Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Changes - What do they Mean?


A world turned upside down

Here I am in Southern Maryland where just 3 days ago it was 88 degrees in mid April. Today I was going to drive to Kentucky but had to postpone the trip a day because of snow in the Appalachia Mountains.

My route was through Beckley, West Virginia and it is snowing in the mountain pass just above Beckley.  So we had almost no snow all winter and now the Northeast gets hit by the most snow of the year.  Hardly seems like April is almost over.

Around here the trees and plants are budding and blooming 3-4 weeks too early because of the unseasonable warm.  Insects are about a month too early as well.  New crops and new buds could get frozen and the snow could wipe out the flowers which would further wipe out the bees.

Before the domino effect of the weird weather is over we could all be wiped out like the Mayans predicted.

I've already reported about how tornadoes are increasing, there is an increase in the number of severe earthquakes, we have experienced exceptional flooding and increased volcanic activity.  Solar storms are another area I have discussed several times and they are now reaching record highs.

Fortunately it is a big Earth so our record warmth is offset by the European and Russian record cold.  None of our extreme weather changes are the most extreme in history, they have all happened before.

Earth has had five Ice Ages, all without the benefit of "civilized humans" and their bad habits like big cars, cosmetics obsessions, plastic water bottles and other stuff.  The last Ice Age started about two million years ago and ended about 10,000 years ago.  Talk about a deep freeze.

Before you start sensing doom remember that an Ice Age is when around 30% of the Earth is covered by ice sheets, not the whole thing.  Still, it sure seems as if we are having quite a time with the weather.

Several photos in this story show the potential consequences of the next meltdown from an Ice Age according to  Others are my idea of more interesting consequences from the crazy weather.

Now don't get me started on the potential for manmade messing around with the weather which earlier stories have detailed including some pretty high tech and quite lethal experiments.  For the moment, give me back my early summer so I can go out and bag some rays.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Obama Democrat Pit Bulls Called Off - Romney wins Dog World


I'll be doggone - Axelrod underestimates Obama's taste for dogs

In a shocking political turnaround that could easily swing the rest of the western world into Romney's corner, it seems those Democrat pit bulls Axelrod and Wasserman-Shultz, bit off a little more than they could chew.

For weeks the Obama surrogates have worked the compliant national media into story after story about how Romney drove to Canada with his dog on the roof.  Only a goof ball would think a dog would rather be in the car with five little boys, but that was the Obama campaign strategy.

Well, as always the truth finally comes out in politics and the truth was rather hard to swallow, even to the Chicago boys.

Romney might like his dog on the roof, but Obama seems to have liked his dog for dinner.  It seems the liberal media forgot to check Obama's own best selling book for his own vulnerabilities regarding dogs.

If they had, they would have noticed Obama talked about, well, eating dog in Indonesia which seems to be a bit more extreme than Romney's dog riding in a car carrier on the roof.

As the Obama campaign team continues to fumble the ball on issue after issue and talking point after talking point the Obama White House is beginning to look more like a fraternity party than presidency.

Their attempts to paint Obama as the chosen one or messiah fall apart every time the media takes the time to fact check the White House.  Too bad the lame street media didn't even bother vetting Obama in 2008, they were too busy drooling, or we might have known a lot more about our president.

For example, yes, the same guy (Obama) who says Republicans were the ones who declared war on women does not allow women to golf or play basketball with him.

Maybe the Obama slogan should be "I am what I say, not what I am."  Then truth might prevail.

Leave the dogs alone, they still have a reputation for loyalty and honesty.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Calipari's Kiddie Corp declares for NBA draft


By COLIN FLY | The Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky's starting lineup of three freshmen and two sophomores did most everything together. Now, they will go their separate ways in the NBA.

Freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, and sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb declared for the draft in a nationally televised news conference Tuesday night.

''We made it work,'' Jones said. ''We all wanted to be there and do it together like we've done everything else together.''

The group, all clad in similar blue UK golf shirts, came into the season largely untested before ascending to No. 1, winning the Southeastern Conference in dominating fashion and capping an NCAA tournament run with a 67-59 victory over Kansas in the title game for the school's eighth championship.

