Monday, December 27, 2010

Perfect example of bad research about racism in an otherwise good article

As readers of my blog know I research a lot, reading a ton of information on many different subjects. Recently I came across a paper that I thought was pretty good at the start. The paper was written in 2008 by a UofM (Dearborn) grad who actually made the honors roll named Jennifer A Huff. The article is actually good, although not as accurate as I would have liked. You can read the article at :

This researcher wrote in one of her paragraphs “...the Supreme Court, the Court issued its most famous ruling regarding public education. Brown v. Board of Education (1954) overturned the doctrine of separate-but-equal schooling that had prevailed in the South for decades.”

This is total crap.

Brown v Board of Education overturned several previous rulings. Typically Liberal “Pro-North/Anti-South” researchers cite Plessy v Ferguson which is an 1896 Louisiana case. This ain't reality.

Back in 1849 the case of Roberts v Boston set the legal precedence that Plessy v Ferguson was built on.

Way too many Liberal researchers unfairly attack the south and make it sound as if the north had far less to do with segregation. Those of us who actually remember the sound of tanks driving down 8 Mile during 1967 have a far different perspective.

To her credit Ms Huff does point out that the north pretty much ignored DE-segregation while the south was moving towards an integrated society. In 1970 George Wallace, the guy MLK fought against during the Selma march, won the Democratic primary in Michigan.

The propagandistic myth of an integrated north vs a segregated south is as destructive to society as the myth of the Democratic party supporting civil rights.

We can learn from our mistakes when we realize that we made them and we change what we are doing. When we pretend the mistakes don't exist by making statements like “...had prevailed in the South” we display an unwillingness to accept responsibility for our mistakes.

In reality blacks have been as or more persecuted in the north than they have been in the south. Malcolm X's father was lynched right here in Michigan. Roberts v Boston (you know, Boston Mass, in the north) set the stage for “separate but equal” across the entire country, not just the south.

Back during the Civil War the Democrats in New York tried to succeed from the Union. When that failed the Democrats in New York City tried to succeed from New York State. The famous New York newspaper publisher, Horace Greeley, wrote many editorials against the Democrats and their support of slavery in New York. There were riots during the Civil War which have been renamed “draft riots” where blacks were lynched from lamp posts and black babies were thrown from the upper floors of multi-story buildings. Illiterate blacks were not told that they had been freed and were forced to work in New York city in slave like conditions long after the Civil War. Even today New York deals with immigrant slavery.

Edusnobbery and prejudice create conditions that force academic candidates for advanced degrees to continue publishing obvious falsehoods such as this garbage about segregation in the south. This may be the case where Ms Huff is concerned, or maybe her research is just sloppy and repeating the same tired anti-southern propaganda that has been popular in the North for the last hundred and fifty years.

Detroit was and really is a festering cauldron of racism based on primarily voluntary segregation. Make no mistake segregation is segregation and it creates a racial and cultural divide that is and will always be difficult to overcome while tired and ridiculous propaganda like blaming segregation on the south exists.

Ms Huff's article is worth reading, but, like a lot of the crap written about racism in the United States you have to be careful and double check the facts. Don't get caught in propaganda.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Multiple Intelligence and Life in general

My wife sent me a couple of links on something called “Multiple Intelligences” or MI which is a multi-modal methodology for the classification of intelligence.

Essentially the idea is that using a single classification for intelligence “IQ” does not capture an entire person so the doctor involved subjectively developed various groups of “intelligences” and designed a series of tests to assess an individuals placement within these classifications.

This is actually a pretty good idea, however, like most things in psychology (including IQ) it suffers from subjective assessment and the internal filters of the people involved in the development of the program and the assessment of the intelligences.

Multi-modalities exist in nature. If you take a salt shaker and dump it out on a table you get a pile of salt. If you take a cross section of that salt pile you will get a “curve” that looks a lot like the grading curve your teachers may have used when you were in school. This is called “normal” distribution.

Here is the thing most people do not understand. The entire curve, even at the far edges is “normal”. Most people tend to think of the center section of the curve as “normal” and the edges as “abnormal”. That couldn't be farther from the truth. “abnormal” is something that does not appear on the curve.

Suppose we jerk the salt shaker slightly sideways as we are pouring it out. We now have what looks like two intersecting piles of salt. If we take a cross sectional curve we still have a “normal” distribution, but, we call this distribution “multi-modal” because it has two “humps”.

There are many multi-modal distributions in nature and in manufacturing. One of the biggest mistakes people make in understanding multi-modal distributions is tossing out “flyers”. Flyers are typically some strange result the researcher collected, didn't understand and then pitched. The problem is that those little grains of salt farthest from the center of the pile tell us more about the limits of the distribution than all the grains of salt in the center pile.

I won't get into the math behind that. It is kind of like averaging or being on a curve. Maybe one of the kids in your class at school did so much better that everyone else became angry because it made it harder to get a “C”. Some people “drop” those “flyers” just because they “skew” the curve”. This is how cultures are destroyed, the lowest common denominator. The “stronger” mutation the group tries to destroy to prevent the evolution and development of the group. The kid, or any other flyer, that skews the curve.

The idea of multiple intelligences has an emotional draw to people. It is a way for them to assure themselves that they are not stupid and help them develop a better self image.

The problem is the subjective analysis. Teachers and psychologists (and sometimes engineers) typically grade subjectively based on their experience. This will skew the results of the analysis based on the personal prejudices of the reviewer. The teacher who gave you crap grades because you didn't get along with them. We have all had one of those.

Intelligence tests are typically not very intelligent. They require language comprehension skills that are a learned skill and so people who have strong language comprehension skills do well on tests regardless of their actual intelligence. The same is true of these MI tests.

Multi-modal distributions occur naturally. In this situation it appears that some researchers have subjectively determined multi-modal groups and then created tests which skew respondents into specific categories based on a subjective assessment of what the researcher believes they mean. For example, “I enjoy categorizing things by common traits” and “I easily pick up on patterns” are essentially the same thing and yet these questions are in different intelligence groups. In the logic section I found the phrase, “Structure is a good thing”. Understanding different structures can be difficult. For example understanding the structure of interpersonal relationships in the management of a large organization can appear chaotic to some. Some might not see the structure at all. Rembrandt vs Picasso. To me, this structure phrase means nothing. I would need to understand the structure and it's intended purpose to subjectively determine if the structure is a “good” thing, or likely to produce the intended results. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is an excellent example of a structure many thought was good, well, before they built it they thought it was good. After it collapsed not so much.

So how do I answer “Structure is a good thing”? I would select a “middle” answer and the results would skew me away from being a logical person.


The world wide web does offer a wonderful opportunity at really understanding the multi-modal development of personality (intelligence is a stupid term, and I have an IQ of 157 so you should believe me).

Different websites will have more visitors than others. By just capturing the visits to different websites and subjectively analyzing the “content” we (people in general) can develop a better understanding of the real, not the subjective, categorization of these multi-modal groupings.

Multiple Intelligences is a good idea, in the current development of subjective analysis it has it will probably die away for some other “pretty butterfly” that captures the imagination of researchers unless real objective analytical development is accomplished.

Here is a paper on MI:

Here is an overview:

Here is an interesting paper on MI and culture:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wasting Resources and the Pseudo Intellectual Elite

The primary tells for knowing that you are talking to a pseudo intellectual are:

Their parroting of ridiculous non-facts like "George W. Bush was a liar" or "Dick Cheny 'outed' a covert CIA agent" or "Clinton balanced the budget" or "Obama was born in Hawaii".

Their edu-snobbery about their "education" and why or how it is better than "yours".

Their incessent need to "one-up" who ever they are talking to because their entire self image is based on the idea that they are smarter than whom ever they are talking to.

Their claim to be open minded and accepting while censoring and shouting down any ideologies that appear contrary to their own.

In the end the biggest tell that identifies pseudo intellectuals is their attraction to and selection of leaders based on charisma rather than either education or intelligence. Don't even think about selecting someone who has a proved track record when there is someone else with charisma they would like to lift into status as "royalty".

In the end governments dominated by pseudo intellectuals who favor oratory and presentation over accomplishment and capability are all self defeating.

The more charismatic a person is, the better they get along with others, the less skilled they have to be to appear successful.

The less charismatic the more skilled a person must be to appear successful.

As actual skills and capabilites deteriorate in favor of charisma, oratory and presentation the more likely an organization is to fail, and this is the real tell.

The failure of the organization will never be the fault of the charismatic orator. It will be the fault of some "barbarian horde", which if the orator was as capable in reality as they were in presentation would have been defeated.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Wasting Resources

These days I work at a National Laboratory. I is purdy smart!

At least some people think so. In reality I am not much more intelligent, if any, than most of the good skilled tradesmen I have worked with over the years. Many people who gravitated towards skilled trades are very intelligent people who, for one reason or another, did poorly in academics. I did badly in school because I read a lot.

My father used to beat me when I read his and my mother’s college text books so I had to hide reading “adult literature”. As I became older I began to understand that my father didn’t really understand any of his text books, although he really liked to believe he did. When I was 13 I made him really angry when I tried to discuss the differences between Adam Smith’s classic economic theory and John Keynesian’s economic theory. He did not understand. That is not unusual, most people don’t understand. My father had a degree in economics.

