Monday, May 15, 2006

Laughter: The Best Medicine

Here's some humor to get over the fact that it's Monday. The title link goes to a site with some very humorous doctored pictures (and some not doctored). Laugh and enjoy life!

Under God: Are You Covered?

Just as Christian women have recently come out from being under the head covering of men, it seems that Christian men are also coming out from being under the head covering of God. If you read the New Testament, you'll see that the apostle Paul was a big advocate of head covering. You can read that in one of two ways: headcovering = limiting, or headcovering = protecting and reflecting glory.

Now, I am sure that many people see the headcovering with its potential to be submissive, limiting and even oppressive. And for men who feel it is their duty to command the world, having to deal with a headcovering to God goes against their own ability to do whatever the heck they want. Thus, ditch the headcovering and ditch God--but not entirely. Use the headcovering of God as a cloak to hide indiscretions and secret plans. You see how that can really hide all the bad stuff and make people think that everything is being done in the light of God.

George W. Bush is experienced in this type of clandestine action to take one thing that is good and is limiting and use it to hide and in a way shield him from his diverging activities. As president, the laws enacted by our democracy's representatives are his headcovering. They are there not just to limit him, but to protect his head and when the law is upheld due to his efforts, he is rightly glorified. However, when the headcovering is not used on the head --are you following the analogy here?--Ok... When the law is circumvented and instead of placed as a protective covering over the right foundation of our government (the Constitution), it is used as a shield to deflect and contort the law, what is there to protect the head (the US Constitution and the proper use of government)? Nothing.

The struggle to keep "under God" in the pledge of allegiance may be nothing more than symantics to some. To others it signifies that headcovering, the law, not just of God, but the laws of our country. And still to others it is the push to keep the public thinking that God is protecting us, when in actuality it is distorted and is only protecting the personal interests of those leaders.

Did I mention that when men and women keep the headcovering over their heads, it protects and reflects glory to them? Ok, so what's so great about being limited and submissive? We don't harm ourselves or harm others (our protection--it is in this protection that even if others harm us, we forgive and heal), it keeps us focused on the mission designated by our Creator, and allows our Creator to mold us into the creation that we have been designed to become (the reflection of glory is from the Creator in becoming what we are meant to be). That same headcovering is there not just to help yourself, but others, too. When we become what God made us to be, then we learn that the head covering not only protects our head and heart, but puts our hands into service to serve God and those who God places into our care. (You can see how restrictive it would be if that headcovering were used as a cloak or shield--the ability to serve God and others is severly restricted or nonexistent.)

There are people out there that wear that headcovering to physically represent their faith. You'll see devout Jewish men wearing their yarmulke, nuns in their habits, traditional Catholic women wearing prayer veils, and Islamic women wearing burkhas. It reminds them of their faith, and stands for the protection, guidance and reflects the glory given by their Creator. It shows respect for their Creator, and in return, honor.

George W. Bush: Under God or Playing God?

Some say that the US president, George W. Bush, is a born-again Christian, others say he was ordained by God to lead our country, and some say he is the anti-Christ. But, how could they possibly say that someone is the anti-Christ, or even some powerful Dragon of the Revelations dreamed Beast?

The title link (please right click and open in a new window) has an interesting article that poses George W. Bush against his own religious beliefs, and patches some holes in the way American Christians might be viewing the US president.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Public Relations in the Spin Cycle

What is public relations? Is it product placement or people placement? Ah, no... I think that's called marketing and promotional gimmicks. Is it that bikini clad women that displayed her message in front of world leaders? Ah, no... That would be picketing and improper exposure. Is it spinning the news? Well... sort of.

Public relations is disseminating the truth in a positive light. Edward Bernays, the father of public relations (and the nephew of Sigmund Freud, go figure) was concerned that he would display "properganda" and not "improperganda." If only more public relations practitioners would be as message conscious as Bernays. Right... Let's get real here.

Bernays, being related to Freud, almost naturally concentrated on the psychology of public relations, almost to a fault. In fact, due to his efforts, Bernays worked to create social acceptance of women smoking in public. During the 1920s, the health consequences to smoking were not as known, so I'll give Bernays the benefit of the doubt.

According to Bernays "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. . . . In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." If you want to know more about Bernays and his life devoted to making himself known as the father of public relations, read the Father of Spin by Larry Tye (here's a great book review).

In reality, a public relations practitioner can only be as honest as their clients' honesty is reflected to them. And even then, sometimes money can influence honesty and conveying the truth. It is amazing how flashing a couple of greenbacks can put a normally honest and open person into a deceptive trance. Sure, we'll give our public the truth in a positive fashion, but with a twist, er a spin. We won't out and out lie, but we'll convince the public that they are hearing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We'll even convince journalists that all we are feeding them is the wholesome and natural truth, so there will be no need to question our message. Can I get an Amen?? Thank you, choir! (You know I'm preaching to the choir.)

