Monday, May 29, 2006

Think for yourself

The interesting thing about writing a blog is that it’s your thoughts but for all to see – at least for you since you’re here reading this!

This whole "sharing" thing is out of character for me but there are some areas of life that I wanted to comment on because it just may change the whole course of civilization….........just kidding.

But really, maybe some ideas could help someone think for themself. I saw that phrase advertised on a Scientology billboard a few years ago and it characterized a view/attitude that summarizes how I feel about myself when I’m at my best.

I think (there’s that word) that a lot of the problems we, including me, get into are when we stray from that view. It’s interesting that Scientology has been the catalyst that has helped me maintain the viewpoint of thinking for myself.

We get into problems when we're "being someone else" being the person someone else wants us to be or the person we think we have to be to impress or succeed.

What I've found in Scientology is an ever improving ability to be just who I am which I've found is pretty darn good.

I highly recommend it i.e. both studying Scientology and like George Harrison of the Beatles said in his song ---"Think for Yourself"
Do what you want to do
And go where you're going to
Think for yourself

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Muslim scholars speak on violence

I read an interesting article from Freedom Magazine which is published by The Church of Scientology. This article speaks to the fact that prominent Islamic scholars and leaders are opposed to the types of violence—many of them outspokenly so - that are being promoted by some extremists.

Extremists of any religion (or the fanatics against a religion) do not speak to the core beliefs of that religion. Here are some excerpts from that issue of Freedom Magazine:

Prominent Islamic scholars and leaders are opposed to such violence—many of them outspokenly so.

Harun Yahya (pen name of Adnan Oktar), Muslim intellectual and author of Islam Denounces Terrorism:

“Religion commands love, mercy and peace. Terror, on the other hand, is the opposite of religion; it is cruel, merciless and demands bloodshed and misery. This being the case, the origins of a terrorist act should be sought in disbelief rather than in religion.

“The name or the identity of the triggerman is not important. If he can kill innocent people without blinking an eye, then he is a nonbeliever, not a believer. He is a murderer with no fear of God, whose main ambition is to shed blood and to cause harm.”
Sheik Abdul Aziz al-Sheik, grand mufti of Saudi Arabia:

“Muslim youth must try and better themselves and their country but not through violence as Islam is not a violent religion, it is a merciful religion.”

Imam Wallace Dean Mohammed, spiritual leader of the American Society of Muslims:

On murdering innocents: “Most of the religious scholars in Islam condemn such. They say, and I say along with them, that there is no support anywhere in Islam—in our Holy Book or in the life of our Prophet—for such.”

On jihad or holy war: “Every sincere religious person knows that jihad ... simply means, if literally translated, ’struggle.’ Firstly, with yourself to conquer that which is taking you away from the good person or behavior that God wants for you....”

Sheik Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, grand sheik, Al-Azhar theological institute, Cairo:

“I do not subscribe to the idea of a clash among civilizations. People of different beliefs should cooperate and not get into senseless conflicts and animosity.

“Extremism is the enemy of Islam. Whereas, jihad is allowed in Islam to defend one’s land, to help the oppressed. The difference between jihad in Islam and extremism is like the earth and the sky.”

Friday, May 19, 2006

Really funny

I love Dave Barry's columns. Almost always they cause me to laugh out loud even when I'm alone which is funny in itself. The column below I also have ideas about what food I like to eat. I feel the same as Dave about lobsters, clams and oysters.

Why lobsters aren't food
(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Jan. 26, 1996.)
I am pleased to report that the scientific community has finally stopped wasting time on the origins of the universe and started dealing with the important question, which is: Are lobsters really just big insects?
I have always maintained that they are. I personally see no significant difference between a lobster and, say, a giant Madagascar hissing cockroach, which is a type of cockroach that grows to approximately the size of William Howard Taft (1857-1930). If a group of diners were sitting in a nice restaurant, and the waiter were to bring them each a freshly killed, steaming-hot Madagascar hissing cockroach, they would not put on silly bibs and eat it with butter. No, they would run, retching, directly from the restaurant to the All-Nite Drive-Thru Lawsuit Center. And yet these very same people will pay $24.95 apiece to eat a lobster, despite the fact that it displays all three of the classic biological characteristics of an insect, namely:
1. It has way more legs than necessary.
2. There is no way you would ever pet it.
3. It does not respond to simple commands such as, ``Here, boy!''

