Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hubble Maps Matter Of Universe And Finds Further Evidence Of Dark Energy

Today’s posting we will go from science here on earth to science in space. Using the widest galactic survey ever conducted by Hubble, researchers think they've independently verified the existence of dark energy tugging at the cosmos, as well as reinforced tenets of general relativity theory.

Results from the largest and most ambitious survey of the cosmos ever undertaken by the Hubble Space Telescope are in, and the findings are suggesting dark energy is indeed real, and the general theory of relativity holds up even under larger intergalactic scrutiny.

The survey covered more than 446,000 galaxies and captured by 575 slightly overlapping images of the same corner of the universe taken by Hubble over nearly 1,000 hours. The researchers also tapped into redshift data from ground-based observation instruments to measure the distances of the galaxies surveyed.

The data, when pulled together an analyzed, allowed researchers to paint a detailed picture of matter distribution in space over great distances by looking at the distorted shapes of distant galaxies, a phenomenon known as weak gravitational lensing. The resulting data gave researchers unprecedented views of the shapes of distant galaxies that in turn lend further clues to how the universe is expanding.

The study suggests that indeed the universe's expansion is accelerated by a mysterious component known as dark energy, adding credence to a handful of other independent studies that suggest the same.

The weak lensing method of measuring the galaxies also further proved out Einstein's general relativity theory, as the theory predicts accurately how the lensing signal depends on redshift to get accurate readings of distant bodies.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Atom Smasher Achieves 'Big Bang' Collisions

This posting is a follow up to the earlier posting on the Large Hadron Collider. Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher called the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN said today, March 30, 2010, that they had conducted the first experiments at conditions nearing those immediately after the creation of the universe by colliding protons at record power, mimicking conditions close to the Big Bang that created the universe.

This is physics in the making and the beginning of a new era with relationship to the energy levels achieved as the detectors recorded the collisions of beams of sub-atomic particles at close to the speed of light.

It is also worth noting that today’s experiments did not destroy the world as some in the uneducated religious community said it would. Go Figure?!?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hey "Christian Values" Sarah Palin….Michael Steele's RNC Spent $1,946.25 at a Lesbo, Titty, Bondage Club

Michael Steele is playing down the errors HIS version of the Republican Party once again. Under Chairman Michael Steele, the RNC spent $1,946.25 at Voyeur West Hollywood, “a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.

OK my fellow Republicans!!!! Where is Sarah Palin and her little group of Teabaggers when this obvious pissing away of our Party’s money?!?! Where are the self-righteous Teabaggers on this fiscal irresponsibility? Instead of being Sarah Palin’s drugged up groupies traveling around the country like the Dead Heads on tour with the Grateful Dead, maybe it would be a better use of their time turning their attention towards the wasting of the RNC’s finances.

It’s just one of several lavish expenses that organization has incurred under Steele. Others include a $43,828 trip to Hawaii, $17,514 on private jets in February alone. It is well reported that RNC Chairman Michael Steele has spent twice as much as his predecessors on private planes, limos, and catering. Yes car expenses have tripled under Steele, while food expenses have nearly doubled. I have reported in the past that donors are repeatedly upset over Steele’s lavish spending, which included a Christmas Party catered by Wolfgang Puck’s D.C. crew at the Newseum and a decision to move the RNC’s annual winter meeting from Washington to Hawaii. Under Ken Mehlman, the 2006 holiday party was thrown at RNC headquarters and the caterer was Chick-Fil-A. “Michael Steele is an imperial chairman,” said one longtime Republican fundraiser. “He flies in private aircraft. He drives in private cars. He has private consultants that are paid ridiculous retainers. He fancies himself a presidential candidate and wants all of the trappings and gets them by using other people’s money.”

The hypocrites of Fox Programming who push the button of the MINDLESS Teabaggers have not mentioned any of this money spent on Titty Bars, private jets, and fine dining for the ELITE of the Republican Party.

Hello Sarah Palinnnnnnnnnnnnn, WHERE ARE YOU?!?!!?

Christian Religious Terrorist Militia Raids In Multiple States

Well it seems like we have another Extreme Right Wing CHRISITAN group is going down the path of more “Jesus Sanctioned Home Grown Terrorist War.”

Starting on this past Saturday, a Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force, Homeland Security, and FBI have begun raids in at least three states on these Christian oriented domestic terrorist militias. The raids reportedly took place in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.
According to WXYZ Action News in Detroit, “Helicopters were spotted in the sky for much of the night, and agents set up checkpoints throughout the area, including in Sand Creek and Clayton in Lenawee County. Witnesses tell Action News that it was like a small army had descended on the area. A command center, including two satellite trucks and a radio tower, had been set up at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department in Ann Arbor. It has since been dismantled.”

The Extreme Right Wing Christian Religious group calling themselves, “The Hutatree Militia,” had a website that expounded that they were, “Preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive.”
The Hutatree Militia was raided as a result of pipe bomb manufacturing…..Because that is what Jesus would have done.
The FBI would not comment on the operation other than calling it “massive” and stating they are serving a number of search warrants. There have been seven arrests.
Of course now a lot of outraged activity by other associated Extreme Right Wing Religious Conservative groups who are sending out “A Call To Arms” as if the Federal Government was trying to provoke a civil war by taking everyone’s “God’s Given Right To Guns and Bombs.”
There has been a dramatic rise of so called “Patriot Militias” groups over the last year alone. The Southern Poverty Law Center who keeps records of these radical terrorist groups says that, “These Extreme Right Wing Christian Religious based “Patriot Militias” movement have increased growing from 42 militias in 2008 to 127 in 2009.”

