31 December 2012

Top 10 of 2012

The top ten stories of 2012, by view count. Some may surprise you.

1. The Walking Dead
Yes, AMC's masterfully crafted zombie drama took the top spot this year, just as candy coloured ponies took the top spot last year. Starting to see the trend?
Actually, the post speculated on why a zombie apocalypse could not happen if everyone had to get bitten. The musings were made irrelevant two months later when it was revealed that everyone is infected. Nine months later and people are still reading it.

2. Jesus' Life and Death
Similarly, the number two story is also about someone rising from the dead.
Was there a plot to kill Jesus and blame it on the Jews? The greatest story ever told, or at least a timeline for the life of Jesus, serves as a nice framework for a much larger subject, which touches on history, archaeology, mysticism, religion, politics, economics, philosophy, linguistics, numismatics, paleoastronomy, astrology, and some other stuff that will all go into the book once it's finished (currently working on an expanded version of timeline).

3. Discussing Gay Marriage
Whether it be Plutarch, Alan Keys, or some guy no one ever heard of named Rick Santorum, it seemes like a lot of people at least tried to talk about gay marriage in 2012. A few of them focused on the purpose of marriage and why societies have a vested interest in regulating it, and one tried to have an adult discussion with a bunch of children who pretend to be tolerant, but only tolerate people who think exactly like them.

4. Obama Food Nazi
Thar the President's wife blows! This one here is interesting. A little story about a few kids who had their lunches thrown away by government lunch inspectors managed to force its way into spot number four. The inspector was later suspended indefinitely, with full pay and benefits, because the school system in this country is bankrupt morally, affectively, and financially. There was a false-flag terror attack on a US consulate in Benghazi, perpetrated by al Qaeda and the CIA, in which four Americans were tortured and killed, and that story did not make the top ten, but chicken nuggets did. I'm glad people are paying attention to the government infringing on the rights of citizens, but I think you couple of readers here are missing the bigger issue.

5. The Problem With Bombing Iran
What would happen if the United States decided to simply bomb Iran's chocolate chip factories? Will Iran use nuclear blackmail against its gulf rivals to gain hegemony over the entire Near East? Would Russia or China ever want to go to war over Iranian nukes? Why is ESPN racist, using the phrase "chink in the armor" 3,000 times? The answers are not pretty, that's for sure, but they definitely bring in readers.

6. Transpersonal Psychology: A Brief Definition
Seems a lot of people are interested in transpersonal psychology, Ken Wilber, psychadelics, and some other stuff. That's real good, seeing as how it is the meat and potatoes of what inspired The Urban Mystic way back in 2006 (even if other stuff has taken over the spotlight since). This video is only twelve minutes long - perfect for 2012 - and I highly recommend you watch it and bring in the new year with new perspectives.

7. An Exercise In Debunking Documentaries
A program called "5th Dimension" does an hour show on debunking reincarnation, so I decided to take some time debunking the irrationalists who produced the program. A rationalist is a philosophical term for someone who believes that true knowledge can only come from the mind and not the senses, whereas the debunkers who hijack the term rationalist believe that there is no mind and everything is just dead matter. Irony.

8. Kony 2012 Exposed
Trendy liberal's gonna' get Kony!!!!1 So, you tweeted about Kony 2012, that must make you a real activist, right? Follow the money, not the guy who was naked and jacking off in public, and maybe you'll discover that Kony has probably been dead for years and the whole thing is one big scam.

9. The Story of Sathya Sai Baba
How appropriate, number nine is a nine minute video biography of the life of Sathya Sai Baba. There is no narration, so you will have to read the video text. This is the second year in a row Sai Baba has made the top ten list.

10. The Bible Code
The book that spawned a documentary and a sequel, written by a journalist who thinks he is James Bond and Indiana Jones combined. By the way, if you didn't know, Michael Drosnin is an atheist. Brendan McKay cheated with Moby-Dick (and admits it!), Michael Drosnin does not believe in God, and here's two pages of code tables. Now, there are the codes, which are real and probably written by ET, and God, who needs him, and here are some code tables to pad the length of the book. Why does evil exist when God could just fix everything himself? I'll give you three guesses, and they're all ET.

Oh, by the way, Michael Drosnin, totally doesn't believe in God, and here are a few code tables to prove it.




Lastly, some stories that didn't quite make it, but either came very close or else are real important and just flew under the radar.

Questioning the Quran
What happens when you bring together the strange bedfellows of critical scholarship and Islam's holy book (something that happens a whole lot to all other world religions)? You get some interesting questions about the lack of diacritical marks in the Uthmanic text (the official Quran of the first Caliphate), the preponderance of Syrio-Aramaic loan words in Arabic, Muhammad's undoubtedly good memory as an illiterate merchant and its implications vis-a-vis cryptamnesia, and an anecdote regarding white grapes. Very interesting, but not likely to affect the way the Quran is interpreted.

Benghazi
Need I say more?

Balancing the Budget WITHOUT Raising Taxes
Yes, Grover Norquist is right, and it is possible to balance the budget without raising taxes, which is important because all serious economists will tell us that we are already at the revenue maximizing point on the Laffer curve, and raising taxes will result in a decrease in the amount of tax revenue collected by the IRS. To put it another way, you come home to find the sewer has backed up inside your house. Do you remove the shit or raise the ceiling?

The Games We Play
Whether we're talking about witnesses, shadows, bruised egos, puzzles, pity parties, getting over yourself, getting over yourself, wearing masks, hurting yourself to see if you still feel (oops, haven't written that one yet!), getting shit faced, getting fat, or just getting over yourself, this has been one very important subject that you couple of readers just seemed to miss this year. Shame.

30 December 2012

Scrying

For those few who may remember, the title and topic of my first ever post on The Urban Mystic, in February 2006, was on scrying, a term used to describe a variety of divination methods involving staring at reflective surfaces. Today, I experimented again, gazing into a mirror which reflected a featureless white surface in a dimly lit room. I gazed until no more light remained (about thirty minutes), at which time an image did begin to appear, but it vanished very quickly, and with it all visible light, ending the experiment. I liked the results, and will, in the future, continue this practice. As always, I will keep you updated.

27 December 2012

Richard Rose, American Zen Master

Richard Rose is often described as being a Zen master, although his inquiry is a lot more similar to Ramana Maharshi's method. The Zen part comes from his insistence on direct transmission. Rose lived in a Catholic seminary before becoming a scientist and working in various fields including physics and biology. In 1947 while meditating, he died and experienced at first everything and then nothing, and spent the rest of his life trying to get people to have the very same revelation. Richard Rose died in 2005 after struggling with Alzheimer's for several years.

Here are clips from what appears to be two lectures, totalling 24 minutes on the soul, the Absolute, and the ego, as well as becoming the Truth instead of just speculating on it.



26 December 2012

Mary, Did You Know?

Cee Lo Green performing "Mary, Did You Know?", the official video for the television series "The Bible". Just beautiful.

23 December 2012

States, Stages, and Meditation

Ken Wilber describes vertical and horizontal enlightenment. Vertical here deals with structure stages, going from first-tier to second-tier to third-tier (magenta/purple up through turquoise and beyond) culminating in what Aurobindo called Supermind. Each stage transcends and includes all previous stages and as you go up you identify with a wider and wider groups (egocentric, ethnocentric, worldcentric, Kosmocentric).

Horizontal enlightenment is what is typically thought of when people speak of enlightnement, going through the state stages, (gross, subtle, causal, etc.) ending at what Genpo Roshi calls Big Mind. What is important to remember is that one can take state training at almost any level, so someone can be able to enter high states of absorption and be what people would typically consider "enlightened" and once they get out of their meditation and back into the world they are still operating from whatever stage they are at. Big Mind is the nondual ground of being, Supermind is the integration of the small mind with Big Mind.

Next, Ken describes why meditating is helpful toward ending world hunger.

As a person gradually disidentifies with a wider and wider array of states of consciousness, broadening their identity, it makes it a lot easier to climb the ladder to higher and higher stages. If you want to have a positive impact on the world you should work toward climbing toward an orange altitude or higher (why not shoot for second-tier?), and one way that is very good at moving people up stages is meditation.

