April 30, 2013

Spring hasn’t shown up yet.

This is after a Winter recording record lows and snowfall all over Russia, Europe and Asia.

In the Unites States, April has seen more than 1,100 snowfall records fall and 3,400 new cold records set.

The sun drives 99% of our climate, and the sun is growing increasingly dormant.

Some Russian scientists say this may afford us very chilly conditions for the next 200 or so years.

“Global Warming”, uh, I mean, “Climate Change”!!!


Fatalism & Fanaticism

April 21, 2013

There I was, in the backseat of a Ford Pinto, returning to campus on a Friday evening, with fellow grad students…  Bill riding “shotgun”, and the driver, Ali, in control.

50 yards from an intersection, the light turned red.  But instead of applying the brake, Ali hit the gas.

With increasing alarm, Bill kept saying, “The light is red, it’s red, it’s red!”

Keeping his foot mashed to the floor, Ali replied, “When it’s your time, it’s your time.”

Thus we careened through the crossroads, barely missing a passing car, and narrowly escaping what could have been lethal damage visited upon at least 4 souls.

As Bill and I expressed anger and shock, Ali berated my lack of faith, as it was assumed that Allah must not have willed the critical juncture in question as “our time.”


Step in front of a train, or leap off a skyscraper, and only if it is “your time” will you be smashed to smithereens.

This is known as fatalism.  It was set in motion by someone of great wealth, with the benefit of higher education, and still primarily and fundamentally informed with this approach to faith.

The fact that we were all friends mattered not at all.  Our lives were worth nothing.

Mix this brand of fatalism with a fanatical belief, and that’s how you get smart people to fly planes into buildings or set off explosives nearby small children.

You see, if anyone dies in the destruction, it must be that they were only killed or maimed with Allah willing it to be so…

Not because of a maniacal, Neanderthal, and criminal approach to religion.

Whether filled with C4 plastic or comprised of nails packed in a pressure cooker,  heartless and inhuman Wahhabi style Islam is the fundamental mixture upon which the overwhelming vast majority of all terrorist bombs and grisly beheadings are based.

It is the chemistry of Fatalism and Fanaticism that resulted in the explosive blight visited on the Boston marathon.

To see it otherwise is to be in gross denial and to be seeing nothing at all.

What follows below is a partial list taken from Wikipedia…


Osama bin Laden (1957–2011) was the founder of Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for many high profile attacks, including the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings and the September 11 attacks.

The 1996 Khobar Towers bombing by Hezbollah Al-Hejaz killed 19 Americans, one Saudi, and wounded 372.


The north face of Two World Trade Center (south tower) immediately after being struck by United Airlines Flight 175

Hasib Hussain, who detonated the bus bomb in Tavistock Square in the 7 July 2005 London bombings, is captured on CCTV leaving

One of the bomb-damaged coaches at the Mahim station in Mumbai during the 11 July 2006 train bombings


