Dave Stancliff 2012-03-04 blogarama.com

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Don’t ever say we fought for Democracy in Iraqi: look at the legacy we left behind

Only damn fools thought we were fighting for Freedom and Democracy in oil-rich Iraq for a decade. Show me one positive thing that came out of pouring billions of tax-payer dollars into that dump? Soldiers on both sides, and innocent civilians died to accomplish what? Have we restored “human rights” after kicking Saddam Hussein out? Hell no. Get real. photo source for Iraqi Youth who died for dressing like an Emo.

Let’s take a look at some recent news from Iraq to help determine what’s changed:

“At least 14 youths have been stoned to death in Baghdad in the past three weeks in what appears to be a campaign by Shiite militants against youths wearing Western-style "emo" clothes and haircuts, security and hospital sources say.” source 

Sure sounds like the good old days before we invaded the country. There was nothing near a fair trial for those murdered youths who dared to wear something other than the silly assed robes the hardliners wear.

“The killings have taken place since Iraq's interior ministry drew attention to the "emo" subculture last month, labeling it "Satanism" and ordering a community police force to stamp it out.” source 

I’m so impressed with the legacy we left behind. According to Arab news agencies, the number of youths executed because of their fashion choice, is much higher than the confirmed report of 14.

What’s that phrase that goes something like, “The old boss, is the new boss.”???? To add salt to the wounds, billions of American tax dollars have disappeared, and no one seems to know where that mountain of greenbacks is.

Other sources put the"emo" death toll much higher. Hana al-Bayaty of Brussels Tribunal, a nongovernmental organization dealing with Iraqi issues, said the current figure ranges “between 90 and 100,” Arabic-language newspaper Al Arabiya reported on its website.

And so it goes: Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan - whose legacy from our involvement has yet to be determined. I feel safe to say the legacy we leave behind will be less than the dust in the winds. Just like the other countries we conquered in the name of Freedom and Democracy.

As It Stands, there are no winners in wars waging ideologies.

It’s that Time already! Set your clock ahead an hour …

Fair warning: if you don’t want to be running an hour behind until the next time change comes, set your clocks ahead one hour tonight.

Trivia moment: The day of the big switch used to be the first Sunday of April, but in 2005, Congress revised the rule as an energy-saving measure.

Do you have questions about the time switch — and about sleep? I’ve got just the links for you:

  Story: Shedding a little light on daylight-saving time and http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077304

Question for the Day: How big a role did marijuana play in the lives of Jesus and his followers?

jesus and pot

                            Good Day Humboldt County!

Today’s road in search of adventure and truth. leads us down well worn cobblestones that the Romans used to connect their empire. How prevalent was marijuana usage during the time of Jesus, and the height of the Roman Empire? Did people of the period burn pipe bowls of it to relax or medicate? There’s all kinds of questions to ask.

“Was Jesus a Stoner?” was an article about the use of cannabis in ancient Judaism that ran in The February 2003 issue of High Times, a pro-cannabis magazine. Its author, Chris Bennett, likes to shock people. He was the host of Burning Shiva, a show on Canada's Pot-TV, and an advocate for the medical use and decriminalization of marijuana.

Bennett first looked at the use of drugs in religion in 2001, in his book ‘Sex, Drugs, Violence, and the Bible.” He claimed that Jesus's ministry was fuelled by mind-altering substances and that he may have used cannabis-based oils to heal eye and skin diseases. Bennett suggested his very name - Christ - derives from being anointed with cannabis-enriched oil.

Over the centuries drugs have been used by virtually all religions. Why not Christianity? In ancient times cannabis was widely cultivated throughout the Middle East. It grows like a weed and provides nourishing seed, which is also a good source of fiber used to make rope.

People certainly knew of its pleasurable effects. Back in 1935, a Slovakian linguist identified the plant known as "fragrant cane" in the English Bible as flowering cannabis, a link since accepted by some Jewish authorities.

And, if we want to get real funky here, let’s take a look at what we now call the host. Back in Jesus’s time it might have been more than just bread. There are indications that early Christians shared magic mushrooms in writings describing their spiritual visions and ecstasies after eating their eucharistic meal. A 4th-century mosaic, discovered at a basilica in Aquileia (northern Italy) depicts baskets of mushrooms. Why? It wasn't a restaurant. Could the "red mushrooms" have been the ritual meal?