Yes, you can tell we are Christians by our love, and we let Jesus decide who we blow up with our bombs. Praise Jesus and God Bless.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hey Sarah Palin and Teabaggers....This One Is For You

Sarah Palin who has demonstrated often on many different occasions, that on her own, cannot put together any tangible, coherent, thought pattern; is now the front person telling Tea Party activists assembled in the dusty Nevada desert Saturday that Sen. Harry Reid will have to explain his votes when he comes back to his hometown of Searchlight to campaign.

Carpet Bagger Palin told a small group of Teabaggers who travel with her from place to place, that the big-government, big-debt spending spree of the Senate majority leader, Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is over. Her best political debating comment was, "You're fired!" As opposed to her own deciding she needed to quit being Governor of Alaska when she was about to be brought to trial for corruption, and abusing her power as Governor? Oh yea Sarah…You have the high ground here, “Don’t Ya?”

Harry Reid, who is a native of Searchlight, responded with sarcasm to the crowd gathered in the hardscrabble town of about 1,000 he grew up in. "I'm happy so many people came to see my hometown of Searchlight and spend their out of state money, especially in these tough economic times," Reid said. "This election will be decided by Nevadans, not people from other states who parachuted in for one day to have a tea party."

These Teabaggers who love to mindlessly fawn over Sarah Palin are the ones being whipped up with inaccurate statements and then proudly participating with threats and vandalism aimed at Democratic Washington lawmakers who supported the new Health Care Reform Law. As many of us know by now that the day before the vote there were hundreds of furious Teabagger activists, who spit and heard racial epithets at black Congressmen during a demonstration held on the Capital's steps.

The conservative columnist, Andrew Breitbart, tried to re-write the facts of these outrageous actions by the Teabaggers on Capital Hill by disputing any suggestion that Tea Party activists in Washington were involved. Of course Andrew Breitbart did not provide any evidence to support his lying bullshit statements.

The Teabaggers who came to Searchlight even started a fistfight with citizens of the town who spoke out against what the Teabaggers and Sarah Palin were saying. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department needed to send out officers to patrol the crowd to subdue the Teabaggers before anymore violence escalated. So once again the Teabaggers started violence but I am sure the Conservative Talk Political Programs will not bring this fact to light, will they?

This reoccurrence of perpetuated violence by the Teabaggers is just fueled by Sarah Palin who is at this moment facing criticism of posting a map on her Facebook page that had circles and cross hairs over 20 Democratic districts. She also sent a tweet saying, "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"

Many Extreme Conservative Personalities try to make excuses and justifications against what is obvious to the rest of us that Sarah is inciting violence. These apologists will just say that she is just trying to inspire people to get involved.

If that is the case, Sarah has a poor choice of words. Now I ask you, terms like Democratic Targets, Cross Hairs, Reload, Political Call-To-Arms; please put these into a sentence that does not mean inciting violence. Yea, I didn’t think you could.

Luis Salvador, a 55 year old unemployed fire sprinkler fitter, drove down from Las Vegas to support Reid. Luis said that Harry Reid has done a lot for the state and doesn't deserve the protest brought to his hometown. "You don't come to a man's house and start creating a ruckus," said Salvador, a registered independent. He and several others taped signs saying "Nevada Needs Harry Reid" to the side of a truck near the highway that runs through town.

Another Reid supporter, Judy Hill, 62, said she doesn't understand the hatred of Harry Reid. The longtime Democrat from Searchlight said she thinks people just don't know the man she calls a friend. "They listen to the rhetoric. I think he's very misunderstood and under-appreciated," she said.

From Engineer of Knowledge, I say to the Luis Salvadors and Judy Hills of this country, “Well Stated and I thank you for your courage to confront this Violent Teabagger Crowd!!”

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Armed Forces Being Privatized

I have put on this clip from the Blackwater Firm. It seem like we have privatized our armed forces and subcontracted our war efforts to Blackwater. Please review and give me your thoughts.

The Republican Shame of Teabaggers Actions

The blame of the latest terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Teabaggers on Democratic Congressman lie squarely on the Republicans for inciting threats and vandalism against Democrats. I am very ashamed, outraged, and I criticize the Republican leaders for not speaking out more forcefully enough to denounce the Teabagger’s threats.

I implore all to denounce Republican House members who cheered hecklers who were removed from the gallery during Sunday's health care debate. The Congressional House of Representatives deserves respect and it is inappropriate for Republican members of Congress to cheer when disrespectful sentiments are shouted out from the gallery.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said: "We've got to all be cognizant of the fact when we use very hot rhetoric, it can be seen as incitement to people whose judgment is not peaceful … and who either verbally or physically threaten people with whom they disagree."

Of the reported acts of vandalism and threats against House Democrats, it is irresponsible for all Republicans to clearly state that it is inappropriate, that racially / bigoted insulting words being used that are so beneath the dignity of this debate and the people they were used against.

Meanwhile dozens of leaders of the Tea Party and other conservative groups instead decided to make half hearted apologies but along with interjected justificational reasons to the violence, threats and the use of "disparaging terms" to refer to politicians.

All should be demanding investigations and prosecutions of anyone accused of violence, or inciting and promoting violence.

