Sunday, January 30, 2005

Dad's Gone

He died Friday night, apparently.

I think I'm in some kind of state of shock, and I really don't know what I'm supposed to do.

I don't know if there's a will or anything.

I'm absolutely sick with stress. I don't want things. I don't want stuff. I can get that on my own. I can't have the house; I can't afford its upkeep.

I just want this over with, so I can move on with my life.

I know it sounds really selfish, but there is an element of practicality here.

Besides, I do have my memories of him from life. That's more valuble than anything.

I have a lot of things on my mind right now...

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Oh Dear God...

Check THIS out...

Unbelievable. After the 9-11 commission, ClearChannel still wants to believe that Iraq is responsible for 9-11? And that all Americans pray to that God?


On the Sponge Bob Controversy

My comments are in red, the article in black...

Focus on the Family founder did not criticize a cartoon character, as has been widely reported, but was warning parents that the group behind a "diversity" video may put material in teachers' hands that could prompt them to teach kids that homosexuality is equivalent to heterosexuality.

Please note the use of the word “could” in that last sentence. That does not mean it WILL. It simply means it’s possible.

Dr. James Dobson set the record straight today about the onslaught of media reports mocking him for comments he is alleged to have made about the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.

"I've been in the public eye for thirty-something years and I have never had my words more misrepresented than they were in this instance," Dobson said on today's installment of his internationally syndicated radio program. "I was said to be on the warpath for my dislike for SpongeBob — who supposedly has homosexual characteristics.

"I said no such thing."

Now he knows how John Lennon felt back in the day when he made his remarks about the Beatles being bigger than Jesus. Or how Johnny Depp felt when he made his remarks about the US being like a big dog that can hurt you. In addition, of course, people of Dobson’s ilk were attacking Lennon and then Depp for their remarks. Dr. Dobson, you know what they say about the shoe fitting, don’t you?

What Dobson did say, in a speech last week in Washington during an event sponsored by the Family Research Council, was that Sponge Bob is one of 100 popular animated characters that may have been co-opted by an innocuous-sounding group to promote acceptance of homosexuality to children. The group, the We Are Family Foundation, has produced a video slated for distribution to 61,000 public and private elementary schools; it features Sponge Bob, Big Bird, Barney and others singing the old disco hit "We Are Family" and spreading a message of "diversity and unity."

Once again, please note the word “may” in the statement “may have been co-opted.” This is not a definite. This is a possibility.

And therein lies the rub — albeit well-concealed.

While words like "diversity" and "unity" sound harmless — even noble — enough, the reality is they are often used by gay activists as cover for teaching children that homosexuality is the moral and biological equivalent to heterosexuality. And there is ample evidence that the We Are Family Foundation shares — and promotes — that view.

Well, I hardly think this is any reason to stop using words like “diversity” and “unity” and “family” and whatnot. Although I find it interesting that the Right becomes alarmed at the very mention of these words; it indicates a certain level of power those words have. Sort of like the word “witch” or whatever. This may be a leverage point.

"Unfortunately," Dobson explained, "the We Are Family foundation has very strong homosexual advocacy roots and biases."

For example, a tolerance pledge, which the foundation says it is "pleased to provide" on its Web site, reads in part: "I pledge to have respect for people whose abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own."

What a shame that a website even has to have something like that on it. This is America of 2005; we should be far more socially enlightened than that.

And it's not the only piece of pro-homosexual content that has been posted on the group's Web site — some of it removed in recent days.

The curriculum booklet that will accompany the "We Are Family" DVD when it is sent to schools in March, for instance, is likely to contain resources for educators seeking to normalize homosexuality. Although that guide has not yet been made public, a 2003 manual, also associated with the "We Are Family" cartoon-character video, offered several exercises for educators that equate homosexuality with immutable characteristics, such as race or gender, and suggest it deserves limitless tolerance and acceptance.

Another previous curriculum posted on the We Are Family Foundation Web site, called "Writing for Change," includes exercises such as:

• Generating a Description - encourages students to discuss the definition of "lesbian."

• Talking About Being "Out" - offers worksheet questions and a discussion of "perceptions of sexual orientation."

• Uncovering Attitudes About Sexual Orientation - explores the impact of "homophobia" and "heterosexism."