I guess, after wandering along the path of life long enough, we all discover that there’s nothing new under the sun.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, March 9, 2012

Washington Profile: McNugget almost strikes gold for eBay seller

Chicken McNugget resembling George Washington

It use to be profiles of Jesus. People were constantly seeing Jesus Christ’s face in trees and pancakes. While in Palm Desert, managing a group of five newspapers in 1991, I sent out a photographer to a trailer court where residents excitedly pointed at a tree.

My photographer looked…and looked, and finally had to admit he couldn’t see the son of God’s face anywhere. Irritated residents stood next to the image and pointed at something. My photographer dutifully snapped the photo, made nice with the folks, and reported back to me.

There was nothing to see. I don’t know if those residents were drinking spiked Kool aid or what. Naturally, I didn’t run the photo to the resident’s disgust. But no one was making money off of Jesus’s image. At least not that I knew of.

Along the same lines, I ran across the following tidbit and thought it might be fun to share with you:  

A Chicken McNugget bearing a striking resemblance to founding father George Washington has been causing quite a stir on eBay. It was listed for $8,000 and had takers!

Turns out the first winning bidder “chickened out” and the second-highest bidder, who had bid $8,000 might fall through as well. The bidder lives overseas. The seller, Rebekah Speight of Dakota City, Neb., told a local newspaper that she is concerned that the McNugget might not remain frozen for the duration of such a long trip, and could start to deteriorate.

Scientists unlock genetic code for gorillas - and show the human link

         Good Day Humboldt County!

It’s time to hit the evolutionary road, and see what those scientists have come up with in regards to humans and monkeys having common ancestors (snippet below). As far as I’m concerned, there’s no monkeys in my family tree (well, I do have a 5-year old granddaughter who might be part monkey the way she climbs things).

Seriously folks, I’m not so sure about all this genetic code stuff proving we (humans) were swinging in the trees back in the day with some sexy monkeys. Then again, I am a free spirit, and my idea of where humans come from is much grander than descending from the simian set.

Have you ever read, “Chariot of the Gods,” by Eric von Daniken? Well, I pretty much agree with the guy and believe our ancestors came from the stars. We have only to look at wonders like the pyramids (perfectly aligned with the stars) and other ancient technologies to know that no cross between a human and a monkey made them. There was outside help, and earth was once a colony.

Okay, call me a kook. It’s just a theory that makes a lot of sense to me. Who knows? Maybe it was like “Planet of the Apes” 50 million years ago and the chimpanzees ran the show and used gorillas for enforcers to keep the not-so-bright humans in line! I’m just saying…

News snippet: 

“HUMANS and gorillas last shared a common ancestor 10 million years ago, according to an analysis of the first full sequence of the gorilla genome. The gorilla is the last of the living great apes - humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans - to have its complete genetic code catalogued.

Scientists, led by researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge, England, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, also found that 15 per cent of the gorilla's genetic code is closer between humans and gorillas than it is between humans and chimpanzees, our closest animal relative. The genomes of all three species are, in any case, highly similar: humans and chimpanzees share more than 98 per cent of their genes, while humans and gorillas share more than 96 per cent.” (Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Thursday, March 8, 2012

British Rubbish: A stunning display of shadow art

Tim Noble and Sue Webster use garbage to make crazy sculptures with recognizable shadows for their series British Rubbish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  There’s many more examples here. Isn’t it amazing what people can do with garbage? One man’s garbage is another’s art…as they say.

Repeal H.R. 347! Congress Voted to End Protesters' Rights

             Good Day Humboldt County!

Freedom is never free. The road is drenched in the blood of those defending it, as it will always be.

Coming this Sunday in As It Stands - Smile: ‘They’ only want to get to know youis about the progress Big Brother is making in our society today. Our First Amendment Rights have been under assault since 9/11. Last week, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would severely limit the First Amendment rights of protesters. Now known as the “Anti-Occupy law,” H.R. 347 makes it a federal offense to “enter or remain” in an area designated as “restricted.”

As RT.com (via the ACLU blog) put it:

Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country. The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a government function with a federal offense if Secret Service is on the scene…

It also restricts access to buildings or grounds that are connected to a “special event of national significance,” or a National Special Security Event, which are so categorized by a simple stroke of the pen by the Department of Homeland Security.

The Daily Paul, a blog dedicated to Ron Paul, who was one of only THREE congressional members to vote against the measure, was so alarmed they simply asked:Is this real?