So here I am in school listening to teachers with average education and average intelligence say really stupid things. “Republican’s started slavery!” is something I remember. Most people believe this tripe even today because some moronic elementary school teacher told them that.

During a discussion in English class I mentioned that I thought Russia and the United States would become allies again, just as they had been in WW2. The class laughed, the teacher said “that can never happen”. Of course it has happened.

Back in the late 1980’s I was working on the shop floor talking to a group of people about terrorism. I mentioned I knew a Weatherman, one of the people asked me “what channel”. During that discussion I mentioned the probability of an Islamic religious war based on terrorism. The people in the group agreed that China was far more dangerous than the "Arabs". I just shook my head.

My biggest problem is always understanding radical new ideas and having people disbelieve them. It has also been my saving grace. God puts me in a situation where my ability to look at things in a radically different way are a benefit and I do something “amazing”. Not because it is really amazing, but, because other people didn’t think of it "that way" and if they did they dismissed it as to "weird".

Education in the United States, and most other places, is a socialization process and not really an education process. If you can’t or won’t learn the same way as the group you are “banished”. It used to be banished into manufacturing. These days those jobs don’t exist.

So the education system is designed to churn out “average” people, average intelligence, average ability to socialize, average ability to succeed. Even those “above average” people in high school, middle school and elementary school end up in the “average” range. avergae results in stagnation. Always.

When teachers grade on a curve they typically use plus or minus 2 standard deviations or a range which encompasses about 90%. Teachers know some students have problems on tests and as a result they typically oppose standardized testing. Most high school graduates cannot pass a GED and yet the GED is looked down on as being a “poor substitute”. If it were up to me I would make it a law that anyone who can’t pass a GED can’t have a diploma. Why, because teachers use subjective criteria to make graduation easier for students who function well in academia. These same teachers use the same subjective criteria make graduation harder for people who do not, those “trouble makers” that teachers want drugged or expelled or shoved into substandard education to make their lives and the lives of the 90% more "stagnant".

So what happens when we don’t utilize that 5% of people who make the real changes that help the world, the small improvements in design and utilization that accumulate making the world better?


Me, I have an above average income, an average life style. If you include my education level I am probably in the top two percent of people in the US with my education level.

Like most people who couldn’t deal with academia I went in manufacturing. That won’t happen in the future because the United States is pulling away from manufacturing. Our best potential for future development is not in academia. Academia churns out people within 2 std dev of “average”. Sure, 5% of those are going to be poor performers in any situation. The other 5% are people like me. Very intelligent and function like crap in typical academic environments.
Above average people who cannot function in academia require special opportunities. Some of us find them in construction, manufacturing, computers and we help the world become a better place. Some of us never find them.

What if Thomas Edison had been born in India in the 1700’s. He would have become successful, but, not the innovative, world changing, inventor that he became. Tesla, Einstein, Ford, Jobs, Gates, all these people “dropped out” and achieved great things in manufacturing because they committed to the right ideas at the right time. The rest of us “geniuses” have typically just enjoyed above average success in our chosen careers. Sometimes we influence things in very small ways that accumulate and change the world for the better.

So what happens when our society reduces the utilization of this 5% by reducing manufacturing and other semi-skilled trades that attract this 5%? The small and important developments in skilled and semi-skilled trades end up being made 2nd and 3rd world nations and the people outside of the 90% (or more) in the US end up being born in the wrong time and place.

Right now, the place for someone, with a high IQ who can’t function in academia, to be is China or India where their skills translate into social development. The United States has chosen to waste that 5% of the population that makes a huge accumulative impact. They might never become rich in those 2nd and 3rd world nations, but, like most of us in the 5% they will help make the world a better place and achieve a higher than average standard of living than the 90% average student.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Perspective, God's perspective and the perspective of people

If you watch one of the many versions of Law and Order on television you may have seen the characters talk about how unreliable eye witness testimony is. You may have watched scenes where several different witnesses give very different accounts of the same incident and found out later every account had some truth in it, and that none of the accounts was “true”.

This is because people have different perspectives. We all see things differently and as a result we judge situations differently.

The other day at church my wife and a friend put some caramel dip into a bowl and filled a plate with apple slices to dip into the caramel. The caramel was really thick and kind of difficult to work with. I pointed this out and suggested we nuke the caramel to soften it. Our friend mentioned me criticizing the dip. This was an interesting twist, I pointed out a potential issue and offered a possible solution. She felt it was criticizing. Very few ate the caramel, if you dipped an apple slice into it the caramel didn't stick to the apple and it was so stiff the apple slice would break if you tried to “scoop” some caramel up. Rather than try warming the caramel they just let it sit there in a fairly unusable clump.

This is pretty typical of human beings. When faced with what we feel is criticism we often would rather stick with what we have than consider the suggestions useful.

Christians point out issues with societal behavior and in very much the way our friend at church ignored the issue with the caramel people ignore the suggestions of the Christians.

My friend at church would feel it was her duty, and Biblical rightly so, to point out issues with someone's Christian walk and yet she behaved the same way the secular community does. Was she wrong to put out the caramel without heating or “improving” it? No. Was I wrong to point out that it could be more useful if we heated it up? No. Was she wrong in criticizing my suggestion as criticism? No.

People don't like to believe or accept they are “wrong” even though Christ tells us no one is Good except God. Who was “wrong” in our caramel discussion at church? Neither of us.

Truthfully mistakes are important to make because in making mistakes, recognizing mistakes and learning from them is the most important thing we can do.

The issue is that it is almost impossible for multiple people to agree on what a “mistake” is because of the different perspectives.

Here is a kicker. Which one of us does God think was right?

Neither of us. God does not have the same perspective people have.

Lets look at a different situation. I worked with one of the guys from Church during a time I was reading the Bible for the sixth time. This version had been published by the Jehovah's Witnesses. This guy criticized the version of the Bible I read, he criticized some of my actions, he criticized my performance as a CNC programmer, my skills as a tool maker, pretty much everything. In fact a lot of the people at that shop criticized me for a lot of things.

As usual I thought about what people were saying, I accepted the criticism I felt was useful and I ignored the criticism I felt was useless.

One issue pretty much describes the vast majority of criticism. This was back in 1998. I had brought in my laptop and I was working on a math problem on my computer. One of the guys brought up a calculator and said, “I use this, I never had a problem I couldn’t figure out with this'” I looked at the guy and said, “I am sure there were people who felt the same way about their slide rules. I ain't one of them” and I went back to working on my laptop.

Who was right? Who was wrong? My perspective is that people who do not adapt and use new technologies eventually stagnate and die. His perspective was that the fancy new tool was no more useful than his old tool. In reality we were both right, based on our individual perspectives.

From my perspective computers had proved their usefulness and place in society by 1998. For others it took much longer to adapt to the new technology. It had to become cheap enough and easy enough to learn that they believed their investment would be returned. Heck, I was sure in 1984 that computers would be household tools. I just couldn't afford one back then.

Don't think I am always right, at one time I thought CF cards were the shiznik and now I own SD cards. Most people seem to own SD cards, micro SD cards, mini-SD cards.

Everyone makes guesses at where technology is going. The people who invest in the winning technology first end up making the most from their investment.

People who jump in too soon and make the wrong pick end up with the wrong digital media card.

People make choices based on their perspective. In reality there wasn't a wrong choice about when or what to get into computers, or digital media cards. There were learning experiences that helped people become better people, or not.

In religion, once we accept that everything we know, everything we are is wrong we become like children and we look to God for everything and we quit depending on our own understanding.

The realization that we are wrong about everything, that every person is wrong about everything is the most important realization a Christian can make because without the realization that our perspective is wrong and so everything we understand is wrong we never become as dependent on God as a child is dependent.

God's perspective is so different that we cannot possible understand it until we “are older”.

This is why Christ tells us we are not Good. This is why Paul tells us that we are all sinners.

You don't start looking for what is right until you know what is wrong.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reading Total Crap published about the Bible

One day at Choir I mentioned a Bible passage, 2nd Corinthians 2:15 & 16. This passage tells us that Christians smell bad to non-Christians. You can look it up at which will give you the passage in a bunch of different versions of the Bible. Our Choir director mentioned that while he had read the passage he had never really thought about it.

I consider the aroma to be more like what we call a “vibe” these days, but, I also believe that there are some damned people who really do think saved Christians smell bad. I believe this because there are actually posts on the internet discussing how Christians smell bad.

I am currently reading a book that is pretty stupid, but, interesting because it represents the search in the secular world for understanding in the religious world. In fact, this guy presents a lot of the things I originally believed when I first became saved and began seeking understanding. The book is called “Who Really Goes to Hell”.

The basic idea behind the book is that Christ never taught that all humans sin and believing in him was required for going to heaven. This is just something Paul taught and none of the four gospels mention it.

Total crap of course. Christ tells us: Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

So Christ does tell us that none of us are Good. I could go into the Greek here, agathos, which means honorable, good, happy, noble, etc. Taken in the negative we could also say that all of us are the opposite of good. All of us are sinners, as Paul put it.

