Sunday, December 28, 2008

Carnage in the Mid-East

Copyright 2008 by fritz owens

What kind of news reporting do we have in the United States? It seems to be on the side of terrorism and against people who just want to be left alone. It seems fairly apparent that this religious war being conducted by Hamas from the Gaza Strip is aimed at killing Jewish citizens. Randomly aimed rockets at the countryside are certainly not militarily oriented. They are designed to terrorize people and get publicity. And contrary to all the ethics of good news reporting, we are getting a heavy dose of public "outcry" about the wicked Israel and the deaths and injuries from the aerial attacks.

Why don't we get a look at the Israeli people huddling in bomb shelters because of the fanatical religious beliefs of an organization that says this sector of the world does not have a right to exist? When's the last time you saw any pictures of Jewish people injured or killed in the rocket attacks from Hamas? Why are NBC, ABC and CBS devoting so much time to the cries of outrage about Israel and nothing about Hamas? There are two sides to this story!

I know what it is like to huddle in between your parents in the middle of the night with the air raid sirens going off and sixteen-inch anti-aircraft guns going off repeatedly less than three blocks from our house in Honolulu. That went on for almost four years from 1941 to 1945. Have you experienced this type of terror? How would you react if, while this was going on, you constantly heard about people around the world who said you were wrong to protect yourself?

It's a grim day when we cannot depend on the "news" to at least attempt to make a fair and equitable report of what is actually going on. How are we as citizens supposed to deal with the world community when we cannot even get a true picture of what is happening on a daily basis? Don't you think there should be some kind of control of these kinds of things? There is - it's called "ethics" and it appears as though it has disappeared down the toilet along with a lot of other important human issues. Seems like these news vultures will do anything to sell more ads.

The fanatical propaganda being promoted by the Arabic television Al-Jazeera should be aggressively countered with the truth promulgated by United States television stations. Anything less is a failure to live up to our obligations as a free country. NBC, CBS and ABC are failing the people of the United States as well as providing more propaganda for the crazies. There must be something we can do to stop it. Do YOU have any ideas that have any hope of working?

For many years I have been saying that a single low yield nuclear device dropped on Tehran and another on Pyongyang would go a long ways towards settling the entire world down. Imagine the thinking of these crazy dictators like Chavez when they find out we mean business. Don't you think they'd shut up and slink away into their hole, trembling with fear? How long would Mugabe last if his people knew we were after him? As the Japanese admiral said in 1941 "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant". What is it going to take this time? Wasn't 9/11 enough?

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Solution to Drunk Driving

On December 12, 1998 about 8:30 in the morning, I answered the phone in our home in New Orleans. It was my sister-in- law who informed me that a couple of hours before, her husband, my wife's brother Frank, got the green light and entered the intersection on Veteran's Highway from Houma Blvd. A drunken teenager, going an estimated seventy miles an hour on Veteran's Highway, ran the red light and smashed into Frank's car killing him instantly. For about a half mile around people came running out of their homes and businesses because, as they described it, it sounded like a bomb going off. Frank had his seat belt on but the crash was so severe, the entire seat was torn off at the floor and went through the back window of the car with Frank, who was already dead, still in it.

This boy had already been arrested for drunken driving but his father, a very wealthy and prominent attorney who had left the legal profession to become a surgeon pulled a number of strings and the boy got off with a legal slap on the wrist. The agony that my wife and sister-in-law went through for months was indescribable. The machinations of this man refusing to allow the courts to make this young adult stand up and accept his responsibility was simply awful. It became quite clear what was going on when we received a "rumor" that the judge in the case was up for re-election and this wealthy man had contributed "substantial amounts" to his political campaign. No hard evidence unfortunately but no doubt true.

On the day of the trial my wife and I were astounded to see the wife of the deceased, our sister-in-law, get up on the stand and say she didn't want this boy to go to jail. It became clear later on that the prominent wealthy man had bought her off with a monthly payment for her disabled son. I imagine the "legal" papers stated that the payment was in lieu of any lawsuit against the perpetrator trying to recover any monetary payment for the death of her husband.

To add insult to injury, The judge sentences the boy to two years "house" arrest, no driving except to school and a requirement to attend regular AA meetings. Within less than a year, without any notification of our family, this prominent wealthy man was back in court requesting a re-hearing because the boy was "doing so well".

On the day of re-hearing we got a call about 8:00 a.m. from the prosecuting attorney's office that there was going to be a re-hearing and there was a good possibility the judge might reduce the boy's sentence. So, we notified the newspaper and M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) about the possibility of a reduction in sentence. In the courtroom we passed a note to the prosecuting attorney asking him to notify the judge that a Times Picayune reporter and the M.A.D.D. rep were in the courtroom. Strangely enough, when the judge came back to the bench, he said that he could not find any reason to reduce the sentence. Can you guess why?

Now think for a minute. If we hadn't gotten that call from a caring prosecutor and hadn't been able to contact M.A.D.D. and the reporter for the Times-Picayune, that kid would have gotten off with less than a year for the murder of my wife's brother. Call it what you want under any other name, it was murder in my book.