If President Obama signs the bill into law, it means that any person protesting a Romney or Santorum event (since they enjoy Secret Service protection) could potentially be arrested, fined, and incarcerated for a year.

It means that protest of national or global summits could be punishable under federal law. It means that government workers striking outside of government buildings or ‘special events’ could be thrown in jail. And it means that certain Occupy gatherings would be expressly forbidden.

H.R. 347 is the definition of authoritarianism. It is a serious and blatant violation of the First Amendment rights of every American citizen. And it should be repealed immediately.

Update: Conveniently, this bill would also undermine protest efforts at the upcoming Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Congressmen Justin Amash (R-MI), one of the few to oppose the bill, has published this on his FB page:

“Current law makes it illegal to enter or remain in an area where certain government officials (more particularly, those with Secret Service protection) will be visiting temporarily if and only if the person knows it’s illegal to enter the restricted area but does so anyway. The bill expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it’s illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it’s illegal. (It expands the law by changing “willfully and knowingly” to just “knowingly” with respect to the mental state required to be charged with a crime.)”                  Sourced from The Daily Agenda

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why I will never take up Kite-Surfing: If the winds die down, you’re shark bait!

That’s it.

A few years ago, when my wife and I were in Kauai on vacation, we considered Kite- Surfing. It was fun watching those guys glide across the water.

I can’t remember why we didn’t try it, but afterwards I put the activity down on my bucket list. Well folks, it just came off my bucket list after reading this:

“A kite-surfer who became stranded during an attempt to cross the Red Sea fought off sharks and endured excruciating thirst, according to Reuters and Polish media. 

Janek Lisewski, 42, a kite-surfing champion from Poland, was two-thirds of the way through a 124-mile trip between Egypt and Saudi Arabia when the wind died down and deflated his kite. He survived by drinking energy drinks and two energy bars. He used a knife to fend off sharks.

He sent an SOS signal but it took nearly 40 hours for the Saudi Arabian coast guard to find him. "I was stabbing them in the eyes, the nose and gills," Lisewski told Polish state news agency PAP.”

Apparently Kite-Surfers and sharks have been meeting up for some time now. Probably about the time the sport began. Here’s two stories from last year:

 

Sharks Kill Kite-Surfer in FloridaNewser 2/4/10

Stuart man, 38, identified as kite surfer killed by sharks off Stuart Beach – Palm Beach Post 2/4/10

Texas warns Spring Breakers: stay away from Mexico!

      Good Day Humboldt County!

   Well worn, once safe roads in Mexico have become a thing of the past. I recall going to Tijuana numerous times in the sixties, and having lots of fun.

   If I tried going to Tijuana today, I’d be taking my life into my hands. You only have to read the headlines to know that I’m right.

  What a pity. The borders between Mexico and the United States are now killing grounds where cartels wage war on one another, and the government. Where journalists are killed daily for daring to report the truth. A deadly standoff has developed between the current Mexican government and the cartels. Neither side is winning, but all the innocent bystanders are losing…their freedoms and their lives. Travelers beware:

                                                                  News Snippet:

“The state of Texas on Tuesday warned residents for the third consecutive year not to travel to Mexico during the upcoming university spring break season, saying drug cartel violence and other criminal activity are a safety threat even in resort areas.

The announcement is a major blow for Mexico's economy. Tourism is Mexico's second-largest industry. About 60 percent of Mexico's visitors are American, and about one third of them are either Texans or travelers who pass through Texas.

The advisory comes despite pleas from top Mexican officials to limit the travel warnings to specific areas where the threat of violence is greatest.”

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Women of America: Serve your country and expect to get raped

Back in my day, I’m a Vietnam veteran, men and women in the armed forces were separated (with a few exceptions made for secretarial pools). There was the men’s barracks, and there was the women’s barracks. Both verboten to step into unless you were the right sex.

  I can clearly remember that most of the guys were young, like myself, and so full of testosterone that we were always thinking about women and how much we wanted to be with them. We were like a pack of dogs when a WAC walked by…barking and preening.

Each trying to outdo the other’s wolf whistle. It was clear to the military community at the time that mixing the sexes was a bad idea, and would lead to problems. How could they expect those pumped up GI’s or Marines to act like gentleman?

There’s a pack factor in the military. If one person does something – let’s say something questionable – the pack closes around them in a united front. It’s been that way since the first military unit was formed back in the dawn of history.