• Developing definitions - presents a list of stereotypical definitions, including "compulsory heterosexuality." That is described "the assumption that women are naturally or innately drawn sexually and emotionally toward men, and men toward women; the view that heterosexuality is the "norm" for all sexual relationships."

"The institutionalization of heterosexuality in all aspects of society includes the idealization of heterosexual orientation, romance, and marriage," the guide states. "Compulsory heterosexuality leads to the notion of women as inherently 'weak,' and the institutionalized inequality of power: power of men to control women's sexuality, labor, childbirth and childrearing, physical movement, safety, creativity, and access to knowledge. It can also include legal and social discrimination against homosexuals and the invisibility or intolerance of lesbian and gay existence."

I see it happening every day. Everything the Religious Right wants to do involves all of these things; it is quite inimical to women’s rights. If the Right had their way, women would be barefoot, uneducated, constantly pregnant, unemployed, the whole nine yards. I am convinced that conservative Christian men would allow their women less personal freedom than they’d give to their dogs.

Tom Minnery, vice president of government and public policy at Focus on the Family, said reporters who have mocked Dobson for his comments have deliberately ignored these details in their quest to marginalize a pro-family leader.

I can see that happening too. I may not agree with Dr. Dobson’s attitude on homosexuality, but it also doesn’t surprise me that the media has blown things out of proportion and taken things out of context.

"The media is trying to use this Sponge Bob nonsense as a smokescreen, because they're not willing to tell the people what's really at stake," he explained. "What's at stake is the forced normalization of homosexuality in the public schools."

Ah! There's the key word: PUBLIC schools. Those PUBLIC schools are funded by the tax dollars of a diversity (there’s that word again) of citizens; it is not the job of the PUBLIC schools to cater to the moral values of a select few. Keep your moral teachings for your private schools.

Dr. Bill Maier, Focus' psychologist in residence and a guest on today's broadcast, said he didn't think the media's efforts to undermine Dr. Dobson's integrity as a national spokesman for moral values would succeed.

"Clear-thinking Americans won't buy it," Maier said. "They've trusted Dr. Dobson for 27 years and will see through the media's Sponge Bob charade."

We'll see who the "clear thinking Americans" REALLY are by the time this flap is over.

The Week In Review


Got a call from the nursing home where my dad is.

He's not cooperating with them at all. He's been there for two weeks, and he's refusing to sleep in their bed, and he's being verbally abusive of the staff there.

He's insisting that he can care for himself at home alone, and he even lied to them and said there was someone there to help care for him.

I give up.

He has sores/ulcers on his feet, they need treatment, and he's abusing the people who are trying to help him.

This is one of those moments where I see the Buddha's point. We DO bring a lot of suffering onto ourselves. If Father would just relax and let the nurses do their job, he'd not find it so onerous.

I know what he wants. He wants me or my sister Debbie to drop everything and go live with him.

Not possible. There's no work there. Debbie has her life, I have mine. He MUST be in assisted living, but because the psychologists keep finding him mentally competent, we can't force him into it. He gets very hostile whenever these topics are brought up, and yells at us over the phone and hangs up on us...

I swear I want to disappear. I want to change my name and run away to - to Arizona with Joe, and no one will find me ever again.

Maybe then I'll have some peace in my life.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Letter to America (LOL)

Letter to America
by John Cleese

To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium." Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour', skipping the letter U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise." You will learn that the suffix 'burgh' is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation.

Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up "vocabulary."

Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up "interspersed." There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won't have to use bad language as often.

2. There is no such thing as "US English." We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize."

3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier). You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents - Scottish dramas such as "Taggart" will no longer be broadcast with subtitles. While we're talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is "Devon." If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become "shires" e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters. British sit-coms such as "Men Behaving Badly" or "Red Dwarf" will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can't cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness.

5. You should relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen", but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

6. You should stop playing American "football." There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays "American" football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2005.

You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the 'World Series' for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls' game called "rounders," which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don't believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 2nd will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called "Indecisive Day."

9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips. Fries aren't even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called "crisps." Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat. Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all, it is lager. From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as "beer," and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Lager." The substances formerly known as "American Beer" will henceforth be referred to as "Near-Frozen Knat's Urine," with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as "Weak Near-Frozen Knat's Urine." This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in Pilsen, Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

13. From November 10th the UK will harmonise petrol (or "Gasoline," as you will be permitted to keep calling it until April 1st 2005) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon get used to it).

