Around 1515 hours yesterday (December 9th, 2009), there was a serious collision between two hydrofoils, Green Lines and Petro Express, that run between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and the oil town, Vung Tau, Vietnam, on the SaigonRiver. The Greenlines ferry with 37 passengers was on the way from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau. Traveling over 20 minutes and at a sharp turn, she hit her starboard side against the Petro Express on the reverse way. The severe collision caused chaos in both hydrofoils. Eight people got injured and they were all from the Green Lines.

It was bound to happen. I was in the United State Navy and qualified on the con. All vessels when meeting head on are always supposed to proceed in a port-to-port manner. Vietnamese vessels, including – and especially – these hydrofoils almost never paid attention to this most basic rule. How this rule extends to coastlines and bends in rivers is that if you are approaching a bend that goes to your starboard side you are to decrease speed and hug the bend which would allow any potentially unseen vessels coming in the opposite direction to still pass you port to port. The exact opposite is true if you are approaching a bend where the bend is to your port side. In such case you should decrease speed and veer starboard. And only in cases of emergency could a vessel stop in a bend but in such cases they are to emit hazard signals (both sound and light). Nonetheless the simple fact that the vessels hit on the starboard sides means than one or both of the hydrofoil navigators was very careless with the vessel and the lives of her passengers. Ships and boats moving in opposite directions should never meet starboard to starboard.

As many times as I was ever on either of these hydrofoils did they ever seem to slow down at a bend and no matter what direction the hydrofoil was approaching the bend they always hugged it closely like they were making a turn on a Formula One track. This accident was inevitable and the only wonders about it are that it had not happened much sooner and that more damage (both human and machine) was not suffered.

I would like to say that maybe now they have learned their lesson but that is not a bet I am willing to accept.

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Damned indecision... Should I take the one on the right or the one on the left?

Damned indecision... Should I take the one on the right or the one on the left?

I think I could really make some money on this information but for the sake of others I think I will just let everyone know now and ahead of time.  That is if you really want to know?

Do you want to know what the real and true date of the Apocalypse is?

Well, you might be interested to know that I have an inside track on this one that no one can argue with..

The Apocalypse will start at exactly 1010 hrs on January 19th, 2010… It works out to 1010011010 which is the binary 666.

Get ready for the big one!

Get ready for the big one!

So you can see, it is absolutely mathematically certain to occur on the date above. You can’t argue with logic and math, now can you? All other predictions, well, how should I say? They can be damned!

(I just had to add that one – tee hee!)

I hope you are busy preparing yourself!  You need to get down to the grocery store a few days in advance.  Check that first aid kit, fire extinguisher and water purifier. Dig yourself a bomb shelter – whatever you need to do start getting it done.  This could get nasty.  Kinda like Katrina all over again but this time it will be ALL OVER (no pun intended…)  I hear it would be even worse than giving George W. Bush a third term.  Make sure to tell your friendly neighborhood Bible thumper while you are at it.  It will give them all the more reason to pray for you.

Normally I like the underdog but I am standing with McDonald’s on this one. I have to. A grave injustice has been done to their trademark.

On CNN today I read the story about McDonald’s losing their trademark battle in Malaysia against “McCurry“.

I am sorry, but this guy, Mr. Suppiah, owner of McCurry, in my humble opinion is a lying jackass and the court that agreed with him is a kangaroo court, even if it is the highest in the land. Why do I say this?

Just look at the photo in the news story. Not Mr. Suppiah and his beaming wife. Get a good look…

No, I did not steal my idea from the McDonalds logo...  The courts proved it!

No, I did not steal my idea from the McDonalds logo... The courts proved it!

What do you see?

First of all, it is glaringly easy to see that his “McCurry” sign is using extremely similar fonts to McDonald’s and almost exactly the same color scheme.

Secondly, Mr. Suppiah maintains that the “Mc” part of “McCurry” actually stands for “Malaysian Chicken Curry”. I cannot buy this. If you want it to mean “Malaysian Chicken Curry” then why make the design just like the “Mc” in McDonald’s, again with similar fonts and color schemes? Why even abbreviate “Malaysian Chicken Curry”? But even if you feel the need to use the “Mc” then make it distinguishable rather than almost exactly like the McDonald’s logo.

