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BREAD AND OTHER MYSTERIES

August 14th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

Many years ago, well, okay… many, many years ago when I was young I visited a Synagogue with other students in our class. The Rabbi was a fascinating and very engaging person. He said one thing, though, that troubled me a bit. He said, “Ya know, under the sea of Galilee there is a break-water wall, and at certain times it’s just below the water, and at other times it is visible.” The implication of course, was that Jesus didn’t really walk on water; he walked on a wall that was just under the water.
Well, I got to thinking about the entire story. You see, in the version of the story that I have read, Peter tries to walk on water as well, and proceeds out of the boat, stepping towards Jesus, and at some point, of course, he falls in. It occurred to me that this was very strange indeed. You see, between the two of them, Peter was the fisherman who lived his life and made his money out on the Sea of Galilee. His father before him was probably a fisherman. Jesus was not a fisherman by trade. He was a carpenter. He made his living on land. So the question is, “How is it that the fisherman didn’t know that the break-water wall was there, but the carpenter did?” An even more important question is, “How is it that this fisherman avoided wrecking his boat against that wall that sat just below the surface of the sea, considering that he didn’t know it was there?” In short, the rabbi’s view, or intimation that Jesus didn’t actually walk on water, is not really sensible. It may be true that there is a breakwater wall. There may be many, but Peter would have known more about its location than Jesus.

There are many attempts by people to explain away miracles. Some of these attempts are by the very people who profess to teach us the scriptures, people within our own religions. A couple of weeks ago, at the Church service which I partook in, the gospel being read was the one where Jesus fed multitudes with a few loaves and fishes. The deacon proceeded to present, as though it were a novel and fresh idea, that it was possibly not really a miracle wherein Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes, but, no: it was really a miracle of the heart where the multitudes began pitching in their own surplus of loaves and fishes that they had brought along. After all, isn’t the miracle of the softened heart, the greedy heart made generous a far greater miracle than simply multiplying loaves and fishes?

Priests, deacons and others must have a book they go to called, ‘Used Sermons’. The fact that they present these sermons as though it is the fresh new revelation from God that they were just endowed with that very morning is even more troubling.

About fifteen years ago there was an interesting discovery made in the area of genetics. It was discovered that the DNA of yeast, though much simpler than that of humans, has a startling similarity to the DNA of humans in many respects. I don’t remember who did the study, but the thought of it has stayed with me, and when I think of Jesus words, “I am the bread of life,” it has even more depth and mystery for me. I must conclude that his miracle of salvation, the shed blood that somehow not only saves us, but is capable of transforming us even as we walk the earth, is a far greater miracle than any, and is even greater than any miracle of the heart, because all other miracles are made possible by this one miracle. This is the miracle that is, in fact, shared with us in the breaking of the bread, when he fed the five thousand, and again when he fed the four thousand, and again at the last supper, and again, after the resurrection on the road to Emmaus, and again when Saint Paul shares the message to break the bread, and again and again, over and over, he multiplies himself for us. There is no greater miracle.
In fact, after Jesus performed the miracle, the crowds who followed him sought him out, and he said to them, “You seek me not because you saw miracles, you seek me because you did eat of the loaves and were filled… the bread of God is he who has come down from heaven.” I don’t recall anyone saying to him, “Well, no Lord, actually, it really wasn’t you who fed us, you see, Isaac here brought a little satchel of loaves and fishes, and so did Joseph, and well, we just started sharing…” Didn’t anyone bring potatoes or wine? How come when the baskets were gathered up with the left-overs, there wasn’t a surprising collection of barley, knishes, figs and salt beef?

The miracle of walking on the waters occurs shortly after Jesus feeds the five – thousand. Is it any surprise that a being so buoyed up with the Holy Spirit of God, a being who is the living bread moving above the waves can multiply loaves that he has blessed and broken? I suspect that on that day, any loaf of bread within 100 feet of Jesus was in danger of bursting into many loaves.

Copyright August 14th 2011 by John P. Schumake

Posted in Social Issues | Comments (0)


The Doubt Ceiling

August 7th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

An archaeologist in some far distant future digs up a fallen monument in what has now become a desert.
At last he is able to find some clues regarding the past of a once great nation.

Gently brushing away the clay and dirt that have filled in the chiseled stone he is able to read,

“,… and President Barack Obama…
…was a very mighty man…”
Nervously, the archaeologist brushes away the dirt, switching to a tinier and more accurate brush.
“…was a very mighty man of… G… O…”

Impatiently he scrapes away at what appears to be the last letter, and perhaps some punctuation…

“…a very mighty man..of.. G.. O.. L…”
The scientist is puzzled.
What is “G. O. L. F” ?

From a practical standpoint, the one thing that has made our nation great is the entrepreneurial spirit. It is the single most outstanding quality. Inventiveness, whether in industry or in business has caused the United States to stand out far above any other nation. It is also this inventiveness that stands to suffer the most by coerced redistribution of wealth, such as in Socialism.
It is important to know that most of the early American Industrialists and Inventors at last became great philanthropists, seeking, in fact to give away most, if not all of their wealth.
Most of them were generous individuals; some were evil, manipulative and controlling. Some were, at different times, both. A study of these great men is truly a study of the transformation of individuals as well as the transformation of a nation.
However, had these same inventors been suppressed by a system of extremely high taxes and massive government legislation regarding everything one does, they could never have become the great inventors, industrialists, and finally the philanthropists that they became. With all of the good and bad that both draw from the spirit of invention, the massive creation of American jobs in the burgeoning of new industries never would have happened.
What I think is more key is this: How does a person, or a nation transform, when it is boxed in by stringent parameters designed to keep everyone equal, parameters that dictate what you can say, what you can eat, whether or not you can defend yourself, what massive amounts you will pay in taxes to feed a bottomless government, whether or not you can even dream to start a business operation with all of the regulations you will face, whether or not you will have any choices in the health care you must provide your employees in your beginning business, whether or not you will have any choices in where you purchase your own health care, whether or not you will be able to borrow money for a house, school or a business? How do Cornelius Vanderbilt, George Westinghouse, John D. Rockefeller, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and T. Boone Pickens become the angry, avaricious, creative, dynamic inventors of whole realms of commerce and industry, the spinners of GOLD, the visionaries that caused new sorts of factories, different lines of communication, novel ways of conducting business, better ways of harnessing energy, amazing ways of working, and very individual ways of giving? I have a better question: who is the person who is not arriving at the forefront in our current time of crisis? Perhaps he or she would like to step forth, but can’t.

Speaking of words that start with G…O…L, I don’t know about you, but I am wondering: with all that has occurred these past few days regarding the debt ceiling, Congress’ and the President’s questionable efforts, the market’s response, why gold isn’t fast becoming the preferred safe haven. I’m not saying that I want it to be. I’d rather human kindness was the safe haven, but given the things you can buy and sell on the market, why aren’t people flocking to gold and silver?
You would think that the Treasuries of just about any nation at this point would not be considered a safe bet. So what, really is a safe bet?

Well…

Jesus said in the gospels, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” And he also said, “Do not heap up treasures where moth and rust will corrupt them and thieves will break in and steal.” Evidently, the same is true of nations, just as it is of individuals. We have been watching the national treasure being broken into and robbed, we have been witnessing the corruption of our worth as a nation, and I do not mean simply financial worth. This has been a dynamic, inventive, avaricious, yet kind, thoughtful and philanthropic nation. Those qualities arrive at a nation hitching a ride on the hearts of people. You cannot regulate them.

Copyright August 7th by John P. Schumake

Posted in Humor, National Energy, Religion, Social Issues | Comments (2)


To See Things Through

July 17th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

A number of years ago I picked up a book entitled, Nostradamus, The Man Who Saw Through Time. Interestingly, the author, Lee McCann completed and published the book in 1941, so his speculations about Events of World War II, Hitler’s activities, and many future events are interesting when considering that the author did not know the outcome of the events. I purchased the book not knowing what to think about Nostradamus. Was he some itinerant soothsayer, an eight-ball prophet, someone with questionable religious beliefs? After looking into the book, I found myself talking out loud with regard to the author’s view or interpretation of Nostradamus’ writings. At various points I found myself saying, “No! Can’t you see! That’s Charles DeGaulle! He’s the one from Lille, France! …or, “those are the horrible lime pits. You poor man, you were unaware of the horrible things Hitler did.” In any case, I found myself participating in a historical match-up.

I hadn’t looked at the book for quite some time, but then, just the other day I pulled it off the shelf to have a casual look. On one of the very last pages there was reference to a particular writing of Nostradamus wherein he makes reference to the very last popes to be, supposedly, in the History of Christendom. Interestingly, the author Lee McCann makes reference to a prophet named Malachy (not the Biblical Malachi) who wrote also of the last popes, and both Nostradamus and Malachy seem to place this phenomenon, from what I can see, in the times that you and I are currently walking the earth. Now this may or may not be true, but one statement in particular caught my eye. It was this writing from a quatrain of Nostradamus,
“The last one but to be called pope,
Will take Diana for his day and repose,
He will wander far on account of his distracted head,
Seeking to deliver a great people from economic ruin.”

It was the ‘economic ruin’ part that caught my eye. I look at what’s being played out in Congress now with regard to the debt ceiling and the stand-off, almost wishing that I had the same sort of bird’s-eye view of history that I have reading this old Nostradamus book.
I hear pundits stating, “Since Franklin Roosevelt a President has never been re-elected who raised taxes, or, since Franklin Roosevelt, a president has never been re-elected with these staggering unemployment numbers.” But my answer to that is, “This should really be no-sweat for this President, since he has been reading and living from The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Playbook from day one of his presidency. In fact, it occurred to me that an avid and confirmed acolyte of the Saul Alinsky approach to overturning your capitalist society would actually welcome anything that pushes the stock markets, bond markets and economy in general into a state resembling the last Great Depression. The ensuing dependency on the still largest and most powerful organization in the World, The U.S. Government, would be almost immediate, and welcome by any advocate of Re-structuring. We’ve seen it done before.
There is no question that recently many nations throughout the world have been facing economic ruin. I now see what I could not see before. I see why that might concern a Pope; the evnt could plummet people all over the world into a strange and distasteful state, economically confusing and socially coerced by heartless intellectuals masquerading as ‘the concerned’. Just as the strange and distasteful state of Socialism in Russia left people in an oppressive social environment, a hopeless economic state and a generally depressing malaise for 70 years, so could government dependencies in nations around the world.
How convenient for a president who is a great advocate of redistribution, and a powerful and controlling central government to have someone to blame for the downgrading of our credit, the tumbling markets, the collapsing bond ratings, and… my, my… the need for higher taxes ala FDR, and the Big Federal Government to step in everywhere and see things through.

Copyright July 17th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

*Note: I do not necessarily wholly concur with nor endorse the web-links that I point to. They provide an interesting look, perspective, or reference. The context of my writing must be in all cases considered.

Posted in History, Religion, Social Issues | Comments (2)


Recovery Room

July 10th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

I am currently recovering from an injury which, while it is not the worst thing I have ever been through in my life, is absolutely no fun. It will take a long time to heal. I am fortunate in that I am living at a time when medical technology is at its high-point, and is well able to deal with the sort of muscle injury that I had received. If all of the recommendations and plans of the new Obama Health Plan are to be read and believed, then its fortunate that I had this surgery now, albeit paying for my own insurance and deductibles. For, under a very socialized, regulated plan where participants, like my insurance company would be forced to follow certain guidelines impacting my age group, it is a question, to me at least, as to whether I would have been a candidate for this surgery. You see, the surgery wasn’t absolutely necessary, and I could have lived my life with considerably depleted strength in my arm, and reduced use, but I could have done it.

This brings me to an even more important question. Why is it that we want to be healthy? Why is it that we want to have all of our parts functioning as well as can be? I will submit, that if you are a person who has a family, it is so you can continue to serve your family in the ways that they need, to provide for them, to do the tasks that keep the household functioning. I remember many years ago falling off of a scaffold and landing on my back; while laying there, scared to try to move my fingers, I prayed, “Please God, let me be okay, I have three little children.”
A couple of days ago, a fan at a Rangers Game in Arlington, Texas reached for a ball and flipped out of the stands. He was injured, but conscious when he told the paramedics to please get his little son who was still up in the stands. Sadly, the man died on the way to the hospital.
Something in our minds shifts its focus when we become parents from an internal statement of, “This is My World.” to “This Is Our World.” An internal photograph of ourselves is replaced by a family photo, in the healthiest of circumstances. Sometimes that doesn’t seem to happen. Sometimes, we have mothers or fathers who lose sight of that internal image. Sometimes this happens to the great detriment of the other family members.
About 10 days before I tore the muscle in my arm, I was putting up a cabinet in the basement that my wife had wanted. I started the project singing and talking to myself in various cartoon voices. (Okay, you have your little idiosyncrasies, I have mine.) After about 3 hours I wasn’t singing or having a good time. I was cussing, yelling, and even getting mad at God for not helping me find a screwdriver or something. At the end of the project I told my wife, “Don’t ever ask me to do anything like this again. I don’t want to do it. If you need something done, just don’t ask me.” My diatribe was even longer, with justifications, but that’s the short version. About a week later I was sitting with my arm in a sling watching my wife and daughter trying to put a window back on track that had come out of its guides. In the Old Days I would have rolled up my sleeves and said something like, “Get out of the way,” and proceeded to fix the window. With my arm all bandaged I had resorted to pointing at different mechanisms on the side of the window, saying, “Put it, there… No! No! To the left! Up a little!” Finally they looked at me, and I believe one of them thought out real loudly, “Don’t you have a book to read, or something?” It’s a drag not being able to help your family.
Don’t lose sight of that internal picture, even if it gets a little old and curled at the edges, even if you can’t quite be the person you feel you need to be. This is where prayer absolutely comes in. If you are accustomed to using it, do it even more. If not, then discover it. You will once again become powerful and strong, more than you had ever imagined.

Copyright July 10, 2012 by John P. Schumake

Posted in Social Issues | Comments (0)


The Life Is In the Blood

June 19th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

It was not my intention that any should die. Of course, I knew before we opened the vent that it was possible. I didn’t know the time of their nesting; in fact I didn’t even know what type of birds they were. They had made this a traditional nesting spot, and I had let it happen, forcing everyone in my household to endure birds jetting past them as they opened the door, even occasionally flying in to the house. It seemed reasonable that we would have to remove the birds. Still, it would have been far more fair if I had prepared their removal earlier in the season, before they began laying eggs.
When the eggs came tumbling accidentally out of the nesting, three of the four cracked. I heard my son say, “shi…it”. It wasn’t the sort of “sh…it” one says when one is disgusted or even angry. It was a more or less sonorous yet downhearted sort of expression, indicating some sort of sorrow, or disappointment.
“well,” I said, “at least they weren’t born yet. He looked up in total disbelief that I had even said that. Notwithstanding the fact that birds are hatched, and not born, it was clear from the blood that this was life, and it was well on its way to being next year’s pain in the neck dive-bombing around our front door.
It’s true enough that bird guano ends up attracting flies and subsequently maggots, and that’s reason enough to want them out. However, in some Franciscan sense they do have a right to a life, and if they are swallows, which I think we conjectured they might be, they eat their own weight (daily, I think) in mosquitoes, hornets, and wasps. It doesn’t take a mystic to know that Yin and Yang were at work here, and I had possibly upset a balance.
My son was just trying to help me out with a project I couldn’t quite get to myself, and Father’s Day seemed to be a good day to do it. (I’m thinking of writing a book on things to do with your children on Father’s day). While one swallow more or less might only impact a local eco-system, it became abundantly clear to me, if it had not been clear before, that , as the ancient scriptures say, “The life is in the blood.”
If a bird is worthless, which these were not, then clearly the egg is just as worthless, but, if a bird is of great value to the environment, the earth at large, then clearly, the egg and it’s developing embryo are of great value. Where and when did this great disparity evolve, that, a creature can be of ‘Inestimable Value!’ but it’s embryo is worthless. Logically, this cannot be so.
Fortunately, I believe in the power of forgiveness, so I believe that God, his ecosystem, my son, and the birds will all forgive me my lapse in judgment and timing. Humans, like other mammals, are capable of mutual learning.
I am glad for the time I get to spend with my children, the time when we joke and debate, do some tasks together, or sip coffee, plan and dream, or rest and muse, the time that proceeds from my parents, and proceeds from theirs, and flows, even now, from the beginning of time, from that first moment when God indicated, “Let there be Life on Earth.”

Copyright June 19th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

Posted in Humor, Religion, Social Issues | Comments (0)


Rising Tide

May 22nd, 2011 by Juan Zapatero

In 1811 Tecumseh gave his farewell address. The American Government had totally squelched and begun relocating the American Indians into a small sequestered portion of their own great land. By the time of the Civil War, the American Indians had been completely pushed off of their land.
They didn’t lose the land because they were waging wars against the White People. They didn’t lose the land because they were lobbing missiles into the lands occupied by the white man. They didn’t surround the White Man on three sides and attack mercilessly and unprovoked.

There have been many Hopi Indian Prophecies predicting a very watery future for this Great Land.

The year 1811 is not that long ago. It’s only 200 years ago.

President Obama has called for the people of Israel to return the borders of their land to the 1967 borders, the borders they had before they were attacked by Egypt, Syria and Jordan all at once, and won the land miraculously in a War that is known as the Six-day war.

The six days war was 44 years ago.
To ask Israel to return that land is to spit in the face of the Miracle of God.

Here’s where it gets interesting. There has been much speculation, and a reasonable amount of validation that the Native Americans of both North and South America may in fact be the 10 lost tribes of Israel which never returned from the Assyrian and ultimately the Babylonian Captivity. The only tribes to have returned were Benjamin and Judah.
There is a story that there is a great River called the Sambatyon, and that the ten lost tribes cannot cross it because it is too turbulent, and the only day that it is not turbulent is on the Sabbath.

Three Presidents have failed in an attempt to persuade the Palestinian people to live peaceably with Israel, and each attempt required Israel to give up land for peace. Jimmy Carter brokered a land for peace deal which ultimately failed to bring peace. Bill Clinton had brought Yasser Arafat all the way to the point of having pen in hand, ready to sign the Oslo accords which, again, represented Israel’s willingness to give up land in an exchange for Peace and recognition of Israel as a nation. Pen in hand, Arafat finally declined, set the pen down and didn’t sign. Recognition of Israel As a nation was just too alien a thought to him as it was to other Palestinians who supported him as their unquestioned leader.
Barack Obama’s complete lack of leadership in the Mideast and his rebuffing of our only ally has given the Green-Light to any purveyors of mayhem in the region.

In these last few years, two-hundred years since Tecumseh’s farewell, we have seen an incredible amount of flooding, swelling of rivers and destruction of our land due to flooding. Barack Obama, with a wry smirk on his face calls for Israel’s dramatic shrinking in size. Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in the United States to provide a blunt and honest reply to the American President. The Mississippi flood waters swell and the army core of engineers has to make a decision to open various flood gates and flood certain lands. People lose their houses. The lost tribes sit and wait while the waters rage. Soon, however, I suspect that the horrendous influx of water into the United States will draw the waters off from the Sambatyon. I believe that the lost tribes will then surely cross over.

After he bows low before the sheiks of oil, he bows down lower before a sea of oil.
As he calls for the land to shrink, his land will indeed shrink, for, it is… the Promised Land.

Copyright May 22, 2011 by Juan Zapatero

Posted in History, Social Issues | Comments (1)


Putting The Cart Before The Horse

April 3rd, 2011 by John P. Schumake

Why doesn’t it pay to put the cart before the horse?
I mean, presumably, one could develop a sort of cart that precedes the horse, with a treadmill attached on the rear, where the horse would walk and power the cart.
The treadmill would have to be attached to a sort of crankshaft, but you would never really have to yell, “Whoa! Boy…” Or “Whoa! Girl…” because all you would have to do is disengage the treadmill from the crankshaft that ultimately turns the rear (or front wheels if you have front-wheel drive). You would be essentially using a clutch to disengage the horsies.

Horse droppings would not need to be cleaned up, because they would automatically drop on the treadmill where they would then be picked up and compressed by a mechanism attached to the crankshaft.

Someone probably already thought of this back in the 18th century. It was probably me in a previous life, and here I am trying to get credit for it again because of lack of recognition the first time around. You see, the reason it never caught on is because people would then not know what to do with a perfectly good expression, “Putting the cart before the horse.”
It would make perfect sense to do so. “Why of course you should put the cart before the horse! Son, why didn’t you put the cart before the horse? Dang it! First get the job you want. Then go to school so you have the capabilities to do that job!”
I suppose we all do that, though, and it isn’t always that bad. Sometimes, if we don’t put the cart before the horse, we just never get moving. I’m that way a little bit. But really, it can be very counter-productive. You don’t get down to the business of what you know you really should be doing, because you’re doing something else that you really won’t need to do anyway if you don’t get done the main thing you should have done.
It’s a form of procrastination.

Why do we do that? Why do we put the cart before the horse? It’s because it is the cart we actually will be riding. It’s the cart that will be carrying our goods to market. We picture ourselves sitting up on the cart moving swiftly down the countryside. It’s a form of visualization, but…
…sadly, if we never hitch up the horse, Nay! (or Neigh!) if we never even have a horse, or if we have a horse and don’t take care of him, never feed, groom and exercise him, then the cart really won’t do us much good.
I would like to conclude these ramblings with a few wise words from Jethro Tull – not the Rock Band Jethro Tull, but the Jethro Tull who was born in March of 1674, invented the horse-drawn seed drill, and wrote the book entitled, Horse-hoeing Husbandry, which was said to have been one of the most cherished works in Thomas Jefferson’s library, until, of course, the library caught fire. I would love to quote a few words from Tull, but, I’m ashamed to admit, I have never read his works, and I have never had a copy of his book.
I will, however tell you this, “Giddy-Up” is just a quickened form of the phrase, “Get ye up.”

Copyright April 3d, 2011 by Earnest Publications

Posted in History, Humor, Social Issues | Comments (0)


The Hand

March 20th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

Why is it called a moratorium?
Why isn’t it called a lessatorium? We live in a world where the expedience and necessity of words to somehow bring up in one’s mind the image of what you are trying to convey is critical, unlike this sentence I just wrote, or typed if you will.
I suppose we are forever in danger of losing those links to our past, links that require you to research the historical significance of phrases we use today. I believe, though I cannot prove it, that there is a part of the brain that stores, either patternistically, or in genetically inherited records, that sort of information. I was watching porpoises out on the Gulf of Mexico surfacing and diving. Their sleek black and white bodies followed a graceful and almost soundless arch out of, and then back into the water. They have somewhere inside their fins, the bones of a five fingered hand. I suppose it is because they are mammals. What do they need with a five fingered hand?
As they arched gracefully out of the water I yelled at my friends to look, but by the time they had looked up, the water was flat and placid, no sign of porpoises. We went back to fishing. Again they emerged gracefully like an underwater Ferris wheel, just cresting barely above the surface. I yelled at my fellow fishing companions to look. Again they slipped under the waves unseen. We have five fingered hands. We have them in our mind and in our histories. Though the expedience of fishing and the necessity to move effortlessly through the sea has changed the way we behave, and we will soon not know how that has happened, we will always have the five-fingered hands.
Sometimes the change in our physical form is a result of a seeming necessity caused by powerful and unexpected events. The image of what we are becomes a little blurred. For a while, propelled out on the waves, or stepping through a field the image of the Creator becomes apparent.

Copyright March 20th, 2011 by Earnest Publications

Posted in History, Religion, Social Issues | Comments (2)


Before the Long Climb

March 13th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

I went to a funeral mass yesterday. The family of the man who died had become very dear to me, as some of the family members were so close to my sister who was murdered 29 years ago. There were many people there at the dinner following the funeral service who knew my sister, and of course as we talked about lives, where we had been, where we were hoping to go, or not to go, one thing became clear: Everyone’s life had been strongly impacted by the death of my sister. Friends of hers had gone through bouts of depression and all of the things that go with that, in varying degrees. For years I had just felt and looked at my own hurt. I am intrinsically a selfish person. This is not deliberate; I have just resisted the concern and love for others that comes with maturity.
This sad but welcome epiphany has brought me to the edge of that plateau where ideas camp out before a long climb. I am aware now of the pain that one person can cause so many people. The murderer is a person who fractures both the earth and atmosphere, the roads we walk on, and the air we now carefully breathe.
Yesterday, I saw in the eyes of the sons who had lost their father that incredible sense of loss that we feel when that mighty figure who has loomed over the nest like a protective canopy, is removed. No doubt, even though we reach an age when we can financially provide for ourselves, that gruff and gnarled figure who provides the damnedest resistance to our notions and ideas is a necessary part of what makes us strong and confident. I saw in the eyes of his daughter a different sort of pain. Something in my selfish and male nature does not allow me to understand it, but the intensity of the loss both draws me and makes me stand at a slight distance.
Weddings, funerals, baptisms – this is what we have. We live now in a three dimensional earth with colors and sounds that the human eye can see. The Creator could have given us a Six-dimensional universe and a broader range of colors in our vision. He could have given us a smaller range, as some animals have. We have what we have, and we see what we see, and eventually, we see what we have had.

Copyright March 13th, 2011 by Earnest Publications

Posted in Religion, Social Issues | Comments (0)


Collective Jargoning

March 6th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

I’m not sure what collective bargaining is for humans, but I do know what it is for aliens.
When we all elected (and I use the term elected very loosely) to come to earth there was little say in the matter amongst us individuals, outside of the fact that we had ostensibly voted in some council members to represent us (which is really just a perpetuated inter-galactic organized crime passed down Strogeristically from Blob boss to Blob boss, and named after Lars Stroger from Jupiter). The term could just as easily have been Daley-itish, after Hrep j8 Daley Mayor of Triton, son of Hrep m& Daley, also mayor of Triton… Well, anyway, we elected an inter-galactic –actually intra solar system – team of members to represent us against the Planet Harvesting management. It’s a SHAME THAT WE TAKE THAT ATTITUDE OF ‘AGAINST’, for that adverse emotional response actually encapsulates the reason why we lost the ability to produce a good inter-stellar, gravitational pull vehicle to move us from planet to planet.

Here’s the real problem for me. I could talk endlessly about the Blob Union’s inability to work with the management to compete against other life forms, and instead they took the same attitude that the vanishing Wisconsin Congressmen are taking today, “Ride a good horse till it drops.” So, here’s the problem for me:

The value of my own personal skills becomes muted. I mean, I have unique abilities that enhance my ability to bargain with any potential employer. For instance, I can read minds pretty well, I’m fluent in eight computer languages and six human languages, three interplanetary languages, and, of course, Martian; I’m certifiable… What I mean is, I have the ability to be certified on several planets regarding a host of their technologies. For example, on earth I am an MCSE, MCPSI, MCNPS, MCPS, and I also am an MIM certified Mason Contractor! I’ll tell you later what those other letters stand for if I have time. On Mars I was a 3FR__ – – -. That’s actually nine certifications in one sleeve, and you know how long a Martian sleeve is.

Here’s my complaint. If I possess all of these skills, plus I am only an animal carnivore, which makes me very marketable in many areas, and non-socially offensive*. – I have never eaten anything with a brain size larger than 36 oz’s. I have come under some criticism for that but, anyway… I have a huge library of thoughts, and I occasionally am blessed with the ability to foresee the future… so, here’s the question, “Why in the heck should I have to subjugate myself to some collective bargaining that essentially equalizes me with some Moron from Venus (that wasn’t sexist, there are four distinct different genders on Venus, just like Mars.) so, back to the question… Why should I have to say, “Okay, I’m equal to Svrejk over there, who can’t read a mind to save his soul, wouldn’t know a computer language if it bit him in the frontal lobe, and doesn’t bathe regularly. And yet, you want to go in and bargain for all of us, me, Svrejk, and those 600,000 idiots from Neptune, all as if we are just one giant bowl of pasta, and we are all going to get the same benefits, and everyone is going to hate us all equally because the idiots from Neptune can’t tie their shoes much less teach (Oh, yes did I mention that they are this Solar System’s teachers for, You guessed it, computer languages, human languages, and intra solar system languages!) No wonder we can’t compete with that amoeba-shaped universe where all of our manufacturing went… But you can’t fire them, no, you can’t fire them with a particle beam. Why? Because we are all under the same solar collective umbrella. And that, moi tovarisch, is collective bargaining.

Copyright by Earnest Publications March 6th, 2011 (Earth datetime)

*Socially non-offensive would have been a better way to say it, but it’s too late, as this was from a speech I gave at an invisible and heretofore unknown gathering.

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Ethics In Search Of Us

February 27th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

I have talked in the past with regard to what ‘our ethical behavior’ should be with regard to the treatment of bio-engineered creatures, certainly something we need to resolve as we are on the threshold of beholding the scary, perhaps invasively and presumptuously wrong, but, nevertheless, expected. Right at this moment, however, it has occurred to me, that it may be equally important that we should consider the opposite, that is, “What should their ethical treatment of us be?”
As it may be inevitable that each of us may someday be sitting across a table from and having a conversation with someone who has four functioning eyeballs, or, what is more likely, is that we will be conversing with ‘people’ who have more subtle differences in their makeup. For instance, they may be human in almost all ways, but they may have the brain of a porpoise. This is likely to happen only because scientists can’t resist.

So the question is, if I am talking to a being who has a 68 oz brain, and I only have a 64 oz brain, while I certainly should be concerned about my treatment of her or him. I must also, at this fairly early stage of the game, have to ask questions about her or his treatment of me! Where will they derive the models and input and notions for how it is they should treat us? They will derive them, no doubt, from our history, because, it not only follows us, but it does, in fact precede us. There is no such thing as algorithmic ethics. We will not be able to build into any creature which has finally experienced self-awareness a sort of mathematical algorithm that dictates ethics. This should be obvious. It goes against the rather unpredictable nature of ‘self-awareness’.

Have we been careful in crafting our past? -a past that we may hand into the hands of intellectually superior beings which we have crafted for our own… hah! …pleasure? Well, let’s see what information we have supplied them with:
We have told them that it’s okay to kill other persons under certain circumstances; it’s okay to torment other persons under certain circumstances; it’s okay to deny care to other persons under certain circumstances, and perhaps the sworst of all these because it deals with the futurity of humankind; it’s okay to destroy ‘Not fully formed human persons under certain circumstances.’
These ‘new and strange’ creatures. may not have that same unusual ethical regard for themselves that we have for ourselves. They may consider their own futurity in a far different light, and decide that the destruction of their own precious species at the unborn or aged stage is simply not a part of who they will be. Will they hold our own species to a higher standard than we have held ourselves?

Hmm.

Copyright February 27th by John P. Schumake

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Remembering Manfredo

February 20th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

I came into my twenty-first year like a mind-bleached android, the tool shed of my mind looted of all the tools I had acquired to enter into life. With the sort of bravery that comes with absolutely not caring about anything but bare-bones survival I met people, people who seemed to care, for lack of a better phrase, for my survival. People do that in our lives if we are fortunate. If we are very fortunate we meet the sort of people who not only possess the sort of tools that we need, but they seem to know that we need them, and they seem to have a way of being able to help us restock that trove* of implements so necessary for life.

There are people who have a strange and gifted quality of being able to perceive, no… to know and even interact with the people we are… tomorrow, in some far distant future, and they do it with an ease and camaraderie that places us into a unique and inalterable place and time. People are time travel devices. We enter into the room of their hearts, if they are good people, and we are transported to a dynamic peace, a festival of future and food, building and planning, sipping and resolving. If they are bad, we are sometimes transported by the mind of a confused desire into a warped landscape which we ultimately, by God’s grace, escape from, and we are, invariably, aided in our escape, by those who possess the heart, the soul, and the tools.

I now open the doors of my tool shed and see arcane tools, strange implements that I myself have fashioned out of need and memory. They serve unique purposes in all of the tiny aspects of hacking out my survival in an overgrown and dangerous place. Some of the tools are new, most are old. Some I did not create, but they were handed to me. Some I had to wrestle from the hands of an auspicious traveler, a visitor into the solitary camp, a jovial, challenging or austere migratory creature.

Life is that way, when it is good. I taste the ethnic food, the laughter and regard: there is an old saying,, “Deep calleth unto deep, at the noise of they waterspouts…” If you find this in your life, or it finds you, its meaning will become immediately self-revelatory. Don’t esteem it lightly, if you are blessed with such a friendship.
People age, and then die. This is the only gold we will ever possess.

Copyright February 20th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

* rebuild that cache

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Percy Was Brilliant, But Mary Is Relevant

February 6th, 2011 by Juan Zapatero

As marvelous as it was that the day came when we had our first Catholic President, and later, our first Black President, two very gifted men, (and in between their times we had our first president who smoked pot but didn’t inhale, and our first president who fought with a killer rabbit) the day will surely come when we will have our first woman president, and, if we are at once as a voting people perspicacious and fortunate she will have some Thatcher-like leadership qualities. It will be a different experience for the U.S. and probably good. No doubt, if the country lives on as a great nation despite the debt it has recently heaped up, we will have Indian Presidents, Hispanic presidents, Italian presidents, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

This will all happen if time and change (forgive the redundancy) happen in a sort of plodding arithmetically sequential way. It would be nice to step as a nation down some carefully ordered stones. It appears, however, emerging like a ship from the fog, that maybe that isn’t exactly what’s happening. It is likely that we may have our first non-humanly conceived president, and perhaps even a non-human president before some of the other possibilities occur.

I don’t know that the framers of the Constitution and the authors of the early American historical documents were so wise as to indicate that a President had to be human. While they did indicate he must be born, and in fact born in the United States (some will claim that that has already been breeched*), they did not specify that the birth must be of a human descended, as it were, from Eve.
Now this is pertinent to our current circumstances, because we are racing towards a time when two technologies may converge or diverge to produce a being that, while not human, is at least as intelligent as a human. Those technologies are of course AI or artificial intelligence and genetic engineering.

Some scientists have come to some sort of consensus that machines will reach the level of ‘self-awareness’ sometime after the year 2030. Now I am not sure what the self awareness benchmark is, but in my own assessment of my own self awareness I am keenly aware of what puts me in touch with myself: One of those qualities, if I must call it that, is the quality of ‘Pain’. While the once legendary Billy Pilgrim’s quest may have been for ‘No Pain’ and our current medical standards seek the constant reduction of pain, it is in fact, pain that makes us probably more self-aware than anything. After pondering this I realized why it was that God allowed us to feel pain in the first place. Unquestionably, without it, we would certainly have a reduced self-awareness, and even if we someday venture into a time and place where there is no pain (heaven I think), it will be the awareness of what pain was and what it had been that will allow us to be aware of ourselves and, more importantly, others. For even in the writings of Paul of Tarsus it is evidenced that some arrive at that point of awareness, “…[God] recompense…to you who are troubled rest… when he [the Lord] shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.” (II Thes. 1:7- 10)
So machines will begin to feel, will they? Let’s suppose they do, or let’s suppose, which is more likely, that bioengineered creatures finally exceed us in intelligence, and because they are life, quite in spite of themselves, they will have a spirit and may in fact, have a soul. How can they have a soul, or a mind, as the ancient Greeks would refer to it? While we all acknowledge that both people and animals have brains, and do in fact utilize cerebral activities and do with respect to each of their own abilities ‘think’ we would not attribute to all animals the quality of having a mind or a soul. Though we all have these tendencies to look at our pets and seem to see numerous anthropomorphic qualities – I myself am convinced that my dog muses** over whether to dump the garbage over, and then deliberates over whether or not to admit to it, or play dumb – still, qualities of the mind, the ability to have a conversation with ourselves so to speak, is uniquely human. I think that the discussion God is having with all aspects of Himself in Genesis as he ponders the creation of mankind is what makes us realize that we are in his image and Rusty the dog is not.
Let’s suppose that the machine of man’s alleged design, whether it’s biological or mechanical, is able to quickly perform tasks, engage in discussions, quip, tell jokes, respond in a manner that appears to be emotional, will we believe that It is human? I ask those of us who witnessed the ascendancy of machines, for certainly our children will be absolutely convinced. Will this bestowal of our belief somehow make them ‘living beings’, or is something more necessary? Well, first, perhaps we need to consider that the reality may be different with machines as opposed to genetically engineered beings.

Let’s look at genetically engineered beings first:

If they breathe, live, eat, sleep, move, communicate, and perhaps even breed, do they possess a mind? Let’s suppose we come upon one of these genetically engineered beings sitting on a rock, blinking all six sets of his eyelids, and tearing up remorsefully over the death of a pet. Does that being, which evidently appears to feel pain, have a mind or soul? I will refer to a New Testament Scripture which, I believe answers this. (It’s irrelevant whether you are religious or even believe in God for the sake of this.) I am afraid I have not thought of a scripture from the Old Testament. I’ll paraphrase for brevity: Jesus spoke a parable to them, “…a man …sewed good seed in his field. While men slept, his enemy came and sewed tares [weeds] among the wheat… He said, “an enemy hath done this!” Jesus explained the parable to them, “…The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.” -Matt 13:24-43. (Sorry, I’m addicted to the King James English). Evidently, it is possible for beings who were not intended, were not even a part of the Creator’s design, but were rather the design of some lesser being, to, in fact, have life and be worthy of consideration for a sort of eternal life or punishment. This is a state that is only conferred upon beings with minds and souls. It is clear that only human beings are addressed in this parable. This writing has great implication for whom and what we consider to be life and soulful life. Do yourself a favor and read the entire parable. The Jewish Talmud addresses ‘What Is a Human’ by indicating that a creature must have at least one human parent in order to be human. While we may laugh at this, it was found necessary to discuss because of the ancient writings regarding the Nephilim, or creatures who were the product of earthly women and heavenly (bad) angels. It’s discussed in Genesis 6:1-6. We can laugh and be amused that the ancients ever thought such a thing occurred, but, whether or not it did occur we can rest assured that, even if by human machinations, it certainly will occur. We will, no doubt, be visiting these ancient writings so that we can answer, “Does this being have a claim on ‘being a Living Being’ ?” Rather, “Does it have a claim on having a soul?”, or, better yet, “Does this creature, some half son of humankind, possess a human soul?”
Then we can answer whether or not he or she can be President.
I suspect that the people who cheered most loudly for the rights of minorities, (and rightfully so), and those of us who cheered with equal volume for the rights of women, though strangely often not the same people, will together be somewhat confused, and not necessarily convinced as to what regard we shall have for these new creatures. It will have bad implications for those who have been pro-abortion, because, if a genetically engineered child of human genes is in fact a living soul, then we must ask, “Is an unborn, naturally conceived living fetus any less?”
Yet, we will see strange things and stranger resolutions in the minds of the old human Left as well as the Right.
In short the beings are very likely to be living souls if we trust the ancient writings. If we don’t trust the ancient writings, well, we will have the Civil War all over again.

What about the machines, the bits of gold and steel and silicon and …yes electricity?
Even if they are smarter than humans, and quicker, and more agile, and wittier in conversation, will they possess a mind? Will we know if they have a mind? … and, if not, why not? If we say, “No, they do not have a mind”, then what will be our reason? Will you give your children blessings to marry an electronic being? I’m not speaking snidely. Some people are already darn near married to their electronics. What about when it is equal to us in capability? What about if it is superior to us in so many ways? Can one be a Senator or President?
This is not some sort of evil syllogism written to parody our current political situation into some future scenario. Despite the fact that I and many others are not happy with the decisions that the current administration has made, they are still the decisions of people influencing and, indeed, challenging and waking up other people.

That will not always be the case. Have we become our own enemies, sewing a seed, the fruit of which we cannot even comprehend? Is the Creator laughing? Do you believe in the Creator?
If not, what do you suppose makes you any different than that very intelligent, self aware creation of ostensibly human design?
Do you think you are the creator? If so, how will you deal with, the revolt of the angels (messenger servants) when it happens here?
Better do some reading.

