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Middle aged heterosexual, WASP male. Semi retired, semi-sane and semi-serious. And endangered species and I'm not going quietly!!!!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday Morning Confusion!

Here, my children, is a major truth of life that I ran across today and should serve you well in your journey through this mortal plane!

Science and politics have co-existed in an uneasy relationship for a very long time. The reason is simple!

In science, "Truth" is meant to be independent of human preferences and agenda's, and its discovery occurs through the scientific method of conjectures and refutations.

In politics and religion, "Truth" is often a claim made on the basis of some outside authority............. church, charismatic leader, majority opinion in a democracy and selective evidence. etc. etc.

Politicians since Archimedes in ancient Greece have sought the advice of scientists in the making of public policy.

Yet there is a difference between open and closed societies in how scientific and religious advice is sought and given.

In protecting the delicate balance between science, religion, and by default, politics, we must understand where all three are coming from.

We then form our opinions on that clear and undeniable conclusion that only science affords us!

Let the creationists put that in their pipe and smoke it.

After all it's better to have them smoke it, than to let them burn us at the stake!!!

Your "let that confuse you" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

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Friday, March 30, 2007

North Korea To Co-Host 2008 Olympics

In a surprise announcement that has stunned most of the Western World North Korea has announced that it will Co-Host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games along with China.

Chinese officials have not commented on this announcement but there seems to be some surprise and confusion in Beijing about this latest turn of events.

Kim Jong-ill getting ready to announce North Korea as co-Host of the 2008 Olympics
Ceremonies marking the announcement by Fearless Leader Kim Jong-ill on the participation of North Korea in the Olympics.
Official North Korean statue honouring Olympics.
Cultural event marking Glorious Leader Kim Jong-ill's acquisition of 2008 Olympics.
Lighting of Olympic Flame in preparation of Dearly Beloved Leader Kim Jong-ill's Olympics.
New National Monument to 2008 Olympics.
Supreme Leader Kim Jong-ill on a surprise inspection tour of Olympic facilities.
Olympic Committee in one of their discussions on the itinerary for the events.
North Korean athletes training for the combination Hurdles and Obstacle Course event.
To make the Marathon more interesting the North Korean version also incorporates an obstacle course.
One of the North Korean athletes training for what is obviously the Javelin throw!
In keeping with the tradition of having the Olympics remain relevant to today's society Grand Leader Kim Jong-ill has added a new event for this Olympics. Dwarf Tossing!!!

Your "Fearless reporter" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

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Analysis: Islam, Sectarian Tensions!

Guest Post - Shia vs. Sunni across the Middle East.
CBC News

The schism that rends the Islamic faith has its origins in centuries-old theology, but modern politics and demographics keep it alive and well across the Middle East.

Shia Muslims are a minority in global Islam, often shunned or despised by conservative Sunnis, but they are an active and increasingly influential community in several key regions and countries.

That activism is worrying Sunni leaders and Washington, which has long had troubled relations with Shia governments and groups.

King Abdullah of Jordan warned last year that Iran's oil wealth and regional influence could lead to a "Shia crescent" across the Middle East that posed security and religious challenges.

The Iranian-born American scholar, Vali Nasr, raised eyebrows and fears in the U.S. recently with an essay in Foreign Affairs magazine "When the Shi'ites Rise."

From Iran to Lebanon, Bahrain to eastern Saudi Arabia's oilfields, the growing power of Shia Muslims is prompting interest, concern, and occasionally violence or repression by Sunnis. In part, it's because Iran is awash with petro-dollars from high oil prices.

That enables Tehran to fund and arm groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, and to send humanitarian aid to Shia communities hit by poverty or the effects of war.

Iran is also reaping the benefits of two military actions launched by its arch-enemy, the United States. The toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad have removed two neighbouring Sunni regimes that helped check Tehran's regional ambitions.

Iraq's Shia majority is taking up a long-denied mantle, political dominance in its own country, and Iran is firmly behind its co-religionists in every sense.

Shia Muslim devotees in Afghanistan whipping themselves with metal flails at Moharram, a grief-ridden festival that marks the martyrdom of Hussein, grandson of the Prophet of Mohammed, and one of the acknowledged founders of the Shia tradition.

Washington had hoped a Shia-led government in Baghdad would be a natural ally in the region, but Iraqi administrations so far have been far closer to Tehran than U.S. planners would like.

Nor are Iraq's security forces anywhere near being capable of offsetting Iranian military prowess and the sheer size of its standing army, by far the largest in the Middle East.

What's most troubling to Sunni-led regimes is the effect of Iran's resurgence on their own often repressed and occasionally restive Shia populations. So sensitive is the issue of sectarian relations in some Muslim countries that Shias aren't even counted as being from a separate religious tradition.

Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states do not even keep statistics about the number of Shias within their borders.