Of course that does not address the idea that all must accept Christ to go to Heaven. There are a lot of places that Christ tells us that he is that path and no one can get to the father except through him. The best known of course are the passages that are behind Communion. People believe that Communion goes back to the last supper. Not exactly true, it does and it also goes even further back to John 6:53
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Unless we engage in Communion, the accepting of the path which the Mosiach, the Messiah, Christ has laid down we can not live.

This guy wrote an entire book of ridiculous crap that people probably read and accept as well researched, well documented fact. Essentially he did the same thing most of us do, instead of accepting Christ he tried to “figure” it all out. I remember doing that. I look back at all the time I spent studying the Hebrew and Greek, the different versions of the Bible and I have to laugh at myself. I hope someday you can look back and laugh at your self and this guy can look back and laugh at himself.

God tells us that Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Something that the author of this book and I have in common is the search for knowledge. We love knowledge and we study. God sometimes hides the obvious things from us, from me, from the author of this hilarious book “Who really goes to hell” and from my Choir director. That does not make us fools or hypocrites. It means we are still seeking knowledge and fear of the Lord. It means that some of us want to just accept Christ for who Christ is and accept people for who people are without trying to figure out and understand all the quirks and the angles and the motivations.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Koran burning and Mosque building

If you follow current events you are aware of two news stories making headlines these days, a small church of 50 people in South Carolina is going to burn some Koran's and a group of Muslims in New York city are trying to build a Mosque near Ground Zero in New York.

Don't hand he the “community center” crap, every Church, Mosque and Synagogue is and always has been a center for community activities. Including a Mosque inside of a community center is ridiculous.

We used to have a basket ball hoop out n the parking lot at Church. Some of the membership became upset because kids in the community were using it so they took it down. This is not typical of a Church trying to grow. This is typical of a dying Church. Growing Churches attract community involvement. Dying Churches reject community involvement. A successful religious institution will always become a center for community activities. Every place of worship is a community center.

Not every community center is a place of worship. They become a place of worship when you include facilities for worship inside of them. Not every fruit is an apple. Every apple is a fruit.

The people building this Mosque are going to do what they want regardless of what other people think and they have every right to.

The people burning Koran's are going to do what they want regardless of what other people think and they have every right to.

Personally, I think both groups are screwed up narcissistic jerks

As people we belong to communities. We all belong to multiple communities and we balance what we do against the greater good for these communities. Very few people or groups are so narcissistic that they totally ignore what other people in their various communities think.

At the same time, I also believe that God may have his hand in this. God may very well be leading the Pastor of the SC Church to burn the Koran's and the media groups to create a news sensation out of this situation because it does appear so narcissistic, exactly the way the Mosque at Ground Zero is narcissistic. Remember that Nebuchadnezzar was a servant of God. (Jeremiah 27:6)

Our “scareddy cat” “fearless leader”, Obama, is claiming that the organized burning of Koran's will result in terrorist attacks. Oabama's entire campaign has always been based on fear. Make people fear the status quo and demand change. Make people fear terrorism and eliminate freedom of speech. Make people fear terrorism and help narcissists build Mosques where ever they want. Obama has not taken a position on the Mosque in New York because he is afraid. Obama has taken a position against the Koran burning because he is afraid.

I am disgusted with Obama and his fear and anti-free speech sentiments. I am disgusted with narcissists building Mosques and I am disgusted with narcissists burning Korans.

I don't believe that any of this serves God. God can call on his servant to make a burnt offering and then at the last minute call on the servant to not light the fire. Is this God's plan? Maybe. I don't believe God would call on anyone to actually burn Koran's anymore than God would call on people to sacrifice their kids.

Not all of God's servants are followers of God. Satan, for example, serves God by managing those who choose the chaotic anarchism of Hell over the directed order of Heaven.

I hope that the narcissists in New York stop their disgusting actions. I hope the narcissists in South Carolina stop their actions. I hope Obama quits preaching and living in fear.

In the end I expect the US government to live in fear because Obama is afraid. I expect the Mosque to be built. I expect the Koran burning to be stopped.

As long as the people in the US elect leaders who make choices based in fear the US will continue down a path of destruction.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

e-Book readers, Blog 2, Android Tablet

This is my second blog on e-book readers. This blog is about Android tablets as book readers.

I picked up an Eken M001 Android Tablet from E-Bay. The hardware quality on these is a shot in the dark, but, it looks like it has some potential for the future.

This unit has a tilt sensor so you can use it either "vertical" or "horizontal". Nice feature. I used three different e-book software systems, the iBook reader, the Peanut Press (palm) e-reader and FBReader.

All the reader software systems had problems. I am used to FBReader which I use on my XO and the Peanut Press e-reader, neither of these worked very well. They were slow and clunky. The iBook reader worked best.

The bad things are the fingerprints on the reading area, the processing and library management.

The nice thing about the Android is that you have choices of e-reader software. I have not actually read an e-book on the reader yet, but, it is better than the Nook. There are lots of smaller issues, but, if you are willing to install different software and use standard file management techniques to manage your library it is useful.

On a scale between 1 and 10 I give the Android Tablet a 4 out of 10. I think the Android tablet will be the way to go, but, it is a little early in development for prime time.

The screen needs a setting similar to the XO so you can change to low power B&W display. The processor needs to be faster (on my system). I also really like the idea of the 3G connection on the Nook and Kindle so to get better the Android you need a decent 3G connection. The only other suggestion I have is that you need an e-book library management system similar to calibre as well as a variety of reading software.

In my opinion the software of an e-reader needs to be installable and customizable. Different people like different interfaces, different buttons, etc.

For digital rights management Microsoft, the Nook and the old Palm reader use credit card numbers. This is a total disaster, I know because I have purchased books using different card numbers. I won't discuss how I have managed addressing that issue, but, most of you can guess.

I would use something like a PGP key. You plug your private key into the book reader and it opens up the books. Unlike credit card numbers people could share PGP keys, but, with a 3G book reader the key could be checked on the server the same way a cell phone ID is exchanged with the phone server and if people had the same PGP key the book seller could request an explanation from the key registrar. Some people, like me, may have multiple forms of book readers. Some may be sharing. With the 3G network connection it would be pretty simple to determine if two people were reading the same license at the same time.

The Nook had the capability to loan some books out. By registering a loan or license transfer with a 3G server you could exchange e-books the same way people exchange print books.

My favorite used book store in the Detroit area is John K King in downtown Detroit. The current e-book system is a both extraordinarily cheap and a huge rip off. Free e-books are great. The e-books you pay for cost more than a paperback. When you finish reading you can't trade it in to a used book store for credit so you totally lose your investment. You can't give it away at the homeless project at church. You can't lend it or give it to your daughter.

By using a network identification similar to the cell phone network you can eliminate those issues.

E-Book Readers, Blog 1

I have been reading e-books since the late 90's. I started reading on my computer, then moved to the Palm Pilot. My favorite Palm Pilot was and is my Tungsten W. Great, but, small. I typically used the Palm Reader.

When Palm did the Tungsten W they really screwed up. The Palm Treo phones were a mess too. I switched to the Treo and hated it. Time for the Blackberry, but, what to do about a book reader? I used my Tungsten W as a reader and my Blackberry as a phone. Eventually Mobipocket came out with a free reader. It sucked, but, it was better than nothing and the screen resolution on the Blackberry was better than the Treo.

A couple years ago I picked up an OLPC XO laptop and began using it as a book reader. Excellent device, but kind of large and clunky. I kept trying to turn pages by touching the screen :-)

A few weeks ago I started looking into the new book readers. Like readers in the past the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Amazon Kindle make it difficult to use common formats like *.pdb, and *.txt, but, I figured I would test the system out.

I bought an Android M001 tablet and tested it out.

I plan on purchasing and testing out a Kindle.

I will blog on my experiences with these e-readers and hopefully you can learn from my experiences. The first unit I am blogging about is the Nook.

To sum up my experience with the B&N Nook:

Essentially, it sucked.

*.pdf files sent to me by colleagues were displayed using whatever title Acrobat had assigned when published and not using the file name so I had no idea what the dissertation/thesis or paper name was.

*.pdb files published with the Barnes and Noble Drop Book program could not be opened on the Nook.
*.pdb files downloaded from could not be opened on the Nook.

*.epub files could downloaded from could not be opened on the Nook.

e-books purchased from B&N back around 2004 could not be opened on the Nook.

B&N is charging for books that are in the publish domain and can be freely downloaded.

B&N "loses" track of books that you have previously purchased and you have to submit proof that you purchased them to download them.

I was unable to open any of the "free" books I had purchased from B&N on my Nook.

Phone technical support was no help at all.

I returned the Nook after owning it less than 24 hours.

A simple subjective analysis of Nook user reviews on C-Net

Something I have noticed reading the 120 reviews, it looks like people who read for a living, students, researchers, professors, etc, and who have a lot of experience with e-readers typically give the Nook a very low score. People who read for fun, fiction, etc, and have actually gotten the download your purchases feature to work seem to like the product or at least do not hate it.

Typically, the people who like it seem to be new to e-books and purchased e-books from B&N

From my experience and after reading the reviews:

Buy one and try it out. It will either work foryou or it won't and you will return it immediately.