20 December 2012

The End of the World

In the great film Alexander, Hephaestion, Alexander's life long companion, asks Alexander "What would you do if you ever reached the end of the world?" At the other end of the world, near the International Date Line it is already 2 PM on Friday. Friday, 21 December 2012, the end of the world. According to some people, tomorrow (or today in some places that are already tomorrow) will be the last day ever, or something. To be fair, I had my own story "The L", which I began writing in 2006, have the end of the world begin tomorrow, when The Pinnacle Research Group initiated a global disaster from Bouvet Island. In my story the 21st is only the beginning of the end of the world, with the world not ending completely until fifteen years later after great tribulations have claimed five billion lives and ravaged the surface of the Earth.

It has been six years since I began my mystical career in January 2006, and started writing The Urban Mystic in February that same year (on AOL, which no longer exits, so you cannot access past archives which I have saved). It has been five years since I had my first taste of radical Freedom, One Taste, in January 2007, when the world was on the inside and my eyes were on the outside and my self was blasted across the face of the Kosmos. It has been four years since Christmas 2008 when I had a dream about the end of the world, 21 December 2012, where balls of light came to Earth and began erasing everything they touched. It has been nearly two years since I discovered My Little Pony, something that has really touched me and helped affect my life for the better. I have made predictions: the "Arab Spring", genetically modified viruses that mimic psychotropic drugs, the "Great Winter of 2010", among others. These past six years have been full of ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade them for the life I lived before.

Now, it seems like it is the end of the world. This year I was told that I need to make sacrifices to enter the next phase of my mystical career. The choice is mine, but it is a choice between being a mystic and living a normal life, and it is the greatest choice of my life, and the most difficult. A mirror reflects everything that falls on it, without altering the thing it is reflecting or becoming attached to it. A mirror mind, the mind of enlightenment, is the same. Cutting the fetters of attachment is necessary for enlightenment, and there are a few that seem too well entrenched in my psyche to be cut loose. If I go down this path farther I must deal with the death of the small self and all the little things it has accumulated over the years. What's really interesting is, I was told this would happen in the beginning! I was told in 2006 I would have these choices to make in 2012. I was told what to expect and when to expect it, and I failed to notice until most of the signs already passed and it was too late to prepare, just yesterday. Regardless of what happens in the external world tomorrow, it may well be the end of the world for my little self.

Come what may, it will be for the best. It has been a wonderful time, dear couple of readers (actually about 20 a day). I love you all.

Always Love.

16 December 2012

Precious Human Birth

The body is the chariot (ratha) of the individual (jeevi), who is the Master. Human birth is the glorious and precious opportunity amongst all living beings. The human body is the castle from which one can fight successfully against the foes of attachment and egoism. It is the boat by which one can cross the sea of change and chance. The realization of the reality within oneself, through relentless spiritual discipline is an arduous challenge – as fraught with dangers and calamity, like playing with fire or duelling with wild animals. Scriptures (Upanishads) have compared the spiritual aspirant’s path to that of a razor’s edge. One has to be alert, vigilant and fully trained to meet all emergencies. Use the precious opportunity of this human birth and leverage your intelligence, discrimination and detachment you are gifted with, to rise above all, and realize the Ultimate Reality.
- Divine Discourse, Oct 15, 1966.

15 December 2012

Will Smith's Power

Will Smith's inspiring words on such things as fear, motivation, working hard, and dreaming big.

"You can't ever be scared to die for the truth."

13 December 2012

The Men Who Killed The Constitution

Judge Andrew Napolitano explains how Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson destroyed the Constitution. He explains why dictatorship of the President or revolution are the only paths, why we can't print money forever, and why weed may help save the country.

06 December 2012

The Bible Code II

Michael Drosnin wrote two sequels to his book The Bible Code, one of which I have read, one of which I will never read. You might remember Mr. Drosnin from other posts.

If you have read the first Bible Code book but have not read the second, please do not. The two are worlds apart. Here is a brief synopsis:

Michael Drosnin, a hard-nosed journalist and ardent atheist, having proven the existence of a code in the Bible, he now has morphed into a combination of Indiana Jones and James Bond. Drosnin writes powerful men (Clinton, Bush, Arafat, Sharon, etc.) letters about the code and the end of the world, but he always leaves out the key details, because "no one would believe them," until his books are published. He wrote to Ehud Barak that the code said he would be the next Prime Minister of Israel in an early election in 1999, but he did not think Barak would believe him if he included the date, so he conveniently left that detail out of his letter but included it in the book. Drosnin conveniently leaves us no records for which to prove any of his stories. Two pictures of code tables appear on each page, taking up about 100 pages total.

Yasser Arafat is a very pious, kind-hearted man and all Israelis are war mongerers. And God does not exist, and here is an irrelevant code table.

Oh, and Michael Drosnin doesn't believe in God.

1998, Drosnin puts forward his ET "theory".



He finds references to DNA being "brought in a vehicle" and immediately jumps to the conclusion "when I found that encoded in the Bible, I couldn't believe it... DNA, the molecule of life, sent to Earth in a spaceship." (p. 144) It didn't say that. Just as every time he reads the word "computer" in the code when the actual Hebrew word says "thought", Drosnin reads "vehicle" as "spaceship" when it does not say that. A virus could be a vehicle to introduce a new gene into a cell, why should we believe that the word "vehicle" means "spaceship" when nothing indicates that it does? And what is the code for DNA itself? DNA is just letters, unlike the words and names used in other codes, so it might mean something completely different. It might just be nonsense. Just in case, here are four more code tables with useless words that can't be checked to mean anything.

Drosnin then says he had to call many nameless scientists to find out what they thought and just so happens to call Francis Crick, who wrote about the same idea decades before, and surprise, Crick agrees! Who would have guessed? Until you check out the back of the book, where Drosnin says he interviewed Crick years before about panspermia and he just crafted the story of trying to find reputable scientists who agree with his ET "theory" to make the book more interesting. Yes, someone who time and time again talks about being a "just the facts" hard-nosed journalist lied to make his story more interesting.

Michael Drosnin, by the way, does not believe in God. And Yasser Arafat was the nicest man he ever met, and he really, really wants peace, but religious people will kill him if he makes peace with the war mongering Israelis.

2001, Drosnin is in Israel trying to reach the Israeli PM because he has vitally important information from the Bible code about nuclear war in 2006. When an advisor asks what that information is, Drosnin says "I need to meet with the PM, because the code says if peace is not reached there will be nuclear war." The advisor replies, "tell me something I don't know," to which Drosnin drones on and on "You don't understand, I have to tell the PM face to face that the world will end if peace is not made!" "Okay, we all know that, what else?" "Damn you by the God you believe in, the world will end if you don't make peace and I must see the PM to tell him this!" Lather, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum.

1998 Drosnin must look for an "obilisk" and a "steel ark" in the area near the Dead Sea called Lisan, because it contains the key to understanding the Bible code, which was created by aliens who seeded the Earth 4 billion years ago, because Michael Drosnin does not believe God exists. He tries to get the Jordanians to let him dig, but they refuse.

2001, Drosnin confronts Colin Powell. He asks to see President Bush because the world will end if peace is not made and he must tell the President. See above. Drosnin must save the world from religion and nuclear war, because he does not believe in God, but the code is real, and created by ET, and warns of nuclear war in 2006.

1998, I think, who knows, the book keeps skipping around for no reason. Drosnin is back playing Indy again, talking about how it is vital to find this ark, or maybe it is a tomb of the original alien who brought DNA to earth, who the hell knows. Whatever it means, here are six more code tables, many are repeats from other pages. In case you were wondering, ET made the code, because Drosnin doesn't believe in God.

2001? Drosnin tells people in Israel and the US where bin Laden is hiding. He leaves that out of the book in case bin Laden buys a copy and then runs away. He hints pretty hard that it may be in Libya. Anyway, nuclear war will happen in 2006, and we have to find that thing that is still hiding in Lisan, maybe.

