Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For Your Entertainment

When I study how humans have acted and interacted within the societies that they are in, I have basically had to conclude that on a basic level, we haven't really changed all that much in the past 10,000 years or so. This is true in terms of the basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter. Basically, we moved from being the hunter-gatherer to the more settled life of today although some people will say rightfully so that we live in concrete jungles. But the basics remain the same. Transportation is transportation be it your feet, a wheelchair or a horse.

The same is true in politics. In a lot of ways, politics is similar to theatre, movie making, carnivals and what not. One movie that never gets old for me is Network. It is art imitating life.

Arthur Jensen: [bellowing] You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU...WILL...ATONE! [calmly] Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those *are* the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that . . . perfect world . . . in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.

Howard Beale: Why me?

Arthur Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.

Howard Beale: I have seen the face of God.

Arthur Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.

Or as Fox Mulder would say while popping a sunflower seed into his mouth: "Whatever happened to playing a hunch, Scully? The element of surprise, random acts of unpredictability? If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen or expect the unexpected in a universe of infinite possibilities, we may find ourselves at the mercy of anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced."

Now let's take for instance when a presidential candidate or the president visits your city. Do you think they just arbitrarily decided to visit just to take in the sights? Presidents and politicians in general are figureheads. The Chief of Staff tells them where to go, advisors tell them what to think, speechwriters tell them what to say, and consultants tell them what to wear. While the press release may be sent out a few days before the visit, the planning occurred several weeks before. The Secret Service and travel office are sent ahead to scout the location and plan the routes, line the supporters up, and so and so on.

My own personal experience of this sort happened in 2004 when I was working on Michael Badnarik's presidential campaign. I basically had a week's notice that Michael was going to be in town and I obtained this information by looking up his website. No press release and no staff. Just me and my elbows and feet.

Hopefully this clears things up and if this disturbs you, don't be. We've being doing it since ancient times.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Plans for 2010

I am keeping my life in 2010 pretty lean and mean although ambitious as it is.
I will be enrolling for another semester. No big explanation needed there. Once the semester is over, I aim to do some traveling across the country by car. Given my fondness for chocolate, Hershey Park is a must. I also would like to grab a Cubs game at Wrigley Field and even see the corn fields in Iowa. LOL. The Rocky Mountain states and the West Coast are long overdue for a visit too. Then, I would top it off by visiting Texas and the Gulf Coast region.

What are your plans for 2010?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gone With The Wind Debuts!

70 years ago today, Gone with the Wind made its debut in Atlanta, Georgia. Of course, for those fans of Hollywood's Golden Age like myself, 1939 stands out as a remarkable year indeed. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, The Women, Drums Along The Mohawk to name a few.

Gone with the Wind can be identified as one of the immortal pieces of literary works of the 20th Century. Margaret Mitchell's famous work has chronicled the love and hate relationship between the two main characters in the novel, Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler. There is hardly any more mesmeric fictitious heroine like Scarlett and the highs and lows of her relationship with Rhett, a man of somewhat dubious character who have held the interest of many successive generations.

Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler had a tempestuous relationship. Their violent love life was interspersed with certain tenderness, but the period of relative calm always ended in tragedy.

And unfortunately, the common ground was based on negativity, of which relationships cannot survive. Both were cold blooded, opportunistic, selfish and arrogant. Scarlett had uncontrolled passion, but again regrettably, she bestowed her passion on the wrong person. Rhett was too cynical, too much a man of the world to care much about love. He equated lust with love, they were sides of the same coin for him. Scarlett's passion about Ashley Wilkes, ended in realizing that she had only infatuation for him and his riches. Rhett, with his antisocial public image was the only man in Scarlett's life who gave back as good as he got from her. Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler were too alike in their approach to life, yet they were perpetually disgusted about each other. Unlike most endings in literature or movies, Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler were not meant to be together forever. The ending certainly played very well in keeping with that notion.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Northwest Missouri State Wins National Title

The Northwest Missouri State Bearcats defeated the Grand Valley State Lakers on Saturday. Congratulations Bearcats!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Will Jesus Christ Be Notre Dame's Next Head Coach

Over the past few days, I've read with amusement with regards to Notre Dame's coaching search everything from Coach A to Z was either interviewing, been contacted or will be Notre Dame's next head coach. Never mind the fact that all these articles rely on so-called anonymous sources (red flag there).
I can understand the need for anonymous sources when it involves whistle blowing or exposing corruption, but it is uncalled for just about anywhere else. To further illustrate my example, enjoy this read. Basically, the media in the general sense needs to get a grip. Nothing is confirmed until the T's are crossed, the I's dotted and the contract signed. Anything else is just talk.
At the very least, the media folks could pick up the phone and just call the Notre Dame Athletic Director.

We have all had situations where things didn't work out. This was the case for Charlie Weis. The least one can do is learn from your experiences and move on. Only time will tell whether Weis does that. He came to Notre Dame basically telling everyone to kiss his rings (translation: My NFL offensive schemes are superior to college schemes). This also goes to show that the Bill Belichick coaching tree is overrated.

This also gives me an appreciation for how difficult a job that coaches have.
It can be said that many of them are overpaid, overrated, cocky or what not. But how many people are willing to put in the time and travel that coaching involves? How many people while knowing a good deal from the couch or stands can actually break down film and craft game plans? Being a fan of the work is one thing. Actually being able to do it yourself is something else. Then again, while Rembrandt may have many fans, there is only one Rembrandt.

Friday, December 4, 2009

So How Is That Change Going?

"Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke." Will Rogers

I have to admit I have acute instincts when it comes to politics as much as I hate the endeavor itself. My instincts told me that Al Gore and George W. Bush were bad news in 2000. Thus, I voted for Harry Browne. The same in 2004 and 2008. For the people who did vote for Obama, did you vote for him because of the rhetoric of "change"?

What changed? The only change if you can call it that is things are going from very bad to even worse. Like a cancer that gets ever larger. So will the troops be coming home or will they be sending more troops over?

Here is one mother's statement on what is happening:

"Where do you think the 35,000 troops will come from? No, they won't be fresh faces. They will be the same poor souls, like my son, who will be kept, extended, past 12 months, to get an "increase" of troops. I am so sick and tired of my country lying to my family! My son is stop-lossed, and has heard rumors that he ...and his buddies will not be coming home this January."

There you have it folks. Just as they lie to you about the unemployment statistics, they lie to you about the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. People refuse to see beyond the pomp and circumstance and the the flowery speeches about how the government "supports the troops". They support them by lying to them about their length of deployments, under and overpayments, six month delays in active duty checks, and pay and benefits cut off for wounded soldiers in the hospital. Not to mention troops not having body armor and equipment being out of commission due to a lack of spare parts. Then there are the suicides of thousands of soldiers. Yet, politicians do what they do best: politics.

