Thursday, September 30, 2010

Friday Thoughts 10/1/2010 The Yin and Yang version


This week you get a double dose of Friday thoughts. Believe me, not all are gems, as it's definitely not easy to come up with 20 things to post a quick blurb about. When I started doing the Friday thoughts, I thought it would be a good way to force myself to have a semi-regular feature for readers to count on in order to make the blog interesting. It also was meant to be a way for me to type out quick thoughts without droning on about something, that would make it unreadable anyway.

I typically start thinking about things I might want to put on the list about Wednesday of any given week, as I started typing this up on Thursday, I realized that I was likely to have a very negative toned list. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but given the fact that I like a little balance and it is Friday, I decided that I needed to balance it out a little this week. Hence, the Yin and Yang Friday thoughts. If you aren't looking at being down before the weekend, save the first 10 for another day. Unfortunately, this is an imperfect project and my guess is that the

The Yang:

1. A somber link this morning.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100930/ap_on_re_us/us_student_taped_sex_24

There are so many things wrong here, I don't even know where to begin. While I admit to making an assumption that the reason for the jump is due to the actions of the roommates. The point I want to make is for those that find all sorts of reasons to hate homosexuals. The suicide by this young man is an indirect result of your hate and prejudice. This isn't the first situation like this and unfortunately it won't be the last. While you may have all sort of reasons to believe what you do, remember that your crusade, crude comments, hate, and bad behavior toward those that are different then you have an impact. Why you struggle with the fact that someone maybe different then you, I'll never understand.

2. This is a video link:

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/boy-fights-bullying-for-the-right-to-cheer-22181559

Another case of bullying, where two boys allegedly broke the cheerleader boy's arms. He wants to be a cheerleader, so what. Even as children we tend to be so miserable we can't stand it when someone is enjoying something. I realize there is a level of bullying that we probably will never be able to eradicate. Bullying goes hand in hand with point 1. We, as a society, seem to have forgotten how to teach our children or each other how to respect others.

3. I contacted my mortgage company this week at the request of my Realtor to inquire about their short sale process. All I have to say is it's a wonderfully bureaucratic process .

4. Lebron James has dropped the race card on his popularity sagging due to the 'Decision'

http://nba-facts-and-rumors.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22748484/24932277

5. The Brown's are now 0-3. I promise you though, it's not as bad as it looks. There are some positives here, just not showing up in the record yet. The real concern could be that the public turns completely on this team though before they continue to make progress. Here's hoping they don't pull the plug on things, as that would just repeat the previous cycles.

6. I know today is link heavy, what can I say, the news is bugging me this week on the Internet.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/highschool/blog/prep_rally/post/Florida-coach-suspended-for-taking-in-homeless-p?urn=highschool-273393

If this was a case of just 'helping' out a homeless student, is there a reason he had to play football. And while, the article comments that he 'only' makes a stipend of$3,800.00 for coaching the team, does that take into account, that technically he only does it a couple hours a week for 3-4 months? I'd take $3,800.00 to work 2-3 hours after school on weekdays for 3-4 months. It also should be noted, that most 'retirement' packages for teachers count your stipends as part of your salary for determining your retirement package.

7. There are some days, I wake up really hating Columbus and this Townhouse.

8. If you follow any world news, then you should probably familiarize yourself with 'Kim Jong Un' as he's likely to be in the news over the next couple of decades. (yes, this qualifies as Yang for those not in North Korea)

9. Rahm Emmanuel is leaving his White House post tomorrow, I think it would benefit the current administration to add Emmanuel Lewis in his place.

10. For a city surrounded by farmland, I'm disturbed by the lack of Farmer's Markets, stands, or any semblance of places selling locally grown produce in the area. The North Market farm vendors were selling some of the crappiest looking stuff I've ever seen there on my visit two weeks ago. I'm telling you it was so bad, I'm pretty sure I could have grown better stuff with "Brondo" (it's what plants crave, look it up).

