Friday 25 June 2021

Surfside: Where was God?

 The BIG Question on Surfside

Before lighting into me, I have already heard this question asked of a Rabbi on TV. I only repeat it here but I do frequently pose the question.

In all disasters like this, you have to wonder why. Why if there is a God, was this allowed to happen? I heard him answer in a typical fashion - he deflected the question. He cited all the other faiths' holy leaders who rallied around the event and the affected families. This is where God was. A poor answer.

If God - your God - represents goodness, then this should not have taken place. Saying that God works in mysterious ways does not cut it. If you believe that God punishes, perhaps this level of punishment on one or two guilty or evil parties can be argued - not an entire half of a building.

There will be more claimed acts of God as hopefully, people are found alive. The same question applies.

The immediate cause could have been:

- Aging material like cement or steel
- Nature as in a sink hole or soft ground under the foundation
- Sabotage. A structural engineer said only one strategic column failing or demolished could cause this
- Faulty or second rate material used in the first place
- Poor maintenance

It does not matter. God as portrayed could have prevented any of these. He/she/it/they did not. For me punishing innocent families like this brings the entire notion of a supreme creator and guardian into question.

Think about it. Tonight when you retire, you could wake up under fifty feet of mud or water, or solidified forever in molten lava. If you muster one final thought I'm sure you will ask "Why me?"

This morning close to where I live an innocent (presumed) man lost his life on a freeway after his car stalled and it was rear ended by a truck. Was God involved there too? If there is a purpose perhaps it is to make all of us realize that we are fortunate and that we should spend more time, effort, and care on others and less on ourselves.

Enjoy life and those around you while you can whether you are religious or not! Life can be snuffed out by many things and events in an instant. This bit of truth requires no book, faith, preacher, diploma, or service to understand or witness.

Start now


Sunday 20 June 2021

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

USA, Lower your Head and your Flag in Shame

Last night I watched "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" on CNN. I thought it was good and that the performance of Andra Day was fantastic. Some of the others were not so great and it was classic Hollywood throughout. You can read the reviews yourselves. Overall they said it focused on only the negative in her life. I thought that was the point.

For me the take away was her song, "Strange Fruit" which I already knew was about lynching, and there was one horrific lynching scene. To drive it home during the credits there were several disgusting facts about the history of antilynching legislation in America.

In brief there have been some 4500 - 5000 people lynched in the USA and over 200 attempts to pass bills against the practice. Most recently both the Senate and the House have approved a bill on antilynching. It took over 100 years but now Senator Rand Paul is delaying it.

Of all the negatives associated with America including its gun mentality, this has to be one of the worst. How can anybody of any political stripe not want to pass laws to outlaw such a barbaric practice? It seems that some still anticipate a day when the practice might be used again. Are they attempting to protect themselves from future or even past acts?

How can such a country all but eliminate capital punishment, which at least is designed to be quick and humane, fail to totally remove now and forever these vile acts? People were hung, mutilated, tortured, and burned at the stake.

So never mind the bitterness between both parties today and issues like voting rights. Both sides were guilty of lynching and both should unite to erase the stain.

Maybe Mr. Paul should be forced to watch documented cases of some of the worst cases just like a kid having to watch horrible road accident videos when they drink and drive. He mouths words of disgust but his actions belie his words.

Politics itself bears strange fruit sometimes. Paul is living proof. 


Wednesday 16 June 2021

Colonizing a new planet Part 2.

What System Should be Established?

Since Part 1 I have been considering this question. The truth is I can't come up with any workable system since they all involve one or more people having control or say over others. In the end people are greedy - they look out for themselves.

I did however think of a few poignant realities that go along with the notion of colonizing another world with humans and will share them here.

Here is one to remember. Just like landing on the moon, astronauts are very driven and intelligent people. They are also used to military chains of command. The number of trips needed to prepare for any type of living on another planet by ordinary people is huge. So the good news is that any established hierarchy of authority will already be in place.

It will have to be very authoritarian. In the new world vital elements of life like food, water, and oxygen will have to be protected as will any equipment for producing them. Red necks and anti-establishment types will have to be quickly dealt with and either eliminated (yes, capital punishment) or imprisoned. Prisons will be too expensive as will returning them to earth.

I see two possibilities unfolding.

