Saturday, December 25, 2010

"The Atheist Christmas Carol"

While logic and reason may have prohibited me from believing in a supreme being; I have definitely known and experienced the power and the joy, of  both love and hope...



Lyrics by Vienna Teng

"It's the season of grace coming out of the void
Where a man is saved by a voice in the distance
It's the season of possible miracle cures
Where hope is currency and death is not the last unknown

Where time begins to fade
And age is welcome home

It's the season of eyes meeting over the noise
And holding fast with sharp realization
It's the season of cold making warmth a divine intervention
You are safe here you know now

Don't forget
Don't forget I love
I love
I love you

It's the season of scars and of wounds in the heart
Of feeling the full weight of our burdens

It's the season of bowing our heads in the wind
And knowing we are not alone in fear

Not alone in the dark"


Just Thinking   about Love and Hope

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). And don't forget to check out my other blog   Agnostic Thinking 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Thinking about Faith and Christmas...

As I was attempting to exit the parking lot of my neighborhood Publix this afternoon.  I got stuck in stop and go holiday traffic.  When I noticed this middle-aged man walking slowly through the cars carrying a sign that read...

 "Alone, Broke and Homeless for the Holidays - Please Help". 

You gotta give this guy credit, I thought, cynically.  That's a pretty clever sign!  It strikes just the right chord of sentiment.  It's pity provoking and seasonally appropriate.  Not what you'd expect from the average drunk living under the Palmetto overpass.  So maybe he's an unemployed advertising executive, who's fallen victim to these hard economic times.  Either way, that sign should serve him well.

I don't usually pay these guys much mind.  But then again, traffic is seldom this heavy and I usually don't have to look at them for such a prolonged period of time.  It was Christmas Eve, after all, and unfortunately Publix shared the strip mall with both a Target and Best Buy.  So the place was a mob scene.

As I continued to observe the stranger.  I must admit, my heart began to soften.

Besides, this guy was different.  He wasn't even trying to make eye contact with me or anyone else , which is what they usually do.  You know how they try to stare you down with guilt, but not this guy.  He was looking straight ahead as he walked with a rather lost, blank expression on his face.  I also noticed that he was a gringo, a white guy, even whiter than me.  If that's possible.  He looked very unkempt with strawberry blond graying hair and beard.  A true rarity in my mostly Latin, upscale Miami, neighborhood. He didn't look like a wino or drug addict, but he did look down and out.  He just appeared to be sad and overwhelmed by life.

No one seemed to be paying any attention to him.  Usually I'll see at least one or two people give these guys a little something, but not this time.  This guy was being completely ignored and I was beginning to feel for him.

That didn't last long though, as I began to get more cynical again.  I noticed that his sign was in English. Perhaps some of these people may not even be able to read it.  His clever marketing technique is completely lost on this audience. Should've gone bilingual,  I chuckled to myself.

Then, wouldn't you know it, I realized he was slowly making his way towards my car.  That's when something really strange happened.  Instead of trying to avoid eye contact with him, which is what I usually do in these circumstances.  I found myself attempting to engage his gaze.  Yes it's true, I was actually trying to seek him out.  But he wasn't having it, his eyes remained unfocused as she slowly meandered forward.   He seemed to be oblivious to me and everyone else around him. No wonder it was so easy for people to ignore him, he was ignoring them! 

I don't know why and I don't know what came over me, but I suddenly felt the need to give him something. Was I being influenced by the ghost of Dickens Christmas Future and worried that one day this could be me?  Or was I just becoming a soft touch in my old age?  Whatever it was.  I found myself waving to get his attention but he didn't notice.

So I put a dollar bill in my hand as I leaned over and waved it out the passenger window at him, but he still didn't notice as he slowly past the right side of my vehicle.  I waved and yelled out the window even louder, but he ignored me.  Then some other guy began to yell, but the man kept walking.

Finally a young Latina, jumped out of her car and physically approached him. She stopped him and put a dollar bill directly into his hand.  The man looked down at the dollar.  He just stared at it motionless for a while.  Still not making eye contact with anyone, as he then began to cry.  Next thing I knew we were all getting out of our cars and rushing to give him money.  Not just dollar bills either, but all denominations.  As the man literally began to sob, some of us were so moved that we began to cry as well.

When I eventually got to drive home from this rather Surrealistic Miami Moment, I proceeded  to bask in the glow that one gets when they realize It's Better to Give Than Receive.

Unfortunately, the "Warm Fuzzies" quickly began to fade as the skeptic in me began to speculate.  Had I just been taken?  Were we all in fact, the victims of some kind of shrewd mass manipulation? 

The truth is, I don't know and I hate to admit this, but I'm not even sure I want to know.

Yes, I guess it's true, even agnostic atheists like me, sometimes feel the Need to Believe in Something.

So even if I can't put my Faith in some Invisible Guy in the Sky;

Maybe - Sometimes, I Can Choose to Believe in My Prominently Visible Fellowman.


Just Thinking

And Happy Holidays Everyone!


Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). don't forget to check out my other blog  Agnostic Thinking 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell Is Finally Repealed!

Credit: CBS/AP

It's been said that the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is the biggest civil rights victory in years. It’s an example of America finally living up to it's highest ideals of equality and fairness.

Young gay men and women will now have the "Opportunity" to openly serve in our nation's military.

A Long Overdue Civil Rights Victory for Sure!

The only question is, however, what happens if and when that "Opportunity" to serve becomes an "Obligation" to serve,  i.e. a Military Draft?

Will the young men and women who fought so hard for this victory still be celebrating?

Most young people today, do not know of, cannot conceive of and in many cases have never even heard of,  "A Compulsory Military Draft".  This at a time when reinstatement of the draft is more of a possibility than it has been in decades. 

Our volunteer army is already greatly overextended and having a hard time getting and keeping qualified recruits, while the world becomes more of a tinderbox with each passing day.  Whether it's the North/South Korea conflict, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the situation in Iran.  Not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen.  Etc. etc. etc.

Given the circumstances, can the day be that far away? 
When our Uncle Sam will once again say, Greetings...



And, By the Way,  That's Not a Request - That's an Order!

You Must and Will Serve, You Must and Will Fight,

You Must and Will Kill!

Even If It's in an Immoral, Unjustified War That You Do Not Believe In. 

Fight or Go to Jail!  -  Love It or Leave It, Baby!

Just Thinking Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Life's a Funny Proposition!

Just Thinking About Life... 

On the season finale of Boardwalk Empire, HBO's brilliantly written new series.  They chose to close the show with an old turn-of-the-century tune by George M. Cohan.  It's a song that I first became familiar with back in the 1960s, when I was just a wee lad.  (as Cohan might've said)

When most people think of Cohan's music and lyrics;  They tend to remember the light hearted ditties like "Yankee Doodle Dandy". 

The serious being that I am however, always seemed to remember the insightful, darker and more somber songs.  Such as the poignant lyrics contained within the immortal tune...

Life's a funny proposition, after all  


"Did you ever sit and ponder,

Sit and wonder, sit and think,

Why we're here and what this life is all about?

It's a problem that has driven

Many brainy men to drink,

It's the weirdest thing they've tried to figure out.

About a thousand diff'rent theories

All the scientists can show,

But never yet have proved a reason why

With all we've thought

And all we're taught,

Why all we seem to know,

Is we're born, and live a while and then we die.



Refrain 1

Life's a very funny proposition after all,

Imagination, jealousy, hypocrisy and all.

Three meals a day, a whole lot to say;

When you haven't got the coin you're always in the way.

Ev'rybody's fighting as we wend our way along,

Ev'ry fellow claims the other fellow's in the wrong;

Hurried and worried until we're buried and there's no curtain call.

Life's a very funny proposition after all.



Verse 2

When all things are coming easy, and when luck is with a man,

Why then life to him is sunshine ev'rywhere;

Then the fates blow rather breezy and they quite upset a plan,

Then he'll cry that life's a burden hard to bear.

Though today may be a day of smiles, tomorrow's still in doubt,

And what brings me joy, may bring you care and woe;

We're born to die, but don't know why, or what it's all about,

And the more we try to learn the less we know.



Refrain 2

Life's a very funny proposition, you can bet,

And no one's ever solved the problem properly as yet.

Young for a day, then old and gray;

Like the rose that buds and blooms and fades and falls away,

Losing health to gain our wealth as through this dream we tour.

Ev'rything's a guess and nothing's absolutely sure;

Battles exciting and fates we're fighting until the curtain falls.

Life's a very funny proposition after all."





Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments")

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mom Gets Her Hair Done

My sister took Mom to get her hair done over the weekend and as my sister put it she really is beginning to look like her old self again...

Taken October 2, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Mom's Latest Procedure

For those of you who have been following this, I'm happy to report that they finally put in the fourth stent earlier this afternoon and all seemed to go pretty well, thankfully.

According to the doctor she'll have to be watched carefully for the next month or so because if there are any complications that's when they would be most likely to occur.

I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for their cards, e-mails, telephone calls and expressions of support.  Believe me, it's greatly appreciated!

Rutgers Student Suicide Tragedy

 

I don't know if this qualifies as a "Hate Crime" or not.  I'll leave that to the lawyers.  But I do know, this was very Hateful!

Just Thinking

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Latest on My Mother's Condition

The cardiologist has finally scheduled my mother's additional stent procedure.  It was originally scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, September 28, but they just changed it to this coming Thursday, September 30th.

Since I'm back in Miami now and my sister has to work, my brother Pat and his wife Noreen will be coming down on Wednesday evening and staying overnight to get a bright and early start Thursday morning.  Believe it or not she has to be at the hospital by 7:15 AM.

I'll sure be glad when this is all over with.

Just Thinking

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mom Gets Sprung from Rehab!

We Saw the Cardiologist on Wednesday And My Mother Talked Him into Giving Her a Get Out Of Jail Free Card!

