Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Recent Election News



Barr Only Presidential Candidate on Texas Ballot

Republicans, Democrats miss deadline to file presidential candidates in Texas

Atlanta, GA - Bob Barr is slated to be the only presidential candidate on the ballot in Texas after Republicans and Democrats missed the Aug. 26 deadline to file in the state.

"Unless the state of Texas violates their own election laws, Congressman Barr will be the only presidential candidate on the ballot," says Russell Verney, campaign manager for the Barr Campaign and the former campaign manager for Ross Perot. "Texas law makes no exceptions for missing deadlines."

The Texas Secretary of State Web site shows only Bob Barr as the official candidate for president in Texas.

"We know all about deadlines," says Verney. "We are up against them constantly in our fight to get on the ballot across the nation. When we miss deadlines, we get no second chances. This is a great example of how unreasonable deadlines chill democracy."

"Republicans and Democrats make certain that third party candidates are held to ballot access laws, no matter how absurd or unreasonable," says Verney. "Therefore, Republicans and Democrats should be held to the same standards."

Quote For Thought

My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.

Anna Sewell (1820-1878)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Times Are A-Changing In the Recording Industry

Image courtesy of Javier Kohen

I’ve previously blogged about my complaints regarding today’s movies.

I also have a beef about today’s recording industry too. The record industry is the part of the music industry that sells sound recordings of music. The record industry includes songwriters, recording artists, record producers, sound engineers, talent managers, and those who work in artists and repertoire (A&R), manufacturing, distribution, art, marketing, promotion and entertainment law. Several of these (especially A&R, marketing and promotion) are usually direct employees of a record company, others are typically clients or contractors of a record company, although in recent years some of these relationships have begun to change.

In the early years of the phonograph in the late 19th century, the music industry was dominated by the publishers of sheet music. At the start of the 20th century, the importance of recorded sound grew in the business, and at about the end of the first World War, records supplanted sheet music as the largest player in the music business. Since 2001, record sales have dropped off while live music has continued to grow, decreasing the importance of the record industry. During this same time, there has been more emphasis on internet-based applications like YouTube and consequently the music video that so dominated the airwaves during MTV and VH1’s heyday has become relegated to the arena of nostalgia.

Not surprisingly, some people are excited about these changes and others are uncertain about it. I’m somewhere in the middle I suppose because I’m part of the generation that uses the internet, I-Pods and cell phones, but still remember the days of LPs, cassette players, and typewriters. Yes, for those young folks out there, IBM once made typewriters. Plus gasoline was around 75 cents a gallon and we were upset about it then.

In the first half of the 20th century, it was the literary artists like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck who were the movers and shakers in pop culture. They were the rock stars of their day. Then the rock stars like Elvis and the Beatles came along. For my generation, it would be along the lines of Michael Jackson (how the mighty have fallen!), Madonna and Kurt Cobain.
I should also mention how radio affected this whole matter too. Radio and rock and roll have had the most remarkable symbiotic relationship in media -- the synergy that everybody has tried to re-create in media conglomerates. Radio got free content; music labels got free promotion.

Radio's almost effortless cash flow, and mom-and-pop organization (there were once 5,133 owners of U.S. radio stations), made it ripe for consolidation, which began in the mid-eighties and was mostly completed as soon as Congress removed virtually all ownership limits in 1996. A handful of companies now control nearly the entirety of U.S. radio, with Clear Channel being at the top of the list. Clear Channel is also one of the nation's major live promoters, and uses its airtime leverage to force performers to use its concert services. I won’t even waste space about how they did a number on the Dixie Chicks. That is already well known.
Radio, once ad hoc, eccentric and local, underwent a transformation in which it became formatted, rational, and centralized. Its single imperative was to keep people from moving the dial.

The music business suddenly had to start producing music according to very stringent (if unwritten) commercial guidelines (it could have objected or rebelled -- but it rolled over instead; what's more, in a complicated middleman strategy of music brokers and independent promoters, labels have, in effect, been forced to pay to have their boring music aired). Format became law. Everything had to sound the way it was supposed to sound. Fungibility was king. Familiarity was the greatest virtue.

But then, just as radio playlists become closely regulated, the Internet appears.
The beginning stages of today’s music world can be traced back to one development: Napster. I remember so well as a college student around ten plus years ago when Napster came along and the recording industry wasn’t sure what to make of it. While it isn’t really all that now, Napster set the music world on its head. Now look at what we have. While I’m sympathetic to those who complained that copyrights were being violated and artists were losing royalties, it was also a sign that the truth of the matter hadn’t quite caught on yet: we were moving away from the CD's which replaced the LP, and going to the internet instead of tuning into MTV. It was quite puzzling because in my mind, the recording industry had been pretty cheerful about embracing new technologies and ways of doing business until then. To this day, we are still in a state of flux.

Realistically, why do most people download music? To hear new music, or records that have been deleted and are no longer available for purchase. Not to avoid paying $5 at the local used CD store, or taping it off the radio, but to hear music they can't find anywhere else. Face it - most people can't afford to spend $15.99 to experiment. That's why listening booths (which labels fought against, too) are such a success.

You can't hear new music on radio these days. Not in Nashville, "Music City USA", Los Angeles or even New York. College stations are sometimes bolder, but their wattage is so low that most of us can't get them.