I do not eat lobsters, although I once had a close call. I was visiting my good friends Tom and Pat Schroth, who live in Maine (state motto: ``Cold, But Damp''). Being generous and hospitable people, Tom and Pat went out and purchased, as a special treat for me, the largest lobster in the history of the Atlantic Ocean, a lobster that probably had been responsible for sinking many commercial vessels before it was finally apprehended by nuclear submarines. This lobster was big enough to feed a coastal Maine village for a year, and there it was, sprawling all over my plate, with scary insectoid legs and eyeballs shooting out in all directions, while Tom and Pat, my gracious hosts, smiled happily at me, waiting for me to put this thing in my mouth.
Remember when you were a child, and your mom wouldn't let you leave the dinner table until you ate all your Brussels sprouts, and so you took your fork and mashed them into smaller and smaller pieces in hopes of eventually reducing them to individual Brussels-sprout molecules that would be absorbed into the atmosphere and disappear? That was similar to the approach I took with the giant lobster.

''Mmmm-MMMM!'' I said, hacking away at the thing on my plate and, when nobody was looking, concealing the pieces under my dinner roll, in the salad, in my napkin, anywhere I could find.

Tom and Pat, I love you dearly, and if you should ever have an electrical problem that turns out to be caused by a seven-pound wad of old lobster pieces stuffed into the dining-room wall socket, I am truly sorry.

Anyway, my point is that lobsters have long been suspected, by me at least, of being closet insects, which is why I was very pleased recently when my alert journalism colleague Steve
Doig referred me to an Associated Press article concerning a discovery by scientists at the University of Wisconsin.

The article, headlined ''Gene Links Spiders and Flies to Lobsters,'' states that not only do lobsters, flies, spiders, millipedes, etc., contain the exact same gene, but they also are all descended from a single common ancestor: Howard Stern.

No, seriously, the article states that the ancestor ''probably was a wormlike creature.'' Yum! Fetch the melted butter!

And that is not all. According to articles sent in by alert readers (this was on the front page of The New York Times), scientists in Denmark recently discovered that some lobsters have a weird little pervert organism living on their lips. Yes. I didn't even know that lobsters had lips, but it turns out that they do, and these lips are the stomping ground of a tiny creature called Symbion pandora (literally, ``a couple of Greek words''). The zoology community, which does not get out a lot, is extremely excited about Symbion pandora, because it reproduces differently from all other life forms.

According to various articles, when Symbion pandora is ready to have a baby, its digestive system ''collapses and is reconstituted into a larva,'' which the parent then gives birth to by ''extruding'' it from its ''posterior.'' In other words -- correct me if I am wrong here -- this thing basically reproduces by pooping.

So to summarize: If you're looking for a hearty entree that 1) is related to spiders, 2) is descended from a worm and 3) has mutant baby-poopers walking around on its lips, then you definitely want a lobster. I myself plan to continue avoiding them, just as I avoid oysters, which are clearly -- scientists should look into this next -- members of the phlegm family. Have you ever seen oysters reproduce? Neither have I, but I would not be surprised to learn that the process involves giant undersea nostrils.

And don't get me started on clams. Recently, I sat across from a person who was deliberately eating clams. She'd open up a shell, and there, in plain view, would be this stark naked clam, brazenly showing its organs, like a high-school biology experiment. My feeling is that if a restaurant is going to serve those things, it should put little loincloths on them.

