Telemundo: Mentally Disabled American Deported

These are the kinds of incidents we can expect more of under the unconstitutional Arizona immigration power-grab and racial profiling law.

TelemundoChicago.com:

LOS ANGELES — The family of a mentally disabled man claims that the federal and local governments mistakenly had an American citizen deported and said U.S. officials should help find him in Mexico.

Relatives of Pedro Guzman, 29, are suing the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in Los Angeles federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit this week over what the civil rights group contends was the wrongful deportation of a developmentally disabled man.

Pedro Guzman was serving time in Los Angeles County’s Men’s Central Jail for misdemeanor trespassing when he was deported to Tijuana on May 10 or May 11, according to the ACLU. The family said they’ve been looking for their loved one in Tijuana for a month. Michael Guzman said his worst fear is that his brother is “no longer living.”

He said Michael can’t read, gets lost and often can’t remember the family phone number.

The suit said Pedro Guzman was sentenced in April to 120 days in jail for a misdemeanor trespassing violation. The suit said that sometime after that the Sheriff’s Department identified him as a non-citizen, obtained his signature for voluntary removal from the United States and turned him over to federal authorities for deportation.

Guzman, who knows no one in Tijuana, was last heard from on May 11, when he phoned his brother and sister-in-law’s home to say he had been deported to that city, but the call was interrupted before he could say exactly where he was, according to the ACLU.

Guzman’s mother, brother and sister-in-law traveled to Tijuana and searched shelters, jails, churches, hospitals and morgues, but have not found him and fear for his safety, ACLU officials said.

“This is a recurring nightmare for every person of color of immigrant roots,”

Mark Rosenbaum, the legal director of the ACLU’s Southern California branch, said in a statement.

There are no circumstances under which a U.S. citizen can legally be deported.

Paul Krugman: Health Care Now (+ Analysis)

This is the article and accompanying essay that drove me to talk about student peer review editing in a previous post.

Dr. Krugman explains his case on NYTimes.com:

The whole world is in recession. But the United States is the only wealthy country in which the economic catastrophe will also be a health care catastrophe — in which millions of people will lose their health insurance along with their jobs, and therefore lose access to essential care.

The bottom line, then, is that this is no time to let campaign promises of guaranteed health care be quietly forgotten. It is, instead, a time to put the push for universal care front and center. Health care now!

And then there is this college essay of mine:


Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, wrote an opinion piece appearing in The New York Times where he argues strongly for social reform of health care access and ensuring affordable premiums for all Americans. The central thesis of this paper being that Krugman effectively conveys a sense of urgency in the health care social reform agenda by using a combination of rhetoric, “considering counter-examples” and a series of rational arguments that are all valid in nature. Written at a time when the Obama White House had yet to reveal its presidential proposal on health care reform, Krugman uses the economic forecasting of both his own make and that of the Obama administration to predict of likely “prolonged unemployment,” and warns of a “looming health care disaster” upon the horizon. Krugman believes the U.S. alone will share in this fate of a “health care catastrophe” in which basic medical care will not be available to millions as unemployment persists and the recession continues forward.

Krugman argues the banks and lenders were essentially sick and the government gave them medicine in the form of financial assistance, what kind of medicine and how much he sets aside by stating “I have problems with the specifics,” which was the right thing to do and now the American people are sick or in danger of becoming extremely ill so the government must provide medicine in equal fashion to all and not only the wealthy few. Krugman feels a measure of fair treatment must be shown clearly to Americans who have not benefited from government bailouts or other recovery measures taken by the government.

Working on the assumption that some members of “Mr. Obama’s circle” are advising to place health care on a low priority policy agenda Krugman considers a series counterarguments that would be likely proposed from that perspective. Considering the perspective that crisis and turmoil are not the time for committing to social reform is one of three examples of “considering alternative examples” on behalf of Krugman. He argues that times of turmoil are in fact the best time to engage in social reform by citing the actions of F.D.R. in the Great Depression and also by “seeking informed sources” in quoting White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to assess the current mood in the White House of placing health care in a top priority who is quoted as saying, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” One could argue against Krugman’s position by saying that the national economy is unstable at this time and that any budgetary measures not solely centered on spending cuts should be resisted until marked economic stability can be seen. Krugman assumes that the issue of cost to be one of the possible arguments against health care priority in the Obama White House.