So, the progression of public relations is a lot like washing machine. Load the machine with some dirty laundry (you know, all those marketing blunders that got mud on that questionable client's clothes), throw in some detergent (or detour agent, i.e. public relations practitioner--to clean up the mess), let it soak, then put it in the spin cycle, rinse and spin to dry. Viola! Your laundry is clean!

Protecting the US Borders

So, why didn't we have this talk about immigration before 9/11/2001, or even just after that fateful day? How better to protect the US from foreign invaders like terrorists than to protect our borders?!

Where's the funding for our coast guard and border patrol, who truly protect our nation's borders? Where's the national guard, who really ought to be helping to protect our homeland at home? Oh, right, Afganistan and Iraq...

Well, I read on the DHS website (that's the Department of Homeland Security) that they have beent thinking about protecting the US borders since 9/11, and apparently into the distant future, as well... DHS Announces Long-Term Border and Immigration Strategy, November 2, 2205

Yes, you read that right--November 2, 2205! Now that's forward thinking! So, if you think our DHS isn't working toward the future, well, you're wrong.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pirating ways: Pillaging, Raping & Plundering

After being too busy this past week to allow Microsoft to download one of their many upgrades, I log into my laptop this morning, and get notification that I am a victim of pirating!

Now, pirates are known to pillage, rape and plunder. I don't recall Gateway raping me when this computer was purchased over a year ago. Pillaging and plundering, well, I don't know. Sometimes products can be so overpriced, that could be considered pillaging and plundering. This computer, in my opinion, wasn't overpriced, although I did not receive a boot disk or any install disks for the software that was pre-loaded on it. So, I guess I was robbed of those products that I paid for. It would have been nice to have the backup install disks that would be helpful for the many times I've had to reinstall everything because the hardware crashed or died.

However, I do not feel like a victim of pirating from Gateway. I believe that they sold me legitimate software licenses from Microsoft.

I do feel like a victim of Microsoft's zealous inconsideration and insecurity. I feel raped. Microsoft has raped my computer. And with their wierd blue star in the lower right hand corner of my computer, and the notifications that pop up frequently, I am constantly reminded of this fact.

So, after clicking to remind me later to make my Windows geniune, and trying in vain to search online to figure out how to prove my and Gateway's innocence, I finally decided to see what Microsoft has waiting for me if I did click on it. Well, there was no way to prove you did have a genuine Windows license at this link. There was no way to contact Microsoft to tell them they have a glitch in their authentication/genuineness process. Microsoft just wants victims to pay them, too.

Figures. Innocent until proven guilty, nah. Guilty til proven otherwise (regardless of innocence), because that is the way it is today. Sigh.

Now, I guess I'll need to contact Gateway and figure out how to get this straightened out. Sigh.

There's nothing like getting pillaged, raped and plundered by a purchase made over one year ago.

**Update: I contacted Microsoft tech support, and spoke with a nice lady that I couldn't understand half of what she said. I gave her info on my Windows and she said that it was indeed a genuine Windows XP license. Yes, thank you, I knew that. But how do I get MS Validation to recognize that? Oh, there's a website to go to for validating that:

So, I go there, and it diagnoses and validates everything but that WGA . . . So, I email Microsoft support, since hopefully whomever answers that types in English without any dialect issues. I also go to the forum they refer to and check that out. (Here's that link if you want to check it out:

Well, after looking at the forum conversations, I am fearful that I will have to reinstall everything on my computer. And I didn't get an installation disk from Gateway in the first place! The moderator states that Microsoft is working on a way to correct the validation error without reinstalling. Well, I'm not holding my breath.

Thank you, Microsoft, for screwing up my computer! Can I declare computer rape?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Life is too short to take too seriously...

Have you ever worked with a rancid person? Someone who spoils everything? Someone who takes everything personally? I mean EVERYTHING... PERSONALLY. And then they bitch and moan about how people are mean and treat them so bad. Usually with this kind of person, they take everything negatively. Try to get them to think on the positive side, and they will see it as a personal attack. There is never a bright side to anything, unless they can demean some's character. Oh, that is negative, too.

For the rancid person, the sun must shine in black, and the sky is gray, even when it's blue. The sweet scent of the lilacs in bloom must smell pungent to their noses. The smooth touch of a new baby's skin must feel like coarse sand paper for them. And the sounds of songbirds singing in the surrounding trees must sound like chainsaws in their ears.

What a sad world for such negative thinkers. The rancid people. 'Tis a pity.

Life is too short to take too seriously. That's why God invented laughter, silver linings to gray clouds, and rainbows. All so we could smile, to take hope for a better future, knowing that the good in everything is in how we perceive it.

However, when you have to work with a rancid person (RP for short), you're stuck with them, unless the boss gets (literally) sick of them, or you get sick of them and leave, or the RP leaves thinking that the grass at the next job will be greener (regardless of the fact that it's only the RP's eyes that see the gray grass). Lucky for me, the rancid co-worker is thinking the grass will be greener somewhere else. Thankfully, the rancid co-worker's last day is TODAY!

I again can confidently smile, knowing that things can only get better (right, Howard Jones?), and that the toxic effects of the negative rancid co-worker will now be at someone else's desk (I pray God's positive impact will allow those poor souls to overcome the rancid worker excrement).

