Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two articles by Dr Zuhdi Jasser

Gary Fouse

Dr Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a true moderate Muslim, has written two recent articles which I find quite noteworthy. The first concerns plans by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to hold hearings on Islamic radicalism within the US. The second is Dr Jasser's take on the recent decision by the Justice Department to take up the case of a Muslim school teacher who was denied leave to go on the Hajj.

I would hope that Rep. King would invite Dr Jasser to testify. Rather than listening to the likes of CAIR, ISNA and MPAC, Jasser is the kind of Muslim our government (and us) should be listening to. His words make sense.

Free Hugs!

A simple gesture that is bigger than its whole.

This video was made in Sondrio, Italy on 15 May 2010. The idea is catchy. Just write a sign: "Free Hugs!" and the smiles will arrive. If you are not smiling at the end of this video, tell us where to send the flowers.

Hat tip to Woman Honor Thyself.

Free Hugs in Sondrio, Italy

Hugs  to all!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nothing's Changed

From 1956, a political cartoon from Sweden.  The names are different (Gamal Abdel Nasser represents Egypt and David Ben-Gurion represents Israel.), the terror is the same.

Hat tip to Elder of Ziyon

Nothing's Changed: Arab/Israeli Conflict as seen in 1956

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday Morning Funnies #11

Christmas Edition

Starting off with a classic Christmas Carol:

From Latma:

Jihad Bells in Bethlehem and global warming chills

Just when you thought you have seen every imaginable airport security:

I wouldn't put it pass the TSA!

Jingle Bells...Frank Sinatra

The reason Santa gets an escort from the IDF:

Hamas in action!

A "different" 12 days of Christmas: (Thank you Bob)

Miss Agnes McHolstein
69 Cash Avenue
Beaver Valley, Colorado
December 14, 2010

Dearest John:
I went to the door today and the postman delivered a partridge in a pear tree. What a thoroughly delightful gift. I couldn't have been more surprised.

With deepest love and devotion,

December 15, 2010

Dearest John:
Today the postman brought your very sweet gift. Just imagine two turtle doves. I'm just delighted at your very thoughtful gift. They are just adorable.

All my love,

December 16, 2010

Dearest John:
Oh! Aren't you the extravagant one. Now I really must protest. I don't deserve such generosity, three French hens. They are just darling but I must insist, you've been too kind.


December 17, 2010

Dear John,
Today the postman delivered 4 calling birds. Now really, they are beautiful but don't you think enough is enough. You're being too romantic.


December 18, 2010

Dearest John:
What a surprise. Today the postman delivered 5 golden rings; one for every finger. You're just impossible, but I love it. Frankly, all those birds squawking were beginning to get on my nerves.

All my love,

December 19, 2010

Dear John:
When I opened the door there were actually 6 geese a-laying on my front steps. So, you're back to the birds again, huh? Those geese are huge. Where will I ever keep them? The neighbors are complaining and I can't sleep through the racket.
Please stop.


December 20, 2010

What's with you and those f$%#ing birds? 7 swans a-swimming. What kind of God damned joke is this? There's bird shit all over the house, and they never stop with the racket. I can't sleep at night and I'm a nervous wreck. It's not funny. So stop with those f$%#ing birds.


December 21, 2010

O.K. Buster:
I think I prefer the birds. What the hell am I going to do with 8 maids a-milking? It's not enough with all those birds and 8 maids a-milking, but they had to bring their God damned cows. There is s$%# all over the lawn and I can't move in my own house. Just lay off me, smart ass.


December 22, 2010

Hey! S$%#head,
What are you? Some kind of sadist? Now there's 9 pipers playing. And Christ do they play. They've never stopped chasing those maids since they got here yesterday morning. They cows are getting upset, and they're stepping all over those screeching birds. What am I going to do? The neighbors have started a petition to evict me.

You'll get yours,

December 23, 2010

You Rotten Prick,
Now there's 10 ladies dancing. I don't know why I call those sluts ladies. They've been balling those pipers all night long. Now the cows can't sleep and they've got the diarrhea. My living room is a river of s$%#. The Commissioner of Buildings has subpoenaed me to give cause why this building shouldn't be condemned. I'm calling the police on you.

One who means it.
Miss Agnes McHolstein

December 24, 2010

Listen! F$%#head,
What's with the 11 lords a-leaping on those maids and ladies. Some of those broads will never walk again. Those pipers ran through the maids and have been committing sodomy with the cows. All 23 of the birds are dead. They've been trampled to death in the orgy. I hope you're satisfied, you rotten, vicious swine.

Your sworn enemy,

Law Offices Badger, Bender and Cahole
303 Knave Street
Chicago, Illinois
December 25, 2010

Dear Sir:
This is to acknowledge your latest gift of 12 fiddlers fiddling which you have seen fit to inflict on our client, Miss Agnes McHolstein. The destruction, of course, was total.

All correspondence should come to our attention.

If you should attempt to reach Miss McHolstein at Happy Dale Sanitarium, the attendants have instructions to shoot you on sight.

With this letter please find attached warrant for your arrest.

Badger, Bender and Cahole

Pat Boone - Winter Wonderland

Hedging his bets:

Doubt the beginnings of faith.

Dean Martin - Let it Snow!

A simple Christmas wish:

I hope he got his wish.

Bing Crosby - White Christmas

I'm having a White Christmas since it has been snowing since Friday and won't stop until Monday.  Lucky Me!

Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Some angels:

We can take it off when Grandma leaves right?

