Thursday, April 30, 2015

Former Muslim Woman Educates Others About What's Really in the Koran (Video)

Here's a must-see video.  This proves that there are good people in the Muslim faith:  namely, those who have never read the bloody Koran.  A brave Somalian woman is convinced that when many Muslims find out what's in the Koran, they will leave Islam.

When she finally read the Koran, she concluded that Allah is "a god who hates" and that "Muhammad was a terrible man."  She then left Islam to become a Christian.

Eye Surgery Completed

I had my second cataract surgery this past Tuesday, this time on my left eye.  The operation went well, but I spent a very bad night following the surgery.  My cornea swelled and my eye pressure increased a lot.  This caused a lot of pain, and I was unable to sleep, except for a few minutes here and there.

The next morning I went to the eye doctor for a post-surgery exam.  Unlike the first operation, this recovery was not going so well.  I threw up twice on the way, having my wife stop along the road.

The nurse took off the eye patch and everything was milky white.  I couldn't even read the largest letter on the eye chart.  The doctor said it was because my cornea was swollen, and he gave me a pill and some drops to unswell it.  This caused the pain to decrease quickly and significantly.  I went home and slept for something like 16 hours straight.

Today the sight in my left eye has improved considerably, but is still a bit blurry.  The milkiness has mostly disappeared.  The doc said the vision will improve over the next few days and weeks; I hope so.  I go back on Monday for a second evaluation.

UPDATE:  A second evaluation showed that the eye has improved to 20-25 from its initial 20-40.  I hope it will continue improving over the next few weeks until it reaches 20-20.  However, the eye sees a lot better than it did before the surgery, and my overall vision is now quite good.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Shallowness of Liberalism

I spent most of the morning on FaceBook, arguing with liberals in liberal forums.  I just felt the need to fight these job-killing, liberty-strangling bastards.

Winning arguments with liberals isn't difficult.  The overwhelming majority are ignorant of current events, and history and economics, not to mention the Constitution.

Liberals flock to liberal groups to give each other a false sense of validation for their errant beliefs.  Politics is, for them, more of a social acceptance thing.  It is so satisfying to have liberal opinions, where one can pretend to be informed even though ignorant, morally superior though morally debauched, and can engage in a melee of self-congratulation with equally ignorant and shallow people.

After arguing with liberals, they often give up, surprised, shocked and deeply depressed to learn that there are counter-arguments for the political pablum that sustains them.

I hate liberalism.  And I am none too crazy about liberals either.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bruce Jenner: "I Am a Woman!"

No Bruce, you are not a woman.

Women do not have penises.

However, in a free country you have the right to entertain whatever harmless fantasies you wish.

And if anyone calls you a sissy, hit them with your purse.

More Eyeball Surgery

Next Tuesday I will have my second cataract surgery, this time on my left eye.  I am looking forward to it.   Last January, I had the surgery on my right eye and have been very pleased with the result.  My eyesight in the right eye is phenomenal.

Another Baby Bird Drops In

Last summer I recounted my tale of caring for two fledgling Robins until they could fly.  I was helped by the birds' parents, who came often to feed the babies (I fed them too).  In less than a week they were strong enough to fly away.

This morning, as I was sitting at the table underneath my canvas patio cover, I heard a "Plop" and looked to my right to see a young sparrow on the patio, looking stunned.  He seems to have just fallen out of the sky, or perhaps from a nest on my roof, invisible to me.  I immediately fetched him and put him in my bird cage to protect him.  Then I read about the feed and caring of fledgling Sparrows via a Google search.

I learned that fledgling Sparrows have a high mortality rate when in held captivity.  Some informed wild life rehabilitators stated that the fledglings are best left on the ground, because their parents will continue feeding them until they can fly.  So I freed the baby bird.  He immediately took refuge under a big bush in the corner of my yard.  In about fifteen minutes, an adult sparrow showed up and began feeding him.

I think the bird will be okay, absent any predators (like cats).  In any case, I think I did the right thing.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The White Rose: Martyrs Against Nazi Tyanny #History #WorldWarII

One of my interests is World War II, and I spend a lot of time watching movies, documentaries and film clips of it on YouTube.  Last week I watched a film about the White Rose, a group of anti-Nazi German youths who worked against Hitler's government.  It is an inspiring tale:  young people risking, and several losing their lives, in the effort.

Founded in 1942, the White Rose wrote and distributed leaflets among the German populace, urging passive resistance to Nazi rule.  Leaflets were typed on a borrowed typewriter, and reproduced on a duplicating machine.  These were mailed at random to addresses taken from public phone books, or distributed by leaving them in public places.  The White Rose had cells in Hamburg, Freiburg, Berlin, and Vienna.

Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst
The film documents the trial and execution of three members of the White Rose:   Hans Scholl, a medical student at the University of Munich, his sister Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst.  All three had been members of the Nazi youth organizations, early supporters of Hitler and the Nazis.  Hans had served in the RAD, the National Labor Force. As a soldier on the Eastern front, Hans had observed first-hand Nazi atrocities against civilians, and became disillusioned with the German war effort.  Christoph Probst had served in the German army at a Luftwaffe (air force) base.  However, they lost their allegiance to Hitler in light of Nazi atrocities, and they were angered by Germany's loss of democracy and freedoms.  Their pamphlets denounced Hitler as a mass murderer and called upon Germans to resist the Nazi regime.

