Dave Stancliff 2012-04-08 blogarama.com

Saturday, April 14, 2012

'Swastika on the ballot': American Nazi Party gets its first lobbyist

It seems that our prolonged recession has brought out hate groups in droves. Racism is on the rise, and intolerance is the word for the day.

These hate groups are getting bolder every year, and their message of intolerance is spreading like wildfire. When we have hate mongers like the American Nazi Party lobbying on capitol hill, you have to wonder where it will all end?

“The American Nazi Party has its first lobbyist in Washington, according to reports.

The Hill newspaper, which covers Congress when it is in session, said John Bowles had registered with House and Senate offices as a representative of the “ANP,” according to disclosure records.

The records said that he planned to lobby on “political rights and ballot access laws,” and other issues such as civil rights, healthcare and immigration.

“You know, congressmen and congresswomen have always been telling the American public that they were open to other viewpoints,” Bowles told The Hill. “I’m going to see if they were sincere about that, or I’m going to call their bluff.”

Bowles was a presidential candidate in 2008 for the National Socialist Movement, according to US News and World Report. Nazi comes from the German words for National Socialist.

He told The Hill that people in America did not understand the term socialism, but knew what Nazism was.

“So [we] decided: Why don’t we just say what we are?” he added. “In the future, when we get people on the ballot, when people see the swastika on the ballot, they’ll know what they’re getting."

There’s Two America’s…the wealthy live in one, and the rest of us in the other

Good Day Humboldt County!

Today we’re looking at two roads traveled by Americans.

One is paved with privileges, while the other is riddled with pot holes.

When you’re rich in America you can steal millions and get less time in jail than a homeless man for stealing $100 for food.

The wealthy have the resources to live lives of luxury most Americans can only dream about. With those charmed lives comes a sense of entitlement.

It’s sad to say, but the wealthy rule by default. Everyone else is too busy trying to stay alive in a depressed economy.

With their wealth, these leaders of industry and government, are immune to other’s real life plights.

The rich spew ideology in order to further control the masses. They talk about the Constitution a lot, while violating most of it’s real tenets and reducing it to a partisan interpretation. The majority of Americans live somewhere between poverty and an uneasy middle class. Yet, we call our system a democracy and accuse other nations of having caste systems and limited forms of government ruled by strongmen, and dictators. Kinda makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, April 13, 2012

Do you like simple illusions? Here’s one that’s fun…

Tallest Soldier Illusion

 

Can You Pick Out the Tallest Soldier?

Be careful…

Did You Find Him? Hmmmm...

if you did there’s something you should know…

They are all the same height

Source

It’s Friday the 13th…are you ready to do a bit of exploring?

Supreme-Court-Decision[1]

     Good Day Humboldt County!

I’ve got six paths for you to travel on today. Some are strange, some are violent, some are sad, some are silly. Each a road to somewhere you haven’t been to before. Time to explore:

Why Friday the 13th Is Unluckyhave you ever wondered why this day got such a bad rap?

Three Friday the 13ths, 13 weeks apart, a rarity - It's a bad year for people who suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia — the fear of Friday the 13th.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Space Scotch? Distillery sends malt ingredients into space

I’m a Scotch drinker. Whenever I decide to have something stronger than wine or beer, I reach for (at least) a 20 year-old single malt Scotch whiskey. Pure bliss. As smooth as silk. A hint of peat. Nectar of the Gods.

So when I heard about a possible space matured Scotch whiskey, my thoughts went otherworldly. I imagined a drink even smoother (while still keeping it’s smoky taste) than a 40 year-old single malt Scotch. Oh heavens! Just think of the possibility, and if you’re a Scotch drinker like me, dream that someday you’ll sip a “wee drop.” 

“Ardbeg Distillery, headquartered on the Scottish island of Islay, announced this week that it sent up vials containing unmatured malt ingredients as well as particles of charred oak to the space station, on an unmanned cargo flight that blasted off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan last October. The experiment was facilitated by Houston-based NanoRacks, a company that arranges to send experiments (and the occasional iPhone) to the station for a fee.