And there is such a simple solution to this problem. Anyone convicted of drunk driving (D.U.I., D.W.I. and other acronyms) should be ordered by the court to install a "breathalyzer" in the steering wheel of any vehicle they intend to drive. The technology has been available for several years now. They should be forbidden to drive any vehicle that does not have this machine installed. The cost of the installation is about $400.00 and the convicted felon must pay for the installation. If the convicted felon is apprehended while driving a vehicle under the influence or having disabled the machine in his vehicle, he automatically goes to jail for a minimum of one year. And once convicted, the felon can never again buy or own or use a vehicle without the "breathalyzer" installed in the steering wheel

Over a period of a few months, before Katrina drove us out of our home in New Orleans, I contacted every member of the Louisiana legislature with absolutely no results except for ONE reply from a state congressman who said the plan was not economically feasible. What an insult!

A letter to Congressman Heath Schuler in North Carolina last July outlining the case for installation of the "breathalyzer" brought an amazing response: "...Thank you for contacting me about the high price of gasoline..." as if that had something to do with my brother-in-law getting killed by a drunk driver. Guess how he fared in our election choices! Letters to Senators Dole and Burr brought no results at all.

Talk, rules, laws, sobriety checkpoints and all of the other so-called "solutions" to reduce drunken driving have had very little effect on the fifteen thousand alcohol-related fatalities recorded in the U.S. in 2006. The same can be said for the reduction of about 275,000 people injured and/or disfigured yearly by drunk drivers, one-third of whom are children. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) is recommending all of these things but refuse to address the issue when contacted.

Enforcing a "one-strike and you're out" law nationwide would soon have these devices installed in every automobile sold in our country and drunk driving would soon be reduced to almost nothing. If you are convicted of drunk driving, you will be forced to have this device installed in your vehicle and you will NEVER BE ABLE TO PURCHASE A VEHICLE AGAIN WITHOUT IT. If you can come up with anything simpler than that I sure would like to hear about it.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Fed Up!

Many months ago, someone sent me this article entitled "Fed Up". No, it's not the new merger of Federal Express and UPS. It's all about the alien invader crooks that I've written about in a previous article. (See Thursday, June 28, 2007 on this blog). I would like to credit the author but have been unable to find the original source. I think it happens to be very apropos right now since recent election results are pointing in the direction of legalizing all of these invaders that are ruining our society.

"To the 20 or 30 million illegal aliens squatting tax-free in America, a 'Cinco de Mayo' greeting:

The American public is FED UP with the invasion of our sovereign nation by third-world outlaws from Mexico.

We are FED UP with people who are here illegally and who cannot and/or will not speak English.

We are FED UP with illegals from Mexico who cost American taxpayers scores of billions of dollars every year in health care, education, incarceration, and welfare.

We are FED UP with taxpayer dollars being wasted to print documents in a foreign language (Spanish).

We are FED UP with illegals who dump their medical bills on the backs of US taxpayers and who still send $20-40 billion a year back to Mexico each year.

We are FED UP with our schools being invaded by non-English speaking children from Mexico who impede the learning process of students who genuinely belong here.

We are FED UP with the fact that federal, state and local penal systems are overrun by illegals from Mexico, again costing US taxpayers billions each year.

We are FED UP with the fact that the overwhelming majority of felony crimes being investigated in Los Angeles have been committed by illegals from Mexico.

We are FED UP with federal, state and local agencies that refuse to round up and deport millions of illegals that are destroying American culture and language.

We are FED UP with politicians, Hispanic and non-Hispanic, who coddle illegals with drivers licenses, lower college tuitions and similar benefits which only encourage more people to invade the US from Mexico.

We are FED UP with the attempted Mexicanization of America. Mexico is a third-world slum and we are FED UP with those who want America to be like Mexico!

So, Happy Cinco de Mayo and now get the HELL OUT!"


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

End of a career?

Well, it happened again today. Being a professional pianist for so many years, I have always been intrigued by movies that feature piano scores. One of the most innovative was the music created by Dave Grusin for "The Firm". It is solo piano music and it just makes the movie come alive. I like to listen to the music whenever the movie is shown on television. This morning it was on the movie channel so I got into it and the next thing I know, I'm crying like a baby. I had to turn the show off.

There's no explaining it. Doctor says I have P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which according to comedian George Carlin, has changed from "Shell Shock" to "Combat Fatigue" to "Operational Fatigue" to P.T.S.D. Same affliction just different words. The best I can figure out is that it started back in early 1953 when I was chosen (or volunteered) to turn pages for a singer's accompanist who was performing on the campus at the University of Notre Dame (see my article on "Sight Reading at the Piano" April 28, 2006). It was my first up close introduction to a Baldwin 9 foot Concert Grand. (I find it very difficult just to write those words without choking up). It was then and there that I made a solemn promise to myself that was "Someday I will own one of these".

