Bits 'n' Bobs



And again, informative and thought provoking articles, both mine and others. 

"The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support
the rights of people you don't agree with."
Eleanor Holmes Norton

1. Duty And Purpose

Our duty and purpose while here on earth, and more so given the times that we’re living in, is…

To ease the pain and suffering of others whenever and wherever we can.
To defend and ensure each others right to freedom of expression and civil/religious liberty.
To seek disarmament, peace and harmony.
To do all we can to make society safer, healthier, sounder, loving and caring.
To lose ourselves in others and humble self-sacrificial service.
To pull together for the greater good, for the preservation of our environment and its well-being, and in order to undo any damage foolishly created.
To fairly share Earth’s bounties.
To use Earth’s resources, land, sky and sea wisely.
To spread light and brightness, hope and encouragement.
To work to find answers to anything afflicting humanity or individuals.
To uphold the sanctity of life.
To protect innocent creatures.
To learn and grow constructively, and without pain to others.
To develop a tender compassionate heart, a noble, wiser, educated and stretched mind, maximum health, and thus a prolonged life.
To enjoy and appreciate each others company, successes, diversity, individuality, talents and abilities.
To leave this world all the better for our presence.
To play our part in the cycle of life via daily work and duties.
To ensure that the needs of all are met, especially those of the weak, injured, handicapped, disabled, vulnerable, widowed, and aged
To run to the rescue of any who're being abused, violated, oppressed, or attacked.
To defend the wrongly accused or wrongly imprisoned.
To denounce and expose anything and anyone treading on human rights, causing injury, hardship, poverty, suffering, starvation, environmental damage, cruelty to animals, plotting carnage, war and strife, or inciting hatred and bigotry.
To warn of dangers and traps.
To denounce and expose secret societies.
To give equal voice and thought to minorities.
To uphold truth and expose error.
To keep all in positions of authority honest and accountable.
To lessen government interference.
To denounce and expose all attempts to create a New World Order, regardless of how benign, clever or sweet such may sound, and regardless of any circumstances, for such would in time become the ultimate gift for the ultimate dictator, or dictators — and given that evidence indicates that many calling for such, and in a position to orchestrate such, and crouched within the shadows of certain organisations or institutions, have an evil but hidden agenda.

To not abide by the above is to ensure our own short-lived happiness, a corresponding karma, judgment, and ultimately, our own demise, that of others, and even Earth’s.

2. Until

Until everyone is able to follow their own path, (without injuring another);
Able to follow their own dream and implement their own plans;
Able to live without being deprived of the necessities of life;
Able to live their life without being intimidated, threatened, violated, hindered, pressured or forced to conform to some majority or new order of things;
Able to defend them self against wrongful accusation or imprisonment via the full and impartial weight of the law;
Able to freely express their opposition, discontent, or disagreement without fear or punishment, and likewise, able to point out wrongs, error, charlatans, and those abusing positions of authority or influence, without fear or punishment;
Able to practice their religion without interference or ridicule, or to discard religion altogether;
There'll never truly be peace on earth, but continued troubles, discontent, hidden agendas and activities, unpleasant surprises, and oppressive dominating powers, or an all encompassing one.

3. In Times Like These

In times like these especially, what a difference it would make…

If those who are very wealthy, be they pop stars, actors, entertainers, business men/women, etc, were to refrain from spending their wealth on lavishly indulging themselves, be that on over-the-top parties, outrageously priced cars, jets, super yachts, chattels, mansions here and there, regular extravagant country to country jaunts, etc, and instead, used their wealth to alleviate suffering and poverty at home and abroad, be that via providing equipment, food, medical supplies, clinics, housing, education, clothing, opportunities, etc. It could be said, that how much one has left, after they’ve given, indicates the true state of their generosity. Yes, how much is still sitting in their bank account? Assets? You might like to read my poem, or view the power point, “I’ve A Duty, I’ve A Reason.”

If governments, local councils, etc, refrained from spending money on the likes of trips to the moon (that’ll never work for us, can’t), the proliferation of weapons, fire works, extravagant buildings, unnecessary and expensive statues, memorials, events, or titivations, and instead, spent it on animal welfare/protection, food banks, refuge centres, cheaper public transport, recycling, mental health services, free or cheaper medical care and aids (such as crutches, spectacles, dentures, artificial limbs, hearing aids), etc.

If the likes of heads of state, members of parliament, chief executives, refused to accept and justify unacceptable (some would say obscene), unwarranted salaries, bonuses.

If those in the medical profession, be they doctors, dentists, surgeons, optometrists, etc, cut their charges, accepted lower profits, and particularly helped those on low incomes, benefits, be it via free services from time to time, or be it via reduced costs.

If those with skills, be they an electrician, computer whiz, builder, mechanic, lawyer, etc, volunteered their service/ability from time to time, without charge, in an effort to help those in difficulty and struggling financially, and also cut their charges in general so that their services were more affordable to all.

If those who own businesses showed more concern over their staff and the community than their profits, improved wages and conditions (certainly where warranted), sought to produce quality products at a price that showed generosity and thought, rather than possible greed.

If husbands and wives put all their effort into trying to make their partner happy, putting them first, loving and caring for them (self-sacrificially), displaying affection, compassion, sensitivity, building them up, supporting them, being their for them, being faithful, transparent, non-violent, nor manipulative, and not placing unfair expectations on them.

