Saturday, September 01, 2007

Are Springfield Illinois Shoppers In Danger?

Does Mine Subsidence Threaten Springfield, Illinois' Big Box Stores?

The following from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement

1991 Airphoto Showing Surface Developments & Sag Subsidence

Springfield, Illinois
Urban Growth Meets Abandoned Mine Lands

The city limits of Springfield, Illinois, have expanded over old underground
coal mines. Subsidence went unnoticed for decades and modern developments
obscured all evidence of past mining activity including the old sinkholes.
In the late 1990s, several big-box superstores and a hotel were constructed over
the underground mine. The areas in between the sinkholes could collapse at
any time causing damage to buildings, injuring people, and/or disrupting public
utility transmission. Abandoned underground mines are not in the inventory
until subsidence occurs and causes an imminent threat to public safety or
damages property.

Potential hazards exist in many communities across the country. Usually there
are no limitations on land use or city growth in these areas and people living
and working in the area have no awareness that a hazard exists until a
potentially dangerous event occurs.

2005 DOQ Showing Surface Developments & All Suspected Sag Subsidence

Plausible Concern, But Where?

The story seems to describe Springfield, Illinois quite well, but after comparing the photographs in the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement document with Google Earth images of Springfield, Illinois a match could not be found. Where on Earth were the before and after photos taken? If any of my readers know, please post your comments.

In the mean time I recommend caution to all those working, or shopping at any of Springfield, Illinois' Big Box Stores - you might just get sucked into an abandoned coal mine!

Being sucked into an abyss is already a concern that many living in the Springfield, Illinois area have considering that their home may be located over abandoned coal mines. Then again many would argue that living in Springfield, Illinois is so similar to being sucked into an abyss that few would notice the difference.

Friday, August 31, 2007

America's Bathroom Cops - Our Secret Friends

Lavatory Patrol in the USA*

  • At any point in the United States there are approximately 800 vice cops staking out public bathrooms.
  • The average vice cop spends 4 years on bathroom patrol.
  • Vice cops are allowed to use video recorders while on bathroom stake outs in 12 states.
  • Vice cops spend up to one year in training before bathroom assignments.
  • Simply moving any part of a foot or hand, umbrella or clothing into an adjacent stall, or looking into a stall, or tapping a foot while in a public bathroom is enough to land you in jail for lewd behavior in all fifty states.
  • Over 198,000 men are charged for lewd behavior while in bathrooms each year.
  • Across the U.S. it is estimated that over one million sexual encounters take place in public bathrooms each year.

*U.S. Department of Justice Criminal
Fictitious Statistics Unit Annual Report 2005

Thursday, August 30, 2007

American Hero Richard Jewell Dies

Photo: Olympic Park Hero Richard Jewell

Richard Jewell was a security guard who risked his own life to save others during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. For his professionalism, and bravery he roused suspicion instead of praise. He became the victim of the FBI, and a media frenzy which labeled him as a terrorist instead of as the hero he was.

CNN reported today,

"Jewell was working as a private security guard in Centennial Olympic Park about 1 a.m. on July 27 when he noticed a suspicious unidentified package and began moving people away from it. The package turned out to contain a bomb, which eventually killed one person and wounded more than 100.

Initially hailed a hero for moving people away, he was later cast in a different light when the FBI began investigating whether he had set off the bomb to give himself an opportunity to be a hero.

For weeks, reporters and camera crews camped outside Jewell's Atlanta apartment, capturing every move that he -- and the FBI -- made.

He later sued the FBI and several media organizations. CNN and NBC were among the organizations that settled with him".

Photo: Jewell's Mother

He died at the early age of forty four.
I can't help but guess that somehow he died sooner than he would have if he had not experienced the anguish of being falsely accused of being a terrorist.

This post is dedicated in your memory Mr. Jewell. A lot of people say negative things about "Rent-A-Cops", but you showed just how professional private security guards can be. Rest In Peace Mr. Jewell. I'm sure you have touched the lives of thousands by your act of courage.

PBS Story Link

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Real Self - Public Self - Ideal Self

Photo: Senator (R-ID) Larry Craig

Tonight I was watching some of the news on actor Owen Wilson who attempted suicide yesterday. The psychologist being interviewed mentioned the trichotomy between the various roles we play for ourselves and others during our lifetime.

The psychologist hit it right when she mentioned the roles; The Real Self, The Public Self, and The Ideal Self.

The real self is essentially who we really are, the public self is the self we project to others, and the ideal self is the self we wish to be, or believe we already are - even if we are not.

The discussion was about how comedians keep us in stitches laughing at their funny behavior up until the day they die - of suicide, drug overdose, sadness, etc.

I immediately thought of the homosexual Republican Senator from Idaho, Larry Craig.

Yes it is sad that the Senator is going for quick probably unprotected sex in airport bathrooms, but sadder still is what drove him to such activity. If he could only have been honest about his homosexuality he wouldn't be sneaking around like a thief in the middle of the night.

But he can't be open and honest about who he really is because he has spent his entire adult public life trying to frighten other gays who would be so bold as to admit who they are without having to be punished for doing so.

