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Prof. Copernicus thinks I am right (Part 1)

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Around past three o’clock one afternoon inside the cold Central Park, Professor Jozef Copernicus told me he instantly recalled having visited Manila after the 1986 EDSA Revolution.
“It was my first and only visit in your country,” the professor mused. “I was a speaker in an international conference held in a hotel by the bay (Manila Hotel?)”
Professor Copernicus thought the Marcos family made the right decision to fly to Hawaii when the mob was already a cinch way from capturing Malacanang Palace evening of February 25, 1986.
The late former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the professor insisted, should also be credited “for aborting a bloodshed that would have tarnished the reputation of your country (as the only Catholic in Asia).”

NO CASUALTY

“It was supposed to be a revolution, right? But why nobody was shot; why no one was killed?” Prof. Copernicus inquired like a classroom teacher doing a recitation test.
“Nobody was killed, yes. There was no bloodshed because President Marcos rejected the appeal of Armed Forces Chief, Gen. Fabian Ver, to shoot the rebel soldiers led by Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and (AFP Vice Chief of Staff) Gen. Fidel Ramos, who were being protected by the People Power,” I answered looking straight at both his eyes.
Prof. Copernicus: “And they were also being protected by nuns praying the rosary and holding the statues of Virgin Mary, right?”
APV: “That’s correct, Professor! The nuns also gave flowers to government soldiers manning the tanks.”

RELIGIOUS

Prof. Copernicus: “Filipinos are mostly Christians and deeply religious by nature?”
APV: “We were the only country in the world that has not experienced a bloody revolution; and basically we are mostly religious, having been Christianized by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 at the time when Martin Luther was starting to spread the protestant movement in Europe.”
Prof. Copernicus: “We are talking about the EDSA Revolution, which happened only more than 20 years ago, but you are jumping to the events that happened more than 500 years ago. You are mixing the dates.”
APV: “I’m sorry, professor. But they are related to the hypothesis on how we, Filipinos, became a Christian country.” (To be continued)

 

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Charlie Judeo

“God will never give you anything you can’t handle, so don’t stress.” Kelly Clarkson

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By Alex P. Vidal

HILLSBOROUGH, New Jersey — On the eve of the Paris-based Charlie Hebdo massacre first anniversary, Charlie Judeo crossed my mind.
Charlie Judeo is the gatekeeper, inspector, and elevator operator of a synagogue in Upper Manhattan, New York City I recently “housecleaned” for five hours.
The place was a Jewish congregation, a worship community equivalent to a chapel for the Christian faithful.
While waiting for the assembly to conclude at 10 o’clock in the morning, I sat outside the synagogue and the old man Charlie Judeo engaged me in a brief but thought-provoking conversation when he saw the cross pendant on my necklace:
CJ: “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?”
APV: “Yes sir, I am.”
CJ: “You believe in Jesus (Christ) as a Messiah?
APV (Digging from my Christian Living memory lane, I hesitantly replied): “We, Christians, believe Jesus Christ was a Prophet yes, a Messiah.”

SUPERNATURAL

CJ: “Man, Jesus could not be a Prophet or Messiah because he possessed supernatural qualities and was a product of a virgin birth.”
APV: “Please elaborate.”
CJ: “Jesus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. A Messiah is born of human parents and must possess physical attributes.”
Charlie Judeo is a dyed-in-the-wool Hebrew believer, thus I relinquished any attempt to engage him in a debate over faith, which I thought was unnecessary.
I came to operate a dust pan, a sweeper, a rag and a vacuum cleaner; wash the plates, glasses, cauldrons and other kitchen utensils and collect garbage, not to join the Holy Bible versus Torah slugfest.
The steely admonition and religious lecture had to be interrupted.
I needed to hit the ground running; the assembly was over and it’s past 10 o’clock.

CHECK

A good and pleasant person, Charlie Judeo entered the synagogue to check the progress of my work after two hours.
A garbage collector beat him to the draw by 15 minutes.
“Where is the garbage?” Charlie Judeo demanded.
“The collector had taken it away,” I retorted.
“OK,” Charlie Judeo snapped back, his moustache gyrating.
Three o’clock in the afternoon. Time to go.
Charlie Judeo was waiting outside the synagogue.
The old man escorted me to the building exit and bade goodbye, half-smiling.
“Thank you, Charlie Judeo. Hope to see you again soon,” I quipped, waving my right hand.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2016 in RELIGION

 

Have we met them on earth?