The musical universe has fragmented into sub-universes, and then sub-sub-universes. The music industry, which depends on large numbers of people with similar interests for its profit margins, now had to deal with an ever-growing numbers of fans with increasingly diverse and eccentric interests.

It is hard to think of a more profound business crisis. You've lost control of the means of distribution, promotion, and manufacturing. You've lost quality control -- in some sense, there's been a quality-control coup. You've lost your basic business model -- what you sell has become as free as oxygen. But there is zero evidence that material available for free online downloading is financially harming anyone. In fact, most of the hard evidence is to the contrary.

It's a philosophical as well as a business crisis -- which compounds the problem, because the people who run the music business are not exactly philosophers. Which is why CBS Records missed out by a good bit on rock 'n' roll when Mitch Miller was head of A&R. They passed on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Although I have to admit his accomplishments are still quite remarkable. He was after all just human like us.

Who were the ones fomenting this hysteria about Napster and free downloads? RIAA is funded by them. NARAS is supported by them. But it wasn’t being done for the artists benefit. If they really wanted to do something for the great majority of artists, who eke out a living against all odds, they could tackle some of the real issues such as:
· The normal industry contract is for seven albums, with no end date, which would be considered at best indentured servitude (and at worst slavery) in any other business. In fact, it would be illegal. The movie industry used to operate like this up until the 1950’s.
· A label can shelve your project, then extend your contract by one more album because what you turned in was "commercially or artistically unacceptable". They alone determine that criteria.
· Singer-songwriters have to accept the "Controlled Composition Clause" (which dictates that they'll be paid only 75% of the rates set by Congress in publishing royalties) for any major or subsidiary label recording contract, or lose the contract. Simply put, the clause demanded by the labels provides that a) if you write your own songs, you will only be paid 3/4 of what Congress has told the record companies they must pay you, and b) if you co-write, you will use your "best efforts" to ensure that other songwriters accept the 75% rate as well. If they refuse, you must agree to make up the difference out of your share.
· Worse yet, when records go out-of-print, we don't get them back! You can't even take them to another company. Careers have been deliberately killed in this manner, with the record company refusing to release product or allow the artist to take it somewhere else.
· And because a record label "owns" your voice for the duration of the contract, you can't go somewhere else and re-record those same songs they turned down.
· And because of the re-record provision, even after your contract is over, you can't record those songs for someone else for years, and sometimes decades.
· Last but not least, America is the only country I am aware of that pays no live performance royalties to songwriters. In most European countries, Japan, and Australia to name a few, when you finish a show, you turn your set list in to the promoter, who files it with the appropriate organization. Then he or she pays a small royalty per song to the writer. It costs the singer nothing, the rates are based on venue size, and it ensures that writers whose songs no longer get airplay, but are still performed widely, can continue receiving the benefit from those songs.

In short, the music industry is less about producing music and more about keeping the books. There will always be a need for people who can keep records, track royalty payments, negotiate contracts, and what have you. But in terms of writing, producing, recording and playing music, these methods are changing. An independent artist who is also a good business person, keeps their head on straight and stays true to themselves while also keeping an open mind can do quite well these days. That's right! Artists who are also good business people. Not business people who only see music as being about a commercial product rather than a form of expression. Now that is an original thought!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rep. Donna Rowland alerts seniors to TennCare fraud

MURFREESBORO, TN (August 19, 2008) – Representative Donna Rowland (R- Murfreesboro) announced today that she has been contacted regarding a TennCare fraud scheme that has apparently been reported in several communities. The fraudulent misrepresentation of TennCare was reported to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). Representative Rowland said she wanted to alert seniors in her community and district to the fraudulent activity, and encouraged those with information to report it.

Representative Rowland was notified that a person (or persons) posing as representatives of TennCare are going into the homes of seniors who are preparing to enter nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and are advising them that they must sign their homes over to the state.

They present a nameless TennCare business card, and asked the individuals to sign documents that would release their home to the state. TennCare stressed in an email warning representatives about the fraudulent activity that TennCare does not ever ask people to sign over their homes in order to receive services.

“Seniors need to be aware of these criminals who are trying to take advantage of their fragile situation,” stated Rep. Rowland. “If someone approaches you about this, please do not sign any documents, and report it immediately to local law enforcement, the TBI or the OIG.”

If you have any information or are approached by anyone, contact the OIG to report the incident at 1-800-433-3982 or visit

Is Central High shooting being blown out of proportion?

Yesterday, a 15 year old was shot to death at Central High School. Another 15 year old has been charged with his murder.

While certainly tragic, I wonder if perhaps sometimes our reaction to such events are blown out of proportion. I tend to look at things rationally or logically rather than emotionally, so I acknowledge that while most acts of violence are illogical, the response to such events are equally puzzling in most cases. Then there are the gun control fanatics.

But quite frankly, I wonder why more school shootings don't occur. Given that it is in our nature to be violent, be it war, bullying, gladiators, Ultimate Fighting Championships, and what not, the question I ask is why all the shock and surprise?

Then again, being a logical person in an illogical world, I guess I'm just dazed and confused. But what do I know?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rally For The Republic

To the fine patriots of TN Congressional district 1: Doug Stucker, Nathan Hull, PK Lowrey, Larry LaPlue, Dan Weaver, Chris Fortner, Will Williams, Michael Sabri, Steven Warhurst, Robbie Tester, and Dan Moore.

