Sunday, April 20, 2014

Among The Stars

AMONG THE STARS is the sequel to the Harry Irons Trilogy. If you're a fan and want more, AMONG THE STARS will deliver. Written for a general audience and sure to satisfy both younger and older fans of science fiction.

While seeking origins for the starship Minerva, tragedy strikes Edward Fagen and crew. Light years away, Harry Irons is stirred to carry out an impossible rescue mission and just maybe, save the universe in the process.

Available at Amazon, BarnesandNoble, Smashwords, Apple, Sony, and most ebook retailers offering premium science fiction.


Easter (Old English Ēostre; Latin: Pascha; Greek Πάσχα Paskha, the latter two derived from Hebrew: פֶּסַח‎ Pesaḥ) is a festival and holiday, now celebrated both by Christians and non-Christians, that was instituted to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday), commemorating the Last Supper and its preceding foot washing,[8][9] as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide, or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (although the astronomical equinox occurs on 20 March in most years), and the "Full Moon" is not necessarily on the astronomically correct date. The date of Easter therefore varies from 22 March to 25 April inclusive. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian calendar, whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, and in which therefore the celebration of Easter varies between 4 April and 8 May.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for "Easter" and "Passover" are identical or very similar. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.

The modern English term Easter derives from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre.

The word Easter is held by some to have originally referred to the name of an Anglo-Saxon goddess, Ēostre. Easter is held by others to have originally referred to the name of a Babylonian goddess, Ishtar. Others surmise that Eostre and Ishtar, pronounced identically, are two forms of the same word, referring to two forms of the same goddess, although the spelling differentiated through time and distance.

In Greek and Latin, the Christian celebration was and is called Πάσχα, Pascha, words derived, through Aramaic, from the Hebrew term Pesach (פֶּסַח), known in English as Passover, which originally denoted the Jewish festival commemorating the story of the Exodus. Already in the 50s of the 1st century, Paul, writing from Ephesus to the Christians in Corinth, applied the term to Christ, and it is unlikely that the Ephesian and Corinthian Christians were the first to hear Exodus 12 interpreted as speaking about the death of Jesus, not just about the Jewish Passover ritual. In most of the non-English speaking world, the feast is known by names derived from Greek and Latin Pascha.

The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith. The resurrection established Jesus as the Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righteousness. God has given Christians "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". Christians, through faith in the working of God are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life.

Easter is linked to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and crucifixion that preceded the resurrection. According to the New Testament, Jesus gave the Passover meal a new meaning, as he prepared himself and his disciples for his death in the upper room during the Last Supper. He identified the matzah and cup of wine as his body soon to be sacrificed and his blood soon to be shed. Paul states, "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed"; this refers to the Passover requirement to have no yeast in the house and to the allegory of Jesus as the Paschal lamb.

One interpretation of the Gospel of John is that Jesus, as the Passover lamb, was crucified at roughly the same time as the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple, on the afternoon of Nisan 14. The scriptural instructions specify that the lamb is to be slain "between the two evenings", that is, at twilight. By the Roman period, however, the sacrifices were performed in the mid-afternoon. Josephus, Jewish War 6.10.1/423 ("They sacrifice from the ninth to the eleventh hour"). Philo, Special Laws 2.27/145 ("Many myriads of victims from noon till eventide are offered by the whole people").

This interpretation, however, is inconsistent with the chronology in the Synoptic Gospels. It assumes that text literally translated "the preparation of the passover" in John 19:14 refers to Nisan 14 (Preparation Day for the Passover) and not necessarily to Yom Shishi (Friday, Preparation Day for the Passover week Sabbath) and that the priests' desire to be ritually pure in order to "eat the passover" refers to eating the Passover lamb, not to the public offerings made during the days of Unleavened Bread.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Appearance And Reality

This is a great topic for this week because April 19 marks the anniversary of the slaughter of innocents at Mount Carmel outside Waco, Texas, twenty-one years ago and the subsequent cover-up. It's hard to believe so much time has passed since government agents burned out a group of peaceful Christians in a show of force to the nation. Bill and Hillary Clinton were new to the White House and the operation was a pet project, planned well ahead of Clinton's inauguration.

Of course, by the time old Bill was in office, he had the power of the press in his back pocket. That certainly made things easier. The tale could be told in a fashion that was much easier on American sensibilities. David Koresh could be turned into a drooling child molester and made to appear as a manipulating monster.

