Friday, September 30, 2011

Evolution, Darwin, Anthropology and ignorance

I was on a message board once and some ignorant person told me that they had a bachelors of science in evolution.

I almost fell out of my easy chair laughing. I pointed out that no one even gives classes in evolution much less degrees. The theory of evolution grew out of the study of anthropology.

Darwin's doctorate was in a field called "Natural History". I doubt if anyone actually gives degrees in this field anymore. Natural History was a combination of Biology, Environmental Science and Anthropology. Essentially, if you studied the world outside of your door you were studying Natural History. Today the closest thing to what Darwin studied is a BS science course typically taken by people getting a liberal arts degree called "life sciences" or something like that.

Darwin's field of study was very broad and this is one of the reasons he was able to develop a theory that was acceptable to the scientific community.

Darwin did not invent the idea of evolution. That idea had been around for at least hundreds and probably thousands of years.

Darwin presented a well written theory at a time when the world scientific and educational communities were willing to listen to it.

Evolution of humans is not a fact, it is a theory with a solid foundation in scientific evidence.

There are examples of mutations of "species" occurring and then dominating over previous "species" in lesser forms of cellular life. These experiments support the probability of evolution out in the natural world.

The current heated debate between evolution and creationism, religion and atheism gives the world an opportunity to see the destructiveness of closed minded thought.

Recently a teacher began punishing students for saying "God Bless You" because, he claimed, that in the past people believed that sneezing expelled evil spirits from the body and since we "know" that sneezing is not caused by a person expelling evil spirits from their body the use of blessing is "wrong".

First, we do not know any such thing. There is a large body of scientific evidence for the causes of sneezes. There is no evidence and no way to prove that a sneeze is never caused by a body attempting to expel evil spirits.

The very idea that we can dismiss a possibility as ridiculous is a rejection of the scientific method.

Understand this. The rejection of any potential possibility from consideration because of personal beliefs is a rejection of the scientific method.

Does that mean we should invest a great deal of time and money into experimentation surrounding the theory that sneezing is caused by the body attempting to expel evil spirits? Not in my opinion.

The theory of evolution was ridiculed and dismissed by many scientists and scholars based on belief systems.

Instead of learning from our human history of the rejection of theories based on belief structures this world has turned once again to the rejection of theories based on belief structures.

Is there any evidence evil spirits do not exist?

The answer is no.

Using the scientific method evil spirits causing sneezes must be considered as a possibility. Based on the difficulty in proving the theory of evil spirits causing sneezes I suggest giving this cause and effect study an extremely low priority.

That does not mean that eventually someone will not eventually prove that evil spirits do cause sneezes. It means that I am not going to study the subject at this time.

There is ALWAYS a belief within the "educated" community that they completely understand all of the potential variables.

We don't and that is why we can't dismiss evil spirits as the cause of some sneezes.

This is also why we can't raise the theory of evolution from a theory to a fact. We did not observe and document the evolution of man so we can only theorize based on variables that we currently understand.

Understanding that we, as a species, are always ignorant of some of the potential variables that are influencing the outcome is one of the most important features of the scientific method.

Yes, we attempt to create very stringent experiments in which all variables are documented and controlled. Sometimes these experiments are not reproducible and this leads us to understand that we have failed to document and/or control a variable. Our experimentation has resulted in the discovery of a previously unknown, to the experimenter, variable.

What happens when we have reproduced an experiment a hundred times and suddenly the experiment will not reproduce? Once again we have discovered an uncontrolled variable that was undocumented and had not coincidentally not changed in the previous one hundred experiments. Does that happen? Yes, occasionally.

There are two main foundations theoretical to the scientific method. Don't reject a possibility. Don't ever assume you completely understand all the variables.

In the world of investment where we invest time and money in experimentation because we do not have limitless resources decisions must be made to direct available resources to those experiments most likely, in the researchers mind, to produce results.

The balance between pure science and available resources.

In the middle or "dark" ages between about 800 A.D. and 1400 A.D. the Catholic Church was the primary source of funding for educational research and the primary publisher.

There were some rich "patrons" who were fascinated by specific areas of research. Typically these people were heavily invested with the Church because the Catholic Church was the strongest political body in Europe during this time.

When the printing press was invented people like Galileo could go to a printing house and have their research papers printed. Prior the to development of the printing press papers were published by scribes sitting at desks and these scribes typically worked for the Catholic Church.

Just an FYI, the "entire world" was not influenced by the "dark ages", just Europe and not even all of Europe at that.

The Catholic Church ridiculed research that conflicted with their beliefs, which is exactly the same thing this teacher who is punishing students for saying "God Bless You" is doing.

Our species has refused to learn from previous mistakes, rejects the scientific method and continues to suppress ideas based on personal belief systems.

DNA. Fact right? Nope. DNA is a theory. Essentially many experiments were done, not all were documented, not all documented were successful, and the preponderance of evidence suggests that each person has an individual DNA, blah, blah, blah.

Sounds pretty "iffy" right? The theory behind DNA is not quite as "iffy" as I make it sound even though everything I said is true.

The problem is that none of these experiments were done on thousands of people. These experiments were conducted on "statistically significant" samples and generated a statistical profile.

I won't get into statistics right now, except to say that the math behind statistics is very, very good and very, very accurate. It is not "perfect".

So what should we do to make sure the statistical experimentation matches real world results so we can identify potentially undocumented and uncontrolled variables.

We need to have a really huge data base filled with DNA and physical characteristic information and then we look for "flyers". Flyers are data that does not match the statistical predictions.

None of those in DNA, right? Wrong. Evidence suggests that there are. You can research it on the web if you want.

The potential problem with DNA is not the experimentation conducted. The potential problem with DNA is not the statistical math. The problem is that experimental sample sizes are very small when compared to a world population of billions of people.

In the legal community DNA theory has become a legal fact. Probability is that it should be a "legal fact". Probability. Not certainty.

People have a bad habit of being "certain" about things. Lawyers especially demand "certainty".

The more certain people are that they are correct the more I question the basis for their ideas.

A teacher suppressing religion is every bit as evil as a priest suppressing educational research.

In reality "anything is possible" even though very few things are probable.

The greatest tool we have against ignorance is refusing to suppress possibilities based on our beliefs.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Directed Energy Weapons and 9/11

There is a lot of crap out on the Internet about how a Directed Energy Weapon was used to take out Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

Is it possible? Yes.

Is it likely? No.

We have been aware that High Energy Radio Frequency is capable of disrupting the electronics on aircraft for many years. Military aircraft are built with protections against attacks from both High and Low Energy Radio Frequency interference. Commercial aircraft are susceptible to attacks by Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) such as a High Energy Radio Frequency (HERF) system.