There is a nice appendix that describes the original rabbi experiment and its paper in Statistical Science, a refutation that was published without anyone reading it, a rebuttal of the refutation that was refused publication because codes a priori cannot exist, and there can be no evidence for something that cannot exist, and the opinions of some credible scientists who tried to debunk the code but ended up proving it exists who think refusing to publish any response is anti-science.

02 December 2012

The Laffer Curve

In an earlier post I mentioned the Laffer Curve (named after economist Arthur Laffer). The idea that Laffer popularised was that if the tax rates were at zero percent then the government would take in no revenue, and, likewise, if the tax rates were one hundred percent the government would also take in no revenue because no one wants to work if all their money is taken from them. Somewhere between the two extremes there exists a maximum tax rate where the maximum amount of revenue can be collected. Most economists agree that that maximum rate is 33 percent, which is close to what it is today.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute explains the Laffer Curve in this 21 minute video.





01 December 2012

Balancing the Budget Without Tax Hikes (Post 400)

It is possible to balance the federal budget without tax hikes by just capping spending and waiting for GDP to catch up in four years.

Wage Slavery

Just some thoughts on minimum wage, living wage, and slavery.

28 November 2012

Debunking the Palestine Lie

An 11 minute video that, yet again, exposes the lies Arabs tell regarding the Jews and the Palestinian state. Israel has offered the "Palestinians" everything they asked for on a great many occasions in the past century and every single time everthing they asked for was not enough, because it was short of absolutely everything. The Arabs want to exterminate the Jews and anything short of extermination will NEVER be accepted.

27 November 2012

Why Grover Norquist Is Right

Yes, the title is a double entendre, by design.

I read a piece on page 14 of The Star Ledger today, that dying albatross of a New Jersey newspaper, hearkening back to halcyon times when the big name media told us what to think. A nameless opinion writer opined "slowly, yet sanely, some Republicans are snapping out of their mass hypnosis. One-by-one, they're renouncing allegianc to Grover Norquits and his paralyzing no-tax hike pledge." (emphasis added)

Whomever this writer is, he or she is clearly not living in reality.  You see, there's the real world and then there's Filburt's world, and you don't have to be a rocket surgeon to know which is which. The author, hearafter dubbed Steve, talks about "Mitt Romney's eye-opening defeat." Eye-opening? Romney lost by 3% of the popular vote, which is well within the margin of error for all major polls. This was as close as the 2004 election, which no one said Bush won by a landslide, or that Bush shellacked Kerry, or that the Democrats need to seriously rethink their strategy.

Steve goes on to say "In a Rasmussen poll last week, 72 percent of Americans said they want tax hikes in the formula for reducing the nation's debt."  Yeah, and about half of Americans pay no federal income tax, so they have no stake in the game and therefore their opinion's do not count. To put it another way, if 72 percent of Americans said they wanted to reintroduce slavery would that mean we should reintroduce slavery or that slavery was morally right?

"They realize 'compromise' isn't a dirty word." Compromise with insanity is, and increasing taxes in the middle of the worst economy since the Great Depression is insane. It all boils down to something called the Laffer Curve. When you raise taxes above a certain point (most economists agree that that point is about 33 percent) the amount of revenue the government takes in from taxes decreases because there is less incentive for people to work if they see all their hard earned money going out the crapper. Kennedy increased tax revenue by cutting tax rates, Reagan increased tax revenue by cutting tax rates, and Obama will send us into a new depression if he raises taxes.

Let's face it, most people have no understanding of basic economics, which is why they vote for things like birth control and food stamps. Young adults take student loans they can never pay off because society tells them they need a worthless degree to get a job they that does not exist so they can dream about living like millionaire playboys. Millions of people took home loans on houses they did not need and could not afford because society told them that home ownership was the "American dream," leading to the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007 that nearly collapsed the world economy.

The government is spending more money than any amount of tax hikes could solve. At the current rate of spending, even if 100 percent of all the assets of everyone who makes over $60,000 a year were confiscated it would only last a few weeks and permanently destroy the world economy. Federal debt is 114 percent of GDP with over $90 trillion in unfunded liabilities. World GDP is only $70 trillion, so even all the money in the entire world is not enough to solve this problem. Spending MUST be cut, drastically, or it really will be the end of the world. Only AFTER the Democrats agree to something like $600 billion in spending cuts, minimum, will it be morally acceptable for Republicans to agree to compromise to tax increases. If those spending cuts do not come FIRST you can raise taxes all you want and it will not make one iota of difference.

22 November 2012

Is There Enough Time For Humans to Have Evolved From Apes?

Dr. Ann Gauger explains why experiments with changing proteins reveal that it is mathematically impossible for an ape-like ancestor to turn into a human in well over the age of the universe, let alone a few million years.

20 November 2012

Ten Steps to Fixing The Education System and America

In Order of Importance

1. Get rid of the Department of Education and leave education up to individual communities as was intended by the founders
2. Teach values beyond "get what you can, your personal enjoyment is all that matters"
3. Teach boys like boys, not like defective girls who need to be put on psychotropic drugs
4. Teach basic economics
5. Let teachers fail and fire them, even if they have tenure
6. Let students fail
7. Get rid of standardised tests, they are counterproductive
8. Get rid of homework, it's counterproductive
9. Stop teaching self esteem and feel-good-ism
10. Graduation should mean employment

As Swami says:

Education must train the children to love, to co-operate, to be brave in the cause of truth, to be helpful, to be sympathetic and to be grateful. Dear children! Revere your parents, elders and teachers, be humble before them and respect their experience and deeper love for you. You must follow these virtues consistently and strictly. The educators, elders and parents too, on their part, must cleanse their intelligence and practice the same virtues with humility and detachment. There is no use teaching the children one thing and holding out examples, contrary to the teachings. Thus, true learning occurs when noble truths are taught and supplemented by the conduct of the teachers, parents and the elders.

Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol VI, Ch 26.

18 November 2012

Why School Sucks

School does not prepare you for adult life. School prepares you for a life of debt and making megabanks even richer. Once you learn to read and write and enough math to do your taxes school becomes a system for indoctrinating children into believing they need to take loans and open lines of credit so that they can chase a dream that was never theirs to begin with. This is all a setup by the big megabanks.

17 November 2012

Veterans Day 2012

Hurricane Sandy made me late.

Here is the famous scene of the flag raising on Iwo Jima in black and white.


Hyperinflation Diary

A woman tells her story of growing up after the end of the First World War and the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic. This chilling tale is testament to what happens when governments permit the unlimited printing of money, such as is happening with the Fed and QE3 (so much crap they had to start another pile). According to wiki "QE3 was announced on 13 September 2012. In an 11-to-1 vote, the Federal Reserve decided to launch a new $40 billion a month, open-ended, bond purchasing program of agency mortgage-backed securities and also to continue extremely low rates policy until at least mid-2015."

16 November 2012

Introduction to the Constutition - Part 4

Dr. Larry Arrn, President of Hillsdale College discusses the Constitution and the difference between a constitutional and a bureaucratic government. This lecture runs 30 minutes and is the final part in the series. I know, Dr. Arrn says there will be a final Q&A session, but it is not available on their youtube channel, so it cannot be posted here.

15 November 2012

Introduction to the Constitution - Part 3

Dr. Larry Arrn, President of Hillsdale College discusses the Constitution, separation of powers, and limited government. This lecture runs 30 minutes and is part 3 of a 4 part series, which will be posted tomorrow.

10 November 2012

Benghazi Was An Inside Job

In 2010 I made a series of predictions while writing a worst case scenario fictional novel called 7 Days about the New World Order. I had to stop writing when in 2011 the Arab Spring happened and fulfilled the first of my predictions, that a contagious madness would spread around the Mediterranean. I spent the entire year following the events of the Arab Spring, a series of events I called The World Gone Mad. I made a few other predictions, including the enactment of the NDAA and NDRP, which allow Obama to detain Americans indefinitely or execute them without due process and declair martial law for any reason. By 10 September 2012, I had two (or three, depending on how you look at them) predictions left unfulfilled, and they were very scary. The next day, the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by al-Qaeda, and one of those two predictions came true. It wasn't until Hurricane Sandy took out my power for nine days (which is why I didn't update the Constitution series) that I realised that Benghazi fulfilled my prediction.