If it works use it every day for at least an hour or two. You will either have frustrating power, lock-up and lost book mark problems or it will work fine for you.

If after 12 days you have any doubts at all, take it back.

If you have no doubts about how well it operates after 12 days I wish you happiness and good luck.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Attitudes and the people of Israel

I am reading a book called “Lord, Change my Attitude before it's too late”. The premise of the book, which is so far okay, is the idea that the Lord punished Israel for their bad attitude by making them wander in the desert for 40 years.

The problem is that I don't believe that punishment had anything to do with making the children of Israel wander in the desert.

Here is my take on what happened.

God took a bunch of people who were used to following orders and being slaves to Egyptian leaders. God gave them an Egyptian leader (Moses) who was actually one of them and had that leader tell them what to do. That worked really well right up to the point where they actually had to show some initiative in battle and fight for their new land.

When it came time for those people to fight, those slaves who had never raised a hand to their oppressors, they balked. Why wouldn't they balk? They were salves, essentially bred to be subservient to their masters. Aggression and the attitudes for risk taking were essentially bred right out of them. They were tough as nails and as mild as sheep. They had been bred and trained to be exactly that way.

God needed a new generation of people to fight, people who were not born into slavery, who were not bred and trained to be sheep. God needed a people who were willing to fight, whose very existence depended on their ability to survive.

God took a bunch of slaves and stuck them in one of the most hostile environments in the world to train them to become the warriors they needed to be.

Sheep who have no confidence in God need to have confidence in their leaders.

People who have no confidence in God need to have confidence in themselves and their leaders.

I am a desert trained warrior and let me tell you that the people who trained me while I was in the US Army were some of the baddest ass people I ever met. Israelis and Arabs. People who fought for every breath because they were breathing in an oven. People who fought for water because without water they would die. People who did everything they had to do and nothing that they did not have to do.

That 40 years of wandering in the desert created some of the toughest soldiers in the world. It was the ultimate basic training, probably three generations separated the youngest from the oldest. Generations who had become tough, aggressive and smart about the desert.

God is not interested in punishment. God is interested in building people and sometimes you have to destroy old attitudes to build new ones. Sometimes it takes some pretty harsh treatment, Basic Training, Prison, Wandering, to destroy the old attitudes.

Sometimes the treatment is too harsh and it destroys the person, when people are in charge of the training.

God is perfect. God's training is always perfect. We don't even understand what he is training us for, we just need to know that God is helping us to become the best people we can become.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Calorie absorption and Fiber in your Diet

I began using Metamucil (or generic brands) after I read that having a glass of metamucil 15 minutes before eating would reduce the impact on blood sugar. My doctor had diagnosed me with Type 2 diabetes and I wanted to pull my blood sugar under control. As I worked at bringing my blood sugar under control I discovered that my fasting blood sugar when I first wake up was typically higher than my blood sugar about 4 hours after I ate and before I went to bed.

Because I research the crap out of everything I am interested in I spent some time researching fiber (or fibre), particularly at

Anecdotally fiber makes me feel fuller. If I drink a metamucil and then drink a protein drink I feel full. The blood sugar impact of the protein drink is lower. In my opinion this means that the metamucil slows the digestion of the protein drink.

This is a good thing and a bad thing. Right before and right after a weight lifting workout you probably want to digest protein as fast as possible. Liquid proteins digest faster than solids, BUT, there is also a lower percentage of the available protein digested.

Newsflash, not every calorie in every bit of food that you eat is properly digested and used. Some calories pass right through your system (everyone who has had diarrhea knows this). Taking some kinds of laxatives can cause your digestive system to speed up and reduce the absorption of calories from your food. Some laxatives can slow down food processing which can help regulate your system. Weight loss surgery and useful weight loss drugs typically reduces the time food spends digesting and being absorbed into the system

Different kinds of foods digest at different speeds. After a lot of research I have come up with a guideline I use for eating. Most refined carbohydrates usually digest quickly and are absorbed easily. Fats digest slowly and easily. Proteins digest moderately and are difficult to adsorb. This probably sounds pretty easy to find out, but, verifying this information with actual scientific studies can be difficult. As always I suggest you do your own research, my two favorite places for diet research are and

Aside from just before and just after a weight lifting workout when you want to absorb protein as quickly as possible I believe Metamucil is a useful tool to help your system absorb protein. By drinking a metamucil before drinking a protein drink you can cause your digestive metabolism to slow and probably absorb more of the available protein in the drink.

This is also true for solid proteins like Tuna which we all know and love so very much. I like a little hot sauce with my canned tuna, although I eat it just as it comes out of the can quite often. I drink a metamucil before I begin prep, about 5 minutes before eating, and I believe that it slows down my digestion and helps my system absorb protein.

There are also some supplements that help reduce the absorption of some carbohydrates, L-arabinose is one of them. In August 2007 the international journal of Medical Sciences published a paper by Dr. Harry G. Pruess of the Georgetown University Medical Center that found L-Arabinose pretty much eliminated the effects of sucrose on blood sugar. Does this mean your system will not absorb the carbs? I doubt that, I believe that Advocare's Carb-Ease will reduce the glycemic effect. Dr. Pruess's paper does not specifically address weight gain or loss. Advocare funded the study so you have to look for the information that isn't there are well as the information that is there.

In my opinion, if you manage the absorption of calories you consume as well as the amount of calories you consume you can reduce your feelings of hunger, the impact of what you eat on your system and your metabolism.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chinese attack on the United States

The recent sinking of a South Korean naval vessel by North Korea is not an attack by North Korea on South Korea. It is an attack on the United States by China.

Obama is seen as a wimp world wide, someone who will not use force until pushed into a corner and even then will capitulate to unreasonable demands rather than continue the hawkish international politics of his predecessor.

The Chinese are testing the ability of the Obama administration to react to overt military action against a loyal ally. The Chinese are depending on Obama seeking a peaceful and political solution to a public disgrace.

In the end the Chinese will get what they want. Obama will not defend South Korea which will pretty much destroy the political relationship between the United States and South Korea. South Korea will turn to China.

Eventually so will Japan.

Obama could do a lot of things and even deny responsibility the way Carter used to. This would put a lot of political pressure on China and North Korea.

Obama won't.

Obama will pussy out and this will be the start of an eventual east-west confrontation which will leave China in political control of most of the world.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Phosphatidyl Serine and medical research

A commentator named Arun R who professes to be involved in the medical profession made a couple of comments on a blog I did about Phosphatidyl Serine (PS). They made some good points and gave some good advice, but, to me it was fairly obvious the perspective was fairly limited.

Let us look at this in a much larger perspective.

Medical research is typically driven by the perception of demand for products. Marketing professionals review the consumer demand. Pharmaceutical companies review the market potential and the potential for developing a product within a reasonable investment.

Sometimes the problem is very difficult and the potential for a product and/or profit on a product is very difficult to determine.

Suppose a Pharmaceutical company spent billions on a cure for cancer and suddenly developed one. What is the likelihood of the government of the United States demanding that product be made available at a “reasonable” cost which would destroy the profit potential?

In reality Pharmaceutical companies restrict their research to cures that they are sure they can profit from. Of course management will deny this. Believe me, primary executives at corporations consider everything when making a decision on where to invest money.

Where is the most profit? Not in cures, profit is in treatments. Take one pill and the disease ends and you sell one pill. If you treat someone for a disease the rest of their life you can sell a lot of pills.

This is why Governments spend money on medical research and development. You may remember George W. Bush refused to spend government money on fetal stem cell research. This was a big deal because the big Pharmaceutical companies are not going to invest huge amounts of money necessary to create a cure for anything, IF you can cure anything with stem cells and that is a pretty big IF.

But, the perception of demand is there so researchers compete for money in stem cell research.

There is a lot of competition for government medical research dollars and for consumer donated research dollars.

Almost everyone has had a relative or friend die of cancer. Pictures of childhood birth defects, people like Michael J. Fox, fat people.

You get the idea. Why spend money on something people can control with their decisions?

If you can control the problem with decisions.

I have not found a definitive definition of “metabolism”. Medical researchers know somethings about “metabolism”, but, they really don't know exactly what it is or how it is controlled.

There are medical papers at that help us understand the relationships of the chemistry in the body. No one really understands it yet.

From a processing point of view nothing is ever exactly the same. Everything works within a range and the range is defined by a standard deviation. Typically 99.7% of everything will fall within plus or minus three standard deviations of the mean or average.

Since we can't define Metabolism we can't define the mean of metabolism or the range it operates in.

There are experiments that could be done. Here is a simple one.

Take three hundred random people. Measure their BMI. Feed them an exact number of calories based on their BMI. Have them do a precise amount of activity. Track the deviation in calories, activity, weight change and BMI. Keep this up for about a year.

You end up with a simple and reliable approximate baseline measurement of metabolism as well as a standard deviation of metabolism.

This experiment also costs a fortune and there isn't any profit derived from it. Why do this when people can just control their weight with decisions?

Check out any ten websites that calculate out how many calories you need to maintain a specific weight. You will get ten slightly different answers. I like

Once I did a solid fast for five days. Only liquids. I drank 6 SlimFast shakes a day, about 1240 calories a day. During this time I exercised for between 30 and 45 minutes each day.