In the mean time, I have present some Nazi Propaganda poster throughout this posting and I suggest that the Teabagger should chose a couple for their uses. Nazi / Teabaggers….One In The Same!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Teabaggers Expose Once Again Of Their Racial / Hateful Based Ideologies

The truth just constantly keeps coming out doesn’t it. The Teabaggers cannot help but expose themselves for what they really are. Bigoted Racists who resorted to racial slurs that were yelled at some black lawmakers and even spitting on some lawmakers by the Teabaggers protesting Health Care Reform as the lawmakers headed for a procedural vote at Capitol Hill Saturday.

Any stable, sane, and self respecting Republican would denounce this Right Wing Extremist Teabagger group. They are nothing more than John Birchers, Neo-Nazis, and Klan members posing as God Fearing Christian Republicans under the guise of protecting American Citizens’ rights. Now good “O’l Uncle Tom” Steel rejected the notion that the racial slurs and spitting incidents may make any association with the Tea Party Movement a danger. To reiterate, Republican Chairman Steel still supports the Teabaggers and keeps them welcome within the Republican Party.

The incident occurred Saturday after thousands of Tea Partiers descended upon Capitol Hill to rally against Sunday's major vote on Health Care Reform.
Some of the protesters targeted a handful of black members of Congress and one gay lawmaker as they walked from the House office buildings to the Capitol to make a procedural vote.

Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga, and Andre Carson, D-Ind., both members of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that a group of protesters hollered at them and called them the N-word.

Kristie Greco, spokeswoman for Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn, said a protester spit on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver who is black and said police escorted the lawmakers into the Capitol. Clyburn, who led fellow black students in integrating South Carolina's public facilities a half century ago, called the behavior "absolutely shocking."
"I heard people saying things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus," Clyburn told reporters.

Lewis was one of the most pivotal figures of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He spoke alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King at the Lincoln Memorial during the "I Have a Dream" speech. And Alabama State Police fractured the congressman's skull as he led a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on what became known as "Bloody Sunday" in 1965.

First elected in 1970, Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., is one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. "You don't see any black folks in these groups," said Rangel. "Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever." Rangel suggested that some of the protesters knew Lewis' story and deliberately went after him.

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., said nothing would surprise him from some of the bands of health care protesters. "I have never heard anyone campaign for their freedom to be uninsured. I've never heard anyone campaign against Medicare," said Scott. "That's what you're dealing with."

But black lawmakers weren't the only targets of the protesters' invective. Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., related that some of the demonstrators also castigated Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who is gay. "I don't even want to repeat it," said Crowley when asked what they said to Frank.

I want to conclude this posting by saying that as a self respecting member of the Republican Party, I am totally outraged and ashamed that my once Grand Old Party that I have been an active member of for 35 plus years has sunk to this low of a level. I put all of this blame on the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Glen Beck, Bill O’Rielly, Shawn Hannity, Michael Savage, and the likes of this group in general. The shame and black spot on my Republican Party during this period in time will be looked back as unforgivable.

Large Hadron Supercollider "Atom Smasher" Restarts

Last year, various religious organizations and gullible alarmists forecasted the end of everything. The world would soon come to an end, it was asserted, and it was all due to the collective scientific stubbornness and meddling stupidity of scientists at the CERN that were adamant about conducting experiments to prove that the Higgs Boson Particle, the so-called, "God particle," actually exists. No one knew what would happen when the supercollider actual reached its full working capacity. Some believed that a miniature black hole would be created, one that would, due to its very extreme nature of attraction, gobble the world up in short order. Some religious organizations had even attempted to stop the experiments by going to court, but they failed.

But what reason and religion and courts could not or simply did not stop, outright mechanical failure did. Large Hadron Collider (LHC) went off-line for repairs just nine days after it first powered up in September 2008. It was found that an electrical failure had released liquid helium into the supercollider's tunnel, a massive conduit 27 kilometers or 17 miles long). The repairs bled into more repairs and regularly scheduled shutdowns until November, when it was successfully tested and ran millions of particle accelerator collisions through December, when it was shut down again for technical maintenance.

In August 8, 2009, CERN restarted the Large Hadron Collider. They hope the higher energy will enable them to see particles so far undetected, such as the elusive Higgs Boson Particle, which in theory gives mass to other particles and objects and creatures in the universe.

Physicists have used smaller, room-temperature colliders for decades to study the atom. They once thought protons and neutrons were the smallest components of the atom's nucleus, but the colliders showed that they are made of quarks and gluons and that there are other forces and particles. And they still have other questions about antimatter, dark matter and particle mass they want to answer with CERN's new collider.

They hope the fragments that come off the collisions will show on a tiny scale what happened one-trillionth of a second after the so-called Big Bang, which many scientists theorize was the massive explosion that formed the universe. The theory holds that the universe was rapidly cooling at that stage and matter was changing quickly.

On February 28, 2010, the Large Hadron Collider was restarted, and it seems that all systems are go again. This time the scientists will be looking for the Higgs Boson also referred to as the "God" particle and attempt to resolve whether or not "dark matter" and "dark energy" actually exist and / or have defined properties. Finding the God particle would help scientists understand how atoms acquire mass.

Will it be the end of the world? Doubtful. Just like the Linear Particle Beam Accelerator at Stanford (which I have seen personally) that smashed atoms and discovered the sub-atomic particles, like quarks, did not end the world, the LHC will not either. Now there will always be the group of people like those who say the planetary alignments could cause a disruption in the gravitational equilibrium of our little part of the universe. Of course if it does not, the perennial doomsayers and those always looking for an apocalypse will have to, and undoubtedly will, find another “END OF THE WORLD” scenario event, cascading series of incidents, or whatever is necessary to continue their “Godly Apoplectic” predictions grasping for a sudden end to it all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Pivotal Moment In Human History

We are today now living in a pivotal moment in human history. New technologies and theories are allowing us to see our world and universe like no one before could have ever imagined. Over recent years we have viewed and realized for ourselves a sense of the world and universe that is much richer than any one could have conceived in the past.