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.

16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Astronomical Article

SAN DIEGO — An exploding star in our solar system's infancy may have saved Earth from extinction.

Astronomers studying the planet-forming disks of dust that orbit young, distant stars are hoping to solve the mystery of our own solar system's youth. Why is our system so different in form and function from others they can see?

It's a difference that may have saved Earth, because the scientists suspect that Jupiter and Saturn would have collided with the planet — or slung it out of the solar system like a slingshot — if the disk surrounding our young sun hadn't been so damaged.

These "protoplanetary" disks were a hot topic at a recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society. "Something very bad happened to our solar system's disk in its early years," says Steve Desch of Arizona State University in Tempe.

An exploding star, or supernova, likely occurred within a light-year — about 5.9 trillion miles — of our sun in its infancy, he argues. (The closest star to our solar system now, Proxima Centauri, is about 4 light-years away).

First spotted by an infrared satellite in the 1980s, the disks are the swirling leftovers of nebulas, pockets of gas within galaxies that spawn new stars.

Some of this dust compresses into planets, more of which have been discovered orbiting nearby stars during the past decade. A presentation at the meeting about a Hubble Space Telescope survey of 25 nearby stars, all youngsters less than 10 million years old, provides evidence that dust disks congeal into more compact bodies over only a few million years.

Over time, the rest of the dust is blown away by solar wind or other effects. What is left behind is a solar system like our own.

Glances at nearby disks, and some leftover clues, are telling researchers how things began for our sun. And it looks like we may inhabit a solar system that's something of a runt because of the damage from an exploding star.

Only the eruption of a star 25 to 40 times bigger than our sun could have littered our solar system with the radioactive elements seen in meteorite surveys reported by Desch's team at the meeting.

Astronomers have seen just such explosions blasting protoplanetary disks in the Orion Nebula, a star-forming factory 1,500 light-years away. Rather than blowing away the disks, the supernova blasts appear to seed them with metals rocketed out of the heart of the exploding star.

The supernova that blasted our solar system may explain some of its other peculiarities:

• Planets in our solar system follow nearly circular orbits far from the sun. Most planets detected orbiting other, nearby stars follow either highly elongated orbits or circle incredibly close to their stars. Scientists suspect that a stellar explosion could have stopped these developments in our solar system.

• Dust disks seen orbiting nearby stars typically contain much more material, sometimes 100 times more, than our solar system. A Spitzer Space Telescope survey of 26 nearby sun-like stars known to have planets found evidence that six of them have comet belts. But all appear filled with about 100 times more comets than our own.

"There's good evidence the solar system had a stunted formation when the (supernova) injection happened," Desch says. And that may have been very good for Earth.

Many astronomers believe that Jupiter and Saturn formed deep in space, far beyond Pluto's orbit, and spiraled into the solar system. Why they stopped a safe distance from the sun and left Earth undisturbed — unlike the history of many other solar systems seen nearby — is the final mystery that disk studies may help answer.

Scientists also discussed the collision of planets within disks in distant solar systems. "Something big is going on in those disks," says astronomer Scott Fisher of the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii.

For evidence, astronomers can point to a collision between mini-planets within the dust disk circling the star Beta Pictoris, which was announced by Fisher's team. In a deep-freeze orbit 4.65 billion miles from its star, a pair of icy asteroids perhaps 60 miles across collided, leaving behind telltale debris.

Images from the Spitzer Space Telescope also suggest that the disk around the star Vega was probably the site of a collision of planets that were about the size of Pluto — 1,200 miles across. "It seems you can't live very long in a disk without getting crunched," Fisher says.

Besides enjoying the planetary mayhem, scientists are interested in these collisions because of similar smash-ups in our own solar system billions of years ago. The moon most likely formed in a collision between the early Earth and a planet slightly larger than Mars.

"There is a huge race to take the first picture of a planet forming in one of these disks," Fisher says. Closing the loop between dust disks and planets with that observation may answer big questions about our own origins, he says.

Truly Frightening

Chip Wrote:

Greetings All,

First, this is not intended as "Christian Bashing".