Ardbeg's researchers want to find out whether the zero-G environment has an effect on terpenes, chemicals that play a role in giving whisky and other spirits their flavor and aroma. "This is believed to be the first time anyone has ever studied terpenes and other molecules in near zero-gravity," the distillery said in a statement.” (source)

Love is about dealing with your partner’s annoying habits and quirks

                Good Day Humboldt County!

Every now and then, someone asks how my wife and I have managed to live together for 37 years without driving each other nuts. Nuts is such a subjective term. There are ways to make your life journey with your partner go smoother.

I wish I could just write out a laundry list of survival tactics ways to get along, but it isn’t that easily explained. It’s been a gradual process, as you may have surmised. The fact that we’re still friends is key. There are experts who offer tips for making life easier for cohabitants. For instance:

“We all have annoying habits, which, curiously, we don’t find annoying in ourselves. But when they come from someone living with you, such habits can definitely get on your nerves. The trouble begins when you enter a vicious cycle of resentment -- when you're fed up with your partner's irritating habits, or you're tired of getting picked on for your own.

Nagging, disdain and contempt can all end relationships. That annoying habit may appear to be the source, but it’s not the habit that is the problem; it’s how you deal with it.” (source)

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Do you want to know some ways to exist peacefully with your partner? For example, does your partner have some body quirks?

“Body quirks includes non-clandestine nose picking, passing gas, burping, picking teeth and anytime when one releases things from orifices that no one else wants to smell, witness or be around. Of course everyone must do so at times, but how about in the bathroom or other private place? Explain to your partner you are inclined to feel more sexually attracted to them when not subjected to foul odors and the like. If you did this in front of him (it usually is the guy, sorry) he would not really like it or find it sexually alluring. Request he do it in private.” (source)

I can’t vouch for any of this, but some of it touches a cord now and then. Here’s another good example:

“Selective listening: You are trying to talk and he or she is tuned out, staring at the TV, computer or phone. Agree upon a benign code word (like "banana") for when you really would like full attention. It lets your partner know that paying attention now is important to you, which avoids the mystery of when to be fully attentive.” (source)

Here’s a real fight-starter – bad manners. It seems like us guys have a chronic problem that women have to learn to live with – we’re slobs at heart!

“Bad manners: Scratching his back with a fork, leaving the toilet seat up, rearranging private parts in public -- things that never happened early on in the relationship are now a daily affair that makes you feel like you married a Neanderthal. But for him (or her!), being able to relax and not feel like he married Emily Post is important. The solution lies somewhere in the middle, a relaxed state of getting to be yourself, with a dose of courtesy for your partner. Have a conversation about what constitutes reasonable manners to both of you. You may have different standards because you grew up in different homes. The things that are most egregious to the other are things you should step away and do in private. The “note reminder” technique helps for some. So a Post-It on the toilet for two weeks that says "Please put down the seat” can help to change a long-time habit.”

Well, I could go on, but I think you have the idea. People have to learn to compromise. It’s not always easily done, and we often have to break bad habits, but the end result is a serene lifestyle. Who could ask for anything more than that?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Rings of Saturn Will Be On Display This Weekend

Time to pull out your telescopes and binoculars folks.

On April 15, Saturn reaches opposition — the point when it is directly opposite the sun in the sky. When it reaches opposition, Saturn will appear in the midnight sky to observers on Earth. The sky maps and illustration of Saturn accompanying this guide shows where to see the planet in the southern sky on April 15 and how it may appear seen through a good telescope.

The most important thing about this for skywatchers is that Saturn moves from being a "morning object" to being visible all night. For all of April, Saturn rises at sunset, and sets at sunrise.

All the outer planets have rings, but with the exception of Saturn, they are only visible in long exposure photographs made from space. Saturn's rings are totally in your face, as bright as the planet itself. They are made up of many thousands of small pieces of rock and ice, with enough space in between for starlight to shine through. [ Photos: Spectacular Views of Saturn's Rings ]

From a distance they look substantial and solid, yet in reality they are gossamer thin: thousands of kilometers wide, yet only a few kilometers thick. Through a good telescope, the rings are seen to have a complex structure.