No change in weight. None.(okay, over the 5 days my weight varied with 1 pound)

I spent a year keeping my caloric intake below 2400 calories a day while working out 5 days a week for 30 to 45 minutes a day. I did not lose any weight. I stayed 300lbs.

I started taking PS and dropped 40 pounds in a few weeks.

I started taking PS because I actually researched the issue and discovered the lack of metabolism research and the fact that from my symptoms it appeared to me that I had a metabolism issue.

Nice twist of words there. It is not a fact that I have a metabolism issue, it is a fact that it appeared to me that I had a metabolism issue. Morons who don't really read will misunderstand that statement.

If everyone has a metabolism and the metabolism has a range some people will have a higher metabolism and some people a slower metabolism naturally. There will also be things you can do to change the chemistry of your metabolism to make it go faster or slower. This is all well known and these are actually facts. We even know some things that change metabolism.

But when you go to a website to calculate a calorie intake that number comes out as a number, not as a range. In reality normal people of a specific BMI trying to maintain weight will need a calorie range that depends on where their metabolism falls within the range.

Not only that, but, we also know that metabolism changes, it changes with age, it changes with age, it changes with activity level, we do not know everything that influences metabolism.

It kind of sucks, but, there is a bright spot.

It appears that specific brain chemistry has a huge influence on things like Alzheimers, weight, and many other physical issues. We know PS can influence brain chemistry. No one knows how much or exactly how. There is just anecdotal information like mine that is available and a few medical studies that have shown promising results.

These studies have been primarily directed at diseases like Alzheimers and diabetes because very few justify research dollars for fat people, of those dollars even less will be spent on brain chemistry related to weight gain.

After all, we made ourselves fat, right?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lions for Lambs and the US propaganda machine

The US propaganda machine is one of the most dangerous tools in the United States. I just watched the first half hour of the propaganda movie, “Lions for Lambs”. I love movies and I enjoy the talents of Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. Having watched previews I was pretty sure the movie was a propaganda piece designed to mis-inform the public. During an interview between Meryl Streep (playing a reporter) and Tom Cruise (playing a “hawkish” US Senator) the propaganda really became obvious.

There was a simple exchange that lasted a few seconds. Meryl Streep asked Tom Cruise about “up armored Humvees “. Anyone interested in this subject already understands the issue.

Back in 2005 and 2006 the US media made a big deal about “up armored Humvees” and the Bush administration was blamed for sending our military to war with inadequate equipment.

Improvised Explosive Devices and Land Mines are not new tools for military action. These were popular tools in Vietnam too. In Vietnam the soldiers used to shovel dirt and sand into the bottom of their vehicles to reduce shrapnel and absorb energy.

What changed? We will get to that, first lets discuss the basics of a military contract.

In a nut shell the Pentagon (joint forces or a single branch of the military) sends out a notice that they are interested in purchasing a product with specific capabilities. A bunch of companies come up with bid proposals and submit them. The Pentagon will choose the supplier and order the equipment.

Sounds pretty simple?

Not really. The contracts are huge. Congress and the President are heavily involved in the appropriation of the money for the purchase.

To get the money for the purchase the Pentagon goes to the President and requests a budget that includes money for the purchase. The President puts the money into the budget. The budget is presented to Congress which votes on it and the Pentagon receives the money.

Still sound simple? Not really.

The President and Congress balance the expense against the need by the military and the various districts that are producing the materials for the Pentagon Purchase.

When the US military purchases a bunch of steel the price of steel goes up. This influences the cost of many consumer products like cars. Congress works with the suppliers to make sure that the contracts don't create too much demand and push costs up too far.

In 2008 during a period of huge demand for steel the price of scrap steel tripled, in no small part that demand was “encouraged” by contracts for up-armoring military vehicles.

So why wasn't the armor included in the original order, when were those original Humvees without up-armor ordered? 1983 by a Democratic Congress and the Reagan administration. So who authorized the original contracts specifications and bidding process? That was done during the Carter administration in 1979.

Carter? Reagan? Not George Bush? Sorry, but George W. Bush was about as responsible for the armor content of Humvee as you are for the murder of Sharon Tate.

After the original Reagan order the Clinton administration ordered more standard Humvees without armor. You can read about the history of AMG at

So far we have been able to blame Carter, Reagan and Clinton and not Bush.

If IEDs and Land Mines have been a big deal for many years what changed between Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush?

Cell phones and pagers.

Previous Mines and IEDs typically depended on local electro-mechanical trigger systems. Wireless systems like cell phones gave guerrilla fighters the ability to remote overwatch and reliably detonate the devices.

No matter how much armor we put on a vehicle someone will just build a bigger bomb to blast through that armor.

So why up-armor Humvees? Because the stronger the armor the more explosives per blast and the fewer total blasts.

Essentially the idea is to reduce the capabilities the guerrilla fighters have with the available resources.

Getting back to the real point of this blog, the US propaganda machine and Lions for Lambs, Meryl Streep plays a reporter who is ignorant of these basic and simple to research facts. When she presents a ridiculous question to Senator Tom Cruise he does not respond with the facts.

This gives the person viewing the movie the same idea presented in the media during the time the movie was made, that the Bush administration is responsible for the lack of armor on Humvees.

Could Carter or Reagan have forseen the wireless revolution and the use of cellphones to detonate roadside bombs?

The Clinton administration should have and for Humvees to be up-armored in 2003 the order would have had to be sent out in the 1990's. Since the World trade Center was attacked during the Clinton administration we can also say that future terrorist attacks against the US were also foreseeable by the Clinton administration.

Instead the US propaganda machine goes after Bush, who couldn't have done anything about up-armored Humvees and the ignorant bourgeois, the ignorant proletariat jump on a “lynching” bandwagon because they can't research the issue themselves and would rather let someone else tell them how and what to think.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Stop Global Warming, Eliminate Clouds!

What is the most common green house gas?

Water vapor. Clouds.

But wait! Nasa is telling us that the primary reason for a temperature increase over the last decade is a lack of clouds?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Read Labels, check pricing, be aware of yourself.

I have received a few comments and e-mails on my experiments with phosphatidyl serine. There seem to be a lot of people excited about this subject and the results I, and others, have received.

When you are trying to do something that is best for you it is easy to jump on band wagons and get caught up into things that don't work best for you.

Your body is slightly different from everyone else's body. While it is true that all of us react similarly it is also true that we are all different. Our activity levels, the time we spend outside, the calories we eat, even how we think changes our body chemistry. When we take supplements the chemicals in those supplements will react differently in different people.

For example, back in my twenties I weighed about 220lbs with a body fat of about 8% and I experimented enough to know that I needed about 4000 calories with 2000 calories being protein and less than 500 calories being fat to maintain my weight at my normal activity level.

The other day I was in the fitness room at a hotel. Because I trashed my knee in a motorcycle accident I only do about 10 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical. If I do over 10 minutes my knee begins to hurt and I have problems the rest of the day, maybe even the next day. A guy who had just finished 30 minutes on the treadmill gave me a smirk and made a semi-condescending comment about exercise. He did about 30 sit ups so when he got up I sat down and did 50. He sat down for another set of 30 and I did another 50. He quit.

All of our bodies are different. We handle different things in different ways. A great example is this situation where I showed a guy that even at 260 lbs and a BMI (calculated by height, not measured) of 33.5 I could show him up doing sit-ups and he could show me up on the treadmill. Here is another issue. In this case the sit-up bench was inclined and I went from level with the floor to straight up. Had I been doing bent-knee sit-ups on the ground I would not have been able to do 20. I have arthritis in my back.

I am an older jock and for most of my adult life my weight ran from 210 to 220. At 6'2” that gives me a body index (calculated) from 26.7 to 28.5. However, at 20 years old and 210 pounds my body fat was under 8% and my calculated BMI was 26.7.

BMI is a great tool, but, they need to measure your body volume and weight to determine density and properly ESTIMATE BMI. The calculated measurement created by squaring your height is useful, but, does not tell the whole story. Most jocks will have a calculated (not measured) BMI between 25 and 30.

You are the only one who knows your body.

Because of my abs I will never have under a 34” waist, well, not until my abs dystrophy with age. Because of my pectorals and lats I will not have a chest under 48”. Currently I have a 42” waist and a 52” chest. This gives me a 10” drop between my chest and my waist. US average is around 5”, athletic is 7” to 9”. I have a hard time buying shirts that fit correctly.

All of these things translate into understanding your diet and how your system works.

Here I am, almost 50, used to eating 4000 calories a day and my body is changing. The death of my son caused my thinking to change, and my diet. I began eating less protein, more carbohydrates and fats. I found it easier to focus my mind on thinking tasks rather than exercising which I typically do “no mind”. Things like KATA, my numchucks, my bo, weight lifting, biking, I typically do focusing on my breathing without thinking about what I am doing. This became impossible for me after the death of my son. Every time I tried to empty my mind I.., well, I became upset.

A few years later I am 80 pounds over weight and I try addressing it. I tried going back to weight lifting, 30 minutes a day 6 days a week for a year. I cut my calorie intake down to 2000 to 2500 calories a day, half protein, 1/6 fat and the rest carbs (lots of fiber). I lost nothing. My body chemistry had changed significantly. I developed high blood pressure and type two diabetes.