If both parents and children made a greater effort to understand each other, worked together for the greater good of each other, showed mutual respect, were more tolerant and forgiving towards each other, and more sensitive to each others needs, less judgmental.

If you and I lived more humbly, focusing on needs rather than wants, not the indulgent or unnecessary, and instead, used that money (that we might have wasted) to help those in the community who are poorer, struggling, or by giving it to food banks, charities, sponsoring children overseas, doing our bit to halt poverty and suffering around the world, etc.

If Christians truly lived according to their Bible, displayed tolerance, love, compassion, and a non-judgmental, nor self-righteous attitude, allowed others to respectfully challenge their beliefs and actions without responding negatively or showing a bias. Let me add that there’s a difference between self-righteously judging and the necessary evaluation, rebuke, come discipline. You might like to read my poem, “To Judge Or Not To Judge.”

If all, whether Christian, Muslim, or atheist, put self last, insisted upon a higher standard within society, appreciated and respected values, morals, etiquette, showed tolerance, fairness, and compassion, sought peace, valued the sacredness of life, upheld law and order, freedom of speech, civil/religious liberty, non-violence.

If all in authority humbly sought to serve rather than dominate, to aid rather than hinder, to improve rather than worsen, to give rather than take, to protect rather than injure.

If no one killed creatures for sport, cruelly experimented on them, confined them to cages for self gratification, or mistreated them in general.

If all acted responsibly towards the environment, took pride in themselves and their surroundings, took care of their health to the best of their ability.

Could you add to or improve upon this? Are you in agreement or not? Tell me.

4. Words Of Wisdom

Appreciate and treasure your very existence, the opportunities that your birth has presented — yes, appreciate and treasure each moment, day, week, month, and year, for your lifespan is just that — a very limited span of time, one that passes very quickly, but usually unnoticed until you’ve far less time than more.

Appreciate and treasure your loved ones as if you only have that present moment with them, for their life may cease the very moment that present moment ends; and also never treat them less than well, lest their departure leave you with greater pain, deep regret, and even guilt.

Treat everyone as you would like them to treat you, bearing in mind that what goes around comes around, (in some form or another), be that sooner or later, and even after you’ve seen the error of your ways, and also bear in mind that those whom you mistreat might seek to harm you, might seek to get back at you somehow.

At all times display courtesy, politeness, good manners, due respect and etiquette, bearing in mind that should you not do so, you might upset the very ones that you’ll have cause to regret upsetting, be they the likes of a potential father-in-law, employer, judge, tutor, or benefactor.

Learn to go without, and cultivate generosity, not just as a character building exercise, but for the sake of others who’re less fortunate, and who have as much right to life’s necessities as you, and bearing in mind that one day you may well be in need yourself.

Always forgive others and even yourself, never seek revenge, and don’t harbour grudges or bitterness, for by so doing, such will turn in on you like a cancer, eating away at you emotionally and physically, and thereby adding to any pain and injustice that came your way, depriving you of hope and joy, preventing you from moving on and being a blessing to others, or negatively affecting those dearest to you.

Value and uphold the rights of others, their right to freedom of speech, (be it pleasing or displeasing), and civil/religious liberty, lest you suffer from the same erosion and loss, and join them in becoming subjects rather than citizens.

Avoid gossip, armchair judgments, and unconstructive criticism, lest such return to bite you, and always be honest with others and transparent in all that you do, freely admitting your faults, mistakes and failures, and thereby freeing yourself of skeletons and potential accusations.

Never indulge in bigotry, nor allow bias or prejudice to play a part in your dealings with others, and always give them the opportunity to state their case and disagree, to respectfully challenge what you believe, uphold and practice, thereby being receptive and prepared to change should their argument have validity.

Always put another’s best interests before your own, giving them the time of day and the benefit of the doubt, respecting their right to privacy and quality of life, appreciating their individuality, talents and input, being quick to apologise where at fault, and at all times displaying hospitality, thoughtfulness, compassion, genuine affection, and loving concern.

Always show respect to those in authority, (be they right or wrong, and lest your lot be made harder), and value the wisdom of those who’re of mature years, or experienced in their field.

Always choose good over evil, aligning yourself with that positive force in life that leads to better outcomes and blessings; always act justly, fairly, and impartially, and seek to turn any enemy into a friend that they may thereby cease to be a threat.

Never mistreat any creature [animal, etc], for they’ve the same right to life as you, and are no less deserving of tender loving care, and bear in mind that their very presence (and more so if they’re in one’s care) poses a test that reveals the state of an individual’s heart, or the heartbeat of society.

Value and look after your health via exercise, self-discipline and temperance, via consuming only that which is beneficial, and via avoiding that which could injure, lest your journey be more painful, and your loved ones burdened, thus adding to society’s costs, lessening your lifespan, and leaving your loved ones grieving much sooner.

Appreciate what you have, for many haven’t even that, and appreciate the fact that what you currently have you could easily lose, for life is unpredictable, and has a way of unpleasantly surprising the ungrateful, those who take things for granted, or who don’t give thought to the things they should.

Take time to enjoy the company of good friends, relations, and family, to savour the taste of beneficial food, to listen to uplifting music, to enrich the mind with noble and useful material, to marvel at the wonders of nature, to pursue a constructive and pleasurable hobby, to have wholesome fun, to share experiences that foster hope, and to regain physical and mental strength through peaceful relaxation and heavenly meditation.