Gosh, I miss you all! We did turn some heads! Didn't we? I think we made the important beginnings for a better tomorrow. Dr. Paul remains quite impressed with us. He is putting big $ into the Campaign for Liberty. It's new website will be unveiled at the rally and sounds fantastic. It will help us run for elected positions and will be a source for education and connection and ongoing growth of the liberty movement. Please post the message below from Dr Paul on your local Ron Paul Meetup message boards & email it to all Meetup members and all your friends who want liberty back!

Subject: Ron Paul's Invitation to You. Campaign for Liberty in Minnesota

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dear Friend of Liberty,

I am writing you with very exciting news about the upcoming Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis and I wanted you, one of my strongest supporters, to be among the first to know.

First, I want to again thank you for your thoughts and concern about Carol. I am very happy to say she is doing much better and though I am still very concerned, I am cautiously optimistic of a full recovery.

Now for the news.

I am happy to announce that Country Music Superstar Sara Evans will perform as a special treat for Rally for the Republic attendees. Sara Evans, a multi-platinum recording artist and 2006 Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year, will bring her remarkable talents to an already stellar cast of performers and speakers for this kick off of my Campaign for Liberty.

Of course, what this means is tickets will be going fast! In fact, I think it will be a complete sell out in a matter of hours after this news hits the press.

So, if you have not purchased your ticket yet, I urge you to do so today.

For all the information you need about the Rally for the Republic please go to You can also click to from there to ensure a guaranteed seat at what I believe will be one of the most important events for lovers of Liberty ever held.

If you cannot attend, I sincerely hope you will consider a contribution to Campaign for Liberty to help us defray the costs of this event, and help set the foundation for this vital organization. Just click on the Donate button at the main page.

But I hope I will see you there, at the Target Center, September 2, and we can, together with 13,000 of our closest friends, absorb the words of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Grover Norquist, former Reagan Administration Deputy Attorney General Bruce Fein; enjoy Tucker Carlson's humor, appreciate the talent of Aimee Allen, Rockie Lynne and others, and best of all, join with me in launching the Campaign for Liberty and help show the world that Freedom IS Popular.

In Liberty,

Ron Paul

P.S. You or your organization may be interested in becoming a sponsor of the Rally for the Republic. There are various price ranges including various benefits such as a booth at the Rally, your name in lights, tickets to a special thank you dinner, backstage access and more. To find out more, visit the Campaign for Liberty Rally site.

Giving Kim Novak Her Due

Madge in “Picnic” complains of being the “pretty one.” Betty in “Middle of the Night” yearns to be just a housewife. Polly in “Kiss Me, Stupid” lives out her real fantasy — domesticity — for a single night. Judy in “Vertigo” begs, “Can’t you just love me for who I am?” Gillian in “Bell Book and Candle” longs to be a human and not a seductive witch. Molly in “The Man with the Golden Arm” wants nothing more than to stand by her man. Even Mildred in “Of Human Bondage” projects a vulnerability that seems more genuine than the sexual voraciousness she seems driven to display.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

George Strait's Debut LP

Guess what I bought today? George Strait's debut LP "Strait Country" from 1981. What a treasure! I found it while visiting the Ciderville Music Store near Clinton, TN. Nice little place. Now if only I had one of those fancy LP players. Sigh!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Greta Laughs!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Video dedication to Ashleigh Cole

I've decided to dedicate "Famous In A Small Town" to a friend by the name of Ashleigh Cole. She is now starting college and working on starting a singing career. We could be seeing some big things from her in the future.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Great Debate In Beach Volleyball

Image courtesy of

I was reading an article on Yahoo about the debate over women's versus men's uniforms in beach volleyball.
Holly McPeak made a statement that they don't think of their two-piece bikinis as being so much
about sex as athleticism not to mention it is more practical.

Our society is certainly sexualized, but why does the human body
always have to sexualized just for the sake of being sexualized? I
understand that in Europe, nudity isn't that big of a deal. My take
is wear or do what you are comfortable with. Wrestling in oil while
wearing a two-piece bikini isn't for everyone. I enjoy watching
female messy wrestling and would wrestle them myself. I wear baggy
shorts, but I usually play volleyball, flag football, etc... with my shirt

I'm not into wearing speedos at a swimming pool because well, I'm not
real big, but not small either if you know what I mean. Not to
mention the sight of women covered in baby oil or suntan lotion tends
to arouse me making a speedo absurd in this case. However, a speedo
would seem most practical if I'm wrestling in mud, oil, etc... and
generally prefer this in the privacy of the basement at a party with women I know or
what not as opposed to being in a club. If I am conscious about any
area, it is because I'm losing hair. I'm shy, but I can come out of my shell in the right situations.