The Yin:

1. Our insurance claim appears to be settled. We filed a claim when my wife's car was broken into and her things were taken. While I can honestly say it was a more fun then being stabbed in the eye, I'm very glad the process is over.

2. Bronwyn hasn't cried once this week when being dropped off at day care. That's good for a deep sigh of relief at least.

3. During my college years, I worked at a souvenir shop, which doubled as a local liquor/lottery/sex toy/adult noveltie shop. (Yes, you read that last part right). Anyway, in the fall, they would turn the store into a Halloween store, as there weren't a lot of places to go in the area to get costume stuff. It was one of my favorite jobs, as we were able to build displays and pretty much dress in whatever we could put together when we were working. I've still went back there over the years to look for costumes and even worked a couple falls there after I had left. I've never quite found a place that had as much Halloween stuff as we did at the Odyssey. That is until yesterday, when I came across Party-City. A party store here in Columbus, that blew away the Odyssey layout. I took the daughter and wife there yesterday and they found their costumes. I'm very into putting a costume together this year (it seems to come and go for me, some years, I'm crazy about it, others I just throw something on the day before). Anyway, my wife asked me if I wanted to look around, I told her that it's best if I don't as it will take me 2-3 hours of going through the store to see what they have and it probably would be better if I did it alone (this isn't an exaggeration) . I really want to get a part time job there for the season.

4. I'm the type that just can't throw on any Halloween costume, even ones that are last minute are usually cobbled together from all the 'stuff' I have. Detail is so important, although I'm like that when I dress to go out as well. Anyway, I'm finding it funny that Bronwyn seems to be exhibiting some of my quirkiness in regards to costumes. The costume she wanted this year, had to be a little cute, and a little scary, but it couldn't be too scary. Nice... I think we found a witch one that fits that criteria for her.

5. Stuxnet, if you aren't familiar with what it is, do a search on it. In my opinion this is one of those significant events in our lifetime. If it's as sophisticated as most experts are claiming and it completes it's mission as intended, this type of offensive will change the world as we know it. I'm secretly hoping it is actually U.S. funded code, at the very least I'd like to think we still have the ability as a nation to be the first/best in something.

6. There are days I love living in Columbus and finding new things out about the area. There is something refreshing about change. It's also fairly stimulating to discover new things to do.

7. Fall is here, absolutely my favorite time of year. I'm still convinced Cleveland has the best fall weather of anywhere I've ever been. Columbus is close though (big surprise there due to their proximity). I'm very happy though, that the move for the wife's new job did not take me too far from Fall in Ohio. The weather is perfect and the trees changing color are gorgeous.

8. I highly recommend checking out groupon.com or living social(.com). Both sites offer local area deals on a daily basis. Anything from restaurants, to spa treatments, to auto services. Unlike restaurant.com, most of the dining deals include alcohol too, which usually makes it pretty easy to hit the total you are shooting for and get a free drink in the process.

9. Here's some more shameless promotion. I've taken another step in trying to find another band to play with. We'll see what happens. If you didn't get a chance to listen to the demos I did before with the old band and had posted, you can find them here: http://www.bandmix.com/mhs/

10. That's it for the week, Yin, definitely not as solid as the Yang this week, we'll see if that balances out in future versions, that is if I ever do a future version like this. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spin me right round

I'm back in Columbus after a weekend taking care of things related to the house in Cleveland. I'm happy to say it's now on the market, so if you are looking for something and one of the other 400 house in Garfield Heights isn't to your liking, let me know, I may have the house for you.

I think I'm mentally exhausted from this past month, so many things to keep track of and constantly having a list full of things to do. I'm also smack dab in the middle of a host of things that are 'unknown' to me and it's driving me a bit crazy.

I really feel like I'm driving a car in slow motion and it's spinning out of control on a sheet of ice. There's a part of me that knows that I'm going to pull out of the spin, I just don't know how it's going to happen, what type of damage may be done in the process, or how long it's going to take.

While my visible emotional exterior probably looks fairly normal for me, please be aware that internally I'm much more powder keg then zen master at the moment, if you have to deal with me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday, err, Friday Thoughts 9/23/10

It's a day early I know. I don't feel like setting the timer for the post to show up tomorrow, so you get it one day early, and it helps with my title obsession of trying to keep things mixed up.

1. Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck admit that Joaquin's 'retirement' and bizarre behavior were just a hoax. Does anyone care? Yes, I know Phoenix has been nominated for Oscars and I'd consider him to have marginal ability in a field that still employs William Shatner and Kevin Costner regularly. This is what happens when you let younger brothers do what they want. Ben should kick Casey's ass and Joaquin's too, since River isn't here.

2. I spent the afternoon cleaning the house and upon discovering the vacuum cleaner was no longer working, had to go through the whole process of removing a bag full of hair from the rollers. (yech). For all of the woman out there who regularly bash on their men for things they do or are responsible for, next time you think of doing so, think about whether your vacuum works regularly and who has to clean up that mess. If you aren't the one doing it, think about saving that that barb for another time or shave your head.

3. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy this week. Before we claim that Netflix killed the video store, might it be that huge corporate businesses killed the video store, since they ran the small stores out of business and then raised prices to cover their predatory pricing? Just something to think about.

4. I'm off to Cleveland tomorrow to finish up some of the cleaning and maintenance of the house. I'm also meeting with the realtor to put the house on the market. So if you are looking in the Cleveland area, email me :)

5. This is the week of my friends annual trip up to Put in Bay, an island on Lake Erie. They've been doing this for about 11 years (at least) and have asked me to come up for at least the last 5. I've always declined. I'm happy to say though, I'll be making a visit to the island tomorrow after visiting the house. It will be interesting to see the island, as I've never visited it in all my years in Cleveland.

6. I forgot to mention that two of my closest friends decided to nickname me the last time we went out over Labor Day weekend. In some morbid way, I'm sort of excited about this, as I can't remember anyone ever giving me one (well at least that I thought was unique or interesting). They did a pretty good job with it, I think, although I'm going to hold back on sharing it for now. (the reason is, it's a bit to revealing for parts of my personality I tend to only share marginally on the blog).

7. Living here in Columbus means I'm inundated with Ohio State Buckeye promotion everywhere and on Saturdays in the fall, everyone is wearing Scarlett and Grey. I'm trying to get into it I really am, but after watching OSU squash Marshall, I just couldn't get over the fact that college football teams have like 2-3 'hard' games each year. It's just hard for me to get behind something like that, maybe I'd care more if I had gone to OSU, but living here doesn't seem to do it for me. I guess that's what happens when you've been a fan of the Indians and Browns for so long and your college was Kent State.

8. Bronwyn's still struggling with day care drop off, breaking into tears three of the four days she's been dropped off this week. The good news though is that she seems to be doing well when she's there and hasn't been angling to get out of going to daycare each night. As the designated drop off person though, I have to say it's not easy leaving when she's upset like that.

9. Speaking of Bronwyn, she's starting Pee Wee cheerleading tonight. It's a once a week class at the park, although they don't cheer for a football team. (We were told that's another group). Anyway, it should give her something to look forward too over the next two months or so and hopefully will help her adjust more.

10. The Browns have started out 0-2. While the national pundits have placed them consistently in 2nd last place in their power rankings, I can guarantee the team is not that bad. Yes, they've had two games where they've made crucial mistakes, but for those games they controlled the majority of those games. Compared to what's been on the field for the last 10 years, this team is making progress. The two losses are by a combined 5 points, in years past double digit victories were the norm.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Peculiar obsession for the week

It's hard for me to admit that I can obsess at times. If you knew me personally you'd probably be a bit surprised to learn it, as I hide it well (at least I think I do in comparison to others I see do it all the time). If you are familiar with this blog, it's probably not a huge surprise, as I think it may come across in the writing.

Anyway, I have a mild obsession going on for the last month. Working from home means you interact less with people. This can really screw up your social skills. Reflecting on times I've been around people in the last couple years, I become a bit horrified at times that I'm so uneasy, anxious, or out of sync talking to people face to face. I'm sure there is a part of my worry that is unfounded, but I know those skills have eroded some due to not having to use them.