Go out of your way to ease the burdens and workload of others, to visit the lonely, the ill, the despondent, the incapacitated, the incarcerated, and to assist in that which is charitable, bearing in mind that your benevolence and kindness should also include vagrants and strangers.

Develop a positive attitude, face your fears, don’t be afraid to express your emotions, roll with life’s punches, allow yourself to be moulded by life’s lessons, and put past mistakes and misfortunes behind in order to move on, in order to give others the benefit of your own experiences, and in order to leave something behind that will make a positive difference and even show a change in direction.

Seek to improve on your capabilities, to gain new skills, to experience and learn all that you can in order that it may help you grow and mature, become more well-rounded, and that it may give more depth to your understanding, thus developing within you a more holistic outlook, an ability to appreciate the lot and concerns of others, to think outside the box and not be confined to the narrow views of some.

At all times maintain your dignity, refraining from course language, crude expressions, bawdy, riotous, slothful behaviour, childish outbursts, pettiness, vindictiveness, and sulkiness.

Never indulge in mind games, nor manipulation of any sort, nor attempt to force others to accept or do something against their will, but rather, use gentle persuasion and sound reasoning, allowing them to decide for themselves which path they'll take, as is their right.

Always do your own research and investigating, drawing from many sources and weighing the various arguments, lest you be taken off track and swayed by the majority, (so often wrong, and usually made up of sheep who let others do their thinking for them and thereby decide their destiny), and lest you perpetuate error and mislead others in turn.

Appreciate that a moment of carelessness, any inattention, fooling around, or any unnecessary risk, could result in serious injury to yourself, (or others), much misery and suffering, the loss of your hearing, eyesight, a limb or limbs, all of which might thereby deprive you of the ability to participate fully in life, to pursue and enjoy that which once gave you much pleasure, or even deprive you of life itself.

Take pride in your appearance and surroundings, for should you not do so, it could work against you, for others may be less inclined to lend you their things, rent you their home, or may consider you unworthy of their generosity, or unfit for some role that would please you.

Value and look after the environment in all that you do, be that via careful use of contaminants, or their non-usage, be that via recycling and avoidance of wastage, (lest you help deplete the earth's vital resources), or be that via taking care of what you possess in order to ensure its longevity, and thus not unnecessarily and irresponsibly add to the stockpile polluting the earth, and which fouls your own nest.

In summary:

Use your time, mind, body, abilities and resources in a way that will bring maximum return rather than minimum, that will produce good rather than evil, that will keep you free of injury, ill-health, and trouble, (as much as is humanly possible), that will keep you free of accusation or charge, that will help to resolve, solve, or improve, that will prove of benefit to others and the creatures that share our planet, that will make the world a better and brighter place, and that will leave behind the sweet aroma of your selflessness, bravery, and positive contribution.

