Sunday, May 16, 2010


I just heard that Ronnie James Dio, former front man of Black Sabbath after Ozzy left, and hard rock start under his own name with hits like 'Rainbow in the Dark' and 'Holy Diver' passed away. He was 67 and I started thinking of all the really big rock stars around that age that are still alive but won't be for much longer, especially since a lot of them got started in and survived the drug drenched 60's and 70's. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, Roger Waters and David Gilmour, Ray Manzerek, Grace Slick, Ozzy himself, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, David Bowie and Lou Reed, Elton John, and last but definitely not least Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney...all born in the 40's or earlier. Heck, even my fave author of all time, Stephen King, was born in '47. All these jukebox heroes will be gone soon and all we'll have left is the music, but at least we'll have that.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The World is Falling Apart

Well, it's been awhile since I've been on here, was trying to cruise through April without getting too caught up in things since April usually turns out to be a crazy ass month, plus I had a lot of things to take care of in my real life. April came and went without too much incident apart from the usual crap, but no major school shooting or domestic terrorism at least. Last night I watched 'The Day After Tomorrow' and '2012' (fun!) and thought about all the natural disasters and crazy ass political/social turmoil going on around the world right now. We've had SEVERAL major earthquakes around the world, serious flooding, blizzards last winter (it's still snowing in some US states!), tornadoes, the HUGE environmental disaster still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico that is the BP spill, the Iceland volcano which subsequently shut down Europe's airspace for a while and it hasn't fully recovered, our country going nuts over the new immigration laws passed in Arizona, the collapse of Greece's economy and riots and now deadly rioting in Thailand. In the movie '2012' as they lead up to that year starting in 2009, there's crap like this going on and it's a really strange coincidence. Do I think anything will actually happen on 12/21/12? No I do not. But, shit, something may happen before then and it will have nothing to do with the Mayans!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Earth Fights Back

We've only been through four months of this year and have seen more natural disasters than are seen in most years total! It started off with the unbelievable earthquake in Haiti (followed by others in Chile and China) and the earth seems downright unstable with a smaller quake at the Mexico-US border near Mexicali and the record ash spewing from the volcano in Iceland that practically shut down European airspace a while back. As El Nino diminishes, it's going out with a bang with tornadoes slamming into Mississippi a couple of weeks ago and this week serious flooding in Nashville and the SE. It's funny when quakes hit Haiti you can count on the Limbaugh's and Pat Robertson's of the world to say it's because of the sinful people there and the judgement of God. I haven't heard from them this week after tornadoes, floods and now the gigantic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off Lousisiana. I guess it only works when it isn't the capital of Godland. I forgot to mention the piles of snow that fell this past winter. For us here in Texas, with El Nino diminishing, our green time that finally came back after years of drought will start to go away quicker and the heat will be back sooner than we want. I do wonder about good old Mother Nature though. Is she telling us something? 2012 is only a year and a half away and the movie depicted situations like's like '2012' meets 'The Day After Tomorrow'....OH NO!!! You can't even run to hills in this scenario.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Second Civil War

A couple of weeks ago I finished 'The Big Sort', which I've already written about on here already. I let Lee borrow it to read next and I've been telling a lot of people about it. What's fascinating is that it came out 3 years ago but is so pertinent now as we as a society seem to be splitting up and dividing even more so as the book predicted. I'd love to see the author's take on the last couple of years especially. Today I watched two movies from the Civil War period, 'Cold Mountain' and 'The Outlaw Josey Wales' as I was thinking about what it would be like if we had another event like that horrible tragic part of our history. Of course, in 1865 there were literally two halves of America, north and south, with a definitive line drawn across the middle and distinct areas with their own ideologies. What we have now is more city vs. suburb, urban vs. rural, coastal vs. the middle, with some leftovers even from back in the 1860's, the NE vs. the SE. There's a lot of talk about private or state run militias, more lax gun laws being passed by various states, including this week in Arizona where they are also getting ready to pass a law that will let cops stop anyone they want (but probably that look Hispanic) and question them/ask for documentation. I'm sorry, but this sounds like they can profile all they want. I've been reading the blogs and bitching about these news stories and read a lot of awful hate filled words out there. It's one thing to say someone's illegal and should go back to wherever they came from, but to blame them for crime and even fucking littering in one case! And no one mentions the fucking companies that not only hire illegals but even go into fucking Mexico and recruit them! And what do we expect when we're this un-fucking-believably rich country here even when our economy is bad and in Mexico it's a complete nightmare at this point? What would any of these people do if they were stuck in that situation? It's easy to say stupid shit from a computer terminal, but I HIGHLY doubt they'd say anything to any Hispanics, even if they knew any. Arizona is turning as crazy as Florida, S. Carolina and Virginia. And what's with the fucking guns already? Obama hasn't done ANYTHING federal against gun ownership, and meanwhile states, as I said before, have been relaxing their gun what the fuck are these people really afraid of? With so much rhetoric, guns, racism and whatever else seeming to ramp up, you can't help but wonder when it will all just explode. What we need is a leader that anyone can listen to, that can bring some sort of consensus back, and most of all that abhors all this violence and champions peace. We need it badly!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