Instead of arguing the point that universal health care will save us money in the long term despite initial costs, instead the case is made that universal health care is costly indeed but compares that expense to other government expenditures in contrast against a prediction of the Commonwealth Fund of the cost of Obama’s campaign health care promises totaling $140 billion in federal spending. Krugman refers to $140 billion as “not a small sum,” but then compares this against the Bush-Obama recovery spending and cites this Commonwealth figure directly against that of the Obama stimulus small business tax cuts. I believe Krugman could have shown a contrasting numerical figure against the Commonwealth figure to enhance our ability to properly consider the “background rates” of the Obama stimulus tax cuts and the Bush recovery efforts in terms of the number of billions of federal dollars spent.

The third counterargument, and the one that Krugman suspects to be “the real reason” behind the then stalled health care agenda, is one of a political point of view that the people of America are focused on “the economic crisis” and it “is a bad time to pushing fundamental health care reform.” Citing the history of both the failure of Bill Clinton to complete reform and the success F.D.R. he calls this argument “precisely wrong.” He succeeded in strengthening his case by using “more than one example” of how a economic recession or depression is in fact the best time to do social reforms. This use of a fact based argument with multiple examples is a very sound and logical way to present his counterargument and effectively defeats this notion. In his saying “it’s possible that those of us who care deeply are reading too much into the administration’s silence,” there is a recognition of his strong personal investment in the matter thereby confronting the issue of personal bias possibly effecting the objectivity of the argument presented. This confronts the matter of “considering objections” and “making fundamental changes in advance” which is pivotal to weight of his argument as a whole.

By confronting the matter of objectivity outright and presenting this in his argument he clearly recognizes that “the truth as one sees it can still be biased.” Drawing upon a series of analogies between 1929 and 2009 which vary from extremely relevant to somewhat “relevantly similar examples.” First, he compares Social Security to the health care reform which is a strong analogy in that both are important life planning matters but not readily apparent in their importance such as basic needs like shelter or clothing. Second, he compares the current recession to the Great Depression which is a fair analogy to make for the two events in size and scope may differ greatly but the underlying global effects remain the same. Third, he compares financial bailouts and health care access which is relevant but less than concrete as the bailouts were a reactionary government measure while the “health care catastrophe” is yet to occur therefore the analogy is sound but lacks a concrete correlation between financial bailouts and working-middle class social safety nets in an absolute sense.

In conclusion, the argument for the priority of health care reform and the conveyance of a sense of urgency surrounding that agenda are presented in a logical and focused manner by Krugman. The credentials of the source of this argument combined with the use of historical arguments give a high level of validity to the position that Krugman is supporting. In a both tactile and ominous manner this case for reform resounds strongly with the reader for it is not a case of pure rhetoric, but rather a case of rhetoric backed by valid arguments and intelligent dissection of all plausible counterarguments to his thesis. Krugman’s diagnosis of the situation may be dire but the disturbing nature of the news does not make it any less important to listen to the doctor.

—————————————————————————-

Citation:

Weston, Anthony. A Rulebook for Arguments. 4th. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2009. Print.

Swiss-Cheese Morality

The concept of “Swiss-cheese morality” is coined by Dr. John Van Epp in his book “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk” which he points out could be conversely titled “How to Avoid Marrying a Jerkette” for jerkdom knows no gender.

This matter get’s my goat, in that certain kind of way. Speaking from personal experience.

A person appears normal enough, polite and appealing, but with time you become aware that there are gaps between this person’s very moral fabric.

They might hold certain standards quite ardently but when it comes it other types of standards they simply lack any ability to recognize their callousness and lapse in values, or are in heavy stages of denial about it.

There are little early warning signs: the inability to admit personal faults or misbehavior, hiding friends and past relationships from you, not disclosing important things that you discover later in a less than pleasant manner.

We are looking for phrases like:

Actually, I was kind of less than honest about that. It was actually more like…

I was wrong, that was a stupid move.

I got upset there, I can get a little hot under collar / frazzled sometimes.