This leads me to my newest obsession over the past couple months, the handshake. Not meeting new people or shaking hands regularly has made me worried that my handshake might stink the next time I need to use it. Which means I've been obsessing over it. I'm sure some of this comes from the fact that I'm acutely aware that I would have more situations where I would need to use it, since we are living in a new area.

My obsession takes two forms. The first is thinking about the act as you are doing it, which for something like a handshake is asking for trouble as it's really not something you should concentrate on. Is it to firm, too soft, bone-crunching? Since there is an art to the handshake, I'm confident that thinking about it while performing the action is only going to lead to disastrous results. Luckily, I think I've been able to ignore these thoughts during the process and have been able to rely on past muscle memory to perform it correctly. For those that are unfamiliar with the anxiety I'm talking about for this, think of it as really trying to concentrate on giving a high five. You are far better off just performing the action, rather then trying to 'think' about it.

My second obsession about it is due to recent events. I was working one day and noticed an article on Yahoo.com's homepage about handshakes. I was doing fine until the end of the article where it stated that it's inappropriate to offer to shake hands with a female, unless they have offered their hand first. Crap, I didn't know this and many of the new acquaintances I've came in contact with recently are female and I've offered my hand first. Now, I'm not one to beat myself up over the etiquette faux pas, it's a live and learn situation; however looking back on those encounters, I'm fairly certain that I caused some awkwardness in the encounters with my action. Not recognizing that awkwardness is what I'm obsessing over, in the past I'm confident I would have noticed it more quickly (like during the encounter, rather then a week or so later).

While I just said that I don't beat myself up over etiquette mistakes that you are able to learn from, that's probably not entirely true either. I'm sort of horrified at the thought that for many years now I've not been aware of this. I'm trying to rationalize it in a couple of different ways.

1. Maybe the cases of shaking hands with women before actually had them offering it first.

2. Maybe, it's not such a mistake due to the field I'm in.

3. Maybe, it's just an archaic piece of etiquette, after all, aren't we equals now?

Perhaps those reading this can offer some insight into this.

Until I can resolve the thoughts with this , I'm thinking about some of the ways to proceed for encounters with woman where I would typically think to shake hands.

1. Go European, kisses on the cheeks. (Probably not going to work, too many reasons to list, besides I just don't have the personality to pull this one off, wife probably would interpret it wrong as well)
2. Bow (again going to be a problem, as I know there are different meanings depending on how far you bow).
3. Hug (this won't work, how hard should you hug, where do the hands go in back, this has the potential to be worse than handshaking).
4. Stand far enough away that it's not an option, preferably choose a position where there are things in between you during initial conversation. (this works well if my daughter is there, as I can just awkwardly position her in front of me and move her as needed).
5. Stand too close to people during introductions (shift the anxiety to them, although you do have the risk of appearing 'creepy')
6. Fist bump (I'm thinking of taking this to Howie Mandel levels and always wear gloves, pretending I've got Mysophobia or OCD with a fear of germs. I'm guessing this wouldn't leave the initial impression I want though)
7. Refuse to interact with anyone.

Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comment section.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Thoughts 9/17

It's been awhile since I had a Friday list, so here goes.

1. A scary moment for one of my favorite bloggers this week. www.hurricanemikey.blogspot.com it looks like he is pulling through though, I wish him all the best in his recovery.

2. I'm adjusting to life in Columbus, slowly but surely. One positive I've been able to find 5 FM stations to plug into my presets and for the most part they are superior to Cleveland's choices. I particularly like Gen X radio so far 106.7.

3. I'm tired of insurance company forms and constantly paying out for shit during this move. If I hadn't mentioned it before, the wife's purse and bag were stolen from her car the day prior to our move, so for the last couple weeks I've been compiling a list of things stolen, talking with the insurance company and filling out way too many forms. Hopefully I'm finally done with all of the paperwork. I can't imagine having to go through it for a fire or loss of house property.