Lets suppose that the military had developed an accurate HERF DEW and installed it in a large number of fighter jets used exclusively to protect the skies of the United States against terrorist attacks by commercial airliners.

Not very likely. Before 9-11 using a commercial airliner to crash into a building was a fictional creation used by Tom Clancy. It was not something seriously considered by agencies involved in protecting the United States from terrorism.

Okay, so there were not large numbers of fighter jets with equipment designed to destroy private or commercial aircraft installed.

Maybe there were just a few in Washington D.C that could be used to protect against small “airplane” bombs?

This is something I also doubt. Sure, airplane bombs are popular in fiction. As far as I know no small plane has ever been turned into a bomb and used in a terrorist attack. None.

What happens when someone crashes a small private plane into a house? Not much as it turns out. Maybe a fire. Maybe. What happens when someone crashes a small plane into a commercial building? Even less. What happens when someone crashes a small plane into a hardened government building? You get the idea, even less.

I won't get into the possibilities here and how damage occurs.

What matters here is that governments are typically reactive. It isn't a problem unless it becomes a problem. Typically democratic governments do not respond to reality, they respond to voter perceptions. It isn't a problem until voters believe it is a problem.

People don't care about guns until they watch a bunch of movies with people shooting each other up with guns and then a bunch of propagandists tell them guns are really dangerous. Once people are afraid they typically react with anger and make a bunch of demands.

So the process is, something happens, people perceive a threat to their safety, people become angry and people demand something be done. If the people are voters and there are enough of them the government reacts and makes a law.

The point is nothing is done until something is perceived as a problem.

Maybe the military did perceive of airplanes being used as bombs. Maybe the military decided Washington D.C. was the primary potential target of airplane bombs. Maybe a DEW like a HERF system was installed in a few fighter jets in the D.C. area. Maybe one of these took down flight 93. Maybe no one told anyone because they were afraid of the political fallout so they made the people on flight 93 a bunch of heroes.

Probably not.

Improvised Explosives were being used in Bosnia, Africa and the Middle East for years before the United States went into Afghanistan and Iraq. The military prepared really well for those. I doubt if they did any better with airplane bombs.

Maybe a bunch of politicians or the Secret Service demanded that the military prepare for private or commercial aircraft used as plane bombs? Really? You think some politician who had been involved in getting ready for this kind of attack wouldn't have been very vocal about it after 9-11?

Maybe the Secret Service decided they might not have enough time to move the president away from an attack by a plane bomb and felt the best option was to rely on the military for taking out those kinds of threats. Having met a secret service agent once I don't think those guys would turn over any kind of responsibility to anyone.

Do you see how many “ifs” and “maybes” that is? Do you see how many inconsistencies in behavior have to be accounted for?

Can you imagine how many people would have to keep their mouths shut to keep a conspiracy like that quiet?

I know the 9-11 “the government brought down the towers” nut cases think a conspiracy like that can be kept quiet. I don't think so. A conspiracy like bringing down the towers or shooting down Flight 93 would take so many people that it would be impossible to keep quiet. Look how many secrets the US government has had leak.

Would any politician or government official take the chance on a secret like that leaking? Not a chance. The probability is that once some scumbag politician heard of the conspiracy they would leak it and make themselves into a hero.

I would have to believe that the United States government was capable of making accurate predictions and keeping secrets far better than their track record leads me to believe they are for me to believe in these kinds of conspiracy.

Sure NASA has done some amazing large group project management. Secrecy is typically minimal and these projects do not require prophetic predictions.

Small groups are capable of predicting future events with some accuracy. Small groups are capable of secrecy. The bigger the deal, the more secrecy and the more prophetic qualities required the less likely it is to happen.

I just don't think of the United States government as being competent enough at prediction and secrecy to do anything like these conspiracies.

The corrupt US legal system

The legal system in the United States is about as corrupt as a legal system can be. I don't mean that people are constantly being paid off although I am sure that happens as often in the United States as it happens anywhere else. In the United States and in other nations there are networks of connected people that influence the outcome of the legal system of their nation.

It could be something as simple as a defense attorney talking a defendant into pleading guilty because the defense attorney does not want to take the time to go to trial or does not want to spend time that will be not be paid for defending a client that the attorney believes is probably guilty.

Many people, including attorneys, believe that if a person is arrested by the police they are guilty regardless of the legal “presumption of innocence”.

Quite often cops will say something like “not getting an arrest or a conviction does not mean we don't know who did it, it means we couldn't prove it”. This indicates a publicly declared corruption of the ideals of the law enforcement portion of our legal system. Instead of a presumption of innocence until proved guilty in a court of law many law enforcement officers are declaring a presumption of guilt exists which is a corruption of the US legal system.

Currently a person is arrested and if that person does not plead guilty a trial is scheduled, typically in front of a jury.

Why does the jury have to be present at the trial? The US constitution promises a trial by jury and not a trial in front of a jury.

Judges and attorneys preform in front of juries. Juries do not decide verdicts based on facts or evidence they decide verdicts based on presentation and performance skills.

A trial could happen in front of a judge without a jury present.

Once concluded a jury could be selected and the trial transcripts given to them and also read to them, preferably by a computer without any vocal bias. Before the jury even sees the evidence any appeals based on a judges ruling on evidence could be completed. All statements that are not appropriate witness statements could be removed from the transcript. The jury verdict would be decided on the final evidence presented alone.

No deals. Every arrest results in a trial by jury. The amount of time the jury is in session could be minimized. A representative of the judge could be available to answer jury questions and provide anything a jury needs or wants.

Juries should be selected from outside of the community where the crime occurred. If a crime has received national attention a jury could be selected from a co-operating international partner nation. Since the jury never actually sees the defendant or the lawyers involved the judgment becomes more objective and less subjective.

The United States won't do anything like this. It would reduce the potential for corruption in a system that enjoys being corrupted.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

blasphemy, abortion and sexuality

I came across an interesting jewel of an article. The original was mentioned in a piece about “blaspheme”, which I of course found both ignorant and hilarious. The article was by a Reverend Matthew Westfox who is the Director of Interfaith Outreach, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The article is entitled Resurrecting Pro-Life.

The article itself is pretty interesting and there are two lines that essentially sums up how I feel about the subject: “To live is to use our God-given conscience and power of moral decision- making. It is to act as a truly free person with control over one’s own body, sexuality, and reproduction.” Check it out here:

The articles I read attacking the Rev for blasphemy and being “… a mouthpiece for the culture of death” all took the position that God has given us the right to judge people. The catholic church places quite a bit of importance on a New Testament passage giving Peter the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 16:19
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Yeah, well, I can read. Please notice that this passage tells us that those Peter binds will be bound IN Heaven? Shall be loosed IN Heaven?

