Even a Man Who is Pure of Heart

Even a Man Who is Pure of Heart…

moon-obscured-by-branches-a “and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.”

When I was a kid I lived for staying up late on Friday nights and watching the horror movies that were on then, like The Wolfman with Lon Chaney. It was one of the few things that tended to bring me out of my near- autistic world of otherwise incessant reading, and it was cool because horror movies were never as scary as my own imagination and what I read in books like Babi Yar or history books.

There was one movie of the supernatural that really did make me afraid, it was called “Black Sunday”  (no, not the one with Bruce Dern in the Blimp, even though that is much scarier nowadays…) After watching the moody Italian gothic film about a vampire witch resurrected after having a spiked mask pounded into her face I was so frightened that when I hopped into bed I used the side rail from the bunk bed to turn out the lightswitch by leaning far, far, over, and nearly falling out. I did that because I did not want to walk from the lightswitch to the bed in the dark.

I laid there with the covers up to my chin and then heard a small scratching noise. Of course I had to look… and there in the closet was that face, that demonic mask, looking back at me. I could see the blank eye sockets, the shape, the grim mouth… it was indeed the most shocking thing I had encountered until that time, and I am certain that I was blanched and pale white.

I laid there for five minutes, or so it seemed, paralyzed with fright. I was unwilling to call out, my father was in Viet Nam, and I sure didn’t want to call my mother in because that thing might get her or my sisters.

Then it was that I decided that it could not be real. It hadn’t moved a twitch, and something inside me told me it could not exist. I had a long mental conversation to convince myself that it could not be. There was however only one way to know for certain. So sweating and pale I climbed out of the bunk bed, facing it the whole time, and walked up to the closet and put my hand on the mask I saw there.

The shadow of my hand blotted it out a moment, and I felt the closet door smooth and wooden beneath my palm. I moved my hand again, and that mask distorted again. Then I followed the light back to my window where the moon was shining through the curtains – forming by weird happenstance a simulacra of the mask from the movie with light and shadow.

I went back to the closet and looked closer – noting that the mask wasn’t perfect, that there were gaps and flaws. The knotholes in the pine pattern on the door that formed the eyes were  lopsided. I couldn’t make myself see it as the mask again, even though my unbridled imagination seeded with a grim image from a chiarascurro film was able to fill the gaps and make the perfect image of that mask in my mind before I had touched it.

That’s the night that I became a rational human being; someone who knew that the mind is both fallible and suggestible, and that knowing meant having the courage to challenge assumptions and perceptions through testing.

A couple of notes: If you haven’t seen the movie I recommend it, it’s a classic horror movie that was certainly ahead of it’s time, and the cinematography is still a reference point for some.

The moon photo above was shot this way because the normal telephoto moon shots I take wouldn’t work due to high thin clouds and wind. So instead you see tree branches in a long exposure blurred by that same wind. If you click on the thumbnail and view the large version you can see the traceries repeated. Synapses in moonlight.

Oh, you ask about the scratching noise? That too I found. When I placed the rail for the bunk bed back after using it to flip the lightswitch, the paper/linen composite tag for my pillow was caught between the rail and the holder. When I moved my head it would move the tag, and the sound was amplified by the wood of the rail.

Renewed Sense of Wonder

sensitivity-graphA Holographic Cosmos and Slicing Time

Every now and again my innate optimism deserts me and I find it best to crawl into a hole in those periods and read a smorgasboard of books, generally shutting out most of the normal worldly inputs. Such has been my life the past two weeks, and in these periods the books around the house pile up atop each other, half-splined to a particular passage or just to where I left off last. It’s a search for a new view, a different prism, a fresh wind amongst the chaos of life – and what’s driven me most of my existence is the unknown; that vast gulf of all the things we do not know. It’s thrilling when I find something new we do not know.

Sometimes I forget that yawning gulf or misplace it, I lose my  immense sense of wonder. Is it under the stairs, or did I leave it in the fridge behind the mayonaise the last time I made lunch? These periods of Felicitus absentium usually get displaced by something found in a book, but today the thanks goes to Allahpundit at Hot Air for a pointer to an article at New Scientist.

