Monday, October 8, 2007

We Need To Find A Balance Between...

...extremes like religious fanaticism that lead to such things as jihad and inquisitions, and wanton disregard of morality that leads to shameless displays of perversity like the Folsom Street Fair in San Fransicko.

If you would like to take a look at a reported example of some extremely fanatical actions taken by religious extremists, then go to:

If you really need to see even more explicit evidence of what religious fanaticism can lead to, then look at this video, but before doing so be warned it is EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IN THE VIOLENCE THAT IT PORTRAYS. It shows a real beheading with all of its gore.

Now if you want to see the opposite end of the extreme spectrum, go to the below links and take a look at some pretty graphic pictures of the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. While looking at these pics, bear in mind that to folks like Nancy Pelosi this is freedom of speech. Can you imagine this being freedom of speech! I don't know what morons on the Supreme Court ever decided that speech was anything but verbal communication (or written language, or sign language), thereby making it freedom of expression; but I believe our Founding Fathers knew the difference and when they said freedom of speech as opposed to freedom of expression, and they meant just freedom of speech and nothing more. Well anyway, here are some links to those pics, but first be warned they are, in my opinion, EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IN THE PERVERSITY THEY DISPLAY. Even though they do not show actual sex acts or complete nudity, some of them do show what I believe to be public displays of totally perverse and sick behavior:

What is it that drives people like these at both extremes. I think it is something simple, lack of authority, or authority gone awry, in their lives making them want to become authoritarian themselves by controlling everyone with their own extreme views. That seemingly may be over simplistic, but it also well maybe the root cause of extremism. Just read one more article to see what I mean (not graphic but the pic in the article may insult some sensitive folks):

When reading that piece, pay special attention to this quote:

"I'm trying to tell as many students as possible that they can't do anything to us."

Sounds to me like mommy and daddy failed miserably with exerting any reasonable amount of authority over this kid. Maybe they even promoted this apparent rampant extremism, this no one is the boss of me, I will be the boss of me kind of a thing, and while at it, I'll be the boss of everyone else too because they cannot do anything to me. In order to actually effect such an attitude, you must go to extremes against the normal level of authority in your life. Think about it; wasn't that pretty much the thing with Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan, Cotton Mather, a few popes and many others throughout history. Isn't it the attitude of Armadenijad right now. This is, in my estimation, the attitude of extremists throughout the world. Their attitude is: 'THEY cannot do anything to us.' The THEY being the rest of us, the ones who are not extremest in whatever form of extremism is being pushed at the moment. Well that is absolute balderdash. We can do something and we must do something. Otherwise we will wind up in a world populated by extremists alone because we will either have been wiped out by them. There are many ways we can defeat the likes of them, and one way is to make sure to vote for candidates who do not fond either extreme to be within the limits of acceptability. Another way is to promote a morality that is somewhere more to the center and acceptable to those of all faiths, as well as to those who do not believe in a higher power. Yes folks atheists can live by a code of acceptable morality, you do not have to be religious to be moral. Another way is to make sure that we raise our children within a household that expresses morality, and that through the actions of the parents and other adult family members shuns extremism, and embraces a more middle of the road, level headed approach to all things. We need to live our lives in a manner that is not extreme, that is not hypocritical, that does not allow for the festering of the pustules of fanaticism. Finally if all else fails, and we are faced with the fanatics trying to overrun us and destroy us, we must defend ourselves, our loved ones, our fellow normal citizens at all costs. Yes folks I just said our normal citizens.

I am not advocating bashing anyone, killing anyone (unless in self defense, defense of innocents, or defense of our nation), but I certainly am advocating that we make sure that abnormality is not ever mistaken for normality; and I am saying we need to correct any abnormalities in society before it is too late for society to survive. Maybe it is about time we somehow band together, all of us across political, religious, ethnic, socioeconomic lines and oppose the freaks within our midst. Start doing this by by speaking about it with your neighbors, with members of your houses of worship, with people at work, with people at social gatherings. Start writing to your elected officials, whether or not you voted for them. Tell them this outlandish behavior on either side is a corruption of the fabric of a stable society, and that you are vehemently opposed to such and to those who support it. Make sure you express the idea that you are not part of a fringe group yourself, nor that you are doing this as part of any mainstream but separate group; and that you are doing it as an American Citizen or legal resident alien who is simply fed up with fanaticism and its supporters. Urge your politicians, religious leaders, social leaders to reach out across the divide between denominations, ethnicity, social status to those all around us who are longing for normality in their lives, and who seek an end to fanaticism to preserve our society and our nation. Sooner or later, if enough of us raise hell, they will listen to us and take action that opposes extremism. We are still the majority, but not by much, so we need to take advantage of our numbers now.,If we don't do at least this, then we are doomed to become raving mad loonies ourselves or perish by the blades of those on the other extreme.