So what does bound mean? The definition is pretty interesting. I grabbed this from

δέω,v \{deh'-o}
1) to bind tie, fasten 1a) to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains 1b) metaph. 1b1) Satan is said to bind a woman bent together by means of a demon, as his messenger, taking possession of the woman and preventing her from standing upright 1b2) to bind, put under obligation, of the law, duty etc. 1b2a) to be bound to one, a wife, a husband 1b3) to forbid, prohibit, declare to be illicit

So what does “loose” mean?

λύω,v \{loo'-o}
1) to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened 1a) bandages of the feet, the shoes, 1b) of a husband and wife joined together by the bond of matrimony 1c) of a single man, whether he has already had a wife or has not yet married 2) to loose one bound, i.e. to unbind, release from bonds, set free 2a) of one bound up (swathed in bandages) 2b) bound with chains (a prisoner), discharge from prison, let go 3) to loosen, undo, dissolve, anything bound, tied, or compacted together 3a) an assembly, i.e. to dismiss, break up 3b) laws, as having a binding force, are likened to bonds 3c) to annul, subvert 3d) to do away with, to deprive of authority, whether by precept or act 3e) to declare unlawful 3f) to loose what is compacted or built together, to break up, demolish, destroy 3g) to dissolve something coherent into parts, to destroy 3h) metaph., to overthrow, to do away with

Now just maybe if this verse said “loosed from Heaven” I could believe that Peter has the right to decide who is in Heaven and who is outside of Heaven.

Here is that word in Greek:

ἐν,p \{en}
1) in, by, with etc.

Yep, pretty clear, in Heaven. Not outside of Heaven.

So what does it mean to be bound or loosed in Heaven? No clue. My point is only that scripture does not agree with the interpretation that Peter can keep people out of Heaven. Peter can only loose or bind people IN heaven.

The entire philosophy of excommunication is built on this one passage. Pretty lame huh?

So who decides if someone actually can get into Heaven? If you read the New Testament it is pretty clear that the judge is Christ.

What does Christ want us to do? There are essentially two passages that summarize this. The first is that people who love Christ do as he tells them to do. The second is in the second is in the parable of the rich young man where Christ tells us what to do to achieve heaven. Christ tells us:

Luke 18:
18And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Okay, so here we have a roadmap of how to get into Heaven. Anything else? Sure, In John 14 there is a passage I like that reiterates Luke 18:22.

John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.

What are Christ’s commandments? I am sure that all of us are well acquainted with some of them. “Let he who has no sin throw the first stone”, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” I kind of like the last one, Judge Not. Pretty simple command.

Is witnessing the same as judging? Aren’t I judging when I say that an article is “both ignorant and hilarious”? Lets see.

Ignorant means uneducated, not necessarily completely without education. A person can be ignorant about a subject or can be ignorant about some of the details around a subject. If someone says something like “You are wrong when you say cortisol is not caused by fear” when you have said no such thing the person is ignorant about what has been said. If the words were written and obviously say no such thing the person making the false statement must be illiterate and have difficulty comprehending what has been written.

There isn’t anything wrong with ignorance or illiteracy. In my opinion problems occur when people claim they are literate and educated and not only are not literate and educated they are too stupid to know how uneducated and illiterate they are.

There is some ambiguity in people’s opinion on what Christ means by following the commandments. Not for me, but for some. There are 613 Mizvot or commandments listed at Traditionally there are 615 commandments, but, either or is okay for the purposes of this discussion. If Christ has not released us from the Old Testament commandments (law) than Christians sin eating pork. If Christians are released than we sin trying to force others to obey some of these and not all of these commandments.

Be that as it may the commandment on abortion in Exodus 21:22 never found its way into the “law” or Mizvot.

Exodus 21:22
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

Some people will claim that God defines abortion as murder when here we have a law written by Moses, from God, about abortion that does not tell us abortion is murder. In fact, unless “mischief follow” the abortion there is no mandatory punishment for abortion.

Personally I think it is pretty ignorant to believe that Christians are bound by the Mizvot. I could deal with the whole reading comprehension issue concerning Christianity and being released from the law, but, this blog would be so long no one would ever read it. (not that anyone will anyway )

So when I witness that someone is ignorant about something I am not using a descriptive term I am using a factual term no matter how often people use the term ignorant as a descriptor. Since the word is not a descriptor, it is only used as a descriptor by people ignorant of its meaning; I am not making a judgment. I am making a statement of fact.

Using basic logic God must be pro-choice.

God invented choice. God gave people the ability to choose. God must want people to use that ability even if God would like us to make specific choices which God, with the help of scribes and prophets, has outlined in various religious texts. God does not force a specific choice on us. God respects us enough to make our own choices.

I don’t believe abortion is an appropriate choice. God made a rule, God must know there is something wrong with it even if it isn’t murder.

I don’t believe homosexuality is an appropriate choice. God made rules, God must know there is something wrong with it. Personally I think God does not want people defining their lives physically or materialistically. Focusing on the physical or material takes the focus away from the spiritual. I think this is why Paul suggested Christians should not marry and if we are married we should be husband and wife focusing on God’s plan physical plan rather than our own physical desires.

Do I have the right or the responsibility to force my ideology down anyone else’s throat? No. I have a responsibility to witness the Good News of Christ and the Forgiveness of Sin which has been revealed to me through my Lord and Savior, Christ.

A person can’t witness a belief. A person can explain a belief. A person can’t teach something they have experienced. A person can witness an experience.

Christ did not charge his followers to judge people and then accept them IF they were ok and condemn them if they were sinners. Christ told us everyone is evil, “..if you, being evil..”. As we have read even Paul having the keys to heaven can’t keep sinners out of heaven.

In my opinion Paul told people who were suffering doubt to stick with people of strong beliefs. Those whose faith went beyond belief into experience are charged by Christ to witness the truth of that experience throughout the world, to everyone.

Witnessing is done by consent, not by force. If someone is not interested Christ tells us to walk away and shake the dust from our feet. Witness in love and respect.

When should we witness in sarcasm?

In my opinion Christ used a lot of sarcasm. My favorite example is when he told a bunch of religious leaders that he did not come to teach the righteous, only the sinners, and then told people that everyone is a sinner. No one is good. If that isn’t a carefully worded, sarcastic response to someone who is ignorant and thinks they have a clue I don’t know what is.

One of the things I am sure of is that Christ laughed, mostly at himself I am sure. I am also sure that he laughed at other people, hopefully with them as well. Sometimes people take themselves so seriously they can’t laugh at their own ignorance or imperfections. Sometimes people spend their whole lives putting others down,

My daughter was laughing about how bad the makeup on a woman who was talking about being a cosmetologist was. My daughter can talk for hours about coloration and face structure and about hard it would be to become a serious cosmetologist because there is so much to learn about chemistry and anatomy and lighting and coloration. Some people think of cosmetologists as “low level” technicians. Personally, I am ignorant about the subject.