WTF America?

Man, I don't add anything in a week and this country turns upside down. Last weeekend the House met to pass the sweeping Health Bill endorsed by the President. Outside, teabaggers gathered and began to FINALLY show their true face - RACIST SCUMBAGS! It's about time they fessed up. They called a congressman that marched with MLK a n*%$#er and Barney Frank a 'faggot'! The bill passed anyways but that didn't stop anything, it only got worse. Bricks started being hurled at Democratic congresspeople's windows of their offices. A tea party add in N. Virginia gave what they thought was the congressman's address and said 'drop by' but it was his brother's home and some lunatic cut the gas line to the house! Several got threats over the phone and email and did the Republicans try and talk to these groups and see about calming things down? Of course not! In some cases, like 'Boner' they actual used words like 'He's a dead man back in his home town' and that fucking cunt Bauchmann said 'We're armed and ready in Minnesota, a revolution is good every now and then'. The worst thing I saw today was some sort of call to arms on April 19. They're using that day they 'claim' because it's the day the American Revolution began in 1775 with the battles of Concord and Lexington, but more recently it's the anniversary of the Waco compound attack in '93 and the Oklahoma City bombing in '95!!! They actually were calling for people to try and get as close to Washington with loaded guns as they could. THIS IS FUCKING CRAZY!!! As a historian I know how volatile that week in April can be...Columbine, Apr 19, Virginia Tech, Apr 16...hell even Hitler's birthday is April 20th! I abhore violence. I'm a pacifist. It's been 150 years since this country split in two and began a horrible 5 year Civil War that left the most casualties in any war American's have fought, the most destruction on our own soil, and an amazing President shot dead at the end of it. In some ways we've never recovered from that event and now these fuckers are actually yelling as if they'd like another Civil War! I mean what person that really loves this country would want that? Are they THAT sore of losers? Or is it that we've become so divided and only talk to or listen to people that are like our ideology? This sort of behavior has always begot violence. If you only listen to those that agree with you then it's a self fulfilling prophecy of destruction...and to have the idea that 30% of the population AT MOST can dictate what the other 70% do is just plain stupid. White people are scared because they see more and more Hispanics every day and hear stories of how they will be a minority in a few decades. They are like cats backed into a corner and they are lashing out in complete desperation now. Why don't they try and actually get along with those that don't look or think exactly like them? That's what made this country WORK in the past. Instead they'd rather tear it down to rubble than do that. And rubble is what they will get because even a pacifist, gun hating liberal like me will do everything in my power to defend myself and those I love against these creeps and if they think they're little revolution will help them out they're gonna really hate the one after that because then the 70% will hunt each and every one of them down and run them into the fucking ocean. And I guarantee this if these fuckers keep on going this direction and Obama gets assassinated. Guarantee it. You want a revolution? You'll get one and you'll just wish your end times came right then and there before we get to you. You may be the loudmouth on the block now, but the sleeping giant will awaken.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today's the Day