I had said there would be a false flag terror attack on US soil. I discounted the Benghazi attack because I thought it was Libya, but listening to the radio one night it hit me, a US consulate IS US soil!

Okay, so a terror attack happened on US soil, that doesn't mean I was right, does it? It wasn't false flag, right? Actually, it is not that simple.

The US armed and funded al-Qaeda in Libya to decapitate Qaddaffi*. Three of the four Americans killed on 9/11/12 were CIA operatives who were trying to recover guns that were given to al-Qaeda. By the way, providing aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war is the legal definition of treason, the nation's most serious crime, and it carries a death sentence. Someone, or many people, in the US government are traitors and should be hanged.

Internal documents leaked by someone inside the Department of State reveal that ambassador Stevens was deeply concerned over security in Benghazi, and had pleaded for more security. A FLASH** message was received by president Obama three hours prior to the attack, stating that an attack was immanent. The nearest US military installation was 40 minutes away by air. The attack could have been prevented, the president knew it was going to happen and watched it happen live via an overhead drone. At the very best president Obama let the Benghazi attack happen; at worst he, and other elements in the US government including the CIA, made it happen through weapons and aid given to the people who perpetrated the attacks. Benghazi was an inside job, and my prediction has come to pass, Q.E.D.

The only thing I got wrong was the date. I had predicted the attack would happen in December 2012, and it happened in September. Things are unfolding faster than I anticipated.

Furthermore, I predicted the purpose of the attack would be to get people to demand expansion of government and a decrease of personal liberty. For weeks the official story was that a movie by a convicted meth dealer that 100 people saw in July that demeans the prophet Muhammad in an amateurish attempt at emulating Monty Python's Life of Brian, was the cause of the attacks. The meth dealer was disappeared without due process and is being held in a black site somewhere. Calls were made by top government officials, including president Obama and secretary of state Clinton, to limit free speech by making insulting Islam illegal. The hope was that people would buy this story and demand "yes, let's make insulting Islam illegal!" That has not happened. I am left to conclude that not only was I right about the attack happening, I was right as to the reason it took place as well.

There is one prediction left (or two, if you break it into two parts). I said this would happen in February 2013, but it may happen sooner. First, there will be massive civil unrest in the United States, and then the military will find out about the government's involvement in the terror attack, and tired from liberty being stolen and endless wars overseas, the military will turn on the government. They may stage a full coup d'eta, or they may just walk off and refuse to fight any more. I have been right on every single issue except this one so far. Pray I am wrong this time.


*Someone calculated all the possible spellings of his name, and came to the conclusion that there are at least 40 legitimate spellings.

**FLASH is the highest priority message sent by the military. All lower priority messages are interrupted, and the receipt of the message requires acknowledgement.

02 November 2012

Introduction to the Constitution - Part 2

Dr. Larry Arrn, President of Hillsdale College discusses the Constitution and representative forms of government. This lecture runs 32 minutes and is part 2 of a 4 part series, which will be posted over the next three days.

01 November 2012

Introduction to the Constitution - Part 1

Dr. Larry Arrn, President of Hillsdale College discusses the Declaration of Indepencence and its relation to the Constitution. This lecture runs 33 minutes and is part 1 of a 4 part series, which will be posted over the next four days.

27 October 2012

Obama Lied About Benghazi and People Really Died

The president knew about the situation in Benghazi as it was happening, and he did nothing. He knew there would be trouble days before, and he did nothing. The slain ambassador begged for more protection, and the president did nothing. Weapons were given to the Muslim Brotherhood and they were then charged with protecting Americans in Libya, and they were the killers. For weeks Obama told the world it was a video. The man who made the video has been disappeared. Obama told the world a bold face lie and Americans died, and none of them had to.



15 October 2012

What 9/11 "Truth"ers Actually Believe

Tricky Dicky Gage gives a dramatic demonstration of how wtc towers could not fail using 3 cardboard boxes!

Of course, material strength doesn't scale up like that in the real world. I could throw the cardboard box across a room and it wouldn't be damaged. A comparable sized giant couldn't even pick up a tall building without it falling apart. Still, 9/11 "Truth"ers Actually believe this.

14 October 2012

Charlie Daniels

One of the greatest musicians of all time, Charlie Daniels, talks straight about America, voting, and what's really holding you back. It's two minutes but you'll learn more from those two minutes than from two classes siting in some university.

11 October 2012

God, Evil, and Richard Swinburne

Richard Swinburne, one of the greatest living philosophers, tackles the atheist toolbox of arguments. A good video, aside from that echo.

08 October 2012

Absolutely Uncertain

A filthy lib saw the light and realised that President Zero is stabbing Israel in the back and wants to give the whole country to the Islamists. She made a 19 minute video about it. If a lib can see through Zero's veneer of shit there's still hope for the country.

06 October 2012

Alvin Plantinga Versus The Atheists

Alvin Plantinga deconstructs common arguments used by atheists against God's existence and then states why he believes in God (2 videos).


05 October 2012

Alvin Plantinga and the Soul

October seems to be Philosophy Month, so continuing that theme here are two more videos with Alvin Plantinga (who now has his own lable). First is his modal argument for the dualism (six minutes)


Very simple and straight forward. If A has a property that B does not have than A and B are not identical. If the mind can be conceived of as existing apart from the body (or the brain) then the mind is not identical with the body.

In his next video he argues for the immortality of the soul (which is still dependent on God for its existence) (7:30)

04 October 2012

Abby Johnson Exposes The Lie of Unplanned Parenthood

Abby Johnson, former Unplanned Parenthood leader in one of the most active abortion clinics in America, from College Station, TX details the incident that casued he to change from a promising career in the Unplanned Parenthood baby killing machine in America to being one of the most outspoken proponents of Right To Life.

03 October 2012

God, Evil, and the Free Will Defence

Alvin Plantinga offers his free will defence for the existence of God. He argues (over two videos, 22 minutes) that it is logically possible that an omnipotent God could not create a world with both free will and have beings that never choose to perform at least one evil action. Having demonstrated that God and evil can logically coexist all that remains is the curious problem of people thinking they know better than God while at the same time asserting that God does not exist.

02 October 2012

God, Evil, and the Childish Fantasy

In Isaiah chapter 45, God is speaking to Cyrus, the king of kings, ruler of the Persian empire. God tells Cyrus that He will prepare the way for Cyrus to conquer the world, remove all obstacles from his path, and provide him with opportunities he could not dream of. In so doing, God is doing what is necessary to create the conditions of a future where everyone will know of God. Then comes the real heart of the message, "I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things."

Eli Rips, the scientist who discovered the Bible code, brings up this verse to Michael Drosnin, self-aggrandising journalist from the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. This encounter covers roughly one whole page of the first Bible code book:

Even within a world created by an all-powerful and benevolent God, there can be a struggle between good and evil, whose outcome is uncertain," says Eli Rips.
The Bible code may be a set of probabilities. The sealed book might hold all our possible futures. Each predicted event appears to be encoded with at least two possible outcomes.
Rips agrees that the Bible code might have a positive and a negative strand, two opposing statements of reality intertwined: "As in court, an Advocate, and an Accuser."
"Possibly there are two opposing statements always encoded to preserve our free will, and it may be that the Bible code is written as a debate," says Rips. "According to the Midrash, the world was created twice – it was first conceived from the point of view of absolute judgment, right and wrong. Then God saw that the world could not exist this way, that there was no room for human imperfection, and he added mercy.
"But it's not like mixing hot and cold water and getting luke-warm, it's like mixing fire and snow and each preserves its separate existence. That may be the two strands in the Bible code."
Rips, however, does not believe that there are two encoders. "The Bible must have been encoded all at once by one mind," he insisted. "But it may encode two different points of view."
He opened the Bible to Isaiah 45:7, and read it to me: "I am the Lord and there is none else, I form the light, and create the darkness; I make peace and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things."
For Rips, as a mathematician and as a devout Jew, there is no need to ask the question, Who is the encoder?
The answer is obvious. The encoder, the Advocate and the Accuser are all one. It is God.