She's so happy it's unbelievable.  While driving home, she kept saying I can't believe I'm really out!

Apparently she was secretly convinced that we were lying to her and that she was going to have to stay there the rest of her life.  It made me think of Sophia on the "Golden Girls" always worried that her daughter Dorothy was going to send her back to "Shady Pines".

In the meantime, the doctor has still yet to schedule the additional stent procedure.  Apparently he wants to wait a few more weeks until she gets even stronger.  He sees her again on September 20, and says he'll probably schedule it then.  I'll be back in Florida, by then, but my sister and brother will be here to take her back and forth to the necessary appointments.

All things considered, she's looking remarkably well and I think we are all very pleased with her progress.

Just Thinking

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Today in History - August 18th



This also seemed like a good day to re-post my favorite TV commercial and No, this is not meant to be an endorsement of AT&T or its 3G Network.  Which is what I finally figured out this commercial is for.  Nor was I ever necessarily a big fan of Gene Wilder and/or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I could take it or leave it to tell you the truth.  But I do love this commercial, and every time it comes on;  I tend to stop, pause, reflect and smile.  With all that's been going on recently, today of all days.  I feel like a smile :)



I don't know if it's the beautiful yet haunting melody or the scenes of a busy bustling city, combined with innocent childish graphics.  Perhaps it's the bearded guy with his simple, subtle and insightful smile.  I don't know what it is that captures my imagination.  I only know that when I see this commercial I want to get out of box crayons and a clean sheet of paper.  It makes me want to be Five again, or any age younger than this reality I am forced to dwell within.

By the way Apple Annie,  even though "Not Celebrating Birthdays" has become almost like a "Religion" to me.  When I received your card today, at my Mom's house in New Jersey, no less; I must admit it brought me both a Smile and a Tear.  Thanks dear one.  The timing was just right!

Just Thinking

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yes, I'm Still in New Jersey

And My Mom Is Still in Rehab.

She goes to therapy every morning, and I spend every afternoon and evening with her to keep her company.

Weather permitting, we go for a short walks in the courtyard, play computer games or just sit and talk. 
In the evening, of course there's always "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune".  Thank You Merv Griffin!

At this point it looks like she'll probably be here at least another week.  That's good I suppose, since she's definitely getting stronger each day. 

Unfortunately however, she's become very depressed.  She wants desperately to go home and I understand that.  Sometimes she just looks out the window and cries and I feel so bad for her.  But, I also know the rehabilitation therapy has been very beneficial for her and she needs to build up our strength before she goes home.

They have still not scheduled the additional stent procedure. We have an appointment to see the cardiologist on Wednesday, August 25th.  So hopefully we'll know more then.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Mom's in Rehab!

No - Not That Kind of Rehab! 

She's actually in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Center,  although believe it or not, they call it "ReHab" for short.

Which of course makes me giggle, because I keep thinking at any minute I might run into Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton.  I think it's safe, though, since so far, I see no sign of the paparazzi.  Come to think of it, this might be a good place for either of them to come and hide.  A rehab center in South Jersey, owned and operated by Hasidic Jews is probably the last place anyone would ever look.

I keep joking with the staff here about running into celebrities, but they don't seem to get it. (Oh Lucy, where are you when I need you?)

Anyway, I guess I should bring you up-to-date...

Mom's doing pretty well.  They take her to the gym downstairs every morning for physical therapy, and it does seem to be helping.  She's walking better, and her physical strength and dexterity seems to be improving daily. 

Unfortunately, she still has to go back to Jersey Shore Hospital for an additional stent procedure.  That hasn't been scheduled yet, though.  We're still waiting to hear from the doctor.


Here's a picture of my sister sitting with my mom in the courtyard of Atlantic Coast Rehabilitation Center.


Madeline and Mom in Rehab!




Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open).

Friday, August 6, 2010

An Update on My Mom's Condition

My mom had the cardiac catheterization, and they ended up putting in three stents.  Believe it or not, she has to go back in a couple of weeks for a fourth.  She was on the procedure table for the best part of four hours. 

Early Thursday morning they transferred Mom by ambulance from the Kimball Medical Center to Jersey Shore Hospital which is where the procedure was eventually done.  I say eventually because we were expecting it to all be over and done, by early that afternoon.  As it turned out they didn't even begin until about 9 PM that night and didn't finish till sometime after midnight.  Thankfully, my sister had driven down from Sussex to wait with me.  It was really quite an ordeal.  Mom was told she had to fast, and therefore hadn't eaten since dinner the night before.  Needless to say she was not a happy camper.

All in all though, I guess everything went pretty well.  They will be transferring mom to Atlantic Coast.  Cardiac Rehabilitation Center sometime tomorrow.

Since it's almost 2 AM.  I'm going to close this laptop now and try to get some sleep.  I will keep you posted though.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Things Don't Always Go As Planned

Well here it is Friday night, July 30, 2010 , and while I should be in Maine with my mom at the rehearsal dinner for my nephew's wedding.  I'm actually still here in New Jersey with my mom, who is at the Kimball Medical Center.