It’s not about seeking out people who just roll over and immediately take all the blame unto themselves. It is more about recognizing a person’s willingness or unwillingness to confront the reality of what they are putting out there. The ability to link their actions with consequences, not just sometimes but all of the time.

Anyone can make a mistake, but some people appear to have “Swiss-cheese morality” in terms of recognizing certain kinds of mistakes. It is as if they simply cannot imagine they have poor standards, so they simply declare to themselves that they do not. Therefore, they fail to learn from the mistakes that fall within the holes of their “Swiss-cheese morality.”

Hit Glenn Beck Where it Hurts

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The left loves to hate him and the right loves to worship him, but Glenn Beck has crossed a line and only those who fail in supporting racial equality continue to support him past this point.

The way to get race baiting off the airwaves is not screaming into the phone nor creating a blog.

It is to go after the advertisers.

ColorOfChange.org has a petition to stop the race baiting on FOX News.

I encourage you to join me in signing it.

Bipartisan Blogging Dies at Birth

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When I first set forth to imprint myself upon the wildly evolving beast of the blogosphere I held with me a tenuous goal: to create a fully bipartisan blog.

A place that would be both policy and ideology neutral, yet dealt in real news topics.

While the value of this concept in itself still appears quite sound in my mind, I discovered through personal experience that throwing that concept away was the best thing I ever did for my blog as a rank amateur in the mix. (Still working on that.)

Blogger tis I:

My posting entitled “Ann Coulter Still Sucks” was one of first impressions unto this wild animal of internet-posting that I can claim to my credit. Every word of that is partisanship, I am completely unashamed.

My posting entitled “The Libra-Scorpio Cusp” is enjoyed by many. I point out an internet inconsistency between websites and briefly address my feelings on Astrology.

Recently I was honored to have received an Editor’s Pick on Open Salon for what accounts to the end result of these bipartisan efforts of mine.

I thank the Editors of Open Salon for the honor in being selected.

In course of presenting the issue of Jimmy Carter’s words concerning race in America, I unconsciously fell into my routine of trying to revive the lost art of bipartisanship.

I presented the words of Alan Wilson rebuking the words of Carter directly as to any racial motives in his father Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst.

I withheld the words of what I view as righteous indignation and retained myself to news-commentary.

However, my truly Bipartisan Blogging is dead. I fully intend to address every issue that I view as significant regardless of the possible offense drawn from that perspective.

Once you mix an opinion with a platform, you get punditry. Once the opinion is interjected into the Left versus Right Debate, it is already too late.

What remains within me though are the principals of striving toward fair play and equal consideration of alternative perspectives, and still with my own case intact. The value of this bipartisanship effort is lost, but the spirit remains intact. The reason being for this loss, in my view, has to do this the source from which it comes.

Despite all reports to the contrary, I am not a big deal.

The person to revive journalistic standards in the United States, is not I.

I instead must cry out into the wilderness to capture this beast, while those within the press need only touch a laptop. So is the way of things. But while ‘truth’ can be subjective, the facts are not.

“You can have your own opinion, but you don’t get to chose your own facts.”

I make a great many declarative statements in the course of blogging, formed primarily from simple political and media analysis, which accounts to online punditry.

But I believe strongly in full disclosure of the fact that I am a liberal and freely admit it may alter my world view in some cases.

But the facts don’t lie, and I believe in the growing majority of cases the facts are on my side.

Pointing Fingers:

It could be said that I am extremely critical of the right wing in US Politics.

If one were to ever take the time to read backwards into my blog it can be found that I have tried to draw a line between “Thinking Conservatives” and “Limited Conservatives“.

Other times I have directly defended the specific quotes of both Carrie Prejean and Rick Warren.

Treading this line in not some political game on my part, but rather my honest opinion on those matters.

I believe that is what we have escaped from in the madness of mass computing and super-fast news-cycles. Partisanship sells books as much as it moves blog-hits, so perhaps some of these political shock jocks like Ann Coulter would rather be reasonable in her arguments, but it simply doesn’t pay the bills.

The truth being what is lost in this exchange, and I think that sort of thing is a shame.

I would much rather have a discussion in disagreement than just label others as “tools”, “fascists”, “un-American”, or “racists”.

But that creation of mine that might cross party lines, and maybe bring sanity to the mix to see what happens will have to wait for a another day. The raw truth of opinion should not replace factual evidence. Such is the road to tyranny.