The people who called this reverend blasphemous are ignorant also. Not because they disagree with the reverend. Because they present their opinions as if their word, their understanding, their opinion is God’s law.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cultural rules and reactions

Some of the mystifying things in life are cultural rules. What to wear, how to behave, who to hang with.

One time my wife and I were on a water ride with a couple of older friends who were gay. They took their shirts off and had nipple piercings with thick hoops. My wife and everyone else in the "boat" was disgusted. Not my thing, but, I didn't care.

When we left the ride they were asked to put their shirts on because people didn't like looking at the nipple rings. People felt uncomfortable around them.

When we lived in South Haven Michigan there was a guy who used to mow his lawn wearing panties, a see through skirt and a pink bustier. People didn't like it, but, he wasn't arrested the way he was when he mowed the lawn in a g-string.

Obscenity can't be defined but "we know it when we see it". Hardly. Social conventions change with time and location. Some people say that this defines acceptability for any person at any point in time. It's just a way of saying that there is no cultural standard. People make up their own minds.

People will behave the way they behave and sometimes we have to address their behavior. Over the years I developed simple rules based on experience.

A long time ago a friend and I were talking about how people treated us when we wore our leather jackets. It used to bug me when people treated me badly because they were afraid and intimidated by my size and my clothes. He told me that the leather jacket was a useful tool for identifying bigoted, frightened morons that you should stay away from.

Later his friendship almost got me killed and that made me angry at him, it shouldn't have. Back then I still associated with people who saw being gay as a weakness to be exploited. Having him as a friend put me in a situation where someone thought they could threaten me with a gun. I didn't even know people thought he swung both ways. I don't know if he did. I received a good chunk of income from these associates and I could not afford to place that in danger or take the chance on being killed or killing someone so I got angry at my friend. Stupid.

He is a good guy. My relationship with him was interpreted as making me vulnerable and I could not afford that. It put me in a difficult situation and I reacted with anger. Stupid.

"Long Haired, hippie type pinko fags" as Charlie Daniels called them on his hit record "uneasy rider" were offensive in the sixties and early seventies. Now people look at people dressed like that and see them differently.

Over the years I have been targeted by hatred and prejudice for wearing biker leathers and carrying my helmet. One college professor yelled at me for looking at her "wrong".

Depending on how you dress and where you are at people will react differently.

After years I have come up with a set of basic standards I believe are pretty good no matter what culture I am in.

These rules work abut 70% of the time and have to adapted on the fly the other 30%.

People who live their lives in fear are easily intimidated and react to their fear with anger towards the object they are afraid of.

People who have strict cultural standards are often disgusted by others and react with abhorrence toward people who disgust them.

Bigots ridicule those they hate.

Sarcasm can be intended as intellectual humor or personal ridicule, usually it is a form of humor and it usually means the person wants to interact.

Then there is acceptance. People smile, they make eye contact or do not react at all. Making eye contact is typically, not always, an invitation to intimacy (Not necessarily physical intimacy).

How do we respond to these behaviors?

If people react to you with anger, pity them. They live their lives in fear. Avoid them if possible. Change your dress and behavior to something consistent with theirs if you can't.

Anger reactions do not always indicate fear, they can indicate frustration or hatred or a combination of all of the above. You may want to give people who are angry second chances depending.

If people react to you with disgust you are probably insulting their cultural values. If they are important for business or personal reasons change your dress and/or behavior. If they are not, avoid them.

If people make eye contact talk to them, or not as you please. I typically talk to them because I like people. If I enjoy talking I talk some more. If we talk enough the intimacy progresses. Do not make eye contact with bigots filled with anger and hatred. It is a good way to die.

Ridicule is very bad. Teasing and sarcasm are not necessarily ridicule but it can be difficult to tell the difference. Most of the rest of this blog is about ridicule and hatred, identifying them and reacting to them.

If people ridicule you, pity them, leave quickly or react violently and instantly.

Ridicule is very bad. If they assault you by touching you in any way, defend yourself and kick the crap out of them. They are moronic bigots and deserve what they get.

Teasing and sarcasm are not necessarily ridicule but it can be difficult to tell the difference. When in doubt see the situation as ridicule, leave or react violently. If you react violently and the person is freaked out they were not ridiculing you, it was intended as sarcasm or teasing in an attempt to socialize.

Some people think of teasing as ridicule. The big difference to me is hurt and humiliation. If it is humiliating or hurtful it is ridicule. Bullying, use of intimidation, ridicule all of these things are designed to hurt people emotionally and physically and are encompassed by ridicule.

Some people who live in fear will think they just "scared off a bully" by getting angry/violent or maybe they think they became the "alpha" in the pair.

That is sometimes true only in extreme situations or cultures where violence is important. In circumstances where violence is not important it just delineates people into different isolationist groups or cliques. It is just another form of ridicule.

Cops use ridicule, humiliation, intimidation, lying without regard. Typically they feel justified because they believe the person they are ridiculing is a "bad person" the same way bigots think of those they hate as "bad people". Ridicule is always derived from hatred and always escalates into violence of some kind. This is why law enforcement uses weapons.

If a cop starts with any kind of intimidation, ridicule or humiliation ask for an attorney and refuse to talk. Ignore the cop no matter what lies they tell. Requesting an attorney does not make a person guilty.

People can't do this in schools or prisons. People in schools and prisons are at the ambivalence of the administration. Administration does not care and only becomes involved in violence or pre-violence ridicule if it becomes a problem to them, say the janitor has to clean up the blood or something is interrupted. Administration will always take the easiest action which is to do nothing, unless they have a problem like hating someone involved because of their race, religion, politics, dress code, haircut, etc.

Administrations in schools and prisons will not protect anyone except the administration of these institutions.

If you can't beat them, live with the beating. Joining those whose lives are defined by hate is never an option no matter how they justify their hatred.

Bigots can not accept people for who they are and will always escalate until they think they have put down those they hate. Then they will back off when they feel they have proved to themselves the hated ones are nothing, until the hated ones cross their paths again and then will reassert their "superiority" fantasy.

Bigoted people always react the same way, over and over. It becomes easy to identify.

While ridicule always identifies bigotry, sarcasm and teasing do not. Some will disagree with my definitions. This is my blog and I am not getting hung up on other people's semantics.

"you are a moron" is ridicule. "I just love the way you left the toilet paper hanging out of the back of your pants" is sarcasm or teasing. "yes indeed, aliens dropped this notebook here and I picked it up." is teasing.

