Saturday, July 31, 2010


Melatonin seems like a mysterious compound, increasing REM sleep and vivid dreaming in addition to assisting with the circadian rhythm. It also functions as an antioxidant. It is produced by an endocrine gland located in the brain, known as the pineal body. In humans, melatonin exerts an inhibitory influence upon the reproductive system that prevents sexual maturation from occurring too early.

The production of melatonin requires hours of darkness. This was seldom an issue for our ancient ancestors, but today, many remain awake during the hours of darkness, such as the evening-time, to watch their favorite television shows and use the computer. By doing so, modern humans deprive themselves of a beneficial compound that seems to have a subtle influence upon psychology and health.

I have decided to embark upon an experiment with myself as the subject. I will make a conscious effort to generate increased levels of melatonin in my system by going to sleep during the hours of darkness and arising in the early morning. My expectation is that I will have a more pronounced circadian rhythm, more REM sleep, and vivid dreaming. The last benefit is of great interest to me, because I want to experience vivid dreaming and see what all the fuss is about. I may discover that melatonin is of great benefit.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." I wonder whether that is so and whether melatonin is the reason.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, July 30, 2010

Added Another to My List of Heroes

For some time now, I have been forming a list of heroes in American politics. Other people have politicians they detest, but I decided to be different and look for the good people, the role models. These politicians have to stand out from the crowd in some way, either by taking a stand on an issue, or through eloquence, diplomacy, or statesmanship. In other words, I don't pick a hero just because I agree with his politics. And my usage of the term "hero" can encompass the female gender as well. (One of my peeves with English is the division of titles, such as hero/heroine, into male and female.)

At the top is Rep. Barney Frank. The time has come to add Sen. Jim Webb, who is addressing a problem of long standing, the disparity between the inmate population in the U.S. and in all other nations of the world. I have been aware for some time that the U.S. incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation, including China. Something needs to be done about that. The most obvious fix would be to either decriminalize or reduce the penalties for marijuana. I am pleased to see that action is being taken on this front, and I am sure that our Founding Fathers would be too, as they would have been sentenced to lengthy terms in prison under the current system, as they were cultivators and users of the forbidden herb.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Courage to Make Correct Decisions

I agree with the comments made by Shirley Sherrod. Rather than showing concern over the base sentiments of the right wing, our leaders must find the courage to make enlightened decisions. Wrong action, even when undertaken for the purpose of building consensus, fails in its intended purposes. Correct action displays strength, invites respect, and builds strength. Yes, the babies of the right wing will kick and scream. There will be much second-guessing. It must be endured. The babies of the right wing will always be babies.

One knows the evil-doers that walk upon the earth by their willingness to lie and misrepresent the statements of others. As I have said before, it is to the credit of good people that they speak the truth. Those who are good have a sixth sense about truth. They feel it, even if they do not know it. Those who are evil do not seek the truth. They want no part of the truth. Their currency is lies used to achieve their ends.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Rude Student

The last time I remembered a dream was several years ago. I don't know why. Some people do remember their dreams, and I envy them. It must be fun to recall dreams. Even better are vivid dreams in which the mind assumes conscious control. Due to my dream deficiency, I stretch the definition of dream to encompass the waking time just before sleep, when I am lying in bed thinking.

Last night, I dreaded a possibility that a particular student in my class might be unbalanced enough to do harm to himself or others. I was put to mind of atrocities on other American campuses where a crazy student (or, sadder to say, professor) took a firearm to class. Sometimes, I get a bad feeling about a person. I sense that there is a dark cloud hanging over them. But that feeling does not translate into any specific premonition. It is not magic, but based upon the manner in which a person interacts with others and whether they observe basic social rules of etiquette and consideration for others. In this specific case, there is not enough evidence, other than a bad feeling. I know it is easy to confuse "little bit crazy" with "full-blown crazy." Not all crazy people are dangerous. Crazy people tend to be frightened of others, actually. They understand the actions of rational people no better than we understand their actions. From their point of view, they are just doing their thing. From our point of view, their thing is eccentric and annoying. Who is correct? That is a matter of contention, but for now, the rational people hold sway. Naturally, I prefer to number myself among the rational.