Those who have not kept up educating themselves with science facts are still living in an imagined universe where space is simply emptiness, stars are scattered randomly, and God views us all from this vantage point. Even the most liberal of this group can just picture the universe as shooting stars, spiral galaxies, maybe an ember red moon rising over an unknown planet. This of course does not represent the universe as a whole any better than a single atom would represent your own face. Yet every pre-scientific culture had their own idea of the world and cosmos in which they had a central and significant place.

Pre-scientific people had developed what they thought were believable answers to big questions but have become impossible to support with answers once someone started to demand scientific accuracy.

Many people today in this country hardly even ask such fundamental questions anymore or appreciate how the answers affect not only how we live but what we believe is possible. Ours is probably the first major culture in human history with no shared picture of reality. Many of humanity’s most dangerous problems arise from our fifteenth century way of looking at our world and the universe, which is at odds with the principles of science that we use in countless technologies today. The main threat to sane thinking is a result from the almost total disjunction between the power of our technologies and the wisdom required to use them over the long period and to what effect it has on us all during a lifetime.

The last time Western culture shared a coherent understanding of the universe as a comforting cosmic dwelling place was in the Middle Ages. For a thousand years, Christians, Jews and Muslims believed that the earth was the flat, immovable center of the universe, and all the planets and stars revolved on crystal spheres around it. The idea that God had chosen a place for every person, animal, plant and thing in the Great “Master Plan” Chain of Being made sense of the rigid medieval social hierarchy of the time. The Church, Kings, Lords, Peasants, Slaves, etc. But then came early scientists like Copernicus and Galileo who discovered that the earth was not the center of the universe after all and the cosmic hierarchy lost its credibility as the organizing principle of the universe.

Then came Newton who developed the picture on physics that explained accurately the motions of a single star’s planetary entourage. Newton became a targeted threat from the Church because he had developed mathematical formulas explaining gravity’s effect on an object.

Pre-scientific people always saw themselves at the center of the world and universe no matter what their world was at the time. The human instinct is to experience themselves as the central object being reflections based on their own independent viewpoints relative to everything else around them. Yes man is naturally a very narcissistic animal as a whole.

The true difficult task for many religious people is to free themselves from the limits of man’s own five senses, which evolved to work in our earthly environment. An example being of the concept of Dark Matter where one cannot see it from their back yard but it makes up the largest part of our universe. This is a threatening and insecuring thought for many of these type of people. I personally have known deeply religious people who are even afraid that this Dark Matter, when spoken about, is the Devil's influence within our world.

Just as Albert Einstein is supposed to have said, “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”

Intelligent life is neither incidental nor insignificant but has a place in our world and universe so special it could not have even been imagined before the invention of modern science, their discoveries therein, and cosmological concepts throughout. By understanding the world and universe in which we live, we begin to understand ourselves.

Engineer of Knowledge Quote:
“The Liberal thinking mind is the evolution of man’s breaking the restrictions of the Conservative status quo viewpoint mindset.”

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Anti-Gay Republican California State Senator, Roy Ashburn, Gets DUI After Leaving Gay Nightclub

Well once again we have another story of a self-loathing gay person who was a professed “Conservative Republican” California State Senator who was very out spoken on the Proposition 8, California Marriage Protection Act, that read, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Yes the Republican California State Senator, Roy Ashburn, who has “a long history throughout his political career speaking out on opposing and bashing gay rights,” was arrested in Sacramento early Wednesday morning for driving under the influence after a California Highway Patrol officer spotted his SUV weaving in and out of traffic.

According to CBS, Ashburn, a divorced father with four daughters, was with an unidentified male passenger. It's also being reported that he had just left a gay club in the Sacramento called, “Faces.”

Ashburn issued the typical Republican boilerplate apology when they are caught:
"I am deeply sorry for my actions and offer no excuse for my poor judgment. I accept complete responsibility for my conduct and am prepared to accept the consequences for what I did. I am also truly sorry for the impact this incident will have on those who support and trust me, my family, my constituents, my friends, and my colleagues in the Senate."

Well all I would have to say to Senator Roy Ashburn, “To Thy Own Self Be True.”

Texas’s Education Board Voted To Reflect Their Far Right Influences With Engineer Of Knowledge’s Interpretations Notes:

The Far Right Factions of the Texas State Board of Education succeeded Friday in injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons that will be taught to millions of students for the next decade.

Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers, (Even though it has been shown that this is not accurate many times) but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state (As if this was not a major part of our Constitution.) Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a "Constitutional Republic," rather than "Democratic," (The South when succession from the North was a Constitutional Republic, our Founding Fathers set up a Democracy in our Constitution) and students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard. (The Republican President Richard Nixon took us off the gold standard in the early 1970’s)

"We have been about Conservatism versus Liberalism," said Democrat Mavis Knight of Dallas, explaining her vote against the standards. "We have manipulated strands to insert what we want it to be in the document, regardless as to whether or not it's appropriate."

Following three days of impassioned and acrimonious debate, the board gave preliminary approval to the new standards with a 10-5 party line vote. A final vote is expected in May, after a public comment period that could produce additional amendments and arguments.

Decisions by the board can affect textbook content nationwide because Texas is one of publishers' biggest clients.

