Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not O.K. at the O.K. Corral

by Op-Ed Columnist, Maureen Dowd

So we’ll never go back to the future?

A group of physicists at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has revealed time travel to be more fiction than science.

They have released a research report proving that a single photon, a unit of light, cannot exceed the speed of light, as time-travel conjurers from H.G. Wells to Rod Serling to Woody Allen had hoped.

The physicists determined for the first time that the photon follows Einstein’s theory that the speed of light is “the traffic law of the universe,” and that nothing can travel faster than light.

So if President Obama is fantasizing about climbing Marty McFly-style into a juiced-up DeLorean and going back to a more civilized, productive era when America wasn’t an over-the-hill deadbeat and when Washington wasn’t a shrieking, destructive, primal, feudal, apocalyptic wasteland of partisan banshees, he’s out of luck. Or science.

For half a century, our trust in government has been falling off a cliff. Some presidential elections have been more about voting against somebody rather than for somebody. There were upticks in faith when Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton delivered prosperity.

But now trust levels are drooping even lower. The public has less faith in Congress than Wall Street, and that’s saying something. Most Americans either feel that government is broken or that the fix is in, so that special interests and a handful of people at the top are the only ones benefiting.

The last century was the American century. But this one will not be, thanks to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who used their boots and spurs to ride roughshod over the globe and American economy. They spent eight years and trillions of dollars either barging into stuff they should have left alone or leaving alone stuff they should have intervened on.

W. accomplished the impossible: He made the Daddy Party less quick-draw. Republicans’ isolationist wing is stronger now because some conservatives and libertarians don’t want to pay to stumble into endless, pointless wars.

Still, if the epic budget battle being waged on the Potomac is our own version of the Harrison Ford-Daniel Craig movie “Cowboys & Aliens” — where our favorite American myths collide — the Republicans will want to be the cowboys.

How else can they continue to paint the president as an aloof, intellectually arrogant, pointy-eared alien?

President Spock, who so sparingly makes emotional connections, felt he had a real one with John Boehner. Chomping Nicorette through the stressful negotiations, Obama actually grew fond of the old-school Republican speaker puffing on cigarettes.

An alien and a cowboy, trying to connect on a fairway rather than a frontier and save America from a credit rating that would be alarmingly comparable to mine.

The Republican “Taliban wing,” as some Democrats dub the rabid Tea Party militants, was determined to break up any budding Obama-Boehner bromance.

Shockingly, the president was left waiting by the phone one day last week while the speaker would not take or return his calls. At some point, Obama, the jilted lover, simply gave up and went to bed.

The White House feels that its foes not only want to stomp on any reasonable compromise; they want to make sure that Obama never has the presidency he dreamed of, one that isn’t about digging out from W.’s intractable messes; one that helps the parties reason together and move into the future.

Obama, after all, is a new entity. He’s not really a Democratic president. Or a Republican one. He’s the first Independent president, creating his own party.

Maureen's Op-Ed continues in the New York times, here.............


Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's Time to Watch the History Channel's "Third Reich: The Rise and Fall"

I highly recommend ordering your own DVD set of History Channel's "Third Reich - The Rise & Fall" in support of this documentary's magnificent contribution to our world's history.

This program shows how Hitler and the Nazis came into power, the reasons behind it, and why the German people embraced Hitler the way they did.  Apart from the other Nazi shows made in America, this one does not denounce Nazism. It just presents the facts as told by the people who were there. This is one of the best shows on the Third Reich ever made.
THE FALL - 1/6

THE RISE - 1/6

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Order your own DVD set copy of History Channel's magnificent "Third Reich - The Rise & Fall".


Saturday, July 23, 2011

The World's Last Uncontacted Tribe and The New Human Tribe

By Madison Reed 

There's something about such news about one of the world's last uncontacted tribes - about the idea of being untouched and free from modern civilization's burdensome and sometimes cruel overlay - where we could be refreshed by the beauty of innocence, purity of heart and a direct link of Man to Gaia - that causes me my own feelings of longing for such things, to surface, and a sadness that we have drifted so far away from Man's true beautiful reality.