When I (to the best of my knowledge) first invented the term "christiaNazi" some 17 or 18 years ago, I had not read the following. I was just reacting with great pain and anger as I saw the unholy alliance between the Christian Fundamentalists and Conservative politics endangering our nation and perverting the faith I was raised in and that my family had lived and died for into an evil force the exact opposite of what Jesus intended. World history, religious history, and military history all strongly indicated that something mortally terrible was out of the box and moving our way. The gut instinct produced old black-and-white footage from the mid-Thirties to the mid-Forties. I had hoped I was wrong. The following came up on the net in the past couple of days.

Followed by:

Adolf Hitler

I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord's work. [Adolph Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936]

There is a road to freedom. Its milestones are Obedience, Endeavor, Honesty, Order, Cleanliness, Sobriety, Truthfulness, Sacrifice, and love of the Fatherland. [Message, signed Hitler, painted on walls of concentration camps; Life, August 21, 1939]

Woman's world is her husband, her family, her children and her home. We do not find it right when she presses into the world of men. [Adolph Hitler, quoted in Lucy Komisar, The New Feminism]

Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people. [Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933]

I have followed [the Church] in giving our party program the character of unalterable finality, like the Creed. The Church has never allowed the Creed to be interfered with. It is fifteen hundred years since it was formulated, but every suggestion for its amendment, every logical criticism, or attack on it, has been rejected. The Church has realized that anything and everything can be built up on a document of that sort, no matter how contradictory or irreconcilable with it. The faithful will swallow it whole, so long as logical reasoning is never allowed to be brought to bear on it. [Adolf Hitler, from Rauschning, _The Voice of Destruction_, pp. 239-40]

My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exposed. [Adolf Hitler, speech on April 12, 1922, published in My New Order, quoted in Freethought Today April 1990]

I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. [Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp. 46]

What we have to fight the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator. [Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp. 125]

This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief. [Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp.152]

And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God. [Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp.174]

Catholics and Protestants are fighting with one another... while the enemy of Aryan humanity and all Christendom is laughing up his sleeve. [Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp.309]

I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so [Adolph Hitler, to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941]

Any violence which does not spring from a spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain. It lacks the stability which can only rest in a fanatical outlook. [Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, p. 171]

I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 1]

I was not in agreement with the sharp anti-Semitic tone, but from time to time I read arguments which gave me some food for thought. At all events, these occasions slowly made me acquainted with the man and the movement, which in those days guided Vienna's destinies: Dr. Karl Lueger and the Christian Social Party. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 2]

...the unprecedented rise of the Christian Social Party... was to assume the deepest significance for me as a classical object of study. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

As long as leadership from above was not lacking, the people fulfilled their duty and obligation overwhelmingly. Whether Protestant pastor or Catholic priest, both together and particularly at the first flare, there really existed in both camps but a single holy German Reich, for whose existence and future each man turned to his own heaven. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

Political parties has nothing to do with religious problems, as long as these are not alien to the nation, undermining the morals and ethics of the race; just as religion cannot be amalgamated with the scheming of political parties. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

For the political leader the religious doctrines and institutions of his people must always remain inviolable; or else has no right to be in politics, but should become a reformer, if he has what it takes! [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

In nearly all the matters in which the Pan-German movement was wanting, the attitude of the Christian Social Party was correct and well-planned. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

It [Christian Social Party] recognized the value of large-scale propaganda and was a virtuoso in influencing the psychological instincts of the broad masses of its adherents. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

The anti-Semitism of the new movement [Christian Social movement] was based on religious ideas instead of racial knowledge. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 3]

If Dr. Karl Lueger had lived in Germany, he would have been ranked among the great minds of our people. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 3, about the leader of the Christian Social movement]

Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 5]

I had so often sung 'Deutschland u:ber Alles' and shouted 'Heil' at the top of my lungs, that it seemed to me almost a belated act of grace to be allowed to stand as a witness in the divine court of the eternal judge and proclaim the sincerity of this conviction. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 5]

Only in the steady and constant application of force lies the very first prerequisite for success. This persistence, however, can always and only arise from a definite spiritual conviction. Any violence which does not spring from a firm, spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 5]

I soon realized that the correct use of propaganda is a true art which has remained practically unknown to the bourgeois parties. Only the Christian- Social movement, especially in Lueger's time achieved a certain virtuosity on this instrument, to which it owed many of its success. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 6]

Once again the songs of the fatherland roared to the heavens along the endless marching columns, and for the last time the Lord's grace smiled on His ungrateful children. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 7, reflecting on World War I]