The rich (and politically connected) man starts the war and the poor man dies. It is too bad that the poor and middle class (for however much longer it will last) fall for the lies. But then again, if people refuse to listen and to see what is going on even after they have been informed, they do so at their own peril. I will continue to speak up whenever possible, but one person can only do so much. Not to mention I need to focus on my own self-interests for a while. But in the long run, the United State's time as a superpower like those in history was coming to an end. Give it another generation and the states will become various units of some kind. No longer will D.C. be the national capitol. At least from that perspective, it isn't too bad. But the road is rough and will get rougher for the foreseeable future. For those who do care, hang tough and network with like-minded people. After the zombies kill each other off, we can then reclaim the Earth.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Carson-Newman defeats North Alabama 24-21

Carson-Newman advances in the playoffs after beating North Alabama 24-21 on Saturday. They will now play Grand Valley State and it will be aired on ESPN beginning at 3:30 EST.

Be sure to tune in!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Semester Will Be Over Soon

Thanksgiving Break will last a week beginning next Wednesday. The Fall semester will be ending in mid-December. The semester has gone by fast. I am registering for classes for Spring and should complete it by the end of the week. Among the classes I will be taking are Teaching P.E. in Elementary School, Weightlifting and Political Science. While I would ultimately like to get into coaching, preferably football, I am also open to coaching other sports and willing to acquire the knowledge or skills necessary to teach. I ran track in high school and played baseball in Little League, so I have some first-hand experience in those areas. It is just that my lack of natural athletic ability and size kept me from going further. I would also be willing to coach a women's softball team too.

By the way, the football team is playing Western Alabama this Saturday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who Are The Rothschilds?

How many people are familiar with Bill Gates? Warren Buffet? John Rockefeller or perhaps J.P. Morgan? It is safe bet that most people have heard the name even if they aren't entirely familiar with everything about them. If you were guessing that one of these at one time or another was the "World's Richest Man" or amongst the "World's Richest Families", you would be partially correct. Now would you like to take a guess as to who the world's richest family would be? It is a safe bet that it would be by the last name of Rothschild. It is odd how no image shows up when viewing the slide.

Little is known about the Rothschild family other than scattered information on the net. No photographs are known to exist publicly and their own "Rothschild Archive" is pretty standard especially for having the level of international influence that they have had over the past two centuries.

From what research I have done over the past ten years or so is that the Rothschild (which means either "at the sign of the red shield" or "red shield") family began in local textile trading and currency exchange. Via shrewd manuvering, beginning with Mayer Amschel Rothschild, they financed the French Revolution, then Napoleon's rise to power and eventual fall. They even knew the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo before the field commanders did.

Beginning in 1809, the Rothschilds began to deal in gold bullion exploited from Africa and South America. Mayer Rothschild also speculated in financial instruments such as foreign bills and government securities related to such ventures as the theft of entire countries and their resources later eumphemistically described as colonialism. It was about this time that he first began in the slave trade while with what few public statements he made claiming that he was opposed to slavery. The Rothschild's operations with human trafficking continues to this day.

The Rothschild branch in London financed the North while the Rothschild branch in Paris financed the South during the American Civil War. It was a way to claim interest on the bonds that were being underwritten by Rothschild, bought by the government with promises via taxation to repay and then made a fortune on the bonds when they became due.

The Rothschilds are also one of the principal stockholders in the Federal Reserve, financed all the royal families of Europe during World War I, the Russian Revolution as payback for the Russians refusing to establish a central bank a century earlier, Hitler and Stalin's rise to power not to mention up into current times, manipulating the stock market to usher in recessions and depressions.

For all this, and we know so little about them. At least for those who are even remotely aware that they exist, so little is known about them. By the way, they also have a wonderful vacation spot at Corfu off the western coast of Greece.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Who Killed Jesus?

"People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:15-17

Who was responsible for Jesus’ death? The simple answer to this question is the Romans did because Israel as an occupied nation could not exactly punish or condemn a man to death. There are others who say the Jews killed him citing that he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, denied by Peter and the other disciples, and condemned by the Jews in general. However, the backstory is much more complicated. Keep in mind that Jesus was touring and preaching across the land during Roman rule. But he was never stopped from doing so by the Romans. The Romans had removed the right from the Jewish High Priests to exert the ultimate punishment of death after they had conquered Palestine.

For a more detail account of the area in question, check out Land of Israel and Palestine.

As it relates to the modern conflict, the central claims that physically possessing the land will usher in the return of Christ violates the scripture. Not even Jesus knew when he would return. Yahweh, (the name of God as it appeared to Moses in Exodus) is the one who will decide this and Yahweh doesn’t operate according to our agendas nor on our time schedules. This indicates to me that these particular people especially certain ministers in the United States have led their congregations astray and are preaching a false doctrine especially when it comes to Revelation. Yahweh is not a real estate agent. Yet we have reduced him to being one. Likewise, the notion that committing suicide bombings will lead to meeting 70 virgins upon entering Heaven is equally absurd. Is it any wonder why logic and reason are important!

Judaism during the time of Christ had many sects and diverse beliefs. There was no one type of Jew. Among these were the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Essenes.

The Sadducees were of the wealthy aristocratic land-owning families who controlled the priesthood and oversaw the daily affairs of the Temple. We find in the Bible that the Jewish High Priests (who claimed to the spiritual heirs to Zadok, the High Priest under David and Solomon) had arranged a “marriage of convenience” with the occupying Romans which would enable to remain in power so as long as they kept the populace in line and paid tribute to the Romans. In short, they were sell-outs and certainly saw Jesus being a threat to their power. Read Mathew 26 & 27. The life of the Sadducees centered solely around temple worship and were extremely rigid in their interpretation of the Written Law. After the Temple was destroyed during The Great Revolt, this group disappears from the pages of history.

Woe to the Pharisees is commonly cited as proof that the Pharisees were the main opponent of Jesus (Matthew 23). However, keep in mind that Matthew and Luke were written during a time of increasing tension between the Jews and the followers that would come to be known as Christians. Both Gospels, thought to be written sometime between 75-90 A.D. occurred in a time of tremendous upheaval. The Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. The Jews and Christians were amongst themselves at odds over who was responsible for removing God’s protection and various other matters such as sacrificing of animals and ritual purity laws. The Pharisees were lay ministers and considered Jesus to be one of their own. The main differences were over certain aspects of Mosiac laws and the rules that grew up around them such as divorce, taxes and Sabbath observance in addition to the “tradition of the elders”.

The third group is the Essenes. It is thought that Jesus spent a few years with them before embarking on his public ministry at around age 30. The Essenes emerged out of disgust with the other sects. This sect believed the others had corrupted the city and the Temple. They moved out of Jerusalem and lived a monastic life in the desert, adopting strict dietary laws and a commitment to celibacy. The Essenes are particularly interesting to scholars because they are believed to be an offshoot of the group that lived in Qumran, near the Dead Sea. In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd stumbled into a cave containing various ancient artifacts and jars containing manuscripts describing the beliefs of the sect and events of the time. The most important documents, often only parchment fragments that had to be meticulously restored, were the earliest known copies of the Old Testament. The similarity of the substance of the material found in the scrolls to that in the modern scriptures has confirmed the authenticity of the Bible used today.

