Welcome!
Billy Dees - Writer, Podcaster, & Media Enthusiast 

I am Billy Dees and I am thrilled that you stopped by my website!

This website is a collection of my editorials and blog posts. The site also features many of my podcasts. The "Billy Dees" Podcast is available on most of the major Internet Radio Networks including Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spreaker, and Google Play for Android. 

Social issues, politics, and pop culture are among the topics featured. I am not an ideologue. I try to objectively examine issues and hopefully present a unique perspective to the reader and listener. Thank You.

My most recent podcast, an episode list, and live podcasts will appear here:

Listen to "Billy Dees Podcast Show" on Spreaker.

Saturday
Jul132013

Evolution Didn't Happen. It Is Happening.

Editorial

Recently I have become embroiled in some heated debates on Twitter about the subject of evolution. These recent discussions have brought home to me the fact that many people still cannot or will not accept the concept. Two thousand plus years since Xenophanes became one of the first known people to have used fossils as evidence for a theory of the development of the Earth the debate still rages on.

The debate, or argument in many cases, about evolution typically degrades into the two sides posturing to defend their long held beliefs and perceptions. Typically on one side there are evolution proponents, such as myself, against its detractors who are usually some form of creationist.  

The point I try to make at large is that as a whole there is plenty of evidence that the process of evolution works. The exact history of the ancestry of human beings is a work in progress. The process involves finding agreement as to what exactly the first human being was physiologically, intellectually, and culturally. One of the next and possibly more daunting tasks would be determining the precise linkage of various ancestral creatures that directly lead to the development of that human being. So far the proverbial missing link that would be an undeniable smoking gun to champion the human evolutionary tree has been illusive. By the same token the more we question the more we learn. That is how the process of science works. We never really accept a given concept indefinitely without building upon or possibly modifying it as new information becomes available. The study of aerodynamics did not end with the biplane. New discoveries are being made all the time and are taking us into new and exciting directions.

The evolutional development of new species is a complicated process and takes place over enormous periods of time. This makes the process hard to document and frankly difficult to defend against detractors. My strategy is to illustrate the more recent history of evolution. Evolution after all is not just something that happened in the past. It is an ongoing part of life.

Charles Darwin, when he published “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, ushered in a new era of debate about life history that continues to this day. The book presented the notion that populations evolve over the course of generations through the process of natural selection. Simply put the creatures with the best traits for survival in a given environment are the most likely to continually reproduce. Over time these traits become more refined and specialized.

To me there is no question that Darwin understood the progression of evolution. What he didn’t know, however, is why it worked. We now understand the underlying function of genetics and DNA. This activity occurs in all living organisms and is the basis for biological inheritance.

Human beings have manipulated this process many times albeit a bit unknowingly at first.

Although we cannot be sure exactly how the relationship started, it is likely that about 10,000 years ago as humans established settlements wolves may very well have started hanging around. There were most certainly food scraps and other tasty critters scavenging for the leftovers around the presence of human beings. As time went on it is certainly reasonable to presume that certain wolves became very friendly with their human neighbors.

Let’s imagine that some wolves simply did not have the disposition to live along side human beings, but some did. The more friendly wolves started to be nurtured by man. Over time new generations of wolves started to develop around human beings. The ones best suited for coexistence with man became the most likely to reproduce in this new nurturing environment. It wasn’t long before man probably started taking a liking to the smaller wolves, or the faster wolves, or maybe even the wolves that were cuter. Yes, there is little doubt that dogs descended from wolves and were likely the first animal to be domesticated.

I find it ironic that since cavemen became civilized human beings we have done more to take the wolf out of the dog than we have done to take the caveman out of the man.This is why I get frustrated with people who pluck wild animals out of their environment and claim to have tamed them as pets. As animal companions go there is no competing with domesticated animals that are genetically predisposed for coexistence with man. Some people claim to love their dogs and that the dogs love them back. I believe this is not as crazy as it sounds.  Over thousands of years man has encouraged human traits in the evolution of the modern domestic dog.

