Saturday, June 23, 2007

Upton Sinclair - Writer & Social Justice Advocate

Upton Sinclair - Write and Social Justice Advocate

"Man is an evasive beast, given to cultivating strange notions about himself. He is humiliated by his simian ancestry, and tries to deny his animal nature, to persuade himself that he is not limited by its weaknesses nor concerned in its fate. And this impulse may be harmless, when it is genuine. But what are we to say when we see the formulas of heroic self-deception made use of by unheroic self-indulgence?" - Upton Sinclair on Religion and Evolution -

When we reflect on how it is that contaminated food, poisonous consumer products, and dangerous consumer items are being brought into the United States from nations like China we realize that more than ever the people of this nation need to remain vigilant.

Quick profit often is placed in front of what is good, and right. Quick profits for one business is often placed in front of what is good for society, and the long term good of business.

Writers like Upton Sinclair have often played historically important roles in exposing what businesses are able to justify in the pursuit of profit.

It is up to each and every generation to protect the gains of previous generations. It is in fact our need to defend our children, our parents, and ourselves from pollution, and the very poisoning of our foods.

My respects to Upton Sinclair. He lived a life dedicated to promoting the rights of the people.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dedicated To War Pigs Everywhere

Black Sabbath - War Pigs (1970 Paris)

I was making a list, it was getting a somewhat long, I didn't want to leave anyone out, but you know who you are.

Bill Ward kicks butt on drums doesn't he!

A Heartbeat From The Presidency

Black Sabbath - War Pigs

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of deaths construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait till their judgment day comes, yeah!

Now in darkness, world stops turning
As the war machine keeps burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of God has struck the hour
Day of judgment, God is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
All right now!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Iraqi Girlfriend

Raghad Toma - Eleven Year Old Christian Iraqi Refugee
A Face From My Past

While visiting CNN.Com today I came to a complete stop when I saw the photograph of little eleven year old Raghad Toma. I could not get over her resemblance to a girlfriend I had back in College. Little Raghad is just eleven, while my girlfriend was college age, yet the resemblance is haunting.

It was that resemblance between this little Iraqi refugee, and my old flame which led me to read the story. I must admit I often find reading stories of the non-stop slaughter in Iraq too painful to bear. I simply can't force myself to read every story which is available for me to read.

As I delved into the details of little Raghad Toma's plight I discovered the reason behind her strong resemblance to my girlfriend. Raghad is a little Christian girl from the Mosul plains of Iraq. My girlfriend was also a Christian girl from Mosul.

In this part of the world, Christians marry Christians, and Muslims marry Muslims. With such a small population of Christians intermarrying for so many generations a strong physical resemblance is created.

Christian Minority In Iraq Speak The Language Which Jesus Spoke

The small minority of Christians in Iraq were treated properly by Saddam Hussein. Saddam was a master at manipulating the various ethnic groups within Iraq. He knew that the greatly outnumbered Christians would be loyal to him if he protected them.

Most Christians in Iraq live near Mosul, in the Mosul plains. These ancient Christian communities were in fact established by Jews who migrated eastward across the region from Judea. Jewish converts in the region were among the earliest Christians. Two thousand years later less than half a million people speak the ancient language spoken by Jesus Christ.
U.S. Invasion Leads To Persecution Of Christians In Iraq

Since the United States' invasion of Iraq the ancient Christian communities which have existed for thousand's of years have come under attack from Muslim extremist who seek to create an all Muslim state.

It doesn't matter that the Christians were there even before Islam existed. As sectarian violence increases many Christians are fleeing into the bordering Muslim nations which have little sympathy for Christian refugees.

Christian Refugees Treated As Pariah In Muslim Nations

Raghad Toma's family is just one example of a Christian family rounded up into refugee camps, and living on the fringe of survival. The Turks don't want them, and won't let them travel, or seek employment. It's a horrible situation for these victims of sectarian violence. They live in a land which simply wishes they'd disappear.

In the mean time the United States which created this nightmare scenario has dragged its feet on allowing Iraqi refugees to seek safety here.

There is a possibility that the Toma family will be allowed to immigrate to the United States. That would seem only fair since their dire situation is the direct result of U.S. action within the region. The U.S. needs to take immediate action to assist Iraqi refugees as sectarian violence in Iraq spreads into an all out civil war.

