Thursday, November 23, 2006

What Does It Mean To Be Queer ?

New York City is about to let sex-confused or NOT confused- depending on who you ask- to alter original birth certificates. This latest mutation in the civil rights movement is certainly breaking new ground. Notably, one needn't have had a sex-change operation to qualify. A simple declaration is sufficient. Evidently the Trojan Horse for this new rule is discrimination against those who could not afford an operation. Advocates cite this as a monetary hurdle that makes the New York Health System " biased".

The question is, who is queer? The poor confused- sexually conflicted individual or the health officials who are indulging them? The latter seem to be more queer. Because presumably they know what sex they are but are willing to let others question and discard the need for truth in the phyical world. I.E passion and emotion trump fact.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Can't Close Education Gaps : Good News And Bad News

Now as Congress looks at reauthorizing No Child Left Behind, reports are being published about results about the program so far. For instance, " The [educational] gaps between African-Americans and whites are showing very few signs of closing.", that is according to Michael T. Nettles, a vice-president at the Educational Testing Service.

Considering how far academic standards have been degraded in the pursuit of integrated education along with affirmative action, that news contains both postive and negative signs. It's negative that blacks still languish. But it is good because it shows an inflexion point in our education system that whites and Asians students can't or will not become anymore stupid to facilitate affirmative action and integration of schools based on political objectives rather than academic objectives.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Homo Sapiens Or Frivolous Primate ?

Recent discoveries at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany show the Neanderthal to be 99.5 % our equal in DNA. Excavated evidence leads to the theory that homo sapiens encountered the Neanderthal about 40,000 ago . About that same time the Neanderthal started on a road of extinction. Notably the Neanderthal had existed for 450,000 prior to their demise. In comparison Homo Sapiens has only existed for about 50,000 years. The reason that is speculated for the waxing of Homo Sapiens and the waning of Neanderthal was the advanced tool-making ability of Homo Sapiens. These tools were not only helpful for hunting and farming but also for war-making. I.E. Homo Sapiens killed Neanderthals.

Well here we are in the 21st century with scant hope that Homo Sapiens with his nuclear bombs , biological weapons, high-tech war machine and general degrading of the planet will last as long as the Neaderthals experience of 450,000 years. What's to be done? I suspect that the longevity of our species would be enhanced by looking to the low-tech model of the Neanderthal and adapting their more more basic and conservative approach to survival versus the high-tech arrogant approach of Homo Sapiens a.k.a. the frivolous primate.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What Price Art ?

This past week saw a record breaking auction at Sotheby's. The gavel went down on $ 491 million worth of paintings. It included a Gauguin that went for $ 40 million and a Klimt at $ 88 million. The month also registered the highest priced transaction ever. Steven A. Cohen, a hedge fund manager, paid $ 137 million for de Kooning's " Woman III". The seller was the equally successful record producer David Geffen.

Why are these paintings selling at exorbitant prices? Is there an intrinsic value? No. The value of the ingredients that de Koonig, Gauguin and Klimt used probably added up to less than a $ 100 dollars . The value-added that propels that $ 100 dollars to close to $ 265 million for the 3 paintings is the painters unique talent multiplied by the expansion of money in circulation since the paintings creation.

The paintings cannot be duplicated. Unlike the world of Cohen and Geffen where monetary transactions are repeated with a margin of profit being produced. The paintings are " one of". Maybe the real value of this uniqueness can better be appreciated by mercantile-types like Cohen and Geffen. Another way of looking at these tranactions is to view them as a place to store production of work a.k.a money. In the future, the Klimt, Gauguin and de Koonig will still be valued in whatever currency is in style but the stock trading and record selling will not be remembered or valued.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Is To Be Done About The Evangelicals And Zionists?

In ancient Rome Christians and Jews were put to death in the Colisseum. How things have changed! The Emperor Constantine in the 4th century A.D. declared Christianity the official religion of the Empire. This act was a recognition of the reality of what the Roman Empire demographic had become. It was an amnesty and path to citizenship for all Christians much like the solutions America is grappling now with its own immigrants.

But some of the subsets of Christian and Jewish religious groups became fanatical. They are known today as Evangelical Christians and Zionists respectively. They both work together to shape American foreign policy in the Middle East. This is wrong and dangerous for American security. The events of 9/11 were an opening gambit of the blowback from some of the indigenous Middle East population.

Christians United for Israel is one such Evangelical political action committee that has a strong influence with our born-again President Bush. The Reverend John Hagee who heads CUFI urged Bush to support Israel's slaughter of the Lebanese in July and the bombing of Lebanon's infrastructure that erased 20 years of recovery. He said, " Israel is carrying out God's foreign policy". And of course most everyone is familiar with the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee ( AIPAC) suffocating influence on our executive and legislative branches of governments. AIPAC's agenda is a threat to America's interests and world peace. They must be stopped.

In general, I suspect that in between the Roman-way of handling the Christians and the free rein that the Evangelicals and Zionists now enjoy lies the correct policy for America's general well being.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

" All Politics Is Local": Is It ?

Most attribute that truism to Tip O' Neill. He was the Speaker of the House during the Carter administration. But the world has become so effectively small that a good argument can be made that all politics, local or international make their influence felt. E.G. Pollution knows no boundaries; armaments whether ballistic or suit-cased sized are everywhere; diseases are exponentially propagated by the 6 billion plus human baase, etc. Now more than ever another saying is applicable, " What goes around comes around".