This student has difficulty in adhering to basic social norms, such as not speaking when the professor is lecturing. He is forever rattling on about one thing or the other to his discredit, describing past events that portray him in a most unfavorable light, although he thinks otherwise (delusions of grandeur), thinking himself a great adventurer and extrovert, and hoping that we should perceive him in those terms. He is a most deluded fellow. My diagnosis is garden variety bipolar disorder. All that he says destroys any possibility that anyone with sense should have a good opinion of him. He even tapped out a text message on his cell phone during the lecture, resulting in an audible, high-pitched beeping noise for each of the letters of the message.

Our professor is new, meek, and sweet, and seems incapable of making the necessary rebuke, which is a common defect in newly minted teachers, who are afraid of offending anyone. Also, she is black, and the student is white, although race is not the foremost issue here. As a matter of fact, the white students disapprove of the behavior of the rude white student. It is very much taboo to be disrespectful of a teacher.

I found myself growing angry at the rudeness, but said nothing, because there was a fear that I might overstep and say too much. Also, it was not my place to say anything, but the professor's. However, I had a fantasy of taking him by the collar and dragging him out of the classroom, kicking and screaming, and telling him to go home, since he did not want to learn and was not willing to let the other students learn either. But I doubted that vigilantism would have been appreciated by anyone. The rude student is a frail-looking man. I might seem to be a bully. Besides, he may own a gun to compensate for his physical inferiority. Robert Heinlein once wrote, "Never beat a small man. He'll kill you." There is something to that advice. I don't want to make any enemies. I've got enough to deal with just getting through school. Order in the classroom is customarily the responsibility of the professor, though in this case, the professor lacks the courage to enforce order.

During a study session in the library, a group of students, including myself, confronted the rude student and told him in polite and general terms that he needed to remain quiet while the professor was speaking. We explained that we wished to hear what was said in order to pass the class. Also, the professor might treat the entire class with a harsh bias, if she felt the class were disrespectful. He took offense, claiming, "you all hate me, just like the others!" (I don't know who "the others" are and did not wish to ask.) He insisted that he knew more than the professor. She was a know-nothing, while he was extremely smart, he said. He described himself as a "type-A personality," which tempted me to ask what the "A" stood for, but I held my peace. After each person in our group repeated the same general observation, he promised to remain silent during the class. I sensed he was lying, but held my peace. I am of the opinion he lies on a regular basis and has difficulty distinguishing between fact and fiction. Much of what he says about himself has the distinct aroma of bull manure. He is very poor at evaluating the motives and reasoning of other people.

In the classroom, I changed my seat, moving further away from him, as he was in the habit of turning around to talk to me during the lecture. He considered me his buddy, because I had been friendly in the beginning, as I am with everyone that I meet. He was unaware of ever having caused any offense through his remarks or behavior.

I had made the mistake early on of talking to him and giving him attention, a grievous error. I am a friendly person by nature, reluctant to ignore people who are looking into my eyes and talking to me. Anyone who says anything to him or maintains eye contact encourages frequent, lengthy, and interminable conversations about the most inane topics that amuse his disordered mind. He has a vile habit of invading the personal space of his listeners, touching them in inappropriate ways. For instance, upon learning that I had made the highest grade in the class on the last exam, he made a derisive remark, which I took in stride, but then flicked a hand toward my face. His fingertip scratched my cheek, causing me to wince, and I did not like that. He also warned me that if I upset the "Bell Curve" of the test scores, he would find out where I live and break one of my windows. I said, "Bring it on." I did not like his remark. I was unsure of whether he was joking. He made an enemy that day, though he showed no awareness of his wrong. The possibility that he might have been serious filled me with wrath, which smoldered and increased the longer that I considered the implications. It is remarkable that he has survived to be thirty-something. Perhaps his mental illness is of recent origin.