In the wild natural selection makes the choices for the development of a species. As the saying goes it is the survival of the fittest. Although as a whole the long-term survival of a species depends largely on its ability to adapt to change. In the case of individual domestic animals it is human selection influencing the development of the animal from one generation to the next. Whether it is from influences in the wild or under the guidance of human intervention ecological forces such as these impacts the genetic process and affects change in the animal. If all types of life had been created in some absolute manner on a very recently formed Earth, as some creationists assert, then these recent types of evolutionary progressions would not work.

We are the first species to recognize the process of evolution. This means that we are also the first species able to determine or guide our own evolutionary destiny.  How are we doing so far?  I find it ironic that since cavemen became civilized human beings we have done more to take the wolf out of the dog than we have done to take the caveman out of the man.  We have smart phones and other fancy gadgets but when it comes right down to it we are still perfectly willing to club each other over the head because we want a certain area of land, appear differently to one another, or have something the other one wants.

Knowing what we know now more than ever we really are whom we choose to be. Are we going to continue to divide up territories and fight over resources or will future generations of human beings take the same care to encourage the best traits and evolve into the same kind of loving and loyal creatures as we most desire from our pets? 

Friday
Jul052013

There Is Cunnilingus Among Us

Humor

After a movie star asserted that his throat cancer might have been caused by oral sex the word cunnilingus has come to my attention. Cunnilingus refers to the act of oral sex performed on a woman. For the purpose of our discussion I will leave out the specific details of the stimulation process on the various parts of the female genitalia because, after all, the term oral sex by itself can leave a vulgar taste in the mouth for some.

Furthermore, my interest with the term has more to do with its pronounced sound than with its literal meaning. Cunnilingus just has a nice ring to it. You can hardly say the word without getting a smile on your face. The sound of the word is pleasantly equivocal.

For example, the term can exude sophistication. At any country club you could imagine someone asking, “Pardon me madam, may I interest you in a sample of cunnilingus?”

How about a name for a flower? There are calla lilies, gardenias, and chrysanthemums. Why not a big bouquet of cunnilingus in full bloom? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet or would it?

There is a song rumored to be about cunnilingus that says, “…kinda like sugar, kinda like spices…”So, why not have a seasoning? We could have basil, saffron, paprika, juniper berries, and cunnilingus powder.

Quite frankly and sadly the word also sounds like a disease. There could be a battery of tests for meningitis, mononucleosis, and cunnilingus. What kind of symptoms might that have? Burning mouth syndrome, maybe?

Although a term that combines Neo-Latin expressions for the vulva and the tongue was just too good to pass up, I have probably given enough linguistic lip service to cunnilingus. Sometimes you just have to know when to shut your mouth.

Saturday
Mar162013

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Mayor Bloomberg's controversial ban on large and sugary sodas in New York fizzed out Monday when a judge in essence said to have a Coke and a smile and shut up. 

The ban in question would have eliminated sales of sugary sodas larger than 16 ounces by restaurants, movie theaters, and other various establishments. 

Justice Milton Tingling of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan referred to the ban as “arbitrary and capricious.” Plainly put there are just too many types of drinks sold under too many circumstances to have a clear and easily enforceable law that is fair to all types of vendors. 

I am not sure where this leaves the issue at the moment nor do I care. The entire premise is ridiculous. This is a classic example of feel good liberal politics gone awry. 

Let’s set aside for a moment the fact that it wouldn’t really be that hard to get more soda if one so desired. Free refills anyone? How about a double? 

What about New York style pizza that is so loaded with cheese and heavy carbs your digestive system gets so bound that you can’t defecate for a week? 

What about all of the alcohol use in New York? Does anything ever go wrong with alcohol consumption in New York?  

Please allow me to share a little story to give this issue some perspective and sparkle.