5. Mind Those Charlatans

I assume you’ve heard the expression, “Everyone’s a comedian.” Such is sometimes sarcastically stated when someone’s cracking jokes. Well, it seems that these days everyone’s also a marriage guidance counsellor, a sexual therapist, a psychologist, a motivational guru, a financial expert, an astrologer, a faith healer, a psychic, or a medium. Can’t you just sense something?
It seems that if one can come up with a clever book, (or seminar), conveying how to have a blissful marriage, a terrific sex life, a fat bank account, happiness by the bucket load, an out-of-world experience, a miraculous healing, or contact with the departed, that they’re bound to become not only popular but handsomely rewarded financially. Hello?
And I guess the reason that such folk are so successful is because so many people are reaching for the latest magic wand, don’t want to face up to reality, have been bewitched by New Age nonsense, (really age old nonsense in new garb), are just plain gullible, or are in a very vulnerable place.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against worthwhile material pertaining to certain subjects, and there are many genuine people out there producing some very good material, but hey, when it comes to every man and his dog producing such, (much of it truth peppered with error, pure nonsense, or simply flawed in some way), it really makes one wonder, and brings home the necessity of seriously scrutinizing such.
The downside of all this is that it often has folk wandering all over the place until they finally stumble on what’s right — that is, if they do. And with so many books out there, all with their own ideas on what will work and so forth, one might well ask,  "Who's got it right?"
The world is full of charlatans, (with followers by the thousands), and nowhere is this more clearly seen than via the likes of mediums with their bogus books on the “afterlife” and their TV programmes where they supposedly impart soothing messages from the departed to the gullible sitting in the audience. When I say gullible, I don’t mean that in an insulting way, but in the sense that midst their grieving (vulnerability) they fall for the mediums chicanery. If only people spent more time thinking things through logically.
If these mediums are able to have contact with spirit beings who impart such knowledge, or the departed ones themselves, why do they have to ask so many probing questions of those in the audience. Surely the spirit beings or the departed ones would tell these mediums straightaway. Yes, it’s quite amusing, and very telling, how it takes all that messing about. Oh dear, all that static on the airwaves!
I once watched a programme on TV, (wish I’d taped it now), which showed how these sophisticated conmen or con-women (mediums) operate. It was quite an eye opener. It's an art form, believe me. But when folk are feeling desperate and vulnerable they will try anything. It’s the “just in case” syndrome. Most of us have been there done that. I’m sure that some of these mediums are deluded enough to actually believe in what they’re doing, which makes them all the more dangerous, and given that Christians believe that there are fallen angels, (evil spirit beings), I would imagine that some mediums are in fact being fed via such, (in some way), but certainly not truthfully as such beings love to deceive. If only these mediums truly knew the forces that they are playing with. Many who once dabbled with such forces have some pretty horrific stories to tell.
Why would evil spirit beings do nice things, or speak the truth? And as far as good spirit beings go, they would hardly operate via charlatans, and wouldn’t cruelly string folk out, nor would they be slow in presenting information to psychics that would prove a blessing. Besides, if the dead
could make contact with us, I’m sure they’d be capable of doing that themselves. Not that I believe the dead have somehow, in some form, left their grave and departed for some other destination yet (Heb 11:39,40), where, as mediums try to convince, they somehow communicate. Such is simply pagan fiction that found its way into the realm of Christian belief (doctrine) via the apostasies that crept into the early Christian Church via Greek influence, for one. No wonder mediums are having a field day! If such were true, what would be the point in Christ's second coming resurrection? He'd hardly come back just for bodies if folk were somehow already up in Heaven.
And tell me, why do so-called psychics need to be taken to the scene of a crime? Seems the source that’s providing them with that telepathic information has that oh so familiar static problem, and a faulty GPS system. Can't they just ask those spirit beings? Thus, my heart bleeds for the victims of these psychics and mediums who sincerely believe the rubbish they’re told. Yes, hit and miss. If they're really good, more hit than miss.
If I published a book saying how I was a medium and had contact with spirit beings who imparted certain messages, I’m sure that in time, (with a certain exposure), I would soon have a following, and folk believing that what I was saying was true, (or that it might be true), especially if I came across as very genuine, and even more so if I was somewhat respected within the community, or a celebrity.
And then there are those astral conmen,
*astrologers who have people following their daily predictions. I once took the time to check out my so-called star sign and the daily predictions proffered. I discovered that I wasn’t simply an Aries but actually a mixture. A bit of this and a bit of that — lol. Such reminds me of that psychology nonsense that once again places people in similar little boxes — sanguine, melancholic, choleric, and phlegmatic. And surprise, surprise, once again you’ll probably find that you’re a bit of this and a bit of that, just like I found. I hope that you'll excuse my yawn. My understanding is that the origin of such is Babylonian astrology.
As for the astrologer’s predictions? Once again, just clever humbug, hit and miss, nonsense that percolates within the subconscious, if one's silly enough to dwell on such, that is — in other words, it’s just mind over matter. Things have a way of turning out the way we let them. If we’re a bit of this or that, part this or part that, which prediction would actually be the right one on the day? I mean, think about it. The one for the Aries person, the one for the Virgo person, the one for the Gemini person…?
And then there are those motivational books such as Dale Carnegie’s How To Stop Worrying And Start Living. Please don’t give such to someone who’s struggling emotionally or suffering from depression, as if all they need to do is to think positively and they’ll come right. Motivational books may have their place, but beware those who think that the likes of depression is simply a state of mind that positive thinking will cure. Such is not only naïve, but insensitive and dangerous given the complexities within an individual's mind, background and life in general. And that’s where such books can mislead the uninformed or misinformed. Along with their misleading, "You can achieve anything you want to" nonsense. Hardly reality based. Such is the bedfellow of the positive thinking carry on. Yes, another subject, but suffice to say, there is a big difference between thinking positively and positive thinking
a tired old mantra that does more harm than good, and that is full of more holes than a sieve.
As I mentioned earlier, there are some genuine people putting out some very good material, but even here, one needs to tread with care. One example that comes to mind is, The Five Love Languages by the Christian Gary Chapman. Teaching that your spouse's love language may be that of receiving gifts is simply foolishness, in my mind. Such is teaching spouses (husbands and wives) to have a selfish expectation, almost as if it’s their right to have such, and get such. Pity the husband, (for example, and who might be the sole breadwinner), who’s unemployed or on a meagre wage. So much for
that relationship perhaps, should gifts not be forthcoming, if receiving gifts is his wife's love language. While it’s nice for a husband to surprise his wife with a little gift here and there, (and so a husband should, I feel), it shouldn’t become an expectation on the wife’s behalf, (nor the man's). Such expectations cease to be surprises effectively, and, I might add, (as far as Christians go), are contrary to the selflessness that the Christian Bible teaches.  For the Christian it's all about giving, not receiving.
Rather than such being a spontaneous act that comes from a man's heart, it thus becomes something that he feels he had better do or needs to do, otherwise... And all because his wife has been foolishly taught that her love language is that of receiving gifts. And hence her expectance. What next? It's all about how you treat a woman, (your spouse), not about gifts which can become an insincere and selfish way of attempting to get certain favours. And gifts, (just like anything else), can become taken for granted, cease to excite the same. Oh, another one? How nice...yawn. A trip to Disneyland might be fun, but were one to visit Disneyland each day, it would soon just become a bore.
Quite honestly, you can read all the books on marriage you want, but at the end of the day, its that little word “me” that’s mainly responsible for marital troubles. If the husband is doing all he can to selflessly please his wife, and the wife is doing all she can to selflessly please her husband, both will eventually get what they want. The problem is that we seldom see such selfless behaviour, but it's where the answer lies. it’s all about dying to self, and after all the books on marriage are read, that’s what it ultimately comes down to. Why run around in circles. Begin where it really counts. That same advice applies to our relationships in general. The problems within society, and with Christianity too, largely stem from that same “me” mentality. 
And while we’re on the subject of books written by Christians, another one that comes to mind is, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. As far as The Purpose Driven Life goes, it’s a book that rather than confronting Christians with what they need to hear, simply lulls them into an even deeper Laodicean sleep via pop psychology, humanistic theology, and a watered down gospel that pleases itchy ears. It’s message is far from apostolic given it’s lack of balance, worldly fusion, and error. Funny how such books are so popular today. Or is it? Yes, it’s not just buyers beware, but readers beware, and watch the likes of those charlatans parading as mediums, or those faith healers who're just as bogus, (popular and wealthy), and that just like mediums, are popping up everywhere these days. Signs of the times?

