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Naturally, Nostradamus' credibility will always be on shaky ground because of the vague language he used in his prophecies.
Let's take, for example, a widely quoted Nostradamus prediction that some followers believe foretold the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. Nostradamus wrote that "The great man will be struck down in the day by a thunderbolt. An evil deed, foretold by the bearer of a petition. According to the prediction, another falls at night time (Nostradamus Predictions, No Date)." Nostradamus followers point out that John Kennedy was assassinated during the day, while Robert Kennedy was assassinated at night.
Of course, Nostradamus never writes that the two characters in the prophecy are related, and there are numerous alternate fits. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, for example, was killed during the day in a hail of gunfire while observing a military parade and his counterpart in the Camp David Peace Accord,…
Menachem Begin: 6th Prime Minister of Israel" (No Date). Retrieved Nov. 25, 2006 from the Web site for the Orthodox Union at http://www.ou.org/chagim/yomhaatzmauth/begin.html .
Nostradamus" (2006). Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved Nov. 25, 2006 at http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761568156/Nostradamus.html.
Nostradamus" (No Date). Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved Nov. 25, 2006 at http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9373679 .
Nostradamus Predictions - What is the accuracy?" (No Date). Retrieved Nov. 25, 2006 from the Web site for All About Popular Issues at http://www.allaboutpopularissues.org/nostradamus-predictions-faq.htm .
Montaigne How to Live
I have heard that you are depressed and confused about life and the condition of the world in general, and even though I usually do not like to give anyone advice, I did find some comfort in this book How to Live, by Sarah Bakewell, which is based on the essays of Michel Montaigne. I cannot claim to be a particularly happy or optimistic individual, either personally or with the overall situation in the world. I have a job that earns pretty good money, at least at times, but I have to deal with people I dislike, and some of who I would even enjoy strangling if I could. If I had the talent of Dante, I would also write a book consigning them all to hell for eternity and inflicting torments on them. I am also unhappy with the political and economic situation…
This became an age in which visionary thinkers said, "see, we told you so," and were able to garner additional support from not only the activist type, but the regular citizen.
Malthusian dynamics (overpopulation and resource allocation) became a focus of futurists. Marshall McLuhan, for one, combined futuristic predictions with analysis of global media and advertising trends.
Noam Chomsky was revolutionizing the idea of linguistics as a way to view our innate cultural mechanisms.
Science fiction writers like Clarke, Asimov, and Lem pushed the boundaries of science as far as possible -- insisting that the reader ask very difficult questions about what it truly means to be human, what it truly means to have conservatorship of a planet, and whether or not we have the wisdom to maintain life on earth as we know it.
Chapter 6 -- Fast Forward
Arthur C. Clarke made an interesting remark about…
A Poem on the Philosophy of Waking: Rhythm of the Morning
Ring ding dong
And the night that seemed so long
That stretched out like a knife
That was darker than my life
Is vanished like a dream
And I'm awakened by the scream
Alarming every time
And I cannot seem to find
The fingers to the button or a way to stop the sudden and never-ending bludgeon of the clock that keeps right on like that energizer jawn so I grab it off the stand and I take it in my hand
And now I'm carrying my time and now everything is mine the morning and the shine that takes me from my place into a higher space where I pray that every day could be exactly right this way that I get up with the sun and know that I'm a be the one to gathering…
It is what we know, because that which we understand from the experience of the vision quest finds no words to express it, and if we cannot express it, hear it said, we question and fear it. But we continue to long for the escape, to shed the body like the snake that sheds its skin.
We try to share our experience, the knowledge that nature has imparted upon us -- but it is difficult, and often times seems to fall upon deaf ears. But we cannot pace others, only ourselves, and we cannot make them hear what they resist; perhaps they just are not ready. Enlightenment through nature comes to people at their own pace through life. Often times, I think, it is later in life, when the noise of youth subsides. It is then, for some, that the distant mountain beckons us to our individual vision quest, and…
Needleman J., and Lewis, D. (Eds.). (1976). On the Way to Self-Knowledge. New York,
Perluss, Bessy, (2008). Climbing the Alchemical Mountain. Psychological Perspectives, 51/1, 87-107.
Perluss, Betsy, (2007). Touching Earth, Finding Spirit: A Passage into the Symbolic Landscape. Spring Journal, 76/2, 201-222
God created the dispensations and guides humanity differently during each period. C.I Scofield outlines the dispensations including Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, Promise, Law, Church, and Kingdom ("End Times" 4). Dispensationalism is based on a literal and unequivocal interpretation of the Bible ("End Times" 4). Efird, for instance, describes dispenstionalism a historically accurate and nearly scientific method of discerning Biblical prophecy based on a close reading of the sacred text. Efird claims that dispensationalism prevents the "disappointment and embarrassment" that has plagued believers in the apocalypse (7). Dispensationalism is a relatively new type of Christian eschatology and has the unique hallmarks of American Protestantism. The Catholic Church does not embrace a strict interpretation of millennialism. On the contrary, Catholics prefer a more symbolic interpretation of the Book of Revelations ("End Times" 4).
Regardless of the denomination of Christianity, the end times is central to the religion's teachings, its cosmology, its theology,…
Efird, J.M. Left Behind? What the Bible Really Says about the End Times. Macon: Smyth & Helwys 2005.
"End Times." BBC.com. Retrieved 5 Oct 2009 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/beliefs/endtimes_1.shtml
Endtime Ministries. Web site retrieved 5 Oct 2009 from http://www.endtime.com/
"Eschatology." Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 5 Oct 2009 from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/192308/eschatology
Public Budgeting Process
The options for financing President Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security might well be as unworkable as his plan to cut taxes five times, while increasing defense spending by starting two wars in the Middle East -- to say nothing of his other ambitious, but underfunded, plans such as No Child Left Behind. On the face of it, the near-term prospects for national solvency in any form of Social Security privatization -- especially in the undertaxed, overspent configuration of the current U.S. budget -- conform to the old adage, slim to none. A quick glance at the figures even during the pre-tax-cut, economic boom times of the middle of the Clinton presidency foreshadow the potential for disaster lurking in Social Security privatization. At that time, U.S. national debt amounted to "not $5 trillion as our politicians tell us -- it is between $14 and $17 trillion!"…
Lamm, Richard D. (1996) The new agenda. Vital Speeches of the Day, July 1, 62 (18).
Mallaby, Sebastian. (2004) Bush's ungrounded vision. The Washington Post, November 8. Retrieved 25 November 2004 from www.highbeam.com.
Montagne, Renee. (2004) Analysis: How Social Security privatization might work, Morning Edition (NPR) transcript, November 11. Retrieved 25 November 2004 from www.highbeam.com.
Strope, Leigh. (2004) Bush Moves to Privatize Social Security. AP Online, November 11. Retrieved 25 November 2004 from www.highbeam.com.
seated fear of the current state of culture as witnessed in television programming. He argued that through the evolution of ideas beginning in literature with horror writers such as Stephen King, and seen in the present in reality TV programs, a sadistic mental illness has encapsulated the collective viewing audience. He used examples from current television reality programming to highlight his ideas and present a very dangerous environment for those who choose to engulf their minds in the programming produced by such sources. The author empathetically concludes his article with a plea with his audience to observe National Turn Off Your TV day and enjoy the freedom of a TV-free life.
I strongly resonate with many of the arguments presented in the writings of Goodspeed (2004) as they identify a disturbing trend within culture and media. The author's ability to summarize many of the problems that are noticeable within…
Goodspeed, M. (2004). Reality TV Fosters Sadism. Rense.com 15 April 2004.