We Wish You a Merry Christmas- Enya

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Penn State Covers Its Indoctrinators

Gary Fouse

Norman Finkelstein- boob


Ward Churchill - boob "Power to the people!" (Yes, that's a quote.)

Penn State University has attracted the attention of David Horowitz and the National Association of Scholars by revising its code on what professors can and can't say in the classroom. In essence, they have cleared the way for their radical leftist professors to engage in all the propaganda they want to in class, even if it has nothing to do with the subject material.

1987 version:

It is not the function of a faculty member in a democracy to indoctrinate his/her students with ready-made conclusions on controversial subjects. The faculty member is expected to train students to think for themselves, and to provide them access to those materials which they need if they are to think intelligently. Hence, in giving instruction upon controversial matters the faculty member is expected be of a fair and judicial mind, and to set forth justly, without supersession or innuendo, the divergent opinions of other investigators.

No faculty member may claim as a right the privilege of discussing in the classroom controversial topics outside his/her own field of study. The faculty member is normally bound not to take advantage of his/her position by introducing into the classroom provocative discussions of irrelevant subjects not within the field of his/her study.

2010 version:

Faculty members are expected to educate students to think for themselves, and to facilitate access to relevant materials which they need to form their own opinions. Faculty members are expected to present information fairly, and to set forth justly divergent opinions that arise out of scholarly methodology and professionalism.

This, of course, is a national problem. Students, especially in the Humanities, are being taught what their professors think about the world no matter how outrageous. And don't think that it is all being balanced out by conservative professors spouting their views in class. For one thing, there are few conservative professors in our universities. Most are too busy making a living in the real world. Those that do enter the Halls of Ivy generally find they are as welcome as the proverbial skunk at the garden party. (I entered after retiring from the government-as a part-time teacher.)

At UCI, where I teach, the Humanities Department is much smaller than most big universities since there is so much emphasis on the physical sciences, pre-med and engineering. Yet, we had an incident recently where a women's studies professor reportedly  made it a practice to go off on regular rants against Israel causing one Jewish student to drop the class.

I myself in teaching English to foreign students make it a rule not to give my personal views on issues. If a controversial issue were to arise, I allow the students to express their views freely on these topics. When asked what my own view is, I generally tell them not to worry about what I think-rather work out their own opinions. I regard any professor who feels it is necessary to shove his or her opinions down students throats and not respect differing opinions from their students as being unprofessional.

At campus speaking events or seminars, however, that is different. In these venues, opinions are what matters, and I have chosen to become active in one particular issue (which my readers are well aware of).

This is not a matter of whether teachers have the right of free speech. They do. That said, they should perhaps keep in mind that as the saying goes, opinions are like ass----s; everybody has one. The fact that a professor has more wisdom because of his/her extensive education and research does not hold water as far as I am concerned. Most of these pin-heads have little to no actual life experience to bring into the classroom. They have gone from BS/BA to Masters to PHD to teaching. By the time they get that phd, they have been educated out of the last ounce of common sense they were born with.

You want examples? How about Norman Finkelstein, Ward Churchill, William Ayres, Bernadine Dorhn, Noam Chomsky...the list could go on forever. Fortunately, Finkelstein and Churchill now do their preaching from a soapbox instead of a classroom because their wacky scholarship was proven to be just that.

The sad thing is that it is our children who are being cheated out of a quality education. In many cases, they get drawn into useless programs like ethnic studies, women's studies, gay, lesbian, trans-gender studies, community studies, history of consciousness, you name it. When they graduate with that piece of paper, they are equipped to do nothing but teach it to the next generation of students.

And to repeat that famous phrase, how does all that teach young students to think for themselves? According to the academics, it means that they don't have to accept what their government, their parents, their elders or their churches teach them-just accept what your misfit professor, who likely despises convention and his/her own country, teaches them.

Just look at what is coming out of our universities for the past several years. These young folks can cite you chapter and verse about all the dark chapters and mistakes in our country's history, gay issues, feministt issues, corporate evils, and on and on. Can they tell you what the capital of Poland is? Probably not. Can they tell you the exact years of World Wars I and II? Probably not. Can they tell you who our presidents were during those wars? Probably not. Can they speak a complete sentence without using the word, "like" at least twice? Probably not.

Perhaps, at this point in my rant I should concede that I am not talking about all teachers nor am I talking about all students. I am talking about trends. The basic truth is that American education, while known to have become deficient at the secondary level, is also dangerously over-rated at the university level. Inferior teachers, who teach their opinions, make inferior students, who make inferior graduates. Our children, at least if they are studying in the Humanities, are not getting the education their parents think they are paying for.

Tracking Santa

In 1955, a Colorado Springs-based Sears store ran an advertisement encouraging children to call Santa Claus on a special telephone hotline. Due to a printing error, the phone number that was printed was the hotline for the Director of Operations at the Continental Air Defense (CONAD). Colonel Harry Shoup took the first Santa call on Christmas Eve of 1955 from a six-year old boy who began reciting his Christmas list. Shoup didn't find the call funny, but after asking the mother of the second caller what was happening, then realizing the mistake that occurred, he instructed his staff to give Santa's position to any child who called in.

Listen to Colonel Shoup talk about the experience.

Needless to say many children and parents were delighted to receive this information. Little did they know that a tradition had been born.

Three years later, the governments of the United States and Canada combined their national domestic air defenses into the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), but the tradition continued. Now major media outlets as well as children call in to inquire on Santa's location. NORAD relies on volunteers to help make Santa tracking possible. Many employees at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Base spend part of their Christmas Eve with their families and friends at NORAD's Santa Tracking Operations Center in order to answer phones and provide Santa updates to thousands of callers.