Sunday, March 21, 2010 - The day Obama's administration sinks or swims. At least that's the way the news is setting up (and Repubs for that matter). If his Health bill doesn't pass today then this will be a one term Presidency a la Jimmy Carter and that's exactly how the Repubs want it so they've fought it tooth and nail despite the fact that it's completely toothless now without the public option and many concessions. The Dems should have just passed this thing as the House passed it back when they had the Filibuster votes, but because they didn't it really makes me wonder who they are conceding to, Repubs or big insurance and pharmaco? I hate how it's been set up like this too. If it doesn't pass it doesn't automatically mean that his adminstration is over, just like if it does pass these same people will say 'Well, his administration could still fail' but if it fails they'll say 'His administration ended today!'. And of course these are people that seem to be fine with throwing four years of America and have everything stagnate just so they can get back in office in 2012. On the Dem side, they had the biggest majority in decades last year and they completely blew it! They waited, and now everything will be this kind of battle instead of just passing laws on Health Care, the environment, etc. and just telling the Repubs to go piss up a chain because that's what Repubs would say to Dems. They don't want to be as bad, but sometimes you have to play tough to get things done and they promised the American people change and getting things done. Sure, they had to deal with the financial crisis, but I'm not so sure that was even handled very well since some of the same players are in the White House or the government still. Did Wall Street suddenly move out of the White House? Alas, it did not. The least they could have done was to give the people something too if they felt they needed to 'help out' Wall St. yet again. So today is the big vote. I still hope it passes but it's like voting for a guy you don't really like to keep another guy out of office. I will hope this passes, but only so it will finally be at least something passed to see if it works instead of just bickering for months and months on end.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This is an excerpt of the screenplay from the movie 'Waking Life' in regards to freewill. Russell and I were talking about it at lunch and I decided to put this on here:

In a way, in our contemporary world view,
It's easy to think that science has come to take the place of God.
But some philosophical problems remain as troubling as ever.
Take the problem of free will.
This problem's been around for a long time,
since before Aristotle in B.C.
St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas,
these guys all worried about how we can be free...
if God already knows in advance everything you're gonna do.
Nowadays we know that the world operates according to some fundamental physical laws,
and these laws govern the behavior of every object in the world.
Now, these laws, because they're so trustworthy,
they enable incredible technological achievements.
But look at yourself. We're just physical systems too.
We're just complex arrangements of carbon molecules.
We're mostly water,
and our behavior isn't gonna be an exception to basic physical laws.
So it starts to look like whether it's God setting things up in advance...
and knowing everything you're gonna do...
or whether it's these basic physical laws governing everything.
There's not a lot of room left for freedom.
So now you might be tempted to just ignore the question,
ignore the mystery of free will.
Say, "Oh, well, it's just an historical anecdote. It's sophomoric.
It's a question with no answer. Just forget about it."
But the question keeps staring you right in the face.
You think about individuality, for example, who you are.
Who you are is mostly a matter of the free choices that you make.
Or take responsibility. You can only be held responsible,
you can only be found guilty or admired or respected...
for things you did of your own free will.
The question keeps coming back, and we don't really have a solution to it.
It starts to look like all your decisions are really just a charade.
Think about how it happens. There's some electrical activity in your brain.
Your neurons fire. They send a signal down into your nervous system.
It passes along down into your muscle fibers.
They twitch. You might, say, reach out your arm.
Looks like it's a free action on your part,
but every one of those-- every part of that process...
is actually governed by physical law:
chemical laws, electrical laws and so on.
So now it just looks like the Big Bang set up the initial conditions,
and the whole rest of our history,
the whole rest of human history and even before,
is really just sort of the playing out of subatomic particles...
according to these basic fundamental physical laws.
We think we’re special. We think we have some kind of special dignity,
but that now comes under threat.
I mean, that's really challenged by this picture.
So you might be saying, "Well, wait a minute. What about quantum mechanics?
"I know enough contemporary physical theory to know it's not really like that.
"It's really a probabilistic theory.
There's room. It's loose. It's not deterministic."
And that's gonna enable us to understand free will.
But if you look at the details, it's not really gonna help...
because what happens is you have some very small quantum particles,
and their behavior is apparently a bit random.
They swerve. Their behavior is absurd in the sense that it's unpredictable...
and we can't understand it based on anything that came before.
It just does something out of the blue, according to a probabilistic framework.
But is that gonna help with freedom?
Should our freedom just be a matter of probabilities,
just some random swerving in a chaotic system?
That just seems like it's worse. I'd rather be a gear...
in a big deterministic, physical machine...
than just some random swerving.
So we can't just ignore the problem.
We have to find room in our contemporary world view for persons,
with all that that it entails; not just bodies, but persons.
And that means trying to solve the problem of freedom,
finding room for choice and responsibility...
and trying to understand individuality.