Here’s a list of the brightest moons and their brightness on April 15, the night of Saturn's opposition:

  • Titan: 8.4
  • Rhea: 9.7
  • Tethys: 10.2
  • Dione: 10.4
  • Iapetus: 11.1
  • Enceladus: 11.7

Astronomers use an upside down magnitude scale: the larger the number, the fainter the object. At magnitude 8.4, Titan is easily visible in binoculars. One of the two largest moons in the solar system, it is the only moon with a substantial atmosphere, mostly methane gas. It was visited by the Huygens lander on Jan. 14, 2005. [ Amazing Photos: Titan, Saturn's Largest Moon ]

With so many moons visible in a telescope, how do you tell which is which? The easiest way is to run a planetarium program on your computer: it will plot accurately the positions of all of Saturn’s moons as they circle the planet, neatly labeled for you.

This article (edited for length) was originally provided to Space.com by Starry Night Education, the leader in space science curriculum solutions.

‘Okay buddy…just put down the ray gun and step back!’

Good Day Humboldt County!

Our lives would be truly boring without science fiction stories. I can’t tell you how many roads I traveled in my imagination after watching an episode of Flash Gordon, or a Jules Verne film like 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.

And ray guns were cool. My brother and I played with cheap plastic ray guns and wore capes (towels) tied around our necks. Hey! It worked for us. We would make up things that our ray guns could do. Even with our fervid imaginations we could never have imagined ray guns would some day become part of our America’s arsenal! It’s not just us however. Our old Cold War foe Russia has the same aspirations as we do when it comes to developing some mind-numbing ray guns. Don’t just take my word for it, check out the following story: 

“The Americans as well as the Russians have been looking into psychotronic weapons for more than 15 years. You can find ample references to the subject on the Internet, including a feature published by U.S. News and World Report in 1997 and a report written for a U.S. Army publication in 1998.

Such weapons purport to take advantage of the effect that pulsed microwaves can have on brain activity. Some researchers have reported an effect known as microwave hearing, in which a directed beam of radiation produces a sensation of buzzing, clicking or hissing in the head. "This technology in its crudest form could be used to distract individuals," according to a declassified Army review of non-lethal weapons.

Theoretically, electromagnetic beams could cause an epileptic-type seizure, or involuntary eye motion leading to dizziness and nausea. Military researchers have also looked into using infrasound or laser beams to confuse or incapacitate a foe — but when you start going down this road, before you know it, you're talking about remote viewing, ESP and all the way-out concepts chronicled in "The Men Who Stare at Goats."

Full story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This really happened: an oblivious texter walked into a marauding bear today

Just when I was sure I’d heard every variation of stupid people walking and texting until something bad happens…this pops up!

Imagine leaving your house in the morning, checking something on your phone and then running smack into a black bear strolling down your driveway. This unlikely scenario was captured by Los Angeles CW affiliate KTLA: An unwitting, texting man, looking at his phone, suddenly spots the 500- to 600-pound bear, which, according to state wildlife officials, had been wandering around the La Crescenta neighborhood for the previous month. The bear in question also stands accused of stealing frozen meatballs out of a refrigerator and breaking into a garage. As the video makes clear, the texter escapes without injury (save panic). The bear, meanwhile, was "contained" in a nearby backyard after this incident. (Source)

Doomsday Plans for the Wealthy and Hardcore Survivalists

     Good Day Humboldt County!

A lot of people believe we (the human race) are in the path of an upcoming cataclysmic event – possible this year. The Mayan Calendar story seems to have captured the interest of millions because there are numerous documentaries on the subject.

The general mood of impending doom reminds me of the sixties when a lot of middle class Americans were preparing for war with Russia and family bunkers were being sold in kits. I remember people flocking to supermarkets to buy up canned foods during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It always seemed like there would be hope for the majority of Americans if something bad happened. Like we were all in it together.

