Thursday, January 31, 2008

RABBI Testifies - Obama Was Sworn In With Bible

As if the video from Barack Obama's PASTOR wasn't enough, now he has a rabbi by the name of Sam Gordon on YouTube - well - swearing up and down on a stack of Bibles that Barack Obama was sworn into office on - well - a BIBLE.

The crying shame of this whole situation is that most of the "smear" emails about Barack Obama really being Muslim are flying around in WORKPLACES and most of them block YouTube.

Barack, dude - what we really need is for you to post .iso files somewhere so we can burn these videos to DVD so we can get them to the people who need to watch them who either have firewall, dial-up, old computer, or Linux issues to deal with.

But, you know what - the more I watch these videos the more I like this Barack Obama.

Dean - what can you dig up on him?? :)


Victoria Wulsin Push Conference Calling (Telephone Town Hall Meeting)

About 7pm I got the STRANGEST phone call I've gotten in a while.

Apparently it's Victoria Wulsin with a "push" conference call that she calls a "Telephone Town Hall Meeting".

Yep - she called about 1000 people (I presume at random?) in the district in order to take questions from the people on various issues she's planning on tackling if she is elected to Congress.

So far there have been a few questions about health insurance and various other mundane topics.

Right now, in fact, she's talking about the fact that her own son graduated from college and couldn't find work and was without health coverage for quite a while.

I, myself, am waiting in the queue to ask her about her involvement with an organization trying to somehow cure AIDS in Africa by deliberately infecting people with malaria.

The Dean has brought this up when Victoria Wulsin first ran for Congress a couple of years ago and, in fact, headed me off from voting for her in the primary.

It took me a minute to figure out how to get in the queue for questions, so I'm probably not going to get on, but, heads up, people - if you get a REALLY wierd phone call it may be a politician with a wicked wierd conference call ...


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Barack Obama's Trinity UCC: The Blackest Church In America?

I had been meaning to do a little research on the United Church of Christ ever since I found out that they were the direct descendants of the "Trinitarian Congregationalists", the Church that spun off from the Unitarians when the Unitarians pretty much decided they weren't Christian. I figured, that being the case, perhaps the United Church of Christ would therefore be considered the second most liberal large church in America.

I talked to my little teeny-tiny professor friend, who has written who dissertations on the topic, and she told me that, yes, pretty much the United Church of Christ IS the most liberal large church in America that describes itself as exclusively Christian.

Interesting indeed that this major contender for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, happens to be a member of a United Church of Christ.

Of course, taking a look around the web site of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, one is not so much worried about it's Christian exclusivity but rather its AFRICAN exclusivity.

Apparently there has been a great deal of discussion on the Sean Hannity Show on the Fox News Network about this topic. He points out that, at first read, the "Black Value System" developed by the congregation a couple of decades ago could almost be interpretted as racist. The senior pastor at that time, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright attempted to explain the thing in the context of the "Liberation Theology" movement of a couple of decades ago, but, I have to admit, it still tends to worry a person a bit.

On the other hand we know where Mike Huckabee goes to church and that's enough to scare someone to death.

John McCain has been hanging out with the Episcopalians AND the Baptists apparently.

Mitt Romney of course is mixed up with a bunch that claim to have gotten their start from a set of mysterious gold plates and have an annoying fascination with underwear.

Hillary Clinton is listed as being a member of the United Methodist Church - same as my mother's father and step-mother - and y'all know how highly I think of THEM.

So, well, you know what ... given the current slate of choices maybe Obama and his congregation of potential separatists is the least of many evils ...

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One Man's War With The Unitarians

Back a couple of years ago when the Reverend Sharon Dittmar of the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati gave a joint adult education program with Rabbi Robert Barr of the Congregation Beth Adam and I started writing blog entries occasionally commenting on the lectures of these two fine, fine liberal clergy members, I picked up a gentleman named Robin Edgar who appears to be a man on a mission.

He worries me a bit.

He almost reminds me of Sayyid Qutb in a way.

According to his blog, The Emerson Avenger, in 1992 he experienced a "profound revelatory experience" which he apparently made the mistake of describing to a Unitarian minister.

Dude ...

You tell stuff like that to me and my moms.

Not a minister.

Particularly not a Unitarian minister.

Now, in an admittedly dazzling display of professionality, according to Mr. Edgar, the Unitarian Minister dismissed him as having had a "psychotic experience".

Now of course Sayyid Qutb was hit on by an American bar fly on the way over on the ship and was so insulted that he set into motion a series of events that ultimately led to a bunch of nuts driving huge airplanes into buildings.

Robin Edgar apparently holds regular protests of the Unitarian Church of Montreal and sent me a link to his YouTube videos documenting some of these protests.

I haven't had a chance to review all of them, but, thus far, probably the most disturbing is one where I presume one of the church members is calling the police on his cell phone, throwing Mr. Edgar's protest signs out into the street and sticking his tongue out at the camera.

Oh dear.

Now that's even more disturbing is exactly how much Mr. Edgar's voice resembles The Old Man's, Obi Ken's, and, yes, frighteningly enough, that of The Axinar.

Sounds to me like the simplest solution to this one is for someone, for the love of God, to get Mr. Edgar a ticket to Cincinnati so he can go to office hours with our Reverend Sharon Dittmar.

Yes, when I took Mrs. Axinar to "First Church" to inquire as to whether or not Rev. Dittmar herself would be psychotic enough to marry us, the "greeter", although expressing great love, affection, and professional respect for Rev. Dittmar, did pretty much precipitously apologize for the fact that First Church had a "theist" minister.

Yes, my friends - I pick up the fact that, although they do love her to death, there are people in that congregation who are VERY disturbed by the fact that their MINISTER actually BELIEVES IN GOD.

Oh, we can't have that now, can we?

However, I think it might come in handy to reach some level of closure between Mr. Edgar and the Unitarians.

And if THAT doesn't work, maybe we can send him down to The Reverend Otis Moss of Trinity United Church of Christ - the United Church of Christ being the descendant of the "sister" of the Unitarians - the Trinitarian Congregationalists - and, of course, Barack Obama's keeper ... :)


Barack Obama's Pastor: He's Christian

In other words, don't believe random emails at face value ...


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pets Caught Up In Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis

In those old sci-fi stories you used to occasionally read about some sort of tremendous plague that would come through and kill all the people but leave the pets wandering aimlessly.

Well, looks like this sub-prime mortgage crisis is something like a plague, and pets are getting abandoned all over.
  • A starving pit bull found in an abandoned and trashed house.

  • Dogs dumped on farm grazing grounds.

