Monday, September 23, 2013


Closer Grant Balfour and Mike Norris celebrate another Oakland A's win

The one team any post season American league team does not want to meet in the upcoming payoffs is the Oakland A's ~ for this audacious group of over-achievers has set the San Francisco East Bay on fire with their balanced hitting, home runs, effective pitching and savvy 2012 American League manager of the year, Bob Melvin. But it's their obvious infectious joy and delight of just playing baseball together as a team that has captured my heart as well as the East Bay: Allen L Roland

I see great things in baseball. It's our game ~ the American game: Walt Whitman

I grew up loving baseball and played it through High School and College until I joined the Navy and became a Navy aviator in 1957. In my early childhood the Boston Red Sox were my team but that passion switched to the New York Giants when Bobby Thompson hit the homerun shot heard round the world to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951.
Here is that moment frozen in time ~ this treasured memory was indelibly implanted in my young mind for it was etched in total joy and delight ~ forever associated with the late Bobby Thomson who died three years ago.

I remained a Giant fan when they moved to San Francisco in 1958 while I was stationed as a carrier fighter pilot in Alameda, California and stayed an avid Giant fan for the next 54 years which included their recent two world championships.
In late 2012, I moved to the East Bay and within 9 months this life time Giant fan became an avid Oakland A's fan. This rambunctious group of baseball players have captured not only my heart but the true spirit and fun of baseball ~ as seen in my July 15th, 2013 post picking the Oakland A's as the team to beat in the American League. See article ~

Now it's mid-September and the A's have just clinched the American League west for the second straight year. With a comparatively paltry team payroll salary of $ 68 million (compared to Boston's $159 million and Detroit's $149 million) ~ the Oakland A's obviously play for the love of the game, not just the money, and it shows on the field. This is a team that plays hard but has fun and their fans as well as management obviously revel in their antics ~ see this series of 30 second YouTube ads that endear the A's to their fans.

At their dilapidated and rusting Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum home, with its leaky sewage problems, you enter a wild scene of constant rap music and drums with giant green and gold flags being waved from the upper deck ~ it's a party scene of unbridled joy and the players revel in it. See How You Like Me Now ~ 2 minute video

2012 MLB Executive of the year General Manager Billy Beane has assembled a tightly knit group of switch hitters, power hitters (most home runs of any major league team since all-star game) and solid pitching anchored by the crafty veteran Bartolo Colon and ably supported by Parker, Gray, Milone, Straily and their closers ~ Cook, Doolittle, Blevins and Balfour. Beane and manager Bob Melvin have a solid personal and working relationship and it shows ~ the A's above all are a tightly knit team and every player knows and willingly accepts his role.

Coco Crisp (22 home runs) is their inspirational leadoff hitter and Josh Donaldson, their rock solid third baseman, is their MVP ~ then there's the budding superstar Yoenis Cespedes (.491 SLG ) and a cast of speedy and switch hitting role players ( Moss, Reddick, Young, Suzuki, Norris, Callaspo, Lowrie, Barton, Sogard and Vogt ) who are all capable of hitting the long ball.

The most important factor going into the playoffs is momentum and no team has more solid momentum and is having more fun since the all-star break than the Oakland A's.

My playoff scenario, if Boston maintains the best American league record ~ Oakland defeats Detroit in 4 games / Oakland defeats Boston (who previously defeats wild card winner) in seven hard fought games to win American league championship in a playoff classic.

Whoever they face in the World Series, the A's will have the home field advantage because the American League won the All Star game this year ~ quite unfair but that's another story.

Roger Angell (Agincourt and After, Five Seasons) perfectly captures my feelings about being a deeply caring baseball fan ~ " It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitive as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look ~ I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring ~ caring deeply and passionately, really caring ~ which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naiveté ~ the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the hap hazardous flight of a distant ball ~seems a small price to pay for such a gift."  

Allen L Roland

Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and transformational counselor Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private Skype consultations
Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his web log and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on

Monday, September 16, 2013


The VLBA made this image of Voyager 1's signal on Feb. 21, 2013. At the time, Voyager 1 was 11.5 billion miles (18.5 billion kilometers) away. The image is about 0.5 arcseconds on a side. An arcsecond is the apparent size of a penny as seen from 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) away. The slightly oblong shape of the image is a result of the array's configuration.

As Voyager 1 escapes our star solar system and enters the uncharted black void of interstellar space, it carries a non-threatening message to the millions of solar neighbors in our Milky Way galaxy and thanks to Carl Sagan, it's a message of love, altruism and social cooperation which just so happens to be the driving force of evolution: Allen L Roland

Let's get some perspective about the mind boggling distances we are talking about here;
There are 200 million star systems, most of them with planets, in our own Milky Way galaxy and it would take over 200 million years for our star system to make one orbit of our Milky Way galaxy.