Along those lines, when I decided to write a piece for the anniversary of the big ATF/FBI barbecue, I wanted to remind myself of some of the more salient facts surrounding the nightmare and so I set out to do some web searches. That's when I noticed the proliferation of negative stories about Koresh and the Branch-Davidians. The negative articles are all ranked up there in all the internet search engines, so many, in fact, that you'd have to go through pages of listings to sort through the lies and propaganda. Ah, but it's how the government forms the narrative. Lies and propaganda shoved down our throats for years and years until the truth fades away and we're left questioning our own memories of the events, even as vivid as the military tanks and roaring flames were. It's how history is written. However, if you're brave enough to look back without a jaundiced eye, the truth of the matter is as plain today as it was then.

When I reflect on those events in 1993 and consider the actions of the US government and compare it to what has happened since, it all becomes relatively clear.

Let's turn to the related topic for a moment -- the notion of appearance versus reality. It's how the magicians in the government use their powers to make things seem real. Yet, seekers of the truth must remember that our goal is to define what is ultimately real as opposed to what is merely apparent. Incidentally, this is the definition of metaphysics.

In everyday life, people distinguish between the real size of the Sun and its apparent size, or between the real color of an object (when seen in standard conditions) and its apparent color (nonstandard conditions). A cloud appears to consist of some white, fleecy substance, although in reality it is a concentration of drops of water. In general, men are often (though not invariably) inclined to allow that the scientist knows the real constitution of things as opposed to the surface aspects with which ordinary men are familiar. It will not suffice to define metaphysics as knowledge of reality as opposed to appearance; scientists, too, claim to know reality as opposed to appearance, and there is a general tendency to concede their claim.

It seems that there are at least two components in the metaphysical conception of reality. One characteristic, which has already been illustrated by Plato, is that reality is genuine as opposed to deceptive. The ultimate realities that the metaphysician seeks to know are precisely things as they are--simple and not variegated, exempt from change and therefore stable objects of knowledge. Plato's own assumption of this position perhaps reflects certain confusions about the knowability of things that change; one should not, however, on that ground exclude this aspect of the concept of reality from metaphysical thought in general. Ultimate reality, whatever else it is, is genuine as opposed to sham.

Second, and perhaps most important, reality for the truth seeker is intelligible as opposed to opaque. Appearances are not only deceptive and derivative, they also make no sense when taken at their own level. To arrive at what is ultimately real is to produce an account of the facts that does them full justice. The assumption is, of course, that one cannot explain things satisfactorily if one remains within the world of common sense, or even if one advances from that world to embrace the concepts of science. One or the other of these levels of explanation may suffice to produce a sort of local sense that is enough for practical purposes or that forms an adequate basis on which to make predictions. Practical reliability of this kind, however, is very different from theoretical satisfaction; the task of the metaphysician is to challenge all assumptions and finally arrive at an account of the nature of things that is fully coherent and fully thought-out.

That's why when the government disseminates prepackaged, even fake news, eventually someone notices. The government counts on convincing a sizeable enough portion of the population so as to not fret so much over the naysayers. The truth is, all our masters want is just enough of the vote to keep them in office.

Don't believe me? Well, why should you? Here's one reason: In March 2005, the New York Times revealed that there has been a large amount of fake and prepackaged news created by US government departments, such as the Pentagon, the State Department and others, and disseminated through the mainstream media. Shocking? Only if you've been living on the dark side of the moon. The New York Times noted a number of methods pertaining to media manipulation.

For instance, the aggressive use of public relations to prepackaged news. Many government-made news segments are made to look like local news. Sometimes reports have fake reporters such as when a ‘reporter’ covering airport safety was actually a public relations professional working under a false name for the Transportation Security Administration. Other times, there is no mention that a video segment is produced by the government. Where there is some attribution, news stations simply rebroadcast them without citing the source.
These segments reach millions of us. And we accept them as the truth, even though we assure one another that politicians habitually lie in order to get the vote.

Ironically, Americans pay to be subjected to government propaganda. All this nonsense is financed through our taxes.

The media is manipulated in multiple ways through professional public relations as well as covert and overt government propaganda which disseminates propaganda as news. What are often deemed as credible news sources can often knowingly or unknowingly be pushing political agendas and propaganda. The truth is, it happens every day of the week. Manipulation of internet search engines is just another technique available to the great powers on high.

Our leaders are the true monsters running loose in our society. The debacle at Mount Carmel occurred twenty-one years ago and the subsequent cover-up was committed by both political parties as well as a pliant media. The old tricks are still being used on an unsuspecting public and it appears that things have generally grown worse for both freedom lovers and purveyors of the truth. And so, when you hear about that fateful day in April 1993 on the plains of Texas when 76 men, women, and children were burned alive and/or shot down by government agents, caution yourself to remain quiet, lest you gather attention from those who would have you believe otherwise.

More info can be gleaned from these articles on the North Texas Drifter:

The Seige Begins

Gun Control By Left Is Not New

What Happened To Carlos?

