What to make of the accusations being thrown at Herman Cain? He is accused of alleged sexual harassment in the workplace. I have no clue if he did or didn’t. The question is does it matter one way or the other?
Powerful men cheat on their wives, or try to. The list of politicians, CEOs, reverends, sport stars and celebrities who betrayed their spouses is endless, and we only hear about the well-known. Are there any powerful, successful men who don’t stray? They may be in the minority, perhaps a tiny minority.
The average guy struggling to raise a family generally doesn’t have the opportunity to have dalliances. He may want to, but who has the energy when faced with the everyday challenges of supporting a family? Most guys are lucky just to have a wife or girlfriend who loves them.
But the rich and powerful have lots of opportunity, and they have the allure of wealth and power. This may be the natural order of things, like the male lion with his pride of lionesses. Nature rewards the alpha-male with his harem, while the lesser males can only look on. Perhaps this not only works in the animal kingdom, but in the world of men and women too.
King Solomon of the Bible had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. The God of the Old Testament did not condemn Solomon (the wisest of all men) for having many wives, but for straying from the One God. I take this as a tacit endorsement for kings have multiple wives. The powerful are apparently entitled to their harems.
Today we don’t have kings, but politicians. Many of the powerful have the King Solomon Syndrome. Why aren’t politicians entitled to a facsimile of a harem, a woman in every city? They are entitled, a perk of being at the top of the social/economic ladder. What good is power if one can’t enjoy the fruits of their power, just as King Solomon did?
Bill Clinton had the King Solomon Syndrome. I think Bill Clinton was a successful president. Yet he was getting BJs in the White House from an intern, and worst of all got CAUGHT. I feel the negative reaction against Clinton’s Solomon complex lead to the election of Bush over Gore in a tight election. America wanted a moralist back as president. Had Al Gore been elected, I doubt America would have invaded Iraq, and I doubt the U.S. would have had an economic collapse.
Bill Clinton’s indiscretion led to the election of George Bush and the mess that followed. Had Clinton not fooled around, the world would have been a different place. But he put sex above the welfare of his family and his country.
Does President Obama have the King Solomon Syndrome? Who knows? Yet, I don’t think Michelle would tolerate it. I feel Obama is sort of afraid of his wife. She’d kick the crap out of him if he tried anything.
Does Herman Cain have the King Solomon Syndrome? As I write this, I don’t know. But where there is smoke, there may be fire. Time will tell. There is a downside to having a president that believes he is entitled to special sexual privileges. They imagine they are special, above the norms of society. I don’t trust special people, because nobody is so special. Not even King Solomon.
On the other hand having a president who is a sexually repressed, moralistic prude is not good either. Repressed sexuality can lead to bizarre behavior. Is Cain a prude? Did sexual repression erupt into sexual harassment?
We need a president with a healthy sexuality not given to extremes. And a First Wife who keeps the President on a tight leash!
When people decorate their lawns for Halloween, do they really understand why they decorate their lawns the way they do? Most people assume they are merely using spooky elements as part of Halloween. Yet there is a theme that runs through many decorations and it subconsciously fits the original purpose of Halloween. Halloween is a celebration of the dead and the spirit world. Most Halloween decorations symbolize death. Skeletons, ghosts, vampires, monsters, zombies…they are symbols of death and the dead.
I took a few pictures of Halloween decorations and the cemetery motif was widely used. Tombstones and graves are obvious symbols of death. What is so fun about death? We face our fear of death by portraying it once a year. The nice part is after the holiday; we pack away the decorations and can be grateful we were alive to celebrate it and the holidays ahead.
I wish everyone a happy Halloween and may we live to see another one. Some of us won’t make it.
I saw Paranormal Activity 3 and enjoyed the movie. Most movies dealing with paranormal scares are wildly over-the-top. Nobody believes in these special effects; CGI doesn’t scare anyone. The Paranormal Activity movies are effective because they produce the illusion of reality. A hallway light mysteriously turning on and off can be a more chilling then computer-generated monstrosities.