Police investigating on the site a few hours after the 2011 Marrakech bombing

  • Pakistan 1 January 2010 – Lakki Marwat, Pakistan. A suicide car bomber drove his explosive-laden vehicle into a volleyball pitch as people gathered to watch a match, killing more than 100 people.[38]
  • Iraq 5 January 2012 Iraq bombings, Baghdad and Nasiriyah, Iraq by Islamic State of Iraq. 73 dead, 149 injured.
  • India 14 February 2010 – 2010 Pune bombing, Pune, Maharashtra, India. bomb blast ripped through the city’s popular German Bakery, close to the Osho Ashram and diagonally across from the Jewish Chabad House[39] killing 17 people and injuring 65.Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) claimed involvement of Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT).Police arrested Mirza Himayat Baig Inayat Baig,who allegedly heads Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) module in the state.ATS has also arrested Bilal Baba Hussain Fareed Shaikh (27).In its chargesheet filed in a Pune court, the ATS has also named six other accused – all co-conspirator and absconding – Mohsin Choudhary, Yasin Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Faiyaz Kagzi and Zabihuddin Ansari.[40]
  • Iraq 14 January 2012 Basra bombing, Basra, Iraq. 53 dead, 130 injured.
  • Iraq 27 January 2012 Baghdad bombing, Baghdad, Iraq by Al-Qaeda in Iraq. 32 dead, 71 injured.
  • Iraq 23 February 2012 Iraq attacks, Baghdad, Iraq by Islamic State of Iraq. 83 dead, 250+ injured.
  • Iraq 20 March 2012 Iraq attacks, Baghdad and at least 9 other cities, Iraq. 52 dead, ~ 250 injured.
  • Pakistan 28 May 2010 – Attacks on Ahmadi Mosques Lahore, Pakistan. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed attacks on two mosques simultaneously belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, killing nearly 100 and injuring many others.[39]
  • India 7 December 2010 – 2010 Varanasi bombing, India. 2 dead, 37 injured.
  • Egypt 1 January 2011 – Alexandria, Egypt. A car bomb exploded outside a Coptic Orthodox church after worshippers had gathered for a prayer celebration on New Year’s Eve. 21 dead, 97 injured.[41]
  • Russia 24 January 2011 – Domodedovo International Airport, Moscow, Russia. A suicide bomb attack in the international arrivals hall of Domodedovo International Airport, Moscow killed at least 37 people and injured some 180.[42] Attacks were later attributed to the Caucasus Emirate an Islamist terrorist organisation.
  • Philippines 25 January 2011 – Manilla, Philippines. A bomb under a bus seat detonated on a passenger bus commuting in Manilla. 5 dead, 14 injured.[43] The attack has been attributed to the Islamist Terrorist Organization Jemaah Islamiyah.
  • Russia 26 January 2011 – Khasavyurt, Russia. A car bomb explosion detonated by the Caucasus Emirate an Islamist terrorist organisation ripped through a cafe, with the blast killing and injuring both cafe workers and customers within the Russian city of Khasavyurt. 4 dead, 6 injured.[44]
  • Thailand 18 April 2011 – Pattani, Thailand. Suspected Muslim insurgents have set off a car bomb that killed one soldier and wounded 25 people in restive southern Thailand.[45]
  • Nigeria 25 April 2011 – Maiduguri, Nigeria. An explosion at a hotel killed 3 people and wounded 14 others in northeastern Nigeria. A second explosion went off at a cattle market in the town of Maiduguri; it is suspected that the attacks have been perpetrated by the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram (figuratively, “Western or non-Islamic education is a sin”)[46]
  • Morocco 28 April 2011 – 2011 Marrakech bombing, Marrakesh, Morocco. A suicide bombing struck a cafe in Djemaa el Fna square, killing mostly foreigners and several Moroccan’s, in the centre of Morocco’s southern city of Marrakesh, which is located in southern Morocco. 16 dead and at least 20 injured.[47] The attack was attributed to the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group.
  • Thailand 8 June 2011 – Narathiwat, Thailand. Suspected Islamic militants killed two Buddhist monks and left a bomb at the scene that subsequently exploded and wounded five police officers. 2 dead, 5 injured.[48]
  • China 18 July 2011 – 2011 Hotan attack, Hotan, China. A group of 18 young Uyghur men who opposed the local government’s campaign against the full-face Islamic veil perpetrated a series of coordinated bomb and knife attacks and occupied a police station on Nuerbage Street, killing two security guards and taking eight hostages. The attackers yelled religious slogans, including ones associated with Jihadism.
  • China 30–31 July 2011 – 2011 Kashgar attacks, Kashgar, China. A series of busy markets and restaurants were attacked by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in the city of Kashgar, by carbombs and stabbing attacks, killing 23 and wounding 42 people in total.[49]
  • Iraq 27 January 2012. Baghdad, Iraq. Suicide bomber kills 33 at funeral procession.[50]
  • China 28 February 2012 – 2012 Yecheng attack, Yecheng, China. At around 6 p.m. on February 28, 2012, a group of eight Uyghur men led by religious extremist Abudukeremu Mamuti attacked pedestrians with axes and knives on a crowded street. Local police fought with Mamuti’s group, ultimately killing all and capturing Mamuti. One police officer died and four police were injured, while 15 pedestrians died from Mamuti’s assault and 14 more civilians were injured.[51]
  • France 20 March 2012 – 2012 Midi-Pyrénées shootings in Toulouse, France Algerian gunman on a motorcycle kills 4 at a Jewish school. 7 dead, 5 injured.
  • Nigeria 30 April 2012 – Gunmen of Boko Haram kill 15 people and wound many more in Nigeria.[52]
  • LibyaUnited States 11 September 2012 – On the anniversary of the 2001 September 11th attacks in the United States, Islamist militants killed 4 and wounded 7 in the Benghazi U.S. Consulate attack including American Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
  • Bangladesh 29–30 September 2012 Muslims Attack Buddhist Temples, Homes Over Quran Facebook Photo in Chittagong. The latest reports indicate that about 15 temples and pagodas and about 100 houses of Buddhists living in the area had been set on fire.[53][54]
  • Israel 21 November 2012 – Tel-Aviv, Israel. Bus explodes on Tel Aviv’s Shaul Hamelech Street; 28 wounded, one seriously, one moderately.[55]
  • India 21 February 2013. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. A series of two bomb blasts in a crowded place killed 16 people and 119 were injured. There were two blasts on Thursday at 6.58 p.m. and 7.01 p.m. The bicycle had a bag hung to its carrier, which the police believe had an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
  • United States 15 April 2013. Boston Marathon bombings. Two brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnev, planted two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The blast killed 3 and injured 183 others. [56]