So I have taken another road. I drew a line in the sand that allows me to say what I will of Republicans, or Democrats.

For instance, the Republican Party is currently self-destructing and the Democratic Party has dropped the ball on health care reform.

Such statements embody my current stage in blogging evolution.

Finale:

The spirit of political bipartisanship and the need for balance remains within me, but the middle ground is now mainly unattainable without the acceptance of false claims and baseless assertions. Any critical review of facts debunks most conservative mantras.

There is much to be said for ideological differences enhancing a debate but when the debate is centered around misrepresentations and sweeping accusations of assumed wrong-doing there simply to no room in which to move in.

I will most likely continue to be mistaken for a conservative by both machines that dictate ad banners and internet users alike, but this just a by-product of my attempt to split everything down the middle.

To me, most these differences are best settled in the voting booth at election time.

But if the accuracy of the information we receive is suspect and unverifiable then we have a responsibility as citizens to recognize this fact.

This tense political and social division has forever been an element of American Life, but I believe that the situation is amplified by media-giants who profit from the repetition of partisan smears of any person or group.

I can only pray for a day of more a more honest and non-biased form of journalism catching the eye of the American public, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Eric Lightborn

http://ericlightborn.blogspot.com

http://twitter.com/EricLightborn

September 29th 2009

Mad as Hell about Health Care!

Mad as Hell Doctors

“This Fall, the rubber gloves meet the road.”

Find the MAHD on:

(Facebook)+(Twitter)+(YouTube)

_________________________________________________

Dr. Paul Hochfeld on Ed Schultz.

Quoting from MadAsHellDoctors.com:

You CAN handle the Truth
There’s no nice way to say it. The financial cost of health care is killing our citizens, hobbling our economy, crushing small business, and threatening the solvency of our government. 
In the meantime, the Health Care Industry is spending almost two million dollars a day lobbying Congress and manipulating public opinion to accept “reform” legislation that leaves a vicious, for-profit system intact. The “public option” is a trap.  We need real reform that finds immediate savings, controls costs, and accomplishes the moral imperative of true Universal Access. 
A Single Payer plan is the only real path to a Health Care System that is socially, ethically and fiscally responsible. And yet, our elected officials refuse to even discuss the possibility of a Single Payer plan!
 
If that doesn’t make you mad, we recommend checking your pulse.

The “public option” is doomed.
Firstwe will still have a dysfunctional health care system designed around insurance companies.
Secondit will be impossible to cover everyone without raising taxes.
The Obama administration is already saying it is acceptable to leave out 15 million people. Which 15 million? Will you be one of them? Who gets to decide?
Third: in a “post-option” environment you can bet that the health insurance industry will manipulate the rules so that the sickest, most expensive patients will gravitate toward the public plan, which will cause it to fail. When it does, the opponents of real reform will point to the “public option” and scream: “See! Single Payer won’t work!”

There is a time for compromise – this isn’t one of them.
 
  
We believe there is only one way to control costs.
________________________________________________________

This issue and it’s seriousness is severely under-reported or completely propagandized in some media outlets.

This is a map of the uninsured Americans and the percentage of those in your state who are uninsured.

 

Quoting Dr. Hochfeld from a radio-interview with Alan Colmes of FOX News:

“60% of doctors are in favor of government health insurance. The vast majority of primary care providers are in favor of it.”

“We are down to about 30% primary care providers in this country, we should be at about 50%. The more primary care providers you have, and the more resources you put into primary care, the better your health care outcomes and at a lower cost.”

“We are wasting 20% of our dollars on health care costs. It’s a threat to our security. We can’t afford to throw money at health care.”

“Once we get rid of the insurance companies we can have a health care system run by health care professionals.”

“The way ‘single-payer’ works is we take the money we are now spending on health care .. 60% of this 2.4 trillion dollars is already going through the government .. instead of calling it ‘insurance premiums’ it’s just called ‘health tax’. It’s not more money, it’s the same money. Because we cut out the insurance companies, we actually get more for our health care dollars.”

“I’m mad as hell about the political process.”

“I think he [Obama] learned that the industry is far more powerful than he could ever imagine and our political process is far more corrupt than he could ever have predicted.”