The coming civil war in Iraq will result in a bloodbath that makes everything which has happened before it look trivial. Some analyst believe that a million Iraqis will die in the coming sectarian violence.
The U.S. Has The Blood of Innocents On Its Hands

The United States now has a moral responsibility to protect those it has endangered, but will it live up to its moral responsibilities? If the past is any indication of how the U.S. will handle its obligations it seems highly doubtful that it will act in the best interest of the Iraqi people.

Just ask the Kurds, and the Shiites about their experience at the hands of Saddam Husein after the end of the Gulf War when the first President Bush encouraged them to rebel against Saddam's regime. As Saddam's genocidal response began the United States watched, and did nothing.

The U.S. sold those people out in the name of regional stability, and in the name of cheap oil.

We stand naked in front of God, and future generations to be judged for our immoral actions. Any state which acts with such disregard for those it has sacrificed to the alter of greed should suffer, and will ultimately suffer the same fate as all the other nations which placed imperialist dreams ahead of compassion. We will lose what we ultimately sought to protect, our safety, our prosperity, and what pretense we clutch of a lost innocence.
Beyond This Posting

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About The Photos

Both Presented Without Permission From CNN and Not under my copyright - but theirs. I used them here with a heavy heart.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hey Pal!

Dave of The11thhour recently wrote a short about the use of the word pal. Dave, and some of his commentators suspect that pal has over time become a type of insult.

Reading Dave's post brought an immediate recollection of the person who made the word "pal" meaningful to me - Jim Belz.

Jim Belz was Dean of Men (Discipline) at Griffin High School (now Sacred Heart - Griffin) in Springfield, Illinois.

Jim Belz would sit on a wooden stool, in the main entrance hallway just outside the cafeteria, and watch for those boys (all boys school at that time) who were due a detention slip - usually for skipping class.

"Hey Pal!", he'd say.

There was no ignoring Mr. Belz. You had to walk over, and get your detention slip. The slip would tell you to show up on Saturday morning for this, or that reason, and it had to be signed by a parent.

It was a pretty good system he had there. It saved him from having to search for the students. He'd simply wait, and they'd usually pass by. Sometimes you'd manage to evade his gaze, but he'd usually catch you later in the day. He was the hunter, and we were his prey. It was all very cat, and mouse - law and order I might say.

A photo in one of the Griffin High School yearbooks from that era has Mr. Beltz sitting on that stool, and I believe the caption reads, "Hey Pal".

I never hear that phrase without thinking of the late great Mr. Belz.

Dave of The11thhour probably never served detention on Saturday morning, although if Mr. Belz had known what kinds of things Dave was up to back then he surely would have had Dave cleaning the blackboards, and waxing the floors of Griffin High - as I did many a Saturday morning.
James Belz

Mr. Belz was a fine, and decent man. I don't feel anyone could have known him any other way. Was he strict? You betcha. As an adult I realize that that type of discipline was badly needed. We needed it then, and we certainly need it now. Good thoughts, and several prayers towards you and your family Mr. Belz.

Jim Belz played baseball for the Saint Louis Cardinals briefly before become a scout for the team. He died of cancer a few years back. There was a significantly large story on Mr. Belz in the State Journal Register. He was a real fixture in the local baseball scene - a local legend. His son John William Belz is a judge.

Here's a grab from IHSA showing Jim Belz coaching tenure at Griffin. I include some of the other coaches for comparison.