  • House cats taking up with wild cat colonies.

  • Abandoned dogs tied to trees in back yards.

  • Cats left in garages.

  • Turtles, rabbits and lizards still in children's bedrooms.
It almost makes a person wonder - where ARE all the PEOPLE going?

Has there been a noticeable uptick in suicide rates?

Are rental properties being flooded, causing rents to increase?

One thing is certain, it really IS starting to sound like a new Great Depression ...

Forclosure crisis leaves pets abandoned - 27News


Monday, January 28, 2008

The Second Anonymous Anti-Scientology Video

The Anti-Scientology group "Anonymous" has released a second video denouncing Scientology.

Sounds like they are planning a protest outside Scientology centers on February 10th, 2008.

Although it does ring a bit of the bit a few years ago where some churches were having people pray for the conversion of the Jews outside synagogues on Yom Kippur.

Although it DOES sound like the Scientologists have been up to some pretty bad business.

It will be interseting to see if this Anonymous group has any luck. If they do, I'm wondering if they might be able to stop some of the even WORSE forces on this planet ...

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The Bush-Cincinnati Connection

There was a fascinating article in this morning's Cincinnati Enquirer about the somewhat mysterious connection between the Bush family and Cincinnati.

The general idea is that Cincinnati is not a particularly large city, and the Bush family has no particular history here, however George W. Bush has spent more time in Cincinnati than any President since William Howard Taft, who was born here.

There's also this matter that the Indian Hill/Madeira ZIP code of 45243 gave more money to the Bush campaign than any ZIP code outside of Texas.

The Dean of Cincinnati wrote some of his own speculation this morning on why the "power elite" seem to have a disproportionate concentration in Cincinnati.

I don't know if I would agree with all his points, but there is something quite spooky about the fact that, although George W. Bush was not raised anywhere near Cincinnati and speaks a dialect not terribly common here, his way of looking at life seems to be quite well represented here.

Perhaps it has something to do with this pattern I've seen repeated in locals many, many times of spending most of their 20's drinking and causing chaos only to "find Jesus" and think that the only way to straighten out any other problem is by forcing people to turn religious.

But the most disturbing Bush trait that seems to be overrepresented in the Cincinnati area is that it is perfectly okay to bomb innocent people if it will keep the defense contracts coming in.

Sometimes it really makes me sick to my stomach to see people involved in the manufacture of weapons practically become physically aroused in public when they hear a new war is starting.

And of course I suppose if you don't have a bit of moral hesitation to think that there may be something wrong with the fact that you're deriving your profits from the utter destruction of innocent people, I'm pretty sure you're not going to pause for a second to consider whether or not you're treating your employees fairly.

Yep ... let me tell you ... if I could get out of this area, I would ...

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The Subprime Mortgage Wasteland

Back when we were kids we used to read science fiction stories about nuclear wars and plagues turning whole cities into ghost towns.

Of course we did actually get to see a little bit of that at Chernobyl, but who would have thought something as simple as bad lending practices would lead to whole neighborhoods being abandoned?

Apparently there is a suburb of Cleveland called Shaker Heights that has largely been evacuated due to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

This story goes on about squatters all over the place, a nearly abandoned grocery store, one last resident about to get thrown out due to a botched 2003 refinancing.

It sounds like those old science fiction stories.

Or The Depression.

Or worse.

It's not QUITE so bad around here.


But you do see a disturbing number of abandoned older houses while driving around.

Seems that the banks are holding on to them in the hopes that the real estate market will recover.

I wonder what happens if it doesn't - if the banks for forced to write down a trillion dollars worth of property.

Perhaps that all-out nuclear war would have been a more preferable fate after all ...


Saturday, January 26, 2008

What ARE You Going To Do With Your $600?

Looks like your $600 tax rebates could be in your hot little hands as early as mid-May.

Reports are that the IRS is already gearing up to get these checks out.

Now the really controversial part of this thing is that people who don't earn enough to pay income taxes but had at least $3000 in earned income would be eligible for a $300 rebate.

What many people don't understand is that someone working and making as little as $3000 HAS paid taxes - Social Security taxes.

In fact, I've often wondered why they even go through the illusion of separating out the Social Security and regular income taxes.

It all goes into the same pot.

With no true "hard" currency, there is no "reserve" currency. Current activity HAS to pay for people drawing Social Security benefits because there truly is no way to "save" any money under our current system.

Supposedly the last time they did these "rebates" after 9/11 it helped the economy in some measurable way.

Of course there's still some details to be ironed out in the Senate, but I'm guessing a pretty good collection of people will have some extra money to spend foolishly quite shortly here ...

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Star Trek Star Fleet Officer Uniform LEAKED

JFX Online is running a really great LEAKED PHOTO of the new Star Fleet officer uniform from the new Star Trek film.

They blurred out the actress' face to keep her from getting fired.

Looks WAY too much like an Imperial uniform from Star Wars for my personal taste ...


Oh My Goodness ... (Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian Bikini Pics)

More Kim & Kourtney bikini pics:
Kim Kardashian and her sister Kourtney hit the beach - Celebrity Body Gossip
Kim Kardashian bikini pictures - Jordan Is Your Homeboy
Kim Kardashian On The Beach - H8Torade Dot Com
Kim And Kourtney Kardashian Whore Up Miami Beach - DirtyRottenWhore
Kim Kardashian’s Bikini Ass Coverage Continues - Hollywood Tuna
Bastardly Breaking News! Kim Kardashian Went To The Beach! - The Bastardly
HOT Kim Kardashian At Miami Beach - Sexy Bikini Pics - The Hollywood Story

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$10 Million Bill Introduced In Zimbabwe

For thos of you who don't know what hyperinflation looks like, apparently it's going on in Zimbabwe and they just had to start printing $10 million notes.

Apparently 15 months ago a $20 Zimbabwe bill was worth about two and a half cents US, but as recently as a month ago this stack is what it cost to purchase a single beer.

Yep - think about something like that here.

Think about having to stand at the vending machine for an hour and a half feeding in singles to buy a pop.

Yep ... we COULD be heading that way ...


PetSmart Supplier Caught Torturing Animals

Apparently it's not just sick kids who are abusing animals these days.

PETA sent in an undercover crew to a major PetSmart supplier, Rainbow World Exotics in Hamilton, Texas, and found things that would make any decent person sick for a week.

  • Rabbits being neutered with dull instruments without proper anesthesia and then cleaned up with CLOROX WIPES.

  • Rabbits force mated.

  • Live animals thrown in the trash.