But something happened in the name of political correctness, and men and women in the military were suddenly working side-by-side. Living in the same dormitories. Training together. Going into combat areas together. Some idealist thought that the men’s basic instincts could be controlled and they would universally respect the women they were serving with.

The reality is reflected in the headlines today: 1) Lawsuit claims rape, misconduct at D.C. Marine Barracks

2) Sexual Assaults on Female Soldiers: Don't Ask, Don't Tell 

3) 1/3rd of Women in US Military Raped

4.) Rape in the US military: America's dirty little secret

I think it’s a shame what’s happening to these women. If asked, back in the day, if I thought men and women could work closely together in the military without problems, I would have raised one eyebrow and said, “Hell No! Are your crazy?”

The military brings out the savage side in men. It’s part of the macho society in uniform. The younger men especially view women (in or out of uniform) as sex objects there for the taking. Unless you’ve been in the military, you can’t understand what I’m talking about.

I’m not saying those macho, testosterone-packed men are right, and it’s just a matter of “boys will be boys.” I am saying the clowns who thought this Co-Ed military thing would work were wrong. The proof is in the headlines. Call me old-fashioned, but I have the common sense to know when something won’t work.

This is just my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth. If you agree, or disagree with me, I would like to hear what you think? Should we go back to separating the sexes, with exceptions? 

Goodies at the Movies: Man sues theatre over the cost of snacks

         Good Day Humboldt County!

The road to entertaining ourselves can often be an expensive trip. I remember going to inside theatres when I was young, and the price of snacks didn’t seem as outrageous as today.

Nowadays, I seldom go to the movies, as I  prefer to rent them when they come out. The last time I did go, taking three grandchildren with me, was a wallet shocking experience!

  The thing of it is, the movies can charge whatever they want for snacks, even if it’s three times higher than anywhere else. Free enterprise baby. That’s okay. Moviegoers don’t have to pay if they think the price is too high. But, let’s face it, movie theatre owner’s gamble on the fact they have a captive audience that is hungry from the moment of the opening scene.

I have to admit I never thought of suing the theatres for their high price goodies. I’m just not the type of guy who goes around suing people. However, one man from Livonia, Michigan, has decided to make a court case out of it:

News snippet:

“Who hasn't stood in front of a movie theater concession stand and been stunned by the prices of snacks and drinks? $5 for a bottled water? $8 for a bag of popcorn? $4 for a box of M&Ms? If regular moviegoers haven't smuggled in their own snacks, they've almost certainly thought about it.

Joshua Thompson of Livonia, Mich., actually did something about it. He filled a class action suit against his local AMC Theater protesting the snack overpricing, the Detroit Free Press reported.”

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Monday, March 5, 2012

Have you ever………… been sooo tired?

 

 

Go here to see some more great photos of tired animals and babies.

Coming Soon: really fast robots made to wage world wide wars

Let’s face it, man has been suspicious of robots since the first one was cobbled together out of scrap metal pieces.

Here’s an article that depicts fast robots for future wars. The inventors say it can also be used for humanitarian purposes. Wanna bet that doesn’t happen?

News snippet:

“If there's anything scarier than a cheetah coming after you, it'd have to be a headless robo-cheetah coming after you at record speed.

That nightmare is now a reality thanks to DARPA's Cheetah robot, whose 18 mph pace has set a land speed record for machines with legs.”

It doesn’t look like a cheetah, but the suckers sure fast!

The feat, revealed today on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's website, is aimed at developing combat robots that can outrun and evade humans on foot — and a 3:20 mile should just about do it. (The world record for humans is 3:43.) Boston Dynamics has been working on the cheetah-bot as part of DARPA's Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program, or M3.

The company says that in addition to the military applications, the robots can be used for humanitarian purposes such as emergency rescue and disaster response.”

Friend? Anything But: Yoga guru sullies ancient philosophy

    Good Day Humboldt County!

What happens to people who follow roads of enlightenment that later turn out to be paths of destruction? If they’re lucky, they learn a lesson and move on to better things.

If they’re not so lucky, they die like the disciples of that crazed lunatic, the Rev.Jim Jones, founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, which is best known for the November 18, 1978 mass suicide of 913 Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana.