Back in the day when I was a self-assured twenty year old, I had a summer job. Another guy, who was just slightly older than I was at the time (and he probably still is), was hired and we ended up working together for the day. He had the annoying trait of being compelled to tell his life story upon introduction. I am generally polite in such situations and did my best to act interested. It seemed that until this point in his life, this man had it all. He had a beautiful wife and charming children. He also had a promising career and a bright future. So, how did this thirty-something, clean cut man end up working a summer job with a twenty-year-old egghead like me?

Well, it seems as though he had a strong tendency to partake in the blow. I had to listen to him agonize about losing his wife and children due to his cocaine use. His wife had apparently warned him many times to change his ways, but he did not. Somewhere along the line the law busted him and, subsequently, the good job went down the shoot as well. Even while he was telling me these terrible things, he admitted that he still craved a good snort.

During the day, we stopped at a gas station. I decided to satisfy my sweet tooth. I picked up a two pack of orange Hostess cupcakes with filling inside. (At the moment the production of these tasty little items is on hiatus.) Being polite, I offered my new partner one of the delicious pastries. His response was, “Oh, no way man! There’s way too much sugar in ‘em things!” 

This anecdote exemplifies how out of whack the balance of certain issues has become in our society. Among all of the substance abuse problems we have in this country goodness knows we don’t want people to have too many cherry fizzes!

Too much sugar in one’s diet is not healthy. That should be common knowledge and moderation should be trusted to the good sense of the consumers. The finer points of what constitutes good nutrition are complicated and people should be free to make their own choices.

Moreover, amid such things as drug addiction and alcoholism, if people walk the straight and narrow to the point that their worst vice is a soft drink let’s just leave them alone.

Saturday
Nov102012

Why Republicans Lost the Election

Since President Obama won the election there has been much deliberation over what Republicans did wrong and what they need to do over the next few years to regain seats in Congress as well as the White House.

Before I get to that I must confess my dereliction of civic duty. I did not vote. That’s right and I am damn proud of it. Neither party really got me excited this year so ipso facto I did not want to affirm any of their respective agendas. Besides that the jury pool in my part of the land is taken from the latest batch of active voters from the most recent general election. I abhor jury duty. I might add they don’t give me a minute to breath after voting before calling me. When I am walking out of the voting booth and I say to the staff, “Thank you and have a nice day...” their response is, “Yes have a nice day and by the way here is your summons.”

Republicans need to stop talking about this. Okay, back to the Republicans and what they need to do to start winning. I couldn’t put it in the title of this post because it is crude. It needs to be crude to drive the point home. If you are easily offended now would be a good time to stop reading.

Ready? Here we go. The Republicans need to forget about pussy.

Freudian psychoanalysis suggests that women have what is termed as penis envy. The term is kind of self explanatory. I have known a fair amount of women in my time. I have known women as family members, friends, and lovers. As far as penises are concerned, some women may like a good old fashioned role in the hay with a big one from time to time but for the most part women do not obsess over penises.

Men, on the other hand, put up shrines to pussy. Furthermore, generally speaking the more conservative a man is the more obsessed he is going to be about who is controlling the pussy. Republicans need to exorcize this pussy control demon.

Republicans need to stop talking about abortion. Republicans need to stop talking about contraception. Republicans need to stop talking about categories of rape. Republicans need to stop talking about Planned Parenthood. Republicans need to stop talking about under what marital status pussy can be enjoyed. Republicans need to stop talking about whether or not it is right for other women to enjoy the benefits of pussy. Republicans need to stop talking about removing pictures of pussy from the internet.

Republicans need to go home and actually get some pussy. That’s the problem right there.

I was disappointed that neither party really tackled major issues during the campaign season. Did any body hear that the middle class has been disappearing since the 1970s? Did we hear the term fiscal cliff before the election? There is not going to be a warm fuzzy solution for that one. How often did we hear about real solutions to the problems regarding Social Security, Medicare or the interest on the debt? Why don’t we talk about making defense spending more efficient especially in regard to helping the soldiers on the ground?

If Republicans would have had a fireside chat with the American people about these issues they may have very well won the election. Instead, especially during their primary season, they let the extremes in their party set the agenda on every issue not just women’s reproductive rights.