''It's been a great opportunity playing here, I'll miss this team, the way we played together. We all love each other,'' said Davis, who picked up every major player of the year award and is likely the No. 1 pick in June's draft. ''I'm just going to miss this place. We won an NCAA championship here and did a lot. We all did a lot for this school and I'm going to miss it.''

The five join seniors Darius Miller, who is also projected to be drafted, and Eloy Vargas in leaving the program.

''This is a players' first program. I said it three years ago. During the season, it's about our team. You saw it in this year's team, they were about each other,'' coach John Calipari said. ''When the season is over, it's about moments like this.''

The departures mean only freshman Kyle Wiltjer remains from the rotation with a new class of highly touted recruits joining Calipari next season. Calipari said he had never watched the final game of a season until this one.

Kidd-Gilchrist appeared emotional for a few moments at the podium and later said his mother, Cindy Richardson, wanted him to return to school since he was one of the youngest players in Division I after turning 18 in September. Instead, he has other plans for her.

''I want to spoil my mom. I think I'm going to spoil my mom to death. That's one thing I'm looking forward to,'' said Kidd-Gilchrist, who plans to buy her a watch for starters. ''I'm ready, I think. I'm ready for anything that comes my way now.''

Teague, the point guard, seemed to be the only player who might be a questionable first-round pick in Calipari's effort to match his 2010 draft class that saw five players go in the first round led by the No. 1 overall pick, John Wall. Teague said he felt like he did enough to be drafted in the first round by leading a ''great team that's kind of like an NBA team'' to a national championship.

''This is my lifelong dream to play in the NBA and to be doing it with these guys, we're all just making the decision together just makes it that much more special,'' Teague said. ''I love every day knowing I played with these guys and that not being an option any more is tough to deal with. But we all decided we needed to move on, so this is something we've got to do.''

Lamb said he really had only one goal after both he and Jones were projected first-round picks last season.

''The reason I stayed was to win a national championship,'' Lamb said. ''Me and Terrence we talked together last year and we decided to come back this year to win a national championship and we did that. Our dreams came true.''

Wiltjer, who said earlier this year the thought of his teammates leaving was ''scary,'' and the rest of the bench made up just 6 percent of the total minutes played this season. But the group will quickly be getting help as Calipari closes in on his fourth straight No. 1 recruiting class.

Kentucky already signed Willie Cauley, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin in the early period. Top prospect Nerlens Noel committed to the Wildcats on national television last week by shaving the school's initials in the back of his signature flat top hairstyle. Transfer Ryan Harrow is expected to take over as point guard with Wiltjer, giving the Wildcats the same projected starting mix of two sophomores and three freshmen.

The team is in the hunt for a few of the remaining top prospects who have until May 16 to make their final decisions.

All of Kentucky's new players will be thrust into major roles because with the departures, the Wildcats will lose 93.3 percent of their points, 94.5 percent of their individual rebounds and 96.2 percent of their assists.

Meanwhile, this group is about to begin their heady new lifestyle, something Davis couldn't help laughing about when he was reminded of his upcoming payday.

''I actually haven't thought about that yet. That's right, I am going to be rich,'' Davis said. ''You've just got to manage your money well. Good thing is I like math.

So I should be fine.''


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What ever happened to the Great American Hero?

Babe Ruth greeting beloved kids

Players for the Love of the Game not the Money!

For years, I watched in amazement as one after another of the last of the American heroes died and there was no one left to replace them.  For a long time I wondered why our heroes were disappearing, and where were we turning for inspiration, example, hope, and dreams.

I cannot even imagine growing up in a world today when your heroes might be Avatars or Anime, instead of Gary Cooper or Mickey Mantle.

Actually a few of you may wonder why Cooper is one of my top heroes.

When I was a kid baseball was still America's sport.  By the 1950's America had survived two world wars and the greatest depression in history, all in less than 40 years.  It was a time for the Golden Years when dreams came true and the American Dream could be realized.

By the way, whoever suggested the American dream was owning your own home in the suburbs with a brand new car in the driveway was nuts.