Oh well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Turn-Offs and Turn-Ons


Men who have bad manners
Men who don't know how to treat a lady
People who think sex is a substitute for love
People who think violence should be a first (if not only) resort to a problem
Women who try to manipulate or screw their way to the top
Women who choose penis size over character
Men who prefer a women's breasts over her mind
Bad dressers (like revealing your underwear in public)
Dictators, tyrants and what not
People who only focus on the negative


People who dream and think big
People who seek to maximize their talents
Life-long learners
People who are independent or thrive to be independent
People who see the mind-body connection
People who think outside the box
Women covered in baby oil or suntan lotion
Men who seek spiritual maturity as fathers, sons, brothers, etc...
People who are loyal, but not to the point of being blind
People who thrive to be champions, but also realize that sometimes life doesn't always turn out the way we want it to

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

If I Only Knew It Was Going To Be This Difficult

Around eight years ago, I was baptized and accepted Christ as my savior. If I had only known then what I know how. What do I know how? Life has been more difficult and more complicated for me by far than at any point prior.

I was turned on by Daisy Duke when I was two years old. I don't recall being aroused again for about another twenty years. Nope not even in high school with all those beautiful girls. What can I can say? I was very shy around girls then and still am to a certain degree. You won't see me stripping in front of a bunch of women at a club, but the things I can do in bed!

I could be wrong, but I assume most women are attracted to the Cary Grant, John Wayne or James Stewart types more than the Mike Tyson or even the Adolph Hitler types. Or even stuff that passes for sport these days although I admit I was a big wrestling fan back in the day.
I can't imagine anyone with a brain or a conscious at all enjoying bloodsports be it human or animals and I'm not attracted to women who enjoy this stuff either. Weren't the Romans civilized?

For the record, I find Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Angelina Jolie to be boring, insecure, self-absorbed or something along those lines.
I find Kim Novak, Jane Seymour and Leeza Gibbons to be more stimulating. Of course there will always be those girls, women or what have you who are drawn to the bad boys. But I'm not that type. I use my mind more than my body to get what I want.

A word about Hitler. I've been studying the man off and on for around 25 years. While he still a bit of a enigma, the more I learned about him and the more I learned about myself over the past ten years or so, I emphasize with the man. He was very human. He was very intelligent. He had charisma. He respected a father who nearly beat him to death. He was once poor, hungry and lonely. Anyone relate to this?

For most of my life, it was pretty cut and dry. Even dull from a certain point of view. After committing to Christ, I thought since God is so precise, consistent, straight and narrow, with laws governing the universe like gravity and physics, it was going to be easier to live life now. I don't know about you, but I've been wrong in my assumptions of what life was going to be like as a Christian. It has been more difficult and conflicted. I regularly struggle with sexual temptation, so I have this battle going on between the left side of my brain and the right side of my brain.

So I try to find some halfway point mostly by dreaming about it or looking up videos on YouTube.

Being a mostly left-brained person, I'm not inclined to get touchy-feely with people. I can think of ways to deal with problems and situations where right-brained people can't. I can't act, dance, or sing. I prefer to produce or write. I have an incredible amount of discipline. So I've come to learn something in this whole process. What isn't important is being a left-brain or right-brain person, but a whole brain person. I'm still a work in progress. Acknowledge my temptations and satisfy them to a certain extent, but draw the line. Just because it goes on in the world doesn't mean I have to like it or go along with it. Ultimately, God will judge and avenge where He sees fit. Aren't left brained people typically individualistic anyways? Use logic when it comes to money or property, but don't treat your girlfriend or wife as if she were a test tube. Anyone ever seen Rear Window?

Lately, after struggling for years with career choices, I've started coming back to what I originally set out to do in life: making TV shows or movies. I'm in the process of writing a screenplay and organizing all the details for several movie concepts. I've even written around 20 songs. Hopefully, one day it will be there for people to see or to hear. I'm following my heart, not my head on this.

When I have both sides of the brain working, then I will become a whole, although not a perfect person. Only time will tell.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm A Mouse!

Taken from one of those quizzes:

You are a quiet little baby. You barely talk, but when you are with your friends, you sorta come out of your shell.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dealing With Temptations

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Matthew 4:1-3

As we read in Matthew 4:1-3, Jesus was approached by Satan with three temptations at the end of a forty-day fast. Notice how crafty Satan is! He always tempts us when we are most vulnerable. He comes when we are physically weak or when our child is sick and dies. He comes when we are promoted and successful. He comes when we are downcast and depressed. Satan knows when to come.

The first temptation was based on the personal need of Jesus. The Holy Spirit had led Jesus into the desert where there were wild animals but no food. After forty days and nights of fasting, Jesus was famished, and it was then that Satan came to tempt him. We do not know if the temptation took place in the form of a vision or literally, but it reminds us of the time when God led the people of Israel into the wilderness and humbled them by causing them to hunger. Why did he do this? He wanted to see what was in their hearts and to see whether they would be loyal to him or not (Deut. 8:2-3). At that time the Israelites chose to murmur against Jehovah.

Now we see the true Israelite, Jesus Christ, in the wilderness, and like he did with the people of Israel, God was humbling Jesus and causing him to suffer hunger. (PGM) The question is, would Jesus murmur against the Father, who had just declared, "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased"?

It was at this moment that Satan came to Jesus with the first temptation. He began "If you are the Son of God. . . ." Now, Satan did not mean that Jesus's sonhood was doubtful. What Satan was saying was, "Jesus, because you are the Son of God, as you heard your Father say at the time of your baptism, then you know that you have the power and authority of God himself. Aren't you hungry? And isn't eating a legitimate activity? We both know this is a wilderness and there is no food here. But don't you think it would be all right to make stones into bread? After all, you are the Son of God and have power to command the stones to become bread. It would be so simple, and then you could eat. So, Jesus, why don't you go ahead and prove yourself as Son? Make some bread. It would be ridiculous for the Son of God to go hungry when he could do something about it, wouldn't it?"