Boys Basketball
As Springfield (Cathedral).....W.......L...........Coach .
1957-58 | | 19 9 | Jim Belz
1958-59 | | 18 7 | Jim Belz
As Springfield (Griffin)
1959-60 | | 15 9 | Jim Belz
1960-61 | | 18 8 | Jim Belz
1961-62 | | 13 13 | Jim Belz
1962-63 | | 20 6 | Jim Belz
1963-64 | | 23 4 | Jim Belz
1964-65 | | 10 15 | Jim Belz
1965-66 | | 17 10 | Jim Belz
1966-67 | | 17 10 | Jim Belz
. . . . . 170 91 10 yr .651
1967-68 | | 12 15 | Bob Martin
1968-69 | | 2 23 | Bob Martin
1969-70 | | 3 21 | Bob Martin
1970-71 | | 9 17 | Bob Martin
. . . . . 26 76 4 yr .255
1971-72 | | 8 17 | Larry Sellinger
1972-73 | | 14 11 | Larry Sellinger
1973-74 | | 6 18 | Larry Sellinger
1974-75 | | 9 15 | Larry Sellinger
1975-76 | | 10 14 | Larry Sellinger
1976-77 | R | 7 6 | Larry Sellinger [partial]
. . . . . 54 81 6 yr .400
1976-77 | | 7 7 | Bill Fleischli [partial]
1977-78 | | 15 12 | Bill Fleischli
1978-79 | R | 13 14 | Bill Fleischli
1979-80 | | 16 11 | Bill Fleischli
1980-81 | R | 24 4 | Bill Fleischli
. . . . . 75 48 5 yr .610

SCHOOL TOTAL 1006 946 76 yr .515

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dad, I Smoke Now!

Dad! I Like Newport!

Teenage Daughter: I like smoking. It makes ya look cool.
Disappointed Father: You better never smoke in front of me.

Teenage Daughter: I don't really smoke right anyway.
Disappointed Father: If you continue I'm going to start taking things away.

Teenage Daughter: I only have seven left.
Disappointed Father: It's illegal that you even have them.

Teenage Daughter: All my friends smoke.
Disappointed Father: If you have the money for cigarettes you can start paying your own cell phone bill.

Teenage Daughter: I told you about them didn't I?
Disappointed Father: That doesn't make it right. They're highly addictive, and cause the deaths of half a million Americans every year. Once you get started you won't be able to stop.

Teenage Daughter: Well I'm not smoking them right so I won't get addicted.
Disappointed Father: From the time you were a little child we told you how stupid it is to smoke, and this is the choice you make?

Teenage Daughter: My aunt smokes.
Disappointed Father: You hang out with your aunt for a month, and come back a smoker? Some high school drop out wanna be beautician has convinced you it's cool to smoke?

Teenage Daughter: She graduated from High School.
Disappointed Father: Then why in the hell doesn't she get a job instead of sitting around chain smoking all day?

Teenage Daughter: She can't get a job, she has to take care of her son.
Disappointed Father: Take care of her son? What the hell is wrong with him?

Teenage Daughter: He's crazy. He's been killing small animals, and..,
Disappointed Father: Great! That's just great, and now you want to be like that family? Oh my God, I know I wasn't around for you as much as I should have been. My work schedule made it hard for us to spend as much time together as I wish, but I didn't raise you this way.

Teenage Daughter: Well, I'm going to quit.
Disappointed Father: I sure hope so, because smoking cigarettes is one of the biggest mistakes that anyone could ever make. I know, I smoked for seven years, and quit after I watched my father die - right in front of me.

Teenage Daughter: Did he smoke?
Disappointed Father: He was a two pack a day man until he had his heart attack.

Teenage Daughter: And then what? Did he stop smoking then.
Disappointed Father: He died then.

Teenage Daughter: Oh.
About the Art

Title: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, and yes that's lung cancer. Wouldn't it be a nice law to force the Cigarette manufactures to display the various diseases their products cause right on their products?

Lead Paint For Your Child?

Thomas & His Friends Are Covered With Lead Paint

There were nearly five hundred recalls of consumer products in the last year in the U.S. Do you as a parent feel comfortable placing your children's health, and safety in the hands of Chinese toy manufacturers, and the corrupt Chinese government? If you're like most parents you do every day!

Who Will Protect Them?
We need a new regime in Washington to protect us from the old regime in Beijing!

This from the New York Times

Among the toy recalls, the problem is most acute with low-price, no-brand-name toys that are often sold at dollar stores and other deep discounters, which are manufactured and sent to the United States often without the involvement of major American toy importers. Last year, China also was the source of 81 percent of the counterfeit goods seized by Customs officials at ports of entry in the United States — products that typically are not made according to the standards on the labels they are copying.
Brand names or not, you really never know what you're getting with toys manufactured in China. This is a major problem since China manufactures the majority of toys sold in the U.S.