I was a Midwestern Hayseed and our dreams were of being really good at something so others might look up to you.  No one I knew was motivated by the desire for money and material possessions.  We wanted to excel at something and earn the respect from others for what we might achieve.

For the most part, setting new standards, breaking barriers, working harder, and sacrificing more served as an inspiration to others.  Many of our (the guys) heroes were baseball players and back then they played for the love of the game, not the love of the money, a monumental difference from today.

Ruth & Gehrig with kids
Then they used their fame to help inspire others, mostly kids, to do the same.

Thus began the start of my keen interest in actor Gary Cooper.  In the 1950's the two most popular baseball movies were the stories of the two most popular Yankees of all time and the two players whose careers epitomized the best and worst of baseball, Gehrig and Ruth.

The Yankees Babe Ruth, the Bronx Bomber, and Lou Gehrig, the Ironman of baseball, both had helped build the New York Yankees into the most popular and powerful franchise in sports history, including today.

Gehrig's story was first on film in 1942 called The Pride of the Yankees, released just a year after his unexpected death before his 38th birthday.  In America it was too early, too young, and too wrong for a genuine American hero to die that way.

Actor Gary Cooper played the role and had the benefit of the real Yankees and Babe Ruth who played with Lou Gehrig, to help him with the role. More than that, his Oscar winning talent was up to the task and his personal humility captured the essence of Lou Gehrig,  The film was magical and no one left the theater with a dry eye.

In 1948 William Bendix played the Babe in the movie The Babe Ruth Story about the life of the other twin pillar of Yankee history.  The beloved hero of all kids in America, raised in an orphanage in Baltimore, had a hard life struggling with the dark side but never wavered in his efforts to inspire kids.

Bendix, a Manhattan native, had once been bat boy for the New York Yankees and was in the dugout with the Babe as he hit over 100 home runs in Yankee stadium.  The Cooper and Bendix performances were exceptional and the movies remain among the top movies of all time to this day.

Maria Cooper Janis - Gary Cooper's daughter
My second experience with Gary Cooper came over 30 years later when I met a quite gifted woman in New York City trying to generate interest in quality films and documentaries.  At the time I had been working on National Geographic Television projects and was introduced to Maria Cooper Janis, the wife of world famous Classical Pianist Byron Janis.

Maria was Gary Cooper's only child and in the few conversations we were able to have about her father, one of my heroes who also played one if my heroes, I learned a lot more about her father.  Of course I remembered him for winning Oscars in Sergeant York and High Noon and his role as Lou Gehrig.

Father & daughter
But Maria's stories of growing up surrounded by Hollywood legends and listening to her dad's friends like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, and Rosemary Clooney sing in her father's home on his grand piano must have been, well, amazing.

Maria and I shared a common interest in American Indians as did her father, and his reverence for the Indians extended to their values and practices.  At the time I was working with Indian nations from throughout North and South America and the world but especially with the Hopi of Arizona.

Gary Cooper was a hero, and many of the film roles he played captured the persona of heroes Americans loved.  His best friends included hero actor James Stewart and writer Ernest Hemingway, and among his co-stars were other heroines like Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Marlene Dietrich.

The question is, where have the heroes all gone?

The song Where Have All the Flowers Gone was written by Pete Seeger and Joe Hickerson and performed by Marlene Dietrich, a friend and co-star of Cooper.

Marlene Dietrich performed this song in English, French and German. The song was first performed in French (as "Qui peut dire où vont les fleurs?") by Marlene in 1962 at a UNICEF concert. She also recorded the song in English and in German, the latter titled "Sag' mir, wo die Blumen sind", with lyrics translated by Max Colpet.  She performed the German version on a tour of Israel, where she was warmly received; she was the first person to break the taboo of using German publicly in Israel since WWII.

So you see, heroes can influence heroes, like Ruth, Gehrig and Cooper, but where have they all gone? Perhaps in time we can recapture those values and characteristics out of our past and rekindle them in our future or America may never again have genuine heroes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Discovery Last Ride Ends NASA Space Flights


Spectacular Flight over Nation's Capitol Slams Door into Space

President Obama decided the NASA Space Program was unnecessary and he terminated over 30 years of American dominance in space.  We now have to hitch rides on Russian rockets to even reach the International Space Station.