The second temptation had to do with a public spectacle. In a vision or literally Jesus was led to the highest place in the temple complex--the pinnacle of the outer wall, probably the southeast corner of the wall which overlooked the Kidron Valley more than one hundred feet below.

What was Satan's temptation? "Now, Jesus," Satan was probably saying, "aren't you the Son of God who can do all things? Now I understand that you believe in the Bible and its authority and you will not do anything contrary to Scripture. But let me ask you about a scripture." You see, the devil knows Scripture, isn't that true? "You see, I also believe in God's word and tremble. But Jesus, I want to ask you about Psalm 91:11-12. Doesn't it say, 'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone'? My question is, why don't you cast yourself down, Jesus? Won't God command angels to bear you up and prevent any harm from coming to you?

We can imagine how the devil would continue to taunt Jesus. "This would be such a great feat, Jesus. It would give you instant popularity among the people. Then you would certainly be known as the Messiah. Besides, isn't there a rabbinical tradition that says that when the King Messiah reveals himself, he will come and stand on the roof of the Holy Place? And Jesus, you really have nothing to worry about. Isn't this the holy city where God dwells? His presence is so thick in this place. I know he would never forget you."

Finally, the devil would conclude, "So, Jesus, I urge you: Jump! Be popular! Receive the acclamation from people. Be the popular Messiah rather than the suffering Messiah. Say goodbye to this path of humiliation, this suffering servant idea. Forget about everything and jump!"

Let me assure you, the devil may believe in the Scripture but he interprets it falsely. And many Christian people interpret Scripture the same way the devil interprets it. They pick and choose verses to prove their particular interests.

The devil uses scriptures to oppose Scripture. The devil uses scriptures in the same manner that theologians and cult leaders use them. He refuses to believe in the unity of Scripture and that scriptura ex scriptura explicanda est --scripture is explained by Scripture.

Psalm 91 speaks about God's protection for those who are godly, who trust in him implicitly and dwell in his presence. It does not speak of God's protection of those who act rashly, of those who manipulate God, of those who provoke God, of those who challenge God, and of those who demand that God act in a certain way.

Like the devil, many Christians use scriptures to provoke God. Suppose you are a student and you come to church and say, "I am not going to study or anything. God will take care of me." That is provoking God. That is the devil's way of interpreting Scripture. Suppose you are a person who refuses to take care of your body but you want perfect health. What would you say? "God will take care of me as I indulge in every vice." Suppose you want to be wealthy but you refuse to work. What do you say? "God, you are supposed to provide for me. Now do it!" That is provoking God. Suppose you want to be saved and yet refuse to make use of the means of grace. Suppose you want your children to grow up as obedient children, submissive to God's word, and yet you refuse to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. All that is provoking God. All that represents demonic use of Scripture.

The third temptation represented the goal of all temptation--demon worship, Satan worship, idolatry. It was the mother of all temptations. We are told the devil took Jesus, either in a vision or literally, to a very high mountain. And Luke tells us that the devil showed Jesus, in an instant, all the kingdoms of the world in all of their glory and splendor. Notice, Satan carefully hid the corruption of these kingdoms and showed only the external splendor--the art, the architecture, the armies, the wealth, the power, the thrones, the banquets, the beautiful women.

What was the price? "All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me," Satan told Jesus. The price was Satan worship, in other words. Why? Satan craves for worship. Only God is to be worshiped, but Satan, in his opposition to God, wants to be God and seeks to be worshiped. And let me tell you, billions of people in the world worship Satan on a daily basis. Most religions are teaching this one thing: to worship Satan. Now we must ask a question: Can Satan give us anything? No. Why? He owns nothing. If Satan owned anything, then God would not be sovereign. But God is sovereign and he owns all. Whatever power Satan exercises over his demons and wicked people is given to him by divine permission. We are told in the Bible that when believers walk wickedly, God even hands them over to Satan for him to deal with them. Satan is simply a tool of God.

But now you must get rid of all such things -- anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
Colossians 3:8-11

Even in "civilized" societies like the Roman Empire, Nazi Germany or perhaps even in today's United States, we are inclined to act out in anger, wrath, malice among other things. We shouldn't assume that our technologies and modern ways of living insulate us from the consequences of sin.

National Geographic aptly described the legacy of the Roman Empire in The World According to Rome:

The enduring Roman influence is reflected pervasively in contemporary language, literature, legal codes, government, architecture, engineering, medicine, sports, arts, etc. Much of it is so deeply inbedded that we barely notice our debt to ancient Rome. Consider language, for example. Fewer and fewer people today claim to know Latin - and yet, go back to the first sentence in this paragraph. If we removed all the words drawn directly from Latin, that sentence would read; "The."
The World According to Rome" National Geographic Vol. 2 No. 2 1997 p. 54.

(Note)The final statement is not entirely accurate (in terms of the linguistic etymology): many words with Latin roots, such as engineering and sports, were borrowed from French and were thus derived indirectly, while the main verb and the preposition in the first sentence are native English forms.