 ____________________________________

 

This last quote is vital for me to point out.

 

I find it distrubing those on the left would find it easy to throw the man we elected to change things for the better down the stairs just because the system is broken.

 

That’s why we elected him.

 

Let the man work!

 

This is called ‘incrementalism’ and in my view President Obama should have just gone for the whole-nine-yards of single-payer but it’s looking like that’s not going to happen. Mostly because they are all corrupt in Congress and hyper-corrupt in the GOP so it’s just plain outside of the list of options before Obama.

 

Or at least that’s my take.

 

I support Mad as Hell Doctors and all those fighting for Universal Health Care.

 

My heart is with you. Let’s keep making this case until the establishment will finally listen.

Mexico in Crisis Today, America in Crisis Tomorrow

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(Flags of the World Database

According to the Public Broadcasting Station (affiliate: KQED) and the Mexican authorities an estimated 5,000 people have been killed in Mexico in the past year.

Kidnappings, public displays of carnage and executions are common place in areas where brave men and women speak out against the violent reign of the Cartels.

480 missing persons and kidnapping cases leave loving parents asking continually unanswered questions of the Mexican authorities.

A Cartel televised informant described a complete lack of any code of conduct in any of his experiences. He stated that Tijuana was the central focus of the Cartels for the drug trade, and launching point into the US.

The President of MexicoFelipe Calderon, was reported to say he saw “no escape” from a tail-spin into a corrupt culture of violence and drug lords in years to come.

The notion that the state of Mexican-national affairs will not ultimately effect American-national affairs is not supported by facts.

The likelihood of these events in Mexico between 2007 and 2008 effecting America in a highly negative fashion in years to come becomes more likely under any system that precludes the importance of action.

The danger posed by the Cartels and other violent organizations established in Mexico should be at the highest of priorities of border-state governors and all applicable agencies charged to such matters in our government.

 

 

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com

http://twitter.com/EricLightborn

December 19th 2008

Obama is Not Perfect

Obama

Well everyone has to make mistakes, right?

So this is what we got going on that nobody cares enough about you to tell you in the newsmedia:

Obama has dropped the ball on this round of health care reform.

This is not the say he is now failing as president, or anything else the hate-mongers on the rightwing are sure to say.

But this is the first major misstep of The 44th US President.

There are a whole multitude of reasons, most of which very technical and are not coming to mind right now, (and very boring to cover) but as I prefer to ‘cut to the chase’ I’ll just say it like this:

Obama and The Democrats have failed, and failed utterly, to properly sell good health care reform to be proposed in the Congress.

I’m going to give you all a brief lesson in sales … pay attention:

The first thing you do is explain the value. Is this highly valuable or moderately valuable or barely valuable? Are we talking about a gold-plated coffee maker, or a plastic one? Is this car made for the long haul, or just for going to the store and back?

The second thing you do is explain the benefits. Are these the greatest benefits you could possibly have or just fine benefits or perhaps no benefit exists at all? Will you be better off in a few seconds after owning this or will you be better off in two months or will you never be better for owning this?

All the Democrats and President Obama have succeeded in doing at this stage is explaining what this bill won’t do.

Not one of them has succeeded in properly conveying the value and benefit of public health care options, nor have they properly conveyed the value and benefit of saving money in a exasperated system.

Call me vastly arrogant, but I feel they need to put my over-the-top with conviction self on this issue. I am a Progressive Reformist to the bone, and I think perhaps that is exactly what is lacking in the Democratic Party these days.

It seems to me the political will to get this done is floating away from the Democrats now that we are faced with actually doing it. After years of campaigning on health care reform, specifically what we are talking about as to medical insurance reform, these same people seem to lost their thunder as the moment in upon them to roar.

I chalk this up to the nature of people and nature of the real world.

President Obama has done an excellent job in terms of foreign affairs and the national security agenda, but seems to have some trouble working toward this particular domestic policy agenda at this time.

In the end, we the people cannot rely on any one political figure or any one group to get what we need from our government.

The fight goes on, and if they fail to achieve meaningful reform then we will pick up this battle once more in days yet to come.

And perhaps in those days yet to be before us, someone can explain clearly and passionately why we need health care reform in the US.