Today was bittersweet for space enthusiasts as Discovery took it's last flight mounted atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft flying from Florida to the nation's capitol where it made a rare flight over the Mall at the Capitol.  It is to be housed forever in the Smithsonian Space exhibit by Dulles Airport.

The Space Shuttle Discovery is the longest-serving orbiter. It was flown 39 times from 1984 through 2011 — more missions than any of its sister ships — spending altogether 365 days in space. Want to know more about the Discovery?

• In 2000, the Discovery flew 100th shuttle mission.

• Discovery launched on its final flight to the International Space Station on the STS-133 mission February 24, 2011.

• Three Hubble Space Telescope flights (1990 deployment and 2 servicing visits, 1997, 1999).

• Two flights were to the Russian space station Mir (1995, 1998).

• Thirteen flights went to the International Space Station (1999-2011).

• It orbited the Earth 5,830 times and traveled 148,221,675 miles.

A bit more trivia about the Space Shuttle Discovery:

The shuttle was named after other famous ships of exploration, such as the HMS Discovery which accompanied English explorer James Cook and Henry Hudson’s ship Discovery, which he used to look for the Northwest Passage.

A rather famous fictional spaceship from Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is named Discovery One. You may not remember that, but I bet you remember the name of the onboard computer: HAL 9000.

In 1998, Discovery carried astronaut (and senator) John Glenn, who was 77 at the time, back in space, giving him the record of oldest person to go into space. Incidentally, this also made him the third seated politician to fly in space.

Utah Senator Jake Garn is the first sitting member of the United States Congress to fly in space. He was the payload specialist onboard Discovery’s STS-51-D mission in 1985. The second seated politician to fly in space is then Florida Representative (now Senator) Bill Nelson, who flew in 1986 onboard the Space Shuttle Columbia.

Jake Garn was also the world’s first space tourist. Actually, was also a guinea pig: his mission was to be subjected to tests designed to increase understanding of space motion sickness. He had motion sickness so severe that NASA named the "Garn scale" of space sickness after him. Upon his return to Congress, his Senate colleagues and promptly called him by his new nickname: "Barfin’ Jake" (bestowed by cartoonist Garry Trudeau in his Doonesbury strip).

After his return, Jake Garn co-authored a fiction called Night Launch (published in 1989), in which terrorists take over the Space Shuttle Discovery during the first NASA-USSR space shuttle flight.

President Bill Clinton watched John Glenn’s return to space from the Kennedy Space Center, making him the first (and only) US President to attend a Shuttle launch.

Discovery also carried the first (and so far only) member of royalty in space: Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, grandson of King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia.

Space Shuttle Discovery was the first shuttle to fly after both the
Challenger and Columbia disasters in 1988 and 2003, respectively.

It’s not all fun and science onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery: it has carried many classified payloads. In one such mission in 1985, the shuttle crew reportedly launched a secret satellite for the Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office called Magnum. Or so we heard.

Discovery was the shuttle that launched the Hubble Space Telescope and the Ulysses probe (designed to study the sun).

In 1999, Mission Specialist Daniel T. Barry brought along his favorite game, the first copy of computer game in space, StarCraft. The game CD now resides in Blizzard’s home office after orbiting the Earth 153 times and traveling 3.5 million nautical miles.

It also was the first shuttle to "recover" communication satellites which orbit went bad because of motor malfunctions. In 1984, Space Shuttle Discover successfully captured Palapa B-2 and Westar 6 satellites. After recovering the satellites, crewmember Dale Gardner then posed for this famous picture:

The external tank of the shuttle had to be repaired in 1995, due to damage done by birds! NASA discovered that Northern Flicker Woodpeckers pecked about 200 holes in the foam insulation on Discovery’s fuel tank.
They promptly installed noisemakers and physical deterrents to scare off the woodpeckers. Also, they added a permanent human "woodpecker spotters" at launch pads around the clock!