Before the last test, I had shared tips with him, based upon my long hours studying, that resulted in his scoring ten points higher than he otherwise would have earned, which he recognized later, remarking, "Hey, you know, I take back all of what I said before. You helped me. I scored ten points higher because of you. You know, I guess I won't be breaking your window after all." This remark was just as foolish as the last. I did not like being reminded that I had helped him in a substantial manner. Foolish generosity! I had failed to evaluate the individual I was helping and had helped a viper. I would much preferred he had scored the "B" he deserved. It was impossible from this point on that I would ever help him again.

I moved away to remove his temptation, but also to reduce my annoyance. The sight, sound, and smell of him was repulsive. He was not easy on the eyes, smelled like an ashtray, being a chain-smoker of menthol cigarettes, and his incessant talking grated on the nerves. Had I remained nearby, the professor might have assumed I was his buddy, being of the same race, and I did not want that. I realized the other black students had drawn the same incorrect assumption, that he and I were buddies. It is common for people to group others together by race. By moving away, I isolated him, which resulted in an unexpected dividend, much to my satisfaction.

The black students were particularly offended by the white student's rudeness to a black professor, which is understandable. I think that if they had known just how angry I was, and the sort of things I had been thinking about, then they would have been surprised.

A black female student in the class became my heroine. She asked a question of the professor, and when the professor's reply was obscured by more talking from the rude student, she said in a loud and angry voice, "Excuse me, but there is someone in the class who is talking out of turn. Someone in the middle of the class, on the third row, who is very rude and inconsiderate to the rest of the class. Someone who insists on talking while the professor is talking. A very rude person."

Everyone in the class knew who she was talking about. No one stirred. The silence was deafening. I wanted to cheer, but contented myself with a wide smile. The rude student did not turn around or respond in any way, but kept his head down. I think the rebuke was effective, because he did quiet down a bit. The professor pretended nothing had happened, but I was sure that this had pleased her. She answered the question and proceeded with the lecture. However, about ten minutes later, I noticed she was smiling much broader and more frequently. Also, she remarked on how much she liked our class. Her meaning was clear. I was pleased. The student body had policed itself in an effective manner, at least on that occasion.

I remain watchful of the rude student who seems to have trouble controlling his own behavior. This is the first time I have encountered a bad apple in the student body, which has otherwise been represented well in my experience. I hope that nothing worse comes out of the situation. However, I cannot be concerned with events beyond my control or foresight. If others make mistakes, then that is to their discredit. I intend to remain blameless. My choice is to hope for the best and do the best I can. I will always be on the side of those that are good, and it pleases me to see good people prevail.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Republicans' Misplaced Priorities

Rather than fund domestic spending, Republicans prefer to spend all available money on the Afghan conflict. I wonder how my Republican friends feel about that. If I were to ask them, I suspect they would express surprise, as they tend to receive all of their news from a single source, FOX, the propaganda organ of the Republican Party.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Reserve Scrabble

Reserve Scrabble, my latest idea, rectifies the problem of luck in the game of Scrabble. Every player knows that whosoever draws both wildcards will win nine times out of ten, assuming equal skill levels among players. In Reserve Scrabble, each player begins the game with the usual seven-tile hand and a reserve of two or more tiles. The reserve, which may be tapped whenever needed, contains a wildcard and an "s". (No wildcards or "s" tiles remain in the deck.) The difficult tiles, "j", "z", "x", "q", "c", and "v", are randomly distributed to the players' reserves and are not to be found in the deck. Thus, each player receives the same number of difficult tiles, although different ones. The problem of too many vowels or too many consonants lessens in severity, since every player has a wildcard and an "s" at his disposal.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Demonspawn Fighter

In Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, I have a new favorite race/class combination: Demonspawn Fighter. After the Ecumenical Temple is discovered, I choose Trog and become a Berserker. Why not begin as a Berserker in the first place? Fighters begin with valuable experience in Fighting, Armour, and Shields, which are difficult areas for Demonspawn to acquire experience. They come equipped with a regular shield and a decent suit of armour. In addition, the Fighter gets to choose his weapon, whereas the Berserker receives an Axe. I prefer my Demonspawn to train in Maces & Flails for the possibility that it might find a Demon Whip, for which it enjoys racial bonuses.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

The Cure for Dandruff

Years ago, my scalp suffered from excessive dryness. The condition was aggravated by my lifestyle. I remained indoors for most of the twenty-four hours in a day, either at work in an air-conditioned (hence, dry) office, or inside my air-conditioned house or air-conditioned car. The dandruff problem was such that a shake of the head caused a snowstorm. The resulting itching from dry skin led to scratching, and scratching led to bleeding, followed by infections.