I have always been a supplement junkie. Typically Protein shakes, Multi-Vitamins and B vitamins. I added E and Chromium pincolinate, selenium, fish oil, calcium (cut milk out of my diet), I started taking the meds my doctor prescribed. I switched to black tea and I drink metamucil. I believe that food cravings occur when you are not getting enough of something into your system. That something can be a nutrient or it can be emotional. If you know you are getting the proper nutrition then you can ignore the cravings safely.

My food choices have typically been good, skinless chicken, fish, lean meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, high fiber breads. The South Beach diet is really easy for me because it is pretty much what I do any way.

I tried talking to my doctor. He pretty much ignored me. A fat guy is a fat guy, right? I had to move so I sold my weights (no room) and the rest of my equipment.

Nothing worked until I found PS, Phosphatidyl serine. I dropped weight quickly and then plateaued at 260. My blood sugar dropped like a rock. I quit taking the type 2 diabetes meds. I went off the PS for a while, my weight went up a few pounds and my blood sugar went up. I am back on PS again. I just started adding exercise a few weeks ago.

So I have proved to myself that PS works for me without any huge diet changes or adding exercise.

For me, a glass of ice water or metamucil (sugar free, 20 calories) cuts hunger cravings. I used to just do ice water, I added the metamucil and I recommend it to anyone who cares.

For meals I typically have Roll ups using high fiber FlatOut bread (I get mine from Costco). 100 calories each, 8 grams of fiber. I switch up between sliced turkey, sliced ham and roast beef. Mustard and some Romain lettuce. Quick, easy and healthy. I keep it around 250-300 calories total. I switch that up with two cans of tuna ( just dump 2 7oz cans of tuna in a bowl and eat it with a couple of drops of tobasco). I also eat Ramen noodle soup (400 calories, 15g fat, 56g carbs) regularly. I like Peanut butter with sugar free jelly (500 calories, 32g fat and 14g carbs)occasionally.

For aerobic exercise I am riding a recumbent bike when I am at home. I started at 10 minutes once a day. Now I am at 30 minutes twice a day. I am going to go back to weight lifting, I have to get a machine because of my knee and my back. It is just safer that way. I do some dumb bell stuff right now.

The point of this article is that I took the time to try different things until I found what worked for me and I am capitalizing on those items. Not everyone can cut their hunger cravings with a glass of water or metamucil. Not everyone can eat similar foods every day the way I do. Not everyone can eat tuna right out of the can.

On the other hand I like my Ramen noodles. I am not about to drop it from my diet. I like peanut butter and I am not giving it up. I watch my calories, my grams of protein, carbs, fiber and fats. I know what works for me because I read labels and kept trying different things.

What does not work for me? Anything more than 50g a day of zinc makes me sick as a dog. I can't megadose on zinc. High doses of Vitamin C. Echinacea. Lots of things don't work. I tried them.

The important thing to understand is that your body is a chemistry lab. Do one experiment at a time. Use pure substances or know exactly what the filler is.

Look at GABA. Great product, helps me sleep sometimes. They mix it with Silicon Dioxide. Look up the side effects for GABA, none. Look up the side effects for Silicon Dioxide, ahhh.

Read the labels, research and do careful experimentation on your body. What works for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The complexity of individual choices in a capitalistic society

There is a mouthful. I am watching a totally hilarious 1990 movie called Mindwalk. It is essentially a huge propaganda discussion about the different views of political problems. A political viewpoint versus what some people would claim is the intellectual viewpoint.

The “intellectual” argument against “global warming”, the destruction of the rain forest, the costs of health care, the “mechanistic” ideology is provided by a woman who is playing a physicist.

In a totally ridiculous analogy the two viewpoints discuss a clock and how the mechanism of a mechanical clock are replaced by quartz and electronics. The physicist discusses how much things have changed and the politician is left speechless. Unfortunately the reality is that the underlying concepts of both the mechanical and the electronic mechanisms are the same. At the core there is no real difference. Both are calibrated mechanisms that display regulated changes. The core principles are the same. Hilarious.

The argument moves into discussions about how perception causes people to take actions and those actions are often bad for them resulting in negative consequences.

This is really a movie advocating mind control and that is a scary subject.

Mind control is actually relatively easy and it is commonly practiced by the advertising businesses as well as political organizations and movie makers. People make decisions based on their perceptions. When you change the perceptions people have you change the decisions they make.

There are times when people have core beliefs that they refuse to let go of no matter what happens. I can give a couple of examples.

I knew a really friendly, nice guy and his wife. Over time I realized that the guy was an abuser. I watched the behavior of the couple and when I could see that they were building themselves up to a conflict I told the woman that when her husband beat her she could come over to my place and he couldn't get at her there. He beat her. She showed up. She was a very nice person and if she hadn't been such a screwed up drunk when she started walking around naked I might have done something. I didn't and I think that offended her. I think she had expected my offer was more than safety and help.

When her husband showed up, as they always do, he accused us of sleeping together (which we weren't) and then made a sudden movement holding something shinny (a Zippo lighter) in his hand. Being trained the way I am, and with him knowing I had been trained in martial arts and in the Army, showing up at my door angry and making a sudden move with a metallic object should have been something he was smart enough not to do. Anyhow, he ended up on the ground. I didn't hurt him. I doubt if I even bruised him because I realized it was a lighter.

She left and went back with him. She ended up dead less than a year later. He died back in 2007.

People do not always make what we think of as good choices. Those choices always belong to the individual. Only screwed up control freaks want to force everyone to make what they consider as the “right” decision.

When I was a child my mother was pretty radical politically for a child of the 1920's. She and a friend of hers once explained to me that “right” wing people were people who wanted to force others to make the “right” choices.

Over the years I have learned that it is fascists who try to force people to make the "right" decisions. Not Republicans or Democrats or any specific political party or ideology. Fascist is derived from the Latin “To Make”. It is a term coined by Mussolini to describe one of the Marxist political steps necessary for the conversion to a Communist society. The proletariat will not act on their own. They must be guided into violent revolution. They must be forced to accept Communism by a benevolent dictatorship and then there will be a withering away of the State.

The terms Fascist, Fascism, is an attempt by Mussolini to describe the time period where Communism is forced on the proletariat.

Capitalism describes the open market idea. Capitalism is more related to democracy since it depends on individual decisions.

Capitalism only works properly in Open Markets where the playing field is level and everyone is equal. Advertising is a method of controlling perception and skewing the playing field. Politics and closing specific markets is another way of creating an un-level playing field. When something happens to give one person/group much more control of a specific resource than any other group Capitalism is no longer Democratic, it becomes Fascist.

Controlling the choices people can make through laws, advertising, hoarding, monopolizing, propagandizing is all fascism. It does not matter if the fascism is intended to “help” or “hurt”. The thought does not count. The intent does not count. What matters is the end result, "are you deliberately trying to control other people"?

My intent with my blogs is to educate people. I do not attempt to control, I constantly suggest that people should do their own research and make their own decisions.

Just like the decision Kelly made to go back into a situation that could only result with her eventual death your decisions are yours to make. My decisions are mine to make no matter how horrid you or anyone else may think they are. We need to be able to accept those decisions without judging people no matter how screwed up our individual perceptions make them seem to us.

Christ gave us the ultimate example of sacrifice when Christ allowed people to break the commandments of God by crucifying him. Christ could have forced people not to break that commandment. Christ offered salvation to us by showing us that even the worst we could do to each other could be forgiven by God. By the crucifixion and the shedding of blood and the relinquishing of control over us God gave us the ability to choose to follow the example of Christ. Through the resurrection God proved that the choices we made really don't matter because they can be easily overcome, even unto death.

The resurrection is awesome because it is the only way to prove that the actions of those who came against Christ were impotent without taking away the free will choice of those who committed the atrocity of the crucifixion.

Christ chose to educate. Christ chose not to control. I hope I always make the same choice in my life.

Mortgage Meltdown

It amazes me that everyone is trying to figure out what went wrong in the mortgage industry. I can tell you in a heart beat. Bad management.

Management means directing others to accomplish goals. If the goals are not accomplished the management is to blame. Management may have taken on a task that could not be accomplished with available resources. Management may have mis-managed those resources. It does not matter which, the problem is always bad management.

Management defines and directs the actions of the workers. Period.

The mortgage meltdown can be easily explained. People in the mortgage industry are rewarded based on the amount of money that they lend out. Mortgage Brokers receive a “commission” on each mortgage. Realtors receive a commission based on the sale price of a home. This provides an incentive to sell homes for more money, as much as they can possibly be sold for.

Every house that is sold is appraised by a real estate appraiser. Appraisers who do not appraise properties for what the real estate agent and mortgage broker think the property should be sold for will be complained about and fired or laid off.

The VA mortgage system is slightly different. VA appraisers work for the VA and answer only to the VA.

FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Banks, etc, appraisers typically work for appraisal companies, mortgage brokers or they freelance. They are answerable to their customers, mortgage brokers who are paid based on how much the house sells for.