The Ultra-Conservatives wielded their power over school classroom subjects this week, introducing and rejecting amendments on everything from the civil rights movement to global politics. Hostilities flared and prompted a walkout Thursday by one of the board's most prominent Democrats, Mary Helen Berlanga of Corpus Christi, who accused her colleagues of "Whitewashing" curriculum standards.

By late Thursday night, three other Democrats seemed to sense their futility and left, leaving Republicans to easily push through amendments heralding "American Exceptionalism" (What ever that in the Hell This Is Suppose To Mean) and the U.S. free enterprise system, suggesting it thrives best absent excessive government intervention.

"Some board members themselves acknowledged this morning that the process for revising curriculum standards in Texas is seriously broken, with politics and personal agendas dominating just about every decision," said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, which advocates for religious freedom.

Republican Terri Leo, a member of the powerful Christian Conservative voting block, called the standards "World Class" and "Exceptional." (To me it sounds like there needs to be a new elections to purge the INSANE from the Education School Board)

Board members argued about the classification of historic periods using the older B.C. and A.D., rather than B.C.E. and C.E. like the rest of the world does now; and whether students should be required to explain the origins of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politics (They Will); and whether former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir should be required learning (She Will).

In addition to learning the Bill of Rights, (With Modified Interpretations from their perspective) the board specified a reference to the Second Amendment right to bear arms in a section about citizenship in a U.S. government class. (Everybody Must Own Guns, sung to the tune of Bob Dylan’s, “Everybody Must Get Stoned”)

Numerous attempts to add the names or references to important Hispanics throughout history also were denied, inducing one amendment that would specify that Tejanos (“Mexicans? Mexicans? We don’t need no stinking Mexicans in our history lessons,” spoken like Poncho Via) died at the Alamo alongside Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. Another amendment deleted a requirement that sociology students "explain how institutional racism is evident in American society." (“As always, it those darn Darkies fault causing all this trouble”)

Democrats did score a victory by deleting a portion of an amendment by Republican Don McLeroy suggesting that the civil rights movement led to "unrealistic expectations for equal outcomes." (Everyone know that all those Black Folks just can’t keep up mentally with all of us White Folks who are so much superior….What were they thinking in the 60’s?)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The View from the Center of the Universe

Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos

I have just been made aware of the book called, “The View from the Center of the Universe,” and I think that it will be on my short list for reading very soon.

In The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos, Joel Primack, a leading cosmologist and professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his wife Nancy Ellen Abrams, a lawyer, writer, and musician, tell us that this cosmic alienation has its roots in the Copernican and Newtonian revolutions and a Faustian deal brokered by René Descartes and Francis Bacon.

This very important and fascinating book powerfully describes the scope and depth of human connections to our universe. Primack and Abrams make clear the revolutionary concepts and implications of the modern understanding of time, space, dark matter, dark energy, eternal inflation, and the stardust filling our bodies, and how that knowledge can affect our feelings about ourselves and our future. Drawing lessons from the history of creation myths in many cultures, and from the changing perspectives of science over the centuries, they use many complementary approaches, including images and symbols, to paint a comprehensive picture of the value of our place in the universe as we now know it, and our opportunities for action in this critical century. Their well-supported admonition to "think cosmically, act globally" can be a vital guide to build a "sustainable prosperity." This topic demands the attention of nearly every thoughtful adult at a time when our impact on our home planet is rising dramatically, as are conflicts between science and religions. So far, scientists have not succeeded in helping most people sense meaning or purpose when considering the vastness of space that astronomy has revealed over the past few hundred years.

We humans occupy an insignificant place in the grand scheme of things, and there is no evidence that the universe has taken or should take note of us. I suspect many other scientists, as well as nonscientists, have had a similar experience. Carl Sagan summed it up well: "We live on a hunk of rock and metal that orbits a humdrum star in the obscure outskirts of an ordinary galaxy"—and he said it before dark matter and dark energy were discovered and were found to account for 96% of the stuff in the universe.

In the wake of Galileo's bad experience with the Catholic Church, scientists adopted a policy of noninterference with religion, dividing the world into the material (realm of science) and the spiritual (realm of religion). This division allowed science to flourish unfettered. And flourish it did with profound advances in our understanding of nature, from quarks to the cosmos, and dramatic advances in our quality of life, from electricity and medicine to science-based agriculture and today's quantum-based information economy.

Yet Primack and Abrams argue that the bargain had a significant downside: the severing of humankind's connection with the universe. They also contend that the present revolutionary period of cosmic discovery is the right time to re-establish a widely shared cosmological myth that connects us to the universe. Reconciliation 400 years after a messy divorce is not easy; but with their complementary backgrounds and a decade of jointly teaching a course on cosmology and culture at Santa Cruz, this husband-and-wife team is well qualified to start the conversation.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part is a review of the cosmological myths that preceded the divorce of science and religion, from the cosmology of ancient Egypt to the heavenly spheres that survived from Ptolemy to the Middle Ages. The second part is an exposition of our present understanding of the universe; it focuses on recent breakthroughs such as inflation, dark matter, and dark energy. The third part is an exploration of how we might take advantage of this quantum leap in our knowledge to reconnect with the universe, and even learn lessons from the universe. In the authors' words, "think cosmically, act globally."

The discussion of contemporary cosmology is built around five simple and engaging questions: What is the universe made of? What is the "center of the universe"? What size is the universe? Where do we come from? Are we alone?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

From Housewife to French Resistance Hero, Berthe Fraser

Today I thought that I too should do a posting about a heroic woman as a complement to “Man With the Muckrake’s” posting noting the World marking International Women’s Day. As I am a father with two daughters, I am posting this in honor to them.