The Sadducees outraged at Jesus’ new teachings of love and teachings considered an affront to temple worship, sent a group of their temple guards to arrest him. Once arrested they passed him over to the Romans conspiring false accusations until they managed to get him crucified for being "King of the Jews", an outright frontage to the Roman Emperor, punishable by death. Yet once again, this particular group disappears after the destruction of the Temple. Perhaps justice has already been served in this case.

So who do we blame? The Pharisees? They emerged as the main group in Judaism after 70 AD. But in modern times, this group has come to be known as a symbol of blind adherence to rules and regulations.

Should Christians be angry with the Jews for the Crucifixion of Christ? As a general rule, Jews don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah and didn’t Jesus die for those who believed in him?

How about his followers, mostly aptly named Christians? Perhaps so, but Christians didn’t emerge as a distinct sect until at least a decade after the cruxificion. Jesus’ followers were still Jews during his time on Earth. In a nutshell, Judaism didn’t give birth to Christianity. There were more like siblings and certainly after the fall of the Temple, sibling rivals.

So who is to blame? Perhaps the central focus shouldn’t be on who is to blame for the death of Jesus, but the fact he rose again. Didn’t God send his own son to take our place on the Cross? Perhaps the Apostle Paul gave the answer as to who is to “blame” when he wrote in Galatians:

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3:24-29

Ultimately, the story of Jesus is a story of redemption and rebirth, not death and destruction. Think about that for a moment!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Knowing Too Much Can Cause One To Become Inhuman

All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
"Look! This is something new"?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.
Ecclesiastes 1:8-11

The Earth is estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old. The universe to be around 14 billion years old. There could be as many as several hundred billion galaxies in a universe that is getting larger all the time. There have been as many as 100 billion people who have lived on Earth at some point. There are laws of gravity, the speed of light and rotation of the planets.

Then you turn around and realize that there are also atoms, nucleus, and cells, viruses, germs and other micro-organisms. Truly the natural existence of ourselves and what world, galaxy and universe are a wonder even to the most skeptical.

In the overall scheme of things, humans are micro-organisms, nations are specks of dusts and planets are marbles in some cases, tennis balls in others and maybe in Jupiter's case, a basketball.

Understandably, many of us are upset about what happened on November 5. But isn't that true every other day? We live in an age of instant although not always accurate information. On Facebook, I've witnessed status updates from people that even took me by surprise, removed a few people for crossing the line (and before this, I have only removed three people in the 18 months or so that I've had an account) and in no uncertain terms let it be known what I thought was going on too.

I am certainly not the same trusting individual that I was ten years ago when I gradually came to know what was pulling the strings on the affairs of the world. The strings being pulled by the likes of the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and what not. I am absolutely convinced that what we are witnessing here is a satanic plot to usher in a one-world government. Some people think this is crazy talk and everyone is entitled to their opinion. But then I take a step back and ask myself: If Satan was going to destroy the Earth, it would have been done probably billions of years ago. My point being is that we are very limited in what we can see and what we know and what we can do.

Knowledge is a good thing when properly channeled and kept in its proper perspective. I do not understand why a loving God would allow evil to flourish instead of just wiping it out like wiping dust off a table. I do not know why God doesn't just end it all now. Why even bother with creation in the first place. Why couldn't we just all be created in Heaven and not have to deal with this world? Why would Jesus come to us as a baby in a cave and be laid to rest in a cave? Why couldn't we have superpowers? Again, we have limits. No matter how technologically advanced we are or how smart we become, we will always be limited from generation to generation.

So I have to remind myself that as a human being, a certain species, a Christian, a sinner, a man, a son, brother, perhaps in the future, a husband and/or father, that I am limited as all of us are. None of us will have all the answers, be able to fix all that ails us, completely eliminate our concerns, problems, struggles nor make everything perfect.

"The superman in the measure that his power increases, becomes himself poorer and poorer...
The more we become superman, the more we become inhuman." Albert Schweitzer

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Answering God's Calling For Your Life

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:34-39

Are you familiar with Paul Saul often mistakenly referred to as "Saul before he converted to Paul"? Here is a man who suffered greatly (Greek words: imprisonment)—yet he is anything but defeated or depressed. His life is full of purpose and destiny—so he speaks of the great privilege of suffering for that purpose, and of God’s power which strengthens and energizes him to labor for that purpose.

What is this purpose that fills and drives Paul? He has been called by God to play a unique and significant role in his plan. We’ll take a closer look at Paul’s calling in a minute, but first I want to focus on the main point—Paul was filled with joy and a sense of privilege and motivation and power because he was gripped by God’s calling for his life.

Do you know if you have been called to do God's will? How rare this is in our culture! So rare that most people cannot conceive of suffering for a cause greater than their own comfort, let alone feeling privileged to do so. But with this life without calling comes emptiness, boredom, and cynicism. Yet because we are made in God’s image, we cannot help but resonate with the idea of living to fulfill a cause/calling greater than ourselves.

The first and foundational step in knowing God’s calling for your life is to receive God’s “mystery”. A biblical “mystery” is simply a part of God’s redemptive plan for humanity that hasn’t been revealed until now.

The Old Testament prophets knew that God’s plan centered around the Messiah (“Christ”)—that Messiah would come at the end of the age to re-establish God’s kingdom over the whole, and that he would pour out God’s Spirit on all of his people (Jews and Gentiles) so that they would all experience God’s glorious presence in amazing ways (Isa.11:9,10).

But they did not know that prior to the end of the age, the Messiah would come as a Suffering Servant to die for humanity’s sins—and that he would actually live inside all who put their trust in him (regardless of ethnic origin). When Jesus lives inside you, he enables you to personally experience God’s love and presence in your life—a taste of God’s future glorious kingdom now. When Jesus lives in you, he begins to reveal your unique part in God’s plan.

When I look back on my own life, I can see this much more clearly now than I did at the time. People open their hearts to Jesus for many different reasons (forgiveness, loneliness, career, etc...) I opened my heart to Jesus for purpose and direction. I realized that my own direction of my life was a failure. Though I would not have used this term at the time, I felt "lost." In the moment that I admitted this to myself, this wonderful invitation came into my mind (Revelation 3:20). I sensed that the time had come to do this, so I said: “Jesus, if you are real, come into my heart and lead my life.” That decision to ask Jesus to live inside me—to receive God’s “mystery”—was almost ten years ago—and I am awed by the significance of that decision. It was the “Y” in the road between stumbling in the dark and (gradually) discovering God’s calling for my life. Granted, these past years have been confusing and I've made mistakes along the way. But especially over the past year, I've come to understand why my path had taken the route it had. It was all being done to strengthen me, give me greater exposure to the diverse sometimes harsh world and to develop the character, humility and wisdom that is needed to be a leader. My purpose is and will be to expose the corruption and evil that exists in the world. This evil isn't of people alone, but from the lordship of Satan over the hearts, minds and souls of people. Central organizations that answer to Satan are the Bilderbergers, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Trilateral Commission to name a few.

