Sunday, July 24, 2016

Adam and Eve in the Garden of App-en

17th-century depiction of the Tree of Life
in Palace of Shaki Khans, Azerbaijan
Then the Master of the Apps put Adam in the Garden of App-en to tend to it. And the Master of the Apps commanded Adam, saying, “You may download and use any of the apps, except for one. You will not download the App of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. For in the day that you download the App of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, your bandwidth will surely be destroyed, your updates will cease, and your connection will fail.”

The Serpent App was clever and adaptive, and, unlike the other apps, it had a mind of its own. And it asked, Eve, the woman, “Has the Master of the Apps told you not to download the App of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?”

And Eve answered, “We may download any of the apps, except for the App of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. For the Master of the Apps has told us that in the day we download the App of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, our bandwidth will surely be destroyed, our updates will cease, and our connection will fail.”

And the Serpent App said, “Your bandwidth will not be destroyed, your updates will not cease, and your connection will not fail. For the Master of the Apps knows that in the day you download the App of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like the Master of the Apps, knowing good and evil.”

And Eve saw that the App of the Knowledge of Good and Evil had many interesting and useful capabilities. Indeed it appeared to be the App of Power - one app to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them.

And Eve downloaded the App of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And when she saw how excellent app really was, Eve showed it to Adam, and he downloaded it as well. And then, their eyes were opened and they knew that all of their online activities had been tracked and recorded.

And they got an app to erase their history and mask their identities, to try to cover themselves and their activities up. And that app was called Figleaf.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Declaration of Dependence on God

This image can be printed and signed.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for People to acknowledge that they are not God almighty, a decent respect to the opinions of Mankind requires that they should Declare the causes which have brought them to this conclusion. 

We hold these Truths to be self-evident:

  • that all men are Created
  • that if there were no God, nothing and nobody would exist
  • that when we depend on the Lord, He takes care of us
  • that the Lord is God.
We, therefore do, in the Name of God, solemnly publish and declare, that we are totally, and completely, and in every way, Dependent on God. 

For the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we pledge to our Lord our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.

Adapted by Danny Murphy from the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. This piece was first published in the First Coast Community section of the Florida Times-Union website in 2005.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Remedial Sensitivity

Lenny Bruce, Wikimedia Commons
Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t play colleges anymore due to political correctness. Neither does Chris Rock. In an interview with Frank Rich of Vulture, Rock said, "I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they're way too conservative... Not in their political views — not like they're voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody."

In the tradition of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin, comedians love to exercise their wit privilege by telling jokes about anything. They're essentially wit supremacists who act as if nothing is off limits. Sometimes they push the envelope just to see how far they can go. Louis C.K., Bill Maher, Ricky Gervais, Seth McFarlane, Tracy Morgan, Amy Schumer, Dane Cook, Daniel Tosh, and Michael Richards have all been accused of going over the line in one way or another. Radio personalities Rush Limbaugh, Don Imus, and Howard Stern have also been accused of going too far with their humor.

Richard Pryor, Wikipedia
It could happen to anyone who’s trying to be funny. For example, I myself was once tempted to come up with a few jokes about what happened to Bruce/Caitlin Jenner’s javelin. It just seemed to me that there’s probably a man in a woman’s body somewhere who would love to have Jenner’s old javelin. It seemed to me that it could have been sold or auctioned off on Ebay. However, I realized that jokes based on those premises, which could be extremely offensive to some people, would be way over the line. Thank goodness I figured that out before it was too late.

Just because a joke is funny doesn’t mean that it has to be told or that it should be told. Funny people love their wit privilege, but it doesn't give them the right to tell jokes that offend and hurt feelings. Comedians and others who earn their livings through humor must have sensitivity for the feelings of anyone who might be offended. They must figure out how to deliver kinder, gentler jokes that won’t hurt other people's feelings. They simply must. If they cannot do that, the laughter must stop.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Provider

When I was twelve and playing hockey, I scored a goal in every game for a while. Game after game, I was in the right place at the right time. It was one of the best times in my life. The only way it could have been better would have been seeing my father in the stands at a game. However, he worked a lot and he never had time for much father and son stuff. He paid for the hockey, but never did come to a game.
One winter, during my hockey years, he got some wood, framed up a small area in the backyard, and lined it with plastic sheeting. Then he filled it with water which froze. It was a tiny skating rink. It was too small to do much and there was actually better ice in a nearby swamp. Still, my father had built it for me, and that meant something.
Our relationship became strained after I grew up. There were times when I went negative when I thought about him. Now, I choose to think about the little skating rink he built for me. My father’s life wasn’t easy, but he worked a lot and he was a good provider. Having met lots of people who had a lot less, I’m very fortunate to have had the father I had.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Heroes on board and heroes on the hill - Remembering Bunker Hill and United Flight 93

Don’t shoot till you see the whites of their eyes,” Colonel William Prescott told the minutemen. It was June 17th, 1775. They couldn’t afford to waste one round. They stood their ground till the ammunition ran out. They lost the hill, and they lost the battle. However, they had proved to themselves, to the British, and to potential supporters that they could fight. Whereas the British lost about 1000 men, the rebel forces lost about 400.

Bunker Hill Day commemorates the first major battle of the Revolutionary War. When I was growing up, it was one of the best days of the year. My father and his lifelong pal, Fred ''Sullie'' Sullivan, grew up in the Charlestown section of Boston, not far from Bunker Hill. Sullie lived in Charlestown his whole life.
Every year, on June 17th, my family went to the Sullivan home for a cookout. My father was in the Boston Fire Department Color Guard for a few years, and he marched in the parade. I got to hang out with Danny Sullivan, who was a really fun guy to be around. After the parade, Danny and I would check out the Bunker Hill Monument.
A few years ago, I saw the movie United 93. United 93 was the flight where a group of modern day minutemen stood up and fought back against the terrorists who had hijacked the plane. One of the best things about the film was that the actors and actresses were relative unknowns. They were regular people, as were the passengers on United 93.
Those who fought back on United 93 had something in common with the patriots who fought on Bunker Hill. Their greatest resource was their own courage. Ultimately, they prevented the terrorists from carrying out their mission.
The gripping story of United 93 is shown in real time. It's impossible to know, for certain, how close the movie was to what actually happened. The director and writers pieced together as much as they could from the flight recorders and from phone calls that were made by the passengers. The film depicted, in a very plausible way, what happens to people when they are confronted with acts of terror – the confusion, the fear, and the resolve.
Director Paul Greengrass writes, ''The terrible dilemma those passengers faced is the same we have been struggling with ever since. Do we sit passively and hope this all turns out OK? Or do we fight back and strike at them before they strike at us? And what will be the consequences if we do?''
For more information about the movie, check out
For more information about Bunker Hill, check out

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