In this mission, Discovery also carried Sweden’s first astronaut, Christer Fuglesang.

Farewell old friend...

Spectacular explosions on the surface of the sun


Today more spectacular explosions are taking place on the surface of the sun and once again Earth was granted a reprieve as the coronal mass ejection of radiation will miss the Earth.

However, as sun explosions continue to increase in intensity it is only a matter of time before we take a direct hit and our cell phones, IPods, Blackberries, PCs and perhaps even the electrical grid are destroyed.  Are you prepared?

The sun erupted in an amazing solar flare yesterday, unleashing an eruption of magnetic energy that blasted out into space.

The sun storm was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory which studies the impact of the sun on the earth.

The flare was accompanied by a 'coronal mass ejection' (CME) - a massive burst of solar wind that blows huge quantities of electromagnetic radiation into space.

The solar flare began yesterday afternoon, and is still in progress. NASA captured the flare from their satellite.

The series of flares took place on the left side of the sun. NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory described the CME:

A beautiful prominence eruption shot of the east limb of the sun. Such eruptions are often associated with solar flares, and in this case an M1 class (medium-sized) flare did occur at the same time, though it was not aimed toward Earth. This event, which is still in progress, was seen by NASA’s SDO satellite.

When aimed at Earth, strong solar flares can supercharge the planet's auroras, or northern and southern lights.

Extremely powerful solar flares can pose a danger to astronauts and satellites in space and can even disrupt power grids and communications systems on earth.

Obamaville April 17 - Promises, Politics and Prostitutes


Did you see the Baseball Standings Today?

I checked the Major League baseball standings this morning and now I am more convinced than ever we are approaching the Mayan End Times.  The top three teams in the northeast are Washington Nationals - first place, Baltimore Orioles - first place and New York Mets - second to the Nationals but tied in losses.

The Nationals, Orioles and Mets?  Are you kidding me?  Where are the Red Socks, Yankees and Phillies, the perennial powerhouses of the northeast?  Well, the Red Socks are in fifth place behind Baltimore, the Yankees third behind Baltimore, and the Phillies fourth behind the Nationals and Mets.

There may be more parity in the MLB than we thought which is a good thing for all the teams and fans.  However, in our nation's capitol the people promised to support moving the Nationals to DC by supporting the team and yesterday, Sunday, a beautiful day in Washington with the Nationals in first place, and only 16,000 fans were at the game.

Out west the Los Angeles Dodgers must be feeling the "Magic" effect of Magic Johnson and his groups purchase of the Dodgers as they are also in first place in the west.  Maybe Don Mattingly, the Yankee great, can manage the Dodgers back to the glory days of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

  Obama in Columbia - Prostitution trumps Politics

President Obama was on his Don Quixote trip to South America to encourage Brazil to drill baby drill more oil for America to buy.  Are you serious?  We can't drill for energy independence in the gulf, off the coast or in Alaska, and we can't build the Keystone pipeline to secure crude oil from Canada, but we can tell Brazil to drill and we will buy it at their higher prices.

There are times when it sure seems Obama should have gone to Harvard Business School to learn economics rather than Harvard Law School to learn Constitutional law.  His energy math is all wrong and policy is not existent.  So it was a good thing the South American trip was buried in a White House Secret Service prostitution scandal involving the White House advance team in Columbia.

About 11 Secret Service and 5-10 military personnel were involved in some kind of party. Seems like they were trying to compete with the party masters at GSA who were pleading the 5th amendment .over their multi-million dollar taxpayer paid parties and incentive programs.

It all blew up when one of the agents refused to pay for all night services from a Columbian prostitute.  She rightfully complained to the hotel manager as there are places in Columbia where prostitution is legal, and legal or not do you think a foreign government will not go out of it's way to please the powerful White House staff when the president comes a calling.

The presidential travel budget has skyrocketed with the debt and deficit and the extensive travel appetite of the president and his family.  Big bucks are spent when they reach Hawaii or a foreign capitol.  Perhaps this prostitution explains why the travel costs have increased along with the frequency of trips.

Back in America nothing much happened except the following.