If people intend to hurt someone it is always driven by hatred. If people are trying to encourage others think differently it is sarcasm or teasing.

Hatred is not caused by fear. Hatred is its own emotion. hatred can be a desire to live only with a particular kind of acceptable people. Hatred can be a fear of a particular kind of people.

Wanting one thing is not the same as not wanting something else.

Different groups and different people define "success" differently and someone who believes themselves to be an "alpha" through ridicule or violence to an attempted socialization will typically be considered a loser by the other or others. Think of the "jocks" or "socials" versus the "greasers" or "geeks". Very different ideas of what defines success or greatness.

Ridicule is always associated with hatred and violence and quickly escalates into some form of touching, even "tender" touching. If you are not sure if it is ridicule, wait for the touch and then react or leave, although by then it can be too late. Access the situation, can you defeat the group, is there a way to create distance quickly?

A non-violent option is to leave. I find most of these scumbags seem to think that retreat gives them some kind of territorial ownership. If you don't care about where you are at, leaving is fine although it can leave you open to future escalation if they are again in proximity. Once they have decided someone is weak and that someone is within their influence bigots will not stop no matter what.

With ridicule the behavior is pretty standard.

After verbally ridiculing there is touch. Typically the first touch is some kind of mild or "tender" thing, then the scum bags escalate into rougher and rougher behavior building up to a violent assault. I have seen this in groups of children, gay men, gang bangers and other groups of people. Yes, even groups of gay men escalate into violence based on whatever bigotry a particular group may have adopted. One of the first things many kids learn is hatred, either from their peers or parents. A Child Protective Services worker once touched me and I knew he would escalate further, he did.

How can you tell if a law enforcement agent, like CPS, is a bigot? Do they lie to a judge or in a report? It may not be proved but once it happens it is known. Get a great lawyer or get screwed. There is no justice without money and who can call that justice?

Ignoring ridicule is a good way to die.

React to the first ridicule by either leaving quickly or reacting very violently and your chances of survival increase.

If there is a group and you try and stand your ground you are probably dead meat.

When you run into ridicule it is always mindless hatred. Escalate immediately or leave quickly, and I mean as fast as possible. Who cares if they think you are a coward. Unless you can't get away from them, unless you are in school or prison leave. If you are try to escape. Many kids drop out of school to escape ridicule and stupidity.

When retreat is not an option and you can't win you can try to survive it and then live with it.

Living with assault can be difficult and many people have expressed regret over not fighting. Don't waste your time with regrets. Regrets are typically caused by bourgeois social BS. Learn from your decision and live with it. Period. The injured can try to destroy those who ridicule them, shiv someone in a prison or shoot up a school or they can commit suicide. Typically this just creates more problems.

Leaving can be a few feet or a few million miles. It depends on the circumstances and the group behavior. When in doubt increase the distance.

Sometimes the bigot will stalk you after you leave them. Bigots are like that. If the bigot chases you down it leaves you very little choice. You can try complaining to law enforcement unless it is law enforcement. You can try spending money on lawyers and guards if you have it. You can deal with the assault. You can kill them. No good choices.

Sometimes attacking or killing those responsible after an assault can improve the situation although usually it does not improve things for the assaulted person. People who hate others and ridicule them depend on administration to support their activities and it usually does. Cops arrest a person that a group attacks. A kid treated badly in school is treated badly by administration. Prisons administrations behaves the same way.

People treated badly by others are "wrong", people who treat others badly are "right". There are exceptions, but, those are rare in spite of all the politically correct hyperbole. Typically political change is just changing who is hated by the bigots.

Some people, typically people who ridicule others, will say this isn't true.

It is universally true. Bigots always hurt those they hate and they will gladly escalate to violence given an opportunity. Bigots want to see those they hate hurt.

People using sarcasm or teasing intended to develop socialization will not progress to touching or violence and will typically leave if ignored.

Touching without ridicule, sarcasm or teasing may be weird and could escalate molestation but it is generally not caused by hatred and it is not generally a reason to react with immediate violence. If someone feels uncomfortable a firm "No" usually puts a stop to the problem, if it doesn't leave or attack.

People using sarcasm or teasing or ridicule to hurt will always touch. Bigots typically love using touch to display what they perceive as their superiority.

There maybe a small minority of situations where people trying to socialize will touch, but, typically in the United States people do not touch each other before establishing some kind of relationship.

When my kids were little I gave them three steps to take when someone bothered them. 1: Ignore the person bothering them. 2: Tell someone in authority. 3: Attack if the first two have not solved the problem. If the person bothering you will not allow you access to someone in authority, Attack.

I never expected anyone in authority to react to my kids complaints, but, I wanted my kids aware of the authoritarian hierarchy and be able to work within it. Besides, someone wins the lottery occasionally and maybe someone in authority would do something. It could happen.

What about when people don't react any of these ways? Typically you can keep doing whatever you are doing, but, be aware of the people around you, how they behave and interact.

The majority does not define cultural norms or success. Individuals define their own behavior and their own idea of success.

Individuals will then seek out groups and introduce a group hierarchy focusing on a dynamic group definition of normal behavior and success. Individuals may use a group dynamic to modify their definition of success.

People will come and go in any group depending on how attractive to others the group behavior, group socialization and definition of and work towards success is. Some people will focus on the hierarchy and others focus on group goals, still others on socialization within the various groups they belong. Focus changes dynamically as people learn and develop. As the dynamic changes the people change.

The bottom line is particular behaviors will attract different people. If you don't like the people you are attracting change your dress and behavior.

Sounds simple, it really isn't. Behavior becomes habit based and habits are hard to change.

Watch the groups of people you want to associate with and change your behavior to mimic theirs or just be yourself and see who you attract.

No one owns us or defines our lives. We define our own lives.

Its your life, change it was much as you want to.

Calories in Sushi

There is a lot of crap out there about how many calories are in a piece of sushi. There are a million kinds of sushi and trying to say "A piece of sushi is 70 calories" which is just okay, but not very accurate.

Sushi is one of my favorite foods. If I am down I can get a buzz eating a few pieces of Hotate. I have spent $80 bucks on lunch just for myself which is not much.

I typically tip 30% to 50% at a sushi restaurant Figure my highest sushi bill is about $60. A piece of nigiri runs $3 to $8 bucks depending on what you eat so 20 pieces of Yellow Fin could run $60 bucks easily. 10 pieces of giant clam or giant scallop could run over $60.

My favorite sushi place has a special on $1 nigiri and I have no idea how they stay in business selling that cheap. I typically tip 100% there.

I watch my calories so I had to learn how to estimate sushi calories in order to eat one of my favorite foods.

Lets tackle Sashimi Sushi first.

Sashimi Sushi is a slice of fish that weighs about 14 grams or about a half ounce.