  • Animals kept alive as "breeders" with HORRENDOUS injuries.

Yes - you know what's coming ...

This company just doesn't need fined.

This company just doesn't need put out of business.

The people involved in this company need executed.

With the same scissors they took to that rabbit.

And, I'm sorry ... I know you blocked out the face of "the snipper" because the poor S.O.B. probably couldn't get a job anywhere else, but how in the HELL could ANY human being serve as the "trigger man" in such a situation no matter how desperate they are.

I tell you ... I've pretty much lost all faith in humanity.

If there's an asteroid on the way, we deserve it ...

Related Coverage:
PETA Video Shows Abuse of PetSmart Animals -


The worst market crisis in 60 years: George Soros

For those of you who were around during the Thai Bhat crisis of the '90's, the Dot-Com implosing of the turn-of-the-century, and the utter financial pandemonium that followed 9/11 and you're thinking there's something uniquely troubling about this current "Sub-Prime Mortgage" triggered financial upheaval, you're not alone.

None other than George Soros is calling our current situation "the worst market crisis in 60 years".

Pretty much he seems to be saying that some of the financial instruments that have been invented in the past 20 years or so are hopelessly too risky.

Actually, I got to thinking about that myself back when I got MY mortgage.

All of the research I did seemed to indicate that the only way you could get a "normal" mortgage was to make a 20% downpayment.

I found myself wondering why this was. Partially I wondered why it was 20% instead of 50% or 5%. But of course also I was wondering why you needed a downpayment at all.

Some of the opinion pieces I read said that, "If you have 20% of your own money in the house, you're more likely to try to stay in it."

Well, maybe.

I really got to thinking there must be a more concrete answer than that.

A mortgage, hypothetically, is supposed to be backed by the property its buying. With real estate prices generally having gone up over the long run, one might think that appreciation would cover the risk of default in a mortgage.

Turns out not.

Although I never did find the exact historical evidence for this, I got to thinking that the reason you need a 20% downpayment to get a "conventional" mortgage is that at any given moment the housing market is susceptible to sudden, unpredictable 20% dives and if the banks don't have a 20% aggregate downpayment THEY are subject to a '20's-type domino-style collapse and that is JUST what we are seeing.

Yes ... this one is going to be ugly ... way ugly ...

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Friends Don't Let Friends ...

What IS this fool doing to himself anyway???

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Unbelievable Animal Cruelty Case

Sometimes you stumble across something in an RSS feed you just can't believe.

Our Local 12 is running a story about the worst animal cruelty case the investigators can remember in their professional lives.

The story goes into detail of exactly what all was done to this animal - some of which is quite unbelievable. I won't bother to repeat it here.

What I will say however is that they are talking about is that the kids that did this "need counseling" and are "facing the most serious animal cruelty charges possible".

They need to face a FIRING SQUAD is what they need to face.

Any human being capable of doing such a thing has no business being allowed to continue walking the Earth.


How could ANYONE be such a sick bastard???

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Borg Have Arrived - And They're After - The Scientologists???

War Breaks Out Between Hackers and Scientology -- There Can Be Only One - Wired


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Utility Billing Practices Discouraging Energy Savings?

First The Dean pointed out a possibility that Kroger could save electricty by putting doors on its refrigerator units.

Then the California Energy Commission came out with some class-A Bravo Sierra about wanting to control your thermostat remotely.

(Update: Per The Dean of Cincinnati, Duke Energy has a similar idea for our area.)

Now someone at Slashdot has posted a message about whether or not most people power down at night, both from an energy savings standpoint but also from a network security standpoint.

This got me to thinking about something that someone mentioned all the way back when I was an Electronics Engineering major at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

Now, I have never been responsible for paying a commerical electric bill, but it has been explained to me that it is WAY different from a residential bill.

As it has been explained to me, whereas a residential bill can be a great deal less, say, in April and October than it is in January or August because, in this climate, you have to use far less energy for heating and cooling in the spring and autumn months, for a business this is not the case.

If I understand it correctly, the rates for a white-collar business are generally set only once a year - in August - when the business is drawing both the energy needed to operate (lighting and computers) in addition to what can be MASSIVE air conditioning costs during the part of the year.

I have heard that the justification for this type of billing is that the electric companies say that they have to build enough infrastructure to handle the PEAK load, so, if I understand it correctly, businesses get charged as if they were pulling August-level loads ALL THE TIME.

If true, this definitely doesn't seem fair, and, more importantly, it doesn't encourage companies to develop fuel-saving practices.

Yes, there are sometimes needs for office PC's to be left on overnight - system upgrades and so on, but, sitting here well into the 21st century, you'd think we could have invented a motherboard that could keep the ethernet card alert on a "trickle" and then only fire up the rest of the system upon being signaled by the server or something of the sort? You'd think by now we could come up with a system that could automatically start the boot-up process at, oh, say, 7:50am for those systems that take a loooooooooong time to boot up?

Of course, while we're on that topic, I'm guessing the amount of GAS burned up having to go across town and back every day just to sit in a cubicle and EMAIL people all day would DWARF any discussion of power burned up by computers idling all night ...

Audio Comments:

Alright, Dean ... we get the point. :)


Star Trek: Enterprise "In A Mirror, Darkly"

Arguably THE best episode of Star Trek: Enterprise ...

Can I Interest You In?:

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Time-Warner Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR "480p" Software Update

I'm not 100% sure, but I think there has been a software upgrade over the last couple of days Time-Warner's Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR that has actually been an IMPROVEMENT.

You see, I have a REALLY old HDTV. It is a tube-based Zenith. It is 4 X 3. I bought it back when there was VERY little HD programming. It has no tuner. It's only HD input is a single set of component jacks that can digest 480p, 720p, and 1080i. That's right - no 480i. What the heck were they thinking when they made my TV?

Now, when I first got the infamous "OCAP" box, after I messed with the settings (Settings/Display/Output Resolution), I called up customer service and I asked them, "Say ... can you change the firmware on this box so that when the source of the channel is 480i that it will pump a 480p signal out the component lines?" Of course I don't think the front line customer service person I was talking to knew what the hell I was talking about, but maybe she did shoot off an email to a higher-up because that's EXACTLY the way the thing works now.

Now, this would only apply if you have an older HDTV that is actually 4 X 3, but what you do is go to Settings, then Display, the Output Resolution and then check JUST the "1080i" and "480i" settings. If you go to, say, Time-Warner Channel 948, WCET's HD channel, your TV (if it's similar to mine) will AUTOMATICALLY switch to 1080i. Then if you switch back to, say, Time-Warener Channel 49, MSNBC, your TV will switch to 480p. Now, of course MSNBC's native signal is 480i, but - wow - I'm thinking that the signal is pretty much digital all the way up to the component lines, so those reds are SPECTACULAR - ALMOST HDTV stable.