For me, it was not that simple. I had proof there was a code, but not proof there was a God. If the Bible code came from an all-powerful God, he would not need to tell us the future. He could change it himself.
The code seemed, instead, to be from someone good, but not all-powerful, who wanted to warn us of a terrible danger so we could prevent it ourselves.
The Book of Revelation states that the Final Battle will come by surprise, like a thief in the night. In fact, the words that come right before Armageddon are, "Behold, I come as a thief."
The Bible is a warning of sudden and inevitable doom.
But the real message of the Bible code is just the opposite. A warning is encoded in the Bible so that we can prevent the threatened Apocalypse.
The truth is hidden in the last chapter of Daniel, the verses that describe the "sealed book."
They reveal that the secret book was designed to be found now. This year, 1997, in the ancient Hebrew calender 5757, is encoded with the words, "He sealed the book until the time of the End." Right above that the hidden text states, "for you, the hidden secrets." And crossing "5757," again those same words, which also mean "for you, it was encoded."
But who was the encoder?
[86-7]

Again and again Drosnin returns to his mantra "the code is just probabilities," so he can write off bad predictions and sell more books, or maybe there's something more to it. Absent God (he advocates a computer writing the code in book one and aliens writing the code in book two), Drosnin must find some way to fudge the existence of the code and its foreknowledge. If it is aliens then that explains perfectly why there are missed predictions, because while these aliens may be hyper intelligent they certainly are not omniscient, so they can get stuff wrong occasionally. Of course, he never addresses the question (raised in the documentary I posted here) why would aliens use their ability to see the future to record highly specific events about human history and put these predictions in the holy book of a small nomadic tribe 3000 years ago encoded in such a way that no one would know about it until 3000 years later? If God created the code, then it makes perfect sense why the code would exist in the Bible, but if aliens did it, why should they care? It would be like me seeing the future of an ant colony and giving encoded messages to the ants in a form they couldn't understand. Why should I care what ants do anymore than aliens should care what I do?

The Hebrew word being translated as "computer" in the book (the original encoder, before the alien theory in the sequel) is the word "thought." When the code says "made by computer" it really says "made by thought," which makes perfect sense if God created the code, but that doesn't work if you have to fudge the existence of the code into an atheistic framework, so you need alternate translations.

All this is very interesting, but the heart of the matter is found in the second section: "If the Bible code came from an all-powerful God, he would not need to tell us the future. He could change it himself.
"The code seemed, instead, to be from someone good, but not all-powerful, who wanted to warn us of a terrible danger so we could prevent it ourselves."
That's a pretty powerful theological assumption underpinning Drosnin's desire to write God out of the picture. As I said in a video I made in 2007, the standard argument is something along the lines of "If God exists why doesn't he turn my hangnail into an orgasm? Since my hangnail isn't an orgasm, therefore God doesn't exist." At the time I called it "the non-problem of evil."

Since this is an election year that is a referendum of the welfare state I could just as easily call it "the problem of laziness." "If God exists then He could do things for me, so why should I have to? Since I have to do these things, therefore God doesn't exist." Michael Drosnin basically says the exact same thing "If the Bible code came from an all-powerful God, he would not need to tell us the future. He could change it himself." You can almost hear the author whining "But I don't wanna change the future, why can't God do it for me? Because he's stinky, that's why! I have to change the future myself, so God doesn't exist, aliens did it!"





So, who is the encoder? You might as well ask, "If the teacher already knows the answer why do I have to answer it? It must be because the teacher doesn't exist." Why do we have to do things instead of having God do everything for us? Why do we have to do things instead of having allmighty government do everything for us? For our own protection why don't we let the robots sequester us away where nothing bad can ever happen to us? Who is Keyser Soze?

Michael Drosnin is not the only one with trouble accepting the answer. From the back of the book:
 
The quote Rips read to me from Isaiah 45:7, in which God Himself clearly states He is both good and evil, caused a nation-wide furor when it was quoted by a rabbi in Bill Moyers' 1996 PBS series, "Genesis." It was striking that the statement was such a surprise, and so controversial, because it was not hidden, but openly stated in a 2500-year-old book of the Bible, both in the original Hebrew, and in all standard English translations including the King James Version. If after several millennia most people still did not know, and could not accept, what was plainly stated in the Bible as the words of God, how could they accept a hidden code in the Bible?
[172-3]

If Michael Drosnin cannot get around his childish fantasy of God doing everything, thus freeing Michael Drosnin of all thought and responsibility, what hope does he have of accepting God as the author of the code? What hope do millions of people have if they cannot themselves accept God's message to king Cyrus in Isaiah?

Maybe we should look to Job before we can ask why evil exists. Where we there when God created the world? Can we comprehend things from God's perspective from our vantage point here on Earth in these finite bodies?

Who are we to demand answers from God?

Just as a parent wants their child to grow up one day, God wants us to grow up too. A parent lets go of a child's hands so the child can walk on their own. Sure, the child will fall, several times, before learning to walk, but the child will never learn  to walk if the parent never lets go. Just like a teacher asking a question to a student, God asks us to do things He could easily do for us so that we can learn on our own. It is the most rewarding thing in the world to watch your child grow to become an adult, an experience made all the better because of the hardships faced along the way. If we are made in God's image why should it be any different for Him? The most rewarding thing for God would then be watching us overcome the problems we must face and grow into our full potential. Sure, God could do everything for us, but then what would be the point in creating us?

28 September 2012

What Real Heroes Look Like

Afghanistan: A soldier rushes out into the open to draw fire away from his brothers in arms. From the cameraman:

" I got a hit a total of 4 times. My helmet cam died and i made it down the mountain on my own. I was also hit in the side of my helmet and my eye pro was shot off of my face. We were doing overwatch on the village to recon and gather intel. I was point heading down the face of the hill with the LT. when we got hit. the rest of the squad was pinned down by machine gun fire. I didn't start the video until a few mins into the firefight for obvious reasons. I came out into the open to draw fire so my squad could get to safety."

"A round struck the tube by my hand of the 203 grenade launcher which knocked it out of my hands. When I picked the rifle back up it was still functional but the grenade launcher tube had a nice sized 7.62 cal bullet hole in it and was rendered useless. "

26 September 2012

F-22s Scramble Over Central Jersey

Jets
Stock Image

Between 10:55 and 11:20 AM two F-22s had to intercept two aircraft that violated restricted airspace in New York during the UN General Assembly meeting. The planes were redirected to Central Jersey Regional Airport (a tiny little place with a single runway). The pilots may have been having radio trouble. The FAA is looking whether to prosecute them or not. (from the AP)

Here is 18 seconds of poor quality video I got of one of the jets:

24 September 2012

I Want Your Money

While it lasts, the full 90 minute film I Want Your Money, exploring the history of the national debt and the differences between Reagan and Obama.

I WANT YOUR MONEY from Michael Katz on Vimeo.

14 September 2012

Muslim Brotherhood/ Al Qaeda Takeover

The attacks on sovereign US soil in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen from the coordinated attack by Islamists was not incited by a fourteen minute Youtube video made by a convicted meth dealer in California. These attacks are part of a plan initiated in 2005 to make criticism of Islam illegal all over the world. The video (uploaded in July) was used as a convenient excuse for an attack on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.

Sovereign US soil was attacked (an act of war). Four Americans were killed including one of only six US ambassadors ever killed. We cannot surrender the US Constitution and replace it with sharia law. We cannot sit idle while our freedom is slaughtered on the alter of appeasement.

Representative Louie Gohmert (R. Texas) respondes (23 minutes):

12 September 2012

The 9/11 Bible

Yesterday was the eleventh aniversary of 9/11. Here is a video produced by the History Channel that really moved me.



Of all the items found among the rubble was a Bible fused to a piece of steel. The Bible was open to the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew Chapter 5. Could this be God's message to America after the attacks? I don't know, but of all the verses it was this that the Bible was opened to by the falling towers.

