Thursday, December 29, 2005

Happy Leap Second!!

What in God’s name am I yapping about you ask? Well let me tell you. On the night of December 31st as you’re eagerly awaiting the stroke of midnight. It will actually take a second longer. You see our planet’s rotation and revolution around the Sun aren’t in perfect sync with our methods of time keeping. It takes the Earth a little less than a day to rotate on its axis. A year is a bit shorter than the time it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun. So scientists have decided to tack on an extra second this year.

Why bother adjusting? Because if we didn’t have leap seconds and years where we add an extra day on the calendar eventually Christmas would be in the middle of summer. Our calendar would lose more and more time in comparison with our place in the solar system and stuff would get confusing.

Also if I may add our Earth is getting slower as well. Our rotation is slowing as we speak It’s nothing to worry about in your lifetime but old Mother Earth is getting slower in her old age. At one point very early in our planet’s history it’s estimated that our days were about ten hours long. So I guess you’d have to choose work or sleep in a ten-hour day. But as the Moon’s gravity has gently tugged on us, we’ve slowed. Eventually a day will be 25 hours long and I’m sure someone will find a way to get an extra hour of work out of somebody.

Anyway I’m really hoping the big New Year’s countdown goes just like this, 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…1…0. Just the thought of people having to wait an extra second and have no idea why is amusing to me. I like to cause trouble though so your mileage may vary.

I’m only bringing this up because so few people pay any attention to news that doesn’t involve politics or celebrity. Things like leap seconds don’t get a lot of play in the media. It’s a shame. I really think we’d be a better off nation if TV gave more of what we need like science and real debate on its programs. The gossip and propaganda and constantly stooping to the lowest common denominator really does us no good. We can do better. Unfortunately we seem to settle for very little in this country.

I could say more I suppose but I got an extra second to make plans for. Have a good and safe and enlightening New Year.

If I don’t post again this year, thank you for reading my blog. I really appreciate it. As always you’re very welcome to leave comments both good and bad. My thanks to you once again.

Monday, December 26, 2005

“Father Christmas!
Give us some money!
Don’t want no more of your stinking toys!”
Father Christmas
The Kinks

Sorry about my little Kinks outburst there. I was feeling all yuletide and all. Let’s face up to facts Father Christmas by The Kinks rocks. If you don’t think so you are a dweeb. Sorry about your luck.

Whilst in the midst of my Christmas sugar buzz I settled in to watch the NBC Nightly News and heard a few rather depressing statistics.

First of about 38 million Americans are living on the verge hunger. That’s right kids in a country with a weight problem we also got 38 million hungry folks. That’s almost one out of every eight Americans has an empty belly.

Also, that number of 38 million was about 36 million last year. That’s right 2 million more people are living with not enough to eat. Wow! Our economy is really booming huh? Well it’s apparently not booming for everyone.

Also disturbingly enough that report also stated that food banks all over the country are running short. Given the catastrophes that haven taken places in the last year, tsunamis and hurricanes, food banks have been pushed to the brink. Just to make matters a bit worse, donations are down.

Now I can already hear the steam pouring off of someone’s forehead. I know what you’re thinking. It’s their entire fault. They need to work harder. Those bums need to get a job. Well you’re wrong. Unfortunately this country has a new problem, the working poor. There’s people out their with two jobs that can’t feed their kids or themselves. Given this country’s low minimum wage, high cost of medication and fuel it’s really not that surprising.

One of the things that truly irritates more so than almost anything else about our current economic status, we have far too many privileged people making decisions that impact the less fortunate. All these politicians, most of who have lived their entire lives in relative comfort, are making decisions for people they don’t understand. It would be very hard to a Bush or a Kerry or a Kennedy to truly understand what it is to suffer from poverty. So largely the poor go ignored. Plus they’re usually too busy out looking for food and such to make a lot of political noise. So once again they don’t get the attention they deserve.

How come we can cough up 453 billion dollars for the defense budget but still cut social programs like Medicaid? Me thinks our national priorities are a wee bit askew. How secure are we if we have overflowing arms warehouses and empty bellies?

Capitalism always fails the poor. It’s why I’m not such a big fan of it. I can’t bring myself to think that any humane society would leave its people hungry, ill, ignorant or abused. Oh calm down. I’m not suggesting that we totally abandon Adam Smith and his economic voodoo. But we must stop leaving people in such bad shape. Our society makes no progress if we are not all making it together.

“Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Have yourself a good time.
Just remember the kids that got nothing.
As you’re drinking all your wine.”
Father Christmas
The Kinks

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hey kids!

Sorry about the lack of posts here recently. I got lots to talk about so this is going to be one long rambling mess. Enjoy!

What exactly does George Bush have to do to get kicked out of office? Why aren’t the American people out in the streets protesting and demanding impeachment? Under the guidance of this smirking idiot monkey boy the following atrocities have occurred: a war under false pretenses, a city left to drown, a CIA agents name was leaked and we have violated our precious Constitution with illegal wire taps. Did I miss anything?