Suppose you look up how many calories are in a serving of Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi Sushi. At we find there are 112 calories in a serving of Yellow Fin Sashimi Sushi. WOW.

Wrong. The serving size listed is 112 grams which is 8 pieces of Sashimi Sushi each weighing 14 grams. That means each piece of fish is only 14 calories.

Now suppose you have some Yellow Tail Sashimi Sushi (Hamachi) which has more fat than Yellow Fin. The calories are 165 for 112 grams, 8 pieces. How many calories is that? Divide 165 by 8 and we get 21.

Mackerel runs about 20 calories a serving. Sea Bass about 14. Salmon is really fatty and runs about 24 calories per piece of Sashimi Sushi.

How about Nigiri Sushi?

Nigiri Sushi is a ball of rice with a piece of Sashimi Sushi on top of it.

The ball of rice weighs about 1 ounce and according to there are 37 calories in a one ounce ball of sushi rice. lists sushi rice as being about 32 calories per ounce. 169 calories divided by 146 grams times 28 grams in a dry ounce. I cup of sushi rice weighs about 5 ounces.

I like rounding things to their nearest 5 when estimating.

You may not round, You may want more exact numbers. Use a scale. Weigh things out. The guides do not publish the standard deviation of caloric energy per weight of food so drive your self nuts trying to be exact without information on the variability.

If we use 40 for a rice ball and 20 to 25 calories for a piece of nigiri we are probably pretty close. We could use 35 and 20 and would be just as close.

I typically use 60-65 calories for a piece of nigiri depending on what kind it is. My usual 10 pieces of nigiri runs about 600 calories.

Hotate-gai is my favorite. Raw giant scallop. One piece of Sashimi Sushi runs about 13 calories. A ball of rice 35-40 calories so Scallop Nigiri runs between 48 and 53 calories. calls it 56 calories per piece.

How about Maki Rolls?

Now there is a kick in the pants. Rolls are all different sizes and have different stuff in them.

The only way to know is to get some of your favorite rolls and weigh them on a scale.

Typically a roll weighs in at about 6 to 8 ounces or between 168 grams and 224 grams. Most of that is rice.

1 sheet of Nori, the pressed seaweed used to make sushi, runs 10 calories. Typically you get about 1 ounce or 28 grams of fish. The vegetables like cucumber and carrot are probably around the same. Avacado, cream cheese and mayonnaise used in "California" and spicy rolls can add a lot of calories and truthfully calories between different brands of mayonnaise vary so much it can be hard to determine the actual amount of calories as well as the amount of mayonnaise used by the individual sushi chef.

I use 300 calories for a "roll" which can be 6 or 8 pieces about 1 1/4" (30mm) in diameter and around 224 grams or 8 ounces in weight. Then I estimate based on my experience with my scale. I typically use about 35 calories per ounce for rolls. You can use 40 or 30 and be pretty close.

If you surf the web you will find calories for California rolls varying from 200 to 400 per roll because the variation in rolls is so great.

California rolls are made with cooked, pressed fish that is colored and flavored to seem like crab. Some restaurants will serve "fake crab" California rolls and "real" crab California rolls. Some of thee may actually serve real crab. Most don't.

I had the surprise of my life about 10 years ago watching a sushi chef at one of my favorite places make "real" crab sushi mix with fake crab. The chef explained that 99.9% of the people couldn't tell the difference and the work involved with purchasing and breaking down fresh crab would increase the cost to about 5 times that of fake crab sushi rolls. the chef has to get the crabs, break them apart extracting the meat and then mix the crab salad or just chop up the fake crab salad.

Whole crab runs 3-4 bucks a pound and the chef has anywhere from a 10% to a 25% yield. Crab meat can run between $15 and $50 bucks depending on what the chef purchases and do you really want to think about eating the cheapest crab meat there is in sushi? Maybe you do.

Just the 1 ounce of real crab costs a minimum of $1 and a maximum of about $5 an ounce (non-salad Fresh Alaskan King crab from the legs, $20 a pound, 25% yield).

1 ounce of imitation crab runs about 20 cents.

Prep time for the salad runs about 15 minutes and sushi chefs make between 40K and 80K. $5 bucks an hour is $10K a year so between $20 and $40 an hour so it costs $5 to $10 bucks to make the salad. Maybe we get 8 rolls from a pound of salad. If the chef mixes up 5 pounds and uses 2.5 pounds of crab and 2.5 pounds of other stuff and estimating two ounces per roll we divide the $5 in time by 40 we get about $0.12 dollars or 12.0 cents per roll.

The salad costs a minimum of about $50 bucks and a maximum of $140 so about $1.25 a serving to $3.50 a serving.

If we figure 3 minutes to make a roll it costs about $1-$2 just for the roll.

Lets figure $0.50 dollars or 50 cents for any other ingredients like the Nori and vegetables.

A sushi restaurant runs about $250,000.00 average and could cost a million so lets figure $3 just to cover overhead. Maybe $2 for a small cheap place, less than a buck for supermarket sushi.

None of this is profit.

yes, I eat supermarket sushi sometimes. No I am not some elitist. Supermarket sushi beats fastfood hands down 7 days a week and twice on Sunday. If I want sushi for lunch a good sushi restaurant can take 45 minutes when busy. Supermarket sushi takes 10. How busy am I? Do I have the cash to tip the sushi chef?

Okay so a fake crab salad California roll at a cheap restaurant runs about $5 bucks just to make a roll and should run about $6 bucks when we add some profit. Suddenly fake crab California rolls running $3-$4 are really cheap huh?

It costs $0.40 dollars or 40 cents for solid imitation crab and a minimum of $2 and max of about $10 for solid real crab.

The minimum a real crab sushi roll can cost in a normal restaurant is $8 if they use the cheapest crab and around $11 bucks if they use good crab. If we add in primary location and good sushi chef's and the retail cost runs closer to $20 a roll which people in the US won't pay.

The moral is that if anyone is selling you "real" crab sushi rolls and it is in a salad it is probably BS for moronic elitists that can't tell the difference and should know that a good real crab sushi roll runs about $15 bucks.

If you eat California salad roll sushi in the states you are eating fake crab 99% of the time no matter what the menu, the waiter or the chef tells you.

Breaking down the calories so we can estimate.

The fake crab runs 20 calories an ounce. An ounce of mayo runs 200 calories. The salad probably 220 calories for the two ounce in 6-8 rolls, Spicy stuff can use wasabi mayonnaise and that runs about the same calories. A roll ends up being about the same 300 calories.

However, this is an estimation based on many more variables. It is estimate on top of estimate on top of estimate and 6 California style Maki Rolls could have as much as 500 calories. depending on size and what is in them.