The more abstractly correct and hence powerful this idea will be, the more impossible remains its complete fulfillment as long as it continues to depend on human beings... If this were not so, the founders of religion could not be counted among the greatest men of this earth... In its workings, even the religion of love is only the weak reflection of the will of its exalted founder; its significance, however, lies in the direction which it attempted to give to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 8]

To them belong, not only the truly great statesmen, but all other great reformers as well. Beside Frederick the Great stands Martin Luther as well as Richard Wagner. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 8]

The fight against syphilis demands a fight against prostitution, against prejudices, old habits, against previous conceptions, general views among them not least the false prudery of certain circles. The first prerequisite for even the moral right to combat these things is the facilitation of earlier marriage for the coming generation. In late marriage alone lies the compulsion to retain an institution which, twist and turn as you like, is and remains a disgrace to humanity, an institution which is damned ill-suited to a being who with his usual modesty likes to regard himself as the 'image' of God. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 10]

Parallel to the training of the body a struggle against the poisoning of the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like a hothouse for sexual ideas and simulations. Just look at the bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theaters, and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of food, particularly for the youth...Theater, art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world and placed in the service of a moral, political, and cultural idea. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 10, echoing the Cultural Warfare rhetoric of the Religious Right]

But if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years from now. I think you will find but few images of God, unless you want to profane the Almighty. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 10]

While both denominations maintain missions in Asia and Africa in order to win new followers for their doctrine-- an activity which can boast but very modest success compared to the advance of the Mohammedan faith in particular-- right here in Europe they lose millions and millions of inward adherents who either are alien to all religious life or simply go their own ways. The consequences, particularly from a moral point of view, are not favorable. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 10]

The great masses of people do not consist of philosophers; precisely for the masses, faith is often the sole foundation of a moral attitude. The various substitutes have not proved so successful from the standpoint of results that they could be regarded as a useful replacement for previous religious creeds. But if religious doctrine and faith are really to embrace the broad masses, the unconditional authority of the content of this faith is the foundation of all efficacy. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 10]

Due to his own original special nature, the Jew cannot possess a religious institution, if for no other reason because he lacks idealism in any form, and hence belief in a hereafter is absolutely foreign to him. And a religion in the Aryan sense cannot be imagined which lacks the conviction of survival after death in some form. Indeed, the Talmud is not a book to prepare a man for the hereafter, but only for a practical and profitable life in this world. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 11]

The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties-- and this against their own nation. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 11]

....the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, Chapter 11, precisely echoing Martin Luther's teachings]

Faith is harder to shake than knowledge, love succumbs less to change than respect, hate is more enduring than aversion, and the impetus to the mightiest upheavals on this earth has at all times consisted less in a scientific knowledge dominating the masses than in a fanaticism which inspired them and sometimes in a hysteria which drove them forward. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which, fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its will against all others. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations for compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world, but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

All in all, this whole period of winter 1919-20 was a single struggle to strengthen confidence in the victorious might of the young movement and raise it to that fanaticism of faith which can move mountains. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the 'remaking' of the Reich as they call it. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 1]

Of course, even the general designation 'religious' includes various basic ideas or convictions, for example, the indestructibility of the soul, the eternity of its existence, the existence of a higher being, etc. But all these ideas, regardless of how convincing they may be for the individual, are submitted to the critical examination of this individual and hence to a fluctuating affirmation or negation until emotional divination or knowledge assumes the binding force of apodictic faith. This, above all, is the fighting factor which makes a breach and opens the way for the recognition of basic religious views. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 1]

Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 1]

A folkish state must therefore begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race, and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

It would be more in keeping with the intention of the noblest man in this world if our two Christian churches, instead of annoying Negroes with missions which they neither desire nor understand, would kindly, but in all seriousness, teach our European humanity that where parents are not healthy it is a deed pleasing to God to take pity on a poor little healthy orphan child and give him father and mother, than themselves to give birth to a sick child who will only bring unhappiness and suffering on himself and the rest of the world. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

That this is possible may not be denied in a world where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people voluntarily submit to celibacy, obligated and bound by nothing except the injunction of the Church. Should the same renunciation not be possible if this injunction is replaced by the admonition finally to put an end to the constant and continuous original sin of racial poisoning, and to give the Almighty Creator beings such as He Himself created? [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