As reported on Reuters: “Paranormal” is arguable the most profitable film property of all time. The first installment, made for a mere $15,000, grossed $193.35 million worldwide. The second, made for $3 million, grossed $177.51 million worldwide. And the third, which opened Friday, opened to $54 million — the highest-grossing opening weekend for a horror film ever and the biggest October opening ever. Its budget: $5 million.”
People respond to the paranormal! These movies succeed because they feel real. That is their whole premise. Plus, it is a fairly family friendly movie compared to other horror movies. Which begs the question: how realistic was the paranormal activity portrayed in the movie?
The movie is about a demonic poltergeist. Poltergeist activity, as reported in real life, starts out with small knocks and such and may progress towards more significant occurrences such as objects being thrown. There is a number of convincing documented poltergeist cases. Skeptics dismiss these events as hoaxes or the result of children’s pranks. However, when some of these cases are looked at in detail, we discover compelling evidence for the reality of poltergeist activity.
Paranormal Activity 3 shows some realistic activity, such as the manipulation of electronic devices (lights turn on and off), unexplained noises, even objects being pushed or hurled. Those effects have been reported. I also like how there is a delay between events. Paranormal events occur infrequently.
The movie certainly exaggerates what has been described in true poltergeist situations. An invisible force lifting someone off the ground by the hair makes for a good scare, but is not likely. For levitation, the energy required to lift something off the ground and remain suspended in the air is much greater then to push or hurl something. The paranormal is not supernatural. The laws of nature still apply to a great extent.
SPOILER ALERT! I will discuss a plot topic. Don’t read further until you have seen the movie!
One aspect of the movie that struck me as pure Hollywood make-believe is the source of the demonic entity. Witches! Not real life Wiccans but the devil-worshipping witches depicted centuries ago. Such “witches” never even existed. Broom flying, Sabbath attending, shape-changing witches were a fabrication of Christian superstition. Today it’s hard to imagine people were once tortured and executed in the name of hunting witches, but it happened.
To revive the evil witch stereotype is an insult to all the people who actually died because of this superstition. I’d prefer the movie let the nameless entity remain a mysterious force. The unexplainable is scarier and truer. If this movie franchise begins to explain everything with typical Hollywood solutions, it will fail. Keep it real!
Steve Jobs was a remarkable businessman. He was a genuine visionary, and how many businessmen could be described as visionary? Along with his success as a businessman, he created jobs around the world that supported many families. If one could weigh his contribution to the world, we can assume he had a positive impact on the lives of millions.
Nevertheless, Steve Jobs is now burning in hell. He is roasting, with weeping and gnashing of teeth, and will do so for all eternity. How do I know this is true? Why is Steve Jobs in hell?
The reason Steve Jobs is in hell is because he was a Buddhist.
As Christians know, all Buddhists go to hell. And it’s not that Buddhists are singled out as especially wicked. Each and every Muslim will also go to hell. So will all Hindus, Mormons, and the majority of Catholics. Everyone who does not accept conservative Christian dogma by being born-again is damned. Salvation comes thru accepting the correct theology. So sorry Steve Jobs…you belong in hell!
The damnation of Steve Jobs can be a wonderful tool for proselytism. Evangelical Christians can go to all their unsaved friends, family and acquaintances and use the fact that Steve Jobs is in hell to convert them to evangelical Christian theology. Ask them, “Do you want to be in hell like Steve Jobs when you die? If not, you need to follow my religion!” Many souls could be saved with this approach!
Then again, according to Christian belief we are saved or damned thru predestination. Before we were even born it was decided if we’d spend eternity/infinity roasting in the fires of perdition. Some might suggest this is not fair. The proper response would be: life is not fair, and neither is salvation. Get over it!
Famed evangelical prophet Harold Camping failed in his previous May 21 prediction of a rapture of true believers followed by a physical end-of-the-world. This event became a news story in the world media. When the rapture did not occur, he suggested his May 21 prediction was a spiritual event to be followed by a physical end-of-the-world event happening on October 21.