So pretty much now the only input I have for my composite (RCA) lines is my DVD player.

Of course what's a bit of a pain is the fact that good contrast / brightness settings for the component lines is not as good for the composite lines, so every time I watch a DVD I'm going to have to start messing with that.

Yes, my friends, I am in DIRE need of a new TV ...

And If Any Of You ARE Thinking Of Buying Me A TV: :)


Friday, January 18, 2008

"Catastrophic Thinking" And Autism

Mrs. Axinar is watching a "women's health" episode of Oprah, so she chased me out of the family room so I'm having a chance to trim down my out-of-control blogroll.

Whilst doing this, I stumbled across a post on AutismVox about something the author calls "catastrophic thinking". She describes this as when her son Charlie "some sort of fear and worry grips him so suddenly and so thoroughly that he seems to think all will be over if he does not have another piece of bread or if he has to put on his coat."

Oh? So this sort of thinking has a name, eh?

Certainly The Old Man suffers from this kind of thinking - particularly on the subject of what will happen if he has to find a more appropriate place to live, but certainly *I* suffer from this as well. Every time I hear something along the lines that the economy is about to tank, not only do I worry about people I know being out of work, but I can pretty rapidly envision myself personally being on the breadline.

Oh, yes ... non-stop anxiety is just SO fun ...

And Speaking Of Which ...


Jim Cramer Predicting 2000 Point Stock Market Drop

I just saw Jim Cramer a few minutes ago on MSNBC and he was saying something along the lines that if the government didn't bail out the mortgage insurers that we were looking at a 2000 point drop in the Dow at some point.

This is pretty much what I was telling this one buddy of mine who is only a few years from retiring who insists on putting GINORMOUS amounts of money in the equity choices of his 401(k) and then comes to me sounding suicidal when the market drops a couple of hundred points.

I think Cramer's right.

I think we're looking at hundreds of billions of dollars worth of exposure that only something the magnitude of the federal government can even attempt to bail out.

Unfortuantely with the political pressure, you can't bail out the home owner's without also bailing out the bond holders so that whole thing will probably be allowed to implode and then we're looking at real 1930's-type conditions - real starvation, real hopelessness.

Crying shame the power won't probably be on often enough to even blog about it when it hits ...

Is a mortgage insurer crisis imminent? - Don't Mess With Taxes

And On That Note:

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Star Trek: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" Network Screener

I'm pretty sure these are clips of the 2nd pilot of Star Trek, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" in the form that was originally shown to the network.

Notice no Alexander Courage theme, plus some of the other cues from the soundtrack taht seemed to be "extra" ...

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American Idol - Torture Device?

I'll have you know my wife FORCED me to watch this mess the other night ...


Star Trek XI Teaser Trailer - Authentic!

Lifted from a theater somewhere apparently ...

I think it's authentic - it matches the verified descriptions, folks ...

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First New Enterprise Pics

Courtesy and AOL/Moviefone.

Oh wow ...

A bit of a re-interpretation obviously.

The nacelles are a bit too big and the hull has 1701-A style plating.

Interesting interpretation though ...

Star Trek XI Teaser Trailer - Authentic! - Axinar's

And You May Want To Check Out:


Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Armor Of God" Pajamas

Stop the F-ing planet, I want to get off.

Yes, my friends (listen up, Number One) - now you too can send your little ones to bed dressed like authentic Crusaders.

Oh this worries me ...

And The Dean ... :)

Autism And Anger

When I first started getting up to speed with Autism Spectrum issues, I was of course fascinated by the "refrigerator mother" theory. In it's original context, the doctors started noticing that the parents of the autistic children seemed somehow "distant". The most the description went on the more I realized they may have actually been observing Asperger's traits in the parents and, yes, it would tend to make sense that parents with Asperger's traits might have a greater liklihood of having autistic chidren.

Autism Spectrum disorders - even those usually considered "high functioning" - generally have an entire grocery cart full of traits - repetitive motions, difficulty making eye contact, sensitivity to loud noises, etc. Each may be present in differing degrees in each affected person, but I've sometimes noticed some of my neurotypical friends to be most fascinated with the anger.

Whilst having a conversation with a friend of mine about autism traits, I happened to remember I had a "control case" - a son of a friend of mine who was born with a neurological disorder that affects throat muscle control. The young man has always been unable to speak and also has suffered a great deal of difficulty eating and other functions involving that area of his throat. He also cannot sign. The area of his brain responsible for symbolic communication appears to be utterly non-functioning. However, he walks, runs, plays, makes eye contact, and seems - most of the time anyway - to be a generally happy kid.

This is QUITE in context to many with Autism and Asperger's I have known, who, in addition to having moderate to severe communications issues, also are sometimes filled with debilitating anxiety often elevating to the level of abject rage.

The anxiety even oozes from the pores of Temple Grandin. Now she obviously had a supporting family who managed to point her in the direction of developing ways to cope - and turned those coping mechanisms into a career.

Of late, however, I have discovered someone who might allow one to pose the hypothesis that the RAGE element of the autism spectrum disorders is quite independent and can occur in someone who is otherwise neurotypical.

You see, there's this fellow who calls himself Foresam who has this blog called Hating Autism that shows up on my autism blog searches from time to time.

His latest diatribe seems to be about someone named Lenny Schafer, who, if I'm making this out correctly, ran a Yahoo Group on the subject of the theory that autism is caused by mercury poisoning in vaccines. If I'm making this out correctly, Lenny Schafer has abandoned this endeavor.

Now, quite in the style of our good friend Joy Rolland, Foresam has described these events as Lenny Schafer allowing the "government to sodomize him in public for the rest of his life."

Now we know what happened to the last guy who went around talking about his "sodomite friends".

Of course I have been trying to get a handle on Foresam's posts for the better part of six months now.

If I'm making this out correctly, he has an autistic child named Sam who he believes is autistic due to the thimerosal used in vaccines Sam received.

Also, if I'm making this out correctly, his child has a SEVERE form of autism and he is MAD AS HELL about it. So much so that he will spew hate upon just about anyone who has the slightest different viewpoint.

He puts me a bit in mind of the 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts and the maniacs who are so damn rude that they end up getting decked by Buzz Aldrin.

It may very well be environmental mercury contamination that has contributed to the upswing in autism cases. But somehow I'm thinking there just isn't enough in the vaccines.