But if this extremely unlikely story was the truth then why would Mr. Suppiah even feel the need to come up with the very weak argument about the “Mc” prefix being “common and is part of last names all across Europe.” (All across Europe? Only Scotland and Ireland with the possible exception of the Scottish and Irish diaspora in parts of the UK the last I checked… But I am sure the court must have agreed with this for some reason unknown to us all.) To use this argument about the prefix of the name at the same time saying “Mc” means “Malaysian Chicken Curry” blows Mr. Suppiah’s real intentions right out into the open. He sealed it with the claim that he “isn’t even selling western food” so he couldn’t understand all the fuss.

So the crap that Mr. Suppiah peddled was “I named my curry shop ‘McCurry’ after some northern European family whose name really means ‘Malaysian Chicken Curry’ but it is okay because I am not selling food they eat at home.”

As they say, “Justice is blind”. I can believe it now because they didn’t look at Mr. Suppiah’s sign and compare it against McDonalds.

You see, all over Asia I see Asians doing this very thing. Ripping off brands. It was terrible in Korea when I lived there. The Chinese kind of rule the roost in this area now but the Indians also seem to feel no shame when it comes to the trademark rip off. For instance, in Phnom Penh there is an Indian owned fast food (and Indian) restaurant that actually calls itself “McDonalds”. It even rips off the golden arches and entire color scheme. Here in Bangkok where I live there is IndianHut which serves only Indian food, but IndianHut rips off the name and logo of, you guessed it, Pizza Hut. You can see a very similar red house sign hanging in front of IndianHut’s.

Mr. Suppiah, hats off for your tenacity. But that is all I can respect you for. You got away with bullshit.

McDonald’s lost because they are operating in Mr. Suppiah’s world – not the other way around.

I recently was sent a link on YouTube by a friend of mine who wanted my opinion of a video he’d seen of a young Muslim man, Mohammed, from the Muslim American Society – New Jersey Chapter.  Mohammed was doing his best to assert his Islamic pride while at the same time introducing Islam as a welcome norm for the West to get used to (it seemed for an American audience in particular).  He spent the first part of the video doing his best to dispel stereotypes.  Fair enough.  Good on him.  I have no problem with that.  Kudos!

Then Mohammed tries to give us a fake history lesson.  Straight out of the propaganda style book.

If you don’t have much of a background in history you just might buy into this guy’s cheerleading tactics.  C’mon, Mohammed seemed like a nice enough, normal kind of guy.  The video was okay when he was just simply telling us what he personally believed in.  Hey, we all have personal beliefs.  But then he started getting into a chant, or a rant, I am not sure which, in the middle of the video when he gets into this swell of pride over a false history.  Man, I just hate that kind of thing to tell the truth.  (I mean, for instance, didn’t many cultures more ancient than Islamic tradition as well as less ancient than Islamic tradition also create great architecture?)

So you have a reference for the rest of the post, I supply the video below:

Now let’s skip to the part where young Mohammed (I know this is late in the post but I hope I got his variation of spelling correct – if no, my apologies) starts to name the litany of Arab (Arab, not Muslim per se – though Mohammed claims them all for “Muslims”) achievements.  (Please note that I am paraphrasing Mohammed’s assertions so that it makes sense in the context.  Also, for a point of reference, Mohammed’s prophet, Mohammed, was born around 570 AD – nearly six hundred years after Jesus Christ.  Keep that in mind when I give you the below assertions.)

“We invented astronomy…

I am sorry, Mohammed, but you Muslims did not invent astronomy.  Let me ask you, what about Stonehenge, which roughly predates Islam by about 3700 years?  What about early Mesopotamian (Sumerian, Babylonian, Chaldean) astronomy?  Greek?  Egyptian?  Mayan? Persian?  Incan?  Indian?  Nubian?  Aztec?  Even Chinese astronomy predates the birth of your prophet Mohammed by 1700 years.  I beg very much to differ on this point.