38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him ahve your cloak also.
41 "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
42 "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 "That you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 "For if you love those you love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
48 "Therefore you shall be perfet, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

10 September 2012

The Future

Why does the future matter?

I got an email from one of the Integral operations that seems to be becoming more cult-like (including the creation of an "Integral community", which seems very tribal, almost like a regression to first tier, and an article and video "why Integral people should vote for Obama"). The question asked "why does the future matter?" I was going to write on it yesterday, but I was tired so I saved it for today.

As Ken says “The way you approach the present isn’t just determined by the way you approach the past, but by the way you approach the future. The richer conception of the future you have, the richer your life in the present becomes.” There is also audio that goes with the quote where Ken talks about different schools of futurism. What's really interesting is toward the end, after talking about how quickly technology is advancing, Ken asks the question "what problems do we want to solve first?" Do we want to advance technologically really fast and solve problems with world hunger and environmental degradation, or do we want to advance interiors first? Seeing as how most people's interiors are seriously lagging behind do we really want to have someone at level two or three (communist China or some two-bit dictator) acquiring technology to make nuclear weapons look like toys? Perhaps the imperative is to get the majority of people to a stage that recognises human rights before we develop computers that can enslave humanity or superplagues that can wipe us all out.

I don't know if Ken (or the Integral "community") would agree, but this seems like a clarion call to me. It rings out like a night watchman "don't let Iran get the bomb!" We are talking about a group of people who believe that the messiah won't come until they kill all the Jews; a group of people who believe dying in the cause of global domination is a one way ticket to a paradise filled with hookers. This is a group of people who tore down neighborhoods inside Tehran to make processional boulivards so when the messiah comes in their lifetimes his multitude of chariots could have enough room. The Iranian people have come on hands and knees three times begging US aid and support to overthrow the Mullahs and three times the US flipped them off while hundreds were murdered in the streets. These are dangerous, evil people and we cannot let them have control of the future. It is better to decapitate their regime now than wait for the Third World War after they get nukes.

At the same time I am reminded to seek guidance from A Course in Miracles. These are two passages from the urtext*:

Your instability and his weakness have resulted from bad karmic choices, and your relationship NOW is crucial for the future. (36)

[Edgar Cayce] did not realize that it is only what [the mind] is building NOW the really creates the future. The past, in itself, does not have the ability to do this. Whenever we move from one instant to the next, the previous one no longer exists. (78)

What we do now, our thoughts and actions, is what creates the future. As the original email asked "what future we are imagining for ourselves, for the integral movement, and for the impact of the integral vision on our shared future?" The future we imagine is the future we will act upon. The future is a reflection of the choices we make now, and we will not be able to escape the consequences of those choices.

So, what future are we imagining for ourselves and the integral movement? Anyone who is familiar with The Urban Mystic knows what I foresee for the future. I predicted the "Arab Spring," the NDAA and NDRP, and the behavioural modification viruses. So far all the predictions I made in 7 Days have come true, and there are only two left:

1. False flag terror attack on US soil. The Department of Homeland Security infects small government activists with the brain eating virus at the New Year's celebration in NYC to make them look like terrorists. The idea is to get the public to demand the government to crack down on small government people so it can take over all of our liberties. This event has not happened yet. ETA: 31 December 2012.

2. US military stages coup d'eta. The word gets out that the attack in NYC was staged by DHS, not a terror group, and in response factions in the US military loyal to their oath to uphold the Constitution and defend the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic attempt to decapitate the US government to root out the corruption once and for all. This event has not happened yet. ETA: February 2013.

I'm not happy that viruses that mimic the effects of antipsychotic drugs are really being considered (or already exist), or that the President has given himself the authority to execute any American citizen without due process simply by saying that person is a "terrorist." I don't want a military coup, but unfortunately that is the future I am invisioning. Let's face it, the world has really gone downhill fast since 9/11 (the eleventh anniversary is tomorrow) and I can't see a way out unless drastic measures are taken right away. We have to get the statists out of office and restore the authority of the Constitution as invisioned by the founders. If past is prelude, the future ain't looking too bright.

What am I foreseeing regarding Integral? Well, it's leaders are already pretty far left and they are largely endorsing the biggest statist in US history for president (someone whom I said in 2008 would be like four more terms of Bush when people cried McCain would be four more years of Bush. I was right.). Will more people reach second tier in the year ahead? Possibly. There's already been major forces stirring in the American psyche with the big successes of the Tea Party in 2010 and the less specacular results of the Occupy Wallstreet folks (I said they should have occupied Washington instead), as well as the huge groundswell in Ron Paul supporters, with even Mitt Romney saying he wants to audit the Fed due to overwhelming pressure from the Dr. Paul crowd. Things could start looking up in 2013, if we do what is needed to get America on track (by first not reelecting Obama, then forcing Romney to act more like Ron Paul), we could help the Iranian people (who are overwhelmingly pro-US and pro-West) get out from the yoke of their oppressive medieval leaders with a truly democratic Iranian Spring in 2013 (unlike the Arab Spring, that saw the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and now Syria).

What am I foreseeing for myself? That is none of your business.

Always love.




 *The unedited, original version of A Course in Miracles as released on the Internet. The Circle of Atonement says ""A Course in Miracles Urtext Manuscripts" is a printed version of the Urtext, the original typescript that was typed by Bill Thetford from Helen Schucman dictating her notes to him. It includes approximately 50,000 words that are not included in the familiar FIP version. The Urtext includes extensive discussions of the Bible, sex, possession, Freud and other topics which were edited out of other editions. There are over 2,400 footnotes to Bible references and variant ACIM readings."

06 September 2012

The War Against Boys

Christina Hoff Sommers discusses the war against boys, feminism, and gender equity at this University of Pennsylvania Law School event. I should note I have talked about this issue myself many times.

Runs 33 minutes.

26 August 2012

Neil Armstrong In Memoriam

Neil_Armstrong
Neil Armstrong, Korean War veteran, test pilot, first man to walk on the Moon, has died from complications due to heart surgery. He was 82.

As the first of only twelve men to step foot on the Moon, Armstrong is a member of the most prestigeous group of humans in history. He lived his post-Apollo years semi-retired from public life, rarely granting interviews.

One of our greatest heroes, Neil Armstrong will dearly be missed.


Video of that one small step


CNN Biography of Armstrong

22 August 2012

Robert Spencer Exposes CAIR

Robert Spencer exposes the connections between Islamist propaganda group CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) and major terrorist organizations (Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc.), and their designs on making any critical analysis of Islamic groups or people(including his speech and my synopsis) "hate speech" and illegal under United Nations law, in effect making the entire non-Muslim world dhimmi living under sharia law.

runs 28 minutes.

21 August 2012

A Question About The Quran II

Here is the first part in this series, to refresh your memory.

The video runs 15 minutes. Below is my synopsis.



In 1972 a German scholar Gerd R. Puin was asked to investigate some manuscript fragments discovered in Sana'a, Yemen. What he found was fragments of the oldest Quran in existence. The text shows evidence of having been altered, with verses changed and rearranged, and missing diacritical marks permitting the existing words and verses to have a great many different meanings, not the one orthodox meaning found in the Quran today.

Another scholar, writing under the name Christoph Luxenberg, analysed the text of the Quran and discovered a great many loan words and passages that do not make sense in Arabic but make perfect sense when read in Syrio-Aramaic, the dominant language in Western Arabia and the Levant when the Quran was first written.

Together their work suggests that, far from being a single, monolithic text that has existed in its present form for over a thousand years, the Quran has, in fact, gone through revisions and significant alterations in meaning. The Quran may also have been pieced together over several generations from many different texts and may not have existed in its present form until long after Muhammad died.

We may never know the true origins of the text of the Quran (as with virtually any book from antiquity), but now people are asking questions. People are (slowly) giving the Quran the same treatment as the Bible and the Vedas and are performing critical scholarship of the text no one dare question.

19 August 2012

The Truth About The Crusades with Robert Spencer

Dispells the myths that the Islamic empire was tolerant and multicultural and that the crusaders were proto-imperialistic evil bloodthirsty monsters who descended like a plague on the peace-loving Muslims (like some Monty Python documentaries on the subject will tell you).