Friday, November 10, 2006

neo-Nazis & Israelis: " Kristallnacht", Palestine & Lebanon

Yesterday neo-Nazis in Germany attacked Jewish memorials that commemorated the November 9, 1938 Nazi pogrom of Jews in Hitler's Germany. That pogram saw Nazi mobs destroy hundreds of Jewish synagogues across Germany and Austria. Also Jewish homes and shops were ransacked along with beatings and some deaths of Jews merely because they were Jewish. This horrible event has been come to be known as " Kristallnacht" or " Night of Broken Glass". It's interesting that the episode was named after lost or damaged home furnishings.

" Kristallnacht" and the subsequent Holocaust shows man at his worst. But crimes of genocide and against humanity are not the exclusive aberration of Nazis past or present. Only yesterday, the Israeli government shelled a populated area in the occupied territories of historic Palestine. Nineteen men, women and children were killed while they were in their beds. This barbaric incident brings the total of killed Palestinians to over 300 in the past 4 months. Over 200 were civilians. Also the Israeli slaughter of 1200 Lebanese this past September and the bombing of Lebanon's infrastructure which erased 20 years of recovery shows that evil lurks in all man but only waits for military superiority so to be set free.

When the Holocaust or " Kristallnacht" is brought up , I will bring up Palestine and Lebanon.

Monday, November 06, 2006

President Bush: Fool Of New York Times & Zionists

The N.Y.T editorial on Sunday implied that Pres. Bush has been the papers fool in pursuing the Iraq War. It said," was endorsing no Republican U.S. congressional candidate....because [the Republican-controlled congress] failed to hold President Bush accountable for the unpopular Iraq War".

The paper has many good qualities but being a shill for Israel is not one of them. The editorial and snub of Bush is a classic example of a Zionist organization who has used, abused and now has discarded a tool because it can no longer push forward the Zionist agenda. The disingenuous motives of the paper are apparent when events prior to the War played out in the pages of the N.Y.T.

Remember Judith Miller? She was willingly used by Israeli- advocate " Scooter" Libby in planting stories about Iraq's WMD and many other lies about the Iraq threat. What about columnists Thomas Friedman and David Brooks constant push for " spreading democracy" in the Middle East? That was only code for neutralizing threats to Israel's security in the region. And then there were all those op-ed pieces that were pro-Israel, pro-invasion and anti-Palestinian justice. Cumilatively the articles demonstrated a care more about Israeli security rather than U.S. security.

Of course that's alwys been the rap against Zionists. Their allegiance to Israel is more important than to the country they occupy. Bush looks to be historys greates Zionist fool. And American voters are even more foolish for allowing the Israeli lobby in America to thrive.

Most people don't need to know about the New York building code or whatever state building codes would apply to their home. Thankfully though if you need to brush up on NYC codes for some reason then you can find state codes of many varieties on the Internet, including New York City building codes and the like.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Hussein : Half-Trillion Dollar Hanging

The cost of bringing America-style justice to Saddam Hussein in lives and treasure is unsustainable. Talk about overkill. This war could have been ordered in Dallas' Neiman Marcus' store and would have been cheaper.

Teaching kids about money can start with some coin worksheets and then you can combine that with some lessons in math by finding a math worksheet that discusses money. If you aren't looking online for educational resources then coloring books are another free resource online, with many coloring pages in a variety of themes.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Who Trusts Richard Perle ?

Richard Perle is in the news, again. The SEC notified him that he will not be a target of prosecution for his alledged " dereliction of duty" that contributed to the collapse of Hollinger Intl. Perle is the kind of guy that seems to get investigated for his activities when he's alone , in power and in high places. Whether it was being investigated for passing top secrets to Israel in the late '70's while he was working for Sen. Henry Jackson, D.,Ore. Or when he was investigated for conflict of interest while at the Dept. of Defense and simultaneously had a relationship with an Israeli firm that just received expensive DOD contracts. He was also forced out of his Chairmanship at the Defense Policy Board for a similar Israeli conflict of interest transaction. And then there is his history of a close personal relationship with leaders of the right-wing, racist Likud Party in Israel.

He has authored and co-authored many books and papers that reflect the Likudnik's view for the Middle East and the world. Particularly Perle's co-authorship of the study-paper" A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing The Realm [ Israel]". This paper is to me unequivocal proof of his Israel first policy. No matter what America has to sacrifice.

And now the latest example of his questionable behavior is in a recent " Vanity Fair " article. In it he faults Bush and Rice for their " dysfunctional incompetence" in the invasion of Iraq. Hey Perle. You counted on that " incompetence" when you helped cook-up bogus reasons for that invasion. Your behavior is quasi-treasonous.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hardwired For Happiness

Marc Hauser, a Harvard biologist, authored " Moral Minds" ( HarperCollins 2006). In a nutshell, he has postulated we humans are in fact neurologically hardwired for a moral and by extension a happy life. In other words, we all have an innate knowledge of what's right and what's wrong. Professor Hauser states that a moral life works and is more sustainable in the real world therefore evolutionary metaphysics selects for that quality. Of course that doesn't mean that everyone leads a moral life all the time.That thesis is at odds with the generally accepted notion by many that parents and religion are the primary sorce of right and wrong behavior. His thesis also implies a "free will".

I agree with his thesis. From Hesiod through Socrates through Schopenhauer through Buddha and including all who follow the Golden Rule will all probably nod acknowledgement of this basic instinct. It would seem that in man's evolution and with his addiction to tools which include language and money, man has stopped listening to the inner voice and overruled fairness with arrogance and greed. Use a tool ,lose your place.