooper'. The sketch was made from the recollections of passengers and crew of a Northwest Orient Airlines jet he hijacked between Portland and Seattle.Good Morning Humboldt County!

The coffee pot is on, so grab a cup and let’s wander through news items that have nothing to to with the contrived debt crisis.Those fools have dominated the news enough.

Reports: FBI has 'good' lead in 40-year-old 'D.B. Cooper' skyjacking mystery

Forty years after parachuting into folklore, the mysterious skyjacker identified as D.B. Cooper may soon be identified.

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Image: hot beef sundae

 Let’s take a look at America's wacky fair foods

  Cotton candy, corn dogs and candied apples once ruled the midway at the local fair, but visitors now want food that's exotic — as long as it's on a stick, or more importantly, fried. From health-defying anomalies like fried dough injected with Pepsi to squirm-inducing chocolate-dipped scorpions, the new sideshow is food.

Photo:When state fairgoers tired of the iconic rib eye steak sandwich, the Indiana Beef Cattle Association invented the hot beef sundae, layered with mashed potatoes, marinated beef, gravy, cheese, corn "sprinkles" and a cherry (tomato).

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Joe Fornelli, artist liason for the National Veterans Art Museum, is seen beside Jon Turner's Prayer Boots in Chicago

Chicago museum of veterans' art battles for survival

Joe Fornelli (photo right) knows the art of survival.

In 1965, when he was 22, the Chicago native was drafted and sent to Vietnam, where he served in an army helicopter unit.

"So many crazy things happened, people getting killed or wounded or burned," Fornelli said. "You never get over it."

He found solace in art. One time he used instant coffee and water to paint the realities of war.

Fornelli and his fellow veteran artists find themselves in the midst of another battle -- to save their beloved National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, which is struggling.The museum houses more than 2,000 pieces of art by veterans from World War II to the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Time to walk on down the road…

Sunday, July 31, 2011

As It Stands: The Last Crusade: Will extreme intolerance finally result in Armageddon?

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 07/31/2011 02:40:21 AM PDT

The dangerously widening gap between Christianity and Islam is reminiscent of the crusades of old, but on a scale never before seen.

We're instantly connected by advanced technology, unlike medieval times when information traveled slowly. Today, a holy man/leader calling for jihad instantly reaches millions of devout Muslims. Something their medieval predecessors couldn't have dreamed of.

The thing that hasn't changed with these two religions is their intolerance of one another. Extremists, disguised as fundamentalists, still call for each other's blood.

The result: people like Andres Behring Breivik (right), a Norwegian and self-described Christian Fundamentalist crusader, slaughters 76 people in Norway in the name of God, the right wing political party and racial purity.

 According to a Reuters report, Breivik said, “I explained to God that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamist alliance and the certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European Christendom within the next hundred years, he must ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail.”

The European press is full of stories about opposition to Muslim immigrants who bring their customs and beliefs. The concern about Muslim globalization has become a prime political issue in Europe. Right-wing political parties are gaining followers who see multiculturalism as a threat to their way of life.

The entire world has become the hunting ground for al-Qaida and other extremist Muslims. Its founder and, until recently, leader (now deceased), Osama bin Laden, formally declared war against the West when he attacked the twin towers in New York City on 9/11/01.

Since then, distrust of all Muslims has become commonplace in America and the West. Because of Muslim religious fanatics, we don't just see a Christian backlash against Islam but a national concern about our security. American lives have been forever altered because of religious fanatics.

We've resorted to intense security and have lost some of our basic Constitutional freedoms with the passage of the Patriot Act, a direct response to extreme Islamic attempts to murder innocent people.

Norwegian investigators are looking at a 1,500-page manifesto in which Breivik vowed “brutal and breathtaking operations” in order to stop “the ongoing Islamic Colonization of Europe,” according to the Reuters report. Analysts say the manifesto was inspired by heated rhetoric from groups in the United States -- some of which are quoted directly.

Robert Spencer, the co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America, is cited more than 50 times in Breivik's manifesto.

Worldwide, religion has become increasingly prominent in politics, and it contributes to the polarization of political parties. The Middle East is a prime example, as the Jews and Arabs have never managed a real peace thanks to extremists. America is not exempt from this divisive phenomenon.

Why are Muslim leaders so strangely silent when Muslim extremists attack innocent people throughout the world in the name of Allah? I ask the same question of Christians who don't denounce extremist brethren like Florida pastor Terry Jones, who calls on God to help him rid America of Muslims.

The monumental irony, at least to me, is that both religions could live side by side if they just practiced what they preach. Both say they believe in an omniscient God that tells them how important the power of love is, yet they reject it in their daily lives. Each religion promotes peace but has prominent members who don't practice it. Instead, violent extremists from both sides are calling for crusades.

The historic crusades were geographically confined compared to the modern version, which covers the entire planet. Every atrocity committed today by these crazed religious killers seems worse than the last.

There's no sure-fire way to put an end to this religious war. Technology has presented us with wonders that have become weapons for extremists. From the Internet to smart phones, we've opened a technological Pandora's Box.

In this country, our Constitution guarantees separation between religion and state, but you wouldn't know it when you see how some of our leaders blatantly use religion to harvest votes.

If we can't stop this modern crusade in its tracks, we can at least slow it down and perhaps eventually turn the tide. We must not allow religious extremists to take over political parties. It's not too late to fight this dangerous crusader philosophy, which has the East and West on the brink of Armageddon.

As It Stands, mixing politics and religion was never a good idea, and the proof is all around us.

Websites carrying this column

#1 When does the world end? #2 Romafilosofia #3 Interceder #4 Waterintel #5 God’s Vacation