View at YouTube

About 800 service members and their families volunteer, and shift run from 2 a.m. MST December 24 to 2 a.m. Christmas morning.

In 1997, Canadian Major Jamie Robertson took over the program and expanded it to the Web where corporation-donated services have given the tradition global accessibility. In 2004, NORAD received more than 35,000 e-mails, 55,000 calls and 912 million hits on the Santa-tracking website from 181 countries. In 2005, more than 500 volunteers answered questions. In 2006 half a million calls and over 12,500 e-mails were handled from 210 territories. The site now gets well over 1 billion hits.

NORAD details its tracking system:

Detecting Santa all starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system has 47 installations strung across the northern border of North America. NORAD makes a point of checking the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

The moment our radar tells us that Santa has lifted off, we use our second mode of detection, the same satellites that we use in providing warning of possible missile launches aimed at North America. These satellites are located in a geo-synchronous orbit (that's a cool phrase meaning that the satellite is always fixed over the same spot on the Earth) at 22,300 miles above the Earth. The satellites have infrared sensors, meaning they can detect heat. When a rocket or missile is launched, a tremendous amount of heat is produced - enough for the satellites to detect. Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature similar to a missile launch. The satellites can detect Rudolph's bright red nose with practically no problem. With so many years of experience, NORAD has become good at tracking aircraft entering North America, detecting worldwide missile launches and tracking the progress of Santa, thanks to Rudolph.

The third detection system we use is the Santa Cam. We began using it in 1998 - the year we put our Santa Tracking program on the Internet. NORAD Santa Cams are ultra-cool high-tech high-speed digital cameras that are pre-positioned at many places around the world. NORAD only uses these cameras once a year - Christmas Eve. The cameras capture images of Santa and the Reindeer as they make their journey around the world. We immediately download the images on to our web site for people around the world to see. Santa Cams produce both video and still images.

The fourth detection system we use is the NORAD jet fighter. Canadian NORAD fighter pilots, flying the CF-18, take off out of Newfoundland to intercept and welcome Santa to North America. Then at numerous locations in Canada other CF-18 fighter pilots escort Santa. While in the United States, American NORAD fighter pilots in either the F-15 or F-16 get the thrill of flying with Santa and the famous Reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. About a dozen NORAD fighters in Canada and the United States are equipped with Santa Cams.

This year NORAD will be going live with its webcast and instead of hourly updates they will be in real time.

There are people who say that Santa Claus could not travel the whole world in one night. But they forget that Santa is a magical being, and magical beings can defy the laws of physics.
The fact that Santa Claus is more than 16 centuries old, yet does not appear to age, is our biggest clue that he does not work within time as we know it. His Christmas Eve trip may seem to take around 24 hours, but to Santa it may last days, weeks or even months in standard time. Santa would not want to rush the important job of distributing presents to children and spreading Christmas happiness everyone, so the only logical conclusion is that Santa functions within a different time-space continuum than the rest of us do.

To watch out for Santa via NORAD go here

Remember to leave out your milk and cookies for Santa and a carrot or two for the reindeer.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Are They Smoking In Massachusetts?

I don't know whether to put this as a Moonbat Alert or a WTF. I think this one is both.

In Brookline, Maassachusetts a public school principal sent out permission slips to allow students to say the Pledge of Allegiance once a week.  Not daily, but weekly.
Gerardo Martinez, the principal of The Devotion School, informed parents that the school would begin reciting the pledge in January over the public address system.

Attached to the letter was a form that asked parents to check either: "Yes, my child will participate in the weekly Pledge of Allegiance" or "No, my child will not participate in the weekly Pledge of Allegiance."

"I urge you to have a conversation as a family to help your children understand why I will be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and to support them in feeling comfortable and confident in the decision on whether or not to participate," Martinez wrote in the letter.

The school also sent parents a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance along with a note that defined the words "under God" as meaning "there is one Supreme entity for every citizen."

School officials told Fox News Radio they are in the process of offering some sort of clarification about the school’s policy as well as the definition of the words "under God."

"It's actually not a permission slip," said Superintendent Bill Lupini, in an interview with Fox News Radio. "There's no intent this was a permission form."

Lupini said students will not be forced to recite the pledge, regardless of a parent's wishes.

"If a student's parent checked yes and the student chose to remain seated, no one was going to compel that student to stand and vice versa," he said.

As for the definition of "under God?"

"My sense is that particular reference will be removed when he (the principal) clarifies it," Lupini said.

Some parents took issue with the permission slips.

"It's uncomfortable," Judi Puritz Cook told the Local Wicked newspaper. "The pledge is a promise, and I've always taught my kids to think very carefully before making any promise. It's not a decision I want to make for them."

An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Boston also had some concerns about the situation.

Sarah Wunsch told the newspaper the permission slips were "really strange."

"It suggests that this is a decision for parents alone," she said, noting that children don't lose their right of expression once they walk into a school building.

Under state law, teachers are required to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of every school day. Those who fail to do so for at least two weeks could face fines of up to five dollars.

"It's never been enforced,” Lupini said. "We will not be fining anyone."

I think that the State of Massachusetts is competing with the State of California to see which one is the most Moonbattiest.

You can contact Principal Gerardo Martinez

Snail Mail:

345 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446


Phone:  (617) 879 - 4400
Fax: (617) 739 - 7501

Remember it is Christmas time and nobody will be back until after the New Year.