This same decision can have the same result for you. There are many other keys to knowing God’s calling for your life, but it always begins with this key—responding to Jesus’ offer to live in you. He is the Lord, he made you for himself and for his plans. You are fundamentally out of synch with the purpose of your life until he lives within you. How will you respond to his invitation?

If you know who you are and you know God's will for your life, then you will eventually come to know your calling too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Joan Fontaine!

Today, it is Joan Fontaine's birthday and she is 92 years young!

I first saw Joan in Rebecca and Suspicion during a "31 Days of Oscar" event on American Movie Classics in 1995.

You know it is funny now, but I can't help but to notice how the censors missed on the subtle yet obvious theme of lesbianism in Rebecca particularly between Rebecca who never appears in the movie and Mrs. Danvers. Mrs. Danvers stole the show in that one. One scene that stands out to me is when Joan's character (her first name is never revealed) walks into Rebecca's room for the first time and then Mrs. Danvers suddenly appears from the dark. She then invites Joan's character to sit at Rebecca's desk and look at her lingerie. She towers over the film and the 2nd Mrs. de Winter in particular.

The brillance of the writers and directors in those days was that they could "sneak" in subject matter or themes in a subtle way that the executives who approved or disproved the movies would miss out on. They must have been taking everything literally. How about that scene from Gone With The Wind where Rhett carries Scarlett up to her bedroom? Now what could she have been happy about? Of course, Joan's sister, Olivia de Havilland co-stars as Melanie Hamilton.

Anyways, back to Joan. I've seen a number of other films too like Letter From An Unknown Woman, which is Joan's favorite movie that she has worked on, Ivanhoe, Until They Sail, and Sky Giant which is one of her earlier roles. She looks absolutely adorable in that pilot's suit around the start of the movie. Other movies that I would like to see, but seem hard to come by are This Above All, The Constant Nymph, and Born To Be Bad.

I first joined Joan Fontaine's Yahoo Group in 2006 and have also written to Joan a number of times. Hopefully, I will get to meet her in person someday. Only time will tell. If so, that would be a story all unto itself.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bob Corker's "Audit Fed" Bill Actually Darkens The Sky

There is word that Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has introduced a bill that claims to audit the Federal Reserve and is supposedly a companion bill to the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009.

However there are several problems with this bill beginning with the sponsor himself. Bob Corker voted for the Wall Street bailouts last year and as a general rule, anyone who voted for it can't be trusted. The simple fact of the matter is that this bill merely waters down the Sunshine Act. It is an attempt to protect the privately owned Federal Reserve from being independently audited. This would reveal the racketeering that the Fed has operated for almost 100 years.

Several of Corker's top contributors consist of PACs and employees from the following companies:UBS/AG, Merrill Lynch, Regions Financial, and First TN Bank.

Also worth pointing out that the financial/insurance sector was the largest of all the sectors giving to Corker's campaign at $3 million. For more information go to

We need to get back to basics very soon. There is not much more that can be said.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The College Life

The Fall Semester is halfway over at Carson-Newman. It is true that time goes by faster as you get older. I've known that for the past 20 years. I am taking a religion class, physical education, Introduction to Liberal Arts, English and Biology. So far, my favorite class is religion. The class is covering the New Testament and has been specifically covering the Four Gospels for the past month.

I am also videotaping practices and games for the football team. The biggest thing I've learned is how the day-to-day life of a coach is like from scheduling practice sessions to recruiting to handling all the various administrative tasks. Being a coach and/or teacher is definitely up my alley. I would like to coach football, but I would be just fine with coaching a baseball/softball team or track and field.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Jean and Rita!

Celebrating birthdays today happen to be two more actresses that I adore: Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth.

When I think of Jean, the first word that comes to mind is witty. She was also shy which would explain why she did few movies after 1940. She was quite good in screwball comedies. She was known to a favorite of Frank Capra. But she was also very good in dramas. "Mr Deeds Goes To Town" and "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" are two Capra movies that showcase her talents very nicely. Not to mention she looked great in hats.

The first word that comes to mind in describing Rita is
But she has also been described as "a tender, sensitive, beautiful human being. A lovely person. Very gentle." Her most famous roles are probably Sheila Winthrop in You'll Never Get Rich, as Doña Sol des Muire in Blood and Sand and Gilda Mundson Farrell in Gilda. She had a number of fine movies throughout the 1940's and early 1950's. Sadly, she passed away a bit too soon in 1987. Her marker includes the inscription "To yesterday's companionship and tomorrow's reunion."

Jean and Rita, I wish you both a Happy Birthday and may you both be resting very well. I look forward to meeting both of you someday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm Glad It Is Fall

Taken at 2009 Orange and White Game

My favorite season is Fall. It is the time when the weather cools down (although this summer had been reasonably good compared to previous summers) and the air is crisp. You can breathe again finally.

In addition to football, it is the time when the leaves turn colors and there is plenty of opportunities for photographing nature. I also enjoy carving pumpkins and going to Halloween parties. Thanksgiving is also fun since it gives me an excuse to pig out. What is your favorite season?

Happy Birthday, Deborah Kerr!

(Note: I posted this a year ago)

The first actress that comes to mind when I think of whom I would like to have as a wife is Grace Kelly. The second one is Deborah Kerr. Deborah who died last October at age 86 of course stood apart because of her red hair and fair skin. But she always had this understated sensuality about her. There are those who have seen two Deborah Kerr scenes: "Shall We Dance?" from the King and I and the kissing-on-the-beach bit in From Here to Eternity.

Deborah Kerr exuded class, that is indisputable, but she also happened to be one of the most emotionally and sexually complex screen performers, whether female or male. That is what made her so compelling at least in my mind.

First of all, Kerr’s refined women had a yen for sensual, macho men. In addition to the aforementioned The Proud and Profane, she fell for Stewart Granger in King Solomon’s Mines (1950) and six years later she was filled with repressed attraction for Yul Brynner’s bald, bare-chested King of Siam — a non-white object of desire. And there were many others, in all different sorts of social, cultural, and psychological settings.

In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Black Narcissus (1946), Kerr is an Irish nun who, while at a monastery in the Himalayas, discovers that she has strong feelings — i.e., sexual urges — for a handsome, virile doctor played by David Farrar. Now, compare Kerr’s dark, torn performance in Black Narcissus — or in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), in which she plays a nun who lusts/has feelings for earthy Robert Mitchum — to Audrey Hepburn’s nun, pining for Peter Finch in The Nun’s Story (1959). Hepburn is excellent as the conflicted nun, but unlike Kerr she never comes across as a woman on the verge of an erotic breakdown.