Essentially Mortgage Management built a financial system that depended on the capabilities of the real estate appraisal system and then created a reward system to ensure that the real estate appraisal system would appraise houses for the maximum possible value.

So what happened?

As long as homes were appraising upward nothing happened.

When homes were appraising downward there was a HUGE response time lag based on the reluctance of the people involved to reduce their income.

W. Edward Demming used to say that a failure in quality was always a failure in management. This is true again in this situation. Management failed to properly manage the people actually doing the work that their system of checks and balances rested on.

Is the problem the fault of the appraisers, the real estate agents and the mortgage brokers? NO.

These people did not break the rules. These people learned how to maximize their incomes within the rules and ethics of the mortgage system.

It is not the place of the person doing the actual labor to determine the actions of their labor. It is the job of management to define and direct the actions of workers. Period.

Pure and simple the mortgage industry melt down was caused by a failure of management.

Congress mis-managed the situation by changing the mortgage laws in the 1990's without considering how those changes were going to influence the way the work was being done.

Financial Institution managers mis-managed the situation by not effectively identifying and managing the risks caused by the changes in mortgage rules.

President Clinton lobbied for mortgage reform. It was one of his major accomplishments during his presidency. Both houses were controlled by Republicans at the time.

How could the system have prevented the melt down?

Because the entire mortgage system is predicated on the value of the mortgaged property and the value of that mortgaged property is determined by a real estate appraiser all real estate appraisers should work for the government and be answerable only to government authority.

This will not fully solve the problem because there is a huge emphasis on increasing tax values when property taxes are based on the value of the property.

Property tax laws need to be re-written so that taxes are not based on the value of a property. This way appraisers are not influenced by the need of a community to increase taxes. The other potential solution is to have all property appraisers employees of the Federal Government, however, that creates a situation where the appraisal department has effective control over the entire real estate industry.

With absolute power comes absolute corruption. The best way to limit corruption is to limit power.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The mandatory memory lane trip....

I found some lost memories the other day. Cards and letters, stuff left over from flowers and balloons. Remember answering machines? When I got a particularly good message from a girl friend I tossed the tape in my drawer. One of those old tapes actually worked, a birthday message from a woman I dated named Brenda.

Other stuff I don't even remember what the woman looked like, what her last name was, anything. Some stuff I have vague disjointed memories about.

What amazed me was the flood of “sensory” memories that hit me as I read through things. Smell memories, taste memories, touch memories. Somethings I remember like yesterday. Other things I don't remember at all, not in the slightest.

The ones I do remember, four including my current wife (but not my ex :-), the memories are so real. If I close my eyes I can taste a particular kiss, I can feel my feet caressing an old girlfriends feet as we lay in bed, I can smell the perfume, the scents.

I compare those to the memories I have of my ex-wife. I pitched everything she ever gave me. Even memories of times that should have been good are painful.

It isn't like my ex is the only woman I ever argued with, had a tumultuous relationship with, have painful memories about. She and my father are the only people I just don't want to remember.

Take Brenda, we dated a short time while I was going through a very stressful and difficult time in my life. She dumped me. Good decision under the circumstances, looking back. At the time my life (everything but my career) was coming apart. My career was taking off. Still, even with my career taking off if she had asked me I would have dropped everything to be with her. Very painful memories. Important to me, probably nothing much to her. I can still remember the very last moment I saw her, looking forward to seeing her again and having this horrible, sinking feeling I never would. I remember yelling at her and hanging up on her after she stood me up to dump me.

In that same time period ('94) an old girl friend, Kathie, who used to come around a lot got angry with me and “dumped” me. She really just quit coming around to have sex. We had gotten into a kind of random sex relationship that wasn't very healthy anyway, but, because of the time frame it hurt a lot. She was either married to someone else, dating someone else, who knows. I couldn't keep track. I have great memories of her, and no they are not all sex. She was a great person in a lot of ways.

There was Patty, who I only dated a short time and who I remember so much about. She dumped me too.

These women I remember so much about and even the worst memories with them mean something important to me. Yet, I really don't even want to think about my ex.

Sure, I blame my ex for the death of my oldest. She wanted what she thought of as a “biker” life style and her life turned out like so many women into that kind of idea. She looks like a truck ran over her and dragged her through the woods. Her life is a constant mess of scamming and rip offs.

Patty and I talk and exchange e-mails occasionally. Knowing she is doing well makes me happy. I did an Internet search for Brenda and she looks happy. I didn't bother e-mailing her or trying to get in touch, it is just good to know she is happy. I couldn't track down Kathie (no last name :-), but, I think I found one of her sons on Facebook. He did not turn out any where near the way I thought he would! I hope she is doing well.

Life goes so quickly and I just can't believe how much time has passed. The memories we have of the past, the good things we romanticize and the bad things that cause us pain. It is funny how sometimes we can cherish even painful memories. I remember Patty calling to tell me she didn't want to see me any more, weird, painful. Something I don't want to forget because it has to do with her. I remember the last time I saw Kathie at a theater and how she shot me one of those “if looks could kill” looks that tells you not to walk up and say hi. I wouldn't want to forget even that.

Sure, I know they all don't feel the same way and that's okay. It isn't their lives or memories that I cherish it is my own. The good memories and the bad memories.

I met my wife in '97 and we have been together ever since. Nothing is perfect and I almost left her a couple of times. She has probably considered leaving me. These days that is just the way of things. I hope my wife and I are together for another 13 years. If we break up maybe I will be lucky enough to end up with someone as wonderful as Patty. Maybe I will find someone else to have important memories about.

In the mean time, life goes so fast that by the next time I take a trip down memory road another 16 years will have passed and I will be wondering where that time went.

In the world, not of the world. The world turns and good memories are but a moment away.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Today, tomorrow and yesterday

I met my lost rib, what Aristophanes calls our other half.

When I was young and just out of the Army I began studying ZEN. I meditated a lot and discovered many things about awareness, of those things that people are aware of and of those things that most people who are not aware ignore. Along the way I discovered the One true and Living God. I became a Christian.

During my meditations I had many visions of past lives which confused me as a Christian. Were these real past lives, were they just dreams or fantasies? I prayed and discovered something. It did not really matter and the most important aspect in understanding this was ZEN.

In ZEN there is the awareness of the now. These past memories only detract from awareness of the now. In many ways it is similar to the teaching of Christ in Matthew chapter 6 or in John Chapter 3. Each moment we are reborn into a new moment. This moment is now.

Yet the past does influence our present, our perception of the now, until we release our past.

Our concerns of the future influence our present until we release the future.

Releasing does not mean we are no longer aware of the past or the future.

I had many, many visions of past lives and like most lives they were very boring. Filled with soldiering and farming and being a slave and a sailor.

In one life, circa 600 A.D. I was a commander of a company of soldiers sent out to convert pagans. We came across a pagan temple of Diana and I found my other half, my lost rib. As a good Christian Soldier I worked to convert her and as a Priestess she worked on converting me. There was never any doubt about the outcome, people were either converted or their souls were released to the mercy of God. I helped burn her and the others to death as witches and when we finished I fell on my sword, unable to live without my lost rib.

This set in motion a common thread where my lost rib and I became estranged from each other. I was never really angry at her through the many lives that we did not share. Burning is not the worst you can do to someone, years of imprisonment and torture are, in my opinion, worse and I have visionary memories of both. I don't believe I was ever forgiven, as if I could have prevented or changed the outcome.

I often wonder if people who believe they were born into the wrong body are just people who are reincarnated and unable to accept the present, as if the materialism of their sexuality defines their lives. Can your other half be the born as the same sex? I doubt it, but, then it would not matter since true love transcends sexuality.

In this life we came together and like ships that crash and burn in the night we sank, as we have in so many lives before.

In the now there is my wife of 13 years whom, in spite of many problems, I will not leave easily. Like my other half I commit myself and stay committed. It is not the past or the future that really matters, it is the now and the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others is to be happy with the now and love each other as we love ourselves.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Who was Judas Iscariot and who became the 13th Apostle

Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ.

The New Testament tells us quite often that Judas Iscariot betrayed Christ. Did he? Or were the actions of Judas necessary to ensure the passover sacrifice of Christ?

Judas may have betrayed Christ, the writers of the New Testament books of scripture believed that he did.

Ignoring the conviction of Judas by the writers of the Gospels and looking at the words of Christ, the words of Judas and the actions of both it is possible to come to a different conclusion. That Christ recruited Judas to deliver him, knowing that he would be crucified.

At one time, on a Sabbath day, Christ came into the Temple of Jerusalem. Christ took a whip and attacked people, driving them out of the Temple. Christ was now in Jerusalem at Passover and the Sabbath was coming.

It is very important to understand what a big deal this is. Passover at the Temple in Jerusalem is the most important day in the Jewish Year. It is also the most profitable day of the year. It is important to understand these things because they place the rash actions of the Sanhedrin in context.

The idea of Christ being brought before a trial of the Sanhedrin on a Thursday night during Passover is incredible. Any Orthodox Jew will tell you that this cannot happen. The reality is that it did happen, and it happened because the circumstances were extraordinary, a crazy man was going to disrupt the Passover Sabbath at the Temple of Jerusalem. Even an Orthodox Jew will tell you that it is acceptable to break the rules under extraordinary circumstances.