*The following plucked article bears out my comments regarding astral conmen:

The abrupt dawning of the age of Ophiucus

AFP January 15, 2011, 3:53 pm

WASHINGTON - Thousands of people woke up to the realization this week that they aren't who they thought they were. Worse still, neither was that partner they always thought they were so compatible with based on their astrological signs, because this week it was announced that many of us were reading the wrong horoscope. "Over the 2,500 years or so since the zodiac was established, your sign has moved about a month relative to the sun and stars," wrote Robert Roy Britt in a posting on Live Science that was republished by a newspaper in Minnesota, triggering the zodiac panic. "You're no longer what you think you are, and so if you're an astrology buff, perhaps poised to make a New Year's resolution based on the stars and a reading of your supposed personality, know that you're actually following observations, predictions and advice aimed at another person entirely."
The shift in the alignment of the stars, which has come about because the Earth has been wobbling on its axis for millennia, means most people go back a sign. Warm-hearted, patient Taurus becomes selfish, quick-tempered Aries. Eminently practical and prudent Capricorns are now blindly optimistic and careless Sagittarians. And many Sagittarians are now Ophiucus.
Oh what?
Ophiucus. It's the hitherto little-heard-of 13th astrological sign. Apparently the Babylonians had an Ophiucus column in their daily horoscopes but it got dropped somewhere between their civilization and ours. In any case, news of the celestial shift and of Ophiucus's resurrection sent astrology buffs reeling. If they weren't wondering how to get rid of the Scorpio tattoo that they just had done when it turns out they're really Libra, as Michele Zipp did in a blog posting on The Stir, they were pondering some of the other existential questions raised by the change. What, for instance, are Ophiucus's personality traits? What signs are compatible with Ophiucans? And do the lyrics to the song from "Hair" that go, "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius" have to be rewritten? It would become "the dawning of the age of Capricorn", which doesn't really work with the meter of the song. Knowing that famous Ophiucans include the late Sir Winston Churchill, rocker and reality show star Ozzy Osbourne, the late US comedian Richard Pryor, and pop star Britney Spears, all of whom were born between November 29 and December 17, sheds little light on what the sign's personality traits are. In fact, wrote John Abbott in Kernel Press about Ophiucus, "To claim that people as disparate as Ozzy Osbourne, Winston Churchill and Richard Pryor have a similar set of characteristics is nonsense."
The news of the heavenly shift is in fact old -- Britt's story links to another published on Live Science in 2007, in which the shift in the heavens and Ophiucus were announced, and Abbott wrote his piece in 1996, which is why he didn't mention Britney Spears -- she released her debut album in 1999. Britts and Abbott both point out that astrology is not a science, a hint that no one was supposed to take the redrawing of the zodiac map too seriously. But for some reason, the whole thing went viral after the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis picked up the story and got an astronomer -- a real scientist -- to comment on it. The astronomer was swamped with phone calls, and the Star Tribune's website got more than 183,000 hits on Thursday. "If we had checked our horoscope, maybe we would have seen this coming," chuckled the Star Tribune's Bill Ward in his column on Friday. According to a survey conducted in 2009 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a quarter of Americans believe in astrology. That's 75 million people who could now be worried that someone is trying to Ophiucus.