You might want to remind this idiot of a principal what the Pledge of Allegiance actually stands for with this video:

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday's Hero: Merry Christmas

I sat here trying to think how to start this post. What did I want it to say? How long did I want it to be? I wasn't sure how to begin. I turned on some Christmas music to help get me in the right frame of mind to write a Christmas Wednesday Hero post, but it wasn't really helping. I mean, how do you properly thank a group of people who have given up everything in their lives to serve you and protect people all over the world with just a single post on a silly blog? Many of these Men and Women haven't seen their friends and families in months and many won't be seeing them for many more months. How do you thank them? They are away from home during the time of year when everyone should be together. How do you thank them for that? Some of them will never see their home or loved ones again because they laid down their life for a complete stranger. How do you thank them for that? I guess the better question would be are we able to thank them enough?

To all those who have completed their service, the ones who are serving, the ones who have payed the ultimate sacrifice and those who may have never served but help those who have and are, Thank You and Merry Christmas.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Monday, December 20, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Moon

From SpaceWeather:

LUNAR ECLIPSE: For the first time in many years, northern winter is beginning with a total lunar eclipse. On Dec. 21, 2010, the date of the northern winter solstice, the full Moon will pass through Earth's shadow, turning the lunar orb a delightful shade of coppery-red. Sky watchers in North America are favored with an overhead view as the eclipse unfolds on Tuesday morning between 02:41 am and 03:53 am EST. Visit for full coverage of the event including live webcasts, observing tips, and a look at the surprising connection between lunar eclipses and Earth's climate.

This Warning Came Too Late

So Sorry.   To make it up to you all, here is an oldie, but goodie.

Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas Don't Be Late (original TV)

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Malmo-Sweden's National Shame

Tip of the hat to Jihad i Sverige

Once again, Malmo, Sweden and its mayor Ilmar Reepalu are bringing disrepute to that nation. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has been forced to issue a travel warning to Jews not to travel there due to contniuing anti-Semitism by Muslim immigrants-now 30% of the population and the indifference of the mayor. As a result of anti-Semitic harassment, Jewish residents are leaving in large numbers. The Swedish press is largely ignoring the issue, which leaves it to Swedish blogs like Jihad i Sverige to cast light on the problem.

Below is the Jihad in Sverige blog posting (in Swedish): The title in Swedish means, "Dangerous for Jews to visit Malmo".

The blog, Sweden, Israel and Jews has the story, which has been cross-posted by Jihad i Sverige.

Below is the travel warning by the Wiesenthal Center:

Below is a report on the situation in Malmo and the outrageous remarks by Reepalu from Tel Aviv University.

And finally, if the Swedish press is downplaying the story, Denmark's Jyllands Posten has reported on it below (in Danish). The title in English means, "Jews advised against traveling to Malmo".

It may seem harsh, but what goes around comes around. Sweden is tolerating intolerance in the name of tolerance. Now they have experienced their first terrorist attack or attempt at such in Stockholm. And their clueless prime minister expresses shock and bewilderment because the country is "so open and tolerant".

Except for Jews.

A Little Something To Brighten Up Your Day!

Just a little music from Straight No Chaser

12 Days of Christmas

The Christmas Can-Can

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Morning Funnies #10

Another week has gone by.  Another week of Congress overspending beyond their means. Another week closer to Nancy Pelosi being out of her Speaker's chair.  And another weekend for funnies.

If you wish to have a tree planted in Israel to honor or remember a loved one, the Jewish National Fund is just for you.  It is a lovely way to remember someone.

Now for the latest by The Tribe at LatmaTV

The Elder of Ziyon has been busy this week with a new comic(?) strip.  Here is sample:

Go Green, KILL PEOPLE! (Crowder Visits Mexico)

Fun to watch Moonbats at play.

All hail Ceiling Cat!!

Have A Great Week!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Existential Depression In Gifted Individuals

I received this in an e-mail from a very dear friend of mine, Bob Markman.  I have known Bob since High School, and we do still share many common interests.  This being one of them. I hope those of you with gifted children or have been a gifted child gets something out of this.
Existential depression in gifted individuals

James T. Webb

Reproduced by permission of the Great Potential Press.

It has been my experience that gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression. Although an episode of existential depression may be precipitated in anyone by a major loss or the threat of a loss which highlights the transient nature of life, persons of higher intellectual ability are more prone to experience existential depression spontaneously. Sometimes this existential depression is tied into the positive disintegration experience referred to by Dabrowski (1996).

Existential depression is a depression that arises when an individual confronts certain basic issues of existence. Yalom (1980) describes four such issues (or “ultimate concerns”)—death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness. Death is an inevitable occurrence. Freedom, in an existential sense, refers to the absence of external structure. That is, humans do not enter a world which is inherently structured. We must give the world a structure which we ourselves create. Isolation recognizes that no matter how close we become to another person, a gap always remains, and we are nonetheless alone. Meaninglessness stems from the first three. If we must die, if we construct our own world, and if each of us is ultimately alone, then what meaning does life have?

Why should such existential concerns occur disproportionately among gifted persons? Partially, it is because substantial thought and reflection must occur to even consider such notions, rather than simply focusing on superficial day-to-day aspects of life. Other more specific characteristics of gifted children are important predisposers as well.