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” Steve Jobs

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By Alex P. Vidal

HILLSBOROUGH, New Jersey –– Have you ever read a book that begins at the end?
It might seem strange to start a story with an ending, but all things are also beginnings; we just don’t know it at the time, writes Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie, in his 2003 follow-up book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven.
This long-awaited enchanting, beautifully crafted novel “explores a mystery only heaven can unfold.”
Albom starts with a narration of Eddie’s last hour of life which was spent at Ruby Pier, an amusement park by a great gray ocean.
The park had the usual attractions, a boardwalk, a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, bumper cars, a taffy stand, and an arcade where you could shoot streams of water into a clown’s mouth, Albom describes.

FREE FALL

It also had a big new ride called Freddy’s Free Fall, and this would be where Eddie would be killed, in an accident tha would make newspapers around the state.
Albom reminds readers that at the time of Eddie’s death, he was a squat, white-haired old man, with a short neck, a barrel chest, thich forearms, and a faded army tattoo on his right shoulder.
“His legs were thin and veined now, and his left knee, wounded in the war, was ruined by arthritis. He used a cane to get around,” Albom narrates.
“His face was broad and craggy from the sun, with saltry whiskers and a lower jaw that protruded slightly, making him look prouder than he felt. He kept a cigarette behind his left ear and a ring of keys hooked to his belt. He wore rubber-sold shoes. He wore an old linen cap. His pale brown uniform suggested a workingman, and a workingman he was.”

MOMENTS

In Eddie’s final moments, he seemed to hear the whole world: distant screaming, waves, music, a rush of wind, a low, loud, ugly sound that he realized was his own voice blasting through his chest.
The little girl raised her arms. Eddie lunged. His bad leg buckled. He half flew, half stumbled toward her, landing on the metal platform, which ripped through his shirt and split open his skin, just beneath the patch that read Eddie and Maintenance. He feels two hands in his own, two small hands.
A stunning impact.
A blinding flash of light.
And then, nothing.
Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart.
With his final breath, he feels two small hands in his–and then nothing.

AFTERLIFE

He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people who were in it.
“These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever,” Albom stresses.
One by one, Eddie’s five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life.
As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: Was it a heroic success or a devastating failure?
The answer, which comes from the most unlikely of sources, is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself, promises the book.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2016 in EDUCATION, PSYCHOLOGY

 

Isaac Asimov’s Guide To The Bible

“That God cannot lie, is no advantage to your argument, because it is no proof that priests can not, or that the Bible does not.” THOMAS PAINE

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — This is one of a kind book about the Holy Bible.
Written by a biochemist from the University of Boston, the book supports critical thinking, and the author did not take his analysis as gospel anymore than the Hebrew and Greek scriptures.
Because he was a Jew, Isaac Asimov’s (born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov) commentaries and observations of the bible are from a Jewish point of view, modified by his science fiction background and thinking.
KING JAMES
Asimov brings us through the books of the Bible in King James Version order, explaining the historical and geographical setting of each one and the political and historical influences that affected it.
He went further as providing biographical information about the main characters. In essence Asimov seems to consider the bible as one of the most important history books ever written, and treats it as such.
What is so extraordinary about the book is it is just purely information and no commentary. If we want to know what’s really going on as well as what’s happened before this book to the Old and New Testament includes biblical verse, footnotes, references and subject indexes.
We should not miss this book.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2016 in HISTORY, RELIGION

 

Why we die early

“Man seeks to change the foods available in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essence of life contained in them.” Sai Baba

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — As we age we become conscious of the food that we eat primarily because of health reasons.
According to a dietician, we are the food that we eat.
A young college student once asked why people in ancient times lived longer than people in modern times.
My answer was a quick “probably because of the quality of food that they ate.”
Biblical figures lived up to 800 years.
Today, at 60, many of us are already “bog bog sarado” by different ailments and complications; and are frequent visitors in the doctor’s clinics if not confined in the hospitals.
By 70, some of us are wheelchair-bound.
Those lucky to reach 80 stay in bed until the trip to the kingdom come beckons.