Our modern military certainly takes much of its doctrine and tactics from the Nazis. German scientists discovered the definite link between smoking and lung cancer. Animals were protected in Nazi Germany with some deviations of course. Both societies were the hallmark of efficiency in their day.

I'm in favor of a well-trained military that is used for national defense, not being the world's police force. I don't smoke, but I will defend other's right to smoke if they choose to do so. I abhor cockfighting, dogfighting, and the killing of animals for sport, but I enjoy eating chicken and have had hamburgers ever cognizance that a cow had to be slaughtered for my enjoyment. I grew up a wrestling fan although I don't follow it much these days. I don't like the UFC, don't care for boxing and would not watch an execution. I do however enjoy watching female mud/oil/jello wrestling or what have you and if necessary I will kill someone in self-defense or defense of others.
Plus, like everyone else, sexual temptation is there too. I look and I dream about it, but I don't act on it.

I, like everyone else is ironic. What I have to do is recognize the temptations and minimize its influence on me so it doesn't draw me away from God.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Nazis have won!

Everyone likes to say, "Hitler did this", and, "Hitler did that". But the truth is Hitler did very little. He was a world class tyrant, but the evil actually done by the Third Reich, from the slave-labor camps to WW2 was all done by German citizens who were afraid to question if what they were told by their government was the truth or not, and who because they did not want to admit to themselves that they were afraid to question the government, refused to see the truth behind the Reichstag Fire, refused to see the invasion by Poland was a staged fake, and followed Hitler into national disaster.

The German people of the late 1930s imagined themselves to be brave. They saw themselves as the heroic Germans depicted by the Wagnerian Operas, the descendants of the fierce Germanic warriors who had hunted wild boar with nothing but spears and who had defeated three of Rome's mightiest legions in the Tuetenberg Forest.

But in truth, by the 1930s, the German people had become civilized and tamed, culturally obsessed with fine details in both science and society. Their self-image of bravery was both salve and slavery. Germans were required to behave as if they were brave, even when they were not.

It's easy to look back and realize what a jerk Hitler was. But at the time, Hitler looked pretty good to the German people, with the help of the media. He was TIME Magazine's Man Of The Year in 1938. The German people assumed they were safe from a tyrant. They lived in a Republic, after all, with strict laws regarding what the government could and more importantly could not do. Their leader was a devoutly religious man, and had even sung with the boy's choir of a monastery in his youth.

The reality was that the German people, as individuals, had lost their courage. The German government preferred it that way as a fearful people are easier to rule than a courageous one. But the German people didn't wish to lose their self-image of courage. So, when confronted with a situation demanding individual courage, in the form of a government gone wrong, the German people simply pretended that the situation did not exist. And in that simple self-deception lay the ruin of an entire nation and the coming of the second World War.

When the Reichstag burned down, most Germans simply refused to believe suggestions that the fire had been staged by Hitler himself. They were afraid to. But so trapped were the Germans by their belief in their own bravery that they willed themselves to be blind to the evidence before their eyes, so that they could nod in agreement with Der Fuhrer while still imagining themselves to have courage, even as they avoided the one situation which most required real courage; to stand up to Hitler's lies and deceptions.

When Hitler requested temporary extraordinary powers, powers specifically banned under German law, but powers Hitler claimed he needed to have to deal with the "terrorists", the German people, having already sold their souls to their self-delusions, agreed. The temporary powers were conferred, and once conferred lasted until Germany itself was destroyed.

When Hitler staged a phony invasion from Poland, the vast majority of the German people, their own self-image dependant on continuing blindness to Hitler's deceptions, did not question why Poland would have done something so stupid, and found themselves in a war.

But Hitler knew he ruled a nation of cowards, and knew he had to spend the money to make the new war something cowards could fight and win. He decorated his troops with regalia to make them proud of themselves, further trapping them in their self-image. Hitler copied the parade regalia of ancient Rome, to remind the Germans of the defeat of the legions at the Tuetenberg Forest. Talismans were added from orthodox religions and the occult to fill the soldiers with delusions of mystical strengths and an afterlife if they fell in battle. Finally, knowing that it takes courage to kill the enemy face to face, Hitler spent vast sums of money on his wonder weapons, airplanes, submarines, ultra-long range artillery, the world's first cruise missile and the world's first guided missile, weapons that could be used to kill at a distance, so that those doing the killing need not have to face the reality of what they were doing.

The German people were lured into WW2 not because they were brave, but because they were cowards who wanted to be seen as brave, and found that shooting long range weapons at people they could not see took less courage than standing up to Hitler. Sent into battle by that false image of courage, the Germans were dependent on their wonder-weapons. When the wonder-weapons stopped working, the Germans lost the war.

I remember as a child listening to the stories of WW2 from my grandfather and my great uncle. My grandfather served in India and Burma where he contracted malaria in addition to other adventures. My great uncle fought in the Battle of the Bulge and almost died wading across a half frozen river and would witness the results of the Holocaust first-hand a few months later.

I wondered how the German people could have been so stupid as to have ever elected Hitler dog catcher, let alone leader of the nation. Such is the clarity of historical hindsight. And with that clarity, I see the exact same mechanism that Hitler used at work here in this nation.