Because gifted children are able to consider the possibilities of how things might be, they tend to be idealists. However, they are simultaneously able to see that the world is falling short of how it might be. Because they are intense, gifted children feel keenly the disappointment and frustration which occurs when ideals are not reached. Similarly, these youngsters quickly spot the inconsistencies, arbitrariness and absurdities in society and in the behaviors of those around them. Traditions are questioned or challenged. For example, why do we put such tight sex-role or age-role restrictions on people? Why do people engage in hypocritical behaviors in which they say one thing and then do another? Why do people say things they really do not mean at all? Why are so many people so unthinking and uncaring in their dealings with others? How much difference in the world can one person’s life make?

When gifted children try to share these concerns with others, they are usually met with reactions ranging from puzzlement to hostility. They discover that others, particularly of their age, clearly do not share these concerns, but instead are focused on more concrete issues and on fitting in with others’ expectations. Often by even first grade, these youngsters, particularly the more highly gifted ones, feel isolated from their peers and perhaps from their families as they find that others are not prepared to discuss such weighty concerns.

When their intensity is combined with multi-potentiality, these youngsters become particularly frustrated with the existential limitations of space and time. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to develop all of the talents that many of these children have. Making choices among the possibilities is indeed arbitrary; there is no “ultimately right” choice. Even choosing a vocation can be difficult if one is trying to make a career decision between essentially equal passion, talents and potential in violin, neurology, theoretical mathematics and international relations.

The reaction of gifted youngsters (again with intensity) to these frustrations is often one of anger. But they quickly discover that their anger is futile, for it is really directed at “fate” or at other matters which they are not able to control. Anger that is powerless evolves quickly into depression.

In such depression, gifted children typically try to find some sense of meaning, some anchor point which they can grasp to pull themselves out of the mire of “unfairness.” Often, though, the more they try to pull themselves out, the more they become acutely aware that their life is finite and brief, that they are alone and are only one very small organism in a quite large world, and that there is a frightening freedom regarding how one chooses to live one’s life. It is at this point that they question life’s meaning and ask, “Is this all there is to life? Is there not ultimate meaning? Does life only have meaning if I give it meaning? I am a small, insignificant organism who is alone in an absurd, arbitrary and capricious world where my life can have little impact, and then I die. Is this all there is?”

Such concerns are not too surprising in thoughtful adults who are going through mid-life crises. However, it is a matter of great concern when these existential questions are foremost in the mind of a twelve or fifteen year old. Such existential depressions deserve careful attention, since they can be precursors to suicide.

How can we help our bright youngsters cope with these questions? We cannot do much about the finiteness of our existence. However, we can help youngsters learn to feel that they are understood and not so alone and that there are ways to manage their freedom and their sense of isolation.

The isolation is helped to a degree by simply communicating to the youngster that someone else understands the issues that he/she is grappling with. Even though your experience is not exactly the same as mine, I feel far less alone if I know that you have had experiences that are reasonably similar. This is why relationships are so extremely important in the long-term adjustment of gifted children (Webb, Meckstroth and Tolan, 1982).

A particular way of breaking through the sense of isolation is through touch. In the same way that infants need to be held and touched, so do persons who are experiencing existential aloneness. Touch seems to be a fundamental and instinctual aspect of existence, as evidenced by mother-infant bonding or “failure to thrive” syndrome. Often, I have “prescribed” daily hugs for a youngster suffering existential depression and have advised parents of reluctant teenagers to say, “I know that you may not want a hug, but I need a hug.” A hug, a touch on the arm, playful jostling, or even a “high five” can be very important to such a youngster, because it establishes at least some physical connection.

The issues and choices involved in managing one’s freedom are more intellectual, as opposed to the reassuring aspects of touch as a sensory solution to an emotional crisis. Gifted children who feel overwhelmed by the myriad choices of an unstructured world can find a great deal of comfort in studying and exploring alternate ways in which other people have structured their lives. Through reading about people who have chosen specific paths to greatness and fulfillment, these youngsters can begin to use bibliotherapy as a method of understanding that choices are merely forks in the road of life, each of which can lead them to their own sense of fulfillment and accomplishment (Halsted, 1994). We all need to build our own personal philosophy of beliefs and values which will form meaningful frameworks for our lives.

It is such existential issues that lead many of our gifted individuals to bury themselves so intensively in “causes” (whether these causes are academics, political or social causes, or cults). Unfortunately, these existential issues can also prompt periods of depression, often mixed with desperate, thrashing attempts to “belong.” Helping these individuals to recognize the basic existential issues may help, but only if done in a kind and accepting way. In addition, these youngsters will need to understand that existential issues are not ones that can be dealt with only once, but rather ones that will need frequent revisiting and reconsideration.

In essence, then, we can help many persons with existential depressions if we can get them to realize that they are not so alone and if we can encourage them to adopt the message of hope written by the African-American poet, Langston Hughes:

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams.
For if dreams go,
Life is a barren field
Covered with snow.

Langston Hughes


Dabrowski, K. (1966). The Theory of Positive Disintegration. International Journal of Psychiatry, 2(2), 229-244.
Halsted, J. (1994). Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Pre-School through High School. Scottsdale, AZ: Gifted Psychology Press, Inc. (Formerly Ohio Psychology Press).
Webb, J. T., Meckstroth, E. A. and Tolan, S. S. (1982). Guiding the Gifted Child: A Practical Source for Parentsand Teachers. Scottsdale, AZ: Gifted Psychology Press, Inc. (formerly Ohio Psychology Press).
Yalom, I. D. (1980). Existential Psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.
Having been a gifted child and the mother of 2 gifted children I now can see many traits in myself and my children that would and did lead to depression.

I hope this article helps others.

Has It Only Been A Year?

That our dear friend Roger W. Gardner was taken from us?