For those of you who haven't heard by now.  Mom had a heart attack earlier this week.  "Such are the best laid plans of mice and men." 

The good news is, she got out of CCU this morning and is now resting comfortably in a regular room.  All her vital signs seem to be stable, although she does appear be pale and very weak.  She is also experiencing some kidney failure and is having some blood sugar problems as well.  They seem to think these conditions are manageable, though.  As they're trying to build up her strength for a  cardiac catheterization  procedure, probably sometime next week.

Needless to say we both greatly regret having to miss the wedding.  Not to mention the opportunity to see my sister-in-law, who hasn't been well either, and my nephews and nieces who live in Maine and we so seldom get to see.

Oh well, what can I say?   It is what it is, and Stuff Happens!  Sometimes you just have to cope!!

Just Thinking

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Time for Another Road Trip!

Well I'm off to New Jersey again, and other points North East.  I'll be going to visit my mom and other family and friends.  My nephew Eddie and his beautiful girlfriend Carrie will be getting married on July 31, 2010. Even though they live in the Boston area, the wedding will be held at Carrie's home in Maine.  Which is great because it affords me the opportunity to see the rest of the O'Reilly Family which also lives in Maine.  Even though I don't enjoy travel as much as I did when I was younger and healthier.  I am in fact greatly looking forward to seeing everyone and I hope all goes well.

I will have my laptop with me, but I probably won't be blogging as much.  But that's okay since it looks like they are finally getting the BP oil spill under control and Congress will be out of session for the August recess.  I guess the country will survive without my contributions to the blogosphere.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The 100,000 Barrel a Day Estimate Finally Begins to Gain Credibility!

CNN's Anderson Cooper talks to Congressman Markey about the BP Oil Spill worst case leak scenario: up to 100,000 barrels a day...



While I'm certainly glad that the mainstream media is finally giving the 100,000 barrel a day estimate some badly needed attention.  I think it's worth pointing out that I first blogged about this back on May 13, 2010

Just Thinking

 Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bp Oil Spill - 70 Days and Counting!

Some quotes from BP CEO Tony Hayward about the disaster in the gulf.

Created by: Lisa Whiteman; Production Assistant: Sherry Goldberg; Photography: Associated Press, Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace, NASA



Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

BP's Oil Spill Disaster 62 Days and Counting!

Thanks in part to NPR, PBS, and White House Pressure, we now have a way to watch the environmental crisis unfold in real time via a live video feed and a new BP Gulf Leak Meter.



Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The "Party of No" Continues to Block Progress in Congress!

Whether it's by blocking Medicare payments to doctors or refusing to extend unemployment benefits during the biggest economic depression since the Great One, Republicans are obviously determined to see this administration fail.  It doesn't seem to matter to them that they're destroying the country in the process.



At this critical juncture in American history when it's more important than ever that we all work together, Republicans have obviously chosen partisan politics over patriotism. How Sad.

Just Thinking  Please feel free to comment...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

BP Admits "Top Kill" Has Failed!

The BP Oil Spill Disaster continues...

That's right, the  "Mud Method"  hasn't worked either. 

But how can that be? 

Given all of today's  "Modern Technology"  this is supposed to be impossible!

Technology that the  "Tea Party Crowd"  has routinely endorsed by chanting "Drill Baby Drill".


Technology that the industry has always called "Fail-Safe".

Technology that John McCain and Sarah Palin called "Proven and Foolproof ".

Technology that on March 31, 2010 - President Obama himself called, "Completely Safe and Reliable".

"There's no  'Silver Bullet'  to stop this leak,"  Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry finally admitted Saturday. 

No Shit Sherlock! 

Now I know some of you continue to insist that we have to keep drilling, because we really need the oil, and there is no viable alternative. 

But please, let me ask you something. 

Since 'deep-sea' offshore drilling only accounts for about 2% of our domestic oil production and considering the environmental risks, is it really true that we can't each cut back by at least 2%?

Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Seize BP Petition button

Monday, May 24, 2010

Halliburton Strikes Again!

Industry experts agree, the BP oil rig explosion was likely the result of Bad Cement Work.  Who was responsible for the cement work?   The same contractor who "Sold" us on and "Profiteers" from the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,  Dick Cheney's Halliburton!  Will the Bush/Cheney Legacy Ever End? 



Just Thinking


Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The BP "Sippy Straw" Technique Is BS

BP Officials Now Claim that They're "Sippy Straw" Technique is collecting at least 2,000 barrels a day.  Instead of the 1,000 they claimed on Monday.  That would equal 84,000 gallons a day, versus 42,000 gallons.  (Please note: one barrel equals 42 US gallons)

So Based on This New Estimate They Now Have the Audacity to Claim They're Collecting 40% of the Spilling Oil.

Once again people, it's time to do the math!