All the best,

Glenn B

New Stuff...

...that I have gotten recently and that has me a happy camper is something I figured I would share with all of you in a post with pics. As most of my readers probably know by now I am into herps (reptiles and amphibians), and into guns (shooting and self defense wise, not gunsmithing or tinkering), and hunting & fishing. My recent acquisitions have to do with all of those interests.

The first thing I want to show you is a knife I bought recently. I was not too sure if I would keep it for myself, or if I was going to give it to my son on his birthday, but I have decided this one is a keeper for me, and probably eventually will become his. Who knows, I may yet get him another for his birthday, but I think I have a better present in mind right now.

As for the knife, it is a Spyderco, Bill Moran model. I had wanted one with a drop point blade but that was not available, so I got this one. Now that I have it I like this blade more than the drop point with its more classical lines. That is about all that is classical on this knife though. The polymer handle (or whatever it is) is pretty decent in the hand. The sheath is molded plastic (or again whatever), and the knife fits into it snugly. The sheath is adjustable to be carried in several positions. Not a bad investment, I think, at only about $55. Now I have a nice accompaniment for my pistol as it sits on my belt with the knife. The blade will come in handy on hunting and fishing trips, and I hope i never need it for self defense; but in that last regard I follow the motto of the Boy Scouts: "Be Prepared".

My next acquisition was free. I got it tonight (Sunday night, it is now Monday morning by 5 minutes or so). It is a Thayer's Kingsnake. Well truth be told, I sold or gave this snake to someone about 4 years ago. I may have bred the parents to produce this one, I cannot recall right now. I know I had some that were jet black, and yes they can produce young that look like this. My friend Bill V dropped it off with me tonight. He liked this snake a lot. So much so that he actually saved this snake from death's doorstep one day a couple of, or a few, years back when another kingsnake he kept it with began to constrict and eat it (that is why they call them kingsnakes, they eat other snakes). The way he brought it back was by placing a straw into its windpipe and giving it artificial respiration. Bill is a NYC Fireman and knows how to save lives, even an animal's life. He recently started school for a second career, and has little time left to do anything else. So he has cut back on his snake collection. It was difficult for him to give this one up. Nice snake, to bad he did not get it to me on Friday, I could have taken it to Saturday's LIHS Reptile Expo and probably made him some money with it. If you are not into snakes you probably cannot figure how someone would want to pay money for one, but this one is worth at least $150, maybe $250 in this one's condition. These kingsnakes are also known as the variable Kingsnake because that when they are born they can be one of several color and pattern variations from jet black to orange with saddles to the one shown, to a tri-colored phase, and others in between. This phase is one of my favorites.

My other acquisitions, 5 of them, all came to me Saturday at the 18th Annual LIHS Reptile Expo. I was so busy while there that I did not even realize, until someone just about knocked me on the head, that one of my animals displayed in the judged show had won a first place ribbon in its category (tortoises), a first place trophy in the more general category of Turtles/Tortoises, and the Best of Show trophy for all the animals in the judged show. I have been an LIHS member for about 17 or 18 years now, and while my animals, and Brendan's animals, have sometimes won best in a specific category, or best in a more general category, we have never won the Best of Show before. If indeed I have been an LIHS member for 18 years now, what a nice coincidence that I won the Best of Show for the 18th Annual LIHS Reptile Expo. The sad thing is that I fell asleep early tonight, a long nap, and only woke up after my chance of playing the pick 3 number for the NY Lotto was over for tonight. I would have played 018. Maybe tomorrow. The man whose name shown is on the plaque on the trophy was a past president of the society, and a friend. A great guy, and a man who knew how to keep people interested in the LIHS. It was under him that our membership reached into the hundreds.
Oh yeah, the trophy was for my female Hermann's Tortoise. I have had it about 3 or 4 years now. Got it as a little one from another society member. It sure has grown up to be one good looking tortoise. I must admit while I am thrilled to have won, it is also humbling. You had to see the competition; and you have to realize that the guy who has won for the last few years in a row decided to drop out of the competition to give some of us other members a chance. I owe a lot to him, to the guy from who I got the tortoise, and to the tortoise and Mother Nature. Without all of them doing their parts, then maybe there would have been no trophy for me.

All the best,
Glenn B