Goldman Sachs sells stake in Backpage trafficking website

New York Times columnist and anti-human trafficking crusader Nicholas Kristof discovered that Goldman Sachs used to own 16 percent of Village Voice Media, which operates prostitution site has dominated the market for sex ads since Craigslist stopped running them. The site earns Village Voice Media $25.4 million a year. In his article, Kristof calls Backpage the “biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States” and says that while many ads run in are for adult escorts, Backpage also “plays a major role in the trafficking of women or minors who are coerced” into prostitution.

Goldman Sachs was “mortified” when Kristof began his reporting, Kristof says, and began to “frantically” unload its Backpage shares. The day before his article was published on the New York Times website, Goldman called to report that it had signed an agreement to sell its shares to Backpage management.

A Goldman Sachs director sat on the Village Voice board for four years, but Goldman claimed it had no influence on the direction of the company. Wall Street bankers are frequent users of prostitutes. Perhaps Goldman was playing both side of the trade?

Source: Huffington Post

Friday, April 13, 2012

Channeling Socrates - My Mentor and Teacher


When the metaphysical and natural worlds collide.

It's Friday the 13th, a bewitching day.  I'm now convinced no one knows the truth about anything anymore, particularly the so called news media.  As near as I can tell about 75% of all news content is manufactured, whether lame street, main street, cable or blogger news.

So today, I'm going out on a limb into the metaphysical world for news we can use from afar.  I decided to channel Socrates, my favorite Greek philosopher.  If you don't know channeling it is reaching out to someone dead for contact and for guidance on what the hell is going on in the world.

And that brings me to Socs, my source for channeling Socrates.  Socs is a quite handsome groundhog who lives in my shed.  He reminds me of Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, so I called him Socs for short.  The way he stands on his hind feet so regally, as if all the wisdom in the world was his.  Maybe it is?

When I see the old boy I like to channel the real Socrates through him.  Haven't we all channeled someone in our life?  Why not Socrates?  And why pay someone else to channel him?  Besides, what else are you going to do with a groundhog that hangs around your backyard and lives in your garage?

Socrates is considered one of the greatest thinkers of all time. This was not because he was the most intelligent, it was because he knew he didn’t know everything. He enjoyed questioning people and getting them to think deeper and he would consider other’s opinions.

I told him I was thinking about the sorry state of affairs in the world and asked him why if almost half the world claim to be Christians and Muslim and the Bible and the Qur'an say we should love, respect and care for everyone, why is there so much hatred, contempt, prejudiced and envy in the world?

Old Socs looked at me for a long time, then said:

"Back in the Classical Greek period (Socrates lived from 469 BC to 399 BC) when I was responsible for civilized people there were no Christians or Muslims and Jesus and Mohammed weren't even born, that would come hundreds of years later.

But we were civilized.  Some say it was the golden age of mankind.  Maybe the fact Christianity and Islam didn't exist explains the problem of today."

[That might have been an attempt by the wily old philosopher at humor.  It is hard to tell when I'm channeling a stoic groundhog.]

Then again he might be right.  Even before Christianity and Islam people still had problems with morality and every now and then God or Allah or someone would bring down the Walls of Jericho or turn some lady into a pillar of salt.

For a time good people would prevail then things would slip back into what we find today.

So I asked Socs if we were heading into a good time or bad.

"Over the last 2,500 years there have been plenty of good times and bad.  Yet after 10,000 years of civilization we are no closer to truth, love or freedom for people.  If the core is corrupt then the cancer will continue to spread.

Fear, greed and similar human maladies are the result of a breakdown in morality and ethics.  I used to teach Plato and Aristotle and the others about these virtues and they wrote some pretty good accounts of my teaching, but nothing much has changed the last 2,600 years."

Why didn't you ever write books like your students?

"Look, when you have the brightest philosophical minds in history in your class it is all you can do to keep them learning.  I mean we had no cell phones or computers, not even typewriters.  When we did write it took giant parchments and lots of time which I didn't have.

Besides, that was long before copyrights and royalties.  Back then being prolific meant teaching others, not lining one's own pockets with gold.  We were taken care of as teachers but none of us became rich."