Why can't we build a global civilization where prosperous and happy families in villages and cities across the world raise children with uncontaminated minds, who grow up to be enlightened beings who manifest the fruits of Love, and who know no hatred; who become explorers of everything there could possibly be to know about Creation, and our limitless human potential?

-Like a peaceful, modern and technologically advanced human civilization, plugged-in to higher spiritual intelligence, and completely free from religious superstition, myth and dogma, FOREVER - unbarred and permanently linked into our relationship with the living Earth and all the wonderful creatures that populate the Universe - with villages; cities and governments; economies and modes of transportation and manufacture, that cause no harm to the health, progress and beauty of our living world?

In reflection about the recent grim news about the right-wing Christian fundamentalist, Anders Behring Breivik, who attacked and killed so many people in Norway yesterday, I'd like to ask everyone if they believe our minds and hearts have become so jaded and polluted that such a vision as I've mentioned is too much of a challenge for us? Or are we so lost spiritually, and disconnected from the Creator, that we choose hatred over love, and imagine evil to be good?  My answer is, "No" to my last questions, and "YES, we can build the world that many of us long to see."  I believe the new human tribe that will help us manifest these realities, is already here, born and growing up, to become our future teachers.

Related news:

Norway attacks: Anders Behring Breivik was active member of far-right party 

Right-wing Christian Extremist Charged in Norway


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Older manuscript debunks '666' as number of the 'Beast' - Will Christianity and Satanism survive?

By Chris Wattie

Satanists, apocalypse watchers and heavy metal guitarists may have to adjust their demonic numerology after a recently deciphered ancient biblical text revealed that 666 is not the fabled Number of the Beast after all.

A fragment from the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament, dating to the Third century, gives the more mundane 616 as the mark of the Antichrist.

Ellen Aitken, a professor of early Christian history at McGill University, said the discovery appears to spell the end of 666 as the devil’s prime number.

“This is a very nice piece to find,” Dr. Aitken said. “Scholars have argued for a long time over this, and it now seems that 616 was the original number of the beast.”

The tiny fragment of 1,500-year-old papyrus is written in Greek, the original language of the New Testament, and contains a key passage from the Book of Revelation.

Where more conventional versions of the Bible give 666 as the “number of the beast,” or the sign of the anti-Christ whose coming is predicted in the book’s apocalyptic verses, the older version uses the Greek letters signifying 616.

“This is very early confirmation of that number, earlier than any other text we’ve found of that passage,” Dr. Aitken said. “It’s probably about 100 years before any other version.”

The fragment was part of a hoard of previously illegible manuscripts discovered in an ancient garbage dump outside the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus. Although the papyrus was first excavated in 1895, it was badly discoloured and damaged. Classics scholars at Oxford University were only recently able to read it using new advanced imaging techniques.

Elijah Dann, a professor of philosophy and religion at the University of Toronto, said the new number is unlikely to make a dent in the popularity of 666.

“Otherwise, a lot of sermons would have to be changed and a lot of movies rewritten,” he said with a laugh. “There’s always someone with an active imagination who can put another interpretation on it.

“It just shows you that when you study something as cryptic and mystic as the Book of Revelation there’s an almost unlimited number of interpretations.”

The book is thought to have been written by the disciple John and according to the King James Bible, the traditional translation of the passage reads: “Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”

But Dr. Aitken said that translation was drawn from much later versions of the New Testament than the fragment found in Oxyrhynchus. “When we’re talking about the early biblical texts, we’re always talking about copies and they are copies made, at best, 150 to 200 years after [the original] was written,” she said.

“They can have mistakes in the copying, changes for political or theological reasons … it’s like a detective story piecing it all together.”