I tried remedies, such as using anti-dandruff shampoo and even applying a solution of 5% apple vinegar to my scalp after a shower. These remedies helped, but came with disadvantages. Apple vinegar makes one smell like a pickle! I soon abandoned that approach. I went to the doctor to ask for a remedy, and she prescribed a $35 bottle of medicinal shampoo, whose active ingredient was no different than the one found in Selsun Blue. She admitted as much, and suggested that I might save money by buying Selsun Blue. I tried the shampoo for a few months, but it was no cure.

Shampoos are designed to harm hair and cause skin irritation. The manufacturers insert industrial solvents into the shampoo because they are cheap and cause an immediate change in hair color and texture. However, these products can cause a wide variety of dermatological problems.

The actual solution to dandruff is to stop washing hair on a daily basis, as I had been doing. Oil in hair, known as sebum, serves a protective function. Removing it is counter-productive. Frequent hair-washing results in dryer hair and skin, dandruff, and itching. It is also a needless expense. I even noticed that my hair fell out in response to certain shampoos. The loss of hair was of particular concern, because I would prefer not to go bald any sooner than necessary.

Since my hair is naturally oily, I wash mine about once every 1-2 weeks*, depending upon need, using a single application of mild anti-dandruff shampoo, a generic store-brand. I like to see the words "mild" and "gentle" on a shampoo bottle, or even "for dry hair," as I assume that will be milder. I avoid anything marked "for oily hair," because that is likely to contain harsh and irritating solvents. My hair looks great, I don't suffer from dandruff, and my scalp never itches. I am also keeping more of my hair on my head rather than shedding. Why second-guess nature?

* Someone with dry hair should only wash their hair once a month, if that.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Acting in Haste

The story of a racist USDA employee, pressured to resign over her treatment of a white farmer, was promoted by FOX news, which has never been a credible news source. Any leader who bases his actions upon their stories is not an effective leader and should be replaced. The wife of the white farmer considers Shirley Sherrod a "friend for life." The farmer himself said that she helped him save his farm. In regard to the supposed "racist incident," he said that it sounds like someone is trying to stir up trouble.

One of the problems in general with leaders of all kinds is that they act in haste, motivated by fear, before learning all of the details about a situation. There is almost always time available for cool and calm analysis. Those who think in a heated state of fear or greed will make errors. As a computer programmer, I used time to my advantage, gathering up sufficient details to make informed judgments about the cause of a given problem. This cautious approach allowed me to counter serious problems with effective one-shot kills. I was known as an effective trouble-shooter because I took the time to think things through and consider the possibilities.

Those who make high-level decisions have a similar responsibility as a computer programmer. They must take the time and effort to probe into issues and learn the facts surrounding a case before making a decision. There are very few issues that require an instant response. Rapid reactions should almost never be contemplated unless absolutely necessary. To act quickly without sufficient preparation and analysis is to invite mistakes, which can lead to greater problems. I know this all too well, because I have seen programmers fail. I have seen small problems snowball into great problems. I have cleaned up the resulting messes.

It is not Shirley Sherrod who should resign, but instead her boss, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has revealed an appalling weakness in his leadership style. He reminds me G. W. Bush, who had an enthusiasm for acting in ignorance. Bush was proud of his ignorance, viewing as a kind of virtue, a popular fad among conservatives.

The ignorant remain so due to their pride, which preserves and protects their ignorance. To be curious is good. To want to know more is the way.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blood Type B is Beautiful

I discovered today that my blood type is B+. I can donate blood to any RH positive person with type AB or B and can receive blood from types O and B. However, I don't plan to make any donations in this lifetime. It is not permitted for gays to donate blood in the U.S. I am not offended by that particular rule, which is designed to reduce the blood supply's exposure to the HIV virus. (I am HIV-, however.)