“We invented calligraphy…”

Wrong again my friend!  Hindu calligraphers were already carving calligraphy into stone about 300 BC 0r nearly 900 years before Mohammed was even born.  Imperial Chinese calligraphy began about 100 years later but it was descendent from ancient Chinese calligraphy which no one has really been able to trace its origins because it is so damned old.  But let’s not even talk about these Eastern traditions.  Let’s move west closer to were the Arab culture comes from.  Phoenician calligraphy predates Islam.  Etruscan calligraphy predates Islam.  Greek calligraphy predates Islam.  Roman (Latin) calligraphy, which was a late comer to this group, can be traced to 600 BC – about 1200 years before Mohammed was even born!

“We invented geometry…”

The earliest recorded beginnings of geometry can be traced to ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley from around 3000 BC, oh, say about thirty-six centuries before Mohammed was born.  The earliest known texts on geometry are the Egyptian Rhind Papyrus and Moscow Papyrus, the Babylonian clay tablets, and the Indian Shulba Sutras, while the Chinese had the work of Mozi, Zhang Heng, and the Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art, edited by Liu Hui.  Euclid’s classic Elements was written around 300 BC, nine tenths of a millennium before Mohammed was born.  Need I go on here or do you get the point?

“We invented algebra…”

Wrong again!  Arabs were a beneficiary of their location, in a round about way, as Algebra’s origins can be traced to the ancient Babylonians, who developed an advanced arithmetical system with which they were able to do calculations in an algorithmic fashion.  The Babylonians developed formulas to calculate solutions for problems typically solved today by using linear equations, quadratic equations, and indeterminate linear equations.  The Greeks studied this form of mathematics and the Arabs learned it in the Middle Ages via the Greek heritage left by the Byzantines, who they had recently conquered in the Fertile Crescent and Egypt.  And in fact, even the first treatise in the Arabic language, from where we do in fact get the word “algebra” from (al-jabr in Arabic; it means “reunion”), was written by a Persian mathematician, Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi, not an Arab.  This man is often considered the “father of algebra”, though he did not personally invent it in any way, shape or form.

“We invented the modern numerical system… (Not the Greeks, but Muslims!)”

I don’t know who said the Greeks gave us the modern numerical system.  I must have missed that somewhere.  But nonetheless, these symbols passed via the Arabs from the northern Indians.  They were not invented by the Arabs, but rather only altered.  The modern numerical system today, which we do refer to as Arabic numerals, in fact are not the same numbers that are used by Arabs themselves (look at any Arabic text book to suss this yourself) but rather a European modification of these Arabic numerals which in turn are themselves a modification of the older Hindic numerals from which the Arabs borrowed their own system.

“It is pronounced ‘Iss-laem’, not “Iz-lam”…”

First of all, young Mohammed repeated this twice – which the second go round he pronounced it how?  “Iz-lam”; exactly the way he just told us indignantly not to pronounce it.  Secondly, Mohammed is speaking North American English here, not Arabic.  Don’t correct how Americans and Canadians might pronounce foreign loan words in our own language.  Otherwise I would have the right to go nuts in Cairo, Dubai or any other Arabic speaking community when they (constantly) mispronounce English words that they have adopted as loan words into Arabic.  The point of how a North American pronounces a foreign word is mute.  Try going to the root pronunciation of all of the borrowed words that can be found in a King James Bible.  There are hundreds of examples of Hebrew, Chaldean and Greek words that have a much more bastardized pronunciation that “Is-laem” to “Iz-lam”.  And even in the Arabic language itself there are variations of this word which means there are even Arabs who don’t pronounce “Islam” the way that you do.