On the subject of the wiretaps please don’t give me that worthless “we’re at war” nonsense. All this administration has ever succeeded at doing is scaring the living Hell out of the American people. I’m sick of it. All Bush does every time he gets into trouble is mention September 11th. Mention how he’s protecting us from getting hit again. But what use is it if he’s violating our Constitution and killing off poor people with his crusade and indifference?

Have you noticed how defensive Bush has gotten about this whole illegal wiretap thing being leaked? Yet when Valerie Plame’s name was leaked he was cool, calm and collected. I wonder why that is? Could he have been happy when one happened and not too overjoyed at the other? It kind of seems like it, doesn’t it?

Of course it’s all over the media today that about a year ago Bush said you have to get warrants to wiretap someone’s phone. Isn’t it great when the media does their job?

Also have you noticed we’re fighting in Southwest Asia all of the sudden? When I first head Southwest Asia mentioned I got a little nervous. I thought we were bombing someone else. Then my sense of geography kicked in and realized those Godless weasels just changed the terms to throw everyone off of the scent. Remember GSAVE (Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism)? It’s what they tried to rename the “War on Terror” as. It only lasted about a day or two. But they’re always worried about semantics. Which shows how much they think of the American people. They seem to think that we’re dumb enough to be fooled by a new name for something the people have become fed up with. Let’s rename impeachment. Maybe we can fool Bush and Cheney.

In Pennsylvania it was decided that teaching intelligent design in science class was unconstitutional. HOORAY! Now I’m not naïve enough to believe that this will end the debate. But in this day and age it’s always nice to see reason and logic score a win.

Just let me get this in quickly. If I hear one more empty headed anchor say, “the theory of intelligent design” I swear to God I will slap them. Intelligent design is not a theory. Theories can be tested for validity. Intelligent design cannot be tested. It is philosophy not science.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Stanley “Tookie” Williams is scheduled to die soon. He was convicted back in 1981 of four murders in California. He also founded the Crips a notorious gang. Today his attorneys exhausted all possible avenues for a stay of execution.

If you’ve read my blog before you know I’m absolutely anti-capital punishment. I think Mr. Williams should live. I believe the state has no right to execute people regardless of the crime.

But as always I have some issues. First off is this whole Save Tookie campaign. While I’m all for opposing the death penalty, I really don’t like the idea of making special cases for certain individuals. This country has executed over 1000 people and the media usually don’t say squat. But Tookie appears all over the TV. Why is that? Because Hollywood is involved and so the little media sheep just follow along.

Now I’m not trying to say that Hollywood should never have an opinion. I would never deny anyone their right to speak their mind. But as soon as Jamie Foxx and Snoop Dogg got involved, it was all just a big circus waiting to happen.

I know he’s written books against gang violence and that’s commendable. But allow me to remind you of one thing, there are no atheists in foxholes. Would Stanley Williams have done things if he were free? If not for the shadow of death hanging over him would he have converted? It’s hard to say. But conversion is not reason for overturning a sentence. It never has been and I doubt it ever will be. It’s easy to say things and do things when you’re trying to avoid death. But is he sincere? Call me a cynic but I need a lot of proof of conversion when we are dealing with a guy who founded a brutal street gang.

I want Stanley Williams to live. As I want all death row inmates to live. I just with the protesters was making a better case for why he should live.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

There is sad news today. ACLU-backed guerilla forces stormed the North Pole today. At least 250 elves were slaughtered and another 750 were taken hostage. The whereabouts of Santa Claus is unknown at this time. The ACLU has stated victory is near in their war on Xmas.

Relax, I’m kidding.

There is no war on Christmas or Xmas or Jesus’ birthday. It just isn’t happening. I really do not care what Bill O’Reilly or John Gibson try and tell you. There is no war on Christmas. So calm down, inhale and relax. It’s all going to be OK.

First let me rant about the idea that saying “Happy Holidays” is like slapping around Jesus. First off, holiday is derived from “Holy Day” so using the term holiday is really all that anti-religious. Also remember that there are multiple winter religious holidays such as; Hanukkah, Ramadan and Kwanzaa. It would be rude not to include everyone. It would also be time consuming to name them all. So using the good old stand by of “Happy Holidays” just makes sense. Plus people have been saying “Happy Holidays” for quite a while now. Why is there a problem with this phrase now? When I was a wee lad I remember people using the phrase and no one through a fit. So why is there all this fuss now? I think I know and I’ll get to that in a minute.

Please don’t give me Christmas or Christ is the reason for the season nonsense either. Do you know why Christmas is such a popular holiday? Is it religious significance? Well not totally, Easter is actually a holier day in Christianity than Christmas, if you want to split hairs. Plus most people can’t even get their butt in a pew on Christmas or it’s about the only day they do. So it’s not faith. What makes Christmas so important is gifts. I guarantee if you if people got stuff on Labor Day you’d see a lot more Labor Day parties. Also because merchants make so much of their profit off of Christmas they shove it down our throats. Heaven forbid they not have a merry wealthy season.