Yeah, we can dismiss him as a crank. But maybe he had an actual psychic premonition and misinterpreted it as a message from God? A true premonition can become a big deal for a religious individual, even if the premonition is not from God but from innate psychic abilities.
On May 21, 2011 there were a number of unusual earthquakes:
A 4.2 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco at 2:41 PT October 21.
Hours earlier a rare 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit San Antonio Texas, the biggest since 1993.
Again, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit near the Raoul Islands around New Zealand.
Opposite the earth, a magnitude 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the south pacific south of Tonga.
This was not exactly the end of days. But it would be a good day for someone trying to predict earthquakes. I give him credit for that. Camping may not be God’s prophet, but he might be a minor league psychic with delusions of grandeur.
I will offer a story of an unusual near-death experience. Sally told me an account concerning her mother who had died 20 years ago. Her mother, named Nancy, had a stroke and was sent to the hospital. Nancy already had a bad heart, so the stroke was another very challenging health problem.
During her stay in the hospital Nancy told her daughter about a strange experience; she thought she had died in the hospital but returned to life. During that time she felt she left her body.
When Nancy left her body she did not describe the NDE as is typically told. She did not hover over her body or experience a tunnel of light. Instead she felt herself sinking into the ground. She was under the ground when she arose again above ground, but then sank back into the earth. Then she appeared in a large room.
This room looked like a waiting room that is typical everywhere, so she sat down. Nancy recalled she was missing her glasses and dentures and felt self-conscious about that. People were sitting on chairs waiting for someone or something. Occasionally a door would open, and a light would emanate from the door as someone seated would get up and pass through the doorway.
For some reason she thought her deceased daughter-in-law might be in this room. Nancy’s daughter-in-law died three years previously and she had been very fond of her. She got up to walk around looking at those seated. Then she saw her…sitting on a chair. She approached her daughter-in-law who smiled and said, “I’ll be waiting for you here.”
The mysterious waiting room disappeared and she was back in her hospital room. Nancy related this story to Sally, and both thought it strange. Unfortunately, three weeks later, while still in the hospital Nancy caught pneumonia and died.
Sally was unable to find her mother’s glasses or dentures for her funeral, so Nancy was buried without them. The spot where Nancy was buried was not the best location in the cemetery. The grass around the grave was not green and it just wasn’t an attractive spot. So the family decided to dig her up and rebury their mother in a more appealing area in the cemetery.
Shortly afterwards Sally finally came across her mother’s glasses and dentures. Then Nancy’s strange story struck her. In Nancy’s account she descended into the earth, arose from it, only to go back into the earth. That is what happened with her burial. Her coffin was taken up from the earth only to be reburied again. And she was buried without her glasses and dentures, which she described in her story as well. Events surrounding her funeral had been predicted during her NDE.
I was at the 2011 St. Charles Scarecrow Festival. It was filled with people who came to see all the scarecrows on display. The scarecrows that attracted the most attention were the mechanical scarecrows (like the Harry Potter duel pictured above). I have a brief video showing these crowd pleasers.
I tend to be something of a scarecrow fundamentalist. Scarecrows should follow certain rules! But so many scarecrows completely disregard scarecrow tradition. Creativity with scarecrows is great, but when is a scarecrow no longer a scarecrow? Instead of a scarecrow, we get a something like a Halloween yard decoration.
What are the rules for scarecrows?
RULE NUMBER ONE: I’d suggest that a scarecrow should represent the human figure to some extent, and should wear human clothing. The point of a scarecrow was to scare birds by fooling them into believing men were in the fields. Stuffed animals are NOT scarecrows!
RULE NUMBER TWO: Scarecrows should incorporate some of the material of the harvest. They could be filled with straw, or have a pumpkin or gourd as a head. Scarecrows made of plastic are NOT scarecrows, but mannequins!
RULE NUMBER THREE: Scarecrows are not mechanical! They do not move, sing, wave, belch or jump. Mechanical “scarecrows” are NOT scarecrows but robots and automatons!
At the side above is a picture of my favorite scarecrow at the festival. It is the most traditional. It is almost life-like and even has stuffed crows on its arm demonstrating its original purpose.