-copyright February 6th, 2011 by Juan Zapatero

**That’s just my dog
*Breached probably would have been more germane, but the idea of one coming into things with his ass instead of his head seemed strangely relevant.

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He Had A Very Norman Leer

January 30th, 2011 by Juan Zapatero

As a little child I had an unusually bad experience once when some neighborhood children surrounded me, and clubbed me over the head with their toy rifles. Now toy rifles back then were made in many cases pretty much like real rifles, with metal barrels, wooden, or heavy plastic stocks. The incident began when I had walked out to them by a tree in front of my house and asked them, “Where’s so and so?” They replied to me, “We sent him home crying just like we are going to do to you.”
I’m not completely certain that prejudice was at the root of this, but my older sister had been referred to by some members of this same group as a dirty Jew.

Now, as strange as this may sound, many years later I harbor no animosity towards these people, who are now adults. (It would be odd if they were still children). I remember who some of them are, and I actually like a few of them and am happy to see them when I run into them. Kids do stupid things. They do stupidly angry things. I ran home in the snow, probably bleeding.

A recent observation at a gathering of family and friends that the president was beginning to look old, an observation usually reserved for a second term, caused the conversation to go south when the observation was expanded to include an image of Uncle Ben on Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice. The comment, much to my surprise, was regarded as a bit racist, though I’m not sure what a bit racist is. It’s probably just minor racism…. {It had never occurred to me that Uncle Ben could or would in any way diminish one’s view of an entire race any more than Chef Boyardee might have diminished one’s view of an entire nationality, or that Hungry Jack could make anyone think less of Canadian lumberjacks. } Counter – observations were quickly made that another president had been compared with Larry the Cable Guy, that that same other president’s mother had been compared to the Quaker Oats Quaker, (another president was viewed almost synonymously with Mr. Peanut but that was more a matter of trademark infringement) and images of Momma Celeste and Juan Valdez had even been used to identify members of our own cadre of friends, all without invoking any concept of regional or racial prejudice. I found myself wondering, “What has happened to the family, the last bastion against political correctness, the only place where the caricaturing of society and its more visible members can continue?”

It had always seemed to me that there is a sort of initiation process, in order to be truly accepted in society, and without it, all presumed acceptance would be phony. As a little child I watched as Rocky and Bullwinkle portrayed Germans as high-stepping generals with a patch over their eye, Russians as short little devious spies with moustaches, mobsters had bent noses and seemed to lurk, wherever it is that people lurk, and it was pretty clear that they were European Americans of some sort. Perhaps, in order for honesty to be true and soaring it has to be fairly distributed to everyone, sort of like HealthCare.
Maybe we can combine the two. I mean, so everyone is not only cared for, but they also feel ‘cared-for’ we can hand out insults with their new HealthCare cards. (There can be humorous little cartoonesque images of them on the back of their cards.)

As humans, we are constantly labeling people, constantly going through initiations, or putting others through them. Some people don’t survive the initiations. Soon, of course, racial prejudice will be unheard of. The hatred that drives it is driving a new vehicle, “Prejudice against religion and prejudice against political affiliation.” The weakest members of society will always be the targets. So look out.

Under the circumstances, one might lament, “Isn’t there someone out there who can insult people without malice, without an agenda?”

Today, of course, there are still people, like Don Imus, (or Humus as I see him), whom people seemed to have collectively forgiven for his completely out-of-order disparaging racial remarks, and they have forgiven him largely due to his resemblance to the Roswell alien. The collective conscience seems to be, well he has done his best to insult people evenly, and now not so much on grounds that may relate to their ancestry, but rather regarding just about anything else…

I have concluded, however that it is not simply the words that hurt. It is the sense of helplessness. As I watch events exploding in Egypt, I realize, that this is about a people who feel totally un-empowered, and they now want their power. As silly as it may sound, the people who showed up at the tea parties here in the United States also felt overpowered by a government that was determined to do what it wanted, despite the protests of the many or the few. The little child who runs into the house having been beaten over the head seeks the adult to help empower him. That is what an adult is; she or he is someone who gives a voice to people who have been denied a voice, and gives ear to unaddressed grievances.
I saw a smaller, though no less toxic cloud of helplessness hang over Arizona as people were told by the Federal Government that their means of protecting their border would not be permitted, and the Federal Government was going to provide no substitute empowerment over a dismal situation. They felt even more powerless as others began to boycott the state. Not all vitriol is in the form of words. Sometimes it is in the form of quiet vengefulness. Whether it’s in the form of words or actions, it is the most harmful when it is done against the defenseless, against people who are, except for divine providence, helpless.

I suppose I may show up less and less at family gatherings. I think I understand why the Obama supporter was offended by the comparison to Uncle Ben. While I have never as a child, or an adult, lost an ounce of respect or appreciation of any race or nationality as a result of the ubiquitous presence of Juan Valdez, Mrs. Butterworth, Mama Celeste, Chef Boyardee, Aunt Jemima, the Riceland Rice Man, Mr. Clean, the Gerber Baby Food Baby or Captain Crunch, it is the sense of being targeted that is so unsettling, so un-empowering or overpowering. Lest we become a sterile and antiseptic society, we must find a way of caricaturing without destroying, dialoging without humiliating, boycotting without seeking the total financial ruin of the groups whose attention we are trying to get. Is this balance possible?
Is there an adult out there somewhere?

Copyright January 28th by Juan Zapatero

*My hat will always remain off to Norman Milton Lear. Thank God I have hair on my head.

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Eat, You’ll Feel Better

January 22nd, 2011 by Juan Zapatero

There’s been considerable talk about whether President Obama should have hosted a huge state dinner for the President of China. My view on this is simple: He should have hosted a huge state dinner, if he had also hosted a Seder dinner for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he was here in March. However, it would appear that he didn’t even offer Netanyahu and his assistants a tray of Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwhiches. The reason which has emerged is that President Obama was essentially punishing Netanyahu for building new houses in east Jerusalem and for having announced the building of those houses during the visit of Vice-President Biden to Israel.

I suppose that means that China’s unveiling of their new stealth fighter during our state department’s visit, a fighter whose technology I would guess was pretty much stolen from the United States, is okay. And the reason that China’s plethora of human-rights violations isn’t cause for the President to close-the-kitchen is because they are somehow not as offensive as Building dwellings in occupied territories? Maybe it’s because, after Bernanke’s attempt to print 600 billion dollars and buy U.S. Treasuries with those dollars this Federal Government has no place left to go for the money it needs to satisfy its addiction to spending.

Now, maybe if Mr. Netanyahu had had a couple of trillion dollars to lend us he would have been invited to a dinner.

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Perhaps They Have Been Poking Smot?

January 16th, 2011 by Juan Zapatero

Within minutes of the shootings in Tucson, Congressmen and Senators were making ridiculous statements, not unlike those that people will make when they are smoking pot.
Generally, the statements were either calls for limiting free speech or arresting armed people who were anywhere near important people. Some outcries called for the arming of Congressmen, so presumably we would have Congressmen arresting Congressmen, or Congressmen having themselves arrested.
It would probably be a good idea if all Congressmen were rounded up after every tragedy and locked in a room for 24 hours to shield themselves from the possibility of their own stupid remarks.
Rep Clybourn proposed, as everyone now knows, that individuals who are otherwise legally carrying guns should be arrested if they are within certain distance of a Congressman. Representative Peter King proposed that that distance should be 1000 feet.

As dumb as this idea is, it does present one good possibility.
It could be used to completely remedy Jan Brewer’s border problem. All she would have to do is fly a Congressman in a small plane over the entire Mexican border and the Federal government would be forced to arrest people. They would be forced to enforce a border watch that the Federal government should have been enforcing but has so far been reluctant to do so. (Don’t try to say that sentence if you are stoned, or if you are a Congressman.) The idea that there should be a law enabling law enforcement personnel to arrest any individuals within 1000 feet of a Congressman presumes, of course that Congressmen and women are more Central to our government than, say, judges? Or are more central to the functioning of our nation-at-large than CEO’s of small and large corporations? Please.

This presumption of self-importance is so shamelessly bloated. I will propose that we should have the same law in place protecting all CEO’s of Corporations and LLC’s, all CFO’s for that matter, and really, I think we need to protect equally, if not more, the chief electrician in charge of making sure electricity in the subway system of Chicago or the chief programmer in charge of the subway system of New York is equally protected, because, they are way more important than any Congressmen. At least, in the span of an entire fiscal year, they actually accomplish something.

Truly, my original idea of making Congressional Districts larger so we would have to feed less Congressmen, and reducing the number of Senators to one per state would go a long way to protecting them, because there would be less to protect. In fact, from a mathematical standpoint, the protection needed for all of the Congressmen and senators would be halved simply by reducing their numbers. The number of Congressmen in any sort of potential danger would be cut in half.

Where would we begin to reduce these numbers? We should absolutely begin with the states that can’t balance their budgets. How’s that for an incentive to be fiscally responsible?

Note that, everything that I have said above would certainly have been illegal to utter if all of the proposals to limit the first amendment, largely made by congressmen and senators on the Democrat side of the aisle, in the last two years alone had been made law. My pick for the most outrageous of the proposals have been those presented by elected officials, Representative Clybourn a Democrat from South Carolina and Senator Schumer a Democrat from New York.

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Lets All Work Together?

January 9th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

AS a first glimpse of what the level of mutuality and cooperation is going to be between President Obama’s Administration and the New Congress, the White House fired a shot over the bow by ordering the Pentagon to cut its budget. The cuts, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article will be about 78 billion dollars, 10% of the Pentagon’s yearly budget, by my calculations. By ordering such cuts, the White House is, in effect indicating to the new Congress, who has vowed to force the Federal Government to reign in spending, “You want cuts? We’ll give you cuts.” They are proceeding to take a scalpel to one of the sacred cows of the more conservative.
From a strategic standpoint, the move was probably a bad one, since President Obama really only has two such moves available to him with which to respond to fiscal conservatives: the one is cutting Pentagon spending, which probably should have been held in reserve until Congress had announced their cuts, and the second is the prescription pharmaceutical program initiated by George W. Bush. This ‘firing before the whites of their eyes even arrived and got a look at Washington,’ certainly enables the Congress to venture to take a scalpel to many other programs in Washington, with the ready answer of, “We are following your lead!”

From an economic standpoint, however, the move is potentially catastrophic. The military is a walking, breathing, daily, stimulus package: Soldiers send checks home; families buy food, clothing, and shelter with that money. The personnel cuts will hit 69,000 army and Marine Corps individuals. This arguably makes the hiring of several thousand temporary census workers in 2010, in hindsight, an exercise in futility. Even worse is the impact that will be felt amongst contractors. Defense contractors range from the Food corporations who provide MRI’s to the fabric companies that make clothing. This year has been one of the most outstanding years for agricultural equipment manufacturers, and aluminum companies are starting to be roused from the extended slumber (The rest of the market seemed to wake up about a year and a half earlier). The impact of the cuts on farms, farming equipment manufacturers, and consumers of aluminum like airplane manufacturers would almost certainly be negative. As if enough hasn’t been done to forestall an economic comeback, slashing military budgets which are largely spent on domestic suppliers will have a direct impact on even the Wall street companies that seemed to fair well during a bleak time period for domestic jobs, banking and housing.

There is one possibility, that is, in my opinion, even worse than the threat to the economic picture. It’s this: Over the past four years, the United States military has responded to an earthquake in Haiti, a tsunami in Southeast Asia, and a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. In each case, aircraft carriers, or other ships served as hospital and supply ships. Supplies, generators and makeshift shelters were flown in using helicopters launched from the decks of large navy vessels. These activities were coordinated activities that really could only have been accomplished by organizations with resources such as those possessed by the U.S. navy. These activities are not only the preferred and humane use for the military, but they also server to put a good face on the United States military abroad. That, too, will be threatened by defense cuts.

Copyright January 09, 2011 by John P. Schumake

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Ice On the Ruler

December 26th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

I used to believe that government would provide the answers for the disenfranchised, the uneducated, the people who had little or no hopes for the future, the people who can’t read a ruler and are perhaps doomed to sleep in cardboard boxes. I believed that society through government and, of course taxes could and should be channeled to this objective. As time went on and I left my college school books behind I became a tuck-pointer. I was an entrepreneur. It was a small S corporation.
I used to work in dangerous neighborhoods. I worked where you had to start real early and get out of there before people woke up. Most of the scenarios were pretty similar. I remember one in particular: the gangways were filled with urine, sleeping alcoholics and human feces. I used to have to be careful to make sure that my rope-falls from my suspended scaffold didn’t fall in the feces. I had stationary scaffold piped around the building as well. Young men who should have been in school were walking up and down the street. They would poke there heads into the bed of my truck while I was three stories up on the wall. They were looking for items of interest. I used to yell down at them caricaturing what they looked like snarfing around the bed of my truck.
“This is what you look like.” I’d say, and I’d hop on the parapet wall sniffing around like a cat. They’d laugh. “How’d you like to make some money?” I’d ask. Invariably they wanted to work. I’d put them to work brooming up and scraping up old dead mortar. I’d have them clean up the area. I’d pay them cash. People would begin emerging from their places around 12:00 noon, but the young guys who got up earlier got the work.

Sometimes I’d get to work and I’d see blood on the streets from an incident the night before. “What happened?” I asked on one occasion.
“Man, they beat the mess out of this old guy, last night.”
“That’s a shame,” I said. “Doesn’t anyone stop to think that that old guy was someone’s father?”
“Yeah, “ they said.” It was their father! You’re right.”
“No s*it?” I was really stunned.
“Naw, man.”

These young guys wanted to work. They wanted to learn. “Why aren’t you in school,” I asked.
“Man, school aint nothin’. Waste of time.”
I’d teach them how to use a ruler, how to make various measurements. The proper way to clean off bricks or fill sand buckets when the sand is wet (It expands when it’s wet.). They liked learning. It was the same in every rough neighborhood. And they were rough because I learned fast that I had to be out of there by 2:00 in the afternoon every day. You could tell they were disappointed when we were packing up for good, job done.

A few years later I was in the process of changing my career. My skin had been overexposed to the sun. I discovered that Microsoft had started a certification program wherein people could study and become something known as an MCP. I had read in a bunch of Want-Adds at the time “MCP required.” I read the book material into a tape recorder at night and listened to it up on the swing-stage during the day, 5 stories up in the air. I used to employ various cartoon voices to keep it interesting to me. I passed my MCP test, and then went on to pass all of my MCSE tests on the first try. I realized that something marvelous was happening in society: Industry, not government had made available a new path, a self paced and affordable path where people could study, apply themselves, and enter the profession. Thank God government regulation hadn’t stepped in to destroy it. Fortunately industry was faster than government. Other tech industries offered certifications, like Cisco Router. This was a great new world.
Universities and colleges, at first scoffed at the idea. I learned this first-hand: while I was working as a Network engineer I sought additional work teaching what I knew; at first the colleges were a closed door, and they told you why. But then, some far-sighted people at colleges saw the need for flexibility. I and others like me were soon sought after to teach the technology we were using in the real world.
Colleges and universities soon saw the need to adapt and provide programs that could compete with the certification programs. New Online Programs were being offered by traditional universities. This was not a change that came because Government was innovative. This was a change that happened because industry forced education to wake up.
Certifications were offered by the Masonry Industry as well. I became certified as a Mason Contractor. Some of the Certification Programs out there prepared people for the most difficult exams in any industry. The seemed to have borrowed their concepts from the Real Estate Industry, which for many years provided its own system of education, continuing education and testing.

Today I work as a programmer in education. I do feel that government has a role, but I no longer feel that government will provide the answers. It has become clear to me that only individuals and individual businesses provide the answers to the enabling of people. I look back on those young guys on the street, “Naw man, School’s a waste.” Yet they were fascinated with what I could teach them…. because it was real.
It would be wise if industries were empowered to educate, if they could be given more incentives to provide people with training and education. Such training could help reduce the number of injuries that occur, could reduce insurance costs and the number of unemployed. Educational systems need to learn to partner with sleek and efficient industries if they are to survive. There is no question that we have a system that is antiquated, and I have witnessed and experienced that it takes industry and individuals to shake up the huge, weighty, heavy-plated beast that actually thinks it can survive the freezing, the occasional cracking under-foot of glassy ice.

Copyright December 26th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

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Search of Algorithms

December 19th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

Algorithms can supposedly unearth great secrets in ancient manuscripts. They can turn mundane writings into amazing revelations. They can provide us with ways to encrypt and decrypt messages. Our lives, if you look down the long road, perhaps standing at its crest, can be seen to have a sort of algorithm. It may be complex. It may be simple. It is visible in the stops, and the detours, and the inception point of relationships, the seeming cessation of relationships, and then the resumption of relations, however long or brief. Be careful if you decide to try this, but if you stand ever so close to the highest point at the furthest distance from the beginning of your own journey, the algorithm will begin to be visibly apparent; you will be awestruck with the repetition of segments that were roads traveled, and villages, or hubs that served as resting places.
The thing that you should become immediately conscious of is the feeling that you will derive while looking at the broken segments of the journey. It should become evident to you, as it did to me, that the most interesting, and perhaps most satisfying segments of the journey, were not those that continued with lengthy repetitious and unswerving continuity. Oddly, those segments of lengthy, unswerving continuity are in my case, often what I sought and desired. They provided me with the greatest comfort and peace while I was journeying through them, but from where I now stand, they are not as interesting as some of the stopping points, the points that caused me to veer from the journey, the places where I had to shift directions, transform to a different means of travel, or simply wait.

Algorithms make up the mystery of life. From the myriad depths of knowledge unraveled and made visible in the words of the psalmist who wrote: “Your eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there were none of them.” to the never ending secrets of DNA they provide the answers and the questions, the rhythm and the phrasing. No more mathematicians than the Bumble Bee, we build the most complex geometric structures, only visible at the brief union of a restive evening soul and a very somber sobering plateau.

Copyright December 19th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

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The Creation of Wealth

December 12th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

The argument over extending unemployment benefits has been framed as a compassionate vs. uncompassionate issue. While that’s fine for the sake of striking a compromise between Democrats and Republicans over extending tax cuts and extending unemployment benefits, it really avoids the discussion of the truly uncompassionate path the U.S. Congress has taken in its entire agenda last year which sought in every way possible to stifle the small and midsize and large businesses that create all of our jobs and all of our wealth. The stifling of the companies is still in play, of course due to the uncertainty created by the creation of a huge new federal regulatory commission, the tardy addressing of the taxes, and last, but not least, the volumes of uncertainty created by the truly ominous new Health Care Law. All of this is evidence of a complete lack of understanding of what ‘Creation of Wealth’ is.
Clearly, the government does not create wealth. The Federal Government does not develop concepts, create products, offer them to the world at large to buy, offer stock to investors, and in doing so create jobs. Well, that’s with the exception of when the government commandeers an industry that’s poorly performing, dissolves the stock so all of the investors have nothing, and then re-offers the new and improved company to investors. That’s a special case that sadly, might become less and less special.
So what is the Creation of Wealth? The creation of wealth is not even really the selling of product to domestic consumers, the selling of product to foreign consumers, and then bringing that money back into domestic coffers. The creation of wealth is not the Initial Public Offering of stock for new companies that have new products. The creation of wealth is the fabricating of that coffee cup that’s in front of you, or at least the one in front of me. It is the creation of something that was not there before. It is the mining of gold that, though there, was not accessible before; it could not formerly be seen touched or manipulated into new products. The creation of wealth doesn’t occur until something is actually made. Anything else is the facilitation of the creation of wealth. That’s what service industries do. Industries that ship things, measure things, calculate dollars and cents earned. Companies that help provide for your staffing; presumably, even the government is in on this game of being ‘facilitator’ (Though this is generally not the case, and we have gone through two years now of seeing a government. which is a de-facilitator, a stumbling block to growth, and an entity which truly created much mayhem and the resultant uncertainty).
Creation of wealth is compassionate. It’s compassionate because it allows great ideas to come to use by people. It allows ideas that promote greater safety or better productivity, or a cleaner environment to become available. Creation of wealth is the creation of product. True enough, those products are sometimes Virtual in nature. They aren’t really tangible, but they must perform a tangible function. A piece of software that causes lights to go on, wheels to spin and gears to turn is a real product, and it is a part of the creation of wealth. It is real because it is no different in what it does than the object it replaces. If software does what a battery or a relay used to do, then it is a real product. It is part of the creation of wealth.
The creation of wealth is compassionate because it allows people to work to have dignity, top provide for their families, and to be a part of a team that brings new and great things to the use of humanity at large. Therefore, anything that stands in the way of the creation of wealth is truly uncompassionate, or is it? Well that’s where the role of governments comes in, and this is the problem. Companies cannot be allowed to create wealth if they are going to kill and injure people doing so. They cannot be allowed to create wealth, if that wealth creation will ultimately destroy the earth that we all share. Sadly, the governments that take upon themselves the job of regulating these companies are ill-equipped to do so. Do to lack of understanding of the product creation processes; governments tend to make laws that do more harm than good. There is not time here to list such laws. I think we all can think of examples of laws and initiatives that did the exact opposite of what they proposed to do. These certainly include laws that impact logging and oil drilling to laws that impact dog breeding. We have certainly reached a point in time where self-regulation by companies will be necessary if the dangerous heavy handedness of the Federal Government is going to be tied down and staked to the ground.

The recent examples of the need for self-regulation of activities amongst oil companies are evident, and in fact, several of the largest oil companies have entered into just such a venture. There is, an example that I find a little more interesting, however. It has something to do, in a very general sense, with our responsibility as United States entrepreneurs to our own hemisphere. On a governmental level this responsibility is generally expressed as a hands-off policy, by such doctrines as the Good-Neighbor Policy, and the Monroe Doctrine. The general spirit of the Monroe Doctrine and the Good Neighbor Policy was that our neighbors in this hemisphere who are sovereign have every right to expect that the United States will respect that sovereignty, and will insist that any nations in Europe and Asia also respect that sovereignty.
What we have failed to do is to help them create wealth, and in this we have failed not only to help our neighbors, but we have failed in helping our hemisphere, and we have failed in that those neighbors who are in situations of tottering stability are easy prey to foreign nations with unfriendly dispositions to the United States. If this partnership of Wealth Creation for the nations just south of the Rio Grande had been approached with the same vigor that corporations had addressed the New Markets of China, there would likely be more stability in the region, and less human trafficking across the border; this trafficking is, in the end both demeaning and inhuman. Governments can’t accomplish this beneficial change. They will be stepping on each others feet. Only corporations can make this happen.

Another example of a need for self regulation in industries is the need for a sense of responsibility that has almost completely vanished in the media industries. The recent parading of government activities and documents by the infamous Wiki-Leaks founder Julian Assange made clear the total ineptitude, and, inability of governments, particularly our government in the United States to address such situations which imperil people all over the globe. Individuals like Assange under the auspices of ‘transparency’ are able to turn into Lex Luther and hold the Governmental and Corporate World Hostage. Interestingly, while Assange was shouting ‘transparency’ and he was carelessly outing operatives all over the world, he himself was in hiding, to protect, of course, his mission, which is the same hiding governments do to protect their missions. Hypocrisies just seem to happen, despite the best intentions. While freedom of speech is marvelous, and this freedom should certainly be upheld, there were clear lines crossed here regarding the safety of individuals, and our government, in true Carter-ish wishy-washy fashion failed to indicate, as they should have, that a line had been crossed.
This goes back to the concept of self-regulation. There was a time period when the media had some self-regulation. Assange could probably have safely released some documents that would have shown the duplicity of governments without having complete disregard for the lives and safety of many people. Industries, in their creation and moving of Wealth, be it gold, or be it Information, have a responsibility to do so in a way that is more and more mutually conscious of the world we live in. They need to do so, because governments have failed to do so. They need to acknowledge more than just a responsibility to their stock-holders. They need to do so, because the creation of wealth, whether it is the distilling of whiskey, or the mining of aluminum, or the printing of books is ultimately about people working together, people being able to sit down at the table and eat. If they don’t see to this, then very misguided governments with large lumbering feet will try to do so, stomping the ground of productivity and always trying to plant the tares of (always forced) socialism amongst the wheat of a free market economy.

Copyright December 12, 2010 by John P. Schumake

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Shareholder’s Meeting

December 4th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

I have commented in the past on how GE has really become Obama’s Halliburton. He took them to India to showcase them, and now, it appears, as was posted in a Dec 2. WallStreet Journal article entitled, “Foreign Firms Received Funds”, that the Fed was forced to disclose information indicating that GE was loaned money by the Fed, as well.

The Wallstreet Journal called the Fed’s lending, “The most aggressive intervention in the economy ever.” My question is this, “If the Fed has become a lending institution, and we, the taxpayers, are, essentially shareholders of that institution, don’t we have a right to inquire into the activities and behavior of the organizations to which we choose to lend money?”

I don’t agree with the concept of the American government operating like a private sector financial institution, but as long as we are turning into a banking cooperative or a huge savings and loan of the People, it would seem to me that there should be some accountability to the American people. My thoughts go immediately back to Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life in that famous scene where he is confronting the angry shareholders, “I don’t have all of your money right here in this building, why, why Tom, that’s your money in Bert’s House, and Ernie, That’s your money in Iran’s Nuclear Reactor, Don’t ya see?…”

After all, hasn’t GE come under some criticism in recent years for conducting business with nations like Iran, and possibly providing them with technology to develop resources and capabilties that may in fact threaten allies in the region? I think some questions need to be answered, and we the American people should get to ask them. Again, I do not believe our government should be operating as a lending institution or a Mutual Fund in the first place, but as long as they are, I would like to make the following observation:

I select my Mutual Funds partially based upon performance, but partially based upon the values they at least try to espouse. In other words, if a fund invests in companies that are strong supporters of Pro-Choice Groups, and the companies in the fund give money to organizations like Planned Parenthood, then I am inclined to avoid that fund. I am partial to a group of funds known as the Ave Maria Funds. There is the Ave Maria Dividend Fund, the Ave Maria Bond Fund,, the Ave Maria World Growth Fund.

Let me crunch down what I am saying: I would never buy stock in GE because I would not like to give assent to their past business practices in the MidEast, unless perhaps there was considerably more transparency with regard to those practices, and those practices turned out to be harmless in every possible way to ourselves and to our allies. Also, I would not like for my dollars to support their media outlet, MSNBC, and to pay for the generally electric tingle going up and down Chris Matthews leg.

I have that choice. I don’t have to buy GE stock. I don’t have to invest in funds that invest in GE stock. So why should my tax dollars go to lend money to GE without my consent? Will the money be paid back, or will the debt be forgiven as much of the debt to Government Motors was forgiven?

I don’t want to hear another person mention Bush and Haliburton. Our Government has gone beyond simply awarding contracts to companies without any competitive bidding. They have gone past engaging in questionable foreign policy so corporations can benefit.

In fairness to GE, that company has made a public statement asserting that they have stopped doing business in Iran, and the opening of this statement seems to indicate that they agreed to cease that business in 2005. However, when you read through the statement, it really seems to indicate that the cessation actually happened in 2008. Now, that’s fine if GE has literally seen the light, but Iran has been considered as state sponsors of terrorism before 2008 and before 2005 for that matter. Yet GEs statement is that they won’t do business with Iran because they are state sponsors of terrorism as is North Korea. My point of contention is that my taxpayer money went to help GE secretly without my consent.

Now, let me be clear about one thing. I believe that American corporations should be able to sell their product just about anywhere they want. The Lord knows that if we had packaged and sold Saturday Morning Cartoons to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, and children attending madrassas had really been growing up watching Fred Flintstone on TV at home, they might find it harder to hate us (That’s presuming, of course, they realized that Fred was a North American cave dweller). Exporting American Capitalism can have good effects, at times. I don’t think selling Coca Cola to Russia is hurting us. It is a practice that certainly runs contrary to Obama’s campaign rhetoric, wherein he wanted to reign in all of the companies that were building factories abroad; so that would include the Coca Cola bottling plants in Russia that get syrup from factories in the United States. That limiting of foreign factories ala Senator Obama’s campaign jargon would also have included GE. My problem is not with American companies building factories abroad to sell domestic product abroad. My problem is the lending of my tax dollars to a company that at one time was providing technology to an avowed enemy of our staunchest ally in the region, Israel, my tax dollars going to the parent of a media outlet that is squarely on the left (Forgive the contradiction in terms.), a company that was showcased by President Obama in his recent trip to India, a company that gave him considerable money for his campaign.

-copyright December 04, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Absorbed By Ironies

November 21st, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Being that I was not originally from this planet, there are certain happenstances that really stand out to me that really might not stand out to a Native. The same would be true of a person who travels to a foreign country. One of the first groups of things that will grab your attention are the ironies. The other things that will grab your attention are the things they do differently over there, the marvelous or unique little things that you might wish people did in your home country, or perhaps you are glad that your homeland hasn’t adopted these habits.

Here’s what I have noticed last week alone, by way of ironies:
President Obama was against Free-trade agreements during the Presidential debate with John McCain. Yet he appeared to be disconcerted that the South Koreans had not acquiesced to what he at least considered to be a more level footing for the South Korean Free-trade agreement. The premise for the Open trade with Korea is not much different than the one for the open trade agreement with Columbia, which he was against. The only difference I can see is that where Columbia was concerned, I believe that we (Americans) expressed hope that we could sell them earth moving equipment, and with Korea, I believe Mr. Obama hopes to sell them cars. (He’s from another planet, as well).

Another irony that briefly caught my attention was that apparently, the unions don’t have to participate in Obama-care, neither do the members of Congress, but the unwashed masses evidently do…

The following irony I found most interesting, where the president is concerned:
President Obama has more than once professed that he admires Abraham Lincoln more than any other American President. (So do I.)
When Obama referred to the Republicans, and, I suppose, the libertarians as, ‘the enemy’ I found it very unsettling, as did a number of people, but ponder this for a moment:
After the Civil War had ended there was still a great deal of concern that Intrigues and plots were afoot. Mary Lincoln warned her husband that he must be careful about going out, because of ‘the enemy.’
Lincoln chastised his wife for referring to anyone as ‘the enemy’, testimony to his belief that, North and South, we were all brothers, and we must see each other that way. It’s kind of funny. I’ll take a minute, while you marvel at the differences, and, at this juncture I will mention that, I am not really from another planet. I was born on earth. I hope that doesn’t change the way you feel about what I have already said. Here’s a little more by way of this week’s ironies. This one is slightly more complex:

Cisco Systems’ stock took a bit of a tumble last week. Some observers from the financial sector claimed that Cisco deserved to be clobbered, and that they have failed in the same way BHP has ‘failed’, “They haven’t acquired other companies, grown, come up out of their routing/switch shell… so to speak.

Their growth isn’t as great as some of their competitors.
Well, speaking as someone who has had to work with switches, the pleasure of working with Cisco switches in a Cisco Network, using the Cisco Network assistant, with the reliability of the Cisco device, coupled with the reliability of their tech support (whom you will almost never need) compared to the frustration of working with some of the other copy-cats* out there helps me to realize that many people are looking at Cisco’s status quo from a growth and acquisition standpoint, forgetting one thing: that thing that Cisco does, they do better than anyone else.
Also, there have been remarks that they have lost friends out there in the computing world, obviously a reference to the frosty relationship with HP. If one considers the hillbilly Soap opera that is being played out between the various marriages and divorces involving HP, Oracle, SA P : Mark Hurd was fired from HP for supposed indiscretions, the new and current CEO of HP was the CEO of SAP while SAP was allegedly downloading software from Oracle, that Oracle is now suing them over claiming that they infringed on…(intellectual properties.) … and Hurd is now the new co-President over at Oracle. I hope I got that all right. Don’t ask me to repeat it quickly…
Can you really blame Cisco for returning their RSVP …with regrets? After all, HP has ventured into the world of selling switching equipment, for a long time the realm of Cisco, but it seems they had wanted to continue to have this ongoing relationship with Cisco, (Picking their brains, one might presume…). Can you really blame Cisco for acquiring a little distance? Okay, so Cisco isn’t starting chic social networking sites and building smartphone games (I don’t think they are, anyway). Sometimes the smartest thing a company can do , is to not do what everyone else is doing. Remember, all of these networking sites, smart phone companies, and server manufacturers, need routers and switches. Several months ago Cisco announced a new switch that would be capable of switching considerably more traffic on the Internet than anything we have yet seen. It’s okay with me if they don’t host sites where people post pictures of themselves walking their dog.

Cisco is a bricks and mortar business. That’s really okay. I mean come on earthlings… …fellow earthlings, don’t we all remember the big DotNet Bubble bursting at the beginning of the decade, when all of the companies that had no bricks, no mortar, no brick layers… went down the drain? Or are we mentally all, again, so easily launched… just Out in Space?

* I don’t mean to state or imply that any of Cisco’s competitors are creating knock-offs.

Copyright November 20, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Better to Pass a Milestone than a Kidney Stone

November 13th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

We are finally at a point where game-modeling and data-basing are sophisticated enough, and simpatico enough to be able to outperform lawmakers, who are seldom expert economists anyway, despite campaign rhetoric to the contrary…
…We are finally at the point where we don’t need the lawmakers to make those decisions. Those decisions are far better left to the math coprocessors that can assess the landscape using a combination of CPU’s and GPU’s much better than Congress. Congress is just playing roulette.
However, we do need Congress to ‘Play the Game.’
In other Words, it would be far more productive if, armed with software in the form if a strategy Game, the Republican and Democrats would choose sides, the republicans of course, would be the Small Government Fiscally Supposedly Diligent Let Business Run Itself side, or the SmogFobbers,
and the Democrats would be the Big Government Look Out for the Unions More Entitlements and Government Financed Media Like NPR and Government Run Banking and Car Company Group … or the… Socialists.

So we have the SmogFobbers verses the Socialists.

Each member of Congress would have a client computer with a logon, or maybe an X Box. They would enter the Game, receive some currency based upon their years in Congress… the less the years the more the currency.

They then start to play. The winner gets their bill to pass. The loser is shown on every Giant Screen TV in every major city as ‘The Loser.’
People would actually tune in to see what Congress is doing. Maybe people who seriously screw up could be voted off the game. It would be interesting to see who survives in each party. Usually the most devious, duplicitous, backstabbing, manipulative and conniving survive in those sorts of survival scenarios. Sort of like what happened to the Democrats in this election…

President Obama went to India to hawk our wares: Fighters, Helicopters, GE generators. Wait a second: lets talk about GE generators. I mean, let’s talk about it in a Haliburtinish sort of way. Wasn’t GE one of the largest contributors to President Obama’s campaign? Correct me if I’m wrong. Isn’t Obama big time buds with Jeffry Imelt? Isn’t this promulgating of GE in India with the President sort of serving as their booking agent… isn’t that Obama’s Halliburton?

No wait, there is a difference; Let’s clarify; Halliburton went into Iraq after we removed the despotic ruler Saddam Huuseein. GE went into IRAN and helped provide them with the equipent they are now using to develop a sophisticated nuclear program, a program that currently threatens our allies in the region, most notably Israel. They did that before Iran did anything to Israel, the Iran whose leader feels that Israel has no legitamacy as a nationand shpud be removed from the earth.

okay we’ve got that straight. But Obama’s featuring of GE is not really the same as Halliburton actually scoring tons of contracts in post war Iraq, is it? or is it. Well, allowing India to purchase planes and jets and helicopters from us. Who makes many of the engines and turbines and generators for those items? Hmmm…….

I think the President should have to play the Game too. He should be given an X Box, some currency, but he should have to have a higher skill level. He should have to qualify. However, if he fails to play quickly and effectively; For example, if he drags his heels and lets white whales die in the midst of an underwater gushing oil leak, while refusing to accept the proven oil skimmers that are capable of vacuuming of 35000 barrels of oil a piece a day, refusing skimmers offered by nations like the Netherlands… well… if he does that, then the computer takes over his portion of the play, he loses some currency, and… he doesn’t get voted off of the Game right away, but he has to sit in a room with some of the diabolical survivors of his own group, and try to cut deals to survive…
…Sort of like what happened after the last election. Just faster.

Copyright by Juan Zapatero November 13th 2010

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The Dust of The Grind

November 8th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

The closest I got to taking a fishing trip with my second oldest son this year was tuck pointing a chimney together. The fishing trip would have been more fun. Notwithstanding the grittiness of the work, tuck pointing was still a memorable experience, for me. I had been a tuck pointer for 25 years, making old bricks look new, grinding out the tired old joints between brick and stone, 40 feet up in the air, and then pointing in fresh new mortar. Ah, the smell of mortar in the morning, mixed with coffee. The joy of piping scaffold around a chimney, setting up plank, pulling buckets of fresh mortar up with ropes… I suppose it’s hard to make it sound like fun…
My son really took the task seriously, grinding the joints about the best I have ever seen it done. He listened to me and wore all of the safety equipment (Nice to be listened to for once. I use to tell my family that I wanted my tombstone to say, “They Would Not Listen.”) His help was invaluable, and he even caught a few slip-ups the old man had made. We listened to Rock and Rock, discussed the contribution different bands had made. We talked about books we were reading or planning on reading. I had recommended Huxley’s Brave New World.

I read about the President’s trip to Mumbai, to convince the people of India to buy stuff from us. Some of the stuff he’s going to convince them to buy, they already want to buy; stuff like military hardware. All we had to really do was remove the hardware from the off-limits list. We didn’t need to finance a trip to India so the President could loll around the TajMahal and see what it feels like to be a Sultan. When I look at my own children I think about how our government has been pawning their futures for a pittance. I’ve heard the expression ‘mortgage’ used, but when you mortgage something you generally get a pay-out somewhere close to the true value of the property, and you haven’t entered into the likelihood that you will probably never see the financed piece of property again. So, I use the word, pawned, because I have read that the Fed, under Bernanke has decided to finance the purchase of Treasuries, in order to lend our Federal Government money. I’m not a financial wizard, but I understand that to mean that they have to crank up the printing presses to do that. Now why would you do that if plenty of people were clamoring to buy treasuries and foreign countries were standing in line to buy your debt? You wouldn’t. It’s a very ‘iffy move’. Bernanke, himself, entered into this move with some trepidation, and much consternation on the part of many economists, foreign and domestic.

This comes on the heels of more conservative European Governments and the Japanese Government shaking their heads at us for going down this path of trying to spend our way out of the economic doldrums. This also comes, thankfully, on the heels of an extremely expansive shake-up on the federal, state and local levels of the powers that be, or rather, that were. The shake-up was, no doubt, occasioned by people who were looking at their own children and wondering if the country would be able to get back to the pawn shop in time.

It’s amazing the clarity you can get just thirty-five or forty feet up in the air looking down on the ground.

My son worked with me into the dark, not complaining, pointing and tooling the joints, and he pretty much cleaned up the mess that both of us had made, of dead mortar at the base of the wall.

Copyright November 7, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Happy Halloween: the Diabolical lives on in Washington D.C.

October 31st, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Many people have taken note of the President’s appearance lately on shows like John Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, and the View. A comment that seems to be repeated now by the President in this and other venues is the idea that the recovery and change promised will take much longer than expected because… well, recuperation doesn’t just happen over night. The irony here is that this is not what was promised during last year’s campaign for the stimulus package. (It seems that campaigning is something President Obama is really good at.)

A quick eight month turn-around in the economy was imminent, if we bought into the concept of the stimulus package to bring economic recovery, and now, It’s… well what did you expect, miracles? The question that needs to have been asked in all cases is this: So what, Mr. President do you have left in that bag of tricks? There’s certainly no money left…

That’s just a little aside. It has something to do with honesty and honest expectations, something that gets lost in the glarm of Washington politics and promises.