The thought of the cosmos as a quantum holgram projected from a thin veneer of quanta atmosphere around a massive black hole at the center of the universe like a giant planetarium projector is just astounding, and I will follow this with interest. The interference at GEO600 is also interesting, is it from the index of refraction of the thin layer of glass in the mirror, or defects in the mirror? Is it trace atmosphere in the tunnel? Is it something as yet unknown but only speculated upon? Regardless it’s truly amazing how finely we can now slice time, which leads to many new technological possibilities. (e.g. How much data we can pack on a DVD is a function of how finely we are able to accurately slice time…)

Update: Reading further it appears that they have the issue of refraction well covered with nano-structured diffraction gates.

Black Panthers Intimidating Voters in Philly

This is definitely voter intimidation – blocking doors of polling places while tapping a nightstick? This does not belong in America, it is not democratic. From Fox News the video is below the fold:

Continue reading “Black Panthers Intimidating Voters in Philly”

The Party of Racism and the Party of Liberty

Bob Parks has put together the history of civil rights in America; one which you won’t see from the lamestream media. It’s pretty essential reading when you reference the recent survey that showed that one third of Democrat voters are still racist. Please stop by for a read. I’ve always been proud to be a member of the party of liberty and freedom, and I always will be.

When Black Friday Comes

When Black Friday comes
I’ll fly down to Muswellbrook
Gonna strike all the big red words
From my little black book
Gonna do just what I please
Gonna wear no socks and shoes
With nothing to do but feed
All the kangaroos
When Black Friday comes I’ll be on that hill
You know I will

Friends of Fannie and Freddy

The friends of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac in government turn out to be the usual cast of culprits. We have Obama, Gorelick, Johnson, Raines, Dodd, Frank, and the Congressional Black Caucus who all fought reforms even though this speech in 2005 clearly indicated they were needed. McCain was campaigning for reforms (see enough is enough) but they were beat down.

The real impact of all of this will be felt by the taxpayers, the thrifty, those who have thought of their future and saved. This will impact your pension, your 401K, your life savings. Meantime Jamie Gorelick, Democrat operative, is waltzing away with 26 Million. Special shame should also be attached to the Republicans who assisted the lobbyists and Democrats who fought these needed reforms, and we will be hunting those names down in the future as well.

Meantime this is definitely not leadership, this is definitely not change, it’s despair:

Lawmakers say they are unlikely to take action before, or to delay, their planned adjournments — Sept. 26 for the House of Representatives, a week later for the Senate. While they haven’t ruled out returning after the Nov. 4 elections, they would rather wait until next year unless Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who are leading efforts to contain the crisis, call for help.

One reason, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, is that “no one knows what to do” at the moment.

At a campaign rally in Elko Obama had this to say:

“I will crack down on predatory lenders — who all too often target the African-American community, target the Hispanic community — with tough new penalties that treat mortgage fraud like the crime that it is,” he said.

Obama and his compadres in the Democrat caucus have been “cracking down on predatory lending” since 2000 1990’s, and that’s exactly what has led to this mess. They systematically took away the profit from high risk loans, making it a losing, giveaway business backed by your tax dollars. They cut options to have high risk loans credit insured and rolled into loan cost, which led directly to increased foreclosures.

More on this from IBD Editorials:

A visibly annoyed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected suggestions that Democrats share blame for the meltdown. “No,” she snapped at reporters who dared ask.

Stick to our narrative, she scolded: The bursting of the housing bubble was another story of market failure and deregulation.

“The American people are not protected from the risk-taking and the greed of these financial institutions,” she said, while calling for investigations of the industry.

Only, the risk-taking was her idea — and the idea of all the other Democrats, along with a handful of Republicans, who over the past 30 years have demonized lenders as racist and passed regulation after regulation pressuring them to make more loans to unqualified borrowers in the name of diversity.

They were the ones who screamed — “REDLINING!” — and sent banks scurrying for cover in low-income neighborhoods, where they have been forced to lower long-held industry standards for judging creditworthiness to make the subprime loans.

If they don’t comply, they are threatened with stiff penalties under the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA, a law that forces banks to make home loans to people with poor credit risks.

Here’s an example of one of these shakedown programs that started way back, under guise of fighting predatory lending Chuck Schumer and Jesse Jackson fight to have Freddy and Fannie lower standards:

Also from IBD :

The [CRA] revisions also allowed for the first time the securitization of CRA-regulated loans containing subprime mortgages. The changes came as radical “housing rights” groups led by ACORN lobbied for such loans. ACORN at the time was represented by a young public-interest lawyer in Chicago by the name of Barack Obama.

Previously:
Enough is Enough
Obama 2nd Biggest Recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Money in Last Ten Years

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