6. Getting Folk To See

I'm sure we've all heard it said that truth is stranger than fiction, and if such is so, then surely no more so than today with all the things that are going on. And hence why one should keep an open mind, read broadly, investigate thoroughly, and avoid the bias trap that gets in the way of so many discovering the truth about anything. We've all got to find out for ourselves what is correct. Not just blindly adhere to what our parents, friends, teachers, ministers, politicians, or anyone else has told or taught us. Nor get fooled by things that come in nice packages but are actually danger in waiting.
I'm a great believer in freedom of expression and that all should have the opportunity to say what they believe or think in the public arena. Take that away and we're doomed! The only ones who should be silenced (so to speak) are those who clearly teach or preach violence and outright hatred. Let's not confuse things. For example: One should be allowed to publicly state that they believe same-sex sexual acts are wrong and injurious, and that they believe such shouldn't be condoned in any form. But that's where it should end, no further. Those who practice such acts should still be treated humanely, be shown the same love and compassion that all should be. Second example: One should be allowed to publicly state that they believe a particular religion is misleading people, and that certain doctrines it holds are wrong. But that's where it should end, no further. Condemnation is one thing, bigotry and persecution quite another. Yes, it's one thing to condemn and oppose someone's beliefs or actions, quite another thing for us to mistreat them personally or collectively.
Now, back to where I came in. Given that truth is stranger than fiction, we shouldn't dismiss every conspiracy theory that turns up, nor should we put an end to such in any way. While some conspiracy theories prove to be false, some prove to be true, certainly given time. And I assume we've all heard about the 9/11 conspiracy theory. Does it have validity? Well, wisdom would surely have us checking such out, for if what's being said is so, it wouldn't pay for us to be ignorant of such, and we also need to draw from the best material that's available out there. After all, there is a lot of rubbish, and even the wisest of folk can get fooled. One needs to compare this and that, check out the fors and against. It's no good just reading what suits. We need to view both sides of an argument. Hopefully neither bias nor patriotism will get in the way of any serious inspection. And at the end of the day, YOU, must be the judge.
I must add too, that only those with something to hide would deny such websites the freedom to operate and deny folk the opportunity to inspect such.
Getting the masses to see what they need to see, (for their own well-being, or others), or simply trying to reach folk individually in order to achieve the same, is not an easy task, and nor has it been for those who have made such their mission throughout this earth's history. It's a tragedy that so many aren't receptive to what they need to hear, but what makes such even worse is, the rampant self-delusion that's out there.
Though not a follower of the likes of America's Got Talent and American Idol, such are glaring examples, for here we see hundreds of people (from among the thousands) who strongly believe they're good singers, or are very talented, when in fact they're woefully not so!
Their lack is clearly obvious to the judges, those in the auditorium, and those watching via TV, but clearly not obvious to these sadly deluded souls who take umbrage at being told that they aren't good singers, aren't talented, or don't have a good act. Maybe some do know it's so, but simply want their 5 minutes of fame.
Though the judges shouldn't be rude or sarcastic, one can certainly understand their frustration which clearly boils over at times given how many deluded hopefuls they have to wade through, hopefuls you would think would know better. (Mind you, I have to admit that these judges are terribly inconsistent! And I do wonder about their ability to judge at times).
This delusion I'm mentioning is not restricted to such "wannabes" but is also found in other areas, hence why we see people embarking on the ridiculous, the foolish, clinging to certain views or beliefs that are unhealthy, or that are way off track, or following some leader of a cult. It often intrigues me as to how folk can be so blind to their faults, foolishness, unreasonable views, or lack of talent, and hence why getting folk to see what they need to see can be a very difficult task.
It's rare to find folk who are truly open-minded, balanced, able and willingly to see and acknowledge their faults or mistaken views, and who're able to objectively analyse whether they do have a talent or not.
The state of those who're deluded isn't helped by parents and friends who, rather than being honest, furnish them with praise that isn't due, thus adding to someone's inner delusion and effectively helping them to continue making a fool of themselves.
Yes, people can certainly mystify.

7. UFOs

This article is really just an extension to the one above
article 15.

As a Christian, I have always considered UFOs, (and even ghosts), to be the work of evil supernatural beings playing tricks on humanity. But that said, I must admit that I have in fact entertained the possibility of such also being the clever behind the scenes activity of certain humans, alias agencies.
Such a possibility was heightened in my mind when I stumbled across what I guess is considered a conspiracy theory. Perhaps you may already be aware of such — NASA’s blue beam project. Such was apparently first brought to the attention of the world via an investigative journalist by the name of Sergo Monast, a Canadian. He and another journalist, both of whom were researching Project Blue Beam, died of heart attacks within weeks of each other although neither had a history of heart disease.
According to this conspiracy theory, (and I think I’ve been around long enough to realise that there’s often a degree of truth in some of these theories, and some may be right on the money), NASA, among other clandestine things, has been working on projecting three-dimensional optical holograms into the sky in preparation for some coming deception that is tied in with a New World Order. According to this theory, at some point in the future, space-based laser-generating satellites will apparently project simultaneous images to the four corners of the planet, and even in every language and dialect according to the region.
According to this theory, the UFO sightings that have been seen around the world, are part and parcel of this experimentation that is going on. Interesting isn’t it?
Given that the Christian Bible talks about a worldwide persecuting and controlling religious/political End-time power surrounded by signs and wonders, it does make one stop and think. Presumably these images would endorse such a power.
By the way: If it’s true that certain cures have been found, and inventions that could solve things, but which are being secretly withheld, the question is, “Why?” — and could it be that such will be pulled out of the bag at some future time as part of the signs and wonders mentioned, and in order to authenticate such a power?
Getting back to where I came in, I must say that given the cleverness of man today, I can't see any reason why a UFO couldn't be built, and perhaps they have been, and are part of the equation like I mentioned at the beginning.

8. Politicians

We will never get sound government until we get sound men, (or women), men of integrity, noble character, who won't lie, fudge, dodge, skip, hide, twist, stretch, fool, make excuses, behave childishly, bullishly, or pedantically, nor succumb to ego and popularity;
men with no personal axe to grind, and who've no left or right agenda, but simply a passion for improving the lot of their fellowman, creatures, society, Earth, a passion that's displayed in policies that don't polarise, stigmatise, rob Peter to pay Paul, sell of the family's heirlooms, (the country's assets), imperil the safety, health, liberties, rights, and quality of life of its citizens, give government greater control over its citizens, favour the rich over the poor, and that aren't draconian;
men who won't feather their own nest, misuse privileges, fleece, indulge in cronyism, manipulate things to their advantage, chase the baubles of power, pander to certain quarters, promise and not deliver without good and acceptable reason, nor cave under pressure;
and men who've no skeletons in their cupboard.