Regarding honesty: I had a conversation with a friend a couple of weeks ago wherein he brought up the notion that the entire 2nd Gulf War was pretty much engineered for the financial benefit of Halliburton. Now, I am able share some insights which could totally change the way one feels about that entire issue. It may not convince you that Halliburton was not selected to be a benefactor of the war spending; it will, however, probably change the way you view the entire situation. My argument or my insight, if you will, is in two parts. Here’s part one:

In 1997 Jim Lehrer interviewed chief weapons inspector David Kaye, and in the interview, Mr. Kaye expressed that one of his greatest concerns was the 89 suitcase nukes that seemed to have gone missing from the Soviet arsenal. Now, remember, that the Soviet Union, after it’s dissolution was in a state that was a little scary for the U.S. because no one knew what would happen to the huge Soviet nuclear arsenal. Equally as dire was the possibility that former Soviet states, undergoing the duress of restructuring would find themselves in a position where selling off fissile material could become a way to gain money. Recognizing this possibility, the U.S. offered a program where we would purchase some of this material to use in Nuclear reactors, etc. It was the ensuing inventory process that gave us a glimpse into what was missing.

Now remember, as much ridicule that President Bush received for never having produced the dreaded weapons of mass destruction, a la nose-cone nukes, the gallery of ridiculers really never understood the situation. Nuclear weapons that could or would have been in the nosecone of a missile would never have been the object of our greatest concern, because, the Iraqi’s didn’t have a missile that could hope to reach the United States. It’s true enough that the valid fear that they could reach our allies in the region was a concern, but a far greater concern for the president who presided during 911 would have been the existence of small portable nukes that might have been easily smuggled into Tel-Aviv or New York. To avoid discovery of these weapons prior to any deployment they could all have been set down inside of an old dry well in the dessert, and never discovered.

Okay, now for part 2:
Put part one up on the shelf. Forget about it for now.
Both before and after 911 the battle in Senate and in the House over whether or not to allow drilling in Anwar raged. For the most part, drilling in Anwar was not supported by Democrats, and, to a lesser degree, it was supported by Republicans. It’s interesting to note that there would have been at least 100 miles of large main pipeline constructed to attach Anwar to the existing Alaskan Pipeline. This doesn’t even begin to touch on all of the rest of the piping and infrastructure that would have to have been put in place. This would or could have been tons of work for Halliburton. It would have represented work in a far more politically stable environment than post-war Iraq, even under the best conditions. It would have been work unthreatened by political shifts in adjoining regions. The work would not only have brought in the immediate construction of infrastructure, but it also would have introduced the issue of continuing maintenance of the pipeline. The scope of the project would have been far greater than anything that is happening in Iraq, especially in terms of potential duration. This is even truer now with incredibly discoveries of natural gas in and near the entire Arctic Circle.

If the Democrats, or anyone, for that matter believed that we were going to war to line the pockets of Halliburton, then that brings up a very important issue: We all know that in Congress there are those unspoken quid-pro-quos. Sort of like: Well, if you agree not to go to war in Iraq to make Halliburton rich, then we’ll yield on the Anwar issue. In other words, ‘we’d be willing to sacrifice the arctic fox, in order to save the blood of some American GI’s.’

Now remember, this argument is only valid if the Democrats believed that that is why we were going to war. Let’s suppose, as some Democratic Senators stated, that they were totally hoodwinked and deceived by President Bush. That somehow, despite the fact that both the inner circles of Congressmen and the President who are recipient to the same high level security information, particularly when hey have decided to go public with it, somehow, the President was still able to pull the wool completely over the eyes of John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and many others. Let me get this straight, ‘That old country rube, who can’t pronounce the word nuclear, was more clever than the entire Senate full of Democrats, and he had enough intelligence to outwit them all? I think this brings up the bigger question of why are they even our senators? They must be incredibly stupid….

…or

..or they aren’t incredibly stupid, they knew exactly what was happening, and they voted to go to war, fully believing that it was for the purpose of benefitting a few American Companies, and they made the choice of protecting the habitat of the Arctic Fox from the advances of American energy needs over the life of American soldiers.

There is only one other possibility, logical or illogical, but still only one other possibility.
But first let’s have a look at what we have: The Democrats were all totally deceived by President ‘Nucular’ Bush, in which case they have no business holding office; they weren’t deceived, in which case the bloody turpitude of that is so inconceivably horrible that they…
…have no business holding office, and should be brought to trial simply for what they believed they were agreeing to

…and the third possibility is:

There was no quid – pro- quo. The absolutely immoral possibilities of the Republicans saying (through some secret conversation piece): “well, we don’t really have to go to war”,
and the democrats responding in kind with, “well, maybe the arctic fox isn’t really endangered”, precludes the possibility of any sort of a transaction. And that is real likely, because we all know how averse Congress is to doing anything immoral. (If they have become so upstanding, would it have been better if we were returned to the days when such a backdoor deal could have been struck?)

No wait, there’s a fourth possibility! I forgot the fourth possibility: There was no quid pro quo, the President didn’t urge Congress to agree to go to war so he could secretly benefit chosen American Corporations, the Democrats didn’t walk away from a secret quid pro quo, thusly having chosen the health and safety of the arctic fox over the lives of American G.I.’s, George W. Bush didn’t possess the mental acumen to outsmart all of the Democrats’ brightest, everyone who voted for war (Democrat and Republican) did feel that we had arrived at that undesirable though necessary juncture, and, the President of the United States was concerned about small, portable little nuclear (or nucular) devices entering our country and he was deeply concerned that they might soon be doing far more damage, and causing far more harm than we had ever seen on 911.

Copyright October 31, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Posted in History, Humor, Social Issues | Comments (1)


The Game where Vampires vs. Martians

October 24th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

I have watched people nimbly navigate through strategy games on the computer, or first person shooter games on the X-Box, and yet I can talk to these same people and the real life strategy of what is going on in our country eludes them: By this I refer to the battle being fought for the independence of companies to run businesses as they see fit opposed to the antithesis, which is a highly regulated society where government incentives (alla the stimulus, and the very controlling Obama Business Plan, etc) turn into dictates as to how companies shall run themselves. Interestingly, if this were a game that someone played over and over, they would have mastered it. They would have seen that the government controlled model failed miserably all over the world, on whatever level it was engaged. It failed in China, perhaps the most highly regulated model. It failed in Russia and the Warsaw Pact nations, the next most highly regulated model. It is now failing in Europe with people in France rioting because daddy government has raised the retirement rate just because the economy can’t endure the current retirement age.

If you were to play the Obama stimulus package like a video game, you would quickly recognize that it is a very finite, poorly designed economic model. The finite array of government jobs, census worker jobs, money laid out for specific expenditures, millions of dollars set aside for free film to encourage and help movie producers, somehow doesn’t actively address the needs of our business community. The stimulus was a failure. A video game player would have traded this piece of weaponry in for a completely different model, a more nimble one. A more nimble model would have allowed the owner of this item in his arsenal to cause it to transform to meet whatever attack was coming head-on: A model that allows companies to keep more of their own money and transform it into whatever they need, warehouses, machinery, personnel, would have been a better model.

Aficionados of Warcraft would have immediately recognized the serious flaws in the Obama designed Game. The game would have become known as StallCraft. Sadly, our young people aren’t yet making the mental connect between what they see happening in the business world and the world of government, and the world of Strategy Games, RPG’s, or hybrids. I am confident, though, that they will soon yet see that we are in the middle of a hybrid game, and we are losing to outside forces, but we can take massive amounts of real-estate from the current administration, we can even re-design the game in the middle of Game-Play!

It’s all a Game, a dangerous Game with Casualties and Consequences.The phase of the game we are in now is the Campaign. Barracula is out on the campaign trail trying to see how many blind followers, easily hypnotized people he can lure, how many necks he can bite before November 2. The numbers are tightening. The still free members of society, the un-bit necks, can still turn the Game around.

Copyright October 24th by Juan Zapatero

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The State of the Union

October 17th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

The State of the Union

It’s been strongly rumored that Justice Samuel Alito will not be at the Presidents Next State-of The-Union-Address.

That raises an interesting question.
Why should any of us tune in?
Shouldn’t WE -The – People Be Giving the State of The Union Address,
with the President sitting and listening.
Evidently, he does not know the state of the union.
He seems to be in a state of denial about the state the union is in.

I’m thinking of throwing a state-of-the union party.
We’ll all sit around in black robes and yell, “Balderdash!”
when the president starts to say,
“The economy is strong, the economic indicators are good!
New housing starts are certainly promising!
and jobs have been created by the stimulus.”
No, wait, if you dress like a Congressman, you can yell, “Lies!” If you come dressed like a Supreme Court Justice,
you have to shake your head solemnly, and mouth the words, “Bull… ”
Scratch that, it’s starting to sound like a sort of noir toga party.

Seriously, you will probably be better off not watching the state-of the-union address.
If you voted for Obama, you’ll have to take an extra anti-depressant that evening.

If you didn’t vote for him, you’ll have to increase your blood pressure medicine.
My suggestion, “Read a little about it in the newspaper,” check a few snippets online, but, more importantly, Just ‘Know what you know,’
that the job numbers are bleak, companies are afraid of the Regulation gone wild in this administration, companies consequently are focusing on overseas sales and overseas offices;
New housing starts are grim, our Federal deficit has topped a trillion dollars for two years in a row, and the tax revenues are just barely scratching the interest on all of the money our government owes.
Just printing more money is no longer a good option, because it is weakening foreign and domestic faith in our economy, and even if we do print money,
that doesn’t improve the circumstances for millions of Americans. Some people weren’t lucky enough to get a reprieve or temporary respite on their foreclosure due to the faulty paperwork of the mortgage companies.

I am resolute in this: Once you have it in your head that the government should be providing for the poor, you will necessarily begin to convince yourself, that the government should be providing for you if you have any adversity, because you , as it were, become the poor. We had emerged from this dangerous psychology just a few years ago and entered into a really promising time period of entrepreneurial growth paralleled by personal involvement and giving in charitable programs. The same mind-frame that makes one stand up and bring forth an idea, develop a product that can benefit people, and bring that product or service to the public is the same mind frame that wants to reach out and help that fellow human being, either by providing assistance, or by providing a job.

What is the state of the Union? The union’s collective psychology is under attack. I have a feeling that after the State of the Union Address, there will not just be the Republican response, but there will be many well thought out, and published rebuttals.

So, my recommendation is, don’t get ready to load up on the medication, just sit stolidly and know what you already know, ‘that we will get through this…
…this administration.’

-Copyright October 17th by John P. Schumake

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Get Used To IT? God Forbid.

October 10th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

There’s probably no question in anyone’s mind what it means to have a jobless recovery. At least the jobless part is readily understandable. The current administration’s policies have pretty much lead to a jobless recovery; but why? Wall Street seems to be doing relatively well. So is it, as economists keep saying, that individual companies have tons of cash that they are just sitting on, largely due to the fact that they are afraid of what the new Federal Regulatory Agency and Health Care will mean for them? Is that why they aren’t hiring, or are there other reasons? The Job Report, or rather what has become known as the Obama Jobless Report released last week presented new unexpected disappointing numbers.
The current admin will argue, ‘well, that’s because more Census workers finished their stint and were laid-off’. (Apparently we needed to have MORE census taking). But the real truth is, that that number wouldn’t have been at all noticeable if jobs had been created anywhere else in our country. So why aren’t they created? The fact that businesses are hampered by the uncertainty that the Obama administration has created is true. The uncertainty is there because of the health insurance cost expectations and the huge new Federal Regulatory Bureau(s) (the CFPB being the most unconstrained), with their scary ability to, in essence write their own laws. Okay, they will technically be rules not laws, but the effective difference may not be noticeable. The fact that the new regulatory agency is a static entity that can’t really get voted in or voted out is even more troubling, because it may continue, like most Federal Organizations on into perpetuity, only finally dying when it has destroyed the host it inhabits from within. Each little minion, regulator, and rule-writer will be like all of those winged beasts that the wicked witch of the West had working for her. Only, even worse, now they’re working for the administration, Congress; (the witch melted, remember). They’ll be out there gathering the life blood of American Businesses and bringing back little vials for the likes of Nancy Legosi, Barracula, and, yes, Barnabas Frank. The new Federal Regulatory commission, at first, appears to only affect Banking, and perhaps banking should be more watched. The problem is, that no existing government agency that has been tasked with the job, has done it well, or even done it at all. The obvious answer, that no one wants to admit, is that the Federal employees are probably sitting around eating donuts and coffee, or in this case, donuts and blood, and getting paid 1 ½ times as much as private sector employees in comparable jobs.
But that’s only part of the problem. There’s another angle to this joblessness: Mid to large-sized American Companies have all discovered the emerging markets, China, Brazil, the entire South Pacific and Southeast Asian area of nations. What that means is that they are selling product there, and that should be good for American companies, except for one thing. In order to sell to these foreign markets they have to, somewhat play by their rules. They have to at least cater to them. That makes sense, but that often means that they have to build factories there. For all of President Obama’s campaign blather about stopping American companies from building factories abroad, the alternative would have been to not cater to the emerging markets, not capture any market share, and we’d now have a jobless non-recovery, instead of a jobless recovery.
Let’s take some American companies as examples: Caterpillar International. The have offices and factories all over the world. They’re an American Company. They sell huge machinery to these new growing markets. It would be impractical for them to try to do all of their business from United States-based offices. It would be totally unrealistic for them not to have warehouses and assembly plants abroad. The fact is, many, many of the companies that are doing well right now on Wall Street, are companies that have tapped into their share of the foreign markets. Yum Brands is a good example. According to an October 5thWall Street journal article by Kelly Evans, the new Outlets opened by Yum in China are expected to experience a 5% increase in sales this quarter compared to a much smaller 1% to 2% expected growth in the United States.
YUM owns familiar American companies, like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. Yum has factories abroad. Think about it. If you walk into a KFC and they have been steadily cooking chicken that they Are preparing for whoever might be flocking in, and they are using people and machinery to do it, that’s a factory. Maybe we should follow Obama’s philosophy. Maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to build those ‘factories’ abroad. Maybe we should be cooking the chicken here, shipping it over on a transport plane , and they can quickly microwave it. Or we can send the little flying monkeys out with boxes of chicken under their arms.
It’s time to wake up to the new reality. We can domestically prosper from the new markets. We can create and supply goods, or at least the parts to goods to these foreign markets, but that is never going to get afoot as long as we have an administration that doesn’t require any accountability from the Unions, doesn’t hold their feet to the fire to begin to develop some long-term vision, to work productively with management, and to also modify policies that have made us sluggish. The administration needs to stop injecting incredible uncertainty via it’s creation of monstrous agencies with monstrous new appetites (appetites we have just begun to appreciate), and the monstrous debt that will go with it.
It certainly needs not to go ahead with the soon-to-come planned tax hikes, resultant to the January expiration of the Bush tax cuts. And, how about this, ‘It needs to start to respect life’, life in the seas, life in the womb, life of Americans and aliens endangered by the complete lack of any External Work Force/Border policy. Maybe there will actually be a blessing from God if our administration shows a genuine ‘Respect-For-Life’ and not a lip service one. It needs to stop the blood-letting, and the blood-sucking.

copyright October 10th by Juan Zapatero

Posted in Humor, Social Issues | Comments (5)


The Connect

October 2nd, 2010 by John P. Schumake

This is an election season with a lot of new twists. There are grass roots candidates vying for major positions, such as Joe Miller, the extremely articulate West Point Graduate who is running for Senator in Alaska, Christine O’Donnell, (the latest person to be branded a witch from New England) running for the Senate from Delaware. What has brought these candidates to the forefront, and others, who were not necessarily put forth by grassroots movements like the tea-party , such as Meg Whitman running for Governor of California is that sense of “You know my pain.” With candidates like O’Donnell, it’s more of a personal identification with someone who has gone through difficult financial circumstances. With Whitman, it is more something felt by leaders and owners of businesses who are keenly aware of the Great Disconnect between a very jaded Washington bureaucracy, and an increasingly distrustful business-class.

There is no question that in all walks of life, without empathy, relationships do not usually have the lasting power, the cement that makes them work. Empathy, in short, only comes from pain. This is not to say that the current caviar class who formed their power-base on the backs of the poor, pretending to care for the poor, have absolutely no idea what pain is like, but if they did… well, they have forgotten. The best way to remind them is to make them sit on the sidelines.

Many years ago I went through an ordeal which caused me an extreme amount of physical pain. In fact, the pain was so great that I had not been, up to the point, even aware that pain could be that painful. I did not know that a person could feel that much pain, and live. I suspect that there are many people in our universe who have experienced such intense pain. It leaves one with a knowledge and awareness that goes beyond anything one will ever have experienced – or known. An awareness of what? I can only say, ‘the human soul.’This brings me to my real point, which probably has very little to do with anything political, in a contemporary sense. Many years ago there was a very great prophet who did very good things, healed people, preached comforting words to them, preached disturbing words to them, raised the dead, and ultimately gave his own life in an ordeal which is by any reckoning, absolutely gruesome and horrible. Yet, I have found myself pondering, that this person, who so greatly loved humans and was himself a human, experienced a pain even greater than the forty lashes on his back with steel or ceramic balls knotted into the whip, a pain even greater than being nailed to the lumber of a heavy cross, a pain even more horrible than being exposed to die while hanging in a way that constricted breathing, forced bleeding, and exposed one to all of the cruelty of the ambient air, bugs, birds, heat and sun. It wasn’t until I went through my own experience of great pain, that I glimpsed what pain he must have felt (not that I even approached to feeling it, because, truly, I just barely sensed it in my own pain).
What pain was that? It was the pain that an incredibly deep and powerful soul feels, a soul whose depth and power is oceanic compared to the average creature. It was the pain of every incident, every tragedy, every murder, every rape, every car accident, every battering of another individual out of anger, every accidental or deliberate injury to an individual, being slowly and continually dumped upon that great soul, minute after minute, hour after hour, until all was completed.

Even if you are of a religion that doesn’t accept that this death occurred, it would be impossible to deny that anything that the Eternal had begun had somehow failed. Therefore, we must conclude that at the very least that soul bore far more pain than we can comprehend.
(I can sit back and look up and say, “Really, and truly, You know my pain. “ And many years ago the Eternal One was able to look at Abraham and impart that he, Abraham, would know to a lesser intensity, His pain; which is, no doubt, why Abraham was considered to be God’s friend.
In all things, there is an eternal, powerful, fast-flowing, yet changeless origin of all lights that answers to the empty echo of the ‘not-even-nothingness’, ‘not even Null’ of that ‘not even emptiness’ that preceded ‘ the Big Bang’ or whatever that imagined inception was, with a small, still, “I am Here,” and yes, “I know your pain.”

Copyright October 02, 2010 by John P. Schumake

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The Catacombs

September 19th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

In an attempt to understand what happened to American Society in 2012, archeologists sifted through the graffiti left by programmers inside of their source code. They looked inside of ancient databases of social websites, some of which were still retrievable by resurrecting the great 3-Phi digital interpolator, sort of the Rosetta stone of early digital life and times in the now long receded 21st century. It was known that society had arrived at the peak, or perhaps nadir of a great battle, if you will, between conservative and liberal elements. It had long been thought that the final trending towards women wearing long heavy garments, people being stoned for adultery, and the mandatory large family had something to do with a victory of the Conservative group coupled with a startling population decline due to viruses and internal strife, but the newest and most thorough of the archeological discoveries were about to reveal otherwise.
As engineers began to peer into the great recorded digital past, they began to make a startling discovery, a discovery that had long been masked because of the thorough expunging of any physical documentation or physical traces of that previous society. It was not, in fact, a victory of Conservatives over Liberals, but quite the reverse. A great victory of the liberal groups tended society towards an open unchallenged acceptance of physical and social enclaves of very radical religious groups in an attempt at appeasement. It was a blandishment. It was for the hope of capturing a voting block. The voting block ended up capturing them. In an ostensible show at freedom, a freedom they (the Liberal elements) would never have equally accorded the traditional Conservative Christian elements of society, they appeared to welcome even more Stringent groups in an attempt to bolster voting blocks and garner support from new groups. It wasn’t long, though, before the Liberal group’s attempt at ingesting new ethnic groups produced the alarming result of their having been digested from the inside out.
Traces of this reality appeared scrawled on the insides of code and old digital communications, the identities and allegiances of the authors varying. One sad and alarming truth emerged, however. Members of the extremely stringent religious groups who had wandered to the Americas in an effort to acquire distance and freedom from the older ways were actually chagrinned to find that the Conservatives, whom they were quietly rooting for, did not seem to win out over the liberals. It was in this seeming defeat, (and they saw it coming) that they found themselves engulfed in the very past they had fled.
There was one significant difference, however: the underground. Like Christians hiding in catacombs of the early and now ancient days of Christianity there was a social, physical, spiritual, and oddly, even a mental underground, with a distinct power (and it was a power). The power was not military or anything that could be passed by means of tools, weapons or mechanisms. It was a personal power shared in groups, a power mentioned by a few ancient writings, writings like those of the ancient prophet Joel. The power was communicated, interestingly, by language, amongst many varied groups, all sharing the common voice and experience of a nearly indefinable, yet horrific oppression. The language was remarkable in many ways, particularly in that it was incomprehensible to all, but the underground.

Copyright September 19th by John P. Schumake

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Who Are The Pawns?

September 11th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

If one admires the bold avarice of corporate raiders of the 1970’s and 1980’s in their coldly resolute ability to acquire, crush and dismantle corporations ripe for the picking one has to admire the calm, charming even colorful, deadliness that the Obama small business plan unfolds with and displays.
Even sparsely attractive in a desert sort of way it’s disguised to look like the lean, and unadorned plans one would typically expect to see from Republicans.

What is the move? The gameplay is to characterize Republicans as stick-in-the mud ne’er-do-wells (“No, no, no, no no no no”)…, when in fact they may be the last bastion of hope between the government’s steady encroachment upon business and successful free-enterprise business itself.

Why is Obama’s plan so brilliant…. mockingly abusive, and diabolical? (Not to mention bloodsucking). It is so because it gains control over businesses by providing them with loans, and it uses their own money to do it, steadily coercing them to spend their money on government plans, government agendas, with a very liberally driven quid-pro-quo for the tax credits. (They are not ‘no-strings attached tax cuts’.)

It’s one of the most dangerous and dictatorial moves yet. A chessmaster move that one would expect of a successful warlord, quietly musing over his opponent’s sense of self-fulfilled glee at seeming gains, but in any warlord’s conquests there are always –pawns, so who are the pawns? Are you out of work, or working with a reduced work week, or reduced pay? Go look in the mirror.
The plan is insidious in that it casts a wide net of control over the small businesses of the nation by this mechanism: They will get some of their own tax money back if they do certain things. If they hire people who have been unemployed for x number of months, they get a credit, if they buy certain types of equipment, they get x number of credits. Never mind whether that person is the person the business really needs in order to prosper, or whether the equipment is the sort that is best suited to that businesses ventures. Obama sarcastically chides the Republicans in much the same way a person full of the party chides a quieter more sober companion who has been saying, “Sir, haven’t you imbibed enough…”
He replies loudly and to an audience, “I’ll be the one to decide when I’ve had enough to spend!!! You’re just a killjoy! No, no, no no, no…. That’s all that ever comes out of your mouth… and I’m not giving you the keys to the car.”

The Republicans have soberly responded to the President’s plan by saying,
’Look, Mr. President, stop trying to run the small businesses. Just let them keep the Bush tax cuts they already have, and let them spend their own money how they best see fit.”
Obama’s chiding tries to characterize the Republicans as wanting to hurt small businesses. Very clever, artful, a desert chameleon disguising his own plan as Republican-esque, he only lies in wait to strike at a stray unwary Republican, positing an almost appealing, seemingly innocuous, but controlling plan in the mind in the same way that the desert wasp deposits an egg in the brain of the desert tarantula…. or worse, to capture the young or unschooled voter who knows not the difference between a tax-cut and a tax-credit, or the difference between the firefly and the cannibalistic Photuris Firefly mimic.

Meanwhile, the sitting president continues to raise the specter of that dangerous Bush, and present his own new ways as a refuge, in much the same way that the deadly carnivorous hydra disguises itself as a safe haven from the patrolling dolphin.
While we are forced to consider the insidious, the carnivorous, and of course, president Bush, the patrolling dolphin, none of this is inscrutably diabolical, none of this is quintessentially evil. We have, as a nation, been through worse, and this would be a good moment to remember 9/11, and the many victims, both living and dead. This would be a good moment to commemorate, and think about what happened on 9/11, exactly 9 years ago.

As we commemorate 9/11 and the horrible tragedy that occurred on that day, I began to think about what preceded the tragedy. There had been a memo by Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton years, to Louis Freeh, director of the FBI and several other individuals. The memo was an exhortation from the Justice department to Intelligence Gathering Branches in the United States Government which essentially placed walls of separation between branches, and resulted in the curtailing of information sharing between agencies and Counterintelligence Teams. Attorney General Ashcroft’s Office later referred to the resultant unfortunate process as:
‘the wall that segregated criminal investigators and intelligence agents’ .

The provision in the memo was an odd one and it actually may have prevented the FBI, who had gathered much information on the 9/11 hijackers prior to the attack, from connecting the dots with other Federal Intelligence Agencies, who had gathered similar information. Arguably, 9/11 might never have occurred if the two agencies could have talked to each other and shared the information. The failing was actually not a failing of our intelligence gathering community, but was more a result of it being internally under attack by our Clinton era justice department.
What I find interesting in all of this is that, during the entire Bush Presidency, President Bush himself never once pointed the finger of blame, not even by manner of innuendo at President Clinton, though he might well have.
Regarded by many as a sort of a rube, George Bush was, in his bearing and his resolve, both in what to do and equally in what not to do, certainly the man for that season. By contrast, I can’t help but to be amused at how incessantly the current callow leadership of the nation points the finger of blame towards President Bush for the state of the economy.
It is no secret that the economy, from airline travels to hotel bookings, to Broadway Productions went into a tailspin after 9/11. While no one would have dared to have blamed president Bush at the time for the state of the economy, and the state that ensued as Democrats took control of both houses for the last four years of President Bush’s presidency, it has not occurred to President Barack Obama to do otherwise. He has artfully discovered how to continue to blame Bush even 20 months into his presidency. He does so by continually ‘discovering’ that things were much worse than he originally thought. Though the keys to the shop were actually given to him a full 20 months ago, prior to the planning of the stimulus, he somehow keeps discovering more ways in which it was worse than he originally thought, and reasons why the stimulus just isn’t quite yet working. Why the Democrats who have been in control of the House and the Senate for the past 6 years didn’t share this information with him, is, of course, a mystery. (maybe it has something to do with the memo).
Remember, the last 2 years of the ‘Bush decade’ as President Obama likes to call it, were actually under the presidency of President Obama. He does well, however, to conclude his presidency under the nomenclature of ‘the Bush decade’ for he has done nothing different in the ‘spending department’ other than to do lots more of it than the previous president did. The only thing he has done differently, of course, is to blame the previous president.

Copyright September 11th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Posted in History, Humor, Social Issues | Comments (1)


It’s Constitutional… No it’s not…. Yes, it is…

September 5th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

There is quite a lot being said lately about what is one’s Constitutional Rights. These two words are being thrown about almost carelessly. Particularly with issues on the border with Mexico, Arizona’s current lawsuit involvement with the Federal government over immigration issues, and matters regarding the proposed ‘Ground Zero’ mosque, I have heard the word Constitutional used so frequently, I know that it is not likely that all of the people using the word ‘Constitutional’ have even read the entire document, much less comprehended any of it.
I decided to apply myself to reading the Constitution. After all, I am a programmer. I read technical books on how to tweak pre-compiled code using an intermediate language disassembler. I have read books on C# with great relish, musing at the differences between this language and C++, so how hard could the Constitution be? I decided to apply myself to reading it in the context of the issues impacting us today, the issues of the infamous mosque and the border issues. I jumped in reading. I did actually read it all, racing through certain sections about electoral processes. Having done that, I paused, of course, at Article I in the enumerated amendments. The Articles looked to me something like functions in a computer program. This first function provides you not only with the freedom of religion, but also the freedom of speech, and it’s logical that the two should go together. For, without the freedom of speech, you would certainly have no freedom of religion. I reflected for a moment that the very freedom that ostensibly gives one the right to build a building to practice a religion is the very same freedom that provides the opponents of this procedure with the right to speak in opposition. Remove the one freedom, and you would necessarily have to remove the other.
I found myself, again looking at this function like a programmer wondering whether this right was retrieved by value or by reference once the function was executed, and of course, the function is only executed when put to the test. We won’t worry about that yet. In order to achieve the appropriate context, I found that I had to go back to the very opening words of the Constitution. Though seldom cited with specificity in courts of law the Preamble is often glossed over, and, from what I understand, rarely used in courts to support or argue against a matter, I must say to this that I believe that this will change as more technologically minded people begin to appreciate and comprehend the writings.
This is where the Constitution reads,

“We the People of the United States, in Order to Form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

I believe in legal, or at least traditional parlance this section is usually referred to as the Preamble. In Programming Parlance we would call this the ‘Declarations’ section. All of the references, tools, and global level variables you will use throughout the source will be found here.
I realized what the framers meant to do here. It is not only in this original statement that the rest of the source code must flow, but all of the rest of the words of the document, need to comply, in essence with these first words. They aren’t just a nice little introduction.
In other words, no matter what is said throughout the entire document it must be understood in the context of ‘The People of the United States’, it must be a proponent or necessary piece of the machinery that helps to form ‘a more perfect Union’, it must be a part of not only clarifying ‘Justice’ but establishing it, and it must in no way go against that. The objective contained needs to always work towards domestic Tranquility. That is the defined purpose and ultimate objective. If the authors had written, ‘to foster Debate, Conflict and Mayhem, for it is out of this that the growth of a truly mature society will come’, we would have quite a different Constitution, but the purpose and direction was clear. Allow me to continue, ‘to provide for the common defence’. Here we can see that the honorable and brilliant James Madison was listening to that illustrious and reverent Thomas Jefferson, perhaps looking over his shoulder at this juncture. We know that the securing of the National Defense was at the core of Jefferson’s intentions and thoughts. Indeed, he felt the Federal government should be strong in defending the people, borders, businesses, and commerce and land of the nation. He also felt that the Federal Government needed to be weak in just about every other area. (hence, the seeds of the animosity between Jefferson and Hamilton). I will continue, ‘to promote the general Welfare’. My, my, my… (and I almost never in my life have said, ‘My, my, my…) The general Welfare. Not the ‘specific’ Welfare of just one group, not the needs and ambitions and hopes of just one group, but, ‘the general Welfare.’ And we see this later in the constitution that the document states that no article, statement or right enumerated in the document can be construed as denying another right or guarantee. At that point, the document begins to reflect upon itself, as all good well-woven source code does. However, in the beginning the document is not reflecting upon itself.
You can not say that the Justice was meant, in a Civil sense, but not a military sense, or that it was Criminal Justice, but not emotional Justice, because at this point the document has just begun. It has no parameters or limits. We cannot say, that the Declarations (or Pre-Amble) are constitutional, or ‘unconstituional’ because, it is the Constitution. In other words, that global declaration, those first words subordinate themselves to no previous declaration. They are beholden only to their own continuity with each other, (as also Declarations of Computer Programs must be, rather unambiguous) and this Opening we find almost totally unambiguous.
I will continue, ‘and to secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity’. This is a phrase worth thinking about. Know this: Blessings are bestowed. They are by definition ‘transitive’, or in a programming sense they would be functions that provide a value. They do not exist in a vacuum. You would say, therefore, ‘I bless you, with this tractor.’ Or, ‘You have blessed me with this bread,’ or, ‘God has blessed us with rain. You would never say, with any sensibility or knowledge of how the word works, ‘I bless’ ‘Joe blessed!’ , or simply just, ‘Bless!’ Like it or not this little phrase must be fundamental to the entire framework of the document.. Lastly, ‘do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.’ In other words, all of the words that precede this are to be directed towards this, this ordination, and establishment. Interestingly, the ordination of it, or the anointing of the document precedes the completion of the building of it. Therefore, this is absolute incontrovertible reinforcement of the concept, that all of the words must absolutely agree with and flow from this initial Declaration, or the establishment would defy the anointing, which is, at first brief and conceptual.
So what do we have? We have words that tell us that though freedom of religion and speech are essential, obviously to say anything to anyone at anytime can not necessarily be done with impunity and immunity, because if it so exceeds the boundaries set by the Declaration or any other part of the Constitution, it may in fact be injurious or damaging to another party, and may in fact deny someone else of the fundamental purpose in this Declaration, i.e. justice, domestic tranquility, a common defense… The old example of, ‘One is not free to yell, ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater, if in fact there is no Fire, might well be heeded.
It was with this understanding that I began to realize, that the guarantee of Freedom of Religion, does absolutely guarantee that you can freely practice your religion anywhere at anytime. Yet, as is stated by the constitution, under the Amendments, Article IX: ‘The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.’ I love the word ‘enumerate’. Programmers use it frequently. This article, of course, must be appreciated in the context of the original very first declaration that I have been looking at. It is the global declaration. Future more technologically orientated generations will certainly see it that way. No doubt, for all of the reasons I have stated, James Madison and his fellows must have seen it that way.
Here is where I will state something alarming: the right to freedom of religion, while it does guarantee that you can freely practice your religion, does not (and I have shown you in two places in the Constitution, one global-> the Declaration and one local-> Article IX)… does not give a group the right to practice that religion in absolutely any way that they want in any locality. Likewise, there is nothing in the Constitution that guarantees that one should be able to build a building of one’s choosing anywhere one wants, one of course being an individual or a group of individuals. Local building ordinances alone can prohibit someone from building a building for a place of worship on a particular tract. Why? Proximity to toxic waste dumps, unstable ground, or the fact that the school building is attached to the Church and both are too close to a tavern or liquor store to satisfy a municipal ordinance. Does this deny a Constitutional Right? Usually, the ordinance is built, or established, with the ‘General Welfare’, ‘Tranquility’ and ‘Justice’ in mind.
I will now refer to items being passed by Value or By reference. This is important. If an item is passed by Value, the recipient will receive a physical copy of that item, a new item that represents the original. If it is passed by Reference, the recipient will have received the exact original item. So if I alter the item in any way, I change the original. Here’s the difference between ‘By Reference’ and ‘By Value’; It may seem counter-intuitive to you: If I have a grape arbor all of one big interconnected vine, and I cut a shoot from that vine, and successfully transplant it and it is genetically equal to the vine I possess, and I then give it to you, I have given it to you, ‘By Value’. If you destroy it, you haven’t destroyed my vine.
On the other hand, if your yard is next to mine and I tell you that you can train my vine to grow over your fence into your yard, and you then train it over a pergola, you really possess a vine, “By Reference’. It’s the same vine. Should you get mad and poison your vine, you will likely also poison my vine, because, they are really the same vine. That is, in a programming sense, ‘By Reference.’ Why is this distinction important? I asked myself earlier, ‘Are these rights in Article I of the Bill of Rights, By Value or By Reference?’ Well, if they are ‘By Reference’ then if I destroy it in one place for one person, I have destroyed it everywhere for everyone. That’s just something to ponder.
While you mull that more serious issue, I will get back to a less serious, but important matter: If a person says, “I have a Constitutional Right to Speak in any way I want,’ or I have a Constitutional right to build a building where I want, then I would say that that imbecile has not read the Constitution. The Constitution is so woven with completely referenced, or threaded connectivity to that opening declaration that to make such a statement brings into question whether that Individual understood the intentions of the original declaration, and even brings into question whether the group or individual understands what is meant by ‘We the People’. I am not at all saying a person or group does or doesn’t have a right to build a certain building in a certain place. I am simply saying that when one oversimplifies and says, “Well, this is my constitutional right! and anything else is bigoted!”, Causes me to realize that most of these people have not read and do not comprehend the Constitution, certainly not from a programmer’s standpoint, and possibly not from the standpoint of a student of the Constitution. Having read the Constitution, now – though I do recall having to study it in grammar school and take an exam on it, bit having read it again, I will say that the only fair statement a person could make who wanted to situate a physical building of any type where the general public will be able to, indeed, will in some cases have to be in the presence of it is this, “I believe that this building is an expression of our religion. I therefore believe that we do possess a constitutional guarantee to be able to build that building in such and such a location.” To flatly state, ‘It is my Constitutional Right’ is an admission of one’s complete ignorance of this document. Here: If I were to state that my Constitutional Guarantee of Freedom of Religion permitted me to build a building of worship where I then planned to enslave people inside of that very building, both Article IX enumerated in the Amendments, and the original Declaration serve to defy this alleged Constitutional Freedom. Remember that the ordination or Intention of the actual building generally precedes the construction of the building. What one’s intentions are should never be ignored when one discusses constitutionality. It must be understood in the context of ‘We, the People,’ a ‘more Pefect Union’, ‘Justice’ for all, and not just for one, Justice that is legal, social, psychological, civil, economic, national and local and can in all ways be comprehended. Think of this lastly. When Mr. Madison wrote the first line of the Constitution, he did not know what the fourth and fifth sentences would be. He certainly had not yet penned the Bill of Rights, and the ensuing Amendments had not been written. Yet, he knew that the first line, no matter what, must be true. Therefore, he knew, quite logically, that anything he wrote to follow, or anything anyone wrote to follow must logically support and agree with that very first line, or it would not remain to be true.

In historical fairness, I must say that the Preamble is often glossed over, and, as I have said, rarely used in Courts to support or argue against a matter. I must say to this that I believe that this will change as people trained to understand the flow of source code have a crack at it, and as technically trained people who understand the necessity to read ‘All of the Directions’, and not skip the part where you were supposed to have a good look at the packaging, begin to review it. This must happen, for if the Preamble did not have the significance I have expressed, then Mr. Madison may as well have copied any writing from a bathroom stall and thrown it up there, and then proceeded with the rest of the Articles.