For the same reason, I cannot donate sperm to most sperm banks. I am opposed to donating sperm anyway, because I'm not sure I would approve of the recipient mother.

According to this article on a popular Japanese pseudoscience, akin to astrology, I possess the following traits:

    Type B – The Hunter
  • individualist
  • dislike custom
  • strong
  • optimistic
  • creative
  • flexible
  • wild
  • unpredictable

"Wild" and "unpredictable" are synonyms, I would think.

I will gladly accept any and all unscientific flattery, of course.

The aspect about blood typing that interests me is that type B'ers tend to be clustered in northern India and central Asia, which suggests that a certain line of my ancestors originated from that region. Estonia*, Finland*, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and India all have a relatively high incidence of type B. More Asians than Westerners are type B, and type B is often found among animals (hence the "wild" designation, no doubt).

I have long suspected that my father had a certain amount of Asiatic blood deriving from his mother, who was dark-haired and dark-skinned, though Caucasian. She was said to have been a great beauty, much sought after.

* A possible explanation for the Finns and other Europeans would be migration.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Stellar Week

What a stellar week this has been:

-The BP oil leak has been contained (for now)!
-California has a referendum on the ballot that may legalize marijuana!
-Democrats inserted a provision into the Immigration Bill that may equalize immigration rights for married gay couples!

I'm euphoric.

The last measure, in particular, would have a profound effect upon my own life and that of my partner of thirteen years. Of all legislation that has ever been, that one provision would mean the most to me. I called my representatives and urged them to pass it. I don't know what else I can do. I hope the Republicans show a little bit of humanity on this issue instead of their usual knee-jerk opposition to anything at all involving gays. According to Immigration Equality, there are 36,000 Americans like me that would be effected.

My partner's cousin, who is heterosexual, has already received citizenship via marriage. It is only fair that my partner be permitted the same privilege.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Amateur Diagnosis

In my studies of Anatomy and Physiology, I learned about Graves Disease, which is a condition in which the thyroid overproduces thyroid hormones, leading to a constellation of physical and mental abnormalities. Some of these abnormalities may be adaptive to some degree in certain situations. Nothing is good or bad. It is just different. I must remind myself of that. Organic life forms are subtle, much more so than the majority of computer programs. It is estimated that two percent of females suffer from a form of hyperthyroidism.

As I studied the list of symptoms, it occurred to me that a woman of my acquaintance might suffer from hyperthyroidism, which is insidious and sometimes difficult to detect. However, this is not something that I can ever mention to her, as we are no longer in contact. Such an observation would be resented, or at a minimum, misinterpreted. Only close friends can share such observations with one another with impunity. Besides, there is always the possibility that I am mistaken. I can only hope that the psychologists she consulted were aware of the possibility and recommended that she be tested for it.

I would like to live in a nation that devoted its resources to solving the problems of disease and infirmity, rather than starting pointless wars in worthless cesspools around the world. Disease causes more suffering among Americans than the foreign fanatics ever did. It is a worthy foe and more diabolic than the human villains of the day.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

A Paradise on Earth for Republicans

There is a country on earth tailor-made for the Republican Party. In this country, gays are done away with. The army is dominated by the aptly named Republican Guards, who enforce good old-fashioned Republican values. Protesters are beaten, imprisoned and raped. Public affection is punished by torture. This is the ultimate fulfillment of the Republican worldview. This country has everything the Republicans want: state-sponsored religion, violence, guns, torture, prohibition of everything except religion, militarization, disregard for the rights of minorities, and widespread censorship. What's not to like, Republicans?
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, July 16, 2010


As a young man, I got away with tons of dessert, booze, and fattening snacks. I did not seem to gain very much weight. In later life, the metabolic rate slowed down. I put on pounds.

My new custom is this. When hungry, eat. Otherwise, don't eat. I have found that hunger is the best spice for any food. Savor the flavor.

Recreational eating leads to obesity. I want to be thin again. I have no ambition to become as thin as I was in youth. That would require too much privation, and I'm no Hollywood celebrity that needs to be concerned with body image to such an extent. (I'm thinking of Kathy Griffin, who claims to be hungry all the time.) I'd be satisfied to lose the paunch I've been carrying around the last six years or so.