In any event, I'm pretty sure the talk of sodomizing and calling people "dumb bastards" isn't likely to lend much credibility to your cause.

As a matter of fact, if this theory that I just formed in my head is right ... :) ... it sounds as though Foresam himself may be suffering from a form of autism and might benefit from a nice, long series of "clicker" therapy sessions.

What do you all think?


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Theory on Time-Warner Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR Problems

Someone left a comment on my post about the problems we've been having with the Time-Warner Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD-DVR box.

Now this person claims to have been a "cable guy" for years and says that the symptoms we've been having - mostly the lag and the frequent reboots - are attributable to there being no "two-way" - in other words that the cable C.O. can't hear my box.

This person seems to be proposing that the cabling within the house needs replaced.

Interesting idea - and it may have some merit.

However - as problematic as they can be on other issues, Time-Warner's system has been interactive since it first came into town in the early 1980's. RoadRunner, for the most part, has worked absolutely perfectly. In fact, at this very moment, a SpeedTest.Net run over to PowerNet Global shows a download speed of 8643 kb/s and and upload speed of 721 kb/s.

Sounds like the cable C.O. can hear us alright.

Add to that the fact that the "old" HD-DVR worked FINE.

No ... there's just something flaky about these new "OCAP" boxes.

And/or maybe the fellow is onto something ... maybe it's not so much that the C.O. can't hear the box, but maybe the servers are somehow not responding in a timely fashion on their end ...


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Keeping Up With The Unitarians

So last Friday night I'm looking through the bottom right section of the "churches" section of The Cincinnati Enquirer and I see that the topic at the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati with the Reverend Sharon Dittmar is going to be "Judaism" for Sunday, 1-13-2008.

Well, I'm thinking this ought to be good.

You see - there is a BIZARRE flirtation of Sharon Dittmar's way of looking at life and that of a great many liberal Jews.

In fact, pretty much right from the beginning of the sermon she hit it right on the head - that, in particular after a great number of joint lectures and classes with Rabbi Robert Barr of the Congregation Beth Adam people were beginning to ask her if she was turning Jewish.

On the other hand, after giving the Christmas Eve Sermon (audio file) at First Church, one might also ask if Rabbi Barr were turning into a Unitarian Minister.

However, Rev. Dittmar went on, some had also asked her since she got divorced whether she might have any interest in posting an ad on JDate.

Wait a second ...

Did I hear her correctly?

Yep ... I checked it out ... I heard her correctly ... she got divorced mid-2007.

This is what I get for not keeping up with the Unitarians.

Now, you see, when I first found out about Rev. Dittmar, one of the first sermons I heard from her was on the subject of marriage. In fact, I was seriously thinking about asking her to perform the ceremony for Mrs. Axinar and I before my dear, sweet mother-in-law put the kibosh on the Unitarians for being "too liberal".

However, I was fairly convinced Rev. Dittmar wouldn't perform the ceremony anyway. In her 10-9-2005 sermon she goes on for quite some time about how she interrogates couples who want her to marry them. She also said she only had one bit of marriage advice - marry your best friend.

Now she's divorced herself.

Oh, wow.

For some reason I found myself thinking of the M*A*S*H episode "Fallen Idol" when Radar says to Hawkeye, "A lot of people look up to you here. They admire you and they kinda feel they want to be like you. And ... Gee, when you walk out on an operation, you make them feel like you've let them down. If they can't depend on you, well, they figure, well, maybe there's no point in depending on anything."

I'm telling this to my little teenie-tiny pocket-sized professor friend and she says, "But, Ax, she's only human."

Oh, I know she's human.

I also know in other denominations, getting divorced is an absolute career killer for a clergy member. It's, in fact, what turned Sam Kinison from a preacher to a stand-up comic.

Perhaps it's just proving a concept I learned from astronaut Al Bean - that, no matter how hard you may try - you simply can't predict exactly what's going to happen in the future.

On the other hand, no matter how unfair it might be, it's quite hard to shake the thought that if someone like Sharon Dittmar "got it wrong", what chance do the rest of us have?

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Nikki X And Her Fans

Since someone is clearly not going to leave me or our favorite ConspiracyNut alone until I cover this, yes, Nikki X did leave a rare blog entry - apparently about one of her own estimable commentors who apparently has been accusing her on a near-daily basis of having been responsible for the death of Kabaka Oba.

Now, whoever this person is, it does somewhat put me in mind of the rantings of Joy Rolland. In previous cable public access appearances, Joy has gone off on what looks like a cordrazine overdose ranting about "assassins" and "murderers".

The basic perception - and this seems to pervade the entire human species at times - is that no matter how open and shut a case you may have, there seems to be a tendency to blame EVERYONE except whoever actually pulled the trigger.

The biggest one of course is the Kennedy assasination. It just doesn't "sit right" for some people that a "punk with a mail order rifle" could have taken out the most powerful man on Earth.

Of late, 9/11 doesn't seem to "sit right" with people. Somehow or another an ACTUAL CONSPIRACY involving HUNDREDS of people and quite possibly several foreign governments and maybe even a major corporation or two leading to two HUGE planes packing major boatloads of fuel crashing at 500 miles/hour into two buildings built WAY before those types of planes were designed isn't enough for some people. No - they are clearly not going to be satisfied until it makes it into the history books that George W. Bush himself was somehow sitting in that classroom in Florida with a tiny little demolition detonator and brought the buildings down himself.

Similarly - people - I know it's been a little while - and I know some of this you wouldn't believe if someone wrote it as a novel, but here goes -

Kabaka Oba ran his mouth. Sometimes too much. Watching Joy Rolland for the last couple of years, yes, I'd have to say there's some possibility that she contributed to that mouth. However, I'm pretty sure she didn't force him at gunpoint onto public access and start running his mouth about having his "sodomite friends" take up light housekeeping with Howard Beatty. Did Kabaka do stuff to p*ss people off to the point of irrationality? You betcha'. Could you say he murdered himself? Nope.

Although obviously provoked, and, from some accounts, being a rather exciteable character, Howard Beatty, to the best of anyone's judgement, was a competent human being who should have known better than to blow ANYONE away across from City Hall, causing the poor mayor to soil himself.

Howard Beatty shot Kabaka.

Kabaka died of the injuries sustained in that shooting several days later.

That's it.


Howard Beatty killed Kabaka.

Not all these other people.

Now - are all these other people known to do and say way outrageous stuff from time to time?

Oh, you betcha' ...

But do they go around popping people on a daily basis?

I sure haven't read about it ...