The American people imagine themselves to be brave. They see themselves as the heroic Americans depicted by Western movies, the descendants of the fierce patriot warriors who had tamed the frontier and defeated the might of the British Empire.

But in truth, by the dawn of the third millennium, the American people have become civilized and tamed, culturally obsessed with fine details in both science and society. Their self-image of bravery is both salve and slavery. Americans are required to behave as if they are brave, even when they are not.

The American people assume they are safe. They live in a Republic, after all, with strict laws regarding what the government can and more importantly cannot do. Their leader is a devoutly religious man.

The reality is that the American people, as individuals, have lost their courage. The government prefers it that way as a fearful people are easier to rule than a courageous one. But Americans don't wish to lose their self-image of courage. So, when confronted with a situation demanding courage, in the form of a government gone wrong, the American people simply pretend that the situation does not exist.

When the World Trade Towers collapsed, most Americans simply refused to believe suggestions that the attacks had been staged by parties working for the US Government itself. Americans were afraid to, even as news reports surfaced proving that the US Government had announced plans for the invasion of Afghanistan early in the year, plans into which the attacks on the World Trade Towers which angered the American people into support of the already-planned war fit entirely too conveniently.

But so trapped are Americans by their belief in their own bravery that they will themselves to be blind to the evidence before their eyes, so that they can nod in agreement with the government while still imagining themselves to have courage, even as they avoid the one situation which most requires real courage; to stand up to the government's lies and deceptions. The vast majority of the American people, their own self-image dependent on continuing blindness to the government's deceptions, never question why Afghanistan would have done something so stupid as to attack the United States, and as a result, Americans find themselves in a war.

Now the US Government has requested temporary extraordinary powers, powers specifically banned under Constitutional law, but powers the government is claiming they need to have to deal with the "terrorists". The American people, having already sold their souls to their self-delusions, are agreeing. The temporary powers recently conferred will be no more temporary in America than they were in Germany.

The US Government knows they rule a nation of cowards. The government has had to spend the money to make the new war something cowards can fight. The government has decorated the troops with regalia to make them proud of themselves, further trapping them in their self-image. Talismans are added from orthodox religions and the occult to fill the soldiers with delusions of mystical strengths and an afterlife if they fall in battle.

Finally, knowing that it takes courage to kill the enemy face to face, the United States government has spent vast sums of money on wonder weapons, airplanes, submarines, ultra-long range artillery, cruise missiles, and guided missiles, weapons that kill at a distance, so that those doing the killing need not have to face the reality of what they are doing.
As I mentioned above, Hitler was TIME Magazine's Man Of The Year in 1938. Stalin was TIME Magazine's Man Of The Year for 1939 and 1942. Both of these men, and many others also celibrated by the media, were unimaginable monsters. The lesson from these facts is that it isn't easy to spot a genocidal tyrant when you live with one, especially one whom the press supports and promotes.

Tyrants become obvious only when looking back, after what they have done becomes known. The German people did not stand up to Hitler because their media betrayed them, just as the American media is betraying the American people by willingly, voluntarily, even proudly, abandoning its traditional role as watchdog against government abuse.

It is the very nature of power that it attracts the sort of people who should not have it. The United States, as the world's last superpower, is a prize that attracts men and women willing to do absolutely anything to win that power, and hence are also willing to do absolutely anything with that power once they have it. If one thinks about it long enough, one will realize that all tyrants, past and most especially present, MUST use deception on their population to initiate a war.

No citizen of a modern industrialized nation will send their children off to die in a war to grab another nation's resources and assets, yet resources and assets are what all wars are fought over. The nation that wishes to initiate a war of conquest must create the illusion of an attack or a threat to start a war, and must always give their population of cowards an excuse never to question that carefully crafted illusion.

It is naive, not to mention racist to assume that tyrants appear only in other nations and that somehow America is immune simply because we're Americans. America has escaped the clutches of a dictatorship thus far only through the efforts of those citizens who, unlike the Germans of the 1930s, have the moral courage to stand up and point out where the government is lying to the people.

Unless more Americans are willing to have that kind of individual courage, then future generations may well look back on the American people with the same harshness of judgement with which we look back on the 1930s Germans.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why does Hollywood have an aversion to "older" actresses?

Why did Ann Sheridan’s film career peter out in the 1950s?

Because after Warners, when she was freelancing, she committed the one sin Hollywood could never forgive actresses for — she turned 40. And there was an entire generation of younger stars by then. All the stars who began in the 1930s had a rough time in the 50s. It’s still true today.

It is certainly no secret that quality roles for actresses over 40 are severely lacking beyond the typecasting as grandmother or disabled wife. I've posted my complaints about Hollywood on some other matters like making claims about top grossing movies and the overall lack of interesting movies. It makes me wish I was born about 50 or 60 years earlier, so I could have had the chance to work with Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks or some others.

This is no secret, but my question is why the aversion? Surely it must be something beyond just the prima facie of men running things. I can't imagine if indeed it was just because men were running things, that they can't find "women over 40" to be more interesting. I mean not "all" men go chasing after the next pretty young thing that comes along after their own wives reach 40 do they? Personally, I find "older" women (I'm 32) to be interesting. One of my favorite actresses is Jane Seymour. I never did like the fact that CBS essentially threw Jane out like old dishwater ten years ago.