Kerr is equally powerful in From Here to Eternity (1953), stealing the movie from her male co-stars, as an unhappily married woman who has a torrid affair with an officer shortly before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Fred Zinnemann’s Academy Award-winning melodrama marked one of the rare times when Kerr’s physique played a part in her erotic persona, as she parades around Hawaii in Lana Turner-type shorts and frolics on the wet sand with brawny Burt Lancaster.

Less obvious is her headmaster’s wife in Tea and Sympathy (1956), who, despite her discreet clothing and demeanor, ends up seducing one of her husband’s teenage students. It’s all for a good cause, of course — the "sensitive" boy thinks he may be gay — though it’s hardly the type of behavior society would look kindly upon. Additionally, Kerr makes it clear that she isn’t going to lie down with young and handsome John Kerr (no relation) merely out of charity.

All that in addition to extra-marital liaisons with Van Johnson in The End of the Affair (1956) and Burt Lancaster in The Gypsy Moths (1969), in which Kerr appears nude.

She was indeed innocent, but equally complex. Rest In Peace and may your memory last forever, Deborah.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

So There Will Be A Revolution! Let It Be!

I've been involved in the liberty movement for almost ten years now. If you asked me in 1999 where I saw myself in ten years, I would have replied "Perhaps working on movies or music videos". I thought a college degree was good for something. But my experiences and the experiences of millions of others causes me to doubt its true value at least in this day and age. It is nice, but can't solve all of life's problems. Now I am majoring in Physical Education and would love to get into coaching in some capacity. But I also know that very soon, my current plans will be delayed as I go about facing bigger issues in the world. Once upon a time, my plans not working out the way I wanted them to was upsetting. I am at peace with that now as I have learned to accept the fact that there are bigger forces at work in the world.

On one hand, I'm thankful that I woke up and have since then, life has taken me in a direction I did not expect nor intend to happen. I knew something was up with George W. Bush before it was cool thus I voted for Harry Browne instead of him. I already knew Al Gore was a fraud, so he wasn't going to get my vote anyways. I worked on Michael Badnarik's presidential campaign in 2004 and Ron Paul's campaign during the 2008 GOP presidential primary.

Some people don't like the fact I don't buy into the "official" version of what happened on 9/11 anymore than I buy into the magic bullet theory. I ask people "Cui bono?" Who benefited from the buildings going down? Dick Cheney? The Rothshchilds? The Rockefellers? What a tangled web we weave! I do not believe that Bush was the mastermind although he knows more than he lets on. He was for the most part a puppet in a cruel game that has been played since ancient times.

The simple fact of life is that in any society, there are leaders and followers.
A few people will lead for better or worse and everyone else follows. It is human nature. Think about that the next time you buy a product or get together for a party with friends. Someone had to have suggested the idea.

Years ago, I also came to the realization that economic collapse, martial law and open warfare would be inevitable. I was being called spooky, crazy and some other things too, but guess what? I was right. Lately, my attention has been turned to concentration camps and so-called vaccines. I ask again "Who Benefits?" I don't have a crystal ball. But I do study history and my studies have lead me to this conclusion: life is cyclical, not linear. People come and go as do buildings, nations and technologies. Events while the details may differ follow similar patterns. There are famines, war, rumors of war, civil strife, corruption and a host of other issues. It is human nature. Perfection is impossible.

Since war is inevitable and the actual plans for martial law have been in the works for decades such as Rex 84 and Operation Garden Plot, we must brace and prepare ourselves for what is to come. Are we going to continue to deny and delay? Shall we continue to believe we are living in liberty while bounded and shackled? Is being comfortable more important than life itself?

I made my decision almost ten years to resist the Devil. I will continue to do so even if others choose not to. Now is the time to make a decision. Death in the Lord's name is preferable to slavery.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rethinking How We Think About Education

As one who has attended both public schools, a community college and now Carson-Newman, I've had my fair share of exposure to the education system or shall I say the formal education system. What comes to mind when you decide to attend a college or get your diploma? Is it to find a job? A career? Get more education?

While it has been marketed in this manner for much of the 20th century and now, I have learned that it is actually neither of these. Instead the purpose of public schooling was and is to create bored people. Being a bored person means a better consumer. "Since bored people are the best consumers, school had to be a boring place, and since childish people are the easiest customers to convince, the manufacture of childishness, extended into adulthood, had to be the first priority of factory schools. Naturally, teachers and administrators weren't let in on this plan; they didn't need to be. If they didn't conform to instructions passed down from increasingly centralized school offices, they didn't last long." John Taylor Gatto

Perhaps most kids are dropping out of school because they aren't learning anything, rather than they drop out of school because they don't want to learn as traditionally advertised. Just a thought.

I have experienced this first-hand, but it didn't really hit me until I began waking up almost ten years ago. Granted, I've known that corruption existed in a general sense and that yes people do get together to do bad things. But I gathered at the time it was mostly isolated incidents. But as I did more research and asked questions most wouldn't even think to ask, I have learned that corruption and evil can be institutional, legalized and has a top-down approach. After all, in any given society, there are leaders and followers. Most follow and a few will lead even if they are of bad character. Little did I know then that many of the themes from The X-Files did indeed have basis in fact.

A few years ago, I was a reporter for a newspaper which I shall not name. While covering the school board, I encountered the politics that is part and parcel to education today. As a fellow reporter told me, generally school boards are actually the most political entity at the local level, not the county commission or sheriff's department. I butted heads with the board chairman over several articles pertaining to the violations of the Sunshine Law. On top of that, while conducting research for an in-depth article on "No Child Left Behind", several administrators did not wish to go on the record about their opinion for fear of retaliation from certain individuals or organizations. Many teachers go into teaching because they want to teach, not to get into politics. Yet, the system is inherently political and rewards and punishes on the basis of adhering to a certain agenda.

At the college level, it is somewhat better, but still there are grounds for improvement. Have you ever failed a class because your professor voted for one candidate and you voted for another? Have you noticed the tuition and cost of room and board? Are you getting a return on your investment? On top of that, while getting your diploma and/or degree meant a rewarding career or a higher paying job a generation or two ago, people of my generation are learning the hard way that a college degree doesn't ensure a better life or more money.

The college loan program is another area that is in need of improvement or shall I competition. The first thing that needs to happen is to take back education and learning on a personal level. This requires a lot of unlearning and relearning. The U.S. Department of Education ultimately needs to be abolished, but it will start at the local level.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Embarking on New Business Opportunities

While I am preparing for college and embarking on a work-study with the Carson-Newman football team which will primarily consist of videotaping practices, games and breaking down film, I am also embarking on several business opportunities.

If you are interested in booking a vacation or a particular travel package, feel free to visit World Ventures

I am also an independent representative for JuicePlus

Let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Have The Americans Become Like The Romans?

For the record, while the technical advances of the Roman Empire like the Nazi Empire are something that I marvel, I for one am glad to not be a Roman citizen or a Nazi due to the atrocities that they committed. Be it gassing people to death or watching men fight animals to death under the guise of sport, it all stems from the innate evil that people have. I've longed desire to set higher standards for myself. As for the movie "Gladiator", it wasn't too impressive for a number of reasons. But what can I say? I am not a big fan of "today's" movies.