CONTAMINATE

Some foods give us diseases because they are contaminated by chemicals and preservatives.
To be healthy, according to health experts, our body needs fuel-foods, fats and carbohydrates (sugars starches) to provide energy; proteins, such as meat, to build new tissues for growth or to replace those worn out; calcium, in milk, for strong bones and teeth; and various minerals, including salt, that help the body to maintain its chemical balance and to carry on its functions.
We learned that vitamins are not foods, but these “food-factors,” as they are called, are essential.
They help the body to make use of the food we eat, doctors say.
Vitamins already present in food are usually enough for a normal person if his diet is otherwise well-balanced, they add.

WHAT TO EAT

Every day we are advised to eat some foods from each of these groups:
(1) milk or milk products, including cheese—at least a pint of milk for an adult and more for a child;
(2) citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit), tomatoes, or raw cabbage or salad greens—at least one;
(3) green or yellow vegetables, some raw, some cooked—at least one big serving;
(4) other vegetables or fruits, including potatoes;
(5) bread and cereals;
(6) meat, poultry or fish;
(7) eggs—three or four a week at least;
(8) butter or another vitamin-rich spread.
We will all die anyway, so it’s better to make an exit with grace.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in HEALTH, HISTORY

 

We reduce supplies of our natural wealth

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — It was Sir Francis Bacon who exhorted us to obey our nature if we wish to command it.
By obeying, it doesn’t mean we will not enjoy from its wealth.
By commanding, it doesn’t mean we will destroy it.
The laws of nature definitely are in consonance with our existence, thus there is no need to exploit and ravage nature for our whims and caprices.
There is no need to rape the environment for our own irrational selfishness and greed.
The following are some of the ways in which man has upset nature’s balance and reduced our supplies of natural wealth:
1. Destruction of vast forest areas. Enormous quantities of lumber were taken from our forests for buildings, furniture, fuel, and other useful purposes.
But because of the apparent abundance of forests, lumbering practices were very wasteful. Little heed was given to the replanting of trees to keep our forests producing for the future.
2. Destruction of wild life. When forests are cut away, the homes of countless animals are destroyed, and these animals die.
The balance of nature has been upset at a vital point, and entire species may vanish as a result.
Added to this is the effect of needless trapping and shooting of animals for sport.
Examples of species made extinct or nearly extinct by man most particularly in America are: American bison (buffalo), antelope, passenger pigeon.

FARM

3. Reckless use of farm lands. Nature’s orderly processes keep soils permanently fertile.
But when man’s sole interest is to extract the maximum crop from his farm each year, regardless of the consequences, the soil soon loses its essential minerals and cannot support plant life at all. The soil, moreover, loosened and laid bare by the planting and harvesting of a single crop, and the wind and the rain easily carry it away.
4. Overgrazing of pasture lands. Sheep- and cattle-raisers, through lack of planning and foresight, have pastured their animals on the same land year after year.
Here, too, the result has been to lay bare the soil, so that it falls victim to erosion.
5. Pollution of streams. The dumping of sewage and industrial wastes into streams and rivers makes these waters unhealthy for water life.
The result is the destruction of large numbers of fish, oysters, and other valuable organisms.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in HEALTH, HISTORY

 

How these notorious gangsters die

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Never mind if some of their ilk are still very much alive today, enriching themselves astronomically, killing people left and right, and violating our laws with impunity.
Their time will come, anyway. Crime doesn’t pay.
History, in fact, is not kind to some of the most notorious gangsters based on the way they died:
–Joe Aiello (1928-1930), assassinated October 23, 1930.
–Al Capone (1899-1947), syphilis and pneumonia.
–Steve Ferrigno, assassinated November 5, 1930.
–Antonio Lombardo, assassinated September 7, 1928
–Salvatore Maranzano, assassinated September 11, 1931.
–Giuseppe Masseria (Joe the Boss), assassinated April 10, 1931.
–Bugs Moran (August 1891 – February 25, 1957), lung cancer.
–Alfred Mineo, assassinated November 5, 1930.
–Joseph Pinzolo assassinated September, 1930.
–Gaetano Reina, assassinated February 28, 1930.
–John Torrio (The Fox), heart attack April 16, 1957.
–Frankie Yale, assassinated July 1, 1928.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in CRIME

 
 
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