I believe that Mother Nature gave us eyes because she did not want us to eat this type of food. Mother Nature clearly intended for us to get our food from the ''patty'' group, which includes hamburgers, fish sticks and McNuggets -- foods that have had all of their organs safely removed someplace far away, such as Nebraska. That is where I stand on this issue, and if any qualified member of the lobster, clam or phlegm-in-a-shell industry wishes to present a rebuttal, I hereby extend this offer: Get your own column.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What's really important

Albert Einstein said: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

What is Scientology really all about and what will it accomplish? First, forget about the BS media and few ranters who either don't have the intelligence or comprehension to absorb what this subject is about or even worse the ones that just don't want things or you to get better and be happier.

Then know that really and truly if you study this subject with a good heart, apply the brilliant knowledge to be gained honestly then you will improve, act more ethically and care more about (and do something about) yourself, your family and your planet. Thus, one person at a time the world improves. Angers and fears among people and nations dissipate and then neither World War III nor World War IV will see the light of day.

Think and observe for yourself. Maybe just maybe, this is what you've been looking for for a very long time. Just observe without any pre-conceived notions. Start with The Fundamentals of Thought by Mr. Hubbard and then try some lectures.

The only way to know is to first take a look, to observe. Try it.

More on Tom Cruise

There was an interesting article about Tom Cruise I saw today. I guess when real people meet Tom Cruise they get a take on the real guy unlike what some "sensationalists" in the media like to write (make up?).

Here's what that article says in part: ....mother and daughter were both surprised when Cruise walked to their table and spoke to them."He thought we were French at first," Green said. "He said ‘bonjour,’ and I said ‘bonjour,’ and when he asked where we were from I said ‘les Etats-Unis.’"

"He seemed pretty happy that we were Americans, and that he could talk to us," Czarnecki said. "So he shook our hands, and asked us where we were from. We asked if we could take a picture with him and he said yes. ..he was really nice. Very down-to-earth.

"Cruise was in Paris in late April to promote his new movie, "Mission: Impossible III," and, according to press reports, to shop for baby clothes. His fiancee, Katie Holmes, and their then week-old daughter, Suri, stayed home in Los Angeles. While Cruise and his entourage were in the café, the staff would not allow any new customers in. So Green and Czarnecki were the only other customers in the café. The whole time we were eating, people were just looking in the window and using their camera phones, trying to get a picture [of Cruise], Czarnecki said."We didn’t talk to him anymore after that," Green said. We kept looking over, but we didn’t want to bother him while he was eating with his kids."

For the past few months, Cruise has been the subject of extensive media coverage and controversy focusing on his Scientologist beliefs and his relationship with Holmes. But Czarnecki believes such coverage doesn’t tell the whole story.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mickey Mantle and Tom Cruise

Some of my happiest moments as a young guy were going to Yankee games with my father to see my Yankees - especially my hero, Mickey Mantle. Mickey was a true hero and living legend- a great athlete, adored (mostly) by the fans and larger than life in his success.

I remember being dumbfounded sometimes at the games when "The Mick" was booed after he took a mighty swipe and struck out. This little 10 year old was ready to stand up to the 60,000 fans and yell "shut up!" How dare they treat this great hero that way!

Years later, as an adult, I had the good fortune to meet Mickey in person. He was just what I pictured, good natured and joking with a twinkle in his eye. We laughed when I told him he was my idol as a kid and he said "Am I that old?"

The booing of a hero reminds me in a way of what Tom Cruise has been subjected to. Here is a guy who truly has a twinkle in his eye, who has made himself a star and enjoys incredible success. Yet the media has field day with him. What was his sin? Success? Being in love and showing it? Having improved himself to become a better person through Scientology? Or could it just be that by speaking against abusive prescription drugs he has raised the ire of the multi-billion big pharmaceutical interests and started their media juggernaut.

It couldn't be that the media who receive billions in advertising prozac, paxil, zoloft and 12 hour cialis erections might throw some money into a black pr campaign against a well known celebrity speaking against their profit interests could it?

Mickey was my hero and Tom is a hero to me now too - Now that he has stood up to these vested interests who try to turn our planet into Brave New World and and yet Tom still succeeds and wins, all the while keeping that genuine smile on his face. You go Tom!