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Blade Runner Five Disc Set Is A LIMITED EDITION!

Well, due to Mrs. Axinar psyching me out about getting the Blade Runner Five Disc Set for Christmas, I just now got the thing in the mail TODAY and what can I say but - WOW!

First of all, please note this thing is a LIMITED EDITION. The little plastic "suitcase" it came in has a serial number about half way thruogh the limited run of 103,000.

That means all y'all who want one of these things need to order it NOW before the primary suppliers run out.

Of course I haven't had the time to check out the whole thing yet, but I have had a chance to screen the infamous "Work Print" and it is, in many ways, the most bizarre of all the extant versions. Probably the most surprising bit that I had never heard of before was that the Vangelis score was not complete when the Work Print was put together and there are "temporary" tracks from other scores done by Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner. Now, those tracks are obviously VERY temporary and don't fit into the film very well, but it is WAY spooky hearing hints of Star Trek II and III eminating from Blade Runner.

So far the best part has been the deleted scenes, however.

In one of them, Deckard goes over the files in the spinner with Gaff instead of in Bryant's office. He's going over Zhora's file and says, "Looks like a cross between a porn movie and a traffic accident."

Doesn't put you in mind of anyone does it? :)


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gold At $888/ounce. Stagflation Next?

Gold made it beyond $880/ounce today, its highest price ever, not accounting for inflation.

Yet there are signs that the economy is slowing.

Could a Jimmy Carter-esque late 1970's-style stagflation be far behind??


Focal Length Ignorance Leads To Virginia Tech Conspiracy Theory

Much like a lack of basic knowledge of how film reacts to different levels of light leads to conspiracy theories about the Apollo moon landings, apparently a lack of even a modicum of understanding of the concept of FOCAL LENGTH has led to my good, close, personal friend, the Dean of Cincinnati, posting a WHOPPER saying that two pictures both claiming to be of the Va. Tech shooter are two different people.

Oh, dear God.

The picture on the left is of a student ID.

The picture on the right is from a video sent to the media claiming responsibility for the shooting.

The picture on the left was taken with a commercial "passport photo" type camera set at - what do you figure? - 100mm (35mm equivalent) or so? Tends to flatten the features. Tends to make a person look as they would look at a little bit of a distance, right? It's a "medium telephoto" pic. 50mm being considered "normal" and equivalent to the focal length of the unaided human eye.

The photo on the right looks to have been taken with something like a cell phone camera, right? Looks to be - what? - maybe 30mm (35mm equivalent). It's set so wide so as to be relatively insensitive to focus.

What does a wide angle lens at short range do to a human face?

Distort it!

HUGE nose.

HUGE lips.

Basically everything completely out of proportion and warped - sometimes beyond recognition.

Although it's impossible to tell when comparing photographs taken with such different length lenses - looks like roughly the same age, the same race, no differing moles, tatoos, or other marks.

I'm thinking this is pretty likely the same person.

People have WAY too much time on their hands these days ...

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There REALLY IS A Trilateral Commission

Believe it or not, there REALLY IS a Trilateral Commission.

A few months ago a buddy of mine started on me with, "Good God, what conspiracy theory do you have in that head of yours now?" and I thoguht I would start keeping an eye on the web traffic associated with the "major conspiracist terms".

Of course "Illuminati" led me to Denmark Vesey.

And it actually turns out that a few folks not ordinarily fingered as being nuts have some substantive thoughts on the Illuminati, although I have yet to see anyone, in turn, finger who these Illuminati currently are.

Another term, however, commonly associated with the "world domination" crowd is "Trilateral Commission". This term, in fact, was alluded to in some of the old Ron Paul newsletters currently being discussed.

The interesting part about The Trilateral Commission is that, apparently, it's actually REAL.

There is a bona-fide Trilateral Commission web site with something of an explanation page going into some explanation of how it was founded in 1973 and some spooky, spooky stuff about measuring time in "triennia" (three-year periods), with the current triennium ending in 2009 (something to do with why NTSC is going dark that year?).

The Trilateral Commission claims to have about 350 members from business, media, academia, but excludes current national Cabinet Ministers, and apparently primarily publishes newsletters (in cahoots with The Brookings Institution), ironically enough, much like Ron Paul used to ... :)

As to whether or not this outfit is directly running the world is yet to be determined, however ...


Ron Paul Newsletters - Racist? Paranoid?

James Kirchick of The New Republic really outdid himself when it dug up quite a collection of old Ron Paul newsletters and they paint a picture that Ron Paul, or at least the people he associated with years ago were profoundly racist and at least as paranoid as our favorite ConspiracyNut.

As recently as 1992 an issue of Ron Paul Political Report explained of the post-Rodney King riots in Los Angeles: ""Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began."

And apparently it only gets worse from there.

God only knows what Denmark Vesey is going to do with himself now.

Denmark Vesey seems to be an advocate for all things Afro-centric, but also seems to be a major Ron Paul supporter and those two positions may now be in decided conflict.

God only knows what Joy Rolland would have to say about him ...

Newsletters Finally Reveal Why Racist Hate Groups Support Ron Paul - The Hot Joints
Who Wrote the Ron Paul Survival Report? Will He Do the Honorable Thing and Step Forward? - The Liberty Papers
Ron Paul, Racist? - Outside The Beltway
Proof: Ron Paul Lied About Not Being the Author of the Newsletters - Sultan Knish
Ron Paul Statement on The New Republic Article Regarding Old Newsletters - Ron Paul 2008

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Monday, January 7, 2008

TV Converter Box Coupons Expected To Start Shipping February 17, 2007

Oh, by the way, for those of you who have wondered here looking for information on the HDTV converter box program, engadgetHD is reporting that the converter box coupons are expected to start shipping on February 17th.

This is exactly one year prior to the scheduled date with analog TV, the good old NTSC system, is scheduled to permanently and irrevocably go dark in favor of, amongst other things, that BIZARRE stretch-screen Bravo Sierra that TBS-HD was running the other day when they played My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Why in the HELL hasn't someone thought of making an HDTV with tiny little curtains for aspect ratio changes like they have in the movie theaters???

The HDTV Converter Box Coupons can be ordered at or you can call in your order to 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009) or TTY 1-877-530-2634.

You can also download a coupon application and mail it to PO BOX 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000.

You can also fax (although that's SO 20th century) the coupon application to 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632).

Let's just hope the picture through the converter doesn't bite TOO bad ...


Study Refutes Autism/Thimerosal Link

This is a big one, folks.

Autism cases in California CONTINUED to climb DESPITE the removal of mercury-based thimerosal from vaccines.