Recreational eating is delightful, though. If I had just one year remaining, I would eat as much as I want, whenever I want. Recreational eating regulates the mood in an effective manner. All my friends adore eating above all else. I think it is the national pastime.

I am surprised the government has not passed a law against eating, since people enjoy it so much. One might expect a "Food Enforcement Agency" (FEA) to send undercover agents into restaurants and arrest people who indulge in ice cream or cake. The agents would shoot any dog they see, just as DEA agents shot a dog in a marijuana clinic for no apparent reason. They would destroy all the equipment, vandalize the restaurant, and threaten the diners with loaded assault rifles. Such is the way of the DEA with state-registered marijuana clinics that operate fully within the bounds of the law.

The government has chosen to overlook excessive eating for now, possibly because they are still waging war against American citizens over cannabis. One war, or rather three, at a time, must be the rule. Mark my words, though. A war on food is next. After that, a war on oversleeping. Security forces will bang drums to wake people every morning, because it's healthier. Then, a war on game-playing, because it's not productive. After that, a war on book-reading, because book-reading leads to thinking, which is dangerous. Anyone who reads books might start to doubt the government's wars against its own citizens.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What Bush Should Have Done in '01

Financial reform. At last.

It's a good thing.

My opinion of the Obama administration has improved quite a bit. Perhaps it will be possible for the U.S. to recover from the Bush Recession.

I hope that Americans will remember that Republicans voted against the bill with only three exceptions. Remember come election day.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

A Dream that Hastens Sleep

Late at night, while lying in bed, I like to imagine my body levitating in immaterial form, the ceiling posing no obstacle. I rest upon a magical black marble block that feels softer than any feather bed. All around me are smoky clouds. It is a safe place and also a dead place where the living may not intrude, and the concerns of the world are nothing. From the clouds emerge eight friendly djinn that massage my body in silence, their hands warm. A greater being, who is benevolent and wise, but unseen, tells me that all is as it should be. Soon I am asleep.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gay Republicans

My contact with gay Republicans has been limited. They are a rare breed. A poll once showed that 80% of self-identified gay men voted for Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry in '04, as I did. And no wonder--Republican politicians tend to make offensive remarks directed at gays. Republicans, almost by default, tend to oppose anything that might make life more bearable for gays, while favoring laws to make life worse for gays.

In 1996, the Log Cabin Republicans ran an ad in gay newspapers that pointed out that then-President Clinton had done little or nothing for gays. They were right. As a point of fact, the Clinton administration proved to be a disaster for gay Americans, as it oversaw the passage of the misnamed "Defense of Marriage" act as well as "Don't Ask / Don't Tell" in the armed forces. Clinton talked the talk, but didn't walk the walk. I was struck by the advertisement, because the claims it made were all true, and I could not find issue with them. I voted for Clinton anyway, because the alternative was no better, and I agreed with Clinton on other issues. However, Clinton served conservative business interests better than any other group. It is difficult to praise any particular accomplishment made by his administration. Perhaps the best that can be said is that Clinton made fewer blunders than the succeeding administration.

Recently, the Log Cabin Republicans have done something I support, challenging the military's DADT rule in federal court. It is my hope that DADT is struck down in the near future and the armed forces integrated, as is the case in many other countries, such as Israel and the UK.

More information on the Log Cabin Republicans' lawsuit can be found here.

by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Cost of Freedom?

Keeping guns legal, cheap and easily obtained has tangible costs in terms of human lives, as demonstrated by this recent atrocity.

Making marijuana legal would have no cost at all in human lives.

Why are conservative Republicans so irrational that they oppose even the mildest restrictions on guns, but want severe penalties for marijuana?

This logical contradiction is enough reason, all by itself, to vote against Republicans in every election. However, Republicans are generous. They supply thousands of other reasons to vote against them. One logical contradiction follows another when it comes to the GOP. Logic is their weak point.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Does Reagan Deserve to be on a Stamp?