In the dark days of WWII in Nazi occupied France, there was a group of valiant and daring individuals known as the French Resistance. They dared to defy the vice-grip of Nazi Germany (as well as the French collaborators) using stealth, reconnaissance, infiltration, and whatever means necessary to save their beloved country and fellow man from destruction. Most of these brave souls were subject to betrayal, unspeakable torture, or death. One of these members of the French Resistance appeared to be an ordinary housewife, by the name of Mrs. Berthe Fraser, but Berthe Fraser was anything but ordinary.

Mrs. Fraser’s story begins with her birth in 1894 as Berthe Emilie Vicogne. She married an Englishman and thus became a British subject. When the rumblings of WWII hit France, Berthe Fraser was going about her domestic life in her hometown of Arras, France, all the while organizing an underground network that saved the lives of countless English agents and pilots. Mrs. Fraser was the head of a great movement, which worried the Germans stupid. She was the hub of this big wheel. Her first work was in 1940 when there were hundreds of British soldiers roaming around France. She sent dozens of British soldiers by devious means to the coast where they were smuggled to England.

Berthe Fraser had been betrayed twice but was an unshakable woman for whom I have the utmost awe and respect.

In 1941, someone betrayed Berthe, and she was arrested by the Gestapo. She spent 15 months in a Belgian prison, and was released in December 1942. Berthe immediately jumped back into the work of fighting Hitler’s campaign of death and terror. No sooner had she got out than Berthe immediately contacted the officers sent into France from England, and embarked on a new phase of anti–Nazi activity, helping the Allies by supplying English agents with a complete support network of Resistance fighters. She looked after the foreigners, providing them with shelter, transport, and safe hiding places where they could engage in their clandestine missions. She arranged liaisons, transmitted vital messages, and took on the very dangerous role of courier, traveling far and wide by car, sometimes on foot, laden with documents, arms, and occasionally the dynamite required for sabotage operations.

Somehow she managed to evade discovery, collecting the supplies of weapons that were dropped by night at secret locations by British planes, hiding the vital goods in safe houses where they could only be released on presenting her signature.

Berthe had to go to great lengths to protect her English charges. Once, entrusted with the care of the well–known English agent Wing Commander Yeo–Thomas, known as “The White Rabbit,” she arranged a funeral cortege to transport the senior officer, hidden inside the hearse.

Berthe was betrayed again in 1944, unbelievably by one of the very English agents whose life she saved. She spent six months in solitary confinement at Loos where she was tortured every day. She was stripped and flogged in front of Nazi troops and condemned to death. Never did she betray her friends in the Resistance or the English army. How many lives she saved through her own afflictions will never be known.
When the Allies stormed the prison on September 1, 1944, Berthe Fraser was just hanging onto life, and she is reported to have said, “Thank you boys, you are just in time.”

She suffered extreme torture during her second capture, and Berthe Fraser died in 1956, her health never restored. Although most have never heard of Berthe Fraser but I feel that her heroic efforts were a major factor of the Allies winning the war.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants

The Version of Albert of Aix

The four-year period (1095-1099) between the call for crusade by Pope Urban II many in what is now known as France took up the call to arms to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslins.

At the beginning of summer in 1096 The Pope was powerfully aided by an earnest and eloquent, also very ignorant monk, Peter the Hermit, of Amiens, who declared that he would rouse the martial spirit of Europe in the cause, and he himself was the first with whatsoever of misguided zeal to lead the way to the Holy Land.

After collecting an army, had set out, there assembled in like fashion a large and innumerable host of Christians from diverse kingdoms and lands; namely, from the realms of France, England, Flanders, and Lorraine. Peter the Hermit’s march to the crusades did not start out too well when the mob gathered and killed many Jewish people before they even left France and was quoted, “I know not whether by a judgment of the Lord, or by some error of mind; they rose in a spirit of cruelty against the Jewish people scattered throughout these cities and slaughtered them without mercy, especially in the Kingdom of Lorraine, asserting it to be the beginning of their expedition and their duty against the enemies of the Christian faith. This slaughter of Jews was done first by citizens of Cologne. These suddenly fell upon a small band of Jews and severely wounded and killed many; they destroyed the houses and synagogues of the Jews and divided among themselves a very large, amount of money. When the Jews saw this cruelty, about two hundred in the silence of the night began flight by boat to Neuss. The pilgrims and crusaders discovered them, and after taking away all their possessions, inflicted on them similar slaughter, leaving not even one alive.” Yes, “They will know us by our love,” devout Christians on a mission from God but taking the opportunity to kill and rob those of Jewish faith….Because Jesus was a Jew?

Anyway, not long after this, they started upon their journey, as they had vowed, and arrived in a great multitude at the city of Mainz. There Count Emico, a nobleman, a very mighty man in this region, was awaiting, with a large band of Teutons, the arrival of the pilgrims who were coming thither from diverse lands by the King's highway.

The Jews of this city, knowing of the slaughter of their brethren, and that they themselves could not escape the hands of so many, fled in hope of safety to Bishop Rothard. They put an infinite treasure in his guard and trust, having much faith in his protection, because he was Bishop of the city. Then that excellent Bishop of the city cautiously set aside the incredible amount of money received from them. He placed the Jews in the very spacious hall of his own house, away from the sight of Count Emico and his followers, that they might remain safe and sound in a very secure and strong place.