Below are examples of scarecrows that break the rules. There is a carrot monster, breaking rule number one: human appearance. There is a zombie scarecrow, which makes for a chilling Halloween lawn decoration, but it is not a scarecrow.
Below is a scarecrow that fits the traditional model, having a gourd head and stuffed with straw. It even wears a hat, which might be a fourth rule for scarecrows.
Finally, we have a scarecrow that successfully breaks the rules. We have a traditional scarecrow milking a plastic cow. Some rules can be bent!
Below is a brief video of the mechanical “scarecrows”.
What are UFOs? I suspect the large majority of legitimate sightings involve secret military technology. It is the simplest answer, if also the most boring. However, if some UFOs are actually extraterrestrial, can we explain them with just logic? Perhaps.
Let’s assume Einstein’s theory of relativity cannot be easily surmounted, and the speed of light is a real barrier to interstellar travel (neutrinos excluded). Even if there were a technology capable of fabricating wormholes or warp space, the energies involved to move a space ship faster then light would be staggeringly enormous. Energies equal to consuming multiple stars would be necessary to create a single rudimentary wormhole. We’ve not seen any hint of this in astronomy.
Star Trek style flying cruise ships equipped with holo-decks and lounges zooming at warp speed would not seem to be economical, if even possible. I assume even advanced civilizations have economies. How much would it cost just to send biological life into space, forget even exceeding the speed of light? Would it be worth the expense if there were cheaper and equally effective means to explore the universe?
If we are being visited by extraterrestrial intelligence, then they are probably doing what we human beings have already done. Instead of sending a manned mission to Mars, we’ve sent probes, orbiters and landers. We have rovers crossing the surface of Mars, at a fraction of the cost of a manned mission. Mechanical devices don’t need food or oxygen, are immune to cosmic radiation. Humanity even has its first interstellar mission…Voyager.
I assume the same economies would apply to other worlds. I suggest UFOs are not inhabited by biological entitles, but are craft powered by artificial intelligence. For such craft, even the speed of light would not be a barrier. Artificial intelligence would essentially be immortal. If a ship traveled at half the speed of light and took hundreds of years to visit other stars, so what? An extraterrestrial civilization would simply wait for their probes to make contact, even if it took generations.
Along with self-motivated probes, we can imagine a method to instantly communicate with these probes regardless of the distance and the speed of light. It may be possible for information to be instantaneously transmitted regardless of distance using quantum entanglement. A vessel hundreds of light years away could potentially receive and transmit information without delay. If possible, why bother sending organic life?
What about the alien abduction experience? People have reported being contacted by organic aliens. Are we sure they are biological life? Take the aliens commonly called the Greys. Greys are spindly, with oversized heads and giant eyes. How do they survive on earth without a space suit? Can they breathe our air; are they immune to our germs? The size of their eyes is impossible for a living humanoid. I submit the Greys are not living beings but robots powered by A.I. Greys are like our Mars Rovers.
It may be that we’ve never met the true aliens behind the probes, and likely never will. Or perhaps an alien civilization has evolved beyond biology into singularity, becoming an immortal civilization of artificial intelligence. Then the UFO vessels may actually be the aliens!
The grave of Lars and Eddie Schmidt in Forest Home Cemetery attracts attention. It has an evocative statue of two children dressed in the Victorian clothing of the era. Often someone will leave a small gift at this grave. When I took this picture there were some rusty pennies at the statue’s feet, left as gifts for the dead. However, there was one new penny as well, so someone must have placed it there recently. Myself, I left a dime.
Why? It is understandable to leave behind a gift for our deceased loved one we knew in life. But why leave a gift at the grave of a stranger? I suppose it’s a reaction to this statue. They are so lifelike it stirs our emotions. And the deaths of children are the most tragic and sad. All we can do to express our sympathy is to leave behind a coin.
Sometimes someone will steal these gifts left behind for the dead. I thought to myself, how long would my dime remain there before someone takes it? Will it be there for a week from now, a month, or a year? Would someone actually stoop down to remove a dime left at a grave? I understand the cemetery staff removing things to keep the place tidy; that is their job. However, for a passerby to steal from the dead is tempting fate.
