The Human Chord

Hostile aliens? We should worry about ourselves

By Albert Fulcher

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, May 13, 2010

When I look at the world with my eyes, a telescope or microscope, I see the same thing—life. Looking into space at the billions of stars, I find it unfathomable that there are those who believe that we are alone in this universe.

Traveling at 186,000 miles per second, aimed at Polaris, the North Star, 431 light years from Earth, NASA is beaming The Beatle’s song “Across the Universe.” This is a hopeful message to intelligent life forms that might be out there.

World-renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking said to his mathematical brain, the existence of aliens is logical. He said they might not be friendly, comparing a visit to Earth by aliens to the devastation of the Native Americans when Christopher Columbus first landed in the New World or as predators desiring to exploit Earth’s resources. Basing his predictions of aliens on human behavior, his analysis is stirring controversy in the scientific community and media.

Existence of harmful viral and bacterial life forms is logical. Assuming that superior intelligent life possesses the characteristics of humanoids is not. Sensibly, there is an equal chance or more that other species have surpassed the barbaric nature of man.

Many of us on this planet believe that extraterrestrials are already watching Earth. If that is the case, what do they see in humanity today?
Across the world they see thousands upon thousands of oil rigs off the coast of Earth’s most precious natural resources—oceans, rivers and tributaries. Off the coast of Louisiana, an exploded rig is spewing out more than 210,000 gallons of crude oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico.

Reaching land it is becoming one of the United States largest ecological catastrophes in history, causing a wave of destruction larger than San Diego County to life in its path.

Looking at the planet’s oceans, they see at least 405 dead zones, a result from decaying pollution, mostly plastics. Sucking out the oxygen, nothing can live in its boundaries. An estimated 83,000 tons of sea life die each year in Chesapeake Bay alone, the largest estuary system in the U.S.

World operation of nuclear reactors, ships and warheads confirm a species that has no design in disposing hundreds of thousands of tons of spent fuel and millions of gallons of radioactive waste from plutonium processing. Fragile relations between the major nations and countries seeking more power, this world is on the brink of another cold war, or a scorching one.

China’s oppression of the people and culture of Tibet and the Israeli occupation of Palestine are a keen insight to the nature of man’s greed for supremacy and land.

Watchful aliens would observe 20 nations living out genocide at the mass killing stage. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead and millions still at risk.

Looks at world economics illustrate a system run by politicians, bankers, oil, pharmaceutical and large corporations. They rape the world’s economy and manipulate the populace for greed, control and profit.
They see illegal drug cartels, pirates, child labor and sex slave traders that continuously prey off their victims.

This is only a glimpse. Need I say more?

Logically, humans could easily be seen as the locust of the universe, swarming across this planet completely devastating everything in its path. Precisely what Hawking is warning the world about in the potential contact with an alien species.

Optimistically, any observers would take into consideration the compassion of a great many people of the Earth that recognize the problems of this world and try to make a difference.

Hawking’s question is provocative. Are we ready for first contact? Are aliens ready for us?

Lurking Dangers

By Albert H. Fulcher

Published: Friday, May 7, 2010

Fear has stricken the heart of every parent. San Diegans’ are ever more aware of the dangers lurking in our own neighborhoods with the onslaught of recent attacks on people of all ages. Predators are waiting around every corner, looking for their next victim.Attitudes of “this could never happen to me” are disappearing quickly. As evidence shows, no one is safe, even in the best of neighborhoods.

Our community is currently in shock and mourning over the loss of two teens that disappeared unexpectedly while going on with their daily routines in their own familiar surroundings. The body of Amber Dubois of Escondido was discovered on the Pala Indian Reservation. Dubois’ family and community have been searching for more than a year after she went missing, last seen walking from school with a man.

Chelsea King, 17, from Poway left home to go jogging through Rancho Bernardo Community Park and never returned. After an extensive search the community recovered her body four days later from a shallow grave on the edge of Lake Hodges.

These are just two of the numerous reported crimes that are stirring a scary awareness in our community. In each of these cases, there is one thing that they share in common—they were alone when attacked. It is a sad world when young women cannot safely walk or jog in their own neighborhood. It is time for the people of this community to fight back.

Adults are constantly teaching young children not to talk to strangers. Young adults tend to think that they are invincible, convinced they can take care of themselves. In truth, any person, regardless of age, sex, race or class is a potential victim of violent crime. A person alone, especially in a secluded spot, is a predator’s twisted dream.

Rule number one in self-defense—or better yet, self-preservation—is awareness. Be aware of your surroundings. Living in Southern California our neighborhoods are filled with a beautiful array of parks, beaches and canyons, enjoyed every day by many who love a walk through nature, train on a challenging course or for daily exercise and meditation. Many of these places are very remote and preserved, with their natural habitats intact. To those who take advantage of these special places it is more than just a workout. A spiritual essence adds to the experience while traveling through the beautiful landscape. As gorgeous as they may be, they are also a perfect environment for violent crime.

Going it alone is bad practice. Take a friend, a dog or go in groups. Share the experience with friends. If there is no one available, choose a safe spot, a public area with as many people as possible. It might be a slight inconvenience and not the ideal atmosphere, but the risk of being singled out is immediately lowered.

For those willing to take the risk, take your cell phone, wear a whistle, pay attention to your surroundings and above all learn to defend yourself. Your primary goal is not to defeat the foe, but to run away from the danger. There are several things any person, any age can do to accomplish this.