Copyright September 05, 2010 by John P. Schumake

Posted in History, Religion, Social Issues | Comments (2)


One More Time

August 29th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

The song starts out like this, “Oh I’m goin’ down south just to see my gal singin…”
I was shocked to see that my daughter did not know the rest of the words to this song. In fact, in an independent study, financed completely by me, I have deduced that only people over 50 are relatively assured to know the rest of the words. I thought I taught my children well. I was certain that I had imparted the wisdom I had acquired through the years to my children, but evidently not. So I sit here, staring wanly out the window, singin’ “Polly Wolly Doodle all the Day.”
There was an experiment routinely performed a number of years ago that was rather cruel, but perhaps somewhat necessary, though I’m not sure. It was an experiment where monkeys, or orangutans were placed in a chair and there was a device built into the chair that simulated the sudden impact of a collision from the rear of a car, and it generally resulted in breaking vertebrae of the orangutans. Animal rights groups argued, and rightfully so, that the experiments were performed in unnecessary superfluity. Whatever data needed to be gleaned from so damaging the animal could have been gained from one or two, or even ten experiments, but the experiment did NOT NEED TO BE PERFORMED OVER AND OVER BY DIFFERENT SCHOOLS AND DIFFERENT LABS ALL OVER THE United States. The experiment was performed perhaps hundreds upon hundreds of times.
There was a court ruling this past Monday by Judge Royce Lambert, U.S. district Court, that will prohibit Federal Grant money for going to use in projects that result in the destruction of a human embryo. It appears that the Judge’s ruling will even prohibit the federal money from being used in cases where cells were from the ‘already gleaned line of cells’ that were approve by the Bush administration for continued government sponsored research. Here’s my interest in this: There are cells that have been researched to considerable extent in Europe and Asia and to some degree in the U.S. They are called IPS cells. In layman’s terms, these are basically cells derived most often from human skin cells. They show great promise in the areas of research with regard to cell regeneration, nerve and tissue repair, and all of the areas that stem cell research was hoped to show promise in. They have one great advantage over embryonic stem cells:
They are gleaned from the skin cells of the individual who needs the repair work done, thus the possibility of rejection by the body is practically zero.
Unfortunately, embryonic stem cells do not share this. Research on cell embryos, which ploughed ahead originally in Europe and Asia, was stalled here partially because of the legal wrangling over government funding and to a greater degree because private groups for some unknown reason just didn’t see fit to sufficiently fund it; ironically, this very research has caused labs in Europe and Asia to move ahead in a different direction than embryonic stem cell research. In part this was due to the revelation that even embryonic stem cells when used to repair the tissue of an individual share all of the potential for rejection that is experienced in any other sort of tissue transplant between individuals. As a result, embryonic stem cell research has been somewhat left in the dust as the dawn of new promises and brighter hopes ala IPS cells and other technologies arrive.
What is it about certain areas of Science where we have to perform the dismantling ourselves; we can’t read the studies and plethora of research that has gone before. Instead, we have to spend government money to redo what’s been done, instead of building upon the foundation that’s been painstakingly set. (Mathematicians don’t do that!) Think of how much progress we could make, if instead of starting at square one, and redoing what many others have done, we put out energies into moving ahead with new work on the amazingly promising IPS cells. Sometimes it’s just about politics. It’s about, “We won’t be told we can’t do this!” Whatever side you are on in the issue, there should be something comforting in the idea that the system our forefathers set up over two-hundred years ago, to make sure one group with a particular way of thinking didn’t completely run rough-shod over another group, still somewhat works. We’ve lived through a year and a half of untested and very expensive policies, bills and laws flying past our eyeballs. Laws, bills and braggadoccio flurried around in a storm of ,”Just a few short months and the housing market will be booming,” Just eight months and the economy will be right on track with lots of new jobs!”, and for an additional 6 years of a very liberally controlled Legilature we have heard, “Soon we’ll have all sorts of treatments from embryonic stem cell research!” Not a single one of those empty promises bore fruit. It’s nice to see someone with power and authority say, “Whoa! Slow down there! Now with whose money were you going to do this?”
Note that there is nothing to stop the private sector from funding research on embryonic stem cells. If there are people who feel very strongly that, despite the possibilities of tissue rejection, and despite more promising strides in other more positive directions embryonic stem cell research is still promising and worth putting money into, there is nothing to stop people from funding it, and supporting it through private labs and private research. It’s a matter of how deeply you believe in it. Do you believe in it when it’s your own money?

-copyright August 28th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

Posted in History, Humor, Religion, Social Issues | Comments (0)


Come Close. I Have a Secret to Tell You

August 22nd, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

We all have secrets. Some of them are things that might embarrass us. Some of them are things that we consider essentially private, and though not embarrassing, still, even potentially hurtful to ourselves or others, and therefore, very private. Some of them can be bad things, things we are a bit ashamed of. Most are not serious in anyone’s eyes but our own. Some of them are very good things, things that we are compelled to keep secret, yet, very good, perhaps even powerful.

Everyone hearing Obama vie for the Ground Zero Mosque thought they had discovered the great secret of his religion, ‘Cat’s outa the bag, Obama’s a Muslim’. His recent appeal for recognition of ‘Religious Freedom’ for the Muslims desiring to build the Cordoba House Mosque, and then his reeling in of much of his statement a few days later, coupled with his austere, respectful and dutiful demeanor to King Abdullah in 2009, coupled with a George Stephanopoulos interview and a few other things seem to point in that direction. He may in fact be a Muslim, however: I suggest that the hype created by all of this is really just welcome cover for a deeper darker secret, the squelched secret, of course, which most logical people would come to, that the president may indeed be a vampire, he along with Nancy Legosi, alias Nancy Pelosi.
(You have to picture him, Barracula, in a long silk cape, protruding front canines saying, “Let them build the Mosque, Ah… Ahhhh… Ahhh… ” his finger pointing out menacingly…)
Don’t let the purchase of new Inversion Tables for Senate, House and White House exercise rooms fool you. Oh yeh, it’s to keep people’s backs stretched out alright. Don’t be a fool! Vampires need to hang upside down! Close your eyes, now I want you to hear Harry Reid’s voice in your head. Dosn’t it sound almost exactly like Peter Lorre’s? I’m not sure if Peter Lorre was ever a vampire, but he played a few demons in a few movies. I think the cartoons stretched him into a vampire a few times.

So what’s my secret? Well, I couldn’t tell you, or it wouldn’t be a secret. I actually have quite a number of them. A few, I let out every now and then, sort of like a jubilee for secrets. A few of them I hold close to my vest, ….or Tee-shirt. I will tell you this, though. I have learned that there are some secrets we do not even tell ourselves for, perhaps many years until, one night when we are dozing or reading, the light suddenly goes on, and our brain (I have mine and you have yours) tells us a little something about our lives or our pasts, and we just sit there (I wanted to say lay, but I wasn’t sure which wasn’t correct, lay, lie, lain…) and upon receiving this great epiphany we say, “Son of a gun! I never realized that till now!”

I’ll tell you a little secret. Here goes one. ‘Always have a secret that embodies something very good or even great about yourself. If you don’t have one, develop it, work on it. Make it a project. Don’t tell anyone. It will give you strength. If you feel it is something people should, at some point know, you can do as Mark Twain did, seal the writings with instructions for them to be opened at a later date. My son informed me that the autobiography of Samuel Clemens is currently being released. Evidently he gave instructions for them to be released 100 years after his death.

Even secret societies have derived their power from the fact that they are secret or have secrets. I think that most of those societies have probably forgotten their secrets, or lost the key, or lost the door, or realized that the secret wasn’t that great of a secret anyway. I will venture to say that people probably graduate, or migrate or laterally move from one secret society to another because of improved quality of secrets.

Lastly, I will tell you this:
One of the secrets about vampires that most people don’t know is that, when they are doing their most powerfully devious work they have to be wearing the clothing that they first went into the coffin with, which, you can imagine after a few hundred years gets awfully nasty.
That is, of course, a nasty secret.
I’ll tell you another secret. We all know what a vampire is, but if you walk backwards through the name, you learn even more. Remove the ‘V’ and you have ‘ampire’, the dictionary pronunciation for ampere, or a basic unit of electricity. Don’t be surprised, but vampires generate great amounts of electricity from their devilish deeds. Then remove the ‘A’ and you have ‘mpire’. Of course, an attempt to pronounce this gives us ‘Empire’. That is what every Vampire from Vlad Drac to the present group has tried to acquire. Generally, they have all been frustrated in this. Arguably, given their longevity they may be the same people, different names. Okay, now remove the ‘M’ and you have ‘pire’. At first glance when you see PIRE you, of course, think of the Partnership In International Research and Education, which is a scientific sort of research partnership between the U.S. and Russia for the purpose of studying volcanoes, and we all know that dormant volcanoes can provide access to the underworld, albeit temporary. However, a deeper look, again at the pronunciation brings us the word ‘pyre’. A burial pyre is where some cultures would burn or cremate a deceased individual. Just as kryptonite was a key to Superman’s weakness, so the final burning of the vampire on a pyre after the stake has been driven through his heart seems to be central to his assured demise… maybe.
Then of course, we remove the letter ‘P’ and we have ‘ire’, and it is readily evident that all vampires possess ire. They are capable of great ire. They will shake their finger at you, pull that silk cape in front of them when you have displeased them and turn into a bat, or just glower at you, sort of like grand-pa pa on the Munsters or Harry Reid trying to comprehend why any Hispanics wopuld be Republicans.
Lastly, we remove the ‘i’ and we have ‘re’. This goes back to ‘Empire’ because they all want to be king, back to Julius Caesar, who some people believe actually was a vampire and Brutus and Cassius actually may have stabbed him on the Ides of March with a wooden stake, but that’s another story. And then there is the ‘new’ secret, unknown to previous generations. If you remove the ‘R’ from the remaining ‘re’ you have ‘e’. Okay, I’ll help you; ‘Email’, ‘E-trading’, ‘E-learning’, ‘E-bloodsucking’. Yes, the new technology gives vampires, at once the notoriety and e-lectricity they briefly love, and yet the ability to hide in the shadows, which is a custom of all vampires.

Get some secrets.

Forget about your wallet.

Watch your neck.

Copyright August 22, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Posted in Humor, Social Issues | Comments (4)


It Is the Best of Times, It Is the Worst of Times

August 15th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

There have been very many different revolutions: The American Revolution, the Industrial revolution, the Technological revolution, the French revolution, the Russian revolution. If there were going to be another revolution in the United States what would it be? Revolutions tend to try to move you away from what isn’t working, from that which is a sort of constrictive or oppressive force. Not all Revolutions are beneficial. The Russian Revolution moved a great people from the oppression of an aristocracy to the oppression of a bureaucracy.

Picture a world where, if a thief comes to your place of business an electronic eye locks on her (the criminal) immediately, and a vertex of laser beams focused on her chest becomes immediately visible. She (the criminal), can see the beams change configuration as she is moving. Will she be shot? Will she just be recorded by a security camera? The crime is no longer secret. The element of surprise has been turned around. Picture a world where no one tries to be politically correct. In this world everyone is initiated into society by a method practiced since ancient times: Creators of children’s cartoons caricature each and every individual from each and every nationality and race in ways that exaggerate the accents, features, traditions of that particular race or nationality. Few people are offended, most laugh.
Picture a world where gun laws have become irrelevant, because weaponry is daily being developed that isn’t even addressed by the laws, weaponry like auto-responsive clothing that is able to address only the attacker with sharp invisible, yet painful barbs, or intense flashes of light momentarily disable the perpetrator of a forced entry.
Picture a world where smaller social institutions, and inter-corporate affiliations, even guilds, if you will, become the defender of those abused by a drug infested gangs, because the large, lumbering government has become a slow and overstuffed dinosaur that is ready to collapse under its own weight. It’s unable (or unwilling) to respond to issues of drug-lords creating an escalating terror. The weighty dinosaur has too many directions to watch, too many mouths to feed, too many internal parasites, too large of a surface area to keep cool in the heat and warm in the cold. Are we there yet?
Maybe this isn’t a good revolution.
Maybe the abortion issue becomes somewhat irrelevant because people begin utilizing new technologies to freeze embryos at every stage of development. Still very wrong in the eyes of the church and many people, the skittishness of people to bring children into an uncertain economy, impels them to freeze their little conceptions. The Western World experiences a new crisis, alarmingly dwindling populations. Economic times have always been uncertain. Technologies are new. Or, perhaps, the abortion issue finally helps to ignite an already great divide filled with nothing but the fuel of their intense disagreements. Issues mount on both sides, like kindling heaped and tottering near an already blazing oven.

People become learned and brilliant in areas of great specificity, and sadly ignorant in areas of general understanding and knowledge that help them appreciate the issues that their counterparts or neighbors are concerned with.
The government has refused to govern. Guilds set up the virtual, electronic and social blockades against drug runners and gangs.
The Internet is filled with people selling body parts, even body parts of infants at large. The government has refused to govern. It only taxes. The guilds seek new and creative ways to avoid the taxes,
The government seeks to absorb, to commandeer the guilds. Pieces of kindling, heaped high begin to topple.
The government doesn’t know how to govern.
It just knows how to eat and grow.
Who will restore hope and order? Thomas Jefferson? Eli Whitney? Andrew Carnegie perhaps, or maybe…
Madame DeFarge.

Copyright August 15th 2010 By Juan Zapatero

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Dropping the Big Ball, or From Ventures to Dentures

July 31st, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

There’s an old story, which I heard down in Mexico, and I am told is true, about a man who daily rode a bike across the border from Mexico into the U.S., and then at night went back, and everyone suspected him of selling some sort of illegal contraband, probably because he always had money. The guards at the crossing always checked him, and they too seemed convinced that he was somehow smuggling something into the United States, but no one could figure it out. Finally, either because the economics of his little venture changed, or simply because an intelligent person figured the caper out, he was busted. It turns out that the contraband he was transporting was the bicycle he rode across the border daily. No one noticed that in the evening he was on foot. The bicycles, at the time, were on the list of items not allowed to be sold across the border.

The drug problem in the United States has gotten completely out of control. It is the worst it has ever been, involving people on all levels. Drug related deaths and injuries range from the drug-fueled gangland killings on the street to the person who drives his car in the wrong direction on the expressway, under the influence, and kills a car full of other drivers.
People who survive death, but are active participants in the drug nightmare generally become unable to be productive members of society. The man/hours of productivity lost in this country, due to addictions are a weakening factor in our economy. The drain on the health care system, the lives destroyed and the crimes committed make drugs the single most damaging element in our society. More people are killed yearly in drug related incidents than any wars we have been involved in over the past 40 years.

It should be the WAR. I would never venture to say that the Arizona Immigration Law is any sort of a panacea to stop the drug traffic. It’s not. I will say, however, that the Obama Administration has totally and completely dropped the ball on the most critical, dangerous and damaging war in our history. If the Obama Administration had made fighting drug use, stopping its importation, educating the youth, defeating the smugglers on the Federal level at the point of origin the priority, the Arizona border law would never have been considered.

Instead, the Administration has focused so much on the outcroppings of the drug problem, ‘people with drug addictions who need stimulus money for sanitation reasons, or people unemployed and on drugs who need healthcare. These are noble and necessary things, but they completely fail to address the point of origin in this plan. Drug use and traffic has escalated beyond being track-able. It has been historically part of many transactions that fund terrorists. Supposedly, every single dollar bill that has been in circulation for a year, if you look at it closely under a microscope has drug traces on it.

Unlike the last three Presidents who went before him, who were the first to appoint drug czars and implement new or expanded programs to fight the problem (though they too fell short), there has been little or no mention of any effort by the Obama Administration to aggressively attack and wage war against the must fundamental and core problem that we have and to make it a targeted priority. There doesn’t even seem to be an initiative to recognize that it is a major problem. I have searched and found no documentation since he took office that any such pronouncements have passed through his teeth or across Speaker Pelosi’s dentures. (Side-thought: How do you make dentures for vampires… Is plumbing involved?)
Oh, sorry, I used the word, ‘War’.

It’s possible that I have mis-remembered the story, and therefore mistakenly misspoke: It’s possible that the bicycles were made in the United States, and sold into Mexico, which would mean that the man was walking across the border in the morning and riding back at night.

Copyright July 31, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Posted in History, Humor, Social Issues | Comments (3)


ITS ALL ABOUT SHARING

July 24th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

I was amused by the clever ploy of the Obama Administration to be willing to sabotage their own proposed extension of the unemployment benefits just to make Republicans look bad. Republicans in Congress agreed provisionally to extension of the benefits providing the Obama administration would pay for them out of the existing stimulus. Obama wanted to incur new debt, and, of course, characterized the Republicans as not wanting to help the unemployed, at all – no, not a bit, and he shook his finger to prove it. The sad irony is that it would have actually been the Obama Administration and the Congressional Democrats refusal to use existing funds for the Benefit Extension that would have resulted in the denial of benefits for the unemployed. The gain for the Democrats? It’s purely political.

This brings up an important issue of ‘Cross-Purposes’ as it relates to what the administration should do to help the country and what is politically expedient. Take this ‘Energy’ example as it pertains to the average home energy user. What would unquestionably help to reduce the strain on Coal producing Energy Plants, and also reduce the potential of total electrical brown-outs during High Usage Periods would be an incentive for home owners to invest in Natural Gas Generators to Power their Houses in the event of an energy outage. This would help on many levels. It would reduce the necessity for immediate emergency response that overwhelms first responders, because many people relying on electrical equipment for life assistance would be covered. It would reduce the impact of power outages on areas that have been hit by storms resulting in interrupted electrical service. It would provide a balance to the electrical load, especially if there were an incentive for individuals to schedule the natural gas generators to run periodically during peek usage times and periods. Particularly interesting are the new micro-CHP mini-power plants.

After a lengthy search I have found no such incentives.

Unfortunately, a failure of the Utility Grid suits the government Share-Bears just fine, because it opens the same sort of door that the failure of auto industries opened for the far-left leaning current administration. It opens a door to an even more vast expanse of utilities control and revenue than one could even dream of , dwarfing the government take over of large portions of the auto-industry. The United State’s citizen’s (or should I say ‘home-dweller’s) reliance on energy for the home and workplace goes well beyond our need for new automobiles.

The best thing the government could do, if they were truly interested in reducing coal burning, without hurting any of the energy companies that are heavily invested in coal (who also happen to be invested in Natural gas) would be to provide extremely attractive and well-advertised incentives for a shift towards energy independence.
If such an initiative to change the home and business use of energy were initiated, there would not even be the need for a Cap and Trade law. Hmmmmm…..

Now, there’s what an Administration says, and then, there’s what an administration does. Actions speak much louder than words.

-Copyright July 24,2010 by Juan Zapatero

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The Persistence of Memory

July 10th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

For years, I used to think that John Kennedy was just this interim President who really didn’t have enough time to do anything great. After a little bit of study relative to crisis management, I have gradually come to shift my viewpoint. I have realized that his handling of the Cuban missile crisis was timely and brilliant. I have also realized that this was an intelligent man who liked to surround himself with intelligent people. It’s no mistake that, early in his administration, he chose to provide tax cuts as incentives for companies and individuals to encourage the growth of a sluggish economy.

The problem with the current Administration is simply in their understanding of mathematics. Here, this will exemplify the point: Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech in Las Vegas. He mentioned how the last 10 years of the Republican administration had left him with a car driven into a ditch that he had to get out of the ditch. Now, I’ll abandon the analogy of the car in the ditch and just stick with the numbers. First of all, President Bush wasn’t President for 10 years. Terms are for four years each. The Democrats were in complete control of both houses of Congress for the last two of those years. So the President seems to have been under the impression that a decade is 6 years.

Since then, the Current administration has been in control for an additional year and a half. From an economic standpoint, the market jobs and GDP, the best portion of the ‘Bush Decade’ was the time period when Bush actually was the President, and the Republicans actually controlled Congress. I would tend to agree with President Obama, that the last three and a half years of the Bush decade, especially those that have been governed by President Obama, have been rough.

This doesn’t exemplify the real math problem. Here’s the interesting part. Here’s where the math gets a little trickier, with the concept of the stimulus. This is why Kennedy, and Presidents after him wisely chose to provide tax cuts to encourage growth rather than driving down the street in the Brink’s truck throwing cash out the window, hoping it would take root and grow. I will illustrate:
If you consider on a graph, with X and Y axes that X, the horizontal Axis is time, you will realize that both Tax Cuts and Stimuli are limited, or finite in terms of time. Arguably stimuli are more finite because there is only so much money to go around, but we won’t argue that point right now. It’s the vertical axis we are concerned about. If you are already bored and confused, close the window, accept a grim economic future and vote for an administration that has more than quadrupled our debt. If not, here’s the point. Vertically, the only economic gain that a stimulus can hope to achieve is the graphing of X number of Newly employed Government Employees purchasing N number of appliances, vehicles, etcetera. The number of additional Government employees, and the objects they can or will buy is finite.
Now consider the Tax Cut scenario: Businesses hope to sell not only to however many people are benefitted by a tax cut (still finite but much larger than the number of people added to the government payroll), times a percentage gain of all income taken in, which any organization that hopes to grow would have to regard as infinite the tax break, or savings, or, in real DOLLARS, EARNINGS, generated by sales, not only to a finite added work force, but more significantly to a global population which is of potential consumers which is massively larger than that temporarily enlarged workforce, and growing, (since man first walked the earth), infinitely. In other words, the tax cuts the corporation or small business can receive to increase real capital growth is only limited by their product line, imagination, desire to sell, all of the things that really drive business growth anyway.

It’s real simple math. Kennedy understood it. Regan may not have understood it, but he appreciated it. George Bush did it, probably had no concept of why it would work and probably didn’t care, but, despite current claims, an honest look at GDP and the market reveals that it did work.

We are about to give up that sound mathematics to go into a new realm, a strange new Daliesque physics, the realm of expired tax cuts, huge debt compounded by stimulus spending, a world where 6 years is a decade, a surrealistic world where a finite number of jobs and a finite amount of money parsed to each person suddenly becomes an infinite potential market boom! a world where job creating companies drape like melted watches over immovable regulatory rocks, a world where 2 + 2 equals five.

Copyright July 10th By Juan Zapatero

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Roll Out the Barrel

July 4th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

Freedom is under attack.

In just a few short years we have watched as publicly traded car industries have been nationalized,
banks have been held entirely responsible for a mortgage crisis that was, in large part caused by the irresponsible persuasions of House and Senate Financial Oversite Bodies who not only didn’t stop the irresponsible lending to unqualified parties but actually encouraged and promulgated it;

we have watched as
Individuals who are returning from tours of duty in the military and people who are active in Pro-life groups are flagged by our Homeland Security department, according to their own statements as Potentially dangerous;

we have watched
as The Fairness Doctrine was presented as a bill with both state and federal versions that liberal groups are trying to foist upon the country, which would force Conservative T.V and radio talk shows to provide equal time for Liberal Points of view, yet, interestingly, there is no similar doctrine proposed to force the many liberal newspapers to balance their point of view with equal length and visibility coverage in the newspapers with a contrary viewpoint, not that that would even be a good idea.

We watched as the proposed State and Federal FOCA bills were presented and, if passed would not only force all tax-payers to pay for abortions, but it would essentially provide for the construction of the clinics on the tax payers nickel, which would do this. This would render meaningless any alleged caveats against Federal Funding of abortion in the new and invasive Health Care Act.

We watched as the Federal Government ignored the pleas of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to provide sand berms and boom to keep back the oil spill from Louisiana’s marshes and shores.
We watched as the Federal Government refused for over 40 days the offer of the Netherlands to provide us 4 ships each capable of vacuuming up 35,000 barrels a day of oil to help mitigate the problem. Why?
Evidently so the Administration, alla Rham Emanuel’s statement of never wasting a good crisis, could take advantage of this crisis in order to try to pass their cap and trade agenda.

We watched as the Federal Government refused to provide sufficient personnel to secure the borders.
There are many people who say that illegal aliens only perform jobs that we do not want to do. This is not true. For many years the trades were a bastion of hope for young men who didn’t want to go to college, but wanted to be gainfully employed in a productive career. Today, the trades, particularly in the metropolis sectors of the country, have been completely overwhelmed by illegal aliens, and no longer provide the hopeful option of employment and learning that they once did for young American citizens.

Yet the Obama administration pretends to be friendly to the trades.

We watched as people who intimidated voters during the presidential elections, large and menacing at polling places, striking batons and clubs against their hands, were let off of any charges by the Federal Government, all legal action against them dismissed.

We watched as President Obama expanded the role of the faith based initiative to include neighborhood activist groups, groups like Acorn, groups like those who stood at the polling places brandishing the clubs, groups who finally, once exposed for their many unconscionable acts, had to be removed from the Federal doles due to their shameless abuse of the system.

We watched as the economy, straining under the weight of a Federal deficit that was quadrupled in just the last 18 months, gave up more and more jobs.
We watched, as an administration, unfriendly to business, opened its mouth with threats of controls, lawsuits, fines, regulations and taxes, drove a hopeful and rallying stock market down into that area the market hates, doubt and uncertainty, and bringing with it the jobs we badly needed created.

We lost, in part, the freedom to fish the Gulf,
the freedom to provide well for our families,
the freedom to serve in the military without becoming a suspect of our own government,
the freedom to belong to organizations that gather money for pregnant mothers who have chosen life, without becoming similarly suspect,
the freedom to show up at a poll without fear of having someone brandish a baton at us,
the freedom not to pay for the mechanisms that will ultimately provide for abortions,
the freedom not to be taken over by the Federal Government if we appear to be failing (apparently true of both corporations and individuals).

We risk losing, the freedom not to pay for something we may consider to be murder,
the freedom of speech and expression, without which
no other freedom can exist.

People who do not care about these freedoms, or are actually happy about the Leftist direction tend to be dismissive of words like these.

What would Thomas Jefferson think, who felt that the Federal Government should keep its hands out of all aspects of American life, with the sole exception of providing us a military to protect us.

What would James Madison think, who authored most of our constitution, and expressed so well those quintessential checks and balances that were designed to help keep one party or group from oppressing another.

What would George Washington think, who refused to be called King.

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SAFE TO SAY?

June 27th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

It may have gone almost completely unnoticed, but in the former Soviet State of Georgia,
there was a statue torn down. It was the statue of Joseph Stalin. That’s what happens to Socialist leaders. Long after they have been in the ground, when the people finally feel comfortable enough to speak out, and when they believe that someone targeting bankers or factory owners are cold in the ground, they will look to those memorials of people who turned society upside down, and they will tear them down. They will look at people who made it a terrifying place to live, and they will melt the statues. They will put up a new statue in Georgia. It will be a memorial to the millions of victims of Joseph Stalin.

Many years ago I knew someone whose father was, and still is recognized as a great pianist. He had to leave the Soviet Union, in part because he was Jewish. Right before glasnost and perestroika there was evidently a rather large departure of Jews from the Soviet Union. We can say it was because their creative abilities were not able to flourish. We can say that it was because they were being exploited. I think it is safe to say, that they were not happy there.

What is it about movements to socialize and make everything ‘fair’ for everyone, that ends up making it very oppressive for a few, for the achievers, and not any better, but , historically, rather the worse for the masses? I’m not sure that I understand it, but somewhere the engines of commerce and enterprise, heaving under the strain of more and more people capitulating to the catatonic faceless role, and less and less people who will provide the solutions,
The machinery finally comes to a loud angry groaning halt. Government comes in and dismantles the machinery, looking at it, trying to understand it, unable to, and finally decides that the parts will at least be useful to cudgel someone.

Forgive me, for referring to anyone as, ‘the masses’, because in a free-thinking, capitalistic society with burgeoning enterprises, there really is no such thing as ‘the masses’. The ‘masses’ are groups we have received into this country, but they have been allowed to become individuals, and most go on to be, in some way, great individuals.

There will be future statues of future leaders torn down, in future places, places we do not currently associate with socialism, but I think that there will also be people, whose early American documents I continue to read, and they, I think, will be forever revered.

copyright John Schumake June 27, 2010

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Slick! Now the Moniker of Two Presidents

June 12th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Generally, the measure of any president’s leadership abilities is revealed in moments of crisis. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy, over a period of eleven days, marshaled the greatest, most imaginative minds he could, both from the secular world and from the government, brought them together and began a risk assessment process. He divided these individuals into two groups, each containing non-governmental members, and government members. Then the brain storming began. Each group had to imagine and develop various scenarios of what could occur if various steps were taken in response to the Soviet Union’s attempts to deploy missiles in Cuba.
They were tasked with developing these scenarios on a point -counterpoint basis, probing into every potential outcome they could imagine. The groups then assessed the risks and ultimate possible consequences. In the end, Kennedy decided to conduct a blockade. One of the options, which was strongly promoted by some members of the military, was an attack against the Soviet Union.* I believe, that history has shown over time, that the path taken was probably the wisest one.

A month after the Oil Spill Crisis, I began to ask myself, ‘What great minds has President Obama gathered together into a room?’ I just discovered that 50 days after the crisis he hadn’t even spoken with the CEO of BP. It appears that his agenda during the 50 plus days after the crisis involved more playing than role playing, and more ‘legal posturing’ to keep legal options open against BP, than ‘positioning to arrest and mitigate a great global disaster.’

The issue of dealing with deep sea oil rigs, aging spars and wells is not a new one. Shell Oil has had significant experience dealing with aging spars and rigs in the North Sea. They also have had to deal with the obstructions from groups like environmental protest groups that made it more difficult to safely, methodically and effectively remove old spars, such as the Brent Spar. It is clear that Royal Dutch Shell and all of their affiliates have been amassing knowledge over time on how to effectively deal with this equipment. This is why it came as such a shock when the Dutch offered assistance in containing and cleaning the oil spill, and the Obama Government turned up its nose at the offer.

This brings us to the second most significant and reliable measure of a President’s, or any leader’s greatness, and that is, humility. How would it have been if, after the attacks on the twin towers, President Bush had said to Tony Blair, “Keep your nose out of this. I can handle it myself.” Instead, our President, probably somewhat overwhelmed by the enormity of the onslaught found himself assisted by a great and noble leader, Tony Blair. The British Prime Minister saw the crisis, the scrambling of resources, and reached out to show immediate solidarity, something I wish we could do for the Brits, in their time of crisis, and… make no mistake… what is happening in the Gulf is every bit as much a crisis for them as it is for us.

Well, I think it’s clear that Obama fails in the humility department. As far as the ‘meeting of the minds’ goes, when I heard that he was enlisting the help of some Hollywood actors to go investigate the oil crisis, my jaw dropped. In the midst of his quipping, “What do they expect me to do, Put on a diving suit and go down and patch it?”. “What do they expect me to do, suck it up with a giant straw?” I thought that I had heard on the radio that he was conferring with ‘Fat Albert’, which turned out to be Admiral Thad Allen, fortunately. I suppose, in my mind that I had so given up on the idea that he was seeking a substantive solution to the horrible situation and that he was given over to looking to Hollywood for answers, that my ears had somehow heard that he was finally talking to cartoon characters.

Is it possible that a President in times of crisis can really rally the best minds to provide solutions, or is he, truly no more than a cheerleader? Is it true that he can actually come up with solutions of his own to try to pull things together, or is the president, by his very nature, just destined to create more divisiveness?

Can a president really be the person who makes it happen, first by his words, and then by his actions?

“What do you expect me to do, wave a wand and Raise the Towers back up, fight against the very nations that send us oil?”
“What do you expect me to do, challenge the entire Soviet Union regarding the Wall Of Berlin? Do you really think it’ll get torn down? Maybe I should go out there with a hammer and beat on it myself!”
“What do you expect me to do, to try in just 48 hours to stop the huge Soviet Union from sending missiles to Cuba, their own ally?”
“What do you expect me to do, fight against the militarily prepared Japanese and Germans? My God, they are kicking Britain’s butt all over the place! You expect me to be able to do anything about that?”
“What would you have me to do, to try to maintain a more perfect Union? To do anything about the trafficking in human slavery?”

“Prithee, what dost thou expect me to do, to give up the comfort of my own home, my shipping industry, my newspaper, my plantation, to risk all to fight against an oppressive government we can no longer endure?”

“What do you expect me to do?”

Copyright June 12 2010 by Juan Zapatero

*Predictable Surprises: The Disasters You Should Have Seen Coming” by Michael D.Watkins and Max H. Bazerman

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Beatles, Ali, and Hamlet

June 5th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Back in 1963 when Muhammed ALI met the Beatles, or actually, it was the Beatles who went to meet ALI, Ali made a comment to the extent of, “Who were those little faggots, anyway?”
Now, this is, for me, not an indictment of anyone’s sexual preferences. I certainly don’t mean to make reference to it in that regard, but, having refreshed my memory with the footage of the Beatles actually meeting Ali I became all the more aware of what a powerful man with a great sense of presence he was and is, and what dainty little tittering birds the fab-four were. Supposedly, ALI made a comment to the extent of, “You aren’t as stupid as you look, “ and Lennon said, “No, but you are.” There was a moment of silence, and then they all laughed. I believe that ALI reserved himself for the same reason many men would, and frankly should, hold back from striking a woman. If you have any doubt of this, take a look at the footage of ALI meeting the Beatles.
Now, the Beatles were famous for making controversial, bold, and, truly, (though I was a fan), stupid statements. Lennon of course, made that infamous statement about the how the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. An interesting aside to this is that Muhammed ALI, in that time period, was ‘the most written about’ human being on the planet, (not the Beatles) and he had too much reverence to make such a statement. The only non-fictitious person historically to have been more written about than ALI was, you guessed it, Jesus of Nazareth. The next most written about person of all time, doesn’t count in this context, because he was a fictitious character: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
(Hamlet, also never said he was more popular than Jesus).

This brings me to something I have been pondering for some time, Rock and Roll, American style. Rock and Roll, with its historic beginning in 1954 with Bill Haley and the Comets was truly and uniquely American. Beautiful in its simplicity and marvelous in its ability to cheer people up and get them to dance, early American Rock and Roll was on a rocket course of its own until, as truly expressed in the song Bye Bye Miss American Pie, it was sadly derailed by what became known as, “The British Invasion”. The early days of the British Invasion brought to us music that sounded very similar to American Rock And Roll, with clever and humorous lyrics that mirrored the sometimes humorous lyrics of early American Rock, “Beep, Beep, ‘Oh Maybelline, Why Can’t you be True,’Splish Splash.’ But the British Rock soon became intricately orchestrated, lost its simplicity, became a less fun and more cerebral exercise in weird landscapes of tormented minds who were the children of a tragic and destructive war in their own island country, “Four thousand holes in Blackburn Lancashire.” And while Americans were emotively symapthetic, we, as a Rock and Roll people became very detached from our own post-war experience, that was beginning to be reflected in the Rock of Our Youth, and became sadly, sponged up in someone else’s experience, “The players tried to take the field, but the marching band refused to yield,” This line from American Pie reflects the frustration, anger and sadness that was experienced by an American Rock and Roll Generation that had to yield the fun and simple power of American Rock and Roll, to a musical-style burlesque that became the antics and exhibition of the likes of Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts-Club Band.

Our own American post – World War II experience with 2 million Americans dead having spent their lives helping to spare Europe from that genocidal menace, post-war businesses booming, new families forming and new adventures being realized, was its own great, grieving, screaming, laughing and crying experience that we spent at someone else’s funeral, someone else’s wedding.
I mean, I love the British and all, I even like BP, though BP has had a long history of making mega-millions at the expense of the Americas and not really seeming to have any particular regard or concern for the people and the land where the money was made. Oh…. I meant Beatle Paul, when I speak of BP, not British Petroleum. Well, British Petroleum, has been just as opportunistic. They have ignored environmental concerns for years. Not so long ago, they were trying to foist their presence on the Great Lakes in the Midwest, ignoring Chicago and Indiana concerns with reference to the questionable ‘cleanness’ of their operations.
Now, I find this twist of British loyalties interesting: President Obama has made it clear that he intends to litigate against BP in every possible way. In fact, evidently, the reason the Federal Government has been so sparse, to the frustration of Bobby Jindal and other Louisiana residents, in its help in the cleanup and resolution of the oil spill, may be that they do not want to dilute their argument that this was all BP’s baby and therefore BP’s responsibility. I find this response tragic and merciless. The fact that Federal Personnel, i.e. Army Core of Engineers and others were not dispatched with dispatch to help mitigate the situation, and that the government kept making the claim, “Well, BP is more equipped to help than we are so… well… we just won’t be able to help much…. so… Have a nice day…” is disgraceful and about as productive as a divorce.
The amusing thing is that, during all of this President Obama is partying with his buds, like Paul McCartney, who in a fawning way made reference to the fact that it was so marvelous to have a president who knew what a library was!” Surprise, surprise, a deprecatory comment from a Beatle, only this time he wasn’t calling himself greater than Jesus, because, of course, I’m sure he thought that he was sitting right next to Jesus. Even more interesting is the reason that McCartney became ‘Sir’ Paul McCartney; it’s because he helped to slay Britain’s economic dragon, many years ago, and, largely for the money the Beatles and other rockers helped to bring into then desperate Britain’s coffers was then appreciated by Britain’s royalty. With no particular regard today for the country that knighted him, McCartney now sits cozied up at the knees of the man who is about to take the knees out from under one of Britain’s great industrial giants, the one man who, litigiously could, and may, bit by bit, piece by piece, destroy British Petroleum.
I had written, many months ago, that Obama would take advantage of a blip or problem with the power grid as an excuse for the Federal Government to take over the power grid. I wasn’t far off.
His announcement regarding the moritorium on drilling, and the litigation and regulation to come, sent Wall Street, (just about all sectors, except T-Bills) into a tail spin. I actually feel bad that a bastion of free-market enterprise and capitalism, like BP is going through what they are going through, and I feel bad for Britain, because, after all, the Brits in the form of Tony Blair stood shoulder to shoulder with we Americans in our time of crisis, that same crisis when President Bush rose to his authority, and made it his duty over the next 7 years of his administration to keep us safe. That’s the same President Bush that Paul McCartney thought we would all just so enjoy if he ridiculed him and made snide little comments towards the leader that protected him along with everyone else. Bush, like Ali, is too big to lower himself to these tittering comments. He probably just smiled and laughed. As far as I’m concerned, McCartney, and BP can take their sorry American money making asses back to where they came from. I have a record up on my shelf that was one of the first releases of any Beatle album. It was stamped, interestingly, in a Chicago Record stamping plant. I will take that record down off the wall, along with some of my other British invasion albums. It is time for me to rediscover the American Experience. See, “I went down to the sacred store, where I’d heard the music, years before…” and I have the feeling that maybe, just maybe… the music will play.

Copyright June 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Sweep, or Vacuum if You Must

May 30th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

The Buddhists have a philosophy: “Sweep your own corner of the world clean.” The marvelous simplicity totally eludes us lately in our country, the United States. It eludes the giant manufacturers who, eyeing the potential sales markets in China invested huge amounts of capital in factories in that part of the world. They were lured by potential sales, not considering the potential North American Continental stabilizing factors that would have been in play if they had situated those factories, say in Mexico. There was not a larger picture of what could serve to bring some cohesiveness and continuity to our continent. Of course, that’s not their job.
The savings in management and diminution of border crossing poverty driven crimes could have been considerable.
Equally blind to our national and greater continental infrastructure frailties, Obama, when he was still a senator, was campaigning to become president of the world before he had even become president of the United States. Today, the sad reality of oil-spills, contamination of Gulf coastal regions, North Korea, brazen and unafraid of this gentle touchy-feely, ‘let’s all hold hands and teach the world to sing…’ administration, is flexing its muscles against South Korea, and, by proxy, the United States.
Hillary Clinton, unlike her predecessor Condoleezza Rice, who looked refreshed, inspired and exhilarated with every diplomatic venture, every meeting with her own counterparts in foreign countries, is looking disheveled and unconfident. One wonders, if her husband Bill isn’t taking the fall for some of the Obama Administrations blunders, i.e., Sestak and some felonious job offers (Didn’t Bill and Hillary end up with some debt after the campaign that Obama and the Democratic party was able to some how ‘clear up?’ I’m musing. Help me remember the facts here…’ ‘Was it eight million dollars?’ Maybe there was more debt than we thought…) At any rate, Hillary’s haggard, less than inspired look is becoming the face that the Obama Administration is putting on for the rest of the world.
If you do sweep your own corner of the world clean: fix your bridges, repair your roads instead of giving 300 million dollars of the stimulus money to Hollywood Producers for incentive film, repair your own education system, invest in your own military, and pay attention to the issues of your own continent, instead of ignoring them until desperate states like Arizona have to pass their own border laws, or desperate governors like Bobby Jindal have to figure out their own means of preventing oil from destroying beaches and wetlands while the Federal Government does ‘studies’ – if you do these things, then… you will be a world leader.
It will be automatic. But if you keep situating yourself defensively to point the finger instead of truly assuming a responsible role, “It’s B.P.’s fault! B.P. did it!. It’s Bush’s fault. Bush did it! He’s still doin it! Ooooooh Loook at that thing they are doin’ in Arizo… Na!. Look… look… look! Mmmmmmm. mmmm.
If instead of taking a leadership approach, which would obviate the defensive response, one cowers and hopes it will all go away, one keeps trying to focus everyone’s attention on Global Initiatives, one will crumble like another Global Giant that lost grip of the local needs and details.

Incidentally, after all of these years and all of the oil spills, “Doesn’t anyone possess a tanker that is capable of vacuuming up oily water, and then is able to begin sending the cleaner, separated water back out to the sea? I mean, oil and water separate themselves. The oil can be graduated to higher tanks in the tankers, and the heavier water can be separated to lower tanks, then, perhaps, detergents can be applied internally, instead of on the surface of the sea. You would almost think something like this should have existed for years. If there is a reason that this can’t be done, someone please enlighten me.
On that same note, if anyone knows why our chief executive in the entire land didn’t recommend or suggest the idea of the ad-hoc implementation of such a device if one doesn’t exist, or the mandate, “Get Those Out There, Now!” if they do in fact exist, please enlighten me further.