Stealing in general is bad karma; only grief will eventually come from thievery. But to steal from the dead is asking for a different type of trouble outside of human justice. Items left for the dead are not meant for the living and could be considered cursed. The dead may well be aware of what transpires in the world of life, and if the dead take offense, even such a tiny act of desecration could have troublesome consequences. Don’t touch that dime!
Below are two stories about alleged grave robbery. One allegedly stole graveside vases for their scrap metal value, and another allegedly stole a valuable guitar. Don’t mess with the dead!
Many recognize what appears to be occult symbolism in our paper currency. Take a look a the back of the dollar bill and you’ll see the famed Great Seal of the United States, with its pyramid and all-seeing eye. What about our coinage? Could there be any hidden esoteric or occult symbols in our common pocket change?
The new American State quarters introduced unique designs representing each of the 50 states. The face of the quarter is of course George Washington, America’s first president and our most famous mason. The reverse designs of the state quarters are pretty ordinary. However, one design strikes me as containing possible, albeit unintentional, esoteric significance.
The New Hampshire State Quarter has a curious design. It is a portrait of a rock formation called the Old Man of the Mountain. This formation on Mt. Cannon appeared as the face of a man when viewed from the east. In 1945 the “Old Man” was made New Hampshire ’s State Emblem. As the state emblem it’s easy to see why they used it for their state quarter. Unfortunately it crumbled in 2003 and no longer exists.
With the Old Man of the Mountain, what exactly are we looking at…only a tourist attraction? The Old Man is an example of pareidolia. Pareidolia is the process of perceiving recognizable shapes in random patterns, such as seeing faces or animals in clouds. We give symbolic meaning to randomness.
But what do we really see in the formation of the Old Man of the Mountain? Only the caricature of an old man? Out of a mountain peak emerges this gigantic, monstrous face. At first glance it appears to be an old man, but the profile actually looks quite monstrous: the heavy brow, the jutting jaw, and the cragginess. It looks more troll then human.
The Old Man of the Mountain could more represent a monster rather than a man, like the trolls and mountain giants of folklore. In folklore these giant nature spirits were said to turn into stone in the sunlight. The origin of trolls in myth may well have begun as people interpreted humanoid shaped rocks, assuming they once literally walked the earth.
Trolls and the fairy folk were used to explain strange natural events. Mighty whirlwinds could be explained away as the work of nature spirits hurling trees about. Of course, nonhuman entities never existed, or could they?
The most curious thing about the Old Man of the Mountain is not that it may represent a nonhuman being, but that it is actually associated with true events surrounding nonhuman entities.
On September 19, 1961 Betty and Barney Hill had an alien abduction, the first that was widely publicized. Their story was made into a movie, The UFO Incident. Just before their abduction, they saw a UFO hovering over the Old Man of the Mountain.
Here is the incident as described in Wikipedia:
“The Hills claimed that they continued driving on the isolated road, moving very slowly through Franconia Notch in order to observe the object as it came even closer. At one point the object passed above a restaurant and signal tower on top of Cannon Mountain. It passed over the mountain and came out near the 48′ profile of the Old Man of the Mountain (New Hampshire’s State Symbol). Betty testified that it was at least one and a half times the length of the granite profile and seemed to be rotating. The couple watched as the silent, lighted craft moved erratically and bounced back and forth in the night sky.”
In New Hampshire a historical marker was erected to commemorate the Betty and Barney Hill experience.
Their alien abduction experience may have been extraterrestrial. Or it may have been something else and not a physical manifestation. Betty and Barney Hill may have had an encounter with spiritual entities that appear in many forms. They may have had something like a shared, spontaneous shamanistic experience where they made contact with genuine nonhuman entities, but not necessarily extraterrestrial.
These entities are as old as mankind and are described in myth and legend. The Old Man of the Mountain may be more then just a symbolic representation of these entities, but may be an area where these entities actually dwell.