One ounce of avocado is 50 calories. One ounce of carrots or cucumber is about 4 calories.

One ounce of cream cheese in a Philadelphia style Maki Roll is 90 calories.

3 ounces of rice, 2 ounces of fish, 2 ounces of other stuff and we have a 7 ounce Maki Roll. Add or subtract about an ounce from that, we are assuming 7 ounce average.

105 to 120 calories of rice. 40 to 300 calories of "fish" or "fish salad". 10 calories of Nori. Between 10 and 200 calories of "other stuff", vegetables, cream cheese, etc.

Minimum of about 165 calories and a maximum of 700 calories for 6 or 8 pieces of a 7 ounce Maki Roll. Ouch.

Go to your favorite sushi restaurant. Buy your favorite rolls for take out. Go home, break out the scale and figure out the calories. Do this a couple of times and you will have a good estimation of what you are eating.

Stick to the fish and vegetable maki-rolls. Stay away from spider crab and tempura maki rolls which push the carbs up because they are fried. Stay away from "Hot Rolls", the calories go out the window.

"Hot Rolls" are when the sushi chef dips an entire roll (or individual pieces) in Tempura batter and fries it like a snickers bar or ice cream. This started because people in the states deep fry everything.

Couple of other basic cultural rules I find a lot of people do not know or understand why or which cultural rules are important.

Do not rub your chop sticks together unless it is a very cheap restaurant. Very rude and it insults the restaurant. People rubbing sticks together is saying "you care nothing for me and have purchased very cheap chop sticks".

If your server presents your check with both hands you can respond by giving them your credit card with both hands or with one hand. Giving with one hand indicates the giver is superior. Giving with two hands indicates equality. In the States this is not a big deal, just something to know. Most people in the states won't care, a very few may.

Yes you can eat nigiri sushi and maki rolls with your hands. Most people in the States use chop sticks. Most people in the States like deep fried everything too.

If you can use chop sticks great. If you use them badly judgmental morons may think poorly of you. If you use your hands judgmental morons may think poorly of you.

If you rub them together you insult the restaurant.

What's the difference?

A long time ago a friend and I were talking about how people treated us when we wore our leather jackets. It used to bug me when people treated me badly because they were afraid and intimidated by my size and my clothes. He told me that the leather jacket was a useful tool for identifying bigoted, frightened morons that you should stay away from.

Later his friendship almost got me killed and that made me angry at him, it shouldn't have. Back then I still associated with people who saw being gay as a weakness to be exploited. Having him as a friend put me in a situation where someone thought they could threaten me with a gun. I didn't even know people thought he swung both ways. I received a good chunk of income from these associates and I could afford to place that in danger or take the chance on being killed or killing someone so I got angry at my friend. Stupid. He is a good guy.


How you use chopsticks or not does the same thing. It will identify the bigoted and judgmental people around you if you use them poorly. It does not insult the restaurant, although it may make some people uncomfortable.

The cultural key here is that some behaviors insult other people and some behavior can encourage morons to judge.

Avoid behavior that insults others. Avoid people who are judgmental.

If I had followed these rules in my 20's I would still have a friend instead of some former business associates.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Fiction, English, Ignorance and pure stupidity.

A long time ago I used to think people writing fiction had at least a small clue about things. Not all the cop and murder and spy things. Guys like Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Aurthur Clarke had actual science in their science fiction. I figured most of the little facts around the characters were accurate.

John D. MacDonald's character, Travis McGee, always asked for the aisle seat on a bulkhead row because that seat row had more leg room. I figured things like that were probably accurate just as I knew from research that the basic scientific theory in many of the books I read was accurate.

I joined the army at 17 and one day after maybe 20,000 air miles I remembered John D.MacDonald's advice about seating. I'm a big guy. I tried it out. Some of you are laughing already because you know the best seat is in an exit row. Worst seat for a tall guy ever is a bulkhead seat.

Most people do not cram things under their seats. That means guys like me with long legs can actually shove them far under the seat in front of us so a bulk head aisle would suck. I figured the seat had to be pretty far back to give me more leg room but I had never thought about it walking past the bulkhead seating before so I tried it out on a whim.

There are thousands of people who understand English grammar and spelling well enough to make a living at writing. Some of those create great characters and really capture the reader in a story. People in the United States have focused for so long on the spelling and grammar necessary for creative writing that often they ignore the communication as they evaluate the quality of the prose.

Ah, the quality of the English Prose. A shit dipped rose by any other name would still stink.

The idiots in the English speaking western nations have destroyed themselves with their insistence on English and their focusing on spelling, grammar and prose instead of accuracy.

Scientists in non-English speaking nations often communicate in English. Kind of sucks, but, that focus on English communication in Science is a beautiful thing except for people who speak English.

Most people whose first language is anything else but English focus on understanding what the communication is about. Way too many people whose first language is English focus on the spelling and the grammar of the communication. Misuse of punctuation destroys the focus of the communication for the English speaker while the non-English speaker never even notices it.

There is one and only one goal for language. Communication. If language fails to achieve this goal the language is a failure.

What is really hilarious is that while English is failing as a communication tool for the English speaking population it is succeeding for non-English people who work hard at understanding the focus of the communication.

In other words, English is a failed language among English speakers and a successful language among non_English speakers. That is hilarious!

Ignorant creative writers whose skills in English spelling and grammar achieve great honors in the United States while incredibly intelligent people who are illiterate are ignored.

Thousands of years ago people in the west began creating a series of cultural skill sets that allowed people to identify others that were in their cultural group. In ancient Rome people of the aristocracy had particular ways of doing things. Plebeians had a different way of doing things. As people rose in rank and the empire grew it became necessary to identify people who had never been in contact as belonging to a specific cultural group such as Roman military officers or Roman civil authorities. There were letters and seals of course as well as secret methods of communications, handshakes and signs and mannerisms.

Today those cultural mannerisms are found all over the United States in handshakes and gang-signs. People use the same methods to identify themselves today that they used thousands of years ago.

Watching someone eat soup could tell you a lot about their position in society. There are many droll comments about bourgeoisie mannerisms. These comments are groundless because they ignore the underlying necessity of the culturally identifying mannerisms which simple organizations such as street gangs have rediscovered. In some cases improperly using specific cultural mannerisms such as gang-signs can get a person killed.

Grammar and spelling are cultural mannerisms.

At one time in history the way a person spelled a word in the English language identified the university that person had attended. Today spelling and grammar are used to identify education by the intelligent and intelligence by the ignorant..

Of course English spelling and grammar do not identify education as a whole, they simply identify people who are educated in English spelling and grammar.

Among the ignorant and bigoted in the western English speaking cultures education in English spelling and grammar are identified with intelligence. This is not an opinion, this is a fact. Bigots make individual determinations about people based on stereotypes. The idea that intelligence can be determined by the quality of written communication is an inaccurate stereotype.