The tiny island nation of Bahrain is on the frontline of Shia-Sunni political confrontation in the Gulf. Rich in natural gas and probably the most democratic Arab country, Bahrain has a Shia majority but a Sunni governing elite. Violent confrontations between the communities in the past have given way to electoral politics that is still confrontational and fractious, but largely peaceful.

Bahrain's ruling al-Khalifa family started the democratization project and appears committed to maintaining it, but Iranian influence and political ambitions are still feared.

Saudi Arabia's Shia population officially doesn't exist. The government in Riyadh says simply that Saudi Arabia is 100 per cent Muslim.

In effect, that means Sunni because the assumption of many influential Saudi clergymen is that Shias are either apostate or not Islamic enough to be considered Muslims.

But in the oil-rich eastern provinces of the kingdom, hundreds of thousands of Shias are restive and concerned about their second-class status.

They are among the most enthusiastic participants in recent municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, but many Shia want far more than they're getting from the secretive, often repressive and sectarian Saudi system of government.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan, Shia minorities exist uneasily alongside large Sunni majorities. Sunni extremists, often aligned with al-Qaeda or the Taliban, have attacked Shia mosques and other targets, prompting retaliation.

Afghanistan's Shia are a visibly distinct ethnic group who are routinely discriminated against by most of the country's Sunni factions. In both countries, Iranian-influenced Shia assertiveness is having an impact on religious and communal attitudes.)

Critics recommend regional role of U.S. in Mideast
Perceptions of Iran's regional and pan-Shia ambitions have prompted the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush to alter some of its Middle East policies, according to media reports and analysts.

Washington takes Sunni concerns about Iran seriously, and has supported efforts by Saudi and Jordanian officials to contain Hezbollah in Lebanon. Critics of this approach say this is a risky strategy, and recommend instead that the U.S. talk to Iran about a more constructive regional role in the Middle East.

The respected commentator, Michael Young, of the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut, recently warned of the dangers of festering sectarian hostilities between the two traditions of Islam.

"Once opened, the floodgates of Sunni-Shiite antagonism could become a Leviathan," Young wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "...sweeping away the fragile reality on the ground.

Even in societies where Sunnis and Shiites now peacefully co-exist, sectarian discord would become the norm."

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn't want you to know!) www.God-101.com

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

All for One, and One for All!

News out of the U.S. today that Amnesty International has merged with the Alzheimer's Society.

They are now called "The American A.I.A.S."

Their new motto is; "Forgive and Forget!"

Your "right on top of things" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

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What's the matter with kids these days?

My dad was the generation that fought in WW11 and raised us "baby boomers" to be such spoiled brats that we now screw up the generations that came after us!

Dad's generation was the one that said; "Children should be seen and not heard." and "Respect your elders!"

Since his time we have been through the boomers, gen X, gen Y, and God knows what else.

The only thing for sure is that values and conduct have changed considerably over the years, and not always for the better.

First there was the feminist movement which in my opinion actually hurt the cause of women more than it helped.

(Why did women want to lower themselves to the status of equal?)

Yes I know it did wonders for pay equity and the "glass ceiling" but there were also some extremely negative and damaging aspects to this movement.

We also had a revolution in the way kids were raised and this has been mostly for the worse as time went on.

Where respect for adults was expected from kids before the swinging sixties, it is now almost a joke for a kid to show any sort of deference to someone older.

Where the norm used to be a whack on the backside for bad behaviour, it has now developed into a disdain for adults and any attempt at punishment is met with the wail of "I'll call the cops" or "I'll phone children's aid!"

Toady's youth has a sense of entitlement that was unheard of a few short years ago. They think nothing of doing exactly what they want and to hell with the consequences.

(I see this in my own son who was brought up by an overly permissive mother and as a result thinks the world "owes" him something.)

The "coup de grace" to any respect for other people came today when one of the pre-teens that hang around in the woods and river behind my place caused a stir that made the local T.V. news.

Dozens of kids from the low-rentals across the road troop through the condo property where I live to get to their "fort" and play areas along the Thames river behind me.

The property management is always trying to put the run to them because they not only trespass but leave garbage all over the place.

(On a side note, I had a patio set outside my unit but had to sell it because the kids kept stealing the chairs and dragging them down to the river so they would have something to sit on.)

Anyways, to make a long story shorter, the super of this building caught some kids doing their usual thing and he held one 11 year old girl by the arm and lectured her about trespassing and leaving garbage everywhere and then kicked the bunch of them out.

The next thing you know there are loads of cops running around looking for a "pervert" who tried to abduct an 11 year old girl!!

This caused such a stink that it made the local T.V. news that night and it wasn't till the next day that things were straightened out and the cops had to issue a statement that; "Things don't always happen the way they are reported!"

Fortunately for Jim (The super) the cops got to the bottom of it, but I shudder to think of the times innocent people have been persecuted and prosecuted for something that was just a vindictive "get even" from one of these spoiled rotten brats.

(That also brings us to the question of how many men have been arrested and charged with "rape" or "sexual assault" just because a woman, for whatever reason, says so!)