2,000 barrels (84,000 gallons) would equal 40%. only if the spill were 5,000 barrels daily as BP continues to claim. Unfortunately however, even industry insiders acknowledge that the spill is at the very least 25,000 barrels a day.

Most independent sources, including the US Coast Guard and NASA Scientists actually estimate that the broken well is spilling, somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 Barrels a Day.   So with those figures in mind, they may be only siphoning off as little as 2% of the current spill.

Now, the truth is, no one knows for sure exactly how much oil is leaking.  Most experts agree it would be helpful if BP would release a streaming video of the oil spill and not just a few seconds here or there.  So far, however BP refuses to do so.




Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finally a Glimmer of Hope For the Disaster in the Gulf? No, Not Really!!

                  28 Days in to the Worst Man-Made Ecological Disaster in History,
                                 (The BP/DeepwaterHorizon/Halliburton Oil Spill)
                                    BP Has Announced Its First (meager) Success.

But Is It Too Little - Too Late?


BP workers have managed to fit a slightly smaller pipe into the larger damaged pipe at the Deepwater Horizon/Halliburton Oil Spill in the "Gulf of Cheney".  They finally, it seems have begun to capture some of the spewing oil.  "Approximately 1,000 barrels a day" BP officials said proudly. "That's about 1/5 or 20%" they gloated.

Now wait just a minute here - I think we need to take a look at that math!
 
1,000 barrels would equal 20%.  If the spill were, as BP continues to claim, only 5,000 barrels a day.  Unfortunately however, All Independent Scientific Sources estimate that the broken well is actually spilling, somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 Barrels a Day.  So if my math is correct.  They may be only siphoning off as little as 1% of the current spill.

This at a time, when according to the Miami Herald, Scientists are saying the already-spilled oil may be getting closer to South Florida.



Satellite images taken Sunday by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory show that the oil may have already entered the Gulf Loop Current.  Which could pull it through the Florida Keys in about 7 to 10 days.  And, eventually into South Florida according to an analysis by Mitch Roffer, a Florida-based Oceanographer. 

I think it's worth noting that once in South Florida.  The oil becomes a part of the Gulf Stream, which of course runs up almost the entire East Coast of the United States.

I'm sorry BP, but using the equivalent of a "Mile-Long Straw" to suck up a relatively insignificant amount of oil is hardly what I would call a solution.

  Just Thinking


Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

President Obama Finally Addresses The BP Oil Spill!

On April 20, 2010 the Worst Man-Made Ecological Disaster in the History of Mankind occurred in the Gulf of Mexico.  Today some 3 1/2 weeks later, President Obama has finally addressed the issue head on and expressed Outrage and Disgust...




While I welcome the President's Moratorium on All New Offshore Drilling.  I Think It Should Be a Permanent Ban and not just a temporary one.  Taking 30 days to further study the issue doesn't sound like genuine outrage and disgust to me.  Nor does it sound like a serious solution.  It sounds more like polite lip service to a politically volatile topic that's too hot to handle right now.

I Would Personally Prefer and Immediate Halt to All Deep Water Drilling (i.e. drilling at depths of more than 1000 feet).  According to the Associated Press, there are at least 30 other drilling platforms currently operating in the Gulf of Mexico alone. They are all using the same kind of reckless technology that made this environmental catastrophe possible. 

Technology that the "Tea Party Crowd" has routinely endorsed by chanting "Drill Baby Drill". 

Technology that the industry has always called "Fail-Safe". 

Technology that John McCain and Sarah Palin called "Proven and Foolproof ". 

Technology that on March 31, 2010 - The President himself called, "Completely Safe and Reliable". 

Then on April 20, 2010 just three short weeks later, this disaster happened.  Now I don't know for sure, if the President is really outraged and disgusted or not.  But I do know this much, I Sure Am!

Just Thinking

 Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

BP Oil Spill Is 10 Times Worse Than Estimated!

NPR said today that new data obtained by them shows that oil gushing out of the Deepwater Horizon pipe on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico is at least 10 times the U.S. Coast Guard's original estimate.



The U.S. Coast Guard had estimated that oil was gushing from a broken pipe on the Gulf floor at the rate of 5,000 barrels a day.

But sophisticated scientific analysis of sea floor video made available Wednesday by the oil company BP shows that the true figure is closer to 70,000 barrels a day, NPR's Richard Harris reports.

That means the oil spilling into the Gulf has already far exceeded the equivalent of the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker accident in Alaska, which spilled at least 250,000 barrels of oil.

The analysis was conducted by Steve Werely, an associate professor at Purdue University, using a technique called particle image velocimetry. Harris tells Michele Norris that the method is accurate to about 20 percent. That means the flow could range between 56,000 barrels a day and 84,000 barrels a day.

Another analysis by Eugene Chiang, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California Berkeley, calculated the rate of flow to be between 20,000 barrels a day and 100,000 barrels a day — both higher than the Coast Guard's estimate.

But the pipe is spewing both Oil and Natural Gas and the BP does not make it clear how much is oil and how much is gas.

"BP has always said there is no way to measure the amount spilling from the pipe," Harris said.