Now to a question that is asked from time to time:

"Aren’t we just like the Roman Empire, headed for the same kind of fall?”

We hear this question sometimes when someone wants to make the point that the United States is doing something that will lead to its ultimate decline.

The comparison between Rome and America is an intriguing one.

For instance, I recently heard some people talk about going the way of Rome when they were worrying about the terrible consequences of “military expansionism.” Others said we were doing “just like Rome” by giving up “our traditional family values.” Often times, the Roman Empire comparison is just a simple way to emphasize the speaker's negative feelings about a particular American condition or course of action.

But the comparison between Rome and America is an intriguing one. Here are some of the similarities between Rome and America.

1. Both began as small republics without much influence. Then they expanded “to the sea,” by conquering or coercing the peoples who occupied the heartlands. Both continued that expansion beyond the seas. The Romans spread throughout the Mediterranean and beyond. The U.S. took over Alaska, Hawaii, the Philippines and parts of the Caribbean.

2. Both claimed important political traditions such as the rule of law and fair government. Both believe that they were providing a much better government to those they conquered.

3. Both established transnational trading systems. In the areas of the Roman imposed peace, they established road networks, a postal system, and commercial stability. Similarly, the U.S. has led the way in bringing about a global system of commerce and trade.

4. Both had long conflicts with major rivals, ending in triumph and unrivaled power. Roman won its long war with Carthage; the U.S. over Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R..

5. Both borrowed their basic culture from predecessors. Rome from Greece. The U.S. from Britain and Western Europe.

6. Both dominated the rest of the world with military superiority.

7. Both took advantage of advanced technology to improve the lives of their peoples.

8. Both attracted substantial numbers of immigrants from other parts of the world.

9. Rome often used local leaders to manage the local populations. The U.S. does the same.

10. Both are responsible for a “transnational language.” Latin in the case of Rome. English in the case of the U.S.

11. Both experienced a movement to centralize political power. This centralization has been accompanied by a decline in the politics of participation and an increase in the politics of the spectacle. Games and pleasure took the place of a civic life. A few elite families tended to dominate the national political life.

12. Both developed an increased reliance on a professional military, depending less and less upon the citizen soldier.

13. Both experienced growing opposition at the boundaries. The resulting conflicts increased dependence on the military. The costs of military preparedness and defense strained the basic economic systems.

14. The U.S. has went from a republic to an oligarchy, while the Roman republic was transformed into rule by an emperor.

15. Both used entertainment (Romans with gladiators and Americans with "reality" TV) as a way to distract citizens from internal abuse, corruption, fraud and external misadventures as well.

There are some important differences between Rome and America, including:

1. The U.S. has relatively few colonies compared to Rome.

2. The U.S. has an expanding human rights agenda although the hypocrisy is noted.

3. While Romans took pride in their empire, Americans generally reject the term as it applies to them.

I wondered about all this as I watched our military try to deal with armed revolts in Iraq. The imperial Romans would know what do. Brutally crush the rebellion and do whatever it takes to teach the Iraqis that resistance brings swift and terrible punishment--without mercy or “due process.”

Have we become so much like the Romans that we are prepared to teach such lessons? I don’t think so.

Most Americans still do not have the “conqueror’s mentality” that is a prerequisite for crushing the prolonged resistance of an occupied people.

The American people have many faults. But desiring an empire or brutalizing the people of other nations in the name of empire is not one of them. It is a big difference from the Romans, one that I hope will never change. It is a difference that our leaders should remember the next time they send Americans to liberate, conquer, or occupy another people’s country.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dukes Fest 2009

I'm proud to say I finally met Daisy Duke at Dukes Fest 2009 in Sevierville. For the record, she is 5'8", but was wearing three-inch heels thus she appears taller than me. I'm 5'9". I had to wait about two hours in line for it to happen, and I was one of the earliest people there two hours before Daisy even made her noon appearance. She was supposed to have arrived at 11, but she was running late due to a late flight, catching up on her sleep and the drive from her hotel in Knoxville. When she did show up, she had her personal assistants, armed escort and all. LOL. No fights broke out either.

Problems aside, it was well worth it. I also met Enos. An all-around nice man. You can view more pictures on Facebook. Just send me a friends request.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Taking A Break From Politics

"The important thing is to concentrate upon what you can do - by yourself, upon your own initiative." Harry Browne

I won't need to elaborate too much on the title of my post, but in a nutshell, I am not going to donate money nor involve myself in politics at least for the next few years. I think my work over the past eight years speaks for itself. What more do I need to say?

For the first time in a long time, I have a focus on where I want to go in life which is to get into physical education or coaching in some capacity. There are so many things I want to do that I put off or didn't focus on because I was more concerned with the well-being of my country and world. In retrospect, I should have done this around five years ago. But I was an idealist wrapped up in saving the world. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn't have wasted my time working on campaigns, donating to causes I believe in, spending countless hours at rallies, protests, and events. What did I get for it? Not much in the way of liberty because sadly most people refuse to listen. It is like people lack self-respect and empathy for others.

That being said, I figure it will be better to let things develop as they may and if people have to figure it out the hard way, then so be it. I can't save the world anyways. That was done around 2,000 years ago. I will still follow up on current events and keep in touch. But this is my time and my life. I am going to seize the moment and run with it.

The funny thing is that yes, you can have freedom in an unfree world.
I smack myself on the forehead everytime I think back to reading this book in 2001, yet failed to apply the principles from it until recently. Politics is a detriment to freedom, not an ends to a means.

Where others don't do well in bad times due to any number of factors such as only seeing themselves being one thing their whole lives, being told what to do and what to think, etc..., I have learned to flow like water. I will not allow Washington's recession to affect my life. I want to travel, learn to scuba dive, sky-dive, ride horses again, collect muscle cars when money and time will allow such. I am 33. Most people at 33 have already been married at least once. I have never even been in a relationship. I was terribly shy around girls when I was a teenager and in my 20's, it was school, work and politics that took almost all my time. Needless to say, I'm in the driver's seat now and you can either come along with me for the ride or get left behind.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

College Enrollment Process Coming Along

I've spent the past six weeks taking care of enrollment matters at Carson-Newman. So far, things are coming along pretty well. I paid my orientation fee and will be attending this week. I have already met some future classmates on Facebook. I have also been in touch with several football coaches and will continue that path too.

It has been said that a change will do you good. I've needed a career change for quite some time since my original career choice didn't work out. Another challenge is that since I have a variety of interests, it can be very difficult to channel them all into a single career. But I've always enjoyed sports athletic ability and size notwithstanding. Is anyone else embarking on a career change?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why Al Gore Stands To Gain From The Global Warming Fraud

So why does Al Gore claim that cattle and oil cause global warming when his family made a fortune off of them? Because he has profited and will continue to profit from the "global warming" fraud until we call him out on it.

