Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beauty of Nature & Malevolence of Man, All in One Day

What a marvelous day I had riding my Harley Davidson Ultra Classic from Petaluma, CA, down to Santa Cruz. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on a motorcycle is always a treat no matter how many times I’ve done it. The cool morning fog streamed into the San Francisco Bay welcoming me back to familiar territory.

Leaving Highway 101 in San Francisco, I transitioned to the coast route, the famous Highway One, aka Pacific Coast Highway. It is nothing less than gorgeous, and it did not disappoint.

In no hurry, I took the opportunity to spend a little time at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and lunched at Davenport amongst a gaggle of motorcyclists, mostly sport bike riders.

Back on the road, the speed limit is 55 miles per hour, and I re-set my cruise control and basked in the beauty of the day. Several automobiles and I were smoothly motoring down the highway when a yellow Harley blew past us on the left challenging the oncoming northbound traffic; Another rude motorcyclist. His black motorcycle helmet looked odd with a red stripe painted from front to back and bracketed by a pair of white stripes. I’ve never seen a motorcycle helmet painted in that scheme, and it reminded me of a football helmet. Actually, if it were not for the red stripe, it could have passed for the road-kill skunk I’d seen earlier in the day.

Upon entering the outskirts of Santa Cruz, the traffic soon loaded-up. The rude motorcyclist bullied his way forward by changing lanes, cutting off cars in the process. Nevertheless, I came upon him stopped at a red light, the first motorist in line. He sat in the left portion of the lane affording plenty of room for me to stop beside him. I noticed that he was wearing a black leather vest with no distinguishing marks and red laced tennis shoes. He looked in my direction, and I nodded a greeting, as we motorcyclists are wont to do in such situations.

My friendliness was returned with a surly, hard stare. The tension was palpable. Now I noticed the sheath knife hanging at his waist and the Hells Angels stickers on the motorcycle’s right front fork. Great, I’m stopped, most likely, next to a Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang (OMG) hangaround, the lowest tier of Hells Angels membership. And, he’s not in the least bit friendly. That explains all the red and white colors.

Clearly, I’ve hurled an insult by having the audacity to pull-up next to him. I suppose that I was expected to maintain a deferential distance to his rear and by not doing so I lacked the prerequisite “respect.” People have been beat-down for equal or less. When the traffic light turned green, he shot forward with all the noise his bike’s exhaust system could muster like someone shoved a hot poker up his butt. That put me in my place, don’t you think?

For all the good the bluster did him, he was soon again stuck in traffic. I changed lanes and passed him with just a little more Harley throttle than necessary, as if to say, “Suck on my tailpipe, Jackass.” He followed me briefly and then faded out of view. What could he have done anyway? Brought his knife to a gun fight?

These OMG types are accustomed to intimidating people. I don’t get intimidated well. But hey, I’d be nuts to expect any more from someone who is trying to make his bones, to show what a badass he is, and become a full-patched member of a pack of hyenas. He’ll do better when he is backed-up by his buddies and can rat-pack some hapless person.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I’ve Had It With the Sound Bite Idiots

Most people are Sheep; Decent people in a state of denial and dependent upon Sheep Dogs to make the personal sacrifices required to repel the Sheep slaughtering Wolves. Sheep come dressed as conservative, liberal and everything in-between. Unfortunately, there are not enough Sheep Dogs to control the electoral process, and as such the country is dependent upon the Sheep People to be adequately educated and wise enough to elect competent and responsive representatives.

I classify myself as a realist with an optimistic overlay. Unfortunately, the overlay is becoming pessimistic. Why, you might ask? Quite simply, I am disillusioned by the lack of sophisticated knowledge on the part of a goodly percentage of my fellow Americans.

Many people are sound bite stupid and have lost, or never had, the ability to think critically. They don’t possess the gumption to educate themselves, even if they are college educated. And, these people vote. The most alarming among these people are those who ascribe to a “liberal” agenda, which has become strikingly leftist for the Democratic Party leadership. You’d be hard pressed to pick a more leftist representative than Barrack Obama.

So what’s wrong with a leftist agenda? Nothing, if you long to mimic Europe both socially and politically. Nothing, if you fancy massive redistribution of income through the confiscatory tax policies of the Democratic Party. Nothing, if you like the courts legislating from the bench and nullifying both the will of the people and the work of the legislatures. Nothing, if you hope to de-industrialize the U.S. Nothing, if you value equality of results over equality of opportunity and liberty. Nothing, if you are willing to allow the destruction of traditional American values. Nothing, if you assume that minorities require special treatment, which is institutionalized racism. Nothing, if you encourage increased governmental power over the individual. Nothing, if you like the timidity of a foreign policy which turns its back when bully countries trample their neighbors. Nothing, if you support a spineless domestic/foreign policy which invites those who seek to subjugate us with theocracy.