So what about books about Atlantis by Plato and the Odyssey and Iliad about Greek mythology?  Were they attempts at Greek fantasy?

"Who said they were fantasy?  If you accept the nature of man to embellish, to not understand some of what he saw, and his desire to be revered as a storyteller, then you might accommodate a bit of a stretch of the truth in these stories.

So my approach was always allow the writer a little latitude but search for the truth in all that is written.  The only reason you might mistake a truth for a fantasy is if you have such a narrow range of definition to eliminate the possibility of truth.

Truth is in all things."

What is the truth about our world today?

"Now that is a challenging question, proposition or theory.  Perhaps I should consult Zeus?  Short of that, I must say the obsession of mankind to know the absolute truth and to take ownership of that truth is among the most hypocritical tasks ever undertaken.

There is light, the truth, and dark, the fear.  Mankind is nothing if not both and finding the proper balance between them is the goal of every generation, as our ancient Chinese brothers would say.

In Chinese culture, Yin and Yang represent the two opposite principles in nature. Yin characterizes the feminine or negative nature of things and yang stands for the masculine or positive side. Yin and yang are in pairs, such as the moon and the sun, female and male, dark and bright, cold and hot, passive and active, etc. But yin and yang are not static or just two separated things. The nature of yinyang lies in interchange and interplay of the two components. The alternation of day and night is such an example.

The concept of yinyang has a long history. There are many written records about yinyang, which can be dated back to the Yin Dynasty (about 1400 - 1100 BC) and the Western Zhou Dynasty (1100 - 771 BC). Yinyang is the basis of Zhouyi (Book of Changes), the jing part of which was written during the Western Zhou. Yinyang became popular during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC) and the Warring States (475 - 221 BC).

The principles of yinyang are an important part of Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine), the earliest Chinese medical book, written about 2,000 years ago. They are still important in traditional Chinese medicine and fengshui today.

Here is a summary of the characteristics of yinyang. Yin and yang are opposite in nature, but they are part of nature, they rely on each other, and they can't exist without each other. The balance of yin and yang is important. If yin is stronger, yang will be weaker, and vice versa. Yin and yang can interchange under certain conditions so they are usually not yin and yang alone. In other words, yin can contain certain part of yang and yang can have some component of yin. It is believed that yinyang exists in everything."

Does that mean we might be out of balance?

"Unfortunately it is hard, very hard, to find any time when you were in balance.  Look around you.  Do you see balance?  Are people respected regardless of their personal views?  Of course not, they are condemned by those who assume the role of the Gods and judge people.

Do you serve the people because it is right or because the government has something you want?  Do you serve out of humility or greed, for grace or profit?

Throughout our history health care and medicine were always provided by holy people, Druids, Shamans, Indigenous Medicine people, Chinese doctors, Chinese herbologists, Chinese acupuncturists from the oldest of days to the present.

For thousands of years highly educated and sometimes mystical people provided these services at no cost to the people.  Once you introduced Western Medicine with medical fees and started regulating drugs you stopped healing people and now had an incentive to keep them sick.

Now even the ancient healing techniques and disciplines are discouraged from use because they are not covered by health insurance.  Ancient herbs cannot be patented therefore they are being forced off the market by pharmaceutical companies.

There is excessive and unnecessary testing of patients to generate fees and over prescription of drugs to generate kickbacks.  Is that yinyang?

Do you really think you are in balance?"

But if we seek the balance and the truth as you say, what does it get us?  Does it help people?  Does it make life easier?

"For Helen of Troy's sake don't ask me.  Look what it got me.  My government turned on me, arrested me and killed me.  What kind of treatment is that for what you call the greatest philosopher in history?

[Socrates was arrested, tried and found guilty of impiety (not worshipping the gods the state worships), corruption of the youth (infusing into the young persons the spirit of criticism of Athenian society), among other accusations.

His sentence was death by poisoning but they gave him a chance to avoid death by accepting exile from Greece.  The philosopher was taken to the near-by jail where his sentence would be carried out. Athenian law prescribed death by drinking a cup of poison hemlock. Socrates would be his own executioner.]