For the greatest revolutionary changes on this earth would not have been thinkable if their motive force, instead of fanatical, yes, hysterical passion, had been merely the bourgeois virtues of law and order. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

It doesn't dawn on this depraved bourgeois world that this is positively a sin against all reason; that it is criminal lunacy to keep on drilling a born half-ape until people think they have made a lawyer out of him, while millions of members of the highest culture-race must remain in entirely unworthy positions; that it is a sin against the will of the Eternal Creator if His most gifted beings by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands are allowed to degenerate in the present proletarian morass, while Hottentots and Zulu Kaffirs are trained for intellectual professions. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

It may be that today gold has become the exclusive ruler of life, but the time will come when man will again bow down before a higher god. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

Christianity could not content itself with building up its own altar; it was absolutely forced to undertake the destruction of the heathen altars. Only from this fanatical intolerance could its apodictic faith take form; this intolerance is, in fact, its absolute presupposition. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 5]

For how shall we fill people with blind faith in the correctness of a doctrine, if we ourselves spread uncertainty and doubt by constant changes in its outward structure? ...Here, too, we can learn by the example of the Catholic Church. Though its doctrinal edifice, and in part quite superfluously, comes into collision with exact science and research, it is none the less unwilling to sacrifice so much as one little syllable of its dogmas... it is only such dogmas which lend to the whole body the character of a faith. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 5]

The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 10]

In the ranks of the movement [National Socialist movement], the most devout Protestant could sit beside the most devout Catholic, without coming into the slightest conflict with his religious convictions. The mighty common struggle which both carried on against the destroyer of Aryan humanity had, on the contrary, taught them mutually to respect and esteem one another. [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 10]

For this, to be sure, from the child's primer down to the last newspaper, every theater and every movie house, every advertising pillar and every billboard, must be pressed into the service of this one great mission, until the timorous prayer of our present parlor patriots: 'Lord, make us free!' is transformed in the brain of the smallest boy into the burning plea: 'Almighty God, bless our arms when the time comes; be just as thou hast always been; judge now whether we be deserving of freedom; Lord, bless our battle!' [Adolf Hitler's prayer, Mein Kampf, Vol. 2 Chapter 13]

The Government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, are creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life [Adolph Hitler, in a speech to the Reichstag on March 23, 1933]

I go the way that Providence dictates with the assurance of a sleepwalker. [Adolf Hitler, Speech, 15 March 1936, Munich, Germany.]

Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the *poison of immorality* which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of *liberal excess* during the past ... (few) years. [The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872]

Atheist Hall Converted
Berlin Churches Establish Bureau to Win Back Worshippers

Wireless to the New York Times.

BERLIN, May 13. - In Freethinkers Hall, which before the Nazi resurgence was the national headquarters of the German Freethinkers League, the Berlin Protestant church authorities have opened a bureau for advice to the public in church matters. Its chief object is to win back former churchgoers and assist those who have not previously belonged to any religious congregation in obtaining church membership.

The German Freethinkers League, which was swept away by the national revolution, was the largest of such organizations in Germany. It had about 500,000 members ... [New York Times, May 14, 1993, page 2, on Hitler's outlawing of atheistic and freethinking groups in Germany in the Spring of 1933, after the Enabling Act authorizing Hitler to rule by decree]

"The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press -- in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past years."

-- Adolf Hitler; from The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1, Michael Hakeem, Ph.D. (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pp. 871-872.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Oscar Nominees

YES! Johnny Depp is up again for Best Actor!

On January 25, 2005, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 77th Annual Academy Awards. And the nominees are...

Best Picture

• THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• RAY (Universal Pictures)
• SIDEWAYS (Fox Searchlight)

Achievement in Directing

• Martin Scorsese for THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• Clint Eastwood for MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Warner Bros.)
• Taylor Hackford for RAY (Universal Pictures)
• Alexander Payne for SIDEWAYS (Fox Searchlight)
• Mike Leigh for VERA DRAKE (Fine Line Features)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

• Don Cheadle for HOTEL RWANDA (United Artists)
• Johnny Depp for FINDING NEVERLAND (Miramax)
• Leonardo DiCaprio for THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• Clint Eastwood for MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Warner Bros.)
• Jamie Foxx for RAY (Universal Pictures)

