Dec 21, 2012

and I feel fine

Maybe a lesson can be learned from the false hysteria of the Winter Solstice marking the end of an ancient calendar's lack of space?

Maybe we can learn what our ancestors were feeling when the sun seemed to be abandoning them? The literal end of the world? Why was it the end? The sun was the real god of the natural world. The bringer of light, of warming, the bringer of migrating animals, later the crops that either burnt or soaked in the mud was all powerful, and to be feared. When the grace of the sun began to shorten after the 21st of June, the sun was losing it's war against the darkness, and the hairless apes were frightened (unless they were old enough to know that, Yes Virginia, the Sun Will Be Back). The celebration of the 21st - and the movements of the sun were the calendar. The Mynas, Celts, the Cahokia and the Egyptians all expended huge amounts of labor and resource to build giant monuments used to track the almighty sun.

The 21st was the day the sun was the weakest. It rose late, and disappeared quickly - and on the third day - it rose again. Resurrection. Beginning a new era! A new year, if you will?

And another lesson that can be taken away is that the end of the world has been predicted for just about every year, and every day that I've been alive. A lot of money can be made whipping up the hysteria. Remember "The Late Great Planet Earth" by Hal Lindsey?  There's been about 59 calls for the Rapture to have happened between 2000 and yesterday. How about Y2K? Thing is, even Isaac Newton was in on the Apocalypse Now game - having decoded the lineage of the Bible to figure out the date. If the alchemist who 'discovered' gravity was wrong, it's amazing that folks are still trying to get it right?

There's obviously a lot of money you can make writing books and selling expiring MRE's to people when you whip it up and put it in a two minute local news package. The logic never made sense to me. For what are you prepping for if there isn't going to be a planet - or you think you're going to get beamed out by Jesus on RaptureDay? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to max out your credit cards on liquor and booze instead of ammo? Now, prepping for a natural disaster makes sense - just ask everyone on the East Coast if they think being prepared with some batteries and a couple extra can goods is a good idea or just regulated to the crazy nut job neighbor who has a camouflage painted Chevy Suburban in his driveway?

There was a survey not to long ago - maybe it was in the US Census - maybe it was something for the PEW people to do in-between elections - but they asked Americans if the world would end in their lifetime... here, let me google that...
Twenty-two percent of Americans think the world will end in their lifetime. According to a recent Reuters poll, nearly 15 percent of people worldwide agree. The numbers range from 6 percent in France to 22 percent in Turkey and the U.S.[source] 
(and 10% think the apocalypse is coming this year) [source]
Here's the real truth. The End of the World WILL occur - in your lifetime.

Are you ready for this? It's a very hard truth...

The End of the World - simply - is the day you die. Kind of poetic, don't you think?

Happy Solstice, Every One.

Dec 15, 2012

Who Should We "Blame?"

By Alan Caruba

At the end of the day, what we know is that a gunman entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 18 kindergartners and nine adults for twenty-seven in all. Among the victims was his mother, a teacher at the school, killed prior to the massacre.

It is a monstrous crime, but differs only in the details from comparable crimes in recent years. The shooter in the Colorado movie theater on July 20 this year comes to mind, the shooter of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Jan 8, 2011, and of course, the two young killers at Columbine High School in 1999. And doesn’t 1999 seem an age ago?

Would it surprise you that there is a computer game available called “Kindergarten Killer” that says it’s "a great way to relieve stress"?

The media and the nation will now engage in the same analysis that always follows these events; who or what to blame.

Some will blame our “gun culture” and call for more restrictions on gun sales. The obvious answer is that people kill other people with every manner of instrument available from kitchen knives to a lamp cord. Guns may facilitate the killing, but someone has to pull the trigger first.

Others will blame the nation’s penchant for movies and television shows that show so much killing that it dulls the senses to the violence, but I grew up on cowboy films in the 1940s and 50s when the “good guy” wore a white hat and usually dispatched the “bad guy” by the end of the film.

In one of the most memorable scenes from “The Shootist”, John Wayne’s last film about an old gunfighter, his character, John Bernard Books, imparts his reason for having killed a few bad guys. “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I require the same from them.” A simple, but effective morality.

So, yes, Americans have always been fond of guns, but we forget that they were a necessity for much of the history of the nation in which colonists and then settlers moving West routinely hunted for venison, bear, geese, ducks, rabbits, wild turkey and anything else that put meat on the table.

You may be astonished to learn, as journalist James Sterba points out in his book, “Nature Wars”, that America has “an informal army equal to the manpower in the ten largest armed forces in the world—China, United States, India, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and Vietnam—combined.” Hunters.

Deer are the favorite game of hunters and ten million Americans take to the forest and field to bring one home in the autumn. “Pennsylvania alone fields a force of deer hunters twice the size of the U.S. Army.”

If it were just the quantity of guns that are to blame for the day’s tragedy, one would think that these events would be more common. It is precisely because they are notcommon that we find ourselves appalled by the news reports. When it involves innocent children, it just adds to the horror.

Then we must ask ourselves if there is so much mental illness in the nation that it may be a contributing factor. Mental illness abounds as does a pharmacy of medications routinely doled out to those experiencing everything from depression to hallucinations. It is commonplace and very hard for a layman to spot. How does one know if the noisy neighbor might just also be a psychopath?

So, who do we blame?

I suggest we blame the alleged killer, XXXX XXXX [Cap'n's edit, I'm not allowing that coward's name to be on this page], age 20. He was found dead at the scene and, as of this writing, he may have committed suicide or been dispatched by police. He’s dead. He’s left his mark and will become a Wikipedia entry.

Some who don’t own a gun will purchase one. The ladies prefer those small enough to fit in a purse. The men like something with some heft to it.

The only thing we know for sure is that we all feel less secure in our daily lives, whether going to a movie or leaving a child off at school.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Dec 14, 2012

NASA Says It's NOT the End of the World

Okay, we're now at the point where the US Government Space Agency needs to produce a video to explain *why* you're a moron... or me, or all of us. Well, especially the people who think that the World is Ending on the Winter Solstice - 12/21/12

NASA is so confident that the world will not end on that day, that it has already published their video explaining why the world didn't end, set to be published the day before. (We have our sources here at Blasphemes to get these sort of things in advance...)

I suppose they can always hedge their bets if they're wrong - simply on the idea that no one will be around to yell and holler at them for being wrong.

But do take note of the NATO troops heading to Turkey, and massing on the Syrian border....

Dec 8, 2012

Domestic Drone Crashes into SWAT Team

In a recent investigative report by the Center for Responsive Politics and Hearst newspapers, the authors expressed concern that drones were being pushed into the domestic market before safety and ethics issues had been sufficiently addressed. Such fears played out when the first police department in the country to acquire an aerial drone crashed the $300,000 aircraft into its own SWAT team.

Don’t be surprised if you catch a federal fleet of sneaky spy drones soaring over your head in the near future, but don’t be too terrified — it’s all in the name of public safety... unless the near sighted armchair jockey drops it on your house.

Dec 6, 2012

Anti-Gun Legislator Arrested at Airport with a Gun

Just another day in the hypocritical People's Republic of Illinois.

Bond was set Thursday at $25,000 for State Senator Donne Trotter after he was charged with trying to bring a handgun onto an aircraft.

Trotter was arrested Wednesday at O'Hare International Airport, where security discovered the gun in Trotter's carry-on bag.

Defense attorney Joshua Herman said he hoped Trotter would be released on bail Thursday. Under Illinois law, Trotter would have to post 10 percent of the set bond, or $2,500, to be released.

This guy is gunning for Jessie Jr's empty chair. Seems like a perfect fit!