The chorus of adulation that always attends any mention of former President Reagan in the mainstream media ignores the outcomes of his administration's policies. It is due to Reagan's poor decision to support Bin Laden and the Islamic resistance in Afghanistan that we are bogged down in Afghanistan today, just like the Soviets from 1979 - 1989. Apparently, the conservative right-wingers in the U.S. felt guilty for what they inflicted upon the Soviet Union and were determined to inflict the same injury upon the U.S., although it is likely the final tab for our war will exceed anything incurred by the frugal Soviets.

I do not think anyone would mind a communist Afghanistan today. Certainly, no Republicans blink at buying goods manufactured in communist China. A modern communist Afghanistan would have been far preferable to what is there now and what may be there in the future. Women would have been better off in a communist Afghanistan.

Incidentally, why is it that the U.S. is hostile toward Communist Cuba, while maintaining cordial relations toward Communist China? China's government is far less ethical than Cuba's. To be sure, the government of Cuba is a dictatorship, but it does not appear to be of quite the same character as Iran's. China has shown belligerence to Taiwan, a U.S. ally, going so far as to threaten the little island-nation with total annihilation. The U.S. should at least have the same scope of relations with Cuba as it does with China, in order to be morally consistent. Otherwise, the hypocrisy is clear for all to observe.

Reagan was a loyal friend to Osama Bin Laden and other Islamic fundamentalists, even going so far as selling arms to Iran in a covert manner. Reagan was unable to see past the anticommunist rhetoric he had immersed himself in during his career. According to his worldview, communism was the only threat. He was wrong about that, just as he was wrong about a great many other things.

Reagan began in earnest the great budget-busting deficit spending that was to lead to today's enormous federal debt of eleven trillion dollars. Rather than be a good steward of the economy, Reagan siphoned funds from taxpayers to the defense industry on the pretext of guarding against a phantom Soviet threat. It is due to the policies of Reagan and succeeding administrations that the U.S. is in the economic situation that it is today. The only area of manufacturing where the U.S. retains a high competence involves weapons of war. However, war is not a product that consumers in other nations wish to buy. Hence, the trade deficit.

Until greater numbers of voters elect liberal, left-wing politicians, then it can be anticipated that the U.S. will spend all available monies on weaponry and gadgets of war. Under any Republican administration, it can be anticipated that the U.S. will engage in counter-productive overseas adventures to feed the egos of vain old men who like to play at being armchair generals. It is the only thing that is capable of amusing their simple minds. Toy soldiers, bombs, boom, boom, I win, you lose. Republicans despise science, education, research, and development, because these things tend to challenge their preconceived beliefs about the world and about reality. This is why Republicans tend to reduce funding for education and scientific research, while increasing funding for weapons and wars. A vote for a Republican is a vote for barbarism, corruption, and ignorance. Today, the U.S. is still reeling from eight years of neglect and decay under the G. W. Bush administration. It may take eighteen years to repair what was undone in eight.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Iran's Dictator

Under the reign of Khameini, dictator of Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death. However, those who protest against his tyranny may be sent to Evin prison, where men and women may be subjected to any form of torture, including anal rape. Clearly, what the dictator finds repulsive is not a particular sex act, but the component of love that is found in homosexual relationships. Khameini and his conservative allies are the sworn enemies of love. All their actions are calculated to spread hatred in the world. Khameini's single-minded quest for atomic bombs can be understood as a grasping after a superior instrument for sowing hatred in the world. He believes that the acquisition of nuclear weapons will permanently establish the tyranny.

Russia' Putin, meanwhile, finds various opportunities for diminishing the influence of the Western powers by dealing with the Iranian tyrant. Putin commits the same error made by his predecessor, Stalin, in 1939, neglecting to recognize that his future enemy is on his border, not on another continent.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, July 11, 2010


It is ironic that Laura Lingle, Governor of Hawaii, vetoed a gay marriage bill. Were it not for the work of the Suffragettes, some of whom were lesbian, she would not even have the right to vote today, let alone hold public office. A similar irony attends conservative African-Americans that oppose gay marriage. Gays made important contributions to the civil rights movement. It is interesting that some people feel so confident of their position in contemporary society that they feel at liberty to throw derision and scorn upon their traditional and historical allies.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments
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