By Cyberquill • 07/25/2014 •
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Once upon a time, the area that these days comprises the United States was populated by people(s) now collectively referred to as Native Americans.
As is common knowledge, once the Europeans splashed ashore and set about establishing their shining city on the hill, the curtain inexorably began to ring down on the indigenous population, a process poetically styled “Manifest Destiny” by the newcomers.
Eventually, its most resilient and shrunken remainder ended up stashed away into so-called “reservations,” a term at the mere sound of which one can hardly imagine anyone … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 07/20/2014 •
Speaking on what appears to have been the accidental downing of a Malaysian passenger jet over the Ukraine by Russian separatists that had skipped over the part in their mobile missile launcher’s manual where it said that all large aircraft look alike on the target acquisition radar, President Obama outlined general U.S. policy thus:
The United States of America is gonna continue to stand for the basic principle that people have the right to live as they choose, that nations have the right to determine their own destiny, and that when terrible events like this occur, the international community stands on the side of justice and on the side of truth.”
The president, of course, omitted to append to this basic principle the qualifiers “within reason” and … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 07/18/2014 •
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Channeling the Howlin’ Wolf in him, this Austrian white boy wrote and recorded a blues (the lyrics are posted here):
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By Cyberquill • 07/16/2014 •
Pope Francis has denounced “racist and xenophobic” attitudes directed at migrants around the world.
Regarding the present surge of undocumented immigrants, primarily minors, across the southern U.S. border, the pontiff says that these children must be “welcomed and protected.”
Exercising principal legislative, executive, and judicial power over the State of Vatican City, the pope governs what is probably the only nation in the world encircled in its entirety by … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 07/14/2014 •
Homeopathy keeps getting hammered as a form of quackery.
Simplified, the controversy plays out something like this:
A mainstream physician/scientist examines a homeophathic remedy under the microscope and sees nothing but water (or alcohol, or whatever medium the healing substance—often a potent poison of some sort, like belladonna or poison ivy—has been diluted in to a point where virtually no detectable traces of that substance are left), whereupon he dismisses this supposed “remedy” as a placebo and homeopathy at large as … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 07/05/2014 •
Two-thousand and some odd years ago, the Star of Bethlehem revealed the birth of Jesus to the Three Magi.
Last week, this curious star (see picture above) had suddenly materialized in the sky over my house. No doubt, God—having availed Himself of man-made aviation, as He is known to conscript temporal phenomena into His causes—put it there to reveal something to somebody.
It was about time.
Better late than never.
By Cyberquill • 06/30/2014 •
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in yet another one of these annoying 5:4 decisions—where the conservative wing collectively just happens to come down on the conservative side of an issue and the liberal wing on the liberal, and we’re supposed to believe that personal druthers and ideology never factor into the rulings of these people as if each one of them weren’t smart enough to present an erudite and compelling argument in favor of any side of any issue in perfect accordance with his or her preferred outcome—that for-profit corporations may, on religious grounds, opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 06/19/2014 •
I have a website, which probably comes as no surprise to you, since you’re here—most likely because you took a wrong turn somewhere on the Information Superhighway, and now you’re staring at the screen with a mildly annoyed “WTF???” forming on your lips, wondering how the blazes you ended up in this godforsaken virtual one-horse hamlet and, more importantly, where exactly you will have to click in order to exfiltrate and proceed to more alluring locales.
As to its genesis, I didn’t buy—nor filch—my website off the rack but took it upon myself to code and build the darn thing from scratch, a few subsequently inserted prefab … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 06/16/2014 •
Call me aberrant, but when someone has crossed into the undiscovered country (the one from whose bourn no traveler returns), my grief—the extent of which, in general, is governed by the nature and depth of my personal relationship with the deceased—primarily extends to feeling sorry for that person.
After all, it is that person that has died, not me.
Not that there’s anything wrong per se with missing a loved one spirited off to Elysian Fields by the Grim … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 06/14/2014 •
Research has shown that, on average, hurricanes with female names “cause significantly more deaths, apparently because they lead to lower perceived risk and consequently less preparedness” than do their masculine-named brethren.
So when hurricane Penelope approaches, people will intuitively deem her to be weaker—more incompetent, as it were, in terms of discharging her demolitionary duties as a cyclone—which leads to fewer hatches getting battened down than … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 06/03/2014 •
Why do some people choose to become psychiatrists?
Because, deep down, they’re terrified of criticism. Far more terrified than the rest of us. That’s why.
See, when feeling ragged on or otherwise aggressed against in some fashion, one of the defense mechanisms built into our human nature will prompt us to impute to our perceived assailant some sort of mental or emotional imbalance. For instance, we may come back with something along the lines of … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 05/29/2014 •
After I graduated from high school, I attended a two-year business college-type program in Austria, from which I emerged with what I suppose amounts to an A.A. in Business Administration, or something to that effect. (I never got around to having my degree evaluated by WES, hence my uncertainty with respect to my academic credentials in international terms.)
As far as the nature and scope of my studies there, all I remember is that I learned to type real fast and without … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 05/19/2014 •
Some years ago, I dated a girl that was studying criminal psychology at the time. She kept reams of literature on serial killers and criminal profiling by her bedside, which in turn kept her up at night (in more than one sense), and so the two of us would lie there until the wee hours discussing the mind of Ted Bundy (see peepers above), a particular favorite of hers.
I remember the first time we hung out, after doing the dinner & movie thing—our acquaintance now … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 05/08/2014 •
Ask people that knew me during my formative years for one word that described me best, and nine out of ten times you’ll hear the word “quiet.”
Indeed, I was an exceptionally quiet child.
To this day, although I do speak, should you ever meet me for a one-on-one, make sure to bring a book just in case, as I am far from a natural in the art of keeping a conversation going. After all, I didn’t practice much during my childhood and adolescence, and I generally cannot keep this gaping practice deficit concealed for very long.
Anecdotal evidence suggests I may have been of a somewhat more talkative turn in my very early years, yet I fell ever more reticent with time. Once I entered grammar school, I had adopted silence—or mono-syllabicity in situations where total silence proved impractical, such as when asked whether I wanted vanilla or … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 05/01/2014 •
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Given the advanced state of modern medicine and the ever-growing stores of scientific lore regarding the workings of the human body, one would think that dealing death in a speedy and painless fashion were a lot easier than it apparently is.
Following yet another botched execution, which left the candidate convulsing and ultimately succumbing to an unscheduled cardiac event, the perennial debate over whether the death penalty itself should be put on death row has flared up once again.
After all, neither Old Sparky, nor lethal injections, nor the traditional gallows have proven … Read More →