How I miss his criticisms and words of encouragement.  How I miss the sanity he would bring to a debate or the wisdom that his years would impart upon us.  Most of all, I miss his presence from our battles.

How he must have cheered this last November. How he must be watching out for his little band of bloggers. Guiding us in his own way on the path towards victory.

I wonder if he is still blogging up there in heaven?  (What would he have to blog about?)

Although it has only been a year, if feels like much longer.

Guess Who?

In Memory

Thursday, December 16, 2010

George Galloway Blocked From Entering US

Usually, the news from Steve Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism is depressing. This item below, however, is music to my ears. British buffoon, friend of Hamas, former member of Parliament, and general all-around jerk, George Galloway, was denied entry into the US last weekend.

"Nothing will stop me. Not the government of what they call Israel; not the government of Canada or the U.S.," Galloway declared. "I cannot be silenced."

So was it a bureaucratic snafu, as they say, visa problem, or maybe the US now has a dress code.


Whatever happened to that old expression "undesirable alien"? I think it's time we brought it back.

The Little Worm That Could

I don't think anyone who owns a computer hasn't heard of or have been infected by a virus, or worm. This is one reason why companies such as Norton are doing well even in this economy.  Yet for the last 17 months a worm has been causing mayhem and havoc to Iranian computer systems at their nuclear facilities.
The future of warfare may have just begun, but rather than being heralded by an explosion, it began without a sound or a single casualty.

It is the first of its kind, and could be a signal of the ways all wars are fought from now on. It is a cyber weapon so precise that it can destroy a target more effectively than a conventional explosive, and then simply delete itself, leaving the victims left to blame themselves. It is a weapon that is so terrible that it could conceivably do more than just damage physical objects, it could kill ideas. It is the Stuxnet worm, dubbed by many as the world first real weapon of cyberwarfare, and its first target was Iran.

The dawn of cyberwarfare

Stuxnet is almost like something out of a Tom Clancy novel. Rather than sending in missiles to destroy a nuclear plant that threatens the entire region and the world, and is overseen by a president who has claimed that he would like to see an entire race of people “wiped off the map,” a simple computer virus can be introduced that will do the job far more effectively. To attack a structure with missiles can lead to war, and besides, buildings can be rebuilt. But to infect a system so completely that the people using it begin to doubt their faith in their own abilities will have far more devastating long-term effects.

In a rare moment of openness from Iran, the nation has confirmed that the Stuxnet malware (the name stems from keywords buried in the code) that was originally discovered in July, has damaged the country’s nuclear ambitions. Although Iran is downplaying the incident, some reports suggest that the worm was so effective, it may have set back the Iranian nuclear program by several years.

Rather than simply infect a system and destroy everything it touches, Stuxnet is far more sophisticated than that, and far more effective as well.

The worm is smart and adaptable. When it enters a new system, it remains dormant and learns the security system of the computer. Once it can operate without raising alarm, it then seeks out very specific targets and begins to attack certain systems. Rather than simply destroy its targets, it does something far more effective—it misleads them.

In a nuclear enrichment program, a centrifuge is a fundamental tool needed to refine the uranium. Each centrifuge built follows the same basic mechanics, but the German manufacturer Siemens offers what many consider to be the best in the industry. Stuxnet sought out the Siemens controllers and took command of the way the centrifuge spins. But rather than simply forcing the machines to spin until they destroyed themselves—which the worm was more than capable of doing—Stuxnet made subtle, and far more devious changes to the machines.

When a uranium sample was inserted into a Stuxnet-infected centrifuge for refinement, the virus would command the machine to spin faster than it was designed for, then suddenly stop. The results were thousands of machines that wore out years ahead of schedule, and more importantly, ruined samples. But the real trick of the virus was that while it was sabotaging the machinery, it would falsify the readings and make it appear as if everything was operating within the expected parameters.

After months of this, the centrifuges began to wear down and break, but as the readings still appeared to be within the norms, the scientists associated with the project began to second guess themselves. Iranian security agents began to investigate the failures, and the staff at the nuclear facilities lived under a cloud of fear and suspicion. This went on for over a year. If the virus had managed to completely avoid detection, it eventually would have deleted itself entirely and left the Iranians wondering what they were doing wrong.

For 17 months, the virus managed to quietly work its way into the Iranian systems, slowly destroying vital samples and damaging necessary equipment. Perhaps more than the damage to the machinery and the samples was the chaos the program was thrown into.

The discovery of the worm

In June of this year, the Belarus-based antivirus specialists, VirusBlokAda found a previously unknown malware program on the computer of an Iranian customer. After researching it, the antivirus company discovered that it was specifically designed to target Siemens SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) management systems, which are devices used in large-scale manufacturing. The first clue that something was different about this worm was that once the alert had been raised, every company that tried to pass on the alert was subsequently attacked and forced to shut down for at least 24 hours. The methods and reasons for the attacks are still a mystery.

Once the virus had been discovered, companies like Symantec and Kaspersky, two of the largest antivirus companies in the world, as well as several intelligence agencies, began to research Stuxnet, and found results that quickly made it obvious that this was no ordinary malware.

By the end of September, Symantec had discovered that nearly 60-percent of all the machines infected in the world were located in Iran. Once that had been discovered, it became more and more apparent that the virus was not designed simply to cause problems, as many pieces of malware are, but it had a very specific purpose and a target. The level of sophistication was also well above anything seen before, prompting Ralph Langner, the computer security expert who first discovered the virus, to declare that it was “like the arrival of an F-35 into a World War I battlefield”.