The first was mentioned in Part 1. If getting there alone represented a cooperation between two or more nations, current politics will already have changed. I mentioned the international space station as an example. Space travel would have to be on a much more grand scale. Also mentioned in Part 1 in reference to the space station was that the astronauts themselves from many different countries do indeed get along. They have to in order to survive. So the international space station is a good mini model of what would be needed. Command rotates from nation to nation and all those involved have made contributions to its manufacture and its technology.

This brings up another thought. After spending trillions on getting to this new place, war and destruction between the cooperating nations here on Earth would make no sense. The effort would all go to waste. Perhaps that is a Eureka moment! We should be viewing space travel not as a race but as one of the few things that can force cooperation between the world powers. If space becomes the only place to perpetuate humans, mutual destruction on Earth must never happen.

The second possibility is that a single nation like China wanted to go it alone and has the technology. This would be bad. To do so they would have to accomplish world domination in order to utilize all of Earth's dwindling resources, currently used by everyone. That would require drastic measures. Some people already see deliberate pandemics as one approach. This might force cooperation among others like USA and Russia, to prevent such horrific selfish activity.

Here are a couple more parting considerations:

- Another black eye for those who still believe every word of their holy books. Expense would not permit a "Noah's Arc" space shot with all other species onboard. I cringe just thinking about other problems this would create. Most species will therefore become extinct. Farms for livestock will only exist in Earth's history books.

- Just like today, only the very rich will be able to make the trip. Sound familiar? The rest will probably perish here on earth.

- Here is a positive. If another form of life beats us in this race, why would they possibly want to take over Earth in its current state? They would pay one visit and move on. Maybe THAT is what has already happened.

One final thought which I have expressed before: whatever the body or structure that evolves, women will have to play an active or even dominant role. Men have screwed up and destroyed all successful societies in history or they are currently in the process of doing so.

Nanu, Nanu


Monday 14 June 2021

Colonizing a new planet Part 1.

Mars? The Moon? Beyond?

If some day we have to colonize another place from our first touchdown - a true ground zero - what type of system would prevail?

In previous posts I have suggested that perhaps the lousy systems we have today, which are getting worse as time passes, were all a result of an experiment by some superior ETs. We were the lab rats. So what would my fellow rodents do elsewhere?

A better approach might be what should we avoid? History tells us that almost all previous civilizations eventually prevailed through the basic "might is right" approach. The strong and ruthless prevailed and the weak perished. This is the case in the animal kingdom, to the point of consuming the weaker. We seem to be on that track again. There is not much cannibalism - yet - but it has existed in the past.

Perhaps this question is why the TV series "Survivor" was so popular (just learned on Wikipedia that this show originated in Sweden where the show was called "Expedition Robinson" - who knew?). I always thought that the show was going to be about true surviving where the winner and natural leader would be the one who could build shelter, find food etc. for the others. Instead it is about how being devious and backstabbing wins out in the end.

Without script or production crew, death would be a very real possibility when colonizing a new place. It would be more like that crash of the aircraft in 1972 in the Andes mountains carrying a Rugby team with relatives and family. Only the strong survived and cannibalism was a big factor. Read the book "ALIVE" by Piers Paul Piers Paul Read. Movie: Alive (1993) - IMDb. Also see Miracle of the Andes: How Survivors of the Flight Disaster Struggled to Stay Alive - HISTORY Read. It makes the TV show look like a Hollywood movie. Likewise read "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding where the challenge had to be met by children. Lord of the Flies: Full Book Summary | SparkNotes and Lord of the Flies by William Golding (

The answer will probably be dictated by who lands there first. If it is the Chinese their system would likely prevail; Russians or Americans the same.

The interesting possibility will be if a cooperative effort between countries is needed. This would be like the international space station. In this case it appears that the individuals themselves can get along and cooperate. Back here on earth, their leaders can not.

So if it becomes possible to maintain life on another planet and some of us want or need to go there forever, then which system will prevail? It seems clear to me that we would not want to repeat our troubled ways here on Earth.

In Part 2 let's try to be more specific. I don't have much hope. Just look at The European Union; NATO; United Nations; United States; Soviet Union; United Kingdom, British Commonwealth, or former British Empire. Some are now gone or exist in name only and others are starting to crack.

Hmmmm? Look how many involved the Brits! Maybe they should not be a part of any new leadership union.


Saturday 12 June 2021

UFOs etc.

We are not alone

In my last post I wrote about the possible existence of other forms of life from elsewhere in the universe. It seemed to be popular.