I TOLD you!

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to reason out that thimerosal has been in widespread use since the 1930's and the sudden spike in autism cases has not been until the last 20 years or so.

Now ... could the increase in autism be linked to an OVERALL increase in mercury compounds in the environment?

You betcha'!

Although ... here's an idea that will send people's heads spinning ...

Is is possible that it's not that there are any more cases of autism per se, but is it possible that due to some environmental changes that the MAJORITY are growing MORE neurotypical?

I mean - maybe The Old Man has a point. Do you ever notice in old movies how there is much more exposition and people tend to ENUNCIATE alot better?

Is the phenomenon of people developing ever more complex non-verbal social patterns a form of pathology in and of itself?

It could explain a great many things ...


Thursday, January 3, 2008

General Electric, Osama bin Laden, And Pedophiles

There is an EXCELLENT article running on Technology Review by John Hockenberry mostly about the time he spent working on NBC's Dateline.

The article is REALLY long, but well worth reading.

It is about the inherent conflict between corporate interests the magnitude of General Electric and the role of journalists as a "fourth branch of government" of sorts.

He first mentions that Dateline NBC has devolved largely into the To Catch a Predator series where Hockenberry explains, if I understand him correctly, that the show collects its victims by "post[ing] offers of sex with minors on the Internet ..."

Oh really?

I always thought they rounded them up in chat rooms.

In fact, I have always been fascinated by how an INITIAL online meeting goes on between, oh, say, some middle aged clergyman and a Sheriff's deputy claiming to be a 14-year-old girl. Oh, they're pretty good at posting the transcripts after things have gotten "hot and heavy", but one REALLY wonders what goes on in the early parts of those conversations.

The most fascinating part of this article though, is that Hockenberry REALLY starts to finger GE and its "Six Sigma" culture as being culpable for a great deal of misuse of its media assets.

In fact - and this I find fascinating - Hockenberry said the "Champions" and "Black Belts" of Six Sigma put him in mind of the "Cadres" and "Squad Leaders" of his Maoism I class. The "shareholder value" mantra of hours-long GE training he attended put him in mind of Mao Zedong's "right path".

Could Hockenberry be onto something here? Despite China being communist in name, could their jack-booted thuggery and iron-booted control tactics have bled into the theology of Corporate America over the last couple of decades?

Most fascinating, though, is a story that Hockenberry recounts of seeking help from GE corporate to help find the relatives of Osama bin Laden so they could be interviewed. GE had a major, long-standing relationship with the bin Laden family. And of course there was no way in HELL Corporate was going to jeopardize that relationship, so they wouldn't help get Dateline in contact with the bin Ladens.

Yep ... I'd have to say it's pretty frightening that one of the biggests and most respected news organizations on the planet is owned by a company with so VERY much to gain from prolonged bloody conflict ...

Kourtney Kardashian Bikini Pics

Yes, Kim's sister is a cutey, but why in the WORLD the ENTIRE blogosphere has insisted on spelling it "Courtney Kardashian" is quite beyond my capacity.

Maybe they figure people are looking for the name phonetically based on the common spelling.

The following blogs have botched it so far (that I have stumbled across and look to be of IMPORT):



Hollywood Rag

Etc, etc, etc ...

Get it right, people. She has a MySpace page, for the love of God.

The following blogs DID get it right, however:


The Superficial

Faded Youth Blog

Good job, guys! :)


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Return Of Joy Rolland

Last night Mrs. Axinar was flipping channels whilst I was scrutinizing the January, 2008 issue of Utne Reader when I caught a distinct "Jewnited Snakes of America" out of the corner of my ear and I looked up and beheld - you guessed it - Joy Rolland.

I could not believe my eyeballs.

I thought for sure she would have been advised by counsel to stay off public access.

I could not really make out when this video was shot, but, based upon the content, I'm guess some time roughly around Thanksgiving because she went on a LOOOOOOOOONG screed about, if I can figure out what the hell she's talking about at all, Thanksgiving somehow being some sort of plot by "The White Man".

Now, mind you, I have seen certain brothas and sistas go to EXTREME lengths to disassociate themselves from North American culture. There is of course the, "Why should I get get excited about Christmas with this blond, blue-eyed Jesus business?"

There's also of course the, "Why should I pledge allegiance to the flag when the Constitution says I'm 3/5 of a person?"

But, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've heard someone suggesting that THANKSGVIING has racial overtones - against African-Americans anyway.

There was one part in here though that I got to thinking she might have a point. I think she was trying to say, "This holiday goes WAY back to the time of slavery. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if slave owners invented the thing. That being the case I hope to God THEY gave thanks when they were raping, pillaging, and mutilating my ancestors ..."

Joy then went on to her usual wave of insults against the Bailey and Beatty families - the siblings of her late paramour, Kabaka Oba, and those of Howard Beatty, the man who shot Kabaka near City Hall and apparently caused the poor mayor to soil himself.

Joy did also produce a piece of news that I had been unaware of - possibly because, as Mrs. Axinar is fond of pointing out, I'm not "down" - that Junebug's has closed down.

Oh, that's sad.

I never made it there - mainly due to lack of escort ... :)

For those of you who have not been keeping up, "Junebug" is Howard Beatty's brother George. Junebug owned a barbeque establishment that was a major sponsor of WDBZ "The Buzz of Cincinnati". Quite a few years back there would be live testimonials that Junebug's barbeque dishes were so tender that you didn't need teeth to "eat his meat".

Actually at one point it was even claimed that you didn't even need gums to eat Junebug's barbeque.

Joy of course took credit for the restaurant failing.

She also apparently has some new Khan Noonien Singh motif going on with wearing one black glove - with a ring on the OUTSIDE of the glove.

In any event, if I read the cards right, it looks like we will be able to enjoy Joy's ravings every first Tuesday of the month at least until September, 2008 on Time-Warner Cable Channel 24.

As time allows, I will of course will be posting reviews and highlights of the shows.

I know Crankshaft will hardly be able to contain herself ... :)


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Don't Forget Your HDTV Converter Box Coupons!

For those of you who have not been paying attention at all, on February 18, 2009, the analog TV spectrum is going dark.

Now, of course quite a few of you who are reading this have cable modems and get most of your TV programming that way. So far as I can tell, the cable companies will still be transmitting analog signals for quite some time. However, I'm guessing a number of you have TV's with "rabbit ears" antennas in garages, workshops, and other remote sections of your property, and, if you do, you're not going to get anything but STATIC on those TV's starting February 18, 2009.

Fortunately, the government has started a little program to ease the transition until true HDTV's become more affordable.