-Copyright June 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Photographs Don’t Lie

May 23rd, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

I found myself wondering why, when the economy was actually in a recovery mode the Obama – Pelosi Administration has headed at a breakneck speed towards reversing the gains the economy in general and Wall-Street in particular had begun making even as far back as October of 2008. My original analysis of this began with many forays into looking at items like recent history of the market, analyzing trends of countless stocks, reading old Wall-Street Journal articles (I could wallpaper my House with them). Then it occurred to me, that word, “Break-Neck, Breakneck.”  I kept saying that over and over until it started sounding like ‘Bite-Neck’, ‘Bite Neck.’ (Try it yourself a hundred times).
That was the key. I began looking at numerous photos of Obama, Pelosi, and other liberal influential politicians, like Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.  I paid special attention to…  their teeth. My heavens, that was it! I could see that they all had extremely large teeth, so large that they could be, yes, they could be actually false ‘overteeth’.   Teeth designed to slip over and conceal, you guessed it, very large and insidious and tell-tale, blood-sucking canines. That was it. I knew that I was on to something.
It was just too strange that all of Congress, yeh the media, and even people who avidly supported Old-Time favorites like Hillary Clinton seemed to be standing there in lock-step, chanting in monotone, Barack Obama, mmmm, mmmm,mmmm. Then I got the idea, to listen to recordings, ones from the campaign and even before, recordings of Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, and Barack Obama, ad after many hours, I found it. People who were on the IN, people cozy with the Obama administration pronounced his name differently than people on the outside, people who didn’t seem to have that special understanding.
You have to listen real closely, but if you have some really sophisticated equipment and a lot of patience, you can hear various individuals refer to the president as Barracula. Try it yourself. Oh you’re still trying to say Break Neck and Make it sound like, Bite Neck. Well, you may have to do that one a thousand times. It took me a while.
Okay, back to the important stuff. I went further with the sound recordings. I wanted to hear how Barrack himself, and other individuals friendly with Nancy Pelosi referred to her. Again, same rules, you need some really pricey equipment and lots of patience, but if you sit real quietly, and drink lots of coffee so you can stay up late, you will actually hear the real pronunciation of Nancy Pelosi’s last name which is… Now this is chilling… Not Pelosi, but Legosi. If that doesn’t make your heart stop.
With Dick Durbin, the technique is a little different. Just picture him with an abbot’s frock on looking something like Uncle Fester. Certainly he’s a part of that cadre.
Now, this raises a real important question. Why? Why if all of these (dare I say it) vampires… yes vampires… No
not Nazi’s (though some Nazi’s may have been vampires) but real sort of live vampires, why if they are all confederate with one another, and part of a growing league of non-individual monotone supporters, why? Why? Did they choose to throw Blagojevich over. Why is he taking the fall. Why didn’t the Illinois Senate use their traditional; Chicago style politics to don the shades, “I DUNNO, I DIDN’T SEE NOTHIN’” AND LET Blagojevich go. But no . There was this rush to justice. Isn’t that a little strange for Chicago style politicians. (I mean Chicago is the murder capital of all United States large cites. There’s been no rush to justice or order. Unlike New York, which under Giuliani cleaned up their murder mess, Chicago politicians don’t have the will to do the politically incorrect things that Giuliani did, not unlike the politically incorrect things the Arizona legislature is now doing) to clean up his city.
Okay, yes, vampires love murder capitals along with: drain the economy, suck the life out of it, don’t restore any order in the inner cities or at the border, point the finger at everyone else, and keep the blood coming with all sorts of good talk and bad policies.
But why did they throw Blagojevich over, and again I found myself back to looking at old pictures. This time it was a no-brainer. I should have realized it without the pictures. You probably did. It’s because, Blagojevich isn’t a vampire! He’s a werewolf. Look at the pictures! Could anything be more obvious! And everyone knows, vampires don’t really like werewolves, their less sophisticated ways*. Oh, they’ll team up with them to accomplish their nefarious deeds, but when that’s over, “six, two and even, we’re selling you out Blago.”
There’s really more to all of this, and I’ll be candid, it gets scary. I’m not going to lay it all out now, but here’s a little preview: All of the ultra-liberal Democrats either live near, were born and raised at, or conduct their major business near large bodies of water. Obama, and his entire life, starting with Hawaii; Pelosi and California. Admittedly, Reid hasn’t been anywhere near water in Nevada, but that would explain why he’s a dried out old vampire, and Durbin – Lake Michigan!
Now, you see where I’m, going with this water thing, and I won’t talk about it right at the moment, we’ll pick up with this as we see indicative turns in the economy and the job market that are pertinent to the topic. For now, just keep it under your hat.

*There seems to be some indication that some of the tapes Blago wants played at the trial will actually be squelched, and I can’t say this for certain, but it’s rumored that there are actually tapes wherein Blago very sarcastically refers to President Obama, not as Mr. President, but , “Mister Press-a-denture” followed by a nervous laugh. This hasn’t been confirmed.

Copyright May 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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“You want I should go pour some concrete in that tunnel, Boss?”

May 11th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

In California they routinely pour concrete down into the tunnels that were dug by illegal mexican aliens and drug runners to seal the tunnels up. The tunnels were dug to move illegal aliens in numbers into California.

Yet Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has the nerve to take a ‘holier than thou’ attitude against Arizona, where they have a LAW (a law mind you) to check and see if people are legal aliens.

Someday someone is going to crack into those concrete pours and find twenty or thirty petrified Mexicans with a real surprised look on their faces.

(In any article I have read about the concrete filling of the tunnels, I have never seen that there was ever any mention of anyone first going to check if people were in there before the pour began. They just describe making an aperture hole in the top of the tunnel and pouring)… hmmm… If you find such an article, send me a reply, I’ll post the link.

I suppose that in the land of Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi they figure that the rest of the nation should follow their example and just let the illegals overrun the hospitals, the schools, the jails, until the state is beyond bankruptcy and borrowing from the rest of us.
But at least they’re compassionate, concrete’s quick.

Land of wine and concrete overcoats – Hmmmm. Here’s the scary thing: they’ve been blessed by every huge major industry you can imagine, exemplified by the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Gallo, and yet they literally cannot keep their heads above water (or the wine).
Compassion?
How about having a little compassion on the rest of the U.S., Callifornia. How about learning how to manage your own affairs. You know – budget?

Budget? We don’t got no budget.
We don’t want no budget.
We don’t need no stinkin’ budget!

Copyright May 2010 by John Schumake

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There is Nothing to Fear, but Wall Street Itself

May 7th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the catastrophe on the DeepWater Horizon Obama’s Katrina?
No.
It’s worse.
The run-up to the disaster cause by Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing melee brought to everyone’s attention how silted the confluence between State and Federal government has become in times of crisis. (It’s gotten no better). George Bush came under heavy criticism for being seemingly insouciant in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, not even touching down to see the disaster first hand. Notwithstanding his protests that he would have detracted from the rescue effort, and notwithstanding the fact that the Federal Government tried to persuade Louisiana to accept Federal help in the time period immediately preceding and immediately following the onslaught, and notwithstanding the fact that Louisiana’s governor and New Orleans’mayor persistently claimed to be in control of the situation, until it became apparent that they were stupid – still, George Bush should have made a showing on day one after the disaster. He should have done this, at least in a locale where he could have shown some concern about the rescue efforts. He could have used Marine One, landing out in a field somewhere in (close proximity to ) view of some rescue vehicles.
President Obama has been no better. Same thing, only worse.
Obama, like Bush didn’t take the symbol of his office serious enough to realize that ‘just showing up’ is important. With Bush, the aloofness where press is concern might have at least been regarded as ‘in-character’. For Obama, who has turned his presidency into an old-time variety show complete with roasts, this is really bad. He should have been on the scene immediately. His flip comments to the extent of , “What d’you expect me to do, put on a diving suit, vacuum up the spill?” are alarming. Why?
Here’s why:
There IS something he could have done about the oil spill. There is something he could have done instantaneously and it could have made a difference. Great presidents, even mediocre ones in times of duress in our 234 year history as a nation have done things like this, like what he should have done. Here goes. He should have said:
“I know that this oil spill is associated with a rig leased by B.P. PLc, yet I also know that all of the major players in the oil industry have at their disposal diving experts, clean-up experts, equipment for containment, tools for retrieval of spills, devices for analysis of ruptured pipes and valves, deep sea robotics and other means and experts at their disposal. I call upon all of these companies to work together, to help each other provide a solution. I know that the fear of having one’s ships and equipment with your name displayed on the side in the near vicinity of a catastrophe brings forth the specter of implication, but I can assure you that your admirable assistance of your very competitors and counterparts in this great national and environmental crisis will go a long way to securing the national good. Let me add to that, that you will have the resources of the United States Navy to assist in mitigating this crisis, in bringing to an end to this horrible destruction of our Gulf Waters, fishing industry and wildlife. May God Bless and help us.”
But he didn’t say that.

No, here is where he veered dramatically from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt playbook. Here is where the politics of blame won out. Maybe he didn’t even think of this foray into cooperation of an inter-corporate nature, which is scary because he’s the president. Surely he’s smart enough to think of something along the lines of people, corporations, unions, and the government working together. Maybe not.
…or maybe he is smart enough to think of it…
…and he just didn’t say it.

Blame someone. Blame Bush. Blame Wall Street. Blame Big Oil Industries.
The sad thing about that is this: Despite the bad rap, the oil industry in the United States is one of the most historic, technologically advancing, job creating industries in our nation. Barack Obama is sticking to his script, ‘blame’. Instead of taking the approach of, “Let’s work together. Let’s build a Victory Garden in the Gulf Sea,” blame plays well to his constituency, and scapegoating has always worked historically, though it tends to victimize many people, groups and industries that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The scapegoating of convenient fall-guys in pre-World War II economically crushed Germany began with a scapegoating of the banking industry. With an industry we need, an industry that supplies and creates massive amounts of jobs the scapegoating is not a path to true victory over calamity.

There is nothing to fear, but big American Business.
President Obama has chosen to make the quintessential villain an American industry, and one member of that industry in particular, BP PLC, stating that BP is going to bear ultimate responsibility,
“BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill,”

What’s interesting is that BP doesn’t even own the rig that blew up. TransOcean Ltd, a Dutch Company, and the largest drilling Company in the World for deepwater drills owns the DeepWater Horizon.*

We need the oil industry for more than just jobs. We need them for more than just clean-up of the Gulf Spill. We need them for advancements in materials used in the medical industry. We need them for advancements in cleanup operations that will ultimately help eliminate other forms of contamination of the environment. We need them because of the incredible amount of research they do on the inter-related mechanisms for the sustainability of our planet. We need them because they are they only organizations large enough, equipped and with enough savvy to finally help us glide into a solar, wind, natural gas and yet-unimagined future. We need them because they do funnel considerable money into the tax coffers through a wide range of input not limited to the salaries of the individuals working for the companies; this would be particularly true of the American based corporations like Exxon Mobil. The tax write-offs alone of the oil companies and their affiliates have resulted in the construction of research facilities, the provision of scholarships, and the advancement of institutions of higher learning. We certainly don’t need to destroy them.

*see the WallStreet Journal May 03, 2010 Rig Owner Under Scrutiny by Rebecca Smith

-Copyright May 07 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Sad New World

May 1st, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

I’m trying to figure out if the man left to die on the streets of New York, or Congress’ recent forecasting of its own devices to essentially be able to take over any and all companies that are deemed ‘too big too fail’ is the week’s worse indicator of where our democracy is headed.
I listened to ‘experts’ proffer reasons as to why the man in the subway was left to die, as people walked by. One individual even rolled him over and then left him. I don’t buy the rationale that people are somehow psychologically incapable of helping, that we all view ourselves as the sort of person who would like to help, but when the circumstance arises we are ‘repulsed’, temporarily internalizing what has happened to the individual we need to move quickly to externalize it and push the wounded individual away. Bullcrap. Psycho-babble.

When I used to live in Roger’s Park in Chicago I saw 2 individuals fighting and the one individual was just using the other person’s face as a punching bag. I looked closely and realized the person getting beat up was a woman. I yelled out loud, tried to attract the attention of other people standing nearby, and then I ran over to where the crime was occurring; some other people started to follow me. Seeing the approaching group of people, the man stopped punching the woman. I didn’t jump on him. Perhaps I should have, but I did succeed in stopping the assault, and the police were called. Realizing this, the man took off and began running down the street, I began to follow him, but he veered into a narrow gangway between two buildings leading to an alley, and I know that following him would be stupid.
My point is, that people do have it in their hearts to help, even people who have lived in dangerous parts of violent cities. So what has happened? I can tell you what I believe. This is just another symptom of this national move towards de-individuation, ‘the nanny state.’: ‘It’s the government’s job to come help this man.’ ‘It’s not my job.’ ‘Some policeman or some public worker needs to attend to this.’ The entire philosophy of the Obama movement towards the government as conservator, nanny and health-care provider, is that everything that used to be the domain of the ‘conscience’ becomes the domain of the state. Just the other day, President Obama, on the Obama show made a comment that some people make too much money, that there is a point to where one can make too much money. Now I have to ask, ‘What, precisely, is too much?’ When is it that you decide for me what is exactly the cap on what I can make? So, the government will decide to take my ‘surplus’ (This is in theory; I don’t have a surplus) and will decide what ‘worthy cause ‘ it will go to?
Did Jesus say, ‘Give to Caesar so Caeser can give to the poor?’ No. If you listen to a timeless parable, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the onus is on the individual to help, not on the state. In the parable of the good Samaritan, two tax paying individuals walked right by, and one individual stopped to physically help. The more we move towards the state becoming the all-powerful orb that will meet out protection, care and health, the more we will slip into a lawless state where people abnegate any sense of personal responsibility.
I will note at this juncture that the incident occurred in a part of the United States where people voted strongly to support the Democrats in the election. I’m not saying democrats are bad people, I’m just saying that the brainwashing, ‘This is the state’s job,’ ‘this is not my job’ has been initiated with the party loyalists, and is leaking outwards like an oil spill.
About twenty plus years ago, while riding the L-train in Chicago, my cousin saw a man who was bleeding, and it turns out, had been shot. She got him off the train and to a care unit; I forget if it was a hospital or trauma center. People do care, or at least they used to. What’s happening to us? Huxley was right.

-copyright May 01, 20100 by Juan Zapatero

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Let’s Be Honest

April 24th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

With the Country Music Stars giving Thanks to God during the dispensing of the awards, there is some concern that they will be added to Janet Napolitano’s Homeland Security watch list of potential terrorists, along with Pro-Life Catholics, and Veterans of the Iraq and Afghan Wars.
There is no doubt that Janet Napolitano has recently been avoiding engagement in the tea-party bashing, despite the prodding of several left-Wing News organizations. I have watched her, even somewhat gracefully indicate that the previous disparaging statements of the homeland security department were unfortunate. She even conceded, that the protests of the tea partiers was, in fact, quite historically American, (she evidently just recently read) as was all verbal dissent. Still, quite a lot of time and attention was given this week to the notion of anti-government right – wing extremists waiting to emerge again as McVey did 15 years ago, while the War we are currently involved in, with a Muslim extremist having so very recently rampaged on a military base, killing 13 people and injuring 30 went virtually unmentioned. This is the current terrorism we face.
This was all done and said, of course as tea-partiers are getting into high gear, Country stars are , thank God, thanking God, Democrats who claim that they are unprejudiced (I’ve got news for you) are bristling, Sarah Palin is coming to Chicago, and comedians like John Stewart, are letting the venom spill into their comedy, becoming obsessed, much as David Letterman did with Sarah Palin, with… Bernie Goldberg.
All the while, Nancy Pelosi is shivering in a corner so scared about the angry language she hears coming from the people who are exercising their right to assemble, and it reminds her of the 1960’s.

Well, Nancy, those people in the 60’s were on the left, the people you now sit next to in Congress, finally having come down….(There’s you’re answer, Elton, 2010.) So you should have no objection to the sorts of assembly and protests that shape America. There’s nothing more American, and this time it’s the right’s turn. So far, the right has taken their turn in a far more peaceful manner than the left did. There’s been no dumping over of police cars, smashing of windows on government buildings, burning of government documents, or assassinations of rock stars and government leaders.
Now I said, “I’ve got news for you,” regarding the Democrats claim of being unprejudiced, and they have attempted the additional claim that the tea-partiers are a huge, swarming bigotted bunch. Have you ever taken a look at the panorama of tea-partiers, or watched the interviews, or seen still snapshots? It is undeniable that there is considerable participation by people of Hispanic origins. This is certainly a good thing. This seems to have gone unnoticed by the left. This pretty much debunks the idea that the tea-partiers as a group are prejudiced, because prejudice people who harbor such feelings against one-minority usually harbor it against another. Prejudice is a sort of tribalistic response that seeks to put one’s own race far above all others, no matter who they are, and it makes no exceptions. This clarifies the fact that the participation in the tea-parties is pretty much at-will, and undiscouraged by any groups. The fact that not many black people have yet gotten on board is similar to the realization that not many black Churches have yet gotten on board with the pro-life message, while many white Churches have. This is not a criticism. Blacks were fed for so many years the lies and blandishments that in order to succeed they needed to have the option to abort, just like they were fed many other mythological notions by liberals, such as, they really needed the hand-outs the Democrats were willing to guarantee if they were in power. This is just a form of Big-Deal oppression.
Nothing could be further form the truth than the liberal lie which sought to hobble African Americans for years. Black married couples who are working professionals are paid almost exactly the same as their white counterparts. However, there is the greater point that we miss as Church going people, “Isn’t God greater than All?” I mean, doesn’t he have the power to mitigate economic circumstances? If we expect to get blessed by him, don’t we have to, as Churches of people have respect for the sanctity of the unborn?
Isn’t the insistence that a group needs to retain the right to abort in the event that it becomes really economically expedient a denial of God’s greater power to Overcome?
Okay, just for the record, I made comments here about Blacks, Mexicans, Jewish comedians, country singers and tea partiers. I love them all. I don’t hate anyone. Just trying to be honest.
Let’s all, just try to be honest. It’s the only way we are going to help each other and make things better.

-Copyright April 24, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Call To A People

April 16th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

One of the Chicago Newspapers had an article that addressed the reaction of the Polish Community to the airplane crash killing the Polish President and a number of other Polish Government officials.
The reaction was something to the extent of, “It seems like we’re cursed.” I have known that feeling. In my life I am absolutely no stranger to tragedy. My family has known tragedies that I really couldn’t even begin to list. They have challenged our ability, severally and together, to stand strong in many ways.
I’m partially of Polish descent. My grandmother was Polish. I can remember hearing her speak a few words to the next door neighbors in Polish. I studied various Slavic Languages in college, and tried to do my best with the Polish language during the time-period after my mother had a stroke and various Polish women served as caretakers for my mother. They are wonderful people.
It’s important when we go through tragedies as individuals, or as families, or as an entire culture of people to realize that Jesus said, “The Son of man is not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them.” He said this to James and John, whom he nicknamed, ‘the Sons of Thunder.’ It’s in the gospels. Times of tragedy are times to evaluate our relationship with God. When my younger sister was killed while away at college, I found that I had to look deep into my soul and inquire with persistence to God. I needed to know certain things. I needed to change certain things. The same is true of families. The same is true of cultures.
The papa, Pope John Paul II, that great lover of life, was the great promulgator of Humanae Vitae, On Human Life, written by Pope Paul VI, and John Paul II was the tireless opponent of abortion and other forms of genocide. The Polish people, no doubt have a great love and feeling of joy to know that this marvelous man accomplished his mission in love and with unwavering devotion to the truth. This was not a man who would compromise for expediency sake. We too, must not compromise. So often we find ourselves saying, ‘well, if I do this, it’ll bring this good, or… if I vote for this person, even if he is a pro-choice candidate, and even if he does favor partial-birth abortion, still, he will accomplish this other good…’ There is no compromise. Our ‘childhood’ in Christ under that great man has taught us that.
No, Jesus didn’t come to destroy us, to punish us for some indiscretion, for some deep dark secret. He does however call us, through tragedy, to come up higher, to become a more mature people, a fuller embodiment of what his child, Pope John Paul II clarified in his unwavering and gentle way.

-copyright April 2010 John P. Schumake

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Headed for the Tar Pits

April 9th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

If you are wondering how Our U.S. Federal Government negatively or positively influences stocks, there’s a marvelous recent example of how it fallaciously impacts the worldwide prices of precious energy supplies and stock prices of the producers: There’s an article in the April 5th Wall-Street Journal that serves as a real eye-opener. It’s titled: ‘Natural-Gas Data Overstated’.

Evidently the Federal government has been using rather outdated methods for calculating Domestic Natural Gas Output. It has been extrapolating numbers on known large suppliers, and has been arriving at bloated Numbers.
The problem is, these bloated numbers may have been driving prices down. This will impact the cost people pay for their energy, as well as the way people invest in energy companies. While there may have been some temporary positives for consumers, we all know that there is a much larger backlash when the adjustments come.

This is a perfect example of a how a large, slow, lumbering bureaucracy, growing ever fatter, and dragging its peg-legged health care across the scarred oak floor of our economy has been unable to keep up, and appropriately participate in what is happening in the private sector.
It is a good example of what economists, like Peter Drucker, indicated when they pointed out that ‘Government Control’ of economies is outmoded, outdated, and not the functional future in a capitalistic, or post-capitalistic society. Drucker stated, “Medieval feudalism was replaced by the unitary sovereign state… But the unitary sovereign state has now itself been replaced by a new pluralism – a pluralism of function rather than one of political power – because it could neither satisfy the needs of society nor perform the necessary tasks of community. That, in the final analysis is the most fundamental lesson to be learned from the failure of socialism, the failure of the belief in the all-embracing and all-powerful state. The challenge that faces us now, and especially in the developed free-market democracies such as the United States, is to make the pluralism of autonomous, knowledge -base organizations redound both to economic performance and to political and social adhesion.”
(Someone needs to tell our Congress and President)

Some of the brightest economists have realized that government is a large lumbering dinosaur, and with the Obama administration foisting itself into the private sector we are probably seeing the last raging roars of a giant reptile faced with the coming ice-age. That doesn’t make it any less scary. The last hurrah of a dinosaur, especially a pegged-leg one could endure 30 years.

There is no way that slow moving court systems can keep pace with industrial, technological, biological, and pharmaceutical changes that are happening now at a geometrically increased blinding rate.
The Wall-Street journal article indicates that some new oil technologies, developed within the last few years, technologies related to advances in the industry as well as oil-shale finds and changes in the way companies are working with the new technologies appears to have left the Energy Department in the dust.
What will the Federal Government do when changes in technology happen at an even more dizzying rate? For, with regard to technological advances, I do not believe we have come anywhere near ‘diminishing returns’ as we did with industrial achievements made in the nineteenth and twentieth century, finally realizing their greatest returns and probably tabling off and even declining in the mid to late 1960’s.
Eventually, it will become apparent that many branches of the Federal Government serve no purpose, or can’t keep up with, legislate or rule on changes in private sector industries. At that point it will be up to the people to deliberately and surgically scale the Federal Government back to a light-weight, purposeful and usable size, perhaps the size that Thomas Jefferson envisioned when he originally indicated that the government should keep its hands out of our farms, shipping, shops and industries.
We might add to that list; the government needs to keep its voice and observations out of our reporting mechanisms, as the inaccuracy is dangerous, and the propensity for down-right wrong information impacting our markets daunting.
What will the government do when research and, yes, development that used to take 5 years takes 5 months: Oil companies have developed algae that can eat up toxic plastics in the oceans, and produced beneficial bio-fuels, physicists have developed a particle beam small, yet powerful enough to break up an asteroid coming clippingly close to our atmosphere, bio-engineers have figured out a way to grow arms and legs in laboratories, and some rogue companies are attempting to sell them on Ebay? It’s clear that we need inter-corporate and trade mechanisms, decision making mechanisms between companies that can work faster and more effectively, beneficially and within very limited spheres of influence, bypassing a governmental system that will still be trying to react by the time the asteroid has already passed the planet, and the rogue companies have been disenfranchised from the R & D community due to their horrendous ethics.
If anyone wonders if this could be possible, Google is to be applauded for their standing firm against China’s harassment of their own people through censorship, Kinross Gold Corp mining company provided assistance to people in Chile in the aftermath of the horrendous February 27th earthquake, and there are several large corporations whose stocks are bought by Ave Maria Funds, because they do not contribute to abortions and other misleading and racially destructive initiatives of parent planning organizations.

There’s one good thing about dying dinosaurs, though – more oil for future generations.

-Copyright April 2010 by John P. Schumake

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Get your tee-shirts! BFD or NPD!

April 2nd, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

We all know what BFD stands for. The White House is selling the tee-shirts.
I’ll tell you what NPD is….

This has already been an interesting Passover and Easter week. Perhaps we are reminded more than ever to reflect on the understanding that the Almighty God delivered his people Israel from incredible odds. This understanding is particularly poignant when one considers the sad irony of this week’s events. I can’t get over the fact that at the beginning of Passover week President Obama not only didn’t invite Netanyahu to a Seder meal, but he didn’t even invite him to dinner while they were conferring in a room of the White House together with some of Netanyahu’s other people.
In a display of showing displeasure and anger at Netanyahu because of the embarrassment Biden underwent when he went to Israel and was surprised by the announcement that Israel would continue scheduled building projects (like Biden needs help being embarrassed), Obama announced to Netanyahu that he was going to have dinner with Michelle and the girls, and Netanyahu would be left there to think things over.
Okay, dad.

Interestingly, it was almost a year ago to this day that Obama bowed so low to the Prince of Saudi Arabia that he turned into a human jack-knife. If his policy with foreign leaders is to abstain from dining with them if they are not cooperating with us, then why did he, last Easter Passover Season bow before the Arab Prince and dine with him. Saudi Arabia has arguably been less cooperative than Israel, only helping us with lip service where terrorists are concerned ( Nineteen of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudi’s) and continuing to fund Hamas and Hezbollah.) Yet he dined with the Saudi Prince, and allowed photo sessions, something he deliberately denied Netanyahu, again because of Israel’s resolve to continue building homes in Jerusalem.
No Passover Dinner.

I had read in the scriptures years ago how, at the end of days, all nations would be gathered against Israel. I found myself thinking, “never the United States! What day could have come to be that the United States would not serve to physically help Israel!” I couldn’t imagine it then. Now I can. This current Obama administration has been more acrimonious towards Israel than any I can recall. It is clear that Obama would like to embarrass Netanyahu and weaken him so as to get a more liberal power base enshrined in Israel. Netanyahu’s political opposition, in the person of Tzipi Livni and her Kadima party , would be willing to return Israel to pre 1967 Israeli borders. This would predate the 6 day war, another miracle where God marvelously delivered Israel against astounding odds, Syria, Egypt and Jordan all defeated and humiliated in their attempts to defeat Israel.

Maybe President Obama didn’t invite Netanyahu to dinner because he was afraid the Prime minister would club him with a leg of lamb. After all, Israeli warriors have been known to kill people with the jaw bone of an ass.
..and for our U.S. President to refuse to dine or allow photo ops with the Jewish leader a year after he had dined and bowed and photographed with the prince of the very people who downed our twin towers and killed 2000 plus people could make anyone take pause, including our loyal ally, Mr. Netanyahu…
Hmm, it’s possible…
Let’s see, where would he have gotten the jawbone of an ass?

-copyright April 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Well, It’s Dinner Time…

March 28th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

As we enter into this time of Passover and the Easter Season, I think it is important to ponder what both of these events mean in terms of being freed from captivity, and staying free. It’s important to ponder that a very great and humble leader went to the mighty Pharoah, the mightiest ruler in the known world, to make an appeal for his people, for their preservation, and deliverance.
While we have the benefit of history, and we know the outcome, that Great Leader of the Jewish People did not. He did have one thing, though, something that was forged in adversity. He had faith. Travelling far and arriving at Pharoah’s abode he was received, for even though he was a humble man, his greatness was known and respected. Pharaoah eyed the leader and remarked, “And who are you to come before me?” The great and humble leader made his appeal, not fearing the power or might of Pharoah and how he could withhold food, money and blessing from the Jewish people, but knowing the power, might and providence of the Almighty God, he feared the outcome for anyone who would seek to oppress his people. He encountered a stubborn Pharoah, a Pharoah that did not like being humiliated.
After a series of appeals, and making his last earnest appeal to Pharoah he said essentially what is marvelous and will continue to be born out by History, that the Jewish people must obey God, and not man, and must adhere to the destiny that God ordains for them, and not man, and live dwell and travel where God ordains, and not man. Pharoah, in his anger said to the great leader, “Get thee hence! Thou shalt see my face no more! Incidentally, I am going to dinner and you and your companions are not invited. “
Just a little perspective.

A blessed Passover,
and thoughtful Easter Season to All.

-copyright March 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Give Me Liberty Or Give Me… Health Care?

March 18th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

The process is the only thing that separates us from other countries, like China and the countries of the former Soviet Union. President Obama, in an interview with Bret Baier of Fox News tried to lace over the process, stating that the American people didn’t really care about the process. He stated this in the ‘context of someone losing a home because of not having health care’. This is the second time he has made such a statement. He did the same at the Blair house meeting in a discussion with John McCain.
The supposition that the American people do not care about the process and care more about their money, or sustenance or financial well-being is, in the context of American History, an alarming supposition that ignores the bravery and courage that has created and sustained the United States of America. Indeed such statements as “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,” (that one made by Patrick Henry), were made by real people who really risked their lives for this country and really risked or even lost their fortunes to ensure the Union.
A good study of the signers of the Declaration of Independence will reveal that many of these individuals ended up heavily in debt or penury from financing the efforts. Indeed, the Declaration itself, drafted largely by that anti-Federalist Thomas Jefferson, and aided by Adams and Franklin, concludes with the words, “…we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
To imply that American people do not care about the process, which is precisely what the president said twice, is to say that they do not care about the people who shed their blood continually for over two centuries to protect that process. It is to say that it was well and good that early Americans gave their fortunes for our freedom, but we don’t have to buy into that.
Maybe Mr. Obama subscribes to Tom Hanks’ Belief that the real reason we went to war in World War II was largely because we hated people who don’t look like us, and had nothing to do with the processes in play.

Back to the debt of the Revolution, Mr. Hamilton, the antithesis of Jefferson, believed strongly in an all-powerful central government, that could exercise the burdening of people with Federal debt at will. He persuaded President Washington to enact an excise tax on certain commodities, including Whiskey, to fund the War. In a heavy handed way, he felt that the Federal Government needed to exercise this control over the people. If Hamilton had continually had his way, life under the new United States government would not have been much different than life under the British Monarchy. Fortunately, people stood up. In part, they despised the process, and in part they resented the fact that their main medium of exchange at the time, whiskey and other goods, was being taxed. The heavy handedness of the strong Federal Government approach eventually gave way to a different policy when Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Party came into power. The whiskey tax was then repealed, Hamilton’s Federalists were ironically quashed, the people arrested in the whiskey rebellion were severally pardoned or acquitted, and the will of the people against a power grabbing Federal Government was made to be understood.

There will always be a few people who will cave in to a power hungry Central Government, or even be bought off like a cheap whore, with a quick ride in Air-Force One to make them change their vote. The process the Obama Administration is following to force something into law that does not have the support of the American people, is shameless and tawdry, but take heart, the American people do have a way of letting governments know, “We won’t be pushed around.” It’s interesting that European News Agencies like the BBC were very dismissive of Bret Baier’s relentlessness in his interview with regard to the process. This is largely because European and other U.K. peoples have been very dismissive of their own rights as citizens long ago. If the United States Government had tried to break into the offices of Fox News or CNN the way the British Government has broken into the BBC offices, and rifled through File Cabinets I believe that there would unquestionably have been angry outspoken assembly and , if I understand U.S. History, possibly ensuing bloodshed.
The BBC’s inability to comprehend the ‘significance of the process,’ is the hollow-eyed daftness of a penned-rabbit trying to understand why a wild rabbit wouldn’t rather just sit around and be fattened up with carrots on a plate. Indeed, European News Agencies have to be dismissive, even wanly smiling over what appears to be a loss of freedom for American Peoples. Hold that smile.

-copyright March 2010 by John P. Schumake

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Where Wine Is Concerned

March 13th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

I’m not a big wine drinker. It tends to wake me up at night, somewhere around 3 in the morning.
I have this habit where wine is concerned, or maybe it’s an idiosyncrasy.
Whenever I pour wine for myself or another, and I’m not much of a drinker, I pour it in a glass,
and not a paper or a plastic cup, and the glass has to be somewhat shapely.
I’m not a great connoisseur of wines, and I know nothing about the appropriate glass to use, or the best way to hold the glass, but I do know that the wine is really somewhat precious. It took time to develop and mature. It went through quite a process before it was bottled, even if it’s not an expensive wine. I might pour my coffee in a styrofoam cup, though even that is something I don’t care to do, and I might pitch the coffee out if it’s gotten cold, though I usually finish my coffee, but I will never treat wine in that manner. I pour the wine from a glass bottle into a glass. I re-cork the bottle. I sip the wine from the glass and I notice that almost all of my friends do pretty much the same: they finish their wine. It’s rare for them to pour it down the drain.
I think it goes a little bit beyond the time and painstaking process involved in the development of wine. Truly, I found that after a gathering of friends I may occasionally, while cleaning up, notice an unfinished Bourbon and Coke that I must pitch down the drain, and the Lord knows that bourbon and Tennessee whiskies have to go through quite a process to be prepared, distilled and fermented in charred oak barrels. Still, there is something almost sacred about wine. Most of my friends belong to some religion that in some way associates wine with the Creator. Both the wine and the container it is in are significant. In all of the religions that I know of wine is associated with sacred events. The other night I watched a movie by the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and near the conclusion of the movie numerous mourners sat at the wake or honoring of a friend who had just died and they sat sipping warm wine, whilst remembering him (and joking and remonstrating).

In the very near future the State of Illinois will consider passage of the insidious FOCA bill. This is the state counterpart to that equally insidious Federal FOCA bill. It seems that I can’t turn on the T.V anymore without learning that a young woman somewhere in the country was dragged off into the woods and raped and murdered. My own sister was murdered and then raped. There has been a noticeable, almost incurable rise in the disrespect for women, their bodies and their lives, over the past forty years, and I have lived to watch and see it. So, what does this have to do with the FOCA bill?
Since Roe versus Wade was passed, respect for life in the womb plummeted. We were told it wasn’t life at all. The conviction that it wasn’t life led to the belief that it wasn’t precious and the belief thenceforth stained every thread of society. It was preached from pulpits. I heard Jeremiah Wright recently lamenting that certain political factions wanted to take away a woman’s right to chose. Death is preached from the pulpits. The wine is poured down the drain, and it’s no surprise that the woman has become, in the minds of many just a paper cup, disposable. I believe that the subtle psychology that has stained the mind and thoughts of our society is this, “If the wine isn’t precious, then neither is the container it is in.” Both have somehow become disassociated from the precious and time-consuming creative process. Not only is the unborn looked upon as disposable, even by our current President who voted against the Born Alive Amendment when he held office in the State of Illinois, but I see that, over time, the preciousness and value of women hasn’t increased. Freedom to choose, pro-choice policies, a new progressive age hasn’t brought value to the state of womanhood. For some sad reason, women have become more imperiled, their worth sullied, the image of their naked flesh sold in magazines unrepentantly (since the 1950’s, and the dawn of various disparaging publications) more than ever before, and crimes against women abound; in the minds of many despicable people they have all become like a disposable paper cup.
I will be watching to see how our Illinois representatives and senators treat this issue. I will be closely watching to see how my own Representative DeLuca votes with regard to the FOCA bill. With regard to sanctity and preservation of decency for women I am happy that my own state, Illinois, voted to pass the Sex Crimes Act. The result was that women’s privacy and decency in the case of sex crimes would be shielded from exploitation by so-called news sources. Yet our own president Obama did not vote for it when he was an Illinois Congressman. He was the sole hold-out amongst all of the representatives. He did not vote for this act. Thank God, for the sake of women, that the other reps didn’t feel that way.
We must speak out against the FOCA act, the freedom of choice act. This act not only bodes destruction for the unborn, but it is destructive for the collective psychology of the sanctity of womanhood, and indeed, motherhood.
I am not the best husband, but I look at my wife and I know that she possesses a sacred beauty that is linked to my Maker and I see it whenever I smile at, laugh with, argue with my children, clasp the hands of my sons, bless my daughter, or hug my wife.
It’s not a paper cup.
The wine is sacred; the vessel is sacred. I can remember holding a crying child who had awakened me at three or four in the morning, and I remember passing my wife in the hallway as she held one of our other children who had awakened her at three or four in the morning.
Sometimes there’s just a tiny amount moving in the glass, fragile, precious, wrought from time, we must never throw it away.

-copyright March 2010 by John P. Schumake

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Veterans Are In Demand For All the Right Reasons

March 6th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

There’s a marvelous article in the February 18th Wall-Street Journal about Veterans going back to school in great numbers and receiving their MBA’s. The article illustrates how Veterans are in demand by companies and schools offering MBAs because of their proven discipline, leadership skills, or simply their experience in working with a team.
What a sharp contrast to the Obama administration’s advertisement that Veterans returning from War in the troubled MidEastern regions are amongst groups most likely to become involved in right-wing terrorist activities.
Unless, of course, Janet Napolitano meant that Wall-Street Companies, and top MBA Programs like those offered by Harvard, are the right wing conspiratorial groups. Now that could be. Given the fact that students in these schools are taught top-flight aggressive business skills to succeed in a very competitive capitalistic society where there is simply no room for lazy overfed bureaucrats.- Yes, come to think of it, that may be the threat the Homeland Security department so astutely perceived. New leadership blood entering a competitive private sector work force would be a clear threat to any broadspread socialistic agenda.
The schizophrenic comments from the Left (apparently seeing right-wing ex-GIs even in Rorschach inkblot tests) will continue, as was evidenced by the Louis Farrakhan comment that there persists a vast right-wing conspiracy poised to do away with the leader of the still free world. Okay, I’ll see your right-wing conspiracy and raise you a left wing lune. A pot-smoking anti-Bush era man who was convinced that the Bush period government actually executed 9-11 drove from California to the Pentagon and started spraying bullets around at the Pentagon train station, injuring several people. Military records were checked, and he evidently had no connection to the military (Janet Napolitano didn’t comment, but one wonders if she was surprised.) Now, if the fact that he was anti-Bush and smoked marijuana doesn’t cinch his committment to the left,  I would think that the fact that he was from California should settle the matter.

 – (Hmmm… That’s three things he had in common with the man who flew the plane into the IRS building. …)

Maybe instead of separating ourselves into Republican and Democratic Parties it would be more convenient if we could just separate into sane and insane. A litmus test could be the reaction to statements like those made by Janeane Garofalo, seemingly indicating that all right wingers hate black people. (Ah yes, all of my Republican familiars have small porcelain livery stablemen or lawn-jockeys on their front-lawn, and all of my Democrat acquaintances who work in factories speak in such kind and loving terms whenever they mention their black co-workers.)