But Emico and the rest of his band held a council and, after sunrise, attacked the Jews in the hall with arrows and lances. Breaking the bolts and doors, they killed the Jews, about seven hundred in number, who in vain resisted the force and attack of so many thousands. They killed the women, also, and with their swords pierced tender children of whatever age and sex. The Jews, seeing that their Christian enemies were attacking them and their children, and that they were sparing no age, likewise fell upon one another, brother, children, wives, and sisters, and thus they perished at each other's hands. Horrible to say, mothers cut the throats of nursing children with knives and stabbed others, preferring them to perish thus by their own hands rather than to be killed by the weapons of the uncircumcised. Yes again, “They will know us by our love,” devout Christians on a mission from God but taking the opportunity to kill and rob those of Jewish faith….Because Jesus was a Jew?

From this cruel slaughter of the Jews a few escaped; and a few because of fear, rather than because of love of the Christian faith, were baptized. With very great spoils taken from these people, Count Emico, Clarebold, Thomas, and all that intolerable company of men and women then continued on their way to Jerusalem, directing their course towards the Kingdom of Hungary, where passage along the royal highway was usually not denied the pilgrims. But on arriving at Wieselburg, the fortress of the King, which the rivers Danube and Leytha protect with marshes, the bridge and gate of the fortress were found closed by command of the King of Hungary, for great fear had entered all the Hungarians because of the slaughter which had happened to their brethren.

Peter the Hermit was quoted again, “But while almost everything had turned out favorably for the Christians, and while they had penetrated the walls with great openings, by some chance or misfortune, I know not what, such great fear entered the whole army that they turned in flight, just as sheep are scattered and alarmed when wolves rush upon them. And seeking a refuge here and there, they forgot their companions.”

Emico and some of his followers continued in their flight along the way by which they had come. Thomas, Clarebold, and several of their men escaped in flight toward Carinthia and Italy. So the hand of the Lord is believed to have been against the pilgrim who had sinned by excessive impurity and fornication, and who had slaughtered the exiled Jews through greed of money, rather than for the sake of God's justice, although the Jews were opposed to Christ. The Lord is a just judge and orders no one unwillingly, or under compulsion, to come under the yoke of the Catholic faith.

(Now this next paragraph really puts the cap on the Religiously Disillusioned folks that still live among us today)

There was another detestable crime in this assemblage of wayfaring people, who were foolish and insanely fickle. That the crime was hateful to the Lord and incredible to the faithful is not to be doubted. They asserted that a certain goose was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that a she goat was not less filled by the same Spirit. These they made their guides on this holy journey to Jerusalem; these they worshipped excessively; and most of the people following them, like beasts, believed with their whole minds that this was the true course. May the hearts of the faithful be free from the thought that the Lord Jesus wished the Sepulchre of His most sacred body to be visited by brutish and insensate animals, or that He wished these to become the guides of Christian souls, which by the price of His own blood He deigned to redeem from the filth of idols.

That’s right they follow a goose because they thought that God was within this animal giving them divine guidance. Many are following another silly goose....Sarah Palin.

Bernanke Terrified by Commercial Real Estate Market Crash

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said a potential wave of defaults in commercial real estate may present a “difficult” challenge for the economy, without committing to additional steps to aid the market.

Bernanke, testifying before the Senate Banking Committee urged lenders to modify “problem” mortgages to avert defaults. Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who chairs the panel, told Bernanke that “some have suggested” the commercial market “may even dwarf the residential mortgage problems” in the U.S.

It “may be appropriate” for the government and Congress to consider “fiscal” steps to support the industry, Bernanke said today. Ideas for fresh support for the market could include government guarantees for commercial mortgages, Bernanke also said while noting no proposal on the subject has emerged.

U.S. commercial property prices fell 7.6 percent in May from a month earlier, bringing the total decline to 35 percent since the market’s peak, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report this week. Commercial properties in the U.S. valued at more than $108 billion are now in default, foreclosure or bankruptcy, almost double than at the start of the year, Real Capital Analytics Inc. said earlier this month.

Bernanke went on to say, “As the recession has gotten worse in the last six months or so, we’re seeing increased vacancy, declining rents, falling prices and so, more pressure on commercial real estate. We are somewhat concerned about that sector and are paying very close attention to it. We’re taking the steps that we can through the banking system and through the securitization markets to try to address it.”

The Fed chief said, “One of the main issues for the industry is that the market for debt backed by commercial mortgages “has completely shut down.”

Now everyone in unison…”Thank you George Bush and Dick Cheney for pushing through all of your Republican deregulations during your eight years. We did not need that budget surplus that was handed to you by President Clinton as we are all so please you pissed it away. You have served us all so well. We are all enjoying the DEPRESSION you lead us into VERY MUCH.”

The Holy Oak Tree's Old Time Religion Hymn

As sung by Joseph Campbell

Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
And that's good enough for me

We will pray to Aphrodite
Even tho' she's rather flighty
And they say she wears no nightie
And that's good enough for me

We will pray with those Egyptians
Build pyramids to put our crypts in
Cover subways with inscriptions
And that's good enough for me

O-old Odin we will follow
And in fighting we will wallow
Til we wind up in Valhalla
And that's good enough for me

Let me follow dear old Buddha
For there is nobody cuter
He comes in plaster, wood or pewter
And that's good enough for me

We will pray with Zarathustra
Pray just like we useta
I'm a Zarathustra booster
And that's good enough for me

We will pray with those old Druids
They drink fermented fluids
Waltzing naked thru the woo-ids
And that's good enough for me

Hare Krishna gets a laugh on
When he sees me dressed in saffron
With my hair that's only half on
And that's good enough for me

I'll arise at early morning
When the sun gives me the warning
That the solar age is dawning
And that's good enough for me

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Terrorism Threat: 'Right-Wing Radicals' says Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security released a report last year warning about the threat from right-wing domestic terror. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said intelligence reports highlighting the potential terrorist threats posed by right wing extremists groups are "not accusations, they're assessments."

Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines "rightwing extremism in the United States" as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority including “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion, fear of what is viewed as gun control "taking away their guns," or immigration," the warning says.

The Department of Homeland Security issued intelligence assessment warnings to local police departments that American Right Wing Extremists pose the greatest threat of terrorist attacks in this country. Right-wing extremists in the United States are gaining new recruits by exploiting fears about the economy and the election of the first black U.S. president, the Department of Homeland Security warned in the report to law enforcement officials.

Fears were driving resurgence in "recruitment and radicalization activity" by white supremacist groups, antigovernment extremists and militia movements.

DHS did not release any specific information about pending violence but it warned that home foreclosures, unemployment and other consequences of the economic recession "could create a fertile recruiting environment for right-wing extremists."

To confirm the validity of this report, one only has to review the recent situations like:

1. The inept skinheads in Tennessee who thought they could stage a tuxedo-themed assassination of Barack Obama.

2. The Pentagon is viewing their subway entrance shooting by John Patrick Bedell as the latest motivated by far right ideology.

3. James Von Brunn, a white supremacist and neo-Nazi, who shot the security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

4. Dr. George Tiller was shot in the foyer while serving as an usher in the Reformation Lutheran Church by an anti-abortion extremist, Scott Roeder.

This is just a few recent examples and it is not a stretch for one to see that there is the good possibility of another Tim McVeigh lone wolf type, the Oklahoma City bomber, who attacked the FBI building because of his opposition view of gun violations causing the Ruby Ridge incident.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sarah Palin Loads Up On Free Stuff Once Again

Sarah Palin showed up in West Hollywood at the celebrity gift suite with two daughters, her brother and a small entourage in tow and loaded up with free cosmetic and fashion items being given away in connection with Oscar-week festivities.

Lorna Khoo of and various other vendors exhibiting their wares at the Silver Spoon gift suite said the former vice presidential candidate visited the suite on Wednesday morning and snapped up organic soaps from Wembe, personalized stationery from, leopard-print wedge sandals from Bandals, and a slinky robe from Jenna Leigh lingerie.

"I gave the same robe to Jennifer Aniston," said Jenna Leigh, the designer whose label bears her name.

The 46-year-old politician, who was in town to perform a standup routine on Jay Leno's "Tonight" show, also picked up under-eye cream and a deep moisturizer from Bloom cosmetics, according to those present.

Gift suites spring up all over town during Hollywood's award season, offering free merchandise to any celebrities who happen to drop by in exchange for the promotional value their star power brings.

When asked, Palin’s aide, Jason Recher, had no comment.

Well The Religious Fanatics Have Struck Again

During the latest snow storms that have struck the Mid-Atlantic area over the last few weeks, a New Jersey family got in trouble for allowing their artistic humor to evolve as a means of handling the stress of the situation and built a nude tribute to the Venus de Milo.

The Rahway family's snow sculpture tribute to Venus De Milo prompted complaints about “Snow Pornography” and Rahway police Sgt. Dominick Sforza said an officer visited the home of Elisa Gonzalez, who built the snow sculpture with daughter Maria Conneran, 21, and son Jack Shearing, 12, last week on an anonymous complaint "of a naked snow woman,"

Gonzalez said the officer told the family he appreciated the armless replica of the ancient Greek statue as it was very well done and a good likeness.

However, the officer asked the family to put clothes on the sculpture so the Gonzalez family put on a green bikini top and a blue sarong on the snow structure.

When asked Ms. Gonzalez said, "I thought she looked more objectified and sexualized after you put the bikini on." The daughter Ms. Conneran who helped build the snow structure said, "Our snow lady looks like marble. It looks like a statue." She went on to say, "Are you going to go to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and cover up all the statues?"

Gonzalez said she and her children took down the snow lady Monday because of the melting snow.

So once again the Dim Witted Ignorant but Religiously Fanatic sentinels of morality and protectors of public decency have saved us all from what they see as the decline of American Christian Values.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Introduction Of Dauber

My oldest daughter and her fiancĂ© have a new addition to their family. His name is Dauber named after the big goofy character of Swedish ancestry and the assistant coach from the show, “Coach.”

Being a mongrel they adopted from the local Humane Society and for curiosity sake, they had a DNA analysis of Dauber to see what his genetic makeup was.

Well the DNA analysis for Dauber has been completed using the state-of-the-art breed detection process, comparing his breed makeup to over 170 different breeds.
Dauber's ancestry report became available. Dauber is an

American bulldog,


and Maltese….which just seems wrong on so many levels. OH the shame of uncontrolled and inferior breeding!!!! :-)

Now as many may know where I am going with this posting is from the science fact viewpoint of the validity of DNA genetic mapping. This science has progressed to the point that for a small cost, you can get the genetic makeup of your pet. The code and history of all organic things can be known by the simple understanding of DNA proteins of CGAT and in the order the mapping exposes itself.

Yes this is just another factual nail closing the lid in the fallacy of religious myths and superstition believers who wish to deny this science due to the fact it threatens these same beliefs.