When strangers pass by, maintain a safe distance. Listen to your gut instinct. Always be on the lookout for a place to run to if needed. If jogging or walking, wear reflective material and change your routine. Many predators chose victims far in advance of attack, because they have predictable behaviors. Varying locations and clothing can help keep one person from being singled out.

When attacked by surprise, fight for your life, go for the kill, never give up. Use every part of your body to fight back, do not back down and do not let the attacker think you will give in. Yell, scream, and do not stop until help arrives or your attacker leaves.

Anything is a potential weapon. Pepper spray is legal and can be purchased in California for les than $20 and by law no more than 2.5 ounces. A pencil, pen, stick or keys between fingers can provide a powerful punch can give a person that split-second chance if delivered to the eyes or throat. Smash an iPod hard on the nose and always keep a cell phone with emergency speed dial settings. Feet, knees, elbows and hands are powerful weapons when used correctly. Go for vulnerable spots repeatedly, attacking eyes, groin, throat, fingers, kidneys and feet.

When weapons are involved, the rules change dramatically. Your life, or the life of someone you love, is worth more than any money or valuables that you may have on you. Give them up.

So many simple techniques are available for just about any type of scary situation a person faces. Rules and tips can vary, depending on the type of attack a person faces.

Anyone who has had the unfortunate opportunity to walk through SWC’s campus at 2 a.m., or on Sunday when all lights are off, knows that it is a very dark and scary place. SWC’s Campus Police Department stands by to help.

If you find yourself on campus at odd hours, whether studying, working or waiting for a ride, call extension 6380 and let them know who you are and where you are working. When alone or small groups in the evening, lock the doors. On-duty officers will gladly come and escort anyone who does do want to walk through the dark to their car alone. Take advantage of the protection that the Campus Police provide. SWC’s lack of violent crime history is a credit to its police and their dedication to this campus’s safety.

SWC has the resources on campus to provide the opportunity for every student, faculty and staff simple self-defense techniques. SWC’s Judo courses (ESA-196ABC) offer self-defense techniques. Another course found in its catalog is simple self-defense geared toward women. This class is not available in Web Advisor at this time. These classes, though, only allow a shallow few to be able to gain the important knowledge that should be available to anyone.

With the support of SWC’s administration, the Associated Student Organization, self-defense teachers and the Campus Police a series of free self-defense seminars at Mayan Hall would provide life saving education that goes well beyond the classroom and textbooks. Our students deserve to have the skills and tools to defend themselves both on and off campus.

 It may just be what saves a life.

The Human Chord

Time is now for full rights for gays in U.S.

By Albert Fulcher

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, May 6, 2010

Repeal and reform. This is quite the catchy phrase adopted by the Republican party in response to the recent law put into action that the GOP commonly refers to as Obamacare.

It might serve them well in their attempt to regain control over the House and Senate in the November elections. It is amazing how a three-word phrase can carry such power in motivating people to a certain cause.

Across America the gay and lesbian community needs to rally and adopt this philosophy concerning the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the Armed Forces. It is unconstitutional and goes against the American promise of the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Hypocrites across the nation have dogmatically fought against the Constitutional rights of gay Americans. Thirty states have placed constitutional prohibitions against gay marriage, including California with the passage of Proposition 8. Only six states now allow same-sex marriage. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.

Businesses across the states gladly take their money, the nation demands that they pay their taxes and politicians on both sides continuously rally for their votes. Our nation sends them off to war, with the strong possibility of never coming home alive. Yet they still continue blatant discrimination against sexual orientation.

Discrimination is a constant in American history. Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was hypocritical in his beliefs and actions. Jefferson headed the pro-slavery movement after signing the blueprints for the rights of every American.

Southern politicians of the day refused to give slaves the rights defined in the Constitution, yet they rallied, argued and insisted that the slave population be counted in order to obtain the Electoral College and to possess more clout in the national political process.

Americans die every day in the conflicts around the world as our Armed Forces are asked to protect and defend basic freedoms of democracy. Many of these service members die for the country they love, even though the country they serve deny them of their basic civil rights.

Throughout history women, African-Americans and Native Americans have done the same.

Old-school debates state that gays in the military are a threat to the security of America because of their sexual orientation, with their private affairs being a prime target for disgrace and espionage.

There is no security risk if a service member’s sexuality is openly accepted and respected. Why should gay Americans fight for a nation that refuses to allow them to live their lives side-by-side openly in the land of the free?

Repealing the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy will be as controversial as the political debate over healthcare, a woman’s right of choice related to her own body and the stance that religious beliefs have power over the rights of a minority.

Gay Americans are truly a minority, but far from insignificant. Censor polls claim that three percent of Americans are gay.

Gay rights advocates estimate that up to 10 percent of Americans are gay or bisexual. Likely, the number is higher. It is difficult to determine such numbers with so many unable or too afraid to come forward in their homes and work to proclaim their sexuality.

It will take more than the gay population to repeal and reform national and state laws. We need support from every American that believes in equal rights. Personal religious beliefs have no place in our nation’s politics. Personal views that interfere with Constitutional rights of any citizen have no business controlling the lives of citizens who fall victim to a tyranical majority.

Take a stand against the prejudicial policy that prevents our service members from living their lives honestly and freely. Carrying the extra burden of hiding a person’s biological make-up can only be an interference in one of the most demanding jobs an American can be called upon to do.

Protecting the nation’s security and the fellow service members who depend on the ability to perform at the highest degree. Repeal and reform the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in Washington.

If the nation’s capital recognizes the importance and rights of the gay individual, it would be a strong foothold for states to turn around and protect the civil rights of its people as a whole, gay or straight.

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