Best Supporting Actor

• Alan Alda for THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• Thomas Haden Church for SIDEWAYS (Fox Searchlight)
• Jamie Foxx for COLLATERAL (Dreamworks SKG)
• Morgan Freeman for MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Warner Bros.)
• Clive Owen for CLOSER (Columbia Pictures)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

• Annette Bening - BEING JULIA (Sony Pictures Classics)
• Catalina Sandino Moreno - MARIA FULL OF GRACE (Fine Line Features)
• Imelda Staunton - VERA DRAKE (Fine Line Features)
• Hilary Swank for MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Warner Bros.)
• Kate Winslet for ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (Focus Features)

Best Supporting Actress

• Cate Blanchett for THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• Laura Linney - KINSEY (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
• Virginia Madsen for SIDEWAYS (Fox Searchlight)
• Sophie Okonedo - HOTEL RWANDA (United Artists)
• Natalie Portman for CLOSER (Columbia Pictures)

Best Original Screenplay

• THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• HOTEL RWANDA (United Artists)
• THE INCREDIBLES (Disney/Pixar)
• VERA DRAKE (Fine Line Features)

Best Adapted Screenplay

• BEFORE SUNSET (Warner Independent Pictures)
• SIDEWAYS (Fox Searchlight)

Best Foreign-Language Film

• THE CHORUS - France
• DOWNFALL - Germany
• YESTERDAY - South Africa

Best Animated Feature Film

• THE INCREDIBLES (Disney/Pixar)
• SHARK TALE (Dreamworks SKG)
• SHREK 2 (Dreamworks SKG)

Achievement in Art Direction

• THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (Warner Independent Pictures)

Achievement in Cinematography

• THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS (Sony Pictures Classics)
• THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (Newmarket Film Group)
• A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (Warner Independent Pictures)

Achievement in Costume Design

• THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• RAY (Universal Pictures)
• TROY (Warner Bros.)

Best Documentary Feature

• SUPER SIZE ME (Roadside Attractions / Samuel Goldwyn Films)
• TUPAC: RESURRECTION (Paramount Pictures)

Best Film Editing

• THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• RAY (Universal Pictures)

Achievement in Makeup

• THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (Newmarket Film Group)
• THE SEA INSIDE (Fine Line Features)

Best Original Score

• THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST (Newmarket Film Group)
• THE VILLAGE (Touchstone Pictures)

Original Song

• "Accidentally In Love" - SHREK 2 (Dreamworks SKG)
• "Al Otro Lado Del Río" - THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES (Focus Features)
• "Believe" - THE POLAR EXPRESS (Warner Bros.)
• "Learn To Be Lonely" - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Warner Bros.)
• "Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)" - THE CHORUS (Miramax)

Achievement in Sound Mixing

• THE AVIATOR (Miramax)
• THE INCREDIBLES (Disney/Pixar)
• THE POLAR EXPRESS (Warner Bros.)
• RAY (Universal Pictures)
• SPIDER-MAN 2 (Columbia Pictures)

Achievement in Sound Editing

• THE INCREDIBLES (Disney/Pixar)
• THE POLAR EXPRESS (Warner Bros.)
• SPIDER-MAN 2 (Columbia Pictures)

Best Visual Effects

• I, ROBOT (20th Century Fox)
• SPIDER-MAN 2 (Columbia Pictures)

Best Documentary Short


Best Animated Short Film


Best Live-Action Short Film


Monday, January 24, 2005

Some Thoughts

I was just thinking of a few things.

As much as I like Unitarian Universalists, sometimes I think they go out of their way to look for oddballs they can embrace and show the world just how politically correct and inclusive they can be.

And I almost think they would invent a disability or minority group just to embrace it.

I came to this thought after reading an article in the UU World magazine...about embracing kids with disabilities. I do think it's good to do that, but the article went from physical disabilities to things like Asperger's, which to me is minor because as I understand it, Asperger's is something most people grow out of.

There are some "disabilities" or whatever you call them that I think are almost complete inventions, like ADHD or ADD. I don't ever remember anyone being diagnosed that way when I was a kid. Another one is borderline personality disorder...I've been told by a practicing psychologist that such a disorder does not exist.

I think many of THOSE kind of diagnoses are just crutches to allow people to not take responsibility for their own lives.

And it's because if anyone should have been diagnosed as any of those kind of things in her youth, it'd be me. For sure. But I never was.