9. A Sure To Work Plan

...for turning things around.

Ban sexually explicit images, gratuitous violence, gore, crudity and foul language from TV, DVDs, videos, and movies.
Introduce higher standards for advertisers and broadcasting in general.
Require total transparency and accountability from those in positions of trust and leadership, be they politicians, teachers, preachers, doctors, the police, etc.
Instil respect for authority and the aged, and strong penalties for foul-mouthing or cheeking a police officer.
Begin an intensive rehabilitation programme for offenders and the incarcerated.
Install a zero tolerance for violence of any kind (e.g. bullying, beating, animal cruelty, home invasion, rape, murder); for general lawlessness (e.g. graffiti, disorderly behaviour, swearing or spitting in public, intimidation, rioting), and for drink driving.
Outlaw gangs and any organisation that actively indulges in crime or the promotion of violence, vandalism, and outright religious or racial hatred.
Vigorously promote standards, values, etiquette, modesty, chastity, moderation, and selflessness.
Introduce an aggressive recycling programme that leaves no stone unturned, and encourage the production of recyclable products.
Work towards the complete destruction of weapons of war, create a disgust for weapons in general, ban the sale of imitation (toy) weapons, and also the likes of computer games that encourage participation in violence.
Foster contempt for wastage, junk food, abuse, vandalism, intemperance, bigotry, and unworthy intolerance.
Protect, uphold and support heterosexual marriages and families as the bedrock of society.
Require all who indulge in criminal activity, drink driving, (or drug driving), dangerous pastimes, or extreme sports, to pay for their own medical costs regarding injuries incurred during such, and enforce reparation for the victims of crime.
Make life and relationship skills a part of a school’s curriculum.
Encourage effective discipline within the home and school, and require a fair accountability from teachers and parents.
Outlaw the killing of any creature for sport, vivisection, and unfair caging practices.
Ensure freedom of expression and civil/religious liberty at all cost.
Foster self respect, due care and appreciation, and pride in one’s appearance and surroundings.
Encourage business owners to be community minded, environmentally responsible, and more staff orientated than profit driven, (happy employees, larger profits).
Outlaw corporate greed.
Enforce severe penalties for damage to the environment and zealously work at limiting and phasing out harmful production practices.
Provide a humane safety net for the unemployed, the unwell and injured, and provide the appropriate support services.
Actively address the problem of noise and other irritants within society, including certain dangers (e.g. toxins, genetically predisposed aggressive dogs).
Ensure that all have access to basic needs (e.g. food, clothing, warmth, shelter), free education, affordable healthcare, and cheap public transport.
Find better ways of utilizing the land for greater productivity and sustainability.
Ban brothels, strip joints, and abortion on demand clinics.
Remove pornography, non-medical drugs, (which effectively includes alcohol, it being a drug too), and casinos.
Reduce and set a ceiling on appallingly high salaries of CEOs, mayors, politicians, consultants, etc.
Usher in a return to beautiful, uplifting, relaxing, bright, joyful music on radio stations, in public places, and within the home.
Embark on an aggressive and continual tree planting exercise.
Completely overhaul and streamline the justice system to ensure fairness, neutrality, and sensible sentencing (sentences that fit the offence).
Discourage unnecessary activities, events (e.g. fireworks), even sports (e.g. drag racing), that waste precious resources (e.g. petrol, oil), money (that could aid food banks, etc.), and that pollute and endanger the environment.
Ensure that only those of the highest calibre get held up as public role models….

10. Is It Possible...

...just possible — that overtime — wars, (alias forays), have been deliberately generated in order to:
a) Feather the interests, and line the pockets of, those who’ve something to gain from such — an elite group or secret organisation?
b) Weary the world’s population so that one day they’ll accept anything for the sake of peace? In this case, not just wars, but general unrest and skulduggery within any particular nation, (one’s own or other), hence the following:
2) Is it possible that behind the governments of the day, and at all levels of society, and within various key institutions and organisations, and secret societies, there are those working in various ways to eventually bring about a New World Order that will achieve some selfish, evil and totalitarian end, but that is being pitched to convince otherwise, and thus using certain humanitarian and environmental agencies, etc, that will all get on the same bandwagon unaware of the waiting trap?
3) Is it possible that infiltrated religion, in a particular and even subtly tailor-made form, will combine with politics to form a Church and State union come power that will eventually stretch around the globe enforcing its dogma and dictates on all?
4) Is it possible that humanity is being prepared, (via the media, the education system, books, movies, etc), for a great deception of some sort in line with the above?
5) Is it possible that people don’t want to know about such, or refuse to believe such, due to naivety or some underlying fear?