In actuality Republican Larry Craig isn't so much a hypocrite as he is a bully. He is too frightened to reveal his real self, and so he puts on his public self and speaks to the public about the mythical ideal self - the super heterosexual male. He uses the myth of the uber white Christian heterosexual male to deny others their choice.

I am not gay, he tells his stunned electorate, without a twinge of regret for being such a pathetic liar, or for having sicked upon gays his twisted brand of justice and self loathing.

Sadder still is watching how conservative Republicans are either running away from their friend in his hour of need, or are attempting to use his downfall to sling mud at those who would forgive him, and accept who he really is - Democrats, Liberals, and Homosexuals - the evil doers.

In an age of so much self pretense one can only wonder how many of those conservatives are actually closet sex addicts of every possible persuasion. We will never know - well maybe?

But if the recent trend of scandals continues it is likely that we'll see a few more highly placed public officials revealing their real selves whether they like it or not.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sexual Repression Leads To Self Destruction

Suffering Is Good - Pleasure Is Bad

Take the body call it filth, make people believe it, and you have control over that person for a lifetime.

Take an action that is pleasurable and instill guilt, fear and doubt about that action, and you have control over that person for a lifetime.

Equate sex with shame and you have the makings of a primitive society.

This brainwashing is in fact at the very core of our Judeo-Christian society, as well as the foundation of Islam. All three traditions are based upon male oppression of the female, outgroup exploitation, and violence. The traditions evolved from highly authoritarian cultures marked by authoritarian rule, illiteracy, slavery, superstition, short lifespans, low levels of education, poverty, and continual warfare and chaos.
Original Sin is Sex

Instilling sexual shame is an act of societal molestation of the individual which is sanctioned at every church, and reaffirmed by each stilted generation anew. Sexual shame is endorsed by most liberals, and the vast majority of conservatives. The imposition of sexual guilt is the means by which the desire of the individual is sublimated for the "good of society".

Sexual Sublimation Is Only the First Step

The second step in the taming of the individual for the good of the people is raising them to believe that killing, and being killed for the ruling elite is a good thing. This is paired with the teaching that suffering in a state of sheer survival at behest of the ruling class is noble.

This explains the strong link between conservative sexuality (old time religion), authoritarianism, and Capitalism.

Repress your earthly desire to sleep away the morning in a warm bed, go to the fields, and collect the grain. Do not fill your stomachs, but store the harvest for the winter. Delay your gratification you wicked souls, and you may survive another year. Give a portion to the King, and most of the rest to the Landlord, and you may keep just enough to toil another year in the service of the system.

Unquestioned Beliefs Function Best

And how better to convince people that suffering is good, and delaying pleasure is good - but to invoke guilt regarding one's very thoughts, one's very right to question what is, and what is not?
Religion, the most ancient form of propaganda works best when not questioned.

Get the people to believe that black is white, and one plus one is three, and you control them. The bigger the lie, the more unbelievable - the more believable!

Will this method continue to work in the future?

As societies move toward material affluence they tend to become more hedonistic, and centered around the short term pleasure of the individual - why? Because they can.

As the survival of our species is dependent upon finding a way to create long term stable societies which cooperate on a global scale it seems likely that the historic pattern of human beings destroying each other's civilizations will be eliminated.

Therefore it is inevitable that the subconscious and irrational means of promoting delayed gratification (religion's employment of shame) will become obsolete.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Scrubs - One of My Favorite Comedy Shows

The best thing about Scrubs is that it doesn't take itself seriously even in its abbreviated serious moments. It's consistently wacky enough to make me laugh, and doesn't demand much to get a laugh. I could pretend that there are serious little moments that teach lessons, but I'd only be fooling myself.

Donald Faison as Dr. Chris Turke

I guess if I were fifteen I might think the little lessons presented on Scrubs were actually significant, but let's not spoil Scrubs by insisting it be more than it is - some funny stuff. In fact the little lessons on Scrubs appear to me to be just a means to an end - tying what little plot a particular episode has together at the end. But no biggie, that's not what we watch for anyway.

Zach Braff as J.D.

I guess I'm not as young as I once was as I don't find myself identifying with J.D.'s perpetual state of bewilderment, but as the main character his POV is consistently the one we "experience" which demands that we either find him lovable, or find another show to watch. I watch Scrubs consistently, and therefore I conclude that I love J.D.'s character, but I'm not sure why.

Judy Reyes as Carla Espinosa

The pace on Scrubs is so fast that it's hard to get deeper than the superficial as far as character development is concerned - so I won't delve deep. Despite it's lack of plot, and lack of character development it works. Eliminate plot, and character and that leaves jokes, and more jokes to connect the dots. Most episodes move into surreal territory, and the viewer either adapts, and quick or you're left scratching your chin.

Sarah Chalke as Elliot Reid

Who could forget the "Magic Breast" episode in which Elliot Reid runs around the ER flashing her breast in hope of saving lives? A classic in the making - a classic designed for those with extremely short attention spans - which isn't saying anything bad about scrubs, because it makes me laugh after a long day of work - which is some good medicine.

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