But, he said, the uncertainty could be reduced if BP would share more information with the scientists.

Gee, I wonder why they're not choosing to do that? 

P. S.  The Obama Administration is still standing by its March 31st decision to Expand Offshore Oil Drilling.  In fact,  just yesterday the President gave his support to the  Lieberman, Kerry Energy Bill   which calls for the same.

Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Please Tell President Obama to Stop All New Offshore Oil Drilling Now!


You would think that in light of the current Oil Spill Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico a moratorium on all offshore wells would be a given.  But apparently not, President Obama still seems to be standing by his decision to Expand rather than Stop offshore drilling.  If you are as outraged by this as I am.  I urge you to consider signing this petition from the Sierra Club...


 Targeting: The President of the United States

 Sponsored by: Sierra Club
 
The BP Deepwater Horizon drilling-rig disaster is expected to become one of the largest oil disasters in North American history. It has claimed the lives of 11 workers and now threatens Gulf coast waters, beaches, wildlife and communities.

We need President Obama to stop all new drilling off America's coasts immediately and permanently. The Gulf coast will be impacted by this tragedy for years to come and President Obama has the power to make sure this never happens again.

Instead of risking our lives, our coasts, our clean air, and our security by perpetuating our addiction to oil, it's time to build a clean energy economy that means more jobs, less pollution, and real energy independence

Sign this petition and tell President Obama stop the expansion of is dirty, dangerous, and deadly offshore oil drilling -- permanently.

Just click on the following link to sign the petition...

                          Click Here To Sign The Sierra Club Petition 


Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Drill Baby Drill! Drill Baby Drill! Drill Baby Drill!

At the 2008 Republican National Convention John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the Republican National Committee all assured us that it was perfectly safe to open up more of our Coastal Waters and even some of our National Parks to additional oil drilling.   Drill baby Drill was the chant as the crowd went absolutely wild and big oil executives smiled! 


Which is why I suppose environmentalists everywhere cheered when the Republicans lost the election later that same year.  Their victory was short-lived, however, as it was later to be revealed that big oil may have actually won anyway. 

On March 31 of this year President Obama  announced  his own plans to expand offshore oil drilling.  A position he had adamantly opposed during the presidential campaign.  But now viewed as a Safe and Viable Option. 

President Bush had tried for years and years to expand oil drilling off the coast of Florida. 

President Obama seems to have accomplished it in less than 15 months. 

And now less than three weeks after President Obama's announcement,  This Happens...



That's Right,  "Tragedy in the Gulf"  - when 11 Men Die in an Oil Rig Explosion off the Coasts of Louisiana and Florida.  This as we were being assured that modern technology had made such drilling Virtually Safe and Risk Free.
As the oil rig eventually sinks.  BP officials, the US Coast Guard, and the administration are all once again assuring us that despite the unfortunate loss of life an environmental disaster has been averted because no oil is leaking from the sunken rig.

Then just a few days later, this happens...


Officials reveal that last week’s oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico has created a Catastrophic Oil Spill. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the sunken Deepwater Horizon oil rig is now leaking an average of a 42,000 gallons of crude oil per day. BP, which leased Deepwater Horizon from Transocean LTD, is working to clean up the mess, which poses a major threat to the fragile Gulf ecosystem.  An area that is used as a source for over 40% of America's seafood.

Not to mention the fact that the spill is just days away from coming ashore on the Florida and Louisiana coastlines.


In light of this and the recent West Virginia coal mine disaster, it should be clear that we need to find a way to end our dependency on fossil fuels.  Drill Baby Drill Is Obviously Not the Answer!

Did you know that China is actually the world leader in researching Wind, Solar, Hydrogen and Other Alternative Energy Resources. 

  Just Thinking 

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.


Friday, April 30, 2010

A Mothers Day Story!

The following is an animated Mother's Day story from NPR's  StoryCorps.  It features Joshua Littman, a 12-year-old boy with  Asperger's  Syndrome,  interviewing his mother, Sarah.  Joshua’s unique questions and Sarah’s loving, unguarded answers reveal a beautiful relationship that reminds us of the best—and the most challenging—parts of being a mother.
 

Q&A from StoryCorps on Vimeo.


Happy Mother's Day Everyone! 

Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Miami's MAST Academy Is Strong Contender for Presidential Commencement Speech

President Obama recently promised to speak at a high school's graduation somewhere in the United States later this year.  To be considered, he asked schools to submit a 3 to 4 minute video and a brief essay about their accomplishments. 

The competition has been narrowed down to six finalists, and I'm happy to report that Miami's Maritime And Science Technology school  Mast Academy  has made the final cut. Take a moment to view the video they submitted...





Blog update: 

Congratulations to Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the winner of the 2010 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge!

   http://www.whitehouse.gov/commencement

And congratulations once again to Miami MAST Academy for making the top finals and being honored as one of the best high schools in the country.

         Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rush Limbaugh Promised to Leave the Country, And Move to Costa Rica If Health Care Reform Passed - But Apparently He's Not a Man of His Word!