I don't know. Maybe I'm a modern man, yet most of the movies I watch were made before I was born. I am more likely to be watching Turner Classic Movies or renting a DVD than going to the theater these days. I find Joan Fontaine, Kim Novak and Grace Kelly to be fascinating. I find Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie and that boy toy of his to be NOT so interesting at all. Talk about a study in contrasts. But what do I know?

Perhaps I will follow through with my dreams of putting a movie on the big screen someday. Without revealing too much detail, it is basically an intergenerational story as told from a grandmother to her granddaughter (in her own house, not a nursing home) about life as a young woman. Now I need to write that script. Hopefully, it will come to fruition.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hitler Would Be Proud of Bush

On the night of August 31, 1939, Nazis took an unknown prisoner from one of their concentration camps, dressed him in a Polish uniform, took him to the town of Gleiwitz (on the border of Poland and Germany), and then shot him. The staged scene with the dead prisoner dressed in a Polish uniform was supposed to appear as a Polish attack against a German radio station.

Hitler used the staged attack as the excuse to invade Poland.

Cheney, Neocons Considered Killing Americans in Pretext to Attack Iran

Kurt Nimmo
July 31, 2008

In the video here, taped at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh reveals how the neocons convened around Dick Cheney and brainstormed ways to kick off World War IV, as they fondly call their pet project to take out the Muslims and foment a contrived “clash of civilizations.

According to Hersh, this meeting occurred after the neocons failed miserably to stage a rehashed version of the Gulf of Tonkin incident in the Strait of Hormuz, mostly because it is no longer 1964 and such Big Lies — thanks to the internet and bloggers — are far more difficult to float. “For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there,” quipped LBJ about the imaginary act of North Vietnamese boats supposedly attacking U.S. ships, leading to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and undeclared war in Southeast Asia, ultimately resulting in the death of nearly 60,000 Americans and around 3 million Southeast Asians.

In an exclusive Think Progress story, we learn the meeting took place in Cheney’s office and the subject on the table was “how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,” part of an ongoing effort to provide an excuse to attack Iran. “There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war,” Hersh explains. “The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.

Hersh would have us believe this scenario did not play out because “you can’t have Americans killing Americans,” an absurd explanation considering the fact the attacks of September 11 were just that — “Americans killing Americans,” a calculated and cold-blooded act of mass murder carried out by elements in the U.S. government as a “new Pearl Harbor,” a cynical pretext to launch the “war on terror,” now grinding into its seventh year.

Ominously, these “ideas” hark back to Operation Northwoods, the JSC plan to stage a false flag terror event — or a number of events — designed to provide a pretext to invade Cuba and take out Fidel Castro. Such “ideas” included “friendly Cubans” attacking the U.S. base at Guantanamo, shooting down a drone disguised as a chartered civil airliner and blaming it on Cuba, inciting riots and staging terror attacks in Miami, and other terrorist acts. Fortunately, then Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, put a kibosh to this insane plan.

More recently, in January, 2003, in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion George Bush and Tony Blair discussed painting planes in United Nations colors “in order to provoke an attack which could then be used to justify material breach” and thus set in motion an invasion, according to Philippe Sands, a leading British human rights lawyer (see Revealed: Bush and Blair discussed using American Spyplane in UN colors to lure Saddam into war, Channel Four News).

In fact, the neocons have not rested in their effort to foment war and force the support of the American people by way of deception. On May 16, 2008, Paul Joseph Watson, writing for Prison Planet, noted confidential recordings released under the Freedom of Information Act revealing the efforts of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and top military analysts to cook up another terrorist attack on America in order to gain support for their ambitious plans to decimate Muslim culture. “The most extraordinary exchange takes place when Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong bemoans shrinking political support for Neo-Con war plans on Capitol Hill and suggests that sympathy for the Bush administration’s agenda will only be achieved after a new terror attack,” writes Watson. “Rumsfeld agrees that the psychological impact of 9/11 is wearing off and the ‘behavior pattern’ of citizens in both the U.S. and Europe suggests that they are unconcerned about the threat of terror.” Rumsfeld characterizes Bush as “a victim of success” because America has not suffered “an attack in five years” and for Rumsfeld and the neocons this state of affairs is indeed lamentable.

Obviously, the neocons will stop at nothing — including the murder of more Americans in a false flag terror attack — to realize their agenda.

Finally, Sy Hersh casts suspicion on himself during the interview when he admits he did not bother to write an article on the neocon casus belli brainstorming session because it did not go forward. “So I can understand the argument for not writing something that was rejected — uh maybe. My attitude always towards editors is they’re mice training to be rats…. But the point is jejune, if you know what that means.” It was “jejune” because Hersh believes the “American public, if you get the right incident, the American public will support bang-bang-kiss-kiss. You know, we’re into it.

Of course, that may be true for some of the American public, even a large segment, but for those of us up to speed on the master plan of the neocons — total war, so the children of the neocons will “sing great songs about us years from now,” as Richard Perle once said — this comment stinks of irresponsibility. It avoids discussion of the criminal mindset of the neocons, who are determined to start WW IV, even if such a conflict leads to the distinct possibility the Prince of Darkness’ children may not be around to sing great songs.