4. When we moved, I decided to try and change my diet a bit. I've been really focusing on eating more fruits and vegetables. Considering my definition of vegetable before was potato, this is a bit of a monumental task. I'm happy to report though that so far, so good. I've been munching on veggies like they were going out of season and I'm definitely feeling the effects of catching up on the nutrients they provide.

5. I miss my office, while the basement is almost finished being arranged, I still find myself on most days sitting with the laptop in the living room. It works for what I need to do, but I need to force myself into the basement more often, to at least break the monotony of working and relaxing in the same place.

6. A big thank you to the FBI this week, for starting to break up the corrupt County elected officials in Cleveland. Cuyahoga County for those not familiar with the area. Frank Russo, former county auditor since 1997 resigned this week and yesterday pleaded guilty to charges that will put him in jail for 21 years. County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora is up next having been arrested this week. This is a big step forward for the county and hopefully they can do a fair job at eliminating the corruption in the offices, although I don't think they'll fully clean it up.

7. I would be negligent if I didn't point out that the Cleveland Plain Dealer (cleveland.com) has done a very nice job of reporting during the whole county ordeal. I'm sure they've shed light on a number of areas that assisted the FBI probes. I'll leave the determination of who did it first to others, but the coverage alone by the Plain Dealer has been very good.

8. I apologize for bitching about the Plain Dealer's online offerings in previous blog posts. While I still think there is a lot of room for improvement. The Columbus Dispatch is so far behind from an online standpoint, it's laughable. It doesn't help that after reading some of the online information from the Dispatch, that I can't help but think that there coverage of things has a very college feel to it, similar to their Sports section, that is listed as Buckeye Sports, rather then sports. All Major League and NFL content I've found for the most part are linked from the Plain Dealer or Cincinnati Enquirer. I realize Columbus doesn't have any of the major league sports (MLB, NBA, and NFL), but given the proximity to the two cities, I have to believe it would be better served by beat reporters for those sports. After all, isn't it the 'largest' city in Ohio. It wouldn't hurt for the Dispatch to display Columbus' professional teams a little better either, while I'm not a big fan of Soccer or the NHL, I'm surprised there isn't better coverage of them in the paper.

9. I'm really happy with the grocery offerings here in Columbus. Krogers and Meijers blow away the choices and sales that Cleveland has available. Considering Cleveland only has Giant Eagle right now as a main store, and a lot of discount stores supporting it, it's no surprise. Giant Eagle is also down here in Columbus, but from a pricing standpoint their ad is eons behind Krogers or Meijers.

10. I'm heading out for the first time tonight to check out some of the nightlife scene in Columbus, my childhood friend's band "Chief Bromide" is actually playing down here tonight for a show. A good opportunity to see something familiar and get a chance to see the area and people at some of the shows. I'm still in process of trying to find a band to sing with and get that kick started again, I'm thinking I'll have more to report on that in the next month.

Bonus point for the week: Bronwyn has been enjoying day care, but the long week and new settings have been catching up to her. Today she cried on drop off that she wanted to come home with me. Each night, we've had problems getting her to leave, but at home she's usually angling for how to get of going the next day, everything from pretend illnesses to begging. It's a rough adjustment for her so far, but today is the first today, she's actually cried at the daycare and gave the bear hug to try and get me to take her home. I'm glad its the last day of the week though as I'm sure she can use a weekend of being home to get back in the swing of things.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 13, 2010

First day of Pre-school

Today was the first day of pre-school for my daughter. She's been excited for this ever since we moved to Columbus two weeks ago. Up to this point, her daycare has either been her mother,when she wasn't substituting, me while I'm working, or a visit to my mother's house to spend the day with her and my niece.

I have no fear that Bronwyn will adjust well to school. Even though some would view her upbringing to this point and conclude that she's not been socialized, she reacts very well in group settings and is very friendly and outgoing (I suspect it's due to her Sagittarius personality).