Roughly 48 minutes.





16 August 2012

Bugs Stay Bugs

Has anyone ever asked you, "If humans evolved from monkeys, then why do we still have monkeys?" Or maybe you have encountered this one: "If evolution happens, then why don't we ever see new species?" Such question are often asked by people who have no understanding of evolutionary processes and who may not even believe that such processes exist. The fact that anyone today, given the overwhelming evidence for biological evolution, would ask such questions is a depressing reflection of the poor quality of biological education in the United States.
[Introduction to Physical Anthropology, Tenth Edition, page 23]

My problems with the book are legion, but here's an interesting one relevant to this paragraph. The genus Homo appeared with Homo habilis, the oldest fossil of which, KNM ER 1813, is about 1.9 million years old. That means the genus Homo has been around for about 82,600 generations, during which time we went from this:
Homo_Monkey

to this:
Chucky_Darwin

That's a significant change, and humans evolve slow, but bacteria evolve quickly (supposedly), which is why we see all this antibiotic resistance springing up (actually, those "super bugs" can only exist in modern super clean settings like hospitals; when put in a neutral environment they are easily outcompeted by their non-drug resistant counterparts).

Richard Lenski at Michigan State ran his famous long-term E. coli experiment that got him a spot at the National Academy of Sciences. In that time since the experiment started and his big discovery in 2008 his germs lived through 31,500 generations, not quite half the time it took to turn chimp-man into modern humans. E. coli is missing an enzyme called citrate permease, which would allow them to transport citrate trough their cell membrane in the presence of oxygen. The development of a gene, Cit+, necessary to transport citrate required the mutation seen at generation 31,500 and another mutation at generation 20,000. To this day (at least as of 2011) Lenski has not been specific about his Cit+ cells (even defensive and condescending when asked), but another study showed the existence of mutant E. coli that could perform the same trick did so by overexpression of an existing gene that allowed them to transport citrate in anaerobic conditions (citT). If Lenski's Cit+ cells are like the citT cells, then the only change was in the rate of gene expression, not the appearance of anything new.

In the same time it took Lenski's E. coli to (probably) alter the expression rate of a preexisting gene and develop the ability to digest citrate in aerobic coditions, under circumstances set up to pressure them to develop this change and food was given to them, Homo erectus had appeared and Homo habilis was gone. Erectus was significantly larger, had nearly doubled brain size, reduced sexual dimorphism, invented fire, likely had the ability for some form of speech, lived in the first hunter-gatherer societies, and spread out over most of Afro-Eurasia, and all under natural conditions, where there existed real competition, predators, and the reality of having to work for food.

Why don't we ever see new species then? We watch E. coli for now 50,000 generations under ideal conditions and essentially nothing happened, yet somehow there was a quantum leap in human evolution that no one was around to see. My question, then, is, if speciation happens why does it only happen when no one is looking? Better yet, why is speciation an experiment that can't be replicated?



ADDENDUM

Michael Behe paper (The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 85, No. 4, December 2010) critiquing Lenski's experiment.

Evolution News article on the Lenski experiment.

08 August 2012

Roswell

Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Dick French talks about how he was ordered to investigate and debunk flying saucers. He says they're real and that he'll be surprised if they stay a secret for long.

02 August 2012

The Bible Code - McKay Strikes Back

Remember the documentary where Brendan McKay claims to have discovered the assassinations of famous people in Moby-Dick? An analysis from a Bible code website breaks down in detail why McKay's stunt is not a refutation of the existence of the Bible code, and does not answer Michael Drosnin's challenge, which was: "When my critics find a message about the assassination of a prime minister encrypted in Moby-Dick I'll believe them."

The unnamed author of the piece points out that all correct codes found in the Torah must meet at least three criteria:
1. they must use a priori key words that are logically and historically related to the event being searched, meaning the key words must be chosen before the search is conducted in order for a code to be valid;
2. the a priori key words must have a relatively compact arrangement of ELS (equidistant letter skips) within the code cylinder;
3. one or more of the a priori key words must have a low rank skip ELS.

Every one of McKay's codes do not meet one or more of the criteria for the Bible code, meaning McKay did not find similar code in Moby-Dick and he did not refute the existence of the Bible code.

The first example given is of India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated 31 October 1984. The following is an example of the code table, or matrix, McKay found regarding the assassination (there are many such tables in the piece, this one is used here as a reference):

CodeTable

What McKay did, according to the article, was search for every instance of "IGANDHI" in the text of Moby-Dick and searched all of them for words related to killing. The one example he did find was "THEBLOODYDEED". This does not meet the first criteria for a valid code. The article goes on to say: "The second problem is that the ELS for bloody deed is not a low rank skip ELS. Its rank is about 200, meaning there are about 200 ELSs of I. Ghandi in Moby Dick having smaller absolute skip than the one shown in the McKay table. Low rank skip for a primary key word generally means a rank smaller than about 30."

A similar method is used for the deaths of other prominent people. Lebanese President Rene Moawad crosses the entire phrase "ANEXPLODINGBOMB", a rather complex phrase that one would not use as an a priori key word (just as you wouldn't search for the entire phrase "SHOTINTHEHEAD" when looking for the Kennedy assassination, you would use words like "SHOT" and "DALLAS"). Leon Trotsky is found with the word "EXECUTED", when he was murdered by a criminal while exiled in Mexico, not killed in an official execution. The other codes found by McKay either display odd complete phrases, indicating cheating, or are not statistically significant (McKay's code for JFK has a probability of 34.5 in 100, whereas the probability of the results of the original rabbi's experiment he said was fake had a probability of 1 in 10 million).

The conclusion is clear: Brendan McKay did not perform an experiment. He used no experimental protocal, certainly not the rigorous one used in the original experiment he was criticising. McKay performed a debunking exercise where he cheated at every chance he could, searching the text for anything he thought would look good, and put on a show to purpousfully deceive the uneducated reader. His whole purpose was to discredit genuine code researchers because he has an a priori metaphysical objection to the existence of codes, not a real scientific objection.

31 July 2012

The Man of Miracles

A 50 minute film on Sathya Sai Baba called "The Man of Miracles", narrated by Rod Serling. This film was made between 1973 and 74 (during the renovation project at Prasanthi Nilayam, though there's no date, the construction gives it away).

Attention is paid to Swami's early life and interviews with prominant Western devotees.

27 July 2012

Hundred Greatest Battles Update for July 2012

After severe computer troubles at the end of March and having to rediscover seven missing battles, here is the updated list:

1. Adrianople
2. Agincourt
3. Ain Jalut
4. Ankara
5. Antietam
6. Antioch
7. Artemisium
8. Austerlitz
9. Bannockburn
10. Bull Run (Manassas - First Battle)
11. Cannae
12. Carrhae
13. Catalaunian Plains
14. Chaeronea
15. Changping
16. Chittor Fort
17. Corinth
18. Eupatoria
19. Fredericksburg
20. Gaixia
21. Gallipoli
22. Gaugamela
23. Gettysburg
24. Granicus River
25. Hastings
26. Hydaspes River
27. Indus
28. Issus
29. Iwo Jima
30 & 31. Mongol Invasions of Japan
32. Julu
33. Jutland
34. Kadesh
35. Kalinga
36. Kazan
37. Kulikovo
38. Kursk
39 & 40. Lexington and Concord
41. Leyte Gulf
42. Malta
43. Marathon
44. Midway
45. Mobei
46. Mohi
47. Multan
48. Nahāvand
49. Normandy
50. Panipat
51. Passchendaele
52. Persian Gates
53. Pharsalus
54. Plataea
55. Pollilur
56. Poltava
57. Al-Qādisiyyah
58. Red Cliffs
59. Sakarya
60. Salamis
61. Salsu
62. Seringapatam
63. Sevastopol
64. Shiloh
65. Six-Day War
66. Somme
67. Talas
68. Tarain (Second Battle)
69. Telamon
70. Tenochtitlán
71. Teutoburg Forest
72. Tours (Poitiers)
73. Trafalgar
74. Ugra River
75. Verdun
76. Vienna
77. Waterloo
78. Watling Street
79. Yom Kippur War
80. Yorktown
81. Zama

In addition there are two additional battles that are not officially part of the list but deserve special mention:

A. Tyre (subject of the video "Alexander's Siege of Tyre, which inspired The 100 Greatest Battles)
B. Gulf War

19 July 2012

Ancient Aliens

ET
A more accomplished inventor than Edison, a more sinister killer than Hitler.