And according to the best estimates of astronomers there are at least one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe ~ which means if you hold up a grain of sand, the patch of sky it covers probably contains at least 10,000 galaxies.

On September 12, 2013, NASA announced that Voyager 1 had crossed the heliopause and entered interstellar space on August 25, 2012, making it the first manmade object to do so and it only has enough power for its instruments until 2025. In 2025 all instruments will be turned off, and the science team will be able to operate the spacecraft for about 10 years after that to just get engineering data. In the year 40,272 AD, Voyager 1 will come within 1.7 light years of an obscure star in the constellation Ursa Minor (the Little Bear or Little Dipper) called AC+79 3888.  It will then swing around that star and orbit about the center of our Milky Way, likely for millions of years.

In other words, the star closest to our own solar system, is 4.37 light years away, so Voyager 1 would still take over 50,000 years to get there, but it's headed in the right direction.

Voyager 1

As I wrote on June 4, 2011 ~ thirty-three years into its voyage into deep space, the space-hardened craft of Voyager 1 had neared a milestone in its journey out of the solar system. But within this small craft is a gold plated copper record disc with 115 images and natural sounds of nature as well as songs of celebration and greetings from a small pale dot in the vast black void of our solar system called planet Earth.

But what if a deep space intergalactic space probe intercepted Voyager 1 ~ similar to the one I facetiously reported on March 25, 2012, where they reported the following on observing Earth;  "This is our fifth and perhaps final visit to this strange planet Earth and it would appear that they are still in denial of the universal urge to unite ~ although there are still small pockets of individuals and groups who strongly believe and are sharing this universal truth on a worldwide communication system called the Internet ~ Perhaps there is still hope ~ and in that spirit we landed one of our officers in a place called Kansas ~ to speak to a human and inquire about their government ~ since they are now in the midst of a so called presidential election. Here is the nine minute interview with an Earthling who apparently has very little real knowledge of his government and appears to be in a before mentioned languid state of apathy."  9 minute video ~ Earthling explaining his Government

Recommendation: " I suggest that we do make limited contact, perhaps with those few enlightened individuals I spoke of. These power and ego crazed Earthlings must soon begin to realize how insignificant they truly are in the galaxy and Monte Python’s Galaxy Song could be that needed reminder. For the only thing that individually and collectively connects them to this vast incomprehensible galactic universe is quite simply, LOVE."  3 Minute Video / Monte Python’s Galaxy Song.

So now it's time again for the before mentioned fictitious Commander Luyorxinw, en route on his sixth intergalactic probe to visit and understand our strange and war-like planet, to intercept and corral Voyager 1 as it leaves our solar system, but this time he gets a new view of our planet as seen through the eyes of Carl Sagan and his team ~ and it's all recorded on a 12 inch gold plated copper disc stored within Voyager which also includes a needle to play it.

The contents of the record were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University. As mentioned, Sagan and his associates assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind and thunder, birds, whales, and other animals. To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in 55 languages, along with printed messages from President Jimmy Carter and U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim.

So imagine Commander Luyorxinw and his crew's surprise, after observing for five years (on their annual probes) the constant strife and turmoil of planet earth, when they hear the first strains of Beethoven's String Quartet No. 13 in B Flat.   6 minute video

As Megan Garber explains in The Atlantic ~ " The logic of all this is simple: It will be tens of thousands of years (if ever) before either Voyager can make a close approach to any planetary system that lies beyond our own. "The spacecraft," Carl Sagan put it"will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space."
Sagan added: "But the launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about life on this planet."

Perhaps William Blake had it right when he wrote ~ We are put on Earth a little space to bear the beams of love. For love is the only force capable of joining us instantly to everything we can see around us since it’s a state of consciousness that exists beyond time and space as well as deepest within each one of us. I knew that as a very young child when I leaned out my window in Newtonville, Massachusetts, filled with love and with my favorite music filling the room, and 'knew' in that instant that I was connected to everything I saw through that same love, joy and delight.

Indeed, Voyager 1 is a cosmic note in a bottle on an immense interstellar sea from a lost and alone planet Earth that has little if any idea that it is instantly connected to all of this vastness through a Unified Field of love and soul consciousness ~ which exists not only beyond time and space but also deepest within each one of us and whose principle property is the universal urge to unite.

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know it for the first time: T.S. Eliot

Allen L Roland

Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and transformational counselor Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private Skype consultations

Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his web log and website He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on