In some ways things have changed in the 21st Century. We’re still worried about an impending nuclear war, and are looking at going underground to survive. The big difference: the options for survival are for the elite who can afford to spend millions to survive a nuclear holocaust, a complete breakdown of society, or to be sheltered from deadly solar flares.

The middle class has been cast to the curb when it comes to who survives and who doesn’t. The politicians and the wealthy are busy building more secure areas for themselves underground every day. In our new national reality, there is no “we” when it comes to the common people sharing the same fate as the elite or hard core survivalists that have dedicated their lives to an apocalyptic vision. 

                          Here’s an interesting story that illustrates what’s happening today:  

“If you happen to be both a survivalist and a millionaire, have we got a find for you: luxury condos that are being built in Kansas … inside abandoned missile silos. The $1 million to $2 million condos feature top-end appliances, walk-in closets, high ceilings, and your other basic necessities like a barbeA sign is viewed on March 22, 2012 on a rural road which points the way to a site where survival condos are being built in a former nuclear missile silo north of Salina, Kansas.d-wire-topped fence that can stun would-be intruders, an elevator that will only open to the correct fingerprints, nine-foot-thick concrete walls, and electronic windows featuring "views" of Paris or the beach.

Developer Larry Hall—who owns one of the condos himself—already has four buyers, who "worry about events ranging from solar flares, to economic collapse, to pandemics to terrorism to food shortages," he explains to the AFP. But the condos aren't just good in a doomsday scenario: Hall plans to use his as a vacation home until disaster strikes, and the silo will ultimately include a pool, a movie theater, a library, and a farm. Click for more on the very elaborate plans.”        (Newser)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, April 9, 2012

There’s more than meets the eye in the Machu Picchu Illusion

Can you see the face in this picture?

If you like this kind of art where things are hidden in photos I suggest you take a tour of Mighty Optical Illusions.

I’m always searching for more examples and if you know of some, please share!

If nothing else it’s a good reason to stare!

AS IT STANDS POETRY CORNER: ‘THE POLITICAL POLLSTER’

                            Good Day Humboldt County!

In an attempt to travel as many creative roads as possible, I sometimes write bad poetry. I paint and draw too, both equally unspectacular attempts at mastering the arts, but fun to do nevertheless. Besides writing my own mediocre poetry, I like parody. Today, I’m going to share an example. Fair warning: you may want to go to another website immediately to save your sanity! 

 


                                                                    The Political Pollster 
                                         (With apologies to Edgar Allen Poe‘s classic The Raven
                                                                         By Dave Stancliff

This year’s election is so dreary, I can’t help already being weary.
Voters listening to many a quaint and curious partisan issue are becoming leery.
While I nodded, nearly napping during the 6:00 news, there came a tapping,
As if some one gently rapping, rapping at my front door -
Only this, and nothing more.

Ah distinctly I remember, hoping it wasn’t a Tea Party member,
And how sick I was listening to them last December, an didn’t want to hear any more.
Eagerly I hoped they would go away, and never come back another day.
From my book of gripes - I knew their types, and that’s why I posted on my front door -
Political Hacks Not Welcome here, now or evermore!

And the person rapped again louder than before
Suddenly I got up from my chair and walked across the floor
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my front door; -
That’s it, and nothing more.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Hey man,’ said I, or lady, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, while watching the news and didn’t hear you rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my front door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more!

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing
Listening, for the footsteps of The Pollster who had come here once before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
The only word two words I spoke were the whispered words, Political Pollster?
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back two words, …Political Pollster.
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the house turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard that tapping somewhat louder than before.
‘Surely,’ said I, surely there is someone outside my window;
Let me see then, what it is, and this mystery explore; -
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!’