Consequently not only did Republicans lose female voters big-time in this election but women became part of a new governing coalition. Earlier this year before the primaries, especially considering the ailing economy, it was not a foregone conclusion that women would not vote for Republicans in mass.

Do you know what that means Republicans? That means pussy politically smells like cologne, so leave it alone.

Friday
Sep162011

I Figured Out What Women Want!

As someone who was in the dating arena for most of the past summer and who has also tried online dating, I am pretty sure that I have figured out what women want. This conclusion is drawn from several experiences as well as reading plenty of women’s online dating profiles.

If I had a dime for every time I heard a woman complain about how some man was all hands on the first date I would be loaded. On the other hand (no pun intended) I usually play it conservative on the first date and seldom make any moves. This more often than not ends up getting me written off by my dates as not being interested in them. It is a classic case of not being able to win.

One young lady texted a picture of her breasts to me. I was a bit surprised and wasn’t sure how to respond. I was concerned that in this day and age of social media my response could have ended up on her Facebook page, so I played it close to the vest and simply said, “that’s nice.” She intimated that such a lackluster reaction was in her opinion a sign of my suppressed homosexuality.

Going by my experience the most talked about and desired characteristic by women within online profiles was a sense of humor. Women seem to be inclined to enjoy pleasure and frivolity which is probably how many of them end up with idiots. I would be willing to bet that most men who are morons are also good at sex largely because they do not have the capacity to contemplate much else. This is not to say that a theoretical physicist can’t be funny but jokes about wormholes only go so far.

The second most desired quality that I ran across in women’s profiles was that of honesty. I find it curious that this was second to a good sense of humor. What struck me with some of the profiles were the stern warnings that many women posted as headlines, “No Liars, Cheaters, or Players.” Isn’t this kind of like posting a “No Shoplifting” sign at the entrance of a store? Is a thief really going to say to himself, “Oh my, I guess shoplifting isn’t allowed here?” If anything posting over the top warnings against liars on your profile probably indicates that you have been a sucker many times before and will be again.

The third most sought-after trait that I found while perusing women’s profiles was that of being spontaneous. Women seem to yearn for an aptitude for creating moments of desirable discoveries by accident. Something on the order of a last minute trip during which a wonderful restaurant is found nestled in the country overlooking a magnificent sunset.

So, my conclusion is that what women desire is a man who acts interested in her but not too interested, pays proper homage to her breasts, is a laugh a minute, is honest about his cheating and playing, and will do all of these things at a moment’s notice.

Got it.

Sunday
Oct312010

Is Near-Death Experience a Glimpse of a Portal Into the Hereafter? 

People often tell me that I am too practical and analytical. It is true that I seldom speculate about the mysterious wonders of the world. It doesn’t necessarily follow that I am a disbeliever per say, however, to paraphrase some scientists speaking about spiritual influences in the living world; there just isn’t any conclusive evidence for it. 

This of course does not mean that any given assertion is not true and although I maintain that religion and other spiritual beliefs that may block or control the growth of science and knowledge should be resisted, I do not hold it true that science has liquefied any role for mystery.

The subject of near-death experiences is one that has intrigued me greatly over the years.

There are millions of American adults who say that they have had a near-death experience and those numbers are considered to be rising as resuscitation methods increasingly become more sophisticated. During some of these resuscitations people who have had these near-death experiences often describe leaving their bodies and then watching themselves from above as they are being worked on by medical personnel. Other common near-death experiences, in or out of the emergency room, include going down a dark tunnel toward a bright light, some sort of a life review, and feelings of intense peace and joy. Still other individuals in a near-death state may have encounters with deceased relatives who tell them that it is not their time yet.

As part of a current study researchers are suspending pictures face up from the ceilings in emergency room treatment areas. The purpose of this is to help ascertain whether or not patients brought back to life after cardiac arrest can recall the images after claiming to have an out-of-body experience and hovering from above.