How it worked

Stuxnet specifically targets Windows 7 operating systems, which is, not coincidentally, the same operating system used at the Iranian nuclear power plant. The worm uses four zero-day attacks and specifically targets Siemens’ WinCC/PCS 7 SCADA software. A zero-day threat is a vulnerability that is either unknown or unannounced by the manufacturer. These are generally system-critical vulnerabilities, and once they are discovered, immediately patched. In this case, the two of the zero-day elements had been discovered and were close to having a fixes released, but two others had never been discovered by anyone. Once the worm was in the system, it then began to exploit other systems in the local network it was targeting.

As Stuxnet worked its way through the Iranian systems, it was challenged by the system’s security to present a legitimate certificate. The malware then presented two authentic certificates, one from the circuit manufacturer JMicron, and the other from computer hardware manufacturer Realtek. Both companies are located in Taiwan just blocks away from each other, and both certificates were confirmed to have been stolen. These authentic certificates are one of the reasons that the worm was able to remain undetected for so long.

But where did it come from, and who developed it?

Suspicions of where the worm originated are rampant, and the most likely single suspect is Israel. After thoroughly researching the virus, Kaspersky Labs announced that the level of attack, and the sophistication with which it was executed could only have been carried out “with nation-state support”, which rules out private hacker groups, or even larger groups that have been using hacking as a means to an end, such as the Russian Mafia, which is suspected of creating a Trojan worm responsible for stealing over $1 million from a British bank.

Israel fully admits that it considers cyberwarfare to be a pillar of its defense doctrine, and the group known as Unit 8200, an Israeli defense force considered to be the rough equivalent of the United States’ NSA, would be the most likely group responsible.

Unit 8200 is the largest division in the Israeli Defense Force, and yet the majority of its operations are unknown- even the identity of the Brigadier General in charge of the unit is classified. Among its many exploits, one report claims that during an Israeli airstrike on a suspected Syrian nuclear facility in 2007, Unit 8200 activated a secret cyber kill switch that deactivated large sections of the Syrian radar.

To further lend credence to this theory, in 2009, Israel pushed back the date of when it expects Iran to have rudimentary nuclear weaponry to 2014. This may have been a result of hearing of problems, or it could suggest that Israel knew something no one else did.

The U.S. is also a prime suspect, and in May of this year, Iran claimed to have arrested 30 people it claims were involved in helping the U.S. wage a “cyber war” against Iran. Iran has also claimed that the Bush administration funded a $400 million plan to destabilize Iran by using cyber attacks. Iran has claimed that the Obama administration has continued that same plan, and even sped up some of the projects. Critics have stated that Iran’s claims are simply an excuse to stamp out “undesirables”, and the arrests are one of many points of contentions between Iran and the U.S.

But as the virus continues to be studied and more answers emerged regarding its function, more mysteries are being raised about its origins.

Full story
Take the time to read the full story.  The details of this worm are still being discovered, and there is speculation that what was discovered is only one of many worms as part of a multi-level attack.

One thing about Stuxnet that justifies its use, it is better to send a worm to destroy a target then to risk the life of a pilot.  I can accurately claim that no Israeli or American pilots were injured or killed by this action.  The nerves and reputations of many Iranian scientists and technician were shattered.  And confidence in their nuclear technology has been destroyed.

And I thought worms were only good for fishing and gardening.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday's Hero: SSgt. Brent Schneider

SSgt. Brent Schneider

SSgt. Brent Schneider
From Amarillo, Texas
2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment
U.S. Army

A Green Country military mom is especially proud of her soldier son. He's on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, and now he's been honored for his bravery under fire with a Silver Star.

It's not his first medal.

For a mother with a son in a war zone, Lisa Wheat is pretty cool, calm and collected.

"I'm comfortable because I know the training he's had. He's had excellent training. And I just have all of the confidence in the world in him," Lisa Wheat said.

You can read the rest of the article here and the Stars & Stripes piece here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Monday, December 13, 2010

US Ambassador Visits Radical UK Mosque

Gary Fouse

So what do you do when you identify a radical mosque in the UK? Why you invite their young parishioners to come to the US, that's what.

Steve Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism has reported that President Obama's envoy to the Court of St James has visited one of the most radical mosques in the country. Here's the article, which I am cross-posting.

Way to go, Ambassador Louis Susman. Too bad you just missed out on inviting the Stockholm bomber to the US. He was there in nearby Luton.

You talk about dumb.

"Ya talk about chickensh--!"

And get a load of the State Department's statement on the issue:

"On Thursday, a State Department official said Susman's visit to the ELM was among several mosque visits Susman made as "part of President Obama's call for a renewed dialogue with Muslim communities around the world." Susman toured the mosque and met privately with young members. The official did not address the ELM's connections with radicals."

"The East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre have a large and diverse membership reflecting a wide range views" the official said in an email to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. "The Ambassador's visit offered an opportunity to share perspectives on the role of Islam in the United States, discuss U.S. foreign policy, and explore areas of disagreement and common ground."

Blah blah blah, woof woof woof, quack quack quack.

I say it's time for heads to roll (no pun intended).

Yeah, you.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Obama Was So Close, Then He Blew IT Again!

From Wake Up America

Obama admitting the midterms were a shellacking against Democrats, then showing he could work with Republicans on the first major issues Americans overwhelmingly polled to wanting dealt with during the lame duck session, proving he understood that in the newly GOP controlled House of Representatives, Pelosi and far left liberals were  irrelevantto winning compromises... all showed he understood, got the message voters sent and was acting accordingly.