Open here I flung the shutter, and saw the startled face of a Pollster who began to mutter,
“If I could just have some of your time…”
Political Pollster! Said I, thing of evil - false prophet for the masses! -
Whether tempter sent, or political party driven, I don’t want you at my window or door,
‘Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Don’t leave a token, or written track, that would show you’ve been here before,
Political Pollsters will never be welcome here, now… or forever more!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

AS IT STANDS: ‘People Power’ is more than a slogan today


                    By Dave Stancliff/for the Times-Standard
  For the first time
in my sixty plus years, the phrase “Power to the People” is more than just a slogan. When I was a teenager in the sixties, it seemed like every group was using it. The Black Panthers, hippies and radicals had that in common.

It’s not like people didn’t join them, it’s just that most of the time the slogan was more of a siren call than anything really effecting change. The hippie’s philosophy of free love and flowers floating in air faded away with too many LSD trips, quietly disappearing into the “Me” seventies.
   The radicals, like the “Weather Underground” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Underground) called on anarchists and disenfranchised minorities to wage war in America’s streets. Their version of people power was more like a scene from the apocalypse. In the end the group perished in a fiery shootout with police.
   Then there were the Black Panthers. Their message of “Power to the People” carried revolutionary tones and called for a new society where African-Americans would be treated equally. Their mission was to help struggling black communities. 
   African Americans are still fighting a race war for equality. The killing of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old black male, by a neighborhood watch captain
highlights the deep racial divide that exists in Sanford, Florida and other parts of the country today. 
  His senseless death last month also proved something else; people have found a way to protest injustice and get results though the power of social media like FaceBook and Twitter. Both have galvanized millions to protest Martin’s death, forcing the local sheriff to step aside for a special investigation by a DA from another county. The FBI began a "parallel investigation" on April 2, focusing on whether Martin’s civil rights were violated.
  The Justice Department got involved at the request of Martin’s parents. They want the Justice Department to look into possible interference with the Sanford police investigation by State Attorney Norm Wolfinger's office.
  When Martin was killed it wasn’t front page news in Sanford. Despite having his cell phone, the police didn’t even contact his parents to notify them of his death. After three days the parents thought their son was missing and called the police for help. That’s when they were informed of his death.

   It wasn’t until someone tweeted a short message about a 17-year old boy shot dead by a neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, that word started circulating about the circumstances of Martin’s death. When people discovered Zimmerman hadn’t been arrested, they started asking questions; like why? They’re still asking that question today. 
   Millions of Americans have united to seek justice for Trayvon Martin. Instead of being a footnote in a small town newspaper, his case has cast doubt about the fairness of Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law and put a spotlight on the racial divide that exists in Sanford. 
   If it wasn’t for social media, I don’t think you would have heard about this young man’s death and the ensuing injustice of letting his killer walk free after a few questions downtown.
  The on-scene investigator, Chris Serino, filed an affidavit on the night of the shooting stating he was unconvinced by Zimmerman's account, according to ABC News.
  Whatever physical evidence that did exist (like his clothing), walked out with Zimmerman the night of the shooting. No blood samples were taken to see if he was drinking alcohol. Nothing. His word was good enough to let him walk.

 That is, until people started talking on FaceBook and Twitter. A perfect example of the power that common citizens now have. Another example, is what happened with the Susan B. Komen Foundation when they tried to play politics and not fund Planned Parenthood. The backlash is still being felt as the foundation struggles to recover lost donations,  membership, and credibility with women across the country.


  I trace this new found recognition of  people power to last year’s so-called “Arab Spring,” and the  Egyptian uprising that toppled the government of Hosni Mubarak.
  Since then, a new found confidence has sprung up worldwide, as citizens feel more empowered. A good example of how to tap into that power can be found at Change.org, a website with a platform dedicated to letting anyone start a petition.
   For better or worse, people can organize almost instantly now, and get their message across loud and clear. Standing on street corners and waving signs, hoping people will notice and perhaps honk their horns in support, doesn’t cut it in this new age of technology.
   The age of people power is here. You are part of a revolution that will forever change the way things are done by local and national governments. 
   As It Stands, it’s exciting to see the ascension of the common man, but now the question is; where will it eventually lead us?