I ran across another false prophet recently. He teached a so-called life-affirming Tantric philosophy called Anusara yoga. It gained world-wide renown in recent years, but the founder’s vision is littered with loot and lies.   John Friend, the founder of Anusara yoga, (photos above) is facing some serious accusations of both sexual and financial misconduct. Unlike that madman Jones, Friend has not hurt anyone physically. Mentally, it’s another story. Friend has taken a leave of absence, sent out a public letter of apology and told his many followers that he's immersing himself in a period of "self-reflection, therapy and personal retreat," according to numerous news outlets.

While he’s on his retreat somewhere between 60 to 75 teachers have resigned.People are wondering if Friend's alleged penchant for sex, drugs and other peoples' money will taint the entire community of yoga, a form of exercise that touts physical as well as mental and spiritual discipline. It’s hard to say.

I suspect, Friend (was there ever more irony to a name?) mixed just enough good advice with outright bullshit to keep everyone bamboozled. In a zone as it were. I’m not mocking yoga here folks, so uncurl yourselves from the lotus position and read on:

News Snippet:

"My guru was very clear on this point," Tommy Rosen, who's been practicing yoga for 20 years said. "When you teach yoga, there's a mantra you say before you teach. 'I am not a man. I am not a woman. I am not a person. I am not myself. I am a teacher.' When you step into a yoga studio and you're the teacher, there needs to be a boundary there." (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Help! I don’t have my mobile phone and I’m nomophobic

                                        

By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
 I remember growing up with one phone in our house. It was considered a luxury, not a necessity. You couldn’t take the phone outside, but if you were out in public, there were things called phone booths.
 If you’re thirty or younger, you can Google “phone booths” to see what I’m talking about. The other day I read about a collector (of what the article didn’t say) who bought a “gently” restored (mostly original parts) 1905 phone booth for $35,000! Who knew?
 Part of the reason that old phone booth sold for $35,000 was because it was a first of it’s kind. It really looked nice with a solid wood panel door and double-glass windows and walls for sound proofing.

  I seldom used phone booths. They always made me claustrophobic. I seldom called anyone until I was a teenager, at which time my calls were made from home so I didn’t have to put my money into a pay phone. Another reason I didn’t like phone booths.

  At no time - and you can quote me - was I ever worried about having to make a phone call. If an emergency came up I dealt with it. The result wasn’t always pretty, but I’m still here, right?
  I assure you, the idea of carrying a phone around with me was as foreign as those little people in Asia fighting over some country called Vietnam. I never dreamt of the possibility. I was clueless as to the onrushing technology that would soon be found in nearly every American home.
  In 1977, my second son was born and the first cell phone was made in Chicago. Then companies in other places started to make cell phones. As you may suspect, there are now more cell phones than landline phones.
The results of last year’s semiannual US wireless industry survey (go to http://www.ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/AID/10316 ) were stunning to say the least; 91 percent of Americans have a mobile phone!
  All of which leads me to my main point today: The fear of being without your mobile phone is on the rise. The experts even have a name for this fear; nomophobia, or No Mobile Phobia. It’s defined as the anxiety a person feels when out of range of a cell phone tower, or if they don’t have their mobile phone with them for some reason.
This phobia, according to a recent CBS News report, is a growing problem. A recent poll in the United Kingdom said sixty-six percent of respondents reported being nomophobic.
 It came as no surprise to me that the 18 to 24-year olds were the most likely to report being afraid without their mobile phone. This new condition is a generational thing, from everything I’ve read thus far.
 The younger you are, the more likely you will be stricken with this fear, according to the researchers. The study said women are more likely to worry than men if they don’t have their mobile phone with them. That makes sense to me.
  The study also concluded that “more than one in two” nomophobes never switch off their mobile phones.
Old timers like myself are less likely to panic if we forget to take our cell phones with us. That’s not to say I haven’t got a tiny bit spoiled by the convenience of carrying one. I seldom use the thing, but I admit it’s comforting to know that if I fall down and can’t get up, I can fish it out of my pocket and call for help.

In a complete moment of transparency, I’m copping to a growing case of nomophobia! I can sympathize with those youngsters today who never knew about things like phone booths, and who got their first mobile phone when they learned how to string sentences together using abbreviations and popular slang.


 There’s no turning back now. Any day I expect to hear that newborn cell phones - pink or blue, take your choice - will be given to new mothers and fathers when they check out of the hospital (sponsored by one of the megalithic mobile phone makers, of course).
  It sure would be nice if I could swap phobias. Out with the old claustrophobia, and in with the new nomophobia.

   As It Stands, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. I just have two phobias now.