All people are self educated and they all educate themselves in the areas they want to become experts in. If a person is an expert industrial maintenance person with an incredible level of mechanical systems intelligence they may never feel English grammar and spelling or even reading and writing is important. Especially if they are Chinese, but even if they are from the States.

Some people feel math is an unimportant subject.

The other day a clerk in a hardware store game me the wrong change and when I pointed it out she was confused by the math, two quarters and two dimes equals 70 cents, not 80 cents. She couldn't do it, raised on charge cards, debit cards her simple addition skills were absent. She never needed to develop them past the skills necessary to pass the required classes in high school.

The Verizon Business unit sucks at math too.

The Verizon issue identifies a specific math problem witch (sic :-) is based on written miscommunication.

(yes, I know sic is only properly used in a quote. If you don't get that inference I can't help you)

When I was young I didn't understand the sociological importance of using the correct eating utensil. I thought it was stupid and actually I still do. I would often ignore the bourgeois cultural mannerisms. As I became older I realized what ignorant bigots most people were and how badly they treat people who ignore or are ignorant of what they believe are important cultural mannerisms no matter how bourgeois I felt those cultural mannerisms were.

People are often stereotyped based on their acceptance and usage of bourgeois mannerisms.

Ignorant Bigots use bourgeois mannerisms to "prove their own superiority".

Today ignorant bigots use English spelling and grammar as a cultural mannerism to "identify superiority in communication"

Non-English speakers focus on the essence of the communication

The English speaking ignorant bigot focuses on the quality of the prose learning fascinating things like the way community organizers "bring people together" using methods devised by Saul Alinsky such as his "Rules for Radicals". (bet some moron is already criticizing the grammar and punctuation there :-)

It is hilarious to me that the our nation, based on insistence by ignorant bigoted "elitists" that proper English spelling and grammar identify intelligence, is ignoring incredibly important communications and refusing to educate themselves.

Now that is beyond ignorant, it is pure stupidity.

Friday, September 02, 2011


This morning my wife and I were talking about something and she asked why someone would do something and I said “approval”.

It sounds like a simple issue, but, it isn't really. It is an extremely complex issue that deals with bigotry and stereotypes.

I can argue against homosexuality from dozens of different viewpoints and I can argue for homosexuality from only a single viewpoint. God invented choice. God did not force everyone to adopt God's rules, God invented choice and he gave everyone the ability to choose.

In Judaism one of the 615 Mizvot is to kill homosexuals. Christ's crucifixion finished the original or Old Testament and started the New Testament. Christ reduced the number of rules people had to live by because people were twisting the God's rules to suit themselves. Even today people insist on obeying some of the 615 Mizvot without obeying all of them. Even Jews do not obey the Mizvot, the Temple is destroyed and many of the commandments of the Mizvot require the Temple. Do the Jewish people have a responsibility to rebuild the Temple to obey the Mizvot?

I have friends who are gay. I have news for anyone who does not like the fact that I make friends with people who do things I don't approve of. I guarantee that everyone in the world does things I don't approve of. I guarantee that I have done, am doing and will do something that people will not approve of.

That is a big deal in a democracy where the media insists that the “majority approve”, or at least their version of the “majority” approve.

Often people from the United States go places and dis-approve of local customs. This is the “Ugly American” complex that has encouraged hatred and terrorism.

I believe this ridiculous idea that the individual citizen of the States has that their approval is important has been created by democracy and entertainment.

Politicians in a democracy work hard to establish a “majority approval” just as entertainment does looking for the high Nielsen ratings. I believe this creates a disproportionate belief about individual approval.

On top of that the United States uses guns to enforce their approval. If people do things they don't approve of the United States threatens violence and offers to pay people to behave in a way that people in the United States approves of.

Pretty sick stuff.

I find that a lot of people get really angry with me because I have ideas that they don't approve of. “God is pro-choice, God invented choice” for example. “Homosexuality is against God's rules”. Ideas like that piss off the far left bigots and the far right bigots equally. I read books that piss of bigots of all religions, political persuasion and ideologies. Often these bigots hate me because I am not seeking out their approval and more than anything this pisses them off.

I feel sorry for Oprah Winfrey. Oprah built her career around being approved of. Look at what happened with her book club. She started a book club recommending books and encouraging reading. A bunch of people who felt their approval was important dis-approved and ridiculed the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and everything she was doing with it. Oprah shut down the book club and then started it back up again, a politically wishy-washy thing to do based on seeking approval.

I'm never going to be a nationally syndicated columnist because I don't seek approval. I used to think things like that were important. Now I could care less. I find that the people who hang out with me these days are people who don't expect me to approve of their lives and don't care if I dis-approve of some of their choices.

I am not interested in people trying to enforce their influence on my life. I'm not interested in people who take their own approval so seriously that they can't take a sarcastic response when their ideas or comments are ridiculous.

I think people who base their self image on “being right” are seeking approval, especially when they react badly when you disagree with them.

Everyone makes ridiculous comments. Everyone has untenable positions. People who think they are “one-upping” someone by proving a position incorrect are idiots. People who freak out when their positions is successfully challenged are idiots.

No one is going to convince me that God approves of homosexuality. No one is going to convince me that I have to approve of everything any one I call a friend does or believes. No friend of mine is going to insist that I approve of their every choice or that they approve of every choice I make.

Just like Christ, I don't insist that anyone adopt my ideas, even when they are obviously correct and I can prove them mathematically. Believe me I have had engineering and manufacturing ideas that people have called crazy that I have proved mathematically and people have rejected.

It's obvious to me that God created choice and intended for people to make their own choices. I don't tell people they are full of crap when they reject something so obvious. I don't tell people they are stupid, I don't have to. It's obvious that I think they are stupid when they reject simple, logic truisms.

Anyone looking for me to differ to their “superiority” in anything is an idiot. Anyone looking at me to be “superior” is an idiot.

The big difference is I don't expect anyone to care if I think they are stupid. I know my approval is not necessary for their lives and I know their approval is not necessary for my life.

I also realize that there are people who based their entire lives on the idea that people have to approve of each other. That is crap. I believe that people have to love each other. Love has to transcend approval.

In the United States approval transcends love.

I can love people I think are stupid. I can love people I think are doing stupid things. I can love people who believe things I think are stupid.

I don't need to approve of everything or anything someone does to love them. I don't need to think anything someone does is “smart” to love them. I don't need to agree with anyone to love them.

If someone is looking at me to “prove” I love them they will be disappointed. I don't expect anyone to prove that I love them and I don't expect to have anyone prove they love me.

When people quit expecting their approval to matter to anyone else this world will be a much better place.