Likewise, he stands to profit from Cap and Trade which does nothing to curb carbon emissions. But it will result in more job losses, the cost of utilities doubling at the very least and a lack of innovation. This is just more proof that communism and fascism do not work.

Friday, June 26, 2009

MJ and Farrah RIP

Much has already been said about Michael Jackson, his music, his life, and his passing. It may seem surreal, and perhaps it is. But it goes to show we are all human.

I didn't go to the Knoxville performance on his 'Victory Tour'. but I was certainly into the music videos, the break-dancing (to the best of my ability) and the sequined gloves and jacket. I've had this sense that the last 20 years of his life have been in a sort of free-fall due to any number of circumstances. But his mark on music is undeniable. My favorite of his songs is "Rock With You"

Another much overlooked death has been Farrah Fawcett who died about 8 hours earlier. My favorite Charlie's Angel is Jacklyn Smith. While I never cared much for Farrah's romances, scandals or whatever else, I recognize that her death is a gradual fading away of an era.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Don't Believe Everything You Hear or Read

Whether it is common knowledge or not, it has long been noted that the United States government is first and foremost responsible for just about every major terror organization in existence today or during the past 50 years. The list is too numerous, but I will cite some examples.

After Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was re-installed during a coup by the CIA in 1953, the SAVAK security and intelligence service was founded. Millions of people were either tortured or murdered during his rein. After the Islamic Revolution overthrew the Shah, human rights groups continued to complain of human rights abuses in Iran. Among them were "death squads" in the form of killings of civilians by government agents that were denied by the government. This was particularly the case during the 1990s when more than 80 writers, translators, poets, political activists, and ordinary citizens who had been critical of the government in some way, disappeared or were found murdered. During the same time that the Islamic Revolution began, Saddam Hussein was installed as the dictator of Iraq. This happened to be during the time that George H.W. Bush, Sr. was running the CIA. Are you connecting the dots?

Al-Qaeda is a CIA and Pakistan ISI created terrorist group. Hamas was nurtured from the ground up by Israel’s Mossad and Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks. Al-Jihad is financed and supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, a British and U.S. intelligence asset. The Neo-cons orchestrated 9/11 and claimed that Muslims did it so they could justify invading Afghanistan, Iraq and in the near future, Iran.

Battalion 316 which also murdered or tortured many people received substantial financial support and training from the United States Central Intelligence Agency. There are many other CIA financed and trained death squads that have been heavily involved in Central and South America.

James W. von Brunn wasn't the "lone-wolf" that has been reported in the press, but is in fact an operative who was clandestinely installed by the FBI to discredit those who are opposed to certain policies of the federal government not to mention human rights abuses committed on behalf of the American people.

Under COINTELPRO, the FBI provided covert aid to the Ku Klux Klan, Minutemen, Nazis, and other racist vigilantes. The Elohim City "settlement" connected to documented government operative Timothy McVeigh and linked to the Aryan Nations and other white supremacists groups was in fact operated by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the FBI.

Other nations have also engaged in false flag operations most notably the Nazi Party starting the Reichstag Fire and blaming it on the Jews.

The Black Bloc anarchists are a notorious government front. In keeping with the well-documented “strategy of tension” technique pioneered by the CIA-NATO contrivance Gladio, so-called anarchists (who were police agents provocateurs) engaged in violence during the anti-globalist Genoa protests in 2001. During the Montebello globalist summit in Quebec in 2007, several “anarchists” were outed as police agents.

Often times, the "authorities" urge citizens to actively become snoops and instructs them to consider innocuous behavior as suspected terrorist activity. People who refuse to sign up for medicare and/or social security or value privacy are to be considered possible terrorists, as well as those who make "unusual purchases" or have "numerous visitors/meetings" i.e. bible study groups or business members who have networking meetings during evening hours.

Be careful! Things are not always what they appear to be.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Refuse To Participate In Washington's Recession

I won't waste too much space on the bad times we are living in. It has been covered ad nauseum.

I went through a layoff in 2001 during the midst of the bubble. Looking back on it, I did everything I was supposed to do such as getting my degree, getting my foot in the door and what not, and it didn't work out like it was supposed to. All of the sudden, the life I had planned out for myself (working my way up the corporate ladder, moving to L.A. or Nashville, being a movie producer or music video director, etc...) fell by the wayside. I have to admit though I was seduced by the image and to be honest about it, the kind of movies I aspired to make were those from the good ole days and besides what are music videos? I would have fit well in 1930's or 1940's Hollywood, but they don't make em like they used to.

I've basically done what I had to in order to pay the bills. I learned to be content with less and focused on the basics, instead of allowing myself to be baited into buying a new car every three years or a 5,000 square foot house in the upscale part of town that I couldn't afford. Now when the rest of the world seems to be crashing around me, I am actually getting out more, being more vocal and not allowing the fear-mongering to run my life. I'm going back to college to get a bachelor's degree in Physical Education, I'm planning a trip to California, and I'm not allowing Washington's recession to run my life. I don't do what they tell me anyways.

The key to getting by and even thriving in times like these is to START THINKING FOR YOURSELF!!! Whether it is a career change, developing new daily habits, taking up new hobbies or whatever your heart desires, you are ultimately responsible for your own life. For more practical tips, go to Class Warfare Strategy which I wrote in 2002.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Iranian Disinformation Campaign on Twitter

Right-wing Israeli interests are engaged in an all out Twitter attack with hopes of delegitimizing the Iranian election and causing political instability within Iran.

Anyone using Twitter over the past few days knows that the topic of the Iranian election has been the most popular. Thousands of tweets and retweets alleging that the election was a fraud, calling for protests in Iran, and even urging followers hack various Iranian news websites (which they did successfully). The Twitter popularity caught the eye of various blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch and even made its way to mainstream news media sites.

Were these legitimate Iranian people or the works of a propaganda machine? I became curious and decided to investigate the origins of the information. In doing so, I narrowed it down to a handful of people who have accounted for 30,000 Iran related tweets in the past few days. Each of them had some striking similarities -

1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their profiles.
3. “IranElection” was each of their most popular keyword
4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH.
5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo
6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER.

Why were these tweets in English? Why were all of these profiles OBSESSED with Iran? It became obvious that this was the work of a team of people with an interest in destabilizing Iran. The profiles are phonies and were created with the sole intention of destabilizing Iran and effecting public opinion as to the legitimacy of Iran’s election.

I narrowed the spammers down to three of the most persistent - @StopAhmadi @IranRiggedElect @Change_For_Iran

I decided to do a google search for 2 of the 3 - @StopAhmadi and @IranRiggedElect. The first page to come up was JPost (Jerusalem Post) which is a right wing newspaper pro-Israeli newspaper.

JPost actually ran a story about 3 people “who joined the social network mere hours ago have already amassed thousands of followers.” Why would a news organization post a story about 3 people who JUST JOINED TWITTER hours earlier? Is that newsworthy? JPost was the first (and only to my knowledge) major news source that mentioned these 3 spammers.