11. Your Hearing Is Precious

Seems sad but true that most have to lose their hearing, or suffer damage to their hearing, before they truly appreciate it, or appreciate it as much as they should.
So how do we lose or damage our hearing, including ending up suffering from tinnitus (noises within the ear), a miserable thing on its own?
Well, other than via some misfortune (certain antibiotics and other medications, ear infections, explosions, etc.), or a general deterioration due to age, there are two ways in which hearing loss occurs:
1) Via conscious exposure to noise, willingly or unwillingly.
2) Via unconscious exposure to noise.
The latter occurs due to ignorance, or due to what we think are benign noises — in other words, noises that we don’t think are harmful when they actually are, especially accumulatively.
Our hearing deteriorates over time not just due to specific occurrences but due to accumulative exposure to noises in general throughout our lifetime. Therefore, if we truly value our hearing, the idea is to lessen such exposure.
The following is a list of noise damaging examples that can result in immediate damage or accumulative damage (wear and tear on one’s hearing), and bearing in mind that while we can’t always get away from such noises we can limit exposure to them, and take precautions.
Here we go:
1) Remaining in a room where there’s a loud babble of noise. The longer one remains the more likely and worse the damage may be. Examples: General gatherings which would include wedding receptions, parties and other such functions, church luncheons; and venues would include bars, night clubs, airport terminals and the likes.
2) Machinery. Examples: Lawnmowers (better to use a push mower), electric power tools, electric kitchen equipment (food mixers, blenders), electric household equipment (vacuum cleaners), hand drying machines in public places (some excessively noisy).
3) Guns, explosives, crackers.
4) Screaming children (worse if they’re being held), classrooms where yelling children are present, childcare centres, kindergartens, playcentres.
5) The unnecessary slamming of doors, windows, cupboards, the loud shuffling of pots and pans, crockery and cutlery, which near one’s ears may do damage instantly or accumulatively. Also, the whacking or throwing of things, or the dropping of things that can result in a loud noise — thus, we need to be more aware, cautious, careful.
6) Hammering.
7) Alarms, sirens, whistles, horns.
8) Music volume, and especially from stereo headphones sitting over or in the ear. Best not to enjoy music at all via this means.
9) Fax machines and the likes via the telephone receiver.
10) Sports events, general events, shows, where there’s loud noise due to people either yelling, whistling out, or even singing in mass, loud music, fireworks, hailers, starting guns, motor racing, revving, acoustic feedback, etc.
11) Shopping malls where there are many people and an accumulation of surrounding noises in general.
12) Transport. Example: General traffic noise, riding on motorbikes, being in or near noisy cars and trucks. Bus, train, boat, and plane travel. Airports where shrill engines are running.
13) Noises coming from work being done nearby, or machines that are stationed nearby.
14) The low frequency noises coming from amplified sound (woofers).
16) People shouting near your ear.
17) Driving any reasonable distance with the window down. Such will wear the hearing quicker in the ear that’s closer to the open window and road.
Perhaps you can think of more.
If you value your hearing, I would recommend that where you are exposed to even moderate noise, that you insert, where practical, some kind of noise dampening device into or over your ears. And don’t be afraid to put your hands over your ears in public regarding certain loud noises that go past you or that you pass by. Don’t worry what others might think — you’re hearing isn’t worth damaging for the sake of pride. If your hearing is already damaged then that’s all the more reason to take care of it.
Our ears can be damaged easier than we think! Its not until the damage becomes noticeable that we finally register and become regretful — in other words, the damage can be slow and subtle, hence the danger. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Too many don’t take action until it’s too late. As long as we think we’re hearing well we don’t concern ourselves too much — therein lies a major problem. Remember, we only hear as good as we’re hearing.
Hear today, gone tomorrow. It can be that quick. Take care — you’ll miss it badly!

12. Regarding Chocolate

Chocolate contains tannin, theobromine, (the primary chemical), and caffeine.
Caffeine negatively affects and alters brain function. Without a doubt, it's a drug, one that can create an addiction, hence why many can't seem to do without their coffee, tea, cola, or chocolate fix, and can suffer from withdrawal symptoms. While it initially gives one a lift mentally, it eventually leaves one with less mental alertness than before. It's believed that it can even lead to dementia and is known to cause birth defects in babies. Caffeine is also a diuretic -- that is, it dehydrates.
Caffeine and theobromine are methylxanthines. The presence of methylxanthines in the body can lead to the development of cysts and benign tumours, particularly in the female breast. It's believed by many in the medical profession that methylxanthines can likewise affect the male prostate.
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans. The cocoa pod processing, which is carried out in countries where sanitation levels and production standards are low, is one that attracts various kinds of contamination — among them: urine and excreta from dogs and rodents, moulds, bacteria, and insects. Hence the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare acknowledgment of such. This agency attempts to limit such contamination by requiring that visible or solid animal excreta must not exceed ten milligrams per pound; that chocolate powder must not have more than seventy-five insect body fragments in three tablespoons of powder. Can you believe it! They realise that such contamination is part and parcel of the scene, and therefore are foolishly prepared to accept a degree of such — a degree that is clearly injurious, let alone appalling. And it may well be that this contamination is responsible for resultant allergies, and not just the chocolate itself.
As a cancer control measure, women are advised to discontinue taking tea, coffee, cola, and chocolate. Why? Because they contain methylxanthines.
Chocolate is loaded with sugar and contains high amounts of artificial flavours, colourings, and various chemicals to keep it fresh.
Chocolate is also responsible for increasing calcium excretion, and can cause headaches, nervous irritation, muscle twitches, disturbed sleep, anxiety, and depression.