So what do you want to tell me?

"First don't kill teachers just because you don't agree with what they teach.  The rest was left long ago for you.

We wrote the book on a single deity, or God as you say.  The same with ethics, morality, mathematics and literature.  In fact we gave you what might have been the greatest period of cultural evolution in our history, the classical Greek period.

A treasure chest of priceless lessons and knowledge were left to you but you don't even have time to open the chest to see what is inside.

At the same time the Chinese were leaving other information in health, medicine, herbology and acupuncture to guide you through life with a healthy body, spirit and soul.

That was 2,500 years ago.  Look at what you did with the insights."

Anything else Socs?

I'll have to think about it and get back to you.  Oh, don't worry about the Mayan End Times thing.  We took a vote up here in the Magic Kingdom and decided ending it all was to easy on you.  First you have to clean up the mess you made."

Legends in the Sky - Rasta Man Bob Marley


My Day with Bob Marley

While it is a bit early to honor Bob Marley's death which happened May 11 it is never too early or too often to celebrate any day for Jamaican Bob Marley.

However, there is a new documentary about Marley produced by his son Ziggy Marley that is being released in a week or two in theaters and I want to urge all of you to see it.  According to Ziggy it gives a great account of the man, the mystery and the mission.

It is called simply "Marley".

Bob used reggae music not just for entertainment, but to teach, preach and reach people's minds, hearts and spirits the world over. He used his music and lyrics to promote love, understanding and tolerance while confronting racism, inequality and injustice with a defiant message. celebrate.

Of course anyone who cares knows all about Marley and his music so this is about the day I spent with Bob a few years before his death in 1981 at the age of 36.

It was the middle of winter and I worked in Washington, D.C. at the time.  I was trying to fly to Omaha, there was a blizzard in Chicago which was my connection, and I was trying to find any other route around the storm.

Since the blizzard was heading east from Chicago I booked a flight through Minneapolis - St. Paul and boarded the plane.  It would be very cold in Minnesota but I could catch a connecting flight into Omaha that night.

On board I sat down and right next to me sat a guy with dreadlocks and an island shirt, in the middle of winter.  It was Bob Marley.  Seems the plane originated in Florida, flew to Washington and on to Minneapolis.

For the next several hours Marley and I talked and laughed about everything under the sun.  Seems he was on his way to the University of Minnesota to be a visiting lecturer for a professor who taught music.  The professor had been one of Marley's earliest fans, way before the hits came, and used Marley as a subject in teaching.

When Marley heard about it he became friends with this northern professor and was on his way to meet with the professor's music class.  I asked him if he was ready for the cold and he said he had no idea it was so cold there and didn't even have a winter coat.

I gave him my pullover sweatshirt which he appreciated when he stepped out into the frigid Minnesota night.  But for several hours cold was the least of our discussion.

We were about same age and Marley was surprised a kid from Iowa like me knew of and liked his music.  In my life I have never met a more humble and soft spoken person.  Since I was a former newspaper reporter I talked to him as if I were doing a story.

He told me how he had mixed parents, one White and one Black. About the difficulties of growing up in Trench Town, a poor neighborhood of Kingston.  It was so named because it was built over a sewage trench.

A low-income community of squatter-settlements and government yards, Marley quickly learned to defend himself against the bullies and bad men of Trench Town.  He laughed how his formitable street fighting skills he learned to survive earned him the respectful nickname "Tuff Gong".

His grandmother was a tremendous influence on his music career as she was a Christian and gospel singer. His grandfather was a musician.

We talked about his first American tour as the opening act for Bruce Springsteen and his second tour with Sly and the Family Stone who were at the peak of their career. Marley and the Wailers were dropped from the tour after just four performances because they were over shadowing the stars. He laughed about it.

But it was his passion for peace, love and justice that was amazing. Marley was sent to serve humanity, to awaken mankind to the wrongs in the world, and to use his power and influence as a rock star, which he found quite uncomfortable, to help.

After several hours the magical journey finally came to an end. I gave him the sweatshirt to keep him from freezing to death, he invited me to see him in concert the next summer, we hugged and parted company.