Christ understood all of these things far more than the disciples did. Christ understood that the Sanhedrin of Herod's Temple in Jerusalem were driven by Greed and Power and that they would do anything to prevent Christ from disrupting the most profitable day of the year. Christ must die before the Sabbath. Christ must never be allowed to disrupt the proceedings at the Temple again.

Christ does not exactly promise that Judas will receive his place as a leader of one of the twelve tribes in Heaven, but, it is implied. In Matthew 19:28 Christ tells us: “...That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” In Luke 22:28-30 Christ tells us: “...28Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. “

Did Christ imply falsely? No, Christ does tell us that " which have followed me...". Does that include Judas? Only Christ knows.

There are those who believe that the eleven left after Christ rose from the grave chose the man known as the “13th Apostle”, Mathias. Christ appointed Paul as an Apostle. In my beliefs Christ is the one who appoints Apostles, not people.

Paul may very well be the one who rules over one of the twelve tribes after the regeneration. Paul may be a response to the eleven thinking they had the right to choose the 13th.

It may be that Judas was just obeying Christ and doing what Christ commanded, Let us look at this a little differently. In Matthew 26 Christ commands Judas that it is Judas who must betray him. In John 13 Christ commands Judas to go and betray him.

The Sanhedrin were not Prophets, they were not directed by God. For the crucifixion to happen God had to deliver Christ to them. Did Christ command Judas or did Christ just allow Judas the opportunity?

Christ told Judas that it would be better for the one who betrays him to have never been born. Can you imagine the enormity of being one of the most hated people on Earth for thousands of years? It is no wonder that when Judas realized what happened and how he was and would be rejected by his friends that he killed himself.

Christ knew that would happen.

So why do I consider this possibility and present it?

One reason and one reason only, because understanding can never be gained through study of the written word. Understanding can only be gained through the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost is only attracted to those with a sincere desire to understand Christ.

When we place faith in the teachings of people, the words of men, our faith cannot be in Christ. If this essay challenged what people have taught you and encouraged you to seek understanding through the Holy Ghost then it has achieved it's purpose.

Christ did the same thing with Parables. Parables force people to Consider, to think, to Pray and to seek understanding through the Holy Ghost.

If you seek understanding through the explanations of people, the words of people, you are not seeking Christ.

Monday, March 29, 2010

phosphatidylserine, cortisol and dopamine

More kewl stuff on PS!

This morning I ggogled:

Phosphatidylserine dopamine site:*.gov

You might try googling:

Phosphatidylserine dopamine site:*.edu

Using the "site:*.edu" returns only educational sites and the site:*.gov returns only government sites.

You can even use Phosphatidylserine dopamine site:* which is the National Institutes of Health.

There is some interesting information coming out on how dopamine, food, exercise and PS interact. The papers make really dry reading, but, it looks like PS has an effect on the way dopamine is handled by the body as well as effecting things like cortisol.

We know PS effects Cortisol levels, in one paper ( the researcher discovered that "Mean peak cortisol concentrations and area under the curve (AUC) were lower following PS (39 ± 1% and 35 ± 0%, respectively) when compared to placebo (p < 0.05). PS increased AUC for testosterone to cortisol ratio (184 ± 5%) when compared to placebo (p < 0.05). PS and placebo supplementation had no effect on lactate or growth hormone levels."

In another paper ( ) the researcher found, "The activity of brain cortex-derived phosphatidylserine (BC-PS) on the neuroendocrine and neurovegetative responses to physical stress was tested in 8 healthy men who underwent three experiments with a bicycle ergometer. According to a double-blind design, before starting the exercise, each subject received intravenously, within 10 min, 50 or 75 mg of BC-PS or a volume-matched placebo diluted in 100 ml of saline. Blood samples were collected before and after the exercise for plasma epinephrine (E), norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), cortisol, growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL) and glucose determinations. Blood pressure and heart rate were also recorded. Physical stress induced a clear-cut increase in plasma E, NE, ACTH, cortisol, GH and PRL, whereas no significant change was observed in plasma DA and glucose. Pretreatment with both 50 and 75 mg BC-PS significantly blunted the ACTH and cortisol responses to physical stress."

It appears that exercise developed dopamine levels were not affected by PS. If we review another study ( we find "Our findings suggest that the benefits of treadmill exercise on motor performance may be accompanied by changes in dopaminergic neurotransmission that are different in the injured (MPTP-lesioned) compared with the noninjured (saline) nigrostriatal system."

So, essentially, when our nervous systems become "injured" dopamine is less likely to be produced by exercise (and probably by eating) which causes people to eat more to gain the same satisfaction levels. It appears that in addition to influencing cortisol levels PS may also help repair damage done to nervous systems which cause the reduced dopamine levels and increased desire for food.

Here is the crux of it all.

There are going to be people (like me) who suffer from mildly high cortisol levels and may have immediate effects from taking PS. Losing 30 pounds in a couple of weeks for example.

There are going to be other people who are over eating because of damaged nervous systems and reduced dopamine output, these people may benefit over time from taking PS.

There is still nothing definite, my suggestion is:

If you are over eating try PS for a year and see if it reduces your desire for food.

If you can't lose weight and you are not over eating, try PS and see if your weight drops immediately.

I plan on ordering from:

But look around constantly for new sources, and watch out for what comes in PS bottles, you want to be careful of overdosing or interactions that can be caused by taking a PS "complex" or "Matrix". Try and find just PS.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

John Ayer's "rules" for wine and life in general because they really are the same thing.

1: learn as much about wine as you want to know, no less and no more.

2: A wine glass is anything clean and handy, including the bottle.

3: Wine tastings are good places to meet people and lousy places to enjoy wine.

4: Wine can enhance and/or ruin the taste of food. Food can enhance or destroy the taste of wine. Decide if you like the combination, AND, do not decide you hate either the food or wine based on the combination. Taste them each by themselves at a time when neither can influence the other before you make a decision.

5: Advice is useful and usually reasonable it does not hurt you to try different things, even if they taste bad or you dislike them. People have different tastes and something that others enjoy you may dislike, somethings that others dislike you may enjoy. The only way you know is to try different things. You may surprise yourself.

6: Ignore anyone who tries to humiliate or ridicule your decisions or your opinion about wine. Only a base, ignorant piece of crap (or someone going through a really bad time) will ridicule you or try to humiliate you.

7: Don't waste your time regretting things you have tried and decided were not good, no matter how much they cost you or the people around you. Life is a learning experience. Dumb people refuse to learn from their mistakes, smart people make mistakes and learn from them and don't repeat them, brilliant people learn from the mistakes of others BUT people are different and sometimes we have to try things for ourselves no matter how smart we are.

8: Only robots always obey the “rules”, including these.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Crushing Competition is the worst thing you can do in business.

The anthropological concept of evolution is that competition between organisms for available resources causes the stronger to survive. Stability is always opposed by competition. When a business achieves stability it will begin to stagnate. If a business crushes the competition it will become stable, stagnate and eventually die. For continuous growth businesses must encourage competition, even when that competition will slow growth or when that competition causes growth that exceeds comfort levels.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Gay Politicians, propaganda and bigotry

I'm not Gay and I don't believe in homosexuality as a life style. I think there must be something wrong with someone who decides, in opposition to cultural bias, to exclude a particular sex from their lives. Personally I think it is a form of bigotry. I also think it is a typically harmless bigotry.

How often am I going to be discriminated against because I do not belong to a sex that someone else wants to have sex with?

The gay people I know don't discriminate against heterosexuals as far as I know, they just choose to have sex with a particular type of person. They are kind of like the guy who only dates women with big boobs, or the woman who only dates guys who are taller than she is.

Now if someone is gay and discriminates against heterosexuals that would have nothing to do with being gay, that has to do with being an asshole. I don’t discriminate against gay people any more than I discriminate against guys who only date women with big boobs.

So why would I care if Roy Ashburn is gay or if he supports gay legislation? Why would I care if Eric Massa walked in on a guy at an in-opportune moment?

Gay politicians double the opportunity for changes of sexual harassment against them. Every scum bag and his kid brother wants control over someone else and using sexual or racist accusations it becomes easy. Plus there are a lot of jerks who hate gay people. Why would I expect anyone to advertise it? I personally don’t care if someone is gay, if they admit it or not.

We need to quit reading or listening to every accusation against someone in the public eye, especially the sex related issues.

A politician is accused of homosexuality because they put a suitcase in front of the door of their stall in the airport bathroom and I am supposed to vote or not vote for them based on that?

So what if there is a homosexual who does not support gay marriage? That does not make him a hypocrite unless he promises to vote for gay marriage and then votes against it, even then it may be a particular bill with particular revisions and not the primary purpose of the bill that the congressperson votes against.

I hate propagandists. I hate people who take advantage of a person’s sexuality to attack them on some moral ground. Morons who write crap expecting me to judge a person’s political viewpoint based on who they have sex with offend me and I believe they should offend everyone else.

Oh, and movies like “Bruno” really suck. They do for the Gay community what Al Jolson and Black Face comedy did for the African American community. I believe those kinds of movies should offend everyone too.