After the German defeat at Stalingrad, Hans and Sophie took a suitcase full of leaflets to the University of Munich, where they left small stacks of them outside the doors of classrooms.  However, they were observed by the janitor, who reported them to the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police.  They were arrested and tried in the so-called People's Court on February 22, 1943.  The trial was presided over by the notorious Roland Freisler, chief justice of the People's Court of the Greater German Reich, who had been sent from Berlin.

Roland Freisler, a dedicated Nazi, held show trials in which the accused were insulted and demeaned. This was no different:
He conducted the trial as if the future of the Reich were indeed at stake. He roared denunciations of the accused as if he were not the judge but the prosecutor. He behaved alternately like an actor ranting through an overwritten role in an implausible melodrama and a Grand Inquisitor calling down eternal damnation on the heads of the three irredeemable heretics before him. . . . No witnesses were called, since the defendants had admitted everything. The proceedings consisted almost entirely of Roland Freisler's denunciation and abuse, punctuated from time to time by half-hearted offerings from the court-appointed defense attorneys, one of whom summed up his case with the observation, “I can only say fiat justitia. Let justice be done.” By which he meant: Let the accused get what they deserve.
Sophie Scholl
Freisler found Hans, Sophie and Christoph guilty of high treason, and sentenced them to death by guillotine. Their executions were carried out on the same day, by executioners strangely attired in top hats.  Sophie went first, followed by Hans, and Christoph died last.  Later, the prison guards would recount the bravery with which the three had met their end, saying that Sophie did not bat an eyelash.  Her last words were "The sun still shines."  Her brother Hans shouted "Long live freedom!" as the blade fell.

Later, other members would follow the three to the guillotine, including a Munich philosophy professor, Kurt Huber, who had overseen the group.

The film about the trial and executions is called Sophie Scholl, the Final Days.  It can be viewed for free at YouTube, at this link.

Roland Freisler was later killed by an American bomb in Berlin.  On February 3, 1945, as he was preparing another trial with a predetermined verdict (death), the building in which he presided came under American bombing.  As he gathered his papers before seeking safety in a shelter, a bomb exploded through the roof and Freisler was crushed by a falling beam.  Good riddance.

After many years, the guillotine, on which the three were executed, was found in the basement of a German museum.  It is considered too grisly to put on display.  See it here.

Today, schools and squares all over Germany have been named in honor of the White Rose.  This small group today is a symbol of freedom and resistance to tyranny.  I know I will never forget their names:  Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst.  As Sophie said to her mother, shortly before her execution:  May we meet in eternity.

Postscript:  the White Rose authored and distributed six leaflets (a seventh was never finished and released).  Their English translations can be read at this link.

According to Wikipedia:
The White Rose had the last word. Their last leaflet was smuggled to the Allies, who edited it and air-dropped millions of copies over Germany.
Graves of Hans Scholl and Sophie Scholl

How Hillary Clinton Seems to Me

Shrillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton is running for president.  I am not enthused.

Sure, there are the usual arguments for opposing her:  she's never accomplished much in her long life, never been a leader, never been an effective head of an organization of any import.  All that's true, but that's not the worst of it.

When I think of Hillary Clinton, I think of an arrogant, angry woman with a superiority-complex, looking down her nose at the little people, all with a scowl on her face.  Rules do not apply to her, they are for other people.  Facts don't matter, only spin.  Even if I agreed with Hillary philosophically, I would find it impossible to like her personally.  It seems to me that her whole existence on this planet, her every waking moment, is suffused with one burning agenda:  to rule the masses, the masses whom she hates, and for whom she feels only contempt.

That, in a nutshell, is how Hillary Clinton seems to me.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tax Season Is Over! Big Band Is Back!!

It's over.  April 15 has come and gone.  I survived.  Went home and took a big nap, followed by a good cigar.

The CPA firm I worked for me likes me a lot.  They want me to show up on Monday to discuss further work for them.  They have over 100 tax returns on extension, and no doubt need help finishing them.

Yesterday I went to my big band practice, and it went very well.  The band is beginning to gel nicely.  The songs are tighter, we all seem to know what to do.  I feel increasingly confident in my ability to play bass with this band.  My ability to read notes gets better and better.  When you are playing music, and you intuitively know the chord changes, and your playing melds with that of the other musicians to create a joyous musical harmony, it is definitely thrilling.  You feel alive in an unusual way.  You are one with your instrument.  The music flows through you like electricity through a cord.  There is no better feeling.

One of my favorite sounds is trumpets with mutes.  The mute gives a very different sound to the trumpet.  One of the songs we play is "Don't Get Around Much Anymore."  The original big band recording of that song makes use of mutes for the trumpets.  (Have a listen here.)

After practice, I swung over to Aldo's Italian restaurant in Los Gatos, only five minutes away from the band's practice site, to join the after-tax dinner put on by the CPA firm, my new employer.  April 16 was, for me, an excellent day, with everything going right.  The high point was the band performance, but being seen as a valued employee by the CPA firm was a close second.  Both my bass skills and my tax skills are at a zenith, the highest point of my life.

So for today, I will enjoy my recent accomplishments.  At least until my wife insists that I do my laundry, which is piling up, and vacuum the dog's fur-ball contributions to our house.  And straighten up my music room.  And shred old tax documents.  I'll do it though, with a smile on my face.

Sunday, April 05, 2015