Then he screwed it all up again.

By the the numbers:

June 2010- Gallup:

42 percent of Americans describing themselves as either very conservative or conservative, 20 percent self identify as liberal and 35 percent as Moderate.

September- Gallup:

Republicans were trusted more than Democrats on nine of ten key issues, included in those issues were federal spending, the economy and jobs. Voters also made it clear economy mattered the most.

October- Rasmussen:

The economy was the most important issue and that poll also showed voters trusted Republicans more that Democrats, 49 to 39 percent.

Taxes were specifically mentioned in that Rasmussen poll:
Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters nationwide place their trust in the hands of Republicans when it comes to the issue of taxes. Thirty-nine percent (39%) would rather the Democrats handle this issue. The GOP has held a solid lead over Democrats on this issue since early July 2009.
November 23, 2010- After midterms- Gallup:
Americans are most likely to say it is important for Congress to pass legislation to keep the estate tax from increasing significantly next year and to extend the income tax cuts passed under George W. Bush before the end of the year. Just under half say it is important for Congress to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed.
The polls establish that Democrats, for whatever reason, lost the trust of American voters on the economy and taxes and on November 2, 2010, the midterm elections, voters handed the GOP control of the House of Representatives in the biggest gain for a party in over 70 years and gave them a six seat net gain in the Senate.

The polls also establish that Americans listed keeping estate taxes aka the death tax from increasing, extending the Bush era tax cuts and extending unemployment benefits, as the top three issues Americans deemed priorities.

The Tax Deal

November 18, 2010, Barack Obama met with the Democratic leadership (the House of Representatives still under Pelosi's control until the GOP take control in January) and according to one official, reported by The Politico, Obama left that meeting "dispirited" and determined to work directly with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"The point is the House and Senate [leadership] has proven they are incapable of getting things done," the official said.

So Obama did just that. He went into direct negotiations with Republicans. Something even Obama admitted, according to administration officials, he did not do enough of during the two years that Democrats controlled both house's of Congress and the White House.
President Barack Obama told GOP leaders behind closed doors Tuesday that he had failed to reach across party lines enough during his first two years in office, a senior administration official told CNN. He promised to do a better job of bipartisan outreach in the days ahead, the official added.

"The president said he had to do better, and the president is ready to do his part," the official said.
To that end, Obama appeared to keep to his word and the White House and Republicans hammered out a deal which covered each of the three top priorities American voters listed above as most important to deal with during the lame duck session, and more.
President Barack Obama reached agreement Monday with Republican leaders in Congress on a broad tax package that would extend the Bush-era income tax cuts for two years, reduce worker payroll taxes for one year and give more favorable treatment to business investments.

Other elements of the deal include a temporary reinstatement of the estate tax at 35%—the level favored by most Republican lawmakers—as well as an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.
So far, golden. Republicans and the White House, in the first real test of how they would attempt to work together in the coming year, were able to reach compromises that neither side thought perfect but both gave a little and took a little and made the point to the American public that they were trying.

Polling after the tax deal was reached showed that a clear majority of Americans (66%) favored the tax deal's major two components, extending the tax cuts and extending unemployment benefits.

Liberal Reactions

Liberals went nuts, politicians, pundits and the entire far left liberal blogosphere denounced the tax deal that Americans overwhelmingly favored. Democratic Politicians quoted as saying "f--- the president", the blogosphere demanding a line in the sand be drawn over the estate tax, the still but not for long Democratically controlled House voting on a non-binding resolution to not consider the tax deal even if it meant letting taxes rise for everyone and unemployment benefits expire.

Liberals have accused Obama of betraying them, being a liar, being weak and a number of other things, but liberals have truly screwed him over at a time he needed them the most.

To have the first public battle having to be fought against your own party showing they don't even support you in trying to act accordingly to the devastating results of a midterm election that saw your party suffer massive losses, has to feel like the biggest betrayal of all.

I hate to say it, but when I wrote my posts about liberal reactions, I actually felt a little bit bad for Obama, even though I disagree almost 100 percent with his political ideology.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday Morning Funnies!

Hat tip to James Shott for this weeks jokes.
The Nun and the Tests

Can you imagine the nun sitting at her desk grading these papers, all the while trying to keep a straight face and maintain her composure!




























LatmaTV: Who's to blame for the fire?

Signs of our economic times:
Tough Investing Environment

Here's how our stocks are doing this week:

Helium was up, feathers were down, diapers remain unchanged, paper was stationary, balloon prices were inflated, knives were up sharply, Otis elevators rose, escalators were on a slow decline, Coca-Cola fizzled, and Preparation H touched a new bottom.

This would be hilarious if only the Egyptians didn't believe it to be true.

Egypt's Governor of southern Sinai lays the blame for recent shark attacks on Israel's foreign intelligence agency, the Mossad. Southern Sinai Governor Abed Al-Fadij said: “We must not discount the possibility that Mossad threw the shark into the sea, in order to attack tourists who are having fun in Sharm al-Sheikh.”

"Mossad is trying to hurt Egyptian tourism in any way possible, and the shark is one way for it to realize its plan,” he explained.

Last Thursday, Egyptians killed two sharks that were suspected in a series of attacks on bathers. One of the sharks was 2.1 meters long and weighed 150 kg. The other was 30 cm longer and weighed 250 kg.

In the last few days, Egypt has lifted the ban on bathing that was issued after four Russian tourists were attacked by sharks

Ray Stevens - Nightmare Before Christmas

Thank you world!

Have a great week!!!