I find all this consumerism on Christmas a bit ironic. The only time Jesus ever showed rage in the Bible is when he chased the merchants out of the temple. So Christmas being so commercial strikes me as a bit odd.

Also let me get this in quickly. Xmas is not removing the Christ from Christmas. Xmas comes from the transliteration of the Greek word, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ. This means Christ. The X in Xmas is the Greek letter chi, which is the first letter in Christ’s name in Greek. It is not an attempt to put an X on Jesus or remove him from the day. So have yourself a merry little Xmas and relax.

Have you ever heard a rabbit scream? I did once. A snake looking for sustenance was killing the rabbit. As the snake squeezed the life from the rabbit it made a horrible sound. The kind of thing you want to forget but can’t.

I think the Christian leaders so angry about the phrase “Happy Holidays” or gay marriage or a good many other things are a lot like that unlucky bunny. You see gentle reader; Christianity is a withering religion in a good part of the world. In my own church attendance is down about 30% of the last 10 years. People have moved to non-denominational faiths or new age faiths over the last several years. As these ministers see their flock leaving they scream like a scared rabbit. They’re terrified. What are they afraid of? They don’t want to lose the power they have. I personally could care less someone else believes. I could be the last Catholic and I wouldn’t care. But the ministers and pastors and such don’t want to lose their flocks. So they turn to that old-time religion stand-by, fear. Scare the flock and they will come back running.

Yes this explains those blowhards O’Reilly and Gibson to. They got to constantly tell you about this enemy or that enemy and then show how they are allegedly keeping you safe. But I’d sooner place my personal safety in the hands of some Mafia Don than anyone from Fox News. I’m odd like that.

So enjoy the season no matter what you celebrate. I believe it would be horribly offensive to Jesus to say anything else. So I bid you peace, love and understanding.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Have you ever said something about yourself, that you thought was quite normal, and had someone look at you like you have a third eye in your forehead? Sometimes they’ll even accuse you of being a liar. It maybe happens only to me for all I know. But it seems to happen a lot. Maybe I’m just a silly little freak. Anyway here’s my little list of thing about me that shock people for whatever reason.

I don’t drink. I have drunk in the past. I have drunk a lot in the past. I have drunk a bit too much in the past. I have drunk until my belly decided I’d had too much and returned it. I don’t drink anymore however. I just don’t like it. I don’t like hangovers or acting like a damn fool or the risks you take by drinking or the taste of it. So I just stopped. I came to the conclusion I was only drinking because other people around me were drinking so I put an end to it. Yet every time I tell someone I do not drink they look at me like I just told them I like to run around the house naked singing show tunes.

Why is drinking so accepted? I mean look at what drinking is really. You drink a liquid that lowers inhibitions and generally makes you way too emotional. You drink because your life sucks and you want to escape. You drink to cope with your day’s stress. Yeah this is what I want to do. I know I’m weird like this but I’d rather just cope stone sober with life’s little stresses and move on.

I’ve never smoked a cigarette or a joint or did any drugs. I’m serious. I just never wanted to do any of this. So I did not. Plus I saw what smoking did to people in my family and decided that wasn’t the road for me. So no tobacco for me thanks. I always found people who were high rather annoying. So again I decided to avoid being like them. I’m anti-social like that.

I don’t like cologne. It just smells like wet animals or it has that awful harsh almost acidic smell to it. I just don’t like it. One salesperson insinuated that my lack of cologne was the reason for my lack of a woman. I shall assume she wasn’t a really good salesperson.

I don’t find Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson attractive. Paris is way too skinny and has a face like the ass end of a dolphin. Simpson is physically OK but so dumb and so bereft of talent it makes my head hurt. A pretty face isn’t enough. Substance always is superior to flash.

I don’t own a cell phone. I’ve already covered my disdain for these devices so I shall not say too much more. I just don’t want the expense and I don’t really need one. So why bother?

I’m not overly concerned whether or not I have a girlfriend. This is not to say if the right woman would happen along that I would resist. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But I don’t actively seek out relationships. I’m just not that worried about it. If it happens it happens. If the right cute red-haired girl (I’m weak for the cute redheads) came along I’m sure I could fall for her. But I just don’t sit around worrying about when I’m going to find dates.

I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies. Let’s be honest most of what Hollywood is cranking out sucks. So why bother? I prefer reading and music. I prefer a good night under the clear starry sky. I prefer a good meal with someone who can carry on a decent conversation. This isn’t to say I hate all TV or movies but I just don’t go out of my way to see a lot of it. When I do watch TV or sit through a movie I’m usually bored silly. I’m weird like that.

Until next time cyber land.