I want nothing to do with a liberal agenda. No, let’s call it what it really is, leftist. Must I point out that leftist socialism is the root of Communism? Probably! The political preferences of many Americans indicate that they don’t get it. Or worse yet, maybe they do and their spines are jelly.

Being a grandparent is both the best and the worst. I’m anguished that we have not prepared a healthy world for our little ones. The babies are supposed to spend a few formative years in innocence. Tell that to the children in Georgia who are being crushed by the treads of the Russian military machine. Tell that to the deliberately slaughtered children of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Sudan. Tell that to the Chinese babies who are conscripted into the athletic development machine for the glory of a police state. Tell that to the children who are sold into slavery. Tell that to the children slaughtered and maimed by Islamo-fascist Chechnyan nationalists at the Beslan school massacre. Think that sort of thing can never happen in the U.S.?

The world is cruel with inconsistent kindness. Those who believe better of humankind won’t think so when the tank tread rolls over their neighbor or when he is lying beheaded in the street after having his throat slit by an Islamic scimitar. Come to think of it, it’s already happening to neighbors in another land, isn’t it? No amount of wishing, meditating, praying or declaring oneself a citizen of the world will change these facts.

The unraveling of this great country fuels my anguish. I am passionate on these matters, especially because I so love my grandchildren. I don’t have that long to live, so I shout on their behalf.

I have another area of anguish. I apologize to my extended family because my stridency offends. I do love them, but the country that my grandbabies are to inherit is too important for me to stand-down. I hope my relatives eventually understand that their grandbabies are at risk as well.

I am afraid that I will eventually begin to hate those who facilitate the peril to my grandbabies. I hope not because there is little that I can do concerning the intellectual laziness of the voting sound bite idiots.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Religious Double Edge Sword

Attending the Olympics in China, Pres. George W. Bush made a pitch to the Chinese government to honor religious tolerance. Apparently the President is pushing “religion” because he knows that when enough Chinese people adopt a religion it will set the stage for the current Chinese government to eventually fold or potentially evolve to a form of government more amenable to a peaceful co-existence with the rest of the world. Sounds like a good tactic, don’t you think? But, wait a minute! What if a new-found Chinese religion is Islam?

Under Mao Zedung (Mao Tse-tung,) the mainland Chinese government systematically suppressed and all but obliterated traditional religion in its fervor to instill the new religion of the times, Communism. Initially, the enthusiasm and lack of wisdom characteristic of youth carried the Cultural Revolution forward at the expense of the freedoms of the masses.

Fifty-nine years after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, the bloom is off the Cultural Revolution and the harsh Anti-Capitalistic realities of the Chinese Communist experiment. Left in the wake, I suspect, of the collapse of the godless Communist ideal is a gnawing hunger in the Chinese people for something spiritual. Mind you, China is still a police state and nationalistic, and, as such, it remains a dangerous adversary.

So, the President wants the Chinese people to have religious freedoms to enhance the possibilities of Chinese governmental change. But, for what religion is that likely to be? Would it be traditional Asian Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism or the more proselytic religions of Christianity and Islam? (1) Despite the Communist Chinese religious purge, religion did not die out and a small minority of Buddhists, Taoists, Confucianists, Christians (3-4%) and Muslims (1-2%) remain in the officially atheist country. (2)

Say what you want about the intentions of most Muslims to live in peaceful co-existence with the rest of the world’s religions, but I remain unconvinced. Radical Islam is ascendant, and it exists even within the oppressive Chinese police state. Today, while the Olympics are playing out:


"Terrorists" from the Muslim Uighur minority carried out the latest attack in north-west China, state media said, as it reported the death toll from the violence had risen to 12. (3)


China claims Xinjiang, populated by 8.3 million Uighurs, is home to Islamic terrorists intent on targetting the Olympics. (3)

Undoubtedly Pres. Bush is correct in his tactical move to influence the Chinese government toward religious freedom. However, there is a tremendous chance that any Chinese government relaxation on the control of religion will result in a significant escalation in Islamic violence.

The current U.S. foreign policy on China will eventually result in ever greater battles with radical Islam. The Chinese government may change, but Islam will not, at least not in the next few centuries. And, that is way too long a period for my taste.

The double edge sword is really a scimitar, is it not?

Links in this Blog:
1. Chinese Cultural Studies: Philosophy and Religion in China

2. CIA Factbook-China

3. Terrorists behind latest China attack

Obama is Inarticulate When Not Scripted

Ever since George W. Bush came on the national scene, the libs have bashed him as being stupid and inarticulate. I wish I had a dollar for every political cartoon bashing Bush.

Along comes Obama losing his teleprompter. And, low and behold, he can't ad lib his way through a speech.


video

The truth of the matter is that public speaking skills do not connote intelligence, knowledge, experience or wisdom. Pres. George W. Bush has all four while political upstart Obama only has the former.

What do you have to say now, sanctimonious Libs?