The Boston Bombing

April 18, 2013

My niece ran in the Boston Marathon, and was fast enough to finish a few minutes ahead of the horrific explosions that, with ferocity matched in depravity, took life and limb.

I wonder how many of us have hoped the perpetrator(s) are not part of a group we’re even tangentially associated with…

White male…  Muslim extremist…  Fundamentalist Christian…  Leftist fanatic…

Truth is, there are some groups I’d rather the malevolent monsters were connected to.

Still, regardless of the labels, the criminals associated with this heinous crime are, indeed, associated with me, nay, with all of us.

Indeed, without one iota of direct evidence, I can say for certain that the prime movers behind this disaster are human beings, not robots, or machines.

Even so, I cannot imagine what grotesque malady must overtake a person, enabling them to visit such wanton destruction on those who just happen to be in the vicinity of the detonation.

Would they mind if it was their mother, their son, their infant, toddler or lover who, by chance, wandered into the blast zone?

How is it a human being can be so inhuman?

Of course, as in any terrible tragedy, with far more manifest evidence at our disposal, we are also left wondering, whether in uniform or civilian dress, how mere human beings, under enormous duress, can be so heroic, so compassionate?

Yes, as it always seems to be, evil can be extreme, but it pales in comparison to the instant and indellible good we all too often take for granted.

Depravity cuts deep.  Too deep.

But it only succeeds in revealing unfathomable virtue that immediately sustains on scene, and endures far beyond.

Not for a few, but for us all.

The Walking Dead

April 7, 2013

The Walking Dead, on AMC, is an amazingly alluring drama, even though it’s a rehash on a theme as old as The Night of the Living Dead.

I’ve seen every episode.

Here’s what I find interesting…

In this series, one is exposed to people having their flesh ripped open by blood spurting ghouls, “biters” being beheaded, and all sorts of extreme violence graphically enacted with shovels, picks, hammers and booted feet.

But, in scenes depicting love, no blatant sexual imagery is allowed.

Not a whole lot of skin, and no breasts.

No curses pass the lips of the actors either.

No, “Holy shit!”

No, “Get the fuck out of here!”

Personally, I cursed more changing the oil on my Chrysler LeBaron, with the 2.6 Mitsubishi engine, in 5 minutes, than 3 whole seasons of zombies dining on decent human beings, who seemed rather likeable, if only they’d lived.

Our American TV is weird.

Honestly, it just is.