.
No he's is not, since unfortunately he still resides right here in South Florida.  Broadcasting His Deceitful Misleading Diatribes from His Home in Boca Raton on a Daily Basis.  Which for Me, Is Much Too Close for Comfort!

But Perhaps There Is Hope!  Now comes word that the  DSCC  (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) Wants to provide him with a an airplane ticket and a boarding pass

to his stated destination of choice,  Costa Rica  If you take a moment to read the Boarding Pass, you'll notice that Rush is booked on the very full of hot air and well known airline  TEA BAG AIR   the ticket is of course class appropriate (none) and will include his  Frequent Liar Miles  as well as a full three course meal (so there'll be no chance of the big fat buffoon wasting away during the flight).  It seems they thought of everything, they even remembered to make it a One Way Ticket.

So if you'd like to encourage The Great Rushbo to accept the ticket and get the F*ck Out of the Country Now, than please join me and others by signing this DSCC petition.  Click Here To Sign 

Wouldn't it be great if he really left?  Yes, I realize he could still broadcast from down there, but at least he wouldn't be living so uncomfortably close. 

Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted. 

And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...   

http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Rush limbaugh is a Big Fat Liar

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Miami in the News - We're Number One!

-
That's Right, Of the 10 Major U.S. Cities in Economic Free Fall - Miami Is Number One!


According to  Forbes Magazine We Have the Worst Housing Market in the Nation.  Since I've been looking to sell my house for about three years now.  That's certainly no surprise to me. 

But it's not just South Florida that's in Economic Free Fall.  Apparently the entire Sunshine State is doing badly.  In addition to Miami and Ft. Lauderdale the top 10 list also included Tampa, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Orlando.  That means a total of Six Florida Cities are among the Worst in the Nation.  The list also included other notoriously bad economic markets, like Phoenix Arizona, Las Vegas Nevada and Southern California in general.  But Miami and Fort Lauderdale were tied for number one.  Here's the entire list...

Forbes Magazine U.S. Cities in Economic Freefall.

1. Tie -  Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

2. Tie - Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida

3. Tie - Riverside and San Bernardino, California

4. Jacksonville, Florida

5. Phoenix, Arizona

6. Orlando, Florida

7. Tie - Los Angeles and Long Beach, California

8. Sacramento, California

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

10. Providence, Rhode Island

It's worth noting that this list by no means represents the worst economies in the country, but rather the cities who have fallen most since the Bush Recession began in 2007.  Forbes used a combination of economic statistics to compile the list, including unemployment rates, housing prices, new construction permits and several other pertinent economic factors.

Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted. 

And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...   

http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oil Rig Explodes in Gulf Of Mexico!

A "Deepwater Horizon" drilling rig, operated by BP oil Corporation, exploded today in the Gulf of Mexico. 17 platform workers were injured and at least 11 others are still unaccounted for.



This is a picture of the rig before the explosion.

Remarkably, according to BP officials, little or no oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of this explosion.  Apparently something called a "Blowout Preventer" has automatically shut the oil well down and prevented what could have been a major catastrophe.

I sure hope they're right, otherwise this could prove to be the kind of disaster that environmentalists have so often warned us about.


Just Thinking


Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted.  And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...    http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mount Limbaugh and other Volcanic Eruptions in the News!

-
The Volatile Mount Limbaugh, Erupt's Again as he declares...
 
"... If There Is a Future Incident Such As The Oklahoma City Bombing,  the Blame Is Squarely on the Shoulders of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama."



Well, of course, now doesn't that make perfect sense.  If there's another act of domestic terrorism.  It will clearly be the fault of Bill Clinton.  All because the former president, accurately and appropriately warned us that conditions today are eerily similar to those that existed in 1995.

The Volatile, Incendiary, Rebellious and Riotous Rhetoric from the Right will have had Nothing to Do with It.

Rush, Glenn, Sean and other seditious talkshow hosts who have been continually and deliberately fanning the flames of discontent in this country, will have played no role in any new act of Domestic Insurgency.

The fact that right-wing militia groups and tea party sympathizers have held demonstrations and protests today in all 50 states, Celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing will obviously be irrelevant. 

The fact that where permitted by law, and has encouraged by the likes of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, many of these protesters will be armed,  Well All of That Will Be Irrelevant Too!


The only thing that matters is - that if anything does happen, according to Rush, it'll all be Clinton's fault...

Rush Limbaugh, whose outlandish opinions and inflammatory rhetoric routinely fire up wingnuts coast-to-coast has really outdone himself this time. 

Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted. 

And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...   

http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.




Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sarah Palin Is Laughing All the Way to the Bank!

ABC News  reports that since Sister Sarah stepped down as Governor of Alaska last July.  She has earned some 12,000,000 + dollars!  Well,  Thank You Jesus and how about a big "Okey-Doke" for that! 