If you go to you can apply for up to two $40 coupons towards the purchase of a converter box that will be able to receive over-the-air HDTV signals and make them visible on your conventional analog TV's.

But supplies are limited so you better HURRY.

And, more importantly, it's probably a good idea to check on older family members who only receive over-the-air programming and bring them up to speed on what's going down during the transition to HDTV and help them obtain and hook up their converters.

For those who do not have Internet access, requests for the converter coupons can also be phoned into a 24-hour hotline at (888)388-2009.

And HOPEFULLY affordable true HDTV's will be coming in the near future ...


Tony Brown On The Illuminati

Mind you, I wouldn't necessarily say I agree with this, but this has got to be the most coherent explanation of the concept of the Illuminati I have heard so far.

Although, it's generally been my experience that some of the most powerful people on the planet at the moment certainly THINK they are on a mission FROM God or something of the sort ...


"Marit Ayin"

Taking a look over some of the recent comments, I am beginning to wonder if it might be possible that certain speculations on the part of the goyim might be considered inexcusably offensive by the Jewish community due to the Jewish concept of "Marit Ayin".

"Marit Ayin" literally translates as "the appearance of the eye" and refers to doing something that is technically kosher that, nonetheless, from a distance looks treife as hell.

The first example of this concept that was ever explained to me was that, although shrimp is as treife as the day is long, there are companies who have gone through the trouble to take something like processed whitefish, add certain spices and then put it in a shrimp-shaped mold to make, essentially, technically kosher simulated shrimp.

However, as Rabbi Yitzchok Preis of the Cincinnati Community Kollel explained to me, why would someone want to do this? Were someone who otherwise keeps kosher to be seen eating this simulated shrimp, it would appear for all the world that the person were doing something staggeringly bad.

Similarly, in 1996, when the then-owner of the Cincinnati Reds, Marge Schott was quoted as saying, "... when [Hitler] came in [to power] he was good ...", refering apparently to the highway and industrial development at that time, even though this technically may be correct, there is no way to separate such a statement from the APPEARANCE of attempting to say that what Hitler did INCLUDING the Holocaust, was good.

Now, perhaps Will Smith was doing other things in 1996 and didn't see the Marge Schott story. Perhaps he was doing other things a few months back when Halle Berry came within a stone's throw of destroying her career with the "Jewish nose" comment on Jay Leno.

Based upon the context of the original article, I'm wondering if what Will Smith was somehow trying to say that he was a Unitarian-Universalist - that he cannot imagine that any mortal human was 100% pure evil incarnate.

Even the Lubavicher Jewish community has a story of an insufferable anti-Semite who never once had anything good to say about the Jews - with the exception of one Friday afternoon during a horrible snowstorm when he found a group of Jews in a ditch on the side of the road on their way to shul. Cussing and swearing during the whole process, he climbs down into the ditch and pushes the car back onto the road. When the anti-Semite later died and was being judged, the sum of his life indicated a quick and speedy trip to the Fiery Furnace, but the defending angel pointed out that, on the good side, you not only had to weigh this act of pushing the Jews' car back onto the road, but you also had to weigh all the mitzvahs the Jews did when they got to shul and then you had to weigh the SNOW the anti-semite had climbed into, and then it would just balance out and the anti-Semite would have a place in the World To Come.

This particular anti-Semite character the Lubavichers would NOT have in mind when thinking of Hitler. I'm thinking the thought process might go something like this - something like in the Star Trek episode Doomsday Machine - "They say there's no devil Jim, but there is - right out of hell I saw it."

Summarizing the comments of a great many Jewish people I have talked to on the subject, I think they tend to think something along the lines, "Yes, we believed for the longest time there was no such thing as a human being with no redeeming characteristics whatsoever. But there was something DIFFERENT about Hitler. Yes, there have been wars before. Yes, there have even been genocides before. But never before, or since, has there been such an act of organized, mechanized human destruction."

The word "Holocaust" is not just a proper noun - it's a word from the Torah that refers to the utter consumption of a sacrificial animal by fire. What is most difficult to comprehend upon more careful examination of the events of those years is that, in some respectes, Hitler was successful. There are certainly thriving Jewish communities in the United States, Israel, and several other parts of the world, but the ranking institutions of Jewish thought prior to the Second World War were in Poland. It's a little as if there were a nuclear war or something of the sort and Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Cornell, Princeton, MIT, Dartmouth, Duke, UCLA, Berkeley, and Rutgers were UTTERLY obliterated. Now, we might still have the University of Cincinnati, Wright State, Cincinnati State and NKU, but we would have lost, permanently, schools of thought rich beyond measure.

No, no matter how hard you might try, you very simply can't use "Hitler" and "good" in the same sentence unless you want to make ALOT of people REALLY mad ...


"Mental Illness" vs. "Irresponsibility"

Speaking of utterly outrageous ideas that just barely have enough merit to contribute to a decent conversation - a few weeks back The Cincinnati Beacon, whilst doing some research on the background of GOP Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee, stumbled across the video of someone Mike Huckabee is reported to follow - a televangelist by the name of Bill Gothard who seems to be promoting the theory that there is no such thing as mental illness - that what we ordinarily think of as "mental illness" is merely a lack of "personal responsibility".

Ordinarily, as with Holocaust deniers and people who think we never walked on the moon, one's first impression might be to attempt to supress the expression of such theories. In fact, I believe it is possible that the mainstream media has been so successful in silencing the Thumpers that many in the non-Thumper community are not even familiar with the details of the Thumper ideology. This of course is quite dangerous as there are Thumpers in VERY high levels of power in this country and we don't even know the details of how they think.

Bill Gothard's ideas would shed some light on the behavior of some powerful Thumpers I have encountered in my travels. In fact, I used to think it was more of a "sports mentality" than a "Thumper mentality".

You see, there seems to be a certain line of thinking among certain coach types that you can "shake off" just about anything but the most serious injuries and illnesses. Probably the most notorious case of this was a gymnastics coach by the name of Bela Karolyi who, during the 1996 summer Olympics, encouraged Kerri Strug to "shake it off" after a badly sprained ankle.

Such callousness one might have attributed to the "heat of the moment" of such an important spoting event, but, having encountered similar notions from other sources, I am beginning to wonder if such behavior might be attributable to this dangerous notion that there is no such thing as illness (mental or otherwise), or possibly even injury - that most, if not all "atypical" behavior is a malfunction of character rather than physiology.

Yes, if there are people out there who think like this - particularly in positions of power - we need to know about it - if for no other reason than to know who to vote against ...


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