Meanwhile the on the take Bush Administration sells out America's children to garner support from Chinese manufacturers. To hell with your children, lets get some foreign lobby money!

Again, from the New York Times

In the last two years, the staff of the consumer product commission has been cut by more than 10 percent, leaving fewer regulators to monitor the safety of the growing flood of imports.

Some consumer advocates say that such staff cuts under the Bush administration have made the commission a lax regulator. The commission, for example, acknowledged in a recent budget document that “because of resource limitations,” it was planning next year to curtail its efforts aimed at preventing children from drowning in swimming pools and bathtubs.

The toy industry in the United States is largely self-policed. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has safety standards, but it has only about 100 field investigators and compliance personnel nationwide to conduct inspections at ports, warehouses and stores of $22 billion worth of toys and tens of billions of dollars’ worth of other consumer products sold in the country each year. “They don’t have the staff that they need to try to get ahead of this problem,” said Janell Mayo Duncan, senior counsel at the Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports. “They need more money and resources to do more checks.”

Monday, June 18, 2007

Realm of the Black Knight!

Need to add a link to this little jewel of a blog.

Some real interesting material being posted on this Springfield, Illinois Blog.

Civilization Four - Beyond The Sword

President Abraham Lincoln - Leader of the Americans

Before Blogger There Was Civilization!

Civilization has been around for well over a decade. I was quite addicted to Civilization spending months at a time away from my family, and just about everyone, and everything else while advancing my playing skills. There was always another round of decisions to make, another round of improvements so as to advance my Civilization!

Fortunately for me came the Iraq Invasion, and quagmire which yanked me away from Civilization so that I could begin blogging.

Civ-IV has been out for the last two years, and I vowed not to purchase it - fearing that I'd stop blogging - and I probably would.

Now comes along Civilization Four - Beyond the Sword, and I'm having to once again tell myself not to go anywhere near the game section at Best Buy!

It's not out yet, but from what I've read it looks very interesting - might I say, addictive. I'd love to play Abraham Lincoln and lead the Americans to greatness once again, but if I do I can kiss this blog goodbye.

I did like some of the teaser artwork - so I present the Civilization Abraham Lincoln Portrait. Many criticize Lincoln's appearance, calling him ugly, but I've always thought Lincoln looked cool.

Lincoln Portrait: Surf to

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Incest on Father's Day

Denial - Enables The Evil Side of Human Nature

Man: I've noticed you've been hanging out with your father lately.
Girl: So what, he's my father.

Man: Do you think that's wise, because I don't?
Girl: I can't believe you'd say that.

Man: He has substance abuse problems, and other problems.
Girl: He's an alcoholic, and can't help himself.

Girl: Why do you hate my father so much?
Man: Because he molested his step daughter.

Girl: He didn't molest her, she wanted it!
Man: Blame the victim is that it?

Girl: She's not a victim, she's a whore!
Man: She was a little girl, God damn it!

Girl: She'd rub up against him. It was her fault!
Man: It was his responsibility to put a stop to that.

Girl: It wasn't my father, it was her real father!
Man: Just because she was molested by her real father doesn't mean her stepfather should have molested her.

Girl: She's a whore, and her aunt, brother, and grandmother won't talk to her.
Man: That entire family is riddled with incest, and it's all centered on your father. He should be in prison!

Girl: Well he was molested by his father.
Man: So that gives him the right to destroy his stepdaughter's life?

Girl: No one's talking to her! She's a whore!
Man: You see the price she's paying for lying when the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services asked her about being molested? When her mother and father got her to lie, do you see the price she's paying now?

Girl: Don't you say anything bad about my father!
Man: When you get married are you going to let your husband have sex with your daughter?

Girl: I'm out of here!
Man: It's a choice.

Girl: What?
Man: To be white trash, it's a choice.
About the Art

I digitally altered a photograph of a Mayan demon spirit sculpture.
About the Conversation

Fiction, or non-fiction? I can not say, but you can bet it's taken place before. The heart break incest causes everyone near and far is so great that it's hard to measure the damage it does.

Imagine all the people who approach Father's Day without joy, but instead are filled with doubt, and guilt, and depression due to being victims of incest. It's something we don't talk about, I guess, because it doesn't sell cards, tool sets, or power tools.

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