I really don't think those disorders exist. It's just looking for an excuse. "Oh, he's ADHD, so don't take it personally."

No, these are not politically correct thoughts. But whenever I do have these thoughts, I picture in my head what people did with themselves before the creation of modern psychology and before we had all this luxury to sit down and think of these things. I mean back in the 1700s or earlier.

People talked things out.

Or they worked some hard manual labor and worked it off.

Small boys who were very active were just passed off as energetic boys.

Oh yes, I know there were a lot of problems with life then; I'm not really glamorizing it. I'm just thinking, those people got by just fine without a shrink telling them what was wrong with them.

I think there's far too much pathologizing and not enough mythologizing, to borrow a term.

Everyone's got to have some kind of disability or whatever. Everyone's something. Everyone's either depressed or ADD or ADHD or Asperger's or MPD or BPD or something.

No one is just normal any more...not that there's any such thing anyway. As my friend Shannon always says, "Normal is just a setting on your dryer." No one actually says, "Hey, I am what I am, I have some flaws but it's not anything that prevents me from functioning in my day to day life, so I am not going to be medicated just because everyone else is doing it and it's become like a fashion to have something wrong with oneself!"

I look at myself. I am just me. I'm stubborn. I'm sometimes lazy. I get discouraged at times about a lot of things.

But I'm not going to blame where I am in life on an imaginary mental illness that I know I don't have.

I am here because I made certain choices in my life that I felt I had to make...and did not make other ones because I did not think I was in a position to do so.

Well, there it is. I got it out.


It's Monday morning and I'm getting that futility feeling again.

I'm feeling like I'll never get any further with my life than I am now.

I've gone as far as I can. I'll never have a house, I'll never have anything.

I'll just be a lowly receptionist living in a two-room apartment. I can't do anything more for myself. I don't have the education, I'll never be able to get it, and even if I could I don't know if I could handle it.

I need a day off. I need some time to think about things. I need help.

I need help doing what I want to do. I wish I knew for sure whether or not Joe would be utterly faithful to me if I were to attend classes. He knows what that includes. He knows what disturbs me.

*beats head on desk*

I was hoping that this blog would take a different tone. And it will. I just have to air this stuff out first, I suppose.

As soon as this blue feeling passes, that is. I wonder if this is just PMS.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

First Post

Well, I'm not really sure where to start. This is a rather private blog I have.

I'm feeling a bit blah this evening. It's Sunday night and I'm not looking forward to going to work tomorrow. Joe had to work all weekend and we didn't get to spend a lot of time together.

Well, we had some. I bought the third Harry Potter movie on DVD and we ordered a pizza last night and watched it. That was nice. The only problem is, it kept us up til 1am and now Joe's sound asleep, he's so tired.

And it's barely 8pm.

Poor thing...I didn't realize he got off work at noon today and he had to wait 3 hours before I picked him up. I was online when he called to have me come get him, and I didn't think to check the voice mail.

Poor Joe. He doesn't deal well with chilly days; his knees play up on him when it gets chilly. He wasn't feeling himself when I picked him up.

Something has come over him to where he's being incredibly sweet. He cuddled me and snuggled me and did other lovely things to me last night, before we watched the movie. I hope so desperately that he is serious about not wanting anyone else and wanting to do whatever it takes to make me happy. So far, so good.

I see so much good in him. He could be so very sweet; I know he's capable of it. He himself says that any person is capable of redemption from poor behavior; that would have to include him.

Although I have to admit sometimes I still feel that he doesn't quite take my fears and insecurities seriously. I'm sharply aware of my vulnerability before him; he could so easily play me the fool. That's where the insecurity comes in.

I wish to everything he understood and had some kind of sensitivity about it.

If he does, he's not always good at expressing it.

Makes me afraid to get involved with anyone else ever...makes me think that all men treat women that way.

Great Scott, I've got to be careful not to talk myself into believing certain things here.

I really should be working on the Imbolg ritual, but my heart's not really into it. Yet I know I'll pull it off somehow.

I like keeping rituals, esp. sabbats, fairly simple. I don't feel the need to do magic with every single rite I perform...and in fact generally don't do magic any more. I'm not in this for magic, but for religious devotion.

There are a lot of things I'd like to do, including teach online classes or something like that. One of these days I'll figure out how.


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