A great part of my life was spent in performing and finding the right concert grand was like falling in love. It was equivalent to my life with my wife of 45 years. Today I'm suffering with a very painful damaged rotator cuff in my right arm that is there specifically because I committed to performing a Gershwin program for all of my students and their friends and family members in 1990. I got the injury practicing "Rhapsody in Blue" for this performance on what would become my "dream" piano. I can't play any more because the emotional trauma of losing my lifelong dream to Katrina has made it so painful to sit at another keyboard and play I just don't do it any more. I don't know if I will ever want to play again.

It's a cruel trick of nature to saddle you with an affliction like this but what can you do except play the hand you've been dealt? If I had to perform to make a living I have already shown that I can muddle through by performing a few music jobs since I arrived in North Carolina three years ago. But I don't have to. We're making ends meet and I'm looking for some other means of making some extra money. Playing the piano right now is just too painful and to maintain my sanity and avoid the possibility of another heart attack, I have to stay away from it. After more than 60 years at the piano, who would ever have believed that something as bizarre as this could possibly happen in real life? Perhaps it will eventually go away but if it doesn't I'll just have to make the best of it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Note: This scene took place several thousand years ago

Ogg the cave man stepped out of his cave one morning. His knee was hurting him. The tail of that huge dinosaur that the tribe had managed to kill last week had struck him right on his left knee. He was glad he was still alive. The next morning it rained.

This scenario took place several more times with Ogg's knee hurting and then rain occurring the next morning. One afternoon, he stepped out of his cave and his knee was hurting. So he called all of the tribal chiefs together and said: "I have received a message from the spirits. Tomorrow morning it will rain." They all thought he was crazy as a bugbear but didn't say anything because he was a pretty strong and fierce individual. When it rained the next morning they all got scared. After this happened a few more times and Ogg was never wrong, they started to call him the "sacred" one who could foretell the future.

Ogg milked it for all it was worth and eventually was given the best cave, all the best food, particularly the best cuts of meat and the first choice of captured women. In general, he became a tribal hero.

The next thing you know he was telling everyone what to do and they were following him like sheep. Soon he built a special hut where people could go to tell him what a great guy he was and beg him to tell them what to do. He called it his church. Does that strike a chord? Any questions?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sha-man: pronounced “shah – muhn” (especially among certain tribal peoples)
A person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc. If you believe in magic, palm reading, crystal ball gazing or someone who can control spiritual forces, this is for you.

“It seems, however, that since most religious denominations do not give approval for persons to engage in sexual intercourse outside of a marital relationship, religiosity may have a differential effect on sexual satisfaction, depending upon one's marital status.” (From the American Journal of Health Studies).

The question is, why are these religious denominations forbidding sexual contact outside of marriage? It’s a matter of control. If you give in to the dominating drive in all human beings to enjoy the happiness that a physical relationship can produce, particularly without guilt, you no longer need the services of the shaman or priest or minister or preacher to “save your soul”. The guilt is not inherent in the human mind. “Religious” people, to keep you in line and force you to do what you are told, have very carefully placed it there. Best example of lack of guilt is the behavior of children. They have no shame about nudity. It’s the most natural thing there is for kids to run around without clothes on. They have to be taught to be ashamed of their bodies.

It is virtually impossible for any human being to rationally believe that there is a god so malicious, the very enjoyment of the most overwhelming drive and desire in the human mind and body can result in damnation. It is just a scenario dreamed up by other human beings to control people so that they will support them and then they do not have to “work”. Ask any shaman and they will tell you that the “work” is very hard. Of course it is! Convincing people that the most overwhelming and strongest drive in the human body is “wrong” takes a real con man. If you actually believe this drivel, real con artists who have no shame in conning people into believing things to which they themselves don’t pay any attention, have taken you in. This puts you in a class described by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as gullible: easily duped or cheated.

The sexual drive is not there just for reproduction as most religious denominations are fond of saying. It is there for consenting adults to enjoy in the privacy of their choice of location whether it is in a motel, a home or in the woods or on the beach. The concept that anything except sexual intercourse is wrong is so perverted as to be something that should be outlawed. This is another aspect of sexual behavior that religious denominations endeavor to stamp out simply to exercise more control over people. Remember, the ultimate goal of all religious denominations is to saddle you with guilt so you will keep coming back to church and support them so they don’t have to “work”.

Time and time again we see how little these shamans practice what they preach when they are prosecuted for rape, liaisons with prostitutes, child molestation, pedophilia and other illegal sexual behavior. Keep in mind that the lowest rates of “sex” crimes in the world are found in the Scandinavian countries. Can you guess why? These are countries where virtually nothing sexual is illegal between two consenting adults. Think about that for a while!

The world works like this: Sex is the driving force that joins people together and brings out the best in them. You make more and better friends when you are uninhibited enough to have sex with your friends of the opposite sex. No strings and it’s just fun and games in the most exciting activity known to human beings. That's if you don't let someone else's religious demands get in your way.