In truth, however,
that may all change, because as the veterans graduate from their MBA programs and enter the work-force we’ll have people who have worked successfully in teams made up of hispanic, black, white and individuals of oriental descent. Many of these veterans are currently benefitting, according to the Wall-Street journal article entitled ‘Business Schools Tap Veterans’, from an increase in government money available for veteran education. This increase was made in the immediate post 9/11 era by a Post 9/11 GI Bill, according to the Journal article. This bill was passed in a time period and with an administration friendlier in their words, and evidently their actions to the veterans, the CIA, and many of those who defend this country.
The next time a militant anti-Semitic, anti-white European-American, anti-establishment reverend seeks to call on people in the military to rise up in protest against our government, he may want to ponder that the current left wing government has not been too kindly postured towards members of our military, police, or intelligence community, negatively impacting both black or white, and could stand to learn quite a lot from former administrations on how to regard and treat the people who serve and protect us, who haven’t, thankfully, taken up arms to mutiny and overthrow us.

In the Wall-Street Journal article, Stacy Blackman, of Stacy Blackman Consulting, who has worked with veteran clients that snagged spots at prestigious business schools, even without phenomenal GMAT scores, is quoted as saying, “They [veterans] automatically know how to work in a team and they have respect, an important characteristic for business schools.”
Janet, that doesn’t mean a team of right-wing cross-burning haters. Louis or Jeremiah, that doesn’t mean a potential anarchist battalion of left-wing avengers.
Yes, the sane, and the insane…. I think I’ve got something here.

-copyright March 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Entitlement Violence

February 27th, 2010 by John P. Schumake

In the past year we have seen a rise in what I would refer to as ‘entitlement violence’.

Entitlement violence is the most dangerous part of the expression that, “I am owed this.”, “the world owes me a living”, “I’m owed this grant.”, “ I’m entitled to this job, in spite of my behavior.”, “I should have four strikes and then I’m out.” “You owe me a civil government U.S. trial, even though I’m not a citizen.”
“I am owed being accepted to this University, even if other people have scored higher on tests, and they may not be accepted. Still, I am owed this.”
“I am owed health care. It doesn’t matter whether I want it, or not. It doesn’t matter whose back the cost of this is going to go on, and on, and on… It doesn’t even matter if I chose it. It doesn’t matter if I will work, won’t work, can work, can’t work, or even want to work. I am owed this.”

This week alone we have seen what I refer to as ‘Entitlement Crimes.’ Professor Amy Bishop shot 3 colleagues at the University of Alabama. The shooting seemed to revolve around a decision that essentially denied her tenure. Bishop was a known ‘Leftist.’ Interestingly, some have speculated that the rampage was at least, in part, racially motivated. Two of the three people she shot were African Americans. This is sadly interesting. Do left-leaning people become racist when they finally become disenchanted with a bureaucracy that doesn’t seem to give them what they felt they are owed?

In other words, if your sense of a ‘social justice’ is heavily invested in the ‘social’ aspect, what happens to the human mind when the ‘social’ lets you down?

If a person’s faith were truly not in the system, anyway, then perhaps they would never have gotten disenchanted, angry, vengeful. Why? Because they didn’t put their faith in a governmental system, some huge feudal castle that was supposed to give them what they are ‘entitled to’. Instead they may have put their faith in God, perhaps…. Or, at least had some awe for the mutual worth and reciprocal and collective strength of human souls.

Secondly, we have the incident of Joseph Stack who flew his piper cub into the IRS building in Texas. Stack, like Bishop, had strong Leftist beliefs. Among other things, he was evidently known to be anti-religion, anti-Catholic, anti George Bush, and anti-captialist in his rants which pretty much revokes your membership as a card-carrying right-winger.

Let me add, that in September of this year, John Allen Muhammed, the beltway sniper was executed. There was a little detail that I was never aware of: the motivation. Apparently, young Lee Boyd Malvo testified that Muhammed’s plan was to extort millions from the United States Government in a three-phase plan. Ultimately the millions would be used to set up a home in Canada for young boys of African descent who had no parents or guidance. You can almost see how the young Malvo was brain-washed into participating in a hell-born plot that had an ostensibly ‘good end objective.’ Nevertheless, we see that persistent notion that, ‘the government owes us, we are entitled. The government has promised it. The government has welshed on the deal. The government deserves to be extorted.’
The plan hatched by Muhammed, the beltway sniper, evidently involved shooting 6 white people a day, initially; It would be escalated into shooting pregnant women, and then further escalated into bombings, until the extortion money was finally received.

There are lesser crimes than these crimes. There are, of course the activities of Acorn, revealed by the under-cover tapes that indicated a scary propensity to at less be willing to get government moneys to fund what I would consider as wholesale atrocities. I have indicated in some way that all of these ‘cited circumstances’ are ‘Left-wing’ motivated. I merely stated this to point out an hypocrisy engaged in by some on the left. Every time a hate-crime occurs there are rabid individuals on the Left who point to some organized effort of the Right to express some intolerance. I think we should all realize that people who commit heinous crimes are individuals with philosophies that are often a montage of confusion.

In some of the cases I referred to, we have individuals who have decided that they had to take ‘retribution’ or at least ‘the exacting of fairness’ into their own hands, that they had to set matters straight, or set people straight. At this juncture, I must say that there is something core to true conservative religious values in this country, and that is this: “It’s wrong to take an unborn infant’s life, it’s wrong to euthanize an adult, it’s wrong to seek to kill or maim others, and it’s wrong to take your own life.” In one of the case I cited, the individual took his own life, while attempting to take the lives of others, and in all of the above cases involving human killing they did it in a premeditated manner.
Now say what you will about core conservative values, but if people really lived, meditated and believed them, we’d have a much safer and better country.

However, I do firmly believe that fuelling the concept of entitlement will not only persist in being economically bad for this country, but it will do moral and psychological damage as well. It will, in addition, provide a sense of justification to people committing so-called ‘religiously motivated crimes’ ; they will use the United States Government’s seemingly ‘fickle nature’ in giving and then taking as reason to commit whatever crimes they commit against humanity. This is simply the religious arm of, ‘I am entitled.’ I think it is best technically understood as, ‘I am entitled, and you’re going to get yours.’

I, and others on this site, have quipped or spoken with serious candor in the past about the angry ‘Left-wingers’ who bit the finger off of a man at a Town Hall meeting, and the ‘Left-wingers’ who pummeled a man at a town hall meeting. These are not, however, crimes driven by any sense of ‘Entitlement Indoctrination’. The ‘Entitlement Crimes’ I mentioned, are more reminiscent of the pipe-bombings in the 60’s done by groups like those that William Ayers participated in. They are crimes that seem to punctuate the concept that the government is the ‘Keeper of the Castle.’ Oddly, those who have espoused entitlement violence of historic proportions (You get points for thinking of what moments in history may point to that) don’t seem to want to change that. They seem to simply want to change, who is ‘The Keeper of the Keys.’

-copyright February 2010 by John P. Schumake

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Time Traveler – Sunday Edition

February 20th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

No matter what age you are, there is one person, in the history of black and white sitcoms, whom you should know. His impact may have seemed inconsequential, but who and what he was, and more importatntly, what he did is timeless. If you don’t know who he is, take a course, buy a book, do some research. His image must be in the next time-capsule we send out into space, his words should be broadcast from a little satellite about the size of Sputnik that travels through our solar system, our galaxy, the Milky Way. His name? Eddie Haskel.
Why do you need to know this person? Because you don’t have any choice. Because, like Dr. Who, Eddie Haskel keeps appearing and vanishing and reappearing. Eddie Haskel and the Daleks. My favorite episode of “Leave It to Beaver’ – that’s the sitcom that Eddie Haskel appeared on (the only one that we know of, but there is strong suspicion that he appeared on stage as far back as the days of Sophocles), is when he goes before members of the Senate and Congress in the United States, and members of the military, and members of the Supreme Court and delivers his State of the Union Address: , ‘Hello, Mr. Cleaver, Good Evening, Mrs. Cleaver. My, you’re looking lovely. The speaker of the house and the Congress stare at him, with the dutiful; admiration of the Stepford wives. Mr., and Mrs. Cleaver, sitting somewhere between the military and the Supreme Court justices can be seen looking at him with taught expressions.
“Mrs. Cleaver, I’m going to solve the job problem, and the health care problem, and yes, yes, I am going to drill for oil. I have seen the error of my ways.” Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver, as they have done throughout history try to keep a straight face. Later, Eddie Haskel plans to run upstairs, to Blaire House, where the other side of Eddie, comes out, where he can say, “Hey, you little runt… You almost ruined it for me back there with that chatter about tort reform, and my tampering with Medicare, and criticism of the stimulus. Look, Sam, you’ll get your little write-offs. Besides, What do you think a stimulus is? It’s spending money, and I’ve got it to spend.”

News comes that Conoco-Philips and Caterpillar have withdrawn from the Climate Coalition, likely because of the specious nature of the studies and data surrounding the issue. He sees his plan to gain control over American smoke stack industries and to foist his control on the energy producing giants beginning to unravel.
Purely for consolation, he then hops into his little time-travel phone-booth looking TARDIS (possibly re-designed by inventor and right-hand-man Rahm Emanuel*) and travels back to Pennsylvania, 2008, for a diversion, a time when he was receiving the unquestioning adulation OF MILLIONS. A TIME where he vows to bankrupt the coal industry; he then travels ahead to 2012 – woops, nothing there. He then hops in his phone-booth AND SPEEDS OVER TO VEGAS where he speaks in front of a large pre-arranged group of supporters at the Chamber of Commerce. But looking out into the gallery of supporters he again sees the familiar faces of Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver.
“Citizens of Las Vegas, Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver, Las Vegas is truly a lovely city, almost as lovely as you Mrs. Cleaver. And I think that I was unfairly misunderstood. I had no intention of stating that people shouldn’t spend money in Las Vegas, in this lovely city, I only meant that they shouldn’t take hard earned college tuition to spend here. Just because the mayor’s been such a swell guy, I’m going to take 1.5 billion doillars from the tarp fund to let you use as you like. All I ask is that you re-elect my good friend Harry Reid.”

What lies in store for time-and-space-magician Eddie Haskel, we mere mortals must wait and see.

But, just remember, wherever you encounter that angelic, clean washed face throughout history, the face that presumes to power and later takes jabs with malicious sarcasm when he feels he can get away with it, at individuals who are in the capacity of a diminished state of power or at a safe distance to taunt, whether it’s the pious little face of a peanut farmer from Georgia or a smiling community organizer who both, in their own way, begin to steer the country towards economic catastrophe, you may be in the true presence of time-traveler Eddie Haskel.

*We’re a little unsure about this link. When looking up the name ‘Rahm’ in Chicago we kept yielding the result ‘Romberg’, which appears to have been a very important political figure, but upon closer look, he evidently was a rabbit, named ‘Romberg Rabbit’. Nevertheless, he was the premier to the first king of the United States, Garfield Goose. We felt that the title, first king of the United States was relevant to the current political circumstances so we have left the link in. You determine if Romberg Rabbit and Rahm Emanuel are in fact the same person.

-copyright February 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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What do you think a stimulus is, a bolshevik plot?

February 12th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

What’s this? Has Captain America joined the ranks of Heroes and Super-Heroes gone bad? From the time that Hercules went mad and killed his wife, which is what occasioned the 12 labors he had to perform, to the present, various super-heroes and heroes have joined the ranks of villains, only occasionally navigating back over to the right side. Just last week I commented on Darth Vader and Mussolini (yes, to the Italian people at one time Mussolini was a hero.)
So Captain America not only engaged in ignorant banter regarding the tea-party supporters, but misled his super-hero friend by allowing him to believe that the ‘tea-baggers’ (as the writers referred to them in a non-prejudicial unstereotypical, hero-like way), were also all racist.
(Interesting… The only ‘racist’ event I can think of that occurred at a town hall rally was when a group of democrat health-care supporters pummeled a black individual who was as fed up as everyone else about the things that the current administration is trying to shove down people’s throats.)

Occasionally, a super-hero not jaded with all of the hi-flying power and ‘ho-hum’ tasks comes to some humble soul-searching and instead of making careless cavalier comments like those made by comrades of Captain America, they reflect on their actions. Why, just about a month ago Super Obama Girl appeared on T.V. declaring, it appeared, that she was having second thoughts about her ‘impressions and feelings’ towards then Senator Obama. She appeared disillusioned with what she seemed to feel was insouciant ingratitude.

This brings me to an important word: ‘disclosure’. Disclosure is what the Republicans have complained the Democrats haven’t been doing for an entire year with all of the policies that they have enacted behind closed doors. Disclosure and transparency is what Obama now promises to bring to the eyes of the Americam people, starting with his well-publicized campaign that will be hosted at Blaire House, wherein he will certainly employ his great skills at one-upmanship to try to spray some new car smell on the Democrats Health Care Plan and that it’s so safe he’d let his own grandmother take it for a spin. (Now, remember, he threw his grandmother under the bus during the campaign with talk about comments she was wont to make.)
Let me tell you something about President Obama and disclosure:
In the 91st session of the Illinois Legislature between 1999-2000 Senator Obama was the only person to vote present against the ‘sex crimes act’ which would have permitted some victims of sexual crimes to request judges to seal the records with regard to their cases. All members voted for it except Obama. When asked by Senator Dirken why he didn’t vote for it, Obama indicated that he felt that it was unconstitutional. Yet, this same senator who felt that the painful sad and horrible details around a sex crimes case must be bared to public perusal, and should not be stopped, for constitutional reasons, did not appear to feel that some of the details of his own life, like his Harvard transcripts, should ever be allowed to be a matter of public record. Thankfully, 58 senators disagreed with him about the sex crimes act. For, had he had his way, many victims of sex crimes may have declined to testify in new cases against repeat offenders, or even in yet unresolved cases for fear of the details surrounding the circumstances of rapes, attempted rapes, murder rapes, or humiliating sex offenses being published in a disparaging and merciless way.

America is running a little short of real Super-heroes, especially the kind that reflect on their actions and make course adjustments.
You are far more likely to see this introspection and soul-searching among the D.C. Superheroes: Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel and Heracles. They were much more suited to my liking and not, in my point of view, shallow and insipid, as I often found the Marvel Comic Characters to be, like Captain America, and Flatman, who claims to possess some sort of a doctoral degree and to in fact be Dr. Val Ventura, and yet is unable to provide any diploma or any paperwork indicating that he passed any sort of med boards.
Now see, this is why I prefer Superman to Captain America, because he can ‘see through things’. If he were a senator or a congressman instead of a mild mannered reporter, we would have seen the ‘secret’ stimulus and ‘secret’ health – care bills coming long before they splattered across the windshields of America. I wouldn’t be completely surprised to some day see Captain America turning in his moniker for Comrade America.
I am curious, though, if there were some signs in Captain America’s past that would indicate that he was the kind of person who would just remain silent, while earnest, basic Americans are being slimed. I’m curious if he was always so ethically challenged that he was unable to notice that some ‘supposed staffer’ had sketched the hateful statements attributed to tea baggers into his cartoon. More importantly, I am wondering if there may have been some statements or incidents in his past that pointed to this anti-Jeffersonian nature. Something that shows he had a penchant for big government, and quashing the common people, or ridiculing people who were trying to stand up against big government. If anyone can find these references, please point them out to me. It may help in preventing future super-heroes from going the way of Captain America, Hercules, Darth Vader, and, yes, Mussolini.

– copyright February 12, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Divide and Conquer, Cap and Trade, Bitch and Moan

February 6th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

I caught the most intriguing interview the other night on XM radio.  It was Bill O’ Reilly querying John Stewart.  He asked Stewart a question about Obama’s performance, and Stewart’s reply was something to the effect of, “You know,” I can’t figure out if he is this amazing Jedi who is just light-years beyond all of us, or if he just doesn’t get it and this is kicking his butt.  After mulling this answer I had to ask myself, “Why can’t it be both?”

I mean, history is filled with the reality of amazing Jedi’s who just didn’t get it, Mao, Hitler, Darth Vader, just to name a few.  With all Jedi’s – gone – haywire it’s always the same.  They start with this amazing gift; with Hitler, it was his oratory, with Mao it was the ability to move people around like pieces on a chess board, and with the Vader, he could occupy different bodies.   One minute he could be James Earl Jones, and the next, he could be some white guy.
I was amused to hear Stewart speak with the absolute conviction that we could do something about global warming, but absolutely nothing about Iran’s procuring a nuclear weapon.

Here’s a simple fact:  For every smoke stack the United States caps off, India, China, Brazil and the rest of the emerging third world will be putting 100 into the air.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shoot for green energy.  It just means to be aware of the reality.  Likewise, snubbing your only ally in the Mideast and treating Benjamin Netanyahu like the bad boy who needs a good finger shaking and tongue wagging, is not a masterful move of  of a jedi chess player.  It’s a foolish diminution of one’s own power, which, from a diplomatic standpoint, gives countries, like Iran a green light and and a wide open lane.

However, other genius jedi’s have made foes out of friends and suffered for it; Mussolini took a nation of allies to the U.S. in World War I and made them an enemy in WWII.  Hitler, who’s corruption from inception was veiled in his silver tongued speeches, turned on his ally, Stalin, and that decision contributed to his undoing, the shere division of power and resources brought the mighty war machine down; and, of course, finally, we all know that Darth Vader’s abandonment of the good side of the force and his marriage with the dark side, no matter how necessary it may have seemed to be for his preservation, was not worth the price of bondage and servitude.
“The righteous falling down before the wicked is like a corrupt fountain and a polluted stream.”

-copyright February 06, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Promises, Promises

January 30th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

So what’s the state of the union? Well, we all know, it’s a mess. However, Obama very cleverly concluded the last decade, from 2010 on back as the decade of George Bush, very neatly sweeping his own nasty, partisan, unproductive year in with the Bush years.  Obama made every promise in the book. He made promises to the left, and promises to the right. ‘We’re going to build nuclear power plants, we’re going to start offshore drilling for oil, we’re going to give tax breaks for small businesses and cut capital gains taxes.’   Then he made promises to the left. ‘We’re going to pass cap and trade, we’re going to be the leader in cutting pollution, we’re going to make healthcare for all Americans a reality, we’re going to provide more loans for people who want to go back to college.’

My wife said it was more amusing listening to me yelling at the T.V. than the state of the union address. What was I yelling?

We haven’t built a nuclear power plant in the U.S. in over 40 years.  Those cooling lakes to cool the cores of those newly placed fission reactors are going to play real well with Obama’s left wing environmentalists;  as will, the offshore drilling of oil. I don’t believe that we have built a refinery here in over 30 years. That brings up another point.  It isn’t the sparsity of oil in the U.S. that’s a problem. We also don’t have enough refinery capabilities, and those refineries put the very smoke-stacks into the air that the Obama far left supporters want to cap and then trade against.

…I say we strap a generator to Nancy Pelosi, get Obama to keep giving speeches, and we’ll generator enough power from her standing up and down to keep Washington’s power grid going through a power-outage.  It’ll be termed ‘hydrophobic electric power.’  I’ll refrain from comparisons to power produced by Grand Coulee dam.

So he’s going to cut taxes for small businesses and the middle class , and just raise them for the very wealthy (I think that means anyone who is still left working),  but then he’s going to turn around and fund this giant health care monster, and all of the other give-aways he supports on the left. Bottom line: The President’s state of the union address was the longest series of unkeepable promises that I have ever heard uttered by one person in one room on one day.

-copyright 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Yes, It’s a Bad Thing

January 24th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Let me tell you what could have happened. Back in February of 2009, instead of asking the United States Armed forces to take a 10% budget cut, a certain Nobel Prize winner could have said to himself: “Wait a second! After the tsunami that devastated southeast Asia the United States Navy sent hospital ships and aircraft carriers and supplies to aid those regions literally mired in tragedy. During and after the crisis caused by hurricane Katrina it was Navy and Marine Special Ops, Air Force PJ’s, and Coast Guard Air-Sea Rescue Crew who repelled from helicopters to rescue people from rooftops.  Marines and Army were on the ground delivering badly needed assistance.”
He would have continued, “I believe I see a new emerging roll for the United States military, one that makes us ambassadors of peace and help. This is more powerful than bullets. It would be foolish for me to ask them to take a cut, because money to the military will get into our economy faster than any stimulus money: Paychecks to soldiers, and money sent to families back home, fabrics bought from American fabric companies, food grown by American farmers,  (In order to sell to the United States military companies have to be registered Federal Contractors) helicopters, aircraft, vehicles and heavy equipment built largely built by American contractors. What a great way to beat weapons into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks!”
This Nobel prize winner would have taken an educated look at the recent past, and then… then when this horrible earthquake occurred in Haiti, and the United States sent food and generators, and aircraft carriers and hospital boats, it would all have made sense, It would have simply been a part of the vision. But it didn’t happen exactly that way.

I had a little debate with one of the clergy of the Church I attend. I had made a comment back in March of this year that I was very disappointed in the proposed stimulus, the areas where it proposed to spend money, and the fact that our military budget was simultaneously being cut.
He looked at me in response to, “The budget was cut by 10%” and queried me with such a peaceful look of Buddhist wisdom, “And that’s a bad thing?” he asked.

So many people don’t stop and realize, that our military buys massive amounts of equipment and supplies and food and fabric from American companies. It then turns around and helps people in trouble as only the American military can.

Picture for a second what would have been required to help the people either in Haiti or Southeast Asia with the absence of the military apparatus:
Huge ships would have to have been leased from some large shipping company. Helicopters and crew would have to have been leased from experienced organizations, probably like logging companies, then personnel to distribute the assistance would have to have been hired and put in place. The logistics in my simplified version are daunting, probably impossible. Who would have distributed the goods? Who would the Nobel Prize winner have recommended for the task? Acorn? That forever newsworthy community activist group? Well, that may have introduced some problems: Acorn was recently ‘busted’ via hidden camera interviews wherein certain employees of the organization were caught on tape offering advice to people on how to start businesses that were tantamount to brothels, importing underaged girls to ‘do the work’.   So any effort to use community activists in Haiti should have to have included some sort of policing organization to make sure that Haitian girls weren’t whisked off by the community activists to be used in brothels somewhere.

There is no organization in the world that can deliver helicopters, generators, personnel, tents, food, medical assistance with the alacrity and logistics of the United States military; don’t even dream of it.
The statement of the clergyman at my parish reminded me of the rant of President Chavez who was verbally flogging the United States for ‘sending soldiers’ to help in Haiti. “Uniten States! Sen help! You not sennning help. You senning soldiers! Don’ sen soldiers Sham on you!”
What an imbecile Chavez is. a clever imbecile, though. Dumb like a Fox. ( I think he sent a twin engine Cessna with a box of galletas as Venezuala’s contribution to the effort)

God bless the U.S. military in their new mission in a turbulent and changing globe. If Al Gore is right about the massive shift towards global warming, then the needed shift for the military towards providing emergency help in a globe battered with storms, tornadoes and hurricanes should have been a given. A democratic Nobel Prize winning president should have had the immediate inside track on that  Mission. If the Liberal Vision was consistent, that should have been the natural direction in consideration.

In response to the clergyman with whom I debated, “Yes, cutting the military budget now is a bad thing, and in the mind of anyone who has any sense of vision for the emerging future, it’s very bad thing.”

-copyright 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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Google Hacked China Style

January 23rd, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

 

Google’s possible exit from China is not as foolish at may seem. Aside from a good public relations move back home, and showing integrity, it reduces their surface area from attack. Microsoft is operating in China, but is not only vulnerable to the same sort of attacks Google experienced, which brought down servers and briefly compromised security, Microsoft has the added vulnerability of exposing their operating system to being ‘held hostage’ if they don’t play by Chinese rules in China. Exposing yourself to a core of determined government’s coders who may be trying to penetrate and compromise your flagship software, when you are already vulnerable to the average hacker is certainly a way of going way-out-on–a-limb. Chinese spying and penetrating American systems goes back many years. In fact, it is doubtful that China could have had a space program of their own had they not stolen information.

The well-known situation of missing information from Los Alamos laboratories and similar facilities back in the days of the Clinton administration comes to mind. Sloppy handling of top secret technologies was the rule in those days. Clinton’s Virtual dismantling of some of the NORAD facilities to ‘Reap the Peace’ indicated the mood of the era. The wide-open door posturing of the Obama administration and aversion to various heightened security measures like intensive wire-tapping may serve as an open invitation for nations like China to explore means of penetrating security systems both in government and private industry. The often criticized Cyber-security of the Bush administration, touted by some on the left as being a violation of personal freedoms at least left a legacy of no known voracious and successful Cyber-attacks on large corporations or the U.S. government. The theft of information during the Clinton years while laboratories like los Alamos and Sandia and Lawrence Livermore were working on technologies to extend space-base laser and particle beam capabilities, and develop containable fusion energy, and the recent compromising of a server at the Rackspace Hosting Company, a big player in the Internet Provider Business, has brought to the forefront the question of whether our nation’s general posturing towards security against theft of information is well developed.

The situation with Google also makes it clear that the search for new operating systems and hardware, ones that the state department won’t easily allow to leave our shores, and ones that are more resilient to attack than Microsoft’s well-known de-facto systems has become necessary. The development of this hardware and software, though imminent, may prove fruitless if the state department proves to be sloppy in their managing of which American technologies may be proliferated abroad.

The problem with China brings to the forefront another blunder. The United States has invested so heavily in the potential future markets of China, building factories there, only to experience very poor quality products in many cases from the Chinese facilities. One wonders if the capital invested in Chinese factories had been invested in factories in Mexico if we hadn’t killed two birds with one stone: The illegal immigration problem may have been mitigated if those factories had been built in Mexico, and the espionage, spying and theft of intellectual properties would have been something that we would have at least had some more control over; additionally, transportation, shipping and management would have been closer and easier to exercise control over.

It’s been argued that the Mexican factory ventures have been tried; however, they have not been tried to the extent that they were tried in China, and the obvious byproduct of the U.S. gaining greater peaceful influence over our own hemisphere was ignored.

-copyright 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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A Game to Play

January 16th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

Mathematicians like talking in terms of things like, ‘the eye’, ‘the eye of God’, ‘the womb’ or ‘the matrix’ to represent their various logarithms and what the graphic representation of that reminds them of. A matrix can be represented in many ways and can be used in everything from genetics to Bible prophecy. I will provide you with a very basic understanding so we can move on and talk about how more recent scientific research has put a strange twist (or spiral) on the abortion issue.
Take a deck of cards and start with a sort of 52 pick –up; then arrange them in columns of 13 each. Now we can play a game with one or more people. Pick a card from the leftmost column. Next, you must match the number and color of the card from a card selected from one of the other columns. If you are playing with another person, obviously take turns. Each person first turns over a card in the leftmost column. If the card you needed to match actually ends up being on the left; for example if one person turned over a 2 of diamonds, and the 2 of hearts ends up being also in the column on the left, you will move the 2 of hearts over to one of the piles on the right, and swap it out so there is another card on the left.
(If you are wondering why I told you to first scatter the cards before arranging them in columns; that was just to be cruel.)
To make the game interesting you can do various things like, assign each person just one column on the right, and they must try to make their match from the left with only that column. Keep score. This is a rough understanding of what a matrix can be about.
Now here’s where it gets genetic. If you can imagine that every time a deuce is matched with another red deuce, all of the other cards have to be turned over, everyone’s score goes back to zero, except for the person with the red deuce, and you sort of start over, you might have something similar to what sometimes happens in genetics.
Sometimes, rare matches within any possible number of ties occur, and those matches are game changers. These don’t necessarily involve mutations. They can be matches like those that cause 2 brown haired people to have a baby with green eyes, and everyone else is saying, “So who do you suppose is the father of that baby?” – Or perhaps in our current culture, “So who do you suppose is the mother?” The game changers can cause unfortunate illnesses to appear. Some of these illnesses, it has been proposed by people studying them, may actually have been a means of survival for the species in a given place and time. I can’t go into the details of such illnesses, but Tay-Sachs is one worth studying with regard to this. Some game changers, like Tay-Sachs may have involved mutations.
Studies done in the last 40 years pertaining to gibbons (a sort of primate) in southeast Asia have produced startling results. ( I was startled) . The conclusion drawn was that these primates all must have developed, or evolved from a common ancestor, but the changes discernable from one island or locale to another were too great to be accounted for by Natural Selection in the time period that they, must have occurred in. It couldn’t be explained by any of the usual plain old vanilla evolution theories, either.
Various solutions were proposed. One of them can be visualized in a way by a sort of matrix, not unlike the one I described above. You might at this point have realized that the ability for a species to completely change or ‘obtain’ some radically different features is actually built into the ‘deck’ or the chromosomes. Whether or not these sudden, though rare – from a probability standpoint, changes survive may have to do with the time and place in which they are introduced.
Now, let me at this point proffer: If some of the cards are destroyed, or if you are playing with multiple decks and a deck is destroyed, or if the people who pick the cards are destroyed, there is no game.
Ironically, 80 some years ago a woman named Margaret Sanger proposed that the abortion of certain peoples, people who in her mind were failures in society, people who were of lower economic classes, people of southern European ancestry – the list goes on – would have been a good thing for the species. Margaret Sanger became recognized as the founder of Planned Parenthood. Hillary Clinton received the Margaret Sanger award in April of 2009; the story goes on . There is a great belief, based upon things Sanger wrote, that she would like to have seen the African Americans curtailed as a race.
The newest evidence from genetics of course, reveals that she was not only wrong about what would make a species productive, thriving and successful, but that the contrary is in fact the case. This irony was actually predicted by G.K. Chesterton in his marvelous book – Eugenics and Other Evils. Sanger was a Eugenicist.
Chesterton may not have understood the extents to which the eugenicists were wrong!  It is becoming ever more clear that the ‘scientific sense of responsibility towards the species’ (that the Eugenicists claimed to have embraced) has actually shifted in terms of how it should be realized in the direction of understanding that the destruction of any of the players or cards actually damns the species. In other words, the wholesale abortion of members of the species not only doesn’t purify the race, but it can actually eliminate those changes that are ‘built into the deck’ for the survivability of the race.
Anyone who presents the argument that the ‘right to chose’ and abortion of any unwanted fetus is beneficial for the survival of man and womankind is not really concerned about the survival of mankind, but is more interested in a sort of social or economic expediency, or is under the illusion that abortions will cause crime rates and poverty to go down.
I had an acquaintance who cited to me a certain statistic that in a certain locale in the United States the crime rate had gone down, and they attributed that to the increased number of abortions. My reply was, “So let me understand this: the people ‘responsible enough’ to eliminate unwanted births did so, and the irresponsible people who didn’t care about ‘society’ continued to have babies, and the net result with this new population of offspring of irresponsible people was that the crime rate went down?” She was, of course, struck dumb.

Copyright 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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I Presume Too Much

January 10th, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

(With Corrections)

My apologies. Apparently I needed to publish Cliff’s Notes for my previous item called Dr.Livingston. I have been kindly taken aside and asked, “Are you on something? Or is this just flashbacks from the 70’s?”
I really had a lot to say, and it might be worth looking at if you like the idea of getting lost in a jungle, when you don’t have more than half an hour to spare.
Obviously, I have a disposition against the entire Pro-Choice movement. My reasons may be different than most people’s. I really felt I needed to bring in the colorful singing primates from Southeast Asia to make my point, but I see that I should really have stuck with the prayer breakfast, mentioned why ‘Catholics Come Home’ is such a great idea, but also why some of them may not have come home.

Now, the purpose of that interesting prayer breakfast held yesterday at Saint Victor’s Parish in Calumet City, Illinois, was not to ty to understand why the Catholics have left the Church. No doubt the Church has looked at this over and over, and they don’t need me to explain it to them. The purpose, in part was to help open the door to some venues, new and old for reaching out to lost Catholics. Bishop Perry presented the thoughts really well, as he always does.

However, I found myself pondering, “Why did so many Catholics stop attending? It’s a question you must ask yourself if you plan to be part of the outreach because you will have to deal with the question with each and every person you talk to.  Before Vatican II the reason was usually, ‘death’.  Since then, the reasons vary from anger at nun-slappage, anger at the changes in the liturgy, all the way through more serious issues.  However,  except for death, I don’t think those are the real primary reasons that keep people away.

I looked at my own journey. I left the Church and entered Pentecostal, Full Gospel, and Holiness Churches because I wanted to be fed. I wanted to hear the power of the word of God, I wanted to hear it broken apart. I wanted to eat it and learn, and I wasn’t getting that in the Church. My complaint in my previous writing seems to indicate that I feel that the Church is leaning too far left. I do not feel that the doctrine of the Catholic Church, or the Catholic Church’s message at large is too far left, by any means.
I do, however, feel that individual priests and deacons frequently take opportunity to push a political agenda. It’s an agenda that assumes the shape of our current political impasse in the country: On the one hand we have the rights of the unborn and the elderly and the individual, on the other hand we have the social justice message, the need for society to intervene, to control guns, to control money, to control the distribution of goods, to be the helper of the poor! (Thank God many of us know that government dole initiatives have many many stopping points before any money or aid ever arrives at the hands and homes of those genuinely in need, and when you have endorsed the government for this task you have admitted the complete failure of your own Church to do what God has ordained it to do. Stow the inveigled political talk. Give me the scripture if you can.)

You see, if anyone thinks that Caesar is going to be the good and fair distributor of your Christian ( or Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu) kindness, that anyone is an idiot. The closest we might have come to our government being involved in doing that was President Bush’s Faith Based Initiative, and the current group in power has more secular ideas. I will honestly say, as I did previously that I often grit my teeth at the tisk- tisking and stay for the Eucharist:
In fairness,
You cannot say as a Church, “Well we need to dance to the tune of the people on the right, because we are losing them,” or “we need to serve those on the left.” The church is not a fast food chain discussing its menu at board meetings. However, I was, when I left the Church, and still am after I have come back, hungry for the scripture, hungry for the discussion of scripture, hungry for talking through the Word of God. I was correct in saying that not all Catholics who have left the Church are sitting in a bar somewhere, or off bowling. Some have indeed gone to where they can hear an exegesis of the word, an uplifting on how God’s word can live through you, instead of an “Oh so Wise “ explanation of how I may be too simple to understand that ‘George Bush’s War’ is also not ‘Pro-Life’. (Catholics aren’t idiots.), or worse, I have to sit through ad-nauseum tongue-in-cheek endorsements of the new health care plan, because it ‘really is the way to look after the poor and disenfranchised’. We hear this from people who have never worked for the government. As a brief aside: a faith based ‘health care initiative’ might have been a good alternative idea.

Let me give you a slightly rotated view of this: Catholics have the Eucharist. It is Jesus. We have the sacraments. That’s where we’ve got many of the other Churches beat. However, the Protestants have the Word of God, and they still do a far better job at opening it up and breaking it like bread and distributing it than the Catholic Churches, and that’s forty some years after Vatican II.
Catholics in the United States are no longer uneducated masses who need to be talked down to. They live in a knowledge age, they access the Internet, their jobs are often specialty jobs that require training on technical equipment. This is why, when a Catholic enters a Protestant Church and hears the tearing apart of the scripture that was just read as the reading, the lights suddenly go on. As long as Catholics feel they are being fed pabulum, being talked down to, and as long as they are told in nuance (‘Oh we’re too stupid to really realize that this is a veiled political message’ ) that the social justice aspect of Christianity is just so here, present and good, and those of us who are bitter and stick in the mud need to accept it.
I heard a deacon say, “I thank God daily for Barack Obama’s stimulus.” I bit down on the Eucharist and chewed so hard, poor Jesus ended up in my stomach without a moment of lingering. See, I’m getting mad all over again.

I suppose I could ask my Protestant Friend to tape his pastor’s sermon on the scripture, so I could quietly click it on and listen to it in Church when Deacon Free-form starts to talk.

Next time we’ll re-visit the primates, the painted gibbons, and think about the survival of the species.

copyright 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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What To Like and Not To Like About Avatar

January 1st, 2010 by Juan Zapatero

If you go to see Avatar, see it in 3D. I found myself ducking to avoid incendiary canisters that were rolling off of a slightly futuristic helicopter. The movie was a giant incredible tapestry of effects, taking place in the marvelous jungle of the distant world of Pandora. I was especially pleased to see a huge portion of the cast were a combination of real people and computer generated individuals. Even though this is Hollywood’s effort to marry the future of 3D interactive film with the acting profession, it lays bare the reality that this can almost all be done by computer engineers, programmers, motion capture experts, and other technical geniuses. This is exciting, because we may finally begin to see the end of the over-paid world of acting prima donnas who use their high visibility to poison every social, political, religious and literary venue possible.

Though it’s not impossible that the owners of such intellectual properties will use a 9 foot tall purple alien with a tail to try to push home some political point (After all Fred Flintstone did a few smoking commercials, I think when he was still called Fred Flagstone), but ambiguities over the ownership of the complete right of expression of these intellectual properties may make that difficult.

The movie, of course did have the familiar , “White Americans have destroyed the rain forest, killed the American Indian, will export that misery to any indigenous peoples of any future we can imagine, and there are only two or three out of thousands that have any conscience.” However, I also found in there, a message that had long ago vanished from film – that there actually is a Spiritual Supreme Being who cares about the beings who reach out to the Supreme One. Interestingly, this being was even connected to the life forms on all levels, and was willing to answer sincere prayer.

So, I have to highly recommend the movie Avatar, for families with reservations (mental reservations, not reserved seats). If you are godless and very progressive, you can tell your children, “Ah, yes! See the lesson! We have destroyed aboriginal civilizations and we will always do so. We are fundamentally wicked, especially the Conservatives amongst us, and , as for that business about the God of the Pandoran Na’vi people, the writers had to put that in for the groundlings!”

If on the other hand, you have more traditional heartland proclivities you can tell your children, “Now, see, the person who really ended up trying to help these native Pandorans turned out to be a person who discovered prayer and discovered a spiritual life, and he was the person who was willing to try to avert the destruction of their indigenous culture and the exploitation of their resources.”

Sit next to the people with the opposite beliefs, share popcorn, nod your head and say, “How true, How true…”
Great fun. I’ve been wearing the 3D glasses around the house…. A coffee can rolled out of a cabinet that I had opened and I said, “ah, it’s just 3-D” and it hit me in the head…

Copyright 2010 by Juan Zapatero

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A Loaf Under Each Arm

December 27th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

Yesterday I went out early paying visits, with a loaf of bread under each arm.
No, I wasn’t crying about my financial circumstances. I just hate visiting empty handed. I arrived at the family home of a friend to find that he had left already to return to the east-coast. I had missed seeing him for Christmas. What ensued was one of those heart-rending moments I often have around the holidays, ….and the rest of the year.
His father was resting on an overstuffed chair under a blanket, trying to keep his badly aching knees from aching. We talked about warmth and furnaces, and then I mentioned I had bought a new one, and then the conversation went to tax write-offs, and how I was determined to give this government as little money as possible and, “Say, Juan,” asked my friends father, “tell me about this new health bill! What’s this law going to do for me? How’s it going to help me and the Mrs.”
Ah, I had the sad job. I could smell fresh coffee brewing down the hall. “Well, it’s not,” I had to tell him. “It’s not designed to help seniors. In fact, it’s more likely to hurt seniors in more ways than one…”
“Yeh? How?”
“Well, first it will actually cut money to Medicare, under the idea that they can make Medicare more efficient. They’re just redirecting some money from Medicare. Worse, it’ll raise the cumulative effect of Federal, State, and local taxes… some people say… as though your Federal Income tax went up 10%. Remember, the government only has one way to raise revenue to pay for such things…. That’s to raise taxes.”
He pulled his pajama top closer at the top and buttoned the open button. “Well, why are they doing this? Who’s it going to benefit?”
“Well, it’s supposed to benefit people who are simply not on insurance, can’t get it or choose not to be, because it will force them to buy insurance and present proof of it, sort of like if you own a car, and it will force insurance companies to cover everyone for a prescribed rate. You know what that will do. It will make insurance companies raise the rates of everyone else to cover the people it ordinarily wouldn’t cover. You’ll be paying higher rates, along with higher Federal taxes to cover this trillion dollar program and the interest on the loan from the Chinese. ”
“Oh, my goodness.” He shifted his position to glance down the hall, “Say, how’s that coffee coming?”
“Also,” I continued, ” in order to pay for this program and the Mega-stimuli, the Feds will have to scale down some programs that the states are beneficiaries of, so you can pretty much count on your state taxes going up too.”
He looked at me stunned,”well, how did this get passed?” Such Christmas cheer and good news for the new year.
“Well, unfortunately Congress, the Senate, and the Presidency are all controlled by the Democrats, and, well…. it’s usually a bad thing when one party controls everything.”
“Well, what did the Republicans want to do?”
“Well,” I started slowly, ” they wanted to keep insurance costs down by limiting the amount of money people could sue doctors, hospitals, companies that make tools that people injure themselves with… This would have kept down premiums on malpractice insurance, and other forms of liability insurance. Also, they wanted to provide companies and other organizations and individuals greater tax benefits for providing insurance to their employees and members. This way, the government wouldn’t have to create this huge bureaucratic addition, the new Federal Health Care Agency (or whatever they’ll call it) with tons of employees sitting around…”
“I know, I know, and eating donuts… For Christmas sake…”
My friend’s sweet old mother toasted some of the bread I brought and it smelled good. “Have some, Juan.” She returned to the kitchen to get the coffee.