I have written about this a few times. My favourite was "ET wants to come home" Feb. 16, 2018. To find these select "Aliens UFOs etc." above and scroll down until you see the title. (It was also included in the entry "Are we being punished by COVID-19". I suggest the original.)

Happy reading.


Wednesday 9 June 2021

UFOs and DJT

UFOs will always be newsworthy. Trump not so much.

Now that I have your attention, what is the connection between The Donald and ET and his mates? Not much. The only ones I can think of are news and headlines. Trump's will come and go if they have not already. UFOs have always generated excitement on the front page and always will.

Both involve theories, rumors, cover ups, and probably lies. Supposedly Roswell involved a UFO crash but nobody is certain. Trump crashed for the entire world to see. Both involve denials.

I don't know about these small objects allegedly of great speed in the news lately. It seems to me that anything from another place in the universe would have to be larger both to get here and return, and to carry other creatures, whatever their form.

I believe it is simple. Earth is like a single grain of sand in the miles of Daytona or the Sahara desert compared to all heavenly bodies out there. We can't even grasp the numbers. Wikipedia names a centillion as 10 to the 303rd power (600th power in some systems). I have no concept of that nor does anyone else. It is a bunch of zeros on a page.

Given this however, why on earth (pun intended) would anyone believe we on our miniscule grain of sand are alone? Look at the sky tonight. You are seeing light from stars that has been travelling (at the speed of light - another earthly concept) for millions of years. Just try to absorb that for a moment. If creatures ever do arrive and introduce themselves, they could be millions of years or more old. That alone requires a vastly different life form.

Religious theories of the origin of humans are just that - theories - answers for humans, thousands of years ago to a question everyone pondered but were afraid or too uneducated to ask. The answer was created by humans, written by the few clever men (never women - not permitted), and then preached to the ignorant and forced upon them under threat of death or torture. Those who require a black and white explanation for everything still believe it.

If a virus so small humans can't see it with the naked eye, with no brain as we know it can bring human kind to its knees, what else is out there that can do the same thing? We are limited by our human perceptions, which among others, have trouble understanding time as another dimension. It IS a dimension - remember the stars mentioned above. Are there other dimensions?

So these blips of light apparently only reported by Navy pilots could be anything. I doubt they are extraterrestrial but could very well be a technology developed by another country who - perish the thought - is miles ahead of the USA.

In the meantime they make great news and should not be feared. Trump and his puppets whose brains are sometimes also questionable, are scary indeed.


Saturday 5 June 2021

Use your AK-47 to FIllet your Fish!

The AK-47 is like a Swiss Army Knife!

District judge Roger Benitez has compared the owning of an assault rifle to the ownership of a Swiss Army knife. I guess that means after you kill your quota of trout with your AK-47 (it is for hunting after all) you can then skin and fillet them with your now commonplace rifle.

If only the perpetrators of mass shootings had tried to execute their horrific plan with such a knife instead of the rifle, many victims would still be alive.

What planet does this judge come from? Does he carry an AK-47 under his robes or does he prefer the knife? Does he sell these weapons on the side or in his case - out in the open? What next? A tank is like a pedal car? A pea shooter is like a Howitzer? How about a battleship being like a canoe? If you can fit one in front of your house go for it since he also seems to think that protecting your house is paramount,

These weapons do not belong in private hands period! The California ban needs to stand. The judge needs to go.

Retire him with his own gold plated Swiss Army Knife.


Wednesday 2 June 2021

Katharine Lee Bates asks: "America - Are You Still Beautiful?"

No Bob Dylan but just as Uplifting 

Sometimes when you are really down the words of a great song can lift you up. In fact there is a great example - "Up Where We Belong" (Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Will Jennings) as performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.

There are many of them if you spend time looking. Just today I reviewed all the words to American Pie (Don McLean) which is deliberately open to interpretation but really makes you think.

So here is another inspiring classic written by Katherine Lee Bates - "America The Beautiful" (music by Samuel A. Ward .) I had never seen all of the verses and include them below. Perhaps the warring parties - yes plural as in the two of them - in America today should all read them. They are a bit lengthy for Donald J. Trump and some of his minions, but the sincere leaders should think long and hard about what they are currently doing.

Are they preserving the beautiful country or destroying it? It seems more the latter to most of us. What a shame.

(Bold Italics are MINE)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw
Confirm thy soul in self-control
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
Wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice
For man's avail
Men lavished precious life!

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

I suspect Ms. Bates is not resting in peace.