Sam Parnia, a critical-care physician and lead investigator of the study, has indicated that these images have been added as objective markers. Dr. Parnia has said that he anticipates reporting preliminary results next year. This study is one of the latest and largest scientific endeavors to understand the mystery of near-death experiences and is being organized by the Southampton University's School of Medicine in England. The study encompasses treatment centers at 18 hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom.

One of the aspects of these phenomena that I find most fascinating is that there seems to be a consistency in these stories. Some investigators contend that many of the central parts of these stories are the same among people of all cultures, races, religions and age groups.

Are these incredible experiences truly glimpses of an afterlife? There are certainly other possibilities. British researcher Dr. Susan Blackmore notes that many near-death experiences such as such as euphoria and of moving toward a light are in fact typical symptoms of oxygen deprivation. There has been a link between oxygen deprivation in the brain and near-death experiences suggested for many years.

High blood levels of carbon dioxide have also been associated with bright lights and out-of-body experiences. Other hypotheses contend that life reviews could be due to the random activation of the dying memory centers of the brain and the feeling of peace could be endorphins released during extreme stress.

These less grand alternative suggestions as to the possible causes of near-death experiences also must be considered if we are to truly objectively examine near-death experiences in the years to come. The realistic side to my sensibilities has a tendency to favor these more medical suggestions. That is not to say that there isn’t more to the subject of near-death experiences to tantalize the imagination.

Simply put thanatology is the study of the phenomena of death and of the psychological mechanisms for coping with them. Renowned thanatologist, David Kessler, in his book, "Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms," reports that in an associated phenomenon called near-death awareness, hospice patients often describe being visited by a deceased relative or having an out-of-body experience well before death. Although these occurrences are often dismissed as hallucinations, sometimes hospice workers generally report that the patients are otherwise perfectly rational.

My grandmother had a very agonizing death and I spent many hours at her side throughout her final days. In certain stages of those final moments she seemed to act as if my grandfather, who preceded her in death, was in her presence. When my grandmother talked to me during this time her speech was very weak and she was not always coherent. However, when she turned her head and seemingly spoke to my dead grandfather her speech had a renewed purpose and her inflection had the same spirited and argumentative tone that I had heard a thousand times before when they were both alive. This next part may be adding a bit of drama to the scenario but none-the-less during these episodes of my deceased grandfather’s supposed presence both of the cats that I had at the time appeared to be a bit freaked out as they crawled about with bushy tails.

From what I understand in some near-death experiences people report vivid memories, feelings, and thought processes even when there is no measurable brain activity. If this is true I would wonder if there isn’t some life force or energy that is generated by complex living things. I do not have any clue how long these life energies would stay manifested after death or exactly where they would reside. This is pure speculation and I have no scientific basis for it. I am not sure if I would describe what I am referring to as a spiritual proposal, but the concept in general is not new along those terms. The understanding of spiritual energy is illustrated differently depending on the tradition or practice being considered. Life energy has been described in a number of different ways including as a physical sensation similar to the movement of breath in the body, as visible auras, or as tactile vibrations.

The question as to what the awareness that dwells within our consciousness actually is and how it may relate to our existence is a legitimate scientific and philosophical inquiry.

“The self, the soul, the psyche -throughout history, we've never managed to figure out what it is and how it relates to the body," Dr. Parnia says. "This is very important for science and fascinating for humankind."

I will admit that it is uncomfortable for me to step out of my reasoned and analytical world. However, I am not in a big hurry to discount any reasonable possibility. One of my heroes, Albert Einstein, said in part, “Imagination is more important than knowledge...” One of the things we can infer from this is while a novice might be deficient in knowledge; the deficit is made up for by the lack of preconceived notions. There is nothing wrong with questioning the status quo.

I am being a bit facetious here but I will certainly be questioning the status quo if one of the subjects in the study with the face up pictures emerges from a cardiac arrest with the question, “Hey, why is there a face up picture of Marilyn Monroe at the ceiling by the oxygen pipes?” At that point, someone is going to have my undivided attention.

 

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