Come on, give me a break, Mohammed…

Now, I challenge anyone to put what I have said above against what Mohammed says in his propaganda video.  Don’t take sides right away.  Look up what I have written here.  Compare it.  Challenge it.  Research it.  You will find that obviously our friend Mohammed of the MAS New Jersey Branch just bought into bullshit that Arabs and Muslims have been peddling about their history of achievements for a long, long time.  I don’t believe Mohammed made this up.  I believe he believes every word of what he said, hook, line and sinker of this faux histoire.  He’s probably been told this by “his people”.  The longer I live the more I see “alternative histories” in subcultures – some more true than others.  But a word of advice to Mohammed and the Muslim American Society, New Jersey Chapter…

If you are going to insist on extolling your culture and creating grand illusions of your past in propaganda meant for the masses, do your best to check the facts or someone will bust your balloon like I just did.

Next thing you know Mohammed will be telling us Islam is the “religion of peace”…

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I had to think about the title for a while on this posting.  I was very tempted to call it:
Thomas Richards and his incredibly shrinking credibility…
Thomas Richards of

Thomas Richards, the dupe behind

Thomas Richards of Spiritually Smart, whom I have questioned in past posts as having been intellectually stupid on his support of an idiotic conspiracty theory, has recently changed his tune on our good old neighborhood cult leader Bernie Hoffman, er…, Tony Alamo, who is facing a plethora of federal charges back in Arkansas mostly stemming from issues revolving around child molestation allegations.  Thomas Richards put the “I ain’t the one to blame” back peddaling in his statement when he used an interesting, almost non-committal choice of words:  “…it seems I was wrong…

It seems you were wrong…? Only seems that you were wrong?

Well, Thomas, it more than seems that you were wrong.  In fact, you’ve been looking cheesy on this one, and many others, for a while.

Bernard LaZar Hoffman, AKA "Tony Alamo", AKA "The Accused"

Bernard LaZar Hoffman, AKA "Tony Alamo", AKA "The Accused"

Unfortunately, Mr. Richards tends to favor making such errors in logic and common sense when it comes to the fringe of whacky religious groups and conspiracy theories.  Just have a look at his website or YouTube channel and you can see that if there is a pothole full of goofballs in his path he’s sure going to fall in.  The crazier the conspiracies are are the more our boy Thomas tends to gravitate to them.  But Tommy isn’t satisfied to simply hover around like a moth magnetized by a burning light bulb though.  No, Thomas Richards thinks it is somehow his job to bring people closer to the mindsets of these morons like Tony Alamo and Alberto Rivera.  It is sad, to tell the truth, at how whacked out and cuckoo Thomas Richards likes his gurus.

Each to his own I guess.

Alberto Rivera, Religious Fraud

Alberto Rivera, Religious Fraud

But Thomas Richards tried to appear to do the honorable thing by publicly admitting that it “seems” he made a mistake, you say?  I would love to give Thomas Richards lots of kudos for admitting this mistake, this gross error in judgment, but when I read back over his many web postings and YouTube videos, many with himself being the sole narrator, and am forced to ponder at how Thomas Richards defended these creeps for so long I really get the distinct feeling that the proverbial shit has hit the fan, the inevitable has set in, and our boy is only trying to distance himself from the splattered stench.  When taking into consideration the fact that Thomas Richards whole heartedly supported this goon Tony Alamo for so long and that he has the same steadfast support for the religious fraudster Alberto Rivera who’s main testimony concocting the Vatican Islam Conspiracy is published in a comic book that has been thoroughly and utterly discredited by, you guessed it, research into history, well, ya gotta just wonder where Thomas Richards’ head is.  I for one don’t have to wonder so much about where Thomas Richards’ head is because I have seen the muck he’s been spewing out over and over.

Want a hint?

Okay, here’s a big hint…!

Have you found your head finally, Thomas Richards?

Have you found your head finally, Thomas Richards?

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What an odd question, I know…

Some time back a friend asked me this question over a few beers.  “Don’t answer it now!” he told me, “Just think about it for a while.”  I have to be honest about it.  I didn’t think about this question for some time.  Until last week that is.