While Bronwyn will be fine, I'm not so well this morning. I know this was inevitable, she was getting to the point where she needed to start meeting other people and begin to play more with friends around her age. She's outgrown home care, especially when she has less area to do things in or play. Even though it's been inevitable, I can't say that makes it any better. She won't be here during the day anymore, even when I wasn't working I could swing down during a lunch break and say hello or I could expect her to come barreling into my office at least once in awhile to ask me a question (having escaped from her mother for a period of time on those days).

Words can't explain how much I'm going to miss her. I know she'll be home during the summer, but I know this is just another step to her growing up, and unfortunately one that's more pronounced. She's going to continue getting farther away not closer. Not really a surprise, but always difficult when you have to face it.

I will be looking forward to hearing about how her day goes and all of her experiences. I'll know I'll get a great deal of pride seeing her navigate through these new adventures. Unfortunately, that doesn't fully counteract the terror I feel in having to let her move into these experiences that I have little control/influence over.

For some people, they miss the baby stage, I was never a fan of it, I've always looked forward to that 3 and 4 year old stage, where you are still the center of their world. It's a time when they aren't adverse to holding your hand their personality really starts to shine.

I guess I shouldn't be too sad, as I walked her to the donut store on Sunday, she did tell me that even when she gets older, she'll always hold my hand. (thankfully I had sunglasses on at the time, hard to explain the tears, for that matter a good thing I was able to get out of daycare quickly today too for the same reason)

Her world is growing today and as much as I want to, I can't stop it (nor would I if I could), I just hope I've gotten her ready for it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blogging from the porch 9/12

Well about a 1000ft from the porch. New city equals finding a place to watch the Browns. The city is divided between Cincinnati and Cleveland, local station chose the Bengals this week.

I decide instead of streaming I'd visit some local places first one is about a block from my house and bills itself the only Browns backer bar in Grove City. Not bad 4 TVs with the game and a lot of Browns fans, the one problem only beer license on Sunday, this is a deal breaker fore, damn blue laws, haven't seen a place like this in Cleveland for 5 years at least. More to come once I check out another spot.

I wound up visiting two more spots. Blah, I remember now why I can't stand sports bars, fairly depressing or over crowded. The next stop was a nice bar with about 3 people in it, I had a drink and moved on. The third spot was probably best although I'd call it more of a restaurant that serves drinks then a bar. I managed to stick around until the third quarter, then got bored and came home.

I might have to get used to listening to the games on the radio, at least there is a local affiliate for that, that is for the games that aren't broadcast locally.


- michael

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sophisticated propaganda

I do love me some sophisticated propoganda especially when it's in the form of a chain letter that of course at the end of it advises you to 'ensure you send it on to everyone you know to stop this menace'

The letter below was sent to me through an email mailing. I've not checked on it authenticity through snopes.com and in truth I could care less on whether or not the author actually has a PH.D or not, as it's ultimately irrelevant to the content of the letter anyway. I'll let you read the note first then offer my own thoughts on it.

I'll also add a comment, the first passage is 3 degrees of separation from me, I've included it here as the two people on the email list prior to me that I know included it, and I know neither is named Ed, but since they thought enough to include the commentary, I'll do the same.

This is by far the best explanation of the Muslim terrorist situation I have read. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist. - Ed

A German's View on Islam

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.'

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, [and Israelis], Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts--the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world wide, read this and think about it, and send it on - before it's too late.

Emanuel Tanay, M.D.

The article included the professor's name, address, and phone number, I've removed the address information, as I don't think it's relevant and regardless of whether the person is the correct auther, I can't imagine they want their information published further on the web, although it's already moving fairly well through chain mail.


So there we have it, at the very least it's a well written piece, on it's surface it's just a story from someone who lived within a bad time and with a bad regime that came to power.

So here is the letter again with my thoughts in bold in the areas I find interesting.