Hurray for silver linings, rainbows, and especially laughter--because life really is too short to take too seriously.

New Stamps, Again??

It seems like I just went out and bought new stamps with the new rate, along with those weird looking 2 cent stamps with the alligator teeth on them, and now the US Post Office wants to raise the rate of stamps again!

They claim its because of the rising costs of gas. Hey, I see my postal delivery guy walking to deliver my mail everyday, they don't use gas.

Besides, no one is giving me more money to compensate the rising gas prices. Oh, wait. I guess congress was looking into doing just that this week with a $100, or even a $500 tax rebate. Hmmm... Wait a minute, if I pay taxes, and they want to give me money from the taxes to pay for gas so the gas companies will lessen their high price assault, but the gas companies are too greedy to lower gas prices, and our country is running a large deficit right now... Hey, I'm going to pay for it anyway. Ok, that's a bad idea. Relegate that one to the circular file.

USPS is also claiming the rise in the stamp rate is to pay for their employees' rise in health insurance. Pssst--businesses don't care about that silly rise in their employees' health insurance, they're just letting their workers foot that bill.

And, get this, they want to raise it to 42 cents! That means all those extra 2 cents stamps I have laying around wouldn't work--I'd have to get one cent stamps, too! Good grief!

Oh, they want to have a Forever Stamp?? Buy that stamp and I would never have to worry about adding stamps for rate increases?? Why didn't they come out with this idea sooner?

Colbert, That's French, Isn't It?! That's OK, Mr. Colbert, Here's a Golden Ruler!

Although not characteristic of Stephen Colbert's "professional newsiness", a nudge-nudge and a wink-wink might sums up his monologue at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner last Saturday night.

Mr. Colbert decisively marked the evening with way more inside humor and jabs than the large gathering of media, government leaders, and stars could possibly digest, especially the guest of honor, our president.

Playing as if he's in on the good-ole-boys club and up on their antics in the media, Colbert subtly and many times not so subtly discloses his perception of the media's coverage on important events, while maintaining his composed "newsiness" during the speech.

Maybe the reason why some didn't like his speech could be the same reason they now refer to freedom fries and freedom toast. There's just too much French in that guy's name. Toward the end of his speech, President Bush looked like he was about ready to export him back to France. Colbert better be carrying his passport next time he's close to the president, or might get a special trip out of the country. You know how the president feels about those darned immigrants!

On his truthiness, Colbert knows better than most real news outlets how to give his audience the truth, and he delivered in his usual fashion. Why are some people upset about this? Did you not know his style? Did you not watch his show?

Regardless of his neo-con leanings, Colbert stuck it to the man. Thank goodness he got some practice on Bill Kristol a couple days prior to his WHCD gig. He was ready to tackle the news that the media forgot to tackle. And tackle, he did.

By the way, what was with the lame Double-W skit? And last year's skit where the president was running around the room looking for WMDs while our troops in Iraq were dying? And those skits don't offend people? But Stephen Colbert's truthiness does offend? Why can't those people handle the truth?

Mr. Stephen Colbert, in recognition of your courage to fight for the truth, I bestow unto you the Golden Ruler Award. Just as those golden nuns from parochial school used rulers to maintain order and keep their students in line, this Golden Ruler exemplifies your accomplishments to keep truth in line. Use this Golden Ruler to continue to keep truth and justice in line, and to give a gentle tap on the hand to those who deviate from the truth.

Omega Glory

With all the discuss of corruption (especially on Len Hart's blog: on Capitol Hill, and even in the White House, along with many practices by our government that seem to really subvert the Constitution of the United States, I started to think back to an old (I mean original) Star Trek episode: Omega Glory episode (#54, first aired 3/1/68). Although I am not a true Trekkie, I remember seeing this show when I was young, and the overtones of our US civilization stuck with me.

Wikipedia has a nice overview of this episode. Their summary of the Omega Glory: Captain Kirk must battle a deadly virus and prevent a meaningless war.

Sound familiar? In 1968, the good and bad guys were different than today, but it can easily be changed to today's political climate within the US. Ok, the feared deadly virus today: Avian Bird Flu (I'm sure our president will talk your ear off with coherent discuss about this, since he is way more knowledgeable about this virus than about his current war in Iraq). And today, we are in a pretty much meaningless war in Iraq (Sorry, no WMDs and really, if Saddam was really as dicky of a dictator as they say, then why is the US just as dicky or even more so. Yes, Saddam tortured and used chemical weapons on his people. Pssst--The US has done this, too, on Iraqis--have you forgotten Abu Graib and white phosphorus? Doesn't sound very nice to me.)

Can you see the word "freedom" turn into a "worship word"? I can.

Close to the end of the show, Capt. Kirk finds what looks like a tattered copy of the US Constitution and says "Look at these three words written larger than all the rest, and with special pride never written before or since -- tall words, proudly saying "We the people" .. these words and the words that follow ... must apply to everyone or they mean nothing."

Is the Omega Glory predicting our present and future?