I had some free time to reflect about things for a few days as the family was away visiting more family.  I found myself in front of a clean notebook with three pens:  one black, one red and one blue.  I thought to myself that such a question comparing organized religion to organized crime would be a given – organized religion would win out.  So I wrote down on one column all of the positives of organized religion.  Then on the other side of the page something quite strange happened.  I told myself that I would brainstorm all of the positives of organized crime, and guess what?  I came up with as many good points to organized crime as bad points.  So then I decided that I would do the opposite and write down all of the bad points of organized crime on one side of the paper and see if I could match the bad points of organized religion on the other side of the paper.  And I could.

Before this creates a moral vacuum or a philosophical conundrum I just want to be clear.  I am not trying to state that organized religion is bad and that organized crime is good.  In fact, I am not saying that I have become neutral on either subject.  I am just saying that all the evidence gleaned from this exercise just supported the notion that there is no black and white.

So now I ask you for your own answers.  Which is worse (or better)?  Organized religion or organized crime? What say you?

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“The secret of being a top-notch con man is being able to know what the mark wants, and how to make him think he’s getting it.” Ken Kesey

This is one sentence by Ken Kesey is possibly the best quotation I have ever seen regarding con men and how they operate.  This also holds true, I have seen, with the conspiracy theory crowd, whether it be with Alex Jones, David Icke or the likes of the religious conspiracy ilk.

People who are familiar with my any of my blogs or my books will know that I spend considerable effort debunking these bogus myths thrust upon the masses by what I like to call the “Cons-Piracy Mafia“.  My first book even dealt directly with all the points that one religious fraudster, Alberto Rivera, claimed in his Vatican Islam Conspiracy.  But since the book’s publication in 2006 I have had lots of mail from people condemning me for debunking Rivera and the shots over my bow mainly come from the direction of the very dupes who refuse to even open the book.  When I consider who my main critics have been over these years it becomes extremely apparent that Jack Chick and Alberto Rivera are giving their audience what they want to see and hear:  That the Roman Catholic Church schemed to create Islam in order to subjugate true Christians.

I can’t but help see the psychological parallels in those who follow these conspiracy theories and the victims who get caught up in the Nigerian 419 advance fee scams (as I am currently reading McMafia by Misha Glenny.)

In each case the victims were drawn closer and closer into the scam until in many cases they have allowed themselves to be fleeced of all their money and then some.  Of course, in the case of the Nigerian scams people put this crime down to greed but it goes to a level even beyond.  You see, the greed in the 419 scam comes from both sides, from both the perpetrator and the victim as well.  And I find that this is exactly the same when we look into conspiracy theories.  Both the originator of the theory as well as the follower are both “believers” in conspiracy.  The follower, the more they are drawn in, become increasingly self-delusional in their acceptance of the lie.  The followers begin to lose their free will to judge in these matters, much like a hypnotized person, like the proverbial zombie.

This is definitely true in the Vatican Islam Conspiracy, though I believe that the roles of Alberto Rivera and Jack Chick were initially quite different.  Rivera on one hand, I believe was actually a scoundrel.  Rivera found the audience and spun the tales to suit what the audience hungered for.  It could be very possible that he suffered the fate of many habitual liars – that Rivera eventually began to believe his own lies.  Jack Chick on the other hand, in my opinion, was one of the zombies.  Chick was predisposed to the type bullshit that Rivera was selling because it fit in with his theological beliefs that were already in place.  Chick was a willing dupe who has in turn become the vehicle of this lie.

Part of the art of spinning these conspiratorial tales is the ability of throwing out facts, quasi-facts and disinformation in a way that is either very difficult to check, beyond the education and background knowledge of the audience or preferably both.  The well spun conspiracy yarn is certain to leave their heads in a spin.  A general feeling of doubt is created from which distrust of the truth in general is created and the Cons-Piracy Mafia feeds on this scenario.  For example, think about the last time you watched a movie such as JFK.  For the casual viewer so many facts were thrown out to the viewer as “true” that even a clear headed person would be likely to leave the cinema with no idea of what really happened in the assassination of John Kennedy, but he would be fairly convinced that there was indeed a government cover up.

And the people who went into the movie already expecting a government cover up?  Well, the got what they paid for!

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