This is by far the best explanation of the Muslim terrorist situation (sort of a general statement here by the commentator, this does a good job of associating all terrorists with Islam though and sets the stage. I do remember IRA bombings, Georgian Nationals taking over a Russian school and theater, and the Oklahoma city bombings. Terrorist attacks aren't exclusive to Islamic followers. While Americans remember so vividly the September 11th attacks, I can assure you that Russians are just as sensitive to Georgian rebels as Americans are to Muslims. I have read. His references to past history are accurate and clear (Accurate? Perhaps, there aren't a lot of false statements, more along the line of clever associations). Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist - Ed (Psychiatry is essentially irrelevant for this argument or for credentials, if this was a foot doctor would it matter? I could possibly give someone who is well respected in another field more credit here, but I find little assurances from a Psychiatrist talking about social issues as they relate to society.

A German's View on Islam

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.' (interesting story, although you'll note it's not the author's experience, but rather the experience of someone who lived in Nazi Germany. While I can sympathize with this person's story, there are some differences between Islam and Naziism that I think are worth pointing out. Namely, that Islam exists in a fair number of countries already intertwined with the current population and the Nazis were a political party in Germany that took control.

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. (Interesting passage, tug at the heart strings in the first paragraph and work up your fear, and then line it up talking about the fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. As I pointed out in the first commentary, I'm relatively sure there are a number of 'fanatics' anywhere you look. IRA, Pro-Life groups, U.S Militia, Mormon cults (I'll use the Lundgren Mormon cult as an example), Georgian rebels, Crazed eco-terrorists invading Discovery Channel offices. The list can go on and on, but I think I've made my point, there will always be someone with an ax to grind. These groups are just as wrong as the Muslim extremists. The difference though is we don't talk label all white males in rural Alabama that are pro-life as extremists and advise that since they won't police their own they are the enemy.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.
It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. I can't remember the last time I saw the leader of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, or a host of other nations, bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. Oh wait it's not the leaders of Islam at the moment, it's the Imams (Mosque Leaders) who are the fanatics, how dumb of me, because there aren't mosques all over this country and others that exist in peace. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers. To close out my commentary on this paragraph, remember there is no fact stated in this entire paragraph, just a fair amount of rhetoric intent on breeding fear.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous. Another assumption, and as my father has always taught me, assumptions make an ass.....

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. Let's assume for a moment these numbers are true. Can we add in the colonization of America's effect on the Native Americans genocide? How about the transporting of slaves from Africa? Care to add any numbers for how many the Roman empire killed in the name of Christianity? Or for other Christian slaughters? If I was going to write something that was intended to provoke and convince, China and Russia make great references to start out with. Russia as a former Cold War enemy and China as the new fearful economic enemy. Bravo.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. This is another example of 'rough facts' I particularly like how they start the paragraph, with a reference to the average Japanese person. A country that now-a-days is considered fairly peaceful and non-threatening, but before we get to the end of the first paragraph the author quickly reminds you that they became war mongering sadists. Hmmm, if I didn't know better I might make the assumption that those 'peace loving Muslims' that all the talking heads and experts tell me about, might do the same.

And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'? Seeing a pattern yet? While the issues of Rwanda are sad, let's not forget we are talking about a nation here, not individual people. And while Rwanda may have delved into collapse, and there are strong criminal, corrupt, murderous groups vying for control, to say that there still aren't peaceful Rwandans would be an unproven assumption. The issues affecting Rwanda are about as different as you can get to a religion practiced by citizens of your own country and other countries. It's apples and oranges and has no business in the letter.

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Oh crap, we have not affected change on invading Iraq, or when our militias blow up our federal buildings, and Ireland turned into cesspool, whatever shall we do?

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, [and Israelis], Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. And the author is aware how that peaceful Muslims are not speaking up? Do a little research, there are plenty of peaceful Muslims speaking up. Let's point something else out though, all of the people listed here are nations and the circumstances involving those nations all were different. This general kind of fear inducing statement is 'garbage'.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts--the fanatics who threaten our way of life. Ahh, now we are getting somewhere, let's get them, but wait we don't know what ones are fanatical, they all look the same, so we have to stop them all.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world wide, read this and think about it, and send it on - before it's too late. Let's hope the thousands that think about it, do so with some reason and understanding of what propoganda is, because this letter is garbage and is meant to cause fear and misunderstanding through mis-direction.