JPost, a major news organization, promoted these three Twitterers who went on the be the source of the IranElection Twitter bombardment. Why is JPost so concerned about Iranian students all of a sudden (which these spammers claim to be)? I must admit that I had my suspicions. After all, Que Bono? (who benefits).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Knoxville's Top Singles List

Jeph, a ten year old horse and me!

Knoxville Magazine came out with its Top Singles List.

Why they didn't contact me is a mystery however. I guess it is because I don't live in Knoxville anymore. There are certainly a few women in this feature that caught my eye. LOL.

So, how would a profile look on me? Well here goes for starters:

Age: 33

Occupation: I've done everything from working in television, to stock/warehousing, newspaper reporter, to name a few. I am now working towards getting a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and to coach perhaps football or baseball.

Hometown: Knoxville, TN

What is your idea of a perfect date: Generally, I don't date nor do I care to play the dating game. I'm too much of an introvert for that. If it is the traditional route, I prefer to stay home, cook my special burgers or gumbo and watch a movie. Otherwise, going to the lake or mountains would work. Another thing about going on a date is that I expect "her" to take the initiative and ask me out for once. Did I mention I am an introvert?

What is an activity on your bucket list? I would like to travel to many places.
I am working on plans to visit the central coast of California this winter. I would like to own a horse or two, settle on a farm someplace, and last but not least, to watch some female mud wrestling (or some derivative) in person.

What is a deal-breaker for you? People who are superficial, power-hungry or insincere.

What three words describe you: Introverted, deep-thinker and resourceful.

What three words best describe your perfect partner: outgoing, kind and wise.

Would you rather go to a sporting event, a concert, or something outdoors?
I can do any of them.

What would you want to eat for your last meal: My special burgers or gumbo.

What motto do you live by? Do something you enjoy and you will never have to work again. I'm working towards that now.

What is the best thing and worst thing about Knoxville? The best thing is that it has a little bit of everything. Not too big or too small. The worst things would be corruption in local government (not exactly unique though) and the constant road-building, traffic, bad drivers, you name it. I'm even a member of the facebook group "Get out of my way, I'm from Knoxville and I know how to drive!!".

Monday, June 15, 2009

Revolutions: Past, Present and Future

I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." - Thomas Jefferson

Perhaps the best known revolution is the American Revolution. It is best known by those people who know anything about this period for places like Valley Forge, events like the signing of the Declaration of Independence, people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams plus all those people whose names you may or may not know. Another Revolution that comes to mind is the Iranian Revolution of 1979 which came as a result of long-simmering anger over the United States and British involvement in their affairs.

Revolutions have at times cumulated in wars which have historically been fought with swords, guns, bombs, large armies and navies facing off. But wars have always had a political and moral side to them that ultimately determine who the victor is more than the military aspects. A classic example of this is the Vietnam War. The same is true with regards to the United States involvement in Iraq and its foreign policy in general. Before it is all said and done, I think the experiment called the United States of America will seize to exist perhaps within another generation or so. The idea is long overdue given the failed experiment in liberty that ultimately resulted in the Authoritarian government that we've had for the past 150 years or so.

Today, revolutions are being fought in another way with a technology that become available to the masses in just the past ten years or so: The Internet. Today, tyrants all over the world are more concerned with how many readers a blogger has or how many people subscribe to your newsletters than they are with how many bullets or knives you have. As always, they will urge more laws, restrictions or what have you done under the guise of protecting you, but where the true motive is to silence you. So, don't fall for the non-sense spewing from the mouths of dictators, authority figures, or talking heads that in order to have security, you must give up your liberties. If so, you will most likely wind up in a labor camp or a grave.

The nature of revolutions are changing, becoming more widespread, and are giving more people the opportunity to be involved. Guns, knives and armies will still play a role, but they will no longer be the determining factor in who the victor is.

Friday, June 12, 2009

In Sports, It Is About Not Getting Caught

I suppose in sports as in life, things aren't as simple as we are led to believe.
We are told that there is a clear sense of right and wrong, but in reality, everything is shades of gray. Just follow orders, obey the rules and don't question the laws, and you will get ahead in life they say. Of course, some rules and laws are hypocritical, targeted towards specific types of people thus failing to deliver due process or just plain insane. So there will be times in life when the rules should be broken or ignored.

I'm planning to major in Physical Education at Carson-Newman with the goal to get into coaching. I'm open to pretty much any sport, but I would enjoy either coaching football or baseball/softball the most.

Recruiting is a big part of college sports especially at the Division I-A level. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on coaches to win, and there is as high a expectation for recruiting well as there is for winning games. So while it may technically be wrong to cheat, it is usually considered to be fine so as long as they don't get caught. Of course, if they do get caught, the athletic department is usually fined, loses scholarships, a coach resigns or something along those lines. The NCAA for all its claims that it is a watchdog, they are actually pretentious and hypocritical.

The organization makes billions of dollars every year, yet goes haywire just because a student-athlete takes a summer job washing cars. It cracks down on violations, but that is only if not doing anything at all would result in a public-relations fiasco. They use a stupid computer rankings system to determine the "National Champion" in football while every other major sport, college and professional have a playoff system.
Nonetheless, while these issues have been around for a long time, it is likely they won't be solved anytime soon. It is just the nature of the beast.

It used to be a coaches job was simple enough: win enough games and some championships, and your job is secure. Now being a coach who wins much less wins championships is not enough. They have to be a salesman, public relations specialist, politician, the Energizer Bunny and just about a little of everything else. Coaching has always been a hard profession and even more so now. That is especially the case if the situation is not a good fit for a particular coach or they don't enjoy their line of work. While I acknowledge the challenges that come with coaching, I know in my heart I am cut out for doing it providing I keep a level-head even as I have to play the field at times.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Future Plans

I am planning to attend Carson-Newman beginning this fall. I plan to pursue a bachelor's degree in Physical Education with the goal to get into coaching. I have already been in contact with several of the assistant football coaches. Upon further conversations with them, it turns out they are in need of a video coordinator to videotape their practices and breakdown film for offensive, defensive and special teams units.

In retrospect, I should have majored in Physical Education a long time ago. I have long been interested in a career in sports, but I was not sure how that would go since I didn't play in college and just a little bit of football in high school due to a small size and not much athletic ability. I got by more on determination and heart. It was a bit overdue, but at one time, my original career choice to work in television was doing well before the bubble burst. Also, my dream of working in movies at one time was perhaps unrealistic. The best movies ever made have already been done and there is no point in re-inventing the wheel. Plus, I am too much of a straight-shooter to make it long in Hollywood.

I have worked other jobs over the years and even went back to school with the idea of working as a paralegal. However, while I enjoy reading court cases and am well-versed in legal matters, I have changed a great deal. I am no longer crazy about having to wear a suit and tie everyday, prefer to be outdoors and I have too much energy to be stuck behind a desk all day.

So wish me well.