Back in 2009 I watched a program on what was then called The History Channel (now just History, which is ironic as it no longer has anything to do with history but is instead reality shows about ambiguously gay garbage men and all sorts of utter crap) called Ancient Aliens. At the time it was the most viewed program ever aired on The History Channel (over 2 million views). The program presented speculation that many of the things ancient people built, supposedly with one foot still in the stone age, which modern technology cannot replicate (the Great Pyramid took 23 years to build, supposedly by thousands of people pulling stones along a ramp that would have stretched for several miles and contained several times the voulme of material as the pyramid itself, and with the entire world's supply of boom cranes it would take at least 100 years to build and cost more money than the GNP of most countries; the Stone of the Pregnant Woman at Baalbek weighs over 1000 tonnes and does not have enough surface area to attach sufficient ropes for it to be moved), and proposes that it is possible that extraterrestrials visited Earth and had some role in these astonishing accomplishments.

From there it degenerated into idiots claiming that absolutely everything in the universe was done by ET, and has retconned itself at least once.

According to the man with the hair, show producer and host Giorgio Tsoukalos (according to wiki his day job is running an ET themed amusement park, which sounds wicked cool until you realise that it's probably all desk work and meeting with people with deep pockets), all the world's religions were started as cargo cults by ET (because things like God/gods, angels, and anything nonphysical is laughable on its face, and because no one ever used entheogens until the 1960s), every single artefact "looks surprisingly like" some modern machine which isn't the least bit odd considering that ET is supposedly millions of years more advanced than humans and yet is using Apollo era technology, ET started the American Revolution and was in communication with the Free Masons, George Washington, Ben Franklin, and maybe gave Sam Adams the recipe for beer, ET was behind the works of Shakespere and Leonardo da Vinci (because if you use a computer to distort da Vinci's paintings you can make ET heads or something), ET is responsible for every war in history, selects every US President, and mines the atmosphere for gold, somehow. Apparently "ancient astronaut theory" is no longer a theory, it's a deus ex machina for everything in the universe (except explaining where ET came from and if there is an even older race of ancient aliens who created the ones that visited Earth, and why the definition of "ancient astronaut theory" keeps changing for every episode).

In Season One ET visited the Earth looking for gold or liquid water (gold being a very heavy element should actually be more abundant on Mercury than Earth, and water is very common throughout the universe and can be found in huge quantities on the outer planets) and they found primitive ape creatures which they infused with ET DNA (or ENA) to make humans to mine the gold. Once they had enough they left until Roswell in 1947.

In the latest episode ET visited the Earth millions of years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs with laser weapons so the planet would be free to grow humans to mine for ratings on History's sister channel H2. The reason this change in ET agenda was never explained.

Here's what Charlie Sheen has to say about Ancient Aliens:

15 July 2012

The Bible Code

Looking through a box of books I discovered Michael Drosnin's original The Bible Code. This got me thinking about a documentary film on the Bible code I had seen a few years ago. Here it is below:

It runs 45 minutes.



The above film includes interviews with charlatan Brendan McKay (who admits his stunt with Moby Dick was a stunt and that he didn't bother with the scrambling method that produces the real statistically significant results in the actual code, and despite this he is still touted as an expert all over the Internet) and Barry Simon (who believes that God would not create the code because then it would prove God's existance and then everyone would be forced to believe against their free will), both of whom reject a priori the possibility of the code and are therefore not scientists.

It also includes interviews with Eliyahu Rips, who discovered the code using computer technology.

Here is a brief (7 minutes) detailed explanation of the original experiment, it's supposed refutation, and the second study that the skep-dicks have ignored and remains unrefuted, presented by Moshe Zeldman.

08 July 2012

A Servant of Good

Do whatever you can to fight evil and the new world order. Do whatever you can to educate the masses (even if it's only 50 readers a day).

Runs 16 minutes.

Humanity's Greatest Secret: Dreams of the Universe

This one's a double, because it's just videos instead of text (text comes later). Our first feature is a wonderful think piece from Alex Jones about humanity's future. Do we want to go down the path of tyranny or do we want our civilization to thrive among the stars? The global elite are telling you that you are a disease on the Earth, but the truth is humanity is the best thing to ever happen to the planet.

Runs 20 minutes.

02 July 2012

The Star Spangled Banner

The band Madison Rising performing The Star Spangled Banner.



Never before, or since, has anything like the United States been attempted. For all its flaws, still the greatest country ever by a long shot.

30 June 2012

Reformed Epistemology and Religious Pluralism

Plantinga_Happy
Alvin Plantinga

Hick_Happy
John Hick

Alvin Plantinga's argument against religious pluralism points to one particular reliabilist argument and tries to refute it. He uses the argument of John Hick, that nearly 99% of people, the religion that an individual professes is the religion in which they were raised - an accident of their birth. Someone born to Buddhist parents will almost always be a Buddhist, a Muslim to Muslims, a Christian to Christians, etc. Plantinga accepts this at face value, but then moves off in a direction I see as a tangetn. Plantinga asks "does it follow that I ought not to accept the religious views that I have been brought up to accept, or the ones that I find myself inclined to accept, or the ones that seem to me to be true? Or that the belief producing processes that have produced those beliefs in me are unreliable? Surely not."*

Plantinga goes on to imply that Hick's argument works against the pluralist. If the pluralist is right and beliefs are largely a product of our upbringing, then if a pluralist were born in a different time or place he likely wouldn't be a pluralist. If our beliefs are largely an accident of our birth, then so is the belief in pluralism.

He continues, that if his (Plantinga's) beliefs are true, they could be produced by a reliable, properly functioning belief producing process. From this he concludes that "there is no reason whatever to think that the exclusivist might not know tha they are true."

For Plantinga, the existence of the multiplicity of religions counts for nothing to advance the belief in pluralism. The fact may call into question the source of one's belief, but it does not follow from the existence of many religions that any one particular religion (Plantinga's own) is false. It may be a shame that billions of people may have faulty belief producing processes and will burn in Hell forever, but Plantinga can accept that with stoic resolve.

I don't buy this. If most people go through similar belief producing processes and tend to find themselves believing the dominant set of beliefs as their culture, how can Plantinga claim that his beliefs are more likely to be true than someone else's just because they formed in him? What offers him special status? How does he know his belief producing process (which just so happens, by coincidence, produce beliefs conforming to his culture) is functioning reliably and properly and is not working as such in others with different beliefs? What makes Plantinga's belief that his belief producing process is functioning reliably and properly and the process in other exclusivists who have different beliefs is not functioning properly and reliably?

Furthermore, Plantinga's Reformed epistemology is anti-foundationalist. Plantinga rejects the notion of evidence or proofs for supporting beliefs; instead affirming that his beliefs are basic beliefs, that can be known without proof or evidence, yet are not self-evident (such as belief in an external world or belief in other minds). What, then, is the basis of Plantinga's belief that his exclusivist belief generating process is working reliably and properly?

It can't be that this metabelief (the belief that his belief generating process is functioning reliably and properly, and furthermore, is producing the correct set of exclusivist beliefs and all other exclusivists with contradictory beliefs have faulty belief generating processes) has come about through an analysis of different religions and assessing which one is most correct, because Plantinga rejects any method of assessing the truth value of these beliefs. Plantinga affirms this metabelief either because it is an attempt to justify a rejection of Hick's pluralist argument based on nothing at all, or is itself a product of the culture in which he was raised.

This does not mean that the pluralist position is correct, or even that Plantinga's own exclusivist beliefs are false, merely that his refutation of the pluralist falls apart on its face.



*All quotes from "Pluralism: A Defense of Religious Exclusivism"