Emanuel Tanay, M.D.

My final thoughts: This post isn't about Muslim rights, I'm not trying to convince those that hold prejudice to change, ultimately, you'll need to decide that on your own. The point of breaking this down though is I want people to think about what they are being told and make your own decisions from it. While I would disagree with you if you harbored a prejudice toward a certain group or wanted to deny a group their right to build a place of worship in a place they've paid for, I'll at least respect you if you come to the decision on your own. Letters like these and the current crop of radio and tv shows on both sides of the fence are intended to do one thing, cause you to fear things and advance their agenda (which in truth is usually just their wallets, but that's for another time).

So next time you get a note like this, read it, think about it, maybe even send a note back to the person that sent it to you with your thoughts, but if you just pass it on you are just perpetuating sophisticated propoganda.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blogging from the porch 9/6

It's been a long weekend, I headed back to the house in Cleveland to redo the hardwood floors.








The stain took forever to dry forcing me to lacquer it this morning. At least they are done now. I finished the move out clean on a couple rooms and took care of a couple other things too. Being there just reminded me that there is still a lot to do.

Since there's no food there, that meant eating out each night and I had a chance to see my friends, which is never a bad thing. There was a lot of solo time though between the drive and work that had my mind delving through things, some good stuff to write about, if I can figure out the way I want to share it. That last statement maybe incorrect, if I can figure out my thoughts and then figure out how I want to share it.

Anyway, that's all I have for tonight, we'll see how the week goes.

-michael

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Columbus stuff

I've made it to mid week and we can finally see the floor on the first floor. Actually the first floor is pretty well set with a former bookcase making a nice makeshift pantry and some quality positioning of furniture and toys that I learned from the one bedroom apartment that the wife and I shared prior to the house.

Here are a couple things I like so far in being in the apartment.

1. Outlets everywhere! Our house, built in the 1920's had one outlet per room on the second floor, talk about guaranteeing where an alarm clock would go.

2. Every time I turn on something or look at a door, the floor, or anything that came with the townhouse, I don't instantly calculate how close it is to breaking or how much it might take to fix it. The beauty of renting is all about the maintenance. After owning the 'money pit' for 7 years, I'm enjoying this change.

3. Along with the outlets everywhere, it's also laid out far better then my old house, there is very little wasted space, as things fit like they are supposed to in a modern dwelling. Even though my old house had more room, it had far more wasted space.

4. A ton of shopping options right near the house, finally got groceries last night, as the supplies I brought in the cooler from the old house had run out.


Things that I'm not loving so far.

1. I miss the isolation of my house porch or backyard. Being on top of neighbors just builds anxiety for me, the good thing is everyone in the complex seems nice and I seem to be easing into it after only one week. I thought it would take longer or not at all.

2. The place is smaller, and that kind of sucks, even though some of it was wasted space, we definitely didn't feel as cramped as we do here, although this will pass.

3. Too much still to do on the old house and for changing things over to the new address. I can't wait until that ends, but I'm guessing it goes until at least the beginning of October.

4. Bronwyn's still having a hard time adjusting, she's not sharing it with us, unless we press, but I can tell it's affecting her (all the change). Her behavior is off a bit, ignoring us and intentionally disobeying things, although they are minor things, this is extremely out of character for her. She also gets a bit upset every afternoon, it appears to be from being tired and although I could be wrong here 'stress'. We're working on this one though, pre-school should help as she's looking forward to it and will get her mind off of the change or at least let her deal with it on her terms.

5. I'm not loving that I can't just throw the dog outside if he continues to hover under my feet. Our pug was spastic enough at the old house, add in a new place, new noises, and the fact that he has to be leashed everywhere now and you have one hyper pug. I will say that Bronwyn and Edgar seem to be bonding more due to the move, interesting how familiarity can breed increased closeness.

That's enough for now, I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting at the moment, that I'll get to eventually. I'm heading up to Cleveland for the weekend to work on the hardwood floors, get a house painting estimate, clean, and work on some of the point of sale issues. So much for a holiday weekend.