“Now tell me about this new furnace you bought…” He was rubbing his knees.
“Well, my energy bills were going through the roof”
“Mine too, they were $400.00 a month last year!”
“Well, then you might want to consider looking into a more efficient furnace. You see, with this cap- and-trade that the government passed, our energy costs will be going way up…”
I could see through the front window that the snow had started to fall again. We ate warm bread. We talked some more about NSAIDS and pain relievers. My friend’s father periodically rubbed his sore legs. I knew I had to be leaving. It was coming down in clumps now, the coffee had perked me up, we had confirmed the madness of the magistrates, and I still had 2 loaves to deliver…

copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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Loss

December 19th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

It’s clear that in this life we will lose things.
It appears to be by design.
We will lose physical strength as we age, no matter how much we exercise. We will lose some bone mass, no matter what supplements we take. We will lose our hair, even if we have some transferred in from parts unknown. We will eventually lose our lives.
Some of us will experience a sort-of extra-curricular loss. We may lose a car, we may lose a bet if we are so foolish as to make them. We may lose a friend to one of the diseases that seems to plague or participate in the human condition. We may lose income. We may lose money to scammers and have to live on less income. We may lose possessions to thieves.
We will invariably lose some arguments, even if we think we didn’t. Let’s hope we don’t lose friends as a result of those arguments.
Despite the fact that we are designed to lose things, it is necessary, and also by design that we must fight not to lose things. We must fight to keep thieves from stealing things. That may mean buying a dog, lamping one’s lawn or business facility better, fencing things in, or providing surveillance systems so that thieves will begin to realize they will be caught and prosecuted.
We must fight to keep our physical flexibility and durability so we can continue to work and be productive for our families. This means watching what we eat, exercising,etc.
We must fight to keep our minds and spirits healthy, so we can continue to do that great thing we were created for.
Nevertheless, the most accomplished leaders of our time and in past times are people who have endured and coped with loss. Without it, they wouldn’t have been the people they became, and became, and became. A simple look at the lives of early American leaders like Jefferson who lost home to fire, and lost family to a variety of causes reveals this. I wonder if he would have become the author of our Declaration of Independence without that loss. Is there any way to calculate and list the loss that Abraham Lincoln experienced in loss of childhood, loss of mother, loss of political races, loss of a unified country, loss of children? I see him bowed over his dying little boy, and wonder if our nation would have been saved without it.
No, we must lose things, and more than things, if we are to be the great people God intended us to be. There’s no other way.
From an American perspective, I see Theodore Roosevelt brandishing sword against personal, physical and political loss, not always able to accept it; similarly, Ronald Reagan lost family, and the guidance of a father, and political battles, and yet he became one of the U.S. leaders of our time with the greatest impact. Bill Clinton suffered similarly in his youth. The loss experienced by several of the Kennedy’s is well-known, and some of the Greatest leaders in our religious worlds, like Pope John Paul II had stories of loss that must be read. They must be thought about.
The list of leaders worldwide who lived through intense and continual loss is more than I can enumerate. The list of shallow leaders who won every political battle and breezed easily through every challenge is equally as long. It’s also scary, because shallow leaders tend not to have the intestinal fortitude necessary in times of great difficulty.
Leadership formed out of pain and loss can be well-comprehended in Moses. His painful and continual loss was invested deeply in a leadership that is probably unrivalled in all-time, even if you don’t believe in the miracles. His separation from family, abnegation of greatness, exile, loss of loved ones, even loss of personal identity was a bleaching storm.
Yet, his death, which had to come, was at the kiss of God’s mouth.
If you are living through loss of possessions, try to place it in perspective. You can get through it and rise above it. If you are losing loved ones, our God will give you strength, though it will invariably seem not to be there at times. You will look back through the haze of a long journey and see that it was there, like a steady light in the fog. If you are losing your own life, trust with prayer. It is by design. You cannot experience the greater design without the loss, and to work through the loss is to know the Designer.

copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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2012: Flipping the Switch

December 12th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

It’s easy to see the doom and gloom in the direction being taken by global governments. I’m a big fan of doom and gloom. Doom and gloom has made Al Gore a very rich man. It’ll make other people rich. Economists who predict the meltdown of our economy will sell many books, as will astrophysicists who predict the asteroid of destruction’s near brush with the earth and all of the subsequent upheavals in tides, brains, wind currents, mindsets. None of this is scary enough for me. The possibility of the heavens being caught on fire, or giant boulders falling into our oceans is not that troubling. The outcome of huge tsunami’s thrashing inland for many miles and covering land and wiping away portions of the population is not the most horrifying possibility of 2012.
There is something far more auspicious, far more rumbling. It has haunted me for many years. It has haunted me in its promise.

I fully expect the year 2012 to come and go with its own share of physical, natural and economic disasters, but nothing that we could necessarily attribute to a black hole at the center of our galaxy.

There are bigger plans for us, huge plans that are contained in a tiny little mechanism that was set into motion just as our DNA sets our physical growth, and, in effect death into motion.

This mechanism can be seen in many places, and I’ll look at it in one place, a written form. First, though an analogy: Whenever I find myself driving on the expressway, there invariably comes the point where I must get off. That point is usually a ramp. Or a split in the road, or some sort of divergence. Generally I become aware of this ramp or divergence at some point preceding the time when I will have to turn. If I don’t it’s particularly annoying. If I do, I have a decision to make.

The decision is actually a composite of decisions,: “get over into the correct lane, watch the signs, move into the appropriate merging or diverging lane. Sometimes it requires a quick lane shift before it’s too late.

Now, ‘before it’s too late’ is in itself a clever construct, with intriguing attributes, methods of its own, and consequences that are sort of return values. Here’s how ‘before it’s too late, or ‘bitl’, works: You put into it the speed you are traveling at and the distance you think you have to travel. Bitl takes this information and compares it with its own knowledge of the distance you have to travel and the speed you have to travel at. It attempts to provide you with a variety of visual or mental cues, some of them locked in your own brain, to get you to make that move into the next lane before you find yourself either stuck in the wrong lane, trying to slide dangerously between two fast moving trucks, or far worse ricocheting off of that concrete divider that separated the left from the right.

BITL exists in many forms. You can imagine, visualize, and look back at many of the forms and shapes of BITL. If you have ever had that recurring dream that you are back in school and you have been going the entire semester without showing up for a class, because you really didn’t even know that you were signed up for that class, that’s BITL talking to you in a very creative way. Being a Creationist, I believe that God created BITL. However, there may be some who will theorize that BITL was actually an outcome of the Big-Bang and one of the laws of thermodynamics, probably the law of entropy.

My absolute favorite spot to look at, commune with and maybe even have a cup of coffee and enjoy BITL is in the book of Revelations. (If you don’t read Christian writings, bare with me. It should be painless and still allegorically pertinent). Remember, I said that I am a big fan of doom and gloom. Let me clarify. I am really an observer of the lowering skies of impending clouds that will roll back to open the corridor for the irreversible… storm.

So, Revelations: We have four angels that are holding back the four winds so they will not hurt anything on the earth until the servants of God have been sealed in the forehead. Now let me be clear about one thing, no one has been vacuumed off of the earth. Just as Noah had to go through the flood, though protected, so, these people are still on the earth.

I say this because there is a belief taught, known as the ‘rapture’. This also is not the source of my wide-eyed petrifaction. I have educated reasons for believing that that could not possibly happen anywhere near 2012, though I do subscribe to the eventuality. The entire set of rapture verses is a fascinating writing, no matter what your belief set. It’s a tiny collection of about 28 verses in St. Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians chapter 15 verses 20 to 58. St. Paul writes that at the last trump the dead in Christ shall rise, and those who are alive shall be caught up in the air to meet them. Since I believe that God is not a God of confusion, and that the same Holy Spirit who spoke to St. John spoke to St. Paul and many other prophets, then both of their last trumpets are the same last trumpet (It would be odd for there to be a trumpet after the last trumpet, wouldn’t there? – which is what would have to be the case if St. John’s last trumpet, wasn’t St. Paul’s last trumpet. )
Okay, from a logical and chronological standpoint, the rapture can’t have occurred yet, at the time of the ‘sealing’. So, these people will still have been on the earth, which makes sense, because the last two inspired prophets will still be yet to come and preach their admonitions to the whole of humanity. And you are, at that juncture, either sealed in the forehead…
…or you are not.

So what does all of this have to do with 2012? A little BITL of a warning here: Just watch the road signs, because, the most ominous threat is not the asteroid that is going to wipe us all out, or even the tsunamis that will overflow the earth, and wash away all of Al Gore’s polar bears, who were already dying, or even the staring empty seats on the subway.  It’s the class you forgot to attend, the lane you were not quick enough to switch into, the last lane, on the last off-ramp.

-copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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Circus Comes to Town in Lower Manhattan!

December 5th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

Come on down to Eric’s big-top
Buy your tee-shirts
Bring your cash!
We got firemen burned in airbrush!
Tee-shirts of people coughing ash!

We want the world to really like us!
Oh please, Oh please don’t be offended!
We sort of lost our heads on 9 – 11,
But our torn-up flesh is easily mended!

We wash and scrub our (libral) faces
To look like we love all the races.
The silent truth hides in the hanger
and the black Syringe of Margaret Sanger.

Though this may sound (quite) really zaney
We just want to nail Bush and Cheney.
We don’t care your dearest wife
Fell out the window with her life
So drag your stomach through the gravel
We want to show an honest looking gavel

Come on down to Nancy’s nuthouse!
Where we can try the CIA
Look inside our hall of mirrors
Distort the truth
It’s fun to play!

The former air-force lawyer blazoned
When asked if he would try the nation
He clenched, he glared, you best believe it!
One wonders what revenge occasion
Made him brush right off his suit-sleeve
The broken hearts that cry and still grieve.

Come on down to the giant crater!
Buy your hotdogs, see the dust
Of all unburied victims made here,
A civil trial is a Must!

We want the world to really like us!
The trials fair! (Though we said they’ll hang!)
Can anything be more civilian!
We read their rights. It’s just a game!

We didn’t win the Great Olympics,
So a hundred mill for this is cheep!
They’ll forget this is a breech of practice.
Their mindless! Give them Games! They’re sheep.

-copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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Happy Thanksgiving, or Deep Fried Turkeys cause Global Warming

November 26th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

Things to Give Thanks for:

Despite Al Gore’s Global Warming, the Almighty God, in his providence has provided that the polar bear population isn’t shrinking.

Despite The crucifixion of the CIA by the Obama administration (largely to help Nancy Pelosi save face for stupid accusations she made against them early in the year) they are still thwarting intricate terrorists plots …

Despite the fact that Janet Napolitano, director of Homeland security, characterized Veterans returning from foreign War as being high-threat potential terrorists, people still sign up for the armed services with the intention of defending our country…

People in this country are still willing to stand up against government that they do not approve of. They do it via tea parties and town-hall meetings, and blogs, and emails to Congressmen, but the grass-roots people are far from comatose and compliant. Thank God for that, because most of the media has entered into the hypnotized zombie state…

People are still willing to speak out against a government that lavishes favors in fascist fashion on secular action groups with dubious ethics, like Acorn…

People are still willing to study and point out the lack of jurisprudence in decisions made by individuals such as attorney general Eric Holder to try an entire nation that was once united against a common foe, instead of trying the terrorists that hurt them.

I am thankful to God for this great land, a land incredible with human and natural resources. A land with timber and grain and ideas and voices. A land with switch grass and flowing water and natural gas fields, though President Obama and Congress have put energy independence and private sector job creation on the back burner.
I am thankful to God for a land with abundant oil reserves, though President Obama rescinded President Bush’s order to begin drilling in Utah immediately, a move that would have really created real private sector jobs, instead of preserving the jobs of bureaucrats, which add nothing to the gross national product.
I am thankful to God for the vast coal deposits, though President Obama has stated that he would like to put coal mining companies out of business.
I am thankful to God for Freedom of speech in this country, without which no other Freedom could exist, though the current Congress will try in every way to pass the Fairness Doctrine which would essentially hobble the Freedom of Speech.

We have a lot and more blessings to be thankful for. Don’t let them slip away.
A people educated in the value of Freedom will always be willing to speak out against a government’s grasping at Power, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. To refuse to look for and see and expose the abuse of power is to choose enslavement.
Be thankful.
Be free.
And in the words of a very wise old cartoon:
“Never under-estimate the power of a shnook.”

copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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Take a bow.

November 20th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

We have a tradition in the west about bowing. You would do it if you were in a Broadway Play or musical, only at the end of the musical, and only then, if you had done a good job with your performance. Evidently, when Western leaders defy that tradition, it becomes mutually embarrassing for both the Western leaders, and the leaders to whom they are bowing.

As I watched Obama bow before the Emperor of Japan, however, I experienced a new horror as I noticed president Obama’s lips moving. Now I may be mistaken, and this may require careful slow motion study of the footage, but I thought I saw him form the words, “Ah, sooo…” Horror gripped, me. In my terrified mind I saw him walking in the Prime Minister’s bonsai garden and at the first opportunity, unable to contain himself, whispering out loud to himself, “bonsai!”., and then chuckling as he pulled on his right ear. Worse yet, I hope, at dinner, after enjoying the music of Japanese stringed instruments, I truly hope he didn’t say, “Mr. Prime minister, can you… uh… say, Hutsit Ralston on the… uh… rillarock and a rawlup rawlup suit..?” Of course, he would not be the first president who could barely contain himself at the state dinner party thrown by the Japanese dignitaries.

I watched Mr. Obama, on CNN, speaking in front of the Korean Press core, and just when he was asked about his intentions regarding free trade and the hope of opening wide possibilities for Korean Car manufacturers to sell more of their cars in the United States CNN cut away from the Live Broadcast! I wonder, ‘why?’

It’s clear that CNN has never been the cheerleading team that MSNBC has been for the President (Newsweek should have featured Chris Matthews in a cheerleading outfit instead of Sarah Palin. It would have been a more timely and germane statement addressing the dominating political-news media relationship). Nevertheless, shedding themselves of the deeply opinioned Lou Dobbs, CNN is truly driving in neutral, and, it appears, on the left hand side of the street.

If you want truly fair and balanced coverage and full-coverage –all the way to the end of the story – start reading… That would be a good thing for all of the left leaning newspapers like the New York Times, whose readership is sagging. Evidently people on the right are still reading, or at least they are still buying newspapers…. (Is it just possible that individuals on the right housebreak more dogs and paint more?). I can’t say for sure. I lean right, but some of that is due to the fact that for years while working in construction I carried heavy oak planks on my right shoulder, and I’m that guy who reads the C++ Programmer’s Guide to the Galaxy.

At any rate, ‘Sayonara’, for now…

Oh, Gosh… I hope he didn’t say that…

 

– copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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Walls of Weekness* and Gardens of Jellybeans

November 15th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

This has been a great week for the remembering of the history of Freedom.
Anyone who knows anything about the History of the Cold War, the Fall of Berlin Wall, perestroika, glasnost and the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union knows about the significance of…
…jellybeans.

The greatest freeing, in shere numbers, of any enslaved and sequestered people in the twentieth century happened in part because some of the Western world leaders at the time refused to blink. “Mr Gorbechev tear down this Wall,” was declared in June of 1987, despite the remonstrations of Ronald Reagan’s own advisors. The wall began to come down in 1989, and then in 1991 balkanization of the Soviet States began with Latvia and Estonia declaring their Independence.
Not only did this mark the end of a great social exile for the people of East Berlin and, in essence, East Germany from family and friends in the West, but it also began the end of a great containment of Polish and Russian Jews, and many other peoples in the former Soviet Union.
Pope John Paul II was defiant and unflinching, in both his statements against the Soviet Union and his actual saying of Mass in occupied Poland.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were unyielding in their strong NATO presence, and, perhaps most significant were the phenomenal strides that Western Industry and technology were making towards miniaturization. The technological advances that allowed the United States to encapsulate the functions performed by much larger capacitors, resistors, relays and other objects into tiny little electronic components is one of the keys that broke the back of the Soviet Union. They were going bankrupt trying to maintain equal military footing. This strength was evidenced at Reykjavik, when combined with Mr. Reagan’s resolve to continue with the development of the Star Wars missile defense system, despite the Russian complaint that it was in defiance of the current ABM treaties, and despite their attempt to try to get Mr. Reagan to trade this in for a supposed Greater Hope of mutuality.
I think the internal strength may have come from the black jellybeans.
There was no Carter-ish vacillation in the administrations of Thatcher and Reagan. It is not often remembered that in Tehran the Russian embassy was also considered as a takeover target. The students opted for taking over the American embassy. One can’t help but to think that the students had in mind what the Russian reaction would be. The American hostage crisis began,  a 444 day ordeal.
Carter’s crime was not the attempt of a military rescue that failed. His crime was in not showing the implacable resolve a President needs. There is no room for mistakes in that.

The Presidency of the United States is not a High-School Presidency. It is not reasonable to say, “Well, he’s human. Give him time. All people make mistakes.”
This is the real world where every move counts.

We have entered a time period when the President’s vacillation is strikingly similar to that of Mr. Carter. Our new President first distances himself from our only great alliance in the region, snubbing Mr. Netanyahu. He then believes he will garner support from Russia for sanctions against Iran by backtracking on missile placement of defensive missiles in Poland. Prime Minister Lavrov does not reciprocate. This is a lesson we should have learned all through the cold war. It wasn’t a conciliatory posture that caused the Russians to turn tail and abandon the attempt to place missiles in Cuba.
Someone please buy our leaders a jar of jellybeans.

The Iranians, evidently not encouraged to move into a new cooperative and friendly relationship with the United States proceeded to test long range missiles, right in Mr. Obama’s face.

During World War II many people planted Victory Gardens, at the urging of the President of the United States. It was meant to be a statement as well as a morale booster.
I am concerned that the public questioning of General McChrystal’s request for 45,000 more troops in Iran and the seeming lack of solidarity among our American leaders, i.e., the President, the General and the ambassador to Afghanistan, will more greatly undermine our military position, will signal a lack of unity to our enemies, and will thwart the ability to act with any resolve .

Most importantly, I truly hope that we are not going to be asked to Plant ‘Not So Much Victory as Apology, Conciliatory, Self-Blame Even Submittal Gardens.’

-copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

*If you’re learning English for the first time, this is not how you spell weakness. I, however, am learning it for the second time.

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Cross Dressing is a Bad Thing

November 8th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

Supposedly, Thomas Edison refused to hire a man because the man salted his soup before tasting it. The same story is told of J.C. Penny. Maybe it’s true of both of them. They may have attended the same business school in the last part of the nineteenth century.
I have one for you. I was invited to interview with a company with the possibility of working for them as an independent programming contractor. When I spoke with the IT department’s leader over the phone he asked me several questions about SQL server transactions, extents,, and other things. The answer I gave him over the phone prompted him to say, “That was the best answer anyone has ever given us. Come meet with us!” I went.

I drove an hour up to Bannockburn, where I met with first the IT people, and then they brought in the president of the company. They seemed to be very interested in my ideas and abilities, yet through the entire interview I felt like I was getting ‘funny looks.’ The interview concluded with them asking if I would be open to the idea of receiving a laptop from their company and working remotely. I thought it was a great idea. They were going to talk it all over and get back to me on Monday.

I told my wife over dinner how well the interview seemed to go. She looked at me and said, “You didn’t go like that, did you?”
“Like what?”
“Go look in the mirror.”
I went to go look in a mirror, and “there it was” in the words of Hemingway. My shirt was cross-buttoned. I had buttoned the top button into the second to the top loop. I hadn’t put on a tie – bad me.

That Monday, I called the company.
“We’ve decided to go with someone else. …someone more local.”
“Oh,” I replied, “was it the cross-buttoned shirt?”
“Well, frankly… yes… You see, our president really was put off by that and the fact that you didn’t have a tie…”

I told this story to a friend of mine who owns his own company. “Wait,” he asked. “What position were you applying for? Programmer? I would think that the cross-buttoned shirt would have been a requirement for the job.”

Back to Edison. Many people don’t know that in his immutable stolid anal anger he fired the boy genius Nicolai Tesla, already responsible for developing many of the things that Edison is credited with inventing. Tesla, after a sad stint as a ditch digger ended up working for Westinghouse, where he received impressive stock options. He proceeded to invent the fluorescent light, the electric car starter, and, perhaps most importantly, he developed AC- alternating current, which ended up becoming the de facto system used in our country, beating out Edison Electric in most city by city bids to establish electric service.

Tesla’s list of patents and accomplishments are too vast for me to list here.

The old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know is certainly true in some disciplines. It would of course be true in our present day Senate and Congress. Calling them a discipline is a stretch. I should have prefaced with ‘lack-of’. At any rate, it is becoming increasing evident that our government is being run, in the words of Archie Bunker, by “2 plumbers, a seamstress and a dingbat..” We have a growing technocracy with the complexities of techno-industrial decisions looming ever more saturnly over our nation and its environment, and we have an antiquated system whereby we choose our Senators. George Washington himself feared the introduction of party politics into our American system, and he expressed that party politics and factions would inevitably hamper the functioning of the system.
However, by the time of Jefferson, parties were well in place, with Jefferson’s group, the anti Federalists, pretty much opposing strong and influential central government. Washington was right. The parties have severely hampered the system. Two senators are chosen from every state, and, most often, they are from the same party, whichever way the state leans. There is no strict criterion for them becoming a senator. They don’t have to have run a company, or have a thorough understanding of Bio-physics, and the impact of disposed birth-control devices on our ground water, drinking water, livestock, plants and environment. They don’t have to have a degree in electronics engineering, and have worked with the power grid. They don’t have to have been well-published researchers in the areas of advanced horticultural, and our country’s most giving resource, our grain.
They just have to make sure that they have loads of contributors, plenty of spit and polish, and don’t cross-button their shirts. Shoot, they don’t even have to have done well in school. They can be so embarrassed of their college transcripts that they refuse to allow to have them released for the general public’s approval during campaigns.

I say, ‘let’s cut costs.’ The biggest burden on the tax-payer is the funding of the operation of the Federal Government. We don’t need two senators from every state. Let’s cut it down to one. When you consider the pensions, the pay, and the amenities senators get for the rest of their lives… that’s a drain the taxpayers don’t need. They aren’t even providing the balance that the original forefathers, like Washington, had hoped for, because they are almost always from the same party anyway. Increase their knowledge requirement in at least one area of technological expertise, and decrease the number of them that we have.

The Wall Street Journal ran an article referencing how the stimulus was helping to improve the economy. Excuse me, but there is no way that 300 million dollars to film producers to buy film, millions for the purchase of Harley Davidsons by police departments, constructuion of guard-rails around dry-lakes, and money for California swamp rats, and Florida turtle crossings has turned our economy around.

Our economy has turned around because Wall Street has pretty much always operated in spite of what our government does, and not so much because of it. While the rest of the nation is still showing poor economic signs, record job losses and unemployment, and very poor housing start indicators, Wall-Street has been rallying, in part, of course, because they have been trimming fat, contributing to the jobless numbers. Truly, it’s fairly clear that Wall-Street doesn’t need the government. We should return to Jefferson’s original concept: The Federal Government should have as little involvement as possible in our private or business affairs, and its only real job should be in providing a military to defend the nation.

…and let’s cut the number of top executives and legislators… less czars, one senator, cabinet members who actually know how to use QuickBooks to get their tax liability computation right… This is a time to bring intelligent operations to bear on a here-to-fore poorly calibrated governmental system… We need people with more brains, less nice-sounding voices and good looks, and much more knowledge to back hopeful visions…

So, if you excuse me, I’m going to unbutton my cross-buttoned shirt, take it off, even, sit in my tee shirt, read a good book on C ++, and have some soup.

Coyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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Temperature’s Rising

November 1st, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

The more I read about the founding fathers, the more I like them.
They were men, and actually women who, with the possible exception of Hamilton,
believed in a totally free and unabridged press,
a Federal Government that had as little power as possible, and as little intervention into
people’s private affairs as possible.
Their goals and ambitions were nothing like the goals and
ambitions of the current
Congress and Senate presently in power.

At first, I was depressed to realize this.

I even was willing to concede, “okay global warming may well
be happening.”

But then, taking a look at the map of Illinois where I live, something occurred to me that I had never seen before.
The state of Illinois is split about 50-40 -10, fifty percent Dems, 40 percent Republicans,
but all of the Dems are concentrated around Chicago and the very tip of southern Illinois, all near the water.
I remember seeing some maps of what Illinois would look like if global warming continued, the ice caps melted and the seas rose.
All of the areas near the Mississippi and Lake Michigan would be gone, that is…
where the liberals live.
I thought for a second… the same is true of Indiana,
..No… Wait…
The same is true of the entire United States.

All of the liberals are concentrated near the coastal regions,

California, the Pacific Northwest, the liberal Northern Atlantic seaboard, even the inland coastal regions.

…so that means if Global warming and, melting of the ice caps really does occur,
the Democrats will… vanish

It’s not the polar bears that Al Gore is concerned about in terms of
extinction…

…it’s the Democrats.

Yeh, global warming.

Oh, now wait, that’s hate talk,
and we all know that that sort of talk in the newspapers
and elsewhere is soon to be outlawed by this Congress.

Shame on me.

You know what’s more dangerous than hate talk, though.

Hate silence.

The Fairness Doctrine and the so-called anti-hate talk legislation will completely
destroy James’ Madison’s dream that was real for many years of an unabridged press,
(unlike London, for example, where the BBC’s offices were broken into and documents seized by the British government).

This is all very unsettling. Very unsettling indeed.

Excuse me; I have to go check the thermometer.

Copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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Concerns Scratched On the Wall

October 23rd, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

Jethro Tull was an 18th century author who wrote a book on horses entitle ‘Horse-Hoeing Husbandry…’
Uriah Heep was an evil twisted falsely humble character in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield.

But who, who was Pink Floyd?

I remember written on the bathroom stalls at a large midwestern university the words, “Withdrawal is something Nixon’s father should have thought of. Nixon’s a psychopath.”

I was a psychology student at the time and, inspired by that wisdom, set about to find out exactly what was a psychopath.
A psychopath was a person who completely lacked a conscience. Well, that was easy enough.
Stanly Kubrick provided the graphics: “A Clockwork Orange.” Music by Walter Carlos, now Wendy Carlos.

Now, it was what a psychopath does, or thinks, or fears, or loathes that is more interesting. Where these studies came from
I’m afraid to ask,
but I learned in psychology that psychopaths tended to have an intrepid fear of embarrassment, humiliation, being the odd man out.

Well, okay, that was Nixon enough, but even more, I remember the words my professor used,
“If they were to wear a neck-tie to a bow-tie affair, they would die a thousand deaths.”

So that blew my entire pre-conceived notions about a psychopath.
I thought that kid in grammar school who was non-conformist, had a beard 5 years before the rest of us,
and bought liquor for us when he
was twelve, and greased his hair back while the rest of us looked like the Beatles
was surely a psychopath, but, “No…” {He was just a greaser.}

Now, Bill Clinton was not my favorite person. He did like watching the polls. nevertheless, he did things that were not popular
with his own party. He
made welfare reform his mission,
he committed jets to help stop the decimation of Bosnian Muslims during the pummeling of Bosnia Herzegovina by the Serbs and the Croats.

He took the criticism, responded to it tartly, sometimes cleverly, often sullenly, but he did exact the job of being President.

George Bush evidently could care less about polls.
He reached across the aisle as his first move to invite Senator Kennedy to work on a New Education Bill,
people on the right cringed, and many criticized “No Child Left behind”,
he committed troops to Afghanistan when everyone thought it was a good idea.

He committed troops to Iraq when no-one on the left and few on the right thought that that that was ‘the War.’

He presented Harriett Miers as his choice for the Supreme Court when no-one on the right thought he was in his right mind.

He flew over Katrina Stricken New Orleans, not stopping to show he was concerned.
(I’m not a psychopath, but I think that it would have been a nice gesture), stating that he didn’t want to detract from the rescue efforts.

In short, he did what he believed was essential, even if many others thought he was wrong.

Now, I don’t know whether Fox News is tabloid or not,
and I don’t have any problem with a president coming back with a quick scathing retort, or a tart comment,
but I do have a problem with a government taking my tax money
to fund a Tass style news-agency from the physical building where our executive power lies.

I do believe a President should be concerned about his image. In fact, I was being filmed for a news program once,
and they filmed me walking in the yard with my dog.
“Why don’t you call your dog to you, ” the camera man hollered. ” I whistled for my dog. My dog curled her tail between her legs and slunk away. Now my dog had never done that to me before.
I never ever beat her.
“Man, looks like she doesn’t like you,” the camera man said.
Not only was it an incredibly embarrassing moment, but I suddenly realized how important must be the job of the Presidential dog – trainer.

Could you see if Barney slinked away from George Bush. The entire nation, even those on the right would have turned on him.

I don’t think we’ve seen a psychopathic president since Nixon (Nixon’s Henchmen sneak into the Watergate Hotel to the Tune of ”
The Thieving MagPie”.),
who was shortly on the heals of Johnson (Huntley-Brinkley report
on his Presidency daily to the tune of Beethoven’s ninth ),

both of whom wiretapped individuals and each had a gripping infatuation with what was being said about them,
or a great need to manipulate the people around them, the people responsible for their image.

I don’t think we have a psychopathic president now. In fact, I think we have a bright President with the potential for a lot of good,
but I do think a President needs to do the job of being President,
and a president needs to grow up
and stop worrying about who’s saying what. (Hopefully while he’s still president).

The last time we really got to see a President,
change mature, and become a better person throughout life was George H. W, Bush.
Even people who didn’t vote for him respect him. No one wants to tell him, “Please shut up and go back to the farm.”
He’s illuminated by his great war heroism in the past, and mellowed by his humility in the present.
We see him in recent years working side by side with a former rival on humanitarian interests,
then again we see him in old newsreels swimming swiftly
from the enemy after his plane is shot down, unlike his contemporary, Mr. Carter,
a sour and critical busy body whose greatest act of physical prowess may have been fending off a killer rabbit
(To the tune of the William Tell Overture?)

Fox News may or may not be tabloid, however, Fox Business News ala Neil Cavuto, Fox Bulls and Bears, Cashin’ In, Forbes on Fox, etc,
are unparalleled
in presentation of business and the market, and the other Networks have had a revolving door of business personalities,
some who’ve come under fire for
pushing a direction in certain markets because they themselves had a vested interest in gaining from their promotion of those interests.

I’ve watched business on other networks and it’s so poorly constructed, so flimsily presented, that it really isn’t watchable.

There’s nothing to be learned from it.

What’s the Next target? The right leaning ‘Wall Street Journal?’
Or maybe the Internet,
Will they filter the Internet for American consumption as the Chinese do?
Damn! I’ve given them the idea.

Look, people on the right and independents aren’t fooled by attempts to marginalize a news agency,
Why? because these people read. Think about it, all of the best sellers are right wing authors.
Fox News is just what they do to rest their eyes.
Left wingers couldn’t sell a political or business book to save their souls, diving circulation of left wing newspapers,
and steady circulation of right wing books, weeklies and journals pretty much
testifies to that.

So back to business.

Now, it seems to me that this President was elected to repair the economy.
Remember? (To the tune of Timesteps)
which seems to have been entrusted to Timothy Geitner and Nancy Pelosi (Beethoven’s Suicide Scherzo is already playing in the background)

So, ‘Who does he watch?”
Please tell me not MSNBC. “And the Dow surged at the opening bell,
but then… the market…
…felt a tingle going up and down its leg…”

-Juan Zapatero

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I’m Perplexed

October 18th, 2009 by John P. Schumake

I am a little perplexed about something. Hillary Clinton spoke in high praise of Margaret Sanger in April of 2009, comparing Sanger to Thomas Jefferson. There was no apparent outrage from the black community. Now, for those who don’t know, Margaret Sanger was an avowed eugenicist. She believed the black population polluted the gene pool. She expressed such views verbally, in her speeches given to the women’s auxiliary to the KKK and elsewhere. Her comments regarding ‘ limiting the black population’, even comments that would seem to indicate eradicating the population are published. Margaret Sanger is hailed as the founder of the Planned Parenthood Movement. Hillary received the Margaret Sanger award, which is given out yearly.
Why Hillary Clinton or anyone would praise such a person, is beyond me. Why the black population of America tolerates this from the left, as they tolerate so much veiled and overt racism from the left is an enigma to me. This item alone is one I have pondered, and I don’t have an answer to. There are some who have tried to defend Hillary on the grounds that she didn’t really fully know who Margaret Sanger was. I can’t conclude that. The idea that a professional politician, a person, so deeply entrenched in the politics of our time, so conversant with pro-choice groups and ways of thinking would not know what Margaret Sanger was about is not logical or sensible. Sanger’s movement resulted in the American Eugenics Society. This society, which believed in racial purity, and in eliminating members of society who were supposedly not fit to procreate, was one of the organizations that strongly influenced Nazi Germany’s own eugenics movement, and at one point were part of the same global movement.
The idea is the same: ‘eliminate the genetic information of people who are considered a drag on the gene pool. Don’t let them maintain the state of their genetic information. Don’t let them contribute this ‘bad’ genetics to humanity’. The easiest way to accomplish this was extermination of certain groups. Other ways of accomplishing this was by sterilization of certain members of society. This explains the Nazi movement to sterilize mentally handicapped, Jews, and other members of society. The forward push to do so in America actually preceded the Nazi movement, and was spearheaded by individuals like Sanger.

We also haven’t heard much outrage amongst Jewish groups, but again the comments supporting a racism that was an historical atrocity are coming from Democrats.
Is this an interesting history lesson on what trumps what?
Is it just a question of who butters your bread? I’d really like an intelligent answer, even if there’s a few nasty words mixed in.

Just an aside:
While Clinton tried to take a jab at the author of our Declaration of Independence by stating that ‘he owned slaves’, she is apparently unaware that he stated at the drafting of the document, “slavery is wholly incompatible with the new Republic.” Jefferson eventually took the position that all slaves should be freed and given their own territory west of the original colonies. Washington believed in general manumission. Washington did in fact free all of the slaves that he himself owned, and was evidently not able to persuade his father-in-law to free the slaves that he owned. Both Washington and Jefferson felt, “Let’s get the Revolution done first.” Jefferson freed ‘some’ of his slaves. I’m not going to try to defend him. He was the first anti-Federalist. While in political philosophy he actually resembled today’s Republicans more: he was for stronger state power, less Federal power, felt that the Federal government should not have their hands in our private affairs. yet there is an irony in the lineage of his party. The Federalists became the Democratic Republicans, who became the Democrats, who are today’s Democrats. the lineage through party conventions, candidacies, and party memberships is fairly unbroken, meaning that Thomas Jefferson was actually the father of today’s Democrat Party.

I suspect if Hillary had known old Jefferson was a Democrat, she wouldn’t have said that.

History has answered at least one question for me: Why did all of the Jews and other people who saw the Nazi movement and the rise to power, and the horrible things that were said and done in such a conspiratorial, and then overt way let it happen almost unchallenged?

The answer, “For the same reason that the blacks, and the Jews and the rest of America are letting the very same groups with the very same histories and the very same agendas hand out awards today without even a few peeps of protest.”

-by John P. Schumake

copyright 2009 John P. Schumake

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Caution. Handle with Care

October 10th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

The Nobel Peace Prize is filled with all sorts of ironies. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite as a way of stabilizing the explosive properties of nitroglycerin. Safer to transport, yet still, extremely dangerous. Both in peacetime and wartime it has claimed the lives and limbs of many. Jay J. Arms, a famous private investigator, lost both of his arms as a little child in an accident that involved dynamite. Yet he became a very accomplished martial artist, and private investigator.

Barack Obama is the most recent recipient of the Prize, yet in a very divisive move as he first took office he provided over 300 million dollars to 3d world countries to fund abortions during a time of economic duress for the United States, a move that rubbed his victory in the face of the pro-life conservatives after he had vowed to be a uniter, to end partisanship, and to heal the divide. It was a move that took the most explosive issue between Americans and set a match to it. Though it was termed as a political football tossed back and forth between liberal and conservatives in power, it was done in a time immediately following a severe economic downturn, a time when the flamboyant spending on a partisan political message could have been avoided.

Strangely revealing {in a sort of chemical irony} are the two main ingredients of dynamite: potassium nitrate and sulfur. Potasium nitrate, also known as salt peter, was used to render G.I.’s impotent, or incapable of sustaining fuerza, for the purpose of… maintaining order, during World War II. Sulfur burns and it stinks. Not unlike our Congress, we have one side, rendered slightly impotent, or at least limp after the election, and the other side stinks, yet, together, they are highly explosive.

The peaceful intentions, the flammable properties all combine to remind me of an old saying, “just when they are saying peace, peace … ”

-Juan Zapatero

copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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“The One” Unable to Deliver 2016 Games – Chicago Taxpayers Win.

October 4th, 2009 by Mark Drong

– by MARK R. DRONG 

President Obama traveled 4000 miles on Friday to meet the First Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark as they prepared to unleash their charisma & charm on members of the International Olympic Committee to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to their hometown of Chicago. Apparently members of the IOC were immune to the mesmerizing messianic effects of the “dynamic duo,” (a term used by White House members to describe the First Couple) because Chicago was immediately eliminated from contention during Round One of voting.

News reports of the failed bid were issued even before Air Force One could touch down back in the United States. OUCH – Talk about COLD!! When it was all over, Rio De Janeiro was crowned the victor, marking this the first time in history that a South American country will play host to The Olympic Games.

“Women’s Advocacy Maven” (Except-On-Election-Day) Oprah Winfrey was also along for the ride on Air Force One to make the Hometown pitch. However, to the chagrin of Mayor Daley, (but to the relief of most Chicago taxpayers), it appears the prowess of the Power Trio came up short. There was a report that tele-prompters were unavailable on site at the Committee Presentation!!

A jubilant party in Daley plaza where tens of thousands had gathered were stunned and silenced by the news of their 1st Round elimination. Several party-goers spoke of how it was a forgone conclusion – Chicago had won!! After all, “The One” had gone to lobby on their behalf. Who could possibly resist the hypnotic mystique of “the One?”

Speculation regarding President Obama’s miscalculation on this one – may continue for years! It’s been said that instead of Oprah at his side, maybe the President should have enlisted a couple bus-loads of Community Organizers from ACORN. They’re supposed to be pretty effective with intimidation tactics and they have a lot of experience in stuffing ballot boxes!! Talents like those would have been invaluable to help push Chicago over-the-top.