The mere statement, minus any facts or corroborating evidence, is enough now-a-days to convict and damn.

Your "what's the matter with people these days" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn't want you to know!) www.God-101.com

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Falling satellite misses jet by seconds!

A jet aircraft with 270 passengers on board was within seconds of crashing into a blazing Russian satellite as it was falling back to earth yesterday.

Pilots of the A340-300 Airbus suddenly saw fiery debris streaking through the midnight darkness, directly ahead of their aircraft, which was travelling at about 800km/h (500mph).

The falling metal, about five miles ahead, broke the speed of sound, causing a sonic boom that drowned out the jet’s four engines.

The incident happened over the Pacific Ocean, about four hours southwest of Auckland, ten minutes after LAN Airlines’ flight LA801 entered the far western reaches of New Zealand’s oceanic flight information region.

Two Australian aviation buffs listening in to flight communications heard the obviously shaken captain of the South American aircraft make contact with New Zealand air traffic controllers to inform them of what had happened.

The New Zealand controllers quickly realised that the LAN flight had nearly collided with a disintegrating Russian communications satellite, which had not been due to reenter the Earth’s orbit for another 12 hours.

A spokesman for Airways New Zealand, the government body that provides navigation services across the oceanic airspace, said yesterday that a notice of the impending reentry of the Russian satellite had been issued on March 16 to all airlines operating in the region.

It said the satellite would reenter Earth’s atmosphere at about noon on Wednesday but it came down 12 hours earlier.

Your "duck and cover" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

[Note: The latest news (Friday) is that it wasn't a satellite, but rather a meteor or small hemorrhoid! ;-)]

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Hello, I’m writing from KTVT.

Dear Mr. Janssen;

Hello, I’m writing from KTVT, the CBS station in Dallas / Fort Worth.

I saw your coverage of the Shaquanda Cotton story recently, and I thought you might be interested in the latest developments in it.

Yesterday there was a protest in Paris, Texas, and we were there.

The link below is to the video of our story.

Feel free to LINK to it if you’d like.

Thanks for your time.

Kent Chapline

Executive Producer

cbs11tv.com | txa21tv.com

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

WHY?...........just because!

London Bridge.
Medieval Castle.
Scandinavian Glacier.
Grand Canyon.
London's Wheel.
San Fancisco Airport.
Nightime in the City.
Northern Lights.
Anything that runs!
A growing national problem!
Shuttle piggyback.
Up, Up and Away!
Leaving Home!
Boys and their toys!
Beauty and the Beast!
Jolly Green Giant!
The God's are Angry!
Thar she blows!
Heh, Heh, Heh.
And finally, this is what friends are for!

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How to get royally screwed over!

I sell energy savings plans to large commercial accounts so I am on the road a lot. A couple of years ago, through much diligence and hard work, I managed to get enough speeding etc. tickets on my drivers license to lose it for 3 months.

(One thing I have to tell you about not having a license is that it sure teaches you how to drive carefully so as not to get stopped for stupid stuff.)

Be that as it may I had to go through the whole process of getting a new license, right from the written test to driving test and the whole kaboodle when the three months was over.

First the written and driving test came to 150 bucks but then they wanted another $85- bucks for a highway test! Since the difference was negligible (G-1 vs. G) I said the hell with giving them another eighty five bucks and just drove like that.

A couple of months ago I bumped a guys car in the corner grocery store parking lot and this asshole insisted on putting it through insurance even though there was only a 2 inch scratch in the paint on his rear plastic bumper cover.

(I owned a body shop for twenty years and new exactly what was involved in fixing his car so I offered him a couple of hundred bucks for his trouble but he insisted on going through the insurance and there wasn't much I could do about it.)

A few weeks later the insurance company phones me and says that since I only had a G-2 license (learners) and not a full "G" class they were going to classify me as a high risk driver and charge me an extra $300 dollars a month for the next three years.

I was quick to get on the phone and ask them how they could justify over ten thousand dollars in increased premiums over the next three years for a two hundred dollar claim and since I didn't get a satisfactory answer..... we are now going to court!

I thought I had better get my "general" license before any of this hit the courts so I phoned the driver examination and testing center to set up an appointment for my highway test.

Needless to say, I got an automated answering service that informed me that this new system was designed to simplify and speed up service, so would I just push #1 ..... and then #3..... and then #1 again.

On the second #1 I heard a beep and a canned voice came on and said; "We are sorry but that function is not possible....... thank you for phoning!"

Next thing I know I'm back to a dial tone again and I don't even know so much as what the phone # was of the machine that I was talking to. (I was driving and had to phone information and be automatically connected.)

In other words, back to square one!

I don't know ............. if his keeps up I just might start taking the bus!

Your "get the hell off the road or learn how to drive, asshole" scribe;
Allan W Janssen

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More Weird Houses!

They say a man's home is his castle!

A house I would love to have!

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