Rest In Peace:

Chanel Andrade, 1, American
Jennifer Andrade, 19, American
Katherine Andrade, 24, American
George Bennett, 35, British
Susan Benta, 31, British
Mary Jean Borst, 49, American
Pablo Cohen, 38, Israeli
Abedowalo Davies, 30, British
Shari Doyle, 18, American
Beverly Elliot, 30, British
Doris Fagan, 51, British
Yvette Fagan, 32, British
Lisa Marie Farris, 24, American
Raymond Friesen, 76, Canadian
Sandra Hardial, 27, British
Diana Henry, 28, British
Paulina Henry, 24, British
Phillip Henry, 22, British
Stephen Henry, 26, British
Vanessa Henry, 19, British
Zilla Henry, 55, British
Novellette Hipsman, 36, Canadian
Floyd Houtman, 61, American
Sherri Jewell, 43, American
David M. Jones, 38, American
Bobbie Lane Koresh, 2, American
Cyrus Koresh, 8, American
David Koresh, 33, American
Rachel Koresh, 24, American
Star Koresh, 6, American
Jeffery Little, 32, American
Nicole Gent Little, 24, Australian, pregnant
Dayland Lord Gent, 3, Australian
Paiges Gent,[72] 1, American
Livingston Malcolm, 26, British
Anita Martin, 18, American
Diane Martin, 41, British
Lisa Martin, 13, American
Sheila Martin, Jr., 15, American
Wayne Martin, Jr., 20, American
Wayne Martin, Sr., 42, American
Abigail Martinez, 11, American
Audrey Martinez, 13, American
Crystal Martinez, 3, American
Isaiah Martinez, 4, American
Joseph Martinez, 8, American
Julliete Martinez, 30, American
John-Mark McBean, 27, British
Bernadette Monbelly, 31, British
Melissa Morrison, 6, British
Rosemary Morrison, 29, British
Sonia Murray, 29, American
Theresa Nobrega, 48, British
James Riddle, 32, American
Rebecca Saipaia, 24, Filipino
Judy Schneider, 41, American
Steve Schneider, 43, American
Mayanah Schneider, 2, American
Clifford Sellors, 33, British
Scott Kojiro Sonobe, 35, American
Floracita Sonobe, 34, Filipino
Aisha Gyrfas Summers, 17, Australian, pregnant
Gregory Summers, 28, American
Startle Summers, 1, American
Hollywood Sylvia, 1, American
Lorraine Sylvia, 40, American
Rachel Sylvia, 12, American
Chica Jones, 2, American
Michelle Jones Thibodeau, 18, American
Serenity Jones, 4, American
Little One Jones, 2, American
Margarida Vaega, 47, New Zealander
Neal Vaega, 38, New Zealander
Mark H. Wendell, 40, American

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The First Rule Of Fight Club


Dada was an artistic and literary movement that began in Europe during World War I. Because of the war, many artists, intellectuals and writers, especially those from France and Germany, moved to Switzerland, which was a neutral country. Instead of being relieved that they had escaped, the artists, intellectuals and writers were furious with the modern society. So, they decided to show their protest through artistic medium. They decided to create non-art since art in the society anyway had no meaning.

The so-called non-artists turned to creating art that had soft obscenities, scattered humor, visible puns and everyday objects. The most outrageous painting was created by Marcel Duchamp, when he painted a mustache on a copy of Mona Lisa and scribbled obscenities under it. He also created his sculpture called Fountain, which was actually a urinal without the plumbing and it had a fake signature.

The public were repulsed by the Dada movement. However, the Dadaists found this attitude encouraging. And, slowly the movement spread from Zurich to other parts of Europe and New York City. Just as many mainstream artists were thinking about this movement seriously, the Dada movement dissolved around the early 1920s.

This art movement was a protest, but at the same time it managed to be enjoyable and amusing. It was sarcastic, colorful, quirky and silly. If a person at that time had not been aware of the logic behind the movement, he or she would have been wondering what the artist was up to creating pieces like the ones that were created. However, the artist who created the Dada art was very serious about his work. The movement did not favor one medium over another. It used everything from glass to plaster to geometric tapestries to wooden reliefs. In addition, the movement was also responsible for influencing many trends in the field of visual art, the most well-known being Surrealism.

In these times of absurd government regulations, overbearing political correctness, and the acceptance of wrong as right, Dadaism seems to be the perfect art form for reflecting the views of western culture.

Max Ernst - At the Rendez-vous of Friends 1922
Seated from left to right: René Crevel, Max Ernst, Dostoievsky, Théodore Fraenkel, Jean Paulhan, Benjamin Péret, Johannes Baargeld, Robert Desnos. Standing: Philippe Soupault, Jean Arp, Max Morise, Raphaël, Paul Éluard, Louis Aragon, André Breton, Giorgio de Chirico, Gala Éluard