Dr. Aitken said, however, that scholars now believe the number in question has very little to do the devil. It was actually a complicated numerical riddle in Greek, meant to represent someone’s name, she said.

“It’s a number puzzle — the majority opinion seems to be that it refers to [the Roman emperor] Nero.”

Revelation was actually a thinly disguised political tract, with the names of those being criticized changed to numbers to protect the authors and early Christians from reprisals. “It’s a very political document,” Dr. Aitken said. “It’s a critique of the politics and society of the Roman empire, but it’s written in coded language and riddles.”
Original Source:  National Post, Canada. May 4, 2005.  Chris's article is no longer available, but preserved here on

See also this Youtube video:


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Halts Enforcement of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

LCR Case, on which Servicemembers United Executive Director is the Sole Veteran Plaintiff, Succeeds Again in Gutting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, today enthusiastically applauded the order issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifting its own stay of a lower court's injunction barring enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. This move once again renders "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" unenforceable by the Pentagon.

"With the wait for certification dragging out beyond a reasonable time frame, the Court has once again stepped in to require the Pentagon to stop enforcing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and this time it very well may be for good," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole veteran plaintiff on the case. "I am proud to have worked personally worked with Log Cabin on this case for more than five years now and to have represented the gay military community as the sole named veteran on this lawsuit. Despite the criticisms and years of waiting, this case has yet again successfully eviscerated this outdated, harmful, and discriminatory law."

The Log Cabin Republicans vs. U.S.A. lawsuit is the only contemporary successful challenge to the constitutionality of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, which requires the Department of Defense to abruptly fire any servicemember found to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips found the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law to be unconstitutional after a two-week trial, and issued an order barring enforcement of the law worldwide. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently issued a stay of that order pending appeal by the government. Today's order from the Ninth Circuit overturns its own previous stay, rendering "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" once again unenforceable.

Nicholson added, "Servicemembers should still remain extremely cautious with information regarding their sexual orientation for the time being. The issue remains in a state of flux, although guarded optimism is certainly warranted."

For more information about Servicemembers United and the gay military community, please visit our new home on the web at


Finger length may have link to penis length: study

Hands may say more about their owners than commonly thought, especially in the case of men.

Men whose index fingers are shorter than their ring fingers may have longer penises, according to a South Korean study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology.

"According to our data ... the shorter index (second) finger than ring (fourth) finger you have, the longer stretched penile length you have," wrote Tae Beom Kim at the urology department of Gachon University Gil Hospital in Incheon, South Korea, in reply to questions from Reuters.

Previous studies have shown strong evidence that prenatal testosterone may determine finger development as well as penile length, a relationship that Kim and his colleagues launched a study to focus on.

The study involved 144 men suffering from urological problems that did not affect the length of their penis, which was measured under anesthesia.

The measurements were later compared to the difference in length between their second and fourth fingers on the right hand. Previous studies have shown that the right hand may be more sensitive to the influence of testosterone.

The so-called "digit ratio" in this study refers to the length of the index finger divided by the length of the ring finger. The lower the ratio, the study suggests, the longer the penis may be.

The findings offered "circumstantial evidence that prenatal testosterone is responsible for both traits (penile length and digit formation,)" said Denise McQuade at Skidmore College in New York, who was not involved in the study.

"Digit ratio is non-invasive and easy to measure, yet may provide clues about an individual's prenatal history. Thus, combined with other information, digit ratio offers the potential for clinical usefulness," wrote McQuade in an email reply to questions from Reuters.

Female index and ring fingers tend to be about the same length, she added.

A study last year said that men with long index fingers have a lower risk of prostate cancer.

Researchers at Britain's Warwick University and the Institute of Cancer Researcher found that men whose index finger is longer than their ring finger were one-third less likely to develop the disease than men with the opposite pattern of finger length.

(Tan Ee Lyn; editing by Elaine Lies)

Source: Reuters