Prior to the winner being announced, as Spain and Rio remained as Finalists, White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod spoke to Fox News to give his assessment regarding Chicago’s failure to land the Games. He proudly proclaimed that the President’s trip to Denmark to campaign for the Games for Chicago was justified. He went on to enunciate twice that there were “political” factors within the IOC itself which just couldn’t be overcome.

Axelrod’s comments eluded to the fact that former IOC President

Juan Antonio Samaranch from Spain was also in attendance at the Olympic Bid Presentation and undoubtedly his influence on other IOC members would have a favourable effect for Spain.

Little did Axelrod know, minutes later, Brazil would be awarded the Games – in apparent contradiction to his conspiratorial suspicions. Apparently Mr Axelrod, a Chicagoan himself, just cannot fathom a world where Politics doesn’t play a role in EVERYTHING. Not Surprising – considering his extensive political background & associations with many politicians in Chicago including Mayor Richard M. Daley himself.

Isn’t it just as likely that the International Olympics Committee voted to give the prize to a Country that had never hosted the Games? In addition, Brazilian Govt. Officials proclaimed they estimated the costs to host the Games at about $14 Billion. This figure is three times higher than the estimate that Chicago used for its proposal. Undoubtedly, the higher figure would be a more accurate account of costs – as previous hosts have found that the Olympic Games have been plagued by cost overruns which have tallied in the Billions of Dollars.

Athens budgeted $1.6 Billion for the 2004 Olympics but cost overruns inflated that figure by 10 times – to a $16 Billion price tag. And the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing cost $40 Billion – only a mere $38 Billion over the $1.6 Billion estimate they budgeted!!

Possible consideration may have been paid by the IOC to Brazil’s ability to sustain such cost overruns. The developing South American country has just begun to cash in on its rich new resources – oil & gas deposits off its coastline in the South Atlantic Ocean. What a concept – drilling off-shore for known oil reserves which may assist a country’s finances!!! Hey, I think those crafty Brazilians might have something there!!

Chicago, on the other hand, is rife with political scandal and budget deficits – those elements represent OUR “natural resources.” Almost annually, the Schools & Public Transportation Systems “threaten to shut down because they are broke. And our local governments lament that they are so deep in the RED that our City, County & State taxes are forced to be some of the highest in the Country. And in spite of claims to the contrary, does anyone really believe our City Officials that the Billions in cost overruns from the Olympics WON’T be passed down to the local taxpayer!!! . . Puuulleeeeezzzzz !!

Hey, when it’s all said and done – and the final event concludes in the summer of 2016 during President Obama’s final year of his second term, it may well be the City of Chicago and its taxpayers who rise up and declare themselves as the “TRUE CHAMPIONS” of the Olympic Games. We’ll have to wait and see what the bottom line ends up at in Rio. But if past history is any indication regarding the costs – This one’s a no-brainer!!

At that time – the Fall of 2016, we in Chicago will be singing praises to Mayor Daley like grade-school kids are taught to do to President Obama today – ” Mayor Daley, mmm, mmm, mmm.” We will all be counting our lucky stars when we discover that local city & state taxes in Rio have risen to a stifling 38 % – as its citizens are forced to cover the Games deficits. Compare that with projected city tax rates for Chicago in 2016 at – say 25 – 26%. What a bargain!!!

Yeah, then Chicago will have had the last laugh. We will have shown those crafty South Americans that you don’t sit down at the table with the likes of Barack Obama, David Axelrod, Mayor Daley & the City of Chicago – and walk away getting the best of them!! No, one should certainly know better. If you do sit down at a table with a group like that – one thing is critical. You better hang on to your wallet!!

 

copyright 2009 Mark Drong

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Just a Little Journey Through a Strange Reality

September 26th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

My apologies for a blunderous statement that I made. Apparently it was the finger that an Obama Health Care Supporter bit off and not an ear, but, you see, all that talk about Van Jones in the last weeks got me thinking about Van Gogh, and there you have it, chopped off ear… bit off finger. Quentin Tarrantino couldn’t have done a better job producing this month’s events, or this past 18 months events for that matter.

I don’t tend to fixate on things, not in the same way that, say David Letterman seems to have fixated on Sarah Palin, but I do get things in my head that seem to work their way over to related events in the past: Now this business about the children in the schools singing, “Barack Hussein Obama, mmm… mmm.. mmm…” is very reminiscent of the North Korean Children having to sing songs to the dear leader… and whenever I think of the Dear Leader, I think of Woody Allen’s movie “Sleeper” where the Leader has had some sort of a mishap and all that is left is his nose, and the nose is on some sort of a life – support system. Woody Allen and Dianne Keaton sneak in, pretend to be surgeons, and steel the nose. Now, all I can think of is how Jesse Jackson made the outlandish claim that he was going to steal, or take or run away with Barrack’s nuts. (I forget the precise words he used.) So now, we have the Dear Leader, whose nuts are about to be absconded with. And why shouldn’t Jesse pretend to be a surgeon?

So if Jesse is Woody Allen, then who plays Dianne Keaton, Hillary?
They stumble out into the woods, somewhere in Chicago or Evanston where they filmed Ferris Beuhler,
Hillary looks at Jesse and says, “did you know that Obama spelled backwards is Amabo” – say isn’t Nostradamus’ reference to Mabus just a Latinized version of ‘A Mabo’?

So, Chopped off ear, chopped off finger, absconded nose, absconded nuts…
Just a little journey through a strange reality courtesy of our own recent American History.

-Juan Zapatero

Copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

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Yeepiphany

September 19th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

I had a startling epiphany watching TV tonight when I realized that Howard Dean and Linda Ronstadt have the same nose. Now, I don’t mean that they share A PHYSIONOMICAL SIMILARITY. No. I have studied the nose. It’s the same nose. They refrigerate it somewhere, and when one or the other needs it, they take turns checking it out. Epiphanies are supposed to be startling, or they wouldn’t be epiphanies.

What is with Nancy Pelosi shaking and trembling over the angry words being uttered? She complained that it reminded her of the angry words she heard uttered in the sixties and it ,,, it,,, it.. led to violence.

Yes indeed, there was violence in the late sixties and early seventies.. People like William Ayers of the Weather Underground and others of his ilk were making pipe bombs. People were injured and in some cases killed by activities of groups like this. But this wasn’t because people spoke their minds, even in angry words. I have a revelation for people such as our speaker: This country was built upon people yelling angry words at each other. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton disagreed fiercely on the role of the Federal Government. Hamilton tried, in a diabolical fashion, to have Washington sidestep Jefferson (the Secretary of State) in all matters of state that involved relations with the British, and then the French Government. That’s interesting, because that was Jefferson’s job.

The anger didn’t stop there. The members of the First Continental Congress disagreed fiercely over the role of slavery in the future Republic. Some felt it should be left alone, fearing that an attempt at eliminating slavery would endanger the newly born nation. Others believed in immediate manumission, like Washington, who freed all of the slaves he himself owned.

Others, like Franklin, near the end of his life, heaped kerosene upon the flames of the slavery discussion by making pronouncements against it in the press, pronouncements meant to shame the then Congress of the time. He was shunned up to the moment of his death by the members of the Senate and House in the nation he had helped to give rise to. The vitriol in the press was every bit as fierce as what we see today at tea parties and town hall meetings. Yes, some health care supporters did bludgeon a black man who opposed Obama’s Health Care, but then, Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel, a duel that found its origins in their political; differences.
Yes, a Health – Care aficionado and supporter did bite the ear off of an individual expressing his concerns and dismay with what Congress was trying to foist on the American people, but then, don’t forget the caning of Senator Charles Sumner by Preston Brooks pursuant to an angry speech Sumner delivered on the senate floor, pointing out several states as –particularly evil, and several Senators of those states as willing participants in the evil. Brooks, the nephew of Senator Butler of South Carolina, who was one of the objects of Sumner’s fierce rhetoric, felt it necessary to defend his sick uncle. He caned Sumner, and not with bamboo. This act was really the exclamation point following months of angry rhetoric in Congress over the slavery issue.

So you see, it’s really just history repeating itself:
An abolitionist gets too angry and free with his speech, a pro-slavery person bludgeons him, an anti-abortion individual skeptical of the role of Obama’s health care, gets a tad too vocal, and a pro Federal Government Health Care individual bites off his ear.

And don’t forget, it was the wish of the founding fathers, at the very signing of the Declaration of Independence, that the day of Independence (which they believed would be regarded as July 2nd), should be celebrated with loud noises and bands, and fireworks, and loud cymbal crashes. But, shhhhhh… around the Current House of Representatives… we don’t want to startle anyone.

-Juan Zapatero
Copyright 2009 Juan Zapatero

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Watching T.V. With the Mute on is Like the 1940’s in Reverse.

September 13th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

A Few Thoughts To Round out the Week

Chris Kelly:
Chris Kelly, the fund raiser and associate of Governor Blagojevich was found dead yesterday, but not in his home; he was found in a lumber yard on Cicero Avenue in Country Club Hills Illinois, (the new Chicago style?). Now, being an engineer, I am a very logical person. I have to ask myself, if this was foul play, was it the long arm of Blagojevich? NO, Blagojevich couldn’t even save himself from an indictment and from being ousted as Governor. One would have to ask, if this was typical Chicago style politics, then who would benefit by Mr. Kelly’s death? My guess would be that it would be someone or ones more powerful, someone who not only stands to be hurt by the things Mr. Kelly knows, but even more so, stands to be hurt by the things that Mr. Blago knows if the prosecution of his case proceeds. How handy to have Blago ousted , but no one to be able to testify on certain matters. Maybe Mr. Kelly just took too much aspirin, because that’s pretty much what salicylic acid is. However, the interesting thing is that, in suicides men generally choose a more instantaneous form of suicide, like a bullet or slit wrists, and women are the ones who tend to deliberately try to overdose.
Forgive my cynicism, but I grew up in a suburb of Chicago where people were occassionally planted in corn-fields like grain. That’s how people were sometimes censured in Chicago.

Obama’s Health Care Plan:
This is a good time to talk about Obama’s Health Care. There aren’t enough doctors to step into Obama’s plan. Without tort reform, there aren’t going to be enough doctors. The democrats don’t want Tort reform, the republicans do. Why is that? Here’s the simple answer: The republicans tend to stand in the stead of Corporations, businessmen, LLC’s, and small businesses. They don’t want them to be able to be sued for uncontrollable amounts of money. Therefore, the Republicans do want tort reform in order to protect one of their most important constituencies. Without Tort reform, healthcare costs are never going to come down. Obama and the Democratic Congress profess to want to bring Healthcare costs down, yet they have sidestepped the most important issue. Why? Well, trial lawyers are an extremely powerful lobbying group. They can’t throw billions of dollars at the Republican law makers in lobbying efforts, because it too strongly conflicts with the interests and support of the Republicans. That leaves them the Democrats. Democrats are happy to receive the lobbying perks. It’s that simple.
{ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tort_reform}

Health Care Crisis:
Health Care reform can easily turn into a Health Care Crisis, and the President and Congress that follow Obama and the Pelosi democrats will be left cleaning it up. Here’s why the crisis occurs: Hospitals and clinics are already understaffed, and without tort reform, individuals are not going to start moving en-masse into the field, and those that are there are not going to alter their procedures, to ‘speed things up’ out of simple fear of being sued.
Worse yet, if the Obama initiatives do not include clear language to exclude abortion from the plan (which the bill before Congress doesn’t), and if the Democrats proceed to insist that parochial hospitals perform the abortions if they expect government payments under government plans (if there’s no exclusionary language in the bill – then this is the eventuality), and if the FOCA bill passes, which effectively puts teeth in the lawsuits against states, counties, and large hospitals that don’t provide for abortion (using interstate vending of hospital supplies as one of the premises for Federal pre-eminence in this matter), then we will see the shutting down of Catholic and other hospitals. This has already been pre-shadowed by statements of some North American Bishops. Catholic hospitals and clinics provide such a huge portion of our healthcare in America that the FOCA Bill combined with a Government Health Care plan that suddenly opens health care up to 40 to 60 million more individuals would precipitate a catastrophic Health Care Crisis. It seems that the creation of this crisis is in the works.

Censure this:
Joe Wilson is going to be censured publicly in Congress for his outburst wherein he blurted, “You lie!” during Obama’s speech.
It seems I remember a certain speaker of the house who made claims, which she could never substantiate about the CIA deliberately misleading her and other members of Congress. Criticism over her comments about the CIA sent the generally lucid Madame speaker scrambling for her dentures. It would seem that if anyone should be censured, an individual who makes such defamatory claims about an entire arm of our government involving people who daily risk their lives for our security, … should be censured. What’s good for the gander is good for the goose…

Who was the first person in history to be censured for blurting something nasty out to a powerful leader? Well, let’s see… Paul of Tarsus called the leader and high priest of the Sadducees ( a very stern and austere bunch) ‘a Whited Wall’* which was about the same as what Joe Wilson did. Paul was calling the leader a hypocrite. Paul, like Joe, apologized. The Sadducees, unlike the Democrats in Congress didn’t really pursue the matter further, realizing they had more important things to address…

-by Juan Zapatero
Copyright 2009 by Juan Zapatero

*(Acts of the Apostles 23:3)

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Every Single Person has Worth.

September 12th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

Every single person has worth.

No.

Every single person has inestimable worth. There are, in my belief, things that individuals do that are unseen, invisible, impossible to comprehend in any physical sense, yet valuable.

Electricity is generally invisible, yet no one will deny its existence. I believe that the day may come when some scientists will even be able to measure some of the invisible attributes that some badly deformed or mentally handicapped individuals possess, perhaps beyond any other, an energy developed due to the constraints of their circumstances, just as we all develop energy (or muscles) when faced with inertia. It’s just the way the universe works.

The trend towards a sort of de-individualizing eugenics that we are currently seeing reborn in this nation, particularly with regard to certain healthcare legislation attempts is troubling. The question of the viability of one’s life is again being brought to the table. Should an individual under 15 be a prime recipient for healthcare, or should they be placed in a queue? Should an individual over 60 be a prime recipient for healthcare, or should they be given counseling, perhaps out of our own military’s ‘Why don’t you just end it all, because you’re a burden’ book.

You would think that the Democrats would understand the incredible worth of life that hasn’t formed to exactly the specifications of a perfect human mesomorph, or life that hasn’t quite yet accomplished that physical stage of its development, or even life that has formed in a seemingly incomplete or disappointing way (from a human standpoint), I mean, after all, they did elect Al Franken to the Senate.

Look, they elected a former and now aging  beauty contestant from California to the speakership of the house, and we all know that California beauty queens will never receive the Einstein award for brain size. So why is it that the Democrats, can’t comprehend that their age-selective healthcare legislation is being met with such disdain across the country by seniors and eventual seniors at these tea parties?

While people like Rom Emanuel have told the Dems that they have to ‘Punch Back’ at the people who are speaking out at tea parties, and even though there have been recent incidents of a healthcare protestor having his finger bit off by one of Obama’s supporters, I would think that the realization that these anti-healthcare skeptics only represent a microcosm of the people who are disgusted with this proposed highly managed status of one’s viability (shades of Himmler and Mengele){ } proceeding from the Democratic pulpit. It’s even more troubling that this very debate over the affordability of healthcare occurred between John McCain and Barack Obama during the debates. McCain stated that there no way it could be paid for without taxing people earning under 150,000.00.   Obama said he could. Well, now, Obama is recanting on this, ‘surprise, surprise.’ So why is it that we are expected to believe him when he states that the health care plan does not have any provision that will allow for abortions to be included.

Yet, the Democrats adamantly refused and voted down any measures or language that specifically guaranteed the exclusion of abortion, which can only mean one thing and ONLY ONE THING: “And that is -> That they want to leave open the possibility of abortion actually being included in someway at some point in time.” If that wasn’t the case, they would have included the language.

Ergo, as disrespectful as Joe Wilson was when he called the president a ‘liar’ during the Presidents recent speech to Congress,

you can understand why so many people are vocalizing that they, in essence, agree with him.

-by Juan Zapatero
copyright 2009 Juan Zapatero

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Paranoia’s everywhere. Jobs aren’t.

September 6th, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

The Director of HomeLand Security is paranoid that Veterans returning from foreign wars are going to become the prime candidates for future homegrown terrorists. The Green Czar is paranoid that white polluters are going to dump pollution in black communities. (I think it’s pretty accepted that even on the individual level most white people who let a freezer bag blow away in the wind make sure that they are in a black community first before that happens.)  The Democratic National Committee is paranoid about Dick Cheney’s statements that the previous administration effectively defended the country against terrorist attacks, so paranoid that the DNC is launching a wave of ad campaigns to counter Cheney’s candid interviews. (Forget, the ad campaign. If the Dems don’t get through their reign without preventing a terrorist attack, DNC will mean ‘Done Due to National Crisis’.

American parents are paranoid that when the president speaks to school children Tuesday, September 06th that he is going to wrap an ulterior motive in a seemingly innocuous message, and that he is going to try to indoctrinate the children with radical left wing ideas. This is the first time in history that I know of that parents were actually scared of the president of the United States talking to the school children. Was anyone really ever scared that George and Laura were sitting in front of a classroom reading out of children’s books. They were doing so on September 11th, when the planes struck. George looked right comfortable sitting on that little chair reading with the children.

The White House is paranoid that people are spreading messages contrary to the HealthCare message.  They are paranoid that they are mischaracterizing the  intentions.  The White House has gotten paranoid to the point that they wanted people to tell on their neighbors, report people who might be disagreeing with the White House’s message, and might have it wrong.

Paranoia’s everywhere, but the jobs aren’t.

The jobless and job loss per capita statistics are the highest that they have been in 26 years.

Here’s my observation and my question: How many jobs would have been created if the President had 1.) just allowed the Oklahoma Oil drilling to go forth as President Bush had provided, instead of rescinding Bush’s decision. Think not only of the engineers and planners, but the truckers trucking equipment, the builders building temporary habitats, the pipefitters, the laborers, the list goes on… 2.) if the Democrat Congress had allowed the existing Alaskan Pipeline to be extended up to Anwar, and Oil Procurement facilities set in Place at Anwar – not to mention the cost savings to the American government for not having to clean up all of the oil drippage that will start to occur when the exisiting pipeline empties, the last of the 3 billion barrels of oil is sent through it, the steel cools, the banding begins to flex and snap, and the oil starts dripping all over the pristine wilderness in an uncontainable irreparable mess. 3.) Allowed the drilling for natural gas to go ahead in the Bearing Circle Area under American control (there’s tons there), and 4.) Allowed American companies to drill offshore in the Gulf instead of letting Chinese firms drill a few miles outside of our territorial waters. (There was certainly no environmental concern there. We at least have some control over domestic companies that drill within our waters. By forbidding them from drilling, we lost control over the regulation of the spars and derricks for the sake of a clean environment.)

How many jobs were lost? I don’t know. I do know this, however: I know that the jobs would have been created by the private sector, not financed by an obscene stimulus that our children will have to finance. I know that there would have been engineers, planners, financiers, truckers and pipefitters back at work by now, because some of these projects were nixed by a Catatonic Congress over a year ago. Congress has been under the control of the Democrats for over 2 ½ years. Now, it’s interesting that they were Catatonic for 2 of those years, locked in an immovable stupor and unable to move. They accomplished nothing for 2 years, though they controlled both Houses. Now being Catatonic, and Paranoid are traits or aspects of types of schizophrenia. Just as individuals can have schizophrenia, so can organizations. In schizophrenia, the nerve transmitters and receptors at the dendrite ends have often twisted themselves 180 degrees, so that the transmitters are essentially not transmitting appropriately to the receptor that should be receiving the message.

It’s very typical in cases of Catatonic schizophrenia for the individual afflicted to be locked in a motionless state, and then, after a period of time to suddenly be released into a period of unboundable energy and activity, and then, without warning to return into that completely statue-like state.

We have seen that very behavior with this Congress: For 2 years, from 2006 to 2008 they couldn’t make a decision, pass a law of any substance, or accomplish anything. Then, in the beginning of 2009, in an almost uncontrollable frenzy, with a sense of urgency they had to pass bills into law that no one was given any time to read, They were “Late, yes late, for a very important date, absolutely positively late!” Then they proceeded to attempt to bluster through an onslaught of legislation, Health Care, Freedom of Choice, Fairness Doctrine, all aimed at massively empowering the Federal Government, shrinking control of the states expanding the role of the government as employer, health provider and banker for the populace, yet denying individual energy companies the ability to go out, break ground, and create jobs.

The schizophrenia has entered its paranoid phase, as we can see by the statements of Van Jones, Janet Napolitano, Nancy Pelosi, with her unfounded and insane indictment of the CIA, and now the investigations of incidents by Eric Holder, that had already been investigated!

What is predictable in schizophrenia is the fact that the patient may be Catatonic, or the patient may be paranoid. What is not predictable is when the highly energized schizophrenic will suddenly emerge from the blame everyone. Paranoid phase, seeing eyes everywhere, fearing terrorists springing like locusts from our own military, and lapse back into the totally immovable, statuesque state, doing nothing, saying nothing, accomplishing nothing.
 

-Juan Zapatero

*check later for expanded links

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Based Upon what at Least Some Have Admitted To

September 2nd, 2009 by Juan Zapatero

Based Upon what at Least Some Have Admitted To

When the history books are written, fifty or sixty years from now they will look back upon this time in the United States, this time in our Senate and house of representatives, this time in our presidency and they will no doubt say, “This is an example of what happens when people do massive amounts of drugs in their teen years and in their post teen years and then grow up to become the ruling class in the country.”
I have looked into history’s reflection in that deep reservoir of our own history and realized, no lie remains hooded, no untruth remains carefully occulted. From the forthright letters of Abigail Adams to the insidious clandestine tapes of Lyndon Johnson, the truth has always found a way to the surface.
It’s not so strange that a statesman or official should change his stance or position on something. Young Benjamin Franklin while living in London, wrote ‘A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity’ wherein he stated his convictions that human beings really do not have any freedom to control their actions. He thereby proposed that we are all, therefore, not really responsible for these actions. Franklin later recanted, and even went so far as to take any of the remaining pamphlets in his possession and set them ablaze.
That’s quite different from the case at hand, wherein senators and representatives at town hall meetings are shamelessly stating that the proposed Health Care plan does not and can not provide for abortions, when, in fact, based upon a good understanding of the Hyde ammendment , with all of its History through the Clinton Years, one can see that it can and it does.
The case with Franklin is also quite different* than the case wherein a president states that he will not pursue the scrutiny of the Central Intelligence Agency, re-examining actions that were already tried, studied, interrogated, analyzed and, in essence, dispensed with, and then departs from his word to satisfy the hard left, essentially weekening that arm of our defense which looks out for our security. It’s a sort of double jeopardy. It makes it unlikely that the individual members of the agency will be able to retain their same level of commitment, the esprit de corps that is necessary for the success of any organization.

I marvel at the insipidness of any group that would so shoot themselves in the foot:  If  Holder does indeed conduct the public scrutiny, dunking stools and stocks, for members of the CIA who weren’t sufficiently fretted the first time around, then, if anything were to happen to this country, anythin even remotely resembling 911, or even exceeding it, the current group in party, the Democrats, will forever own it.  It’ll be worse than a blot.  It’ll be soot that they can’t remove, the mark of Cain, so to speak, undeniable and irremovable.  They are indeed loading up to shoot themselves in the foot.
I do not believe that truth is the ensign of any one political party, nor do I believe that lies are the mask warn by any one party. However, I am appalled that whenever I point out to people the cleverly crafted deceptions of the current Congress the answer I invariably receive is not, “That’s awful!, or “Are you quite sure about that?” but rather, “Well, Bush did it! Look what Bush did!” It’s as if the glinting necessity to see our elected servants serve us with honesty has tarnished into the dark green need to see our own side win at all costs, whichever side that is.
Congress rushed through the stimulus package, insisting that the nation was in mortal danger if we didn’t pass it, refused to let the Congressmen have a day to read it, refused to let the minority party register an opposing view, then later referred to them as obstructionists who wouldn’t partake in the process. Six months later, less than 10% of that badly needed money has been distributed to those so badly in need. I have seen this sort of theater before, where the Shakespearian character revels in his own ability to deceive, letters are quickly written to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Reed insists that a vote happen immediately, Pelopsi wants the bill (and the letters) signed, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern stumble off to deliver the sad fate of the United States, Hamlet and the rest of the Republicans choose the moment to be….
…introspective.

History will reveal the carefully woven tapestry of deceit.

*I tried to find a better example of a statesman or president among the founding fathers saying one thing and then doing another, but as far as the founding fathers were concerned it was hard to find something so blatantly opposite that had occurred in so short a span of time as the example with Obama and the CIA.”

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That’s Our Womb Locked up in That Room…

May 11th, 2009 by John P. Schumake

Take a sheet of paper.  Call it… Roe v Wade.

Now, what this sheet of paper says is that a woman’s right to privacy allows her to terminate her pregnancy.  To Roe v Wade , whether or not this is a human is irrelevant.

Now.   Comes along a Federal Court decision that says, ” if a woman is attacked, and her unborn child is killed, the attacker can be tried for murder.”  Bend up a corner of the paper, and fold it in, because what was totally open, has acquired some definition, that is, the issue of whether the unborn  is or isn’t human life is no longer irrelevant.  It’s human life if it is taken away without the lawful consent of the mother.

Now, twenty years ago you couldn’t imagine that there would be a place called the Internet where people sell human body parts.  The Internet twenty years ago was the ArpNet growing up into a Network linking colleges and Universities and… the Defense Department.  So what will you not be able to imagine ten years from now? You might not have pictured that a woman, (or a pregnant man) might, just might, under certain circumstances choose to sell individual body parts to individual bidders for a currently gestating fetus.  What will the courts decide?   Lets say that, even a very liberal court will say, “This is way out of bounds.  Profiteering in the dismemberment of (potential human life) is uncivilized…. .  Maybe, just maybe another corner of that paper will be bent in.  This will be the corner that says:  “It’s a woman’s body, and she has the right to do what she wants with it… Sometimes.”  On the simplest, programmatic level, you’ve just introduced an ‘if’ clause.  How do you feel about that? 

Now.  They have made great strides with developing  artificial wombs.  For the womb to be the most successful at growing the human embryo outside of the body, it should be made up from tissue that is a composite of both donors to the developing embryo.  A man and a woman contribute a mateial to fertilize an egg and grow it in their own artificial womb.  They visit it.  They love it.  They get in an argument.  They decide to split.  The woman says, “I can do what I want with my body!”  The man says, “Wait, that’s our body!”  So bend up another corner of that paper.  A woman can terminate a pregnancy because Roe V Wade decided that  an individual’s right to privacy allows a woman to do what she chooses with her own body…  The only problem is-> In the artificial womb, Whose body is it?  and whose privacy is it?   The courts may decide that the only being with a legal claim to privacy in this case  is, “the embryo…” 

Science will change the human landscape of thought and ethics faster than the law makers can legislate, and faster than the courts can… legislate while they say they aren’t.

Thank God, I suppose.  I say, ‘thank God’, because lawmakers and the courts did such a bad job.

One last thought that may seem stray: Slavery and the right for it to be ‘practiced’ in the United States may well have been decided by economics, as many people suggest, but it wasn’t.  In the end, it was decided by bullets, and bodies of brothers blown to peices, a land writhing with pain, and a land, still, still just emerging from the death, but…  

Maybe it was better that it wasn’t decided by the expediency of economics.

 

-John P. Schumake

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JESUS BOWED TO NO MAN

April 12th, 2009 by John P. Schumake

 

Obama HAS RUINED MY WEEK.  That IMAGE OF AN American President bowing to an Arab sheik will forever be in my memory.  It will play forever.  He bowed so low (when I saw the actual footage it was far worse than reported) that I am sure that as he sprung back from the double gainer the hem of the sheik’s toga was on the end of the president’s  nose.  And with the white house trying to explain their way out of this embarrassment, all I could see in my mind was Jim Carrey in the movie “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls”  trying to climb out of the hind end of a rhino,” … but then the rhino slowly turns into a camel…  As the sheik meeting with Obama rides in on a camel (nothing against camels or sheiks) it appears as though someone is trying to board that ship of the dessert by climbing in, rather than out of the stern… And that someone sadly is our president.

Though I do love and respect the American Presidency, I do believe, at this particular moment Barack Obama did not.

 

In Church this week (I went to Church this week several times, trying to get images out of my head….  )  While I was sitting in Church, listening to the sermon, the priest began speaking on how it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  Now apparently the eye of the needle is an historic place where camel drivers would have to stop, remove goods and sacks from the camels back, cause the camel to actually kneel down so it could scoot through ‘the eye of the needle’.  Here I was again, back with the camels … The only image I kept getting in my mind this time, though,  was one of that wealthy sheik riding up to the honorable mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, right after 9-11, and handing him a check for ten million dollars.  I then hear the sheik making a comment on how the United States should learn a lesson, and should now learn to have some regard for the Palestinians and maybe the experience of 9 -11 will teach the Americans blah, blah, blah….  as he tries to hand Giuliani a check.  Giuliani stuffs the check back in the sheiks’ shirt.

 

I went to Church this week several times, as I said, trying to get images out of my head and prepare for the resurrection.  Now, depending on your religious beliefs you may have varying beliefs about Jesus, but one thing is clear:  This man never ingratiated himself.  Whether you are a Muslim, a Christian or Jew, whether you love him, or are indifferent to him, it must be apparent that he never groveled.  He stated very matter-of-factly, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”   When asked by Pilate if he were a king he stated plainly, “You say that I am.”  He said to the emissaries of Herod, “Go tell that fox, ‘Today I cast out devils and give cures, tomorrow and the third day I am perfected.’” 

I have no comprehension of his great soul.  I found myself thinking as the priest carried the bread out of the Church sanctuary to a small tabernacle outside of the main sanctuary, “I wonder how he feels being carried?  What’s going through Jesus’ mind as someone carries him?”

 

Is he looking into our faces?

 

Whoever we have been taught to believe God is, “Maheo, the Great Spirit, or Allah, the divine one, El Shaddai, the great expansive plain,  the Father of the Universe, Yahweh, Jehovah, or Jeshue the bread of life, we need to bow humbly to that one, pray for his mercy, and then live in his image, standing tall, honoring our beliefs, not trying to kick the truth with one shoe under a coffee table, the truth that we are in fact  a nation founded on Judeo – Christian writings by thinkers and great men who wrote profusely in the Judeo Christian traditions.  Read the American Historical documents.  Let’s not lie.  We have grown to be a nation that loves Muslim peoples and Hindus and Buddhists, and those religions too are flourishing, but the facts are the facts, and denying our bounty and heritage and roots as we ingratiate ourselves, bow low to people who would stuff checks in our shirts and apologize for who we are is not a way to turn from our blunders and rise again.

 

-John P. Schumake

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Rules Of Invisibility

September 4th, 2012 by Juan Zapatero

In the midst of controversy and divisiveness, both sides tend to completely overlook the obvious. In the recent kerfuffle over Clint Eastwood’s remarks, or better phrased, performance at the Republican National Convention there were all sorts of arguments engendered over whether he was drunk or not, whether
there were really 23 million Americans out of work, or whether the number was closer to U.S. government numbers of 12 million, whether Clint Eastwood should have implied that the invisible president had sworn at him, or not, whether Mr. Obama was up to the job, or, as Clint Eastwood had stated, “we’ve got to let him go.”, whether the Romney camp should have given him an extra chair, or not. There was debate over whether the Romney camp was completely upstaged and embarrassed by Clint Eastwood’s speech or not.

At the Convention the participants cheered and applauded at various junctures of Clint Eastwood’s one act play, and they provided a full-bodied ascent when he stated, “When somebody is not doing the job, we’ve got to let him go.”
There was, of course, debate over whether he should have drawn a slashing mark across his throat when he stated, “we’ve got to let him go.”
In all of this, however, that which was painfully obvious was completely overlooked. If you’ve ever seen the movie, “The Invisible Man,” the original, with Claude Rains, then you know that there are certain rules about invisibility.
Clearly, Invisible Obama has become ubiquitous, achieving that which the original invisible man, in his attempt to dominate, never was able to fully achieve.
Yet, there is an important fact about invisibility that most learned people, or at least movie goers, know. It’s this:
You can only become completely invisible if you remove all of your clothing. In other words, if you are jaunting down the street, or through a field, like the Invisible Man, with a pair of pants on, then everyone will see the pants. In the movie, the Invisible man, which should be required viewing at this point in history, the film creators went to great pains to show the tape being removed from the face of the invisible man. While his shirt and pants remained totally visible, the place which should have been occupied by a face was completely empty as the tape was removed. You saw the backdrop behind him, not a nose, a cheek or an eyeball.
It was such an achievement of cinematography to see that man in pajamas walk towards his bed, and yet, the hands, the face, revealed the backdrop, completely visible and in tact. One can only conclude that this was not due to the ability of cinematographers, who had no computers back then. One can only conclude that this is one of those technologies we received from Aliens (Wait, no, that film was before Roswell…) or, the plain truth is that Claude Rains was truly invisible.

That brings us back to Mr. Eastwood, and the conversation with the President. By all of the rules of Invisibility, and also, after careful examination of the video, one can only conclude that the complete absence of any ‘covering over’ or ‘obscuring’ of objects behind the President as he sat in the chair (and he’s
a tall man) can only lead us to one conclusion… You guessed it.
The President, Mr. Obama, was sitting in that chair completely naked.

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When You Grow Up

June 26th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

What did you want to be when you grew up? I had friends who wanted to be firemen, doctors, lawyers. I was a little bit different, in that I wanted to be something along the lines of being a Prophet. The idea of being able to cast a staff out on the ground in front of some wicked pharaoh, and watch it turn into a snake was attractive to me. It seemed like a good job. Maybe it was a bit of a power thing, I must sadly confess, because the idea of calling a bear out of the wilderness to attack the people who might ridicule me was what I considered true clout. Now, I’ll tell you that my guardian angel was probably happy as a clam that I had chosen this future avocation, because it would mean that he wouldn’t have to get up a lot. He could relax while people were clubbing me over the head as a child, or surrounding me and pounding my head against concrete because I was sticking up for a young lady who was being ridiculed. (Getting surrounded by multiple people and clubbed or beaten was becoming a little bit of a theme in my life. As time went on, it seemed that I was escaping the ‘getting beaten part’, but I was still getting surrounded.)

Years later, I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that the closest I became to being a prophet is being a programmer. They do, however, both begin with P-R-O. Maybe someone in heaven was going down the list and they stopped at P-R-O-G. I can’t imagine that the Prophet job was filled up. In any case, I still aspire to prophecy. There’s plenty of wicked pharaohs to go around, and there are even pharaoh wannabees. Even our own President’s behavior toward Benjamin Netanyahu this past year has been pretty tantamount to saying, “get thee hence!” Like all pharaohs, he just doesn’t comprehend the signs: oil spills, massive river valley flooding, spiraling debt crises, national credit rating being downgraded, and increased involvement in foreign war activities, instead of decreased commitment. Are there any good areas for this current administration? He’s even had to tap into the stored silos of corn, or oil, stored up in good times because… guess what’s here: The lean cattle, the blasted ears of corn! A sign of prophets is that they end up living out, on a smaller scope, what the nation at large (whom they happen to be warning) will end up going through. Hosea married a woman who was unfaithful, and it brought him grief. This would become God’s grief with Israel. Jeremiah was imprisoned for many days in a well, standing up, unable to move, unable to rise up out of that deep hole until he was pulled out. That would be very much the fate of his people.

Many people have been called to be prophets, perhaps millions. Perhaps I have been called to speak a few words in a timely fashion. At this juncture, I will take a moment to apologize to my guardian angel. I hope he (or she) has a sense of humor. He or she has been very successful in protecting me in many cases, though I can’t lie, there have been times when I feel the creature has been noticeably recumbent, but I suppose that that is ether my fault, or simply by design.
Yes we are called to be pastors, prophets, priests, apostles, missionaries, healers, givers of charity, and interpreters of the words of life. Including the fact that I invested in the stock market at what may be turning out to be a bad time, and also including the fact that I tore my bicep trying to lift something too heavy for me alone, I, like all messengers, am living out on a small scale the hapless fate of the people I would hope to warn, or at least advise. I have concluded that a fairly consistent sign that one may be a messenger with a true warning is this: No one seems to listen. That’s in anything: at work, at home, anywhere. If that’s the case in your life, maybe God’s preparing you. Did you hear what I said? I said, Were you listening? Oh forget it…

Copyright June 26th 2011 by John P. Schumake

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In Remembrance Of

May 29th, 2011 by John P. Schumake

God’s ability to remember someone (or some thing) has far more life-giving qualities than for you or I to remember someone. For me to recall a friend who has passed away, I might, with fond remembrance think about a time or two when we had been together. I might even merge those two moments. I might briefly even derive a bit of satisfaction almost reliving a moment when we were young together, and sat up on the roof of a building looking out across the city. I might remember a snowball fight, savoring the details of how I went sliding down to the lake. I might even almost feel the cold of the snow in that event. However, I can’t really bring that person back to life by somehow breathing him into a body, or forming flesh and bones around my thoughts.
This is not the case with God. When God remembers something, there is much more happening. When the Judaic – Christian scriptures speak of God remembering anyone, that being is brought back to life; he or she, or even it is brought before the presence of God, in consciousness and awareness of spirit. Jeremiah calls to God, “Remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in your longsuffering.” (vs. 15:15)
The Almighty’s remembering of one is always accompanied by the ability to actually bring that being to life, in order to stand before him. Perhaps one of the most intriguing of these cases of ‘Remembrance’ is God’s remembrance of the sparrows that are sold for a farthing. It’s worth pondering. It is phrased in such an interesting fashion in the Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 12, verse 6: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows.” This is preceded by a few words back in verse four where Jesus warns them, “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that , they have no more that they can do.”
These are incredible statements. Without the ability to bring one back to life, consciousness and awareness, in the person of one’s same being, there is absolutely nothing comforting in the statement. What is even more incredible, however, is what is happening to the sparrows. The sparrows are provided as the example of why not to be afraid. Now, I have news for you, if the sparrows were sold, killed, plucked and cooked, and ‘God’s remembrance of them’ means nothing more than the fact that from time to time he sits back and muses about those five sparrows, then there is certainly no comfort for us, because all that really tells us, is that, after our death, God may sit back, and from time to time muse about us.
Let’s look at a more human analogy. Let’s say you go to your father, concerned that he might not pay for your first year’s living expenses at a University. He looks at you and says, “Did I not pay for your brother, Nathan’s tuition? What are you worried about?” Now if he didn’t, really pay for Nathan’s living quarters, you might have cause to worry. If Nathan is the pet goat, and is only affectionately referred to as your brother, you might have even more cause for worry, especially if he refused to fund Nathan’s stable fees. Let’s say he said, “Did I not pay for your mother’s two cocker spaniels and a beagle to go to obedience school? And that cost me a small fortune! My heavens! Aren’t you of much greater worth to me than those dogs?” Let’s suppose, for a second, that he didn’t really pay for the dogs’ obedience school. Let’s say his answer is, “Didn’t I briefly think about paying for obedience school for those dogs? What are you so worried about?” Now, you suddenly aren’t so comforted. You have no reason to be comforted. First, he has compared you to dogs, arguably a bit better than being compared to sparrows, but there was no favorable outcome for the dogs. If the sparrows likewise perished with no future flight, chirping or tree-hopping in sight, their fate was not an example of hope for anyone, other than the cook and those who dined.
I will submit to you that for the Almighty to bring anything back to remembrance it must have a far more revitalizing effect than anything we can imagine… and all of your imagining can’t bring a body up to clothe any mind, heart and spirit, but in a very short time indeed, on earth, or in your life, you will see that He can. However, there is one time and place where he gives us that ability to experience the real living presence of the person with the process of remembrance, and, it is, of course, in remembering Him.

Copyright May 29th, 2011 by Earnest Publications

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