Sarah of course claims.  The only reason she traded in her 125 grand a year salary for 12 million was to be closer to the people.  She's so Good That Way!  - She Cares, She Really Cares!

Now comes word that Ms. Palin has signed A Multimillion Dollar a Year Contract with Discovery Communications.


That's right, the Environmentally Friendly Group, Home to the "Science Channel",  "Animal Planet", "Planet Earth",  TreeHugger.Com  and of course the Discovery Channel;  will actually be hosting A Well-Known Anti-Environmentalist Like Sarah Palin.

If you agree that this is totally and completely absurd, I urge you to sign the  Credo Action Petition  asking Discovery to Cancel the Program.  It will only take a minute or two of your time and you never know.  It just might make a difference.   Click Here To Sign The Petition 

Also, help spread the word and ask your friends to sign too.

Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted. 

And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...   

http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The New Health Care Bill Is ARMAGEDDON! - Really??

Well at least that's what leading Republicans are saying anyway. Yes I said, leading Republicans!

Not just the Lunatic Tea Party Fringe,
but mainstreamers like our
House Minority Leader John Boehner.

Who seriously declared, with a straight face no less,  that...

"It's ARAMAGEDDON!
This New Health Care Bill
Will Ruin Our Country!"

(Note the serious look of concern on his face.  One can obviously tell he  really cares.)  

Then there's The Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele who attempts to explain to a skeptical Shepard Smith on Fox News that - "Yes, this Really is Armageddon!"  (Please note, when you're the chairman of the party, the one man who is actually authorized to speak on behalf of the Republican Party, and your right wing inflammatory rhetoric, becomes so bizarre that even Fox News has to challenge it.  Well then, you know you've gone too far.)  Click play and check out the video.  It's only about a minute long - it's worth it - it's fun!



All of this over a rather minor health care bill.  A bill whose key provisions won't even take effect until 2014.  Yet that didn't stop, the Wall Street Journal from publishing an Opinion Piece that declares it to be a disaster from "Day One". An opinion page that has apparently gone viral around the net. 

This is of course the same exact WSJ opinion page that just one year ago. In March of 2009 boasted screaming headlines like "Obama Liberalism Is Killing the Dow". Well, need I tell you that the Dow Jones industrial average has gone up about 65% since then.

It's actually up 70% if you go back to the lows in the last year of the Bush administration. Have the WSJ editorial writers, given the Obama administration any credit for that? No, of course not! But you can damn well bet when the Dow falls back down again (as it inevitably will). Obama, if he's still in office, will take the blame!

It's important to remember that this is not the Wall Street Journal of old. The staid and reliable, albeit business conservative publication, respected throughout the world and that most of us grew up with.

Ever since the paper was purchased by Rupert Murdoch in 2007. Its opinion pages have become just another tool in his foreign-owned (he's Australian, you know), right-wing political propaganda machine. Which of course includes Fox News, numerous tabloid trash publications like the New York Post, and the many right-wing radio stations he either owns or partially owns throughout the English-Speaking World.

Now don't get me wrong, as I've blogged about in the past, this is not at all, the health care reform I was hoping for.  I am no big fan of this bill.  Although, I can't even imagine what the Republicans might be saying, if the Democrats would've had the votes and the courage to actually pass real health care reform. 

Heck, the initial features of this bill, don't even provide some of the basic coverage that John McCain himself was campaigning for during the 2008 presidential election.  The truth is, Republican President Richard Nixon back in the 1970s, proposed and failed to pass a far more progressive health care bill than this even pretends to be.   And yet no Republicans called it Armageddon, they just (most of them anyway) voted against it.

The real problems with this bill is not what it does.  But what it doesn't do.  It provides No Public Option. No Medicare Expansion or Buy-In.  No Tort Reform and No Prescription Drug Price Controls.  All of which were negotiated out by special interest groups.  And all of which are necessary,  if we ever hope to get health care costs under control.

While this bill does provide some immediate relief for young people (26 and under), the truth is, this new health care bill does absolutely nothing for me and my current situation. The only benefits in this legislation that might be of some potential help to me won't kick in until 2014. And I turn 65 that year and will be eligible for Medicare anyway.

Besides, who knows what changes this bill might undergo between now and then. None of this, after all is written in stone and is obviously subject to the whims of future members of Congress.

What I do know is that this bill, with all of its flaws (most of which were created by special interest oppositions) is at the very least - a start.  And  it's hardly  "The Armageddon"  that Republicans and Big Business are making it out to be.  This type of Inflammatory Speech, Republican Hype and Sensationalism is  just Pure Political Theater.  Designed and Created to try and get out the Republican vote in 2010.

Just Thinking

Please feel free to comment below, ( just click on the word "Comments" if the panel is not open). Or you can e-mail me direct at eddieoreilly@hotmail.com and your comment will be posted. 

And don't forget to check out my new blog   Agnostic Thinking  found at the following address...   

http://www.AgnosticThinking.BlogSpot.Com/  Dedicated just to Agnostic/Atheism, Rational Thinking, Gay Subculture And Related Topics.