One can only hope….

eTrade and the Recession

I have been intentionally over-paying those little everyday expenses like tipping and things like not using the local ‘insider’ coupon clip.

It’s been awhile for me personally since I bought a product online, but supporting eTrade is another way is try to do your little part to shoot some life into the economy while your online.

I plan to buy the next gift for someone special via online.

Net-Trade is complex for the ordinary consumer to understand but there are multiple ways to support domain hosts, web loggers, local businesses and local markets.

Change starts at home.

Making your home more energy efficient in every way possible is a sound investment. Energy costs are not likely to drop in any foreseeable future.

This is just one of many steps I suggest you take to affect real change in your local environment and community.

The federal government can only do so much. Each bailout and stimulus they devise will ultimately fail if the Consumer Markets do not participate.

We need to take the time to educate ourselves enough as citizens to better understand our role at this stage in our national economy.

We all can make some difference.

We all can effect some amount change within our respective spheres.

Gov. Sanford and His Many Mistresses

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“It‘s a love story. A tragic one, a forbidden one ..”

Mark Sanford expressed in a recent interview that he felt that his Argentine mistress was his ’soul mate’ and noted a sense of mortality surrounding his decision to commit adultery on his wife. But in the same interview he revealed that this was not his only mistress but was the only woman other than his wife in which he engaged in intercourse with.

To me this notion of a fleeting sense of your own morality that the governor eluded to would not be any sort of excuse to commit adultery but rather a reason to strongly consider divorce and pursue a new life with this newfound ‘soul mate’ in Argentina. Even more so if he was violating his marriage vows with other women already.

More than anything else Governor Mark Sanford proved today to the discerning public that he holds no regard whatsoever for his wife and his marriage.

Be it maintaining his public imagine and political position or simply caring more for his carnal desires than he does for his commitment to his wife.

In regards to the resignation of Mark Sanford from office I have a neutral opinion. If the people of South Carolina believe he should do this, then he is obliged to do so immediately. Otherwise I think the entire scandal simply goes to character.

The character of Governor Mark Sanford is clear to any who care to know.

What irritates me is the likes of Lindsey Graham coming forth to declare Mark Sanford as ‘only human’ in an attempt to elevate the character of the governor for what I believe are purely political motives.

The stain of poor character sheds itself only to a small degree to The Republican Party. Yet their representatives insist on standing up for a man who pursued his ‘forbidden love’ in place of his marriage at the cost to his family and his character in the public arena.

This man is a disgrace and I send my personal condolences to his wife and his children.

 

 

Talking About God and Science

An anonymous man once impressed this image upon my mind:

I was doing one of these things awhile back and there was this guy in the room with a huge chip on his shoulder as soon as I said the word ‘God.’ This guy was huge, almost seven feet tall and arms like a gorilla. He told me there wasn’t no such thing as God and on top of that since nobody in the room could do a damn thing about him that he was God as far as it mattered. So I put a challenge to him. I emptied out a dresser, moved it out into the center of the room, and had everyone help me fill the bottom drawer with all the training weights we could. Then I told him to lift it up high. He struggled and moved it around more than I thought he would. But he couldn’t get it off the ground. Then we had everyone in the room, with him, try and lift the dresser. It came up from the floor so easily we almost hurt ourselves, surprised at our mutual strength. When we all sat down again after replacing the dresser and the weights he asked me what was the point. I told him that when he walked in that door today he thought he was God and now he can see that some things are outside his power. The God in everyone else with himself included was stronger than he could ever hope to be alone. So he was not God. But God was still present in the room, between all of us and stronger than any of us.

If you change the physical nature of this image of the huge man proclaiming himself “God” for a more intellectual design, one might evoke an image of a high-brow scholar scribbling out a formula that disproves the existence of God.

This is my impression of many atheists, and certain agonistics, I encounter. It seems to me that many have ‘thought God out of existence’ in the course of earnest and worthwhile studies. To my perception all science, and the nature of all knowledge itself, provides us with a constant ’unknown.’ Even in the absence of any religious background there is more than enough room for an understanding of the universe and life beyond simple reasoning’s of black-and-white logic.

While science shatters dogma and begs the eternal question simultaneously, it still does not negate the concept of a higher power.